It ain’t subtle but that’s OK. I like Pete Yorn. Check out his music at http://www.peteyorn.com.

Remember to vote.

Lots of young Brit folk in Alexandria VA last night – unfortunately the venue was barely a 1/3 full. The bill was a three act stunner. Starting out with Mumford & Sons for a jolly 30 minute set — a very fun foursome. They are an engaging group of lively young guys who seem to get a big kick out of singing their songs as we got from listening to them.

The second act was Johnny Flynn. An amazingly talented musician with a great band in support – Johnny played no fewer than 4 instruments including his wonderful vocal abilities. I suspect he has soul of elderly bluesman from a previous life. Had to pick up his CD A Larum after and love it already.

Finally, Laura Marling (subject of my July 25 entry) played a gorgeous set. I knew about her lovely voice but for some reason, I didn’t really focus on her talent as a guitarist (probably because I’ve seen little video of her in performance). I was alternately mesmerized by her fingers as well as her face. I get the feeling she is a rather shy person so I hope performing isn’t too much of a struggle for her. Her backing band was excellent (including Marcus Mumford on drums, other instruments and vocals) and the rapport was fun including a giggle fit at the beginning of the last song Alas I Cannot Swim. I would have loved to hear Typical and New Romantic but that’s just my personal preference.

My one picky note about the whole evening had to do with the sound levels at the Birchmere. It was a little loud for me. I had hoped not to need earplugs but since my ears are quite sensitive I found it to be just a bit wince making. It’s unfortunate that I suffer from tinnitus and loud sound levels really aggravate it. I was lucky in that I thought to bring my iPod with in-the-ear headphones and I could use them as an impromptu earplugs – just took the edge off the sound and I could enjoy everything without wincing or worrying. I hope I didn’t look rude wearing headphones to a concert – I really was listening!! ( I guess that’s just TMI on me or what!)

I wish I had thought to take my camera but I completely missed that one. Here is are videos from YouTube from all the acts so you can a feeling for the experience.

Mumford & Sons

Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit

Laura Marling

High-Fidelity Memories on Record Store Day : NPR Music

Sometimes I think I’m the only person with vinyl records anymore. Yes, I know that’s not true but it feels like it is.

Even rarer than vinyl is the independent record store. I know of one here in DC although I suspect there could be a few others. When I was in high school, I bought most of my records from the local Ben Franklin down the street. It had a limited selection and occasionally I would find something really good like George Carlin’s Class Clown album.

Now I’m a bargain hunter and get things from Amazon.com or download from iTunes. It’s not the same as browsing through the local store (we have a great local chain called Olsen’s) but at least digital downloads don’t involve packaging and shipping costs.

I also buy from eBay which is almost like an independent store since you can get hard to find CDs, cassettes and vinyl LPs. You can get alot of used stuff that is still in good condition, too. I hate to see music thrown out. It just breaks my heart – like seeing someone’s photographs in a trash bin.

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Paul Westerberg 2002

Well you wish upon a star that turns into a plane
And I guess that’s right on par
Who’s left to blame?

If you were a pill
I’d take a handful at my will
And I’d knock you back with something sweet and strong
Plenty of times you wake up in February make-up
Like the moon and the morning star you’re gone

Tonight makes love to all your kind
Tomorrow’s makin’ Valentines

Hey you pop up in this old place
So sick and so refined
Are you strung out on some face?
Well I know it ain’t mine

If you were a pill, I’d take a handful at my will,
And I’d knock you back with something sweet and strong
Trouble keeping your head up when you’re hungry and you’re fed up
Like a moon and a lone star you’re gone

Tonight makes love to all your kind
Tomorrow’s makin’ Valentines

If you were a pill, I’d take a handful at my will,
And I’d knock you back with something sweet as wine
Yesterday was theirs to say, this is their world and their time
Well if tonight belongs to you, tomorrow’s mine

Tonight makes love to all your kind
Tomorrow’s makin’ Valentines

Valentine, The Replacements, Pleased To Meet Me (1987)

Pleased To Meet Me album cover

Most people who know me know that I am a die-hard Paul Westerberg fan. I love the Replacements, too, but I became a fan after they broke up and heard Westerberg’s solo stuff first so I consider myself a Westerberg fan. The photo is from a 2002 concert at the 9:30 Club in DC – probably the best concert I ever witnessed. Just Paul and guitars – magnificent!

This song is from one of the best albums the Replacements ever recorded. Buy this album – you won’t regret it.

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