― dow, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 20:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
"Conflates myth and memoir"(and memory, even), yeah-h-h that's a good way of putting it--but worth checking out:press release, in case you can't tellMickey Newbury’s An American Trilogy was one of the most talked-about and lauded reissues of 2011 – a long-overdue affirmation for a songwriter and performer who has for years enjoyed cult acclaim, but belongs in the ranks of the American greats.Keeping the love alive in 2012, Saint Cecilia Knows and Drag City present a split-single that pairs Mickey Newbury’s recording of “Heaven Help the Child,” the title track of the most refined and under-appreciated album in Newbury’s trilogy––with a new version of the song by Bill Callahan that invokes the stately, elegiac spirit of the original while reworking its intricacies for his own unique voice and style. It will be released March 27th.Callahan has made no secret of his admiration for Mickey Newbury, even name-checking him (alongside George Jones, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash, as part of a roll call of the most American of contemporary songwriter-performers) in the song, “America,” off his acclaimed 2011 album Apocalypse.“There’s something psychedelic and transcendent about Mickey's best work,” says Callahan, “and when he gets into the realms of songs like ‘Heaven Help The Child,’ where he spans generations and flies over time while still maintaining a singular mind, he's imparting a truly epic knowledge and vision. The song always reminded me of the movie Once Upon a Time in America.”A wildly-ambitious, cross-generational odyssey, written in 1971 against the backdrop of the waning days of the Vietnam War, “Heaven Help The Child” is the closest Newbury ever came to writing a pure protest song, albeit one that, in true Newbury style, breaks the mold and emotes heartfelt paens, seeking solutions rather than mere dissent.Allusive, elusive and emotionally direct, the song conflates myth and memoir until the two are inseparable and interchangeable. A reference in the lyrics to Fitzgerald and Hemingway draws on the idea that, for Newbury and his peers, Nashville of the ‘70s was like Paris in the ‘20s, a meeting place for writers in exile; outsiders working within the mainstream of culture, whose artistic concerns were too epic and personal to be constrained by it.“The point I was trying to make in that song,” said Newbury, “is that every generation thinks that its problems are unique where its problems really are as old as man. There are no new problems; there are only new faces having them.”Mickey Newbury often referred to “Heaven Help The Child” as his “second Trilogy,” the first being “An American Trilogy,” the song with which he is most closely-associated yet, paradoxically, did not write. But “Heaven Help the Child” is Newbury through and through: the work of a master songwriter at the height of his powers. Mickey Newbury online:You can also get a free four-track box sampler here: http://anamericantrilogy.com/splash also see http://www.mickeynewbury.com/ andhttp://www.dragcity.com/artists/mickey-newburyyou might wanta check his MySpace for a bunch of albums I've never heardhttp://www.myspace.com/mickeynewbury/music/albums
― dow, Friday, 3 February 2012 21:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
Listened to the Zach James album a few more times and still like it, despite its having the indie tendency to lay back without kicking up its heels. Zach's voice reminds me a bit of Jim Morrison's, actually. I wouldn't say Zach's like Morrison in his vocal demeanor, however. Or only a little bit, an occasional moment of being declamatory. But not into riding snakes and such.
― Frank Kogan, Friday, 3 February 2012 23:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
My two favorite 2012 "country" albums so far are by Elfin Saddle (cello-driven co-ed Anglo-style folkishness from Montreal with hints of goth and the Middle East but mostly of Fairport Convention) and Bryan Clark & the New Lyceum Players (guitar-chopsy full-band soft-rock that sometimes kinda rocks from Nashville via Texas with hints of jam band), and so far I'm getting more out of the new Drew Nelson (post-Earle/ Mellencamp recession folk-rock from Michigan with merely average singing) than the new Dierks Bentley. Like a few things okay on the latter (“Am I The Only One” left over from last year, “Diamonds Make Babies,” “The Woods,” the pretty Lady Antebellum style duet with Karen Fairchild) but I’m not hearing anything near the level of his best stuff. Not sure what, if anything, that says about country's current state. Should probably check out Tim McGraw’s album, one of these days.
