Ryan Adams used to be cool. He was in this phenomenal band called “Whiskeytown,” along with a great indie alt-country musician and singer Caitlan Cary. Then he made the best, most-definitive indie alt-country album ever: Heartbreaker. It got him signed to Lost Highway, who have an impressive roster but, unfortunately, a litigious nature.
When Ryan’s lame 29 album wasn’t quite released, a few Florida bloggers posted a few leaked songs on a Ryan Adams fan site. The kids were prosecuted and convicted and sentenced to prison time.
But don’t take my word for it. Google it. Read a few stories like these:
Before that, I’d been hyping the hell out of him. I loved “Gold” and found about two-thirds of “Cold Roses” to be very good as well (albeit not revelatory, as his earlier stuff has been). But, because I believe so strongly in what we’re about here in the blogosphere, I stopped blogging about him. I tried to mobilize other bloggers in a boycott, to try to help the Florida kids because — even though it is wrong to post a leak (and I would never do it) — jail just seemed excessive.
But nobody joined me.
And, over time, the anger wore away. I wrote this piece for the now-defunct Blog Tribunal, and said that someday I might blog on Ryan again.
So much of his philosophy, I appreciate. I still think he should have said something to his label–or about his label. I interviewed lots of musicians at my old site, and mostly they all agreed with me. But with little support in the blog world, and lots of people telling me not to blame RA for the actions of his label, my anger continued to wane. I still think what he did was wrong, but I can listen to his music again without feeling upset.
At the end of June, he’ll release Easy Tiger. Some of the tracks have leaked, and some brave (stupid) bloggers have posted them. I wouldn’t.
In fact, I swore off all Ryan songs for a long, long time.
Here ends the swear off. Truly, it was never about the music–it was just those two kids getting jailtime for blogging. Punishment waaaay disproportionate to the stupid and criminal thing they did.
I recommend you check out his old albums with Whiskeytown, as well as “Heartbreaker” and even the Lost Highway “Gold,” which was one of my favorite records for over a year. “Rock and Roll” was also excellent–highly underrated. I also really like most of Cold Roses, and have hopes that his new album will be good based on what folks are saying about it.
Plus, I love the media show he puts on (encourages) through his various outrageous behaviors. He’s a true rock star.
And live, there are few better. Today, it’s originals. Tomorrow, it’s covers. Ta ta.
Oh, and if you’re lucky I’ve remembered to put a zip at the end.
A is for Answering Bell (acoustic version) (live)-Ryan Adams
B is for Battering Down Your Soul-Ryan Adams (acoustic)
C is for Carolina, as in Sweet Carolina (acoustic version)-Ryan Adams
D is for Drunk Santa-Rapper??
E is for Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart-Whiskeytown (live 1977)
F is for Further Down the Road-Whiskeytown (unreleased track)
G is for The Ghosts are Out Tonight-Ryan Adams.
H is for Hipshake-Whiskeytown (unreleased track)
I is for I’m In Love Because I Just Made Love-Ryan Adams. (One of my favorite titled Ryan tunes.)
J is for Jesus on the Dashboard-Ryan Adams
K is for a kiss before i go-Ryan Adams (acoustic)
L is for Lo Fi Tennessee Mountain Angel-Whiskeytown
M is for My Winding Wheel-Ryan Adams
N is for Nurses with the Pills-Whiskeytown
O is for Ooooh Las Vegas-Ryan Adams
P is for Poison and the Pen-Ryan Adams
R is for Rescue Blues-Ryan Adams
S is for 16 Days-Whiskeytown (slow version)
T is for Tina Toledo’s Walkin’ Blues-Ryan Adams
U is for unknown title. I think this is called One Of Us Is The Sucker (And The Other One Gets To Play)-Ryan Adams.
I couldn’t find something for V, so I figured I’d throw in Dancing With The Women at the Bar. This is Ryan Adams’ version of the song originally recorded by Whiskeytown, from one of my favorite albums ever, “Stranger’s Almanac.” I recommend you all buy it now.
W is for When the Stars Go Blue-Ryan Adams
Y is for You Will Always Be the Same-Ryan Adams