New direction here at the blog. In addition to the regularly indulged obsessions, I'm adding mp3/music-blogging to the mix. Here we go.
The Trouble With Jeanie [mp3, 3.5 mb]
Amy Rigby is a matchless songwriter who makes me feel like I'm living in a parallel reality. I ask myself: Why isn't she heard at every street corner, in every bar, on every iPod? I discovered her ten years ago on her debut, Diary Of A Mod Housewife. She's made five albums, all superb. When I think of her, I wonder: what more does she have to do to prove her worth?
Amy is a brainiac lyricist. Robert Christgau, dean of rock critics, reviewed her latest, Little Fugitive, recently. Well-known for being stingy with praise, he wrote: "It really is quite simple: no one of any gender or generation has written as many good songs in Rigby's realistic postfolk mode since she launched Diary of a Mod Housewife in 1996."
Amy has a voice to cozy up to — it's like she's sitting next to you on the couch, talking: "Jeanie is my new husband's ex-wife/It looks like she's gonna be a part of my life." Her songs are detailed, novelistic. Her subjects are quotidian: marriage, raising kids, sex, having a crush on the bookstore clerk.
The arrangement on "The Trouble With Jeanie" consists of: (1) an acoustic-based country-rock skeleton; (2) quiet, glowing guitars; (3) chiming harpsichord arpeggios; and (4) plenty of sonic room for Amy's woman-next-door voice. Meanwhile, her gem-like writing sits front and center, as it should.
Fun reading: Amy's diary at her site.