Feb 28, 2011

Jamey Johnson goes gold

You'd think he could afford a beard trimmer by now.

Feb 27, 2011

Country Doppelgangers 11: Alt-Country Day

Ryan Moore Adams has the whole Harry Potter thing going on.

Roger Clyne of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers strongly resembles Encino Man era Pauly Shore.

Pretty Ms. Neko Case reminds me of actress Debra Messing.

I have a feeling Justin Townes Earle will look a lot like actor Harry Dean Stanton in about 40-50 years.

Ben Nichols, lead singer of FTM favorite Lucero, and Sabretooth aka Liev Schrieber.

Sorry, Lucinda...

Feb 26, 2011

YouTube Gems: Drive-By Truckers

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash! (not that this song has anything to do with him)

(It's my birthday too, but JC's is more important :))

Best of 2011 So Far

It's shaping up to be yet another great year in music, if the first two months are any indication. This list is pretty top-heavy, but anything in my top 12 or so is highly recommending listening.

Favorite Albums of 2011 as of Feb. 26

01. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Here We Rest
This album will be released in April, and I'm here to tell you... it's awesome.

I think I'll have to stop making a separate list for live albums as of now. This one's too good to exclude from the main chart.

06. Social Distortion - Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes
07. Amos Lee - Mission Bell
08. The Decemberists - The King is Dead
Kickass southern style rock with strong melodies.

10. Left Lane Cruiser - Junkyard Speed Ball
11. Owen Temple - Mountain Home
12. Pearl Jam - Live on Ten Legs
13. Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues
14. Cage the Elephant - Thank You Happy Birthday
15. Drive-by Truckers - Go-Go Boots
16. North Mississippi Allstars - Keys to the Kingdom
17. Middle Brother - s/t
18. Ian Axel - This is the New Year
19. Cake - Showroom of Compassion
20. The Baseball Project - Vol. 2: High and Inside
21. Josh Kelley - Georgia Clay
22. Radiohead - The King of Limbs
Take that one with a grain of salt. My jeans aren't skinny enough for me to enjoy the last few Radiohead albums very much.

Feb 25, 2011

YouTube Gems: Black Spiders

From their shredding new album Sons of the North, here's Black Spiders with "Stay Down."
RIYL: AC/DC, Soundgarden, Viking Skull, Spinal Tap, Jet, Airbourne

Feb 24, 2011

Songs Illustrated #46

Larry Lee the Primitive Baptist Reviews: Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson

Jason Aldean w/Kelly Clarkson - Don't You Wanna Stay

"If we can make forever feel this way/Don't you wanna stay?" Basically what they're saying here is "Let's do the nasty one more time and see if that's enough to make our elicit relationship continue." Naw, naw, Larry can't get with that. It's never said in this song if the couple reconsidering their love/lust is married or not. I suspect not, given the decay of these formerly great United States of America. I tremble in fear of where we're headed, children. This song sounds to me like the background music in one of them soap opry's when two unmarried people are spending a few PG-13 moments in each other's steamy, hot, naked… uh, excuse me… when they are commencing sex outside the bounds of a Holy union before the sight of the Almighty. They wanna "hold each other tight" and "fall asleep with me tonight"… don't be fooled; they will most certainly not be sleeping until the man has uh, consummated the fleshly interchange and rolled over to go to sleep. The way these two's vocals play off one another is also entirely humanistic and sexual in nature. If I am, as I so rarely am, wrong… and the couple is married, this invitation to trade bodily fluids is in error as well. God intended intercourse only for procreation. It should never be used for Satanic pleasures… and most assuredly not be used as a tool to help a man and wife resolve their differences. This is sin, my friends. Seed spilled not in continuation of the human race for the parental passage of the Lord's message is no better than masturbation. One might as well listen to secular music… this song, for instance. Holy Jesus, I pray for the sanctity of marriage in this country and the souls of both Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson. I also pray that Ms. Clarkson learns that the body is a temple and should be treated as such; not as a storage facility for Hostess cakes and Steakhouse burgers.


