Aug 31, 2009

Farce the Music Sells Out #3

Here's another rambling, so-called review at FTM. Though straight reviews shall remain relatively rare here, there will be two more tomorrow - Zac Brown Band and Scott Warren - before we return to the funny with the next edition of "31 Country Themes" and a "Bigger in Texas 2" honest album covers day. For now, please check out this fine album.

Old Californio - Westering Again

Westering Again is a killer country rock album with something for nearly everyone who reads this blog. There is an obvious Beatles influence in many of the melodies and harmonies. There's also sweet jangle pop reminiscent of the Jayhawks going on with some Calexico-esque mariachi spicing things up. In the mellower moments, some of the same dusty landscapes of Richmond Fontaine's story songs are visited here, but the mood rarely gets that somber. Can't help but hear a little Gram Parsons every now and then as well.

The opening track, "Mother Road," is a great, uh, road song (too obvious?) that taps the toe and fills the soul with sunshine. Cheesy description - great song. "From the Mouth of Babes" sounds like Oasis by way of Dylan and features an earworm of a chorus. The only real misstep is "Warmth of the Sun," an over-thought rocker whose mid-tempo groove finally resolves itself into an unfulfilling coda. Fortunately, Westering Again brings it home with three great songs including the epic (in scope not scale) "Lazy Old San Gabriels" and the thoughtful but lilting "California Goodness."

Despite the fact that I played "spot the influences" and "name the similar sounding artists" with this review, Old Californio has its own vibrant personality and fills out this record as a fully realized artist, not just a mockingbird of a "genericana" band. Well worth the purchase. Even fans of more mainstream music would find a lot to love here - this is a very accessible listen.

Free, legal song download: "Mother Road"

Buy the album on iTunes or here:

Aug 30, 2009

Jason Aldean Lyric Parody

Ball-Peen Hammer

Was out shopping with my wife one Saturday,
The country station on in our Chevrolet
The girls were all shrieking, cutesy and pop,
And the dudes were slangin', brangin' the rock,
They played a Reba song, and it sounded "Strange"
But the straw that broke the camel's back was "That Thang"
When shoppin' was done, we'd planned to see a show
But I said "I'd rather go to Home Depot"

Gonna hit myself hard with a ball-peen hammer
Hell, my IQ can't drop any faster,
These tunes are crappy as turds in the pasture,
To radio execs, it really don't matter,
Long as they sell ads and please soccer moms too
They don't care bout the hell country's gone to
I think those idjits should be put in the slammer
Or I'll hit myself hard with a ball-peen hammer

Said Waylon's cold in his grave but he's rolling around,
This bling and auto-tuner's got him down,
Folks try to stay hip, but these days hip-hop sucks,
It's so two-thousand late to be singin' about butts

Gonna hit myself hard with a ball-peen hammer
Hell, my IQ can't drop any faster,
These tunes are crappy as turds in the pasture,
To radio execs, it really don't matter,
Long as they sell ads and please Nascar dads too
They don't care bout the hell country's gone to
I think those jerkoffs should be put in the slammer
Or I'll hit myself hard with a ball-peen hammer

Dance remixes and sappy teens,
Hank would be thankful he didn't live to see,
This day,

Long as they sell ads and please soccer moms too
They don't care bout the hell country's gone to
I think those morons should be put in the slammer
Or I'll hit myself hard with a ball-peen hammer

Oh no no,
Please just turn it down,
Or I'll put an end to this frown,
With a ball-peen hammer.

Aug 27, 2009

John Rich Friday

Today is a small celebration of the man, the myth and the legend in his own mind. 2 songwriting tips, a custom JR tattoo and this honest album cover round out the fun, but you can continue the party with a little drinking, fighting, skirt-chasing and badmouthing later today. Enjoy!

John Rich Tattoo

Just print this out and take it to your favorite tatt artist and get inked up!

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #14 & 15

Any pub is good pub. If anybody lives by that creed, it's yours truly... the Cowboy Stevie Wonder. As a songwriter, it's your job not only to write the best songs, but to make your name stick in the heads of song pitchers, label heads, other writers, skanks on the street and up-and-coming artists. Some methods of branding yourself include: arson, clever hooks, profanity filled phone tirades, middle finger salutes, positive (Conservative) message filled songs, assault and many other meaningful ways of ingratiating yourself to the Nashville community.

