New Music Friday: Two by Amos Lee

We’re hitting that point in the year where there isn’t much new music being released so I’m going to have to start getting a little more creative with what I’m considering new. So this week I’m talking about two songs off of the deluxe version of Amos Lee’s newest album My New Moon, which was just released yesterday.

One of the new songs on the deluxe version of the album is a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”. I wish this song wasn’t still so relevant to today. There was so much great protest music written in the 60s and it’s kind of disheartening to listen to it today because the lyrics still fit so well and you can see that we haven’t come very far.

Marvin Gaye’s version of this song has never been one of my favorites from that era, but I love what Amos Lee has done with it. His voice is perfect for the song and I think the even more slowed down and mellow tone he gives it work really well.


That brings us to “No More Darkness, No More Light” which was the first single off the album. It was a song I thought about writing about for this series multiple weeks only to have something else edge it out until it no longer felt new enough to fall under the new music Friday moniker. But since I’m writing about another song on the album I thought I would go ahead and sneak it in here.

Despite the uplifting tone of the music, the song itself is actually pretty heavy. Amos Lee took apart the whole song and rewrote the lyrics in the days following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting as the students there started to call out people for the hollow “thoughts and prayers” they were offering. I feel like the song offers a bit of hope at the end even if it seems to indicate there’s a long road before we ever get there. I keep trying to follow that hope even though most days I find it harder and harder to even see the road. I like when my music keeps reminding me to push forward.

New Music Friday: Power Over Me by The Lone Bellow


If you read my blog post about seeing The Lone Bellow in concert earlier this week you may recall that I mentioned that they recently came out with a new EP of acoustic music called The Restless that includes some new stuff, some acoustic versions of old stuff, and a cover of Adele’s “Water Under the Bridge”. One of the songs off the EP that they sang and which I heard for the first time during the concert was “Power Over Me”. It’s a beautiful, simple song about grieving the loss of someone you still love deeply. I absolutely adore it. I have listened to it about 500 times since the show. I highly recommend you do the same.

The Oh Hellos at Baltimore Soundstage

I usually write up these concerts posts much quicker, but I went out of town the day after I saw this show and have been pretty busy in the evenings since I got back home and haven’t had time to write anything. But I like keeping a record of my concerts so I’m still doing this one a week late even though I know no one really cares about these posts but me.

The opening act was someone named Samantha Crain, who I had never heard of before. It was just her and her guitar up there on the stage. She had some amusing stage banter, but her music didn’t grab me. It wasn’t terrible, but for some reason I just didn’t connect with it. The person standing behind me however was SUPER in love with her. So she’s obviously up some people’s allies more than mine.

This was my fifth time seeing The Oh Hellos. I saw them twice at the Newport Folk Festival, which is where I first became acquainted with them. I saw them as an opening act for needtobreathe at the Fillmore Silver Spring, and I saw them once before at Baltimore Soundstage. They are just joy personified. They have so much fun on stage. Every single one of them. All 8 of them. They were a little more stationary this show than at some of the other ones I’ve been to, but a lot of times I wonder how they don’t all crash into each other dancing around as they do.

They always have really great interactions with the audience as well. There was a whole deal at the beginning with their lead singer chugging down a bottle of water and saying he was going to need a bottle every other song as warm as he was. It sort of became a thing that I think became a little performative because of the audience interaction. At one point I said something to my friends about him needing to eat some chips or something because he was drinking a concerning amount of water with no salt intake. Pretty much right after that someone else from the audience yelled out “eat a pretzel”, so I obviously wasn’t the only one thinking that.

I do feel like the sound mix was a little bit off though. For some reason the bass was turned up super loud, and The Oh Hellos are not a band that I consider to be bass heavy. A lot of their stuff has more of a Celtic vibe to it and bass is not really the focus. At any rate the bass was overpowering and was so loud it was making my body vibrate. Even with my ear plugs in it screwed up my ears and set off my tinnitus for days. I really hate that. Even when the instrument mix isn’t out of whack I don’t understand why they have to have the sound turned up so loud, especially in such a small venue. I don’t understand how anyone who works in these places or the bands and themselves have any hearing left at all.

Ok, now that I’m done with my old lady shakes her fist at the sky moment I will say that aside from the unruly sound it was a great show as always. The Oh Hellos never disappoint. There is no way to leave one of their shows without a smile on your face.

The Lone Bellow Acoustic Tour at The Barns

I still owe you a post on The Oh Hellos concert from last week, but I’m already so far behind on that one I’m going to kick it down the road a little bit farther and go ahead and write about The Lone Bellow concert I went to last night. Usually when I’m talking about how much I love Wolf Trap and that it’s my favorite concert venue I’m generally technically talking about The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, which is their outdoor venue. They also have a very intimate winter venue called The Barns, which is composed of two 300 year old barns. It is also a wonderful place to see a show.

