catching up

Short week here in the States, so let’s talk tunes before the turkey puts us to sleep.

‘West Coast’- Hey Marseilles
It’s so good to have new music from Hey Marseilles. Gorgeous, sadly sweet, well-orchestrated tunes are what they do, and they do it real well, you guys. This is no exception.

‘Lamplight’- Del Water Gap
One of those songs I find myself putting on repeat lately, this one.

‘It’s All In Vain’- Wet
It’s real early (too damn early, honestly), but Wet’s debut album is one of the records I’m looking forward to most in 2016.

‘That’s Why’- The Cave Singers
Real simple, straightforward and gooooood. Love this.

‘Try’- Escondido
This is real pretty, kids. And sad. And lonely. But remember: really pretty.

‘So Long’- Leon Bridges
A smooth new one from Leon Bridges? Sure, yes, I will listen.

‘High Above The Blue’- Bryan John Appleby
I’ve been thoroughly engrossed in Bryan John Appleby’s new album about a big fake earthquake in a small fake town. I think you’ll like it a great deal, too.



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Monday Links

On Twitter and Facebook I share links each day to various stuff that I think is great and/or worth people’s time. But not everyone that comes here is on Twitter or Facebook, so I gather up the best of those links each Monday and post them here so everyone can get in on the fun. If you’ve missed any of the past Monday Links (or just want to waste some time), check out the archive here.

It’s been a long while, so we should probably check in with Shakey Graves. Yep, still real good.

No big deal, just Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats playing one of them Tiny Desk Concerts.

Now is probably a good time for you to watch these two videos of Joan Shelley doing that thing where she makes gorgeous music.

And I’d say right about now is a good time to watch Julien Baker play three songs in some empty stands in Nashville.

And now: Small Houses playing some tunes out in the cold.

Finally, here’s Oh Wonder (the most popular choice for ‘Band Adam Should Have Listened To Already’ when I asked what album I may have missed in 2015) unplugging for a real lovely version of ‘Midnight Moon.’ Enjoy.

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how it fades – a mix

I’ve been kicking around a mix for the last few weeks, and below is what’s come of it, a batch of songs for this particular moment, the one after the leaves have all fallen, the light has changed for good and the snow starts marching in. Enjoy!

(click here to listen on Soundcloud)

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Monday Links

On Twitter and Facebook I share links each day to various stuff that I think is great and/or worth people’s time. But not everyone that comes here is on Twitter or Facebook, so I gather up the best of those links each Monday and post them here so everyone can get in on the fun. If you’ve missed any of the past Monday Links (or just want to waste some time), check out the archive here.

Have loved this Little May song for a long time, and this acoustic take on it only makes me love it even more.

Same goes for this Del Water Gap tune.

Bryan John Appleby released a magnificent new record last week, but this song isn’t on it. It would have fit real well and is very lovely.

Josh Ritter covering Dire Straits? Josh Ritter covering Dire Straits.

And here’s Basia Bulat covering Neil Young for good measure.

Go snag this free live album from Typhoon, then watch the video below that features 10 new one minute songs from Kyle Morton of Typhoon and some stunning visuals from Matthew Thomas Ross.

Fall is the time of year Gregory Alan Isakov sounds best, yes it is.

Very much just want Daniel Martin Moore to sing me to sleep every night. That’s not weird, right?

I’ll leave you with a couple playlists, one of what I was listening to in October, the other what I’ve been listening to so far this month (click here to go listen on Soundcloud). Enjoy.

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and holding onto that honest heart with every bit of life you have

The story of how I fell in love with the girl I’m going to marry starts before I even knew her, during a walk I remember with my mom around Thanksgiving 3 years ago. I had just had my heart smashed into roughly 3451452 pieces, and she suggested we go for a walk and have a talk. I myself don’t remember what was said- I’ve lost a lot of memories from that time, as you tend to do when you’re living in the dark- but my mom does, as it’s been something that’s hung in her brain since. ‘You’ll find someone who loves you for who you are, Adam,’ she said. ‘No, I won’t,’ I replied.

