Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals Starvation League From the End of Your Leash

Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals Starvation League From the End of Your Leash
Revolution is impossible without institutional oppression; Bobby Bare Jr. is proof of that. This is a notable album, sprung from symbolically sinister Nashville itself by the son of outlaw Bobby Bare — long-time pal of Shel Silverstein. It is a thoughtful, funny, mournful, bittersweet CD, full of haunting lyrics about failure, love and even Music City itself, played with an almost psychedelic sentimentality. His duet with Casey Kotsionis, "My Favourite Hat” is a technicolour wonder, and the entire album sounds like a fusion of Wilco, Gram Parsons and some shrugging acceptance of the inevitable, straying into pretty sax solos with plenty of hooky, nightmarish la-la-la-ing. He grapples his hometown directly in one song: "You don’t even have to sing on key, producers on computer can fix it all in Nashville, Tennessee. The world’s greatest living guitar pickers can deliver you a pizza or sell you weed — in Nashville, Tennessee.” Wild words shamble in everywhere, riffing off cocaine, queers and loose drunk girls looking to score, burrowing unseen beneath all the hat acts and grinning. Including Will Oldham, the League’s playing is what nails it; especially Doni Schroader’s inventive drumming. Overall, Leash is down-home and dirty; fuzzy and freaky. Bare Jr.’s revolution is the best kind: evolution.

You come off as a man who’s been hurt a lot. What’s your greatest mistake? Mostly just getting drunk and acting like I don’t give a shit over and over. There’s nothing girls hate more than thinking you don’t care. As far as getting busted, I had two girls going at the same time in different towns. They started exchanging stories and, to get revenge, went home and had sex with each other for a week. I’m not sure how that was revenge…

Does slick Nashville bother you? Music Row might as well be in Portugal, and I never listen to the radio. Getting gear fixed is easy and there are great guitar shops everywhere. Cheap studios, too, as long as the guys can’t smell Sony on you. Nobody goes to see live music. Lambchop gets maybe 200 people and Calexico can’t even sell out a bar.

What gives you hope? The girl I dated for the last five years off and on was pregnant and I just happened to have a wedding ring in my pocket, waiting for the right moment. It was still a shotgun wedding, but I must have broken a record for proposing quickly. (Bloodshot)