Tag Archives: Olympic Ass Kicking Team

T.G.I.F. – Ten Roots Rockers

Last night I saw two great sets from the pride of Festus, Missouri – The Bottle Rockets. Great albums and an even better band live, and it’s nights like that which make me thankful that there are still some great bands making the rounds these days playing Great American Music.

Of course, radio isn’t exactly following suit…roots rock, Americana and good old country soul rock’n’roll doesn’t market to the tweens. That’s the target audience with the most disposable income, the highest sheep mentality and the most easily swayed loyalty. And since no one is trying to cultivate careers anymore, it’s all about the quick hit and the cash grab, because tomorrow is someone else’s marketing bonanza.

Well, there are great bands out there plugging in and rocking out, and despite the ambivalence of the media, they’ve managed to carve out a career and a loyal audience. It’s not likely that they’ll play the Enormodome anytime soon, but who wants to watch a band through binoculars, anyway? Give me the honest sweat and pulse of a great club show any day.

The Bottle Rockets are such a band – they play with passion and heart and write songs about real people and real lives. They’ll plug in and blast off just as hard for fifty people as they will for fifteen hundred or fifteen thousand. So in their honor, here are ten artists that your neighbor might not know the name of, but their mission was to carry the torch for Great American Rock’n’Roll.

All deserve to be household names, and in my world, they are.

01) The Bottle Rockets: “I’ll Be Comin’ Around

02) Jason and the Scorchers: “White Lies

03) Webb Wilder: “Tough It Out

04) The Del Lords: “Burning In The Flame Of Love

05) Terry Anderson: “You Know Me

06) Dan Baird: “I Love You Period

07) The Jayhawks: “Save It For a Rainy Day

08) Lucero: “She’s Just That Kinda Girl

09) Drive-By Truckers: “This Fucking Job

10) The Beat Farmers: “Hollywood Hills

Of course, it’s just ten songs, not the canon. From Credence to The Replacements, from Walk The West to The Bo Deans, from The Blasters to The Gaslight Anthem, there’s a wealth of timeless music beyond that radio dial. Enjoy these ten, and go find yourself some more.

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T.G.I.F. – Top Ten Albums of 2009

Someone always disagrees

As you may or may not know, scrambling to assemble a Top Ten list of the year for anything is a pain in the ass, since many times eligible films and albums don’t come out until December. For that reason (let’s put procrastination aside for a moment) my deadline has always been Super Bowl Sunday, which use to be sometime in January. This year the Gods of Sport have decided to move the game back into February, probably to pretend its part of the Winter Olympics. And with all the wonderful decisions they have been making, who are we to question the brilliance of network television executives? 

But each year the deadline for the Village Voice gets earlier. So while I am still filtering through decisions on the lower end of the top forty, the Top Ten is cut in stone. (The full list will be available after the Super Bowl.)

I’ve already posted reviews for some of these albums, others will be forthcoming (some are not yet published in the respective magazines they were submitted to). So without further ado, I hereby announce my choices for the Top Ten Albums of 2009: 

  

One : Love and Curses (The Reigning Sound) 

Two: Lions in the Street (Lions in the Street) 

Three: National Champions (Olympic Ass Kicking Team) 

Four: 1372 Overton Park (Lucero) 

Five: Learning Love (Bobby Emmett) 

Six: More Like Me (Webb Wilder) 

Seven: Tinted Windows (Tinted Windows) 

Eight: Little White Lies (Fastball) 

Nine: Spills and Thrills (John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives) 

Ten: House To House (Tripwires) 

 

Link to my Village Voice Pazz & Jop ballot

My centricity rating, or how far off center my choices are. (Very

*** 

R.I.P. – the Greta Garbo of authors, J.D.Salinger 

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Under The Radar: The Yayhoos

Yep, despite their rock-solid pedigrees and irresistable nut-crunching rock’n’roll, we Yayhoos fans must admit that our heroes do, indeed, fly under the radar. Apparently we’re a cult, except without the sick twisted part (that’s for Terry to put in the lyrics when he sees fit…)

But dammit, we’re stubborn! So since Terry Anderson just announced a new album is on the way from his other band of gypsies, The Olympic Ass Kicking Team, I thought I’d use that flimsy excuse to wave my flags and banners for these Yayhoos again. And despite what my 2006 review (below, from the UK magazine Bucketful of Brains) said at the time, you can now find most solo and band Yayhoo albums here.

And don’t worry…you’ll be reading about the new OAKteam album here very soon.

 

All Dressed Up for the Love Train...

All Dressed Up for the Love Train...

The Yayhoos: Put the Hammer Down 

The “American Rockpile” strikes again with a solid follow-up to Fear Not the Obvious. And yes, astute fans of both, there were Dan Baird and Terry Anderson and Eric Ambel releases since then to keep us going just like Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds used to do. I wish there was an album a month from these guys, because the pure joy of making music together that bleeds from the speakers is so palpable it’s only exceeded by their collective musical talent.

If you’re familiar with the pedigree of Dan and Terry and Eric and ex-Satellite Keith Christopher, buying this immediately is a no-brainer. For those with more mainstream blood, mix the swagger of vintage Rolling Stones with the sloppy charm of The Replacements and the unbridled alcoholic cool of The Faces…with a little more twang, of course. Songs about getting sloppy, drunk and naked. Self-deprecating band namechecking song. Semi-pensive rock ballads and greasy guitar romps with hillbilly harmony. A love song called “Where’s Your Boyfriend At?” – now that’s a special Yayhoo kind of love. And for you jukebox jimmies, raucous covers of “Love Train” (a song they were covering live long before the Coors commercials, by the way) and the B-52’s “Roam”. The Yayhoos prove that having fun and making great music are not mutually exclusive efforts.

Tough to find, since it was recorded in Brooklyn and released on the small label named after Eric’s swank Alphabet City watering hole Lakeside Lounge. But the hunt brings a great reward. Go get it.

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