Micah Schnabel – Your New Norman Rockwell

 

It started with “the Great Gravitron Massacre”. I think. Maybe it was “Come Back to Shelby”. Either way, it was on a Suburban Home Records sampler CD. The old ones with the shitty little sticker with the title of the comp but no other data. I wasn’t sure who it was but the song stuck with me every time I listened to the disc.

So I sorted out who it was and picked up  “III” by Two Cow Garage and quickly got to know and love the songs of Micah Schnabel and Shane Sweeney. If those guys just kept making “III” I probably would have still dug them a bit. That wasn’t the plan though. Every new record has broadened out the scope and nature of their songs. Micah’s new solo outing, “Your New Norman Rockwell”, is a new frontier that is both a surprising change and a beautiful fusion of every other stop on the journey so far.

Micah has always been a great wordsmith. Complex and heartfelt are not two concepts that always ride together comfortably but Micah keeps finding new ways to express the nuance of the broad topics of love, family, self worth, music and the terror and joy of daily life. On “Your New Norman Rockwell” his relationship with words and language seem to be turned to 11. The more personal a story Micah tells the more universal it feels. The closer he pulls in the wider his reach.

The tone throughout is confrontational but not angry. Confident without swagger, more self assured than pushy.  The nervous energy that skips across the album (and comes to an early, if brief, release at 2:22 of JAZZ AND CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH) adds to the desperate and pleading urgency in the lyrics. The melodies are insistent but not obnoxious and the album pushes and pulls with sections featuring acoustic guitar and voice nestled next to full band arrangements. “Hello, My Name Is Henry” could be Soul Asylum circa “Hang Time”. The beating of the heart is that of a troubadours no matter the dressing though. Acoustic and some hard truths, directed inward and outward, are tucked away in almost every track.

I don’t know why exactly but I can already say this is an album that I will be listening to a lot while traveling. I can’t explain why. Maybe it’s the unsettled nature of the album, maybe it’s the way “The Interview” sounds like slowly driving out of town for the first minute or so then laying into it once you hit the freeway.

I think Micah managed to find a pretty great mission statement for himself and the rest of us too

“oh what bummer it is to be a human being, oh how amazing it can be to be a human being” – Oh, What a Bummer

Words to live by, friends. It’s an ugly world out there, but we don’t have to be ugly about it. Take one listen to “Your New Norman Rockwell” and tell me you don’t want to do better. Essential listening of course. And with a gorgeous cover by Vanessa Jean Speckman it’s worth getting the CD not just the download. Micah Schnabel – “Your New Norman Rockwell” is out today, June 9th, on Last Chance Records. Go get it, support art you love. Get out and go see Micah play too, it’s good for you. Builds character.

 

 

Two Cow Garage – Brand New Flag

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I’ve been wanting to talk about this record since before it came out but something about it has eluded being put in to words. Being as that it’s Two Cow Garage you should be able to guess or already know that it’s an amazing album so just talking about how great it is didn’t seem like it would do justice to the ideas that are being expressed here. So I’ve sort of been marinating in the songs, letting them sink in and become part of me, and while I was doing that everything got turned upside down. We elected an orange nutjob as POTUS and all of a sudden Brand New Flag started taking on a whole different meaning for me, and I suspect for a lot of others. When the world goes off it’s always music that centers me and brings me back and I think that this is now a much more important record than it would have been. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s been important to me since the first time I played it.

So fuck being clever,we’ve got to be kind
An iPhone for an iPhone has left us all blind
Sarcastic critics of each other’s hearts and minds
And that’s just no way to live
And we, we have to stop comparing ourselves
We have to have to our lives to everyone else
– Shakespeare and Walt Disney

The difference between now and when I first heard it and now is that I used to feel like we were going down the right path and these songs were about the things we needed to do in order to keep going down the right path. I didn’t think we were close to the end and now I realize how naive I was to think that we were anywhere near the right path. These songs are now so much more important because we’re moving backwards and it’s people who care that will make things safe for those who don’t fit the mold that Trump’s supporters want for America. It’s songs like “Let The Boys Be Girls” that will give hope to people like my daughter as we watch a homophobe vice president be sworn in to the White House. It’s people like Shane, Micah, Todd, and Murph that will be making the uncomfortable feel a safe for a few minutes at a time and right now that’s what we desperately need.

