If You Want Something, Ask (How Wilco Got Paid 2x For “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”)

You have to ask. If there’s something you want, you just have to ask. Wilco - the band - got paid not once, but two times (TWO!) for their breakout album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Both paychecks came because they had the nerve to ask.   The first time the band got paid was in the form … Continue reading If You Want Something, Ask (How Wilco Got Paid 2x For “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”)

Sunday Music: Acuff-Rose By Uncle Tupelo

Play me a songThat everybody knowsAnd I’ll bet you it belongs to Acuff-Rose Roy Acuff and Fred Rose founded their music publishing firm, Acuff-Rose Music Inc., in 1942. Their goal was to give their writers an honest contract. Sounds like an obvious business move, but at the time it wasn’t the norm. The results they … Continue reading Sunday Music: Acuff-Rose By Uncle Tupelo

Sunday Music: Play That Country Tuba, Cowboy

My brother said the song stopped everyone dead when it came on in the kitchen he works. At the mercy of shuffle mode, his Spotify-shuffle picked out “Play That Country Tuba, Cowboy” from the obscure Vandals album, The Vandals Play Really Bad Original Country Tunes. Understandably, nobody else had ever heard it, and the song … Continue reading Sunday Music: Play That Country Tuba, Cowboy

Sunday Music: Trying To Ignore The Elephant (Somehow)

3 recent deaths, one milestone birthday, and I’m thinking a lot about the lots we draw in what’s turned into a lot of life (not, ahem, enough yet, just for the record). Jason Isbell’s “Elephant” keeps playing in my head all the while. It’s a song about a friend with cancer. It’s a song about … Continue reading Sunday Music: Trying To Ignore The Elephant (Somehow)

Sunday Music: Learning To Fly (But I Ain’t Got Wings)

tom petty learning to fly single cover

I had it on cassette and played it to death in my Walkman. I'd play it on the swings, daydreaming about performing songs like these on a stage to cheering, adoring, and equally passionate fans. And here, all these years later, it sneaks up on me because a friend quotes it in an email. The … Continue reading Sunday Music: Learning To Fly (But I Ain’t Got Wings)

Sunday Music: The Marfa Tapes Are (Camp)Fire(y)

This is the ultimate around the campfire recording. Seriously. It sounds like they recorded it on an iPhone around a campfire (or outside at least on some creaky chairs, sipping something strong, bleeding their hearts all over a dusty floor). It sounds that way because it’s what they did. Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, and Jon … Continue reading Sunday Music: The Marfa Tapes Are (Camp)Fire(y)

Sunday Music: Playlist for April 2021

I’ve had this one cooking for months and I am (finally) ready to call it done. As usual, we’re all over the place stylistically, but the connections are there if you look for them. From the poppy start to the folksy balladeer finish, I think these songs are as ready for springtime as I am. … Continue reading Sunday Music: Playlist for April 2021

Sunday Music: “Call Me A Fool” By Valerie June

There’s a sensitivity in the drawl of Valerie June’s voice that’s mesmerizing to me. Lots of people have unique voices, but few of them have the mastery over their instrument that she does. June’s got an ability to pull tones, sounds, and emotions out of songs that are unique to her. She’s got a new … Continue reading Sunday Music: “Call Me A Fool” By Valerie June