Apr 29, 2011

YouTube Gems: Cage the Elephant

From their current album, Thank You Happy Birthday, here's Cage the Elephant (who I'll be seeing tonight at Beale Street Music Festival) with "Shake Me Down." RIYL: The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rise Against, Cold War Kids, Foo Fighters.

Apr 28, 2011

.99 Reviews - Jake Owen: Barefoot Blue Jean Night

Jake Owen - Barefoot Blue Jean Night (Click to listen)

The People's Take
I don't know what the people's take is... my iTunes isn't working properly, but I can imagine 90% of the comments are as such "This is so great for summer riding with my boyfriend in his truck and going to softball games!!!" and the other 10% are either "First!" or "I hate country so this sucks."

My Take
I already know what's coming. It's late April so like taxes are due and Obama's ratings are down, it's time for Summer songs. I'm right. I can also guarantee "till morning light" or "till the break of dawn" will be sang in this song…. yep, there it is. Jake is doing it right and coming alive with the new girl in town out in the middle of ruralia.

How old is he? 30 or something? Is he really still hanging around at parties in the countryside? Jake, you do know it's legal for you to drink wherever you want to that's not a car? Grown folks have parties at their house… in the back yard. There are too many snakes at the riverside. Authenticity is not a requirement of radio country, so I should look past all these little things, but I just can't.

There is one nice line in this song: "we were shining like lighters in the dark in the middle of a rock show" and honestly, I like the beat. The "whooaaoh ohhs" are making me angry though. Ah hell, I'm feeling generous. This isn't horrible such as it is. There are banjos. Jake sounds interested, but the imagery is as far from unique as Jake's teeth aren't from whitener. "Never gonna grow up/never gonna slow down." You might wanna rethink that pardner… the mid-thirties will drain you of energy, I can promise you that. The hangovers aren't so bad anymore, but you'll have a lot more self-awareness of how stupid it is that you're three Jagerbombs into a Friday night and your jeans are biting into your side. Maybe that's just me.

Basically, this is middle of the road pop-country with a few nods to actual country, but it's catchy. A word of warning to those predisposed to living out songs: being barefoot on the riverbank at night is a good way to end up with poison ivy rashes, ticks and West Nile Virus. Have fun.

Total Value: .55/.99

The Checklist:
Name Dropping
Dying Person
Check mark symbolJeans
County Fair
Lost Love
Check mark symbolLove
Hometown/Country Pride
Kindly Advice
Check mark symbolBeer
Check mark symbolLife Affirmation
Pop Sheen
Star Power

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week

Apr 27, 2011

Satirical Lyrical: Token Summer Song

Token Summer Song
©2011 FTM Satire

Flip flops, cutoffs, one armed tan
Catfish, bonfire, beer in hand
Southern belles in bikini tops
Cigarettes and dodging the cops

This is my token summer song
Ride your jet ski and sing along
Mow the grass and kiss my ass
And party till daylight's gone
Hey, this is my token summer song

June, July and August too
Red sunburns and Red Man chew
Merle, Cash, Waylon on the stereo
And don't forget David Allan Coe

This is my token summer song
Fire up the grill and sing along
Swat a bug, take a Miller chug
And take off what you got on
Hey, this is my token summer song

My life sucks every day for eight
Till I punch the clock in the face
Then I'm rollin' like my truck is stolen
Thank God for summer days

This is my token summer song
So hitch your Starcraft off the lawn
It's so rad to get radio adds
Predictable as winter's long
Hey, this is my token summer song

Apr 26, 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio May 2011

May means nearly summer, and you know what that means. Country music puts on its flip-flops and cutoffs and gets into recycling (themes and sounds). And let me level with you: I'm finding it harder and harder to trifle with this bullsh*t month after month. I hope you appreciate the depths of despair, tedium and annoyance I go through to bring this review to you semi-monthly. The more I do it, the further I feel my mind slipping into some black pit of insanity. No "A's" and no "F's" this go round, just a lot of mediocrity. Here we go! (click the song titles to listen)

Steve Azar - Hard Road
Steve continues on his laid back bluesy path, banking on the success of the similar sounding "Sunshine" for this to be his new groove. I love the fact that he's gone with a more organic sound that compliments his true upbringing. It's not your everyday Clearchannel material and for that, Steve deserves kudos. All that said, this is not overly engaging, and the nonsensical "ahhooof" sounds he makes repeatedly on this track border on water torture.

