James McMurtry Thread

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Duke Silver
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Duke Silver »

I accidentally closed the tab right after Copper Canteen and consequently had a resurgence of will power, but based on that and the two I've already heard, I think I'm gonna dig it.
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StevieRay
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by StevieRay »

Just gave that rollingstone.com stream a full play... two thumbs up.

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PeterJ
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by PeterJ »

beantownbubba wrote:"Honey don't be yelling at me when I'm cleaning my gun"

As first lines go, that's pretty much of a grabber!!! I think I'm gonna like this one.


I had the exact same thought.
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jimmyjack
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by jimmyjack »

I dunno. Wasn't there some shitty nu-country song a few years back called "Cleaning My Gun" that sorta made the same joke? By Rodney Atkins or somebody?

Don't misunderstand me, gang. JM is an all time fav and I'm anticipating the album (which didn't arrive today, btw...grrrr) as much as anyone. I just don't think that's a great lyric, and I don't like the single at all.

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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by bovine knievel »

“Excited people get on daddy’s nerves.” - M. Cooley

Zip City
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Zip City »



pfft, CD party

Vinyl party, amirite?

/vinyl
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boyyourself
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by boyyourself »

Thanks Mr. McMurtry. This comes just in time. the strurgill and lydia records as well as english oceans have been worn down to a nub and i was in need of a new drug. i'm just gonna put Complicated Game between my cheek and gums and chew on it for the next few months.

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Clams
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Clams »

I'm sure I'll be in the minority but I've been listening to this record for about a week and I have to say, I'm underwhelmed.
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Tequila Cowboy
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Tequila Cowboy »

Clams wrote:I'm sure I'll be in the minority but I've been listening to this record for about a week and I have to say, I'm underwhelmed.


Really? How so Clams? Quality of the songs? Production concerns? Serious question.
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Iowan
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Iowan »

Yeah. That surprised me too.

I could see where the reduction in rockers would be a turn off. The song craft is so high that I just don't care.

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Clams
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Clams »

I get that he's going for a more folksy sound, but musically I think the songs all sound too much the same and are kind of boring. And lyrically, while it beats 99% of what's out there, I don't think it measures up to his past work. Maybe it's unfair to hold it up to the standard of Just Us Kids, but that record had songs - Hurricane Party, Just Us Kids, Ruby & Carlos, The Governor, Fire Line Road - with scenery, characters and music that pulled you all the way in. Complicated Game has some snippets for sure, but so far it isn't pulling me in like that. I'm not saying it sucks, I'm just saying that it's not as good as I'd hoped/expected.

I'll keep listening and hopefully it'll be a grower as it gets more familiar. Plus I still can't wait to see him in April - I'm curious to hear some of these songs get the full band treatment.
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Iowan
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Iowan »

"Copper Canteen", "She Loves Me", "These Things I've Come to Know", "South Dakota" and "Long Island Sound" all seem like McMurtry character sketches on par with songs like "Ruby and Carlos" or "Fireline Road".

He's not telling stories so much as he's examining these folks, who they are, and how they got to where they are. To me, that's just James doing what he does better than probably anyone else.

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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Tequila Cowboy »

Iowan wrote:"Copper Canteen", "She Loves Me", "These Things I've Come to Know", "South Dakota" and "Long Island Sound" all seem like McMurtry character sketches on par with songs like "Ruby and Carlos" or "Fireline Road".

He's not telling stories so much as he's examining these folks, who they are, and how they got to where they are. To me, that's just James doing what he does better than probably anyone else.


Kind of my take too. My two favorite songs on Just Us Kids were the title track and Ruby and Carlos. My two faves here are Copper Canteen and Long Island Sound with These Things I've Come To Know awfully, awfully close to those. Listening to his words are like reading a book with a soundtrack. I write prose and I write songs and I can't even comprehend how he does what he does. There are only handful of songwriters in that class for me. I'm digging this hugely.
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Tequila Cowboy
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Tequila Cowboy »

Clams wrote:I get that he's going for a more folksy sound, but musically I think the songs all sound too much the same and are kind of boring. And lyrically, while it beats 99% of what's out there, I don't think it measures up to his past work. Maybe it's unfair to hold it up to the standard of Just Us Kids, but that record had songs - Hurricane Party, Just Us Kids, Ruby & Carlos, The Governor, Fire Line Road - with scenery, characters and music that pulled you all the way in. Complicated Game has some snippets for sure, but so far it isn't pulling me in like that. I'm not saying it sucks, I'm just saying that it's not as good as I'd hoped/expected.

