Welcome to Note-Able Music!
Check out our lists of suggested music, give old favorites another spin, and get a grip on new artists.
James' Top Songs From 2012
"Funtimes in Babylon" Father John Misty
The name Father John Misty might come across as the ironical conceit of an unknown musician who is trying to grab a little more attention than he deserves. A single glance of Father John’s Fear Fun album cover, which is visually rich with goofy spiritual metaphor, might contribute to this opinion. But as the saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Fear Fun has the polished sound you’d expect when a lot of great studio musicians line up to play songs created by a well-traveled songwriter. As it turns out, Father John Misty aka J Tillman has been recording music since 2005, most recently performing as drummer and vocalist in the Fleet Foxes. In interviews, Tillman explains that the new stage name provides some distance from his personal life and enables him to write more honest songs. The formula seems to be working because the lyrics on this album are about as intelligent as anything I’ve listened to this year.
In "Funtimes..", Father John shares how he’s going to have a few laughs before western civilization completely unravels. Beautiful and slow moving, this lushly-produced olde-tyme number is a poignant reminder to ‘make hay while the sun is shining’. Also recommended from the album are the songs "I’m Writing a Novel" and "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings."
"Left Alone" Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel….. is undoubtedly the most challenging album on this list. Raw, driving and often discordant, The Idler Wheel retains the jazzy confessional feel of Apple’s earlier albums but with just a little extra salting of manic energy. Apple’s co-conspirator on this latest effort, Charley Drayton, really deserves kudos for his standout percussion work.
The song "Left Alone" consistently gives me that ‘I just drank more coffee than I should have’ feeling which might not be to everyone’s liking. Granted, it gets my blood moving.
"Danny Come Inside" White Rabbits
The White Rabbits are a band out of New York who work the same quirky up-tempo dance-rock vein as the earliest incarnation of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
"Danny Come Inside" is a one-riff-driven wonder that builds into a completely engaging, swirling and thumping, sonic mantra. It’s a great song to listen to while driving. The temptation is to turn the song up so people several cars over can hear how cool you are.
"Teenage Dirtbag" Scala & Kolacny Brothers
Scala is a Belgian women's choir who sing arrangements of popular music that seem to be sprouting up all over the popular culture landscape. If you've seen the film The Social Network, then you've already heard their version of Radiohead's "Creep."
"Teenage Dirtbag" should be instantly recognizable to anyone who has seen the film The Bully Project. It's an inspired selection of music that launches the emotionally wrenching documentary.
"Kiss Me Crazy" Bear in Heaven
Bear in Heaven rests comfortably atop the growing mountain of musical acts whose musical bread and butter is an updated version of 80's style synth pop. The combination of John Philpot's boyish Supertramp-like vocals and the band's propensity to create heavily-arpeggiated, hook-laden anthems places them among the best in this category.
"Kiss Me Crazy" works as a catchy, propulsive song that can easily burn an indelible groove into the old brain pan. If you like this kind of thing be sure to also check out "Idle Heart" and "Sinful Nature" from the band's latest album.
"Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control" Tame Impala
Add Tame Impala to the handful of recent bands that have made a tangible imprint on the music scene by basically reinventing psychedelic music using newer technology. Think MGMT and Neon Indian. With their second album, Tame Impala kicks electro-fuzz and tonally drifting synth composition into brand new territory, conjuring more than a few new colors to the psychedelic sound palette. It doesn’t hurt that Tame Impala’s lead singer and principle song writer Kevin Parker often sounds like John Lennon.
While there are more than a few bright spots on this album, I selected "Nothing That Has Happened" for its wistful quality and unique structure. There’s a killer break about a minute into the song when the music all but stops before a reverb submerged rhythm section launches into an even more plaintive vocal segment.
"Song for a Warrior" The Swans
I’m not exactly sure why I like "Song for a Warrior." The instrumentation is sparse and the actual song progression is so basic that I’m certain I’ve heard it a million times before. Guest singer Karen O, who is on loan from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, kind of talk/sings her way through lyrics that suggest the kind of symbolist grandiosity of a Paul Verlaine poem. There is a pretty break in the middle of "Song for a Warrior" made up of strings and twinkling piano which gives the otherwise paired down song construction an emotional thrust. I also really like the way the song concludes with a pair of refrains that describe how the warrior goes about taking no prisoners (to be applied at the office or on the battlefield). Other than that, this strange magical musical formula eludes me.
