Wednesday, July 8, 2009

TVD First Date with | Annie Crane

Even if you’re a regular here at TVD, you may not know there’s a gatekeeper of sorts. But there is – hi, I’m Jon (your host) and as such the email in-box gets filled to the rim with very nice solicitations for coverage. And thank you, we love hearing from y’all.

But, do I put this...sometimes the acts in the in-box, to use a summer analogy, just ain’t ripe yet.

In stark contrast to the aforementioned, Annie Crane’s arrival in the email reminded me of the crystal clear voices that used to echo through my folks’ house in NJ. The radio was continuously tuned to WQXR-FM, the radio station of the New York Times, which ostensibly is (was?) a classical music station but on Saturday evenings would air a show called ‘Woody’s Children.’ Woody, as in Guthrie, his ‘children’ as in the folk music legend’s prodigy.

But only the best of the best would make the airwaves then. So, if ‘Woody’s Children’ is still being aired (and if QXR is still around—I read that the Times was considering its sale) then Annie Crane’s a natural fit. Got that ‘QXR?

"When I was 19, my family of 6 picked up and moved to Manhattan from Rochester NY. We were moving from a 3 story house to a 3 bedroom apartment whose most raved about feature was a window in the kitchen. My mom, being the minimalist that she is, made it her mission to get rid of everything she deemed “not worth lugging to NYC”. In this category  she put her & my dad's hefty record collection. Yes... it’s true. She sold them in the neighborhood garage sale along with our old dolls, trophies, roller blades and bunk beds. I was appalled when I went home (to my new home) for the summer from college. It was just before that 19th year of my life that I started falling hard for the wonders of vinyl.

The record player I got back then & still use today is my portable vintage player... it looks like an old suitcase until you open it up to find a 3 speed record player inside. It’s pretty sweet. I’ve lugged it from Rochester to Toronto to Manhattan to Brooklyn and back again. And as I’ve moved from place to place, I’ve carried with me my milk crates of records. Forever hounding estate sales, thrift shops and stoop sales, I think I’m trying to rebuild that collection so thoughtlessly discarded and experience it with the zeal of fresh ears. 

There are few times I can think of when I’m as content as when I’m at home listening to my records while putting and puttering. The crackle and waver, the flip from side one to side two, listening to Pavarotti & Frank Sinatra in the same way that my grandma did - moments of captured nostalgia.

From my record crates, I am currently enjoying: Paul Simon: Paul Simon; Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul; Joan Baez: Blessed are... ; Neil Young with Cray Horse: Everybody Knows this is Nowhere; Odetta Sings Folk Songs; Doc Watson: Memories"

Annie Crane - Seneca Falls (Mp3)
Annie Crane - Our Families (Mp3)
Annie Crane - I'll Be Right Here (Mp3)

TVD | (Un)covered

I worry too much about the big picture. I get in the way of myself often, focusing on direction rather than the immediate. I worry that the immediate’s fleeting and direction’s deflection. I follow the numbers too closely. Where are they coming from? Where are you coming from? Why am I putting in all this time? Why is everyone so quiet? The downloads exceed bandwidth. I’m planned out weeks in advance. Sometimes it’s by the seat of the pants. Sometimes it lands in my lap and I just give ‘em away. I’m uploading. I’m downloading. Processing. Color correcting. Fact checking. Checking syntax. Saying what I mean but barely.

In the name of . . . . music.

I’d say that’s 'it' but after yesterday’s MJ spectacle, love him, hate him, or someplace in the center like me—it’s the one common denominator between us. Some say love, or life, even liberty—but that’s horseshit. The grace notes are binding.

And tearing me up quite often.

Gary Clark - This Is Why, J. (Mp3)

Gangway - The Loneliest Being (Mp3)
Harry Nilsson - Wasting My Time (Mp3)
The Clientele - Isn't Life Strange (Mp3)
Joe Jackson - One To One (Mp3)