June 10, 2009
It’s one of those life/blog paradoxes: we dedicate a lot of words to the new – new releases, new issues, new news – and yet, when it comes down to it, our personal, non-internet selves spend just as much time trying to get up to speed on things we’ve missed. History is fat, full of great stuff that happened while you were preoccupied with playing on jungle gyms or raising babies. There’s always something to catch up on if you set your mind to it!
Like right now, for instance, I’m discovering the music of the 90′s. I was under 10 and on a Pacific island for most of those years, and was honestly only marginally aware of the “country” classification for most of them. So I’ve been diving in.
Although the 90′s are regarded by many as a very strong period for mainstream country, my current catch-up squeeze is the alt-country group Old 97′s, and one song in particular: “The Other Shoe”, from their ’96 set Wreck Your Life. It’s a catchy, clunky little tune about a creepy husband who tells his wife he’s leaving for Phoenix (the specific phrasing is an apparent nod to Glen Campbell’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” – cute), only to hide under their bed and await the appearance of her lover, whom he promptly guns down along with his adulterous wife.
It’s a very simplistic sort of murder story, and Rhett Miller’s rough ‘n’ tumble singing style is probably polarizing, but I keep coming back to it because of it’s just got one of those unstoppable hooks. “The oTHER! shoe to faaaaallll.” It occurs right after the following sample cuts off, Grrrrr:
What music have you been catching up on recently? Any good finds?