TV Makes Me Sad (& So Did the Liam Gallagher Show)

Hello, friends!

Remember how I mentioned last month how excited I was about going to see Liam Gallagher in concert? I was THIS excited:


Which is to say, I was cosplaying as Yr '90s Girlfriend. The joke ended up being on me, though, in that it was one of the painfully loudest shows I've ever been to.

I must have psychically intuited how loud it was going to be when I asked Brian beforehand if I should bring earplugs. We discussed it and ultimately agreed that, since we were probably going to end up sitting in the balcony, we'd be fine without them. NOPE. Part of the problem was that it was all midrange, all the time. Just a knifewall of mids slicing straight into our skulls, with minimal bass or high end to balance it. TWO Les Paul guitars onstage is just completely gratuitous, folks; there's no need.

We were already pretty far back in the balcony when the show started, and we watched with sort of grimacing amusement as more and more people started streaming past and behind us as the show went on, their ears clearly being similarly battered. We ended up escaping as they played the final notes of the last song, only missing the encore.

And it wasn't even a particularly fun show, either! I was hoping for a bit of banter with the crowd and some of Liam's outrageous attitude, but he really just dutifully soldiered through the set. The album he's touring behind, As You Were, is still pretty fun, but even that's suffered a tiny bit in my estimation after finally hearing the 2005 Oasis album Don't Believe the Truth, which is incredible. The Gallagher brothers were playing with Andy Bell (of Ride) on bass and Zak Starkey (yes, as in the son of Richard Starkey) on drums at that point, and the configuration was just white-hot. It's always a shame when an album gets ruined for me after seeing the musician in question play a bad show or if they start just remaking the same music over and over but worse (ahem, I'm looking at you, The National). At least the emotional journey from infatuation to boredom and regret was a bit truncated for me this time, cycling through to completion in just about a month's time.

Table of contents:

  1. What's new on the blog

  2. Elsewhere

  3. "Wichita Lineman": The 2017 Covers Series

  4. Portland Psychic School


What's new on the blog

This month on Queen of Peaches, I get into why, exactly, I haven't seen any of the hot new TV series that everyone's always raving about:

I put a photo up on Instagram a few weeks ago with a snotty caption explaining that I don’t really watch TV anymore because of technical limitations. There’s no longer an actual television set in my apartment, so if I want to stream something on Netflix or via iTunes, I have to set my laptop up at the foot of my bed on a barstool, then connect it to a small guitar amp, which is precariously balanced next to it on the laundry hamper. I let the supposed hassle of this rickety set-up stand in for the true reality of the situation, which is that TV makes me sad.

Click here to read the rest.


Elsewhere

Like a lot of other very smart people who are dismayed that Twitter has evolved from something fun into a joy-sucking morass of abuse and echo-chamber shrieking into the void, I tend not to post much there these days. I'm most active, social media-wise, on Instagram. So if you're an Instagram user too, please feel free to follow me there for much more frequent and off-the-cuff postings, including an increased usage of their "Stories" feature, where I often film short snippets of Brian showing off his various guitar effects pedals.

And speaking of Brian's various guitar effects pedals, hurry, you only have a few more days in the month to be able to listen to our song "Like November" IN NOVEMBER! Click here for seasonally appropriate song stylings that will hopefully help forestall the inevitability of getting completely sick of Christmas carols!!


This recording of Cassandra Wilson singing "Wichita Lineman" from her album Belly of the Sun was one of the first I found when I started researching different versions of this song at the beginning of this year.

[Click here to listen to the song on YouTube.]

First and foremost, my god, what a divine voice. There's pleasure to be found in all kinds of different vocal styles, to be sure, but every once in a while, it just feels really good to let your ears be graced by the talents of someone with an exceptional command of their instrument. And that's really the main selling point of this version, her utterly gorgeous deep alto range and subtly masterful phrasing and delivery. (Get your earbuds out if you wanna hear the smallest, loveliest intake of breath at about minute 2:59.)

The shimmery arrangement is pleasant enough (I nerded out a bit when I connected a few dots to discover that the guitarist, Marvin Sewell, has occasionally collaborated with one of my favorite drummers, Brian Blade). And I can kind of understand why she would do one of those jazz pivots where you change the shes to hes, although rewriting one of the most iconic first-lines-of-a-song in popular music history (to "my man's a lineman for the county") creates just enough of a speed bump that the song doesn't 100% recover from the dissonance between your expectation and what you actually hear.

I very much wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt for the change; I tried to hear it from a feminist/Shakespeare's sister perspective, like, well, what does the character of this woman have to say about the guy who's been out searching in the sun for another overload?? But, the lyric change alone doesn't automatically turn it into a proper response song; it just kind of repeats everything the guy character already wants for himself in her voice. Which is...fine, it's fine to love someone and want for them what they want for themselves. But then...why not just sing the lyric as written? Brian and I laugh a lot about lyrics where some rock dude is wailin' about how he's been working out at the docks or whatever, and we're like, "sir, you've never worked the docks a day in your life." Which is to say, suspension of disbelief is already such a big part of what it means to be a performer, and I sincerely don't think at this point anyone is going to be confused to hear a woman singing the words "I am a lineman for the county."



Fun news: I'm officially now "on staff" at the Portland Psychic School! What does this mean? As it says in my bio on their site, I'll be "assisting the growth of the next generation of clairvoyant rock stars," all from the comfort of my home internet connection (ie, I'm doing this remotely and not in person; I'm not relocating or traveling to Oregon). Once a week, I go online to "oversee" the practice reading sessions for the students who are currently enrolled in the two main clairvoyant training programs. I'm basically like a lab monitor, hanging out in the background in case anyone gets stumped or flummoxed by anything and making sure the sessions begin and end on time. Having been asked to step in in this capacity is a big vote of confidence from the teachers there and a big level-up for my own sense of personal mastery as a psychic reader. So, no matter where you are in the world, check out their gorgeously designed site at www.portlandpsychic.school and see if there's anything that interests you, from readings to classes to trainings and more. (And I'm of course still offering readings and healings on my own.)


Love,