Monday, May 24, 2010

Best Thing I Heard Today: Drive-By Truckers doing "The Fourth Night of My Drinking"

Play it loud! (You kind of have to.)

The Truckers have a real knack for cool guitar tones, clouds of noise, and musical atmospheres of foreboding. Take "The Fourth Night of My Drinking": it's a song about four nights of drinking and their effect on Patterson Hood's "disposition". They could've played the lyrics for laughs, or for that classic country stance of tight-lipped impassivity. Instead, Hood and band get a real sense of longing and dread out of their drinking song. Credit goes mostly to the lead guitar tones of Mike Cooley and John Neff, and especially to the impressive extended chords--9ths, 11ths, whatnot--of whoever. (Bassist Shonna Tucker? Maybe we can credit her with the chord inversions, at least.) This song sounds really good when you play it on the piano, like some romantic wastrel cabaret. So naturally, it sounds EVEN BETTER with three electric guitars blasting it out.

(I should really keep up with these guys, because The Big To-Do sounds fantastic. Better than 90% of the music I've heard this year. In fact, it's probably got the most purely beautiful sound of anything I've heard. It's go too many slow songs; but what doesn't?)

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