This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of joining Doug Nunnally for an hour of his Sound Gaze show on WDCE. We had an awesome conversation — both while we were on the air and in between interview segments — covering everything from Fall Line Fest and Richmond music in general to the value of negative criticism and my Spotify stalking habit. I’d never been a guest on someone’s radio show like this (you’ll hear me exhaling before answers in an attempt to calm my nerves), but Doug asked really thoughtful questions and made the whole experience an incredibly positive one. Getting to talk to someone who loves music as much as Doug so clearly does is a rare treat, and I’m looking forward to the next time we can chat like this, be that on the radio or elsewhere.
Take a listen below — I come in around the 30-minute mark, but I recommend listening to the whole thing, because Sound Gaze is a great show and Doug’s a great host (he’s also a great writer — check out his recent Foo Fighters piece for rvamag.com here).
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Sound Gaze — September 20th, 2014

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of joining Doug Nunnally for an hour of his Sound Gaze show on WDCE. We had an awesome conversation — both while we were on the air and in between interview segments — covering everything from Fall Line Fest and Richmond music in general to the value of negative criticism and my Spotify stalking habit. I’d never been a guest on someone’s radio show like this (you’ll hear me exhaling before answers in an attempt to calm my nerves), but Doug asked really thoughtful questions and made the whole experience an incredibly positive one. Getting to talk to someone who loves music as much as Doug so clearly does is a rare treat, and I’m looking forward to the next time we can chat like this, be that on the radio or elsewhere.

Take a listen below — I come in around the 30-minute mark, but I recommend listening to the whole thing, because Sound Gaze is a great show and Doug’s a great host (he’s also a great writer — check out his recent Foo Fighters piece for rvamag.com here).

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Sound Gaze — September 20th, 2014

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Taking your wife out on the first post-baby date? “I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock ‘n’ Roll),” obvs.

Taking your wife out on the first post-baby date? “I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock ‘n’ Roll),” obvs.

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"This melody is off the chain!" 
- someone listening to “Unchained Melody” in the mid 2000’s

"This melody is off the chain!"
- someone listening to “Unchained Melody” in the mid 2000’s

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Friday evening therapy going swimmingly.

Friday evening therapy going swimmingly.

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Big week, y’all. I’m writing this on Thursday night, immediately after confirming that my silver 64 GB iPhone 6 is still scheduled to be delivered sometime on Friday. Given that my current phone qualifies for not one but two recalls — one concerning a sleep/wake button that no longer works and the other concerning a battery that just kind of says “fuck it” and shuts the phone down randomly — you’ll understand why I’ve been looking forward to this Friday for some time.
And yet…
…I might be even more excited about Tuesday’s Heigh Ho release. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I’ve been looking forward to Heigh Ho since October 26 of last year, when Mrs. YHT and I saw Blake Mills and Fiona Apple perform in Washington D.C. The album hadn’t been announced yet, but I walked out of the Lincoln Theater completely in awe of Mills’ capabilities. There are things about that show I decided I wouldn’t even try to put into words — the power of seeing Apple sing in person, the way Mills interacted with Apple as she interacted with the audience — but I think I found a way to describe Mills’ mastery of the guitar, thanks to The Splendid Table.
I’ll often come back from running after work and find Mrs. YHT working on dinner while listening to the Splendid Table podcast. Some months back, I caught a chunk of a discussion about how Indian cooks use spices. The quote that stuck with me, and that I think applies here, came from guest Raghavan Iyer: “If you give whole spices to a good Indian cook, he or she should be able to extract eight different flavors from a given spice.” Here’s Iver on cumin:

1. When you use cumin seeds as is, you get their distinctive spice flavor.2. When you grind the seeds and sprinkle them in a dish, the flavor is more pronounced and quite different: musky and earthy.3. Take the whole seeds and toast them in a dry pan, with no oil, and you will experience a nutty aroma.4. Take those toasted seeds and grind them, and they smell nothing like any of their previous incarnations.5. Heat a little oil and roast the seeds, and you will discover yet another flavor — almost sweet smelling and smoky.6. Grind the cumin seeds after you roast them, and they will seem to lose their smoky bouquet.7. Soak the whole seeds in a liquid, and their presence will be surprisingly subtle.8. And when you grind cumin seeds after you soak them, they not only take on the liquid’s taste but also impart the spice’s eighth flavor: The strong nutlike aroma reappears, masked by the infused flavor of the liquid.

