“All the best things in my life have started with a Dolly Parton song.”
So begins Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, which is easily one of the best teen novels this year, in my opinion. Willowdean Dickson is a girl whose story is well worth being read. Even if you (like me) don’t have any interest in beauty pageants, give this book a chance.
In honor of Dumplin’ now being available for purchase (and I do recommend you do purchase it), here is some Dolly.
My partner and I don’t agree on everything. But we do agree on post-rock. Friday night we were out together without the five year-old for the first time a what felt like a long time, but it wasn’t really a date night. His band was playing that night and celebrating the release of a split EP, so he was busy with last minute details for the show and networking–the life of a local rock star is a glamorous one–while I enjoyed the music.
Falcon Arrow, a local post-rock duo, opened the show. They have been around for a couple of years, but they were new to me. And I loved it. When I re-connected with Chad later in the evening, he had procured a Falcon Arrow CD. It seems we still have something in common, after all. :)
Check out Falcon Arrow on Bandcamp for their latest. Here’s a video from the album:
My partner says I have a type when it comes to music. He’s probably right. Look at some of the artists I’ve blogged about: Haley Bonar, Zoo Animal, Lucy Michelle. I can’t deny it. I like female singer-songwriters, especially those who write folky indie pop. For the record, I’ve also blogged about totally different music (See Bloodnstuff, M83, and GY!BE), so I’m not completely stuck in a genre bubble.
I bring this up because Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps is so my type. The recent documentary about the Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter, My Way Back Home: Caroline Smith, highlights Smith’s evolution as a songwriter, her relationship to her family and hometown of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and finding her voice.
I’ve been listening to the Local Current radio stream lately, and I’ve been thinking about how long I have to live with things to give them a chance. Low, Local Current’s Featured Artist of the month, has been around for 20 years, and I’ve known of them for at least 10-12 of those years. I never really gave them a chance until they released The Great Destroyer in 2005. It was a departure for them, and I loved it immediately. More than that, though, it put their backlist into context for me. Everything clicked. The songs that had been in the background for years weren’t background anymore. They were the ground, and they have been ever since.
I didn’t get it for a long time, and now Low is a band I will always come back to. Their latest record, The Invisible Way, will be released in March.
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In September of 2008, my husband and I crowded into the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago to see My Bloody Valentine, one of my husband’s favorite bands. He was giddy to be there, and he was taken to another level of giddiness with the twenty minute wall of noise at the end of the show. I’m not as big a fan as he is, but I have to admit it was an experience unlike anything else and my fan-dom has been growing ever since.
So, obviously, I was one of many (many) fans trying to get to the new record released this weekend on the band’s website when it crashed. An inevitable circumstance, it seems, for a band with such a devoted following finally releasing new music after twenty years.
All’s well now. You can buy the record here. Or stream it here.
Today seems like a good day to look back at my favorite songs or albums in 2012, but my gaze is set a bit further back in time. With the news that the 400 Bar is closing, I was reminiscing about the various shows I’ve seen there over the years, and two shows stand out. One from earlier this year, but since it was my husband’s band, I’ll leave that for another time. The show I want to write about today was from 2005. Ivy had recently released In the Clear, and they played a great set to a small crowd at the 400 Bar. We Heart Music posted about that 2005 show recently and noted that Ivy has a newer album (All Hours, 2011) and video released on YouTube in 2012. I don’t know how I lost track of this band over the years, and I must say I’m glad to revisit their mellow pop songs today.
Here is the new video, “Lost in the Sun”:
Or, if you want to live in the past on the last day of 2012, here is “The Best Thing” from Apartment Life:
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Minneapolis band Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles have a new video. Folk-rock fans, this one is for you.
“I just kind of wanted it to be like an underscore for people’s lives.”
That’s what local singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith said about his latest EP, Paper Moon, on MPR last week. The piece focused on the fact that he released the record on a creative commons license that allows people to remix the songs, but that statement stood out to me. It made me curious. Would those songs underscore my life?
I think that they might. Listen for yourself.
In keeping with the recent theme of highlighting musical events that I have missed, I thought I would mention that Deerhoof recently played in Minneapolis. Check out their latest, Breakup Song.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my introduction to Deerhoof came from a boo. Rules to Rock By by Josh Farrar is a fun children’s book about a girl who is obsessed with the band Deerhoof. She actually named her guitar Satomi after her favorite bassist. She wants to play in a band herself, but it isn’t easy when you’re only twelve. It’s a cute book that I recommend to tween girls who daydream about starting a band or obsess about their favorite indie rockers.
Or read about Satomi and the crew here.
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If you follow my photo blog, you probably noticed this picture of the Roe Family Singers performing at the Minneapolis Central Library this past weekend.
The family friendly concert was at 10:30 a.m., which is far earlier than I usually like to be at a concert but the world–especially as it relates to families–seems to be designed for morning people. I’m glad we made it though because the Roe Family Singers are great. And they aren’t just for kids. Bluegrass fans can catch them at the 331 Club in Northeast Minneapolis every Monday night.