― xhuxk, Saturday, 4 February 2012 00:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
Several Rolling Countrys back, xhuxk and I were briefly discussing Catholic country, trying to think of some examples. He may have come up with something, I haven't found the right thread yet, but anyway there's def some on Craig Finn's new solo album. No doubt about the Catholic part, the rest is if you consider Drive-by Truckers' sound and sensibility to be sufficiently country (I do, just didn't think Go-Go Boots had quite enough good cuts for Top Ten). Here's my Finn preview, which indicates my main interest wasn't the specifically Catholic aspect of his compassionate conservatism/low-rent empathy, but worth noting the theological in this year's RC. anyway, a fun listen overall, so far:“Dude with the long fingernails, I know he’ll be good to you/I seen him shave up at the library/And sleep behind the caribou.” On his solo debut, “Clear Heart Full Eyes”, The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn temporarily trades THS’s ornate neo-classic rock chariot for his Austin session group’s alone-together cowbell groove, a bracing back room echo of THS tourmates Drive-By Truckers. Finn’s currently touring combo of Austin stalwarts include the new album’s incisive, evocative regular and steel guitarist, Ricky Ray Jackson; RRJ's Happen-Ins colleague, drummer Falcon Valdez; the well-named Moonlight Towers' guitarist, James Stevens; and attentive, sportive bassist Alex Livingstone of Grand Champeen.
― dow, Monday, 6 February 2012 18:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
Probably won't make my Top Ten though.
― dow, Monday, 6 February 2012 19:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
That last Hold Steady album was so dull; I've been avoiding listening to his alt-country move. May or may not get around to it eventually.
I feel like country has maybe gotten more Catholic, in general, since we had that discussion. Other examples will probably come to me later, but Brantley Gilbert naming his debut album Modern Day Prodigal Son and wearing graven-image religious jewelry (including a Virgin Mary and very gothic looking cross) around his neck (and showing us closeups of the same) inside the CD booklet of his followup Halfway To Heaven (and standing in his leather jacket in front of a fancy church window and beneath a chandelier adorned with crucifixes on the back) probably count -- definitely one of the most papist-looking c&w albums I ever saw (though I have no idea Gilbert was actually raised Catholic himself.) Also, Wiki says Laura Bell Bundy "graduated from Lexington Catholic High School in 1999." And Keith Urban is supposedly Catholic. Not sure about Tim McGraw, but his dad Tug apparently was.
(My own current reading, fwiw: Why I Am A Catholic by Garry Wills. Though I'm still a lapsed/recovered one, myself.)
― xhuxk, Monday, 6 February 2012 19:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
Tug McGraw sounds like a cowboy dog in a children's book
― ELI OWNS YOUR HUSBAND (forksclovetofu), Monday, 6 February 2012 19:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
you mean recovered by it, or from it? Maybe some of both at various times, like Southern Baptist-raised me. Holy Moly, I think I've got that Brantley Gilbert album, will have to check if the songs reflect any of the packaging.
― dow, Monday, 6 February 2012 19:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
From it. And "...no idea if Gilbert was actually...." etc., I meant.
Wonder if Quick Draw McGraw was Catholic.
Should've added a couple posts up that I also still need to check out the new Kellie Pickler that people seem to like so much. Jon Caramanica reviewed it affirmatively in the Times yesterday; he also made me at least slightly curious about Chi Bhiman and Christian pop singer Kari Jobe. Couldn't get into that 2011 Jason Boland album he wrote about (and which finished #30 in the Nashville Scene poll) when I tried a few times last year (liked his 2010 live album better), give or take or take the long, rambling talking-blues-style closer "Farmer's Luck." Anyway, here's Caramanica's thing:
― xhuxk, Monday, 6 February 2012 19:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
Sho. Always crossed hisself before he'd draw, mighty quick!
