Jun 12, 2017

Album Review: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound


Album Review: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound

By Kevin Broughton

Last year was a sonofabitch for nearly everyone we know.

-- Jason Isbell, “Hope the High Road”

A thought occurred to me while reviewing Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free a couple years ago: “At some point, you run out of superlatives.” So let’s get this out of the way. Right now, Isbell is without peer as a songwriter. He couldn’t have a better band – and God bless him for giving The 400 Unit billing on The Nashville Sound. Throw in a producer – Dave Cobb – who should just buy a gadget that makes Grammy figurines, and you have a legitimate American musical juggernaut.

And a quick word about the band. It’s proper that current 400 Unit – Sadler Vaden and Amanda Shires are newcomers since Here We Rest – gets a spot on the marquis. When the book is written on this band, this lineup will be viewed as the Mick Taylor-era Stones were.

There are several great songs on this record, bookended by a pair of wholesome ballads. “The Last of My Kind” is just another great story of an Isbell blue-collar guy, who wryly notes that some Scripture might only apply when back home. “Something to Love,” on the back end, is a sweet, hopeful homage to Isbell’s rural roots, a companion piece to his “God is a Working Man” on Brother Cobb’s Southern Family compilation.

More than one song recalls Isbell in his peak Drive By Truckers days. (And no, they’ll never be that good again, and were never better.) The driving intensity of “Cumberland Gap” captures the defiant malaise of Never Gonna Change, only in middle age. Here’s a guy who probably wishes he’d been thrown off the Wilson Dam.


If you’re looking for other perfect B-sides, how about “If We Were Vampires,” a sweet, morose counterweight to “Flagship,” till now Isbell’s most tender love song?  

Sadly, the album is not as good as the sum of its parts. It’s a good but not great record, lacking the continuity and flow that made Isbell’s previous three studio offerings so compelling. Consequently the default focal point becomes the overtly political.

Have you ever thought about what a vile, racist country this is? This republic that twice elected a black man president, with solid popular and electoral majorities? No? You’re in luck, because Jason Isbell is here to beat you over the head with it. “White Man’s World” would be better titled “White-Guilt World.”

Granted, Isbell didn’t completely lose his mind the way his 50-something former band mates did last fall, stopping just short of pissing on Old Glory and renouncing their citizenship in a bid to curry favor with millennial piss-ants and Bernie Sanders-loving losers.  One wonders, though, how many minds did they change? How many people came around to their cop-hating, white-guilt, socialist point of view because of DBT’s temper tantrum of an album? Likely none, though countless bedwetting, gender fluid NPR fans got enough affirmation to stave off being triggered for at least a day.

While Isbell employs a modicum of subtlety compared to Cooley and Hood, “White Man’s World” is still heavy handed. And lest you think blacks are the only oppressed people in this fascist nation: “I’m a white man living on a white man’s street, got the bones of the red man under my feet. Highway runs through their burial ground…”

Really?

Yeah. Step right up for self-flagellation, Cracker Boy. You will be made to care.  And never mind that “red man” is way more than a microaggression.

You want privilege-checking? Got some of that, too. “I’ve heard enough of the white man’s blues, I’ve sang (sic) enough about myself” is our entry into “Hope the High Road,” an otherwise hopeful postmortem of the 2016 election. Oh, and “Anxiety” will be perfect fare for the “safe zones” (you know, where they exclude white people) on the campuses of Mizzou, Harvard, Brown, etc. It’s just flat-out whiny. The crybabies and victim-pimps will love it.  

It’s a sad thing when music – something that should draw everyone together to admire it as art for art’s sake – is politicized. More than a couple of the artists I’ve interviewed for FTM have told me off-the-record why they avoid it. “You're 100 percent right about the music and politics thing,” one told me recently. “I've worked really hard not to do that. The only thing that can come from that is that you piss off half of your fan base. And you won’t change anyone’s mind.” Indeed. But those on the Left seemed determined to politicize every aspect of American life and culture, as we’ve seen happen in the world of sports over the past few years.

Will Isbell lose some fans? A few. Not this one, who hopes it’s a one-off. Still, look for plaudits from all corners: “Jason Isbell courageously speaks his mind.” Yep. Takes a ton of courage to toe the Leftist line in song.

Ultimately, though, if you can do this, you can do anything you want. Nice record, Jason. Wish it were better.


The Nashville Sound will be available everywhere this Friday.

