Sunday, August 17, 2008
The South will rise again
Yes, I know that last night's show was all about Shooter Jennings, but I have to say Rebel Son and Sons of Bill totally stole the show from him in completely different ways. I also want to quickly note that dozens of people were taking photos and capturing video throughout the show, and no one from the Lincoln had a problem with it, so my little fiasco with The Sword must have been due to the band rather than the club.
Angela wrote a much better blog about Raleigh's Rebel Son, analyzing the ways in which they mix the punk ethos with white trash imagery and sell it back to their legion of devoted fans, who may or may not be in on the joke. Part of that joke is that two of the band members are from New York. She took down the blog, but might tweak it and republish it. If you're her friend on myspace, check it out.
The other part of that joke (or maybe schtick is a better term) is the blatant South will rise again, Confederate flag-waving attitude that pretty much is the essence of what Rebel Son does. You could make a comparison to Lynyrd Skynyrd, one of my favorite bands ever, who walked a similar fine line with their pro-working man Southern pride. But where Skynyrd were more nuanced, Rebel Son is right there in your face, which is exactly where they want to be. They are talented musicians, and entertaining showmen, and singer/guitarist Lee Johnson is a clever lyricist. But, as someone who grew up surrounded by rednecks, some of whom I love dearly, I just think the whole thing gets old after a while.
Check out the video for "Redneck Piece of White Trash." I wish I'd captured Johnson's rant against the Glenwood South crew that preceded this song. I particularly like the fact that you can see the viewfinder of the dude capturing video right in front of me.
Next up were Charlottesville's Sons of Bill, an amazing alt-country group featuring three incredibly talented young brothers. Their set was equal parts rockin' and reflective. The song I captured was more reflective. Unfortunately I don't know the name of it.
Finally Shooter Jennings was on. I'll admit, I've never listened to much of his stuff, but I liked what I heard enough to go back and check him out. Still, he didn't inspire me to talk about him the next day like Rebel Son and Sons of Bill did. I also somehow managed to NOT get video of this show, which is strange because I could have sworn that I took some.
Finally, a couple of random notes on the evening. This show was one of maybe two I've been to in my entire life where there was a line for the men's room, but not for the women's. After the show Angela and I walked up to our normal watering hole, The Landmark, but when we tried to leave after last call, there was suddenly some sort of major brouhaha in the street with people fighting, cops blocking the street and gun shots ringing out. I've heard various rumors of what may have been going on, but haven't seen any official news about it. If someone knows for sure what went on, please let me know.