Showing posts with label Lori McKenna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lori McKenna. Show all posts

Dec 28, 2018

Farce the Music's Top 10 Songs of 2018

Here are my top 10 songs of 2018 (#s 11-30 here). There's a Spotify playlist of 1-30 at the bottom. 

10. Fantastic Negrito – Transgender Biscuits
I don't have a clue what this song is about but it's so much fun. Maybe it's about how stuff's tough all over for everybody, so we might as well have a good time and love everybody while we're at it. Maybe it's about biscuits. Whatever.

9. Jamie Lin Wilson – Death & Life

8. Caitlyn Smith – This Town Is Killing Me

7. Father John Misty – Please Don't Die

6. Ashley McBryde – Tired of Being Happy

5. Cody Jinks – Colorado

4. Lori McKenna – The Lot Behind St. Mary's

3. Lucie Silvas – My Old Habits
Expertly crafted, well -produced, strongly performed bar rock is one of my musical sweet spots and this gets right in there. It was stuck in my head for days on end and that never became annoying. Lucie sings the hell out of this song. It gives me some Bonnie Raitt vibes, and that's never a bad thing.

2. Ruston Kelly – Faceplant
Catchy misery is one of my musical sweet spots and this is a bullseye. "Not even angels came around" really drove it home. 

1. YOB – Our Raw Heart
Epic, emotional, visceral, tortured. "Our Raw Heart" conjures images of mountains rising, of ice cliffs smashing into one another, of 90 foot waves falling against the shore, continents sliding into the sea. It's gigantic, ugly, and beautiful all at once. YOB nearly didn't exist into 2018; its singer Mike Scheidt almost died of intestinal issues in 2017. The album was a statement of survival and growth after trauma, and this, the title song, was its raw, beating heart. A cathartic masterpiece.

Sep 6, 2018

Scrubs: Country Reaction Gifs

Who wants to hear "Foggy Mountain Breakdown??"

When your wife's not so sure about teaching little Johnny and Katie that mainstream country sucks

When Isbell plays "If We Were Vampires" in concert

A Kane Brown fan's views on science

BMLG's latest country duo

When you're dating someone who owns a Walker Hayes album

When someone can tell you've been listening to Lori McKenna again

"But it must be country - they play it on the country station"

Jul 19, 2018

The Office Country Reaction Gifs 3

What's your favorite Turnpike Troubadours song?

What it's like to listen to a Lori McKenna album

When your office-mate complains about you listening to Cody Jinks all the time

Why isn't your song on country radio?

When a Luke Bryan song starts

Male country singers get plaques for their #1 songs;
Female country singers get...

Still better than going to a Kane Brown concert...

If you like Mitchell Tenpenny

Album Review / Lori McKenna / The Tree

From my perspective, Lori McKenna is the best working songwriter whose last name isn't Prine. She has a gift - and 'gift' seems like the biggest understatement ever - for conveying real, lived-in emotion. She doesn't paint a picture; she paints you into the picture. You're there. 

No matter your particular station in life - when Lori sings, you're a broken-hearted husband, a loving mother, a thankful child. I'm almost convinced it's voodoo.

The Tree is McKenna's latest foray into messing with your feelings. Family is front and center across the eleven songs, and again, it doesn't matter what you bring to the experience - Lori's plucking you from your existence and plopping you down in her stories. 

"People Get Old," the album's first single, builds a world around its simple title. The passage of time and the certainty of aging are well worn themes to be sure, but you haven't felt them like this. The imagery - dad's cut sleeved t-shirt, turning off all the lights int the house like her dad did - doesn't just set the scene, it sets the mood. Lori's vocals pull you the rest of the way in, and suddenly you're reminiscing the past and pondering the future right alongside her. 

"You Can't Break a Woman" tells a philandering mate how little his drinking and running around matters anymore. She's still there, but she's not there for him to hurt. Even though the message is to the lover, you're the titular woman. She hasn't left yet, but she's long gone. 