49 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Actually, Alice, this part was satire: Have you ever thought about what a vile, racist country this is? This republic that twice elected a black man president, with solid popular and electoral majorities?

      Delete
    2. Nothing says "draw everyone together" like:

      "millennial piss-ants"
      "Bernie Sanders-loving losers"
      "cop-hating, white-guilt socialist point of view"
      "temper tantrum"
      "bedwetting, gender fluid NPR fans"
      "crybabies"
      "victim-pimps"

      Delete
    3. That's a fair point. And it seems some people are FINE with the politicization of music, so long as they like the politics in question.

      But indulge me: Do you disagree, for instance, that the DBT advocate cop-hating, socialism and white-guilt?

      Seems to me that the kicked dog yelps loudest.

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    4. I would call out any article that inherently contradicts itself whether I agreed with it or not. We do disagree politically and also fundamentally on the role politics and social commentary play in art. However, the latter is a much more nuanced argument that is not worth it now.

      I will say that I consider your statement regarding DBT to be the most legitimate of your insults, as it refers to actual beliefs and are not just inflammatory remarks to try to assert your superiority and power over someone who disagrees with you. People love to complain about divisiveness in society and politics, but then turn around and start throwing punches and calling people "bedwetting, gender fluid NPR fans". There can be no true dialogue when we resort to name calling before a discussion has even began. (side note, I think your understanding of both NPR and sexuality are incredibly flawed)

      However, I do not believe American Band supports a "cop-hating, white-guilt socialist point of view". Support for one group does not inherently mean opposition to another. Supporting Black Lives Matter does not mean you hate cops. It is simply a recognition of a disparity in treatment of black individuals by the police and sentencing of the judicial system.

      In the same vein, promoting the recognition of white-privilege does not mean you did not work hard for what you have earned or are any less entitled to what you have achieved. It simply notes the many additional barriers that someone of color has to cross in order to reach the same place in life as a white individual. What does this translate to? A hope for equality of opportunity. However, a white family and a black family have different access to resources and different ladders to climb. I feel rural cities face similar issues where they do not receive the resources necessary to stimulate their economy to create jobs, adequate educational opportunities, and influx of funds to support infrastructure for growth.

      No one is asking you to apologize for being white or to feel guilty for being white. No one is supporting going out and attacking the police or undermining the justice system.

      It is difficult enough to communicate coming from two completely different ideologies. Inflammatory insults do not help, and quite frankly end up making you look racist and hateful. The attitude that you have will certainly not change anyone's mind nor do anything to mitigate the escalating culture of divisiveness in the US. Why incite disagreement when you can invite conversation.

      You can dismiss me as a kicked dog if you want because I am a gay millennial who reads NPR daily and supported Bernie Sanders and the BLM movement. If anything you should support this album because it allows a liberal from a city like me to have a better understanding of rural southern towns. Bridging a cultural gap would go a long way to bridging a severe political gap. We all have the same goals for this country, but we have been trained by our respective parties to fight with each other before we listen to each other.

      Delete
    5. That's a very thoughtful and respectful post. I'll dial back the hyperbole and try to respond in kind.

      A bit of background might be helpful. I practiced (don't anymore) criminal defense law for 17 years. Probably 80 percent of my clients were black. I have also at various parts of my life made a living in politics. And I can say that if you're a Sanders supporter, we decidedly do not "have the same goals for this country," as he is a socialist and I submit Venezuela as Exhibit A. I didn't vote for Trump because he's a buffoon and a lifelong Democrat.

      The BLM movement is based on a lie or a myth, that is, that police are hunting black people down. It's just false. Here is a salient statistic: Blacks comprise about 12.5 percent of the U.S. population, and commit 52 percent of the homicides. Facts aren't racist. Blacks commit a massively disproportionate amount of the other crimes in this country, too. I dealt with it every working day of my life for years.

      "Hands up, don't shoot" was a lie. A lie plain and simple. Mike Brown was not shot in the back, his friend's perjurious statements notwithstanding. He was trying to take a policeman's gun away. He was not a victim, yet blacks burned the city of Ferguson to the ground. So, yes, I think BLM is a sham.

      I think the decision to have children out of wedlock is responsible for a lot of the disparity in "ladders to climb," as you put it. It leads to a lot of problems. And I hope I'm allowed to state this and not "look racist and hateful," as you also said.

