I finally picked up the new Drive By Truckers" album, "Brighter Than Creation's Dark," today - I made the mistake of not calling ahead to reserve a copy at Recycled, so they were out Tuesday, which is good for the Truckers but bad for me. Mark said they had like four other people on the list for the batch he ordered for today. It's good to know that there are, you know, a half-dozen truckers fans in this town.
Anyway, on first listen, I liked it a lot. We'd heard several songs from the album already, some live and some bootlegged. I think Patterson's stuff is especially strong, but in the reviews, I think Cooley and Shonna are getting all the praise - Shonna for finally writing and singing, bless her (I'm of the firm opinion that she's a sweety), and Cooley for his material. Don't get me wrong, I love Cooley's stuff generally, but a couple of them sounded a lot alike on first mention - and a lot like "Panties in Your Purse" musically. Which isn't a bad thing, and I find that songs that sound alike on first listen tend to differentiate themselves after I've heard them a few times, unless they're by Coldplay. Anyway, I join Rolling Stone and Paste magazines in giving it four stars.
I mean, I am a fan.
We liked the new Big Head Todd album, All The Love You Need, a lot too. I remain a faithful BHTM fan and will continue to purchase and attend, but that went without saying. Let's face it, the album could totally blow and I'd say the same. Still, if you're not a Todd-Head, do check them out. You probably at least know something from "Sister Sweetly," like "Broken Hearted Saviour."
It's been a long winter, but with Truckers and Big Head Todd tickets sitting in their wee ticketmaster envelopes just waiting for the end of February, I see a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel that is the punishment that is a central illinois winter.
Not only that, but I have a new R.E.M. album to anticipate. I know they've had their ups and downs, but I will always be faithful. R.E.M. is the first band - and maybe the only band - that I've liked from day one, from the first stuff I heard from their first album when it was new. Which would have been "Catapult" from Murmur. A lot of bands, I might like their whole ouvre, but I was late getting there, or the wrong age to have been in on it from the first album, or something.
(edit: I liked Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains and Soundgarden beginning with their first albums, for instance, but I didn't stick with them loyally through all the ups and downs like I have R.E.M.)
And a new R.E.M. album implies a tour, of course. We've seen them the last three tours - last time at the Fox we had really good seats, too.
And, non-musically, I reread Jane Austen's Persuasion not too long ago to get the taste of a really bad book out of my head, and just finished finally reading The French Lieutenant's Woman for the first time, and now I'm all about visiting Lyme Regis some day. (That's Lyme Regis.)