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Archive for the ‘Kevin Morby’ Category

[ATTENDED: October 23, 2018] Waxahatchee

I really can’t get over how many artists I have seen twice this year.

I saw Waxahatchee back in April.  Katie Crutchfield and her band headlined Union Transfer.  I had no idea that she would be opening for Courtney Barnett when Courtney came back through town, but there she was.

I had enjoyed her set and was looking forward to hearing her and her band again.

So I was a little disappointed to find out that this iteration of Waxahatchee was just her.  Katie has a wonderful voice and writes pretty songs.  But when I saw them in April, I found the few acoustic solo songs she did to be a bit slow for my tastes.  Plus her band was so good! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 16, 2018] Waxahatchee

I really enjoyed the newest Waxahatchee album and I was keen on seeing them/her.  Waxahatchee is more or less the work of Katie Crutchfield.

It amused me that I had purchased a ticket for this show and then a few weeks later I got a ticket for Superchunk and their opening band was Swearin’.  One of the lead singers in Swearin’ is Allison Crutchfield, Katie’s sister.  So I’d be seeing both Crutchfield sisters in less than a month.

I also learned recently that Allison usually performs with Katie in Waxahatchee when they tour.  And she did.  So I have seen and heard Allison Crutchfield quite a lot in the last month or so.

They played for an hour and ten minutes.  How do I know this?  Because the guy in front of me filmed the entire show on his phone and I could see the timer at the top.  And not just standing still and filing, he was swooping and angling, zooming in and trying to get every scene.  It was a little creepy to be behind him, I must admit.

Both Katie and Allison called Philadelphia home for a while, so this was a homecoming for them.  Katie said that she wrote most of the new album while in Philly.   (more…)

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CV1_TNY_06_08_15_09.inddSOUNDTRACKKEVIN MORBY & KATIE CRUTCHFIELD-“Downtown’s Lights” NPR’S SOUTH X LULLABY (March 20, 2018).

I don’t know if Bob Boilen ever explained how he starte dto get people doing South X Lullabies, but here he explains why he started doing them:

In the midst of all the chaos that is Austin, Texas during the SXSW Music Festival, we seek moments of calm. And so one night, as the week was nearing its end, we made our way to the courtyard of St. David’s Episcopal Church, just a few blocks from the thousands of festival participants and onlookers. There we found a trickling garden-side waterfall, where Katie Crutchfield and Kevin Morby performed “Downtown’s Lights,” from Kevin Morby’s recent album, City Music.

I don’t know Kevin Morby.  I’ve heard of him, but aside from a Tiny Desk Concert, I’ve never explored his music.

“Downtown’s Lights” is a simple folk song.  He’s got a bit of a Bob Dylan delivery in what feels like a very deliberate folk song.  Katie Crutchfield is Waxahatchee who I’m excited to see in a few weeks.  Waxahatchee has been really rocking out the last few albums, so this folk song (and her Southern accent) stand out somewhat.

Their voices work nicely together, and that moment when you hear someone yelling, it almost sounds like a wolf howling.

“Downtown’s Lights” is a song of comfort and prayer for someone who is down and out in the city, and this version, with Katie singing — and the sounds of the city echoing in the background — is wistful and peacefully perfect.

[READ: April 13, 2016] “Two Emmas”

Back in June of 2009, The New Yorker had their annual summer fiction issue.  Included in that issue were three short essays under the heading of “Summer Reading.”  I knew all three authors, so I decided to include them here.

This essay was about Roger Angell’s summer home in Maine.

He says that on late February nights his mind often returns to his family’s cottage in Maine and the books that are on its shelves.

Those books have been there for as long as he can remember, and have been read and re-read every summer.  The list is interesting:

Good Behaviour [Molly Keane], Endurance [Alfred Lansing], Framley Parsonage [Anthony Trollope], Get Shorty [Elmore Leonard], Daisy Miller [Henry James], Dracula [Bram Stoker], Butterfield 8 [John O’Hara], Goodbye to All That [Robert Graves], Why Did I Ever [Mary Robison], Oblomov [Ivan Goncharov], The Heart of the Matter [Graham Greene], Sailing Days on the Penobscot [George Savary Wasson], The Moonstone [Wilkie Collins], Possession [A. S. Byatt], Morte d’Urban [J. F. Powers], Quartet [Jean Rhys], Emma [Jane Austen] and dozens more. [I have to chime in and say that this sounds heavenly].

He says that fat books like Martin Chuzzlewit [Charles Dickens], Orley Farm [Anthony Trollope] and the Forsythe Saga [John Galsworthy] were saved for a tedious week of Down East fog. (more…)

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tny 5.26.08 cvr.indd SOUNDTRACK: KEVIN MORBY-Tiny Desk Concert #554 (August 1, 2016).

morby

I didn’t know Kevin Morby before listening to this concert.  He was in two bands that I’ve also never heard of: Woods and The Babies.

Morby plays a kind of smooth folk (but somehow not really folky because the low end feels a bit more rocking).  I found at least the song “Dorothy” to be kind of like Lou Reed–same style of delivery and groove, but on an acoustic guitar (and sounding far less like a disaffected New Yorker).

He plays three songs and his band consists of a drummer a bassist and a lead guitarist.  He sings and plays acoustic guitar.

“Cut Me Down” is a mostly acoustic-feeling song (you can barely hear the electric guitar).  He even takes the few leads that are there.  The song has  some good dramatic pauses, and then about half way through, it shifts to a new melody–the bassist and the electric guitar playing similarly high notes.

“Dorothy” is a much more interesting song to me.  Even if I do feel lit sounds bit like Lour Reed.  It’s on this song that guitarist Meg Duffy shines more.  Her guitar has a cool echo effect on it.  And while she’s not playing loud or hard, she’s got a cool sound, especially when she plays lead.  On this song her lead guitar “substitutes” for other instruments.  He sings that he could “get that piano” or “that trumpet” to play something like… and she gives a little solo (I particularly like the “trumpet” one).  She also gets a chill proper  solo.

But it’s the final song, “I Have Been to the Mountain” which is the most dramatic and interesting.  In addition to the minor keys chords he plays, the bass comes in with a cool riff.  And the chorus is intense.  With good reason.  The song is about the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner at the hands of a New York City police officer:

 That man lived in this town / Till that pig took him down / And have you heard the sound / Of a man stop breathing, pleading?

But it’s not overstated or melodramatic.  And Meg gets a cool solo in the middle as well.

[READ: February 23, 2016] “Over, Around, and Through, Your Highness”

I have gotten to the point where I pretty much don’t even read the New Yorker’s Shouts & Murmurs column anymore.  Most of the pieces are an extended joke that could best be summed up by a few paragraphs rather than a whole page.  But there are some authors who I will always give time to and Woody Allen is one of them.

His short funny pieces are not musings on a joke, they are actual stories that develop and usually reflect back on themselves by the end.

This piece opens with a movie producer bemoaning the state of things.  In typical Woody Allen fashion, he plays with pop culture, talking about the latest film “Mourning Becomes Electra on Ice.” He notes that if he’s not careful his next job will be an easy one in which he answers the questions “Did you work last week?  Did you look for work?” (more…)

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