No matter what they say
I will always find a way
I promise I will never give up
Yeah, I promise I will never give up
– I promise

I was once of those people would have voted for Trump, it’s a past that’s part of me whether I like it or not, and I know the fear of changing, I know the fear of what you think your way of life being threatened is, I know the fear of admitting that you’re wrong about pretty much everything but I also know the freedom and liberty in realizing that you’ve been lied to and that you can change, that your way of life is a microcosm of the greater human experience and that nothing is really threatening you, your way of life, or your family. Well at least not by making sure that people have the same exact rights as you do, what’s happening now is a completely different story and people are rightfully scared, the fear is a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation. Even if it turns out that nothing happens and none of our freedoms get rolled back and the status quo remains the same the fact is that a lack of progress is regress at this point.

They called me a faggot and freak
As I sat there on my knees
And I was too scared to speak
But I’m not scared anymore
And I’d rather die in that parking lot than ever feel that helpless again
– This Little Light

I wanted to explore the difference between the political and personal in TCG’s songs. What I realized is that the political is personal in most aspects. The fear that is present is not a disassociated political tremble somewhere in the back of our minds. We’ve already seen hate based attacks on the rise, even if some of them have been proven to be hoaxes there are even more that are not. There are personal stories and videos all over social media. Even if the incoming administration really isn’t full of bigots (hint: it is) it has emboldened more bigots to be open with their hatred. Make no mistake, there is a valid reason for the fear that we’re seeing and this record, these songs, the people that wrote, sing, and perform them aren’t the only ones thinking there’s a problem. Seeing these songs played at Holiday Hangout and knowing how real all of this is to all of us was a very moving experience.

And every single song on your radio, playing soft low
Says “baby don’t you worry the things you can’t control”
But I am fuckin’ worried
‘Cause we were all left in control
And we are all that is in control
– History Now!

There were some buttons floating around HHO and I didn’t end up with one, but they said “I will do my best to fuck up any bigot that fucks with you”. That pretty much sums up where we are. We all need to be the safe space people need. I know this seems to be a little rambling and overtly political but that’s pretty much all I can think about when I listen to Brand New Flag and it’s important right now. This record is a safe space, it is a large part of what we need right now. It is Essential Listening for that and so many more reasons. It’s personal, it’s political, and it’s sometimes hard to listen to because of the sheer honesty involved. It is one of the best albums released this year and currently my favorite Two Cow Garage album, bar none and it should be one of yours as well.

Micah Schnabel: Music as a vehicle for Truth – by Larry Fulford

Micah Schnabel at Twang N Bang 9/4/16 - photo courtesy of Holly Rohner
Micah Schnabel at Twang N Bang 9/4/16 – photo courtesy of Holly Rohner

 

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of pieces written for Nine Bullets by special guest artists, creators and other friends of the site. Larry Fulford has spent time on the mic as a comedian and behind the kit as a drummer. He’s a peach of a fellow and we asked him to reflect on a recent show he attended.

 

It was a Monday night, a night touring musicians dread even more than Sunday night, in Chicago, Cubs Country, during a Cubs game, in a city with a bar on every corner, a theater on every other corner, hundreds of ways to spend your money, and I was taking $8 to Uncommon Ground in Wrigleyville, a smallish craft-everything bar just down the street from where the Cubbies were playing, to see Micah Schnabel (Two Cow Garage) perform a solo/acoustic set on the second-to-last night of his most recent tour.

A capable two-piece, acoustic singer/songwriter accompanied by an electric lead player, kicked things off. The sound was outstanding but the room itself was kind of stuffy, seated with table service and drinks I couldn’t afford.

Maybe fifteen people sat at the tables, kind of spread out, making their pricey drinks last and nibbling on food I was jealous of. Fifteen in a room that, according to a sign, held forty-seven. It felt more like a cafe than a dive bar or rock club, the kinds of places I was used to seeing Schnabel and Two Cow. But the sound was incredible, so I told myself to hold onto that.