Last night I went down there to see The Lone Bellow’s Acoustic Tour with Naia Izumi opening. I thought I didn’t know anything about Naia Izumi until we got there and I realized he was the winner of the most recent NPR Tiny Desk Contest. I didn’t particularly care for his music when I watched that Tiny Desk Concert and I can’t see I much cared for it last night either, but I will say that he is a very interesting and talented guitar player. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone play a guitar quite like him before, but I can’t say I’ll go out of my way to listen to him again.

The Lone Bellow however was fantastic. This all acoustic tour took them back to their roots with just the three main band members Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanene Pipken on stage with some acoustic guitars, a mandolin, and a grand piano. Although they’ve never been an entirely acoustic band they’ve always done some acoustic stuff and in more recent years have had some additional people sitting in as part of the band including Kanene’s husband Jason on keys. At one point near the end of the show Zach said that this tour has been like a reset button and breathed new life into the music for him and it couldn’t have felt more like that last night. I’ve seen The Lone Bellow many times over the past five years and they’re always delightful and fun so I hadn’t actually realized that anything was missing until I saw it again last night.

They were silly and free and just genuinely seemed to be enjoying being up stage together and watching and listening to what each of them can do. That led to a lot of riffing and them winding up messing around with a lot of cover songs they don’t actually know the lyrics to generally due to Brian starting something. They used to do that all the time in their early shows, but I haven’t seen them be that loose with a set in a long time and I forgot how much I love it. Brian sang one line from the Patty Griffin song “Let Him Fly”. An audience member encouraged them to keep going, but they didn’t know any other lyrics. She shouted that she did and she wound up singing part of it with them joining in. After they mistakenly attributed the song to the Dixie Chicks it turned into a whole Dixie Chicks thing complete with a cover of “Wide Open Spaces” being danced to with pantomimed lyrics. There was also a cover of Boys II Men’s “End of the Road” at the beginning of the encore. In addition to all the silly off the cuff covers they also did a legit pre-planned cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”, which was amazing. Kanene singing that song was gorgeous.

The actual set was great too. It was wonderful to hear so many of their songs played acoustic. I also had not realized that they put out an EP of acoustic songs, which includes some new songs, some acoustic versions of previous songs plus a cover of Adele’s “Water Under the Bridge”, a few weeks ago until they mentioned it last night. I really liked the songs they song off that last night am happy to know I have some new Lone Bellow music that I didn’t even know about.

It was a really wonderful show filled with a lot of laughter, fantastic music, and moments that made me grin from ear to ear. It was way better than sitting home watching election returns and well worth the long drive down to Wolf Trap.

New Music Friday:

I have two new songs for you this one. One is not the newest of the new, but I’m betting most of you haven’t heard it.

Mockingbird by Ruston Kelly

I’ve been meaning to write about this song for weeks now. It’s been in contention for new music Friday for a couple of weeks now, but there has always been another song that dropped that I felt about writing about more. It finally gets the honor of appearing here this week. “Mockingbird” has apparently been out in the world since July, but I only added it to my 2018 Spotify playlist at the beginning of October which means I probably didn’t run across it until several months later. The song is by Ruston Kelly, aka Mr. Kacey Musgraves. It reminds me of early harmonica-y Ryan Adams, which is my favorite Ryan Adams, so I’m really digging that vibe.

Comeback Kid by Sharon Van Etten

In general I’ve never been a huge fan of Sharon Van Etten, but I’m really liking her new song “Comeback Kid”. This is her first new music since 2014, so it’s been awhile. There’s not much in the lyrics that I find super exciting, but I just love the sound and vibe of the song. The song has been out for a few weeks, but this music video for it just dropped a couple of days ago. I actually watched it for the first time in writing this post, but I had seen comments about it channeling 80’s Pat Benatar, which it most certainly does. It may be my favorite thing about the song and the video is the little title chyron that shows up at the beginning of the video like they used to on MTV. Ah nostalgia.

Fall 2018 TV Diary

This new fall television season has been pretty lackluster. There wasn’t much I was even interested in watching and a lot of what I tried I quit pretty quickly. But here’s what I’ve been watching or in many cases no longer watching listed in order from best to worst. I’m even sort of cheating with my favorites because they are returning shows although different enough that I’m including them in the list.

Doctor Who

Obviously Doctor Who is not a new show, but we’ve entered a new era with new writers and the first woman Doctor. I was very excited going into this season that we were finally getting a woman Doctor and so far Jodie Whittaker has completely lived up to all my hopes and expectations. She is a fantastic Doctor, and I’m really loving the storylines so far. I like the companions. Prior to this Matt Smith was my favorite Doctor and I think there’s a lot of common DNA there. He had both Amy and Rory rather than a single companion and he had a sense of whimsy that she has too. I’m happy to go on many more adventures with this new crew.

