Too Drunk To Dream

…ain’t no drinking when the bottle’s dry…

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit hitting the high notes on new album

[Jason Isbell]
I really can’t say enough about the tracks that I’ve heard off of Jason Isbell’s new album Seven Mile Island, due Feb 17th. There IS something to be said about straight up honest songwriting, intelligent and inventive musicianship and a road-tested pace that would make any fan of Southern-tinged alt. country tap their foot and bob their head.

In fact, Isbell and his band, the 400 Unit have earned their road stripes. They’ve criss-crossed the States following the release of Sirens of the Ditch, having played over 200 shows in just over a year. Judging by the schedule of things to come, that count is gonna skyrocket. I know that I’m catching them in Boston. I’m not missing that.

Preordered ticket holders also get a one-year subscription to PASTE Magazine, which is pretty fucking cool. Not much comes for free anymore, so hook it up. If you order, and don’t want the subscription, hit me up in the comments (mine just ran out)



Thu-Feb-12 Birmingham, AL Workplay
Sat-Feb-14 Florence, AL Shoals Theater
Tue-Feb-17 Athens, GA Georgia Theatre
Wed-Feb-18 Atlanta, GA The Earl
Fri-Feb-20 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre
Sat-Feb-21 Richmond, VA The National
Sun-Feb-22 Harrisonburg, VA The Pub
Tue-Feb-24 Boston, MA TT the Bears
Thu-Feb-26 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
Fri-Feb-27 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
Sat-Feb-28 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe
Sun-Mar-01 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
Mon-Mar-02 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
Wed-Mar-04 Toronto, ONT Horseshoe Tavern
Thu-Mar-05 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place
Fri-Mar-06 Columbus, OH The Rumba Café
Sat-Mar-07 Cincinnati, OH Southgate House
Sun-Mar-08 Asheville, NC Orange Peel
Fri-Mar-13 Louisville, KY Headliner’s
Sat-Mar-14 Nashville, TN The Mercy Lounge
Mar 18 – 22 Austin, TX SXSW

Sons of Roswell support 2/12 and 2/14
Benji Hughes supports 2/17 – 2/ 22 and 3/8
Deer Tick supports 2/24, 2/27 – 3/14

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – Cigarettes And Wine

Stream the album on MySpace

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January 27, 2009 Posted by | alt country, americana, deer tick, drive-by truckers, ghost of electricity, indie, jason isbell, rock, seven mile island, Sirens of the Ditch, toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

Omissions and Regrets…. A Best-of 2008 addendum

Ok, so it’s been a few weeks since I dropped my opinions on the best albums of 2008, and I’m having some issues. There was so much music that was listened to, and loved in the past year….I feel like I’ve misrepresented some great albums.

Now, I’m perfectly content with my top 30. I just feel like some albums just didn’t have a chance in HELL of seeing the top 30, but shouldn’t they be recognized too?? I’m not talking about an honorable mention list or a ‘listened to’ list, I’m talking about collections, reissues, late-bloomers, and a couple that just didn’t have a place to begin with. Here’s a tribute to them…

Bob Dylan – Tell Tale Signs: Bootleg Series Vol 8

There’s no doubting the fact that Bob Dylan’s name exists near the top of the list in terms of songwriting and influence. I mean, his canon of music is exhaustive and exhalted. But Bob hasn’t struck gold with everything he’s recorded. In fact from the time after Oh, Mercy (1989) until the very late nineties, it seemed that he had strayed off the path a little, releasing a string of less-than-stellar albums that left old diehards scratching their heads.

Something happened around the time that Time Out of Mind (1997) was released. Bob had adopted an older, wiser persona, writing about the great American road, and the hardship and characters embedded in it. He followed Time with Love and Theft [2001] and Modern Times [2006].

From this time period Bob has culled an incredible selection of outtakes, demos, reworked and unreleased tracks that just amazed me. Just give a listen to both versions of ‘Mississippi’ for an example of how awe-inspiring a rejected mix can be, and his ‘Can’t Escape From You’ for an example of a song that never found it’s place. I guess I’m glad that this two-disc (or three, if you’re rich) collection has seen the light of day. It’s also nice to see that old man Bob’s trash is also his treasure.

Mississippi – Bob Dylan

Whiskeytown – Stranger’s Almanac

Remember the endless horizon of possibilities ahead for the unwritten history of alt country? There was Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, and the Jayhawks. There was the residual of punk rock asthetics melded with a southern traditional rock core. When Stranger’s Almanac was born, it became a bellweather of sorts for the potential commercial success and ultimate decline of quote-unquote alt country. This album gets the redux treatment, with some early versions, live tracks, and a nice new sound. Ryan Adams hasn’t sounded this good since.