I'll keep listening and hopefully it'll be a grower as it gets more familiar. Plus I still can't wait to see him in April - I'm curious to hear some of these songs get the full band treatment.


Thanks. I'm just curious as you've been as big a JM champion around here as anyone. I hope it grows on you.
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Blammo
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Blammo »

Just dug the hell out of this record! Great "wood shop listening" workin'-on-stuff music. I'm not familiar with his earlier work, so I guess that's up next. I love/hate spotify, but I suppose it's great for seeing if you dig something.
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beantownbubba
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by beantownbubba »

Clams wrote:I get that he's going for a more folksy sound, but musically I think the songs all sound too much the same and are kind of boring. And lyrically, while it beats 99% of what's out there, I don't think it measures up to his past work. Maybe it's unfair to hold it up to the standard of Just Us Kids, but that record had songs - Hurricane Party, Just Us Kids, Ruby & Carlos, The Governor, Fire Line Road - with scenery, characters and music that pulled you all the way in. Complicated Game has some snippets for sure, but so far it isn't pulling me in like that. I'm not saying it sucks, I'm just saying that it's not as good as I'd hoped/expected.

I'll keep listening and hopefully it'll be a grower as it gets more familiar. Plus I still can't wait to see him in April - I'm curious to hear some of these songs get the full band treatment.


I think this is a real test record for "how much does the music matter?" There's no way around it: Musically these songs are boring. So far I think i rate them higher than you do lyrically so it still works for me, but I can see the possibility that it will get old fast. OTOH, i can see the possibility that these songs will stick to my ribs because lyrically I come out closer to where TC and Iowan are.
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Clams
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Clams »

Also, why does he mention the Rangers and Nets in a song about Long Island?
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by LBRod »

Clams wrote:Also, why does he mention the Rangers and Nets in a song about Long Island?

Does Long Island have a hockey team of it's own? Probably all seems the same from Texas.
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Clams
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Clams »

LBRod wrote:
Clams wrote:Also, why does he mention the Rangers and Nets in a song about Long Island?

Does Long Island have a hockey team of it's own? Probably all seems the same from Texas.

Yes the fucking Islanders!
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Tequila Cowboy
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Tequila Cowboy »

beantownbubba wrote:
Clams wrote:I get that he's going for a more folksy sound, but musically I think the songs all sound too much the same and are kind of boring. And lyrically, while it beats 99% of what's out there, I don't think it measures up to his past work. Maybe it's unfair to hold it up to the standard of Just Us Kids, but that record had songs - Hurricane Party, Just Us Kids, Ruby & Carlos, The Governor, Fire Line Road - with scenery, characters and music that pulled you all the way in. Complicated Game has some snippets for sure, but so far it isn't pulling me in like that. I'm not saying it sucks, I'm just saying that it's not as good as I'd hoped/expected.

I'll keep listening and hopefully it'll be a grower as it gets more familiar. Plus I still can't wait to see him in April - I'm curious to hear some of these songs get the full band treatment.


I think this is a real test record for "how much does the music matter?" There's no way around it: Musically these songs are boring. So far I think i rate them higher than you do lyrically so it still works for me, but I can see the possibility that it will get old fast. OTOH, i can see the possibility that these songs will stick to my ribs because lyrically I come out closer to where TC and Iowan are.


Maybe the structures are basic but there's some terrific musicianship going on. There's a seven note slide lick from Derek Trucks on Ain't got a Place that's fucking brilliant. The mandolin in Deaver's Crossing is sublime. I find the music nuanced not boring but everyone hears what they hear. Still the brilliance, as it always is with JM, is in the lyrics and their simplistic yet vivid beauty.
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Iowan
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Iowan »

Clams wrote:Also, why does he mention the Rangers and Nets in a song about Long Island?


That bothered me too, but in the man's own words "Floydada didn't fit the meter".

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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Iowan »

Clams wrote:Also, why does he mention the Rangers and Nets in a song about Long Island?


Also, I thought it was Mets, not Nets. Which makes more sense.

But even if it was Nets, they've relocated to Brooklyn.
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Iowan
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Iowan »

I've never found McMurtry to be a particularly hook-laden artist, so I'm not finding this to be musically boring, relatively.

