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November 28, 2006

Freedom and Weep

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Pass me the bottle/hand me my heart/I'm wasted and stunted/but I talk like a star/Well the money's all gone before the check even clears/Left with nothing, nothing at all.

Right from it's opening verse (above) The Waco Brothers' 2005 album Freedom and Weep, drags your sorry ass all over the dusty, beer-and-piss-soaked dance floor leaving you in the back alley with the junkies puking in their brown paper whiskey-bottled bags. Along the way you are confronted with the sad state of fake Nashville idols, the crassness of Reality TV, the falsity of Intelligent Design, and the shame of George W. Bush.

This snarling, take-no-prisoners approach from a bunch of 40 and 50 year olds gives this album an edge that most 20-something, snot-nosed punks couldn't muster even if they gave up their left tatoo. Freedom and Weep is a country album that is more Bakersfield than Nashville; a punk album more Chicago than London; a political album more Daily Kos than George Will. An album that even an alt-country hillbilly blogger could love.

If you like your country straight, no chaser with a splash of kick-ass, put this album on your Christmas list. Just remember to turn it up real loud!

This entry dedicated to Mark.

November 24, 2006

Friday Random Top Ten

Here it is! In the tradition of American Idle, every Friday I will turn the I-Pod to shuffle and see what it spits out. This Friday's Top Ten:

1. Revolution - The Beatles
2. Down the Line - Johnny Cash
3. Think About It - The Jayhawks
4. Holywater - Soundgarden
5. I'm a Believer - Neil Diamond
6. Miss Being Mrs. - Loretta Lynn
7. Echos - Pink Floyd
8. To Hell with Poverty - Gang of Four
9. I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine - Elvis Presley
10. Come Out and Play - The Offspring

I wouldn't be surprised to hear this list on a College Radio Station. Favorite song this week? Tear Stained Eye by Son Volt. Slide guitar - check. Banjo - check. Tawngy voice - check. Yearning for a lost love - check. Put it all together and you have one classic country song.

November 20, 2006

Good Weekend for Goldy!

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If you're Gopher fan there's nothing better than beating Iowa in Football and Wisconsin in Hockey. Doing both in one weekend...priceless. The Gopher Footballers put the smackdown on resident Iowa brat Drew Tate in a nice 34-24 victory. What's more, it looks like the Gophers will have a legitimate big time running back again in Jay Thomas. With a couple of decent defensive players and a good quaterback, this team might show some promise in the next couple of years.

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Every weekend we get more evidence that Wisconsin's National Championship last year was a fluke and on Saturday and Sunday the Gopher's icemen put it to Bucky in both games. Wisconsin seems to think that all you need is a goalie to play hockey but not even Brian Elliot can save Bucky from having a sub-par season this year. Meanwhile the Gophers have the most exciting freshmen class in college hockey. Looks like we'll be watching the Gophers in April once again.

November 17, 2006

Friday Random Top 10

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Here it is! In the tradition of American Idle, every Friday I will turn the I-Pod to shuffle and see what it spits out. This Friday's Top Ten:

1. Thanks A Lot - Hank and Ruth
2. Nashville Blues - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
3. Close to Me - The Cure
4. I'll be Your Mirror - The Velvet Underground
5. We'll Never Turn Back - The Freedom Singers
6. Allison - Elvis Costello
7. Let it be Me - Social Distortion
8. I Believe - R.E.M
9. Outlaw Blues - Bob Dylan
10. Conduit For Sale - Pavement

Nice list, nothing spectacular. Favorite song this week? Common People by William Shatner and Joe Jackson. This song absolutely rocks. Combine Shatner's narration/over emoting with Jackson's raw, over-the-top singing and you have a rock and roll classic. I could listen to this song 10 times a day and not get sick of it.

What's your Top 10?

November 10, 2006

Friday Random Top 10

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Here it is! In the tradition of American Idle, every Friday I will turn the I-Pod to shuffle and see what it spits out. This Friday's Top Ten:

1. 15 Years in Indiana – Jack Logan
2. He Was a Friend of Mine – Willie Nelson
3. Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White – The Hypstryz
4. Wild Thing – Jimi Hendrix
5. No More Blues – the Blasters
6. Is She Really Going Out With Him – Joe Jackson
7. Up Around the Bend – Creedence Clearwater Revival
8. Birmingham Sunday – Richard Farina and Mimi Baez
9. Hand in Hand – Elvis Costello
10. After Midnight – The Cowboy Junkies

Fun list, I'd love to hear that on the radio sometime. Favorite song this week? Heroin by The Velvet Underground. Now I've never shot smack, but I've felt that I don't have to because of this song. The way it builds slowly with short fast rushes of anticipation and/or nervousness, the bass drum pounding a heartbeat faster, faster, until finally, the singer describes the heroin reaching his brain and the drum/heartbeat is pounding manically, the guitars are just screaming, and I swear the guitars are producing a sound that is out of range of human hearing, but you know it's there. If that isn't a non-drug heroin rush, I don't want to take the drug anyway.

