[ed. note: refer to the first “and bravely, i.” soundscape for context]
song: brother courage – “growing old”
“i imagine yes is the only living thing.” — ee cummings
there is one still point in a turning world. one piece of clarity for each moment. one bright star, winking at you, before closing its sleepy eyes and going dark and quiet. the world is big, but our kingdom small.
i think about our moments, strung together like the christmas tree lights of rockefeller center, and i don’t know how to disconnect from them. that now, they are buzzing and humming along inside of my body, threatening to float out of my mouth every time i open it to speak or yawn or smoke a cigarette; like lightening bugs in a glass mason jar. and i feel too full of them, and i feel like there are too many in there to possibly allow for any more new moments to come in. and i know that with each new moment i allow in now, i am threatening to trample the old moments. our moments. i want to preserve them, but i so desperately wish to keep them separate; to keep them neatly, organized by dewey decimal system, so i can take them out gingerly and examine them — one by one — when i want to. not this rushing that i feel now. not this tangle of chords and wires that have no beginning or end.
i want to keep them because they are a part of me now. intrinsically. they oxygenate my bloodstream along with my memories of the duck pond when i was four, and looking up at the moon when i was three, and driving from california to nashville when i was a too-old 18.
and i want to keep them because losing them, somehow, would be more painful than not ever having had them.
they are within, and you are there, and i am here, and sometimes there is too much everywhere.
but yes to the everywhere. yes to the everything. yes to the overwhelming pressure of a new atmosphere.
yes to this new, unexplored world of mine. a world of indian summers and barefoot adventures and too little sleep and too long drives. and yes to new memories joining the old. and yes to the small pulp of my life.
and i know it’s foolish to believe in a world like this; a world outside my small kingdom.
and i know it’s foolish to believe in a world like this; a world all my own.
photo by bari sowa | more
Hundreds new video for “Ten Headed Beast” is colorful and beautifully imagined, but the main reason why I’m posting it here is because I can’t stop listening to the song itself.
“Ten Headed Beast” is off the album Aftermath.
Today in bands that need way more recognition comes Joseph, a sister trio out of the Pacific Northwest (actually, a small town named Joseph in eastern Oregon.) I’d be happy for them coming from such a beautiful place if it meant they’d still tour on this side of the country, but from the looks of it nothing is planned right now. Ever since I caught Lucius opening for Milo Greene a couple years ago I’ve been looking for another band with deeply powerful female harmonies and vocals, and Joseph fits the bill. Their songs are elegant, compelling and potent. I haven’t been able to stop listening since finding them a couple days ago, and I imagine this feeling will last for at least another couple of weeks. Check out three of my favorites off their debut album, Native Dreamer Kin, below, and listen to the full thing on Bandcamp.
We never thought how much this website would mean to us, but here we are, six years in, and still going strong. It really does feel like quite an accomplishment. Sure, we don’t post as much as we used to, but we’ll never get sick of listening to great new music and sharing it with you. Hopefully we provide music you may not hear on other sites. And if you have heard it before, then we must be doing something right!
Thank you for being such supportive readers, and here’s to another six years. Much love.
It’s been a while.
My locale has changed. Much like when I made the move from DC to Munich 4 years ago, my head has been about as far from writing as it could possibly be. Attempts to weave a cozy expat nest for myself while simultaneously trying to blend into (a new) German society has proven a challenging preoccupation, seeming to wipe my brain free of all levels of creativity and thoughtful anecdotes. I am, however, cautiously happy to report that after nearly ½ a year, I’m finally feeling like a Berliner. So much so that I was able to dip my tour guide toes into the pool for the loveliest bloke from Bristol last weekend, successfully (more on that in later installments). As I’ve ambled my way around this city, this Berlin, as with all of the other places I have lived, the same control is beating in my head and heart as different variables insist upon crashing before my feet. As I stumble, alone or in the company of others, my records lift me up. While it means much more to me (and my sanity) than yours, it looks like I’m back. Take me or leave me.
