According to the CMT website (which is not always 100% correct but we'll try to confirm), the episode will begin airing January 10 at 2:30 pm ET. Get the Tivo ready!
Pondering the most memorable and significant moments of the 2008 racing year while watching some exciting late-season NFL games and waiting for my cell to ring to tell me where I rate in the Sporting News "NASCAR's 60 Most Beautiful People" and when the glam photo shoot will be scheduled. Oh... it's already over!?!? Nevermind...
Enter your favorite racing moments of 2008 in the "comments" section below. I'll likely have my own list for Tuesday's SPEEDtv.com column. Also feel free to leave suggestions of topics you'd like to see covered in the weekly column. I've never found a comfort level or real voice/rhythm for the column, but I'm still slagging along. If all things fall into place, there might even be a monthly video segment for the Faster. Louder. column in 2009. Keep your fingers crossed.
How surprising is the AJ Allmendinger in for Elliott Sadler move in the 19 car? I'm a big fan of AJ and Elliott, but it seems Elliott's lack of performance has cost him a ride after Ray Evernham's departure from the team he founded. Sponsors love his personality, but sometimes you have to perform on the track (Michael Waltrip excepted...) We'll see what else develops, and if this impacts where Bobby Labonte will continue his career.
TOURE, who wrote both of the lengthy Rolling Stone magazine profiles of Dale Jr., has produced a fine list of the Thinking Man's Sex Symbols for 2008. People love lists, and though I wouldn't agree with all 10 of his picks, it's a damn fine place to start the discussion.
MUST READ BOOKS: If you want to better understand the current economic collapse and mess-of-a-world, pick up a copy of Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine." Or, for a laugh, check out Artie Lange's bio, "Too Fat to Fish." Even better, check 'em out on the new Kindle: Amazon's Wireless Reading Device. It's a sign of things to come in the future - kind of like the iPod for books.
(Start with Part One if you like.) The first segment was a look at mostly big-name acts and hitmakers with songs that warranted more attention from their catalog, while today's entries are mostly from less-successful acts that were much more deserving of success - or had one brief shining moment of inspiration and greatness. Again, this is a purely subjective list - so I encourage folks to add their own suggestions in the "Comments" section below. Enjoy.
The song links take you to Amazon.com or iTunes to hear a sample of each song.
13.) Copperhead Road - Steve Earle -- Earle is a fascinating case: country troubadour who served time on drug charges, now a part-time actor and record label owner. Copperhead Road
is a story of three generations of Appalachian moonshiners and could be an unofficial anthem of NASCAR's roots. (Most of the songs in Talladega Nights are from Earle.) The song has a strange blend of lilting, near-Scottish riffs followed by rocking guitars and drums.
14.) 16 Days - Whiskeytown -- A North Carolina combo led by Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown made a brilliant record ("Strangers Almanac") of which this song is the gem, and then flamed out in Adam's drunken haze. His solo career has been a barrage of way too much material - but if you were to pick the best from his career, it'd make a blockbuster "Best of..."
15.) How Soon is Now? - the Smiths -- I never really liked the Smiths, but guitarist Johnny Marr was excellent at making simple riffs compelling with textures and tones. "How Soon Is Now" never struck me until I heard it at ear-shattering volume in a rickety bar in Chicago. The guitar intro alone has been sampled by a wide array of artists, and I still turn it up whenever I hear it.
16.) What Girls Want - Material Issue -- Obscure upper-midwestern combo from the 1980s, I hear a lot of their sound echo in bands like Sum-41 or Blink-182 (or any pop band with numbers). Leader Jim Ellison committed suicide in 1996, leaving behind several power pop classics such as "Kim the Waitress" and this one, which has one of the coolest lyrics of the past quarter century: "I want love, I want drugs, I want sex and affection / want everyone in this room here to look in my direction / I want a man with lips just like Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart's hair and Keith Richards' stagger / It's what girls want!"
17.) Outshined - Soundgarden -- While Nirvana and Pearl Jam got the raves and the record sales early in the Seattle grunge era, Soundgarden were overlooked until they toned down the metal tendencies and focused on the soaring vocal pipes of Chris Cornell on the hit album "Superunknown." If you want to hear them at their early, roaring best, check out the "Badmotorfinger" album instead. Cornell has one of the greatest voices in rock history, and he lets it wail on this album.
