GUEST POST: NEWS: MICHELLE BACHMANN vs. TOM PETTY

Autopsy IV note: A couple of nights back I posted a help wanted post on the site in an effort to find some additional (and consistent) contributors. For the time being I am gonna post their posts as guest posts for a little while as we nail down the site since the great spam hack of 2011 and as they prove who will be consistent and who’s gonna decide this bloggery isn’t for them.

This post comes from 9B contributor pledge Mike Ostrov. Lemme know what you guys think.

Politicians didn’t read the Patriot Act and it seems they hardly read song lyrics either. Tom Petty has asked Minnesota Congressperson and (as of yesterday, official) Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann to stop using “American Girl” as her campaign theme song (AIV Note: A request she seems to be ignoring). It’s easy to misunderstand “American Girl” because of it’s incredible guitars and catchy bass, and because it says the word “American” a whole lot, but it’s still a dark, ambiguous, song about a girl who contemplates jumping off her balcony into traffic. It’s a song about the debt of fulfillment and surplus regret that characterizes American youth. Living in Gainesville, I’ve seen herds of frat boys serenade their girlfriends with this song, but Bachmann’s usage is even more backward. However, it’s not as backwards as a scene in the movie Chasing Liberty where Mandy Moore, as the daughter of the President, gets dressed by way of dancing to this song. Or maybe that is how it should be used. I can’t tell anymore. At any rate, it’s an easy fix for Bachmann–just switch your song to Carrie Underwood’s “All-American Girl.” No potentially dangerous insight there.

But the moral is this: guitars, unlike politicians, are good at masking sinister creations. That’s why smart people become songwriters and not politicians. Hasn’t anybody learned from Ronald Reagan’s infamously thickheaded use of Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” one of the most stark criticisms of American war mentality and cultural detachment ever committed to popular song?

Tom Petty rectified this situation in under a day, so he still rocks. Below is the demo of “Born in the USA” which takes a bit more of a straightforward angle.

Bruce Springsteen – Born In The U.S.A.
Tom Petty – American Girl

NINEBULLETS.NET NOVEMBER PODCAST: THE FLORIGASM EDITION


Welcome to the November version of the ninebullets.net podcast. This month, since it’s Thanksgiving, I decided to do an all Florida version as an homage to the bands that play week in and week out in my home state. You know, the bands we can see so often we take them for granted. Passing up their shows for whatever the current buzz band coming through town that weekend is, with the fleeting promise that you’ll catch their show next weekend. Well this month, on ninebullets, is their show. Thanks for all the drunken nights y’all have given us this year, and I look forward to more of it in the coming year.

In keeping with the Florida theme I reached out to Cigar City Brewing to sponsor this month’s show. They agreed and gave me IPA, Mocha Cubano, Brown Ale, Imperial Stout and some others. The idea was to drink them while I did the podcast like I did last month, but once we opened the first growler I knew that wasn’t gonna happen. While I took the entire month to work through the Rogue beers, we put down all of the Cigar City beer in two days. If you live in the Tampa area you should get over to their brewery and buy you some. Trust me, I’m a professional.

There is also a ton of free stuff for you listeners wrapped inside this month’s podcast. We have free cds from Have Gun Will Travel, Greenland Is Melting and Chuck Ragan. We also have a vinyl copy of The Takers album and a beautiful 7″ picture disc from Chuck Ragan. To find out how to win this stuff you’re gonna have to actually listen to the show.

That’s it. I hope y’all enjoy listening to this show as much as I did making it. I think it turned out really well and I am proud of it, as well as the bands that are featured in it. Do me a favor though, if you listen and you enjoy the show, please tell other people about it.

