In a room lined with art books and pop art-style posters of Elvis and Frank Sinatra, Norah Jones and Ryan Adams sat flanking music journalist and writer Chuck Klosterman for McIntosh's first Core Club Event. The moppy-haired one-time collaborators played their favorite tracks off McIntosh’s legendary speakers while talking intermittently about their relationships to the music and their own experiences in the industry.
Both artists stayed close to their own styles in their curations: Norah Jones selected Howlin’ Wolf, The Isley Brothers featuring Jimi Hendrix and a collaboration between Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. Ryan Adams chose Henry Rollins, The Smiths and Sonic Youth, among other noisy selections. With Klosterman’s prompting, the two bantered with endearing animosity about their appreciation (and lack thereof) for each others’ selections. As Ryan Adams waxed poetic about how Morrisey dignified the '45, Norah stared off into the distance distractedly before admitting she "hasn't yet" gotten into The Smiths. Despite their differences, Adams still fanboys over the way Jones plays the piano—with a slight delay of her fingers. “You’re such a weird fucking player,” he complimented tenderly.
At the end, both musicians’ new work played through the crystalline sound system that puts any other record player I’d ever heard to shame. Two tracks from Jones’ new project, Puss ’n Boots, played through the speakers; they sounded like throwbacks to the Howlin’ Wolf track she chose to open the event mixed with a healthy dash of Neko Case. In her side-project, she takes a baby-step back from the limelight in favor of a musical trio, which has all the traditional country elements and retains the freshness of her first album Come Away With Me that skyrocketed her to fame. When Klosterman asked Ryan Adams about the mood of his new album, Live After Death he had only two words: “super stoned.”