Tag Archives: Brandy Clark

New Brandy Clark: Dear Insecurity

Video: Brandy Clark – “Dear Insecurity” (ft. Brandi Carlile)

Directed by Trey Fanjoy. From Brandy Clark, out now.

This is a great song and a sad, moving video. Brandy Clark trades verses with Brandi Carlile, who produced the album.

Clark said, “I can see myself and my insecurities in every single character and I think you might also.”

You think? I remember being about 12 years old and my mom telling me, “You’ll have so much more fun when you stop caring about what everybody thinks of you.” My visceral reaction was immediate: You have no idea what you’re talking about.

Of course she was right. Adolescence sucks. And now most of the time I don’t give a fuck what anybody thinks about anything. Except when I do. And then I’m a 12-year-old again, slinking down in the passenger seat of the Buick Skylark so nobody can see me going through the Burger King drive-thru with my embarrassing mother.

But most of my current middle-age insecurities aren’t about what other people think, but what I think of myself. I’ve seen enough of the world to know what is exceptional and what is good enough. And what isn’t. When I was young I thought I was as brilliant as Jack Kerouac and that one day I would rightly claim my seat at the table with the greats as soon as the world woke up and recognized my brilliance. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t a genius; I was just young. The fleeting window of overconfidence has passed and now I am left with the knowledge that I’m just a regular guy, plodding along like everybody else. But that’s okay. And doggone it, people like me! There’s a thin line between insecurity and acceptance.

We’re all alright.

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New Brandy Clark: Buried

Video: Brandy Clark – “Buried”

Directed by Victoria Stevens. From Brandy Clark, out May 19.

Is Brandy Clark the best songwriter working today? Not sure those kinds of rankings help anybody, but one thing I know is that I love every song I’ve heard that she’s written or co-written.

I’ll fly myself to France
First class New York to Paris
Get drunk on wine and dance
With someone who ain’t embarrassed
To kiss me on the dance floor.

She’s so good.

Clark says, “This album is a return home to me in many ways. Musically it’s the rawest I’ve been since 12 Stories and maybe even rawer. When Brandi [Carlile, producer] and I sat down and talked about working together, one thing that really intrigued me was her saying ‘I see it as your return to the Northwest.’” Clark and Carlile are both from Washington state.

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Continue reading New Brandy Clark: Buried

New Brandy Clark video: Who You Thought I Was

Video: Brandy Clark – “Who You Thought I Was”

Directed by Claire Marie Vogel. From Your Life Is A Record, out March 6 on Warner.

There’s a line in a Wilco song that has gotten to me since the first time I heard it over twenty years ago: “What you once were isn’t what you want to be anymore.” People, especially those of us who are prone to nostalgia, spend a lot of their time looking back and thinking that life was better when they were younger.

At some point, maturity and a little self-awareness tend to kick in and you realize that your younger self was kind of a dipshit. At best, a lovable dipshit. But a dipshit nonetheless.

And then you might come to the conclusion that you’re still not quite the human being you’d like to be. And there’s a lot of work left to do. It’s humbling. And daunting.

Brandy Clark, who wrote my favorite song of 2018 (“Pray to Jesus” by the Oak Ridge Boys), gets it.

Now I wanna be honest
Now I wanna be better
Now I wanna be the me I should’ve been when we were together
I wanna be at least almost close to worth your love
I wanna be who you thought I was

Right? These are lyrics that will stick with you for the next twenty years.

John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, who is certainly no slouch when it comes to writing lyrics, shared this song and said, “Brandy Clark once again making the other songwriters, present company included, look like amateurs.”

A songwriter’s songwriter. I’ve been really getting into these lately.

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Continue reading New Brandy Clark video: Who You Thought I Was

New Oak Ridge Boys video: Pray To Jesus

Video: The Oak Ridge Boys – “Pray To Jesus”

From 17th Avenue Revival, out March 16 on Lightning Rod Records.

We live in trailers and apartments too
From California to Kalamazoo

My first concert was the Oak Ridge Boys at the Ionia Free Fair during the summer of “Elvira.” I don’t remember much about the show except that the guy who looked like Grizzly Adams was wearing overalls with no shirt and his armpit hair went down to his waist. Now, I’m pretty sure that isn’t accurate or even anatomically possible, but it’s burned into my memory so deeply that it’s all I can picture whenever I think of the Oak Ridge Boys.

My only other memory of that day was that there was an old cop car, and for five bucks you could whack it with a sledgehammer. This too seems extremely improbable in retrospect, but all I can say is that 1981 was still the seventies at the Ionia Free Fair.

And now the Oak Ridge Boys are back with a scootin’ cover of a Brandy Clark jam. Any song that namedrops Kalamazoo in the first verse is okay by me.

Giddy up.

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Continue reading New Oak Ridge Boys video: Pray To Jesus