Tuesday, August 10, 2004

It took me a minute to wake up, but Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party is effing spectacular. She's got a huge, soaring, totally full-throated roar, and she knows exactly when to turn it on and off. As a singer, she is every bit the equal of Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline or any other canonized country elder I've ever heard. The big, rousing stompers are as good as anything ZZ Top has ever done, and the quieter joints are seriously, honestly heart-tugging and powerful. This record is totally bursting with joy and spirit, and the big, glossy Nashville production actually helps it and beefs it up. It's mostly not gimmicky or self-consciously eclectic like the Big & Rich album, but it sounds even better for being totally of its culture (though nothing on here is quite as obliteratingly great as "Save a Horse"). I've been sleeping on Nashville country for too long, so if anyone knows what's up and what I should be checking for, please e-mail me and let me know.

I didn't realize until just now that Alan Keyes was from Maryland. Does he just live here because it's close to DC or what? Anyway, that man crazy, and moving to another state to run for Senate just a couple of years after blasting Hillary Clinton for doing the same thing makes him look like the biggest hypocrite ever in the history of the world. Barack Obama must be rubbing his hands together waiting for this debate. Alan Keyes is going to get his ass handed to him.