      People love to complain about divisiveness in society and politics, but then turn around and start throwing punches and calling people "bedwetting, gender fluid NPR fans".

      I wasn't complaining about divisiveness in society. I am complaining about the hyper-politicization of the popular culture by the Left. And I guess the constant condescension (If I believe the Bible, I'm an anti-science, homophobic bigot; Chik-Fil-A is a hate group; etc., etc) coming from the Left probably led me to throw a punch or two. South Park, for goodness' sake, became a DOCUMENTARY the last two seasons. Political correctness has gotten out of control. And I don't misuse the term as Trumpsters do; they're just rude.

      Brendan Eich was forced out of the company he FOUNDED in 2014 because he gave $1,000 to Prop 8 supporters. And mind you, that was the same position Hillary Clinton had in 2000, and Obama had through his first term. You don't seem like one of the "gay mafia" types who feels all dissent must be silenced. But the Left has lost its collective mind. Side note: except for big cities and the Coasts, you can't form a winning political coalition based on climate change, free college and transgender bathrooms. But I ramble.

      And, in retrospect, I probably should have been a little more measured.

      As to my "understanding of NPR and sexuality," I think I'm in good shape. NPR should do whatever it wants, without a dime of taxpayer funding. My undergraduate degree is in journalism, so I think I know bias when I see it. My view of "sexuality," (or what some people mistakenly refer to as "gender") is science-based. Two X chromosomes = girl. And X and a Y = boy. As to whom someone chooses to sleep with, I'm a libertarian but support age-of-consent laws.

      Wanna hug it out?

      Good talk.

      Delete
    6. Not ready to hug just yet. However, our intellectual hang ups are not going to be resolved in the comment section of an album review.

      We all want a country with freedom, economic prosperity, and the American dream. We may vehemently disagree on how to get there, but ultimately we all want what is best for the country and its people. It is important to note that democratic socialism is different from socialism, but I get your point. I live in Miami, so I work with and interact with Venezuelans on a daily basis. You don't need to point out that example to me, and I do think you are missing much of the nuance if you equate the two. Regardless, I do believe Chavez's style was more akin to Trump's populism than Sanders's Socialism.

      BLM is not about police hunting down black people in the streets. At least it isn't at its core. And I do not deny that most people convicted of crimes in the US are black. I urge you to consider the systematic issues that lead to black youth joining gangs and getting involved in criminal activity, and the cyclical nature of these issues. This is coupled with a judicial system that has a racial bias (https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324432004578304463789858002) and a law enforcement that unfairly targets minority communities (http://www.drugpolicy.org/race-and-drug-war). I work for a social transformation organization in these communities so this an issue that I am very passionate about and of which I have seen time and time again.

      With the number of high profile Black Man Killed By Police stories that have shown up over the past few years, many with vague or unclear stories never even went to trial. I will admit many were blown out of proportion by individuals who were quicker to protest than they were to get facts. I do think, however, it is important to feel empathy for any marginalized group that feels underrepresented and feels like they need to be in the streets protesting to be heard. You may not agree with the group or their tactics, but we should all try to understand why they feel the way they do and how it got to this point. Ferguson was not the result of one death, it was the result of decades of frustration from the black community of feeling unfairly targeted by the local police.

      It would be so much easier for me to dismiss every Trump supporter as a bigoted or racist or ignorant, but that isn't helpful. In the same way I feel your quick dismissal of BLM is easier than understand, but ultimately not helpful and only leads to increased racial tension.

      Minorities are much more likely to have children out of wedlock, yes. I feel this is a result of broken families from incarceration, lack of adequate sex education in these communities, and few to zero resources for pregnancy prevention. All of these become huge contributors to the cycle of poverty and cycle of crime.

      Delete
    7. You need to find better liberal friends because if they deduce you as a homophobe, anti-science bigot just from reading the Bible, then that is their problem. The frustration with condescension is understandable, but we are used to being called all the things you referred to us as in your review. Imagine how frustrating and degrading that is.

      I do think society unfairly holds companies accountable for the actions of its officers i.e. Chick-Fil-A, Mozilla. However, people are entitled to their opinion and have the right to decide to protest and boycott any company they want. I no longer eat at Chick-Fil-A, that's my right. The organization makes the decision to fire the employee, no one else does. I'm sorry Brendan Eich was forced out of his company, but no one had any say in that decision besides the Mozilla Board, and they chose to listen to public opinion.

