Friday, June 16, 2006

No free lunch

Time ain't nothin'
When you're young at heart
And your soul still burns
I've seen rainy days
Sunshine that never fades
All through the night.


Man, you have to love a life that has things that brilliant in it. I just bought Green on Red's No free lunch. I used to have it on vinyl but I haven't heard it for more than 15 years. It is as fresh and wonderful today as it was when it was released. Maybe that's because music has stagnated and become backward-looking, but maybe it's just because alt.country tends to be timeless.

It's a great American invention, an aching, powerful rock that was born from the collision of folk, the blues and the electric guitar. Most of the American bands I like -- Yo La Tengo, the Replacements, GonR, Mazzy Star, Labradford, the Shins -- could more or less be described as alt.country. I think this is more a consequence of American rock's sharing roots and influences than their actually being kindred in any way.

It sounds like open roads to me, dusty forgotten highways, stormclouds and showers on hot afternoons. America for me is a huge land of spaces, a place a man could ride a horse in. We dream that in America we can find all our heart desires. The bands I love chronicle the breaking of that dream and how we find love and life in the wreckage. It makes for resonant, moody music that strikes a bell deep in me.

Me, I gotta keep on movin'
I don't think much about what I'm losin'

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