Showing posts with label Uncle Tupelo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uncle Tupelo. Show all posts

May 10, 2023

Donnie Darko Country Reaction Gifs

*1 dirty word*

When your friend takes too many 
shrooms at the Billy Strings show

When you sneak into the country radio conference and get on a mic and sing "Murder on Music Row"

And then...

When you tear up another kid's Morgan Wallen painting in art class

Still waiting on someone to convince me Dan + Shay are country

When you're in a cheerful mood, then Lori McKenna comes on in your shuffle

Your kid after overhearing you listening to Wheeler Walker Jr.

When you meet the one other guy in your hometown who's into Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo

When a demonic bunny rabbit asks you to put on some Martina McBride and you comply

Oct 23, 2018

The Bottle Rockets, Doing Their Steady, Solid Thing with Bit Logic

By Kasey Anderson &
Kevin Broughton

“Under-appreciated” is a tricky label, especially when applied within the context of a discussion about art. If one were to say the Bottle Rockets are an under-appreciated band, the claim would imply the existence of some sort of rock ‘n’ roll meritocracy, and no such thing exists (as evidenced by the popularity of Greta Van Fleet). To label a band as under-appreciated also carries with it the implication that said band is somehow less critically and/or commercially successful than is deserved, and there’s no objective way to measure that; there is no metric for what any given band “deserves” to sell or draw. 

We cannot say, then, that the Bottle Rockets are an under-appreciated band. We can, however, acknowledge that over the course of their 25+ year career, the Bottle Rockets have come to be taken for granted -- a band without which the genre of Americana may not exist, though front man and chief songwriter Brian Henneman would insist (rightfully) the genre has always existed. Henneman was the primary guitarist on Wilco’s AM, an album often cited as essential within the Americana (née Alt.Country, née Country Rock, etc.) canon. Shortly after the release of AM, Henneman and Co. made their own contributions to the canon with the Eric Ambel-produced album The Brooklyn Side and its follow-up, 24 Hours a Day

Every few years, the Bottle Rockets crank out another reminder that they’re one of the most dependably great Americanalt.countryrock outfits of the last three decades and often, Ambel has been on board as producer and auxiliary Rocket. Their new album, Bit Logic, is just such a reminder — by turns acerbic, swaggering, and tender. 

It’s a Bottle Rockets record, after all. Maybe Bit Logic is the record that will find the Bottle Rockets on the podium for next year’s Americana Awards, accepting a trophy they would very richly deserve, if there were such a thing as merit in art. If the AMAs don’t take note, Bottle Rockets fans can take solace in the quality of the work, and in the knowledge that the next album will likely be just as good as Bit Logic; just as good as The Brooklyn Side or 24 Hours a Day. It will be a Bottle Rockets record, after all.

We cornered the laconic Henneman for a few questions about the new record.

How long did you work on this batch of a dozen songs?

Not that long really. They were all written pretty fast, and pretty last minute. It was our most immediate album. We didn't even rehearse them. They were born in the studio, everybody just going off of acoustic demos I made. Just me and a guitar.

I notice Roscoe Ambel, who produced this record, will actually be opening for y'all on some of your upcoming tour dates. How far back does your collaborative history go with him?

We met Eric right after our first album came out in 1993. He first started working with us in 1994. We've worked together off and on ever since. He's good for us. He's "The George Martin Of The Bottle Rockets."

The Bottle Rockets are regularly mentioned in the same breath with the other pioneers -- for lack of a better word -- of alt country, having come of age in the mid 1990s. You yourself were part of the Uncle Tupelo crew, and I think you might have played on an early Wilco album. Do you ever reflect on being part of the foundation of a musical scene? What if anything does it mean to you personally? 

I was the guitarist on Wilco’s A.M. I don't think about this at all, 'cause I'm old enough to know this was not the birth of this kind of scene. It's existed for years. It just gets unearthed with every new batch of writers. Right before this wave we're associated with, there were bands like Rank & File, The Long Ryders, Jason & The Scorchers, etc. You can take it back to CCR if you wanna. Hell, Elvis mighta started it. It's all the same deal: Country/Blues with electric guitars adding up to rock and roll. They didn't really give it its own category name 'til our wave though. But it's been around a long time.

You once described The Bottle Rockets as "reporters from the heartland," and there's a blue-collar, everyman ethos is a trademark of your music. You're kind of a contrarian -- some might say ornery. Then you drop a poignant, tender ballad like "Silver Ring." Tell me about that song's inspiration. 

