Friday, May 18, 2018

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 16

It’s been a long day of meetings but Von and Rachel muster up the energy to deliver more amazing music to you! Along the way, they talk about zine fests, evil children, free comic book day, and #PatreonGoals.

Neighbor Lady, “Fine” (Maybe Later)
Anne Elise Hastings and Her Revolving Cast Of Characters - “St. Paul” (Self Titled)
Leon III, “Alberta” (Leon III)
Liz Frame And The Kickers - “What You Gonna Do When I Go”
Don Gallardo, “The Golden Rule,” (Still Here)
Left Arm Tan - “Give A Damn” (El Camino)
Brenna Sahatjian, “The Thistle” (Knotted Orbits)
Arkansas Dave - “Bad At Being Good” AND “Think Too Much” (Arkansas Dave)
The Sheepdogs, “Nobody” AND “Kiss the Brass Ring” (Changing Colours)
The Homeless Gospel Choir - “Normal” (Presents: Normal)

Thanks for listening! You can support the podcast by subscribing to our Patreon (get the episodes earlier and with bonus songs!) or drop a tip in our Ko-fi cup!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Brenna Sahatjian -- Knotted Orbits

Knotted Orbits is one of those albums that is breathtaking in its density. Brenna Sahatjian brilliantly weaves punk and folk together, adding tense chamber string arrangements to ratchet up the song's emotional stakes.

This is not an easy album to listen to, but it's worthwhile.

Sahatjian's lyrics tumble across the page. As I read them, I'm impressed that she was able to corral them into a song with a recognizable melody -- no small feat. Especially considering the universe of ideas she brings to each song. "First World Optimism" calls our attention to the dangers of climate change as well as the usual neo-liberal apologies for the age we live in:

He said the past was a horrid place and to be grateful
to be born in an era like this, less grim and hateful
Buried inside, there's truth there to keep us faithful
to every lie that lets us sleep, but what will we wake to?
The endless wars we don't know how to stop
No charges for another white cop
open your heart and mind, the anger's rising, hope it don't stop
we're all gonna play a part whether we act or not
We live in a world that ranked itself first when it got wealthy
extracting death, yet they're expecting a happy ending
What will you do with this one life you are granted?
If we only knew, is it delusion or enchantment?

The song serves as a kind of overture for the rest of the album. Sahatjian is as keen an observer of politics as she is of nature and individuals. Knotted Orbits is a huge accomplishment in a tiny package: one of those rare albums that encapsulates the totality of our existence without ever diluting or simplifying the strange chaos that makes us human.

Brenna Sahatjian --Official, Facebook, Bandcamp

Brenna Sahatjain will be featured on this week's episode of Adobe & Teardrops! Subscribe on your favorite app or become a Patreon member to get an extended cut! You can also show us some monetary love by dropping a tip in our Ko-fi cup!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Leon III -- Leon III

They tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but the album art for Leon III's self-titled debut is one of those rare instances where the concrete image encapsulates the abstract sounds of the music. Leon III is the latest project by former Wrinkle Neck Mules members Andy Stepanian and Mason Brent, and it's a breezy look through country's past and future, held down by heavy melodies and equally weighty questions about modern life. The lead-off track, "Maybe I'm Immune?" wonders aloud why the narrator seems to have it so good in spite of everything else that's happening in "this poisonous time." It's a conflicted song, and that anguish weaves its way throughout the album.

Leon III is ultimately about breaking free from ourselves. The vaguely psychedelic nature of the music is more set dressing and less novelty. It's not there because it's the Thing To Do -- instead, the freeflowing nature of the music seems to challenge us into introspection even as it asks us to question our own sense of boundaries. Country music is nothing if not an economical genre -- three chords, the truth, three verses, chorus, bridge. Leon III shows us that it's possible -- musically and otherwise -- to live within those constraints while pushing them out further than you might have thought you could. But I don't want you to think this is a somber album -- "Alberta" is a rocker if ever there was any. But Leon III suggests that however far you push, you're destined to fail -- at least that's what the reprise of "From These Heights" suggests at the end of the album. I beg to differ, but maybe I'll be wrong in the end.

Leon III -- Official, Facebook, Purchase from Cornelius Chapel Records

Leon III will be featured on this week's episode of Adobe & Teardrops! You can subscribe to our Patreon and listen to an extended cut now! You can also support the blog by dropping a tip into our Ko-fi cup!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Neighbor Lady -- Maybe Later

It's almost summer, which means it's high time for sun-kissed, punk-tinged rock. Athens, GA's Neighbor Lady is here to deliver with hooks tasty enough to sink your teeth into. While the songs are jangly, the lyrics are anything but. In fact, the band's debut EP Maybe Later is an exercise in stealthily rising existential dread. Fans of Lydia Loveless's last album will find a whole lot to like in the dance-able "Fine," about a liaison born out of desperation and loneliness.