Thanks, everyone. ~Autopsy IV (web / twitter / facebook)

TRACKLISTING:

  1. Mofro – Florida (Jacksonville) [00.00.00]
  2. Autopsy IV Talking (St. Petersburg) [00.04.06]
  3. Truckstop Coffee – US-29 (Lake Worth) [00.05.18]
  4. The Takers – St. Johns Son (Gainesville) [00.08.54]
  5. Have Gun Will Travel – Soles Of Our Shoes (Bradenton) [00.11.49]
  6. Autopsy IV Talking (St. Petersburg) [00.14.50]
  7. Will Quinlan & The Diviners – Plastic Rosary (Tampa) [00.16.11]
  8. Rebekah Pulley & the Reluctant Prophets – A Lot of Nothing (Tampa) [00.20.33]
  9. Jim Morey Band – Anything For Adventure (Tampa) [00.23.43]
  10. Autopsy IV Talking (St. Petersburg) [00.27.28]
  11. Greenland Is Melting – No More Sorry Songs (Gainesville) [00.32.07]
  12. Roppongi’s Ace – 1955 (Tampa) [00.35.07]
  13. Brahm Bones – Canoe (Tampa) [00.39.12]
  14. Tom Petty – The Last DJ (Gainesville) [00.43.06]
  15. Autopsy IV Talking (St. Petersburg) [00.46.33]
  16. Lynyrd Skynyrd – The Ballad Of Curtis Lowe (Jacksonville) [00.48.58]
  17. Ben Prestage – Sloppy Drunk (Everglades) [00.53.43]
  18. The Nine Volts – Carolina Soon (Orlando) [00.56.40]
  19. Autopsy IV Talking (St. Petersburg) [01.01.13]
  20. Chuck Ragan – Rotterdam (Gainesville) [01.03.20]


Download this episode (right click and save)

WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION – WPA

WPA

With the word “collective” bringing images of hippies and the faint scent of patchouli to mind I wouldn’t normally jump on a band that defines themselves as such however if you start tossing around names like Glen Phillips and Sean Watkins I start putting aside preconceptions and take notice. Tell me they just released an album and you’ll get me excited. Well that’s just what’s happened. Works Progress Administration has released WPS. I can’t figure out how to describe Works Progress Administration so I’ll just them do it in their own words:

WPA is an expandable collective, with Luke Bulla (Lyle Lovett), Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) at its core.

We will usually appear as a 5 piece (listed as Core Band on the tour page), but whenever possible we will have 7 or 8 people (Expanded Band). All configurations will kick ass.

WPA is:

  • Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) – vocals, guitar
  • Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek, Fiction Family) – guitar, vocals
  • Luke Bulla (Jerry Douglas Band, Lyle Lovett) – fiddle, vocals, guitar

Executive Board Members:

  • Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) – fiddle, vocals
  • Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) – piano, organ
  • Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Bill Frisell) – pedal steel
  • Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Imposters) – drums
  • Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Cracker) – bass

Audio Archivist:

  • Jim Scott (Wilco, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rolling Stones)

Yeah…so the concept of having an executive board for a band eludes me completely and I don’t even want to try and wrap my head around music made by committee. What I do know is that this album is good. It’s an album that will have a place in my rotation for a long time. It doesn’t come out of the back room and hit you in the head with a baseball bat to get you to take notice. It’s more like the girl next door that you didn’t notice for years and then one day you didn’t remember not noticing her. At least that’s how it happened for me. I shoved it in my rotation at work the day I got it and never paid it much attention. Then one day I noticed I was singing one of the tracks while I was walking to my truck and it hit me: “That’s a damn good album!” So I dug it out of the playlist and gave it a good listen and was amazed. I think that’s the way it had to happen.

I guess the concept of a musical collective isn’t all that far-fetched even for me for instance I used to love Pigface back in the day but something about the way this album is put together is just right. You can tell these are seasoned artists and their chemistry can’t be denied. It’s not my usual whiskey sodden fare for review but it’s a strong album that won’t leave you disappointed. You can pick this one up over at the WPA website and I highly reccommend that you do. Pick it up and just drop it into your random shuffle and you won’t be disappointed. Meanwhile enjoy a couple-a-three tracks off of WPA:

Works Progress Administration – A Wedding Or A Wake
Works Progress Administration – Remember Well
Works Progress Administration – The Price

ON TOM WAITS AND THE LIVE RECORD


Sometime around midnight last night (I’m on German time for the moment so it was 3:00 Pacific and 6:00 Eastern for those keeping track), I was putting the finishing touches on a night-long Looney Toons marathon when I noticed an email in my inbox from a friend, the subject line reading only “New Waits.” The body of the email was equally brief and cryptic, offering only a link to Waits’ new, redesigned official site.