Inn Town – Whiskeytown

Welcome Wagon – The Welcome Wagon

A great album that satiated my Sufjan Stevens fix in the final months of 2008. While it is a little too overtly religious for my tastes, the music is incredible, and the album plays like a true follow-up to 2005’s Illinoise

He Never Said A Mumblin Word – The Welcome Wagon

Sun Kil Moon – April
Mark Kozelek –
7 Songs Belfast
Mark Kozelek – The Finally EP

Wow, I’m exhausted just typing all of that. Mark, if you’d just slow down maybe I’d have become familiar enough with one of these albums. None of these made my top 30 because I haven’t been hooked…yet. I know it will happen, but it’s gonna be in 2009.

The Light – Sun Kil Moon

Vicki Cristina Barcelona soundtrack

Loved every second of the movie and the soundtrack had a lot to do with that. The soundtrack plays like a Spanish-music primer, with a mish mash of artists and influences. So refreshing. Plus, the movie had Scarlett Johanssen and Penelope Cruz in it. I’ve said to much…I’ve lost your attention.

Barcelona – Giulia y Los Tellarini

Sigur Ros – med..uh…med…ummm… Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Whatever it’s called, the album is gorgeous. I resisted listening to this for a LONG time, but I’ve caved. It’s really beautiful. It didn’t make my initial cut, primarily because I value lyrics so much, but it should definitely be recognized for what it is, a gentle and haunting album.

Gobbledigook – Sigur Rós

Kasai All-Stars – In the 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy By Magic

best name for an album….ever.

Kasai Allstars are a 25-piece musical collective based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The musicians originally come from five bands, all from the Kasai region, but originating from five different ethnic groups: the Songye, Lulua, Tetela, Luba, and Luntu. Some of these groups have endured conflicting relationships over the centuries, they each have their own culture, their own language and their own musical traditions, which were always thought to be incompatible until these musicians decided to pool their resources and form a “superband”, at the instigation of Belgian producer Vincent Kenis.

This has to be my favorite African album that I’ve heard all year. Many of these musicians have fashioned their own instruments from items they have collected, like the use of the likembe (thumb piano). The sounds that are created are manic, intense and incredible. Sort of like a fever dream, without the fever.

Quick As White – Kasai All-Stars

Drive by Truckers – Brighter than Creation’s Dark

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS – Brighter Than Creations Dark (2008)

The Felice Brothers – The Felice Brothers

Love Me Tenderly – The Felice Brothers

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Lie Down in the Light

So Everyone – Bonnie Prince Billy

And the forgotten about Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy live album…..

Is It the Sea?

New Partner – Bonnie Prince Billy

So there’s a few… I hope you enjoy. It was good to get it off of my chest. I’m such a completist. Except when I actually NEED to complete something…hmm.

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January 7, 2009 Posted by | alt country, americana, bob dylan, bonnie prince billy, drive-by truckers, ghost of electricity, jameson, kasai all stars, ryan adams, sigur ros, toodrunktodream, welcome wagon, whiskeytown | Leave a comment

Drive By Truckers – Let There Be Rock (live) [w/bonus]

“This song’s about whatever it is out there that saves your life, hang onto it and go for it with all the gusto you can…”

“I saw Kansas like, 8 TIMES, and I dunno, I…fucking HATE Kansas. But you know, tickets were about 6 bucks…and you could sneak in a bottle and you could sneak in a joint,…… and if you were really lucky, you might end up squished up against somethin’ FEmale….and just maybe it would give you a reason to get through your week. And that’s what this song’s about This song’s called ‘Let There Be Rock.’ “

THIS is why I LOVE music. I don’t religiously listen to DBT’s, but THIS is why I LOVE music. I’ve got nothing else to say about it. Thanks for the Drive By Truckers for getting me through my week. Thanks to Muzzle Of Bees for pointing me to this vid.

Drive by Truckers- Southern Rock Opera – 01 Act 2- Let There Be Rock.mp3

Drive by Truckers- Southern Rock Opera – 03 Act 2- Women Without Whiskey.mp3
[Extra special bonus, because what’s a DBT post without whiskey…]

December 8, 2008 Posted by | alt country, americana, drive-by truckers, jameson, let there be rock, toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

This is test #2

I’m trying to find out when and by what manner the “Subscribe to this feed…” option appears at the bottom of CERTAIN posts. I want it to be there…it just shows up mysteriously every couple of posts….

Wilco, Ryan adams, drive-by truckers

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December 2, 2008 Posted by | drive-by truckers, ryan adams, wilco | Leave a comment

This is Test #1

I’m trying to find out when and by what manner the “Subscribe to this feed…” option appears at the bottom of CERTAIN posts. I want it to be there…it just shows up mysteriously every couple of posts….

Wilco, Ryan adams, drive-by truckers

This post is written from blogspot directly.

December 2, 2008 Posted by | drive-by truckers, ryan adams, wilco | Leave a comment

This is test #3

I’m trying to find out when and by what manner the “Subscribe to this feed…” option appears at the bottom of CERTAIN posts. I want it to be there…it just shows up mysteriously every couple of posts….

Wilco, Ryan adams, drive-by truckers

This post was written from Multiply

December 2, 2008 Posted by | drive-by truckers, ryan adams, wilco | Leave a comment