From meager, midwestern beginnings as a simple alt-country outfit that was heavier than most, to a soaring, driving-with-the-top-down powerhouse walking a tightrope over a quarry of punk rock, to saying “Fuck it” and diving headfirst into that quarry but climbing up for air long enough to keep things interesting, I’ve been a fan of Two Cow Garage since I saw them play to an audience of maybe 12 as though it were an audience of 12,000 without a hint of bitterness.

Years later, on an unassuming Monday night in Chi-Town, Schnabel alone took the stage (or place on the floor where a stage might be someday) and, just as I’d seen him lead the charge in front of 12 as though we were 12,000, stepped up to the mic to do exactly what he had come here to do, regardless of outcome or interest.

Except this time, for the most part, he left the old songs on the records, save for maybe one Two Cow Garage track (“Let the Boys Be Girls”) and an I’m Dead, Serious bonus track (“How to Quit Smoking”). The rest of the set I was mostly unfamiliar with, with the exception of a couple songs I’d seen live clips of on YouTube.

And this new stuff, wherever it came from, whatever triggered it, was captivating in the most brutally honest, unafraid to make you uncomfortable, beautiful way.

There were lyrics about uncertainty, about questioning your own identity and the idea of identity, our collective reasons for doing things as simple as making small talk, existence, fear, the illusion of an “American dream,” domestic violence, child abuse, gun control, greed, starving, and finding hope in hopelessness.

Ya know, real cock-sure, glamorous rock ‘n’ roll shit.

Certain lines had me smiling, others had me staring, taking them in, sitting with them, asking myself questions like “How does this make me feel?” and thinking things like “Holy hell.” The imagery wasn’t always easy on the ears, but real art, the good stuff, isn’t always something you necessarily want to hear. But Schnabel’s words kept the room pindrop-worthy and landed as relatable, or at least easy to empathize with, because, subtly, ultimately, the theme of the night was We’re All Just People Here, Flawed and Fractured, Trying Our Fucking Best.

Afterwards, as though nothing had happened, Micah and I and some buddies shot the shit about nothing at all, came up with ideas for t-shirts we’re never going to make, pretended we were friends with Seal.

But something had happened. Something I was aware of even while it was happening. We’d all been temporarily whisked away to Greenwich Village or San Francisco in the ‘60s, when people gathered in rooms that wouldn’t hold more than maybe forty-seven people and turned their attention to someone who was singing or saying things as though he or she had been somewhere we’d never been, and maybe would never dare go, and had come back to us with pockets full of postcards.

It’s been said “the revolution will not be televised,” because it won’t be. Because it’s slow-going and all around us and happening all the time. And it’s not always big, with explosions, castle-storming, chaining ourselves to trees. Sometimes, more often than not, it’s very, very small and personal, like a butterfly a million miles away, flapping its wings.

I was born too late to sit in a smoky speakeasy and watch Lenny Bruce launch verbal cannonballs into the sails of hypocrisy, or Dylan boldly declare outright “the times, they are a-changin,’” but this show gave me what I imagine were similar chills.

The whole “being a musician” thing usually begins simple enough. You want to learn how to play guitar (or drums, or bass, or sing) because you don’t just listen to music, music speaks to you, and you want to know what it’s like to speak that language, even if at first all that sounds like is butchering “Come as You Are” (or “Enter Sandman,” or “I Wanna Be Sedated” or anything-Zeppelin) while your parents knock on the door and ask if you’ve finished your homework.

Your heroes are outcasts, outlaws, rebels who shirked real life in favor of climbing on stages, suspended in a state of permanent adolescence, sweating and bleeding and leaving everything “real” behind for whatever reason; money, fame, chickz (or dudez), or purely because they felt they had nowhere else to go.

There are all sorts of reasons someone might start or join a band, but I think at the very core of every one is camaraderie. Whether you’re a misunderstood nerd with Rush posters all over your walls or a nerd-bullying jock dabbling in finding the only acoustic guitar at the house party to wow young ladies with Nickelback’s “Photograph,” there’s a sort of us-against-the-world feeling when you’re playing the role of rock star.

