It's a shame that mainstream country music, with its contrived lyrics, overwhelming amount of sameness and faux-Americana pandering has succeeded in turning so many people off of the country music genre, as there is plenty of excellent country music out there. Case in point: Athens, Georgia's Drive-By Truckers. Playing a fresh, interesting brand of alt.country, they've become a staple in the alt.country world. While most people seem to favor the critically-acclaimed Southern Rock Opera, I feel their best moment is The Dirty South. Songs like "Carl Perkins' Cadillac", "The Day John Henry Died" and "Tornadoes" rank among their finest work. Definitely give this band a shot sometime.
Can't recommend this guy enough. If you're at all into blues/folk, I definitely think you'll like him. He's a 30 year old white guy, but he sounds like a 55 year old soul man. His new album, Animals In the Dark is already one of my favorites of 2009. Get into it!
In my opinion, this is just one of the best albums ever recorded. I've always felt that the 'Mats were, and still are, a criminally underrated band. Anyway, I recommend you buy the re-issue of this album that just came out not too long ago. And why not? Get the rest of their albums too! Because I'm lazy, I'll just link you to my review for this album instead of wasting more words here.
Just an odd collection of things that have been rockin' my world lately. That sounded dumb. So to make up for it, here's a list of things that I love, and you should love to. (Unless of course, you already do).
**** Ryan Adams
Okay, so I am way late to the party on this one (as I generally tend to be), but better late than never, right? I'd always heard alot about Ryan Adams, but for some reason or another, always put off getting into his work. Thankfully, I finally gave it a shot, and I'm loving it. If you're at all like me (and if you are, then I am so, so sorry), and haven't given this guy a shot yet, and need some song rec's, go check out: "The Rescue Blues", "How Do You Keep Love Alive", "Oh My Sweet Carolina", "Rip Off", "In My Time Of Need", and "When the Stars Go Blue". You've probably already heard most of these songs, but then again, maybe you haven't. Whatever. Not much to say here, since everyone already knows this guy. I'm lame. Next item.
I'm not one to watch a whole bunch of television, but the shows I do watch, I enjoy thoroughly. USA network's "Psych" has become one of these shows. When the show first premiered, it didn't quite catch my interest. The pilot episode was good, and showed promise, but not long after that I just fell behind on watching it, focusing primarily on "Monk", the show that airs before it, one of my favorites for a while now. However, sometime this summer I got back into this show, and it seemed to be just in time. Noticeably stronger than it was at first, "Psych" is, in a word, fun. It's not super dramatic, deep, challenging or genre defying. It's just plain fun. And I like that. It's driven by a both interesting and charming ensemble of characters, each one seemingly cast perfectly, with a strong chemistry between the actors and their respective characters. Oh, and the mysteries are always pretty neat too. haha.
With "Monk" drawing to a close (the final episode will air sometime this year, I believe), I'm excited to see where "Psych" will go next, in terms of popularity. The show's audience has doubled the past year, and I think it'd be pretty cool of you to be a part of that ever increasing number.
None More Black
What is there to say about this band that I haven't already said a million times before? They're just plain great, mang. While I enjoyed the LaGrecia album, I was especially excited to learn of None More Black's reunion. I don't know when they plan on releasing new material, but if you aren't hip to these dudes and their swingin' tunes, I highly recommend you change that. Then you can anticipate their next album with the rest of us.
For a while, I had sort of lost (heh) interest in this show, but the season premiere quickly changed all that. I'm excited to see where the story goes this season, and what sort of developments are made, and (hopefully) what sort of questions get answered.
No introduction or explanation is needed. This band is sex. That's all.
Garfield Minus Garfield
Another party I'm way late too, but again, better late than never. Funny how you don't really realize the bleak futility of Jon Arbuckle's world until you subtract the cat.
Imagine what would happen if Off With Their Heads, Social Distortion, the Gaslight Anthem, and Dillinger Four had a gigantic jam session, with Tom Waits fronting the mayhem with his trademark howl. The result would probably sound alot like this album, an often overlooked gem released last year. So if you're a fan of any of those artists, and are looking for a great punk/rock album, All In could be just what you're looking for.
This Is Satire - None More Black
Record Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Recommended for fans of The Lawrence Arms, Against Me!, and Kid Dynamite. Granted if you enjoy these bands, you probably already know about None More Black. Regardless, if you have not heard this band, give them a listen. This album is easily the best work they ever produced, in turn making it the best place to start. In addition they have an EP (Loud About Loathing ), another LP (File Under Black), and a rare demo tape from 2001 (simply titled Demo Tape).
This album, while widely praised amongst the punk community, is still a criminally underrated and oft-overlooked gem. So do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy of This Is Satire. Thank me later.