Friday, August 23, 2013


Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance

575 Miles To Go

If I could ever go on an extended tour of the South, I want Patterson Hood to be my travel guide.

Whether solo or with the Drive-By Truckers, Hood writes and sings songs with a friendly drawl in high definition.

Listening to his albums is like being in a musical BW3 surrounded by countless televisions showing life in four-minute snippets and set to guitars. The kaleidoscope of characters and moments spin colorfully past, sometimes in a flash and sometimes fleshed out.

Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance, Hood's third solo effort, is a 2012 continuation of his travelogues and tributes to friends, family, former loves, Billy Ringo and "that lady from the Sunbeam bread wrapper" who was killed in dead-man's curve head-on when Hood was little.

Musically, it's another quiet collection like his previous solo albums and the later Drive-By Trucker records.Hood's henchmen on this include DBTers David Barbe, Mike Cooley Jay Gonzalez, Brad Morgan and now former member John Neff.

The magic of Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance comes from the way Hood lets you live in his scenes and almost swear his subjects would answer you back if you asked them a question.

Anyone who's ever worked on the road will grin at the bittersweet pirate joy of Leaving Time and the hours before heading out on a new adventure, but leaving the wife and kids behind to do so.

Heat Lightning's highs are happy and the lows are achingly hurtful, especially on Better Off Without, After The Damage and Betty Ford.

Until Hood opens that travel agency, trips like these will more than do.

Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance Song For The Soundtrack: (untold pretties)

Running Data for Thursday, June 13:
4.08 Miles

Mileage In The Change Jar: 0.45 Miles

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Some days "as fast as I can" isn't "as fast as I hoped it would be."

Today, I tried to run by feel on a hot day, after not "racing long" in some time.

I ran too fast at an "I hope" pace early, probably ran the right times through the middle miles, then wilted in the heat late and needed walk breaks during the last 5K.

My goal was for 1:49:"anything" and I finished in 1:58:58 for a 9:03 per mile pace.

That's why we run "practice" races.

Fortunately, the soundtrack - with 46 songs currently in the rotation - rocked better than I did throughout all 13.1 miles.

(For this year's Columbus Marathon, my soundtrack rule is that one song is selected from each record played during my training runs and the playlist is put on random during the pre-marathon races and ultimately the marathon.)

As the day would have it, Jackson Browne's Running On Empty didn't play until the ride home and I was looking for a gas station with my Kia "Soul Train" riding at the edge of its fuel window.

Mine was well expired, even with finish line food and drink.

Only the records that have been reviewed or revisited on 765at33RPM so far are included. (I've been a much more of daily runner than blogger, so there are scads of records on the training turntable waiting their turn in cyberspace.)

Here's today's playlist with the best "pick me ups" noted in bold.

Song 1: Voice Inside My Head by the Dixie Chicks from Taking The Long Way
Song 2: 21st Century Blues by Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses) from The Low Highway
Song 3: Free & Freaky by The Stooges from The Weirdness
Song 4: Problem Child by AC/DC from Let There Be Rock
Song 5: Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac from The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac
Song 6: Soldiers Get Strange by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit from Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Song 7: Matchbox by Willie Nelson & Family from Let's Face The Music And Dance
Song 8: G.T.O. by The Favors from The Favors
Song 9: Gimme Shelter (Live) by Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos from Eileen
Song 10: Carl Perkins' Cadillac by Drive By Truckers from The Dirty South
Song 11: (You Will) Set The World On Fire by David Bowie from The Next Day
Song 12: Weed Instead Of Roses by Ashley Monroe from Like A Rose
Song 13: Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On by Jerry Lee Lewis from Live At Third Man Records
Song 14: Ruby Baby by Aaron Neville from My True Story
Song 15: Bad As Me by Tom Jones from Spirit In The Room
Song 16: Ball & Chain by Social Distortion from Live At The Roxy
Song 17: The Harder They Come by Willie Nelson from Countryman 
Song 18: Ice Cream Man by Van Halen from Van Halen
Song 19: Crush On You by Bruce Springsteen from The River
Song 20: Every Time He Drinks He Thinks Of Her by Willie Nelson from Heroes
Song 21: Darkness by Leonard Cohen from Old Ideas
Song 22: Lighters Up by Snoop Dog from Reincarnated
Song 23: Comfortable by Ian Hunter & The Rant Band from When I'm President
Song 24: The Rising by Bruce Springsteen from The Rising
Song 25: Guess Who's Knocking by Ryan Bingham from Tomorrowland
Song 26: Analog Man by Joe Walsh from Analog Man
Song 27: I Feel A Sin Comin' On by the Pistol Annies from Annie Up
Song 28: I Am A Wanderer by Steve Earle I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive
Song 29: Takin' Pills by Pistol Annies from Hell On Heels
Song 30: Silver Bell by Natalie Maines from Mother
Song 31: Then Again by Courtyard Hounds from Courtyard Hounds

