Apr 30, 2010

YouTube Gems: Band of Horses

From their forthcoming album Infinite Arms, here's Band of Horses with "Compliments," live from this year's SXSW.

Apr 29, 2010

Best of 2010 So Far: First 1/3 Report

I've decided to stop numbering my top albums list for a while mostly because I don't use spreadsheet software to make the list, so it's really hard to reorganize when something new comes out. Also, with the massive bounty of good music that has come out/is coming out this year, I'm not gonna bother with strict rankings until I have to or until I get a better grip on my preferences. The following list is a loose ordering of my favorites of the year so far. Even the albums at the bottom of the list are very good, which says a lot about the positive state of music (but not the music biz, ha). What else do I need to hear???

Top Albums of 2010
as of April 29

Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
Austin Collins - Wrong Control
Joe Pug - Messenger
Kasey Anderson - Nowhere Nights
Drive-by Truckers - The Big To-Do
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - I Learned the Hard Way
Dirty Sweet - American Spiritual
Great American Taxi - Reckless Habits
Trampled by Turtles - Palomino
Phosphorescent - Here's to Taking It Easy
Hellbound Glory - Old Highs and New Lows
Rodney Hayden - Tavern of Poets
Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave
Hank III - Rebel Within
Drew Kennedy - Alone, But Not Lonely
Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
Blitzen Trapper - Destroyer of the Void
Tim Barry - 28th & Stonewall
Reckless Kelly - Somewhere in Time
The Brothers Comatose - Songs from the Stoop
Nightjar - Hometown Stranger
Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
Retribution Gospel Choir - 2
Alan Jackson - Freight Train
Ray Wylie Hubbard - A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C)
Gary Allan - Get Off On the Pain
Butch Walker and the Black Widows - I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart
Whispering Pines - Family Tree
Murder By Death - Good Morning, Magpie
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis
D.B. Rielly - Love Potions and Snake Oil
Little Brother - LeftBack
Jakob Dylan - Women and Country
Memphis 59 - Ragged But Right
Slash - s/t
She & Him - Volume 2
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig
Freedy Johnston - Rain on the City

Memphis in May parody album covers

I'm headed to Memphis in May this Saturday to take in North Mississippi Allstars, Government Mule, Richard Johnston, Drive-by Truckers and Alice in Chains (that is, if it doesn't flood). In honor of the annual event, I thought I'd post some parody covers of some of the bands who'll be playing this year. I'm not sure if they have quite enough crappy 90's bands on the lineup. What? Vertical Horizon and Creed didn't want in?

Apr 28, 2010

Summer Blows - satire lyric

It's almost that time of year for kids to get out of school and Yoo Hoo bottles to roll on floorboards. Almost every year, country songs praising the warmer months come out just in time to blare out the windows of bondo colored Mustangs and jacked up trucks everywhere. Well, truth is, once you pass the age of 25, summer just isn't as much fun.

Summer Blows

©2010 Trailer satires

Ice cream melts and beer gets hot

Girls wear skirts even when they're not

The lawn needs mowing every single week

You might get chiggers if you take a leak outside

Man, summer blows

Gas prices rise and the creek gets low

There's screamin' kids everywhere you go

The AC's running from dusk till dusk

Honey-do list has the wife on my butt

Damn, summer blows

I still remember

Those May to Septembers

'fore I graduated school

I did so much livin'

Hangin' out, going swimmin'

Yeah summer used to be cool

But now that I'm older

No tan on my shoulders

All that seems so long ago

All work and no playin'

And that's got me sayin'

Dadgummit summer blows

My white shirt's the color of sweat

Truck's runnin' hot and my Right Guard left

When I get home all there is to see

Is reality shows on the damn TV

Hoo, summer blows!


Gimme some cool air

Gimme some fall

Gimme kids back in school

And gimme football!

But, I still remember

Those May to Septembers

'fore I graduated school

I did so much livin'

Hangin' out, going swimmin'

Yeah summer used to be cool

But now that I'm older

No tan on my shoulders

All that seems so long ago

All work and no playin'

And that's got me sayin'

Dadgummit summer blows

Apr 27, 2010

Little Known Facts

This is the first in a new series that reveals facts about your favorite country stars that you may not have known, and some are even true!

