Homesick? Not Elaine Greer. Not anymore.
The waifish singer-songwriter and 2009 Houston Press Music Award nominee for Best Female Vocals moved to Austin a couple of years back. After the usual adjustment period, she says she likes it "quite a bit."
"When I first moved here I found it overwhelming and confusing," she says, "but now things are going pretty well."
Annotations, Greer's first full-length CD, is made for summer nights around a campfire. Heavy with overdubs, recorded in Greer's apartment and Houston's Treehouse, its gentle melodies and lush harmonies mask the displacement and doubts of a young woman coming to terms with unfamiliar surroundings.
"A lot of the lyrics are me trying to give advice to my older self, if that makes sense," Greer says.
It does. If you're into Jenny Lewis, Annotations will fit like a fuzzy sweater. Greer plays Fitzgerald's tonight with Hearts of Animals (who's been pretty quiet lately) and Trio Musette, yet another project of Sideshow Tramps/Grandfather Child/Robert Ellis & the Boys utilityman Geoffrey Muller. Considering all the words that have flown back and forth between Houston and Austin recently, Rocks Off asked Greer for some perspective on the two cities' music scenes.
"Houston's scene is smaller and more condensed, while Austin's scene is big and spread out and has a million different niches," she says. "It's easier to get recognized in Houston, but once you do get recognized in Austin there are more places to play and more opportunities. Both are nice in their own ways."
Fair enough. As it's the first weekend of summer, Rocks Off also asked Greer to share her favorite swimming-pool songs - not songs about swimming pools, but ones that remind her of lazy days under an umbrella with a cold drink and a good book. From the list she gave us, Annotations, which you can stream on her Web site, would fit right in.
The Beach Boys, "Wouldn't It Be Nice"
"And the rest of Pet Sounds. This album reminds me of summer and swimming."
Belle and Sebastian, "Asleep on a Sunbeam"
A cute song..."Another summer's passing by/ All I need is somewhere I feel the grass beneath my feet."
"Most of the album My Maudlin Career is sweet, playful and upbeat. Definitely feel-good music without being substance-less. Perfect for swimming-pool days."
Death Cab For Cutie, "Photo Booth"
A song about a young reckless summertime relationship. Makes me feel lazy. I feel that swimming pools require laziness.
"'80s music and FUN go hand in hand, I believe..."
Neutral Milk Hotel, "Holland, 1945"
"This song always gets me pumped up and excited."
Priscilla Ahn, "Find My Way Back Home"
A pretty, dreamy ukulele song. Relaxing and happy."
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Tristen, "Special Kind of Fear"
"I can't really explain this one, but I know that I would like to listen to this song while lying by a pool. Cool organ and vocals and feels carefree. And the rest of album Charlatans at the Garden Gate."