Walker Hayes - Why Wait for Summer?
I know, right? Why wait for Summer to start pissing me off with summer songs? Listen: Being a gainfully employed 36 year old living in the deep south, I hate summer. It's hot as Rosie O'Donnell's armpit so I sweat a lot and my car wants to overheat every day and I don't get off work, I have to mow weekly and gas prices rise, and …well, you get the point. I'll stop ranting. This song is about having fun, despite it not actually being summer. They plan to fool the general country-music-buying-public into singing along from May through July because it has the word "summer" in it. Who knows if it will work? I'm not the target demographic. All I know is I don't want to hear this anymore.

Martina McBride - Teenage Daughters
…in which she admits drinking and being old. Not old, necessarily, but older than either Reba or her boobs would ever confess being. This is a catchy pop-country tune that tackles the difficulties of parenthood and sentimentalism towards the teen years in one heartfelt swoop. Pretty good tune.

Frankie Ballard - A Buncha Girls
Take last year's summer misfires, throw in a few different key words, please the female demographic and here's your result. Blah.

Ashley Gearing - Five More Minutes
Carrie Underwood redux. In fact, I thought it was her at first. Good voice, but she needs to find her own personality. The vocals, the theme, the pop-country arrangement…down to the letter, this is Carrie 2.

Sunny, easy-rolling country-pop. There's an obvious concerted attempt to sound more country for the guy-girl group this time out… fiddle, acoustics, even some steel, but the song itself is lacking. There's very little substance, nor is there much of a lyrical hook. Their harmonies are supposed to pull up the slack, but it's not happening.

Greg Templeton - I Could Be the One
I could be the one to fall asleep listening to this. His voice is reminiscent of Dierks Bentley's, but this tune is reminiscent of every other potboiler I've ever heard on one of these comps. Dull as a butter knife.

Bradley Gaskin - Mr. Bartender
Travis Tritt reincarnated. What? Oh. I just haven't seen him around. Well, uh… he sounds a lot like Travis. Decent neo-traditional song. It's probably too drink-centric to be a big hit though.

The Janedear Girls - Shotgun Girls
Another summer song. Surprised? I guess it's catchy. Lovely harmonies... or whatever. Willie and Merle just got mentioned. Somebody put a steel toe boot into my backside. There are two songs that mention "dashboard drumming" on this compilation. Just FYI. Make it stop.

Heidi Newfield - Stay Up Late
Here's the latest track from former Trick Pony lead singer, Heidi Newfield. She doesn't want to go out on the town, she just wants to stay home and listen to Darius Rucker's "Alright" and drink wine and eat spaghetti and do it all night. You know? This is honestly better than most of the rest of stuff on this promo. It's got a Bonnie Raitt feel to it. The hook is nice (go to bed early and stay up late). What the heck…

River Road - Good Things
Surprise, surprise… another decent song. It's a story song about a couple who marries early, births early and yada yada. Another decent hook (sometimes good things come to those who can't wait). It's got a laid back 90s feel to it. Nothing new, but it stands above most of this drivel.

Little Big Town - The Reason Why
I'd like to know the reason why I keep downloading these things. I actually don't hate Little Big Town, but this sounds like Gloriana, who I do hate. High school vocal choir schlock. Of course the vocals and harmonies are spot on, but that's eye shadow on a goat (lipstick on a pig was too easy).

Kenny Chesney - Live a Little
Kenny's got enough goodwill built up among fans and radio to throw out a true clunker now and then. Here it is, in its "perfect for mom to roll down the windows and sing along to while taking kids to baseball and ballet" glory (?). (s)Hit-bound for sure. (Update - It's already hit #1... so why's it on the May comp???)

Tim McGraw & Gwyneth Paltrow - Me and Tennessee
I use up way too many derogatory terms and put-downs in these Promo Only reviews. They're bound and determined to run me out of snark, one month at a time. Gwyn's voice isn't that bad really. This song's pretty freakin' annoying though. The refrain of "together we're singing, forever we're singing" is nails on a chalkboard bad. I'll just go back to an old favorite retort: This sucks.

Billy Ray Cyrus reincar…. never mind. He sounds a lot like the king of mullets for sure though. I think some of my blogging compadres dig this. Not sure I do. MOR country rock. Background music.

