Let this serve as a (very small) mix for use in introducing my sister to some acts that she’ll be seeing with me in two weeks. Communion is sending 4 bands on a tour, From Austin (SxSW, blargh) to Boston, and as my dear sibling enjoys the fuck out of some Rateliff, it occurred to me that for her Birth Anniversary approaching next month, I should take her to see him. We are so very different but occasionally there is an overlap in what I love and what she can bring herself to love and to not honor that by seeing this show with her would be a bonafide dick move on my part.
We shall stare at the St Louis Arch out of our hotel window and we shall scream along with Rateliff on a Saturday night. She will fall in love with Ben Howard and she will become a fan of The Staves. We will both meet Bear’s Den for the first time. We will do all this in the state of our respective births. It will be fucking awesome.
In the next few days, when I gather up too many $100 dollar bills, I will spend them all on a fucking ticket. A ticket, my friends, to a motherfucking festival. Pardon the language but I tell you what, my ass is jazzed.
After a 2011 spent purchasing tickets (Cotton Jones, The Sheepdogs, Iron & Wine, and GAYNGS) and then realizing as dates approached that holy shit dude, I’m a single mom with a job, there’s NO WAY I’m making that gig, I had to bail. All that money down the drain, all those good times enjoyed by people that were not me. What a bogus load of utter bullshit. But it is what it is.
This year Folk Hive is heading to Wakarusa. Let me tell you something about this here festival, ya’ll. There are hippies (presumably), there is a goddamn river, and there are about 20 bands I adore. And to top it all off, this shit takes place in the Ozark Mountains, my home. A short jaunt down the highway and I’ll be camping (which I have a PhD in, by the way), lounging, and drinking a metric fuckton of shitty American beer, distributed and manufactured by foreigners. YES TO ALL THIS.
You guys need a mixtape, full of headliners and not-headliners. Full of sweet jams. I want you to be jealous. And then I want you to be motivated to get off your balls and head down to Arkansas with me. Just do it. I’ll share my booze.
There are a bunch of people complaining about this headliner. They don’t play electronica!, they say. They wail, we need more reggae on this bill! How about this, brah? SHUT THE FUCK UP. Brothers got a banjo. They’re cool enough that my very own beloved mother wants one of their lyrics on her headstone. Fuck yeah. Keep calm and Avett on, as they say.
You guys know these people are like, modern-day god-like hippie creatures to the sect of the population that I’m a part of, yes? I will jam to these jams and when I’m over that I will hug the shit out of a tree. LONGHAIRS UNITE!
Way back in college one of my dear friends introduced me to G Love. At the time I was obsessed with Dave Matthews so basically I owe that rad bitch my life. I might actually dance at this set. At the very least, my doing so will thin the crowd and give me the band all to myself.
Holy God, this one. Occasionally there are bands that make me want to drive thousands of miles to see live (ref: GAYNGS) and this year, that band would have been Isbell and The Unit. Fortunately, these dudes have decided to come camp with the masses in a clearing on top of a mountain in Arkansas. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. (All those S’s were necessary).
If I cannot have a bill that includes Trampled by Turtles, I’ll take a lesser known substitute. Banjos. I know very little about this band, admittedly, but I’m stoked to sit in the sun and get to know them.
Over the past couple of years, despite only having one record by this man in my possession, it has endured constant rotation. My sister and I have pined to see him since I stumbled upon this music whenever the fuck that was, and I suspect that she and I will sit in the grass, a blanket stitched by my great-granny under our happy asses, while we listen blissfully to Rateliff yell at us. It’s going to be so goddamn awesome. Note that this is the one set where I might just throw my tiny bra onstage…in hopes that it’ll make it to Julie, the bassist. I MEAN THAT IN THE MOST HETERO WAY.
Speaking of my great-granny, this is the show to which I will carry her spirit with me. That woman loved a good old-timey jam and was a square dancing master. I’ll gaze up, let the sun obscure my vision, and imagine her kicking up her heels. This is seriously the kind of music that instantly sets my heart flying.
Of note: This band sings a song called ‘Keep On Truckin’. And thus, I love them. I’m taking a Colt 45 to this one and if I don’t get to hear that jam, I will fucking riot.