You can't climb the mountains if you stay in Buckfart, Georgia. You gotta move where the damn mountains are. By that fine bit of symbology, I mean to say to you, if you want to get songs cut, you go where they're getting cut. Nashvegas baby! This is where the magic happens. Well, the real magic happens in my king size feather bed with the mirrors on the ceiling, but you know what I mean. Sure, half the population of this town is songwriters, but never mind that, get your shiny white hiney here. My bar needs more patrons - songwriters drowning their sorrows because they should've stayed their asses in Buckfart, Georgia. Ha!

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Aug 25, 2009

Fantasy Football Teams of the Country Stars II

Fantasy football seems to get more and more popular every year and most FF leagues are drafting over the next few days. It's become such a favorite pastime that even some country stars have gotten into the act ...and FTM gotten hold of some more of the team names and logos from several of Nashville's biggest acts. See if you can match up the fantasy football team logo/name on the left to the team's owner on the right. Click here for an easier to read chart. Check your answers here!

Aug 23, 2009

Toby Keith Intervention Kit

Here's the first in a new series that is the opposite of Country Universe's "Starter Kits." While the point of their articles is to get you hooked on a singer or band by presenting you with selective tiny doses of "good" songs, the purpose of the "Intervention Kit" is to help you realize the error of your ways in following certain artists by reminding you of their most embarrassing songs. No need to thank me, I'm here to help.

Toby Keith was a hitmaking force in the nineties, consistently releasing meaningful and well-crafted songs, including the most played song of the 90's "Should've Been a Cowboy." His powerful voice and neo-traditional leanings made him a B-List country star with a consistent track record. Towards the end of the decade, a general dulling of Keith's single releases and behind the scenes record company wranglings faded his star a bit. Ever the hard worker, TK reemerged in 2000 with a career making hit, "How Do You Like Me Now?" An event song with more than a little attitude, "HDYLMN" catapulted Keith onto the A-List and he never looked back. By that, I mean he never looked back at putting out meaningful and well-crafted songs (for the most part). His 1990's songs are good to excellent with a few turds, while the inverse is true about his 2000's output. Hopefully, this list will break you of your thing for the egotistical roughneck.

Ten Non-Essential Tracks

“I Wanna Talk About Me”
from the 2001 album Pull My Chain

How the writer of the genre's greatest song (Bobby Braddock/He Stopped Loving Her Today) could devolve to this drivel is beyond me, but this thing is annoying, shallow and brash, all hallmark traits of the latter half of TK's career.

“Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)”
from the 2002 album Unleashed

While the intent of this song is honorable, in my humble opinion, the method is hamfisted and brickheaded. The artist's hand is quite evident in the painting, as it were... the craft is weak. "A mighty sucker punch came flying in from somewhere in the back"? Indeed.

“Who's Your Daddy”
from the 2002 album Unleashed

Here's the chorus: "Who's your daddy, who's your baby, who's your buddy, who's your man?" Need I say more?

“Beer for My Horses”
from the 2002 album Unleashed (was a hit in 2003)

It hurts me deeply that this is (Keith's duet partner) Willie Nelson's only major hit of the past decade.

“Whiskey Girl”
from the 2003 album Shock'n Y'all

The first (first hit, anyway) in a long line of "rowdy gal anthems" in TK's repertoire, this bears no relation to the Gillian Welch tune of the same name, in terms of sound or quality.

“Stays in Mexico”
from the 2004 album Greatest Hits, Vol. II

This song is just flat-out creepy. A philandering insurance salesman gets it on with a innocent but slumming first grade teacher... in Mexico - and we're supposed to sing along.

“High Maintenance Woman”
from the 2007 album Big Dog Daddy

Another creepy tune - this time recounting the lovely tale of an apartment fix-it man fantasizing about the local hottie. Charming.

“She's a Hottie”
from the 2008 album 35 Biggest Hits

See "Whiskey Girl." She's a hottie and she got a smokin' little body. What else would you rhyme hottie with?

“God Love Her”
from the 2008 album That Don't Make Me a Bad Guy

See "Whiskey Girl." There are parts of this lyric that make Andrew W.K. sound like Bob Dylan.

“American Ride”
from the forthcoming 2009 album American Ride

An intelligent and sensitively rendered pondering on the American condition in the late 2000's. LOL, JK! It's another big, bad "America kicks ass" anthem! (I still agree with the sentiment - just not the delivery.)

Lesser Known Detritus

From the 2004 album Greatest Hits, Vol. II

I'm sure his daughter will do just fine in the industry, this just maybe wasn't the vehicle to introduce her with.

