Thursday, December 09, 2010

Alabama All Right

FINALLY! I have my copy of the new Oxford American music issue. I was starting to get worried! Tom Franklin got his a long time ago! That's okay: he has an amazing, gothic short story in it - featuring Buck Owens! But then I heard that some facebook friends in Wisconsin already had it. Well, okay. Because it is cold there, and maybe they need to shred it and put it in their shoes for extra warmth. I can understand that! BUT THEN my STUDENTS started talking to me about it. MY STUDENTS! That can't be right, can it? Oh, who cares, because I got it and it is awesome. For example, I don't want to brag or anything but I have almost 20,000 songs on my ipod... and the new OA music CD (which comes with the issue) contains only ONE song I already have on my ipod, OKAY (Sammy Salvo, doing a song called "A Mushroom Cloud," and I didn't even realize he was from Alabama - thanks, Oxford American!)? PLUS, as I have just parenthetically hinted, the focus of this issue is music from my home state of Alabama, and ol' Smirnoff, in his "editor's column," starts to sound like me during my famous karaoke interludes when I compulsively list all the great icons of Alabama. Here he is, naming the Alabama musicians who ARE NOT on the CD: "Hank Williams, Sun Ra, Nat King Cole, Candi Staton, Emmylou Harris, Arthur Alexander, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Ballard, W.C. Handy... Erskine Hawkins... The Louvin Brothers... The Commodores [pictured]... Big Mama Thornton... Wilson Pickett... James Reese Europe..." I'm leaving a lot of them out, but you get the point. And the writers! I will name only a few of the writers in this issue, people who have appeared on the "blog" before: the great blues historian Scott Barretta (I see that I have not mentioned him BY THAT NAME on the "blog" but he has many aliases! And he took this picture of me with Joey Lauren Adams), Kevin Brockmeier, Ben Greenman, Tom Franklin (see above; also from Alabama), Greil Marcus, Nicholas Rombes (author of A CULTURAL DICTIONARY OF PUNK), and so, so many more. I have only scratched the surface! Trust me! Trust yourself!