― dow, Monday, 6 February 2012 19:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
Look out now:Relativity Music Group is pleased to announce the release of the soundtrack for Relativity Media’s adrenaline-fueled Navy SEAL action-thriller Act of Valor, featuring brand new original songs written and inspired by the film from today’s top recording artists including: Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Trace Adkins, Wynonna Judd, Montgomery Gentry, and more. In theatres February 24, 2012, the Bandito Brothers’ Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs in a film like no other in Hollywood’s history, along with actors Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Jason Cottle and Nestor Serrano, in an unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking. The soundtrack will be released by Relativity Music Group and distributed in music retail locations by Capitol Records Nashville on February 21st. The track listing includes original songs written and performed by artists including: Keith Urban (whose song “For You” is featured in the film’s end credits), Sugarland (“Guide You Home”), Lady Antebellum (“I Was Here”), Trace Adkins (“If the Sun Comes Up”), Lori McKenna (“Two Soldiers Coming Home”), Jake Owen (“The Best I Can”), Montgomery Gentry (“What It Takes”), Josh Kelley (“The Best of Me”), Hunter Hayes (“Where We Left Off”), and Wynonna Judd (“Whatever Brings You Back”). Produced and directed by former Baja 1000 champion Mike “Mouse” McCoy and former stuntman Scott Waugh, and written by Kurt Johnstad (300), Act of Valor (etc). Hope the songs are suitably extreme. Where's Th' Legendary Shackshakers, where's any kind of metal (mebbe Montgy. Gentry will crank up the guitars, at least)
― dow, Monday, 6 February 2012 21:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
are those all original for the movie or?
― ELI OWNS YOUR HUSBAND (forksclovetofu), Monday, 6 February 2012 21:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
So the press sheet leads me to believe, though I haven't tried to Google-verify (so lazy)
― dow, Monday, 6 February 2012 21:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
"written and inspired by the film", go film!
― dow, Monday, 6 February 2012 21:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
wouldn't see the film on a bet but that's an interesting soundtrack.
― ELI OWNS YOUR HUSBAND (forksclovetofu), Monday, 6 February 2012 21:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
hope it will be.
― dow, Monday, 6 February 2012 21:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
For Tim McGraw, whose new album I still haven't gotten around to yet:
The new Dierks has been growing on me, though. Not sure I agree with Rob Harvilla that he's winning the Tom Petty soundalike sweepstakes (not sure I think he sounds much like Petty at all), but I wound up liking the non-triumphalist sea-to-shining-sea patriotic schlock of the title track "Home" (which Wiki informs me is the new single, and which basically says we all disagree on everything but we're all in this together and we'll get through it somehow) more than I would have guessed. "Tip It On Back" seems like fairly run-of-the-mill working for weekend beers (and tokes?) stuff to me, but I like the hard times verse it starts with. Seven-minute closer stretched out by some (presumably Dierks's?) kid singing it is impossible to get through, though -- when I saw that there was a song that long, I was hoping for some jamming.
― xhuxk, Thursday, 9 February 2012 15:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
And oh yeah, "The Woods" isn't near as good as it deserves to be, but I grew up in Michigan, so I relate to the idea of woodses being places where growing kids can do things they're not supposed to do, and I can't think of many other songs about it. Plus I like how Dierks magically transforms into Art Alexakis from Everclear when he tells the girl to leave her iphone at home.
― xhuxk, Thursday, 9 February 2012 16:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
Here's my Scene poll. I actually have played Randy Montana's record more than any other country record from last year, altho I like the Lambert/Annies records quite a bit. The Haggard record grew on me some, altho I still find "Too Much Boogie Woogie" completely banal even by Hag standards. A few months previous to the poll, I wrote up Montana in the Best of Nashville issue as the country record of the year, but it ended up coming in a little below that by December, if we make it through, which I did.
Going to begin doing a bimonthly country column for the Scene, which I've been trying to conceptualize the last month or so. Should have one up soon.
Anyone else gotten the new Encyclopedia of Country the Hall of Fame/Museum just put out?
Finally, here's my Nashville Scene review of the Drive-By Truckers and Bobby Keys & the Suffering Bastards, in case you're interested.
