Thursday, August 06, 2009

Review: Sugarland's Live On the Inside

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Sometimes it seems as if "Don't Stop Believin'" is the biggest song of 2009. The Journey staple is often used to escort audiences out of arenas after concerts. I also saw it unite a crowd of 46,000 baseball fans at Dodger Stadium earlier this week.

Anyone wondering about the potential source of new songs in the tradition of "Don't Stop Believin'" needs to get hip to Sugarland. Don't be fooled by the mandolins or the twang of vocalist Jennifer Nettles. Sugarland is the new Journey. Their new DVD/CD Live On the Inside, is brimming with gargantuan melodies, universal lyrics and delectable, Journey-flavored cheese.

Almost all of Sugarland's songs demand to be sung by drunks in dives, tweens at slumber parties and celebrants at pre-game parking lot barbecues. They're that good. "Steve Earle," a ditty about the songwriter's wives, is one of the few songs that doesn't apply.

As one would expect, the concert footage showcases the band at their loose, fun-loving best. Clever renditions of songs by Beyonce, the B52's, Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam and R.E.M. demonstrate the band's crossover approach.

In fact, most Sugarland fans are probably more familiar with Aerosmith than with Willie Nelson. And I guarantee that almost all of them know the words to "Don't Stop Believin'."

Live On the Inside is a Wal-Mart exclusive. Buy it for $12 here.

Former Kansas City, Kansan, and There Stands the Glass favorite Mad Marlon has a new video for "Say My Name".

My friend Jason is amused that the word verification for his most recent comment at Plastic Sax was "UNCOL." Here's a screenshot. The indignities I face as a jazz blogger...

Here's a virtual diary entry I wrote about getting kicked out of record stores.

Kansas City Click: The Pitch's annual music showcase goes down Thursday in Westport.

Atmosphere was great last time around. They're at the Beaumont on Friday.

Alaadeen hits the Blue Room on Saturday.

Motley Crue's extravaganza comes to the Sprint Center on Sunday.


Chris Doolittle said...

I agree with your take on Sugarland, however I would go one step farther and suggest that most popular country acts are Journey-like or Journey-ish. Ever since Garth Brooks crossed over years ago, country has been leaning and in fact falling over into the pop rock genre. Remember, they tried to tell us that Leann Rimes was country. That was the bin they put her CDs in. No way is that girl country. I love her, but she is pop. Not that it matters much though. I guess if your song says tractor or truck in it they can call you country. You are right, this is pop rock music they business calls country.

Don't Need Anything said...

yup they're both cheesy as hell and i avoid both like the plague. and my dad listens to both of em.

Happy In Bag said...

Somehow, DNA, Sugarland's cheese pleases my palate.

And you're right, CD, much of what passes as contemporary country is just warmed-over Eagles. But honestly, how can anyone not be down with a band that covers "Irreplaceable," "Sex On Fire" and "Nightswimming"?

Durward Discussion said...

You might want to keep an eye on a blogger friend of mine: Fairweather Lewis. Here regular blog is fun, but she just split off a music blog Music, Music, Music