Category: music

alphabetical accident

occasionally, for shits and giggles, I let my music library play alphabetically, without stopping,  just to see what will happen.

today i scored:

sufjan stevens – age of adz, BQE, run rabbit run, seven swans

sun kil moon – admiral fell promises, ghosts of the great highway

the sunburned hand of the man – headdress LP (like akron/famly at their weirdest mixed with magik markers, bardo pond, lichens, and sun ra)

sunny day real estate – diary and LP2

surfer blood – astrocoast

talking heads – remain in light and stop making sense


crazytown. but awesome.

[i wonder what my neighbors think of me]

the first time i met a bear


As my life has progressed, at different stages, I have relied on different music to drive me, to clarify me, to center me. I think a lot of people go through musical incarnations, and revisit certain records when they need to.
I always come back to the same sounds: Bill Callahan, Jason Molina, Will oldham, Mark Kozalek, Tyler Ramsey, Kurt Vile, Justin Vernon…
The day, years ago, when I was running with my dog on the Parkway AT trail and saw my first bear.. my grandmother (step) had just died, I needed to get OUT of my body, of my space. I remember rounding a curve in the path and making eye contact with this bear. I was listening to Bon Iver For Emma and sitting on a rock, my dog, unaware, on the leash next to me, while I sobbed and Justin Vernon told me what to do and how to heal and I asked the Bear for advice.
We had a conversation.
After a short while, I backed away down the path, back towards my car, real life, everything.. thanking the Bear while I walked backwards..
As I neared the last bend before reaching my car, Cease to Begin came on, and I sat on the hood of my car and wrote and wrote and wrote.
I have no idea where that journal is, probably in my storage unit somewhere, but I remember the feeling of letting everything come flowing out of my hand and letting go.
I also remember the feeling of being full, inspired, driven to keep writing and to go back down to town and keep moving.



Tyler Ramsey “The Valley Wind” out today!

Tyler Ramsey has a formidable presence. Though outwardly regal and composed, when he sings, all the tiny and beautiful creatures come pouring out of him, amongst their stories, and wind their way out from behind the mane of chestnut curls which swing freely across his face while he plays. His arrangements are humbly alive, even the softest notes are electric, the absence of sound is heavy and substantial.

Ramsey has a singular sound, somewhere between Jason Molina and Mark Kozalek, and is able to hit notes on the higher end of the spectrum that could sound labored when sung by a less-resonant voice. Ramsey’s vocal mutability is characteristic of a seasoned musician who exercises his strengths while challenging his weaknesses. His Americana-infused finger-picking walks the line between delicate and complex, mathematical and fluid. The more complex his composition, the more effortless it seems, and yet, when playing the simplest of notes, there’s a strained beauty, a haunting quality to the sustained notes.

The Valley Wind proves Ramsey’s skill at arranging sparse yet effective compositions to accent his uncanny ability to tell stories through suggestion. The title track features a heart-beat courtesy of Seth Kauffman, and the cascade which mirrors this rhythm feeds the image of long road-trips and borders on anthemic, while “Nightbird,”** with it’s layered tracks of increasingly incandescent guitars is monumental in it’s subtlety: “is it the ocean, the ocean or the sky that you are seeing, I know sometimes our eyes can be deceiving. Is there a reason for these disconnected feelings you are feeling? Everybody knows you should be sleeping.. you should be sleeping.”

 The Valley Wind is out today.

Buy at iTunes:

Buy at Amazon:

Buy at Fat Possum Web Store:

or at any stops on his forthcoming tour, dates can be found at or on facebook

Here are a few shots from the Tyler Ramsey show in Asheville on November 18th 2010.

Tyler Ramsey

Tyler Ramsey

Tyler Ramsey

Tyler Ramsey

Tyler RamseyTyler Ramsey

**(“Nightbird,” is particularly resonant for me as I heard it the last time I visited Asheville, sitting in Tyler & Joti’s kitchen. The morning I left to drive back up North, we listened to the beginnings of this record, just after Tyler had shared a few of the newer songs at a show at the Grey Eagle a few nights prior, and for some reason this one stuck in so many ways. And now, eight months later, he is releasing the record as I am flying into Ashevile.. “fly home, everybody’s waiting.”)

365 day 202 – HOWLIES!

365 day 176 – goodbye ben, hello dance-off

365 day 175 – the brew

Her Marigold is making a new album!

(photo by lydia see)

My lovely friends Kevin and Matt are brothers.

They are incredible musicians who are finally making a record with a little help from their friends. Please take a moment to check out their Kickstarter, and give if you are able. 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(Tabula Rasa, Krum. xo )