Brad Paisley/The Lonely Island
The Wages of Saturday Night Live
Brad Paisley: This Is Country Music (Arista Nashville)
Having touted multiculturalism and Saturday Night Live to open his 2009 album, Paisley cuts his sails, making nice to Nashville on a lead/title/theme track that touts salvation and Lee Greenwood (among other things), and then for an encore singing the praises of Alabama the group and Tennessee the state. But Paisley has always been Nashville‑-I'm more put off by the ones about drowning your sorrows in Mexico, a locale Nashville should leave to the Cancun crowd, and that hottie who's working on a tan, only unfortunately I can't stop humming it. Horny for his wife but not horny enough, loving her like she's leaving because he thinks that might help, his songcraft is undiminished, and he remains the smartest and nicest guy in his world. After those two openers comes one that defines hell as "payments you can't make on a house that you can't sell" (among other things). Patterson Hood has never said it better. A MINUS
The Lonely Island: Turtleneck & Chain (Universal Republic)
Here's a bonus DVD you'll want to waste a little time with. Funny thing is, though, some of these songs are funnier without the videos that are their reason for being. The Mr. Softee boasts of "We're Back!" need no visualization in a musical mode that's pumped phallocentric nonsense since Eazy-E was a woman beater, and "I Just Had Sex" seems less pathetic than it deserves when you glom the hotties who are putting bags over our antiheroes' heads. Then again, the over-the-top "Motherlover" is cut down to size when you glom its confident middle-aged sex objects, whereas Michael Bolton's "Jack Sparrow" feature falls flat without the movie takeoffs you can only find online. Parody is hard to sustain. That this follow-up provides so many laughs without flailing around in can-you-top-this? is a tribute to the comedians' musicality and their musician friends' willingness to make jokes of themselves. A MINUS
Inspired by Allen's post I played the following 5 Neil songs
1- Ambulance Blues
2- Hold Back the Tears
3- Little Wing (Hawks & Doves, not Jimi)
4- Falling off the Face of the Earth
5- Pardon My Heart
I wanted to avoid the obvious (Helpless) and with more thought I could keep going, back to Gaga now but thanks Allen for the brief distaction
I have a better grasp of the new Gaga than the new Paisley, which doesn't necessarily mean it's better, though it might be. I agree with M. Matos at eMusic that Gaga's recent singles sound a lot more purposeful in context on the album. Since we're only allowed to compare Gaga to gigastars now, I'll say that in this way, it's similar to MJ's Dangerous. Well, at least "Americano" is sharper than "Heal the World".
Did anybody else scan the "Amazon Lady Gaga" article to the right? Touches on some of the downloading questions that have been covered here.
PS: Having now looked back over it myself, I will add that Kael's review has a top-notch description of Bruce's performing style and the power of his "magotty vitality."
Hoffman's no good in Lenny?
I don't find "Catholic Girls" (or really any part of Zappa's canon except tiny chunks of the first three) funny, but the part where Dale Bozzio goes "Warren Cuccu-ru-llo" is one of those little fleeting moments of transcendence in the weird wide world of popular music.
Hoffman's no good in Lenny? I didn't make it to that part of my Leonard Maltin Movie Guide before Blockbuster got rid of all its VHSs and you had to go somewhere in cyberspace to get anything remotely obscure, so I've never seen the thing. But I'll bet you there's some real good dancing in it.
So I'll pile on and add the recently reviewed Gurf Morlix and Blaze Foley.
If we've moved on to The Mountain Goats, I'm pretty sure we've strayed from the territory Milo originally described. So I'll pile on and add the recently reviewed Gurf Morlix and Blaze Foley. Todd Snider, who I love dearly and about whom I agree with Bob should go to the top of the list, owes Blaze a sizable unpaid debt.
And before the Brad Paisley thread fades, I want to throw out some serious love for Bobby Pinson. Matching the PJ Harvey-inspired dichotomy that Bob highlights in his Stores From the City, Stories From the Sea review, I find myself more naturally attracted to Pinson's truck with the cracked windshield and his buddy's Camaro going "90 mile an hour down Red Rock Road with 'Born To Run' blastin' on the radio" than Paisley's domestic dreams and sociological assessments. Not denying Paisley's exceptional song writing skills, his prolific output, his rocking guitar, his humor, or for that matter his domestic dreams and sociological assessments, just saying that on Paisley's web site you can buy a video game. On Pinson's, you can get him to perform at your party from "the back of a regular size pick-up bed parked on level ground---a (NEW) sheet of 3/4" 4x8 plywood will need to be placed flat in the bed ".
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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