How happy I was today to click on one of my favorite bookmarks, and find a shiny new post! Yes, friends, Brent Hecht has returned from a too-long sabbatical, and Liberal Country Fan is back in business, with a preview of Garth & Trisha’s Live Earth performance of “We Shall Be Free.”
Brent let me do some guest blogging on his site last year, and I have to say that if he hadn’t done so, Country Universe would never have grown into the blog that it is today. He’s also a genuinely nice guy, able to remain above the fray when his beliefs are attacked. When I couldn’t keep my cool as the Halfway to Hazard groupies descended on the site earlier this year, I admire his ability to remain good-natured as he writes about country music from an angle that provokes hostility and derision from some of the people who don’t share his values or world view. He doesn’t censor his comment threads, even when he’s personally attacked, and that’s not an easy thing to do!
While one blog returns from an extended absence, others have been going strong, becoming essential daily reads. I suspect I’m not the only one who now gets most of their country music news from The 9513. Their daily news roundups are indispensable, and the addition of single reviews and even academic analysis have made it the most well-rounded country music website out there, and I’m not just saying that because I won a cool t-shirt!
I’m also loving the continuing saga of Linda at Still is Still Moving, as she keeps track of Willie Nelson. How awesome that she got to hang out with Willie on his tour bus, and that he checks her site every day so he knows where he’s been? One of the best things about blogging is that you can write about what you love the most, and that enthusiasm is contagious. Every time I check out Linda’s site, I end up listening to some Willie Nelson that day. I wish fans of other artists would follow her lead and create blogs like hers. She’s the gold standard!
I have to send a big shout-out to City Girl, Country Girl (a.k.a. Caitlyn), who has kicked her blog in to a higher gear, launching a mySpace page as she celebrates the 30k milestone. Check out her insightful post on the media fascination with veteran country stars like Porter Wagoner and Charlie Louvin. I’ve noticed the “indie kids love country oldies” phenomenon myself, and given her proximity to the Big Apple, she’s seen it in full force. She’s also succeeded in making me feel old because I don’t have a mySpace page for Country Universe!
Finally, I know I’ve raved about Twang Nation before, but I’m gonna do it again. Baron Lane is funny as hell, so if you’re going to check out his site, don’t drink while reading. You’ll have to replace your keyboard. I didn’t even bother reviewing the new Ryan Adams CD, because I couldn’t top this:
This is most mainstream release Ryan Adams has ever done. That not to say it’s mainstream, we are still talking about the guy that channeled Beck and posted dozens of faux hip-hop and punk tracks like “Awww S—, Look Who Got a Web Site”
Is he brilliant or nuts? Who cares?
This guy uses naked ladies instead of stars for his album ratings, and finds YouTube videos of Porter Wagoner praising prostitution as a talent worth celebrating. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
All this good stuff, and you can see why I don’t care very much that CMT now has an “official” blog. Chet Flippo ain’t got nothin’ on these guys and gals!