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October 3, 2007

Note Books - Carol Bui

The Note Books series features musicians discussing their literary side. Past contributors have included John Darnielle, John Vanderslice, and many others.


I have been a fan of Carol Bui's for almost two years now. I remember when I first downloaded a track from her debut album, This Is How I Recover, the song literally made me jump up and order the album immediately. Yesterday she released Everyone Wore White (one of my favorite albums of the year), and her skill as a songwriter and performer continues to amaze.

My Old Kentucky Blog says Carol Bui's new album, Everyone Wore White, completes a "rock trifecta" (alongside Liz Phair's Exile in Guyvilleand PJ Harvey's Rid of Me). High praise, and well-deserved.


Free and legal Carol Bui mp3 downloads:

"Modern Dance" [mp3] from Everyone Wore White
"This Is How I Recover" [mp3] from This Is How I Recover
"I Don't Call Him By Name" [mp3] from This Is How I Recover


Upcoming Carol Bui tourdates:

10.3 Greensboro, NC
10.4 Knoxville, TN
10.6 Murfreesboro, TN
10.9 Austin, TX
10.10 OKC
10.11 Tulsa, OK
10.12 St. Louis, MO
10.13 Lawrence, KS
10.15 Madison, WI
10.16 Bloomington, IN
10.17 Indianapolis, IN
10.18 Chicago, IL
10.19 Traverse City, MI
10.20 Canton, OH
10.25 Wilmington, DE
10.26 Harrisonburg, VA
10.27 New York, NY
11.2 Durham, NC
11.3 Williamsburg, VA


In her own words, here is the Note Books entry from Carol Bui:


The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Artists that explore or reflect on the human condition in their body of work fascinate me.

I was reading The Bell Jar when I wrote a good portion of Everyone Wore White. I'm kind of afraid to admit this, but I followed the narrator through her thought processes, through all the hoops and jumps, really believing they were all valid, totally human and understandable. It wasn't until I got to the point in the book when she was committed, when everyone else had declared her kooky, that I thought...wait, so she's nuts? If I am able to relate to her does that mean I'm nuts, too?

No, I'm completely sane. I like to think I'm just very compassionate.

I can't say that the book was a big influence on the making of the album, but I did hack a phrase from it for a lyric to "Call For Bangkok".


Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley by David Browne

Like a lot of music fans, I love Jeff Buckley as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. I wanted to see how he made his artistic decisions, how he came to write some of the most beautiful, sincere pieces of rock music, and if he had any of the same creative habits that I have. The book goes through Tim and Jeff's lives concurrently, so one chapter discusses a chunk of Tim's life and the next would discuss a chunk of Jeff's life, and it continues back and forth. At first, the jumping around made it hard for me to follow each chain of events, but it made sense once I saw the parallels between the two lives. I started reading this last winter, but stopped a few months ago when I approached the chapters about their deaths.

The only time I have for recreational reading is just before bed, so unless I stay up for hours, it takes me awhile to finish something. It's not just out of convenience, though. Reading at night helps to purge my brain of any stressors that might keep me from getting my seven or eight hours.

Call me a baby if you want, but I can't read about death at night. I am, however, looking forward to finishing it during the next pocket of downtime on this tour.


Love is a Mixtape: Life and Loss by Rob Sheffield

I just started this book a few days ago. Back in high school when I was really into making mix tapes, I was the only one within my circle of friends that actually took it seriously. I cared about the track listing, the song selection, what I wanted the recipient to know about me, and so on. What I love so far is that Rob talks about the thoughtful, active process of listening to music. It's a very passive act for many, but as Rob generously demonstrates, it is that much more rewarding when you allow yourself to attach these simple collections of sounds to parts of your human and emotional makeup. I am looking forward to finishing this on tour as well.


Carol Bui links:

Carol Bui's website
Carol Bui's MySpace page

DCist interview
MassLive interview
Warped Reality interview

Carol Bui posts at Largehearted Boy
Carol Bui tracks at Hype Machine


also at Largehearted Boy:

Previous Note Books submissions (musicians discuss literature)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
directors and actors discuss their film's soundtracks
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2007 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)


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