Club Contact

The new MP3 blog from London's club Contact. The idea is to allow people to hear new music they wouldn't have otherwise found but, if anyone has any copyright issues with a particular song, i'll take the link down. Songs are only available for a limited amount of time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shotgun Wedding

The Nashville music industry isn't without its faults (rubbish fashion, dubious politics, Garth Brooks) but has a lot more going for it than many give it credit for. The combined cultural weight of Carrie Underwood and Hannah Montana have forced the genre many see as second only to hip-hop in terms of global popularity back on to the British radar, if only as a faint, distant blip that could be confused with a flock of migrating geese.

One of the more interesting aspects is the relative parity between men and women - both on-stage and behind the scenes. This strength, in combination with country's tradition of tough, emotional, narrative songs, has led to a number of taboo-breaking hits over the years, particularly where domestic violence is concerned. Rather than simply lament their predicament, the new breed have a stirring faith in the power of retributive bloodshed. Whether you want to off your abuser by poison, fire or a good, old-fashioned, hand-gun, there's a song for you. Interestingly, there tends to be a theme of community / authority indifference to abuse that seeks both to justify the vengeance and add an expressly political undercurrent to the songs.

Few can have sounded so positvely thrilled about blowing away their partner as the superb Miranda Lambert:

"I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun
Wait by the door and light a cigarette
If he wants a fight well now he's got one
And he ain't seen me crazy yet
He slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll
Don't that sound like a real man?
I'm going to show him what a little girl's made of
Gunpowder and lead"

Miranda Lambert - Gunpower & Lead

My indifference to Nashville for the last half a decade, only recently dispelled by Lambert, stemmed primarily from the almost complete disregard it showed to the almighty Allison Moorer who toiled for little reward while lesser talents flourished. Her album, The Hardest Part, still stands as one of the finest of the last ten years. Despite, as a child, watching her father kill her mother before turning the gun on himself, Moorer can still aim a pistol between the eyes of a no-good son-of-a-bitch in song, although the sour ending to Ruby Jewel Was Here is unusual in the context. Send Down An Angel from The Hardest Part, on the other hand, showcases her at her most beautiful.

Allison Moorer - Ruby Jewel Was Here

Allison Moorer - Send Down An Angel


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