Missy Elliott is making history as the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, whose 2019 class also includes legendary British singer Cat Stevens and country-folk icon John Prine. More »
A 32-year-old Delaware native who moved to Nashville more than a decade ago, Jimmie Allen hustled to land a record contract, lived in his car for a while, finally released his debut album in October, and became country music’s story of the year. Mercury Lane, which follows up last year’s self-titled EP, reveals a singer … More »
Earlier this year, the songwriting legend John Prine came back with the new album The Tree Of Forgiveness, on which he shows why so many of his peers have revered him for so long. One of the songs from The Tree Of Forgiveness is “When I Get To Heaven,” a wry vision of … More »
It’s time to start arguing again! The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has announced this year’s wave of nominations: 15 artists who will have the chance to join the class of 2019 inductees. We have a whole lot of repeat nominees this year, including notable 2018 snubs Radiohead and Rage Against The Machine. And … More »
John Prine released his first album in 13 years, The Tree Of Forgiveness, back in April. Today, we see the music video for the album’s heartfelt standout track, “Summer’s End.” Prine sings of seasons changing and love’s consistent power. In the new video, that narrative follows a little girl and her grandfather after … More »
Year in, year out, M.C. Taylor1 tirelessly spreads hiss golden message.
That’s right: Hiss Golden Messenger has announced a whole mess of tour dates stretching from the beginning of May to the end of August — plus one last date in October.
The prolific indie folk band/project, led by Taylor’s spitfire technical rapping, is keeping the momentum going after the quick turnaround between 2016’s Heart Like a Levee and 2017’s Hallelujah Anyhow.
The golden message is the same no matter who’s declaiming it; and as such, audiences will encounter slightly different configurations of the group depending on where and when they see them. For their European dates, the Messenger will be a duo, and for the August 4 show in Portland (Portland, MAINE, that is!), M.C. Taylor will give a solo performance at One Longfellow Square, which is an annual tradition of his. For the July 26 show at FloydFest in Floyd, Virginia…(well, actually, there’s nothing special about that one, but that date is my birthday!) The rest of the tour stops will be, you know, the usual probably-very-polished full-band shows with all the standard trapping thereof. At various times during the tour, Hiss will be joined by Trampled by Turtles, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Jason Isbell, and John Prine. Peruse the dates below.
1. M.C. Taylor, get it? Seriously though, the dude just sings.
05.04.18 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
05.06.18 – North Charleston, SC – Trondossa Music & Arts Festival
05.08.18 – Boston, MA – House of Blues*
05.09.18 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer*
05.11.18 – New York, NY – PlayStation Theater*
5.12.18 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club*
05.13.18 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club*
05.15.18 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz*
05.17.18 – Asheville, NC – Highland Brewing Company*
05.18.18 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium*
05.20.18 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
06.09.18 – Queens, NY – Forest Hills Stadium
06.21.18 – 06.24.2018, 06.28.2018–07.01.2018 Rothbury, MI – Electric Forest
07.05.18 – 07.08.2018 Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Folk Festival
07.10.18 – Fargo, ND – The Sanctuary^
07.11.18 – Apple Valley, MN – Weesner Amphitheater at Minnesota Zoo^
07.12.18 – Kansas City, MO – Crossroads
07.13.18 – Peoria, IL – Monarch Music Hall (formerly Limelight)
07.14.18 – Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival
07.15.18 – Charleston, WV – Mountain Stage
07.17.18 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at the Heights+
07.18.18 – Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center+
07.24.18 – Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap+
07.26.18 – Floyd, VA – FloydFest@
07.28.18 – Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival
07.29.18 – Camden, NJ – XPoNential Music Festival
08.04.18 – Portland, ME – One Longfellow Square (solo performance)
08.25.18 – Amsterdam, NL – Once in a Blue Moon Festival
08.26.18 – Leeds, UK – Belgrave Music Hall
08.27.18 – Manchester, UK – The Deaf Institute
08.29.18 – London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall
08.31.18 – Wiltshire, UK – End of the Road Festival
10.05.18 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium#
* Trampled by Turtles
^ St. Paul & the Broken Bones
+ Jason Isbell
# John Prine
@ Austin Gerth’s birthday
The Tree of Forgiveness
[Oh Boy; 2018]
You don’t know about me, without—
Right, right, you don’t know me.
I died last night clearing branches and silt away from the sewage drain. I undammed the rainwater (a favorite storm-time activity since childhood) and stood back to admire those brand new rivulets. It was dark, after eight. I had headphones on top of my ears and I couldn’t hear that van and I stepped right into it and died. I don’t remember those details, really, but it’s what they told me when I got here.
They said, “buddy, you’re dead, and that’s how.” And I thought, “Wow, they call you ‘buddy’ in heaven,” and they said, “Buddy, this ain’t heaven yet,” and I thought, “Wow, they call you ‘buddy’ in hell,” and they slapped their foreheads and said, “This isn’t hell, either: you gotta prove where you gotta go.”
Which is where we are now, I guess.
Things end so much, you know? Summers, songs, strings, lives. We’re taught to accept an ending (my mom read me a picture book about death after pop pop died), but it still stings a little. I’m okay with it, I think, the dying. I had some blessings. I had good dogs.
My cousin got married last Friday. I’m sure glad I got to be alive for that. Down the shore, it was the warmest day in this spring and they first-danced to a Carly Rae bop and we drank Handsome Johnnys all night long.
What was I listening to?
When I died, right. What was I listening to. A sweet song, a looking up like coming home after the long trip, a honeycomb. You know, “I once had a family, but they up and left me/ With nothing but an 8-track/ Another side of George Jones.” A duet, my love today. There was only one minor key and a plucking acoustic six-string that sometimes felt so full of joy it had to take a measure to catch its breath. If I had to die (I do, I did!) it wasn’t a bad song to shuffle off to.
A Handsome Johnny is a cocktail comprised of vodka and ginger ale. There’s no recipe really. Just pour the two together any way you like; its approachable accessibility is the primary source of its worth. My cousin’s husband liked lime in his, but you don’t have to.
You know, Mark Twain once wrote, “Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our age. He brought death into the world.”
And Donald Hall wrote, “The young are never robbed of innocence/ But given gold of love and memory./ We live in wealth whose bounds exceed our sense,/ And when we die are full of memory.”
You know that arc on BoJack Horseman where he moves back to his mom’s childhood home and he fixes up the home with the help of a dragonfly named Eddie and there’s singing ghosts and Eddie cries and they almost die and BoJack demolishes the home and moves back to L.A. where he barely communicates with the only friend he might have and his dying mother doesn’t recognize him?
I don’t know what life is. And I don’t know what precisely Donald Hall meant, but I bet he meant don’t regret things and don’t be bigger than your self and be super kind to all kinds of folks. And have fun while you can. You gotta go where you gotta go.
Erin Popovich died recently, too. I hope the Spurs win the basketball game later. Take good care of her, yeah?
Which reminds me: my daddy would always always always say to me “Buddy, when you’re dead, you’re a dead pecker-head.”
I don’t know why, that just popped into my head.
I don’t know why, but it’s nice, you know?
Last October, six days after a gunman killed 58 people during his performance at the Route 91 Harvest festival on the Las Vegas strip, Jason Aldean made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live. For the show’s cold open, the country star and his band covered “I Won’t Back Down,” which functioned as a dual … More »