Monday, September 18, 2006 ... 3:15 PM

Add to tomorrow's grocery list: (Update)

Neko Case Live From Austin TX DVD

The Live From Austin TX series of DVDs comes from New West Records, label of some Tent Revue favorites such as The Flatlanders, Buddy Miller, and Tim Easton. The concert videos are full length sets by seminal Americana artists taped for the Austin City Limits PBS show. I own the Lucinda Williams DVD, a gift from my sweet blue-eyed Betsy, and it's fantastic. The set list and performance are showcase-grade. The DTS surround mix with its front-back phantom imagery puts Kenny Vaughan and John Jackson in the living room vividly enough to offer them a Coke. If the Neko DVD is mastered to the same standards, we fans will be pleased. Look for my review in the next several days at Hickory Wind.

(Update morning 9/19: Well, while some retailers are listing today as the release date for the Neko Case DVD, others list October 3, while releases the DVD on October 9. My local indie retailer tells me October 3. Which is right? I e-mailed someone over at New West. Maybe they'll get back to me.)

(Update afternoon 9/19: New West Records got right back to me. Because of production delays, they weren't sure they could meet an Oct 3 delivery date, so the official release date is Oct 9. But some retailers may stock the DVD as early as Oct 3. Check with your local indie record shop!)

Also landing tomorrow, Nina Nastasia's fourth record, On Leaving. My discovery last year of her CD The Blackened Air put the smell of burning leaves back into my suburban autumn. That was good. But later I found its predecessor Dogs too cutesy-schoolgirly to hold my attention, even hearing it as I sort of do as early Edie Brickell in a glass gothly. The Blackened Air's followup Run to Ruin is a honed, lush and gently crafted skinny dip into despair, but its unrelenting near-torpor feels so God damn bleak, particularly in those dark winter months, I wasn't sure I could survive extended listening. On Leaving could go in any direction. By its title and pedigree I won't predict a party record. Look for a review somewhere around here, eventually.

To tide you over, here's a Clarence Ashley video:
Clarence Ashley playing "The Cuckoo"



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Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas
(Novello Festival Press, April 2008)
includes my essay, "Link Wray"


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