Okay, I hate Nashville as much as the next guy. "Country music sucks" is a truism that I won't even begin to argue with ...
I love alt-country/roots rock with a passion. This is the stuff country radio stations wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole ... kind of like commercial radio won't touch good rock bands. Let go of your preconceptions about "country music" and these bands will blow your mind:
Blue Rodeo: Diamond Mine, Lost Together, Five Days in July or Tremolo
Wilco: Being There, Summerteeth, or Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Golden Smog: Weird Tales
Cracker: Cracker, Kerosine Hat, or Forever
Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Buffalo Tom: Big Red Letter Day
The Jayhawks: Tomorrow the Green Grass
The Cowboy Junkies: Lay It Down
The Skydiggers: Road Radio
The Cash Brothers: How Was Tomorrow?
These aren't country artists. They aren't rock artists. They are in the nether regions between the two, they can't be classified easily, and the music they make is terrific.
(edited by Gavintzu on 19.6.02 2116) Let me put you in the picture, let me show you what I mean; The Messiah is my sister, ain't no king man, she's my queen.
Mmm... Wilco and Cracker already get much love from me, and if that Cowboy Junkies album is the one with "A Common Disaster", same there. I dunno if you'd lump Ryan Adams or Kasey Chambers in there, but I'm liking some of their stuff. And, in the words of a friend of mine, "Alt-country is like Spanish Fly for indie-rock girls". He also posts drinking stories on Fridays... but yeah, if the other 7 bands he listed are even half as good as the three I've heard, you will not under any circumstances be disappointed.
Oh boy...now you're talking. One of the best parts of living here in Chi-town is that it's the heart of the alt-country movement. I'm going to keep this post from getting WAY too damn long, and just say go to the Bloodshot Records website and peruse the whole damn roster. Everyone pretty much owns who's on it now. And if you ever make it up this way, hit The Hideout most any night, and someone good will be playing there :)
Anyone remember the joy of seeing him bash the Undertaker's motorcycle with his sledgemhammer and doing no damage and being all like, "Mjolnir will not break thine cycle? I say thee NAY!" and dumping it off the stage. - Enojado Viento says the funniest thing I've ever read on Wienerville.
I feel the need to add BR549 to the list if only because I have fond memories of watching Jay McDowell, their bassist, play in several different punk bands around the Lafayette, IN area in the late 80's and early 90's. On a slightly different note, something like roots country/folk, I strongly recommend checking out Nickel Creek.
"Verhoeven's _Starship Troopers_: Based on the back cover of the book by Robert Heinlein."
All of the twee kids at my station LOVE LOVE LOVE this band, prompting me to routinely say, "If you love them so much, why don't you just marry them?" (I'm not very popular at work.) FWIW, this is a track isn't awful. Very shoegazery.