Return to Radartown
Mark Germino was part of the vaunted Nashville Class of '84, termed "The Great Credibility Scare" when major labels suddenly signed unknowns Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, Vince Gill and Germino to record deals. It's been almost seven years since Germino has played a full-band electric gig, but that will change Thursday night in downtown Conroe and Saturday at the Continental Club.
Chatter: How does living in Nashville affect your work?
Mark Germino: It doesn't. Somewhere along the way, early on, I realized creative freedom is not something you let them give you, it's something you seize. It's a gloriously finite kiss-my-ass decision.
C: A lot of people perceive your songs as being leftist or liberal.
MG: I'm on the left side of the grid as a general rule, I'm just not on the wimp side of the grid. An element of the left fractures their own goodness by loathing those that are different or tend to be more conservative in spirit. What I'm really against is people on either side of the fence who spend every waking hour trying to contaminate the soil of common ground.
C: You and Steve Earle came up together. He's become a political lightning rod. What's your take on him?
MG: He's creating music and making records at the highest level, doing it well consistently and with total regard to the traditions that influenced him. He's an original. You can feebly make attempts at drawing comparisons, but the truth is no one is truly like him. He's the worthiest of artists and appears to deeply care about his art and the world we inhabit.
C: What about R.S. Field, who produced your Radartown album?
MG: He's produced a lot of people's best records, and I've never heard of anyone not enjoying their time making a record with him. He molds those around him no matter what configuration he's working with, then sets everybody in motion.
C: You've got three co-writes on Dustin Welch's new album.
MG: Finally, a new artist with a sense of purpose as opposed to an agenda. He does it right and will in years to come, I predict. Comes from a great family and reads constantly, so he carries bullets.
C: You're a huge baseball nut. What else rings your bells?
MG: Children. Art I can't afford. [The] Carolina coast. Johnny Cash.
Former Houstonian Steve Earle will make two area appearances in conjunction with his new album, Townes, a tribute to his friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt. First, Earle will play a special in-store performance at Cactus Music (2110 Portsmouth) at 5 p.m. next Saturday, May 16. The show is technically free, but preferred entry will be given to those with a wristband that comes either with a pre-purchase of Townes (available now) or purchase Tuesday, when the album is released on New West Records, and thereafter. Earle will return Thursday, June 18, as a bonus addition to Conroe's Sound of Texas series at the Crighton Theatre. Tickets will be made available first to Sound of Texas season-ticket holders and members of Earle's fan club; any left over will be released to the general public.
Vinal Edge Records
13171 Veterans Memorial Pkwy., 281-537-2575
1. Sperm, Shh!
2. Jawbreaker, Dear You LP reissue
3. Diana Rogerson & Andrew Liles, No Birds Do Sing
4. Wayne Hancock, Viper of Melody
5. Ginnungagap (S. O'Malley), Return to Nothing
6. Mono, Hymn to the Immortal Wind
7. Weedeater, God Luck and Good Speed
8. Iceburn Collective, Power of the Lion
9. Absu, Absu
10. DJ Shadow, Diminishing Returns
KTRU, 91.7 FM
Week of April 20-26
1. Booker T, Potato Hole
2. Paradox, Called to Mind
3. The Mo-Dettes, The Story So Far
4. Various Artists, After Dark: Italians Do It Better
5. William Elliot Whitmore, Animals in the Dark
6. Various Artists, The Sexual Life of the Savages: Underground Post-Punk from São Paulo
7. Blank Dogs, The Fields
8. Ghost Mountain, Siamese Sailboats
9. Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Ask Forgiveness
10. Various Artists, Nigeria '70: The Definitive
Story of 1970s Lagos
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)
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