Friday, April 14, 2006

DBT Week in Review 4/8 - 4/14

DBT has finished puttin' on The Rock Show for our friends in Europe. From the excellent reports coming from across the pond it sounds as if a good time was had by all. We sure are glad to have them back in the states, though.

Jerry Gunner gives a look at one of the final European shows with this review on the Yahoo board:
dbts : Message: Wolverhampton last night: "gain, a third of the show at least was different from the night before, 'Uncle Frank' and an amazing working of Paul McCartney's, or Beatle Paul as Jason says you call him in America, 'Roll it' for example. Another highlight for me was a new song from Jason. Don't shout at me if it isn't new, it was new to me. After the interval Jason came out on his own, much as Patterson had the night before and announced that 'We have problems with our government, you know, at home, we have problems with our government.' Note to Jenn - HE got political, not me:). He then told us about how the war is affecting people and in particular about a Marine from his home town who was killed by a remotely detonated IED and how the whole town turned out for his funeral. Apparently, according to Jason, such soldiers are buried in their dress uniform and now my memory is failing me but I think they are called Dress Blues and that was the name of the song. The Marine in question would be Matthew Conley who was killed just a few days short of his 22nd birthday. He was scheduled to leave Iraq on the 6th of March. Semper fi. Anyway, it is a beautiful song and it makes me yearn even more for an Isbell solo album."
DBT is a band of thinkers, that's for sure. They concern themselves with their community and their government. They, like a lot of other folks here in the U.S. know that "There's Somethin' happenin' here" and they ain't afraid to say something about it but they're also not preachy. I haven't heard Jason's new song "Dress Blues" but I'm sure it was written from a place of angst over losing a community member to an unjust war.

Over the past couple of weeks I've highlighted protest songs from The Dixie Chicks and Pink. Neil Young surprised some folks a SXSW by announcing that he has another album in the can and ready for release. Word on the street is that it is quite political and even contains a track called "Impeach the President" Below is a write up on the album:
Neil made it pretty clear with GREENDALE, a truly incredible but underrated album, that he isn't happy with the direction George Bush has taken the country. He told David Fricke of ROLLING STONE 'This is a time, I believe, of great inner turmoil for the majority of the American people. There is a new morality coming out of this administration -- fundamentalist religious views; a holier-than-thou attitude towards the rest of the world -- that is not classically American. I don't think Americans felt holier-than-thou in the twentieth century. We were happy and successful, with a great lifestyle. But something else is going on now. That's what Greendale is about. That's what Grandpa's problem is. He can't understand what's going on. He sees all of these things that the Patriot Act has taken away from what he feels is America.'"
Patterson isn't afraid to speak his politics as well. He's opposed to redistricting in Athens. The same type of gerrymandering that Tom Delay and several other Republicans have illegally perpetrated in their states to ensure Republican dominance in elections.

Recently Patterson posted new song lyrics to his website. Ever the historian, Patterson connects the repetition of history by comparing President Harding's Interior Secretary, Albert Fall to President Bush's outgoing Interior Secretary Gail Norton. (I bet Patterson runs the board whenever there is a historical category on Jeopardy).


President Harding put the man in charge
This country’s so beautiful, abundant and large
Rally our resources around the flag
Hogs and heifers and little black bags

While Harding called for a “return to normalcy”
Albert Fall was his Interior secretary
Looting the land for a ton of cash
Hogs and heifers and little black bags

If you learn your history, my fine young son
Not much has changed since the Teapot Dome
President Harding was revealed at last
Hogs and heifers and little black bags

Herbert Hoover’s been forever discredited
For not knowing how to deal with the mess he inherited
But it began several years before the crash
Hogs and heifers and little black bags

Its 80 years later and things ain’t changed
The same cast of characters with different names
Oil stocks and defense contractors rally the flag
Hogs and heifers and little black bags

Gail Norton resigned today
Her “wise use” doctrine a national disgrace
The private elite will welcome her back
Hogs and heifers and little black bags

Patterson Hood – March 19, 2006
If you want to know more about the lying sack of puss that is Gail Norton and what a tragedy she's been for America's land then give this small article a read
Gail Norton: Switchin’ on Gwich’in

