Got three CDs at Goodwill yesterday:
Cool Blue Outlaws. A compilation from Sugar Hill Records (Sarah Jarosz’ label). Pretty good stuff, if a bit harrowing. It consists of bluegrass murder ballads and tales of what guys did to wind up at the gallows or in prison breaking rocks for life. One thing I find interesting is the contrast. To me, the banjo is a happy-sounding instrument. It’s kind of amusing to hear that sound coupled with stories about killing and retribution. Some of those songs – traditional in folk music I realize – make no sense to me, but I suppose it happens: What’s up with the guy who was making love with his sweetheart down by the creek and just kills her for no apparent reason, then sings about how sad it was that he lost his beautiful bride? The ones where he catches her fooling around and kills her and her lover – those have a certain logic. Guys get pissed off and do things they later regret. But the ones who do it for no good reason other than that they were alone and she was beautiful, WTF? I guess the idea is you have a character who has done something so heinous that he knows he’s going to hell after the hangman gets through with him. Kind of a cautionary tale for society. Come to think of it, maybe it’s meant to scare young girls away from making out with guys down by the creek before they get married. He might love you, but he might kill you in addition to knocking you up, so you better hold onto that V-card or else.
(I’ll list the artists from the comp in the tags.)
U2 – Pop. I already had this one, but it was out of its CD case and all scratched up. This was a good clean copy. I could just download it of course, but I like having the CD on hand to play on the road and don’t feel like ripping and burning. That’s worth a couple of bucks. For some reason a lot of people don’t appear to respect Pop, but it’s one of my favorite U2 albums. I know they had problems getting the album out on time and didn’t sell as much as they hoped, but I thought their creative powers were at their peak. I like it better than the Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby. Zooropa and Pop are my favorites.
Gladys Hardy – I Love Jesus But I Drink A Little. You might remember the old lady who called into Ellen DeGeneres’s show a few years back and had Ellen and her audience laughing hysterically. Supposedly she’s an Austin woman who is “88 years old and holding,” but I understand there’s some doubt about whether she’s for real or not, some speculate that she might be a professional comic pulling some kind of hoax. Anyway (she?) can be pretty entertaining. She has called in to local radio stations, read her commentaries and bantered with the hosts, and sometimes her phone calls will turn up in radio commercials for Rudy’s BBQ. There were tons of these at the Goodwill. I think some church group was giving them away and wound up with a bunch of leftovers. It features a bunch of phone calls (including the one to Ellen), commentaries, and recordings of her talking to her family. Not all as funny as the Ellen episode, but still fun. Definitely worth $2.