And I use “rock star” figuratively here to describe anyone who’s found a spotlight, be it at a dumpy coffee shop where someone blends drinks over your attempt at quivering out the tritest of trite lyrics about your last break-up, a garage with three friends who also happen to know “Say it Ain’t So,” or a lonely bedroom, sitting on the edge of a dirty mattress, strumming the ever-loving shit out of “Everlong.”

Myself? It couldn’t have been more about camaraderie if I’d known I was going to be writing this article one day and needed it to be. I became a drummer solely because my buddies in junior high were starting a band and needed a drummer, and back then, as now, there were no drummers to be found.

The thing about bands, and music in general, is over time it gets harder and harder to make time. People go off to college, get married, accept offers for “real” jobs, have babies, find Jesus, sometimes all of the above. The odds are stacked against you from the get-go. It’s as though every band is a camel that thinks it’s a tank, and life is a veritable desert covered in sand-colored landmines.

And, if your delicate endeavor does somehow beat the odds and sticks it out longer than, say, other high school garage bands in your graduating class, it’s almost inevitable that, eventually, the reason(s) you came together become filtered through reasons to continue to exist.

Why are we doing this? It’s clearly not the money. It’s not the fame. Chickz? Dudez? Expression? Sustainability? Legacy? Should we start dressing a little nicer onstage so, aesthetically, we look more like we’re in the same group? Where should each of us look in this photo? Did that make us look too depressed? How are we gonna pay for the next record? Why are we even bothering making a next record when we still have boxes of the old record? Do we know any mechanics in Des Moines?

It’s almost as though, to keep it going, you have to cling to some sort of goal, no matter how invented, farfetched, or out of reach, and start being concerned with things like marketing (blech), finding the right manager (blech!), and selling yourself (what in the actual fuck?!).

It’s a long way to the lower-middle if ya wanna rock ‘n’ roll.

Which is why it’s always inspiring when you come across a band or singer/songwriter (or, hell, painter, writer, comic, photographer, etc.) that refuses to be pigeonholed or let fashion and fleeting trends dictate the next thing that comes out of his or her hands and mouth, preferring rather to use their guitars, words, paintbrushes, and cameras as knives to cut out the bullshit and carve their own niche, searching for revelation, revolution, or simply a sigh of relief in the midst of a screaming world, where we all think we’re the centers of our own universes.

Those are the ones keeping the ball rolling. Those are the ones doing more than entertain. They’re fighting a good fight and an uphill battle blindfolded because, to them, it doesn’t matter if they never cross the finish line or get gunned down along the way.

They don’t do this simply because they want to anymore, they do it because they need to, because something in their brains or hearts or guts won’t let them set the tools of their trades down long enough to get a “real” job. There’s something burning inside and no extinguishing the flame. There is only breathing fire.

Some of these people have been at it for years and will be until their last gasps, when you can finally pry their reasons for existing from their cold, dead hands. They’ve missed loved ones’ birthdays, lost jobs, been evicted, had relationships crumble, and none of it has made them choose to slow down because there is. no. choice.

Micah Schnabel is one such “lifer” whose evolution I feel privileged to have had ringside seats for, and Two Cow Garage is one such band. And now, all these years later, when most groups at their level would be paralyzed with fear, carefully calculating what to say next, how to sound next, what to wear next, or deciding maybe this wasn’t such a great idea after all, Schnabel is all but dismissing the surface, choosing instead to turn himself inside out, more interested in what we as human beings might be trying to hide rather than how we as entertainers look under those precious lights.

And, in turn, he’s writing some of the most important songs of his generation, and the generation after, and probably the generation before, and probably generations to come.

I don’t know how else to describe it.

Important.

I could try to explain it better, like how it kind of reminds me of Salinger with a guitar or Dylan with a sense of humor, but to be fair to everyone I’m name-dropping, Micah included, I’ll stop at “important” and hope you see fit to check it out on your own when he comes to your town or commits it to plastic.

