Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Song of the Week: The Old 97's

News Flash! News Flash!
My favorite street musician is back! He plays guitar and the harmonica and sometimes has a tambourine with a foot pedal and wears vests and is the reason why I always keep a couple dollars in the front pocket of my bag. He's been gone for awhile and part of me hoped that he was "discovered" or had moved up to New York City. So it was a little bittersweet when I saw him yesterday outside the metro.


He has a sign in his guitar case that reads: I love music therefore I am broke.


You got that right.


I know that he might mean that gigging and busking doesn't pay the bills. But as a listener, I feel the pain too. Concert tickets, new albums, supporting kickstarter projects, new tambourines, it all adds up. I am hoping to make some life changes soon, and change tends to be expensive, so I am trying to be better about my disposal income. Trying is the important word in that last sentence. And you know I am getting serious when I start considering cutting my music funds. And just after I finally have mastered the art of knowing about and getting tickets for shows in DC. I thought the summer would be safe to scale back. A lot bands are doing the summer festival thing, and not a lot festivals come to the DC area, so I was hoping that I could maybe save money in the live music department.


Then this weekend came and I had to make some choices. The Dawes were in town on Friday, but I'm going to see them in August, Joe Pug came on Saturday (I went!) and Rhett Miller came to town on Monday ( I sat home with a sad face). I just couldn't do more than one show during a weekend, a weekend before pay day.


Being a grown-up kinda stinks sometimes.


So in honor of not seeing him, let me tell you a little bit about Rhett Miller. His newest solo album, The Dreamer, comes out today, but I am going to be a little annoying and talk about his other band, the Old 97's . Years ago, I worked at a public library in a pretty rural area, the only saving grace was that there was a university and a great public library. Among other things we had a fantastic music collection, so good that all the college radio djs would come to borrow cds. So good that music nerds and local musicians would work there. On slow nights we would talk about music, everyone brought their own likes and dislikes and knowledge. I was introduced to so much music during those years.  The Old 97's  is one such band that I always connect to good old DBRL and sitting in the circulation room talking about music. Oh memories.  


The Old 97's have been playing together since 1993 and along with bands such as Whiskeytown (Ryan Adam's old band) and Uncle Tupelo (Jeff Tweedy's old band) are usually accredited with pioneering the alt-country music crusade of the early 1990's. Blah, blah, blah, music history, whatever. They are good. The end.

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