The beauty of Berlin, as compared to, say, Munich (or even DC) is that I feel more comfortable in my own skin here than in any other city I have ever called home. There is an unkempt sexiness and invincibility lining the streets and silhouettes of everyone. Berlin is perfectly imperfect. Moreover, and most importantly in this the Knox Road arena, I have interminable options as far as live music is concerned. When I say everyone plays here…I mean everyone. And if they aren’t, they’re striving to. I have no desire to land myself completely in the poorhouse, so feverish list-making and gentle gig selecting is necessary, as I am, for the most part, jobless. That said, I manage. Thanks for asking.
Rambling on with specifics of gigs attended seems futile. East India Youth, Lymbyc Systym, This Will Destroy You and a laundry list of jangly greatness at Pop Fest Berlin, to name a few. Per my years gone by, there hasn’t been a lack of live music in my life. Thankfully. Most recently, however, I was able to catch the quintet who provided a delightful chapter to the soundtrack of my first Berlin summer: Alvvays.
Continue reading [Abby’s Road] Always and forever →
This Friday is going to the dogs. Let’s brighten it up with some new songs by LA-based Repeater, whose s/t full length album is due November 18 via A Diamond Heart Production.
Tunng has been one of my favorite bands over the last several years, and former member Sam Genders is creating equally delightful pop under a new name, Diagrams. Diagrams actually released a debut EP in 2012, but he has a new album, Chromatics, coming out on Full Time Hobby in January and just released an equally calming and inspiring first single, “Phantom Power.”
Vincent Colbert is another example of weather and location influencing art. Colbert wrote his debut EP, Stranger in My House, when he moved to Michigan, and, well, felt like a stranger in his own home. He didn’t know who he become, or who he was. Transitions are one of the most challenging periods of life, and it’s music that time and again gets us through it. Colbert’s simplicity is the name of the game, especially on his single “Baseline.” Just acoustic guitar, light percussion, and stripped down vocals. That’s how I like it in rainy NYC.
Stranger in My House is due out January 20, 2015.
Ed Note: Abby’s Back!
At the only German gig in his 5 stop European mini-tour, Knox Road favorite Radical Face (Ben Cooper) was in typical form. Armed with his Jacksonville, Florida-based band, he delivered, per usual, a tome of stories plucked from a variety of his records released since 2007. It seemed to be over before it started. Exquisite and delivered with a self-deprecating humor, as always. But wait, there’s more:
The tour is on the heels of the release of his The Bastards 3 EP as well as the phenomenal CLONE project. While the latter is not officially a Radical Face production, it is an exciting collaboration of Cooper and long time friend and stellar musician Richard Colado (Rickolus). An album nurtured and recorded over the last 3 years (and planned for 6), it is an opera of sorts, telling the story of an adult, male clone experiencing life for the first time. The album has been released slowly over the last month in 6 acts. You can find details, links to downloads and how to acquire the pièce de résistance: a laser engraved crystal thumb drive containing the entire project, including the album in its original .wav format, stems of each act for remixing, and a .pdf transcript of the album here. Better move fast as they are limited to 250 pieces.
If you happen to be in Europe, clear your calendar and catch he and his entourage at one of their few remaining stops. As I’ve been saying consistently for the last five years, he’s not to be missed:
Nov 4 – Traffic Club, Rome
Nov 6 – Magnolia, Milan
Nov 8 – Iceland Airwaves
For those of you in the US, fingers crossed for some sort of tour in the living rooms, clubs and/or wooded areas of America. He’s done it all before and will hopefully do it again. For all of us.
Since I usually don’t post on the weekends, it would be wise to give you more music on Fridays. Lucky for us, Mansions on the Moon just released their new s/t album, and it’s thoroughly impressive. They use their softer acoustic skills more this time around (which we knew they already had from solo Ted Wendler work), lending a good deal of production value. The harmonies are haunting, the melodies enganging; this album is not one to be missed. Enjoy, and happy halloween.
Mansions on the Moon on Knox Road | Website