Sunday, 10 March 2013

Albums for Life: 39: Mary Chapin Carpenter: Between Here and Gone

There's devilish wizardry afoot; Toronto Tim's at it again; invading my mental space; reducing my list to nowt but post dated premonitions. I'm using TT's words to describe this wonderfully bleak album. I've been accused of 'verbosity' after my Roddy Frame choice(s) at 40 so, why not let someone else do the donkey work. Eeaw, eeaw, he always know what I'm thinking...
Here below is Tim from yesterday over on Cathedrals of Sound, followed by my response, placed under 'Comments'.
I'd probably have gone for the same track choices from this subdued but beautiful concoction but then I'm sure he knew that anyway...
Now Tim, once more, I'm peeling a root vegetable.
Is it:
a: a carrot
b: a parsnip
c: a prefab sprout

#40 - MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER - Between Here & Gone (2004)

Toronto Tim: 

This is one of my favorite records of the last decade. Trev has mentioned MCC a couple of times on his blog. I've barely spoken to him about her work, but I've been secretly hoping he'd spotlight this beautiful album eventually 'coz there's no way my words can do it justice. For me it's her strongest release, a serious introspective record which compares with Gretchen Peters' best work, and mostly avoids her usual detours into uptempo Nashville twang. The title cut is absolutely stunning; 'In My Heaven' is well... heavenly. There's also the haunting 'Grand Central Station' one of the finest 9/11 tributes (along with SunKilMoon's 'Gentle Moon' & Miracle Mile's 'Falling Man'). 
Again, I can't decide which samples to post. 
Every one is special, so here's a bunch...

Between Here & Gone:
Grand Central Station:
In My Heaven:
Goodnight America:
Shelter Of Storms:

There is an intensity to MCC's work that can come over as overly earnest; on occasion it feels as though you're being straightened out by your favourite primary school teacher. She is seriously sincere. 'Mawkish' is a stone oft cast, unjustly, in her direction.
'The Calling' and 'Age of Miracles' are excellent (as are the early pleasures of 'Stones in the Road' and 'Come On, Come On') but I concur with Tim's choice of 'Between Here & Gone', a moving work of wonder that initially seems as unremarkable as its cover. It then proceeds to insinuate itself imperceptibly into the chambers of your heart and squeeze very gently until you can't help but fall heart over head for it's world weary tenderness.

Yeah, I'm just wondering how we know where we belong
Is it in the arc of the moon leaving shadows on the lawn?
In the path of fireflies and a single bird at dawn?
Singing in between here and gone

Mawkish my arse...


  1. I warn you, you'd better not be considering Sprout as your next entry or you'll be fielding verbal grenades from you legion of adoring fans the size of um, a small European country; left picking shrapnel out of your ass for the rest of your life...
    Parsnip is a root veggie? I'll be damned!
    I don't believe in that Voodoo thang so I'm not picking the other one...

    I'm glad you included a chunk of MCC's supremely poetic lyrics. I'm often left speechless...

  2. Is parsnip not a root veg?
    I wouldn't know a light bulb from a truffle so...
    As for picking shrapnel out of my ass; your 3rd eye's focussed again TT but that ain't shrapnel; that my friend is a parsnip. Why do you think I was peeling it? Things are a little... slow around here.
    Actually, just done a photo session with Marcus and Di for the art work of 'In Cassidy's Care'.
    Shocked to see that Marcus and I are no longer 'totty'... the way of all flesh indeed.
    Hence the need for afore mentioned root vegetables...

  3. No! No! I'm the fool here. I was mixing up parsnips (a root) with parsley, that useless sprig restaurants place on potatoes. I don't even know what bloody parsnip looks like! Not a staple here, probably for good reason...

    I'm off to Google 'totty'. Is that like a tosser? You Brits have a different word for everything. Still trying to figure out which is worse/better: wanker, knobber, twat, tosser, etc...

    PS: Just back from the beach. It's a sunny 26'C, and the beach bunnies are out!

  4. Parsnip is like a sweet spud; you roast it and eat it on Sundays just after sex and/or church...
    For 'totty' see 'beach bunny'.
    Wanker/Tosser/Twat all great. Steer clear of 'knobbier'. Sounds like a Knightsbridge fabrication...
    Envy your sun, we are white as ghosts here...

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