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
1. “I’ve Been Looking For Somebody” & “Justice”, Robert Forster (marital bliss)
2. “Get Outta London”, Aztec Camera (the artiste’s most passionate vocal, possibly)
3. “Only the Wind”, Pet Shop Boys (devastating, on an album intent on soothing you out of it)
4. “Let Love Speak Up Itself”, the Beautiful South (you know, I think I like Choke a little better)
5. “Doo-Wop in Harlem”, Prefab Sprout (if there ain’t a heaven that holds you tonight…)
6. “Happiness is a Warm Gun”, Breeders (marks their wisest use of Steve Albini)
7. “Lay My Love”, Eno/Cale (hurls the end of a silly Northern Exposure ep into transcendence)
8. “Small Town”, Lou Reed & John Cale (the most endearing Lou Reed vocal of all)
9. “Look At All Those Idiots”, Mr. Burns & Smithers (ca. subversive-landmark stage)
I’m also fairly confident that everybody here adores the (vocal-free) Twin Peaks theme.
so the room must listen to me / filibuster vigilantly
anti-country music sentiment. I've been somewhat surprised to encounter substantially less of it here in New York than I did back in the middle-class suburb of Cincinnati where I grew up.
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.
it was pretty much assumed all around that country music was the unlistenable antithesis of cool.
while I definitely deserved the sack, I haven't frequented the library very much since
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
Patrick, if you know the year to be under scrutiny for December you could lay it on us right after 1990 resultsI like this idea, myself. I love the relistening/reevaluating/reshuffling that goes with these polls, and it would be nice to be able spread it out over a 3-or-4-week interval. Sometimes it takes more than 10 days just to track down a copy of something I want to listen to.
but the point to emphasize is that it's not just the music, but the people who listen to the music, that make my day. Like here, duh.
I second that emotion. Here, then, one Real-life Witness's Top Ten for summer 2011, dedicated to the many contributors who make this space great. (A bit long, I see now -- let me just opine that item 1 is worth your reading time, if you haven't time for more.)
10) Introducing the EW scrapbook. My way of saving the useful album recommendations turning up here and on related sites that aren’t in CG, can’t be chased down on the spur of the moment, and/or shouldn’t get lost in the back-threads. Simply copy chunk of text, switch to Word, paste, and repeat. I now have 40 pages to look through… someday, hopefully before I retire. Will share with interested parties.
9) Discovering I don’t know much music from 1983. The records may be in my collection – that’s collectoritis – but only 15 were on any level of mental recall. I decided to run the experiment on all years from 1971 to the present, grading every album in P&J and/or Dean’s List 1 or 0 depending on whether I could remember at least one song. Result: 1983 came in dead last, with 1990 also lagging the field. Canny choices, Patrick et al.
8) Digging the Brazil series. Terrific job, Cam, sorting out a batch of tough-to-find records I’ll now put on my wish list.
In honor of National Heavy Metal Day, I will be cranking the volume up to number 11 tonight. I also recently received a newsletter from my healthcare provider saying that people who listen to music are happier, healthier, less depressed, etc. So when my wife tells me to "turn that down", I now have two good comebacks for her.
Or you could go nuts and grab Stone Deaf Forever, the 5-CD OD I've never talked myself into getting.
Anyway, fascinating list, Cam -- though mostly not metal (ahem) -- by somebody with obvious taste and lively ears.
Ah, comp, comp, comp, comp, comp, oh man
Comp, comp, comp, comp, comp, oh man
Comp, comp, oh man, take my grand
You got me hockin' all the stolen
Hockin' what I stolen
Comp, comp, oh man, comp comp
Comp, comp, comp, oh man
(Well, the above was more fun before Joe deleted what I thought were very charming comments.)
Her myspace gives her name as Angaleena.
After reading this in 1993, I interpreted it to mean that if the 1993 Best of Motorhead is superior to No Remorse, then No Remorse was no longer an Aminus (downgraded to * possibly).
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
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.