"Strangers" Lotus Plaza
Lotus Plaza is Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt’s side project and solo effort. He’s already released several CDs under this moniker. So what’s so great about this young man and Lotus Plaza? Well if we’re going to make comparisons ( and that’s usually how these music reviews work) Lockett Pundt’s strikingly fluid and melodic guitar progressions are on par with anything Johnny Marr has done with The Smiths. Both men seem to be able make the guitar chime and sing at once. Check out the song "Strangers" from the album Spooky Action at a Distance to confirm this observation.
"Flapper Girl" The Lumineers
Arguably the best music story to come out of Colorado since Devotchka, The Lumineers write soulful folk tunes that are both catchy and timeless. The band’s straight forward Americana sound features a healthy dose of mandolin, guitar, and strings which is the perfect backing for Wesley Schultz’s earnest vocals. It may be too late to book The Lumineers for your birthday party but you can probably still catch them at a local venue.
"Ho Hey" is the song that everyone first noticed (and has by now heard at least a thousand times) so I’m going to go with "Flapper Girl" for its simplicity and easy to sing along with quality.
Newest Music at Your Library
Get It Together
Music has changed so much, and although the technology is moving quickly, our ability to cope with it isn't. So what can you do to help keep things organized, consolidate your music library, and even do the little things like keep your cords untangled? Well, here are some of the best tips I've found that can help you deal with your files, devices, and cords, which will save you time and help you get back to doing what you do best: enjoying music.
The Weekend Project:
Organize Your Music Library
Lifehacker has a great guide to a weekend project, organizing that mess of files you call a music library. Pick a player, whip that metadata into shape, and quit fooling around with multiple versions of the same content.
Wrapping Your Cords
Check out this video. There are dozens of ways to wrap your cords to keep them tangle-free. But of those dozens, this is the only one I came across featuring the music of Europe.
The DIY Dream:
Check out these instructions to make a cheap, simple dock that can charge your iPod and have it speaker-ready in no time.
The Intelligent Design:
Dock Your Device in Your Tabletop
If you crave simplicity and love design challenges, imagine creating this docking situation that allows you to charge your devices while keeping cords and other mess out of the way.
The Retro Designer:
Walkman iPod Case
If you have fond memories of the days when music players were bright yellow and without screens, you have to check out this project.
The Tech Junkie's New Life:
Uses for an old, but functioning iPod
Dr. Frankenstein's iPod Hack:
What is a fella to do with a busted iPod?
Turn your old iPod into a case for...well, just about anything.
Making your own noise-blocking headphones
Be careful with this one, but you don't have to spend a bundle to have earbuds that are custom made.
That Warm Sound:
DIY Vinyl Storage
This one takes a little skill and time, but it looks great!
The Budget Boxer:
Make vinyl storage from old record sleeves.
It couldn't be easier OR more fitting!
It's been a tough summer so far, Colorado. Brutal, burning, and violent.
Sometimes it's hard to find the right things to say, and sometimes it's hard to find anything to say at all.
Growing up, I can remember being in school during two very tragic, very frightening events. There was Columbine, and there was 9/11.
Coming into history class, our teacher had the TV on and we watched Columbine happen from our desks. Then, before any sort of resolution, he turned off the set and started teaching us about Rasputin.
I suppose he didn't have a very vivid imagination in terms of what does and does not constitute history.
9/11 caused a similar non-stir, people trying to go about things like normal, not mentioning it because they didn't know what to say.
I had one teacher, though, who talked about it. He didn't know what to say more than anyone else about tragedy and loss of life and all of that. He just told us that he'd walked to the store and bought Good & Plenty, his comfort food, and said that we could talk about it if we wanted to. Shakespeare could wait.
He was the only adult I knew who admitted to being just as lost and scared as everybody else.