      You say facts aren't racist. I say facts aren't political. I personally believe NPR is the best major news outlet at reporting facts without editorials. We may disagree. Additionally, Sex and gender are considered two different things. Honestly, it is something I person struggle to fully understand. My personal journey with my sexuality has made me more sympathetic to the cause, however.

      We do agree on two things: Trumpsters are rude, and Jason is an incredible songwriter.

      Delete
    8. You say facts aren't racist. I say facts aren't political.

      Do you have any reason to dispute my contention that blacks are 12% of the population and commit more than 50% of the nation's homicides? Follow-up: should that be pertinent to any discussion of the criminal justice system?

      You need to find better liberal friends because if they deduce you as a homophobe, anti-science bigot just from reading the Bible, then that is their problem.

      I'm not talking about my liberal friends -- and I do have a couple. Here's a timely example.

      Your guy Bernie is both a bigot and completely ignorant of Article 6 of the Constitution (especially the "no religious tests for office" clause. I challenge you to read this.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448512/bernie-sanders-russell-vought-questioning-religious-ignorance-progressive-intolerance

      Additionally, Sex and gender are considered two different things.

      They may be. But "gender" until 30-ish years ago applied to tenses in languages. The "el" and "la" things in Spanish, for example. And until recently, Bill Nye agreed that chromosomes were what determined sex. Not anymore. Some "science" is as fluid as "gender" it seems.

      People are born male or female, irrespective of sexual preference. Sorry. It's science. And if I may be crude, if you have a dick, stay out of girls' bathrooms. That used to be reasonable.



      Delete
    9. I live in Miami, so I work with and interact with Venezuelans on a daily basis. You don't need to point out that example to me, and I do think you are missing much of the nuance if you equate the two.

      The average Venezuelan lost 20 pounds the last calendar year. Can't blame that on capitalism.

      I urge you to consider the systematic issues that lead to black youth joining gangs and getting involved in criminal activity, and the cyclical nature of these issues.

      How many black criminal defendants have you represented? I've done hundreds. Wanna know the big systematic issue? Not having a father. Eighty percent. That's the black out-of-wedlock birthrate. Additionally, the terms of AFDC? 1. Don't work. 2. Don't get married. 3. keep getting checks. If, you know, you're looking for real systemic causes.

      I do think, however, it is important to feel empathy for any marginalized group that feels underrepresented and feels like they need to be in the streets protesting to be heard.

      Facts are immune to feelings. Was Mike Brown shot in the back, or not? And if he was trying to take a cop's gun, does that even matter? Or should I just feel empathy for folks who burned a city down because they were impervious to facts and couldn't control their emotions?




      Delete
    10. I urge you to consider the things I have said as I will consider what you have said. Do not be so prideful as to assume you have all the answers.

      Delete
    11. What point have we gotten to, when Bernie supporters try to murder Republicans?

      I thought you people hated guns.

      Not as much as y'all hate Republicans, apparently.
      http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/james-t-hodgkinson/congressional-baseball-shooter-729035

      Delete
    12. I have done nothing to be divisive while you have remained consistently combative. This type of senseless violence is because of people like you. Remember this began because you chose to call people like me:

      "millennial piss-ants"
      "Bernie Sanders-loving losers"
      "cop-hating, white-guilt socialist point of view"
      "temper tantrum"
      "bedwetting, gender fluid NPR fans"
      "crybabies"
      "victim-pimps"

      Additionally, here are multiple examples of violence by right-winged and/or religious individuals:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Tucson_shooting

      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/29/us/30abortion-clinic-violence.html?_r=0

      http://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/11/us/doctor-is-slain-during-protest-over-abortions.html

      http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/30/us/death-doctor-overview-abortion-doctor-bodyguard-slainin-florida-protester.html?pagewanted=all

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/us/01tiller.html?pagewanted=all

      http://www.nytimes.com/1996/03/19/us/man-guilty-of-2-murders-in-storming-abortion-sites.html

      http://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/25/nyregion/abortion-doctor-in-buffalo-slain-sniper-attack-fits-violent-pattern.html?pagewanted=all

      http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/30/us/as-clinic-blast-is-recalled-chilling-evidence-emerges.html?pagewanted=all

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades.

