Here we are at the end of another year. All things considered, it was a pretty good one. On a personal level, I came into 2010 facing some pretty freaky & scary health issues and I’m leaving more or less in tact and healthy. Both my Seminoles and my Buccaneers had positive seasons while it looks like my Lightning are gonna be in the playoff conversation all season. Musically, it was a pretty solid year too and that’s what we’re really here to talk about now ain’t it.
In preparation for this show I literally (yes, I am properly using the word) collected 70+ songs I wanted to play and set to making a podcast. I say that so you know that this isn’t a “best songs of the year” show so much as a “some of my favorite songs of the year” that fit the flow of this particular show. That said, there are some seriously good songs assembled in here.
And, 2011 is already shaping up to be pretty fucking phenomenal. Hopefully, this won’t be the final ninebullets.net podcast but there’s more about that in the show, so for now, let’s just listen to the music:
Lissie – Bad Romance (Lady Ga Ga cover) [00.00.00]
Autopsy IV Commentary [00.05.36]
Jon Snodgrass – Old Sad Songs [00.06.46]
Gill Landry – Careless Love [00.09.04]
Shannon McNally – Bohemian Wedding Song [00.13.02]
Autopsy IV Commentary [00.18.32]
American Graveyard – Common Ones [00.19.24]
Tim Barry – Thing of the Past [00.23.02]
Truckstop Darlin’ – Bluegrass State [00.26.48]
Mat. D. – Ford Marriage [00.31.56]
Autopsy IV Commentary [00.35.12]
Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil – Prove Me Wrong [00.37.04]
Two Cow Garage – Jackson, Don’t You Worry [00.38.48]
Joseph Huber – Can’t You See A Floods Coming [00.42.34]
Joe Pug – Not So Sure [00.46.32]
Otis Gibbs – Kansas City [00.51.02]
Autopsy IV Commentary [00.54.36]
Frank Turner – I Still Believe [00.56.54]
As always, if you’re enjoying the sounds you’re hearing please mention this show to your friends and relatives.
I’m stopping 20 miles short of calling this list a “best of” list. As the stacks upon stacks of cds in my computer room will prove, there is so much music from 2010 that I didn’t hear that it’s impossible for me to gloss this list anything other than a collection of some my favorite albums from the year. Everything on the Essential Listening list is worthy of your money and ears but as a blog owner I am obligated to bring you one of these lists at the end of every year so here is mine as I felt the order would be, today:
Hey guy, don’t forget to listen to ninebullets radio tomorrow morning. I’ll be guest hosting for Jennifer Hollowell on 88.5 WMNF tomorrow (Monday) morning from 9am to 10am Eastern. Those not in the Tampa Bay area can stream it live at wmnf.org.
Also, starting Thursday, January 6 ninebullets radio will be on 88.5 every Thursday night from 10pm – 11pm.
This will be the final Top 5 of 2010, so it seems appropriate that it would be a “best of” list. I don’t really think this one requires much explanation. You post your 5 most favorite songs of 2010 as your mood today dictates it to you. I know narrowing the year down to a mere 5 songs is a monumental task but with a little work, I believe you can do it.
I was thinking about making a ninebullets.net readers Top 10 of 2010 comp/post together. I’ll take your comments on this thread until 12/30. After that, I’ll tally the votes and put up the comp in early January. So start commenting.
Sometimes an album comes along that grabs you by the balls and makes you like it. Micah P. Hinson And The Pioneer Saboteurs is just that sort of album for me. I am not sure it really fits with most of the stuff I write about and frankly don’t care. Unlike AIV I usually don’t care for the darker side of Americana or the sort of Goth American trend or whatever else you call it but damn this album is pretty good. Now you might not hear the whole Goth side of it if you weren’t in to some of the more obscure Goth music in the 90’s, which I was, but you will feel the darkness that permeates this album. If you know some of the more obscure Goth stuff then you’ll understand when I say that this album sounds like what I imagine Michael Gira making “Americana” would sound like.
This whole album is dirty and gritty and it ain’t tawngy per se but it’s good music. As you listen to it you kind of get the feeling that it was written by a man at a sort of crossroads in life, at odds with himself, looking for some sort of salvation. I mean this is rough, it’s soul searching and while the music may be off the beaten path for some of our readers the topics will not be. Dragging us in with an instrumental “Call To Arms” to start we go through a rough ride with an occasional brief glimpse of hope like “The Letter At Twin Wrecks” on through an almost industrial rhythm on “Watchers, Tell Us Of The Night” to the closing instrumental “The Returning” with every track in between being punctuated by Hinson’s tortured crooning. It’s not an easy album to listen to but then again it is damn easy if it catches you at the right time. If you are looking for something a little different then this might just be the album you need to pick up.
Have Gun Will Travel have produced the first video in their blossoming musical careers and it’s ninebullets’ distinct pleasure to be premiering it to the internets. The video is for the track “Salad Days” off their latest album, Postcards From The Friendly City. The video was shot entirely in and around the bands hometown of Bradenton and features a particularly fresh car as well as a ninebullets.net approved wardrobe.