I certainly don't have any answers for what's been a difficult time. And maybe the problem is that there aren't any. The best I can offer is a handful of songs that have eased me through different times, and it is my sincerest hope that they may be of some comfort to you as well during these days when our home has become so strange.
They're in no particular order, and they come fairly out of context. But they're Good. And there are Plenty of them.
Alright, I know what you're thinking.
"Books about music. Ty-p-i-cal library stuff."
You're a little right, and also a little hurtful. Work on that.
As hard as it is to write about music or around music, or just use the pen to bash right through music, it works sometimes. It's rare, perhaps even moreso than the Facebook picture of a plate of food that is actually worth looking at. Good music books are more elusive than the rarest of animals, which is either the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat or the Unicorn, depending on how anchored in reality you're feeling today.
The rarity of great music books, however, is part of what makes them so special. Get these from your library and see what I mean.
There are so many great books to choose from, but KYTL is the one that has the most seamless blend of personal stuff and rock trivia, not to mention a roadtrip thrown in for good measure.
If you can get your hands on the audiobook, it's a total winner. Being the music fan you are, it's a perfect match. You can just listen to it on your headphones and feel like you're in your native environment.
The beauty of this book is that Rob Sheffield writes about music, but he writes about a lot more than that. He writes about what various mixtapes evoke for him. Instead of trying to describe sounds, using words to make us understand something about noise, he uses each tape as a gateway to a different part of the past.
Okay, I understand that there is a niche market out there for these kinds of things, books about seemingly normal people who do something quest-y. "I want to try and go a whole year without taking a bath!" or "I want to try and go a whole year while taking a bath THE ENTIRE TIME!" You know, stuff like that which ultimately results in the expected conclusion, such as "Appropriate bath intervals are probably best maintained." I promise, though, this book isn't about someone taking on a quest to write a book about it. It's about love for music and radio, and it just so happens that it's a book. It works, and you feel Sue's passion for the work, not for the book that talks about the work.
Oh, and a girl. A "THE" girl. There has to be a girl, right?
A fabled rocker tries to find that piece of himself that the world was so in love with, re-recording a stripped-down version of his album Juliet, calling it Juliet Naked.
Two rock critics clash, love is created and destroyed long-distance, and you can still feel the way Hornby loves his characters, even when they're at their most infuriating.
Not gonna lie, people. It's been a tough year. We've lost some really, truly great musicians since the beginning of 2011. This isn't a comprehensive list by any means, but just a quick shortcut to keeping alive the memories of some of those folks who may not have made all the headlines. A foot in the door that closes with time. Click on their names to see what we've got available at the library for further exploration.
Hubert Sumlin 1931-2011
One of the greats, Sumlin's guitar isn't to be forgotten. My favorite guitar player's favorite guitar player.
The tragic story of Alice in Chains just won't lose momentum.
Mikey Welsh, 1971-2011
Bassist extraordinaier, probably best known for his work with Weezer, although he only appeared on their Green album. Welsh was also a gifted painter. Check out some of his work here.
After a fight left him wounded, Pinetop gave up the guitar in favor of the piano. Sometimes things have a way of working out.
Donald "Duck" Dunn, 1941-2012
Played with Elvis, Booker T. Jones, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, and Tom Petty amongst others. A LOT of others.
What can I say? When it comes to banjo, it's either in or out. If you're in, Scruggs was the man.
Gail's Top Songs from 2011
Prologue: Music is integral to my life as it enables me to survive
idiots (drivers) during my daily Highway 34 commute, to forget worries and cares, and since I am over 40… 50, sniffling as I listen to Lindsey Buckingham’s ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot…bring us back our youth….’ (the sniffling might be from poignant lyrics or, more realistically, from viewing the cover photo of a much older Lindsey who is ‘around’ my age) …all these during my commute...Darn! I am one of those idiot drivers!