Shania Twain goes by the user name "Swiss Diamond" on eHarmony.

In his spare time, Daryl Worley is an accomplished violinist.

Brad Paisley is a 12% shareholder in a company that makes fake vomit and whoopie cushions.

Besides Darius Rucker and Jon Bon Jovi, other rockers who've considered releasing a country album include Sammy Hagar, Steven Pearcy of Ratt© and Jason Aldean.

Butter of Trailer Choir prefers to go by his birth name, Parkay Simpson.

Taylor Swift prefers dipping her french fries in her chocolate shake rather than ketchup.

Miranda Lambert celebrated her ACM victories by leaving a burning bag of dog poo on the doorstep of Taylor Swift's tour bus.

Jimmy Wayne says Uncrustables are the greatest invention of the past decade.

Jason Aldean is flattered by the interest from all his female fans, except Laney Childs of Mobile, AL.

Due to her as-yet undeveloped good hygiene habits, Patty Loveless was given the unflattering nickname "ratty Patty" by third grade classmate, Chad Carmichael. Carmichael disappeared shortly after a '93 Loveless concert in Louisville and has not been seen since. The country singer was not questioned in the incident.

Kenny Chesney denies rumors that he took steroids to enhance his build in preparation for his 3D concert movie. He did, however, enhance another part of his body with a gym sock.

John Rich doesn't drink anywhere close to the amount you thought - you vastly underestimated.

Billy Joe Shaver has never once uttered the word "afraid" in his life.

Kenny Rogers' pre-concert rituals include prayer, updating his fake Twitter account and downing three white Russians.

Songs Illustrated Twofer


Apr 25, 2010

Top 10 Ways Kenny Chesney Will Spend the Upcoming Non-touring Summer

10. Cursing about the Twitter account @notkennychesney

09. Dating hot girls who wouldn't give a short, balding 40-year-old a second look if he were a burger jockey or bank teller or small business owner

08. Getting old blue chair reupholstered

07. Working on his Jamaican accent

06. Living his life completely in three dimensions

05. Starting his own footwear line that consists of only flip flops and steel reinforced boots (to prevent stage mishaps)

04. Watching soaps, eating bon bons

03. Sipping fruity drinks, if you know what I mean (I don't)

02. Planting palm trees around his new mansion

01. Secretly wearing sleeved shirts

Apr 23, 2010

YouTube Gems: Willie Nelson

From his new album Country Music, here is the legendary Willie Nelson with the lead track "Man With the Blues."

Apr 22, 2010

Country Doppelgängers 2

Dierks Bentley and Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills 90210 fame.

"Country" newcomer Laura Bell Bundy and random drag queen.

Zac Brown (sans hat) and the late Merlin Olsen.

Joe Nichols and WWE wrestler John Morrison.

And last but not least, Cowboy Troy and Cowboy Curtis (of Pee Wee's Playhouse).

Apr 21, 2010

My humble prayer

Stole this "prayer" from my Facebook/altcountrytab.ca buddy, Chuck Hodges and added a little imagery. It ain't right... but it's soooo funny.

In the Year 2030 #3

•Murder rates and crystal meth production in the rural south drop to lowest levels in history; Drive-by Truckers disband

•Kenny Chesney puts out a song about his old blue Craftmatic adjustable bed

•Justin Bieber reaches puberty

•After talking about it for 21 years, Kellie Pickler finally releases a traditional country album

•Ke$ha named Best New Artist at CMAs

•A new genre called funktry fuses 70's funk with 90's style country - cowboy hat and shiny pink glasses clad Bootsy Brooks is its biggest star

•Potheads flock to Willie Nelson's grave for contact high

•Rappers, having run out of clever ways to refer to a woman's posterior, release hit songs with titles like "Jostle Yo Heinie Thang" and "I Want Your Ass Cheeks Against My Crotch While We Dance."

