Speaking of me and country radio, I can remember exactly where I was when I heard Delta Dawn the first time: just past the lake and headed down the narrow road through the trees that would eventually take me up to the main road and the 7-11. It was a journey I took frequently, so I was practically on auto-pilot.
And then Tanya Tucker‘s voice and the eerie slow drone under it hit me like a cold bucket of water to the face. I think I turned it up mainly to make sure I was hearing correctly, because it didn’t sound like anything I had ever heard before. I don’t remember when this happened, but I’m guessing it was somewhere around 1992, when Two Sparrows in a Hurricane came out. The DJ probably even played them back to back.
I’m not sure I ever heard Delta Dawn on the radio again after that, or at least not for a while, but it stuck with me just the same.
Here she is singing it on Hee-Haw; she was 14 when this performance was recorded.
When I found this book in the music section of a used book store in Boston, I added it to my pile immediately.
Not because I’m a dedicated fan of Tammy Wynette – my favorite version of Stand By Your Man is the Lyle Lovett cover that was included in the Crying Game – but because she is such an iconic figure in country music, and I felt I should get to know her better.
Plus I’ve been reading a lot of auto/biographies of male rock stars lately, and I felt like I should branch out a little bit.
I may have picked it up out of a sense of duty, but what I got was the best kind of surprise. I loved this book. I honestly did not want to put it down, even though it was largely responsible for having Stand By Your Man stuck in my head on infinite repeat for the better part of a week.
Wynette’s story is a real rollercoaster ride of triumphant commercial success highs (all … Continue reading
This video for Baby Likes to Rock It by The Tractors was directed by Michael Salomon and was the CMA Video of the Year in 1995. Not that I knew that at the time, because I didn’t often watch CMT; nearly 100% of my interactions with the world of country music happened via my car stereo.
This song was part of the soundtrack of many a hot afternoon spent navigating traffic jams and never, ever failed to lift my spirits.
If someone had played this song for me and told me it was a lost Johnny Cash track, I would totally have believed it. It’s not, though, it’s RT N’ the 44s. They’re from Los Angeles, California, and they play some sweet country blues. They have three records out, all of which you can listen to at (and more importantly, buy from) their bandcamp.
Plus they are playing a bunch of shows in Los Angeles this month. If you’re already there or passing through, check their listings and get down to see them.
And now without further chatter: Lost My Way, from March of the Fools (July 2011):
I was, once again, noodling around YouTube looking for something else and got distracted by something shiny. By which I mean I was watching Revolting Cocks videos – they’ve apparently renamed themselves and are now RevCo – and happened to glance to the right, saw what YouTube offered as related videos, thought oooooooh! Ministry! and now here we are.
This song is called Jesus Built My Hotrod and is from Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992); Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers joins them on vocals.
Reason I like this video: because I have lately made it my tradition to plunge myself into the ocean on New Years Day, and in doing so, found I never feel more alive than when I can’t quite feel my toes. I have to be more careful of the undertow than hidden rocks, but I feel like the spirit of the thing is the same.
Special Signal Boost: They are in need of a guitarist for September!
Danielle Dax was a member of Lemon Kittens from 1979 until 1982, when they went on hiatus and she started her solo career. Bad Miss M is a song about Margaret Thatcher (spoiler: Dax is not a fan) and is from her third solo record, Inky Bloaters (1987).
In addition to being a singer, Dax is also an accomplished artist, interior designer – she’s appeared on the BBC show Homefront and was named their Designer of the Year in 1997 – and garden designer.
I am particularly fond of this song because it’s the kind of thing that will get one moving on a sluggish day.
So here is what happened: I heard some mutterings in the ether about something called “witch house” which sounded intriguing, not least because I thought it might be related to what we elderly goths used to call “swirly girly gothy voice of doom.” It certainly seemed that way from the descriptions I was reading, and you have to admit “witch house” is a much more efficient genre term.
My starting point was Aural Sects‘ bandcamp page. They’re a label who have a lot of electronic artists on their roster, and if you’re into ambient noise, dark electronica, experimental noise, etc etc, get yourself over there and start clicking because you are bound to find something you like. They update frequently, so check back often.
The artists I chose to listen to I picked somewhat at random. Sometimes I liked their album art, other times I thought their name was promising and/or compelling. Witchboy was the latter. And, while I did like the songs – which incidentally sound nothing like “swirly girly gothy voice of doom” – and I find the cover art for Hollymode aesthetically pleasing, it was the first video that I watched, for a song … Continue reading