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Monday, September 12, 2011


ROUTES & BRANCHES
September 10, 2011
Scott Foley

Way back on January 21, 2010, I ran a Very Special Thursday Morning Mix highlighting my favorite albums of the decade. I stand behind it as one of the best shows I've aired. After the songlist, I added a couple more superlatives, among which was my favorite label of the decade. While I have to admit that it takes quite a music snob to even have a favorite label, I felt Bloodshot Records deserved some recognition for a decade well done.

While Bloodshot has had a much more uneven start to the second decade of the century, some hits, some less so, the Chicago label reminded me of its heyday with its most recent release, Lydia Loveless' Indestructible Machine. One of the things that first drew me to Bloodshot was the fact that underneath nearly every early release lay a consistent ethos. Their music sounded dangerous. Waco Brothers, Whiskeytown, Old 97s, Split Lip Rayfield. Music that might scare your grandmother, altho it was all inspired by stuff in your grandfather's collection. Reportedly from small town Ohio, Lydia Loveless' music makes alt.country sound dangerous again. So much that sets out to meld country music with punk spirit simply comes off sounding clownish and empty. Loveless' music sounds honest. And honestly dangerous. As a singer, her voice recalls classic country pipes, while at the same time spitting and growling and cursing - Bloodshot actually sent two discs: The original, as well as the censored, with sonic holes punched throughout (like where she advises to, "Write me a love letter / In the gravel with your piss ...").

So thank you, Bloodshot Records. For reminding me why I listen to this stuff.

* Stephen Simmons, "Empty Belly Blues No 32" Big Show (Locke Green, 11)
* Dirt Daubers, "Wake Up Sinners" Wake Up Sinners (Colonel Knowledge, 11)
* Drag the River, "Hang Dog" Hey Buddies (Moss Motors, 04)
* Brigitte DeMeyer, "Say Big Poppa" Rose of Jericho (Self, 11)
* Ryan Adams, "Lucky Now" Ashes & Fire (Lost Hwy, 11)
* Ryan Adams, "New York New York" Gold (Lost Hwy, 01)
* Nikki Lane, "Western Bound" Gone Gone Gone (I Am Sound, 11)
* AA Bondy, "Surfer King" Believers (Fat Possum, 11)
* Bare Bones, "White Rose" Bare Bones (Self, 11)
* Dave Alvin, "What's Up With Your Brother" Eleven Eleven (Yep Roc, 11)
* I See Hawks In LA, "Sexy Vacation" Shoulda Been Gold (American Beat, 09)
* Nick Lowe, "Sensitive Man" Old Magic (Yep Roc, 11)
* Frank Turner, "If Ever I Stray" England Keep My Bones (Epitaph, 11)
* Girls Guns & Glory, "Last Night I Dreamed" Sweet Nothings (Lonesome Day, 11)
* Richmond Fontaine, "Mechanic's Life" High Country (El Cortez, 11)
* Blitzen Trapper, "Love the Way You Walk Away" American Goldwing (Sub Pop, 11)
* Two Cow Garage, "Come Back To Shelby" Three (Shelterhouse, 07)
* Lindi Ortega, "Little Lie" Little Red Boots (Last Gang, 11)
* Railbenders, "Black Rose" Showdown (Self, 06)
* Oh Susanna, "Drunk As a Sailor" Soon the Birds (Outside, 11)
^ Lydia Loveless, "Steve Earle" Indestructible Machine (Bloodshot, 11)
* Yarn, "Hey Darlin" Leftovers Vol 1 (Ardsley, 11)
* Ry Cooder, "Lord Tell Me Why" Pull Up Some Dust (Nonesuch, 11)
* Robert Earl Keen, "Road Goes On and On" Ready For Confetti (New West, 11)
* Golden Smog, "V" Down By the Old Mainstream (Ryko, 96)
* Gourds, "Drop the Charges" Old Mad Joy (Vanguard, 11)
* Reckless Kelly, "Weatherbeaten Soul" Good Luck & True Love (No Big Deal, 11)
* Dawes, "If I Wanted Someone" Nothing Is Wrong (ATO, 11)
* Nick 13, "Nashville Winter" Nick 13 (Sugar Hill, 11)
* Andy Thorn, "Sweet Child Of Mine" Fire In the Sky (Self, 11)

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