Edd HurtNashville Scene
TOP TEN COUNTRY ALBUMS OF 2011:
1. Pistol Annies Hell on Heels Columbia Nashville2. Miranda Lambert Four the Record RCA Nashville3. Randy Montana Randy Montana Mercury Nashville4. Hayes Carll KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) Lost Highway5. Willie Nelson Remember Me Vol. 1 R&J6. Old 97s The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 New West7. Glen Campbell Ghost on the Canvas Surfdog8. Steel Magnolia Steel Magnolia Big Machine9. Brad Paisley This Is Country Music Arista Nashville 10. Todd Snider Live: The Storyteller Aimless
TOP TEN COUNTRY SINGLES OF 2011:
1. Miranda Lambert "Heart Like Mine" RCA Nashville2. Hayes Carll "Grand Parade" Lost Highway3. Eric Church "Drink in My Hand" EMI Nashville4. Eric Church "Springsteen" EMI Nashville5. Zac Brown Band "Colder Weather"6. Brad Paisley "Toothbrush" Arista Nashville7. Keith Urban "Long Hot Summer" Arista Nashville8. Pistol Annies "Hell on Heels" Columbia Nashville9. Miranda Lambert "Baggage Claim" RCA Nashville10. Shelby Lynne "Revelation Road" Everso
TOP FIVE COUNTRY REISSUES OF 2011:
1. Various Artists The Bristol Sessions: The Big Bang of Country Music Bear Family2. The Beau Brummels Bradley's Barn Warner Bros.3. The Gourds Old Mad Joy Vanguard4. Mickey Newbury An American Trilogy Drag City5. Gene Clark Two Sides to Every Story High Moon
COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST MALE VOCALISTS OF 2011:
1. Merle Haggard2. George Strait3. George Jones
COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST FEMALE VOCALISTS OF 2011:
1. Miranda Lambert2. Emmylou Harris3. Martina McBride
COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST LIVE ACTS OF 2011:
1. Zac Brown Band2. Eric Church3. Brad Paisley
COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST SONGWRITERS OF 2011:
1. Miranda Lambert2. Guy Clark3. Brad Paisley
COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST DUOS, TRIOS OR GROUPS OF 2011:
1. Pistol Annies2. Steel Magnolia3. Zac Brown Band
COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST NEW ACTS OF 2011:
1. Pistol Annies2. Randy Montana3. Laura Bell Bundy
COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST OVERALL ACTS OF 2011:
1. Miranda Lambert 2. Pistol Annies3. Hayes Carll
― Edd Hurt, Monday, 13 February 2012 21:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
I didn't include Jonny Corndag's Down on the Bikini Line but I should have. It is rather underachieved pseudo-country on one level, sure, but I think it works--he's trying to do some combination of Bobby Bare, David Allan Coe and Michael Hurley. Does his own leather working too and runs marathons...here's my Scene piece on Coe-n-dawg.
― Edd Hurt, Monday, 13 February 2012 21:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Edd Hurt, Monday, 13 February 2012 21:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
I still find "Too Much Boogie Woogie" completely banal even by Hag standards
Glad to finally learn I'm not the only person who thinks this. Really dumb song. (Besides, Hag is a Western Swing fan, right? He ought to like boogie woogie.) Only great song on the album, as far as I can tell, is "Under The Bridge" -- Even though it turns out he'd first recorded it years ago, and the Chili Peppers recorded a much worse song with the same title once. But between that and the general okay-ness of the rest of the album, that was enough to give it a place on my ballot.
Didn't include Jonny Corndawg's Down on the Bikini Line but I should have
First time I played this, I too was thinking he could be the new Hurley, what with his dirty mind and all. By the third time, I wanted to strangle him, what with his precious anti-folk non-singing and all.And the more I played it, the more I decided he's not even that funny.
― xhuxk, Monday, 13 February 2012 21:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
I did include Newbury in my reissue ballot. A lot of it is more or less demo-plus in my book; he wasn't the most commanding singer. And I really should've included Larry Jon Wilson in reissues--Omni put out his 1975 Monument album plus bonus tracks. Good stuff, and I got to know the guy who produced Wilson (and who has produced Ronnie Milsap for years), Rob Galbraith--another r&b fan who came to Nashville and went country.
I have not heard the Guy Clark tribute. I saw Guy Clark play live last year, with Ray Wylie Hubbard. I suppose anyone doing Clark would have more oomph than Clark himself, who is a very, er, casual performer. So I don't know. Steve Earle's record I found unlistenable; for that matter, I can barely stand Phil Ochs except for the one Ochs album that is good, that 1970 record he did wearing his gold Elvis suit. Earle is like Phil Ochs with a better sense of rhythm, at least Earle tries to make these New Orleans-style tracks and all. He's just so obvious and earnest. He's no Del Reeves...who is a forgotten figure who made great sort of Jerry Reed-style novelty trucking records/place-name tributes with, often, a New Vaudeville Band kinda overlay of ricky-tick. Or the Wilburn Brothers, whose 1966 single "Hurt Her Once for Me" is one of the great sub-Buck Owens rock 'n' roll country tunes.
