Welcome to the annual Christmas gift shopping guide edition of Rugged Stuff! (Yes, I know it’s April, but my family has come to expect that they’ll get their holiday gifts from me sometime around mid-spring… it’s part of my charm.)
I’m a big fan of buy local, particularly in the current economic climate. So if you’re shopping for a holiday gift, and your taste runs to country music, why not check out some of the Rocky Mountain talent?
If you read the blogs on the New West website at all, you’re probably familiar with Bob Wire as a writer/blogger/social commentator. But you should also do yourself a favor and click on over to his music site at www.bobwiremusic.com.
Bob’s got solo albums out right now- American Piehole and Sentimental Breakdown. When he talks about his music, he warns you right off the bat that, “This is NOT your daughter’s country music.” No kidding. If I caught my daughter listening to these tracks, I’d confiscate her iPod for a month. The name alone (American Piehole?) and the fact that band is called the Magnificent Bastards ought to clue you in to what’s in store on these discs.
These songs get right up in your face and dare you to like them. The whole attitude of Bob Wire’s music is that of “Here’s what I have to say… you can approve of it, or not… ’cause I don’t much give a rat, one way or the other.”
In other words, his music is just like his blog.
And when I say that, I mean everything that it implies- Bob Wire’s blog writing is smart, witty, well-crafted… and just happens to be designed to piss people off. And I’m willing to argue that this also describes his music.
It’s not that Bob couldn’t write and play music that would fit right in at a street dance or a county fair. He can do the country sound as good as anyone out there. It’s just that he doesn’t want to. He wants to pop you upside the head with his music. While I can’t imagine these songs going over at the street dance, they would be just right for the smoke-filled bar that you head to after the dance, when you’ve made your way through about a six-pack or so.
I’ll close this out with an anecdote about prepping to review these albums: My normal procedure is to put a disc on and listen to it over and over and over, usually as I’m driving my day-job territory. With American Piehole and Sentimental Breakdown, I put them on in the car, one after the other… and then didn’t replay either of them during that drive. The music was fine, but, like I said, these songs are in your face- they demand attention. I had to take a break after the double-dose of Bob. I waited about a week, and then put them on while I was working on deadline. And to my surprise, it was all of a sudden as if these songs were old friends of mine. The music was great to work to, and I kept the two discs playing straight through the night.
It just comes down to being willing to take Bob Wire on the terms that he has set.
If you don’t then you’re not going enjoy his music- or his writing. ‘Cause he’ll be the first to tell you that if he doesn’t piss someone off, he feels as if he’s doing something wrong.
American Piehole can be purchased in Missoula at Budget CDs, Ear Candy, or Rockin’ Rudy’s, and in Bozeman at Cactus Records.
Sentimental Breakdown is available in Missoula at Budget CDs, Ear Candy, or Rockin’ Rudy’s.
For information regarding online purchases or buying by mail, visit BobWire’s website at www.bobwiremusic.com. The site also has a ton of MP3 downloads of Bob’s music, including his “Go Butte!” track, previously discussed in Rugged Stuff.