Gillian Welch on the healing power of road trips: ‘In every street sign there is poetry’

The Americana star and musical partner David Rawlings are embarking on a 7,000km-plus drive across Australia, taking in two laps of the east coast

Gillian Welch wants to see some kangaroos. She didnt see any the only other time she was in Australia so the country music star wants to rectify that when she returns for the first time in 12 long years. And since the tour is as much road trip as musical event band and crew are going to drive between gigs, starting in Perth and taking in two laps of the east coast it seems designed for the purpose.

Last time we saw some wombats I think thats what they were going across the road, a whole mess of em. But we didnt see kangaroos so I want to see some this time, says Welch, who is well aware that there might not be much else to look at on parts of the 7,000km-plus trip.

The tour has been designed by us, she says, meaning herself and musical partner Dave Rawlings. Weve wanted to do this for a long time. Last time we drove from Brisbane to Melbourne and that was the end of the tour. We didnt get to turn the corner and continue the tour.

Everyone is super excited and they know what were in for. People say to me, Its different to the US, theres nothing in between. But my reaction to that is, Great. People dont tour the way we do.

There is no doubt the pair are a bit different. Apart from the driving thing (have they even looked at the map, I wonder?), they are splitting the focus of the tour so Welch takes centre stage with her material from Perth to Brisbane before they morph into the Dave Rawlings Machine from Brisbane back to Melbourne.

Welchs sublime blend of country, blues and folk traditions has led to sold-out shows in Australia. Songs such as Caleb Meyer, April the 14th and I Dream a Highway have established a special niche in the Americana catalogue. With Welch spinning tales of Okies and outlaws, backed by Rawlings harmonies and dipping and soaring guitar licks, they make for a spellbinding stage spectacle.

We really enjoy playing live and like being on the road, Welch says. It feels like what Im supposed to be doing. Theres something natural about it. Its such a sense of how you get better by playing a chunk of shows.

We hope the shows are transportive, transfixing. Were trying to give people a unique experience. I hold playing live in special regard. And its different because of the people who show up.

Welch has not released new material under her name since 2011 but the Machine recently released an excellent second album, Nashville Obsolete, showcasing the pairs rockier impulses and Rawlings extraordinary guitar playing.

With the tour, we hope people will get both bands, Welch says. When we get to Brisbane, were going to turn around and reverse direction. Two different ensembles, two different catalogues.

Its been really important doing both and trying to broaden what we do because it can get focused right down to a razors edge. We have the same record collections but he cant do what I can do, and I cant do what he does. We get to cover different territory and the music that we love. With the Machine we push deeper into that Dylanesque, ramshackle rock. And I can push deeper into the Stanley brothers, Townes Van Zandt kind of stuff.

Welch seems to have inherited the natural storytelling gift of those great names. She was born in New York but adopted as a baby before growing up in California where her parents worked as TV writers. Many people have wondered how this woman from the coasts can evoke the spirit of the US south so vividly. But, speaking to her by phone as she and Rawlings drive to a show in Houston, its obvious how she brings the sights and sounds of the American landscape to life, from the beauty of Appalachia to the backyard wreckage of abandoned cars.

Being on the road is my way to check in with the state of the union, she says. Its a first-hand way to see whats going on out here, to get the vibe.

I always say to people, if theyre feeling depressed go take a road trip and see whats actually happening. Ive never been bored in a car. In every street sign there is poetry and history and all these beautiful images. You see so much crazy stuff. The other day I saw an old car buried in beer cans. Someone had filled big 60-gallon bags with the cans and left them all on top of the car. But over time the bags had popped open and covered the car in cans.

The US is a real car culture which the country is totally wrapped up in. They hold our memories and hopes for the future so people dont like to get rid of them, she says, perhaps nonchalantly sketching out a future songscape as she goes off to dream another highway.

The Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings Machine tour of Australia begins in Perth on 30 January and ends in Melbourne on 19 February

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jan/27/gillian-welch-on-the-healing-power-of-road-trips-in-every-street-sign-there-is-poetry

Gillian Welch on the healing power of road trips: ‘In every street sign there is poetry’

The Americana star and musical partner David Rawlings are embarking on a 7,000km-plus drive across Australia, taking in two laps of the east coast

Gillian Welch wants to see some kangaroos. She didnt see any the only other time she was in Australia so the country music star wants to rectify that when she returns for the first time in 12 long years. And since the tour is as much road trip as musical event band and crew are going to drive between gigs, starting in Perth and taking in two laps of the east coast it seems designed for the purpose.

Last time we saw some wombats I think thats what they were going across the road, a whole mess of em. But we didnt see kangaroos so I want to see some this time, says Welch, who is well aware that there might not be much else to look at on parts of the 7,000km-plus trip.

The tour has been designed by us, she says, meaning herself and musical partner Dave Rawlings. Weve wanted to do this for a long time. Last time we drove from Brisbane to Melbourne and that was the end of the tour. We didnt get to turn the corner and continue the tour.

