cowboys and cattlemen – how do!

Country never rocked this hard.


by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have been putting the “oy” in a wide variety of hit songs since 1995. The band straddles the line between being a novelty act and true rock professionals, all with a grin and a good sense of taste. They have given the punk treatment to everything from show tunes to surf-rock to R&B, and now they’re showing listeners how much they Love Their Country.

The album begins with a treatment of “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” that stays fairly true to Garth Brooks’ original. The listener is momentarily confused and dismayed that perhaps Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have lost their touch. Fear not, for as the first chorus rolls around, the punk kicks in and begins the wild twenty-five minute ride through twelve of Country Music’s top hits.

One unexpected and beautifully incorporated element on the album are the bagpipes on Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” They mesh effortlessly with the crunch of the electric guitars and enhance the vocal slides are distinctive to that style of music, which lead singer Spike pulls off quite well.

The inclusion of the Dixie Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl” is a treat. Although the original was styled as a country song, it already had a punk attitude that lends itself to the new arrangement. Someone has even gone and created an edited video with the Gimme Gimmes’ version of the song overlaying the original images.

Love Their Country is an entertaining album. It isn’t particularly groundbreaking or monumental, and neither is it intended to be. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have accomplished what they set out for: a collection of country covers that anyone with a bit of punk in their soul can enjoy.

Me First And The Gimme Gimmes Ho Down

An Interview with Susan Werner

“I believe that we can be a diverse society of extraordinary creativity and innovation and vitality and freedom, and those things are the best things that we can be.”

Susan Werner, PatriotMy introduction to the music of Susan Werner was in the fall of 1999 when a friend who produced a local acoustic music radio show lent me copies of Time Between Trains and Last of the Good Straight Girls. I was instantly enchanted with the sincerity and wit that Werner brings to her music. Her last album was a thematic collection of songs that sound like they are from the 20s and 30s, but are all orginal and new. Recently, Werner made available for download a song she describes as an alternative national anthem. “This is a song that takes the National Anthem and turns it on his head,” says Werner. “It’s Francis Scott Key meets Arlo Guthrie.” I had the pleasure of speaking with Werner about the song a few weeks ago.

Continue reading “An Interview with Susan Werner”

redneck woman

So here’s to all my sisters out there keeping it country
Let me get a big ‘hell yeah’ from the redneck girls like me

I’ve been listening to the local country stations lately while driving around when the public radio stations aren’t broadcasting anything I’m interested in. I never cared much for country until I saw the Dixie Chicks at a Lillith Fair in 1999. I started scanning the dial on long car trips, and discovered that there are in fact some witty songwriters in the country genre, as well as some great toe-tapping tunes. One of my recent favorites is a song by Gretchen Wilson that was profiled yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered.

My reactions when I first heard this song were mixed. On the one hand, I appreciated the songwriting and gutsy humor, but on the other hand I felt a tinge of discomfort. I’m not a redneck woman, nor do I wish to be, so I couldn’t feel a kinship with the song like the women screaming “hell, yeah!” in the chorus. What appeals to me is the independence and unashamed statement of self proclaimed in this song. The commentator put it in the same category as the Dixie Chick’s Goodbye Earl, another song I can’t relate to directly, but greatly appreciate the sentiments.

I recommend giving the tune a spin on your favorite audio medium. If anything, you’ll be doing some chair dancing.

the world is connected

Today and yesterday were filled with intensive training sessions at work. If you’ve never seen SFX in action, then you have no idea of what you’re missing. Do check it out sometime. Well, check it out if you’re one of the few librarians that read this blog. Most of the rest of you could probably care less. (She says with a glint of humor in her eyes.)

The City of Madison, Wisconsin, is considering a resolution to “let the Dixie Chicks know that they can become the adopted country music group of Madison, Wisconsin, and encouraging them to change their name to the Heartland Chicks or the Dairyland Chicks.”

The FBI can see everything that you click on while surfing the web. [thanks Dad]

Wow. This is somewhat old news, but it just came across my email. Aparently, Bush is not a moron.

Arianna Huffington believes that the anti-war movement was right.

Continue reading “the world is connected”

dixie chicks on the next geraldo!

It’s so beautiful outside today that I wish my campus had a campus-wide wireless network. That way, I could borrow a laptop and work on the lawn. Ahh… one can dream…

The Specious Report has written a satire of Natalie Maines’ apology. I think it is much more appropriate.

Geraldo Rivera has “volunteered” to leave Iraq after broadcasting the location of the Army troops he was quasi-embedded with, as well as their possible future movements. I thought that the Fox News Channel was the breeding ground for conservative war hawks. I had no idea that they were actually working for Saddam!

Ever since the Patriot Act was passed in Congress, librarians have been discussing what to do about patron privacy. Booksellers have also been concerned, but their situation is somewhat more complex than libraries, since they have a history of using their customer histories to provide more customized service. One bookstore owner in Washington State has decided to not follow many libraries’ leads and is retaining his customer records in full. He briefly explains why he has made this decision, despite privacy concerns surrounding the Patriot Act.