Nov 30, 2010

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #46

Today chil'ren, we gonna talk about rhyme. Sure, in some of those indie garbage genres, they don't even rhyme their lines but who listens to that crap besides sweatervest wearing pusswads? In real music, we rhyme. We rhyme love with above and heart with apart and we don't give a sh*t who's tired of the supposed clichés. Don't waste precious brain cells trying to come up with a unique rhyme, just go with the easy out, or stick an awkward line in there that was obviously just to fulfill the rhyme. Money talks, and my bank account backs up my bullsh*t. Now, I'm sorry we must be parted, but the bathroom calls 'cause I just farted.

*not actually written by John Rich

Nov 29, 2010

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio December 2010

The weather's getting cold and gray and so are the singles. Not a lot of up-tempos to be found. Normally that'd be fine with me - a welcome break from the happy happy joy joy - but too much of the same gets old. If this is a look into the music of the next month or two, load up on Red Bulls till spring. No Four Lokos though, please!

*click the links for listens of each song*

Josh Turner - I Wouldn't Be a Man
I've heard this before, but it's been a while so at least it's a "fresh ears" judgment. This is a nice cover of the 1989 Don Williams hit. I still prefer the original, but this is very strong.

Loretta Lynn, Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow - Coal Miner's Daughter
The inclusion of Crow here is baffling to me and she adds little, but this isn't a bad take on the classic. Miranda is a perfect fit and Lynn is in superb voice.

Meh. Bunch of boring inspirational platitudes. I've been more emotionally moved reading Hallmarks in the Target greeting card aisle. Don't call it a comeback; this is flat-out terrible.

Why mess with perfection? The original was much better; in fact, I prefer Dwight Yoakam's excellent cover to this. Pianos and crashing guitars do nothing for my 2nd favorite Elvis tune. Pointless.

The Harters - If I Run
This is a pleasant enough swelling pop country ballad in the vein of Lady Antebellum and Gloriana, but it's nothing new or remotely memorable.

Kenny Chesney - Somewhere With You
People complaining about all of Chesney's "reminiscing" songs and beach anthems, take heed. This isn't one of those. It's also a different sound for Kenneth... AAA. Decent, but after it hits #3 or so on the charts and drops, nobody will request it again.

Little Big Town - Kiss Goodbye
Speaking of Gloriana, this also sounds like them. I had to check the display to make sure it wasn't. Eh, I expect better from LBT, though the chorus is pretty moving.

This sounds like a country take on "Dock of the Bay," but more boring. Lee should branch out a little; this is too much in the same pocket as his previous hit... whatever that was called. Dull dull dull zzzz...

This is well written and decently sung. Less than I hope for from Allan though. He really needs to step it up before he becomes a B-List afterthought. Admittedly, all these low key songs are negatively coloring my perception of the individual tracks on this comp, but...

Jamey Johnson - Playing the Part
One of the less exceptional cuts from The Guitar Song is still better than most everything else on this collection. It's probably too late for this song to make a dent in the charts, but it would be a breath of fresh air amongst the Flatts and Swifts.

Billy Currington - Let Me Down Easy
Billy's got such a good, good voice. This is a simple (low key) break-up song that brings nothing new or exciting to the table, but it's got some indefinable "it" factor going for it. And that voice...

The Randy Rogers Band - Steal You Away
I reviewed this song here.

Brett Eldredge - Raymond
I've heard a lot about this song, but this is my first time to hear it. Alzheimer's has been dealt with in country music before, but not this effectively. Brett's voice is fresh and emotive, a strong baritone. "Raymond" pulls all the right heartstrings, but you never feel like it's taking advantage of your sympathies. This is one of the strongest debut singles since Currington's "Walk a Little Straighter."

Simple and effective, but maybe too simple to find a large audience. I want good things for this talented duo/couple, but they're going to have to release harder hitting singles to make it in this market.

Mark's voice isn't unique, but it's solid enough. The song is 90s sounding, well-written, but again... low key... and I'm drooling on my desk at this point. Must all winter releases be yawners?

