Jan 30, 2011

Country Cred-o-meter: Carpetbagger Edition

Disclaimer: The placement of the artists on this "meter" in no way indicate their relevance to said establishment... it's all relative.

Click for a closer view.

Jan 29, 2011

Free Music: RCPM

I'm a big fan of Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (and their former related incarnation The Refreshments). For the uninitiated, RCPM are pretty much a straight forward rock band with heavy Southwestern influence, rootsy appeal and boozy, poetic lyrics. I was scouting around their website a short time ago and found this introductory set of music the band and fans put together for people who haven't heard the band. If you enjoy the likes of Lucero, Gin Blossoms, Jimmy Buffett, Steve Earle and Reckless Kelly, you should definitely check this band out! Here's a link to the free set of songs!

Jan 27, 2011

These exist....

Gary Levox earrings....

Quite a bargain too!

Larry Lee the Primitive Baptist on Kenny Chesney's "Somewhere with You"

Kenny Chesney - Somewhere With You

Mr. Chesney's newest smash hit country song sounds suspiciously like what we used to call "pop music" back when my pals and I used to cruise the Sonic after Bible drills, bobbing our heads. It seems at the very least insincere, and more to the point, dishonest to release this song to the country music radio stations. As if the sin of false presentation were not enough, Kenneth's song is a veritable snake nest of immoral behaviors. The first two lines reveal the main character's jealousy and envy over his ex-girlfriend (we assume it's a girl, but one cannot be too certain in this morally loose era) courting a new love interest. These two sins of course lead to yet another, consumption of old Scratch's mind altering beverages. Next, he goes on to look back on his time with this ex and he has the gall to reveal to us, fair reader, that he went on a date to the amusement park without an adult present to make sure this couple didn't cavort around in the haunted house or touch uncovered skin together at any point of their ride on the Tilt-a-whirl. Next line, next sin - he let a (presumable) female drive him around. The man is to be at the helm in any facet of any relationship, thus saith my Lord. And now saith my Lord, this couple committed sexual sin, because Kenneth Chesney got them a hotel room and you just know what happened on those bodily fluid encrusted sheets. My chest is tightening up, I don't mind telling you …and so is my bbb… never mind.

I'll just summarize the rest of this vile song: Mr. Chesney is sleeping around with all manner of whores in an attempt to fill up an empty space in his soul. Does he not know that this longing is for the King of Kings… not the queen of his four poster? My angina is really acting up right now… but please, unless the real damnation of your eternal soul is something you desire, don't give this song a second listen.


Jan 25, 2011

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week

Screw the Working Man

A satire lyric...

Screw the Working Man

This one's for you Mr. Mack truck guy
Popping pills on your cross-country drive
Skipping weigh stations, skipping sleep
Lot lizard humping, ass-riding creep
Some folks they might honor you
But here is my one finger salute

I say screw the working man
Getting away with all he can
Givin' his time but not a damn
So I say screw the working man

This one's for you on the graveyard shift
Working to support your seven kids
Join the union, ain't gotta do shit
Take fifteen breaks to smoke and bitch
Some folks, well they might say "cheers!"
But I'd like to kick your rear

I say screw the working man
Getting away with all he can
Givin' 40 hours but not a damn
So I say screw the working man

You boys in blue know what I mean
On patrol at the Krispy Kreme
You teachers having sex in class
You farmers sitting on your ass
Office workers surfing the porn
Oil rig workers soiling our shores
You make this great nation a wreck
But thanks Obama, for my monthly check

We say screw the working man
Who won't give folks like me a hand
Me and the Prez got different plans
Yeah, we say screw the working man

Yeah, screw you!

Jan 24, 2011

Country Doppelgängers XI

Kenny Chesney (sans hat) and actor, Paul Giamatti.


Kellie Pickler's comments are frequently doppelgangers for this girl's.


Texas singer/songwriter Drew Kennedy apparently had a Toby Keith phase.


Country music newcomer Walker Hayes has the Justin Bieber thing going on.


Yet another country newcomer, Brett Eldredge, resembles Bears QB Jay Cutler.


Shooter Jennings and a black monkey.

You Suck as a Music Fan Vol. 1

Thanks to FTM's Twitter followers and Facebook friends for submissions to this feature. If you submitted something and don't see it here, it'll probably be on the next edition. We'll do it again sometime soon!

You Suck as a Music Fan if.....

