Tag: Alt Country

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

Still Feel Gone (1991) by Uncle Tupelo

Before Uncle Tupelo, I feel like alt country (such as it was) was so much cleaner. Despite the ostensible punk influence on the genre, the alt country records I’ve heard from the last 80s are all pretty much straight up country rock. There’s more of an edge here, even if it isn’t much of one …

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 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. On Friday night, we arrived to catch the end of Daniel Romano’s rather sedate country set. Romano had been to WIMF a …

2001, Music

Pneumonia (2001) by Whiskeytown

The gospel – at least the gospel that I read – has it that this is Whiskeytown’s big attempt at a statement beyond alt country; that this is their do-everything pop rock album that puts them in the canon of great bands…or something like that.  This rep definitely comes more than a little from the …

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 always liked …

1995, Music

Tomorrow the Green Grass (1995 American) by the Jayhawks

It sort of boggles my mind that these guys had already been around for a decade when this came out. It just goes to show you that sometimes we excessively labeling, critical types are a little slow on the uptake. When this was released it was supposed to be the heyday of alt-country but really …

2012, Music

Blunderbuss (2012 Third Man Records) by Jack White

I don’t know what people were expecting but all I can say is that hype is a terrible thing. It’s funny reading all the disappointment on RYM. As much as I loved the White Stripes – and I did, and I do – one thing I can’t say is that they were particularly original or …

2007, Music

Invitation Songs by the Cave Singers (Matador 2007)

So it took me a while to get into this. The lead singer sounds a little bit like he is trying to be a country-ish young Lou Reed (you know, the guy you hear on those early Velvets demos). And the affectation (can I really believe he sound like this when he speaks?) is fucking …

2006, Music

Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case (Mint 2006)

The songs take some time to grow on you, but this is because they’re not exactly conventional in structure. And the hooks are subtle. I like subtle. Her voice is fantastic and the backing musicians are uniformly good. I haven’t yet come to the point where I would regard this as any kind of masterpiece, …

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 …