Deutschland 86

This is technically the second season of the German show Deutschland 83, which was one of my favorite shows of 2015. At the time I wasn’t sure we were ever going to get another season, but 3 years later we’re picking back up with the characters who have also had 3 years of their lives pass. The show is about East German spies during the 80s. Obviously this season is set in 1986. If you miss The Americans it will help fill the 80s spy hole in your heart. As a German spy show it would probably appeal to people who liked Babylon Berlin as well. It does require reading subtitles since it’s German like Babylon Berlin. I have seen they are already filming Deutschland 89 which will pick up in 1989. Hopefully we don’t have to wait until 2021 for it. Anyway go watch Deutschland 83 on Hulu and then pick up with this season on the Sundance channel.

I Feel Bad

I’m really enjoying this NBC sitcom about a working mother feeling like she’s failing both her family and her job. I think the family parts of the show are stronger than the office parts. Hopefully they’ll figure that out along the way or maybe do what they did on Mom and mostly drop the workplace piece. At any rate it’s probably my favorite real new show of the season.

A Million Little Things

One of the things that I feel like has been lost in the age of peak tv is all the good family/friend dramas. I had been hoping that This is Us would fill that hole for me, but I never liked it and decided to not keep watching it this season. A Million Little Things is currently what I’m working with to fulfill that need and so far I do like it more than This Is Us. Don’t get me wrong though. This show is complete garbage. It’s completely unrealistic to the nth degree. It’s about a group of friends who are insanely codependent on each other. One of them commits suicide at the beginning of the show, so now there’s all these little clues about why. Their relationships and they way they all act has no basis in human reality, but it just got picked up for a full season and I’m going to keep watching.


Legacies is a spin-off from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. I quit The Originals after the first season, but I watched The Vampire Diaries all the way through the bitter end. It was definitely long in the tooth by the time it was over, but I stand by my assessment of the amazingness of the first 3 or so seasons of that show. I wasn’t sure I was going to bother watching this show since I didn’t follow through on The Originals and my feelings on The Vampire Diaries weren’t the best by the end, but I decided to give it a chance at the last second. It follows some of the kids of the characters of the other two shows who are now teenagers and attending the Salvatore School for the Supernatural which was set up by some The Vampire Diaries characters. It’s only had one episode so far, but it I liked it well enough that I will at least give it another episode or two.


This teenage football drama is no Friday Night Lights. It probably shares more DNA with Beverly Hills 90210 as it revolves around a kid who moves from Crenshaw to Beverly Hills to play football so he has that same fish out water thing Brandon and Brenda did in the first seasons of 90210. Again I’m not sure I love this show, but I’ll keep watching it for now.


We’re not quite half way through this Netflix show and we’ve kind of hit a standstill. Since it’s a Netflix show, which means we could have binged our way through it long ago, it’s obvious we aren’t super into it. Perhaps we’ll get back it eventually, maybe we won’t.


This is yet one more Lost knockoff with a less interesting mystery and less interesting characters. I watched about 3 episodes of this show and only that many because my husband kept putting them on.


I don’t love Jim Carrey, so I wasn’t even sure I wanted to try this show out, but I decided to give it at least one episode. I could not take Carrey or the zaniness of the side characters. I quit this show after one episode.


For some reason I saw REL on a bunch of lists of what shows you should watch this fall. I have no idea why. It was not funny. It was super over the top old school dumb sitcom and I couldn’t deal with the laugh track that was so loud I could barely even hear the dialogue. I also stopped this show after one episode.


New Music Friday: Delta Rae and J.S. Ondara

I’ve got a couple of new songs for you this week. One thing that I kept hearing shortly after the 2016 election was well at least we’re bound to get some good protest music out of all of this. At the time people took issue with it because it sounded really flippant in the face of everything, but two years into this mess it turns out they weren’t wrong.

Early voting started here in Maryland yesterday and I’m sure if it hasn’t started where you are yet it soon will leading up to actual election day on November 6. So take a listen to a couple of great new protest songs, remember what we’re fighting for, and then get out there and vote.

Hands Dirty by Delta Rae

“Hands Dirty” is a song written in response to the #MeToo movement by Brittany Hölljes one of the members who was herself sexually assaulted as a teenager. You can read more about her story and why she wrote the song in her own words. It’s a great song with a very powerful video. There’s a part about 3/4 of the way through that gets me every time.


“American Dream” by J.S. Ondara

J.S. Ondara is born in Nairobi, Kenya and now lives in Minnesota. His explanation of the video and song is way better than anything I could say about it so I will just let his words speak for themselves.

“The video follows a man, as he sets upon a journey to purchase a weapon. While on his way, we get a glimpse of the world around him through his eyes, which gives us some insight into his state of mind. Ultimately, the video explores the turbulent times in the country, socially and politically, thereby throwing a shade of irony to the popular notion of ‘The American Dream.'”