Knit to This: Mary Chapin Carpenter
After a multi-year recruitment effort, we announce with joy that we have persuaded DG Strong to write for us. He’s the biggest reader and movie watcher we know, an omnivore of things to listen to, to watch, to read. We will continue to contribute our own Knit to This and Lazy Sunday posts, but frankly, we’re thrilled to have DG pointing us to what’s worth our attention.
Kay and Ann
Look, it’s OK to be sad. Mary Chapin Carpenter says so, and as far as I’m concerned, what MCC says goes.
While “It’s OK to be Sad” is the 2020-iest song on her intimate new album The Dirt and the Stars, it’s not the only one that seems to have its finger right on the melancholy mood we’re all living with on a daily basis right now.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that The Dirt and the Stars is a bunch of quiet, moony songs meant to be accompanied by various flavored international coffees. She gives us a lot to think about with this set: politics, abuse, love, loss … even a childhood road trip provides some fodder for the closing title song, which is a flat-out stunner.
This collection can be pointed and angry and funny—sometimes all at the same time; I’ll leave you to puzzle out who “American Stooge” is about—and all of it is, typically for MCC, clever and literate. Though she doesn’t attempt to rhyme it, “quotidien” shows up in a song and if that’s not the Mary Chapin Carpenter-est thing of the year, I don’t know what is. For all of that, though, it’s never less than effortless and beautiful, never less than thoughtful and smart, never less than as assured a record as she’s ever made. Just go listen to it. You’ll see.