Friday, May 01, 2009

Bill Pekar- Colors Are All the Same


I almost became that guy.

There was a period in my life when I fell hard for the Texas troubadours. I'd see 'em all- Vince Bell, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, Kinky Friedman, Steve Fromholz, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Nanci Griffith, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Walter Hyatt, Lyle Lovett, Gary P. Nunn and Doug Sahm- on a regular basis.

And then there was Robert Earl Keen. Even back in the '80s I had a hard time comprehending the phenemenon. I'd see a guy like T-Bone Burnett play to a few dozen people in a coffeehouse one night and then be part of drunken orgy of thousands at a Keen concert the next night. It was- and continues to be- really weird.

Keen's style spawned so many imitators that it's become a genre unto itself. As Bill Pekar's song indicates, Keen's approach has come to represent a comprehensive worldview. Don't get riled up about his song's title. It's actually about the bitter rivalry between the Aggies and the Longhorns.

A couple thousand fans will probably attend a Cross Canadian Ragweed concert in my town this weekend. I won't be there.

While I still have deep affection for the sound, I was pushed off the bandwagon a few thousand miles ago. Oh, I'm well aware that geniuses like Alejandro Escovedo are still grinding, but the modest, low-key brilliance of this has mutated into this.

I'll let the owner of this truck- that guy- go in my stead. After all, the road goes on forever.

I loved last night's show by Eddie and the Hot Rods and Cretin 66 last. Here's my review.

Kansas City Click: The revival of The Blue Riddim Band continues tonight at Czar Bar.

The Randy Rogers Band plays outside The Beaumont Club with Cross Canadian Ragweed on Saturday.

Charlie Hunter hits Crosstown Station on Sunday.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

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