Things to Hear: Those Darlins & Deer Tick

Those Darlins play the HiTone

Originally uploaded by BullyRook

I don’t listen to much “new” music these days. Not since it became my mission to become an aficionado in classic honky tonk about six years ago.

I accomplished that and I’m constantly on the search for more old country music worth a damn, but there’s only a finite amount out there. From time to time I hearken back to my college days where I fancied myself on the cutting edge of new, hip music. Being neither of those things anymore means I’m constantly a bit late to the new music game, so forgive me if you’ve been listening to these bands forever, but here’s what I’m hearing now:

Those Darlins Those Darlins

The irreverence of the Ramones viewed through the prism of a youth spent listening to Bill Monroe records. Those Darlins are three hillbilly hipster chicks from Tennessee or Kentucky or some other bluegrassian state–if you really need to know their website is here–and it’s really hard not to fall for a band with song titles like “Snaggle Tooth Mama” and “DUI or Die.” They do cow-punk as earnestly and as good as anyone which is saying quite a bit. Catchy enough for non-country fans.

Deer TickBorn on Flag Day and War Elephant

Not seeing this Providence, RI band live was one of the gross oversights of my time in Boston. I haven’t been this excited about a “rock band” since picking up My Morning Jacket’s At Dawn in 2002. After buying Born on Flag Day I was compelled to pick up their debut and, while quite good, it’s not quite the album their latest effort is. Flag Day has at least three songs–“Sam Hill,” “Houston, TX,” and “Friday XIII”–that will be in my permanent mix tape rotation. I defy you to not like these songs. Deer Tick has enough of a country tinge to keep me happy but more than Country–which is their iTunes classification–this is American music. Don’t believe me? What if I told you that Bruce Springsteen and NBC’s Brian Williams are fans?

How American is that?

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