― Edd Hurt, Monday, 13 February 2012 21:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
And the more I played it, the more I decided he's not even that funny
Could be that his funny stuff isn't his best. But I do think "Undercover Dad" of whatever that one is called, about his daughter's diary and what she is doing outside the family circle, as it were, is some kind of song.
Xhuxk, I also like the title track of the Hag record. He gets a job at Opryland, you gotta love that.
― Edd Hurt, Monday, 13 February 2012 22:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
Rob Galbraith: same fellow who made an LP called Nashville Dirt in a Tony Joe White kind of mould? I've been enjoying that record lately, having bought it years back and never really got round to paying any attention.
― Tim, Monday, 13 February 2012 22:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
right, Tim, Nashville Dirt. he did another solo LP too. Rob played a show late last year at Douglas Corner here. I need to get a copy of that album actually. At one time in the early '70s, Rob was Billy Sherrill's assistant. Rob told me he was the guy who tried to get J.J. Cale signed to Epic but they passed. Interesting, and very nice, guy.
― Edd Hurt, Monday, 13 February 2012 23:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
Okay so. Tomorrow night, as my Valentine's treat for my wonderful sweetie, I'm taking her to see Martina McBride, who's playing a benefit show up in LA. She's one of my sweets's favorite singers of all time -- only Dolly ranks as high for her -- so I'm looking forward to this, besides the fact that this is pretty much the first country-show-as-such I've ever seen.
― Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 14 February 2012 06:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
Is she gonna love you through it?
― all the other twinks with their fucked up dicks (billy), Tuesday, 14 February 2012 06:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
Hey, it is Valentine's Day after all.
― Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 14 February 2012 06:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ned, please report back with highlights.
― things you're secretly kinda libertranny about (beachville), Tuesday, 14 February 2012 09:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
Assuming you mean Martina's show, yes.
― Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 14 February 2012 16:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
Presuming you don't stop off at a salon along the way.
― getting good with gulags (beachville), Tuesday, 14 February 2012 16:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
A vision! (Actually the real concern is beating traffic, partially because we hear the openers are supposed to be okay.)
― Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 14 February 2012 16:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
I still love "Independence Day."
― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 February 2012 17:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ned's been taking it nice and easy since Valentine's.
― getting good with gulags (beachville), Thursday, 16 February 2012 18:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
As one should. Good show, it all slotted into my own memories of early 80s Pat Benatar and that-era country crossover hits revamped for a later time -- reinforced by the set-closing take on "Don't Stop Believin'" Clearly got a good band going for her as well, in great voice in general.
Opening dude Danny Nail and his band made me think they could just have easily opened for Wilco or Howlin Rain' just as easily. Not a complaint, they were pretty good in their own way too.
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 16 February 2012 18:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
Think you mean David Nail, Ned? I liked his 2011 album a lot (linked upthread to a review I wrote); a lot more than Martina's (which was just okay, but which did have my favorite country single of the year), in fact.
― xhuxk, Thursday, 16 February 2012 19:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
Whoops, yes you're correct, David not Danny.
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 16 February 2012 19:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
Glad it turned out well, Ned. I keep adding to my P&J and Scene comments posted on http://thefreelancementalists.blogspot.com and here's one I don't think is in the ones posted upthread, judging by Control + F, pretty fun album:Not quite country enough for these lists, butAlso: Snow Shadows, a recent studio album by Alana Amram. Her voice reminds me of very early Dylan, but without imitating him--also without his very early hillbilly thing, not that there's anything wrong with that. Spare, expressive, interested in beats, a tad cautious, but looking for the right place to jump, then doing it-- early Dylan in that sense. Songs by Vince Martin, whom I only knew from his collaboration with Fred Neil (on an LP I never heard, blanking on the title). He’s no genius, but provides good moody, vivid vehicles for Alana and the lads’ green rocky road flavor of folk-country-pop. I might be prejudiced, because I used to jam with her dad Dave (who wrote “Pull My Daisy” with Kerouac and Ginsberg, also plays classical and jazz french horn, piano, flute etc). He used to lead jams at Birmingham’s nascent civic arts fests in the 70s. But Alana’s def got her own thing--Van Dyke Parks' strings on a few cuts (sunlight violins forking the forest of dark red and green cellos etc), album produced by Mark Sebastian, who wrote gritty "Summer In The City" & whose brother John plays on here too-- yeah, and she wears it with just enough, casual enough flair
― dow, Friday, 17 February 2012 15:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
Here's something I found interesting in the Thousand-Dollar Cut-Rate Quartet division of Nashville ghost stories and rockabilly casualties making their local-band statement--Million Sellers' new opus Music City USA and Other Ghost Stories.
