Last night, an average Tuesday in Denver, I got to see a dazzlingly terrific show from Nada Surf at the Bluebird Theater, followed by a surprise open mic with Leon Bridges at the Goosetown Tavern across the street on Colfax.
Not my least favorite Tuesday.
Nada Surf is a power pop band that a lot of people squint a little when you mention the name, cock their heads and then sing a line of the song “Popular,” which folks remember from the summer of 1996. People should definitely know that Nada Surf has continued to write and create deeply wonderful music in the years since, getting a hundred times better than that (kitsch, fun) song.
[Lucky was a favorite of 2008 and still remains super high on my list of tremendous albums]
Their strengths lie in gorgeous harmonies and really intelligent songwriting, much of which plumbs the complicated depths of grown-up life, but through a power pop filter that I find super satisfying. (read my old interview with Matthew Caws here)
After a set that ran the gamut of old songs and new (we got “Blonde on Blonde” in honor of Dylan’s birthday, did a sweet two-step sway to “Inside of Love,” and man oh man that closing rendition of “See These Bones,” which just builds and builds to perfect glory) — here’s how we ended the show, all singing along together blissfully, before my phone ran out of memory (shakes fist):
Blizzard of ’77 final encore
Sweaty and fully sated from the glow of Nada Surf, my friend and I meandered across the street for some last drinks. As we nursed our glasses, a friend at the end of the bar stood up and said he was heading to Goosetown Tavern next door: “Leon Bridges is playing open mic.”
I nodded–and then did a double-take: “wait, what did you say?!”
Leon is in town to play the gorgeous historic Paramount Theater tomorrow night (it appears to be sold out), but last night as we walked in to a not-crowded bar, he was just sitting at the bar with his band waiting for their chance to go on for the regular Tuesday night open mic.
After his (on fire!) opener Solo Woods played a three-song set, Leon took the tiny stage with his saxophonist and drummer. He played one song solo acoustic, two songs with the band (“Better Man” and “Lisa Sawyer,” which he said was about his mama), and then, following the enthusiastic cheers that filled our small back room (duh), he came back up for a solo encore of a new song.
I chatted with Leon for a while, he is very affable and kind; the whole thing was low key and awesome. The musicians seemed to be enjoying it as much as we all did, just playing songs for the fun of it for the fifty or so people who happened to be in the bar.
Better Man 1
Better Man 2
Lisa Sawyer (about his mama, which I never knew)
All in all: an A+ five star Tuesday, would do again.
The inaugural Eaux Claires Music Festival in Wisconsin this past weekend was one of my favorite music festivals I have ever been to. I went because of the absolutely ridiculous lineup, hand-curated by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National), and was floored by the community spirit, constant collaboration of musicians I love, and air of joy that permeated the festival.
I was dancing too hard to get any good photo or video, but they were tremendously good live, all their songs taking on new color and sounding somehow even better than on the album– especially when they were joined by the No BS! Brass Band, who delightfully showed up on stage and in the crowd at all the most wonderful times during the festival.
It also made me so happy to see Justin Vernon standing sidestage for most of their set, singing along and thumping on his chest; that’s one of the best feelings to see something you’ve booked and worked to make happen finally set off rolling:
After traversing the lush green forest path between stage areas (happily), I arrived to hear a completely reworked version of “I Am Not Waiting Anymore,” a deep deep favorite of mine. Even re-envisioned as a faster, more rollicking alt-countrified tune, it still gets deep in my gut every time–the word structure, the evocation. The songs they played off Marigolden, the new record, were also incredible in the live setting. Chris writes songs that are so real and honest, in the lyrical content, in the potency of delivery. They’re unflinching, and I like that.
Okay, so — new to me, because I’ve been slow on the uptake lately: Sylvan Essoholy shit completely blew my hair back (not literally because it was ten thousand degrees + humid and my hair was a giant damp frizzball of drippy sweat, even moreso dancing under the tent for their set).
Amelia Meath of Mountain Man (and also one of the busier guest performers of the festival, singing also with Hiss Golden Messenger and Phil Cook) and Nick Sanborn of Megafaun make rich, haunting, shimmery confections of eminently danceable music together. AND AMELIA MOVES LIKE THIS, while wearing (not pictured) 4-inch platform shoes and singing like a complete badass:
I fell in love. I bought the full album immediately and am praying for enough hot summer lazy days left to listen to it on nonstop repeat.
