This was the first I’d heard of the Lumineers. I found their second song “Ho Hey” to be really engaging so I’ve since gotten their record. There’s no denying that they are falling under the Mumford and Sons stomping folk-revival banner.
This four song set is good fun. It features two catchy folkie songs up front “Flowers in Your Hair” and “Ho Hey” both of which total less than 4 minutes, but which really show what kind of music they make. (Shall we call it Mumford without the banjos? That’s dismissive but not inaccurate). “Dead Sea” is a longer song and the length really shows the depth of the song. The final song, “Stubborn Love” is even better than the others, with the whole band really rocking out with harmony vocals It’s a great introduction to this band who have really been gaining a lot of airplay on the radio around here lately.
In the chat with the DJ, the guys reveal that they grew up in Ramsey, NJ! Of course, they ran away to Denver to become famous. Listen here.
[READ: October 12, 2012] “Birnam Wood”
I don’t quite know how authors get selected for the New Yorker. Is it blind? Do they just say, well, so and so has a new book out, lets put two of his stories in this year? I ask this because Boyle had a story published in February and now another in September. Perhaps he’s their equinox.
I liked this one quit a bit. It opens with a destitute couple staying in a summer lodging past the end of the summer. [I immediately related this to the place where we recently vacationed which would certainly not be habitable in November]. Nevertheless, they press on, freezing and cursing each other until the owner catches them.
They go seeking other lodging. Keith works minimum wage and Nora doesn’t work, (which is a bit of sticking point for him), so of necessity the new place has to be cheap. Their first location proves even worse than their current place. But then his friend Artie tells him of a basement apartment that a couple is looking to lease for the winter. It’s part of a much larger house and they need people to watch over the whole property for the winter.
When they get to Birnam Wood, it is practically a palace. And they settle right in. And then Nora gets a job–things are settling down very nicely.
But Keith is unsettled by settling, and so, when he goes to the restaurant where Nora works, he sits at the bar and enjoys watching the other men check her out. But when Steve, who was one of those guys checking Nora out asks if she is Keith’s old lady, he bristles at the idea of being tied down. Even when Steve says how much he like to try her out. And this sets in motion the dark and fairly surprising conclusion of the story.
The final few paragraphs see Keith observing and wondering whether his life will end up like what he sees. It’s a very evocative ending even if they story is far from settled by the end.
Boyle never ceases to impress me with the diversity of subjects he writes about.