Mar 182014
 

DBTEnglishOceans

“That [southern, middle-class, black] voter, in my judgment, will be more likely to vote his economic interests than he will anything else. And that is the voter that I think through a fairly slow but very steady process, will go Republican.” ~ Lee Atwater, Republican Party strategist, 1981

I would not call myself, especially in the company of Ninebullets writers, a DBT expert or superfan. I resisted them for a while because the way a lot of people talked about them, I figured they would sound cliche. By the time I finally started listening to the songs instead of the people, a lot of those folks had already been turned off by new vocalists or more straightforward rock songs. It felt like I got to enjoy their back catalogue all to myself. I thought it was all impressive, but I was still partial to scattered songs more than any of their albums in full. This will probably change, because in the close listening I tried to do for this review, I’ve been so astonished by the details of this album that I need to go back and listen to everything again.

I hope I won’t sound like reviewers who’ve made a cliche of the southern rock band or the southern man. I hope I can emphasize how rare it is to have a sort-of major band that is always on the side of the working class. Who has that?  We’re lucky to have a small handful of those at any given time. Bands so lyrically, musically, and ethically awesome that they can help balance the backwards narratives strategically fed to us. Russia has that and it’s Pussy Riot and they get sentenced for it and they’re in a situation where their music isn’t even the main point of their actions. I hope all the other bands in America that strive for that kind of awesomeness can get a degree of the exposure that DBT gets in the mainstream media. And we complain that they had a fucking female voice in their band for a few records? Fuck that!

So here we have their long-awaited stripped down record. Their return to the core of Hood and Cooley. It’s Essential Listening not because it finally gets back to two dudes, not merely because it’s a DBT album, but because these two dudes in particular have such a heft of integrity and respect for their listeners that they’ll keep helping us untangle The Swindle whether or not the media says they “plateaued” in 2006. There’s no plateau in the storytelling DBT is getting at–it’s all uphill, it can all be taken away by “fairly slow but very steady processes.” Hail DBT and the tethers they guard that keep the real tied to the abstract.

The lyrics to Mike Cooley’s “Made-Up English Oceans” sprint out of his mouth so fast it’s hard to catch them. That might be the idea, though, because it’s written from the point-of-view of Lee Atwater, long-drawling and vote-scheming advisor to Reagan and Bush I. Though Atwater spoke slowly, he deftly attempted to steer the Southern political conversation away from race and toward class. Race had become too concrete an issue, so Atwater led his party to the calmer and more abstract shores of economic interests. Of course that’s an impossible transition. Race and class are intertwined and at once very real and ridiculously abstract–but one is sure good at obscuring the other. It’s that failed transition, that fumbled conversation, that underlies the south that bore the Drive-By Truckers–a couple writers who deal with this shit through rock and roll. A lot of people don’t have rock and roll to help them answer questions like, How are you going to tell your neighbor you’re not racist while your truck boasts a “Nobama” bumper sticker? How are you going to explain your hard time getting work without thinking about all this new ethnically complex competition in the hiring pool? A lot of people are told that they can have the Bible, politicians, or Clearwater country music to answer those questions. But we all have more options. Give us a verse of Mike Cooley’s, describing Atwater’s southern strategy, to nail some real imagery to abstract manipulations:

once you grab them by their pride, their hearts are bound to follow / their natural fear of anything less manly or less natural / like gunless sheriffs caught on lonesome roads and live to tell it / how hard it is for meaner men without the lead to sell it

“Made-Up English Oceans” dovetails perfectly with Patterson Hood’s “The Part of Him,” which deals with integrity and relatability in elections:

his positions were preordained / to help conceal his vast distain / for anything lessened his appeal

But DBT’s never been a band to succumb to much cynicism, even while they’re singing about the most cynical bastards on the planet. This is a gorgeous album. On the first half of the album, their guitars are as sharp as The Stones on Sticky Fingers. On the back half, they’re as wistfully toned as if they were backing Neko Case. Their stories as character-driven and sensory as they’ve always been. This is a goddamned family band, after all. Their best songs flesh out those fluxing images of working class families and what they find themselves able and unable to do economically, romantically, parentally, mortally.