(also check out the super cool Song Exploder podcast about the roots and guts and words of this song, which made me like them even more)
They delivered a set that was even more tightly furious and darkly melodic than I’d seen in a while from them. Matt seemed especially electrified, as he paced and screamed (and they performed both “Abel” and “Mr. November”?!), and then leapt into a crowd that I feared might actually consume him during “Terrible Love” (I confess to a hearty clasping of his arm when the eddy of the sweaty crowd shoved him into my orbit).
Also, because of the massive group of friends assembled as co-performers on the bill of the weekend, the set contained some pretty incredible guests.
YOU GUYS JUSTIN VERNON SANG ON “SLOW SHOW”:
(even though Matt had to publicly chastise him for wearing shorts; this is a classy band, man!)
Sufjan came out for several songs; here singing “Afraid of Everyone” with Matt:
After severe weather sirens going off at 2:30am in the UW-Eau Claire dorms that this California girl had zero idea how to deal with (google!), after surviving and not being washed away, Saturday morning crested crisp and full of the promise of another whole day of wonderful performances. The sound of Phil Cook wafting through the air made me stop my foraging for food and book it across the field immediately to begin dancing with a troupe of barely-clad college dudes (“vodka for breakfast, guys, amirite??” – my friend Michelle) for a wildly fun set that left me looking up all the music I could find from this talented gent. He also played with Hiss Golden Messenger, and is also in Megafaun. It’s all a big circle of goodness, and I definitely intend to troll around in his catalog.
The performance of this song at the festival was a beast:
After having the honor of LNZNDRF (“Lanzendorf”) playing at my college in the spring with a special chapel rehearsal that I am working to bring you a glimpse of, I was really excited to see this experimental band play again. With core members Ben Lanz (The National, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut) and the Devendorf brothers (Scott and Bryan, from The National), they were joined this weekend by Josh Kaufman (a musician who plays with Yellowbirds and Josh Ritter) and trumpeter Kyle Resnick of The National.
Together they created this otherworldy miasma of sounds that played off each other to build and dissipate under the little tent space where they played their surprise show. Watching their intuitive knowledge of each other as musicians is a joy, as they weave each performance together freshly – with no traditional setlist of songs, just a scaffolding of new sound creations, insistent and expansive.
PHOX premiered a spirited and imaginative short film at the fest, ostensibly about their mad dash to get to the festival in time in a zigzag across Wisconsin, punctuated by genies and dastardly lumberjacks, but really maybe about Monica’s quest to find her voice and learning to not look inside a bottle (ahem). After a midnight screening on the lawn Friday, they repeated the showing immediately before their Saturday late afternoon set.
Perhaps augmented by the film but also just by the fact that this band is fucking magical (and I’ve crowed it since the first time I heard their dulcet earworm creations), they received one of the warmest and loudest home-state welcomes from the crowd of any band I saw all weekend. I was hoping they’d play “No Lion,” the cover from the chapel session we recorded, but instead and even better, the culmination of their spirited set was a new a capella creation that was jawdropping. My heart swells for these kids. Everything about them just keeps getting better.
Two other memorable punctuations of the weekend included a crowd singalong with Vermont songwriter Sam Amidon conducting us enthusiastically in traditional melodies (listen) complete with sheet music, and Field Report’s Chris Porterfield joining in as he walked by:
…and a whimsical “Forever Love” matinee show with original compositions by Bryce and Aaron Dessner on a special woodland stage with elaborate set. This festival was crafted to be punctuated by little moments of delight and surprise. It made it feel so much fresher and more intimate, more honest (?) than a lot of other large festivals I’ve gone to. Even though it had 22,000 attendees, it felt closer in spirit to something like the Doe Bay Fest / Timber Music Fests of the Pacific Northwest that I’ve had the joy of being a part of. I think that’s really saying something about Justin and Aaron’s design for this happening.
I had some strong ruminations during Bon Iver’s closing set (pictured here with The Staves on backing vocals and S. Carey as one of two (!!) drummers):
As introduction, there was an exceedingly genuine, heart-swelling speech given before Bon Iver’s set by festival narrator Michael Perry (a music writer from Eau Claire, and man who Justin later said was one of the most important friendships of his life). He said:
“If you hold yourselves still and silent now, you can feel that river, runnin’ behind you, running through the night, running through all time.