I’m guessing this is the mandatory indie (not bluegrass or country-tinged or rock or electronic or reggae) band on the bill but I could not be more pleased they’ve chosen this band to fill that slot. Every since a solid recommendation by Fuel/Friends, I’ve had this band in rotation consistently and was hopeful I’d get to catch them — their live shows look to be a fucking blast. In all honesty, if they’d have came close I probably wouldn’t have made a giant effort to see them though, so the fact that they’re being placed in my lap for this show is sweet.
Now clearly kids, I’m not the biggest fan of this kind of music, this genre if you will. But any dude that can remix my beloved John Denver and not make me want to stab his balls completely off is okay in my book. And I’m excited about getting the chance to ignorantly dance around in circles under the stars with a bunch of folks that are into this bit. Broadening the horizons and such…
As if it weren’t obvious by the hundreds of words I’ve already written about it and by the fact that I only now have a subscription to Rolling Stone after 15 years of not because they put these bearded bastards on the cover, I’m on The Sheepdogs bandwagon. As if the weekend were not going to be perfect enough, we’re topping it off with some beers, Allman-esque jams, and undoubtedly, one too many Almost Famous quotes. All is right with the world, my friends. All is right.
Whatever it is that Rateliff releases next, I swear on all that has ever been good in the history of always, it will fucking rock.
[ED. NOTE: You guys wanna hear something funny? So this dude in the comments points out that I’ve totally fucked the title here and upon further inspection, yep. Yes, that happened. Let this be a lesson to you: Do not trust a British to translate shit for you. Should have listened to the American!]
Featured here a thousand times, but I cannot say it enough (and I will not stop saying it until every one of you has purchased this album and is in agreement with me), Rateliff is just stunning. Have a gander at two of the best vocalists I’ve heard in the past five years. Have a gander at one of the best songwriters I’ve stumbled upon in the past five years.
[2010’s Most Revered is The Hive’s version of a year-end list. Right about now (or meow, if you will) we will highlight the albums, EPs (yes, EPs), and what-have-yous, that made us sit up and listen over the past 365 days.]
Dudes, let me clue you in. This here is a music blog. Yes, I ramble about personal shit and then throw some semi-related tunes at you but in my defense, this is what I know how to do. I can journal; I cannot write a music review. That requires like, college and shit. But because this is a music blog there will be a year-end list. There HAS to be. However, I won’t pretend to be smart enough to analyze what jams and beats and albums were the best across the board in this Year of our Lord, 2010. Again, college. But I can tell you the albums that were most revered in this house over the past year. I will say this: this series will be the most awesome and yet fucked year-end list you’ll find on the internetz. Also, no #10. Get over it.
All that said, we present Folk Hive’s Most Revered of 2010: The only year-end list on the internet that features intelligent input from a five-year old. Let’s hop to it, shall we?
[Number NINE :: The War On Drugs Future Weather EP]
I’ve mentioned that ‘Taking the Farm’ was an important song in this house. First, I had a simple love affair with this band’s chosen moniker (oddly enough, I was reading this when I got into War) and then, there was the music. Wagonwheel Blues is still an album that is on consistent rotation around here and though Future Weather is an EP, it is so colossal that it defies that classification. As much as I loved the previous, the new blew that shit right out of the water. It was beautiful and expansive and it burned. In a way, The War On Drugs remind me of the greatness of Petty in his heyday — it’s something that feels like maybe you could put it together with your friends in the garage after a lager or two because it’s that simple but then you really listen and your ass knows better. There’s no way you could insert that emotion into an organ chord and there’s no way you could write and then sing out like Kurt Vile. I mean, shit. He’s Kurt fucking Vile, dudes.
Perhaps one of the most disappointing moments to me in this past year was learning that the GAYNGS show I had tickets to in Nashville had been canceled. I was not saddened by my inability to see a supergroup in N’ville, per say, but by the fact that not being in that town on that night meant that I would not be in that town for the Peter Wolf Crier show the night prior. “Crutch and Cane” reeled me in early this year and since that time, I have been enamoured with this band. I have spoken of my love for these two men previously and considering that they’re members of the un-bearded sect of society, this is massive in Hive Land. Inter-Be rocked my 2010 and expanded the musical horizons of this avowed folkie. I suspect this album will get considerable play in the new year. And to remedy this year’s sadness, I’ll be seeing them in live in 2011. Also, Moen induces lady boners. LADY BONERS.