“Honkytonk U”
From the 2005 album Honkytonk University

This song is mentionable for being one thing that even Keith's worst songs usually aren't - boring.

Aug 20, 2009

Wow, Kenny Chesney Really Hates Cameras

This has gotten silly, Ken. Here's an exclusive shot of Kenny crushing a Flip camera with his bare hand and displaying a surprising new tatt (amazing how straight that lettering is!). I believe Mr. Chesney needs some relaxation time in the old blue chair.

31 Country Music Themes: 18-20

Click the label "31 Country Themes" on the right to see previous editions.

Aug 19, 2009

Aussie Country Day

My apologies to my Australian readers (all 2 of you!) for my likely misuse of slang and whatnot. I did the best I could with a Wikipedia education. Thanks to Twitter follower Seven Shells Media for the idea for this theme day!

Aug 18, 2009

Repost of an Again Relevant Rerun

Gloriana Parody

I'm sorry. That's about all I can say to you regarding the following parody lyric. I wouldn't write so many parodies about gastrointestinal issues, if so many country hits didn't have the word "heart" in the title.

I'll make it up to you tomorrow with "Aussie Country Day" - 13+ parody album covers of all Australian country artists (and one guy from New Zealand).

Okay, proceed no further if you have class or a sensitive gag reflex. Or do, it's your keyboard.

Violent Farts
(A parody of Gloriana's "Wild at Heart")

Downed a sackload
Wet, hot chitlins
Felt my insides slippin' greased and wild
I ripped one
Pants came undone
Stomach clenched and the stench was so vile

I've never been one to go half-ass
So the next one came out twice as fast
This one hurt so bad I nearly cried

Down there my guts are bindin'
Typhoons they brew behind me
Hell bent on racin' down that dumpy ride
Darlin' if you're smart, you'll listen
You'd better keep your distance
I got that somethin' baby,
Violent farts

About midnight, Mylanta
But a chill runs down my spine
See my stomach, it's expandin'
It's really gonna blow this time

Stick your hand into my back pocket
If you want it to fly like a rocket
My new pair of Levi's are defiled


O-oh, that ain't right
Pepto Bismol can't fight what's yet to come

O-oh, that ain't right
Got the devil's wind coming out of my bum

(Chorus) x2

They've got me hunching baby,
Violent farts
O-oh, all night

Aug 17, 2009

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #13

Clichés, smichés. They're well known because they're true. Get as famous as me, and you can write whatever trite, overused themes and lines in a song you danged well care to. If you want to put in a line about a "mansion on a hill" or "crankin' Hank" or have grandpa give some advice just before he breathes his last Marlboro tinged breath while seraphim are circling over his friggin' head just before the final chorus, do it. Well, not you... but me. I can.

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Aug 16, 2009

Drunk old men in bars = our greatest philosophers?

This is a satirical lyrical take on all the "old man/drunk old man in a bar imparts great knowledge upon a young man having love troubles" songs. I'm looking at you "People are Crazy."

What the Old Man Said

Was on the outs with my lady
So I checked myself into a bar
Ordered up a seven and seven
Set fire to a Cuban cigar
Old drunk struck up conversation
Asked "What are you here to forget?"
So I told him of all my problems
And this is what the old man said

These days I wear diapers
Cause I can't hold it in
Spongebob is my hero
Sweet taters make me grin
Women, they's all bitches
Now Jack Daniels is my girl
I believe in UFO's
Oh, think I'm gonna hurl

I pondered on his thoughtful words
Smiled at the wisdom therein
Ordered up a seven and seven
For my philosophical friend
He talked the new world order
And how he wished his name was Ted
Then I noticed a tear in his eye
And this is what the old man said

I like to play Atari
Global cooling is a scam
Yes I wear a Speedo
When I slice deviled ham
Jack Ingram is my savior
Could you scoot your stool up close?
Penis rhymes with Venus
Would you butter my rye toast?

I never saw that old man again
Till the day I heard he was dead
He'd left me a note, some nugget he wrote
And this is what the old man said


©2009 Corey Parkman

Aug 14, 2009

Country Day Bonus Track and a Sneak Peek

Here's a first.... a reader submitted parody cover! Ten Pound Hammer gets the cred for this 'un - thanks TPH! After that is a screen shot of my "new covers" folder that shows a sneak peek of country days to come. Fun Fun Fun!


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