Jun 29, 2012

YouTube Gems: Motopony

From their 2011 self-titled album, here's Motopony with "King of Diamonds." Please don't judge based on their attire. RIYL: Sun Kil Moon, Wilco, The Head and the Heart, Blitzen Trapper.

Favorite Albums of 2012: First Half Report

3. Darrell Scott - Long Ride Home
4. Turnpike Troubadours - Goodbye Normal Street
5. Alan Jackson - Thirty Miles West
7. Shooter Jennings - Family Man

8. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - The Lion The Beast The Beat
9. Kellie Pickler - 100 Proof
11. Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
12. Jack White - Blunderbuss
13. Lucero - Women and Work

14. Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur
16. fun. - Some Nights
17. Willie Nelson - Heroes
18. Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream

19. Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Grifter's Hymnal
21. Paul Thorn - What the Hell is Going On?
22. The Shins - Port of Morrow

23. Wrinkle Neck Mules - Apprentice to Ghosts
25. The White Buffalo - Once Upon a Time in the West

Country Conspiracy Guy #5

Jun 28, 2012

Dope Rhymes Luke Bryan 2

Kelcy Interviews Brad Rice of Jason Boland and the Stragglers

Brad Rice. Photo from Lovers, quarrels and more.
Enjoy this enlightening new interview, as Kelcy sits down (figuratively) with the opinionated Brad Rice, drummer for Jason Boland and the Stragglers.

Kelcy: Please tell us your background, such as where you were born, when where and why you started playing music, and what your other hobbies were at that time (sports, video games, cooking meth, whatever…ok maybe don’t incriminate yourself)

Brad: I was born in Oklahoma City in 1977. Growing up I played soccer ad basketball, but joined the junior high band in the 6th grade. I started taking private lessons when i was 13. I grew up in a very musical, but normal household.

K: What first appealed to you about playing drums and when did you begin to approach them seriously as a possible career choice?

B: I liked the physical aspect of playing drums, it really involves your whole body. I found that it is a great emotional outlet to beat the shit out of something, and there's really no substitute as i hate violence :)

K: When and where was your first organized gig?  What about your first paid gig?  First gig with your current band?

B: My first gig was at a Strawberry festival in Cushing, OK with a group of buddies. I believe I was 15, I know i didn't drive to this.  First paying gig was with JB&S, but we didn't make any money the first 3 years.  First gig with JB&S was Halloween, 1998.

K: How long has it been since you’ve had to do anything other than play music to make a living, or do you still work?  If so, what kind of work do you do?

B: We have been full time with the band for 10 years, so I'm pretty far removed from the "real world". I have a lawn business on the side with a buddy in Tulsa, and I do a few side projects in the studio every year.

K: What’s your favorite venue to play currently?  All time favorite gig?  Most memorable gig (good or bad)?

B: My favorite current and all-time gig is Cain's Ballroom, nothing compares.  Most memorable gig---pick one before Jason quit drinking.

K: What is your favorite part of touring?  Least favorite part of it?

B: My favorite part of touring is that nothing really gets old, there's always spontaneity at the drop of a hat.  There is nothing that constitutes work about my job, we literally get paid to play music.  I hate being away from my wife and two sons.

What are you lookin' at punk?
K: What’s your favorite restaurant to stop at on the road?  (I know you’ve got the world’s best chicken enchilada recipe, I’ve gotta get that from you again)

B: Juicy Jim's in Memphis has the best sub sandwich in the country. [Kelcy says: I can verify this to be the gospel, so don’t even start whining all you east coasters]

K: Where do you live now?  Wife, kids, dogs? 

B: Tulsa, Ok--married with 2 boys, 8 and 4-- 2 dogs, german shepherd and doberman ( I don't like people in my yard)

K: What’s your favorite hobby, favorite sports teams?  How do you like to pass time on the road?

B: My teams are the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the OKC Thunder.
Enjoy working out, elliptical and lifting weights, riding my bike--love to cook, might pursue that as a 2nd career if we ever slow down on touring---love to drink beer and watch sporting events of all kinds---also enjoy carpentry and gardening---I'm a full time student so i spend a majority of my time studying on the road

K: Of all the songs in your catalog which is your favorite of all time?  Favorite to play live? Favorite on current album? Favorite cover song to play live?