All Those I Know hit me like a ton of fucking bricks. Unexpected, storied, and unprecedented in that such a wonderful album was simply given away, it stayed in rotation for weeks. When it was occasionally relegated to the back burner by the Blackbird, Blackbird’s and Arcade Fire’s of the indie world, it was immediately brought to the forefront again with a singular listen. To say that the opening track (after which the album is titled) is massive and fan-fucking-tastic x 10 is an understatement. The rest of the album follows that song’s lead and every tune is an eye-opener.
While I have heard it uttered by serious, life-long Black Keys fans that this album is not their strongest and that the band has sold out (Christ, shut up.), I can tell you as a new Black Keys fan I was in love with this album from that first guitar lick. In my defense, I did not discover the band on a hyped list, I did not hear them first on a commercial and then search them out, nor did I get like, a Verizon phone accompanied by a free download of a Black Keys jam. I heard Dan Auerbach. It was over. While I have not been a fan from the beginning (forgive me Father, for I did not know of this band’s existence), I am now devoted. If Brothers is the sound of someone selling out, then more bands should get on that. Also, Jude probably spent 90% of his time pretending to be Auerbach when I first put this record in rotation.
The discovery of Megafaun in early 2010 turned this year around. It inspired me and opened my ears and heart to a brand of music I had never heard. Casual fans were interested in the association with DeYarmond Edison and Justin Vernon; devoted fans are astounded at the speed with which this band, on its own, manages to race toward the resonance of new so quickly and easily. Every album, mini-album, and live show is an exercise in family and love and the healing powers of music. Heretofore is gospel but it’s an au courant gospel.
[Number FOUR :: Nathaniel Rateliff In Memory of Loss]
My love of Nathaniel Rateliff is nearly unsurpassed. While I will admit that I prefer Rateliff in the real as opposed to in a sound booth, recording a record, I’ll take whatever I can get. I feel the same way about this music as I do your mom — both are awesome. I fucking dare you to listen to a Rateliff Daytrotter session, I dare you to observe a Rateliff wail in video or person, and not tear up. It is his ease and his seeming comfortability with what he’s saying that makes this music so close to perfection. “Early Spring Till” is a masterpiece. Yes dude, I am pressed down. Yes, I am full of that feeling. Yes dude, I like that deep v-neck tee.
Alright folk, shit is about to get real. And cuss yes, I’m serious. GAYNGS changed my life. This is not an exaggeration. I love The Rosebuds, that’s been said. I love Megafaun and that too has been discussed. I also like to get down with Solid Gold now and then and I sure as shit love Bon Iver, even more than your mother. So naturally, a group composed of those and then some gives me a slightly odd and scientifically unjustified lady chub. Along with the fact that I have to deal with these awkward boners daily is the fact that I am also affected by what is known as Undiagnosed (And Therefore Only Potential, Whatevs) Social Anxiety Disorder. This means concerts and shit of the like are typically out of the question. Hell, going to the local Walmart without my child is out of the question. So it is a testament of my love for GAYNGS (or perhaps more specifically, the parts of its sum) that planned to first travel 800 miles for a show and then when that was canceled, that I traveled 2000 fucking miles for one. Yes, I did that. I drove from the middle of Missouri to Durham, NC for a goddamn Gayngs concert. Let me bullet point this shit for you:
I left my kid for more than two days. Unprecedented.
I drove through rush hour traffic in like, 12 states. I shit myself.
Day one I was in a vehicle for more than 20 hours.
I made this trip with my sister. We almost killed each other.
We got lost in Durham. For three hours. At 3am.
I slept an hour and ventured downtown, suffering from PTSD resulting from GETTING LOST FOR THREE FUCKING HOURS AT 3AM.
I drank Sparks in a parking lot, which I think is illegal.
I met amazing and rather endearing folk. I talked to them like I didn’t have this undiagnosed Social Anxiety shit. It was good. They are my people.
I grooved down at the most badass show I wintnessed this year.
