Here are this week’s five songs worth listening to.
American Aquarium–Me + Mine (Lamentations)
I currently have one vinyl pre-ordered. American Aquarium’s Lamentations, set to come out May 1. I ordered one of the Special Edition stained glass colored ones. With three singles currently out, I am fairly certain in will be my favorite album of 2020. BJ is just flat out killing it as a songwriter right now. Although, I do have to admit I follow both him and his wife to watch Pearl grow up. She turned two yesterday, by the way. I felt like I was at the birthday party. Don’t think too much about how weird that it. Just roll with it.
Anyway, here is an uplifting song about lack of industry killing the hometown we all knew and loved growing up. The death of the American Dream. The video is stark, stunning, gorgeous and heartbreaking. It could be Fairfield, or a thousand towns like it.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit–What’ve I Done To Help
Just about the only way I can see the AA album not being my favorite is if the upcoming Jason Isbell album is. We also have three songs out now, with the recent release of What’ve I Done To Help. It is not lost on me the parallels between BJ and Jason, and thee socially conscience prominence in their songwriting these days. A self-reflective call-to-arms.
I thought I was strong until I finally had to fight.
Steve Earle–Sonnet 29
From a couple of my current favorite lyricist, to this one from two writers a bit older. Steve puts this one penned by some guy named Billy Shakespeare to music.
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Arlo McKinley–This Damn Town
Arlo McKinley first popped up in my world when he jumped on stage and sand Shake The Frost with Tyler Childers on one of the live bootlegs I had of a Tyler show. Shake The Frost has steadily climbed into my top three TC songs. Anyway, Arlo has some new stuff coming out, including this “guitar and a voice, alone in the world” song. It’s make sense his band is called The Lonesome Sound.
Didn't know where to go, didn't know what I should see
So I left town, as soon as you left me
I tried to find myself down in Tennessee
But you got away with the best of me
Evan Felker–Whiskey In The Water
Evan’s troubles have been well documented at this point. When he is on, there are few better though. This one came out in the fall, reforded for The Next Waltz, but I never got around to featuring it here. Lost in the Felker hoopla around this is that Carrie Rodriguez is a shining star in her own right. Just go give Devil In Mind a listen if you don’t believe me. And this one was produced by Bruce Robison as well.
We’ll be back with five more next week. Until then, remember the immortal words…
“Songs are really just interesting things to be doing with the air.” Tom Waits