Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
File next to: Ex Hex, Angel Olsen, Parquet Courts
By some accounts, Courtney Barnett's first album was A Sea of Split Peas, in which the Melbourne, Australia folk-rocker combined two informal and funny EPs released only in Oz. But record execs will insist that Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is her proper debut. She has turned the launch into a garage-rock party, sticking with slower folk-blues on occasion, but more often sporting a blistering sound. Tracks like "Depreston," which she performed on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, are straight-ahead cowboy rock tunes. But when Barnett lets loose on a song like "Pedestrian at Best," she's like an ADHD Dylan circa Highway 61. Other tracks, like "Debbie Downer," pull out the Farfisa organ and heavy beats, mimicking 1966 Top 40 radio. Barnett deserves to take America by storm, and she'll prove it during open slots on the upcoming Decemberists tour. Don't miss this debut release, even if it's not really a debut. — Loring Wirbel
Complicated Game Records
File next to: John Prine, Guy Clark
As befits an album from the son of novelist Larry McMurtry, Complicated Game is like listening to a collection of short stories. One of the best lyricists working in any style of music, James McMurtry has penned a dozen songs rooted in time, place and the heart, for this first studio album in seven years. "Carlisle's Haul" is about kids helping out a fisherman illegally bring in the nets, a song rooted in a teenage experience on the Chesapeake Bay. "Long Island Sound" is a fiddle-enhanced sing-along about a Texan transplanted to New York. Other stories go inside McMurtry's characters, most painfully in the album's closer "Cutter," about making a small but deep cut to isolate the pain of a troubled life. Produced by swamp-popper C.C. Adcock and Mike Napolitano, Complicated Game is an acoustic-based effort, largely driven by McMurtry's strummed guitar. A little energy boost wouldn't have hurt — just one song, the banjo-driven, near-spoken road story "How'm I Gonna Find You Now" has an electric drive — but the acoustic settings are still perfect for McMurtry's songs and the stories they tell. — L. Kent Wolgamott
This show at Stargazers with the Charlie Milo Trio will be broadcast live on local…
This is awesome! Excited about the new music and adventures for his year!
Thanks so much!!!