18.) Roadrunner - Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers -- The adenoidal singing of Jonathan Richman is a struggle at best, and he's now most famous as the singing narrator in the movie "Something About Mary," but the Modern Lovers were Boston phenoms in the 70s: spawning members of the Cars and Talking Heads and influencing Brit Punk and American New Wave. Roadrunner is a rockin' ode to the joys of radio (when radio still mattered) is an American classic.
19.) Pink Bedroom - Rosanne Cash - Johnny's daughter has had a stellar career and continues to represent smart and well-crafted pop/country albums. Pink Bedroom is a cover of a John Hiatt song that was my first taste of Rosanne and led me to also discover other gems like "Seven Year Ache." This one earns a spot because of a great artist covering a great songwriter.
20.) Clampdown - the Clash -- "London Calling" was named the best album of the 1980s by Rolling Stone magazine, and while "Train in Vain" and the title track earned much-deserved attention, I always liked the muscle of Clampdown
as Strummer and Jones and the boys let it rip with military precision.
21.) The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice -- While folks go bat-shit buying records from sensitive singer/song-stylists like Jack Johnson, John Mayer and James Blunt, the best of the bunch is Irish writer Damien Rice. Using unique sounds and instruments (cello is most prominent behind his acoustic guitar), Rice remains one to watch and enjoy.
22.) Welcome to the Boomtown - David & David -- An obscure combo of studio musicians (some of which later formed the nucleus of Sheryl Crow's band for her first album), the Boomtown album perfectly captures the 80s decadence of Los Angeles: the drugs, the cars, the excess and the L.A. pop music sound.
23.) Bodies - Drowning Pool -- A hard rock radio hit if ever there was one, this one was unfortunately released immediately before 9/11 and was (rightly) pulled by the record company. This Dallas band suffered a setback when their singer died of heart failure, but they continue to record today. The rage of Bodies is contagious - and you can count along: "One! (Nothin' wrong with me) Two! (Nothin' wrong with me) Three! (Nothin' wrong with me)..." Well, you get the idea.
24.) There She Goes - the La's -- A wonderful one-hot wonder, this Liverpool combo released one near-perfect pop record, then disappeared. This one has been covered many times and has appeared in many movies.
25.) Fade into You - Mazzy Star -- To call Fade Into You "dreamy" is an understatement. The somnambulistic beat lulls you into a R.E.M.-state where the melody and lyrics from Hope Sandoval can wash over you in soothing ecstasy. A cool, under-appreciated band whose members came from SoCal Paisley Underground bands like the Rain Parade and Opal.
And finally, (BY SPECIAL REQUEST) to complete the rest of your collection, you must get the 379-record set of "Gordon Lightfoot Sings EVERY Song Ever Written!" From the archives of the brilliant SCTV...
New for fingerprint inc. Blog Commenters: We're working on a Beta program where you can create your own profile with photo if you like. (It's not required.) You can even choose to be notified by email if someone replies to your comment. One of the great joys of this project is when many people have lively comments, and this will only help (at least I hope it does...) Let me know what you think.
Is Chevrolet next?
Can you imagine NASCAR without Chevy? You might have to get used to it, because their business is dropping much like the theme of their long-enduring truck ads: Like a rock.
It's an Alice in Wonderland scenario: three bulbous and poorly-managed companies with inferior products go to Congress to ask for billions of dollars. Should General Motors not receive a bail-out, they claim they'll not even make it to the first of the year. Are they crying 'wolf?' And, if they do receive a financial band-aid, will they really change their ways and become competitive? Why are the Big Three less-worthy than the massive financial institutions?
If you're a motorsports fan, you owe it to yourself to watch the HBO documentary called "Dirty Driving: Thundercars of Indiana." It's a mix of Mad Max mayhem and Bush-era economics focusing on people who are barely hanging on as automotive plants close one-by-one in Anderson, Indiana and thousands upon thousands of people lose their jobs. (And we wonder why the inept "Big 3" remain in trouble financially?)
Jade Gurss: BEAST
Get it now in hardcover and Kindle versions!