I triple-fisted beers. Dude, it was GAYNGS.
I participated in using words like “GAYNG-bang” and “GAYNG-over” and I didn’t feel like a dipshit for doing so.
I woke up the next day with a hangover. Drove 8 hours. Slept in Nashville. Drove another 8 hours. Pulled into my driveway.
I have not spoken here of the two months of anxiety that nearly crippled me before this trip. I have not spoken of the doubt and the realization that driving like, 17 states away for a concert, was just ludicrous. I have only spoken of my doing that very thing. And looking back, it was one of the sweetest trips of my younger years. I am a GAYNGS devotee for fucking life.
Another tidbit: My father, a truck driver who frequently pointed out how juvenile and potentially irresponsible I was in making this trip, says, “So, what does this…GAYNGS? Is that what they’re called? GAYNGS?! Jesus, so what do they sound like?”. “Well dad, they’re like a bunch of folk dudes I guess, maybe. Anyway, they make…fuck jams. Fuck jams, dad.” Dad: “WHAT?! So, like Foreigner?”. No dad, not like Foreigner…
No band brought me to more tears this year than Breathe Owl Breathe. Good tears. Tears of happiness and tears that were the sum parts of beautiful music and a sense of humor and seeing my child flabbergasted. I wrote about it. And it was probably the most fulfilling and yet gut-wrenching thing I’ve written about this year. My child and I are involved in a love affair with this band. Magic Central is the first vinyl that he ever owned (it is also the ONLY vinyl he currently owns). Breathe Owl Breathe inspired my five year old to pick up a banjo. And I wouldn’t be all facetious about this next statement but Breathe Owl Breathe made us both better people. The urge to tattoo their lyrics all over my body is strong. Magic Central has the most fitting title of any album this year.
[Number ONE :: Cotton Jones Tall Hours In The Glowstream]
To understand my love for Cotton Jones and this album is to understand me. I cannot say that I was captivated by this band from Paranoid Cocoon or even prior, the Page France days, as I was simply unaware of their existence. What sadness. But when I discovered Cotton Jones first album (under that moniker) early this year, I was stunned. I was even further flabbergasted when they turned out to be so much more than just a one track band and that’s saying quite a bit considering how great each track is on its own. Cotton Jones soundtracked the aforementioned journey to North Carolina — all 17,020 hours of it. Cotton Jones is my fall back band when I’m in need of a musical bump. “Somehow To Keep It Going” is probably our most loved jam this year. Cotton Jones was my 2010.
When I was a little girl, I didn’t want to be a ballerina. Fuck ballerinas, man. I don’t mean to shit on anyone’s ballerina dreams but it just wasn’t my thing. Words, to me, are prettier than a lady in a tutu. I didn’t like pink, I didn’t dream about my wedding.
When I was a young, but older girl I was not like the other young, but older gals. Back then it was a sore spot, something I sought to hide and cover up with hairspray and boy talk and jeans that were long enough to reach down to the ankles situated on my long, lanky legs. I fit in fine enough, but I didn’t feel like I did. I knew that I didn’t.
When I graduated (with something like 38 people, a good 97% of them 12 year students) and set my sights on getting out of this tiny Midwest black hole, I pondered my future. I cried when my parents let it be known they couldn’t afford to send me to UVa — they were oblivious to the fact that Dave Matthews resided there and that, at the time, I was enamored with Charlottesville music scene. I can’t believe I just admitted that Dave Matthews shit. It’s fine, I’m about to regain my street cred. Watch.
If God him-/herself had descended upon me in a field and said, “Fair geek who does not feel at home here in this county, I shall do thou a solid”, and followed that with ” Who would you like to be?”, I’d have responded with “God, make me Cameron Crowe. Also, sweet beard, dude.”
That’s no shit. My love for Cameron Crowe, his taste in music and women (dude married chick from Heart for fuck’s sake), and his life, was downright strange. Other girls loved Justin Timberlake…and this was pre-“Bringin’ Sexy Back” and as such, I can find no excuse for this infatuation on their collective parts. Other girls could not tell you what an ellipses was or who wrote Still Life With Woodpecker. Cameron was my guy.
