Raccoon Brothers – Barstools
You know how it goes. The Velvet Underground never sold a record, yadda, yadda, yadda, and now everyone is ripping them off and making… well, not millions, but getting to play festivals at least, in a post-covid world.
Well, Whiskeytown didn’t exactly sell a lot of records, nor did it award Ryan Adams, rightly or wrongly, get the fame he craved. However, their influence has been immense. Perhaps, more so than any other alt-country group of the 1990s, their sound and attitude help create bands every year. They are the Nirvana of country music, the Michael Jordan poster of country-rockers.
Raccoon Brothers resembleWhiskeytown, but also have a few great tricks up their sleeves. The first is knowing how to name themselves and their songs. This always helps in getting attention.
Secondly, they know how to craft a nice country tune about heartbreak and drinking until your liver turns all kinds of shades of blue. The singer also possesses the kind of cry to his vocals that a lot of folks will find appealing.
Pansy – Woman of Ur Dreams
There’s some guitar music that just seems to happen without much preparation at all. In a world where everybody has an angle, it’s exciting to hear these kinds of songs. Pansy’s Woman of Ur Dreams, quirky as it is, belongs to a world inhabited by professional weirdo-rockers like Half Japanese and The Vaselines, people that seem to write great songs while making breakfast, and writing the tunes on instruments made of cardboard and lace.
While Woman of Ur Dreams is a song about the songwriter’s most dramatic life moment, it is the manner in which it is delivered that sells the whole tune. Frankly, it sounds like a recording of someone humming while doing house chores. Don’t a lot of records possess that kind of sound? Not really. Most people, myself included when shoved in front of a microphone transform into the most self-absorbed version of themselves.
Production-wise the song is left out of time with no clear indicator as to what era it might belong to. Simple drumming and clear, folky guitar lines weave throughout the song. The Velvet Underground may not have sold many records, but they are continuing to inspire outstanding new artists.