Our drummer Mark wrote that one. We liked it, so we did it. It's a sentiment I can get behind...

Y'all recorded a live album in Germany several years ago. I've asked other artists about this phenomenon: A lot of roots-type acts from the U.S. find really strong support in Europe. Why do you think that is?

I don't know why, but they have more interest and respect for American roots music. That fact is pretty much what brought us the Stones, and Clapton and whatnot. They seem to have more interest in our musical roots than we have in theirs. Maybe even more than we have in our own. Don't know why. They're just cool like that.

The title cut of the album has an old-man-shaking-fist quality to it; how annoyed are you, really, with modern technology? Show your work.

The album is really more about coming to terms with it, than shaking a fist at it. But if you are old enough, a distaste for it will come through. I'm old enough. I vividly remember when people were smart enough to know how idiotic and dangerous it would be to read and type while driving a car.

Finally, I have to ask about a song from the first BR album I ever bought, "Waitin' on a Train." So gut-wrenching, and it literally has a train wreck quality to it -- I can't not listen all the way through. Where did that song come from?

Bob Parr, the bass player in my old band Chicken Truck wrote that one. You'd have to ask him. Another one we liked, so we did it.


Bit Logic is available on Amazon, Bandcamp, Spotify, etc. 

Oct 8, 2015

Album Review: The Bottle Rockets - South Broadway Athletic Club

By Kevin Broughton

In the beginning, there was Uncle Tupelo. And the Bottle Rockets.

Technically, there was Gram Parsons, then Steve Earle. But if there’s a Ground-and-Year Zero for the revival/renaissance (whatever that was), it’s the early 1990s and a stretch of the Mississippi River Valley near St. Louis.  

A public divorce – really more of a crib death – did Uncle Tupelo in. And almost a quarter-century later, the Bottle Rockets are still getting it done. Few acts in the genre before or since have captured the blue-collar, everyman ethos the way front man/lyricist Brian Henneman has, and on South Broadway Athletic Club, he’s eased into middle age comfortably and without losing a step.

Recorded in his native St. Louis – and for the first time, at a slow enough place to ensure quality control, by Henneman’s telling – South Broadway is the band’s 11th studio album and first with Bloodshot Records. A note about the label: No indie outfit has done more, as their Twitter bio (@BSHQ) points out to “champion the music that lurks between the labels since 1994.” Just check the talent-rich roster…and support an artist or two by making a purchase.

“Monday (Everytime I Turn Around)” opens the album in Henneman’s trademark wry style with a dash of Roger Miller-esque word play. “There’s just no controllin’ this rollin’ with the flow, when it’s almost have past now a while ago.” An aging cow-punk rocker meets the digital age, more exasperated than pissed.

Henneman’s characters have historically ranged somewhere on the worn-down/desperate/cynical continuum. This time around some of them actually enjoy a bit of whimsy.

“XOYOU” is a river rat’s tribute to Tom Jones. If the Welsh crooner/sex symbol had grown up in Festus, Mo., he’d have had just such a raw sensibility. With a twang.

“Smile” is a simple, happy love song. Two and a half minutes of pop sensibility that you can’t not like; it’s as efficient and optimistic as early Heartbreakers.

But the best two-minute toe-tapper of the bunch is “Dog:” Sometimes life is really just this simple. I love my dog.

God, ain’t it the truth? The Bottle rockets have arrived at a spot, looked around, and said, This ain’t all bad. It’s a little different, but all good.


South Broadway Athletic Club is available from Bloodshot, iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Aug 16, 2013

YouTube Gems: Uncle Tupelo

From Anodyne, here's Uncle Tupelo with "Chickamauga." By the way, if you're a frequent FTM reader and have never looked into UT, what are you waiting for? Uncle Tupelo gave us Son Volt, Wilco and the inspiration for a couple hundred bands after their demise and to this very day.

Jul 5, 2012

Favorite Songs Ever: Uncle Tupelo - Whiskey Bottle

Today, for Farce the Music's 4th birthday (anniversary, whatever...), I'm going to mostly post videos of a selection of my all-time favorite songs. I'll also post a review of a certain current, conspicuously awful song, but good music will be the order of the day. First up, here's Uncle Tupelo with "Whiskey Bottle."


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