It’s good to have music near a river. There’s this idea of baptism, of absolution, no matter what you believe.
Better yet, it’s good to have music at a place where two rivers come together–a confluence. For what are we but a confluence? A confluence that lives and breathes, a confluence of dream and song, a confluence of 22,000 beating hearts.
And so here we are, cradled by a river in a sanctuary of song: craving consecration, exaltation. On bended knee, seeking benediction.”
With that, Justin launched seamlessly into the first live performance of his song “Heavenly Father,” and closing vespers, so to speak, began. And it felt like benediction indeed.
I kept thinking all weekend that I was glad to be in a crowd where there were blatant hearts on actual sleeves everywhere. I saw so many Justin Vernon words permanently inscribed in flesh. More than just a gathering of the converted, a festival of the fanboys and fangirls, I was surprised that I was pretty deeply moved at (for instance) the lanky, athletic-looking dude standing behind me in the breakfast line with “and i told you to be patient and i told you to be fine and i told you to be balanced and i told you to be kind” in a block of text over his heart. We’ve heard that line a thousand times so as for it to become rote, but it wasn’t rote when it was written — it was true and that is truth, and it struck me as such. I found myself remembering the deep beauty in wholehearted loving, in full-faced believing.
As we sang along to the same words I sang back in 2009 in an afternoon set under San Francisco cypress trees, I thought about what might have been lost, what’s changed and what hasn’t. This weekend was one of fragmenting for me back into little pieces, so that I could examine and regrow some of the connective tissues and remember why it is we see and participate in live music, why we believe. In between the two new songs that Justin closed the Bon Iver set with, he tried to put into words what the festival and the weekend meant to him, as he visibly batted at tears in his eyes with a flick of his fingers. “I think what we give each other and what we can believe in each other, I think that’s how we can become …greater.” I love him for still shoving his heart out there, for still standing there bald-facedly being true and unflinching, believing in himself and music and us, all around him.
The first thing I loved about Justin Vernon the first time I heard him and saw him live was a purity, and this festival seemed to capture that pure spirit–that urgent reaching for a real connection. I can think of very few better things to strive for in this life and in the songs we sing and the music we embrace.
To quote my wonderful friend and accomplice at the fest, Michelle, I am going to be hungeauxver for weeks, I think. And I couldn’t be more deeply happy.
The Chippewa river, running through all time, and cradling all 22,000 of us.
I keep finding confetti in the strangest of places.
When I undressed last night after the explosion of my first Arcade Fire show, it was a sparkly colorful shower of loosened confetti, festive on my bedroom floor. I suppose this is wont to happen when you are standing right next to a confetti cannon. I had never stood that close to a confetti cannon before, and that overflow of joy was the perfect ending to a perfect show.
When I think of the music of Arcade Fire as an opus, they occupy this vivid and fully-fleshed out scenario in my mind: I see a grey behemoth of a city, unforgiving and unflinching, and their music a silvery-red calescent geyser cracking the cement boulevards and impassive architecture wide open. It’s music that is subversive in its imagination, relentless in its insistence on a measured and salvific whimsy.
The one word that rang out almost audibly for me as I watched them perform (with all the instruments and a blissful overdose of percussion) was that theirs is this music of hope, as overused of a word as that is. A friend of mine is working on creating an invented language based on connotative, metaphorical meanings, and I wish he could take a crack at a word better than “hope,” but that’s all I could think of, in its purest form.
I kept wondering — how have they been doing this live show thing for over a decade and still vibrate that sentiment? It was a dazzlingly cinematic show that for all the deliberate intention never seemed contrived. My finely-honed joy radar was picking up a genuine excitement in their songs, despite Win having been “deathly ill” for the three days prior to the show. I was worried that I’d missed that early window where amazing bands are still amazing live, and I was floored how much that wasn’t the case.
In related news, I am also now thoroughly taken with Régine, as I imagine every sentient human being who has ever seen her perform is. She owns the air all around her, so competently and confidently playing every instrument in a ten yard radius. I love her, I loved last night, I loved singing along to those songs that have meant so much to me with thousands of other people around me. I had a big goofy grin on my face the whole snowy drive home.
There is a skittish, soft part of me that was actually scared to go see The National under a full moon at Red Rocks on Tuesday night.
