Monday, June 27, 2011

Jill Andrews Plays at a South Knoxville Treasure


Jill Andrews at the Disc Exchange
Do you realize there are people in this world who have never had the sublime experience of walking from the heat of the day into the cool, maybe just a little shadowy, sweet air of a local record store? Of course, at one time there were only records, then came cassettes, 8 tracks and finally CDs. At least that we thought that was final. Next came MP3s and everything went really wacko for us old guys.
Maybe we had grudgingly accepted the fact that we would no longer flip through those cool stacks of vinyl looking at album covers we could really enjoy both because they were large enough to see and because someone actually cared about the art on the outside as well as the inside of the jacket. So, we got CDs, but then came the music files that threatened a whole culture. It wasn't just about the message, it was about the medium.
Jill Andrews and band, Disc Exchange, Knoxville
I remember being a very angry teenager once when I applied for a job at one of the emerging chain record stores and didn't get it. What made me angry? The fact that I knew more about the music being sold in that store than virtually any of the much cooler, much cuter people they were hiring. I knew then the culture had shifted. See, when independent record stores ruled the day, people who actually loved music worked in them. They wanted to talk to you about music. They knew a band you would love or really dig, man.

So, I'm nostalgic. But I also bring it up because we have more of that culture than the average city our size. You can still find it at Lost and Found Records or the newly re-emerged Raven Records. It's not quite the same vibe that permeated the air when new vinyl was the only game in town, but these are people who know their music.
Jill Andrews, Disc Exchange, Knoxville
You can also get a bit of the old vibe at our local treasure, the Disc Exchange. This is where I found Jill Andrews recently, playing songs from her new album The Mirror, which you can buy at the store or, if you only do downloads, you can get it by clicking that link. The Disc Exchange is a rare independent CD store in an age of disappearing chain stores, let alone these little independent jewels. They know music. They care about what you listen to. They love local music. What better place to spend a lazy afternoon?
Jill Andrews has worked her dreamy magic onto my usually edgier playlist. It's mellow, it has some elements of folk music, but it also is informed with the sometime edge and quirky melodies of alternative music. Indie music at its very finest, the music draws you in and moves under your skin. I liked it when I heard it live, but each subsequent play has revealed just a little something more that keeps me coming back to what is a deceptively simple album.
Jill Andrews
Then there is this: As an Urban Guy with a close relationship to a certain Urban Woman, I am not taken to commenting on the appearance or attractiveness of persons of the other gender. That said, I will say this: I think Linda Ronstadt in the 1970's was about as pretty a woman belting out music as I've ever seen. And Jill Andrews looks hauntingly like her. Don't believe me? Check out the videos below. The first is Jill performing Blue Sky, which is on the new disc. The second is that other girl. Also check out Jill's new disc and visit the Disc Exchange. Love local music and local music shops or they will disappear forever.



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