Category Archives: music

Yeah, I watched the CMAs, but I’d rather hold Kort…

I had never watched the CMA Awards in their entirety, and I really still haven’t but I watched a lot more out of  curiosity this year, and not just to make fun out of the band that I’ll call Pascal Cats, so as not to be too mean.  Even though the sound was absolutely terrible from a TV perspective (and Twitter nation pronounced it no less a disaster in person), it is not my intent to be a musical snob and decry the escalating modernity of what once was truly country and western music.

Brad Paisley CAN play a mean guitar and Miranda Lambert has a great set of pipes, and even though I believe that Loretta Lynn pretty much blew everyone else off the stage, I don’t think anyone can say that the talent well has been capped and is nothing more than a nostalgia trunk show.  I will say that auto-tune apparently plays an important role in some of these folks recorded output based on their next-door-neighbor approach to tunefulness, but I’m really trying not to be mean..

Where I’m really heading is somewhere down the way from the Ryman is an alley called alt-country/americana/new country that artists seem to consigned into, if their sound is too folky, or actually too country.  Lucinda lives down there, along with Tom Russell, Rosanne C, Patty Griffin and a host of folks who folks who either hearken back (Jamey Johnson) or dabble brilliantly (Robert Plant & Elvis Costello), and then there are people who seem other-worldly (Gillian Welch) or ethereal (Julie Miller)…which brings me to my main point finally – there are records/albums/CDs so wonderful and pure and something i just can’t describe – you have to let the recording speak for itself.  The artists listed in this paragraph have all made such recordings and some of them do get recognized by larger audiences, but many are often niched and appreciated from a distance.

This year’s album was recently released here in the US and features a couple of Nashvillians who don’t sing one song written in the last ten years, and I promise you, is the best piece of country you’ll hear inside or outside the CMAs..The name of the duo is Kort  – one part Lambchop leader Kurt Wagner with this whiskey voice paired with the pure as branch water voice of Cortney Tidwell.  The songs are timeless, the harmonies divine and in some cases will break your heart.  Just buy the dang thing..please*

*I do not know either artist, nor do I receive compensation in any form for saying any of this (as if somebody would pay me). I just love good music, and frankly, I don’t give a damn what category…

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the best letter in the Rock world (or this post is brought to you by the letter ‘R’)

My first post on Glen Dean’s old group blog about music (Tangled Up in Blue) was about which letter had the best bands..as in, come up with a list of bands that start with each letter of the alphabet and then decide which letter ‘wins’.

I supported the letter ‘R’ back in that day, and I remain fiRm in my stand. I’m guessing that the vast majority of humanity would join together in a collective shoulder shrug and a chorus of ‘who the hell cares’, but hey, I’m a life-long insomniac and this is one of the things I think about trying to go to sleep. I’ve listened to some form of ‘rock’ (yeah, the word is out-dated, but I can’t think of any other single word that comes close to describing the genre) since I was 9 years old (and spent many restless nights since..).

‘R’ kicks butt. Think about it: Ramones, Replacements, REM, Red House Painters, Rolling Stones, Raveonettes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Roches, Roxy Music, and Roots, not to mention the first names of many great solo artists: Ryan Adams, Roy Orbison, Randy Newman, Regina Spektor, Richard Ashcroft, Richie Valens, Roseanne Cash, Rufus Wainwright, and Ry Cooder.

Arguments against ‘R’ range from REO Speedwagon to the ghastly unmentionable.

What bRings all this to mind is a link that leapt off the page from the wonderful Chez Bez blog informing me that the new REM CD (Accelerate) is being streamed in its entirety over at Ilike. I truly have been a fan since I heard ‘Gardening at Night’, many many years ago, and like so many other fans, had begun to think their best music was behind them. They had seemed to lose their way and anything resembling a sense of humor (see Ramones, Replacements). And then, I listen to the joint, and it rocks. Not like anything since Monster (which I mostly loved), but this one is better. Really.

Sometimes I think that the whole thing is played, but then something like this or the new Radiohead comes along, and I believe all over again. Rock on, R, ruler of all the letters…and now I’m going to try to get some of that other R.E.M…

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Vote!! Karl Dean for Nashville

Please don’t forget to vote today.   I truly believe that a vote for Karl Dean is a vote to continue the wonderful tradition of Bredesen and Purcell as forward-thinking clear-minded mayors.

Megan Barry and Jerry Maynard also deserve your vote.

Thanks for voting!!

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Filed under metro council elections, music, politics

The saddest country song of all time..I’m sorry, but it’s not even close

Ivy started something. You know Ivy – always started something. Over at Music City Bloggers, She challenged readers to come up with the saddest country song of all time. Many songs were proffered. At last glance, one commenter got it right.

Hear the lonesome whipperwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
Im so lonesome I could cry

Ive never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by
The moon just went behind a cloud
To hide its face and cry

Add Hank’s high lonesome to those lyrics and this song out-sads any of those other choices. Cash’s rendition of ‘Hurt’ is mournful, but Hank is still the king.

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Probably not much ‘conchord’ on this issue, but I love this show..

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I can’t do, watch, or digest ‘John from Cincinnati’, but I find myself really enjoying ‘Flight‘. The show features two seemingly non-mensa-like musicians from New Zealand who have moved to New York to make it big. As one would suspect after watching their laconic stylings, they are going nowhere fast. But, the deadpan journey is wonderful grist for a 30 minute show replete with witty tunes a la ‘They Might be Giants’.

They have one groupie and a moronic manager and an occasional soon-to-leave girlfriend or two. Not a lot happens, but they make me laugh. I thought I was the only one (besides my wife) who enjoys the show (I’ve heard nothing but derision on talk radio and in blogs), but then I discovered one of my blog-heroes also loves the show. You rock, Lindsey.

Are there more of ‘us’ out there??

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Filed under music, TeeVee

Another lesson on not judging a book by its cover, or, He more than phones it in

I may be the last person in the kingdom to have seen this, but you probably won’t mind watching it again if you know the story of a remarkable, rather odd looking, young man in England who was a contestant on the English equivalent of ‘American Idol’. The English version is not necessarily looking for pop stars, as you will see here.

The before and after shots of the judges are worth noting. From a near-sneer to adulation, in just a couple of minutes. In my case, my eyes start getting dusty about 1:20 into this clip.

Ladies and Gentlemen – Paul Potts

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k08yxu57NA%5D

Talent and worth aren’t always packaged in any way, shape or form we can predict.

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Filed under music, self-worth, the shiznit list

Grascal-icious, or you grascally pickers..

Let me say here and now and probably down the road that if you have a chance to see the Grascals live and in person, don’t shilly-shally, procrastinate, dawdle, cogitate, hesitate or wait…GO. Last night at The Station Inn, the boys were in their element – local color, local crowd, room about to bust with people.

The guys can pick about a mile past where you think a picker could go, and you got some high-lonesome and full-bodied voices. In the middle of it all on stand-up bass stands a handsome man who somehow holds it all together. You got banjos flying, fiddles flailing, mandolins going lickity split, and something has to keep the parts from flying off the edges. Mista Smiff, master of the slap-bass standup and harmonizer extraordinare is the man. You don’t get a drum in blue-grass so somebody’s got to pop the rhythm and Mista Smiff more than passes the test.

He’s a nice looking guy who now has a much better haircut than the one pictured below. The Sista is sooo proud.

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