Thursday, August 04, 2005


Hartless Thursday

Yesterday, I promised a picture of former Husker, Grant Hart. As you can see, I've delivered. Now, to be honest, I had every intention of posting a picture that I myself had taken. Unfortunately, dear reader, you are I'm sure fully aware of what they say about the road to hell. Last night that self-same road was paved not only with good intentions but also with vodka tonic (DAMN you Moe and Maryn! All I wanted to do was share the rock with the people...and yet you buried me in the demon liquor!) If anyone DID make the show (and as far as I can tell, not many people did) please tell me about it in the comments. I'd love to hear more about where Grant is than what I already know (i.e. he's off smack. He still hates Bob Mould and they won't ever play together again unless someone else they know gets cancer). As I nurse my hangover, we can chat briefly about music I actually HAVE listened to lately. Leadwillaguthdylasteen revisited I've often wondered how hard it must be for acoustic-slinging singer songwriter types to find a new and true way of expressing themselves. When so much of the ground has already been covered by giants, how do you find your own voice? Justin Rutledge (his friends call him "Derek") stays himself by using a gentle hand in both production and guitar attack. Then he adds evocative lyrics about carnival performers and sculptors that are just a little more melancholy and fantastic than the average folkie. The results are pretty solid. Just listen to The Suffering of Pepe O'Malley (Part III) (Go! Buy the Rekkid!) Justin's first record, No Never Alone, is available from Maple Music. Pregnant Pause Many of us have been caught saying "F**k Stephen Harper!" Just make sure you don't put it on a bumper sticker in Alberta or you might get arrested (it's the last item on the page) Did you hear? Michael Jackson is investing in a Swiss soccer club. (vi(v)a (le) boing) If you didn't read Bad News Richard Posner's analysis of the so-called American "Media Divide" in Sunday's NYT, you really ought to. He makes some pretty excellent points.
Nice call on J.R., Gros Citoyen. I'm singing along to "Lay Me Down Sweet Jesus" as I write. It's interesting to see the comparisons to Ryan Adams bandied about, especially in the year when the enfant terrible himself is due to release, count 'em, three records. Apparently the next one is supposed to be back to the rootsy, as opposed to the tedious and self-indulgent, side of Adams. In any case, Rutledge may remind him that there's some life in the old alt-country horse yet.

The Ryan Adams comparison is fair, but I think (c)Ryan is so far removed from Heartbreaker (the record that reminds me of Rutledge's sound) that the comparison is kinda moot.

At the end of the day, it comes back to what I said about finding your own space...these accoustic dudes have to be themselves, or they'll drown in comparisons.
I love this song! But I don't really hear Heartbreaker in there, to be honest.

Advice to folkie types (from someone who loves folkie types but has no musical talent of his own): focus on quality and screw the comparisons. If someone thinks you sound like the next Dylan take it as a compliment but don't take it seriously. Just write and sing the best songs you can come up with, that are sincere and meaningful to you. If that's something unique, great. If it kinda sounds like someone else, as long as it's good, so be it.
Grant's playing this, in Lawrence, Kansas...
Oops, better just click on my name. Why does blogger always cut off urls?
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