While we have all been dealing with our quarantine however we have been dealing with it. Some of us have had to still work, and some are not and are at home trying to figure out if that table really needs to be cleaned again, I mean it’s been an hour? Music has been there for us. To keep us sane amidst a pandemic the likes of which we have never seen before. Below is a list of things I have listened to or relistened to that have moved me in many ways. So, here is the Quarantine Festival happening at Palacio de Moose. The order is of no importance as well. We don’t have headliners at the Palacio de Moose.
Conor Oberst: Ruminations. The title about sums it up. Stuck inside for me or at work I’m left ruminating on any number of thoughts. This album by Conor I believe is one of his best. Just him and a piano, or guitar, and his voice. Simplicity.
Jason Isbell: Reunions. This dropped a week ago, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. I will have more in depth review coming. If you are a fan or if you are not this is great to add to your collection, or to begin listening.
Frontier Folk Nebraska and their entire catalogue. I’ve loved FFN ever since I first saw them and shared the stage with them in Matt Wabnitzs’ backyard for the first Whispering Beard Folk Festival. Since the quarantine though I’ve been listening to a lot of local and regional folks. And our friends FFN are just amazing and have been helpful in dealing with this. I’ll bounce around through albums like Pearls, Freaks, their live record at SGHR (Southgate House Revival), just to name a few.
The Tillers: entire catalogue. Much like FFN it’s been great to consider these guys friends for well over ten years now, and if I can’t see them in person then putting their music on and hearing Mike or Sean sing, Aaron on bass, and Joe on fiddle helps make everything a little bit more sane.
John Prine: entire catalogue. When he passed away, I cried. Then went into work the next day and started with “John Prine” and ended with “Tree of Forgiveness.” May do that again.
Possessed by Paul James: As We Go Wandering. Essentially, and bottom line with Paul James is this, anything he puts out I’m listening to. He is a musician and person second to none. Someone with a huge heart, and so kind and when he plays it is quite literally like a man possessed. I love his music and love him. I recommend him to everyone to get into. He can break your heart and you’ll be smiling while he does it. I love that.
The Harmed Brothers: Across the Waves. The album has not come out yet, but there are two tracks available and a couple of videos as well, and they’re great. Well written songs and the vibe from the songs put me at ease and are always pleasant to listen to. If you are new to The Harmed Brothers, this a great place to start then go back. They are just good and it’s really nice to listen to them.
Phoebe Bridger’s: Kyoto, Garden Song, and I See You. She has a new album coming out called “Punisher” but I’m not sure when that will be out, probably next month. She has released these three tunes off it, and I love them. I really like what she does, and I can’t wait to hear the album.
Denzel Curry: Bulls on Parade. Yes, that Bulls on Parade by Rage. I’ve heard this song a bagillion times, but never have heard it like this. The band kills it, and Denzel’s vocal, no offense to Zach is just harder and more intense. It made me check out Denzel, and he’s a super unique MC and I’m still working my way through his catalogue which is pretty good and different from hip hop that I have heard.
Run the Jewels: RTJ4. I believe this is dropping in June as well, or July and the three tracks that I have heard are just incredible. I’ll say no more, because if you are a Run the Jewels fan or hip-hop fan get into this. Because it’s awesome.
Andrew Hibbard: Andrew Hibbard. Released on SOFABURN Records Andrew has been around for a while working on his craft and it was nice to hear his first album with SOFABURN. He is a local guy as well. He did a great job, as always, with the writing of these songs and again another pleasant listen.
Highly Likely: Sunrise. This is album was like listening to a sunrise. If that were possible this would be the sound it would make. Again, some local folks came together, created this band, and made this record and it is an album that hopefully puts a smile on your face.
The Undertones: The Undertones. A punk band from the late 70’s, and as a person who never really fit in this was nice to listen to. I enjoyed this record very much, and they were new to me up until about a month ago.
Then on May 20th, a friend from Chicago texted me with Anthrax “I’m the Man” and I texted him back with Pantera “Widowmaker.” 80’s metal, but not that hair band garbage.
There are more I’m sure, and I’m not intentionally leaving them off. My dear friend Arienne snapped a video of one of my favorite guitar players/songwriters/and persons Pat Kennedy and it was nice seeing him and hearing him. If books count in this I have listened to “Outsider” by Stephen King, “Dead Wake” by Erik Larson, “All the Pretty Horses” by Cormac McCarthy, and I’m currently listening to “A Place on Earth” by Wendell Berry. The music though has been incredibly impactful, especially the numerous live streams happening on any given weekend. It is truly great to see friends, even though it is virtual, it is still nice.
So, this is just my list. What I’ve been listening to. I hope you all are staying safe and are well all things considered. Who knows what normal will look like after all of this, but the one thing we will have besides each other, is music and plenty of it to listen to and have conversations about. Much love to you all.