•You skip the song because it has (live) at the end of the title

•You hung out in the parking log until Jamey Johnson's set was over so you could see Kid Rock. - @JennCampbell78

•You haven't supported the artists you've "acquired" music from by purchasing merchandise or attending shows

•You only go to the shows to be seen. - Christina Maccini

•You own a Kenny Chestnut album. (?) - Andy Grigas

•The only songs on your iPod are ones which have been on the weekly Top 100 in America list. - Taryn Flay

•You've ever thrown anything at a band or singer (with the intent to injure) at a concert, even Axl Rose

•If you yell requests during a show when they clearly are not taking requests - @Hooper

•You think Alan Jackson is the original artist of "Ring of Fire" - @amnoise

•You think Madonna is a copycat of Lady Gaga

•You have Jason Aldean lyrics as your Facebook status. - @AdamSheets08

•You competitive slow line-dance to Lady A's "Need You Now." - @kellytollett

•You can't name the writer of any of your favorite songs

•You think Eric Church is "edgy" and "an outlaw." -@ryanat82

•None of the artists you listen to go by their birth name

•If you think Chad Kroeger is a visionary

•You go to music festivals just to get drunk and make out with underage girls in the port-a-john

Jan 21, 2011

Top 10 Least Likely Song Titles on Hank III's Comeback Album

Hank Williams III is now free from Curb Records, after years of consistently delayed/blocked album releases and a general lack of creative control. Most fans assume Hank will generally continue his mix of hard country and punk rock, with likely more explicit lyrics and taboo topics now that he's free. Maybe not but who, besides Shelton, really knows?

Here are the Top 10 Least Likely Song Titles on Hank III's Comeback Album

10. Shooter and Me

09. Daddy, You're My Hero

08. Freebirds (with Tim McGraw)

07. I Miss You, Mike

06. Get Behind Me, Satan

05. Love is a Miracle (duet with Taylor Swift)

04. Nashville Bound and Down

03. Trucks, Jesus and American Flags

02. I'm Not Really Into a Drinkin' and a Druggin' Anymore

01. I Wanna Play on the Opry

YouTube Gems: Sunny Sweeney

Great song... and if you haven't picked up her new EP, what are you waiting for?

Jan 19, 2011

Christmas/Gift Card Music Haul

Every Christmas and holiday season brings most of us some good music and a few gift cards in lieu of gifts that loved ones didn't want to select. It might seem generic to some, but honestly, I love gift cards. They give me the opportunity to catch up on music and movies I missed in the past year. With 2 kids, I rarely get to see new movies at the theater, so now's a great opportunity to see what everybody's talking about (Inception and Winter's Bone so far). And sure, I get a lot of my music gratis (legally) these days, but there are always a few older albums I need to grab or other people's favorites that I skipped over in the last 365 days. The following is a list of music I received for Christmas or have selected so far with my gift cards. How about you?

I know he's mostly into writing for Nashville these days, but I wish this guy would put out more of his own music! This is a great live set full of his earlier almost-hits and other songs.

This is one of those albums I probably purposely skipped over because of the hype, but I finally gave in since it appeared on the "Best of 2010" lists of many bloggers I admire. Loving it so far…. reminiscent of, say, Fleet Foxes singing with the Avett Brothers.

I've been collecting some odd hip-hop covers for a mix and this is one of the best. Such an understated reading of a rap classic. It's always funny to hear white people sing slang.

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - III/IV
Mel McDaniel - Louisiana Saturday Night (single)
John Anderson - Greatest Hits
Jamey Johnson - Two Out of Three Ain't Bad (single)
Jon Lajoie - I Kill People

Also music related: Got the Slash autobiography!

Jan 17, 2011

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week

Shameful Confessions: My Darkest Days

Shameful Confessions

This'll be a new occasional feature (that hopefully doesn't diminish what little credibility I have left), discussing an album, song, artist, genre or other music related subject that I should probably be ashamed to admit that I enjoy. I'm of the opinion that you like what you like, who cares if critics like it?... with the caveat that one must have some shred of (what is generally perceived to be) good musical taste to not suck as a human being. Take my wife for example, she likes musicals (eh), some modern rock (eh), Josh Groban and the like (um?), hair metal (yes!), Linda Rondstadt (although I'm not a big fan, Linda is a well respected artist), Pink (pretty cool)... and she enjoyed Lucero when we saw them in concert... therefore, her sucky tastes are balanced out with some good stuff. If she only liked Josh Groban and Rent, I probably wouldn't be referring to her as "my wife" (just kidding, love you sweetie!). I, on the other hand, have impeccable taste in music (traditional country, alt-country, indie rock, soul, good metal, top tier rap artists, etc).... BUT (That's a big "but" there). But, there are exceptions...there are songs, musicians and albums that defy my normal listening preferences by a long shot. I don't really feel all that guilty about these musical pleasures - I'm too far into my 30's and set in my ways to give a damn - but this column needed a recurring title. Anyway, here's the first entry.

My Darkest Days - s/t

I hate Nickelback, in case you didn't know. Hate them with a passion. I can identify one of their songs (heard or unheard before) within 3 notes - in time to swiftly turn the station. I also hate most modern rock...Godsmack, Three Days Grace, Disturbed, Chevelle, etc. Can't stand 'em.

My Darkest Days has frequently been described as Nickelback-lite. Their breakout hit, "Porn Star Dancing" is a sleazy ode to strippers that features Chad Kroeger (of Nickelback) and has an accompanying remix featuring Ludacris. Most of the album is MOR anthemic modern rock, with nothing particularly new to offer in the way of lyrics or music. Based on these points, the self-titled debut sounds like it should be the aural equivalent of Hell.

BUT, I like it. A lot.