Uncle Kracker w/Kid Rock - Good to Be Me
Here's an anomaly. A more upbeat, summery track in the midst of all these gray skies. Sure it's Uncle Kracker, but this is every bit as "country" as nearly every other song here. And I like it... it's a guilty pleasure. Bouncy, singable and possibly released at the perfect time to be alternative programming to all these other party poopers. Bite me; it ain't bad.

Christian Kane - The House Rules
Apparently this guy is on some TV show I've never seen before. Whatever. He reminds me of Blake Shelton a little. This song is way more upbeat than most of the previous tunes. Wait... "you know they're gonna show 'em if they got 'em"?? This is pretty risque for the format. Oh no, a crowd sing-along at the end. That's a full letter grade off. Mmmm, not sure if I like this a ton, but it could be a hit.

Sarah Darling - With or Without You
A U2 cover... pretty cool. Glad it wasn't a cover of "Lemon." She's got a sweet voice. She better wail at the end with the "oh oh oh's" though. As low key winter releases go, this isn't bad at all. Don't care for the backing vocals much. A male contrast would have sounded better there. Ugh, no "oh oh oh's"! Letter grade off. Pretty good, but the song had no high point to really set it off.

Nov 24, 2010

Best of...

Like all the talk radio and late night talk shows do, I'm gonna take off a couple days for Thanksgiving and leave you with this "Best of..." edition of country parody covers. Enjoy yer turkey and football!

A Thanksgiving Top 10

Top Ten (Country Music-Related) Things I'm Thankful for this Year

10. That John Rich doesn't have my address

09. [facetious]That Kid Rock has come to save country music[/facetious]

08. That Jason Aldean put out a rap song I could make fun of for days on end

07. That the ever farce-worthy Chuck Wicks hasn't gone away ...yet

06. That Jimmy Wayne hasn't put out a new album

05. Kellie Pickler ...well, that's two things...

04. Sugarland: an unending source of comedy material

03. iTunes and sports talk radio, so I don't have to actually listen to country radio

02. That my daughter isn't old enough to have a Taylor Swift ringtone (or a phone for that matter)

01. That Jamey Johnson put out an album good enough to make up for all the other crap Nashville put out this year

Nov 22, 2010

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week

Still a Little Turkey Left on That Bone (parody lyric)

Just in time for Thanksgiving!

Still a Little Turkey Left on That Bone
(Parody of Craig Morgan's "Still a Little Chicken Left on That Bone")

It's two-oh-four, and the Lions just scored
Sick of Granny's stories, about to fill my plate with another course
I'm two-oh-nine, big-ass waist line,
Just about to make my move when, Uncle Randy said he thinks it's time
Just look at him now, sweat beads on his brow
He said it's about time to throw the Thanksgiving food out

But it ain't over if my pants still fit
Don't pour out that boat of gravy, the last of the dressing needs some on it
Little bit of pie that can't be tossed
Little bit of warm cranberry sauce
There might not be a lot of rolls left, they're almost gone
Still a little turkey left on that bone.

That jello mold, it might be old
But truth be told, there's still some taste in that melting dome
Got a glare from mother, cause she knows that I'll suffer
I’ll twist and yank my pants and complain, I'll be full as John Holmes' rubber.

But it ain't over if my pants still fit
Don't pour out that boat of gravy, the last of the dressing needs some on it
Little bit of green bean casserole
Little bit of ham to feed my hole
There might not be a lot of cake left, it's almost gone
Still a little turkey left on that bone.

Got macaroni and cheese, got pistachio pudding,
Weight I'll have to lose? Ha ha… good one!

But it ain't over till my belt don't fit
Don't pour out that boat of gravy, the last of the dressing needs some on it
Little bit of munching left to do
Little bit of gristle left to chew
There might not be a lot of rolls left, yep they're gone
Still a little turkey left on that bone.

