now playing: top 5 albums this summer
They say that you should seek to make a profession out of the things you would do even if no one was listening/reading/buying/paying attention. Hmm. Here I am talking about music again.
If you read my fancy new bio page, some of these albums will be familiar. Let's get to it: links are to somewhere you can stream the music, but consider buying if you can.
1. Quiet Life's Housebroken Man
It's a 5-song EP. They're touring now, so you can go see them for probably ten bucks, and pick this up for another 5, and call that a good night.
I can't speak strongly enough about how much I love this. You don't have to listen to it for 16 hours straight, like I did when I bought it, but it holds up to that kind of scrutiny. Preferred way to listen: driving from Massachusetts to Illinois overnight.
2. Ryan Adams' Live at Carnegie Hall
Oh my goodness, this is a beautiful thing. I've already blogged for the gazette once about him, so I won't go into too much detail here, but if you are going to settle in and listen to a couple hours of music while you work, this is magnificent. It's so CLEAR! It's so SAD! Preferred way to listen: at work with headphones on, trying not to cry.
3. Hip Hatchet's Hold You Like a Harness
Philippe just played a house concert in my basement, so I might be a tad on the biased side. But it is seldom you hear a voice like this, and the album's production is really tasteful. I know what you're thinking - guy with guitar? Really? Don't we have a million of those? Yes, we do. But there's something quite unusual here. Preferred way to listen: in my basement, live.
4. Paul Curreri's Songs for Devon Sproule
Sometimes I get walloped with a wave of homesickness for Virginia, and then I put this album on. One thing I love about Curreri and Sproule (they're married) is the homey-ness of their albums and shows. It's like one big inside joke that they're letting you in on. Sly, wry wordplay, lyrics that could hold their own as poetry, melodies that will live with you for a long time. Preferred way to listen: this is good cooking music.
5. Anais Mitchell's Young Man in America
If you had never heard of New England, if you didn't know a single thing about how we do, about the heritage, about our attitudes, the way we button up both literally and figuratively, if you'd never lived through one of our winters or picked wild blackberries next to the side of the road, I would give you this album and ask you to meditate on it a while. Preferred way to listen: driving on a dirt road in Vermont with windows down.