Everyone is super excited and they know what were in for. People say to me, Its different to the US, theres nothing in between. But my reaction to that is, Great. People dont tour the way we do.

There is no doubt the pair are a bit different. Apart from the driving thing (have they even looked at the map, I wonder?), they are splitting the focus of the tour so Welch takes centre stage with her material from Perth to Brisbane before they morph into the Dave Rawlings Machine from Brisbane back to Melbourne.

Welchs sublime blend of country, blues and folk traditions has led to sold-out shows in Australia. Songs such as Caleb Meyer, April the 14th and I Dream a Highway have established a special niche in the Americana catalogue. With Welch spinning tales of Okies and outlaws, backed by Rawlings harmonies and dipping and soaring guitar licks, they make for a spellbinding stage spectacle.

We really enjoy playing live and like being on the road, Welch says. It feels like what Im supposed to be doing. Theres something natural about it. Its such a sense of how you get better by playing a chunk of shows.

We hope the shows are transportive, transfixing. Were trying to give people a unique experience. I hold playing live in special regard. And its different because of the people who show up.

Welch has not released new material under her name since 2011 but the Machine recently released an excellent second album, Nashville Obsolete, showcasing the pairs rockier impulses and Rawlings extraordinary guitar playing.

With the tour, we hope people will get both bands, Welch says. When we get to Brisbane, were going to turn around and reverse direction. Two different ensembles, two different catalogues.

Its been really important doing both and trying to broaden what we do because it can get focused right down to a razors edge. We have the same record collections but he cant do what I can do, and I cant do what he does. We get to cover different territory and the music that we love. With the Machine we push deeper into that Dylanesque, ramshackle rock. And I can push deeper into the Stanley brothers, Townes Van Zandt kind of stuff.

Welch seems to have inherited the natural storytelling gift of those great names. She was born in New York but adopted as a baby before growing up in California where her parents worked as TV writers. Many people have wondered how this woman from the coasts can evoke the spirit of the US south so vividly. But, speaking to her by phone as she and Rawlings drive to a show in Houston, its obvious how she brings the sights and sounds of the American landscape to life, from the beauty of Appalachia to the backyard wreckage of abandoned cars.

Being on the road is my way to check in with the state of the union, she says. Its a first-hand way to see whats going on out here, to get the vibe.

I always say to people, if theyre feeling depressed go take a road trip and see whats actually happening. Ive never been bored in a car. In every street sign there is poetry and history and all these beautiful images. You see so much crazy stuff. The other day I saw an old car buried in beer cans. Someone had filled big 60-gallon bags with the cans and left them all on top of the car. But over time the bags had popped open and covered the car in cans.

The US is a real car culture which the country is totally wrapped up in. They hold our memories and hopes for the future so people dont like to get rid of them, she says, perhaps nonchalantly sketching out a future songscape as she goes off to dream another highway.

The Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings Machine tour of Australia begins in Perth on 30 January and ends in Melbourne on 19 February

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jan/27/gillian-welch-on-the-healing-power-of-road-trips-in-every-street-sign-there-is-poetry

Scrapbooks Are Not Chic: How To Remember The Important Things About Each Year Through Music

Nostalgia serves an important purpose: it’s good to be able to look back on a year and remember what made you happy, what you learned, and what frustrations you overcame. But this it typically pursued through clutter like collectibles or scrapbooks. These are not chic or exciting or even utilitarian. Scrapbooks take up space in your home and have invariably gauche aesthetics. Thankfully technology has made this task infinitely more pleasing.

All the pictures I want to remember are neatly organized on Instagram. There’s no need to clutter my closets with boxes of photos or waste time to cut out kitchy designs to organize a scrapbook. I can look back on my Tumblr history (or my Thought Catalog articles) if I want to know what I was thinking or going through at any particular moment in the past.

Then there is the overarching proper way to scrapbook: through music.

Every year you should add a playlist to your streaming service that you will fill up with 12 songs, one that represents each month. For instance, my 2015 looks like this:

Sometimes the songs I pick are literal, like when it was ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ for the month I signed my first writing contract. Sometimes the songs are visceral, the ones you play on repeat until it is dead to you because you like it so much or because it’s bringing you through some kind of catharsis. Sometimes the songs are more like a talisman, there was a spring where every month was Britney Spears because I was going through a dark time and I thought if everything I listened to was happy and frivolous my life would go back to being that way too.

This is clearly the superior way to organize your memories. Look at how clean and organized this looks in Spotify:

I see the song ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ placed 9th in 2009 and I remember playing it in my car as I picked up my boyfriend to confront him because our mutual friend told me he was cheating on me. I look at Jay-Z’s ‘Young Forever’ up a few months later and I remember I made that the song for that month because one morning my friend and I were laying in my other friend’s bed getting cookie crumbs everywhere and talking about all the people we met while we were out drinking the night before and someone just exclaimed “don’t you fucking love being young?” and it was the pure moment of complete gratitude for things being exactly as they should be.

