There is a good chance you found us accidentally by using the word “taint” in your search (If you found us on purpose, you deserve our accolades). Of course we don’t know what you were looking for, but you stumbled on a damn cool project. Look around; let us help send you on a musical journey. Here you will find a number of album reviews from the strange and extreme to the tame and mainstream. Our reviewers are a bunch of obsessive miscreants. Most of us are avid music collectors and have been involved in the music world for decades. A couple of us have been in or are still in bands.
There are no rules on Tickle Your Taint Blog. Our reviewers might make you laugh, or piss you off; both results are legitimate. One reviewer might write a glowing review of an album another might tear it apart. We may end up adopting a single review system, such as five stars, or each reviewer may use his own or none at all. We may have a new review every week or we could end up with one every six months. This blog exists as a social experiment to build community among a diverse group of music maniacs – our reviewers and hopefully you. Pull down your knickers, lube up and join us in tickling yours and our taints.
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Saturday, October 26, 2013
I want to apologize for not producing a review in a while, but I have been embroiled in a bunch of bullshit at work keeping me from doin’ the shit I love. Well, today, I decided just to fuck off a bit, lay on the couch with the dogs and listen to Molly Hatchet radio on Pandora. I am not sure if you picked up on it yet, but I am a redneck - a fucking redneck if you prefer. I identify with songs like Long Haired Country Boy and Long Haired Redneck, but I have to admit I have a fundamental flaw - a few college degrees. Although James McMurtry quoted a friend who said “a good ole boy can become an intellectual, but an intellectual cannot become a good ole boy,” there is a certain degree of distance that develops when someone hands you a worthless piece of paper with a name from some fancy-smancy book-learning place on it.
I really do not fit in anywhere. I think that is the definition of someone who is attracted to punk, metal, or some other form of music that “nobody” listens to. I don’t fit in very well with my roots, but the soil on my boots ensures that I do not fit with the middle-class, self-rightous, fucktard academics that litter college campuses. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really great people that end up at universities, but they tend to be the exception instead of the rule.
I knew that the chasm between me and the rest of the folks where I work was becoming insurmountable when I returned from my Mother’s funeral. I had just watched her take her last few tortured breaths a few weeks before a colleague asked me, “Did you have a great break?” No, I did not have a fucking great break. Y’all can go fuck yourselves. Every time these fucking assholes pat themselves on the back about how close we are as a department, I think of that stupid fucking question, and I want to fucking wretch.
So, when my brother’s trailer burned to the fucking ground last year, you can imagine all the support I received from my fellows. I will spare you the details of their latest fucking assholishness, but it is safe to say that as I was sifting through the ashes of my brother’s home, they could be counted on to ratchet up their fucking bullshit.
To make bearable the task of trying to sort through the mounds of ashes for any little remnant of salvageable detritus, I did two things: bought a bottle of cheap fucking whiskey, and blasted tunes out of my car stereo. My brother was trying to find his cat amidst the rubble, or more optimistically, on the property somewhere. As we sorted through the house, we began a large bonfire to consume the bits and pieces of shit that didn’t completely incinerate. I was pulling charred 2x4's out of a debris pile off the back of the trailer when I spotted a white tube about a foot long pinned under one of the studs. When I saw it, I knew immediately what it was. Years earlier, my brother had found some of my Mother’s sketches rolled up and stored above the dryer. He showed them to me one day and put them back on that top shelf. I picked up the tube and carefully unrolled a portion to reveal the scorched sketches. Although each sketch was burned through at one point or another, they were surprisingly intact. We lost a lot of my Mother’s artwork in that fire. Those sketches were just some of the illogical shit I saw in the aftermath of the fire. Computers were reduced to dust except for the case, but just a few feet away, there is a fucking intact butter dish lid! WTF???
