Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The Cost of Living's High (And Going Up)

The working man has always found a champion in country music. If you take the artist’s political allegiances out of it, these songs could all be anthems for anyone who just wants to earn a buck and make a living in the land of their birth.

Ronnie Dunn: Cost of Livin’

The man with the worst hair and one of the best voices tells it simply and plaintively in his latest single. The Inky Jukebox has included both the official video and a live performance (though not the stunning one he gave at the Opry recently) so you can appreciate how un-autotuned he is.

Craig Campbell: Family Man

A tender love song to what keeps families secure behind the scenes.

Josh Thompson: Way Out Here

The Inky Jukebox loves Josh Thompson’s brash anthem, and found this stripped down acoustic version filmed in Cairo absolutely mesmerizing in the portrait it paints. Thompson’s lyric takes on a whole new layer of meaning when singing about a ghost town.

Jamey Johnson: Poor Man Blues

No-one does bitter like Jamey Johnson, and being dissed by the Man provides a rich vein from which he can draw low-throttle yet powerful venom.

Toby Keith: Made in America

The Inky Jukebox likes to think Toby Keith has rigged giant fireworks to explode whenever he thumps his denim-clad thigh regardless of whether he’s on stage or not. Does you tag say Made in the USA on it?

Hank Williams Jr.: Pink Slip Blues

Hank Jr.’s mouth gets him into trouble, sure, but no-one delivers a Fuck You song like he does. Besides, shoes is expensive, y’all!

John Rich: Shuttin’ Detroit Down

This one’s a few years old, but still holds up. Don’t he look like a fresh-faced boy? (We don’t mean Mickey Rourke.)

Alabama: 40 Hour Week

We’d like to throw this one in as a reminder of how things used to be, when a band could thank all those blue collar folks for working hard at jobs that have since disappeared. Also, Rest In Peace leaping and dancing hard-hatted men. Never come back again.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Footloose and Fanciful

Six Degrees of Separation From "Good"

Footloose was a rubbish movie, all things considered. The premise was ridiculous, the acting completely overblown. The dance scenes defied the limits of gravity and physical possibility. But even so, it has survived as a glimpse of cinematic life in the 1980s — if not real life in the 1980s. This is a historical text. It said everything it needed to about its story, however hokey. It did not need an update.

Sadly, a “modern” version has been made and even more sadly, Blake Shelton has been tapped to sing its iconic theme song. Tragically, the video trailer is now on TV.

According to the trailer, the new Footloose now features hoochies in Daisy Dukes pulling big-city nightclub moves  you normally only see in Hip-Hop videos and farm boys in overalls moonwalkng. Hang on — isn’t this supposed to take place in the sticks? There is no way that these actors look like they spent a single minute of their Hollywood-polished lives outside suburbia at the most. Sure, Lori Singer didn’t look like the kind of girl you find in a small town either, but she looked like she broke a sweat and had absolutely no tits. The whole point of the film is that Ren had to teach her how to dance. Julianne Hough, who plays Ariel in the new film, is famous for being a dancer. Chris Penn was believable as a dude who could not dance worth a shit. Sarah Jessica Parker wore glasses. Ren drove a beat-up VW Bug because in 1984, that was a shit vehicle. A new Beetle is a hipster car. The story was possible only in a pre-internet age where small town communities could really be isolated from pop culture.

The original film poster features Ren lost in music. It tells us that he is a loner, a free spirit. The new poster, by contrast, features some pre-copulation crotchhumping that showcases the film's emphasis on the sexual relationship between the two "stars." This difference says it all. 

Why, in the name of all that deserves quoting Bible verses from, does this new film exist? Why?

(And Blake: Dude, that shark you’re riding is about to jump that wave coming at you faster than you can see. Pull back, Man.)

Set for release straight into the toilet on Oct 14th 2011.