      Every LGBT person that has been killed including Myra Chanel Ical, Amanda Andujar, TOni Alston, Dana Larkin, Sandy Woulard, Bryan Almonte, Brian Cepeda, Victoria White, Stacey Blahnik Lee, Joshua Wilkerson, Chrissie Bates, Tyra Trent, Kevin Pennington (I could and will go on if you'd like). It truly is a shame we lost all of those bedwetting genderfluid NPR Fans.

      Delete
    13. Jared Lochner, who shot Gabby Giffords, was a registered Democrat. So stop it. Stop lying.

      Did Republicans and conservatives go on violent rampages across the country when Obama was elected? Did Tea Partiers -- like your pals in Antifa -- go around spraying pepper spray in the faces of their political opponents?

      Is it right-wing crazy people who cover themselves in black masks, torch cars and fight with police?

      No. It is you butt-hurt losers on the Left who can't come to grips with an election you didn't like.

      Yes, you're a bunch of bed-wetting crybabies who resort to violence when you don't get your way. It is the Left, not the Right, that has shut down free speech and debate on college campuses.

      BTW, do you contend it was a right-winger who committed the butchery in the Pulse gay bar last summer? Oh, no. That was a Muslim. They get a free pass on the Left, even though they throw people like you off buildings.

      Delete
    14. Hey, Joe:

      This is SINCE the inauguration. Give me one example of GOP equivalence. Just one.

      http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/14/shooting-at-gop-baseball-practice-latest-in-pattern-of-violence-against-republicans/

      Delete
    15. We don't equate Omar's crimes to crimes committed by a whole religion because we aren't stupid. Here is one example of a GOP equivalence.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/27/trump-called-act-brave-selfless-men-stabbed-death-trying-protect/

      People who commit these crimes are mentally ill first and then use their ideologies as justification for horrific deeds. I don't hold all conservatives responsible for this guys actions in the same way you shouldn't hold every Bernie Sanders support responsible for this guys actions. No one is holding all white people accountable for Dylan Roof's actions.

      If this were the other way around, clearly you would have no problem doing such.

      Delete
    16. That's not an example of GOP equivalence. That is not like anything listed above. I'm talking about targeted political violence by one side against another.

      Like your friends on the Left have been doing since inauguration day.

      Your side has lost its mind. Maybe not you. But Left-wing violence happens all over the country, and not one leader on the Left has denounced it.

      Not unlike the way Obama coddled the animals who burned Ferguson and Baltimore to the ground.

      Delete
    17. Ok I'm done I can't have this conversation with you. You are unwilling to listen and simply combative and hateful. If you want to engage in real political discourse, come find me. But I won't waste any more time on someone like you.

      Delete
  2. Wow. Really sensitive to Isbell having an opinion. Should appreciate an artist actually trying to say something especially in this age of mostly meaningless music. Funny how the musician said those remarkably uninspiring comments off the record even though whoever it was really didn't say anything at all. I would guess their music is likely very similar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an artist I've interviewed for this site this calendar year, and his record will be in my top 3 for the year.

      I don't like "meaningless" music, as anyone who's read my reviews will know.

      I've had a bellyful of the Left politicizing every aspect of American culture.

      To say I'm "sensitive to Jason's having an opinion" is as intellectually lazy as "White Man's World."

      And he's my favorite artist.

      Delete
    2. You're very quick to reach for insults rather than discussion. It's also an artist that's afraid to put himself out there and actually say something because he's afraid to alienate a portion of his fanbase. There's probably a word or term for that...

      Intellectually lazy on my part? Maybe. But true? Probably. You don't like an artists song because his lyrics don't sync with your right leaning values. I actually agree with some of your political values but I won't discount someone else's music because theirs are different than mine. I think Lee Bains is half crazy with some of his political/social views but I respect his opinions and his passion. He's not afraid to piss people off, sales be damned. Clearly Jason isn't either.

      Delete
    3. 1. Show me where I insulted you in my reply. I characterized your statement, not you, as intellectually lazy.

      2. You're just wrong about the artist in question. You just are. I'm not gonna say anymore about him because I won't betray a confidence. Ever heard the Hayes Carll song "Another Like You?" You should check it out, and the backstory.

      What did I say about The Nashville Sound? 1. There are a lot of great songs on it. 2. That it's good but not great. 3. Jason Isbell is without peer as a songwriter. What did I say in my reply to you? That he's still my favorite artist.

      So what's your grievance, again?

