T for Texas

I don’t know what it is about Upstate New York that causes people to grow bushy beards, abandon electric instruments, and settle into deep, weird, soulful Americana, but I can’t tell you how thankful I am for it.  I talked about Levon Helm and the Band yesterday, and while I certainly love Helm solo and … Continue reading

Levon Helm – Poor Old Dirt Farmer

Want to hear one of my favorite songs of 2007? It’s hard to decide to pick a  favorite fact about Levon Helm: that he played Loretta Lynn’s dad in Coal Miner’s Daughter; that he grew up in a small town called Turkey Scratch outside of Helena, AR; that he now plays with a small band … Continue reading

Albums of the Year: 2007

1.  The National — /Boxer/ In a year that saw face-plants from the Shins, Modest Mouse, Interpol, and the other usual suspects, Brooklyn’s National made what is probably the only clear-cut Great record of the year.  When I reviewed Boxer this summer, I called Matt Berninger’s exploration of 21st-Century American disenfranchisement “perfectly controlled and composed … Continue reading