Artist Album Song
Lindsey Buckingham In Our Own Time Seeds We Sow
The Cars Too Late Move Like This
Limousines Dancing At Her Funeral Get Sharp
Foster the People Tie: Helena Beat and Waste Torches
Airborne Toxic All At Once All At Once
AWOLNATION Knights of Shame Megalithic Symphony
Cut Copy Strangers in the Wind Zonoscope
My Morning Jacket Holdin’ On to Black Metal Circuital
Social Distortion Alone & Forsaken Hard Time & Nursery Rhymes
Sounds Tie: It’s So Easy and Dance with the Devil Something to Die For
The Strokes Two Kinds of Happiness Angles
Meddz Pick Up the Phone
Lupe Fiasco Coming Up Lasers
Red Hot Chili Peppers Meet Me at The Corner I’m With You
Decemberists Down By the Water The King is Dead
Grouplove Colours Grouplove
Weepy Songs for those “over
Lindsay Buckingham End of Time Seeds We Sow
The Cars Take Another Look Move Like This
Adele Rolling In the Deep, Rumour Has It, Someone Like You Adele 21
A 2011 “discovery” from 2010
(Listen to it and weep if you are over
Brian Johnson (AC/DC) If I Had a Hammer Love & Peace/ Greatest Hits for Kids 2010
Pete's Top 10 of 2011
Because music can be such a personal journey, I decided to do my top 10 list a little differently. Instead of limiting to stuff that was put out in 2011, below you’ll find a list of my top 10 musical experiences of 2011. Some of these are new, some are things that came out years ago and I’m also only just now discovering.
You’ll also find that some of this stuff is not currently available at your local library. Oh my, whatever shall we do!
The good news is that you have options for items not available at your local library, and you may find a great opportunity to explore those options.
The great thing about this option is that it allows others to benefit from your addition.
Option B: Request an Interlibrary Loan
The great thing about this option is that the turnaround is usually faster.
I came across this based on this excellent cover by another favorite musician (below).
Kneiser has put out one great, sparse country album with the kind of songwriting that you just don’t hear anymore. Deeply personal, but musically sound, I guess I have to question your sanity if you’re not willing to accept an artist-endorsed free download.
If you are a friend or acquaintance of mine, I would like to apologize for spending the entire last year talking about this album more than I talk about my family, my job, or my purpose on this planet. I haven’t been this excited by a single work since...well, let’s put it this way. I own two albums on vinyl. One is Quiet Riot’s Metal Health, and the other is Here We Rest.
If you are a believer in country music, you’ll love it. I guarantee. With the songwriting abilities of Dylan paired with guitar skills that can only result from the unholy mix of Van Halen and Alabama’s finest, it’s a homerun. If you’re one of those people who say, “I like everything. EXCEPT country,” try this one out. If you hate it, then you’re right.
They’ve been around a couple years, and they’re finally starting to get a little recognition with their 2011 release, Nothing is Wrong. But they’ve been the real deal all along. Check out this live cut from their previous album, North Hills.
4. Buying a Pair of Boots
I know, not strictly a musical thing here. But hear me out.
A pair of boots is the best possible accessory you can have for seeing live music. You’ll be a little taller so you can see better, your feet become unsmashable, and they’re just comfortable.
If you go to concerts, get yourself a nice pair of flat boots. Trust me on this one.
5. The Band
There was a reason that these guys were just known as “the Band.” Which band? THE Band.
This is probably going to sound like a commercial or something, but trust me, if I had Spotify money I wouldn’t be here writing this.
I’ve fooled around with a number of streaming radio solutions. Yahoo radio, Pandora, and others. So far, Spotify feels much better for me. You can build playlists, OR listen to streaming radio recommended based on your tastes.
Okay, it’s not perfect. And lord help me, but when an ad comes up for some new album, I want to dive on the computer to make it stop half the time. But overall, it’s working for me, and I’d say give it a try.
The duo flying the banner the Civil Wars put out a great album in 2011, but to be honest, all tracks pale in comparison to the title track. It’s pretty unbelievable, and a rare excellent pairing of a man’s and a woman’s voice that doesn’t sound like a clearer version of the couple in the apartment above me arguing.
