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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose

I saw Dwight Yoakam last night at the Kentucky State Fair and he put on a great show. Over the course of two hours, the singer performed a broad sample of his hits and a diverse array of covers (many by his friend and hero, Buck Owens).

The weather was great, especially for the Ohio River Valley in August, but it was not a perfect show. Dwight Yoakam may be a performer near the peak of his artistic career, but the sound system was not especially good (at least where I was sitting) and his voice lacks some of the range and force of his youth.

The title of this blog post is a track title from Yoakam's 1990 CD, "If There Was a Way." It's a song about a guy trying to use (loud) music to forget a "memory that's driving me lonely, crazy and blue." It was one of the most inspired songs Yoakam sang last night. His voice effectively conveys dispair and loneliness, and I don't think the guy in the song is able to overcome his pain.

Indeed, as Marty Rosen wrote in his published review, Yoakam "ventured off the trail into places of primeval madness — 'Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose' dissolved into soft yips and barks that might have come from a den of wolf pups."

Primeval madness. Hey, that reminds me of somebody else...

In fact, the song's chorus reminded me, author of this political blog, of a post I did not complete yesterday about another guy in trouble and his most recent pathetic attempts to deflect his suffering.

Did I mention that Yoakam began the evening with "Blame the Vain"?

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