Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday YouTube

Kinky Friedman -- Sold American (with cameo by Jimmie Dale Gilmore)


As many of you would know, Club Troppo's bi-weekly Missing Link feature rounds up events in the Australian blogosphere. I contributed the Yartz section this week. There's alot of fascinating stuff out there, when you actually go looking.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tennessee Blues

Thanks to Chris for alerting me that a brand new Steve Earle song has been posted at the Exit 0 Yahoo! Group (in "Files.") You can also hear it a few minutes into this radio interview, his voice is a bit scratchy but it's nice and the interview is very good.

The song is called Tennessee Blues "at this point" (although, elsewhere its "Goodbye Guitar Town"), it's a classic Steve solo acoustic track in its sound but I agree with Chris its "good, not a classic." BUT it's still good. It's about relocating to NYC and not fitting in with the Nashville establishment -- ha! That seems rather a superfluous rebellion for Steve Earle in the year 2007. Keep sticking it to the man, Stevie. Heh.

The new album is due out September and will be a "folkie" although its produced by one half of the Dust Brothers and Steve admits to having "tested positive for Pro Tools." This direction pleases me no end, underwhelmed as I have been with his last couple.

If you listen to the radio interview, be sure to stick around for the Townes medley.

The picture is a genuine Steve Earle pick I scored at his Metro gig a few years back.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Livin, Lovin, Louvin

There is a bit of chat in the comments to the post below about Wilco. I'm a Team Farrar partisan but Jeff Tweedy does a very good job on his duet on the new Charlie Louvin album. They do Great Atomic Power, the Louvin Bros classic, and deeply weird, gospel. The rest of the album is very pleasing too, old Charlie sounds on death's door ... but not in a bad way. His couple of duets with George Jones in particular and his tribute to brother Ira are pretty special for the country nerd. But it's all good, traditional old timey country and the parade of hip young thangs who join him (though few I think ever physically in a studio with him) carry their end.

Not much modern Louvin multimedia but here's some twang from The Wilburn Brothers Show in the 60s on YouTube. I don't know anything about Diane McCall but she really knows how to work that eye shadow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Like Both Kinds of Music: Honky and Tonk

Science Blogs, which I love, has a new meme which is at once at the heart of Flop Eared Mule's existence -- music -- but also her greatest anathema -- awkward personal revelation! It started with a post on some research which is trying to say some useful things about musical preferences and personality (link to a PDF of the article in the journal Psychological Science.) This has lead to much naming of ten favourite songs and psychoanalysing thereof.

Of course the proposition has alot of anecdotal weight: the primeval urge to hand out mix tapes/CDs, the read, write and comment on music blogs, "what music do you like" as a perennial ice breaker, the way I sneakily survey a person's CD and book collection immediately on entering their house and make snap judgements thereon.

So, here are my top ten. With as little premeditation as possible. Off the top of my head. And with the usual caveats about how it will change tomorrow and invoking Bob's Law (only having one song by one artist represented otherwise it would be 10 Dylan songs).

If You See Her, Say Hello, Bob Dylan
She Ain't Going Nowhere, Guy Clark
You Were Never Mine, Delbert McClinton
Waitin' Round to Die, Townes Van Zandt
Goodbye, Steve Earle
Big River, Johnny Cash
Sunday Morning Coming Down, Kris Kristofferson
Sorry You Asked?, Dwight Yoakam
Lines Around Your Eyes, Lucinda Williams
Paradise, Bruce Springsteen
Dance Me to the End of Love, Leonard Cohen

OK, that's 11 but it's done now and I can't choose which to remove.

First off, I notice that it is all incredibly white although that doesn't actually reflect my overall listening habits at all. Thinking about it, while there is not much better than Muddy doing "Soon Forgotten" at Newport I tend to listen to blues in blocks of albums and less as individual songs I seek out. My favourite albums would have to include, say, The Chambers Brothers "Live", and surely a Solomon Burke and at least one Sonny Terry/Brownie McGee. Muddy's Folk Singer. Or Willie's Blues. This is ... odd. ?

Also, the list leans very heavily to the maudlin, indeed downright tragic in some cases. I concede this is probably an accurate reflection of my tastes. The Dwight is uptempo and tongue in cheek (with mariachi horns!) but the rest is pretty ballady/angsty. I do love a good don't-think-let-rip singalong, but again few jump to mind for a list like this. And noticably light on actual rock music, although some loudish Springsteen or the Stones or something is also representative of ... me.

And of course there is only one chick. Female artists are certainly in the minority on my roster, but surely not this extreme.

And there is no Randy Newman which is just plain wrong.

I wonder what song would indicate: "cannot just make a list of ten songs"?

UPDATE 14/3: I've added YouTube links to those that exist. Fat Steve is the best Steve. Discuss. And Emmy too. The Kris is from the Johnny Cash memorial. *Sniff* Another Bruce song which could well be The One is his full band live version of "Youngstown" from The Ghost of Tom Joad, where it's done al la folkie. That version is great too but the E Street rock treatment is so intense. Here is a random live version from YouTube, it is officially available on the Live in NYC CD and DVD. And also the solo acoustic arrangement to complete the set. Neat segue to ... since I left Randy off the list, My Life is Good.
Heh. And my real favourite Randy song set to a montage from Days of Our Lives.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hazmat Modine

I can't really improve on the All Music description:

Hazmat Modine tap into the deepest veins of raw, unpolluted prewar blues and ancient jazz, then whip them up in a blender, tossing in strains of Caribbean calypso and ska, Eastern European klezmer and Balkan brass, Middle Eastern mystery, and more than a few unidentifiable elements that just somehow fit. The result is music that sounds at once ageless and primeval, authentically indigenous and inexplicably otherworldly, familiar and unlike anything else.

Yesterday Morning:

The album Bahamut turned up on a few best of lists last year so I took a flyer and got it off eMusic. Been listening constantly all week. I like that despite all these disparate elements -- Tuvan throat singing included -- it has such a clean, focused sound built around traditional blues.

For genuine freak out, see the Lost Fox Train, a harp solo from the album. Yikes.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Stolen Meltdown

In lieu of other inspiration I'm stealing this "Friday Meltdown" idea from Timmy at Surfdom whose made quite the tradition of it.

Watching: Watching some classic New York Dolls video at YouTube, I'd love to see them later this month but may not be poss. Anyway. I've blogged about lead singer David Johansen's latter day blues reinvention with The Harry Smiths before (in fact, it was, like, my second evah post or something.) Here he is on Smokestack Lightning with Hubert Sumlin.

Oh and some German rap about football, just cuz:

Reading: "Das Attentant Auf Amenemhet I. Und Die Erste Agyptische Koregenshaft" von Karl Jansen-Wilkeln. German Quickly: A Grammar for Reading German by April Wilson and Sinuhe, The Bible and the Patriarchs by Miroslav Barta.

Before all this uni work fell on me in the last few weeks the last thing I read was one of my new very favourite books, Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets by David Simon. The inspiration for the TV show Homicide:Life on the Streets, although the pure Simon-ian vision is best expressed in the shows he himself produced, the extraordinary The Wire and The Corner. Simon was a Baltimore Sun crime reporter who spent a year (I guess the term we would use now is "imbedded") with the Baltimore PD homicide squad. This is their story. Wow. Just wow.

Listening to: I bought the new album of Dylan covers by Bryan Ferry, Dylanesque. It's really rather OK although I wish he'd been a bit more adventurous with the song choices. And the late 2006 Raven Records release (hello Raven? Get a freakin' website already) of a smoking 1979 Bobby Bare live gig, Down and Dirty ... Plus.