Deer Tick/Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams
Beyond the Eternal Old-Timey
Divided 50-50 fast ones-slow ones, this doesn't rock as unreservedly as the bar-burning "The Bump," "Something to Brag About," and "Let's All Go to the Bar" want you to think. But it's sure the right course correction for guys who've always fetishized the eternal old-timey more than any band from goddamn Providence should. There's release along the lines of "I don't care if you puke in my ride/Let's all go to the bar/Baby just as long as you take your piss outside/Let's all go to the bar." And on drummer Dennis Ryan's "Clownin' Around" there's an equally satisfying release from heroin, the closet, child abuse, or some combination of the three‑-maybe prison, maybe death, maybe hell. A MINUS
The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams (Egyptian/CMF/Columbia)
Unlike Woody Guthrie, Williams is loved more for his singing than his lyrics, and boy does some of this retrofitted doggerel lack character as entuned and delivered. Hank's granddaughter Holly and Amy's hubby Vince you'd guess, Uncle Merle reciting a farewell sermon probably not. But what you definitely wouldn't figure is Nashville tastemonger Patty Loveless accessing her inner twang or a Dylan named Jakob grabbing an unusually witty lament (OK, maybe he had dibs of some kind). And what you'd only hope is Alan Jackson imparting just the right gravity to the despairing opener‑-or Jack White two-stepping his find so lustily you know he has an all-Hank cover album on his life list, and that it can't possibly match up. B PLUS
I'd like to ask a procedural point
Nate: I also saw that note on Tom H's site, and was especially in agreement with the last half of this sentence --
The Voice has been coasting on its reputation for many years now, as one by one the links to its past distinctions have been broken.It's a form of ultra-irony that the organizational response to a reduction in quality is a matching reduction in quantity, rather than, oh, let's say, an improvement in quality.
BTW, we now have 11 ballots! Thank you!!! I can't wait to reveal the list next Tuesday. Keep those ballots coming! You have until Sunday.
Or maybe they actually enjoy the album!Would make that a first for Abebe. (Not sure about Cohen.)
This makes sense as an act of hipster contrarianism.Or maybe they actually enjoy the album!
An open question regarding the jazz poll: is it cheesy, counter-productive, or otherwise not helpful to vote for box sets that anthologize individually released albums? I'm seriously considering voting for the Dolphy Prestige box, but I can see how that has the effect of reducing the number of votes and points for the individual records from the box. On the other hand, I tend to alternate in thinking of the individual records as part of the box or as having their own identity. (I.e., "I should play one of those great Oliver Nelson records" or "I should play something from the Dolphy box.")
Maybe I'm overthinking this.
The main reason I mentioned no Mekons review yesterday is because I can't tell whether I'm ambivalent about [ed 1: its musical content] so far or just plain lost as to its [ed 2: musical] point and intention. I read Jason G's review on Cerebral Decanting and that was helpful. And the album certainly has peaks. But it has . . . I don't know . . . [ed 3: musical] dead spots too. Or else I'm just being thick.
So this part --
I'm just an excited fanboy salivating over any new morsels that can be digested, and I only get more excited when I'm partial to said band.
And, I'm certainly grateful and hungry for any and all reviews forthwith.
It's funny: The more familiar I am with the artist, the more fun it is to read the review on the day it's published. But the less familiar I am with the artist, the more (potentially) useful the review is.
EDIT: Although I don't doubt that the Shout is a dupe of the Music Club and not vice versa. In my collection the Shout came first, though -- and I didn't need no replication. But at least it was cheap.
Hilarious Tom Waits interview up over at Slate. (I tried to paste an excerpt here, but Big Brother B*tthole wouldn't let me.)
How is it that half this board has already heard the Wussy album even if its official release is a few days away?
Mark: It's streaming (for now) on Wussy's Band Camp page. Just Google: "Wussy Strawberry," and it should be the first hit.
Just a head's up on a minor thing, but over at RC.com the home page has the EW listings. I was going back to read the Withered Hand review and saw that the link to the EW page was labelled incorrectly as Steve Cropper/The 5 Royales. The good news is that the link actually takes you to the Withered Hand /Lykke Li review.
Since you mention favorite Wussy tracks I'm partial to the triptych of "Mountain of Tires"to "Pizza King" to "Wrist Rocket". A peak within a peak, says I, but I'm no Xgau and never will be.
And, I'm certainly grateful and hungry for any and all reviews forthwith. I'll quit guessing out loud what might come down the pike review in new EW posts, and realize that its become annoying. I'm just an excited fanboy salivating over any new morsels that can be digested, and I only get more excited when I'm partial to said band. I'd never want to sully or spoil the fun and enjoyment of this here party.
FWIW, the Steve Cropper disk led me to the library to check out the multi disk 5 Royales compilation, and ... wow. Thanks again for leading me to that as I have played the shite out of both the Steve Cropper and that best of over the last few weeks.
November 1 release date? No more, looks to me. Amazon knows nothing of it, that I'm sure.Bob: Here's the deal as best I can interpret it from Wussy's FB page and the Shake It site. The 100 signed, "limited edition" copies ship today. The regular edition copies start shipping "mid-November." (No concrete release date posted, alas.)
They ship tomorrow? Sez who? As of when?
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.