my neighbors who say they are accountants keep slipping viles into the girl scout cookies order forms they hand me

i’m still pretty convinced the married couple i share my house with are peddling narcotics.   someones gotta be doing it, why not the ol’ american dream couple?

 I’m almost speachless as to how good the new billy bragg songs sound.   Billy never was a rockstar (or even a punk rocker), so i guess i shouldn’t be quite so shocked that he’s aged with such fury and gracy, but i am. 


i don’t know what it is about indie guys trying to do country, but for some reason it rubs more wrongly than the more serious issue of white guys trying to do black music (which, on a broad level, is most rock n’ roll, but more specifically indicts bands i love like The Reigning Sound, Saturday Looks Good To Me, and His Name Is Alive).   I guess it’s due to attending  a liberal arts school where kids from suburban new jersey are singing songs in a faux-warble about roping up steers or drinking whiskey on the train, and also due to my love-hate-hate-hate relationship with ryan adams (oh fuck ryan, we all know your daddy didn’t work on the railroads.  stop singing it, please?), but then that brings up all sorts of questions about what i mean by “authentic” music.   Do you have to have grown up 150 years ago in west viriginia to record appalachian music?  Is John Vanderslice singing songs from the perspective of a prostitute in Fallujah any worse than a bunch of suburban white boys singing about egg sucking dogs?  I don’t know; i don’t have any answers to these certainly answerable questions, but i guess my point is that sometimes things come together beautifully.   Porch Destruction might work so well because it isn’t about the dust bowl.  It uses fiddle and banjo and organ and even a chained up old fender to report on a city, Portland, in mid winter.  This song is all the better for being so straightforward, and, even though it might be aping a line from a Weakerthans song, i still swell up a little bit when the harmonies come in for “I’ll count the steps it takes to get to where i know.”

Porch Destruction” is from Norfolk and Western’s 2006 album A Gilded Age.  They’ve got a new album coming out this year that certainly just wiggled (maybe wriggled?  maybe both) its way onto my “things i’m going to buy and not steal” list.  


it’s not often enough that a mild mannered british dance pop band take over your house. not often enough at all.

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