      Delete
    4. My grievance is that you're arguing for an (timeless and peerless) artist that has certain political and socialogical opinions that differ from yours should censor politics from his music solely because his opinions differ from yours. It's a ridiculous premise. Let me ask this: are you in support of keeping politics out of all music or just politics that have a different viewpoint than your own?

      Isbell seems to channel a lot of lyrics from a deep, maybe sometimes dark, place. Maybe we should try to understand them, and why he feels a certain way, rather than beat them down.

      Delete
    5. My grievance is that you're arguing for an (timeless and peerless) artist that has certain political and socialogical opinions that differ from yours should censor politics from his music solely because his opinions differ from yours.

      Well, I understand, except that you completely mischaracterized my position. Maybe I should have written more clearly.

      Let me ask this: are you in support of keeping politics out of all music or just politics that have a different viewpoint than your own?

      A fair question. If only I had addressed it. Oh. Wait.

      It’s a sad thing when music – something that should draw everyone together to admire it as art for art’s sake – is politicized.

      See what I did there? I made a declarative statement without condition. (Note the "period" at the end of the sentence; not a "comma" followed by "but" or "except for."

      Isbell seems to channel a lot of lyrics from a deep, maybe sometimes dark, place.

      Stop it. Really? Here's an idea. Take a look at the first sentence of my review (up yonder, at the top of the page.) There's a link to my review of his previous album. In it, I referred to 2013's Southeastern album thusly:

      Dark? He referred to it in a recent interview as having “a high body count.” A bit of an understatement, unless you were an intimate of Pol Pot. I listened to it twice, the week it came out. Just stopped cutting. I kid.

      So, yeah, "maybe sometimes dark." I get it. I've been listening to him, I'd wager, longer than you have. And if you think I have trouble "understanding" his music, maybe you should write a review that I can read. I've obviously done a poor job of communicating.

      Delete
    6. "It’s a sad thing when music – something that should draw everyone together to admire it as art for art’s sake – is politicized."

      Well, for starters I think this is just wrong. I don't think its sad at all. If that's the way he feels and that's what he wants to write about then so be it. Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen don't give a damn if their political agenda offends anybody and they're accepted as 2 of the greatest songwriters of any generation. I never implied that you didn't understand his music, don't put words in my mouth. And that would be a dangerous wager to make, not that it has any relevance in the discussion whatsoever.

      Delete
    7. I never implied that you didn't understand his music, don't put words in my mouth.

      Ok. 7:05 pm Eastern:

      Isbell seems to channel a lot of lyrics from a deep, maybe sometimes dark, place. Maybe we should try to understand them, and why he feels a certain way, rather than beat them down.

      I already understand them.

      Well, for starters I think this is just wrong.

      Yeah, I get it. We disagree. It's obvious.

      But you had to ask a question (is it just politics I disagree with) when the answer was obvious from the plain text of the review. Either my communication skills have fallen off or...

      Delete
    8. Also, Scott, this isn't the first time I've addressed this topic. Broached the subject with Reckless Kelly's Willy Braun last fall.

      http://www.farcethemusic.com/2016/09/willy-braun-of-reckless-kelly-farce.html

      And with Nate Cook of the Yawpers the fall before that.

      http://www.farcethemusic.com/2015/10/the-yawpers-praise-lord-theyre-american.html

      In case, you know, you thought I was just "triggered" or something.

      Delete
    9. Notice I said "we", not "you". I certainly didn't mean to make that implication. I asked that question because it wasn't clear to me, based on some of the new music being judged primarily for it's political takes because they are different from your own. Clearly I'm not the only one that read it that way.

      I would bet you've been dying to get that dumbass word in this message board since this review was posted.

      Clearly we disagree on some things, doesn't mean you need to challenge everyone's reading comprehension.

      "I've had a bellyful of the Left politicizing every aspect of American culture." Well you could've just used this as your entire review. Have a good one.

      Delete
  3. Seems to be a very biased review, as confirmed by the reviewers reply to the comments. Jason's politics just didnt line up with that of the reviewer. I would ask that if you cant get past that and write a review based on the quality of the songs, maybe just dont write a review at all. Kevin, Im sorry that Jason's point of view hurt your feelings. Maybe you can go listen to Ted Nugent or Charlie Daniels and feel better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! LOL. At least you didn't Toby-Keith me.

      (Reviews are inherently subjective. Opinionated. "Biased," even.)

      This, however, is adorable:

      I would ask that if you cant get past that and write a review based on the quality of the songs, maybe just dont write a review at all.

