ChesnuTT’s appearance at the Neptune will be his second Seattle show ever, his first since 2002.
  • ChesnuTT’s appearance at the Neptune will be his second Seattle show ever, his first since 2002.

An ice age ago—back in the fall of 2002—I was heartbroken, lost, and damn near destitute. Love had left me, my heat was off, and I was collecting 30-days-or-quit notices on my front door like fireflies in a jar. I covered all the windows of my Capitol Hill apartment and slugged five-dollar magnums of red wine. I felt totally directionless, bereft of hope, adrift in the lightless Seattle winter. I was at my homeboy's house, smoking and singing my pathetic blues, when he suggested we put on his just-purchased copy of Phrenology, the new album from the Roots. Seven tracks in, the stomping opening drums of the rocking "The Seed (2.0)" almost made me drop the blunt, but it was the hook and its singer that truly shook me out of my worst season ever:

I don't ask for much these days/And I don't bitch and whine if I don't get my way...

The listening party didn't resume for half an hour, as we kept running that song back. Apparently, the Roots had redone a cut by an Atlanta-by-way-of-California singer by the name of Cody ChesnuTT. I immediately set out to find out anything I could about him—a hunt that soon netted me his ambitiously titled two-disc debut album, The Headphone Masterpiece. This is such a horrible cliché that I should spare you, but it must be said: That album saved my life. When my mojo started working again, it was truly to the tune of ChesnuTT's Masterpiece—the album's tender/scandalous soul and power pop, its licentious lo-fidelity (in both senses of the word) scored my life for years to come. The singular black bedroom rock (and all that implies) of Masterpiece was indie as hell, but...

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Cody ChesnuTT plays the Neptune tonight with Built to Spill as part of the Sasquatch! Launch Party.