I’d like to think true artists aspire to reach a point where they’re comfortable baring their souls. Some manage to get over themselves and find a way to dig that deep. Even fewer will dig that deep, hit a gas line, stash of marked bills, lava, or worse and still throw enough caution to the wind to unearth it into a song, painting, book, joke, movie, etc.

Micah now goes beyond that. He hits the skeleton of his soul, chips it away and fires the pieces into space with a slingshot.

And now that he’s armed with these new songs and ideas, that run the gamut from friendly reminders to scathing satire, I’ve decided the only thing I enjoy more than listening to him myself is watching people hear him for the first time.

– Larry Fulford
Keep up with Larry on Twitter – @LarryFulford

 

Only Two and a Half Days Until Monday

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I figured I’d share a little with you today. I don’t have any great words of wisdom, hell I’m barely treading water at this point, but I’ve been mulling over a playlist for a while and I put it together when I was supposed to be working this morning. So here’s a little something to help get you through today, or maybe not…

New Uncle Tupelo Tribute

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHsz2Zzzhs

The folks over at Chapel Records have been working on a treat- a tribute to Uncle Tupelo featuring some of our favorite artists! Two Cow Garage, Have Gun Will Travel, Drag the River, and Empty Orchestra each play a classic Tupelo song. Check it out over on their website– they’re looking for interest to see if they should press this thing to vinyl so give them a shout.

Morning Drawings

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In a fit of total failure I noticed that we’ve never mentioned Shane Sweeney’s project: Morning Drawings. Shane, who you should know from Two Cow Garage and his solo albums, draws song lyrics. He draws stuff that inspires him as well as commissions. The image above is one I commissioned for my wife because our song is “You’re Not The Boss Of Me” (It’s a long story) and here’s one that he did for Cory Branan’s “Miss Ferguson”:

shane-cory

Shane is an awesome dude and his drawings should be on the wall somewhere in your abode. So get off your ass and make that happen. Yeah, I figure most of you already know about this but there’s a chance someone didn’t and that’s more than enough reason to post about it! I could post a ton of my favorites that he’s done but it’s much more fun to scroll through the site and look at all of them. If nothing else I just gave you something that’ll kill the time between now and lunch.

Two Cow Garage, Benchmarks, Heathen Sons

I hit the road again for another fun filled night of great music and fantastic friends this time ending up in Nashville at The High Watt. This wasn’t a normal night at a random show as there were some of my best friends from St Louis and all over TN there for the evening which means i’m sorry for anyone around us be we were singing loudly and enthusiastically.
Starting off the night were the Heathen Sons who’ve been written up here before by our own Wolf and to say they didn’t disappoint would be an understatement. I’d given a few listens to their EP and while I liked it it hadn’t stuck out for me yet. This happens more than I’d like to admit and is one of the many reasons why I try not to miss an opener to any show if possible. You’ll never know the music that grabs you until you hear it live. This band is one of those for me while I enjoyed the record the live performance was just full of very different energy that myself and seemingly the rest of the crowd enjoyed. It’s slightly indie while still definitely southern and past that i’d just call it good. Basically check these guys out if they’re close to your town.IMG_3137

Just over two years ago Lucero played two nights in Nashville and on the first night I elbowed a kid in the head that turned out to be Todd Farrell Jr. which was the beginning of a helluva night. When I sobered up I remembered to check out Todd’s band and was very happy that I did as the then current release of Where Fake Cowboys Go to Drink has some great songs on it. After that background up next was Benchmarks formerly known as Todd Farrell Jr and the Dirty Birds which while not a bad name did not accurately represent what the band is doing today so they changed it. In the best way possible there’s no easy way to categorize this band as they’re at their core a great rock band who also pull in some country and punk sensibility while never committing fully to either of the typical interpretations of those genres. So I’ve seen Todd Farrell and the Dirty Birds before at their last CD release and that gave me high hopes for what i’d see this night. I was not disappointed as the band ripped through the most recent American Nights EP as well as some tracks from the previous two release and requests. By their own admission the band hadn’t played together in some time as Todd had been out on the road with Two Cow Garage and everyone else had other obligations but couldn’t hear that from the audience. The set closed with Pawnshops when even Todd had to acknowledge our awful but very enthusiastic singing. I’m not sure when or where you’ll be able to see this band but if/when Benchmarks or Todd solo comes close to your town it is a show not to miss and in the meantime pickup the EP and the previous releases.