Nov 21, 2010

Emory Quinn: The FTM Interview

FTM gets to interview lots of cool "up-and-coming" artists, bands and songwriters. If any down-and-floundering acts want in on this deal, shoot me an email! FTM does wonders for flailing careers!
For now, here's an interview with another up-and-coming group out of the great state of San Antonio - Emory Quinn (listen to their new single). The band's excellent new album See You at the Next Light comes out Tuesday. 3 members of the band begged me on Twitter to give them a little press and I finally caved. I'm fairly annoyed that Mr. Quinn himself won't be speaking to us, but whatever...

C: Clint Bracher
CB: Case Bell
N: Nathan Rigney

FTM: Okay, first things first guys, why don't I get to talk to Emory?

C: Emory did not feel it necessary to make himself available at this time. He's magical that way.
CB: Emory checks into a rehab facility when we're back from the road. They don't allow contact with outsiders.

FTM: Sure. I understand. Well, as soon as I'm as big as Rita or Galleywinter, you jackoffs better pony up with some more important members for the interviews!

Alrighty then, let's get serious. You guys play a rootsy blend of country-rock and Texas music. What do you want your fans to know about your alcohol preferences when they're looking to buy you a round?

C: Bourbon Whiskey
CB: As long as it is not a bottle of Smirnoff Ice it will be happily consumed.
N: Smirnoff Ice

FTM: Prepare to be iced if I ever meet you guys in person.
Two part question: 1)Are you familiar with diesel sniffers? 2)If yes, and if I come to a show, will you introduce me as the tambourine player?

C: Yes and yes
N: Start taking tambo lessons. It's a tough instrument.

FTM: I'm in!
You're family guys. How many rug rats do you have that you know of?

C: Still a zero count in that category
CB: None. And let's keep it that way.
N: *takes off his shoes so he can count past ten...*

FTM: Let's talk about priorities. How do you balance the rigors of the road with finding time for playing Call of Duty and making stupid comments on Twitter?

C: That's Natedogs category.
CB: It's called Netflix, and it streams instantly.
N: *doesn't look up... eyes locked to iPhone*

FTM: Nate, are you updating your Myspace during the interview? That's rude.
How much do you guys hate making appearances at the merch table? I mean, who wants to pose for pictures with a bunch of sweaty, half-dressed skanks, right? On second thought...

C: I enjoy them whenever I can remember to appear. It's always good to meet and greet after the show.
CB: Love it. Bring on the scantily clad.
N: Gotta love texas... even shorts weather in December.

FTM: I see you guys (at least your more recent work) as a part of the more intelligent, artful Texas music scene that includes the likes of Walt Wilkins and Band of Heathens. Why don't you take this opportunity to talk shit about the fist-pumping, frat-boy, hell yeah party crowd?

C: Let's just say that there is nothing like it. I never thought I would see so much fist pumping in my life. We actually have a few songs we play or sing on road trips that could probably incite a severe riot of fist pumping among the group you are referring to... "In The South"

FTM: After you eventually sell out and work Axe Hair Gel into your daily routines, will you go back and read the venomous comments written about you on the Lone Star Music album reviews?

C: Absolutely. I see that becoming a fantastic guilty pleasure in the future
CB: Yes. A little hate means you must be doing something right.

FTM: Since you're the first band I've interviewed who are in the "traditional" Texas music vein, I'd like to ask you a few "What's the deal?" questions.

First, what's the deal with those caps guys wear that look like they were crapped out by an Angus bull and then run over by a tractor?

C: That is a great question. And all I can say is, "what is the deal with those guys?" I don't think the world will ever know.
CB: They're best worn turned to the side with a fishing hook and bottle caps on the brim.
N: I mean why would you wear at hat forward? The brim obstructs your view when you wear it that low.

FTM: What's the deal with flying guitar t-shirts?

C: All of them should be set on fire.
N: *lights a match*

FTM: And finally, what's the deal with floating down the river? I mean, we have rivers to float here in Mississippi too, but we'd rather just get drunk beside the river than do all that work.

