First off, I apologize for the blase and disaffected tone exhibited in the last post. I honestly didn’t mean to wax Hemingway on the unapologetic presence of death that marks farm life; I simply wanted to relate events in the straightforward manner in which they occured.
(Admittedly, this was likely Hemingway’s excuse as well.)
Be assured, however, that the tone actually does reflect the pace of life at FMK Ranch. Now that I’ve left, I can see that for what it is. Frances is an admirable figure, in many ways, but as a single American-Kiwi mother who raised her two daughters (the “M” and the “K” in the name) on a remote patch of land in the Coromandel, she can be rather–distant.
So my time there was characterized by a quiet submission, that singular ruler over rudimentary tasks.
Hence the disaffected tone.
In other news, I downloaded the new Avetts’ album the other day. Listening to it was my evening activity, laying motionless in the back of my car, listening to the wind whip through the trash bag on the can beside the car park–a small feat next to the giant swells crashing on Waikanae Beach outside Gisborne. I can’t fully resound the effervescence of Paste’s reviewer Bart Blasengame (I suppose I’m an unregenerate indie-Avetts fan), but the album’s definitely growing on me. I’m glad to see the lyrics still retain some of the backwoods North Cackalacky charm:
Ain’t it like most people
I’m no different
We love to talk on things
We don’t know about. (“Ten Thousand Words”)
I wanna have pride like my mother has
And not like the kind in the Bible that makes you bad. (“The Perfect
It’s far slower-paced and melodious than earlier Avett Brothers albums. The songs released in advance were almost certainly chosen to appease diehard indie-Avetts fans: “I and Love and You” and “Laundry Room.” (For a much more heartfelt–and generally more entertaining–rendition of the latter than can be found on the album, check out NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert with the Avetts from June.)
Paste gave I and Love and You a 96, Metacritic a 75. I’ll put it somewhere in between: 86.
I’m currently waiting for October 6th to occur in New York so I can download the new Mountain Goats album. (Liz, I’ll devote a whole post to review it–just for you.)
I’m headed to Morere Hot Springs just now, to warm up after a few days of treacherous driving in Tsunami conditions. Hoping to arrive at my new hosts’ place by dinnertime (or “tea”: when in Rome…). Check out the website of Greg and Rachel Hart’s farm, Mangarara Station, here.