Sunday, July 22, 2012

Green on Red - Gas Food Lodging

Green on Red – Gas Food Lodging
Enigma, 1985

Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2011
Price: $3

The reason I grabbed this is because I knew I heard/read Jeff Tweedy talk/write about Green on Red once and I was like o_O. Jeff Tweedy likes this? I must investigate. I love Jeff Tweedy. And regardless, I’ve really been diggin this record for the last six months or so. I put it on every now and then to do the write-up and can’t ever think of the right thing to write. I’ll start by saying I always get a tingly feeling when I write-up an album from the year I was born, because if I’m feeling old, that means the dudes that made the record must be WAY old. And at the same time it doesn’t sound THAT old. But that’s because I’m getting older, and really I’m sure older dudes probably think I’m pathetic thinking I’m getting older at 26 (and I certainly now it, I feel like I meet dudes in their mid 30s all the time and I like to think I’m as grisled as they are but no fucking way). But I still like good old fashioned alt-country before it was alt-country. Rootsy jams from AZ in this case. There are all sorts of weird influences floating around on this one. At first I thought REM (but less boring) and then there’s the rollicking aspect that suggests that alt-country tinge, like Uncle Tupelo’s rowdier numbers, but OH YEAH Uncle Tupelo doesn’t release their debut for five years SO. And then there are the offhand references to the Paisley Underground in the Wikipedia entry for Green on Red SO. OOO. I’m out of my depth. There’s a lot going on here in terms of influences that’s just really cutting edge for the time that I am absolutely unfit to talk about…until I read the Allmusic page about this album and Green on Red and wow look at that technology! From what I’ve read this is a sort of shape-of-things-to-come record for Green on Red in re alt-country, but the references to “their friends” the Dream Syndicate have my interest way peaked and remind me I need to thoroughly drown in the Paisley Underground like I said I would years ago because of my ongoing love affair with Jangle Pop and wanting to know my roots, etc. But all that shit aside, this I’ve been diggin on this album for a while as I said and I’m still diggin on it. “Sixteen Ways” is my favorite tune on the record. It’s like this thin-voiced murder ballad that has this really awesome, carnivalesque organ running through it. It’s seedy and sinister and awesome. And then it’s followed by ANOTHER fucking murder ballad in “The Drifter,” which is about a drifter…going from town to town…killing people. Feels like singer Dan Stuart exorcising some awesome demons.

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