Though a lot of The Tree's songs lean on shading and expertly arranged simple prose, Lori can wordsmith with the best of them. On "The Lot Behind St. Mary's," McKenna flexes her lyrical muscle. It's a longing and nostalgic look back to a couple's more innocent times. I'd pick a line or two to include here, but really, the entire thing is incredible. The most devastating thing about this song is what she doesn't explicitly tell us. When it hits you…

There's some joy to be found on The Tree - celebrating the small things and the everyday heroes (mom!). There's also a lot of struggle to go around - much like life. McKenna's brilliance is her searing honesty. Her ability to absorb the listener into the song is without equal. 

Give this album your full and undivided attention, but prepare yourself. This isn't a record of pat platitudes and mindless entertainment. It demands of you. I don't get "in my feelings" much, but if you really listen to this album and don't go there, you missed out. 

The Tree is out 7/20 on all platforms.

Jul 9, 2018

Show Review / Lori McKenna / Ram's Head Onstage

by Scott Colvin

As much as I like to think of myself as someone adept at “discovering” new music, it never hurts to have friends and family with good taste to turn me onto something that I might have missed due to whatever sub-genre I’m overdoing at the moment.

In junior high my older cousin taped me (dating myself big-time) Metallica’s Ride the Lightning when it came out. That blew my mind way more than the poodle haired safe for radio “metal” I knew at the time. Years later in high school, I was into 10,000 Maniacs and R.E.M. when some older friends clued me into to Jane’s Addiction and The Smiths (to name a few). A whole new world opened. And of course now we all have Trailer who introduced most of us early on to that Sturgill fella (and many other real country artists that makes us all swoon…thanks, bud).

Sometime in the early 00s I joined a CD trading community called (RIP). Artist suggestions on the site’s message board were more prevalent than half-finished PBRs at a Blake Shelton concert tailgate. One “friend” knowing that I had an affinity toward women singer/songwriters asked me if I heard of Lori McKenna and particularly her new album Bittertown. Sheepishly, I said, “no, but I’ll check it out,” which in “Scott speak” means, “I’ll get to it as soon as I listen to the 20 or so CDs I have but haven’t listened to yet, learn how to finally play mandolin and naturally cure cancer.” But, I trusted the dude enough and gave it a whirl. And that’s when I fell in love with not only Lori’s aching voice, but the voice inside her head that wrote the most gut-wrenching songs I’ve ever heard. “Stealing Kisses,” a song that Faith Hill regrettably drained all of the angst out of on her Fireflies album, was and will always be one of my most cherished McKenna songs.

I was lucky enough to see McKenna on her tour for 2007’s Unglamorous and again in 2011 for Lorraine (where she played another personal favorite that would appear on 2013’s Massachusetts, “Make Every Word Hurt”) at the intimate Rams Head Onstage in Annapolis, MD. Both were fantastic shows that played up her catalog.

Good fortune reared its head on June 29 as McKenna returned to RHOS on the first night of her tour in support of her new album The Tree (out on July 20).

Going into the show, I fully expected and anticipated hearing a steady dose of new music, songs she co-wrote for others that became big hits (although part of me thought it would’ve been amusing if she would’ve covered those artists instead…like imagine her singing “Truck Yeah” or “Pontoon”…in her distinct heartbreaking style…but I digress), and a smattering of her older fan favorites.

I was mostly right, but also partly wrong, which had me days later a little bummed after some reflection (AKA looking at my concert notes while sober), even though I left the show on a total concert high (and a little drunk). Don’t get me wrong, the songs she played were brilliant tales of love and loss, with dynamic twists at the end (the story arcs in her songs are anything but predictable), and impeccable musicianship by her band. Her banter with the crowd was lighthearted, informative and endearing. 

What was missing though was a musical acknowledgment of her extensive back catalog (her set consisted solely of new songs, a few off her previous album “The Bird and the Rifle (such a great record by the way), and a cover. I can understand “sticking to the new stuff” for artists who tour often, but she really doesn’t these days, focusing more on her songwriting craft (she is one of the most sought after co-writes in Nashville these days). I can also see why an artist would want to focus on the now and not the past, but when the new album won’t be released for weeks it can make for a long night of not hearing anything “familiar.” It’s a minor/spoiled music fan gripe indeed, as fortunately, the new songs sounded sublime and I can already predict that the Dave Cobb produced album will sit atop many top 10s at the end of the year.

