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Showing posts from September, 2014

Track This: Cory Branan's "The No-Hit Wonder"

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I've been a fan of Cory Branan since I stumbled on to him during a Revival Tour (an acoustic, mostly ex-punk review) date a few years ago with Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music and Tom Gabel of Against Me; I was blown away. Ragan has always put on an awesome show, and to be truthful his set was the best. I've never been much of an Against Me fan, and although they have a few good songs here and there, they've never done all that much for me. Gabel's solo set was fine, but not explosive, even though our group quickly realized that much of the crowd was there for him. He wasn't able to make me a believer in his punk retread as acoustic act though. Overall, the set was quite impressive. 

Branan was the unknown variable, and we found ourselves transfixed beyond expectation. He had heartfelt lyrics, drunken amiability, and a penchant for damn good storytelling, complete with a catchy rhythm style that got us dancing. He was all over the map, and drunkenness was ob…

Summer Doldrums (A Writer's Requiem)

Haunted thoughts of rusty pens sheathed,
That you should be mad in the darkness drifting,
That the world is nothing if not yours bequeathed.

Though the doldrums that kept me wreathed
In scholastic cages monthly shifting,
Haunted thoughts of rusty pens sheathed.

I never got to write, but static noise leaked,
From my pen like a random shifting ,
That the world is nothing if not yours bequeathed.

I slowly forgot your name, barely breathed.
My glamorous past kept me listing,
Haunted thoughts of rusty pens sheathed.

The dogs in the cages seethed,
Their barks vulgar and resisting,
That the world is nothing if not yours bequeathed.

Oh my lover and my cheap pen creased,
A tragic benediction of misused time twisting,
Haunted thoughts of rusty pens sheathed,
That the world is nothing if not yours bequeathed.

Chuck Ragan's Till Midnight

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Chuck Ragan has come a long way from his days fronting Gainesville, Florida's post-hardcore stalwarts Hot Water Music. He has reinvented himself as a “boss-obsessed” singer-songwriter with a subtle, yet substantial, collection of songs to match. His always hoarse vocals have mellowed and he has introduced more melody to his ramshackle songs, and his band has started stretching out and showing their abilities. Till Midnight is his fourth proper album for SideOne Dummy records following Feast or Famine, Gold Country, Covering Ground, and numerous other EPs and split projects with other punks turned Americana artists.

With each release, Ragan becomes more self-assured in the style, honestly telling stories of the road and covering the trials and tribulations of daily life. Many of the songs on Till Midnight are brimming with infectious energy that puts many of his compatriots to shame; he makes them all look like they are going through the motions. Ragan is having tons of fun sing…