One of my most charming relational characteristics (#sarcasm) is the way I sometimes slither-sidestep away like a silvery fish from things that are too emotionally intense. Sometimes I dive in; lots of times I dive right in. But when it really, truly disarms me and strikes at my heart in a way I can’t defend against, I will go away and need to be coaxed to come back. I love The National — love them probably more than any other band right now, and have for the last seven years. Their nuanced, elegant, intelligent songwriting has soundtracked my brutally bloody / tragically doomed / completely beautiful first relationship after my divorce, and has been insidiously inside my head like a brain tapeworm ever since, needling and gnawing at nerves and receptors, helping me make sense of the mess. It’s so bizarre, in a way, to feel like you know someone simply because of their artistic output. It’s ridiculously beautiful, actually.
So I was scared to see them Tuesday for these reasons. I wanted to be there, so much, and I knew it might temporarily decimate me. I spent much of the concert quite content in my own untouchable zone; the huge gusts of fresh Indian-summer wind kept lifting my hair up off my neck, and drying the relentless water that just kept streaming down from my eyes. I vacillated between floating mental-miles away and being completely enmeshed in the magnificent and powerful performance of the songs I love. The experience of the music was so enhanced by the massive LED light screen flashing these perfect, complicated images behind them. The visual component was new in this elaborate presentation for all the times I have seen them, and it felt like an extraction of my thoughts and the band’s thoughts and all the dark dreams that populate our subconscious flashing up there for all to see. It was exquisite and disarming. I also kept tilting my head up to look at that bold moon rising over the red rocks with a shining corona around it for the first hour of its ascent.
My friend (and talented photographer) Brittney Bollay saw them play last night in Seattle, and she expressed how I feel, exactly, when I connect with the words of these songs:
“It’s like [Matt] crawls inside my head and my chest and finds all my thoughts and feelings. When I see him perform it’s like I inhabit him and he inhabits me, just for a little while. It’s this feeling of partial displacement and symbiosis. I’ve never had that experience with any other band.”
Take that video above of “About Today”: something as simple as the juxtaposition of the song (drums like a heartbeat keeping you awake) along with the visuals of those stark tree branches in winter + the thickly-billowing black smoke that won’t relent, and then — the blue note saturated darkness when he whispers the lines, “Hey, are you awake…” and that ridiculous crescendo crash of the song careening away — that’s it. I’m done for. I wish you could have been there.
I walked around backstage a bit tongue-tied and gobsmacked after the show, meeting The National deep in the veins of Red Rocks, and it was an out-of-body experience for the reasons that Brittney explains. As thoughtful and appreciative as I am of the complicated and sublime nature of their music, it can be next to impossible to sum that up in a way that means anything. I didn’t figure out what I really wanted to say until the next day driving home (which is regretful because, you know …none of the band members were there then), but in addition to the conversations we actually had, I wanted to say a version of this:
One time an author friend and I were talking, and he told me that the first time he picked up an Anne Tyler novel, he knew he wanted to be an author. Calling it “a straightforward chemical connection,” he explained to me that: “I think we have sockets in our backs, really complicated, like, thirty-five pin sockets, and sometimes something or somebody plugs right in and there’s no real explanation. Or rather, there is, but it would be memoir-length.”
I think about 35-pin sockets ALL the time because of this conversation, as it pertains to human relationships, my connections to art, music, foreign cities — everything around me (as some of my favorite friends can attest to). What I wanted to try to explain to Matt was that The National fits all 35 of my pins, and plugs right in.
They fit the pin that loves a carefully-crafted sentence which achingly frames words perfectly around that fleeting feeling that is gone before you even really notice that it’s fully there.
They fit the pin that loves a bit of dissonance in my pleasure, whether melodic or existential.
And the pin that wants to blissfully numb out my voraciously-moving brain with narcotic percussion.
Also the pin that (as I wrote about in my review of Trouble Will Find Me) likes to prod at that simultaneous engagement with the sentimental and the fatalistic, things that we traditionally think of as being at odds with each other.
It’s kind of terrifying to love any musicians as much as I find myself still loving this band. I am so grateful for that, for the fear and the 35 pins.
THE NATIONAL – RED ROCKS SETLIST
I Should Live in Salt
Don’t Swallow the Cap
Sea of Love
Afraid of Everyone
I Need My Girl
This Is the Last Time
Abel (!!!) Lucky You (gahhhh, seriously?) Slow Show
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks*
ALL MY PICS FROM TUESDAY ARE OVER AT THE FUEL/FRIENDS FACEBOOK, including those ones with openers Frightened Rabbit and The Local Natives. Photo credit for the last picture above goes to Instagrammer @renae9502.
