Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Go Fuck You" / Hank Williams III

No album with this one. After reading about Hank III somewhere about five years ago I searched out some of his stuff in Limewire and got this one (and another really good one, called "Pop County Really Sucks", which should kind of tell you what he's all about).

Apparently this dude is the real deal and follows in the footsteps of his hard-livin' drunkard Granddiddy and not his lame sellout old man ("Are you ready for some fooootballll?"). I read a review of one of his concerts recently and he plays the first half of his shows with his roots / bluegrass band and comes back for a second set with a punk group.

As for this song, it's just a simple, straightforward "boogie" riff which (and I'm just guessing here) provides a context for the real point of the song, the lyrics. Being live adds lots of flavor to it, even though it's a pretty poor recording, and that first "Hey man, go fuck you" at 50 seconds in followed by the crowd roar is great. And of course, by the end of the song the crowd is sing right along with that catchy little chorus.

I got to give the kid props for giving the figurative finger to Nashvillle and doing his own thing, especially given the fact that he's the grandson of arguably the most influential figure ever in the genre. Listen to any mainstream country radio station for a few songs and you can see why they are absolutely deserving of it.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Friday I'm In Love" / The Cure / The Cure's Greatest HIts

Not sure where this one came from, as I don't have the whole album (just Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me). I guess the old lady bought it as a single one day.

Meh - not too much going on here. I suppose it's notable for being the last "hit" the Cure has had, and it's also notable for being quite the poppy, upbeat song in contrast to the dour, mopey Cure classics. Not to sound too cliche here, but I really love the old Cure stuff. You have to appreciate a band that more or less started (or popularized) an entire social genre. I remember being surprised when I first saw the video in the early 90's, hearing that jangly guitar opening and then seeing Robert Smith running(!) down the stairs and start singing.

One thing I really like about this song? The bridge. From the "Dressed up to the eyes" lyric about two minutes (2:06 in the video) in to the weird "Whooooo!" at 2:30 - now that's good stuff. I almost wish that would have been the melody for a song all its own.

A couple of other Cure memories and I'm done.

-Once at the Engine Room, playing truth or dare over three dollar PBR pitchers, I dared Jeff to go up to the bartender, look him in the eye, and sing "Why can't I be you?". And he did.

- I heard "Lovesong" on KRGR radio at Kroger the other day. Struck me as sort of a strange place to hear it.

- And, of course, one of the greatest South Park moments ever : "Robert Smiiith, Robert Smiiith"

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Army" / Ben Folds / Ben Folds Live

Yes! I finally get to write about my man Ben Folds. Since I discovered Ben Folds (Five) back in 1996 with "Underground", he's been one of my top five favorite artists.

I think he's one of the quintessential artists of my generation - he somehow combines a heavily sarcastic, cynical nature with moments of incredible sincerity and honesty (see "Brick", his biggest hit, or "We're Still Fighting It" for examples), which is quite a feat, and is pretty indicitive of folks my age, for the most part.

This song shows more of his cheeky, subversive side. I'm not sure if it's autobiographical or not; I think I heard it was, but the album on which it originally appears (this is a live cut) is a loose concept album about a character, Reinhold Messner. It's hard to beat an opening line like:

"Well I thought about the Army - Dad said 'Son you're fucking high'"

Not to mention the Chik-fil-A name check, mention of a mullet, and a "redneck past" hot on the narrator's heels.

This live cut brings some new stuff to the song (and I always appreciate Ben Folds for having a fresh approach to his songs in concert); check out the crowd (split into two parts) singing the instrumental break at about two minutes in, the nice little piano solo accompanied by the clapping crowd right before that, and the final line "I thought about.....your Mommy" (instead of ...."the Army")

Mr. Folds is all over the place on my itunes library; I have a feeling he'll pop up again. Good times!


Thursday, September 6, 2007

"The Big Three Killed My Baby" / The White Stripes / The White Stripes

Interesting song, supposedly the "big three" are the big three Detroit automakers. How did they kill babies, you ask? Probably layoffs and stuff.

Not many dynamics or changes to this one, it's kind of a strummed dirge with breaks in what I suppose would be the chorus. Heavy reverb, it sounds like, and very low-fi production. Intentional, or is the entire CD like that? I'm not sure. By the way, what do y'all out there think of Meg as a drummer? I always thought servicable at best, although what she does fits well in the band. She always seems to end up on critics' lists of great drummers, and I have to scratch my head about that. Maybe someone more informed than me can enlighten me.

I'm not sure why I have this song on itunes, actually, I don't have the album on which it appears. It just kind of showed up out of the blue somewhere.

I've already somewhat covered 'ol Jack on the Loretta Lynn entry, but not the Stripes themselves. I'm a big fan, although I do feel a general backlash brewing in the media (especially after the mildly disappionting "Get Behind Me Satan"). However, I really am still digging the new album and I'd recommend it to those of you that liked "Elephant" as much as I did.