30 Things I Love Right Now: May Day

(1) Tyler Childers’s Tiny Desk Concert (2) Jason Isbell’s Tiny Desk Concert (3) Sturgill Simpson’s Tiny Desk Concert (4) John Prine’s Tiny Desk Concert (5) Chris Stapleton’s Tiny Desk Concert (6) Highland Ave (7) Adamsville (8) Alabama (9) Digging into the ground with and for F– (10) S– in overalls (11) Winston Churchill (12) A house with a basement. In Alabama. As temps rise. (13) I-22 (14) Things winding down (15) This story, out of Florence, AL / Lauderdale County (if by “love” you mean “has captured my imagination” even though it will likely end in tragedy, and I dearly hope innocents are not hurt) (16) House of Strombo (17) Particularly this one (18) And this one (19) With respect to #1 thru #5, what I would say to that is that I’ve yet to really figure out what it is about “Americana” music — which is really a term I have come to mistrust — it’s [effing] called Country Music, and [yes] I like it, and I don’t really want to call it by another name just to protect my bona fides as a “smart person” or a “tolerant person” or a “progressive person” [I mean. Hello. Tiny Desk Concerts? That’s the Communist radio, for God’s sake.] / I want to call it that and still be all those other things (mostly) — okay, wait. There’s still some thinking to do here. There’s an essay or something to write (or to otherwise make, or something): I want to call the music I like best what it is: it is Country Music. Calling it that is honest. (I also like calling it traditional music. Also true.) The country in question is America. And it is (distinctly) American music. And that’s definitely something I really like about it. Its distinctly American quality. Because I also like America. (If by “like” you mean… even though… and I dearly hope…) And — increasingly — I like and honor (its) traditions (mostly). What I don’t like is a lack of nuance. What I don’t like is people making assumptions about me (or anyone/anything) based on limited information (e.g., “He likes [effing] Country Music?!). I like Country Music. I have a hat with an American flag on it, and I used to like wearing it. I have (once, a long time ago) voted for a Republican. I live in Alabama (and [mostly] like it). You know all that about me, and you know nothing about me. Okay. Yeah. Apologies. There’s an essay somewhere in there. Nuance. Let’s leave it at that. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming… (20) Sweet pickles (21) The other kind of pickles too (22) Dreams of minor prophecy (23) Talking with Michael Hickins about how to make the “writing life” work (24) A different relationship to other people’s ambition. Not sure what I mean by that. I do know that’s not another essay because who the hell wants to read an essay about that? (25) How Idris Elba on the adds for Bookings.com says “bookins'” (26) Idris Elba, just generally (27) The prospect of a hot, free Alabama summertime (28) Iced coffee (29) The prospect of shaving my head down to mere stubble (30) Abbott, Elementary.

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