Random Notes for the Weekend

* This illustration of Over the Rhine comes from a new book called An Indie Rock Alphabet Book. Think of it as a five-year-old’s introduction to Neutral Milk Hotel and Iron and Wine. The book features stylized illustrations of indie artists with two lines of rhyming verse that describe each act. Take Gillian Welch for example…

Though Gillian Welch was raised in L.A.,
Her Songs are rooted in the Appalachian Clay.

An Indie Rock Alphabet Book is the first book published by the good people at Paste Magazine. You can get one for the young Yo La Tengo fan in your family at the Paste Store.

* Remember a few months ago when I told you about Austin, TX artist Jon Dee Graham and how he was severely injured in a car accident?

The good news is that he got better. The bad news is that he was hospitalized again in December with more broken bones and internal injuries after he fell off of a ladder installing Christmas lights at his home. More good news… He got better again, and is about to embark on a European tour with James McMurtry.

Somehow, through all of this, Graham still found time to record a new album with Austin club legends, The Resentments. The album comes out January 20th, but songs: illinois has been given a bit of a sneek preview.

* I finally got my first taste of The Square Room on Friday when R.B. Morris performed there on The Blue Plate Special. The Square Room is Knoxville’s newest listening room that opened a few weeks ago. Now, all Friday Blue Plates (WDVX’s live, free, lunchtime concert series) will be held at The Square Room with Monday – Thursday shows remaining at the Knoxville Visitor’s Center. You can listen to the Blue Plate live every weekday at WDVX’s website.

Anyway… The Square Room is a very nice space and a great spot for a mid-day gathering in downtown Knoxville. The room itself is big and open with good sound and plenty of clear sightlines to the stage. R.B. Morris was a great artist for my first visit to the venue as well. He played. He sang. He told stories. He read poetry… the whole Renaissance bit really.

I’ve mentioned R.B. here before, and I urge you again to go check him out. The song I’m sharing today is called “Empire,” and is the title track from R.B.’s most recent EP. John Prine recently released a cover of this song on an iTunes only EP of outtakes from the Fair and Square sessions. John Prine is one of the greatest songwriters to ever walk the planet… and he’s covering R.B. Morris? That should tell you something.

R.B. Morris: Empire (Buy Album)

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