I Knew it Wouldn’t Work Out

For a hayseed like me.

If I ever figured out how to rank my all-time favorite songs, this one would be in the top 25.  I’ve heard a buttload of songs, so top 25 is good.  Very good.

The best songs sound like a Cormac McCarthy story (with or without the Spanish), told over music that sounds like rockers playing country.  So many so-called Americana artists are long on (attempts at) the Cormac part, while utterly ignoring the rocking part.  Bores me to tears.  Listen for that guitar solo.  William Clark Green, from Tyler Texas.  Like Earl.  And the Jackal, I think.

Now she tries to act.  Like she don’t remember me.

Yep. It happens.

Back in Tyler, the Jackal once had a date with a future Ms. Universe.  I wonder if she’d acknowledge him now.  Maybe, in the way some of the pretentious fondly recall their embellished trip abroad back in college.  I’ll be your third world country, if you be my reality show.  Or something like that.

I once overheard this epic response to a snobby inquiry in a semi-crowded elevator.  “Did you study abroad in college?”  “Every chance I could.”  Mental high-fives were given.  One other guy laughed out loud too.

All that highfalutin’ stuff  bores me to tears.  So do fancy cars, and names.  The King makes it a point to memorize the names of all of his kids’ friends- their real names- not the made up ones like we give our pets.  I think he has charts.  I imagine Angel from New Jersey is written in pencil on the edge of a page.  I’m a sonder-loving edge dweller myself, who wrote on concrete sidewalks with pine tree bark when I was a kid.  No charts, no chalk, but probably some names.  I don’t remember many of them.  Andy, Thomas.  Definitely Buck.

But the King is a good soul, so chart on, brother.

What doesn’t bore me to tears, but still involves them, is StoryCorps.  It provides more tears per minute than any other podcast I’ve heard.  This one is a recent favorite.  Like a lot of them, it makes me feel better about the human race in general, and worse about my place in it.

Tiny Buddha, is sort of the opposite.  A lot of new-aged fluff, and then every once in a while a knock-out punch.

Self-protection might involve avoiding the family (or certain members) while you take time to figure things out; *** it might mean a short, long, or forever period of limited or no contact. It might mean a whole host of other things, entirely.

A-fucking-men, sister.  It’s too often the people who don’t grasp or care that their baggage is crushing bystanders who scream bloody murder at the sight of circled wagons.  I had a recurring dream when I was a kid that I lived in an underground bunker in the woods behind my house.  It was peaceful, like staring at your hands in church.

Speaking of names, I wonder what my dogs would call me if they could talk?  Food-giver, Rex, Asshole?  Some dude displaying both the cognitive ability and self-awareness of my dumbest dog (the little one that won’t come when you call him) called me an absolute asshole this week.

I should get a tax deduction for the charity I give people once in a while when I choose not to fight back.  My dogs might or might not agree.  I shot the big one with a BB gun once when he didn’t come when I called him.  Maybe he thinks I’m an asshole too, but now he comes when I call him.  Every time.  When I cook a burger for dinner at the farm, I cook him one too.  It’s complicated.

I know I ain’t got it so bad.  I can go home at night.  Sometimes.

Charlie Parr.  From Austin.  Minnesota.

Turned North Just South of Arkansas

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And I thought I’d sleep through Texas, but I woke up in Illinois
And the car in the lane next to me was driven by a little boy
And he flashed a smile at me then he drove straight off the road
Smacked an overpass, I watched his car explode
And when she wakes me from my delirium
I know I’m no longer fun
For her

Ronnie Fauss does a fantastic cover of my favorite song of one of my all-time favorite bands.

(via Twang Nation)

Turned north just south of Arkansas

The Two Best Songs of 2015

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Tangled, by Brent Best, formerly of Slobberbone.  From the fantastic Your Dog, Champ.

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And The Bird Hunters, from the Turnpike Troubadours’ self titled record.

Those of us who grew up out in the country, bird hunting with our dads, uncles and friends, behind legendary Pointers who now occupy dusty frames on our favorite walls will have a hard time not getting a little misty-eyed over the old bird dog named Jim and the Belgium-made Browning, like those many of us inherited from people we idolized.

New Steve Forbert Record

Everybody has songs that serve as the soundtrack to parts of their lives.  I’ve got a lot and one of them is Steve Forbert’s Romeo’s Tune from 1979.  That song will forever remind me of my sophomore year of college, including a road trip to Orlando for the 1979 Tangerine Bowl.

“Bring me southern kisses from your room.”  Yep.

I’ve heard most of his records and seen him live a time or two.  So it’s always news when Steve does another record.  He’s about to release his 16th studio album, Compromised, on November 6, 2015.  Recorded in Woodstock and Cape Cod, it was produced by Forbert along with John Simon, who produced Jackrabbit Slim, the excellent 1979 record that included Romeo’s Tune.

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I received a review copy of the title track, and it’s pure Forbert.  An excellent song that sounds a bit like a look backwards at the ups and downs we’ve all had in the decades since 1979.

Compromised collaborators include bassist Joey Spampinato (NRBQ), drummer Lou Cataldo (The Freeze), pianist/trumpeter Kami Lyle, and keyboardist Robbie Kondor, the latter of whom played on Forbert’s classic 1978 debut, Alive on Arrival.  “I recorded with the band that did the Arrival and Jackrabbit anniversary tours with me in 2013 and 2014,” Forbert says, “where we played those albums in their entireties.  It just seemed natural to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to rehearse for this tour — but let’s record an album together, too.’   And it was great reconnecting with John Simon again after all this time.”

Look for a full review as soon as I get my hands on a complete copy.