It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss.
In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire.
Though his expression in the above photo borders on psychotic, Christopher Porterfield – singer/guitarist/songwriter of Field Report – is an exceedingly nice person. And though his hair can break laws of physics at times, he appears utterly normal, friendly, well-adjusted. So connecting this kind, seemingly unaffected person to his heartbreaking, gut-wrenching songs can be a fascinating but slightly mystifying exercise.
If you’ve been reading NTSIB for a while “Fergus Falls” may strike a familiar chord. It was originally recorded in an earlier incarnation of Field Report known as Conrad Plymouth (the moniker, CP says, outlived its usefulness). Field Report launched themselves officially at SXSW this year (and had Adam Duritz – yes, that one – stumbling all over himself trying to find the right words to describe the power of Field Report’s music) and is going great guns out of the gate, supporting Megafaun on their current tour. So, we’re very pleased that CP could take a little time before hitting the road to contribute to our series.
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (Raymond Carver)
I had a ponytailed, Kangoled chainsmoking freshman English professor
who turned me on to Carver via showing Robert Altman’s Shortcuts
during our night class to pass the time. I was into it. He lent me his
copy of Where I’m Calling From; I returned it the next class, having
purchased my own.
I kept it with me whenever I traveled- I always bring a Carver
anthology and whatever else I’m reading. In a very Carver moment, I
ended up puking on my copy of Where I’m Calling From. Now I carry the
earlier collection Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?. I think it might be
more Ray and less Gordon Lish (his controversial editor). All flaws
and holes and love and struggle, and the beauty within the negative
Klamath (Mark Eitzel)
A heartbreaking work of isolation by former American Music Club
frontman/criminally under-appreciated singer, writer, arranger Mark
Eitzel. It’s all synth and vibes and wood and strings and whispered
croon and brilliant turns of phrase and ache.
Independently released in 2009, I don’t know where you can buy it
anymore. I think he burned 500 copies. If you can’t find Klamath,
“Invisible Man” or “60 Silver Lining” are great places to start.
Old Thompson, by the pint.
From the liquor store by my house, you can get a pint of this blended
“whisky” for under $4. It fits in a pocket, and is weirdly best served
when warmed by body heat. It sounds terrible, but I’ve converted a few
people over the years. The second sip is smoother than the first. And
a pint is just enough to put a Gaussian blur on the world but not
enough to get you sick.
Field Report and Megafaun tour dates
03/27/12 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
03/28/12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
03/30/12 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
03/31/12 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
04/03/12 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord
04/04/12 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
04/05/12 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
04/06/12 – Tempe, AZ @ The Sail Inn
04/08/12 – Santa Fe, NM @ Sol Santa Fe
04/10/12 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
04/12/12 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
04/14/12 – Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom