Sometimes I have random thoughts about society and life and I think, gee, I wish I had a place to share these thoughts besides as Facebook Status Updates. Then, I remember, hey! I have a blog that I post to every day. That being said, please feel free to skip my self-indulgent rambling ahead.
*START SELF-INDULGENT RAMBLING*
Lately, there is something I have been pondering. Namely, why so many people seem to devote so much energy to music, movies, books, art, celebrities that they don't like. (For this purpose, I am excluding criticism of current government leaders - however, there is possible still some relevance). I have seen instances were an article appears about a particular band or artist or whatever, and rather heated debate ensues between those who like said artist and those who despise said artist. What is interesting to me is not the debate or posts themselves but the amount of thought and attention that goes into the comments of those who don't like... nee hate... the said artist. Like they offer detailed explanations that demonstrate a deep familiarity with the said artists work. And it seems clear that they devote a significant amount of time, energy, and head-space to the despised artist's work. And, they seem invested in trying to convince fans of said artist that they are "wrong."
Don't get me wrong, I encourage anyone to listen to music before dismissing an artist or album whole cloth, but I just can't understand. There are certainly bands and artists that I really do not like. I gave a listen and decided it just wasn't my thing. I don't feel compelled to "straighten out" people who actually like them. I have neither the time, energy, or inclination to dissect and analyze all the reasons I don't like their music. I get if a professional journalist is tasked with this, but as an amateur and more importantly, as a music fan, I don't understand it. There is more good music being produced than I can possibly take in (and arguably I spend more time than the average person listening to new music). If I spend time on the bands I hate, I would have even less time for the bands I love.
And yes, I do recognize the irony of using time and blog-space to even write about this.
*END SELF-INDULGENT RAMBLING*
Speaking of new music! I loaded even more new music into my phone last night - including a couple I am really excited to feature coming up soon.
Today is Thursday and it is time to dive back into the "2019 Trending Playlist" of the newest of the new arrivals at E2TG,
Time moves on... we are half way through the first month of 2019. I continue to be overwhelmed with a lack of free time + too many commitments + a need for quiet reflective time + anxiety + cool music events to go to + procrastination + existential crises + political and social upheaval + cat memes + social awkwardness +did I mention lack of free time? + money concerns + did I mention cat memes? + not knowing how to end a list of things that seems endless..... whew!
Breathe! I am right here, right now. I am doing what I am doing - which is writing this blog - and just for this moment, this is what I am supposed to be doing.
It is Wednesday and time to shuffle up all the songs saved to my phone memory card and see what comes out of it!
E2TG's connection to Darrin Bradbury goes back to 2012 when his old band Big Wilson River was a "Featured Artist". What I didn't know is that the band was in their final days, and I never really connected with them - although I had several mutual friends. Fast forward to late 2013 when one of those mutual friends Papa Tunes (who was a vital part of the early days of E2TG) sent me a message that Darrin was moving to Nashville and that I should keep an eye out for him. I immediately went out and found some music he had out on Bandcamp - mainly a collection of demos called The Almost Great Crepes. I was utterly blown away by his songwriting.
Darrin moved to Nashville with bassist Cameron Carrus (Buck N Stuff, Tim Carroll, Nikki Bluhm etc) and lived for a time in a car in the parking lot of a Wal Mart. He also started playing every open mic in town and meeting fellow musicians and songwriters.
Early 2014, Darrin went out on an extended tour and my life kind of fell apart. Meanwhile, his songs started showing up in my shuffle - like every day. Finally, in the Spring of 2014, I met Darrin in person. In the Fall of 2014, I followed Darrin to open mics of every kind imaginable. Through him, I met a bunch of people. I began to dig myself out of a personal hole and E2TG was revitalized.
We had a lot of late night, early morning conversations when he was working the back door at The 5 Spot.
Last night, on my birthday - no less - I learned (officially) that Darrin had signed to ANTI- Records out of L.A. - the home of Tom Waits, Mavis Staples, Wilco, and so many more. I could not be more proud of him. I claim no part in his success, but I am grateful to have been along for what has been an incredible journey.
As is always the case, the road ahead is filled with unknowns, but I will happily follow along and see where and how it goes.
I need to add - there is no formula for success and I do not consider myself to have any particular skill in assessing who will or will not be a "success" (whatever that term means). I simply write about music I like and love. In the 7 and a half years of E2TG, I have written about artists/bands who I thought were incredible who are now no longer making music. I knew Darrin Bradbury was something special, but I didn't know if anyone else would ever see and know that. I am happy that it appears that some have.