C: Drinking beside the river is good, for some reason floating it is just better. Night floats are great too. Definitely suggest trying it.
CB: What other time do you get to use your waterproof stereo-cooler? Seriously those things are awesome.
N: And the babes are great. The ones missing teeth are the best.

FTM: I was going to ask "What's the deal with brisket?" but I finally had some last weekend and now I know what the deal is. I'd fight all three of you for a plate of that stuff!

C: It is truly breathtaking, and absolutely worth fist fighting over.
CB: Yes. Brisket is far superior to pork-based barbecue. You southeasterners can keep your pulled pork.
N: In the words of the Late Great Johnny Michael, Fat Side Down.

FTM: I may lose my Southern cred card, but yeah, brisket may be better than pork barbecue. Next question: I hate the Spurs. Okay, it wasn't a question but still.

C: It's too bad you hate excellence.

FTM: Okay, why are the Spurs so worthy of hate?

C: Jealousy of perfection, and envy of greatness.

FTM: Guess you're right, Clint... they beat my Suns every freaking year in the playoffs.... Changing the subject, what are your opinions of Nashville? I mean... why did those guys sign Randy Moss?

C: "Straight cash homey." I guess they needed someone that drove a monster truck on their team. Nashville's pretty cool though. I don't see what all the Nashville fuss about. We did have a pretty bad White Castle experience the last time we were there.
CB: The Titans were great when they were called the Oilers, played in Houston, and wore baby blue uniforms.

FTM: Are any of you currently on performance enhancing drugs? I'd hate to think the results of this interview might deserve an asterisk beside them.

C: Not currently. I'm working on a pretty tasty Dr. Pepper right now though.
N: What time is it?

FTM: Good to hear. In your down time, are any of you guys readers? I mean, the articles between the nudie pictures at least?

C: I like to read. Very slowly though.
CB: Nope. Illiterate drunks.
N: I just got a Kindle. It's out of batteries.

FTM: I suppose I should ask you guys about your music at some point. So, how would you describe your sound? ...without using any of the following words: spooning, Chuck Wicks, death metal, Ke$ha, cookie cutter, energy, contusions, Ed Hardy, word to your mother. Made it hard on ya', huh?

CB: Jam-country-bluegrass-rock
C: Thunder only happens when It's raining, and it has been raining for a while.
N: We're pretty much your average Top 20 band.

FTM: Your new album, See You at the Next Light, comes out November 23rd. I've heard it and of all the albums I've heard lately, it definitely contains just as much if not more music! Why should fans and new listeners grab this new album?

C: Once they start listening to it, they aren't going to be able to stop
CB: It definitely isn't not awesome.
N: Not only that but it's awesome.

FTM: Are you sure I can't talk to Emory?

*A look of sadness washes over the three young gentlemen's faces as they reminisce about their friend*

FTM: What can people who come out to one of your shows expect in terms of pyro, strippers on swings and vulgar chants?

C: They can expect pure entertainment. Sweat, blood and fire flying from our fingertips, and white light shining from our eyes.
CB: And the occasional pole dancer, but that's another story.

FTM: Honestly, I really like your new album. The songwriting is crisp, the hooks are infectious and the vibe is easy. All that said, I'd like to see you guys expand your horizons with maybe a reggae breakdown, an alternative lifestyles poetry recitation or a guest rapper or something next time. Thoughts?

C: I think the idea of a guest rapper is genius, and we do have a little bit of a reggae coming through one of the tracks off our last album. Maybe a synchronized dance sequence could be possible in the near future. That and robot replicas of ourselves walking around the audience.
CB: A reggae breakdown is a definite possibility on the next effort.
N: Jah Mon

FTM: Where is the last place you puked?

C: In a Dallas apartment
CB: Not sure, but there was a beer bong in my hand.
N: Pint night a few months back. It was a Fat Black Cowboy's fault.

