Side B of my 2015 yulemix, The Christmas Force Awakens — Yuletunes Eclectice & Inexplicable Perfect X: Final Sequence, is posted below!
I might’ve cheated a little to make Side B fit a 55-minute cassette side. There are always a few outtakes, but this one had more than a few. Cutting the mashup of The Pretenders’ “2000 Miles” and Chrissie Hynde’s controversial Morning Edition interview from two months back about her new memoir was a hard call, but the right one. The others may surface if I can summon the resolve to do this for an eleventh time.
May your days be shiny and chrome, and may the Christmas Force be with you. Merry Christmas.
Formed in Dallas in 1993, the alt-country act Old 97's combines the heart-tugging wordplay of Townes Van Zandt with the attack of The Clash.
After a couple of indie releases in the mid-'90s, the group was the
beneficiary of a bidding war, signing with Elektra Records. Their
major-label debut, 1997's Too Far to Care, remains their best
and best-loved album. Despite retaining a substantial following—Old
97's' show at the 9:30 Club tonight is sold out—the group never reached
the level of stardom its big label demanded. Since 2004, the band has
been recording for the New West label.
Old 97's' current tour supports a 15th anniversary reissue of Too Far to Care, which they're playing in its entirety in sequence, along with a selection of other songs. I spoke with singer-songwriter Rhett Miller
(whose career as a solo artist runs parallel to that of his band) by
phone about the quest for perfect setlist, the excesses of major-label
recording contracts, and the trouble with singing songs you wrote when
you were 25 when you're 42.
This interview appears today on the Washington City Paper's Arts Desk.