There are a lot of moments between that conversation and when I met her that I remember, markers along the way that let me know I was making progress after all the false starts, missteps and learning that comes with putting your life back together, but the one that always sticks out is this: when I came back from Timber Music Festival that summer 2+ years ago I remember going to my counselor and saying to him ‘I think I’m ready to at least consider dating. I’m not getting some profile or anything, but I’m not opposed to meeting someone, either.’ I didn’t know if I was REALLY ready or not, but I knew for the first time in a long time I was ready to at least give it a real whirl.

I met the woman who I will be marrying about a week after saying that. I mean, I didn’t intend to meet my future wife at a Fuel/Friends house show 1000 miles away that myself and some German friends from the internet decided to go to at the last minute, but hey, life is crazy sometimes.

I had been emailing with a girl named Sheila for a little while before the show. All I knew about her was that she was very cute, very kind, liked very good music and lived in Colorado. When we decided to go to the house show I started working overtime to get this cute, kind girl there, just to meet, just to see if there was anything, just for fun. Related: I had no idea what I was doing. At all.

I don’t remember the day itself all that well, but Sheila reminded me recently that there were storms that day, storms that prompted her to email me and see if I would be going to the next show on Tyler Lyle’s little tour through Colorado, a show that would be much closer to her and not involve her driving through said terrible storms. I wasn’t, because me and the Germans had decided last minute to do this whole thing and I had a plane ticket in hand for the next day, and so she and a friend drove through all the terrible weather so Sheila could meet a boy from the internet at a show 3 hours from where she lived.

I remember Sheila walking in, because of course I do. She was 45 or so minutes late, about 3/4 of the way through Tyler Lyle’s set, and in she strode, her cute short hair and a long black dress with a flower printed on it and a jean jacket on, eventually making her way to the back with her friend for the rest of the set. As soon as Tyler finished I made a beeline over to her, obviously very excited to meet this girl from the internet. And then… I side-hugged her, you guys. Like, WHAT?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING, ADAM, YOU DOPE? GIRLS DON’T WANT YOUR DUMBASS SIDE-HUGS.

I redeemed myself, I think (guys, you know by now I had no idea what I was doing), by getting Tyler Lyle to play her favorite song of his (‘Winter Is For Kierkegaard’) while we all sat around Heather’s living room. I IMMEDIATELY followed that suave move by requesting he play what was essentially a song that soundtracked my divorce, ‘When I Say That I Love You…’ How did I put out the fire that I had lit in the dumpster, you ask? Well, I started a verrrry intense conversation with her about what fast food fries were the best.

You’re going to find this hard to believe, but she emailed me the next morning to tell me what a great time she had, and how the next time I was in Colorado we had a ‘beer reservation.’ I was ‘in,’ somehow, and so we spent the next few weeks plotting out our next move via about 1.5 million text, emails and phone calls.

We aren’t risk-takers or impulsive people, buuuuuuuut our first actual date involved me driving 7 hours from Chicago to Minneapolis and her escaping a 100 Year Flood that was happening in the foothills of Boulder, all so we could see Caroline Smith play a few songs in a living room. We showed up to that shindig very late and soaked from the monsoon happening outside, but Sheila made sure we got our money’s worth by speaking in her Very In Control Of The Room Voice when Caroline was looking for a request for the last song of the night and getting her to play ‘Eagle’s Nest.’

We worked hard at our relationship, talking openly and honestly about what we wanted, what we needed, what we never wanted, what scared us, what we had been through and what we thought love was and wasn’t. I knew pretty quickly that she was my perfect match, a compassionate, honest, open communicator with a big heart, a quick wit, a ridiculous dog, an infectious laugh and so many things I didn’t know I was even looking for but couldn’t get enough of. I was deliberate and slow with giving my heart over, the way you are after you’ve been hurt deeply, and she was patient and understanding while also being just as deliberate with her feelings. We balanced each other while also knowing there was only one outcome we could ever envision, even from the early days, and that was that we’d be together forever. We knew this was love, and no matter how much I tried to take it slow, it overwhelmed me from those early days almost every day.