Made Up English Oceans

The Part of Him

First Air of Autumn

Get English Oceans on CD and LP from the DBT store. Find it digitally on iTunes and Amazon.

Oct 212013
 

Probably one of my favorite shows I’ve done this year. So, try and find 2 hours for a listen to the archive of the show.

Below is the playlist for October 19, 2013 [Artist - Song (Album)]

01. James Keyes – Darkness Come Creeping (The Middle)
02. The Gourds – Gin and Juice (Shinebox)
03. The Whiskey Gentry – Colly Davis (Holly Grove)
04. The Urbane Cowboys – 30 days (Only Truth Tonight)
05. Possessed By Paul James – Sweet But Bitter Life (There Will Be Nights When I Am Lonely)
06. The Wells – I Had a Dream, Jesse
07. Have Gun Will Travel – Take Me Home, Alice (Fiction, Fact or Folktale?)
08. Todd Farrell – Pawnshops
09. Truckstop Darlin’ – Sad Sweet Songs (Hope and The Heart It Breaks)
10. American Aquarium – Saturday Nights (Burn.Flicker.Die)
11. Big Shoals – 12 Steps
12. The Bean Pickers – warrior (Potlatch)
13. Brett Detar – Too Free To Live (single)
14. Drag The River – The Other Side of OK (Drag The River)
15. Arliss Nancy – Vonnegut (Wild American Runners)
16. Lucero – The Other Side of Lonesome (Texas & Tennessee)
17. Dan Bern – Wasteland (Dan Bern)
18. Lissie – Mountaintop Removal (Back To Forever)
19. The Gaslight Anthem – Even Cowgirls Get The Blues (The ’59 Sound)
20. Becky Warren – Off My Back (The Iraq War EP)
21. Drive-By Truckers – Women Without Whiskey (Southern Rock Opera)
22. Jeff German & the Blankety Blanks – Apology With Every Song (12 Rounds)
23. Matt Woods – Deadman’s Blues
24. Jason Isbell – Elephant (Southeastern)
25. Two Cow Garage – My Great Gatsby (Sweet Saint Me)
26. Left Lane Cruiser – Paralyze Ya (Rock Them Back To Hell)
27. R.E.M. – Orange Crush (Green)

Bold = Request

Ninebullets Radio on Facebook
You can stream Ninebullets Radio here
You can download Ninebullets Radio here: Hour 1 / Hour 2
If you like Ninebullets Radio please drop a 5 spot in the Tip Jar.

P.S.: If you like this show, do me a favor and post about it on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. It’ll do a lot to help these bands reach new ears…and in the end, that’s what this is all about. It’ll also help bring the existence of the radio show to more people’s attention & the more people there are listening/paying attention to the show the more likely it is to stay on the air.

Episode 146: aired 10.19.2013

Apr 132012
 

Last night’s show was the marathon show and Ninebullets Radio fell incredibly short of it’s goal. At the end of the show we were still $435 short of our $1600 goal. It’s always nice to meet the goal while on the air but it’s not too late. If you want to help close the gap please follow this link and contribute to the show. Every little bit helps and right now, we need your help.

On another marathon note….Ninebullets Radio did raise $1165 dollars last night and, at least to a poor man like me, that’s nothing to scoff at. I wanna thank everyone who called in or contributed to the show via the web. It’s because of people like you that community radio survives and (at times) thrives in the cultural wasteland that is the airwaves.

It may have been marathon and there may have been a shit ton of talking but stuck in between all those words and worries was some pretty damn good music. We’re talking brand new songs from Will Quinlan, Cory Branan, Tim Barry, Joe Pug and Alone At 3AM. Not to shabby for a marathon show if I do say so myself so you’ll probably wanna check out that archived stream of the show.

Below is the playlist for April 12, 2012

01. Todd Farrell – Ninebullets Radio Intro
02. The Drive-By Truckers – Where The Devil Don’t Say
03. Will Quinlan – Willow
04. The James Low Western Front – Whiskey Farmer
05. Cory Branan – Badman
06. Alone At 3AM – Wolf In The Woods
07. Kasey Anderson – Some Depression
08. Tim Barry – Fine Foods Market
09. Johnny Cash – Ring Of Fire
10. The Haunted Windchimes – Out With The Crow
11. Joe Pug – Neither Do I Need A Witness

Bold = Request

Ninebullets Radio on Facebook
You can stream Ninebullets Radio here
You can download Ninebullets Radio here
If you like Ninebullets Radio please drop a 5 spot in the Tip Jar.

