If you don’t know, the Milk Carton Kids are an indie folk duo with Americana sensibilities. They’ve been on my playlist since I saw them on youtube on an NPR Tiny Desk concert. Kind of a Simon & Garfunkel for the folk revival era, string-plucking vocalists Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale are fascinating entertainers. Armed only with 50s-era guitars, smart writing, and boyish grins, the Milk Carton Kids are on my to-see list.
I wanted to share the 2014 NPR-produced show, “Live at Lincoln Theatre.” It’s a gem. Retro- and intro-spective melodic folk songs are interlaced with Joey Ryan’s Dryasdust commentary on their most recent album, including a typographical history, instructions on pronunciation, and a definition of “eponymous.” The definition is hardly needed for the crowd at the Lincoln Theatre. Joey Ryan claims that 75% of their fans are English majors, including one who is able to distinguish between a generic symbol and a ligature. What follows is a mini-lecture from the musician on the philology of the the ampersand.
Overall, worth sharing for word nerds and roots music lovers alike.