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The raving thoughts of a misanthropic academic

May 15, 2007

Song of the Week: Guitars, Cadillacs

The Pax Plena song of the week comes to you from country music legend Dwight Yoakam and is titled Guitars, Cadillacs.

As some fans may recall, way back in 1986 Dwight Yoakam took the country music world by storm introducing an unexpected resurgence of Buck Owens' "Bakersfield sound" to an ailing industry which had begun to sound more like rock than country. One of the first songs which would catapult the movement still sustained today was Guitars, Cadillacs.

Yoakam's sound is unique because it deploys traditional country instruments to create a melody reminiscent of country music's roots in the bars and dance halls of West Texas- long before it became a multimillion-dollar industry wrought by the kitsch of Nashville.

Yoakam's voice in the song, specifically, takes listeners back to the dusty days of a burgeoning California and the trials of those who seek western opportunity and fail. Like most of his songs, Guitars, Cadillacs is a love story, but one written for the blue-collar man. Rather than embracing defeat, the singer ruminates with amusement on his situation finding comfort in, you guessed it, guitars, Cadillacs and hillbilly music.

In all, it's a fun song and a great trip down memory lane. The musicianship is spot on and Yoakam's voice never sounded better. Lyrics follow after the jump. The music video is posted below. Enjoy!



Guitars, Cadillacs

Girl, you taught me how to hurt real bad
And cry myself to sleep
And showed me how this town can shatter dreams
Another lesson 'bout a naive fool
Who came to Babylon
And found out that the pie
Don't taste so sweet

Now it's guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
Lonely, lonely streets that I call home
Yea, my guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
It's the only thing that keep me hangin' on

Ain't no glamour in this tinsle land
Of lost and wasted lives
Painful scars are all that's left of me
I wanna thank-you girl for teachin' me
Brand new ways to be cruel
Like findin' mine now I guess I'll just leave

And it's guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
Lonely, lonely streets that I call home
Yea, my guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
It's the only thing that keep me hangin' on

Oh it's guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
Lonely, lonely streets that I call home
Yea, my guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
It's The only thing that keep me hangin' on

It's the only thing that keep me hangin' on

It's the only thing that keep me hangin' on
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May 7, 2007

Song of the Week: All at Sea

On this balmy, spring day, the Pax Plena song of the week comes to you direct from the memories of lazy college afternoons past courtesy of Jazz up-and-comer Jamie Cullum and his 2003 hit, All at Sea.

One remarkable aspect of Cullum's music is its inexplicable performance style. With Cullum, every song is its own boisterous entity and All at Sea is no exception. In general, the soft melody takes listeners to a personal reprieve away from circumstance, obligation and superficiality but its erratic denouement calls from beyond the smooth drink of isolation and invites (almost challenges) unnamed company to enjoy the nothing.

Cullum's voice is unquestionably gifted. It melds a bit of John Mayer with Frank Sinatra to create a unique sound that is hard to define. His piano abilities are commendable as well- a quick watch of the video indicates as much. While All at Sea is among the more mellow numbers in Cullum's set, it succeeds in its own right due to his ability to take the melody in unanticipated lyrical directions. Not a bad artistic accomplishment for such a fresh voice. Lyrics follow after the jump. Enjoy!


All at Sea

I’m all at sea
Where no one can bother me
Forgot my roots
If only for a day
Just me and my thoughts
Sailing far away

Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
Please just leave me right here on my own
Later on you could spend some time with me
If you want to, all at sea

I’m all at sea
Where no-one can bother me
I sleep by myself
I drink on my own
I don’t speak to nobody
I gave away my phone

Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
Please just leave me right here on my own
Later on you could spend some time with me
If you want to, all at sea

Now I need you more than ever
I need you more than ever now

If you don’t need it every day
But sometimes don’t you just crave
To disappear within your mind
You never know what you might find
So come and spend some time with me
And we will spend it all at sea

Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
Please just leave me right here on my own
Later on you could spend some time with me
If you want to, all at sea

Ooooh
If you want to, all at sea
If you want to
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Organic, free-range thought courtesy of your average, coffee-addicted, American Indian, academic. Program Manager @IGPatUA.


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