Friday, February 11, 2005

Updateslashcryforhelp: For the below post I tried to have a few lines and then a "Read more" link to the full thing. I did everything Blogger asked but nothing is happening. If anyone can set me straight off-blog I would be very grateful.

Andrew Bartlett's comprehensive review of the Came So Far for Beauty show. I guess it is just me annoyed by the lyrics thing.

Elsewhere, much discussion about the best rock/pop songs since 1985. I didn't want to be the boring geek at the party and chuck in heaps of country tunes, so I'll do it here.


1) These are not the "best" songs since 1985. Don't like to say "best," it just invites people to bitch at you and get all uptight over a stupid list. Of course its entirely subjective. So I guess it's just some of my favourites.

2) There are about 50 essential albums from last year alone I have never heard so it's hardly definitive.

3) Ask me tomorrow and you'll probably get a different ten. But here's where I'd start:


Guitar Town
Steve Earle
Guitar Town 1986

Steve Earle
Train A Comin' 1995

Don't make me choose. Something from the Guitar Town album is a must but the later song has such a pull. What a story they tell side by side, swaggering young outlaw meets middle aged recovering addict, bravado meets regret: how country can you get?

Like A Soldier
Johnny Cash
American Recordings 1998

This whole album is essential, I know I said I didn't like throwing around those terms but just try to stop me: it is essential. I chose this song -- a Cash original -- as the most enduringly moving to me.

The Road Goes on Forever
Robert Earl Keen
West Textures 1989

Epic story song and barroom philosophy, cinematic in its vividness. Sounds serious, but its a perfect drinking, stomping, hollering song too.

Gallo del Cielo
Tom Russell
Poor Man's Dream 1990

Epic on an even larger scale. Not only one the best song you'll ever hear about cock-fighting, one of the best ever. Let me note too Russell's album The Man from God Knows Where (1990), a F.E.M desert island disc.

My Life
Iris DeMent
My Life 1993

Makes me cry.

Hey, this is getting heavy ....

Gin and Juice
The Gourds
Shinebox 1991

Mentioned this over at the other place too. Snoop Dogg gangsta rap meets high octane mandolin and beer soaked fun. Roll down the windows of your ute and blare it.

No One is Gonna Love You Better
Heather Myles
Highways and Honky Tonks 1998

Duet with Merle Haggard. Bakersfield revisited, smoky bars, jukeboxes, heartbreak, beer.

Gone To Texas
Terry Allen
Human Remains 1996

Well I don’t need no dime a dozen
ah New Age way to live
An I don’t need no two bit preacher
condemn me because I don’t give him my
money money money money money money money
I don’t need no Soldier Boy
fightin no war for me
You can burn the flag an melt the statue
gonna live my liberties…

Passionate Kisses
Lucinda Williams
Lucinda Williams 1988

Is it too much to demand? Well, is it?

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