Sunday, April 28, 2013

Show #98 April 6, 2013

Yeeeee-haw!! This here show is dedicated to Amanda Ruth!

Amanda Ruth- Rank and File Rank and File
Cast A Long Shadow- The Monochrome Set The Independent Singles Collection
Backyard Guys- 20/20 20/20
Juke Box Sound- The Revillos Rev Up
Circle of Fools- The Rooks Encore Echoes
Play That Fast Thing (One More Time)- Rockpile Seconds Of Pleasure
Encyclopedi-Ite- Sammy Tales Of Great Neck Glory
Stately Homes- Capes Hello
^Sweet, Sweet Baby (I'm Falling)- Lone Justice Lone Justice
First Glimmer- Paul Westerberg 14 Songs
Watching You- States Mondo Montage
Be True- The CRY! The CRY!
Dreambuilder- The Angels The Angels
Get It Right- David Myhr Soundshine
*Help There's A Fire- Jason and The Nashville Scorchers Fervor
*Short Train- Tex and The Horseheads Tex and The Horseheads
*Happy Boy- The Beat Farmers Tales Of The New West
*Oldest Fire In The World- Scruffy the Cat Let's Breed
*Steal You Away- Blood On The Saddle Poison Love
*I Saw The Light- Dash Rip Rock Dash Rip Rock
*Slept All Afternoon- Jr. Gone Wild Less Art, More Pop
*Jolene- Rubber Rodeo Jolene
Shake Me Up Tonight- The Dahlmanns All Dahled Up
I'm So Free- Lou Reed Transformer
Be On Top- Symptoms Be On Top/Anorexia Nervosa 7"
>Sound of the Rain- The Dils Made In Canada Double-7"
Alcoholiday- Teenage Fanclub Bandwagonesque
Thru The Window- The Sports Don't Throw Stones 
Lonely Cowboy- The Boys To Hell With The Boys 
Like An Outlaw (For You)- Social Distortion L.A. Prison Bound 

^Power Pop Peak:  373 Billboard Hot 100 7/27/85

*SacroSet:  Cowpunk!

>Power Pop Prototype:  1980 

From 1994 to 2003, what I call my "child rearing years," there was very little club going or new music discovery happening in my life.  Emerging from this
Being an old punk is not
for me (no judgement)
cultural blackout I found myself at a crossroads.  As a 40 year old married father of two living in beautiful Sonoma, the new punk rock coming out at the time just didn't speak to me.   I couldn't see myself sitting at the stoplight, two kids in car seatsbehind me and "This Place Sucks" or "F**k Armageddon This Is Hell" blaring from the car stereo.  My Cousin Rich
had been into Alt Country for a while and he recommended a few groups to me, the best being Slobberbone from Denton, TX.  While I'm certainly no expert, I've listened to a fair amount of Alt-Country/Americana/No Depression music over the years and never heard anything as good as Slobberbone's Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today.

Jason Isbell (left) with Patterson Hood in
Drive By Truckers
Around the time I was getting into Slobberbone we bought a new Dell computer and one of the free songs it came with was "My Sweet Annette" by Drive By Truckers.  (Freaking me out a little, there were also songs from Slobberbone's new album Slippage and Americana legends The Flatlanders- how the hell did Dell know?!?)  Anyway, I bought the DBTs album Decoration Day and was hooked- another incredible record.  With Slobberbone and Drive By Truckers I once again had bands to follow- it felt good.  I was lucky enough to catch Slobberbone three or four times before their break up- they were one of the best live bands I've seen.  I'm also happy to say I saw Drive By Truckers three times while Jason Isbell was in the
Solo Jason
group- it was amazing to see him alongside Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley.  Three amazing songwriters in one group- you just knew it couldn't last, especially when Jason lost a bunch of weight and went from looking like a truck driver to looking like a honky tonk star.  Sure enough, he went solo in 2007.

One of the first things I noticed at Slobberbone and Drive By Truckers shows is that the majority of the audience was pretty much just like me- white guys in their mid 40's looking for some age appropriate rock and roll fun.  Though a few years younger than us, the same could probably be said of the bands themselves.  The power of punk rock courses through Slobberbone and Drive By Truckers' music but they've decided to embrace a timeless roots driven style that could appeal to listeners of all ages.  Their forbears in the mid-80's, the Cowpunk bands featured on tonight's ALL KINDSA GIRLS did the same thing- took punk energy and gave it some twang.  I picture a 1980 backstage conversation between the Kinman brothers (The Dils) and Alejandro Escovedo (The Nuns and a subsequent Americana legend) at some LA dive like The Masque where they talk about being fed up with punk rock and all the knuckleheads in the audience.
Rank and File
  Turns out they share a common love of Hank Williams and boom! Rank and File is born (performers of tonight's dedication "Amanda Ruth").  The Dils had already taken a tentative step in that direction with tonight's Power Pop Prototype "Sound Of The Rain" from their last record.

My favorite group from tonight's SacroSet is Jason and The Scorchers, who would have blown 95% of the punk bands I've seen right off the stage.  I will never forget seeing Warner Hodges wailing on his guitar while spinning like a top-  the centrifugal force is floating the guitar two feet out in front of him and he's still hitting every note.  Man did that band
Jason and the Scorchers
rock.  Yet, there was always a thread of country music throughout. They may have dropped the "Nashville" from their name, likely at the request of some douche in EMI's marketing department, but certainly not from their sound.  In my opinion Jason and The Scorchers are the essential Cowpunk band.

Never having embraced the Holy Trinity of Alt Country (Uncle Tupelo with its offshoots Son Volt and Wilco) or most of the other heralded bands in the genre (Whiskeytown, Old 97's, Calixeco, etc.) I was at a bit of a loss when Slobberbone broke up and Jason Isbell left Drive By Truckers.  Thankfully I'd discovered Exploding Hearts, Pernice Brothers and Silver Sun by then so when the opportunity 
to do a radio show on KSVY came up I decided that Power Pop was the way to go.  Love songs about girls are timeless and never give me that "I'm too old for this sh*t" feeling I get when I hear new punk bands.  The audience at a Fountains of Wayne or Sloan show is more female than what I'd see at Alt County shows- a plus in my book- but age wise its about the same.  In fact, the logo for Power Pop central on the web,  Pop Geek Heaven, gleefully acknowledges the age of its target consumer:

(click to enlarge)
I appreciate the ageless appeal of Alt Country and Cowpunk but I can't imagine that I'll ever tire of a two minute fifty second pop song about a girl with one of those hooks that gets stuck in your head for days.

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