09 January 2008
Um, guys...I think I like Kings of Leon.
OK, a little bit about myself before I explain the perplexing statement listed above.
I'm from Nashville, Tenn., born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my....wait, wait, that's not my song. Anyway, so it only makes sense that music is part of my life, being bred in the Music City and all. But the music that everyone associates Nashville which has always been the major drawback for me and one of the reason why I only stay for a few days whenever I visit my family. On top of that, my family resides in East Nashville, now the home of many "alt.country" artists and Hermitage, home of the Grand Ole Opry. So I can't escape the shit. The best I can do is to not say "y'all," which still slips out on rare occasions.
Having celebrate the CMTs every year as a kid and stomaching many mullets, cowboy boots and honky-tonks, it just was an uncomfortable background for me. I know, I know, most people escape the city they were raised in because of it was too rural or too metropolitan or too rich or too poor or too racist or too much crime, but I did it because I really hate how people still associate that place as the place where hairspray-laden, big-eyed aspiring country musicians go, or nowadays, alt.country musicians.
In the last few years people have recommended several artists that could possibly lie in the "alt.country" genre, and I'd immediately fight the urge to vomit and say, "Anything country is bad news." I mean, really, what's so "alternative" about it other than the fact that it has a groovier sound and more electric guitars?
But I eventually got over my initial period of instant rejection and let some alt.country music inside my earwaves (that's right). And although my alt.country taste is still limited, I'm gradually getting over the whole why-I-cannot-stand-Nashville-for-too-long-because-of-country-music syndrome. (Y'know, it's really a complicated situation, like my boys Black Rebel Motorcycle Club once said.) I even have a Wilco band tee, because I actually love them! And Loose Fur! And BRMC! And Tom Petty! Though, I sometimes confuse alt.country with straightforward rock.* For all I know, Springsteen's an alt.country artist.
With all that babbling said, I am starting to be a Kings of Leon fan, despite them being from the same city that started my skewed perception of alt.country, as well as being part of the genre that started my skewed perception of the city. It's a crazy world we live in.
I actually got into 'em one night after a homeboy was taking me home and he had a mix of all KoL tracks from various albums, and I was like, "Who the hell is this? This is sexy." And he told me it was them, and I got confused, because I thought I hated them, but deep down, it was the other way around. Caleb Followill's voice is ridiculous. I can listen to him sing for years--yes, years. He sounds like early Costello who had strep throat and and is now speaking for the first time in 10 years. If that doesn't sound enticing, I don't know what does.
Kings of Leon - McFearless
Kings Of Leon - Charmer
*Any band/musician who is heavily or even subtly influenced by Southern rock is considered "alt.country" to me. The slightest bit of a "twangy" sound is flat-out alt.country to me. I know, I'm being discriminatory. Ain't right.