Kevn Kinney of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ has been a thread throughout my life in music, from teenage punk wannabe sneaking into clubs for shows (thanks, Randy!), to not getting hired at the first radio station I interviewed for because the program director told me he hated Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ and I defended them anyway (look who turned out to be right, Chris), to one of the very first radio shows on Country Fried Rock, before we had a podcast and were still streaming on Live 365, to now—me filling my dream of talking to the best songwriters about music I love and so many of y’all loving what we share. Kevn Kinney changed my life and now his band will be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
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Lifestyle began with the song “Contempt”, a song of easy beauty from Andy Cohen or, given the lyrics of the track, should that be the easy beauty of Andy/Brigitte Cohen? The opening of the second half of Lifestyle is a mirror of the first in some senses. “That’s Entertainment”, the subject of this week’s blog entry, is another languid classic from Andy. However if “Contempt” was a poignant, smouldering take on a broken relationship, then “That’s Entertainment” is an elegant firestorm. The two tracks are similarly paced but strike wildly different tones.
Girls’ Generation – “Party”
What’s great—or horrible, depending on your perspective (maybe a little of both?)—about the internet quickly shrinking our nostalgia cycle is that in 2015 you can get a song as clearly nostalgic for 2010 as Girls’ Generation’s “Party”. Specifically, the single has all the trappings of a Teenage Dream-era Katy Perry/Dr. Luke song: Fizzy synths, disco-lite guitar and slap bass, and a chord progression that cleverly avoids resolving to tonic. I didn’t know I could get pangs of nostalgia for auto-tuned vocals, but the subtle inclusion of the vocal processing effect when the girls sing “P-A-R-T-Y” is the perfect amount to bring the song to a different level. The lyrics too, focus on Perry-esque Summer fun, with a chorus about drinking and traveling to beautiful beaches around the world (“Lemon soju, tequila for me, mojito for you/Let’s go to Jeju, California, Rome/Let’s go to a white pearly beach with great waves”).
This week’s entry marks the halfway point in our series. “Yr Web” is track six on Lifestyle and for those lucky enough to be listening to a vinyl copy of Silkworm’s classic seventh album it is the closing track of side A. While the previous song, the wistful, acoustic, Andy Cohen penned “Roots” eased the album to its quietest point so far, marking a moment of stillness and poignancy, Tim Midyett’s “Yr Web” bounces into our midst like a Labrador pepped up on sherbet and double-glazed doughnuts, ending Lifestyle‘s opening chapter with a brilliant life-affirming ebullience.
We suggested in previous entries that Lifestyle‘s fourth, fifth, and sixth tracks — “Plain”, “Roots”, and “Yr Web” — form a kind of mini-trilogy centring on themes of nostalgia with all three songs looking backwards in one sense or another. “Roots” takes its place in the triptych with lyrics which send glad tidings to an old flame. Although it expresses feelings of regret, the song is not an apology. And it is certainly not any kind of come-on. Rather it’s an open-hearted acknowledgment of past love, the good and the bad, a magnanimous tip of the hat from one human being to another. In other words, it’s very Silkworm.
The Daddy Fronting Dead Confederate and Diamond Rugs Is Drownin’ on a Mountaintop
T. Hardy Morris is probably known as much for his buddy band, Diamond Rugs (with members of Deer Tick and Los Lobos), as he is for his Southern rock band, Dead Confederate. Morris is less known for his solo albums, though, where he explores the intersection of early grunge with his own Southern rock sensibilities. Keeping a touch stone of “Will the Meatpuppets like this tune?” kept this Adam Landry-produced record on point. Drownin’ on a Mountaintop moves on from Audition Tapes.