Because Songs Matter

Posts in category Essay

Micah Schnabel: Music as a vehicle for Truth – by Larry Fulford

Micah Schnabel: Music as a vehicle for Truth – by Larry Fulford

  Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of pieces written for Nine Bullets by special guest artists, creators and other friends of the site. Larry Fulford has spent time on the mic as a comedian and behind the kit as a drummer. He’s a peach of a fellow and we asked him to […]

LBIII & The Glory Fires – “Sweet Disorder” and On Covers

LBIII & The Glory Fires – “Sweet Disorder” and On Covers

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires have released their latest 7″ this past week. The Alabama rock outfit on the SubPop label, purportedly ‘Too Loud For Texas‘ and known for their energy-filled performances, are coming from the release of 2014’s Dereconstructed which was not only Essential Listening, but my choice for Album of the Year. […]

“My Sins My Own” – A Study of Vanessa Jean Speckman

“My Sins My Own” – A Study of Vanessa Jean Speckman

“It is most interesting to me,” says Cecelia Jean Speckman, “that she always said she was going to be an artist…and she IS an artist!” She’s speaking of her daughter here, in a breathless amazement that could seem typical of any parent talking about any child. The difference here, however, is that the devotion and […]

Scattered Points in Space. And Hop Along.

Scattered Points in Space. And Hop Along.

I wake up early to make lunches for myself and my fiancée to take to our jobs. I put on headphones and listen to something as I shuffle back and forth between fridge and countertop. Some days I listen to a podcast. It’s conversation, it’s pleasant and funny and it’s like I have company. But […]

SLEATER-KINNEY and the impossibility of overstatement

SLEATER-KINNEY and the impossibility of overstatement

I’m a cis-white-male-middle-class person, so in a lot of very real and important senses, I’ve never needed “saving”–nor have I found myself in the grip of much visceral high-stakes shit to “save myself” from. But I wasn’t born with dead-smelling rubber guts, so when I first heard the music of Sleater-Kinney as a 19-year-old it charged […]

NEW ORLEANS, THE AFGHAN WHIGS, and INVINCIBILITY

NEW ORLEANS, THE AFGHAN WHIGS, and INVINCIBILITY

  “Here me now, and don’t forget, I’m not the man my actions would suggest.” – The Afghan Whigs   In 1994 when my friends were listening to Pearl Jam and Nirvana, I was listening to The Afghan Whigs and Pulp. Pearl Jam played for the masses and Eddie Vedder swung from the rafters. Nirvana […]

WITNESSES pt. III – BILLY BRAGG

WITNESSES pt. III – BILLY BRAGG

I am not clued-in to the minute developments in Ferguson right now. Nor to our aggression in Iraq, what’s happening or not happening in Israel, water shortages, ice buckets, the Tsarnaev trial. I feel like I am failing because of my distance from all of that, but failing on these specific terms: I am keeping […]

The Life in the Songwriting of Two Cow Garage – Part III

The Life in the Songwriting of Two Cow Garage – Part III

Daniel James Clark Photography I asked Charles if I could take on the third part of his exceptional write-up of the evolution of Two Cow Garage, and the songwriting of Micah Schnabel and Shane Sweeney. Some folks suggested looking at their solo albums, but those are so personal as to feel like a different beast […]

P.O.V.– PHIL OCHS ¡VIVA!

P.O.V.– PHIL OCHS ¡VIVA!

This post is adapted from a paper about “witnessing” and first-person POVs in songwriting, so it’s a little up its own ass but it still means something. It continues from an earlier review of Sun Kill Moon and talks about writers who use their positions as songwriters and “witnesses” to tell political and personal stories. This section deals […]

The Life in the songwriting of Two Cow Garage – Part II

The Life in the songwriting of Two Cow Garage – Part II

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Christine Lortie In part I of this essay I talked about themes in early TCG records. I left off right before Three. Read part I here. Not long ago I caught Micah playing a solo show. He took requests and when I asked him to […]