B: I'd say Blowin' Through The Hills is my favorite, it's kinda country-metal.  It's a blast to play live, and people cheer as as soon as they hear the riff at the beginning.  I love Billy Joe Shaver's Thunderbird Wine.  We do a pretty punked-up version that's a lot of fun to play.

K: Who are your biggest musical influences? Who are your current favorite bands to listen to? Tour with? If you could play live as part of any band, who would you choose?

B: Musical influences are Dave Weckl, William C Calhoun, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, John Bonham, Queens of the Stone Age, Stone Temple Pilots, my marching band director in highschool, my mom (badass pianist)

I love death metal, lately I've been into Job For A Cowboy, Cannibal Corpse, Gojira, Opeth.  I also love Jamie Lidell, John Coltrane, Buddy Rich, The Beatles, Binary Star, Clutch, Eagles of Death Metal, High On Fire, My Morning Jacket, Jurassic 5, The Mars Volta, Melvins, Nine Inch Nails, The Police, TOOL, Radiohead, Static-X, and WEEN

I'd love to play in several rock bands, too many to list, but Tool is up there. I'm not good enough, though.

K: If you could have dinner with any three people, who would you choose? What’s on the menu?

B: I'd like to sit down with Senator Jim Inhoffe from Oklahoma and ask him what his fucking problem is, so he's one.  Two, James Harden from the OKC Thunder, I like his style.  Three, my wife, we never get to go out by ourselves any more.

K: If you had to choose another career path, what would you be doing for a living?

B: I’m pretty sure I'd be a chef if I didn't have music, it has many parallel aspects in that it's very creative.

K: Is there any currently touring artist you’ve never seen that you’d love to see?

B: I’d love to see Tool or Mastodon

K: If you had to sum up your life view/philosophy in just a few sentences what would you say?

B: Be nice to people, show them love.  Read books.

K: What’s your opinion on the current state of the music business in general and specifically in independent country music?  Is there really such a thing as independent country music anymore?  If so, what artist best embodies it?

B: I don't think there are a whole bunch of sincere artists out there, independent or major. It seems most of them want to go the American Idol route.

K: If you had the power to mandate two books that everyone in the country should read what would they be?

B: I think everyone should read 1984, it's eerily close to our current situation.  I also really like Walden, it really stresses the importance of nature, simplicity and love.

K: What about if you had to choose two albums of music that the entire country should own?

B: The Beatles Revolver and John Coltrane Blue Train

K: If you could give a message to the entire world, what would you say? (because that’s the kind of website hits we’re looking for)

B: Stop fucking watching reality television and pick up a damn book

Jason Boland and the Stragglers most recent album is the excellent Rancho Alto.

More Country Memes

Jun 26, 2012

Top 10 Dumbass Lines That Will Be on the Next Luke Bryan Album

10. How much donk's in that badonkadonk?

9. She's got her hands in the air, showing off that pair

8. Doin' donuts in my truck, wanna hit that donut hole

7. Say "Heyyyyyy, we want some couuuuntryyyyy!"

6. I love you like a fat redneck loves fried okra

5. Pop a cold one, down the gravel road we go
Plug in your iPad, crank some I Heart Radio

4. A bench seat for your country butt
That's the way I like to truck

3. Goin' on down to the fishin hole, gonna put some beers in my mouth hole. -. ‏‪@AJSwopeLTH‬

2. Drop it down low if you know what I mean
Get some gravel road dirt on them cut off jeans

1. Sparkle jeans and turnip greens. Country baby! boom boom, shacka lacka. I got more money than you poor suckas. -Lexi Davis (FB)

I'm not sayin' anything about Brantley Gilbert, I'm just sayin'...

Lower Broadway Country Bar Cover Singer 2

Thanks again to @truersound for his help.

Jun 25, 2012

Mud Digger Volume 3 Has a Warning Label

Shameful Confessions: fun.

I shouldn't like fun. The band fun., that is. Their name has punctuation and no capital letter in it. Their music has been featured on Glee and is unapologetically pop. If not for the very adult subject matter, there would surely be a Kidz Bop version of little kids shrieking their huge hit "We Are Young." They use autotuner at times. Also, according to their hardcore fans, they sold out between their previous release Aim & Ignite and this one (Some Nights).

So what's the deal, Trailer? The deal is: fun. is catchy as hell. Their music is huge, epic-sounding, and full of ridiculously sharp hooks. The singer, Nate Ruess, sounds like the pop radio version of Freddie Mercury, full of Broadway musical rock bluster. Even those positives should sound like negatives to a hard-ass country fan who prefers to hear whiskey in a voice over whiskey in a lyric, but somehow it works. 