I remember the month I met one of the most important people of my life because I know I was listening to ‘Bastards of Young’ in my old car when I did. I remember that they used to always play Lil Jon & LMFAO’s ‘Outta Your Mind’ every night at the end of the night at my favorite bar in 2011. This is what it should feel like to revisit a memory. It’s not something you look at, it’s something you .

Make a 2016 playlist in your streaming service. Let it sit there for a few weeks. When you start to feel out the vibe of your January, when you fall in love with a new song, when you’re nursing a breakup by playing JoJo’s ‘Leave’ on repeat — whatever — add it in the first slot. Lather, rinse, repeat and surprise yourself in ten years when you remember every single feeling you’ll feel this year.

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/christine-stockton/2015/12/scrapbooks-are-not-chic-how-to-remember-the-important-things-about-each-year-through-music/

Gillian Welch on the healing power of road trips: ‘In every street sign there is poetry’

The Americana star and musical partner David Rawlings are embarking on a 7,000km-plus drive across Australia, taking in two laps of the east coast

Gillian Welch wants to see some kangaroos. She didnt see any the only other time she was in Australia so the country music star wants to rectify that when she returns for the first time in 12 long years. And since the tour is as much road trip as musical event band and crew are going to drive between gigs, starting in Perth and taking in two laps of the east coast it seems designed for the purpose.

Last time we saw some wombats I think thats what they were going across the road, a whole mess of em. But we didnt see kangaroos so I want to see some this time, says Welch, who is well aware that there might not be much else to look at on parts of the 7,000km-plus trip.

The tour has been designed by us, she says, meaning herself and musical partner Dave Rawlings. Weve wanted to do this for a long time. Last time we drove from Brisbane to Melbourne and that was the end of the tour. We didnt get to turn the corner and continue the tour.

Everyone is super excited and they know what were in for. People say to me, Its different to the US, theres nothing in between. But my reaction to that is, Great. People dont tour the way we do.

There is no doubt the pair are a bit different. Apart from the driving thing (have they even looked at the map, I wonder?), they are splitting the focus of the tour so Welch takes centre stage with her material from Perth to Brisbane before they morph into the Dave Rawlings Machine from Brisbane back to Melbourne.

Welchs sublime blend of country, blues and folk traditions has led to sold-out shows in Australia. Songs such as Caleb Meyer, April the 14th and I Dream a Highway have established a special niche in the Americana catalogue. With Welch spinning tales of Okies and outlaws, backed by Rawlings harmonies and dipping and soaring guitar licks, they make for a spellbinding stage spectacle.

We really enjoy playing live and like being on the road, Welch says. It feels like what Im supposed to be doing. Theres something natural about it. Its such a sense of how you get better by playing a chunk of shows.

We hope the shows are transportive, transfixing. Were trying to give people a unique experience. I hold playing live in special regard. And its different because of the people who show up.

Welch has not released new material under her name since 2011 but the Machine recently released an excellent second album, Nashville Obsolete, showcasing the pairs rockier impulses and Rawlings extraordinary guitar playing.

With the tour, we hope people will get both bands, Welch says. When we get to Brisbane, were going to turn around and reverse direction. Two different ensembles, two different catalogues.

Its been really important doing both and trying to broaden what we do because it can get focused right down to a razors edge. We have the same record collections but he cant do what I can do, and I cant do what he does. We get to cover different territory and the music that we love. With the Machine we push deeper into that Dylanesque, ramshackle rock. And I can push deeper into the Stanley brothers, Townes Van Zandt kind of stuff.

Welch seems to have inherited the natural storytelling gift of those great names. She was born in New York but adopted as a baby before growing up in California where her parents worked as TV writers. Many people have wondered how this woman from the coasts can evoke the spirit of the US south so vividly. But, speaking to her by phone as she and Rawlings drive to a show in Houston, its obvious how she brings the sights and sounds of the American landscape to life, from the beauty of Appalachia to the backyard wreckage of abandoned cars.

Being on the road is my way to check in with the state of the union, she says. Its a first-hand way to see whats going on out here, to get the vibe.

I always say to people, if theyre feeling depressed go take a road trip and see whats actually happening. Ive never been bored in a car. In every street sign there is poetry and history and all these beautiful images. You see so much crazy stuff. The other day I saw an old car buried in beer cans. Someone had filled big 60-gallon bags with the cans and left them all on top of the car. But over time the bags had popped open and covered the car in cans.

The US is a real car culture which the country is totally wrapped up in. They hold our memories and hopes for the future so people dont like to get rid of them, she says, perhaps nonchalantly sketching out a future songscape as she goes off to dream another highway.

The Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings Machine tour of Australia begins in Perth on 30 January and ends in Melbourne on 19 February

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jan/27/gillian-welch-on-the-healing-power-of-road-trips-in-every-street-sign-there-is-poetry