While a lot of folks bill this kid as being in the same genre as folks like Stoney LaRue, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Max Stalling, et al. it is my opinion that he’s not. Now mind you, I hadn’t heard a lot of his stuff before Junky Star but what I had heard I wouldn’t have classified as Red Dirt which is probably why I hadn’t actually checked out more of his stuff. I got this album from a friend of mine and it sat un-listened to and gathering dust until a few weeks ago when I was digging through my stack of stuff to check out when I have time. I dropped it on my mp3 player and didn’t pay much attention to be honest. I didn’t pay much attention until I started hearing these tracks I had never heard before coming up in my random playlist that were good enough I had to look and see who it was. After realizing I had made a mistake not checking out Ryan much earlier I listened to the album all the way through and was happily surprised. As I eluded to before quite a few people throw Ryan Bingham in to the Texas Country heap with all the others but I think he is much more than that. Now you all know I love my Red Dirt Music but this kid transcends any genre you could try and pigeonhole him in to.
Junky Star is honestly hard for me to describe. It’s got a lot of folk feel to it but it has a drawl in the music itself that identifies it as decidedly Texas without having a steel guitar and twang to every track. This one feels like it has been flayed and laid open for all to see. The songwriting is deep and and attacks the stories within the songs from a perspective most folks would consider. “Hallelujah” takes the love song and lets you see it from the perspective a newly lover wanting to come back to the love of his life and refusing to accept death while “All Choked Up Again” is a ballad of patricide and a lover loving unconditionally. I keep feeling like there’s a hint of Dylan somewhere in the lyrics along with a generous portion of Townes Van Zandt but I also feel like that doesn’t really give Ryan enough credit. It’s all well and good to see some of the influences but I have to stress that Ryan’s work is his own and he’s not just a couple of, albeit amazing, songwriters that may have influenced him. The depth runs through every song on this album as does the gravel in his voice. Like so many of my favorite albums this one makes me want to drink whiskey but this one makes me want to do it alone in the dark where I can confront myself just a little bit.
Calling Ryan a country singer doesn’t cover it; as far as I am concerned this boy is a straight up troubadour and while the music itself might not be your thing if you don’t bother listening to this one you are missing out on some of the best songwriting out there these days. I personally like the stripped down feel that this album has compared to a lot of my favorite music these days. It’s a refreshing break even if a little paradoxical as it is also darker, musically, than most of the stuff that grabs my attention these days. After tossing it aside, letting it stay on random for weeks and finally giving it the listen it deserved I have no choice but qualify Junky Star as Essential Listening!
The debut solo album from .357 String Band member Joseph Huber opens with its title track, and what I feel is the album’s weakest track. That said, it serves as the perfect opening song for this solo effort, ‘cause it immediately lets you know this ain’t just a .357 album, just with Joe manning all of the vocal duties. In fact, it’s more like a collection of dirges written in the back of vans and in dingy hotel rooms, while caught in the teeth of touring in a small band. Not to suggest that this is an album of navel-gazing melancholy. No, this is more the kind of album that one gets from hours of staring out a window in silence as a van counts off the miles to the next town. It’s reserved, introspective, contemplative and, at times, shockingly deliberate.
I really wanted to write about this album this week because I have a feeling it (like the Doc Dailey) is gonna end up on my list. I was gonna go into a great long description of the cd, but just deleted 2 paragraphs and figured I could sum it up like this…..I really, really, really like this cd. Matter of fact, outside of the latest .357 album, it’s my favorite thing to come out of this group. It’s Essential Listening without a doubt.
I have to get this one in before the end of the year so I’m not stuck including a band I didn’t even write about on my Top 10 of the year list.
If you haven’t heard of Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil then you need to pay more attention to me on twitter and Facebook and start listening to my damned podcasts but whatever, better now than never.
Doc Dailey comes to us out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama and Victims, Enemies & Old Friends is the followup to an EP he released way back in 2005. He teamed up with former FAME sound engineer, Ben Tanner, in Wishbone Studios and set to recording a full length. Now, I’m a drunk, not a music historian but when I think Muscle Shoals sound I think soul and southern rock and Doc Dailey ain’t either of those. They remind me another ninebullets favorite, Medford’s Black Record Collection, albeit more musical and less brooding but just as haunting and desolate. Victims, Enemies & Old Friends has an excellent mix of songs you can bounce and sing along to and songs you can drink and plot the murder of a loved one too. Sometimes, it’s the same song.
Trust me, I know about these things.
Anyhow, I wanted to mention this album before the end of the year cause it’s Essential Listening and almost definitely gonna be in my Top 10 so I wanted y’all to know about it in advance.
Ok so this isn’t a rip off of High Fidelity but rather a nod to the movie that gave me the inspiration for this, almost, weekly feature. If you don’t do vinyl then Side One, Track one is the first cut on a CD. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Mine is Side One, Track One out of the collection I have at work which is more limited than I would like for this but some time’s you gotta make do. You can do whatever you like: S1T1 from your current collection on your mp3 player, all time, what’s on your hard drive and so on. I may take the time to post my all time list in the comments at some point. Here’s mine now let’s see yours…
(Has anyone else noticed we tend to post #1 first which is the exact opposite of how most top lists work?)
Scott H. Biram – Blood, Sweat & Murder(from Dirty Old One-Man Band): One of my favorite opening riffs of all time and again, you could just give this song to a new fan and they’d have a descent idea of what Biram is all about.
and for #5…well, I am gonna hop to the opposite end of the “best” spectrum and post what I think is the worst S1T1 in rock and roll history thus making it the best worst:
The Drive-By Truckers – The Deeper In(from Decoration Day): How this song even made the final track listing is beyond me. How it got the opening slot on the album is an even bigger conundrum. Entire careers have been ruined for less. A song about incest, with the lyric, “you all a glow from the love he put in you”.