Eden's Edge - Amen
Snap judgment before it starts, based on their name: girl/guy vocal choral group. Ooh, nice vocals. A little twang even. Not much soul once the chorus hits. Note to singers: if you ask for an "amen," you gotta have a little grit in your voice like you just ate collard greens. A lot of potential in this group and the song… but sadly unrealized. I was wrong with my pre-judgment, it's a girl group… and lead vocalist girl needs to hit a few blues dives before singing her next song with gospel overtones. Too honky for this honky.

Solemn opening. Wow, there's actually some melody in the chorus. It's pretty moving to the part of my soul that hasn't grown dark yet. They remind me of Emerson Drive a little. Strings now. This is the part where tears are supposed to well up in the corners of my hazel blue eyes. Nope, didn't happen. Not a bad song overall. Pop country with a little more heart than I'm used to from that sub-genre.

Johnny Patton - Phone in Heaven
Bringing up the rear…good morning Jesus, can I talk to mama? This guy sounds a little like The Possum. The arrangement even sounds like 80's Jones with a little more slickness. Stone country for the Taylor Swift generation. He doesn't have the chops of George (who does?), but if he did, and he cut loose a little more on the chorus, this might garner a higher grade than…

Apr 23, 2011

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Weekend

Note: He sure was awkward at this particular concert. Found a lot of "gems" from it.

Apr 22, 2011

YouTube Gems: Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers

Here's one of my favorite bands, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers - who released the new album Unida Cantina this week - with "Marie."

Apr 18, 2011

CD Giveaway: Turnpike Troubadors

Turnpike Troubadors Giveaway

The Turnpike Troubadors are a country outfit out of Oklahoma with a huge following across red dirt country. In fact, their album Diamonds and Gasoline won the Lone Star Music Award for best album of 2010. I mentioned on Twitter that I'd never heard the band, and @kelliegaston quickly remedied that. She hooked me up with a CD for myself and an extra one.

The Turnpike Troubadors have a laid back sound reminiscent of early Reckless Kelly and Steve Earle's more mellow work. It's an unpretentiously catchy album that sounds great in the car with the windows rolled down. If you want hipness-factor, alt-country's gritty defiance or the pop-ness of the current Nashville sound, you don't want this… otherwise, it's for you.

Good news: That extra CD is going to one of you! Just tell me your favorite musical troubadour in this post's comments, on Twitter or on Facebook, and I'll choose one entry to receive the album. It's that easy!

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week

Apr 15, 2011

YouTube Gems: Foo Fighters

From their awesome new album Wasting Light, here's Foo Fighters with the awesomely trashy "White Limo." Lemmy!

Apr 13, 2011

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week

Country Girl A**: a satire

Country Girl Ass
©2011 FTM Satire

Verse 1
You may surprised to realize
Us country boys get country high
On country girl anatomies
The way they walk, not how they talk
We focus on badonkadonk
If you know what I mean

Butt, I ain't one for subtlety
Hick chick heinie is what I need

I love country girl ass
Conversation? No, I'll pass
I love country girl ass
Personality comes last
I'm all about that rural behind
Matter over mind, I'll tell you fast
I love country girl ass

Verse 2
Hey, country girl, shake it for me
That cushion where your thighbones meet
Your dirt road derriere
And I don't care what you've got on
A short skirt, Lees or a little thong
Long as you got junk to spare

And I don't want to date you girl
Just give that gluteus a whirl

I love country girl ass
Be a gentleman? No, I'll pass
I love country girl ass
Coveting booty, that's my task
I'm all about that rustic rump
Just make it pump till you get a rash
I love country girl ass

Now I like Jesus, I like NASCAR
And American red, white and blue
But I love the place where your flesh parts
I wanna railroad your caboose

I love country girl ass
Posterior baby, or I'll pass
I love country girl ass
I prefer a thick-figured lass
I'm all about that backwoods butt
The place God cut the kindest slash
I love country girl ass

Apr 12, 2011

Top 10 Ways to Complete This Analogy: Justin Moore is to "outlaw" as ___ is to ___

Justin Moore's new album is hilariously entitled "Outlaws Like Me." FTM pondered other incorrect labels/comparisons in this edition of Top Ten.

Top 10 Ways to Complete This Analogy:
Justin Moore is to "outlaw" as ___ is to ___

10. Rebecca Black is to timeless

09. Barry Bonds is to hero

08. Eric Church is to more outlawer than him

07. World Series Champions is to Cubs

06. Bucky Covington is to MENSA member

05. The White Family is to functional

04. Tyler Perry is to comedy genius

03. Reba is to "all natural"

02. Vince Young is to Hall of Fame

01. Blogger is to oversexed


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