Feb 21, 2011

.99 Review: Colt Ford - Country Thang

Colt Ford - Country Thang

The Peoples' Take:

Haters gonna hate (5 Stars)

by Forrest Latta

Another killer track… Colt's here to stay.

why??????????? (1 Star)

by zooladd

all you idiots that like this bigger idiot singing make real country people sick.. go back to your damn suburbs and cities and leave us real country people alone.. and colt needs to have a heart attack so we can be done with this bulls**t he calls music!

yea, i like colt (5 Stars)

by Garth-101

more country than Kieth Urban…

My Take:

Colt Ford is to rapping as Dane Cook is to comedy. Actually, that's not fair to Dane. At least Mr. Cook has told a joke or two that made the corners of my mouth turn upwards in mild amusement. Colt Ford has never uttered a single line or verse that made me think he had a shred of talent that might manifest itself as a worthy hip-hop or hick hop song. Despite the glee I get out of slagging bands and singers on this blog, I'm not a hateful person and I don't begrudge anyone doing what they think they were put on the planet to do; I'm just here to speak truth. Truth is, Colt Ford has likely NOT found his life's calling just yet. I get it - everybody has to grind the gears a little before they get it rolling.

This song is the sound of Colt missing third gear. Chgggg chgggg chggggaaahhhhhh!

"Country Thang" is YET ANOTHER listing song about, well, country thangs. And among thangs that Ford would like you to know are fixtures for the rural set are misspelelingllings (see song title) and uncorrect grammar, because "that's how we does it" down here! We also does it barefoot and crazy while the tin roof sings. We live in the pines in a shotgun shack with a high-priced huntin' dog baying around back. I bet you'll never guess what our women-folk wear. Yep, cutoff jeans. Apparently, in some necks of the south, women's clothing stores sell ONLY cutoffs, tight jeans, bikinis and short skirts. I wish.

You get the gist of the song already. You don't even have to hear it yourself, unless you really want to subject yourself to the undynamic flow of Jason Farris Brown (Ford's real name). There's nothing unique about "Country Thang," and even less interesting.

Somebody out there enjoys this music enough to keep Colt Ford playing clubs and low rent festivals year-round, so I guess there's that. He has a cult following and he's an underdog, I suppose… but one I can't get behind.

This song likely won't get Ford above that #50 on the charts ceiling he keeps headbutting, and doubtfully will get him out of that shotgun shack on an unpaved road (he told the courthouse "hell no" when the county tried to blacktop it) anytime soon.

Hey Colt, you sure you weren't better at golf?

Total Value: .09/.99

The Checklist:




Name Dropping

Dying Person

County Fair

Lost Love



Hometown/Country Pride

Kindly Advice




Life Affirmation



Pop Sheen

Star Power

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week

Feb 20, 2011

Sackpunch #14

Any Person Who Says Hip-Hop Isn't Music Deserves a Sackpunch

I'm probably going to step on the toes of a lot of friends and readers with this one, but it's got to be said. Rap, hip-hop, whatever you want to call it, is an entirely valid and artful genre of music. Yes, music. Read this definition carefully.
music |ˈmyoōzik|
1 the art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion : he devoted his life to music.
Obviously, hip-hop combines vocals and instrumentals. "Beauty" is subjective, but rap definitely has form. In fact, most rap songs conform to a more stringent form than other genres – 16 bar verses, anyone? Harmony? Rap songs often have background singers or rappers weaving their own vocals around and with the main vocalist. Expression of emotion goes without saying. I could end this piece here. The dictionary entry alone proves my point. Some of you need a little more convincing though (not that the most persuasive argument ever written could change some minds).

I'm not somebody who ever plays the race card, but there's an undeniable racial component to some people's aversion to hip-hop. Black people came up with the first rap songs. So what? Black people came up with the first blues songs and the first rock n' roll songs. They also had a hand in inspiring the earliest country music. Another culture may have created the vehicle, but it's an art form that can translate across bodies of water and colors of skin. The most popular (and arguable most talented) rapper is white.

Beyond race, people have other reasons…

They're just talking, you say. Wrong. They are talking in rhythm, with carefully considered syllables and rhyme. They're talking in a way that fits the tone of the lyric. They're talking in a way that mirrors the background instrumentals. They're talking with well considered word choice, using metaphors and similes. They're using cadence to draw you in and emphasis to denote the important points and emotions. If they're just talking – most people can do so – you try it. Let me know how that turns out.

