• Alternative Country

    8 Jan 2009, 16:42 by glasgowdemon

    Music can help define a nation; think of the realtionship between Elgar and English national identity.

    Other the last decade or so country and folk music has played a big role in defining an Alternative America to the America of Bush, bombs and the war on terror. This is an America of hope and peace, an America of the common people, which harks back to the nation imagined by Tom Paine and litany of 19thc and 20thc radicals, from Eugene Debs to CLR James.

    There have been a number of artists and muscians who have played a big part in imagining this alternative America.

    A good place to start exploring this Alternative America is with Steve Earl and Bruce Springsteen. This is working-class America, music with a social vision based in ordinary people and their ordinary dreams of jobs, a decent health system, a decent education system, and social welfare. Important to this social vision has also been the music of Wilco, and Wilco's collaboration with Billy Bragg in the…
  • The problem with expectations

    26 Feb 2007, 04:59 by heatherc

    Expectations can have such a massive impact on what I think of an album.

    I've been a fan of Tommy Womack's for years. A brief musical history: He was in a band called Government Cheese in the 80's. In the early 90's he was in a band called The Bis-Quits with Will Kimbrough. They broke up and Will joined up with Todd Snider as one of the Nervous Wrecks. I mention that only because when Todd reformed the band a few years ago for occasional shows Tommy began playing bass for him, and I'm presuming the connection is Will. Tommy has released several solo albums: Positively Na Na (1998), Stubborn (2000), Circus Town (2002), Washington D.C. (2003) and last year he and Will got together and, under the joint name Daddy, released an album.

    Tommy's never had much money to make his albums and so they've generally been pretty bare-boned. I think they're all very good to great; my favorite being the live album Washington D.C. It was recorded in a timeframe that lasted just two minutes longer than the album lasts…
  • August mix

    13 Sep 2006, 06:23 by goodmanbrown

    Last month had some American flair to it. The lyrics to "Natty Man Blues" were written by Paul Auster. "Vodka" was written by George Gershwin and Oscar Hammertein, this version performed by a nightclub singer from Chicago. The Knotwells and The Bad Things feature banjo and fiddle. The Brides cover Joy Division in a fashion that substitutes East coast punk for British gloom.

    But fear not: there's plenty of Eurotrash to go around. Hype is the new band of Robert Enforsen, ex-Elegant Machinery. Nervous Cabaret carry the new new wave torch. And One and Obsc(y)re are old standbys I listened to last month for the first time in years.

    August tracks:

    01. One Ring Zero - Natty Man Blues
    02. Rasputina - Coraline
    03. Paul Roland - Musette
    04. Deine Lakaien - Vivre (Piano Version)
    05. Brian Eno - The Fat Lady of Limbourg
    06. And One - Sometimes (Radio Edit)
    07. Obsc(y)re - New Life
    08. Hype - Modern Impact
    09. Nervous Cabaret - Mel Gibson
    10. Daddy - Anticar
    11. Live Not On Evil - Brainwash