Jim Gaffigan: King Baby

I haven't been listening to much music this week, except Jars of Clay's "Good Monsters" during my workout on Tuesday, and a couple jazz CDs while I worked yesterday afternoon. Instead, I've been listening to Jim Gaffigan.

Adele: 21 and Live at The Royal Albert Hall

I searched through my old posts and couldn't believe I hadn't written about Adele. I was expecting to rest on an earlier prognostication regarding her success with 21, her fantastic sophomore release. But alas, I didn't write anything here. Perhaps it was on Facebook. "21" was the best-selling album in 2011. Whatever that means.

Music from Story

Last week I attended an arts conference in Chicago called "Story: Imagine Nation." I write more about my experience there in the coming weeks. For now, I'd like to introduce you to some amazing musicians I saw there: John Mark McMillan, All Sons & Daughters, and Meredith Wilson.

Open Mic Feedback

I'm looking to play some coffee house kind of gigs, maybe some open mic stuff. A local coffee place hosts open mic every Thursday night, so I've been working up some tunes in anticipation of playing. I'm looking for some feedback, if you'd be so kind, regarding some possible song selections. But first, what should I play: keys or guitar?

My Summer Bookbag

Going on vacation soon, here’s what I’ll be taking in my bookbag. Well, my digital one. Though we might find ourselves on the beach in San Diego for a day, I doubt I’ll have a lot of time to read. And with 3- and 2-year-old boys, reading on the beach might be a bit irresponsible. If I get time, here’s what I’ll read: "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins (fiction) ...

Packing Light

We’re headed out for Arizona in a few days, and I need to pack some tunes for the trip. We’ll be driving nearly 5,000 miles roundtrip, almost 80 hours in the car, so I’ll need a lot of music, audiobooks, and podcasts. I suppose music is like clothes for some people. I like to pack a lot because I never know what I’m going to be in the mood for. Whereas some want their entire wardrobe available on vacation, I always want my entire music collection.

Alison Krauss: Paper Airplane

She was to sing an Alison Krauss song. At the time I was familiar with neither the folk artist nor her song. But I was immediately blown away by Andrea’s interpretation of the somewhat sappy love song that includes a line about Ol’ Mister Webster. Andrea B. was young, maybe 19 at the time, but her voice was mature beyond her youth, with more than a touch of Jennifer Knapp, her then musical heroine. But this isn’t a review about Andrea, although I wish I were reviewing a CD of hers. Since “When You Say Nothing at All,” I’ve been a fan of Alison Krauss and her Union Station sound—and even when she strayed and did a project with a seemingly incompatible Robert Plant. Her most recent release, Paper Airplane, is a worthy pickup.