Obsessive compulsive listening, Courtney Barnett edition

Today in lieu of a real blog post (sorry, this month will probably see lots of, um, 'cheat' posts. It's November. I'm crazy busy, Also, sometimes, just lazy), I wanted to take a moment to insist you check out a song by one of my favorite current artists.

I first heard the Courtney Barnett record this spring and was almost immediately hooked. I think I listened to it one afternoon and thought, 'OK, that's good--though it sounds nothing like most of the reviews I've read (said reviews dubbed her alt.country).  (To clarify, the record The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas actually comprises her first two EPs). If I could get you to listen to one album this year, this would be it.

Then I listened to it again on another afternoon. And again on the same afternoon. And then again. I probably listened to the entire record four times that day. Then I made Cory listen to it, too, and got him just as obsessed with the Australian singer-songwriter.

I'm not even joking when I say I put the CD in my car back in May or June or whatever and have not taken it out since.

Her music, for the uninitiated, is smart and wordy and totally catchy with gutsy guitar work. The best way I can describe it as Liz Phair fronts Nirvana. Cory think there's also a hint of Opal in there, too. Maybe some Juliana Hatfield, too.

In August we had a chance to catch Barnett and her band (The Courtney Barnetts, naturally) at Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneertown. Had the chance to talk to her then and she was as nice and down-to-earth as I'd hoped--taking the time to talk to every single person who approached her (or hovered nervously) after the band' s set. That set, by the way, was awesome. Lots of fun guitar play and band camaraderie. Cory was even sneaky enough to email her ahead of the show and ask her to dedicate a song to me for wedding anniversary.  And she did. And I may have even teared up a little.

Now we're going to see her again tonight at Slim's and then on Saturday we'll catch yet another set in Austin at the Fun, Fun, Fun festival. (Listen, I know how it looks--but we were going to be in Austin anyway, visiting family. I swear I'm not stalking her).

All this and today is her birthday, too. To celebrate here's a live clip of "Out of the Woodwork," (recorded live at KEXP in Seattle) of one of my favorite songs (and the opening track) from the record. It's sad and moody and smart and gets stuck in your head and is, in short, worth the probably hundreds of listens I've given to it in the last seven or so months. 




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