BONUS TRACKS: Another Grammy Gaffe, An Avett Brothers Musical, and the Saving of a Sticker Wall
Brandi Carlile - Photo By Jim Gavenus
The Grammys just can’t seem to get it right. First Kacey Musgraves isn’t country, and Bo Burnham isn’t comedy, and now Brandi Carlile — the Americana Music Association’s Artist of the Year for the past two years — isn’t “American Roots.” Or at least her song “Right on Time” isn’t, according to the committee that decides these things for the Recording Academy. The song will be considered in the Pop category instead. (The album it’s from, In These Silent Days, will be considered — who knows in what genre — for next year’s Grammys because of its October release date.) “While I’m incredibly flattered to be considered ‘pop’ as a 40-year-old crooning lesbian mother,” Carlile said in a response on Instagram, “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit surprised and disappointed to learn the Recording Academy decided to move ‘Right on Time’ out of the American Roots genre and into the pop category.” Read the rest of her response and more about Grammy’s category problem in this piece from Stereogum.
The bluegrass world lost a biggie last weekend with the death of banjo player and singer Sonny Osborne, half of the Osborne Brothers. With his brother Bobby, Sonny Osborne, who died at age 83 after a series of strokes, had a hit with “Rocky Top” in 1967, and routinely shocked bluegrass stalwarts with innovations like twin banjos and sometimes even drums. Read more about Osborne’s life and legacy in this obituary from The New York Times, which mentions a 2000 interview Osborne did with No Depression.
After a delay because of the pandemic, Swept Away, a musical with songs by The Avett Brothers, is finally ready to hit the stage. The world premiere will be performed by Berkeley Rep in California Jan. 9 through Feb. 13. The musical centers on four men who survive a sinking whaling ship in 1888. “Each face a reckoning,” the Rep’s website says. “How far will I go to stay alive? And can I lives with the consequences?” Learn more about the production — directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, who helmed Green Day-inspired American Idiot in 2009 — and buy tickets via Berkeley Rep, where you can also watch a performance of “Murder in the City” by two of the show’s stars.
There’s one in every town: A music venue with a wall plastered in stickers from bands who have come through. But the sticker wall at Austin’s Continental Club, thick with stickers collected and carefully curated over the past 25 years, was especially beloved. Earlier this week, the wall was facing its end when workers needed to remove it to repair the club’s back stairs. Social media erupted in alarm, and a local museum offered to preserve part of it. But in a happy twist, the workers figured out a way to keep the wall mostly intact (the museum will still display a small piece that had to go). Read more about the Continental Club’s sticker well, and check out some fantastic photos, in this piece from the Austin American-Statesman.
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO
Here’s a sampling of the songs, albums, bands, and sounds No Depression staffers have been into this week:
Hurray for the Riff Raff – “Rhododendron,” from the new album, Life on Earth, coming in February
Aoife O’Donovan – “Prodigal Daughter,” from her new album, Age of Apathy, coming in January
The Wonder Years – Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing
Mountain Goats – “No Children” (thanks, TikTok)
SUSS – Night Suite
Abby Posner – Emergency Use Only
Scott Hirsch – “Much Too Late”
Anaïs Mitchell – “Bright Star,” from her new, self-titled album, coming in January