We worked through the day and into the night. It was dark, and my brother still had not found his cat. I was working on picking through piles in my old bedroom. It was my brother’s reloading room, so it had a lot of ammo, powder, and casings. Since it was dark, I misstepped right into the hole in the middle of the room. I sank all the way up to my balls in soot, nails, and busted studs. A few moments after wresting myself loose from the hole, I heard my brother say something I couldn’t understand. I asked, “what?”, but I heard something that made me start walking toward him. When I got closer and knelt beside him, he said, “I found Tip. We’ve been walking over her all day.” She was behind what was the bedroom door. Barely illuminated from the shop lights, I saw what I thought was wiring from the house. The fire had burned insanely hot, and what I was seeing were the insides of a cat in a tortured pose.
My brother unearthed his cat and brought her to the backyard to bury. While we are digging the hole, I hear ZZ Top’s “Buck Nekkid” blaring out of my fucking car stereo. My mind vacillates between my brother’s pain and that stupid fucking song. I thought, “couldn’t you fucking just play something like ‘Tuesday’s Gone’ for fuck sake?” To my fucking astonishment, that fucking song started up as we were filling the grave with dirt. After we laid Tip to rest, we went over to the car where the whiskey was. I poured a generous amount in my brother’s cup, and I swigged copiously straight from the bottle.
The neighbor’s kid started talking to me about the fire. As “Tuesday’s Gone” played, I told him that this was not the first time the family suffered through fire. “It’s hard.” I garbled out as I choked through my tears and thought of my brother and sister, huddled in a corner, burned alive by the callousness of a capitalist pig too cheap to replace a part on a defective heater. I took another long, healthy swig from the bottle and walked toward the bonfire. I kicked shit into the fire as the heat blasted my face, but could not evaporate tears treasonously rolling down my cheeks. “Fuck this shit,” as I kick at the pieces of what was our family home, “Tuesday’s Gone’s” mournful tune melting my redneck stoicism.
I know how Lynyrd Skynyrd is beloved and derided. People latch onto it because it’s cool, but dismiss it for being associated with Southern pride, rednecks, and hillbilly ignorance. Their debut album contains a range characteristic of many of their albums that defies the one-dimensional attribution it usually gets. Yes, it has the redneck anthems, “Gimme Three Steps” and “Freebird,” but it also has “Poison Whiskey,” a track that certainly does not glorify drinking. Later albums had anti-drug messages, “Needle and the Spoon,” and even a tome against handguns, “Saturday Night Special.” While rooted in Southern mythology, Lynyrd Skynyrd was not confined to mindlessly parrot the ethos of the grossest exaggeration of what it means to be a “true” redneck. Songs like “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” demonstrate a complexity in its understanding of the South. I don’t think we need to gloss over the problematic nature of “Southern Pride,” but we should not also paint everything country with the same brush. I developed a different appreciation for Lynyrd as I listened to their albums. They will also be forever intertwined with some of the most tragic events in my life.
I think everyone is aware of Lynyrd Skynyrd, so I do not have to describe the hookiness of their work, but I think people should dig into their catalog to develop a sense of their complexity. Although not on the first album, “Curtis Loew” is one of my favorite tunes. It is a slow creeper, but it has a soul in the music that really digs at you. For some reason, “Simple Man” really strikes me as a working man’s tune. Even though the lyrics really do not jump out as a working man’s epic, the mood of it reminds me of what it means to be a blue collar redneck. When I am in a certain mood, Skynyrd really tears at my gut. I can move from a gritty redneck anger to a moving melancholy. Part of what it means to be working class is always being on the losing end. Victories are small and very few and far between. I think the attraction for me in Lynyrd Skynyrd is the consonance with my anger for being shit on (and watching others I love get shit on) for most of my goddamn life. Like most music we cherish, it is tied to us in a fundamental way. After being introduced to “Tuesday’s Gone” on a Hank Jr. album, believe it or not, I will never be able to separate Skynyrd’s version from that night and the pain that gives me life.
Skynyrd’s debut gets three sweet sticky balls.
Sweet Dreams Motherfuckers.