9. “Think You Can Wait” by the National
The soundtrack for the motion picture Win-Win is almost as mysterious to me as the motion picture Win-Win. It’s filled with songs by a fellow named Lyle Workman, who Wikipedia claims is best known for his work on the Superbad soundtrack(?) And then , for some reason, after 20 Workman tracks, we get one little gem by the National. Why? I haven’t the foggiest. Seriously, if I had to guess, I would say that there was some weird situation where Paul Giamatti was gifted the song because the lead singer of the National loved his portrayal of John Adams so much. I understand that’s a really terrible guess, but I’d like to see you come up with something equally plausible and equally entertaining.
I have a love/hate thing with Bon Iver. I love them because they put out some great music. Just awesome stuff.
I hate them because this stupid album made me cry on an airplane. I don’t recommend being in tears when you have to turn down a packet of fiesta mix. It just feels odd.
Ian's Top 10 Songs of 2011
Michelle's Top 10 Songs of 2011
James' Top 10 Songs of 2011
R.I.P. Heavy D
Heavy D: 1967-2011
The world lost another legend. It's been a rough year for music.
With a potential comeback in the works and a daughter he loved very much (his family said his "'most important triumph' was becoming a father, and that he often said he couldn’t bear the thought of life without his 13-year-old daughter Xea.") Heavy D still had a lot to offer.
Check out some of his hits below, including his final performance at the BET Awards.
Death of a Legend
On October 23rd, George A. Johnson passed away.
That might not be a musical name that you know, and that's okay. Johnson was the inspiration behind the Drive-By Truckers song "The Sands of Iwo Jima."
Patterson Hood, great nephew of George and member of the Drive-By Truckers, wrote the wonderful memorial below. Below that you'll find the song inspired by Johnson. It's a song that has turned a lot of fans onto the Truckers, and we're all very fortunate to have shared in a small piece of the person behind it.
GEORGE A. JOHNSON - It's A Wonderful Life (May 26, 1920 - October 24, 2011)
My beloved Great Uncle passed away yesterday. He was actually more like a second father to me. As a child, I spent every single weekend of my life with him on his farm from before I was two until I was a teenager and became too busy trying to chase girls to want to be out at the farm riding go-karts anymore. I'm sure he was sad when that happened, but he never made me feel bad about it as he knew that it was the way of the world and how it was supposed to be.
When George A. was born, President Wilson was in the White House. He lived to see 17 Presidents. Imagine someone who was alive for George Washington living to see the Lincoln assassination. When he was a little boy, they rode into town on horseback and he lived to see a man on the moon. He lived through the Great Depression and survived Iwo Jima in World War II. He was born a white man in the deep segregated Jim Crow South and lived to cast his vote for Barak Obama in the 2008 election at the age of 88. I felt like he was as proud of that as I was.
After WWII, George A. took a job delivering trucks for International Harvester in Springfield, Ohio but his family ties were so strong that he commuted home every weekend to McGee Town Alabama to help out his parents on the homestead farm. He was born in the front room of the old three-room house, along with my Grandmother and their other brother. (Two other siblings were lost in the influenza epidemic of 1918). The farm was deeded to The Johnson Family when Alabama became a state and his ties to it were unimaginably strong. His mother passed away in December 1963 (watching As The World Turns at my Grandmother's kitchen table) and I was born three months later and George A. and I were inseparable from day one.
Every friday afternoon he would ride the bus home from wherever his last delivery was (he delivered new trucks to the dealers) and I would ride out to the farm with him and stay there all weekend. We'd stay up late and watch movies on TV and I'd spend all day playing on the farm which looked more like a park. Sometimes he'd take me to movies in town and when I was a little boy I would sit in his lap while he bush-hogged the farmland. Later when I became of go-kart age, he would cut paths in the field resembling a city grid with on ramps and off ramps for my cousin Tommy and I to play chase through. We did play Bullitt, just like the song says. Later we would stay up and watch Saturday Night Live and on sunday, he would take me back home to my parent's house and then ride all night on a Greyhound Bus, back to Cincinnati then hop a ride up to Springfield to repeat the process again.
George A. never married. He was very handsome, Gary Cooper handsome, and women always seemed to really like him but he was painfully shy and always on the move. I think at times he wished that he had, but he never really talked about that kind of thing much. I do know that he always considered me to be the son he never had and as I said, he was a second father to me. (I really hit the jackpot on the Dad thing, as my real Dad is such a great man and I also had an amazing Grandfather in my life).
