Friday, February 16, 2007

Nashville Rockers On YouTube

I'm sure that I'm not telling you all anything that you don't already know, but I've found YouTube to be a great way to waste a whole heck of a lot of time. You can keep your silly videos of people lip-syncing to Green Day songs, or the dozens of "Barbie Girl" videos (although the one with the Technoboy Justin is a real scream). No, vintage music videos are my drug of choice and for the moment, at least, until the copyright police have them all pulled, there are a lot of classic '80s videos to watch on the site.

Nashville rockers are well-represented among the YouTube masses, thanks to Allen from Practical Stylists. Allen has posted some damn cool local vids, including Jason & the Scorchers, Basic Static, Bill Lloyd and, naturally, Practical Stylists. But you'll also find videos from Webb Wilder, Royal Court Of China, the Pink Spiders, Jonathan Bright and Be Your Own Pet, among others.

Best as I can remember (and I'm sure somebody will correct me if I'm wrong), Jason & the Nashville Scorchers' "Absolutely Sweet Marie" was the first rock video by a Nashville band. I still have a VHS copy that Jack Emerson gave me, and evidently so does Allen, who posted a copy on YouTube. The Scorchers' other made-for-MTV videos, which bankrupted the band, can also be found on the site, including the hilarious "White Lies" which would have won the Scorchers a lot of new fans if it had ever been played with any regularity. I remember seeing the "White Lies" video only once, and I watched MTV day and night back the day.

The Royal Court Of China's "Half The Truth" is especially cool in that it was directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) and produced by Bruce Campbell. This was made during RCOC's "L.A." period, but the song kicks ass and Joey comes across like the "next big rock star" on the screen. But the RCOC video for "It's All Changed" showcases a better song, I believe, as well as the original band with Robert Logue and Oscar Rice. It's a trippy, very visual, almost psychedelic video from the band's strong debut album. I don't think that A& M Records ever really had any idea what to do with Royal Court Of China.

Of Nashville's current artists, Jonathan Bright is a master in using low-budget, high-concept videos as an extension of his brilliant music. "The ABC's Of Love" is rude and crude but it's also funny as hell, clever, and a hell of a cool song. YouTube also has a video for Jonathan's excellent "Tweakin' To A Fine Tune," another very cool rockin' tune. JB's claim to fame, though, has to be his cover of Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher," spiced up with a "ripped from the headlines" edge and great visuals like the Steve McNair bobblehead doll, the clearly visible box fan blowing Jonathan's hair, Joey-Blanton-rockstar-style, and the two-person audience sitting on the couch (I love the Iron City Beer t-shirt). Jonathan's videos seem to all be directed by Dee Nichols; kudos to Dee for putting together creative, entertaining and memorable videos on a budget that is probably a fraction of what was spent on the latest Pink Spiders' video.

The Reverend has been kind enough to put together a short list below of choice YouTube videos featuring Nashville rockers, with links to each video's individual page. Like me, I think that you'll find these tunes to be a fun distraction. If I get enough positive feedback from this, maybe I'll put together a future post with more Music City rock videos.

Jason & the Scorchers "Absolutely Sweet Marie"

Jason & the Scorchers "White Lies"

Jason & the Scorchers "Golden Ball & Chain"

Royal Court Of China "It's All Changed"

Royal Court Of China "Half The Truth"

Webb Wilder "Human Cannonball"

Jonathan Bright "The ABC's Of Love"

Jonathan Bright "Hot For Teacher"

One of the coolest things I've discovered on YouTube is a Firefly fan that pieces together montages of scenes from the TV show with a Scorchers' backing soundtrack. In this case, the unknown auteur's use of the Scorchers' "Bible And A Gun" (from the often-ignored Thunder & Fire album) is especially well-executed, a perfect matching of music and visuals. I like this so much that I've included a YouTube player with the video for all of you readers. Enjoy!

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