But they just use canned beats and samples, you say. Wrong. Okay, partially wrong. Many rappers these days are working with bands and musicians live and on record. Have you ever seen a hip-hop artist on Saturday Night Live just standing on the stage with a mic and some speakers? Even the most studio-produced music these days includes guitars or other instruments alongside the beats, scratches and whatnot. And who's to say canned beats aren't music? It takes a lot of musical skill to blend the right tracks together to come up with an ear-pleasing arrangement of drums and accompaniment.

Rap songs all sound alike. Nope. That's a cop-out. Country songs all sound the same to non-fans. To be fair, the most commercial music does tend to run together in a sea of familiarity and milquetoast, but that's true in any genre. Hip-hop runs the gambit, sound and content-wise.

K'naan blends pop and rock into his brand of hip-hop, and raps about love, politics and the problems of his home country, Somalia. He even has some singsongy tracks that most wouldn't even call rap. I dare you to listen to Wavin' Flag or Fatima and not nod your head.

Alabama's Yelawolf, newly signed to Eminem's record label, has a country and classic rock bent. Not hick-hop, mind you, straight up hip-hop that sounds authentically countrified. He talks about the problems of the rural south, broken relationships and economic hardships. Gone will grab your ear from the start.

Cypress Hill, still around, mixes Latino and rock music into their signature sound. Crime and drugs are the focus of their lyrics, but usually in a personal and often humorous manner.

Notice I didn't say any of these artists rapped about bling and booty. Sure, they all get into sex and materialism, but they don't linger on these cliched subjects, like the most visible and commercially viable rappers tend to do.

Like any style of music, you've got to dig around a little to find the best and most creative of the bunch, but it's always worth the effort. Surface is surface. The deeper artists are below the water level.

Yeah, I get that hip-hop just isn't for everybody. That's understandable; everybody's got their own preferences in life and music. But if you're an open-minded fan of art and music, there is some hip-hop that will appeal to you.

For those with a realized or subconscious racial reasoning behind their dislike of rap, or those who won't even give it a chance or those who still say it's not music… you should pull up your Dickies and get ready. My fingers are clinched, my knuckles are white (my soul is colorblind), and a house of pain is coming your way… boom, sackpunch!

1998/2011 - A Comic

Not music related, but whatever...

Click for a closer view.

Feb 18, 2011

YouTube Gems: Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell (my new Twitter friend) and his band the 400 Unit will release Here We Rest in early April. Word is, it's going to be a contender for album of the year. Here's Jason covering Ray Lamontagne's "Jolene." (you may also recognize it from the Zac Brown Band's Foundation album)

Feb 17, 2011

Parody of Brad Paisley's "This is Country Music"

(PLEASE note that this is also a satire... I'm a big fan of good hip-hop)

This is Hip-Hop Music

(Parody of Brad Paisley's "This is Country Music")

You're not supposed to say the word "motherf*cker" in a song.
And tellin' bitches to pop that thang can rub 'em wrong.
It ain't nice to sing about carjacks, crack, and killin’ snitches, yeah that might be true.
But this is hip-hop music, so f*ck you

Well you like to drink some sizzurp or roll a J and drive that candy Crown
Do you wanna say I'm horny and I’d hit that but you don't know how?
Do you wish a ***** had the nerve to tell that bitch-ass boss of yours
You gon’ bust a cap if he yells at you?
Well this is hip-hop music and we do

So throw yo hands in the muthaf*ckin’ air
Wave ‘em all around like you just don’t care
Yeah this is hip-hop music

Are you haunted by the knowledge of your homies in the pen
Pourin’ out some liquor for the hustlas that met an early end
And if there's anyone that still has bling and a Chevy ridin’ slow
Circlin’ the block for some big booty hoes
This is hip-hop music, that’s how we roll

So throw yo hands in the muthaf*ckin’ air
This is real bitch, check my angry stare
Just like twenty-threes riding high
Rattlin’ your windows when I go by
This is hip-hop music
This is hip-hop music
Crank Dat Soulja Boy
Freaky Gurl
Back That Azz Up
O Let’s Do It
Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body)
Right Thurr
Laffy Taffy


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