Monday, January 05, 2009

War and Peace 2009

I've finally decided to tackle Leo Tolstoy's classic. I read The Kreutzer Sonata and The Death of Ivan Ilyich a while back and liked them both. So, for the foreseeable future, if anyone ventures to ask me what I'm reading, then the answer is going to remain the same.

I've also just started listening to the new album (I still call it an album, even though I downloaded the MP3s from iTunes) by Kasey Chambers and her husband, Shane Nicholson, Rattlin Bones. It's one of those rare ones that you love from the first listen and every song is a keeper. Their voices are really beautiful together -- I'm a sucker for a good duet. But it's more than just duets -- it's two people really singing songs together. You don't think of Jack White and Brendan Benson doing duets, for example, or Steven Page and Ed Robertson. The collaboration is a little more involved than that -- from the songwriting to the instrumentation. Anyway, it just made my "best" list of 2008 (I think it was released in September). In no particular order, here are my other favorites from last year:
  • Cardinology, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
  • Acid Tongue, Jenny Lewis and peeps
  • Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
  • Evil Urges, My Morning Jacket
  • Consolers of the Lonely, The Raconteurs
  • Angels of Destruction, Marah
  • Vagabonds, Gary Louris
Coming up, I hope to see Brandi Carlile, Louris, and Adams in the next few months, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that the latest incarnation of Marah, comes around sometime this year. I just read at Kelly Willis' site that after a few April shows, she is on extended hiatus from the road, having found that four small children and a tour bus don't really mix. I can't imagine how it could, since her husband is also a musician.

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