I guess I don't like anything easy -- not even my music. At first glance Maybe Later feels like slacker rock. The second glance makes it seem like a breakup album. But the third glance can't help but make me wonder if it's ultimately about depression. For instance, on the jubilant "Let it Bleed," Emily Braden crows,

You say you’d do anything for me

But you hardly even know me

You have no idea whats gotten into me

You have no idea whats gotten into me

There's so much pressure building up inside chest

Tense and nervous but you know I’m trying my best

Well I let it bleed

As Braden's partner can only begin to grasp the depths of Braden's pain, she's simply ready to let it fly, never mind the casualties. On "Oh, Honey," I get the sense that Braden isn't addressing another person, but perhaps another version of herself:

I’ll never understand how this honest man

Could come between you and I

This could never apply to how I thought things would happen for us

Oh honey what's all the fuss about

I haven’t seen you in months but I’ve been here all along

And then I tell you I’m happy and to whom I belong

And you can't seem to hear me out

Oh honey whats all the fuss about

When the relationship inevitably implodes, Braden is left to pick up the pieces. Maybe Later, as the title suggests, doesn't leave us on the upswing. But it does illustrate how we can begin to step up to the plate.

Neighbor Lady -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp

Neighbor Lady will be featured on this week's episode of Adobe & Teardrops! You can listen to an early, extended cut of the episode by subscribing to our Patreon or support us by dropping a one-time tip in our Ko-fi cup!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Adobe and Teardrops: Episode 15

In an unexpectedly, spicy episode, Von and Rachel take a deep dive into lesbian sex scenes in prestige dramas (Disobedience) and dead superheroes (Avengers). Rachel has some exciting news for the podcast and site. Also, bizarre podcast sponsorships, what our underwear looks like, and the always-vexing subject of women in music -- but it’s uplifting this time!
  • Aloud, “Empty House” (Single)
  • RIVVRS - “Let It Die” (Cosmic Dream)
  • Ajaye Jardine, “Midnight and Bourbon,” (Midnight and Bourbon)
  • Fintan Stack - “Nap All Day, Sleep All Night, Never Party”
  • Lost Mary - “I Know You Better” AND “Wait” (Lost Mary)
  • Courtney Barnett - “Nameless, Faceless” AND City Looks Pretty” (Tell Me How You Really Feel)
  • Brother Hawk “Quittin Time” AND “The Clear Lake” (The Clear Lake)
  • Big Kettle Drum - “Bring That Love” AND “Free Again” (I Thought You’d Be Bigger…)
  • Jen Fischer - “Row” (Single)

    Thanks for listening! You can support the podcast by dropping a one-time tip in our Ko-fi cup or subscribe to our Patreon to get an extended cut of this week's episode!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

VIDEO: Eric Andersen -- Under the Shadows

You may not have heard of Eric Andersen, but you've certainly heard him. His songs have been covered by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Linda Ronstadt, The Grateful Dead, Gillian Welch, Pete Seeger, Fairport Convention, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Eilen Jewell.
Andersen has Forrest Gumped his way through the 20th century. Eric's stories range from being with the beat poets the night JFK was shot to teaching Joni Mitchell alternate guitar tunings; from co-writing songs with Lou Reed and Townes Van Zandt to inspiring Leonard Cohen to write songs; from recording in Nashville with session musicians and famed producer Norbert Putnam to having an album lost by Columbia, only to be released two decades later; from meeting Cash at the Newport Folk Fest (via Dylan) to appearing on the Cash TV show and performing an original song he wrote for the occasion; from forming a trio with The Band’s Rick Danko to his recent trilogy of albums inspired by writers Heinrich Boll, Albert Camus, and Lord Byron.
While Andersen has led a life of rich and varied experiences, he's never shot a music video until now. At the age of 75, the video for "Under the Shadows" is his first.

Under The Shadows from Paul Lamont on Vimeo.

In the song, Andersen confronts the camera as he frankly discusses aging. In a terminally youth-oriented culture, "Under the Shadows" digs deep, asking the listener to confront some of our culture's biggest taboos.

Eric Andersen -- Official, Facebook

Thanks for reading! For more amazing music, subscribe to the Adobe & Teardrops podcast on your favorite app! You can support the blog by subscribing to our Patreon or dropping a one-time tip in our Ko-fi cup!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 14

Von manages to escape the room and needs to figure out where he can get his next big fix from. Rachel wants you to go to local shows because they have a more special energy. Get your passport for this episode because we feature artists from all over the world!

Paisley Fields, “Can’t Stop Our Love”
The Howling Lords - “Talk Like That”
Sera Cahoone, “Baker Lake” (The Flora String Sessions EP)
The Lied To’s - “Cruel World” AND “What Keeps Us In This World” (The Lesser Of Two Evils)
Television City - “Month of Sundays” (Television City)
The Pine Hill Haints - “Death of the Buffalo Girl” (Smoke)
Anna Nalick, “Aura” (At Now)
Big Little Lions - “Find Your Tribe” AND “Big Mistake” (Alive And Well)
Sami Simon, “Bombs”
Dolbro Dan - “Staring At The Floor” (Folk Dope)

Thanks for listening! You can support the podcast by dropping a one-time tip in our Ko-fi cup or subscribe to our Patreon to get an extended cut of this week's episode!