[This guy. Dude on the right gave me the dude on the left, arguably the hottest fictional 70s rock-n-roller ever put in film. Thanks, buddy.]
I went away to college in a town that I’ve grown to hate and after six months, I was over it. I had spent all my life accidentally assuming that I would spend a large portion of my life in schooling of some sort, and after half a year I had grown so tired of math and classes that were not English-related and girls in those goddamn booty shorts with faux diamonds on the ass, that I quit. It was incredibly liberating and at the same time, it fucked my psyche.
Through all that was music. And writing. And thus, Cameron. I don’t care if you think Almost Famous is trite, that flick is still in my top five. “The guitar sound is incendiary. INCENDIARY.” I was the kid who wanted to meet one of my favorite bands and say that, those exact words! You know what else? Penny Lane has the best groupie name ever, she has her shit together (despite that one time she ate a bunch of Dirty Biscuits in a possible suicide attempt), and she has great taste in tunes. If Stillwater were a real band, I would listen to that shit. I’d have their record(s) on vinyl.
All this to say, Cameron Crowe. Mr. Crowe does this thing (or at least he used to anyway) where he makes a mix tape for every month. He used to make cassettes and if he’s doing that now, he’s making discs…or 8track playlists, I don’t know. He then labels these mixes. For instance, he’d have “August 1974”. I bet the Ozark Mountain Daredevils hold a spot on that playlist, dudes.
So I make mixes. I make them and I label them and I store them in an old-school earth cellar constructed in 1912 by my great-great-grandparents (I made that last part up but that would be awesome, right?). Personal, easily portable little journals that most of the time, do a better job at explaining my life at any given time better than my own words could. Plus, fewer run-on sentences and excessive comma usage in a music mix.
Here is a mix. It’s called “November 2010, Bitchez” and will be labeled as such in my collection. Dig.
Why, hello there COOLRUNNINGS! Looks like you put my personal philosophy statement in a song! I too live by the words, “If you really wanna know what I’m thinking, shut your running mouth and just fuckin’ listen”!
Ivan Howard @’ed me on Twitter (which, by the way, is like Facebook’s retarded cousin. How the fuck am I supposed to fit ANYTHING in 140 characters?!). Also, I just love The Rosebuds. As a sidenote, Jude still gets sad every time the fox dies in “Nice Fox”.
As Stephen Colbert once noted of this song “Why would anyone ever zone for danger, let alone build a highway to it?”. He’s right. But still, the men from Solid Gold could literally come to my house, piss on my zinnias, kick my dog in the balls (if I had a dog, that is), and insult the paint color in my bathroom…and I’d still love them. This cover is better than the original, by far, and the original was pretty fucking sweet, ya’ll.
I’m almost positive DoE is telling me that if I’m gonna do that thing, I should do it now. While I’m young. What they’re saying should be taken to heart. Also, that first sentence I just wrote there is a testament to what I said earlier about a song doing better than what I write when documenting my life.
Let me tell you guys something: Vandervelde’s voice in the opening stanzas of this tune sound like those of the dude that sings the Wubbzy song. Jude pointed that out and he’s right. BUT THEN Vandervelde says the word “shit”, and thus, it’s all good. And then his voice gets awesome as fuck so then it’s all really good. In other news, I should learn how to hang.
6am Repeat is a recurring feature here at Folk Hive in which we stream the latest track that plays incessantly in the earbuds when we awake at that hour and imbibe massive amounts of coffee and cigarettes in preparation for the advancing day.
We’ve had this song on constant repeat in the house for 3 days now and I swear, it never gets bad. We HIGHLY recommend Rateliff’s latest album In Memory of Loss, out via Rounder Records (who carries a great roster of artists, by the way, including Mr. Robert Plant himself), right now. Better than the album (we promise) are the two sessions with Rateliff (& The Wheel) over at Daytrotter. In our humble opinion, the Daytrotter sessions far outweigh the actual album in terms of moving the listener far from wherever they happen to be sitting, but ‘Early Spring Til’ is most definitely the stand out track on an album of, well…stand out tracks. Our only complaint? That In Memory of Loss isn’t out on vinyl. We bet that Rateliff wail would rock pretty fuck hard on a turntable.