Daily Miscellany


Morning coffee


Patti Smith hot sauce

A few festival notes


Some thoughts about this past weekend’s Pilgrimage Music Festival in Franklin, Tennessee:

Molly Tuttle Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway at the Pilgrimage Music Festival.


Jon Batiste is a remarkable artist


I try to go to a lot of live music, especially festivals, and every once in a while a set comes along that’s truly special. Like seeing an eclipse, once in a lifetime. On Thursday singer Jon Batiste premiered his “American Symphony” at Carnegie Hall. On Saturday at the Pilgrimage Music Festival in Tennessee, still clearly floating from that Carnegie Hall high, Batiste gave what is a contender for one the best live performances I’ve ever seen.

He tore the place down and when his set time was over, he wasn’t ready to go, so he grabbed a melodica and his band kind of looked at him like, WTF? He jumped into the pit and headed back into the crowd, toward the sound booth, followed by his drummer with a tambourine to keep the show going for a few extra minutes.

Truly an artist. Don’t miss an opportunity to see him perform live.

Jon Batiste at Pilgrimage Music Festival

What you need for your music festival go bag


If you’re heading to a music festival be prepared, but don’t over pack. You don’t want to carry around a bunch of weight. Here are a few items I always bring:

Gogol Bordello's 'Solidaritine' speaks to displaced people everywhere


Ukrainian punk band Gogol Bordello released their new album Solidaritine today. The track “Forces of Victory” speaks directly to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and features Ukrainian Nobel prize nominated writer Serhiy Zhadan.

With only one thing on its mind
I can’t go on, I will go on
With only one thing on it’s mind
I can’t go on, I will go on

When I was younger I thought someday that we will win
And in another country I will find my twin
Spread good music and good poetry
Joining forces of the victory

Although the album was mostly written before the invasion, tracks like the standout “Take Only What You Can Carry” speak to the universal struggle of displaced people. The band posted in the description of their video for the song, “‘Take Only What You Can Carry’ encapsulates [an] emotional message of uprooted people whose lives were destroyed by this fucked up war in Ukraine.”

In August the band played a secret show for Ukrainian soldiers. Watch an interview with lead singer Eugene Hütz discussing the album, punk rock and Gogol Bordello’s legacy. And you must watch them in a boisterous performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts in 2019.


“Bill [Withers'] studio albums were great. I’ll even go to bat for the late ones that no one (including Bill himself) liked. But let’s talk about his live album. It’s called Live at Carnegie Hall, and it’s a document of a show there from late in 1972, though it wouldn’t be released until the following April.

Though it’s not usually mentioned among the best live albums in soul music history, it should be. Withers delivers intense versions of his hits, sometimes leading into the songs with extended commentary (called ‘raps’ in the liner notes). I memorized that record down to the last second. To this day, I can re-create the two-and-a-half-minute spoken intro that leads into ‘Grandma’s Hands.’ "

Music is History by Questlove