Concert Review: Same Trailer, Different Tour...

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     On the kickoff night of her "Same Trailer, Different Tour", performing at the Bowery Ballroom, Kacey Musgraves drove home a particular belief of mine; good country should be like good liquor. Each taste should land on the palate and linger in a dozen different provocations before it fades. You should serve it in moderation to appreciate the full effect. When you consume it in a crowd it should bear you all up into collective joy, and when you’re alone, it should make you think about every ex you ever lost.      I wasn’t sure what kind of crowd to expect going in; it’s the rare country show I hit up in New York, and I hazarded “folks who look like me and old white dudes.” I was part right. Before the lights dimmed...

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TV Review: Nashville

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     I went on a terrible date last week. If you could harness our total lack of connection into a turbine, you could have powered the whole bar. One of the worst disappointments was when she told me, in quick succession, that she had lived in Nashville and that she didn’t watch television. I was all ready to start gushing about Nashville on ABC, but my words died on the vine, and I suffered through a rocky series of abortive conversation and awkward silence until we both scurried from the bar, relieved it was over. Then, I went home and made cookies and you damn well better believe I watched Nashville.      One obvious bridge to Nashville is Friday Night Lights; while Nashville doesn’t rise to that show’s level (nor is it meant to), they both...

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Music Review: Annie Up

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      Well that was bad timing; Pistol Annies cancelled all their tour dates in June and now nobody knows if they’re still together. Dammit. Huh. A shame, regardless of the reasons behind it, though judging from the lyrics of Annie Up, the trio’s 2nd album, it could definitely have something to do with booze. Just saying.      Annie Up’s a lean, wise and witty album that hugely satisfies, turning away deftly from cliché and easy resolution at every opportunity. Now, no surprise; Miranda Lambert’s obviously no slouch, and Ashley Monroe’s recent solo record Like A Rose matches Annie Up’s sass and bite track-for-track, and together with Angaleena Presley (no relation) the Annies are an embarrassment of talent.      Annie Up dissects country music’s tendency toward rose-tinted songwriting in favor of the raw, twist-in-the-wind mood...

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Nick Autry: Cause & the Cure...

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    It’s common and cliche to think it’s hard to stay true to yourself in Nashville and in the music industry as a whole. Maybe that’s true for any field where you find success and dig in. However, Nick Autry’s music is as real and true as it’s ever been, and his fresh release, Cause and the Cure, is a testament to his talent and drive as a genuine artist. His attitude about performing is such a testament, too. I was lucky to hear the new songs on a Friday afternoon this past summer at an outdoor event downtown. Unfortunately, Autry was scheduled to go on during rush hour and the sky showed all indications of imminent downpour. Adding to the confusion, folks from a Bible convention (yes, a Bible convention) milled in and...

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Review: Uncaged

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     With Uncaged, the Georgia band has dropped another gem of an album into my lap and I couldn’t be happier. I was sold on these guys from the moment I first heard their breakout “Chicken Fried” in a crowded bar. Then, I saw their live DVD and all hell broke loose (in terms of being a fan). I’d have long since bought tickets for their show in November if I hadn’t just dropped almost half my worth on a new apartment and the associated costs. So it helps and hurts me that Uncaged is such a satisfying third helping of the Zac Brown sound, a couple of surprises included; if it sucked, I’d feel less indecision regarding those damn tickets.      From the first minute of “Jump Right In,” it’s no mistaking this...

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