And let us not forget the tongue in cheek of The President's Penis is Missing, which takes on the insanity of focusing on a president's infidelity when there are other, more pressing issues at hand.
“Them outer space people would laugh if they’d seen us
all this talk about cum-stains and oral coitus
meanwhile the whole world suffers from hunger and meanness
but we’re more concerned with the President’s penis”
We also have Patterson's prescient line in Demonic Possessions:
The devil says the only thing that’s buggin him
is Hell’s filling up with Republicans
But DBT ultimate political statement comes in Puttin' People on the Moon. I'm a frequent visitor to the progressive political site Dailykos. It is the home of grassroot politics. The founder of the site recently published a book called Crashing the Gates. It tackles the problems within the Democratic Party and outlines how the party can begin to win elections again by moving away from the entrenched beltway Democrats who are no better than the Republicans and moving towards placing the power back into the hands of the people. The book is next on my list to read.

I bring up Dailykos because I was tickled to find someone referencing Puttin' People on the Moon in the comments to one of the diaries. Click here, then ctrl+F and search for Puttin' People to see the comment.

To shorten this diatribe I could continue on for days, my belief is that it is important for the smart artist of a time period to comment on the fallacies of a government and to be involved in that process. Who better than the poets to explain to us via music and lyrics that "There's Something Happening Here". "And that's all I've got to say about that"... for now.

randywadkins from the Yahoo Group posts that Ole Miss had an academic seminar on DBT. I really wish I could have attended this as I've been working on something like this myself to teach at a university:
dbts : Message: lecture on DBT at Ole Miss tomorrow (Wed.): "Yeah, late notice I know, but if you're in the Oxford, MS area and want to see how recognized the Truckers are becoming, check this out:

Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006
This message is being sent using E-mail to Groups ( UM Employees ). The Drive-By Truckers, a rock and roll band from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and Athens, Georgia, have, over the course of six albums released since 1998, focused on depicting their own version of the South, often inspired by their hometowns in North Alabama. Patterson Hood, the son of David Hood of the Muscle Shoals Sound, formed the band after he moved to Athens in the mid-nineties and became part of a small alternative country movement located in Athens and Atlanta dubbed the 'Redneck Underground.' The Drive-By Truckers' punk and country and western inspired songs gained a small following, while their third studio album, 2001's 'Southern Rock Opera,' landed them on the top of 'critics' best' lists of 2001. 'Southern Rock Opera' examined the story of the Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd as a way of telling the Truckers' own stories of growing up in the South. Subsequent albums have also focused on other pieces of popular culture about the South and historical events native to the band's hometown. In this week's Southern Studies Brown Bag Lunch & Lecture presentation, ''Daddy, Tell Me Another Story': The Drive-By Truckers and the Search for Southern Identity,' Ellie Campbell, a native of Anniston, Alabama and graduate of Vanderbilt University, and a Southern Studies graduate student will address the ways in which the Drive-By Truckers use popular culture images to create their own vision of the South and Southern identity, one that rejects both outside criticism of the South, and also takes issue with Southerners' own, sometimes equally limited, opinions about the South. The Southern Studies Brown Bag Lunch & Lecture Series takes place at 12 noon in Barnard Observatory's lecture hall 0n Wednesdays during the fall and spring semesters. ----- For more information or assistance related to a disability, please contact: cssc@... or 5993 Visit 'Inside Ole Miss Online' for UM faculty & staff news at"
Jonathan from the Yahoo Group post some great, historical article on Skynyrd. Great reads:
dbts : Message: OT: Ronnie Van Zant Interviews (Lengthy): "But major figures from Buddy Holly(1959) to Otis Redding(1967) and Jim Croce(1973) were lost in plane crashes. The latest was buried near his native Jacksonville last week. He was Ronnie Van Zant, 28, co-founder, writer and lead singer of LYNYRD SKYNYRD. It had supplanted the Allman Brothers as the reigning Southern boogie band and as a leading U.S. challenger to the British hegemony of the concert coliseums."
Here are a couple of YouTube videos of the band in live settings:

YouTube - Jason Isbell - Decoration Day
"We're not white trash. We're Celtic"
YouTube - NEW Patterson Hood featuring David Schools

And speaking of cool videos, New West Released this short one of "The Making of A Blessing and a Curse". This makes me very excited because it hints at a bigger DVD that might be coming out later this year. Fingers crossed.

See y'all at The Rock Show!

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