Neko Case — “The Pharoahs”

We saw Neko Case at Workplay in Birmingham last night. Amazing show. Her voice is absolutely outstanding, she comes across as very humble and grateful, and her band is excellent — the songs from Middle Cyclone sound even better live. Which is saying a lot.

So tonight with the light on the back porch fading I sat down and figured out how to play “The Pharoahs.” Since I use Delicious.com to bookmark the tabs/chords for all the songs I know how to play, I need some sort of source for publishing the chords to the song, so I’m using the old blog. And bookmarking myself. Special. So this is really for me, and not so much for you. But play along if you’re interested — this is a really great song.
Continue reading Neko Case — “The Pharoahs”

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I Promise This Blog Won’t Only Be About Neko Case and R.E.M.

…but this was the highlight of my day: download Neko’s new single “People Got a Lotta Nerve” here. (You can also stream it at MySpace…)

My verdict? It’s excellent. Seems to shake out from under the country-noir sound of “Fox Confessor…” a bit in favor of something more polished and tightly structured, but it doesn’t make her voice any less entrancing, her humor any less alluring, or the natural pop-craft of her songwriting any less stirring.

I’ll make my next post about something else, but this is all I have the energy to get behind right now.

My Girlfriend Made a Video

I’m lucky to have a wife who seems so understanding of my love for Neko Case.

“Fox Confessor Brings the Flood” was my favorite record of 2006, maybe of the decade, maybe one of my favorite ever. So Neko’s “Middle Cyclone” — due 3/3 — is easily at the top of my “most anticipated” list. The excerpts in the video below have me feeling confident I won’t be disappointed.

April: Cruelest Month? Hardly.

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

– “The Wasteland”
T.S. Eliot

So, yeah, it’s been kind of stale here on the blog for a few days. Life trumps blogging, and life has been a little, well, larger than life the past few weeks.

First off, April started off cruel. Two weeks ago, after 5 solid days of rain, ye olde Briggs family home basement flooded for the first time in a few years. It’s a helpless feeling to walk into your house and find half of your carpet soaked with mud water, seeping up through a crack that conveniently runs through the middle of your foundation. While we took the step to proactively put indoor/outdoor carpet in the basement a few years ago, we had yet to test it’s effectiveness, so we spent essentially an entire weekend second guessing ourselves and deconstructing the sub-level of our house, spreading baking soda, renting a carpet cleaner, rolling wet carpet back, buying mops, and later buying stiff brushes and getting on our hands and knees to scrape up the aforementioned (now-crusted) baking soda. Honestly, the weekend was a bit spirit breaking — we found ourselves in a swampy house, more ready than ever to move, but still unsure of my career situation. And I ended the weekend angrier than ever about the 18 months I’ve seemingly wasted with an employer I have no interest in working for.

Things changed, though. If I were to make a top ten list, April 2008 is probably the second best month of my life–putting it just behind September 2006, and just ahead of June 1999 (wich is incidentally also the last time I vomited).

I must have banked some serious karma, because the week of my birthday was a complete 180 from the weeks before. On Monday, I was contacted for an interview. On Tuesday at 3:30, I want to that interview. And at 4:45, I walked out of that interview with a job offer. I checked on my other options, and on Wednesday I accepted, Thursday I turned in my notice, and Friday I left work at 2:30 to go drink Woodchuck and eat a weekend’s worth of junk food in celebration of my birthday.

My new job is almost exactly what I was hoping to find, and I can’t wait to start. First day is a week from Monday.

But that’s not the only reason that April 2008 is keeping it real.

  1. On Thursday of last week, after turning in my notice and putting our basement back together I get an e-mail that alerts me to the fact that ELVIS COSTELLO WILL BE AT GRIMEY’S ON APRIL 24 TO SIGN RECORDS. Which means that in a week from today, I’ll meet one of my favorite artists of all time.
  2. Grimey’s Record Store Day celebration is this Saturday, which I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. (Come buy records from us!)
  3. The aforementioned new R.E.M. album, which, after living with it for a few weeks, I can say with confidence is at least 90.9% good, and more like 45.4% great / 45.5% good.
  4. Going to see the New Pornographers and Okkervil River tomorrow, which means that I’ll be seeing Okkervil for the first time, and (hopefully) having the opportunity to pine over my Indie Rock Girlfriend once again.
  5. New Elvis record and the Elvis show next week.
  6. An end of month backpacking trip.
  7. Preparation for the big Left Coast Vacation next month, which I can’t wait for.

So yeah, full respect to the genius of T.S. Eliot, but the first line of “The Wasteland” definitely does not apply to me right now. Life is good. Great moments are moving through me, and I’m taking hold of some of them.