• Top 15 of the 2000s

    7 Dec 2009, 00:23 by heatherc

    There are far too many great albums that I left off my top of the decade list, but I can't see not including anything I have here. These are the albums I have listened to most, which seems the surest indicator of favorite. I couldn't bring myself to go so far as to limit each artist to one album, but in an effort to avoid seeming like a complete obsessive and to get more great artists on the list, I did limit it to two. No 2009 albums and I was extra hard on 2008. This was out of a pool of 1,185 full-length, studio albums I own, which were released between 2000-2008.

    1.Okkervil River - Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See (2002)
    From the attention-grabbing opening lines of “Red is my favorite color; red like your mother’s eyes after awhile of crying about how you don’t love her,” through the modern murder ballad classic of "Westfall" and finishing with birds tweeting along the desolate Okkervil River, this is a perfect album. …
  • An Old Alt-Country Mix

    19 Aug 2008, 11:48 by heatherc

    Shortly before I began writing journals in 2006, I put together this alt-country mix. I could probably update it with newer bands like Glossary and The Dexateens or create a second volume of all the artists I missed like Neko Case, Slobberbone, etc., but at least for the moment I’m going to post it as is. At some point I’ll look to see if there’s enough artists who started up after 2000 to warrant a second mix of more contemporary artists. Well, most of these artists are still going strong, but at this point they’re classics, not upstarts. This post came as a prompt by a comment on my country music journal. Alt-country is a great stepping stone into pure country; if you’ve been listening to rock all your life, the pure stuff can be overwhelming. This doesn’t have a lot of deep cuts, so if you’re a long-time fan of alt-country you probably have most of this. Here’s the tracklisting:

    Alt-Country Mix
    1. Uncle Tupelo - Graveyard Shift 4:43
  • "I Don't Like Country Music"

    11 Apr 2008, 00:06 by heatherc

    Over on a forum I participate in the ubiquitous topic of "I don't like country music" came up. One guy had this to say:

    "I can't get into the whole line dancing thing, or the culture that seems to surround country -- traditional, white, god-loving, gun-toting, Christians (I'm none of those, well maybe just a little traditional). I'm not a big NASCAR fan either.

    I know that not all country is like that, but regardless of the artist, that is how it comes across to me."

    Now the way I see it this guy is basically saying, I'm comfortable with my long-held prejudices about music and those who listen to it, and I choose to ignore anything that may negate my beliefs. If I want to really give him the benefit of the doubt I could suppose what he's saying is the country sound reminds him of these things that he doesn't like and thus he can't enjoy listening to it. Much the way, after a bad breakup, someone may no longer be able to listen to a song they used to like. …
  • Who Made You King

    21 Mar 2008, 17:06 by spacegal471

    This is one of those songs that causes me to let go of the steering wheel and squee and clap mercilessly until I realize that I'm about to have a head-on collision. Not because it's squee-worthy in tone at all, but because of how much I identify with the song and how good it makes me feel. It's a gentle, jazzy, emotional tune about freedom bought at the cost of a relationship. In the song, though, as, I believe, in real life, freedom and self-truth are more important than any relationship. The song has a general feeling of 'how did it ever come to this'.
    Grey Delisle
    Who Made You King
    Iron Flowers
  • Summer's gone.

    6 Sep 2007, 00:08 by farmolio

    It ends with Labor Day, right?

    Up here in the bitter north, it does.

    And what do I have to show for it? Well, I've spent a while wandering the pumpkin patch, and yes, they're turning orange. I've sat up on a chilly night re-reading The Odyssey, only to discover that I've greatly misunderstood it until now, but the chilly night itself was almost as illuminating. And I've several times been mistaken for being 6 to 10 years younger than I am, which has made my recent birthday slightly more bearable.

    So. From the warm days and cold nights of the ensuing autumn, a playlist has emerged. It is as follows:

    I Dream A Highway- Gillian Welch has probably the best pure folk voice of any living woman. This one is a long, trance-inducing rumination on distance, perfect for the fading fall days.

    Be Here Now- A perfect song for the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Ray's second CD is such a dramatic step forward from his first. Just the sound of this song will haunt you for a while.
  • No Depression Grows Up… Or Just Gets Old

    27 Apr 2007, 04:17 by jcshepard

    One of these things, ain’t like the others… Remember that diddy from Public Television? It would seem like the boys at No Depression are getting bored, so they decided to take a trip back to their youth--trying to stick square pegs in round holes. Except today they try to call it “art”. This month Grant Alden addresses the topic head on, but it sounds to me more like excuses you gave the teacher when you got caught with your Archies comic inside your Social Studies text book.

    RAP goes the ruler across your desk. C’mon, Grant, we don’t need another glam rag. We buy/subscribe to ND ‘cause we like the skinny on Roots music, Americana, whatever that is. While that nebulous genre varies greatly, don’t stick sausage in my sandwich and try to sell it as prime rib.

    I don't beat up on ND 'cause I don't like it. No Depression captures the music I love like no other. And we fight for the ones we love. Yea, I know "If you love something, set it free." Right, whatever, fly back home to alt. …