I'm terrible at photos but this feature Micah guesting with Benchmarks on American Night
I’m terrible at photos but this feature Micah guesting with Benchmarks on American Night

Next up is Two Cow Garage who I first discovered when Please Turn the Gas Back On was reviewed on this very site and from then on has been one of if not my favorite band. I’ve seen them countless times over the years at shows that have evolved from me and the band to 20ish diehard fans to today when they’re able to draw sustainable crowds. It’s always hard to talk about  Two Cow and Charles Hale did a better job than I ever could breaking down their style, progression and songwriting here so read that if you want some deeper insight into the band. I will say that I think we’ll need to add a new volume to that talking about what Todd is bringing to the band today. On this night the crowd was mixed with people who were obviously there for the first two bands but still curious about Two Cow and then a section of long term fans myself included who were somewhat vocal. Two Cow ran through highlights from most of their catalog not really leaning to one record or another but including the current single Let the Boys Be the Girls and the upcoming Continental Distance. To the folks that have not see Two Cow recently or at all the band is elevated with the addition of Todd Farrell Jr. who to my seasoned but uneducated ears fills out the songs in general and replaces some of the keyboards from the records. I never write setlists or take notes but on this night I took three notes which consisted of this: the 4 way harmonies are amazing and really add something to multiple songs then the unbelievably quiet crowd during Shoulda California and Swingset Assassin which is worth noting as it demonstrates how much people were enthralled by this performance. I always say that i’ll never see a better Two Cow show than what I see in Little Rock at The White Water Tavern but this show has me starting to think that may not be the case. It’s hard to beat a night with great friends and fantastic music so this was obviously a good one for all involved. It’s hard to come up with a better live band than Two Cow Garage so if you have a chance to see it and miss them i’m sorry for you.

My favorite Two Cow Garage photos are always about interaction. I'm terrible at capturing it but there's this.
My favorite Two Cow Garage photos are always about interaction. I’m terrible at capturing it but there’s this.

The Return of Ninebullets Radio!

9B-LOGO

WOOHOO! After 7 months of silence I am back in the saddle and ready to celebrate with a tidal wave of brand new music so let’s do this.

TRACK LISTING: [Artist – Song (Album)]

01. Tim Barry – ‘222’ (Manchester)
02. Daniel Romano – I’m Gonna Teach You (If I’ve Only One Time Askin’)
03. Daniel Romano – Old Fires Die (If I’ve Only One Time Askin’)
04. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard – Django And Jimmie (Django And Jimmie)
05. Heathen Sons – Fourth of July (Through the Eyes of the Lion)
06. Benchmarks – American Night (American Night)
07. Two Cow Garage – Let The Boys Be Girls
08. Have Gun Will Travel – True Believers (Science From An Easy Chair)
09. David Mayfield – Rain On My Parade (Strangers)
10. Scott H. Biram – Sinkin’ Down (Something’s Wrong/Lost Forever)
11. Whitey Morgan & The 78’s – That’s How I Got To Memphis (Sonic Ranch)
12. Chris Stapleton – Was It 26 (Traveler)
13. The Steeldrivers – Brother John (The Muscle Shoals Recordings)
14. Eilen Jewell – Needle & Thread (Sundown Over Ghost Town)
15. Closing song

Talk to y’all next month!

Around The Web – Independence Day Edition

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Right out of the gate I’m going to just give you some Two Cow Garage as a celebration of the freedom granted to almost everyone by SCOCTUS (next up is recognition of polygamous marriage). I’ve posted what I think about the decision on FB and won’t belabor the point here, so let’s all just enjoy “Let The Boys Be Girls” for a minute…


800songsSomeone with way more CDO (That’s OCD in alphabetical order, the way it should be) created a set chronological playlists of 90’s alt/indie. Taken together these things are a 500+ minute pill to swallow! I once tried to just a top 100, arranged in some chronological order, for alt country and wanted to stab myself in the eyes before I was done. The dedication it takes to make an 800 track playlist is something I don’t have. I’m seriously not entirely sure whether I should be afraid, have a ton of respect, or recommend a good shrink! Whichever it is I am grateful to have the resource, even if I’m not sure I’ll put 500 hours in to completing. Thanks @naxuu, this is pretty cool!


