This coming Thursday we’re circlin’ the wagons ’round a new DJ night downtown at Dalton and Wade Whiskey Commons, a new space in the north loop. They have branded our DJ night “Rockabilly and Rye” and we love it, along with the whole cowboy and home cookin’ theme of the bar.
In addition to Hymies staff, our old friend DJ Truckstash will be taking some nights as well. You may know him as the man behind the turntables at our annual block party in April. You’ll probably hear a lot more honkytonk on his nights and more rockabilly and blues on Dave’s nights. Laura’s planning to take on some nights as well as Brian Engel from Hipshakers, who plans to bring his best country jams around.
Dalton and Wade, along with our new sponsor, Fulton Beer, are donating $1 from Fulton sales to Hurricane Harvey/Hurricane Irma relief programs. We’re sure to post here about additional drink specials and giveaway deals as we get this new project rolling. In the meantime you can catch Hymies DJs at Dalton and Wade on Thursday nights from 9-12pm!
There is a song on Mary Lou Lord’s long out of print album on Kill Rock Stars in which she recounts all her boyfriend’s favorite indie bands. The song is an entertaining “who’s who” of 90s noise, pop and punk.
She wrote a sequel a to the song a few years later called “His ND World,” which references the “No Depression” Americana scene. We’re not sure if this second song ever appeared on a record — its heard here in a live recording which a friend dubbed for us.
Country singer Don Williams was called “The Gentle Giant” by fans and in every way he lived up to the name. He was a kind and gracious family man who was deeply appreciative of his fans. Last March Williams announced he was going to “hang up [his] hat and enjoy so quiet time at home,” and in this morning’s paper we read that he died in Mobile, Alabama at the age of seventy-eight.
Although he had a remarkable number of #1 hits on the country music chart, Williams only hit the top forty once, with “I Believe in You” in 1981 (a classic song which has already appeared here on the Hymies blog). His music holds a special place in our hearts not only for its consistently positive message, but because Williams was a favorite of Dave’s brother, who passed away in an accident nearly ten years ago. As an unfortunate coincidence, Don Williams also lost a brother in an accident when he was young.
His albums are hardly best-sellers these days, but we were pretty happy to have a copy of his 1981 album Especially For You in the shop this morning so we start our day with this song. Thanks for reading — we hope you enjoy this beautiful Saturday, but it you choose to step out of the sunshine for a while we’ll be here.
Charlie Parr has never been one to follow the rules when it comes to releasing a record, so many fans have already heard his new album, Dog. The album is officially out tomorrow, and you may have seen Charlie featured in yesterday’s City Pages or caught his show here in town. Along with the media blitz is this hilarious video for “Peacefully Valley” animated and directed by Jake Huffcutt.
Charlie will be performing two nights at the Cedar Cultural Center next month to celebrate the new album. The first night will feature an acoustic performance and the second an electric performance, and we’ll be there again to spin some blues and old time records in between the sets each night. Details on the Cedar’s website are here.
Several years ago we produced an hour long program on Peter and the Wolf for KFLA’s Wave Project. After the broadcast we posted it here, in case you’d lie to go back and hear it. At the time we did not have a copy of Allan Sherman’s 1964 album Peter and the Commissar. Accompanied by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Sherman satirizes the state of the arts in the Soviet Union with the story of Peter’s effort to have his original theme approved by the tone-deaf commissars of music.
Prokofiev would have likely appreciated the intentions of Peter and the Commissar, even if he would have been forced to do so in private. His work after returning to the Soviet Union in 1936 was frequently constrained by the Union of Soviet Composers, a division of the Ministry of Culture. With his years of success in the United States and France, Prokofiev was often seen as an outsider and his works scrutinized for “anti-democratic” or formalist expressions.
Prior to producing Peter and the Wolf, Prokofiev composed a cycle of piano pieces for children about which we previously posted here. His work in the following period fit firmly within the strictures of Soviet realism, including the collection of mass songs using the works of Ministry sanction poets and the score to Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky. This was rearranged in cantata form the following year and, along with his music from Lieutenant Kije, was one of the first film scores to become accepted as essential canon.
Sherman had his own struggles, although they were not as severe as those faced by composers in the Soviet Union. His was often refused the rights to release his song parodies by the likes of Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers or the Gershwins. This is one of the reasons he used songs by lesser-known composers as the subject of his satires, such as Marchetti and Féraudy, French songwriters whose “Fascination” Sherman reworked as “Automation.”