"Hell You Talmbout" by Janelle Monae and the Wondaland Arts Society
Immensely important song. Walter Scott. Jerame Reid. Philip White. Eric Garner. Trayvon Martin. Sean Bell. Freddie Gray. Aiyana Jones. Sandra Bland. Kimani Gray. John Crawford. Michael Brown. Miriam Carey. Sharonda Singleton. Emmett Till. Tommy Yancy. Jordan Baker. Amadou Diallo.
Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
Haven't heard a good ol' rock n' roll album quite like this in a long while. Spits outta these speakers with crispness that feels true to the roots of jangly music. And I dig on Barnett's fearlessness in her lyrics, willing to show boredom or weirdness or whatever: "French baguettes wrapped loose around theri necks" or "I wanna go out but I wanna stay home / I wanna go out but I wanna stay home." This is genuinely charming.
Diana and I took our first official two-step lesson from the awesome Two Left Foots at Rattle Inn last week, though we've done our fair share of tripping and stumbling "in time" at our favorite local honky tonk spots. The turns and the twirls can be tricky, but the general steppin' is just a more interesting way to move around a room. Check our my buds Anthony Ray Wright band a time for some good tunes to boogie to.
Majorly blessed to get to read some poems opening up for this wonderful New Zealand musician a few weeks back. Sure, she's got some Sufjan aura to her. Okay, she's got some of that First Aid Kit beautiful hum. But mostly, Mimi Gilbert is writing totally uniquely, world-building songs, full of space--to rest your weary head, to feel some love, to relax your bones.
My appreciation for Lyft is at an all-time high with a recent hiccup with my pick-up truck, chopping up plans left and right. Thanks to Lyft, I can keep my commitments and tee times (yes, it aches a disc golfer's heart to go even a week without). Stoked, too, for my pals who are Lyft drivers, most of them reporting back good feelings making cash this way. As a dude from a blip of a town with zero form of public transportation, these chances to put down the keys, to sit back and ride are majorly welcomed.
Tea by D.A. Powell
Snatched up a copy of Repast (Powell's first three books in one collection / Tea being the first) recently at the great local bookstore Bookwoman. Marks the beginning of my re-reading, finally as owner, of Powell's books and I'm remembering / realizing how utterly fresh, haunting, and brilliant these poems are. Can safely say I know nothing like them.
In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl
The origins of the vibrator are an odd and quite frightening piece of history and to have them scripted here to be re-enacted on stage is both of those things, yet also wildly necessary. Never seen the thing performed and only read it the once (one quick, exhilarating blur), but it's clear this is theater at its best, extending the reach of itself into new territory and yanking us along with it.
Hannah Kenah's comedy
Local theater artist Hannah Kenah has been taking her great facial expressions and wildly absurd humor to the stand-up stage, and thank goodness for that. She performed a big ol' set at Everything is Bigger, and I was lucky enough to see her take her hustle to the great Coldtowne Theater's open mic night. Both tragic and comic, Kenah is a pure angel of entertainment.
YOU DA ONE by Jennifer Tamayo
This is one of the book's that you slap yourself with and say WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG? It sat on my to-read shelf a good while why. It's rocket-fueled with truths, both personal and universal, and it is not afraid of you. Though the whole Coconut Books train has went off rails, I'm honored that, at least for awhile / at least to some, this book was a pressmate to my first collection.
Just a periodic reminder that Mary Ruefle is one of the best poets ever. Proof? Here.
Five Things Reading Series
I must say the bi-monthly Five Things reading series, co-hosted by Adeena Reitberger and Callie Collins / also at Cheer Ups, is constantly on my calendar. Themed (hilarious! heart-breaking / example: Fleetwood Mac / example: The Teen Years) and well-curated (they're so good at such a so hard thing!) and charming (those two are a dream duo, see!), it is the real deal.
These Hoosiers made their giddy-up down to Austin recently, putting a basketball-sized smile across my skull. That first album dropped when I was in early college and it was a soundtrack to a lot of awkward loving and ecstatic living. Their tunes continue to be stuck in the 90s and their 'tude totally about the groove, thank heavens. Need a first Sleeping Bag song? "Slime" all the time.