•Keith Richards, the only surviving member of the Rolling Stones, is arrested for possession of cocaine at a London nursing home

•Chinese Democracy 2 released, wheelchair-bound Axl tours with entirely computerized backing band whom he despises

Apr 20, 2010

Leann and her beau at the ACM's: A Closer Look

Here's a lovely picture of Leann Rimes and Eddie Cibrian at the ACM's...


...and here's a little bit closer look.

.99 Review: Dierks Bentley - Up on the Ridge

Dierks Bentley - Up on the Ridge
Listen to it here.

The People's Take:
c'mon dierks (1 Star) - sounds like all his other songs but worse. c'mon dierks, your a better artist than this

New Direction (5 Stars) - Great new song from Dierks. His sound sounds great and like something he has never done before! Very bluegrass. Can't wait for the new album!!!!

My Take:
So this is the first single from Dierks' long rumored bluegrass album that ended up being consolidated into this year's regular release from him... Well since "Up on the Ridge" is neither traditional bluegrass nor typical radio country fare, I can only assume they put songs from each genre into a musical version of the large hadron collider and smashed them into one another, creating a hybrid of the two (the subsequent energy release creating a chain of seismic events that led to the eruption in Iceland).

To be honest, I hated this the first time I heard it, mostly because the first version I heard was a crappy low bitrate internet rip (remember the early Napster days with the beeps and boops and static?) - which made the chorus sound pretty much like a cow mooing (which my wife thinks Dierks sounds like anyway). So anyway, I purchased the proper single today on iTunes and was pleasantly surprised.

Lyrics aside, this is a fresh sounding song that will stand out on Clearchannel radio. It's not bluegrass, but there's plenty of plucking around. It also features a moaning, understated chorus that stubbornly refuses to jab you with a sharp hook but reels you in only after repeated listens. Doubtful you'd see most of Dierks' contemporaries go without a soaring or raging chorus.

Lyrically, it's nothing you haven't heard before - a song about taking it easy in the great outdoors - though it does hint at the usage of intoxicating substances beyond just the moonshine mentioned (and it was released on 4/20... cute).

Playing like a more laid back version of Brad Paisley's "Mud on the Tires," "Up..." is a refreshingly low key tune that should be played around many a bon/campfire this spring and summer. For a couple of reasons already mentioned, I won't swear it's top 5-bound, but commercial radio needs more songs like this.

Total Value: .84/.99

The Checklist:
Name Dropping
Dying Person
County Fair
Lost Love
Hometown/Country Pride
Kindly Advice
Whiskey (moonshine)
Life Affirmation
Pop Sheen
Star Power

Some appropriate reposts for 4/20

Apr 19, 2010

Jason Boland's new album cover for 4/20 release

Top 10 Things Miranda Lambert was Thinking When She Won ACM Best Female Vocalist

10. Blake, get your hand off your crotch, the camera's on us

9. I should have done a little more pre-drinking

8. Damn, Reba's rack is shiny

7. Wish I could shoot something, wish I could shoot something, wish I could shoot something

6. I wonder what Buddy Jewell is doing right about now?

5. Hooo, Luke Bryan's breath smelled like mountain oysters and road apples. Mix in a Mentos or something, dude.

4. How the hell does Reba get her rack that shiny???

3. Blake, stop staring at Reba's rack!

2. Yeah yeah I know, the winner is Taylor Sw... wait... what?

1. Ha ha, kiss my ass, Martina!

Apr 18, 2010

Miranda Lambert wins ACM Best Album, Female Vocalist

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #34

Another email question.

Dan in Nashville asks:
"Do you think the traditionally conservative mainstream country market is ready for some songs from a more liberal point of view?"

JR: Well, Obama has ruined everything else so why the f**k not? Just don't try to set up a co-write with me if you're going to bring some damn "killing babies is a laugh riot" or "why can't we all just agree to tap each other's asses?" ideas to the table. I don't roll that way, but I support your right to be incorrect.

Not actually written by John Rich.

Apr 16, 2010

YouTube Gems: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

I've been looking for some modern soul/R&B in the vein of old favorites like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke and I finally found it (though I'm a little late to the party, as usual). From their killer new album of the same name, this is Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings with "I Learned the Hard Way."

