Pistol Annies/Miranda Lambert
Bad Girl Craves Heartsongs
Pistol Annies: Hell on Heels (Columbia)
Slight, bright, and perfect‑-Ramones for bad girls, country edition. The ringleader is Miranda Lambert in "Gunpowder & Lead" mode, but they're definitely a trio‑-Ashley Monroe has a co-write on seven of Lambert's eight songs and Angaleena Presley's "Lemon Drop" is the catchiest of all even if she stole it from John Prine, as is her damn right. After the gold-digging title track, they're poorer than punks even on "Takin' Pills," a road song about three bad girls making their career move. Chirping their expertly executed tunes, scorning the guitar swagger good old boys think makes them so sexy, they're a pop cartoon worth more than gold. Dig? A
Miranda Lambert: Four the Record (RCA)
Lambert's not in it for another "Kerosene," not with the Pistol Annies ready whenever she feels like a joy ride. She's in it for another "The House That Built Me"‑-a heartsong that lets housewives-they-wish forget their day jobs for the length of a bathroom break. She's too brand-savvy to lead with the soft stuff: "All Kinds of Kinds" stars a cross-dressing congressman, "Fine Tune" links Auto-Tune to sexual excitation, and the Angaleena Presley-assisted "Fastest Girl in Town" ends with Miranda abandoning her man for the cop who caught them speeding. But this does wind down into your basic quality country album. Corn is fine with me‑-the two-sided "Safe," say. "Dear Diamond," "Oklahoma Sky," the oh-so-soulful Blake collab "Better in the Long Run"‑-they're cornball. A MINUS
I haven't frequented the library very much since
My "petulance" (not really, but okay) in this regard can be rationalized by the fact I tend to buy books for the purpose of re-reading them. I'm currently re-reading Hawthorne's Twice Told Tales for the second time and Kafka's The Trial for the third time. I do need to find a few new writers to chew on (my next mission is to get further into Ballard once Norton starts reissuing his canon).
When a possible management position got talked up, I decided to seriously switch tactics.
Jason, we have to be separated at birth.
BTW, just noticed that I had failed to tie in Kevin Hays' solo disc, Variations. Playing it now and I expect it will prove to be of more limited value, but I'm pleasantly surprised so far.
I was fired from my teenage library job for doing a school report on the job (on Sgt. Pepper as coincidence would have it). So while I definitely deserved the sack
while I definitely deserved the sack, I haven't frequented the library very much since
No one in the Beatles camp has ever been satisfied with the sound of the Hollywood Bowl recordings (cut live to two track, I believe) and if I were to hazard a guess, the performances as well. What sounds like flaming youth to you and me sounds like childish mistakes to perfectionists like McCartney, Martin, et al. The band members have complained about not being able to hear themselves during those performances for years.
I was fired from my teenage library job for doing a school report on the job (on Sgt. Pepper as coincidence would have it). So while I definitely deserved the sack, I haven't frequented the library very much since, although I was known to take whole years of the Village Voice from the periodical section at UCLA. Libraries were the Oasis of my youth, except Oasis ended up in the honorable mentions.
Libraries were the oasis in the desert of my youth.
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl [Capitol, 1977]
A tribute not only to the Beatles (which figured) but to George Martin and Capitol (which didn't necessarily figure at all). The sound rings clearly and powerfully through the shrieking: the segues are brisk and the punch-ins imperceptible; and the songs capture our heroes at their highest. Furthermore, though the musicianship is raw, the arrangements are tighter (faster, actually) than on record; Ramones-haters should note that the thirteen tunes take less than twenty-nine minutes, including patter. A
i like the relatively new Library Journal index that ranks libraries. Love both libraries that i frequent, New Haven and Greenwich. Greenwich is amazing and is ranked 10th in the country by expenditure. check out libraryjournal.com - search 2010 index
Current listening: Linda Thompson - Dreams Fly Away: A History
Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow
If you're a fan, dive in - it's lurvely. If not, or if you had any problems with Aerial, proceed more cautiously or not at all.
Dude probably had sex two minutes ago, but he looks like his dog just got run over by a garbage truck.
-- Jon Dolan on the new Drake album cover
My local library CD acquisitions curator seems to have a pretty good finger on the pulseAn interesting mini-theme emerging around public libraries and their role in our listening lives. I've never seen this written about. I think you're safe on first, Chris.
I did listen to the new/old Smile though. Defintely prefer the 2004 version. Brian's imperfect voice runs counter to the generally genial arrangements. It sounds an awful lot like wisdom.
[I'm only really posting this because there's been a three hour hiatus that maybe needs the third-stringer to pinch-hit -- and probably whiff.]
The Christmas Lounge is, as the name implies, a lounge inspired Xmas, full of funky beats and other sweets and treats based around holiday themes and trippy takes on classic tunes. Great background music for your Festivus parties and whatever else ails ya.
Xmas in Frisco is more mixed in musical styles, prone to much hilarity and stuffed with more dirty holiday ditties than you ever knew existed. Fun, but perhaps not fun for all ages, so program wisely!
Has anyone been listening to the new official Smile Sessions box set and/or LP release? Thoughts? It's assembled to resemble Brian Wilson's 04 Smile. It's nice to hear the young Wilson/Beach Boy voices.. and the production is much more Pet Sounds-esque as opposed to the more harsh sound of 'Brian Wilson Presents'. Whenever I listen to the 2004 Smile, which I appreciate as a masterpiece in its own right, I still can never help myself from imagining a utopian original real Smile that never was, one that these Smile Sessions are something of a **** for. I think because of the absurd quantity of outtakes (4 cds worth), it's unlikely Xgau will take it for a ride, although there is an abridged release with just the 'album' and one disc of outtakes.
Angaleena's middle name is Aron.
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.
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