Music Musings – June 2013

Focus on Courtney Barnett

If you’ve been following along on A Little More Vodka, A Little Less Milk for awhile, you know that Australian singer/songwriter/garage rocker, Courtney Barnett has been a favorite. She’s appeared on the blog twice in video, in December 2012 and about 3 months ago. In addition, she made the cut for the 40 best tracks of 2012 with History Eraser and just released (March 2013) another single, Avant Gardener, originally a studio demo instrumental, that she added lyrics to.

There’s something about the garage sensibility of the music, borrowing from many pop, rock and blues sub-genres to get this strange, sometimes distorted, emotional vibe. Then there are the lyrics, which slip in poetically and tell a story. Take Avant Gardner for instance. The lyric line is telling the tale of a time when Courtney did some gardening and ended up in the hospital:

“My hands are shaky, my knees are weak,

I can’t seem to stand on my own two feet.

I’m breathing but I’m wheezing, feel like I’m emphyseman

My throat feels like a funnel …”

You get the idea. She can describe an event in the most detailed way, and yet the lyrics flow in and out, slipping between the guitars. Her throaty alto slides into the words, which works together with the guitars that are deliberately a bit sloppy at times. My wife is not a fan of guitar solos or long  interludes of distorted music, and sometimes that is true of myself as well. Not, however, when it comes to Courtney Barnett. These interludes only serve to emphasize the music as a whole, and in the case of Avant Gardener, they tell their own tale of the pain of Anaphylaxis.

So far I’ve purchased all of Courtney Barnett’s digital content from, but I’m hopeful that a long player is in the works. I’m sure she has one in her. It would be great to hear her perform live, as I’m guessing that you miss something in the translation-similar to listening to blues in a small club. I’m not likely to make it to Australia however, so I’m relegated to the studio work which is great work.

If you have not as yet checked out Courtney Barnett, I encourage you to visit her web site and purchase her music


As always, I encourage you to contact me with suggestions, rants, or anything else, by clicking on the “Ask” button here, or sending me an email to sspencerwire (at)