There are plenty of bands with catchy songs and good singers out there. Why does fun. rise above the crowd? Aside from the fact that I genuinely enjoy their sound, it's the songwriting. The lyrics aren't exactly your typical pop fare. Here are a few lines of the last Black Eyed Peas single:
"You could call me crazy man, 
Everyday I'm partying, 
You could find me at the club, 
Popping bottles, mingling'"

And here are lyrics from fun.'s current single, "Some Nights":
"My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she calls "love"
But when I look into my nephew's eyes...
Man, you wouldn't believe the most amazing things that can come from...
Some terrible lies"

Sure, pop is supposed to be disposable and dumb like The Black Eyed Peas, but then, that's why I don't like 99% of pop music. I need something beyond a sugary hook or bouncy baseline to keep me coming back. fun. provides depth along with the absurdly earwormy melodies. 

Their first major hit, "We Are Young," hit on drug abuse, rebellion and domestic violence. I'm betting 90% of the people who bought the song on iTunes had no idea it was that deep of a song. And why should they? fun. makes music for everybody: the casual listener who just likes something to sing along to, and the true music fan who wants some meat on the bones. 

In fact, the entire album Some Nights carries that same vibe. While the tempos change, the "spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down" approach never does. Nearly every song on the album is an intelligent pop gem.

The previous album, Aim and Ignite, is also a damn good record. fun. is a band that deserves to be mentioned with the likes of Wilco and The Shins rather than The Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5.

I guess I've made a strong enough argument that I don't feel that guilty after all. If you have any predisposition toward pop-rock or very commercial indie-pop, you should give fun. a chance. Some Nights is definitely one of my top 20 albums of the year thus far.

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #60

When you're writing a hit country song, you should appeal to all the senses. That would seem like common sense, but most songwriters don't have the common sense to know I need a bottle of ketchup when they bring my Denny's order. You should be able to use all 5 senses, at least in your imagination, when you hear a song played 15 times a day.

Don't just tell me the beer is good. Let me taste that Coors piss-water rolling cold and smooth like a Rocky Mountain river down my hard-work-parched throat. Don't just say it's a big truck. Make me feel tiny and insignificant in the presence of the full body rebel flag wrap, 37" mud grappler tires and 6" lift. Have me hear the crickets chirping in the night woods while your speakers are blaring Waylon, Willie, Johnny, Hank and Skynyrd. I wanna check that girl in cutoffs for ticks with my bare damn hands! Let me smell exhaust, sweat and teenage desperation! 

Hell, even go for a sixth sense …just being able to predict you're gonna get some from that little country cutie in a few short minutes! Yeah buddy, I'm all jacked up now and I didn't even write the song… I just told your lazy ass how to! 

Now get to it before I do! That's a platinum selling single in the making right there, you jackoffs.

*Not actually written by John Rich

Luke Bryan and Gary Levox eCards

Jun 23, 2012

Saturday Night Music: Blackberry Smoke

From their awesome forthcoming album, The Whippoorwill, here's Blackberry Smoke with "Six Ways to Sunday."

Jun 20, 2012

So You Don't Have to Play Me Anymore

So You Don't Have to Play Me Anymore
(Parody of Alan Jackson's "So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore")

I’ll be the old guy,
I’ll let you pass by,
Just hit fade out,
Cause I'm an old bore
I’ll join AARP,
Eat liver and mincemeat,
So you don’t have to play me anymore.

When you make a playlist,
And my twang ain't on it,
Tell ‘em I'm not good like before,
Just crank some Aldean,
Cause I'm from a tired scene,
So you don’t have to play me anymore.

I will go,
To some nice rest home, and watch Matlock.
Or maybe Jay Leno.
And when you long,
For my old songs,
Play them on the legends show.

If the words I'm singin',
Bout heartache and drinkin',
Make you want to lay down and snore,
You can retire me
To Sansabelt blue jeans,
So you don’t have to play me anymore.

Yeah, I will eat,
Figs and cottage cheese in my rocker.
Yeah, out on some front porch.
So play Luke Bryan,
I've had my time,
I'll go play some shuffleboard.

If you want to come see a show,
I might play a casino,
But you don’t have to play me anymore.

Luke Bryan is a...

Country Day June '12: Parody Album Covers



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