And since this is a holiday weekend and none of you want to spend your time reading what I thought was cool on the web this week, I am closing this, admittedly short, Around The Web with something that was cool six years ago. I mentioned I found some old mix tape archives lying around, well this is one from the Lucero Message Board, circa 2009, our little Summer Mix Tape. It was certainly a good one!

The Fox Hunt – Better Than This (Lucero Cover)
“The boys recorded this for the long overdue Lucero tribute album..I heard them play this version when they were here playing Surf Bar on Folly Beach…took some cajoling but I got MK to send me the mp3…here it is.” – JacksonDavis

Lucero – Live 1/4/2002 – American Girl
“Sticking with the 4th of July theme. Just for fun.” – Boston Twang

Deer Tick – Born on Flag Day – Houston, TX
“The first song that jumped out at me on the new record. Haven’t decided what I think of the new record yet but I like this song.” – Plank10

Cory Branan – Ardent Studios recording – Karen’s Song
“I had never heard this prior to hearing it on the streaming file released by Rachel and The City when he was in studio earlier this year…cannot wait for his new album…he and Snodgrass kicked major ass in ATL and Savannah.” – JacksonDavis…thanks to Down South for the editing Wink

Ha Ha Tonka – Novel Sounds of The Nouveau South – Close Every Valve to Your Bleeding Heart
“Roaring out of the Ozarks with a bottle in one hand and a bible in the other” – ColoradoAlan

William Elliott Whitmore – Animals In The Dark – Old Devils
“My current favourite tune from my favourite album of the year to date.” – JacksonDavis

Hoots & Hellmouth – The Holy Open Secret – What Good Are Plowshares If We Use Them Like Swords
“There is something about this band I find deeply interesting. I can’t quite put my finger on it but whatever it is this song has it.” – Autopsy IV

The Only Sons – Steel Hearts – Lay Back Down
“This song is eerily relevant for a friends situation right now..” – ColoradoAlan

The Evening Rig – Is Doin’ Stuff – Goddamn, I Could Use A Drink
“If you haven’t listened to these guys yet, you probably should.” – algwalcz

Jon Snodgrass w/ Cory Branan – Alone and Distanced
“Too bad this isn’t being released on CD or digital download…but…I was able to pry this from someone who had been way late in getting Season 5 of The Wire back to me Cool” – JacksonDavis”

Two Cow Garage – Humble Narrator – Speaking in Cursive
“I’ve had this CD for a while but just REALLY started to listen to it, and this song was the first one I kept repeating. ” The sun has a way of making us pay for our revelry filled nights” Amen Brother.” – Hecticeyes

Chad Rex & The Victorstands – Songs to Fix Angels – Build a Rocket
“I only recently realized how good Chad Rex is. Besides, it’s the time of year for rockets.” – Boston Twang

Flogging Molly – Swagger – Salty Dog
“Irish punk rock is great and good for hanging out in the summer listening to full blast.” – Lennon Medvick

Michael Dean Damron – Father’s Day – Angels Fly Up
“It seems like I am always pimping this guy’s music and my work isn’t done until he’s got a platinum award on his wall…or something like that. Father’s Day is a strong contender for the Best of ’09 as far as I’m concerned. I can’t really pinpoint why this song means so much to me, but it affects me somewhere in the guts.” – Bone Machine

Austin Lucas – The Common Cold – Kith and Kin
“If you’ve only heard Austin’s new album, definitely check out The Common Cold. Yay for the upcoming tour with Two Cow!” – TheOtherBrit

The Lemonheads – Varshons – Waitin Around to Die
“Evan Dando revisits a Townes Van Zandt classic” – ColoradoAlan