Wild, eh?
Mills is the same way with guitars. He had a small army of instruments on stage at the Lincoln Theater, and he used each one to a distinct, measured effect. It wasn’t just the pedals he used — the physical act of playing seemed different on different songs, like he was pulling something specific out of each guitar. Some were made to sound loud and strained, others were plucked delicately, and there were times it looked like he was using the heel of his hand to produce a dull, round sound that was barely audible. I was sitting too far from the stage to be sure, but he may not have used a pick the entire time. No two songs sounded the same — of that I am sure. I’ve never been a big gear person, but I’ll never forget the control he wielded.
It’s not surprising that the same care, variety and virtuosity is present on Heigh Ho, given Mills’ production experience, but the album’s strengths aren’t limited to his guitar work. Lyrics alternate between storytelling and dissection of complex emotions, like those described in “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me.” And then there are Fiona Apple’s contributions, on that song and “Seven,” which make my heart so, so happy. In truth, the emotional impact of that Lincoln Theater show had me so primed for a future Mills record that he would have had to release a serious stinker for me to disapprove. Still, I’m willing to go out on a limb after just a few listens and say this is one of the most exceptional albums released in 2014, and I recommend giving it a try.
Speaking of recommended listening, a quick plug — I’ll be appearing on WDCE tomorrow, joining host Doug Nunnally for an hour of his Sound Gaze show, which airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. We’ll be talking about YHT and Richmond music and listening to some great songs — Blake Mills’ included — so I hope you’ll tune in. (I’ll be very nervous, so please forgive me for speaking loudly. Or quietly. Either way, an appropriate volume is unlikely.)
Listen to Mills’ “If I’m Unworthy” below and click here to buy Heigh Ho.
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Blake Mills — “If I’m Unworthy" [Spotify/iTunes]

Big week, y’all. I’m writing this on Thursday night, immediately after confirming that my silver 64 GB iPhone 6 is still scheduled to be delivered sometime on Friday. Given that my current phone qualifies for not one but two recalls — one concerning a sleep/wake button that no longer works and the other concerning a battery that just kind of says “fuck it” and shuts the phone down randomly — you’ll understand why I’ve been looking forward to this Friday for some time.

And yet…

…I might be even more excited about Tuesday’s Heigh Ho release. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I’ve been looking forward to Heigh Ho since October 26 of last year, when Mrs. YHT and I saw Blake Mills and Fiona Apple perform in Washington D.C. The album hadn’t been announced yet, but I walked out of the Lincoln Theater completely in awe of Mills’ capabilities. There are things about that show I decided I wouldn’t even try to put into words — the power of seeing Apple sing in person, the way Mills interacted with Apple as she interacted with the audience — but I think I found a way to describe Mills’ mastery of the guitar, thanks to The Splendid Table.

I’ll often come back from running after work and find Mrs. YHT working on dinner while listening to the Splendid Table podcast. Some months back, I caught a chunk of a discussion about how Indian cooks use spices. The quote that stuck with me, and that I think applies here, came from guest Raghavan Iyer: “If you give whole spices to a good Indian cook, he or she should be able to extract eight different flavors from a given spice.” Here’s Iver on cumin:

1. When you use cumin seeds as is, you get their distinctive spice flavor.
2. When you grind the seeds and sprinkle them in a dish, the flavor is more pronounced and quite different: musky and earthy.
3. Take the whole seeds and toast them in a dry pan, with no oil, and you will experience a nutty aroma.
4. Take those toasted seeds and grind them, and they smell nothing like any of their previous incarnations.
5. Heat a little oil and roast the seeds, and you will discover yet another flavor — almost sweet smelling and smoky.
6. Grind the cumin seeds after you roast them, and they will seem to lose their smoky bouquet.
7. Soak the whole seeds in a liquid, and their presence will be surprisingly subtle.
8. And when you grind cumin seeds after you soak them, they not only take on the liquid’s taste but also impart the spice’s eighth flavor: The strong nutlike aroma reappears, masked by the infused flavor of the liquid.

Wild, eh?

Mills is the same way with guitars. He had a small army of instruments on stage at the Lincoln Theater, and he used each one to a distinct, measured effect. It wasn’t just the pedals he used — the physical act of playing seemed different on different songs, like he was pulling something specific out of each guitar. Some were made to sound loud and strained, others were plucked delicately, and there were times it looked like he was using the heel of his hand to produce a dull, round sound that was barely audible. I was sitting too far from the stage to be sure, but he may not have used a pick the entire time. No two songs sounded the same — of that I am sure. I’ve never been a big gear person, but I’ll never forget the control he wielded.

It’s not surprising that the same care, variety and virtuosity is present on Heigh Ho, given Mills’ production experience, but the album’s strengths aren’t limited to his guitar work. Lyrics alternate between storytelling and dissection of complex emotions, like those described in “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me.” And then there are Fiona Apple’s contributions, on that song and “Seven,” which make my heart so, so happy. In truth, the emotional impact of that Lincoln Theater show had me so primed for a future Mills record that he would have had to release a serious stinker for me to disapprove. Still, I’m willing to go out on a limb after just a few listens and say this is one of the most exceptional albums released in 2014, and I recommend giving it a try.

Speaking of recommended listening, a quick plug — I’ll be appearing on WDCE tomorrow, joining host Doug Nunnally for an hour of his Sound Gaze show, which airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. We’ll be talking about YHT and Richmond music and listening to some great songs — Blake Mills’ included — so I hope you’ll tune in. (I’ll be very nervous, so please forgive me for speaking loudly. Or quietly. Either way, an appropriate volume is unlikely.)

