album review: ha ha tonka — lessons

i’m close to the age that i only do things that i know how to do i can make coffee and i can make small talk ’cause who wants to try something new? And so starts “Dead To The World” and Lessons, the astonishing 4th LP from Missouri quartet Ha Ha Tonka. I have spent…

interview: brian roberts of ha ha tonka

Tomorrow Ha Ha Tonka drops Lessons, their spectacular 4th LP follow-up to three previous spectacular LPs (there’ll be a review tomorrow morning!), and I’ve got some answers from Brian Roberts, guitarist and lead singer, on a variety of subjects — Maurice Sendak, making art, Brett’s mandolin, and the Pirates’ resurgence. Read more below, and thanks…

that little girl, so hot she’s scalding

Don’t worry, I’m just having my semi-regular Ha Ha Tonka related head injury. This time prompted by their upcoming new record, which is still two months away from being in my hands, a fact that is currently driving me up a wall. The version of ’12-Inch 3 Speed Oscillating Fan’ from last year at Bristol….

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012

If you ask me, Bristol Rhythm & Roots is the best bang for your festival buck in the country — $40 gets you a weekend of the best traditional and new Americana artists out there, plus you get to watch the Tennessee/Florida game with Tennessee fans, and the quality of the street food is top-notch….

ha ha tonka — death of a decade

Ha Ha Tonka — Death of a Decade. Out tomorrow, Bloodshot Records. Start right off: where Ha Ha Tonka’s 2009 masterpiece Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South starts quiet and builds to the crescendos of “Walking On The Devil’s Backbone” and “Close Every Valve To Your Bleeding Heart” in the middle of the record before…

top 25 albums of 2011

The usual caveat before we get into the list: I make my list with a mix of objectivity and subjectivity; I’ve left albums I loved off other lists because they weren’t actually very good, and occasionally an incredibly impressive album I’m not wild about will sneak in. In short, this is a list, basically, of…

ha ha tonka @ local 506

This is a story about how I almost never heard my favorite album of 2009. When I lived in Chicago, I fell in love with Bloodshot Records, outlaw country independent record label of my heart — like Suburban Home, like Merge, like Trekky, I trust Bloodshot to know what I like and to give it…