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« It's All in the Nose | Main | Critiques of the Imperial Status Quo »

April 04, 2008

More Good Texas Listening

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Running across wonderful culturestuff just makes a person want to share, you know what I mean?

First up: Hayes Carll and friends doing his irresistable "It's a Shame":

"It's a shame / We ain't lovers ..." -- seriously, that's some brilliant lyric-writing: conversational, sly, affable, deadpan-yet-poetic ...

Next: Lyle Lovett doing his eerily lyrical "If I Had a Boat":

Can someone help me here? Is what Lyle does with this song postmodern and flip? Or religious and beautiful?

Here's Hayes Carll's MyTurn page, where you can sample more of his music and check his touring schedule. (Don't miss his raucous "She Left Me for Jesus.") It was thanks to Scott Chaffin that I learned about Hayes Carll in the first place. Here's Lyle Lovett's website. I linked back here to a fab video of legendary alt-shitkicker Ray Wylie Hubbard. Early on I rhapsodized about bar-band genius Delbert McClinton and blues immortal T-Bone Walker. And my enthusiasm for that melancholic bard Townes Van Zandt is all over this blog.

Speaking of which ...

Has anyone got a plausible explanation for why it is that Texas produces so much great music?



posted by Michael at April 4, 2008


Those rednecks are untainted by all that Po Mo nonsense. God bless 'em.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on April 4, 2008 12:34 PM

I'll go with R & B for If I Had a Boat.

I'm kinda slow, so only when I was listening to the song on a quiet, long drive did it dawn me he's singing that song from the perspective of a child; hence the impractical horse on a boat, not wanting to marry no Dale, and having fast, quiet sneakers.

That may have been obvious to ya'll, but I loved the song even more after that realization.

Posted by: yahmdallah on April 4, 2008 4:52 PM

I think Yahmadallah is exactly right that the voice of "If I Had a Boat" is a child's voice.

As for whether it's postmodern and flip or religious and beautiful, I vote for the latter. My husband is kind of a music snob, and likes very little non-classical music, but "If I Had a Boat" is one of the songs he actually likes. I'm not sure why, but I think it argues for the "religious and beautiful" aspect of the song.

Posted by: Kate Marie on April 6, 2008 2:36 PM

The Lyle Lovett song may be written by the fantastic fuck up Townes Van Zant (sp), a man who, seemingly, could not write a bad song.

Posted by: Larry on April 7, 2008 5:13 PM

Has anyone got a plausible explanation for why it is that Texas produces so much great music?

Beautiful, mean women.

Posted by: Scott on April 9, 2008 9:45 AM

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