Wednesday, September 15, 2004

 

Richard Buckner: Ariel Ramirez (Go! Buy the Rekkid!)

There's a debate out there that doesn't interest me a whole ton. It's not the battle over whether dubbyah's bad report card was done in MS word. (Though this is funny - it should have been signed "Sincerely Michael Moor. . . I mean, Bushy's superior officer.") The debate is this: Some folks think Richard Buckner is whoring himself by selling a slightly- edited version of Ariel Ramirez to Volkswagen (notice how Buck singin' "when we're killed or cured, and barely hurt" somehow didn't make the car ad?) Other folks think he could use the cash and can't be blamed for taking it. Still others wonder if he'll even see a dime for the commercial anyway. (Ariel Ramirez was released on 1998's Since, by MCA. Do majors actually PAY royalties to anyone not named Velvet Revolver?) Debate all you want, people. I have a more important question. Why the hell aren't more people in awe of the man? Let's look at the facts. First, he writes amazing, Townes-Van-Sandt-quality songs. Second, he's got a voice that sounds like someone trying to put out the embers of a bonfire full of broken hearts with a hose full of whiskey. And third, when he had a long hair and a beard, he kinda looked like Jesus. Hopefully Buck hawkin' VWs will result in more people being interested in his music. Just look what happened to Nick Drake. Twenty-six years after he died he ended up posthumously selling Cabrios. In the year that followed, his record company sold thousands of greatest hits packages to folks who wouldn't have heard the music if it weren't for the commercial. Since Buck isn't dead, and since he has a new record coming out in October on Merge this is likely a good thing, no? Now if we could just get Paul at the Black Sheep to book him for another live show. He hasn't been to Fat City in years . . . Buy a copy of the (truly excellent) Since LP
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