Listen of the Week: Allison Crutchfield

Tourist in the This Town, by Allison Crutchfield

But songs are rarely bitter. Instead, Crutchfield offers up lamentations about losing a friend, a band, and all the things that were important to her while she searches for peace in the discord.

http://www.avclub.com/review/her-debut-solo-album-allison-crutchfield-finds-pea-248883

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Listen of the Week: Allison Crutchfield

The Waterwood Box, 7

Catch up!

Adam lifted the box to eye-level just in time to watch the drop fall from the box. His eyes followed the droplet through the air to the dry ground at his feet. The light, brown dirt slightly darkened where the water drop landed. Adam flipped the box right side up and stuck his hand inside the box to feel for any other wetness. “There’s nothing in it though,” he said.

“Well, there was something, but you lost it,” joked Mr. Might.

“That’s not funny, honey,” said Mrs. Might, smacking her husband’s arm.

The joke wasn’t funny to Adam either. The situation made him uncomfortable. He set the box on the table. Monkey jumped up from the table and ran inside to use the bathroom. Adam looked down to where the drop fell. The small spot of wetness looked larger and darker still, as though someone spilled a tall glass of water there. But that couldn’t be. It was such a tiny drop. Adam slipped one foot out of his flip-flop and touched his toes to the wet ground. Is that mud? The spot grew into a spill and, before Adam’s eyes, it blossomed into a patch of mud. Adam panicked. “Dad, Mom, what was in that box?” Mr. Might stood up from his chair and he, too, noticed something was very wrong.

“What the – ?” he said. The muddy ground give way as soon as he put his full weight on it. “It’s muddy over here.”

“It’s muddy over here, too.” said Leon.

Cory looked at Adam. “What is it Adam? What’s going on?”

Adam shook his head in disbelief. He could only watch water well up from the ground around his feet. Confused and frightened, he couldn’t move. After a few seconds, Adam found his voice. Water encircled his ankles. Adam looked to his parents and cried, “What did I do?”

The Waterwood Box, 7

The Waterwood Box, 6

Catch up!

Finally, all the packages sat open except one. For some reason Adam now felt hesitant to open the wooden box. While he opened his other gifts, Adam kept a mental checklist of who had given him which gift. And, if his list was right, he’d already opened all his friends’ and his relatives’ gifts. Who was left?  The wooden box remained on the table, alone and unopened.

“You’ve got one more, Adam!” yelled Monkey. “Hurry up so I can go pee.”

Adam walked to the gift table and picked up the box. The thing felt incredibly light, weighing no more than a few sheets of paper,  but didn’t seem to be made of flimsy wood. He shook it again. Still nothing moved inside.

“Open it!” Monkey and Juan yelled simultaneously, then laughed. “Jinx!” they both yelled together again.

Adam shrugged and examined the top of the box. He had to slide open the lid in order to open the gift. He set the box down on the tabletop and placed his palm flat on the box top. The wood budged a bit, but that was all. Adam pressed his palms forward to slide the lid open. Nothing happened. He then tapped the edges of the box with his fist and tried again to slide the top open. This time the lid gave way. He slid the lid off and peered down into the box. Empty! No card, no gift, no thing. What? Then Adam smiled. He turned around.  “Daaaad, what’s this all about?”

Mr. Might raised his eyebrows. “What is it, son?  What’d you get?”

Adam laughed. “Nothing at all, Dad. It’s empty.” To prove his words Adam took the box from the table, shook it, spun it between his fingers, and turned it upside down. He tapped the bottom for emphasis. “Empty.  See?  Very funny, Dad.” Don Crane sat closest to where Adam held the box upside down.

“Whoa” Don said, pointing. “Look. There’s a drop of water in there.”

The Waterwood Box, 6

The Waterwood Box, 5

Catch up!

“Where’s your bathroom?” Leon asked Adam.

“Through the back door, take a right, go through the kitchen, down the hall, first door on your left. If you see my folks, tell them to come on out. I think we’re finished with cake.” Adam looked at Carlos, who had just served himself another piece.

“It’s so hot,” said Cory. “My dad says that if it doesn’t rain soon the rationing is going to get worse.”

“Like how?” asked Don.

“Probably have to start showering every other day or something” answered Seth.

“Oh man, we already all have to shower together at my house. If I have to see my sister naked one more time I’ll puke,” said Monkey.

Juan couldn’t pass up this opportunity. “You can send your sister over to my house to shower, Monkey. I’ll make sure she gets all cleaned up.” Again, all the boys laughed.