I moved out here to Denver last year, to be with her and give this all a real chance (and because I had a severance that bought me some time on the whole ‘needing a job’ front). We continued to have conversations about our love, about our future, about what we wanted and who we were as a couple. We fell more in love and we developed more dumb jokes and were there for the each other during the hard times. We made a life and found ourselves surrounded by good people at every turn, with friends who supported us and wanted us to succeed. The more we built this life, the more I knew this was the life I wanted forever.

So, a couple weeks ago I traveled home to celebrate my niece and nephew’s birthday. I got home a little early and so I took a trip to a jeweler, searching up and down for a ring that would make the woman I love happy. I saw a lot of rings (sidenote: that ‘Hearts On Fire Collection’ should have its name changed to ‘Money & Taste On Fire Collection) and then I saw the ring, the one I knew was her through and through. So I bought it.

I had a ring, and after the 1000 or so mile trip back to Colorado from Iowa, I had an idea of how I wanted to propose, I just wasn’t sure the pieces would fall into place to make it a reality. They did at the last minute, thanks to my mom and dad emailing and texting while I drove, our friend Courtney being the chauffeur for the evening, and my buddy Andrew coming through with a guitar at the last minute.

Tyler Lyle ended up in our living room, drinking a beer and talking with us all before picking up that borrowed guitar and starting to play a new song he had written. He stopped after a verse, adjusted the guitar and said ‘Nah, I think I’m supposed to play something else,’ before launching into ‘Winter Is For Kierkegaard,’ that song Sheila loves so much and that had been there since the first night. He stopped about halfway through, looking at us with a huge grin and saying ‘Don’t you have a question to ask?’ before I got down on one knee and asked Sheila if she would like to get married. After all the hugs and tears and happiness and clapping and cartwheels and spraying champagne everywhere (I assume the last few things happened- it was a blur of joy, so I’m not 100%), Tyler sat down with his guitar again and asked if we had any requests. I said one song, and then my new fiancé trumped me by requesting he play an absolutely perfect love song written for his wife after they got married.

There she was again with the perfect request at the drop of a dime. I can’t wait for that to be a recurring thing for the rest of my life.

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catching up

Oh wow. It’s been forever, there’s a snowstorm (maybe) on its way, and there has been a lot of great stuff released lately. Let’s sit down and catch up, kids.

‘Infamous’- Basia Bulat
Here’s the thing about Basia Bulat: she’s positively lovely. This new track makes me so happy, as does news that she’s got a new album coming out early next year. The world needs more Basia Bulat in it.

‘Ordinary Pleasure’- Port St. Willow
Quite the tremendously gorgeous slow burner, this one.

‘Kiss Me Clean’- Scavenger Hunt
Listen, man, I’m done with all that techno, summer-y, dance-y stuff for the year, too. Except for just this last one. Promise. Maybe.

‘The Forrester’s House’- Ross Henry
Yes, please, to all of this glitchy, broken-down goodness.

‘Monday’- Matt Corby
I really love everything about this tune. That’s all I really have to say.

‘Numbers’- Daughter
The thing about Daughter is you know precisely what’s coming, and it STILL punches you right in the damn feelings, full-force, every time.

‘Crow’- Hilang Child
Big wall of delightfully beautiful sound, this one.

‘Hello Ms. Lonesome’- Marlon Williams
I want to listen to this song while drinking cheap beer in a saloon after riding a horse through the desert. What I’m saying is I want to live in a silent Western when I listen to this song, okay?

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Monday Links

On Twitter and Facebook I share links each day to various stuff that I think is great and/or worth people’s time. But not everyone that comes here is on Twitter or Facebook, so I gather up the best of those links each Monday and post them here so everyone can get in on the fun. If you’ve missed any of the past Monday Links (or just want to waste some time), check out the archive here.

Where to start…where to start. How about Son Little playing a little session on a deck? Sounds good.

And now, Joan Shelley playing ‘Subtle Love’ in a barn.

A new one from Leon Bridges? Yes, please.

Here’s Julien Baker playing the title track from one of my favorite albums of 2015.

James Alex playing one of the best songs of the year, Beach Slangs ‘Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas,’ in hotel window. No big deal.

Oh wow, this acoustic version of ‘Where The Night Goes’ is a thing. Enjoy.

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