Kacey Musgraves is probably the most country country singer that I really like. She makes a lot of music that is really really country–the kind I typically dislike, and yet her lyrics are just so good that I can look past the country sound that I dislike so much (and even start to enjoy it).
I love that she plays with all of the country cliches—her backing band is decked out in matching sequined suits, there’s whoops, there’s a ton of slide guitar. And yet her lyrics question convention (and have wonderful word play).
She plays five songs (so many more than most people!)
She’s super fun and chatty, making lots of jokes and introducing her band. She also says she’s not going to leave, which is okay with the crowd.
“High Time” is a fairly conventional country song. It’s not as funny as some of the others and it has a real slide guitar thing going on.
“Family Is Family” is the first song I’d heard by her and I loved the words then and I still love them. They are funny without being novelty.
“Late To The Party” is a more traditional song. It’s a sweet ballad.
“Pageant Material” is another funny song, mocking the conventions of pageantry and poise and beauty.
Bob asks for a suit (they light up!) and she says okay but we’ve never actually seen him in one…. We also learn that the bassist plays the spoons and the spoons that he uses are ones that he whittled himself.
On the day that Musgraves played, the Supreme Court had legalized gay marriage across America mere hours earlier. She played “Follow Your Arrow,” the most anthemic go-your-own-way jam on Musgraves’ 2013 debut album. She says that her sister had called her earlier that day just ugly crying out of happiness. Everyone gets into the song in the office. It was a feel good moment of the year.
[READ: June 21, 2015] Chiggers
I’ve enjoyed Larson’s work in the past, and I was happy to read this book too.
It’s set at summer camp and while it deals with jealousy and other teenage problems, there is a supernatural element well, which is pretty cool.
Abby is excited to go back to summer camp. She can’t wait to see her camp friend Rose and some of her other bunkmates from last year.
But this year Rose is a Cabin Assistant. And while she is the CA for Abby’s cabin, it is also means that Rose is really busy with real things (and had less time for chatting). Some of the other girls seem to have grown up too. One has a boyfriend and she is getting her ears pierced (like the woman in the band Spite Storm). She and her boyfriend are even going to start their own band Glittergloom.
Suddenly Abby doesn’t feel as cool as she did last year. And she has trouble falling asleep at night.
Then it turns out that one of the girls in her dorm has to go home–and the rumor is that she got chiggers!
The next morning a new girl arrives. Her name is Shasta and she is totally exotic She is 1/8 Cherokee and she was struck by lightning. She and Abby hit it off right away and have a lot in common. But the other girls hate her. And they secretly wish that she would get chiggers too.
So camp is a challenge–there are friendship bracelets to make and lean-tos to build. And Abby is pretty preoccupied until she sees that Rose’s cousin Teal seems to kind of like her (he plays D&D and says she reminds him of an elf). And Abby is smitten.
But what happens when Shasta’s long distance boyfriend dumps her and she thinks that Teal is kinda cute too? Could that burgeoning friendship fall apart?
And did Shasta really get struck by lightning? And could she be trying to again? And why does she refuse to do any activities?
There were some great moments of friendship/treachery in the story–Larson really knows her stuff. And the supernatural elements are very cool–they keep us from knowing just what is real.
The one problem I had with the book is that although I love Larson’s drawing style, the characters tend to look a lot a like And for many of hem the only distinguishing characteristic is their hair. When you have several girls in one room, that makes it hard to tell exactly who is doing what. And when Teal also has long hair, well it slows the story down just a bit if you are trying to find out if Abby is the one being mean or if it is someone else.
But all that aside, I enjoyed the story, even if I never went to camp (an thankfully never had chiggers).
I also enjoyed that Larson gave us instructions on how to play Egyptian Rat Screw (a card game)