Tag: Alt Country

2000, Music

Hearbreaker (2000) by Ryan Adams

Faithless Street (specifically the expanded edition from 3 years later) is one of my favourite albums of the 1990s and easily my favourite alt country album of all time. I went through a phase where I was chasing that dragon a bit, listening to the other Whiskeytown records and some Adams solo stuff, and never …

1995, Music

Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot (1995) by Sparklehorse

My memory of Good Morning Spider, the only Sparklehorse record I’ve heard before this one, is that it was pretty harrowing stuff. That makes sense, given that part of it is about an overdose. But I guess I was expecting something similar. And though this record definitely has a “sad” vibe at times, I don’t …

1995, Music

Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home (1995) by The Geraldine Fibbers

YES Where has this band been all my life? I read about them ages ago and I just took my sweet time getting to them. And for that, I’m sorry.

1990, Music

No Depression (1990) by Uncle Tupelo

There are people who will tell you that this is the first ever alt country album. They are wrong about that. They have apparently never heard of the Jayhawks or any of the alternative rock bands incorporating country into their music in the 1980s. (I just finished reviewing an album also credited with inventing this …

1985, Music

Fear and Whiskey (1985) by Mekons

This record is credited by many as the birth of alt country. (Funnily enough, a record by an American band released exactly five years later is also credited as the birth of alt country…) I’m not sure that’s true for more than a few reasons, but it’s still a remarkably unique post punk record, especially …

1985, Music

Up on the Sun (1985) by Meat Puppets

The more that I listen to the Meat Puppets the more it feels like they are one of the foundational bands of American alternative rock, setting the template for what was acceptable. When I was young and first encountering alternative, it felt like the diversity was baked in but original. The more I listen to …

1997, Music

Devotion + Doubt (1997) by Richard Buckner

I stumbled upon this because of my father. He gave it to me and I had no idea what it was. He didn’t really explain either. By the cover I think I mistakenly thought it either was “classical” initially – I must have read “Bruckner” rather than Buckner – and then I think I thought …

1999, Music

Mule Variations (1999) by Tom Waits

At this point, anyone who has followed Waits since his left-turn in the early 1980s knows what to expect from a Waits album. Aside from from production choices, most Waits albums of the last 35 years have sounded rather similar to each other, with everything in his own inimitable style, and the only major difference …

1988, Music

Mutations (1998) by Beck

I can imagine that, had I paid attention to Beck more when he first became popular, and only heard Mellow Gold and Odelay, and not his earlier “anti folk” records, this record might have knocked me on my ass. In retrospect it has far more in common with Sea Change than it does those records …

1988, Music

American Water (1998) by Silver Jews

Pavement were such a big deal – or seemed like they were such a big deal – that I think it’s really easy to understand why they inevitably come up with this band, even though, according to some sources, this band existed prior to Pavement, and certainly in some iteration or other. But even if …

1988, Music

Lucinda Williams (1988)

I was going to say that there’s something about a debut that tempers my expectations in a way that doesn’t happen with other albums. But this record wasn’t her debut; I hadn’t realized she put out two records way, way earlier, in 1979 and 1980. So I guess the positive spin on this is that …

1993, Music

There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You (1993) by Palace Brothers

The impact of this record is dimmed a lot by time and by familiarity with Will Oldham’s career. Apparently this was initially released without credits and the sense of mystery that and the music contained herein created probably has a lot to do with this record’s reputation and the launching of Oldham’s career (as Palace …

1993, Music

Fuzzy (1993) by Grant Lee Buffalo

I decided to talk about this record, rather than any number of other records from 1988 and 1993, in part because Michael Stipe once claimed it was the best album of 1993. Now, I don’t necessarily share musical states with the lead singer of REM, but I do feel like he had an important role, …

1991, Music

Everclear (1991) by American Music Club

These guys are the Kings of Slowcore, so I’ve been told. Not being the biggest devotee of the genre, I have no idea if that’s true. And if I get obsessed about influence and such, I’ll ignore the music here and focus on the fact that slowcore already existed when this came out. (Because, of …

2015, Music

The 2015 Wolfe Island Music Festival August 7-8, 2015

The annual pilgrimage to Wolfe Island Music Festival (WIMF) got off to a bit of an uneven start but ended up being one of the better festivals I have attended over the last half decade or so.

2012, Music

Wolfe Island Music Festival 2012

This is my second year attending the Wolfe Island Music Festival, the 14th edition. Just like last year, I attended even though it is not really full of bands I would normally seek out. I like the vibe – how it is completely different from seeing something in Toronto, for example – and I have …

2011, Music

WIMF: the Wolfe Island Music Festival 2011

My friend recently noted that the acronym is confusing, making one think of the IMF, so I decided to spell it out. Just putting that out there. This was the 13th edition of the festival but my first. I must say I was unfamiliar with most of the bands, though I knew many of them …

Music

Why it’s good when bands break up or have lots of side projects…

In the CD player: King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime by FNM (yes, I know…) I was just thinking, it’s amazing the number of other bands and artists and various other people I’ve been exposed to because of one band I really like. For example: Mr. Bungle I don’t really remember why I …