― Edd Hurt, Tuesday, 21 February 2012 21:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
Good title, I'll check it out. This seems like it might be good too. Never heard of some, but Tracy Grammer, Gretchen Peters, Mary Gauthier, and Malcolm Holcombe should be okay; Steve Dawson has some really intriguing tracks on the mega-space-time vessel Live From The Old Town SchoolListen to Folk Alley on folkalley.com, Thursday, Feb. 23 and Friday, Feb. 24, to hear interviews and performances streaming live from the Magnolia Room at the 25th Folk Alliance in Memphis, Tennessee.
Hosts Jim Blum and Matt Watroba are in Memphis to introduce an exciting line-up of artists including (all times listed as Central Time GMT -6):
Thursday11 am-11:45 am CT: Nora Jane Struthers11:45 am-12:30 pm CT: The Dunwells12:30 pm-1:15 pm CT: Tracy Grammer1:15 pm-2 pm CT: Gretchen Peters
Friday11 am-11:45 am CT: Old Man Luedecke11:45 am-12:30 pm CT: Mary Gauthier12:30 pm-1:15 pm CT: Malcolm Holcombe1:15 pm-2 pm CT: Steve Dawson
(other musicians will be recorded for later broadcast)
― dow, Thursday, 23 February 2012 01:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah, looks good. I only know Holcombe, who was quite good last Oct. at Americana here in town.
― Edd Hurt, Friday, 24 February 2012 01:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
Dierks album still growing on me some (like that he references Ozzy in "5-1-5-0" and admire his almost risking pornography in "Breathe You In"); still didn't get through the McGraw but the first few songs sounded okay I guess; wish Bryan Clark & the New Lyceum Players were jazzier and jammier and less uh John Mayeristic (maybe also Zach Brownistic?) or whatever but still think their album has enough tasty bits to get by.
Favorite "country" album of 2012 is now Bhi Bhiman's Bhiman, first time I've ever been able to say that about a Sri Lankan-American singer songwriter who's been hyped on NPR. (Favorite songs, not necessarily in this order: "Kimchee Line," The Cookbook," "Atlatl," Ballerina," and the instrumental "Mexican Wine." My wife, who's spent way more time in Mexico than I have, explained to me what an atlatl is. My 3-year-old daughter likes the album so much she's been asking me to play for bedtime music.)
― xhuxk, Friday, 24 February 2012 16:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
Also, probably would've put this album in my 2011 country Top 10 if I'd heard it on time, even though it's way more biker-doom metal. (Scroll down in the middle for my mini review):
― xhuxk, Friday, 24 February 2012 16:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
PYeah, xgau really liked Bhiman, covered the album on NPR and Expert Witness, though noted some current limitations in his approach.Plumb forgot about the Thurday Folk Alley Folk Alliance live stream, heard only the end of Mary Guathier's set today, voice seemed a little faint (some weird raspy inhalations when talking) but pretty good tune.I see what you mean about Holcombe, Edd, kind of like Dave Van Ronk in "One Meat Bawwl" mode, the freewheeling side of Uncle Dave Macon, but most of all like a bulldog, growling and pulling images (esp like to check about "a hole in the ocean" some more), through funky undertow. Steve Dawson mostly did Mississippi Sheiks tunes, from a tribute years ago, when most of their stuff was unavailable beyond obscure bootlegs--he got me thinking about the Sheiks, since said a lot is ready on iTunes ect. and esp group recordings he so into (I only know OOP Stop + Listen and an even grabbaggier than nec thing on Sony), got me thinking and missing some of Dawson'svocals, which seemed bland not only compared to the Sheiks of course but also his originals I'd heard before. Good playing from him and his motel combo, suitcase and all, and voice better when they finished with a faster Sheiks, focusing on the beat focused his phrasing of the typically pungent Sheiks lyrics too. "Apple Doll", one of his tracks on Live From The Old Town School, brings seemingly fragmented lines into focus via music and more elusively accruing senses--in principle like some 60s Dylan, that version of the "The Cuckoo Song" on Harry Smith's Smithsonian Anthology, Fairport's early version of "Nottamun Town," and--not much else, some other ancient, maybe coded and/or stitched together folk songs, but not much I've heard. "Apple Doll" might be adapted from old sources, but seems entirely and disquietingly like testimony from the very recent past. Folk Alley's in the process of posting highlights of the streams herehttp://www.folkalley.com/festivals/folk-alliance-2012
― dow, Friday, 24 February 2012 20:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
"Apple Doll" deals more with shattered than "seemingly fragmented," actually--hence why impression of testimony from very recent past is disquieting, the musical mending spooky too, in sunlit way.