On Saturday night, Seattle’s Pickwicktore through Denver on a short tour, and the energy in the Hi-Dive was palpable. Their music leans towards the toe-tapping, hip-shaking soul variety, but when they burned their way into this Damien Jurado cover and then “The Ostrich” by Lou Reed’s The Primitives as their penultimate song, they showed that they can also rage like a proper punk band. Holy mackerel, being in the front row for this just about killed me (in the best possible way).
This band keeps surprising me, and from the looks of the packed club on Saturday night, they keep surprising and converting increasingly large circles of fans. I predict good things coming with their debut full-length that they’ve almost finished. Watch out.
On August 7th, the night after they opened for My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses in Kansas City, Blind Pilot hauled ass across some state lines in their sweet blue schoolbus and arrived at my place just in time for dinner. That night they played a living room show for about fifty of us, and I am so pleased to find out that it was recorded so I can share such a special night with you.
Ever since I first heard the richly colorful music of Blind Pilot back in 2009, I’ve wanted to get them in to do an intimate Fuel/Friends show. That Tuesday, as you will hear, was totally worth the wait. The thing that really stands out in this entirely acoustic setting is their voices: the velvety, resplendent way they all knit together. At several points during the night you can hear us just hoot out our zenith of joy, like someone was poking us with a giant electric prod of musical fantasticness.
Here are also two videos from the night, including one of Tyler Lyle, who flew out from California to open the show. The song he performs (“Ditch Digger”) was partially written at my house back in March, so it was a deep treat to hear it performed there again.
And a final farewell on their bus (which is so very cool inside, Partridge Family-style):
When Seattle folk songwriter Noah Gundersen decided to cover Vic Chesnutt’s “Flirted With You All My Life” very late one night at this year’s Doe Bay Fest, it felt surreal. A bunch of us had gathered for a secret show after midnight on the field, lit by a few torches stuck in the grass. Noah sat next to Daniel Blue (Motopony), John Roderick (The Long Winters), and Bobby Bare Jr., and each songwriter took turns singing songs out into the darkness. Daniel stood up and sang one completely a cappella, his vibrato piercing the night like an unearthly arrow.
The Perseid meteor shower was showing off in earnest overhead, and I was sitting with a musician whose work I deeply appreciate, our heads craned back to see the flashes and streaks of dying stars above. We were there on an island accessible only by boat. The ocean stretched black and blending with the sky around us.
I was ambushed, then, as he sang.
Flirted with you all my life
even kissed you once or twice
even though I thought it was nice
I know, I’m not ready
When you touched a friend of mine
I thought I would lose my mind
though I found out with time
indeed, I was not ready
oh death, oh death, oh death
really, I’m not ready
when my mom was cancer-sick
she fought but then succumbed to it
but you made her beg for it
lord Jesus, I’m not ready
oh death, oh death, oh death
really, I’m not ready
It’s hard to write about the incongruous force I felt in that moment of wanting to stave off death like the song says, without sounding maudlin. But saturated as we were in late-summer-night happiness, feeling so damn young and so damn alive — this song was like a small plea out to the gaping universe. What is it about August that fools us sometimes into thinking that we’re untouchable? If ever there was a setting for believing in lies, it was this one.
The rueful smile on Noah’s face in this video as he sang, well it just hits me in the center. We know what’s waiting; while we flirt with each other and open-mouth kiss this life, we know. All of us wished, I think, that maybe the nastiness of death would just forget about us all there on that speck of land in the sea for another day, another summer. Another year.
I’m not ready.
You can listen to Noah Gundersen’s EP here; he blew all of us away during his regular sets at the fest as well, when not covering amazing songs on a firelit field. A solid (“highly-touted“) talent, with clever sharp phrasing and a commanding voice that makes you stop what you are doing and listen:
I haven’t been able to string together a review of the weekend yet; I think it will come out in trickles. Megan from the Music vs Misery blog and Adam from the Songs For The Day blog also came as part of our group this year, and their reviews are much more cogent and compelling than I am capable of assembling right now. I also agree with everything they wrote, so let’s just pretend they’re mine. Easy.