FTM: You've done well with my hard-hitting questions so far, but I hope you're ready for the infamous lightning round!

Sugarland or SheDaisy and why?

C: SheDaisy. The girl in the Sugarland duo has a voice that makes me cringe, almost as much as the guy that flails around by her side. What is that?
CB: Neither
N: My girlfriend listens to Sugarland. She has really good taste in music.

FTM: Paper, plastic or reusable canvas?

C: Paper
CB: Glass
N: Canvas... heathens

FTM: Hunter Hearst Helmsley or Shawn Michaels?

C: The Heartbreak Kid no question. He grew up in my neck of the woods and throws that sweet sweet chin music.
CB: Kim Kardashian
N: Jim Duggan

FTM: The last good nut you had.

C: A wasabi flavored Almond (Blue Diamond brand)
CB: Pistachio
N: It was a warm night. Sitting on my barstool, I sifted through the talent at the bar with my eyes. Finding the perfect specimen. I gently coaxed away from the lesser cohorts the curviest one. I tore off everything between me and the sweet flesh beneath... It was the best peanut I've ever had.

FTM: Don't be a perv, Nate. Obviously, I meant pecans or cashews or something.

C: I'll have to stick with my last answer

FTM: Your favorite Jason Aldean song.

C: I can't remember. What?
CB: The thought-provoking one about riding tractors.
N: The stockyards is my backyard

FTM: What's the first thing you notice about a woman, other than the overwhelming stench of Kool cigarettes and cheeseburgers?

N: Bumpits are hot

FTM: If you could press a button in a box and win $52,000 dollars, but that action would kill a homeless terminally ill man in southeast Asia with no family, what would you buy first?

C: A tattoo of a Bald Eagle spreading its wings across my back.
CB: Another box with a button
N: This button's not working...

FTM: Keef or Mick?

CB: Keith
N: I change my blood supply out every 6 months too
C: Call me the tumbling dice

FTM: Favorite submission hold:

C: it's illegal for me to use any, so I couldn't tell you
CB: Whiskey shot
N: Onstage it's "The Crab"

FTM: What are you guys doing to reduce your carbon footprint? Just kidding! Who's funnier: Insane Clown Posse or the bed intruder guy?

C: He's climbing in your windows, he's snatching your people up
CB: Tryna rape em so y'all need to
N: Hide your kids
C/CB: Hide your wife
N: Hide your kids
C/CB: Hide your wife
N: and hide your husband
N/C/CB: Cuz they're rapin errbody out here!

FTM: I guess that's enough. Y'all want to give closing statements?

C: Thanks for having us... We'll see you at the next light.
CB: God Bless America
N: Peace out yo

FTM: Thanks guys. It's been fun. Case, I hope that paternity test turns out in your best interest!

You can check out clips from the new album at Lone Star Music.

Nov 20, 2010

Mmmmm Turkey

YouTube Junk: Guns n' Roses

GNR (at least the first couple of incarnations) is one of my all time favorite bands, but admittedly, they put out some garbage at times. The Spaghetti Incident is where things really fell apart (though it did have a few good songs). From that album of mostly punk covers, here is "Since I Don't Have You." Not only is it an awful cover of The Skyliners' original, the video is truly horrendous. Is this the same band that put out November Rain?

Nov 19, 2010

YouTube Gems: Whitey Morgan and the 78s

Here's Whitey Morgan and the 78's with their tribute to Billy Joe Shaver, "Where Do You Want It," from their self-titled new album. RIYL: Waylon, Merle, Johnny, Bastard Sons of Johnny, etc.

