Will it change your life? Sure… for three minutes
the humor shines through
We were never closer and we were never further apart
More Songs About Whiskey And Heartbreak
If I ever edit it, I will rename the story “Barrier Reef”
No Baby I – Old 97’s – This is my fave Rhett song, and there are a lot of songs ready to undertake the task. It musical terms, it is absolute perfection, a typical Rhett break up song is more because of one of the greatest images ever, blaming tears on gravity – A+
What can you do with an album whose best song is all of them An album that ends with “Most Messed Up” and starts with “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” and has “Nashville” bang in the middle and follows it with “Wasted”? It’s fucking great, that’s what you can say.
rock nyc writer Steve Crawford has spent much of the year working on a book of the greatest songs in the 1980s, but still followed the latest releases close enough to include Old 97’s encapsulated history of life in a rock band, Lydia’s ode to being told to give oral stimulation and long time faves DBT. A mix of Americana and the occasional curve ball for 2014.
This was a night of summation, of triumph, of lessons perfected after endless years of road testing. In 2014, it appears that the Old 97’s are commercially and artistically exactly where they want to be. I hope to see their four decade victory lap in 2034
Tahliah Debrett Barnett aka Formerly Known As twigs, is the most exciting thing to happen to UK soundscape soul pop since Lana del Rey and like Lana she doesn’t sound like anything else: a deeply arranged indie soul hybrid. Imagine if Massive Attack had been so big 1D and a girl in Gloucestershire, England, became completely obsessed with them…something like that.
The talk dirty stuff is a bit of a dead end. The line here, the one that resonates and which she doesn’t sing on Tuesday night, is “I knew that I was crazy alone; now I’m just crazy for you.” So, yeah a crazy ex-girlfriend but only up to a certain place and then other influences kick in.
rock nyc parody of Old 97’s new classic song of life on the road and let me say this, because I believe it, there is something mythic about spending your life writing about music: it is one of the loneliest pursuits known to people and we do it because… Hours before Old 97’s play Webster Hall feel free to sing along!
This list heavy on alt-country No Depression Americana, but that’s just the way I roll these days. The #1 slot is by the band with the best album of the year so far (and the #3 slot comes from the second best album of the year). I have no idea if Parker Millsap is being sincere or ironic on “Truck Stop Gospel,” but in either case, he’s made me a believer. In Parker Millsap.
Numbskull – Wesley Wolfe – Art pop masterpiece about dealing with lowered expectations and doing it yourself and really not compromising too much on the road to eternity.Maybe a coming of age or maybe a dealing with it.
ATLiens – Outkast – The title track of their first album and it still sounds other worldly. Nearly 20 years ago and it is the template for Atlanta rap and neo soul, with two great rappers and a doomy bass. Really like another planet – A
Rambunctious and sloppy and chaotic and hysterical with songs that you can both sing with and scream along to. If you’ve forgotten how thrilling traditional rock ‘n’ roll can be, this is one hell of a reminder. Play it loud. Knock back a few shots. Piss off your uptight neighbors.
I would miss most things to see Pharrell Williams at the Apollo, which is where he is playing on Tuesday June 3rd. And I would even if I was a lesser fan of GIRL, a great pop album, because you know that after Pharrell tours (he is setting up Europe for the summer) and plays the much larger Barclay Center (as he will later this year or next year), it will be a production number but the Apollo Theatre which be a much straighter production
After years in the wilderness of pop maelstrom, overreaching, eclecticism, and middle age blahs, Old 97s have roared back with their current, best album of the year contender. And as we ready ourselves for the June 3rd gig at Webster Hall with more anticipation than certainly any time this decade, let’s take a look at the setlist…
At 88 years of age, the great seven string guitar wiz Bucky Pizzarelli and three guitar slingers came to the Cutting Room, dubbed themselves the Fab Four and then proved it with 70 minutes of finger picked, strummed and otherwise bedeviled swing for the ages.
Z – SZA – New r&b gets it right for once; temperate but crazed, sexual mood music by SZA,with the obligato rap added by the likes of Chance The Rapper who exactly captures the mood of hazed out sex; pure seduction and she doesn’t even know if she wants you.
This is a terrific, smart hard, fun… maybe the best album of the year, certainly a glorious surprise to hear the band still able to crank it up and out. They are gonna have a blast playing it live. A couple of months ago I was planning a “the decline and fall of Rhett Miller” article. He ain’t done yet.
Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett – Quite a year for chick singer songwriter with, how you say, forth right attitudes. This has been around since last summer and she sounds like Violent Femmes meets Lou Reed -(I know, I know) – B+
After the dreadful Everyday Robots, I am loath to give props to any 1990s icon without hearing it first but the first single “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” is so great, I gotta feeling this is Rhett Miller and the rest of Old 97’s return to greatness..
Fever On The Bayou – Rodney Crowell – What a tinglingly wonderful singalong country swamp song, it rolls off the tongue and snaps like a frog at a flea – A
“Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” is their best song since… wow since “Blame It On Gravity” and it promises that maybe they are really gonna come up with the goods this album plus, whatever the kick might be, the band are awesome live.
There simply isn’t enough musical variety in their live performance; it’s like hearing variations of two or three different songs twenty times. The Old 97’s are a band that kills you with competence
Nothing Gets Crossed Out – Bright Eyes – The Conor Oberst hits an unbelievable height here, but since I just interviewed Maria, I am listening to her play Emmylou to Conor’s GP. A perfect lyric, lovely melody, and a brilliant bridge. Simply one of his greatest – A+