Jun 30, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #53

Be nice to people with lesser talent or fame than you. At least come up with polite ways to say "get the hell away from me." Some guy called last week and asked if he could write with me. I told him, "Man, I love your work (lie), but I'm so swamped with these new EP releases this new Big & Rich Tour that I don't have the time right now (kinda true)… I'll keep your number in my phone (lie) and get back to you in a month or six (doubtful)." I think he said his name was Josh Grinder… or something like that, from Texas. You get the point. There's no reason to belittle associates; just baffle them with bullsh*t. Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it. Out!

*Not Actually Written By John Rich

Another Scotty McCreery parody cover

Jun 29, 2011

Sam Sliva and the Good - And the People Say...

Sam Sliva and the Good's And the People Say... is a pop-flavored bar-rockin' slice of Americana. Having never heard the band before, I was taken aback by the immediacy of the rich textures of the music and the warm baritone of lead singer Sliva. I was also grabbed by the surprisingly successful commingling of reggae as a part of their signature sound.

This isn't the cheesy trustafarian style of reggae, mind you. It's the easy bang of a rhythm guitar and the walking bassline, seamlessly threaded into the fabric of songs like the lead track "Blind Addiction."

Other places, Sam and the Good go a more straightforward pop-rock route. The earnestness and big hooks of songs like "Surrender" put the band in a realm of artists like Will Hoge and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, for those looking for comparison to the familiar. Sliva's vocals and the bands' chops outshine the songs themselves at times, but that's mostly because they're so damn good.

"Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight" is a Whiskeytown cover that brings the alt-country classic into the barroom. Jason Isbell guests on this winning take that I, as a longtime Whiskeytown fan, grant my full approval.

The downtempo "Nothing At All" could easily find its way into the background of a break-up scene on some teen drama show. That's not to say you should be embarrassed to enjoy it. It's a tearjerker backed by organs and fuzzy guitars, and Sliva gives much emotional weight to the simple "Why do something that's nothing at all?" hook line.

And the People Say... is a collection that feels good even when the mood is dark and keeps your foot tapping even through the ballads. It straddles that fine line between commercially accessible and artistically honest with satisfying effortnessless. It's also a perfect "roll down the windows and sing along" album. Don't expect anything edgy or experimental, just expect to enjoy yourself.

Jun 26, 2011

Top 10 Country Songs Most Soccer Moms Would Not Be Fond Of

Here's a countdown of 10 country songs that would not weigh easily on the sensibilities of most mainstream country radio listeners (now anyway - the Wagoner song made it to #2 in 1967). Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Can you imagine this playing on the radio after Taylor Swift's latest ditty? Me neither.

Hank and pals scream in honor of a "music artist" who frequently took a dump on stage and played in it (to put it nicely) and was also known for wallowing in self-drawn blood (to put it nicely again).

08. "Holding On So Tight" - Gary Floater (portion of the song at this link)
This ode to "punching the clown" might not rest easy on radio programmers' palates.

Lucinda has never been bashful about middle-aged sex. "Now I've got your sweetness all up in my hair"... TMI Lucy!

Unreasonable figures?

Pink champagne, candlelight, surprising the wife (and her lover ...with a knife!!)

Rodney's a born romantic, huh ladies?

03. "Delia's Gone" - Johnny Cash
This shockingly cold and violent song from the Man in Black is all the more disturbing because of who it's from.

I guess if you're as ugly as Coe, you've got to lay on the charm thick.

Hank returns to the countdown with this wordy-durd filled rant against Nashville, offering to put male and female sexual organs back into country music (were they ever there in the first place?) The D-word and the C-word get ample airtime.

Jun 25, 2011

YouTube Junk: Limp Bizkit

Yep, they're back and nothing's changed. Watch this only to laugh at the (possibly intentional but probably not) self-parodying nature of the video and marvel at the utterly hookless mess of a song. Worst Comeback of the Year? Probably.

Jun 22, 2011

Larry Lee the Primitive Baptist Reviews: Alan Jackson - Long Way to Go

I was excited to see that Alan Jackson, the singer of the wonderful gospel album Precious Memories, had a new song out. Then I listened to "Long Way to Go."

A few words come to mind as this wretched song plays: hypocrite, backslider, Pharisee, lip server. Apparently this great gospel music singer also has a side-career as a forsaken secular country singer.

I had hoped in my heart of hearts that the "long way to go" was the narrow path through this sinful world, but my hopes were dashed on the salty rim of a bug-ridden margarita glass. This song is about drinking alcoholic beverages to rid the mind and heart of "women that had done us wrong."

Lord, what are we to do when even the supposed "good" people of the entertainment world also dabble in the humanistic pursuits of this mortal coil? Who are we to look to? I fear for a world where young mop-haired girl singing about "baby baby baby" is held up as a paragon of virtue. Et tu Alan Jackson?

Alcohol has no good use other than cleansing barbed wire fence wounds. Let's take a look at some notable Biblical examples of the evils of His Satanic Majesty's beverage of choice.

"Noah became drunk; the result was immorality and family trouble" Genesis 9:20-26

"Nabal died after a drunken spree" 2 Samuel 13:28-29

And the most important verse in the entire Bible:
"If a Christian brother is a drinker, do not associate with him." 1 Corinthians 5:11

Mr. Jackson, I de-associate myself with you, brother. Alcohol is not a solution, it is the problem. It leads to stronger drugs. It makes people enjoy Jason Aldean music. It causes accidents forewarned by "Hey y'all watch this." It led to my daughter's shotgun marriage due to her impregnation.

Damn you evil spirits. And I pray for you, Alan.


Band Mashup: BP+PF

The Band Perry Farrell

Jun 21, 2011

Satirical Lyrical: A Realistic Summer Song

Here's a more realistic take on all the "got my girl and the weekend and my truck and we're going to the cabin and life is good" songs that come out about this time of year, just in time for summer country radio.

Here We Go
©2011 FTM Satire

I already paid the cabin rent
So we'll have fun, or you can go get bent
You're mad that your poodle couldn't come
But her yappin' makes it hard to get me some
Get your dirty feet off my dash
And gas is high, you best pitch in some cash
Beer is cold, but it's only Natty Light
The music's loud cause we just had a fight

But here we go
Down this old dirt road
Skies are blue, the sun's aglow
We got fish to catch and boats to row
Stop calling me a so and so
Oh no, here we go

Good thing you look good as you look
Cause you won't touch a fish or bait your hook
Girl I thought you quit those cigarettes
You said you've got bad habits you ain't quit yet
Water's fine but I don't like your drift
And I think that bikini top is last year's fit
Now you say you need to take a leak
But I think we're paddling up shit creek

Oh here we go
Sun is hangin' low
Boat's takin' on water slow
Dragonflies dipping to and fro
Try to kiss you but you say no
Oh no, here we go

Now the rain is falling on this old tin roof
Your nightshirt's got me in the mood
But we ain't said a single word
And you're over there playin' Angry Birds

Oh here we go
The end is coming close
Rain comin' down like our hopes
No romance in the candle glow
Guess I'll watch the Kimmel show
Oh no, here we go

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week


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