George A. was very tall, over 6 foot 5, in an era when not many men were six feet tall. He was thin and kind of lanky, but very athletic and strong. He had beautiful blue eyes that I still see when I look into my own children's eyes. They seem to be inheriting his sweetness also and I am very thankful for that. As shy as he was, he always opened up around children. Always had and did all the way until the very end. He was one of those 'kid magnets' you hear about, in the best of ways. My little boy isn't old enough to remember him, but my daughter Ava bonded with him very strongly and absolutely loved him, as did my sister's kids. He would absolutely light up when kids were around and he and I had an uncanny communication that defied his reputation for shyness. He was funny and smart and full of great stories about the old days and his beloved old horse Old Robinson, who took on superhero greatness in GA's stories as he grew older.
One time, George A. was riding Old Robinson back from town down by the old Forks of Cypress plantation place and Ghost Bridge. I'm assuming George A . was a teenager, which would have made it around 1935 perhaps. In those days, the old bridge was already decrepit and creepy with one lane across the old Cypress Creek crossing below the big columned house on the hill. The supports and guardrails were already rusty and the planks lay across the support beams in parallel rows with gaps between them that you could see through to the swollen creek running below. He and Old Robinson were perhaps running a little fast and the horse's legs fell through two of the gaps. He was stuck, down to his belly on the bridge with his legs and hooves dangling below him. George A. jumped off and ran the whole rest of the way to their farm to get help, some big strong Johnson men and their horses, to hoist the poor animal off his precarious position. GA was just hoping that he wouldn't be too late to save his beloved partner.
When George A. and the men and the animal help returned, about four miles, which is a long sprint by foot, Old Robinson was standing next to the bridge, patiently waiting on them to return. He was banged up and bleeding, but was otherwise unscathed and soon was as good as new. I remember George A. telling me that story a time or two as a child, but as he reached 90 or so, it became a story that he would tell me every time that I saw him. Usually he'd ask me if I remembered Old Robinson. I would smile and say that I thought Old Robinson was probably a little before my time but that I felt like I knew him. Then he'd tell me the story again.
The farm was the final destination for all of the old cars from our family that the original owners had updated from. George A. worked very hard and had no children of his own, so he was exceptionally generous with his money when it came to his family. He was known to slide a family member a down payment on a new car (or sometimes buy it right out) and take their old car. The farm was home to a white 59 Ford (like a sedan version of the classic Perry Mason car), an old black Studebaker with the machine gun styled emergency brake and front grill. (Maybe one of the coolest cars ever built). An old Nash that he would hide chewing gum and candsy in for the kids to find when they came out to see him; a 1964 Chevy Impala that he had just bought for his mother when she passed and he subsequently gave to my Grandfather who put a couple of hundred thousand miles on it commuting to and from Brown's Ferry Nuclear Power Plant and a 1971 Dodge sedan. There was also a 52 Chevy parked and rusting on the main hill where once his brother saw a copperhead sunning itself on the front seat. When I was born, I was brought home from the hospital in the 64 Impala (just like the one later made famous by Dr. Dre, but without the bouncy suspension) and at about 12, I learned to drive on the three on a tree column in the Studebaker. Once I outgrew my go-kart, I could be seen driving that 59 Ford around the farm (and perhaps a little on the county roads around the farm, but don't tell Mom and Dad).
When Mike Cooley and I started Adam's House Cat, George A. "loaned" us some money to buy a little PA system to practice and play shows with. (The concept of clubs having sound was a foreign concept in my town back then). He never liked Rock and Roll music and never once came to see me play, but he knew that it was all somehow very important to me and he was always beyond supportive. Mike loved him too. Everyone that met him always did. What a sweet wonderful man he was and you always had a good feeling anytime you were around him. I never saw him angry or upset. When tragedy struck, he was always calm and stoic and a quiet beacon of strength. When my Grandmother passed away he was obviously heartbroken, but as strong as ever. She was probably the person on Earth that he was the closest to. His older brother had passed a few years earlier and the three Johnson siblings were a force of nature.