I woke up this morning still glowing and reeling from last night. Justin Townes Earle captivated the Aladdin Theatre in Portland, the way I have a feeling he does every single time he brandishes that guitar and opens his mouth to sing. I see hundreds of shows, and this man sparkles with charisma of the real deal. I had a strong sense that I was watching greatness. I don’t say that lightly.
Justin is Steve Earle’s son, sure. Justin is named partly after his dad’s friend Townes Van Zandt, sure. Both musical legends swim in his blood, alongside all the bits of experience and struggle he’s accumulated. But there is a whole other kind of self-impelled magic that he owns and possesses that is solely his and, whoa — that is unmistakeable when you see him for yourself.
You should add him immediately to the very top of your “must-see live” list. Justin is a consummate storyteller, in the vein of the traveling salesman that rolls into your town with a twinkle in his eye and a smile that twitches with a deep, unseen pleasure that’s unfolding in his brain and he tells stories through his songs. He’s watching worlds that we can’t see. It’s riveting to watch his process from four feet away, as I did. As I said the last time I saw him, “I wouldn’t mess with him, but I’d believe him and let him buy me a drink so he could tell me a story.”
This is a song from his newest album, Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now (out now on Bloodshot Records), and when he sang it last night by himself under those blue lights, it hung out there in the air and pressed down on me as one of the loveliest, saddest, most perfect songs I’ve heard in a very long time. It’s a simple song about a girl named Anna, and about that longing we’ve been trying to name and wrestle down for a long time. The way he weaves it is breathtaking and timeless — somehow completely young and entirely his own, and also belonging to the ages. Like all of his songs.
See those little dots waaay down there? Yep, that’s The Head and The Heart
Last week I had the distinct joy of seeing my pals The Head and The Heart play at the legendary Red Rocks, sandwiched between Blind Pilot and The Shins (oh what a night!). It’s transitioning towards being a normal thing for them to play huge venues like this one, but for this gal, it still made me smile goofily like a kid on Christmas — seeing their same explosive live performance that first made me notice them two years ago light up those steep rows carved into the rocks, watching 10,000 people dancing along.
Highlights of the set for me included the jubilant “Sounds Like Hallelujah,” which couldn’t help but resonate strongly in that setting (I mean, Red Rocks is where they start each concertgoing season annually with an Easter sunrise service, after all) and a full-band version of the long-favorite unreleased “Gone,” with a stirringly intricate outro (listen: from about 4 minutes onward) that shows a growing depth and continuing intuition to their full-band arrangements. Also, Josiah sang a brand new song from the band that I had never heard before, a bright and big tune called “What’s The Point” that wended its way past ballad and straight towards anthem. It’s exciting to continue to see them as a band and as individuals, finding their voices as songwriters and consistently delivering that goodness to the ears of their fans with passion.
The other night I headed up to the Hi-Dive to see (what was, of course) a completely fantastic Damien Jurado show. This, I expected. I am never disappointed by his astounding talent. But somehow up until 10:00pm that night I had sidestepped the music of Peter Wolf Crier. By about 10:02pm, I was blindsided by its taut magnificence and colossal, confusing heft.
Peter was riveting; he confused me in a sense where a scan of my brain in those moments would have been lighting up all sorts of conflicting colors like a holographic palette, fiery hot and thoroughly happy. With just Peter and his drummer Brian Moen on stage, they looped together these hauntingly tumultuous, soaringly vibrant sonic pictures. Their songs live are completely different than the thoughtful beauty on the album – they breathe fire and become chimera-like mythical beasts, life injected confidently. Peter reminded me very much of live videos of my beloved Jeff Buckley.
There was a tightly-strung tension and magnificent improvisational quality to Peter’s performance that glued my eyes to him and Brian (brilliant on drums) for the entire performance. This song in particular feels like a struggle, like one of those dreams that you fight to untangle yourself from all night long, but keeps looping and pressing into your head with images of birds and old family home movies and the gravitational pull of the shoreline.
Peter’s second record is Garden of Arms, and it is out now on the fine Jagjaguwar label (Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten, Cave Singers).
Listen to the whole thing over on Bandcamp; and, more importantly, find a way to see him live as soon as possible.
[photo by Kevin Ihle, who was at the show, and when I saw him I said, “oh good, I can put away my camera.” You can see why]
Name: Heather Browne Location: Colorado, originally by way of California Giving context to the torrent since 2005.
"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel." —Hunter S. Thompson
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