I have Patty Griffin’s first two albums—I like her folkie sensibilities and her voice which I tend to think of as a little unusual. And yet it’s not unusual here at all. She sings powerfully and beautifully.
For this Tiny Desk Concert she’s playing some from her then new release:
she takes care to balance the exquisite mourning of “Faithful Son” — and the sweetly somber “That Kind of Lonely,” which Griffin describes as “a song about finally letting go of your delayed adolescence” — by closing her set with the playfully bawdy, kindly celebratory “Get Ready Marie.” Inspired by a favorite photo of her grandparents, the song finds Griffin viewing two complicated lives with the generous, hopeful eye she’s been casting on her subjects for three fruitful decades now.
She opens with “Faithful Son.” I love how the middle of this has a cool section where the two acoustic guitars (played by Griffin and Dave Pulkingham) face each other and strum hard for a bit. The problem for me with this song is that the baritone guitar (played by Craig Ross) is either out of tune or the Ross hits a few wrong notes. Since it resonates a bit louder than anything else, it’s really noticeable. The accordion (played by John Deaderick) isn’t loud enough either.
“That Kind Of Lonely” is, as noted, a song about finally letting go of your delayed adolescence. It’s a pretty, quiet number. A good contrast to “Get Ready Marie.” She says she is always picking on her family for stories. She says she got this idea from a photograph of her grandparents taken just after they wed in the 1920s. Her grandmother is looking at the camera like maybe she made the biggest mistake of her life and her grandfather (who looks really handsome) looks like he can’t wait to get his hands on her. They had a wild relationship—plates were lying. This is a comic bawdy song that sounds like a traditional drinking song with some great lyrics:
No this isn’t the end of our story
No our marriage stuck like a habit
But I had a good hunch, when she kissed me a bunch
She could do other things like a rabbit
It’s in ¾ time and the accordion is louder here and it all sounds terrific. It’s hard to believe that she’s been playing for 30 years, but she sure sounds like a pro.
[READ: March 26, 2016] Persepolis 2
I found Persepolis to be an amazing book. A peek inside a regime that was sort of mythically wicked during my childhood. Marjane’s personal story was interesting of course, but I enjoyed seeing just what was happening in this world that seemed so mysterious when I was growing up.
This sequel is a little less exciting because it is more or less about a lonely teenager in Europe. I think if the first book wasn’t so groundbreaking, this one wouldn’t feel as disappointing. Her story is interesting and her experiences are story-worthy, but compared to the first book this one is the awkward teenage years.
We see that Marjane’s being sent to Europe didn’t go quite as planned. She stayed with her mom’s friend. But the friend fought with her husband all the time and their house was not a happy one. They felt that they couldn’t look after Marjane so they sent her to boarding school in Vienna–Marjane didn’t speak German. (more…)