Years later, I wrote a song about George A. called The Sands of Iwo Jima. I attempted to capture a little of the essence of this great man in word and felt like I had at least scratched the surface a little. I was very proud of the song and took my acoustic guitar out to see him and sang it to him. Don't really know if it was his cup of tea, but I think he appreciated the sentiment. His response was "This isn't going to cause people to start coming out to the farm to interview me and put TV cameras in my face, is it?"
I assured him that no such thing would ever happen and that was that.
A few years later, filmmaker Barr Weissman decided to make a movie about Drive-By Truckers and from which we came, and he trekked out to GA's farm and did exactly that. He spent half a day out at the farm while GA graciously showed him the sink hole and the two barns and probably told him about Old Robinson and then he built a fire in the old iron Big Boy Stove in the front room where he was born and we sat there while tiny Ava Ruth slept in his still strong arms. It is one of my most prized memories and was the beginning of their beautiful relationship.
It was an amazing and wonderful life and he lived it his own way with dignity and grace. He was a sober man. I never saw him take a single drink in my entire life, yet never felt like he was judging me. One time we parked our cars out at the farm when the band was taking off for a long cross country tour and he cleaned my car for me while I was gone. Lord knows what he might have found, but it was never acknowledged. I think he knew that I was a fairly responsible adult and would be alright. I think he was proud of the fact that I persevered and did this thing that I had set my sights on when I was a little child playing air guitar in that front room to the stereo he bought me.
He was 88 before he had to leave the farm and move in with my Mom, and not long after that we had to "fix" his Cadillac so that it wouldn't start anymore because he was getting a little confused and we were worried about his driving. At 90, his only daily meds were the two blood thinner pills he took everyday for his last decade or so, and he managed to only have to live in a nursing home for the last two months of his life. There was a minimum of suffering and even though he was in mid stages of Alzheimer's, he still knew who he was and had a fairly decent notion of who those of us around him were. This certainly wouldn't have been the case for much longer and as much as I am sad and miss him, I am grateful for that.
Tom Brokaw wrote his best selling book about "The Greatest Generation" and even then they were fading fast. I recently lost my beloved Great Aunt Blanche a couple of months ago. She was George A.'s sister in law and very much the matriarch of my extended family. She had lost her husband nearly two decades ago and my Grandmother, "Sissy" passed away back in 2002 while I was playing in New Orleans. Our links to their time in our world are passing before us as our rapidly changing world forges on into tomorrow.
Now George A. is gone too. Gone, at least in the mortal flesh realm. He's still very much alive in me and in the millions of things he influenced in our family's lives. He's still very much alive in my darling children's eyes and in how they possess his sweetness of way. He's still alive walking around the homestead, picking up limbs and chainsawing the stump and bush-hogging the floorboarding field and in the warmth in my heart when I think of him. As the sun sets, facing the front of the old falling-in house, no longer shadowed by my favorite old oak tree, he's still standing there on the front porch as I drive off, watching my taillights disappear into the dusk. And waving goodbye.
Patterson Hood - October 25th 2011 (Back Lounge, Minneapolis MN, 1st and 7th)
Amazon Top Sellers in Music
Oxford Music Online
Oxford Music Online is the gateway offering users the ability to access and cross-search multiple music reference resources in one location. With Grove Music Online as its cornerstone, Oxford Music Online also contains The Oxford Companion to Music (revised 2011), which offers more than 8,000 articles on composers, performers, conductors, instruments and notation, forms and genres, and individual works; and The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd edition (revised 2006), which supplements Grove's more-extensive articles with content geared toward undergraduates and general users. Both of these sources are included in subscriptions to Grove Music Online.
Oxford Music Online is also pleased to continue featuring Colin Larkin's landmark Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 4th edition (2006), for those who have purchased perpetual access to the online version. The most comprehensive reference work devoted exclusively to popular music, EPM is the authoritative biographical encyclopedia of rock, pop, and jazz artists, covering popular music from 1900 to the present. It is exhaustive, meticulous, authoritative — and fun to read.