      Yes, sir. I'll try and censor myself if you don't like the way I write. Could you post your email so I can send you a draft for approval? I'm working on a Steve Earle piece right now, and I want to comply.

      Delete
    2. Please dont review the new Steve Earle.... You know he's one of them leftys, right? I'd hate for you to get your feelings hurt again.

      Delete
    3. Have I complimented you on your handle? First-rate.

      Twice now you've asked me not to write.

      1. I'm not reviewing the new Steve Earle record.

      2. It's great and -- coincidentally -- completely devoid of politics. Best album since I Feel Alright.

      Delete
    4. Anyway, i can see how someone could be turned off by music with an opposite political idea than their own. Personally, I would avoid reviewing it if I were in that situation because my review would be biased. But I do respect your right to have your own ideas. Glad to hear that you like the new Earle record, one of my favorites. Im holding off on listening until my deluxe edition arrives. Anyway, glad you found some music you enjoy. After family and friends, that truly is a great pleasure in life.

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    5. Well, ass-munch...may I call you "ass-munch?"

      Anyway, since I like you, you get a sneak peek. It's not about Steve's new record (did I mention it's his best work in two decades); Robert Dean will review that one.

      It's about Steve being a dick for no reason:

      https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/steve-earle-once-an-outlaw-always-an-outlaw/article35236449/

      because I like you.

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    6. Oh, that thing about Buckner... Maybe he shouldnt have said it, IDK, but if I'm going to concede that you have a right to your opinion, then surely you have to concede that Mr. Earle has a right to his, and his opinion is that Richard Buckner sucks.

      Delete
  4. Jeez, do you need a safe space the way Isbell triggered you by including a single political song on this album?

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    1. I do, Andrew. Would you hold me?

      Delete
  5. Just curious, but was the political song any good? Melody? Structure? Despite the politics, did the lyrics make you think or even empathize with the point of view of the writer?

    Kudos, by the way, to the quality of comments. I came for the article (link from Twitter, but will come back for the excellent comments.

    My quibble with the tone of the article is your statement regarding the Obama election signaling the end of this as being a racist country. Obama's election just brought the racists out of the closet where, with the Tea Party, and subsequently the election of Trump, racism is seemingly open and acceptable. To wit, I've heard the n-word spoken openly and more frequently by white conservatives than prior to Obama. To their credit they openly admit they're racist. My issue is that they're proud of it and have been emboldened to broadcast their hate. Racism is real and while the Obama election indicating potential scabbing of the wound, the current atmosphere has opened the scab and infection is a real and present danger.

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    1. One other point on the Tea Party, since you lazily threw that in there.

      Can you recall any violent protests, clashes with police, trashing of buildings, etc. following Obama's election? Were there legions of Republicans covering their faces with masks and assaulting people with different points of view?

      No?

      Can't say that about your side right now, can you? When did conservatives riot on college campuses to keep an invited guest speaker away.

      The Left and the so-called "resistance" movement is lawless and out of control. Do you consider that -- in your words -- a "real and present danger?" Or is that confined to people who say the n-word occasionally?

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    2. Did the Tea Party ever shoot up a Democrat baseball practice?

      Delete
  6. I keep hearing Rachel Dolezal is opening for this all white white white band. Can anyone confirm this?

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    Replies
    1. Just curious, but was the political song any good? Melody? Structure?

      Seriously? Good, driving bluesy feel.

      Despite the politics, did the lyrics make you think or even empathize with the point of view of the writer?

      No. I've had my fill of white guilt from the news/political realm. I don't need any more from my favorite artist.

      Obama's election just brought the racists out of the closet where, with the Tea Party, and subsequently the election of Trump, racism is seemingly open and acceptable.

      Say what you want about Trump. Your assertion about racism in the Tea Party movement is demonstrably false. That movement was (though may not still be) based on the issues of out-of-countrol spending and eroding personal freedoms. Trust me when I say I know of what I speak on this subject. There is not one, single, provable incident of racist behavior at a Tea Party rally, John Lewis's lies notwithstanding. So let's dispense with that.

      To wit, I've heard the n-word spoken openly and more frequently by white conservatives than prior to Obama.

      Well, your anecdote certainly crushes my argument. The fact is the race-hustlers and poverty pimps in this country have a vested interest in convincing their constituency that nothing has changed in the last 50 years. It's a lie, and these self-appointed "leaders" (with the help of media and academia) rely on demagoguery and appeals to raw emotion to whip up a bunch of really gullible people.