Cheap Trick – The Latest – Sick Man Of Europe
“Of all the music from my childhood, Cheap Trick are the band that I still enjoy with the intensity of my youth. It’s good to know that they’re still out there plugging away and have a catalog much richer than the classic rock staples (I Want You To Want Me, Surrender, The Flame…). This tune is from their new one, lovingly entitled The Latest, and is further proof that Robin Zander has one of the finer voices in rock some 35 years into his career.” – Bone Machine

The Dexateens – Singlewide – Can You Whoop It
“If you like the Dexateens, keep an eye out for Arkadelphia, Lee Bains III’s new band. They’ve even more amazing!” – TheOtherBrit

Trampled by Turtles – Duluth – Empire
“These guys are one of my favorite bands that I’ve discovered because they were a Lucero opener. Go see them live if you get the chance.” Boston Twang

Matthew Dean Herman – Blackbird – Blackbird
“Fantastic debut album produced by Evan Phillips of The Whipsaws. RIYL: Drive-By Truckers” – Autopsy IV

Lyle Lovette – I Love Everybody – Fat Babies
“I’ve been on a Lyle Lovette kick lately. “I don’t like hippies and I don’t like cornbread.” I’m confused that he doesn’t like cornbread.” – Plank10

Ray LaMontagne – Gossip in the Grain – Let it Be Me
Submitted by corduroy

Uncle Tupelo – March 16-20 1994 – Moonshiner
Submitted by corduroy

Kingston Trio – We’ll Sing in The Sunshine
“A fun summertime sing-a-long…” – Nicole

Against Me! – As The Eternal Cowboy – You Look Like I Need Drink
“Against Me! has been my sound track all summer, and this is one of my favorites.” – Lennon Medvick

Former And Current 9B Editors on the Radio

Our very own Wolf was on the radio with former 9B writer and editor Charles Hale this week and this is what it sounded like:

Benchmarks – “American Night” – American Night
Two Cow Garage – “Continental Distance” – Continental Distance
Benjamin Booker – “Have You Seen My Son?” – Benjamin Booker
Adam Faucett – “Rock Ain’t Gold” – Blind Water Finds Blind Water
Gaslight Anthem – “Lonesome Sound” – The ’59 Sound
Kill County – “Straight Six Ford” – The Year Of Getting By
Michael Dean Damron – “Dancing In The Moonlight” – Father’s Day
Shane Sweeney – “Motel Blues” – The Finding Time
Robert Chaney – “The Morning After” – Cracked Picture Frames
Tim Barry – “No News From the North” – Lost & Rootless
Jason Isbell – “Something More Than Free” – Something More Than Free
Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil – “Waiting On You” – Catch the Presidents
Tyler Childers – “Charleston Girl” – Live At The Red Barn Vol. 1
Aaron Lee Tasjan – “Santa Monica & Vine” – The Thinking Man’s Filth
Arliss Nancy – “Front Seat” – Simple Machines
Langhorne Slim & The Law – “Past lives” – The Way We Move
Lilly Hiatt – “Jesus Would’ve Let Me Pick the Restaurant” – Royal Blue
The Killers – “Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf” – Sawdust
Against Me! – “F*** My Life 666” – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Austin Lucas – “Alone in Memphis” – Stay Reckless
John Moreland – “Sad Baptist Rain” – High On Tulsa Heat
Barton Carroll – “Every Little Bit Hurts” – Avery County, I’m Bound To You
Jamestown Revival – “revival” – Utah
Matt Woods – “Beating Down My Door” – Matt Woods Manifesto
Cory Branan – “No Hit Wonder” – No Hit Wonder
Glossary – “At midnight” – How We Handle Our Midnights
Lucero – “Hearts On Fire” – Live DVD
Drive By Truckers – “Daddy’s Cup” – The Dirty South
Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires – “Dirt Track” – A Live Show

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit this was an excuse to post Charles’ podcast because it completely rocks and he’s pretty damn awesome. I know I miss his voice in the background of things around here. I’ve added his podcast to “Sites We Read” and hopefully you’ll all subscribe to it. There’s a lot worse things you could do with your time.