And there it was.

Tom Waits will be releasing a new album, Glitter and Doom Live, November 24. Just in time to be my favorite record of the year.

Once the initial euphoria of a new Waits record dissipated, I started to think about live records in general. Can you name ten really, really great live records? Live at the Apollo, Live Rust, Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out, Metallic K.O. and… and? One of the hundreds of available Pearl Jam Official Bootlegs? I’m not a Grateful Dead guy so please don’t mention Dick’s Picks to me. Ever. I’ll allow Rock of Ages. Maybe Live at the Harlem Square Club or Live-Evil would sneak in there but, historically, live records are a poor substitute for witnessing the real thing and/or sitting around your place listening to records. Sometimes they’re a contractual obligation, sometimes a stopgap between “real” releases, sometimes they’re just an exhaustive Lose Weight Exercise in self-congratulation. Tom Petty, in a recent interview regarding his own Live Anthology (which will be released the same day Waits’ record hits shevles), authored my favorite quote on the nature of live records, saying that most amount to little more than “the greatest hits played faster.” My point is this: whatever it is they are, live records are rarely satisfying and almost never worth more than a couple of spins. So why should I be excited about a Tom Waits live record?

Here’s why: have you ever seen a Tom Waits show?

If the answer is no, you’re probably not alone. Given Waits’ historically infrequent touring schedule and penchant for perplexing routing, if you haven’t seen him yet, there exists the very real possibility you will never see Tom Waits perform. Let that sit for a minute. Now, you can either attempt to ignore the cruel hand fate has dealt you, anticipate the man’s next move (good luck) and then chase him around the globe or you can by Glitter and Doom Live and at least approximate the experience of a Waits show. One will cost thousands of dollars and could, quite possibly, alter the space-time continuum irreparably, the other will cost you $20. Your call, hotshot.

If the answer is yes then it will likely take more than a glowing review from a fellow Waits fanatic to sway you one way or the other on this. I’ve been lucky enough to catch Waits twice in my life and I came away from both performances swearing that, anytime he came within a 500 mile radius of my location, I would be there. Until I get the opportunity to make good on that vow, I’ll settle for Glitter and Doom Live, a seventeen-song summation of the visceral, beautiful racket Waits made with this particular collection of musicians (Seth Ford-Young, Vincent Henry, Omar Torrez, Patrick Warren and two of Waits’ kin, Casey and Sullivan Waits) over the course of a few months last year.

And, man. Visceral and beautiful it is. These are not so much re-arrangements of Waits songs, they are complete and utter reconstructions – rhythmically, structurally, musically – of Waits compositions which are at once altogether foreign and eminently recognizable. Above all else, Waits understands spectacle – aural and visual spectacle. He is the preliminary Teller of Tall Tales, the World’s Premiere Carnival Barker, the Great Mythologizer (of all things, none the least of which being The Tom Waits), and above all else, one of the great living songwriters of the last half-century.

For a Waits devotee such as myself, the only question when considering Glitter and Doom Live is can this album come anywhere near experiencing a Tom Waits show?

If the free eight-song sampler offered from Waits’ new site is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes. If you’ve never seen Waits, download the sampler and listen. This may be as close as you’ll get. If you have seen Waits, download the sampler and marvel at how quickly the primal, thunderous sound of Waits’ voices conjures a million different memories, all at once.

I’m curious to hear some feedback on this. Will Tom Waits release the best live record of the new millennium? Did I miss any great live records here?

Below you’ll find a couple of tracks from the free eight-song sampler. Have a listen while we debate whether or not Before the Flood belongs on my list.

Tom Waits – Lucinda
Tom Waits – Goin’ Out West (Take 2)