      Racism is real and while the Obama election indicating potential scabbing of the wound, the current atmosphere has opened the scab and infection is a real and present danger.

      Then let's just pay reparations to every black person in this country. Would that fix it? Pick a number. $50K apiece?

      A lot of you folks on the left are in shock right now. I get that. But the thing is, y'all said the same things about W. Bush, McCain and Romney that you said about Trump: Extremist. Outside the mainstream. Racist. Misogynistic. Y'all think the GOP is inherently racist.

      I'll tell you something else. The Left's insistence on tribal/identity politics is doing NOTHING to unify this country. Cries of white privilege and perpetuation of a victim's mentality makes things worse.







      Delete
  7. So it seems like the author wanted to make political statement rather than review a Jason Isbell album. Perhaps be like the artists that don't want to sing about it and not write about it in the reviews.

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  8. Artists are allowed to make political statements with their art, just like they are allowed to make religious statements or moral statements or really anything else. You don't have to like it, and you don't have to agree. Personally, I tend to prefer when songs don't get too political.

    White Man's World, and most of DBT's American Band album, are a little heavy handed for me. And I say that as someone who generally agrees with the sentiment expressed in the songs.

    But for you to rant and name call about all "liberals" in your album review, tells me that maybe the reviewer is the one who needs a safe space to avoid being triggered. And trying to blame all liberals for the nut job that shot up the baseball practice is no better than the liberals who think all republicans are racist. Get a grip, find a way to review art that you dislike without getting so personally offended.

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  9. But for you to rant and name call about all "liberals" in your album review, tells me that maybe the reviewer is the one who needs a safe space to avoid being triggered.

    Not triggered. Sick of everything being politicized by the Left in art, music, sports and culture in general.

    And trying to blame all liberals for the nut job that shot up the baseball practice is no better than the liberals who think all republicans are racist.

    I worked with the biggest Tea Party organization in the country, and every day, the "racist" lie was spewed. It was a lie, and it was repeated in the comments section here yesterday.

    You tell me, Jared, what is the source of political violence in this country today? You know what it is, and you also know that there was no corresponding Right-wing violence following this (racist, vile) nation's twice electing a black man president.

    Tell me where I'm wrong about that.

    This is SINCE the inauguration. Which side is doing this?

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/14/shooting-at-gop-baseball-practice-latest-in-pattern-of-violence-against-republicans/





    ReplyDelete
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    1. Listen, I agree with what you said in your review - that, generally speaking, music isn't a good place for overt politics of any kind. I like when art is able to bring people together, just like you said.

      But then you go and insult half your readers. It's pretty clear that you have no desire for people to come together and resolve their differences. You want everyone to agree with you. That makes you a jackass, worse than those that just go ahead and express their beliefs without any bullshit about people coming together.

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  10. Wasn't asking for people to come together. I said music can be a vehicle for that. But the Left insists on politicizing every aspect of American culture. I don't want everyone to agree with me. But the Left's current narrative -- as is seen in some of the comments from people who disagree with me -- is based on lies, and a pre-ordained conclusion that America is an evil place.

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    1. Really? "It’s a sad thing when music – something that should draw everyone together to admire it as art for art’s sake – is politicized."

      You keep trying to make arguments about why "the Left" sucks. I'm not falling for that. Some people suck, on the left, on the right, down the middle. Some people are pretty good. Most of us fall somewhere in between.

      I'm not going to argue with you about which side has more crappy people. I'm talking about you. The statements that you make in this article and in these comments are divisive and insulting, while you go around accusing "the left" of being divisive and politicizing everything. You are the one throwing stones here.

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  11. "Consequently the default focal point becomes the overtly political...... Have you ever thought about what a vile, racist country this is? This republic that twice elected a black man president, with solid popular and electoral majorities? No? You’re in luck, because Jason Isbell is here to beat you over the head with it. “White Man’s World” would be better titled “White-Guilt World.”

    Finally got my hands on the record yesterday. Listened to it. Listened to it again. This "overtly political" album is so un-overtly political it makes me laugh. I don't even care if I just made up a word. But at least you heard it here first: we elected a black president twice so racism is dead! Maybe "white man's world" hit a little too close to home and you had to confront some truths. And just maybe Isbell isn't the one with the agenda. What a joke this "review" is.

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