To expound on this, I think the melodies here are very strong, and reminiscent of a lot of his great tracks over the years like "No More Buffalo", "12 O'Clock Whistle", "Out Here in the Middle". None of those songs feature bombastic, memorable riffs.

Duke Silver
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Duke Silver »

I'm digging it. I don't think it's any great insult to say it's not as good as Just Us Kids, or that -- after half a dozen listens -- none of the songs seem to reach the heights of "Ruby and Carlos." That album is a masterpiece and R&C is one of the greatest character sketch songs ever. 2nd-tier McMurtry is still head and shoulders above most. I can already tell by the amiable tone of the record that I'm gonna be playing the shit out of it while making dinner, sitting on the deck, working in the garage, etc, so I'm looking forward to the songs revealing themselves over time.

I call bullshit on the songs being musically boring, though. A couple of the chord progressions are samey, but there's lots of cool stuff going on around the perimeter. Little organ and accordion flourishes, those weird-ass doo wop background vocals on She Loves Me, banjo and slide everywhere, 12 string bass, baritone guitar solos...lots to take in. Headphones help.

Off topic: If Cooley ever gets around to making a solo album, this is kinda what I hope it would sound/feel like.
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Tequila Cowboy
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Tequila Cowboy »

Duke Silver wrote:I'm digging it. I don't think it's any great insult to say it's not as good as Just Us Kids, or that -- after half a dozen listens -- none of the songs seem to reach the heights of "Ruby and Carlos." That album is a masterpiece and R&C is one of the greatest character sketch songs ever. 2nd-tier McMurtry is still head and shoulders above most. I can already tell by the amiable tone of the record that I'm gonna be playing the shit out of it while making dinner, sitting on the deck, working in the garage, etc, so I'm looking forward to the songs revealing themselves over time.

I call bullshit on the songs being musically boring, though. A couple of the chord progressions are samey, but there's lots of cool stuff going on around the perimeter. Little organ and accordion flourishes, those weird-ass doo wop background vocals on She Loves Me, banjo and slide everywhere, 12 string bass, baritone guitar solos...lots to take in. Headphones help.

Off topic: If Cooley ever gets around to making a solo album, this is kinda what I hope it would sound/feel like.


couldn't possibly agree more on the musical flourishes. I actually think that musically this is one of his most interesting records. The late, great Ian McKlagen really made some of those Just Us Kids songs pop but there's more going on here than there was on that amazing album.

Also if anyone is looking for something to top Ruby and Carlos you're in for a lot of disappointment.
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by jimmyjack »

I'd love to weigh in but, as per tradition, I have yet to receive my copy! I have the worst luck with pre-orders, you guys.

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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Kudzu Guillotine »

jimmyjack wrote:I'd love to weigh in but, as per tradition, I have yet to receive my copy! I have the worst luck with pre-orders, you guys.


I think I've only done one and it was a couple weeks late. Since then, I've seen just how much hassle they appear to be for most other folks so I've never done any pre-orders since then. Then again, I have the advantage of living in a place where I can usually visit one of the local record stores to find most new titles already in stock.

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Clams
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Clams »

Kudzu Guillotine wrote:
jimmyjack wrote:I'd love to weigh in but, as per tradition, I have yet to receive my copy! I have the worst luck with pre-orders, you guys.


I think I've only done one and it was a couple weeks late. Since then, I've seen just how much hassle they appear to be for most other folks so I've never done any pre-orders since then. Then again, I have the advantage of living in a place where I can usually visit one of the local record stores to find most new titles already in stock.

I preordered thru Amazon and it came right on time in yesterday's mail. Spotify had it bright and early yesterday as well.
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Duke Silver
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Duke Silver »

Clams wrote:
Kudzu Guillotine wrote:
jimmyjack wrote:I'd love to weigh in but, as per tradition, I have yet to receive my copy! I have the worst luck with pre-orders, you guys.


I think I've only done one and it was a couple weeks late. Since then, I've seen just how much hassle they appear to be for most other folks so I've never done any pre-orders since then. Then again, I have the advantage of living in a place where I can usually visit one of the local record stores to find most new titles already in stock.

I preordered thru Amazon and it came right on time in yesterday's mail. Spotify had it bright and early yesterday as well.


yep, amazon never lets me down with pre-orders.
ain't no static on the gospel radio

Iowan
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Re: James McMurtry Thread

Post by Iowan »

I really don't regret going digital with music.

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