P.S.: If you like this show, do me a favor and post about it on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. It’ll do a lot to help these bands reach new ears…and in the end, that’s what this is all about. It’ll also help bring the existence of the radio show to more people’s attention & the more people there are listening/paying attention to the show the more likely it is to stay on the air.

Episode 67: aired 04.12.2012

Apr 062012
 

The traffic was back to normal last night and the show went off without a hitch. It’s chock full of new music from the likes of McDougall, The Grand Tetons, The Parlor Soldiers, Lucero and Arliss Nancy. I also played a fantastic track off the new Counting Crows album that’s a cover of Kasey Anderson’s “Like Teenage Gravity” which is immediately followed by a track off Kasey’s upcoming album. Sound good? I thought so, so put your ears on the archived stream of the show.

Also, next week’s show is the marathon show. Ninebullets Radio has 60 minutes to raise $1600 dollars. We’ve never missed a marathon goal which is something I think is a source of pride for both, the show and it’s listeners. If you enjoy the show or just enjoy the idea that there is a show out there playing these artists then please, drop a donation in Ninebullets Radio’s Tip Jar.

Below is the playlist for April 05, 2012

01. Todd Farrell – Ninebullets Radio Intro
02. Drive-By Truckers – The Righteous Path
03. Grand Tetons – Because I Bloody Well Stammer
04. Arliss Nancy – The Crease
05. Counting Crows – Like Teenage Gravity
06. Kasey Anderson – Some Depression
07. Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Righteous, Ragged Songs
08. Steve Von Till – A Grave Is A Grim Horse
09. Hellbound Glory – Better Hope You Die Young
10. The Parlor Soldiers – When The Dust Settles
11. Alabama – The Cheap Seats
12. McDougall – Gates Of Victory
13. The Decemberists – E. Watson
14. Lucero – When I Was Young

Bold = Request

Ninebullets Radio on Facebook
You can stream Ninebullets Radio here
You can download Ninebullets Radio here
If you like Ninebullets Radio please drop a 5 spot in the Tip Jar.

P.S.: If you like this show, do me a favor and post about it on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. It’ll do a lot to help these bands reach new ears…and in the end, that’s what this is all about. It’ll also help bring the existence of the radio show to more people’s attention & the more people there are listening/paying attention to the show the more likely it is to stay on the air.

Episode 66: aired 04.05.2012

Mar 022012
 

Ninebullets Radio is a radio extension of the blog ninebullets.net that airs every Thursday night in Tampa, Florida on WMNF 88.5 FM at 10pm Eastern. The show is archived for one week after it’s original air date and is available for streaming here. Also, don’t forget to head over to Facebook and like the Ninebullets Radio page.

Below is the playlist for March 01, 2012

01. Todd Farrell – Ninebullets Radio Intro
02. Lucero – Juniper
03. The Drive-By Truckers – Women Without Whiskey
04. McDougall – Gates Of Victory
05. Chuck Ragan – Let It Rain
06. The Porter Draw – Davey
07. American Anodyne – Bastard Son Of THe New Depression
08. American Graveyard – Common Ones
09. Two Cow Garage – Shoulda California
10. Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Roebuck Parkway
11. Leeroy Stagger – Summer Storm
12. Greenland Is Melting – Always
13. Clutch – The Regulator
14. Arliss Nancy – St. Forgot
15. John Moreland & The Dustbowl Souls – This Town Tonight

Bold = Request

You can download Ninebullets Radio here

P.S.: If you like this show, do me a favor and post about it on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. It’ll do a lot to help these bands reach new ears…and in the end, that’s what this is all about. It’ll also help bring the existence of the radio show to more people’s attention & the more people there are listening/paying attention to the show the more likely it is to stay on the air.

Episode 61: aired 03.01.2012