First of all: if you haven't watched Netflix's Tiger King documentary series yet, then what the hell are you waiting for? It's got everything: tiger, ligers, lions, and bears; gay polygamists who are also straight; murder cover-ups galore; lots and lots of meth; fucking tigers; straight polygamists who are really just harem cult leaders who also own tigers; mullets; tigers; country pop songs about tigers and the Deep State; more meth mouth; more tigers; more polyamory; more conspiracies; FBI entrapment schemes; strip club owners who are also narcs; that libertarian campaign manager who actually seems like a decent guy; the multiple employees with amputated limbs who also seem like decent people in spite of their tragic stories; more guns and explosions; and of course, tigers.
But one thing it doesn't go into enough in its already-overpacked-seven-episodes is the Tiger King's alleged music career. While the series shows some clips from Joe "Tiger King" Exotic's country music videos, it doesn't explain who actually wrote and produced those songs, or let you hear any of them in their full WTF glory.
Slate was fortunate enough to interview the songwriters involved in such hits as "I Saw A Tiger" — and if you've seen the show, you won't be surprised that they were kind of conned by Joe Exotic, too, just like everyone else around him.
But perhaps even more glorious is that people like BJ Barham (above), one of my favorite alt-country singer/songwriters and the frontman for American Aquarium, has already taken to covering Joe Exotic's Tiger songs. Read the rest
Lithub has a wonderful piece on the classic Jimmy Webb composition, "Wichita Lineman," one of the most enduring pop songs ever written. Made famous by the late Glen Campbell, the author of piece describes the song as one that "defies the injustice of repetition."
And then, there's that amazing "I need you more than want you" couplet.
There is little ambiguity about the greatest couplet ever written. The punchline—the sucker punch—of “Wichita Lineman,” the line in the song that resonates so much, the line that contains one of the most exquisite romantic couplets in the history of song—“And I need you more than want you / and I want you for all time”—could be many people’s perfect summation of love, although some, including writer Michael Hann, think it’s something sadder and perhaps more profound. “It is need, more than want, that defines the narrator’s relationship; if they need their lover more than wanting them, then naturally they will want them for all time. The couplet encompasses the fear that those who have been in relationships do sometimes struggle with: good God, what happens to me if I am left alone?” Hann is certainly right when he says that it’s a heart-stopping line, and no matter how many hundreds of times you hear it, no matter what it means to you, it never loses its ability to shock and confound.
Read the rest here.
Here is Glen Campbell singing the track on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in the late 60s. Read the rest
Johnny Cash died September 12, 2003, age 71.
Jills veranda is a lovely Swedish music showcase filmed in Nashville. Here Swedish pop star Veronica Maggio joins host Jill Johnson for a cover of "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. Read the rest
It's not a huge surprise that Willie Nelson makes a cameo in the lighthearted (and smoke-filled) new video for Toby Keith's weed-centric country party song, "Wacky Tobaccy." After all, Willie is a known pothead and a longtime advocate of marijuana legalization. What's a tiny bit surprising is that, a few years ago, Keith jokingly sang that he would "never smoke with Willie again." And now here is, toking up with Willie again:
That's the power of the reefer, people. One minute you're swearing off the pot and the next you're on your fancy tourbus getting high with one of the coolest mofos on the planet.
(Honestly, I think the only thing truly surprising is that Snoop Dogg wasn't invited to this pot party.)
Here's a taste of the song's lyrics:
Know you can two tote her, you can one hit him, puff it in a pipe and you can twist it in a stem, you can bake it in some brownies, smoke it through a Bong, roll up a great big fat one like ol' Cheech and Chong, Burn it through a hole, in a can of Budweiser, if you can't take the heat son vaporizer
That old Wacky Tobaccy, When you feel it creeping up on you,
That old Wacky Tobaccy, Kick back and let it do what it do
One small step for Toby Keith, one slightly-bigger step for mainstreaming cannabis culture.
(The Cannabist) Read the rest
I don't know anything about Bo Burnham, but I once spent an otherwise pleasant afternoon on a beach next to a guy who played contemporary country music loudly on a speaker. I heard enough of it that day to think Mr. Burnham is into something. Read the rest