Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Music 2010 - Part 16 - Across America in music.

This is perhaps going to be a hybrid of acts I heard at Latitude 2010, those that I am looking forward to at EOTR 2010 and others that have impinged on my consciousness for one reason or other.
If I can keep it focussed then it might work out OK.  If not it will become more than one post, maybe one of them devoted to Latitude artists or to US-based artists and acts.
At the start of the year I mentioned that I thought that diversity might be one of the beneficiaries of 2010 and, while I may not have specifically made that point, I'm starting to think that was a valid one nevertheless.  That which is certain is that, as regards the things I am listening to and those I now want to listen to, it most certainly is!

The US is springing surprises on an almost weekly basis and I have already mentioned some of them and 'Dead Flowers' - Caitlin Rose is on some kind of rotation as far as my personal play list is concerned. That the title track is a cover of a Jagger/Richards song only serves to make the self-written songs all the more apposite.

It is therefore not surprising that I now have the album 'Own Side Now' of which more later. What pleases me is that the US albums that I want are scattered across genres -  I have already mentioned Avi Buffalo's eponymous début album, which gets better with every listen I think. 

Also on my list (and I'm hardly the first to mention this one) and if we get some late summer warmth then it is hard to imagine a BBQ that is not California-themed and sound-tracked, at least in part, by this...
...Best Coast's 'Crazy for You'.

They both have critics, of course. Some say that the lyrics of Avi Buffalo are too contorted (to be West Coast?)  while others that those of Bethany Cosentino's creations for Best Coast are too simplistic; just lyrics by numbers.   Well, and this is my point I suppose, you can take your choice: For me it is "yes, please" and "both, thank-you".
* If you are reading this, and it seems strange, you are quite normal*
In retrospect I should have gone all analogue instead and spent the time on those lyrics that simply require listening to on vinyl and putting a pencil to paper!  That of course puts me in mind of  New York, which metaphorically this trip is as yet nowhere near, and Caroline Polachek's line about 'the most evident utensil'.
While entirely imaginary this is proving suspiciously like the real thing.  Transport malfunction and unexpected detours amongst them. It was a very bad idea to start on Wednesday night, however...
The road trip can wait 'till tomorrow except that what was once tomorrow  is now today; and it has been so for a while now. I am, however, still west of the Mississippi and thus some way short of my next musical destination. The rest of today has been spent in Farmville, IA.  If  Facebook notifications are anything to go by then my sister farms a large part of it now.  She is always the industrious one.
Strange day today (August, 19) but not as bad as I thought it might be and
with it came some thoughts on music that had never really occurred to me before.
Travelling east, we will reach the home of another artist that I have mentioned. What is new is that this is now readily available in the UK.  It appeared in the US before her 2010 début album 'Catching A Tiger' and she is from Rock Island, IL. It is one of the Quad Cities that border the river that is the Iowa - Illinois boundary.

A mini-album, it is too long really to be an EP even in the broadest sense, and also totally worth a listen in its own right is Why You Runnin', by Lissie.
Tomorrow is another day so, once it is done, do I then cross the river and head east or do I take a right turn and follow the river south?

You are my guides for I do not have sat-nav for this virtual journey.
I'm heading south by popular request.
Here, therefore, is a thought for the next year and this applies to UK music even though that might seem surprising.

Pedal steel is not exactly that well known over here but it is a very worthwhile complement to slide guitar, which I have long liked.  I think we might be hearing a great deal more of both instruments in the next year or so.

As for the road trip and quite where the journey will end is anyone's guess now.  I like the idea of Seattle, or possibly even Portland, via Canada and I have my reasons why.  That said I'm not paying for the fuel and, that being so, I know exactly the vehicle I would be driving - one that I once owned.
It was nothing remotely flashy... no air con, even heating/cooling was a pretty much hit & miss affair but, at least soon after I bought it it had a CD auto-changer that had more wires than the rest of it but was one of the things that never failed.  That alone was worth all the other problems. It is a journey in progress.

I've got a docket in my pocket
It says all I've ever wanted is to be free.

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