Adam heard the back door open and out came Leon. Mr. and Mrs. Might were right behind him with lawn chairs folded up in their arms. Before Leon could sit down at the table Mr. Might started to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. Mrs. Might and all the boys soon joined in and Adam felt pleasantly embarrassed. As the final line of the song came to a close, Mr. Might added “and many more” in a funny, high-pitched voice that sent all the boys into a fit of laughter.

“Open your presents!” they all cried. Adam looked at his mom and she nodded okay. He walked over to the gift table and the wooden box immediately caught his attention. He resisted the urge. If there’s no card, it’ll just have to wait until last, he thought. So, one by one, he went through the gifts. Juan and Cory had gone in together to get him a new video game. Mike gave him a couple of books. Even Carlos had brought him some comics. Mr. and Mrs. Might’s gift to their son was a Swiss Army knife. Adam’s smile broke wide when he opened the package and saw the knife. He looked up to his parents from the pile of unwrappings around him and grinned at them. Mr. Might saluted back. Before going on, Adam put the knife in his pocket.

The Waterwood Box, 5

The Waterwood Box, 4

Catch up!

Eight of Adam’s friends showed up to help him celebrate the big one-three. There was Cory McAry and Juan Villacruz (Adam’s two best friends), Mike Figgit (whom everyone called “Monkey”), Seth Bourder, Grant Willem, Carlos Marquez (whom Adam didn’t really like but had to invite because he was Grant’s best friend), Don Crane, and Leon Oliver. All of the boys were sat at the picnic table, talking, joking, eating cake, and sweating profusely.

“Man, I wish it would rain, rain, rain, rain, rain,” Mike said.

“Me too, Monkey,” said Juan. “Then I’d get to mow the lawn and help my mom in the garden again. Oh, God, please let it rain.”

“Whatever. Like your fat butt couldn’t stand to do a little work.” All the boys laughed. Juan and Monkey were quick to tease each other.

“Hey, Adam, why didn’t you invite any girls to this party?” asked Carlos. Some of the boys murmured a similar interest.

The question took Adam by surprise. He hadn’t really thought about why. “Umm…I just didn’t know who to invite,” he lied.

“Yeah, right. More like you didn’t know any to invite.” Carlos elbowed Grant and took another bite of his cake. “I dumf thinf I’f efah…” Carlos paused, swallowed, then continued, “seen you with a girl, man. What gives? You like girls, man?” A couple of the boys snickered but quickly stopped once they realized this wasn’t teasing like that between Juan and Monkey.

Adam was getting uncomfortable. He didn’t like Carlos and Carlos knew it. “I just wanted to hang out with my friends. That’s all.”

“What’s your problem, Carlos?” Cory interrupted. “It’s Adam’s birthday. Quit being a jerk.”

“Hey, I was just asking, man. Jeez.” Carlos leaned over to Grant and whispered something in his ear. Both boys laughed.

Adam looked at Cory and silently thanked him. They’d been friends since first grade and now they were about to start their last year of junior high together. Cory and Juan and Adam. The Three Musketeers, Mr. Might called them.

The Waterwood Box, 4

Country Lament #857

“Don’t be afraid of death,”
she said
right when
she squeezed that trigger

The light came then
and blinded me
as my skull and teeth did shatter

Death, oh, death
She always finds a way
With her great, white wings
And the pretty songs she sings
She always finds a way

“I’m not afraid of death,”
I thought
before I couldn’t think no more.

The blood spilled then
and sickened her
so she fled
right through that door

Death, oh, death
She always finds a way
With her great, white wings
And the pretty songs she sings
She always finds a way

Yes, she always
Yes, she always
Yes, she always finds a way
Yes, she always
Yes, she always
Yes, she always gets her way
Yes, she always
Yes, she always
Yes, she always finds a way

Country Lament #857

Listen of the Week: Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels 3, by Run the Jewels

Even though it came out a few weeks ago, today is the official release date and good god a’mighty is this a monster of a record.

“By far the best produced record of their trilogy… RTJ3 is a reckoning” 
Pitchfork

“The most buzzed-about act in Rap. Hip-hop has seldom sounded this righteous.. 5 out of 5.” 
NME

 “The greatest exemplars of righteous chaos since Ice Cube dapped up the Bomb Squad.”
SPIN

“A riot in sound… two of the era’s most gifted MC’s.”  
Chicago Tribune

Their time is now.
The Guardian

Listen of the Week: Run the Jewels