Back to the here and now. I am super-stoked about the variety and quality of the music in my new "Trending" playlist. It's Tuesday - so let's shuffle!
Back in the early 1990s, before blogs and social media, I used to change my outgoing answering machine message every day. On January 14, 1993, I used a portion of this song from the self-titled debut album by Cracker. Since then, it has become a (not exactly annual) tradition. Twenty six years after the first time I used this song, here is "Happy Birthday to Me" by Cracker. I remain, "Thankful for the Small Things Today".
I will be celebrating tonight at the Radio Cafe with a show featuring Ryan Sobb, Jeremy Ivey, and Darrin Bradbury. Three of Nashville's finest - a great way to spend the evening.
We have our weekly Music City Monday shuffle. This is a good one! Let's get to it!
Well, this post will wrap up the first full work week of 2019. For those new here, I typically post shuffles every day I'm at work (with a few exceptions). The shuffles are just the random song shuffles of what I listened to on my way to work.
Here is a run down of a typical week at E2TG:
Monday - Music City Monday - a shuffle from a special Spotify playlist of music from people who live or have lived in Nashville. It is the only shuffle that comes from Spotify. I created this just to give a glimpse into Nashville's musically rich past, present, and future.
Tuesday and Thursday - Trending Tuesday and Trending Thursday - a shuffle of the newest of the new songs to the E2TG playlist. This is new for 2019. I am going to try to keep this playlist fairly small and rotate music in and out more often.
Wednesday - Wild Wednesday - a shuffle of ALL the songs saved to my phone memory card. This shuffle can be anything from new stuff, classic songs, rare/weird tracks, songs ripped from CDs I've owned for up to 30 years.
Friday - Featured Friday - This shuffle comes from the "Featured Friday" playlist. This list is also kind of new. It is basically the old "New Music" playlist (music submissions from late 2017 to 2018, but it also includes all music from the Trending playlist, plus any new to me music I get which doesn't fit the "Trending" designation - for example - I got a mix CD for a friend over the holidays - that is included here, I received a CD as a gift - that is included here.
The Video Playlist - every day there is a shuffle, I create a Video Playlist (a YouTube Playlist) as a representative playlist for the daily shuffle. The approach I generally take is, if I find an "Official Video" in my cursory search, I include that video, if not, if there is one of those automatically generated videos, I include that, otherwise, I include interesting live clip of the song or at last resort - I will include a "fan-made" video. If I cannot find a video of the song at all - which sometimes happens - especially if the song is from an upcoming release, I pick a different song to represent. Rarely (although it happened yesterday), I cannot find any video by the artist in question, in which case I just skip the song.
The video playlist is really just a convenient way for E2TG readers to hear a playlist similar to the one I listened to on my commute.
I know some people may get tired of me saying this... and I freely admit, Nashville is the only music town I know really well... and I know there are extraordinary music makers all over the world...however, I continue to be blown away by the depth and breadth of the musicians and music here in the Music City.
Last night, I arrived at The 5 Spot at 6pm and left a little after midnight. During that time, I saw five different bands. Jim Hoke - who I think is the most inventive and creative minds around - highlighted songs from his new album backed by an incredible collection of musicians, singers, and guests. Interspersed throughout the good sized crowd, was a veritable who's who of Nashville songwriting and musician greats. Jim Hoke is the mastermind behind the visionary group Aqua Velvet and he is also a multi-instrumentalist who backs many other talented folks.
The late show - featured four bands. Lakehouse Boys went on first, I was very impressed by their pop-oriented sound and on-stage humor. The band features one of the regular sound men from The 5 Spot as wells as a member of the band Boy Named Banjo. Born Animals was next. Despite some technical problems that shortened their set time, I really liked their high energy punkish sound. Timothy George aka The Singing Butcher was next - backed by an amazing band. George is one of my favorite songwriters in town, and it has been a little while since I have seen him with a full band. E2TG Band of the Year, The Big Dumb, closed the night with a typically manic/amazing set of songs. I have already said a lot about them this week, so suffice it to say, I was not in the least bit disappointed by last nights show.
Now, it is time to dig back into our newish "Trending Playlist" - some of the more recent additions to the E2TG playlist. Let's do it!