Listen to Mills’ “If I’m Unworthy” below and click here to buy Heigh Ho.

-

Blake Mills — “If I’m Unworthy" [Spotify/iTunes]

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hometapes:

Landlady and what’s “Under The Yard”
Watch Hannah Darrah’s new claymation video

This song is fictional, sung by a person who’s in tune with the ground, his family, his organs, and ultimately knowing where he’d like to end up. By accident / on purpose it’s also about all of us. What we know and what we don’t know. What we’re hungry for and what we wish would stay a secret. 

This video is the most advanced stop-motion work attempted by Hannah Darrah. She dove in head first drawing inspiration from Cari Vander Yacht’s artwork for our album Upright Behavior. This video was a big first for her as it is also our big first video. The beauty she was able to craft and destroy and move and shake hit us all in the guts the first time we saw the video. We had no edits or suggestions. We hope you don’t either. 

love,
Landlady

VIDEO: Landlady “Under The Yard”
Directed, Shot, and Edited by Hannah Darrah
Inspired by Cari Vander Yacht and her art for Landlady’s Upright Behavior

See Landlady:
09/20/14 - Brooklyn, NY @ Night Bazaar #
09/22/14 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott
09/23/14 - Stage College, PA @ Chronic Town
09/24/14 - Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness
09/25/14 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
09/26/14 - Cincinnati, OH @ MidPoint Music Fest
09/27/14 - Louisville, KY @ RYE Back Porch Sessions +
10/12/14 - Kingston, NY @ O+ Fest 
10/13/14 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat =
10/14/14 - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter %
10/15/14 - Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light +
10/16/14 - Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
10/17/14 - Norman, OK @ The Opolis
10/19/14 - Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
10/20/14 - Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room &
10/21/14 - Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad &
10/22/14 - San Antonio @ 502 Bar
10/23/14 - Austin, TX @ Red 7 &
10/24/14 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s &
10/25/14 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada &
10/27/14 - Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar &
10/28/14 - St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway &
10/29/14 - Nashville, TN @ The High Watt &
10/30/14 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
10/31/14 - Chicago, IL @ Metro & 
11/01/14 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater &

# w/ Those Darlins 
+ w/ Adia Victoria
= w/ Paperhaus 
%  w/ No BS! Brass Band
& w/ Rubblebucket

10/14. Strange Matter. Can’t wait.

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Knock knock. Who’s there? 2014. No thx we’re good.

Knock knock. Who’s there? 2014. No thx we’re good.

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One more Kate Bush point about PHONES

markrichardson:

theredshoes:

katherinestasaph:

tomewing:

KB said before the shows, nobody take photos on your iPhones - and this was eagerly greeted by trendpiece hunting music writers as part of a general backlash against camera phones at gigs and the intrusion of social media into the…

To me this speaks to the idea that going to see a musician in concert doesn’t have to be just one thing; it’s fun when expectations are shifted and there is a different kind of experience on offer. Here the lighting was important and Bush delivered something that was even better with phones off. Think of live theater. You’re asked to turn off your cellphones b/c the people involved with the production want to control the sound. I’ve heard of experimental productions where people are asked to turn their phones on and they even ask people to call them, and that randomness of the rings becomes part of the environment. The sea of iPhones at a show in certain contexts can be an exciting and iconic visual in itself. I just like the idea of people being willing to give themselves over to different kinds of experiences, try things, see what happens, and sometimes that involves trusting the artists to give you something back. 

Signed,

Guy who prefers a 4xCD version of Zaireeka to the mixdown.

Love this point, especially the words “give themselves over” — there’s a generosity of spirit in being a good/receptive audience member, and the more you buy into that idea — the more you give — the more you get out of live performances, I think, regardless of what they’re offering you.

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"

Been some folks coming to my page to chastise (judge) me for taking the Lord’s name in vain on Conan so figured I should address it.

Ironically, the song is actually a metaphor comparing the soothing yet completely addictive and damaging effects of hard narcotic opiates to the negative sociological impact of organized religion and blind faith when forced upon society and used as a political tool by self-righteous, thinly-veiled bigots to control and manipulate the masses and enhance the suffering of impoverished, lower class citizens. Also, since I’m self-funding/self-releasing my art instead of shooting for ACM awards and taking it up the ass from the music row man, I have the right to write and sing and say whatever I choose just as you have the right to not buy or listen to my music and stay away from my page if you don’t like it.

So with that said…
1. I sang it like I wrote it
2. Censorship is bullshit
3. This is America and people can say anything they want including “Goddamn” at the top of their lungs on national TV

"

Sturgill Fucking Simpson  (via thecountryfucker)

(via haveearswilltravel)

99 notes

Bought over lunch for tonight’s daddy-daughter hang. The verdict? Donny still not as popular as mommy.

Bought over lunch for tonight’s daddy-daughter hang. The verdict? Donny still not as popular as mommy.

1 note