Apr 15, 2010

Post #1000: Jason Aldean Parody

For Farce the Music's 1000th post, here's a parody of Jason Aldean's Crazy Town.

Lazy Town
(Parody of Jason Aldean's "Crazy Town")

Roll into town, Raise quite a fuss
That you on Idol? Yes it was
Hold a guitar, show your white teeth
Welcome to Nashville, Tennessee
And I have found

Its a lazy town creatively
Everybody doin' the same damn thing
Yeah Hollywood without any Cash
To be a star you gotta smooch some ass
Sing at the Opry that keeps Hank out
Make all the soccer moms scream and shout
Payola, just pay it
They're all just tryin' to fake it in that lazy town

Former rock stars can eat for free
Put on a hat, you can be country
Write a song with three other guys
Make connections and sign some dotted lines
You won't find old or new sounds
Cause Nashvegas has got that formula down

Its a lazy town creatively
Everybody doin' the same damn thing
Yeah Hollywood without any Cash
To be a star you gotta smooch some ass
Sing at the Opry that keeps Hank out
Make all the soccer moms scream and shout
Payola, just pay it
They're all just tryin' to fake it in that lazy town

Sing about tractors and pickup trucks
and the next year make a couple million bucks

Its a lazy town creatively
Everybody chasin' that almighty green
Shallow pool without any waves
And ol' Hank's rolling over in his grave
Bend those strings like Van Halen did
And call it country, but who do they kid?
It's B.S., I hate it
Sure they're dyin' to make it
But make no mistakin'
Most are just tryin' to fake it in that lazy town

It's a lazy town

Post #999: Hip Hop Limericks #3

Once was a man in a situation
Chatted up a girl from the U.S. nation
He kept tryin' to get in
But she had this other "friend"
C*ck-blocking their relations

Apr 14, 2010

______Deserves a Sackpunch #8

Rascal Flatts

You may think you know what's next. This is where I say that the ten years Rascal Flatts has graced us with their screeching has been the worst era of commercial country music. This is where I blame them for influencing the further drift towards pop music. This is where I punch Gary The Voice in his scrotum for assaulting my eardrums on multiple occasions.

Wrong. While all that may be true, it's not worth arguing any more. Country is dead, long live country... whatever.

Fact is, for some reason I still listen to, report on, ridicule and lament country radio. Rascal Flatts is still played hourly on country radio. To that end, while I am not a fan, I want Flatts' music to be as good as it can be if I'm gonna have to hear it. Granted, the bar has been set low, but once upon a time, I counted the country boy-band as a guilty pleasure - or at least some of their songs. Those particular songs are all over 5 years old.

Since that time, RF has coasted on their relatively crappy resume, putting out song after song that barely differed from the last, at least musically. Now, I don't expect the guys to get all adventurous and put out, heaven forbid, an actual country album... or push the boundaries of commercial country in an artistic or positive direction, so I request quite the opposite.

Dance with who brung ya. Regress. Keep it simple stupid.

"Prayin' for Daylight" and "Everyday Love" introduced us to the "band" with big hooks, soaring harmonies and memorable melodies. "I Melt" was uh, cheesy goodness. "What Hurts the Most" and "These Days" were irresistibly catchy downers. "Bless the Broken Road" and "I'm Movin' On" were simple gems. Even the lyrically insipid "Mayberry" was an earworm.

Since those high water marks, aside from a couple of tolerable singles, pretty much all you've given us are mid-tempo inspirational tracks out the wazoo. There's hardly a hair's width difference between "Stand," "Unstoppable" and "Every Day." Great, they gave you airplay and ad placement, but yawn. If I want to hear elevator music, I'll go downtown. "Here?" Even the title just sits there.

If you're wondering why you're lacking in the award nominations recently, look no further than the above song releases. If even the country music machine is sick of you, something's very wrong.

You've got a cash cow in your harmonies and commercial persona. Milk it. Pop it up guys (can't believe I said that). Get campy. Do something! Don't just sit there. Much worse, in pop culture, than being a lightning rod, is being a limp dishrag.

C'mon guys, make it a little more interesting to hate you. Right now, you're fish in a barrel.

You know what's coming. A sackpunch designed to definitely hurt the most.


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