― dow, Friday, 24 February 2012 20:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
Finally made it through Emotional Traffic, which strikes me as a more or less average Tim McGraw album, which means I like it fine. Totally stumped about people who've said it's his best ever (that'd be A Place In The Sun from 13 years ago), but it has some good if probably not great songs on it -- "Right Back Atcha," "The One That Got Away," the purple-drink single left over from last year, Ne-Yo duet "Only Human", "Die By My Own Hand." (For his quiet storm/yacht-rock mode, I'd take "Suspicions" from 2007 waaay over "Right Back" or "Only Human" though.) And he's singing good, sure -- but when didn't he sing good?
Still need to try the Kellie Pickler. Tried the upcoming Marty Stuart yesterday, and he's as boring as he always is. What do people hear in him again? Respect for country history I guess, right? Some bluegrass wanking from the musicians, if you like that sort of thing. Though for what it's worth, I didn't hate the closing Hank III duet as much as I expected to.
― xhuxk, Friday, 24 February 2012 21:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
One time through the Kellie Pickler album, I'd say it's all real purty in the background, and I get the idea the songwriting's on point for a lot of it, but almost none of it is connecting with me so far regardless -- If anything, I'd say the self-conscious countrypolitan classicism of the sound obscures the songs; I'm just kind of not buying it. It will probably grow on me with more listens, but I'd actually be surprised if I wind up preferring it to her debut. (It's not like '70s pop-country is inherently better than '00s pop-country, after all. And I think Lee Ann Womack's More Where That Came From is a pretty good album, but I never liked anything on it anywhere near as much as "I'll Think Of A Reason Later.")
― xhuxk, Friday, 24 February 2012 23:26 (1 year ago) Permalink
haven't heard Marty's new one, but he and his band are usually pretty sparky (vs. earned/traditional/received fatalism, never far away). He did push the bloodthirsty Old Testament aspect of Soul Chapel too far for fun (would have to go metal for that)But Badlands, his brooding white-man contemplation of Native Americans getting screwed over, sure worked better than most such.
― dow, Friday, 24 February 2012 23:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
― some dude, Monday, 17 December 2012 20:28 (5 months ago) Permalink
I'm wondering if he's got genuine talent: the guy has made vanilla blandness offensive.
― the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 17 December 2012 20:29 (5 months ago) Permalink
Then again, he's also made a few pretty great albums (though not this year).
― xhuxk, Monday, 17 December 2012 20:39 (5 months ago) Permalink
Wikip takes me to an article in the New Zealand Herald on whether "Ex Old Man" had permission to use the riff from "How Bizarre." Answer: the person who wrote the article doesn't know whether there was permission or not.
(The world's full of similar and lifted riffs, and it's not like this is gross plagiarism or "Ex Old Man" is built around the riff.)
― Frank Kogan, Tuesday, 18 December 2012 14:38 (5 months ago) Permalink
"The world's full of similar... riffs"
--I mean riffs that are similar to each other, not that the world is full of riff's similar to "How Bizarre."
― Frank Kogan, Tuesday, 18 December 2012 18:47 (5 months ago) Permalink
jeez that jackson tune is great, missed it
― bear, bear, bear, Monday, 31 December 2012 01:34 (4 months ago) Permalink