What's your top 10?

November 8, 2006

Neil Young - Living with War

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When historians look back at the 2006 mid-term election and want to figure out what was going through the mind of the American public as they decisively threw the Republican Party out of office, I suggest that they listen to Neil Young’s new album Living with War.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that tens of millions of American voters listened to this album and then went out and voted, but I do think that this album perfectly captures the mood of the country at this point and time. At times the album can be blistering in its criticism of George W. Bush as such songs as Let’s Impeach the President and Shock and Awe leave little to the imagination of what Neil thinks of our President. But don’t dismiss this album as an anti-Bush screed. Young also captures the yearning most Americans have for a leader, any leader, who will work to make this country better, and chides Americans for not demanding more from our leaders or holding them accountable for their actions.

Flags of Freedom is probably one of the most patriotic songs I have ever heard from a rocker. It describes an old time military parade full of new recruits on their way to war (presumably Iraq). Parents and family members watch proudly and with trepidation as their sons and daughters, husbands, and wives, brothers and sisters march off to war. However there is criticism directed to the rest of us who stayed behind, as Young describes a sister who is there to watch her brother off to war but is then distracted by what is playing on a flat screen TV in a shop window. Finally in case you still don’t get what Neil is trying to say on Living with War, he ends the album with a gospel choir version of America the Beautiful.

Apparently this album was put together in a couple of days and it shows in some places. It probably has the most DIY vibe on a major label album since Guided By Voices’ Bee Thousand album. Also if you groove on Neil Young but don’t care about the lyrics, there still are a couple of classic Neil Young with Crazy Horse stompers here. On Neil’s web site there are videos of Neil arranging the songs, which is also quite fascinating.

If you were excited by the election results this album is for you. If you were confused and angry about the outcome, listen to this album to get a better understanding of what many of your fellow Americans are feeling. If you love Neil Young's music, get this album. Finally if you are fascinated in seeing how a Hall of Fame rock and roll star can be both political and patriotic, angry and hopeful, irreverent and relevant, go out and get Living with War.

November 6, 2006

VOTE!!!!!!

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I usually don't comment too much on politics on this site as there are plenty of sites that do that nationally and locally. That doesn't mean I don't care about poltics, in fact it's the opposite and I check out many political blogs, both from the left and right.

I have really gotten a kick in the last few days visiting conservative local blogs. The amount of denial they are in is simply a site to behold. Many conservative blogs actually believe what their Dear Leader and henchmen say publicly: the Republicans are fired up and all the pundits who are predicting a big democratic party win on Tuesday are just smoking crack.. or words to that effect. I have made comments on these blogs pointing out the error of their ways and look forward to Wednesday when I can tell them "I told you so." One particulary nasty blog is called the Kool Aid Report (no link, find it for yourself), which in typical fashion, chose to slime me as opposed to actually address the point I made. Here's KAR's retort to my comment that I thought Howard Dean as DNC Chair was suppose to be a disaster for the Dems:

"College blog commenters are just so awesome! If they spent more time on their studies they wouldn't be so stupid. Yes, I'm talking to you DEC I'm worried your reading comprehension is so far in the pits you won't be able to figure this post out."

Classy. Should be fun to read the ruminations on these blogs over the next few days.

Any way, here are my Monday night election predictions, not who I'm voting for but who I think will win.

Hatch - Gov
Swanson - AG
Ritchie - SoS
CD 1 - Walz
CD 2 - Kline
CD 5 - Ellison (over 50%)
CD 6 - Bachmann
Sen - Klobuchar

Dems pick up 30 seats in House
Dems pick up 6 seats in Senate

What's your prediction?

November 3, 2006

Friday Random Top 10

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Here it is! In the tradition of American Idle, every Friday I will turn the I-Pod to shuffle and see what it spits out. This Friday's Top Ten:

1. A Mutual Friend - Wire
2. Don't Worry About the Government - Talking Heads
3. Highway 61 Revisted - Bob Dylan
4. Can't Tame a Wild Woman - Washboard Hank and the Squirrels
5. Go Limp - Matt McGinn
6. I Wanna Live - Ramones
7. I Love You - G. Love and Special Sauce
8. Decauter - Sufjan Stevens
9. Cocaine Lil - Mekons
10. This, Too - Mieka Pauley

Favorite song this week? Chicago from Sufjan Stevens. Now I don't get the whole Sufjan Stevens thing, I can't even get through his album Illinois but I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't like Chicago. Great lyrics, a haunting melody, and oh those strings. How can someone make a song so perfect on an album so wretched?

What's your top 10?

November 2, 2006

What Would Alex Keaton Do?!?

Want to know how far today's media has fallen in regards to real journalism?

Check out this article from CNN: How would Alex P. Keaton react to the Michael J. Fox Stem Cell ad?

What about Marty McFly or better yet Teen Wolf, I'm sure they'd like to weigh in too!