29 November 2007

New Old 97's

You haven't even gotten past the headline and you're confused, aren't you.

Anyway, I became a huge fan of the Old 97's in the mid- to late-1990s, after hearing the song "Broadway," then ordering the album that carried that song, "Too Far to Care," and then playing the entire record incessantly for 2,304,387 times. More or less. Right around the turn of the century, I made my then-girlfriend (now wife) what was supposed to be a best-of disc of their stuff. It had eight of the 13 tracks from "Too Far." Go buy this record if you like roughshod, ramshackle, rootsy, country, punk, rock 'n' roll. Singer/primary songwriter Rhett Miller is one of the best turners of phrase ever.

Their last record -- 2004's "Drag It Up" -- wasn't a classic, but it had several great tracks. "Won't Be Home" is one of the best songs they ever wrote. But I thought maybe singer/primary songwriter Rhett Miller was spread too thin as he also put out two solo records since 2002.

So I'm excited to hear the band has wrapped a new record for 2008 release, but it's with some trepidation, since I hear that Rhett's also got a new solo project coming out soon. My best hope is that enough time's passed to let them build up a good stack of tunes. These guys are too good to hold down.

Get you some MP3s. Start with these. Then these. Then anything else you find here.

"If that phone don't ring one more time,
I'm gonna lose what's left of my mind.
Well, you made a big impression for a girl of your size,
Now I can't get by without you and your big brown eyes."
-- The Old 97's, "Big Brown Eyes"

5 comments:

Isabel said...

I'm a huge Old 97's fan. HUGE. (Huge enough that I found your blog thanks to my google alert for the band.) *cough* NERD *cough

Hearing you mention that "Won't Be Home" is their best song made me pull it up on my iPod and enjoy it some more. While I wouldn't say it was my fave ("Designs on You"), it is an awesome song.

Jenn said...

"Designs on You" is a great song too, but they won my heart with the line "Talking to you, girl, is like long division." The expression of so much frustration with such a simple phrase makes me happy.

Brad Barnes said...

Funny, when I chose the lyric for the end of the post, I also seriously considered the "Singular Girl" line and the "Won't Be Home" chorus ("I was born in the/back seat of a/Mustang on a/Cold night in the/Hard rain")

So nice to find other Olds fans...

Brad Barnes said...

I love your blog, by the way, Isabel. Friends, check it out at http://holaisabel.com/

Isabel said...

Thanks Brad...it's always good to find a fellow fan of the Old 97's!