Nov 18, 2010

Larry Lee the Primitive Baptist Reviews Cee-Lo

There's no way in the Devil's domain I'd actually let this song defile my ears so I gave a homeless man named Herman a hot meal and some salvation tracts to listen to it for me. I'll be reviewing his summary of the song. Apparently the singer has been wronged by a female and he feels particularly spiteful towards her. This leads him to utter the "f word," the "s word" and possibly other vulgarities in her general direction, though Herman couldn't understand all of the lyrics because he is two forties into his dessert. I have heard Mr. Green's voice before and I know that he has an instrument that could well serve the Lord, so it is truly disheartening that he would stoop to this level of perversion. Herman said this song is very catchy and made him tap his mismatched shoes and want to dance if not for his back condition. I pity Herman but sympathize with him for these inclinations; the Devil has a strangle-hold on many of the more hedonistically pleasing musical compositions. However, no matter how "good" the song makes one feel, it is still an insult to decency and reverence to the Lord. I will be leading a prayer group this evening to ask mercy on the soul of both Cee-Lo and Herman.

Nov 17, 2010

Jennifer Nettles' Tatt: A Closer Look

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland got a tattoo to represent her mindset around the time of the release of their album "Love on the Inside." Like so:

FTM has learned that she recently got another tattoo for the same arm. This one more closely represents her current frame of consciousness now that "The Incredible Machine" is out.

And now a closer look:

Nov 16, 2010

Nov 14, 2010

Top Ten Shortest Books by Country Artists II

10. How to Stay Out of the Public Eye - by Billy Ray Cyrus

09. An Illustrated Guide to My Sleeved Wardrobe - by Kenny Chesney

08. Time Spent on Craig Wiseman's Table - an autobiography by the late McDouble with cheese

07. Avoiding Douchebaggery and General Mayhem - by John Rich

06. Songs I Wouldn't Cut - by Craig Morgan

05. Staying Clean: A Guide to Sexual Health and Responsibility - by Trent Tomlinson

04. Growing Your 401K the Sammy Way - by Sammy Kershaw

03. How to Be a Real Outlaw - by Jason Aldean

02. I Pledge Allegiance to Country: Our Love of Tradition - by Sugarland

01. How to Be a Realer Outlaw... Dammit - by Eric Church

Nov 11, 2010

Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" parodied

Read no further if you have a sense of humor that doesn't include Jr. High flatulence jokes.

I Kinda Farted
(parody of Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party")

Yeah I ate old beets
Cold cuts, beans, nuts and cheese plate
Headed out to the club, can't be late
Fire it up and let my Hyundai sing
I'm feelin' kinda mean
I'm gonna ruin the Friday scene
Cause last week they cut off my drinks
Barkeep why don't you get me some Natty Light?
I know I'll never be invited to parties
After my revenge that's so vile
Kick the tires and light the fires
It's about time...

Oh baby what's behind me
I'm about to open up Hell's gate
Shittin’ sound creepin' out my blue jeans
Gettin' out would be the smart play

Cause I’ll find peace.
When my bottom lets out a real big stink
Fillin' up the barroom like my gas tank
Now the girls have departed
Cause I kinda farted

Ah hell, these cramps are peaking
And the owner is straight up freaking
I soiled my Lees
While I sit here watching the paint peel
Here's another one louder than all the other ones
Just now the bar band quit playin' Sweet Home Alabam'
Swinging door flapping like a fan
Maybe my revenge is a little too elementary
But I'm leaving a complaint they won't forget
From my alimentary

Oh baby what's behind me
Yeah, I had to open up Hell's gate
Shittin’ sound creepin' out my blue jeans
Gettin' out would be the smart play

Cause I’ll find peace.
When my bottom lets out a real big stink
Fillin' up the barroom like my gas tank
Even the drunks have departed
Cause I kinda farted

Yeah, I found peace
When all this flatulence was released
But it's still a party till the winds cease
Even the manager's departed
Cause I kinda farted

Where ya’ll goin’?

Ain't nobody left breathin’

Nov 10, 2010

CMA Reactions

I'm too lazy to Photoshop something tonight so I'll mostly just wrap up the CMAs with some of my Tweets from tonight along with selected re-Tweets from other folks. I will say I'm happy for Brad Paisley (EOY), Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton (how cool is it that they have matching vocalist trophies?). Anyway, here's the Twitter silliness. Click on them for a closer view.


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