Gretchen Peters: Hello Cruel World cd

Gretchen Peters

Hello Cruel World cd

Scarlet Letter Records

Gretchen Peters is firmly lodged in the Nashville pantheon of songwriters but has for years been trying to break out of that box as a performer. Being the writer of Independence Day and The Secret of Life plus many more made hits by others is a huge obstacle to overcome, but she has two things on her side: she never stops writing great songs and she is a terrific singer, the best interpreter of her own songs.

Gretchen’s writing is stunning, flowing like silken water from a perfect tap. Writing from the heart and mind of a woman, she might be seen a woman’s writer; she ought to be required reading for every man. Her singing is clear and expressive, exquisitely articulating the rhythm and meaning of her words, serving the song, enchanting the listener.

Hello Cruel World is a sublime expression of middle age, the realisation of failure, limitation and regret while treasuring basics: love, sensuality. The opening title song has a great slow groove, a Bobby Gentry feel, a mesmerising string arrangement, and lyrics that could make you cry and feel optimistic at the same time. The album continues this way, sustaining mood without a wrong step, a rare union of songwriting craftsmanship and penetrating artistic vision.

released January 31, 2012

Earth: Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light

Earth

Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II

Earth is guitarist-composer-conceptualist Dylan Carlson with subsidiary musicians, like a sun with three tiny planets orbiting. In 1991 he changed heavy metal by reconceptualising it, filtering it through minimalism; he made it food for thought instead of headbanging. After nine years off, he returned in 2005, altered but undeterred in minimalism.

Angels of Darkness is Earth’s fourth post-break album and change continues, very slowly, like the music. Textures – its essence – formerly derived from sheer volume are now constructed from more sources. Metal riffs have gradually morphed into blues lines.

The addition of cellist Lori Goldston replacing organ-horn player Steve Moore is significant: he augmented; she adds. New bassist Karl Blau is a stronger flavour in the recipe. Earth music is like evolution: minutely slow, deeply fascinating to watch.

Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II release date: Feb 13, 2011

Friday Fictioneerss 100 Word Story #9: The Rules

The Rules

One-Arm Wilson was a stickler for the rules. It clearly stated on the back of the entry form that jeans were not allowed, and yet here these morons were, wearing jeans, especially ill-fitting ones. He was thinking “We’ll see how they like being detained for the next two hours then thrown out!” At least they had both arms; the least they could do is follow the rules and show some respect — after all, he had the Hat of Authority. Suddenly he heard a huge whooshing sound and looked up. It was that damned asteroid they’d been talking abo…

Friday Fictioneer 100 Word Story #8: Death Is Not The End

Death Is Not the End

Looking down at my deathbed body, I was whisked speeding into the dark tunnel. A distant bright spot grew larger; as it grew, long dead relatives lined the path: Aunt Alice holding out a bowl of jello salad, Uncle Art rolling a cigarette with one hand, the hand without the beer, Cousin Jim with his dirty magazines, my father fumbling to get his whipping belt off. Another dread-filled, interminable, excruciating family reunion…

But I sped swiftly past them, great white gates opening before me. And I was safely, blissfully, joyously, inside the most beautiful shopping mall I’d ever seen.

Friday Fictioneer 100 Word Story #7 Birth of a Clown

Birth of a Clown

Marianne’s 7th birthday was neat and all the kids loved her clown. He was so funny with his giant yellow shoes, red pants, big polkadot shirt, weird makeup and big red nose. He had balloons and flopped around, laughing, being a big fool. Way better than the clown last week at Bobby’s party; that guy was really old. This clown dressed the same but was like a teenager.

It’s weird my Daddy is afraid of clowns. He says they’re not like people and they’re evil. He said he saw one being born out of an egg in the desert once.

Friday Fictioneer 100 Word Story #6: Baby It’s Cold Outside

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Can’t tell if I’m going right or not. Can’t find my tracks on the logging road from when I walked in. They should be there, hasn’t been snowing since I been up here. I remember the hill on my left, so it should be on the right now… shouldn’t it? Getting dark, can’t see; better figure this out quick… what a damn fool, come up here with just a windbreaker, T-shirt and sneakers! But it was sunny, almost warm. Damn, it’s cold now! Buster, all he does is chase things, he’s warm, he doesn’t care, he’s got his own life.