Of the new songs she played “The Tree,” “Young and Angry Again,” “Mother Never Rests,” “The Lot Behind St. Mary’s,” “The Fixer,” “Like Patsy Would,” and the album’s first single “People Get Old.” As mentioned, she also played songs from her previous album The Bird and the Rifle including the title track, “Old Men, Young Women” and naturally, the stunning “Humble and Kind” that Faith’s hubbie turned into one of the finest songs on pop country radio in recent years (I still would’ve killed to hear her take of “Truck Yeah”).

McKenna and her band had a “rock-out” moment with “Happy People” written by McKenna and made famous by Little Big Town. During the encore her band provided transcendent harmonies to another song LBT recorded and sprouted from the mind of McKenna, 2015’s most ubiquitous radio song, “Girl Crush.”

The concert concluded with a cover by another American songwriter hero Tom Petty, as they played a stellar version of “Room at the Top.”

In the end, Lori McKenna live, as on record, is a treasured storyteller that country fans who prefer swimming in the deep end of country music’s pool can thoroughly appreciate.  

Jun 13, 2018

Top 25 Songs of 2018 First Half Report

It was hard to narrow this down to 25. There have been some truly great and memorable songs released in 2018, and we're just halfway through. These are in no particular order. 
*not a combined contributors' list - just Trailer's*


Ashley McBryde - Tired of Being Happy

YOB - Our Raw Heart

Willie Nelson - Something You Get Through

Caitlyn Smith - This Town is Killing Me

Kacey Musgraves - Happy & Sad

Brent Cobb - Mornin's Gonna Come

Kelly Willis - Back Being Blue

Buffalo Gospel - When Lonesome Comes Callin'

Joshua Hedley - Weird Thought Thinker

Lori McKenna - People Get Old

Trixie Mattel - Soldier

Blackberry Smoke w/Robert Randolph - I'll Keep Ramblin'

Manchester Orchestra - No Hard Feelings

Caleb Caudle - NYC in the Rain

Old Crow Medicine Show - Look Away

Brandi Carlile - Sugartooth

Leon III - Alberta 

Tami Neilson - Good Man

Whiskey Wolves of the West - Alexandria

Ruby Boots - Break My Heart Twice

Anderson East - House is a Building

Apr 6, 2018

Top 10 Biggest Country Singer/Songwriter Jerks

Some would imagine that relatively under-the-radar country singer/songwriters would not be as likely to be divas and d-bags as the ultra-hyped superstars. However, this is not to be. 
Here are some of the most egregious offenders.

10. Brandy Clark
Keeps "Draw 4" up sleeve when playing Uno
Tour rider requires Koolaid pickles, a Creed prayer candle, and 5 bottles of Olde English

9. Ed Hill
Thinks Farce the Music is hilarious
Actual crisis actor

8. Mac McAnally
Thinks Soulja Boy is better than 2Pac
Donates to charities promoting homelessness

7. Josh Grider
Does not tell someone if they have a booger
Hobby: Martin Shkreli fan fiction

6. Gretchen Peters
Has been kicked off multiple flights for fighting and drunkenness
Personally puts tiny scratch on each vinyl album ordered through her website

5. Will Hoge
Wears awkwardly short shorts to co-writing sessions
Default font on all emails? comic sans

4. Lori McKenna
Performs thorough and morally judgmental background check on co-writers
2 can a day Copenhagen habit
Wears big hats to church and sits in front of short people

3. Travis Meadows
Spreads nasty rumors about Whiskey Jack's hygiene
Argues with cashiers over expired coupons
Changes Alan Jackson online set lists and Wikipedia page to say AJ covers Lil Wayne, Future

2. Mandy Barnett
Writes "Nice" on page 69 of every library book she checks out
Coughs on buffets
Still wears a bluetooth earpiece

1. Kendell Marvel
Refused shot, gave 73 people flu this year
Secretly writes bro-country songs under pen name Chris DeStefano
Doesn't refill the Keurig
Claims world's largest laserdisc porn collection


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