Albini v. Nashville: Nashville in Flames

Shut up and buy (or whatever it is you do to get your music these days) this. I’ve been listening to it every day for about six months, thanks to Isac Walter (why does Isac work the temp job when the jackass with the plugs makes $500,000/year losing money for his record company?).

Oh yeah, what is it? Songs: Ohia’s Magnolia Electric Company. Now you might be saying, isn’t Songs: Ohia that Will Oldham wannabe Jason Molina? That’s what I used to think, until I listened to this album 5000 times. I haven’t successfully gotten into any other Songs: Ohia record, tho. The minimal whispery ones are pretty boring for me (just like Will Oldham after (and sometimes before) “Viva Last Blues”!). This album, though, is as if Will was less obtuse, backed by Crazy Horse, and produced by Albini. Great songs perfectly executed. What more do you want?

Meanwhile in Nashville Will (aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy, which just reminds me to try to score *real* Prince tickets) himself is re-recording old Palace songs with what sounds like the band from Ween’s “12 Country Greats” and turning tracks like “I Am A Cinematographer” into straight-ahead, uninteresting, Nashville fluff. Maybe he just wants to know what Waylon and Willie went through in Nashville when they used to be forced into recording with syrupy studio bands by Atkins and their label when they had basically a rock band wrecking shit on stage in a bar every night. Maybe it’s a joke. If it’s not then, well, I dunno, I hope it was fun at least. Cuz it sure ain’t much to listen to. But I’ll be damned if they didn’t put an ad for it on the back cover of Mojo that looks like they took an AOL IM buddy icon of Will with his shirt off and blew it up to an 8×10 photo. Yeah, gross. At least it’s mad lo-res.

Burn, Nashville, Burn!

ian