WTF? Why? Well, the aforementioned "Porn Star Dancing" is infectious and naughty... and fun. It's reminiscent of the joyous,unrepentant debauchery of my beloved hair metal. LA Guns sprung to mind when I first heard it. I immediately sought out the album for preview after hearing the track. I was disappointed to find out that the rest of the album was as far from LA Guns as Rascal Flatts is from country. Still, I gave it a shot. Then another, then another, then I was hooked.

Few of the other songs are immediately enjoyable as the single, but they definitely grew on me. I suppose it's the band's focus on melody over attitude that set them apart for me. Most of the tunes are pop songs with a loud guitar bed... bass driven and ingratiating. Though some are full of bravado, that's not the point here. The songs are the thing, not the image. Not so with groups like Nickelback, whose main lot in the music biz is to constantly show you how big their balls are.

"Burn It Down" is another of my favorites from My Darkest Days. It has a reggae-lite rhythm and an earworm of a melody. Think Sublime with more direction. It gets stuck in my head more often than it should. "Come Undone" is a skillfully rendered take on the 1990's Duran Duran hit. My Darkest Days shows off a little lyrical skill (for the only time on the album, mind you) on "Goodbye," in which the singer leaves a heroin addicted lover for his own good. These are the more memorable songs, but aside from the pretty insipid opener "Move Your Body," none of them are skippers.

Seriously though, nothing about this album or band, for the time being, is remarkable. The lead singer has a likable voice. The guitar work is fine, if unexceptional. The songs are far from groundbreaking. I don't know what the draw is. There's always that undefinable "it" factor, which My Darkest Days does seem to possess. Basically, I just dig the album... what else is there to say? I may hate it and myself for writing this in a month or so, but for now, it is what it.... nevermind.

I hope the band's likely forthcoming mainstream success won't go to their head. Rather, they should continue on the path they've already begun, with their eyes and ears always on the song, not the trappings of their genre or their growing popularity.

Jan 13, 2011

YouTube Gems: Kasey Anderson

Kasey Anderson (Recommended if you like: Todd Snider, Lucero, Replacements, Steve Earle, older Jack Ingram) has a rocking new album with his band The Honkies, called Heart of a Dog coming out soon. More talk about that later, but for now, here's an excellent Music Fog performance of "Don't Look Back." Does this guy sound great live or what?

3 Songs Illustrated

Feel Bad For You

Feel Bad for You is a monthly mixtape started several years ago at altcountrytab.ca for message board members to share new music. Recently it has been expanded to include some like-minded bloggers as well, and given its own blog. Generally, the selection is, as the blog's header says, any song, any genre, any year, but the first edition of this new phase of the FBFY mixtape is a Best of 2010 edition. Stream it below, and check out the blog below that.

Jan 12, 2011

.99 Reviews: Trace Adkins "Brown Chicken Brown Cow"

.99 Review
(Click the title to listen)

The Peoples' Take

Cowboy (5 Stars)
by Brenda Smith
I love Brown Chicken Brown Cow song - it is the absolute funny and to watch Trace perform this in concert makes it that much better.

One of his best! (5 Stars)
by Paula Peppers
I can't get "brown chicken brown cow" out of my head! LOL

My Take

To be honest with you, I felt dirty listening to this. With a listening history of NWA, 2Pac, 2 Live Crew, George Carlin, Jon Lajoie, Clarence Carter and the Bellamy Brothers ;), that's saying a lot. It's a country rocker built around the old joke that the music in pornographic movies sounds like "bow chicka wow wow," and that's almost all you need to know about the tune. But that won't stop me from running it down.

Trace Adkins has what may be the best voice in contemporary country. It's a booming baritone that has depth and a gentleness when needed. He's also an interesting dude with a big personality and genuine country cred. He's released some really great songs over the years… "Arlington" "Every Light in the House" "Til the Last Shot's Fired" to name a few.

That said, he's also released some of the biggest steaming piles of crap heard on country radio in… ever. I won't hate on "Badonkadonk"… it's been done enough already, and there's at least a little kitsch value to that song. No, I'm talking about "Rough and Ready" "Swing" "I Left Something Turned on at Home" "Hot Mama" "Ladies Love Country Boys" the list goes on.

"Brown Chicken Brown Cow" falls into the latter category. It's a one trick pony with no saddle.

The story is pointless, just a contrived tale to lead up to the punch line. So what's wrong with a little roll in the hay? Nothing; nothing at all if there's a little feeling in the lovemaking or a good plot leading up to it… this is just an end-of-the-show SNL sketch set to music. Ha ha ha, it's a song about porn music, LOLZ! So clever.

What's worse - the titular bovine and foul apparently get off on voyeurism. "nobody watchin' but the brown chicken brown cow." Great. I bet there's already a website for that. The crow even called out to let 'em know that some barn loft sexin' was about to go down. All animals are equal, but some animals get to watch the peep show.

I hope the two rural lovers checked all their crevices for straw afterwards.

Come on Trace. You're better than this.

Total Value: .22/.99

The checklist:
Life Affirmation
Name Dropping
Dying Person
County Fair
Blue Jeans
Lost Love
Check mark symbolLove
Hometown Pride
Kindly Advice
Dirt Road
Pop Sheen
Check mark symbolStar Power

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