Here's my mile-by-mile timing breakdown for today's Columbus Half Marathon:
Mile 1: 8:23
Mile 2: 8:39
Mile 3: 8:51
Mile 4: 8:43
Mile 5: 8:56
Mile 6: 8:50
Mile 7: 9:05
Mile 8: 8:53
Mile 9: 9:05
Mile 10: 9:12
Mile 11: 9:42
Mile 12: 9:45
Mile 13: 9:44
Mile 13.1: 0:54

Race Tip from Today's First Hand Lesson: If you are using a new watch, make sure you understand how its functionality performs on race day, especially for what you want from mile-to-mile data which is different for me during races than training runs.

My Nike+ GPS Watch is my favorite running gadget of all time, bar none.

I've been training with it for several months, but, today was only my second race with it and the mile marker distances were slightly off from the watch GPS. So,when I looked for mile splits based on the course markers, my watch already had moved to the next mile and I didn't know what my last mile time was.

Since I need reading glasses, it was difficult to adapt on the fly for the "smaller/secondary number" readings. My "large/primary number" is set on mile/lap times, always very readable and not a problem.

Before my next race, I plan to go through the various functions on training runs to get the comparison numbers that make me most comfortable for the Columbus Marathon on Sunday, October 20.

Friday, August 9, 2013


The Dirty South

579 Miles To Go

If Southern Rock Opera is Drive-By Truckers' Quadrophenia, then The Dirty South is their Who's Next.

It's impossible not to love all four, and, at the same time, prefer the latter pair.

Southern Rock Opera and The Dirty South offer enough regional history to be college courses. Best yet, both are told with thunderstorms of guitars and the even-handed storytelling of Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley on both and the addition of Jason Isbell for 2004's The Dirty South.

It is the second of a three-album, six-year run for Isbell with DBT that includes Decoration Day (2003) and A Blessing And A Curse (2006). During most of this time, Isbell was married to the band's bassist Shonna Tucker. (Tucker joined the band after him and eventually left in December 2011.)

The Dirty South remains the Truckers' greatest journey because of an almost equal splitting of songs among its principles, the clever writing of each, its real-life legends, and a backbone of crunching guitar work.

Here's how Hood describes it in the liner notes, "Welcome to The Dirty South. It's a tough place to make a living, but we ain't complainin', just doing what we got to do. Trying to raise our kids and love our women. Do right by the ones we love. But don't fuck with us or we'll cut off your head and throw your body over a spillway at the Wilson Dam."

Of the tales on The Dirty South, Hood writes and sings six, while Cooley and Isbell tackle four each.

As Isbell sings and writes on Outfit (from Decoration Day), "a Southern man tells better jokes." And, part of DBT's three-voice appeal is the varied Alabama accents in which they sing.

Hood is molasses smooth. Cooley brings more of a twang and Isbell sounds like a Muscle Shoals version of the Eagles' Glenn Frey.

On The Dirty South, Hood's  takes include Tornadoes, dealing drugs when the economy goes bad (Puttin' People on the Moon), the "grandparent generation" of World War II (The Sands of Iwo Jima), and the legend of Sheriff Buford Pusser (The Buford Stick).

Cooley sips the moonshine in Where The Devil Don't Stay, political corruption and crime on Cottonseed, and a legacy of dirt track racing that can be taken as a tribute to the Petty family, the Earnhardt's or scores of other less famous souls on Daddy's Cup.

The remaining Cooley number - Carl Perkins' Cadillac - rates among the top DBT numbers of all time with its retelling of Sun Records super heroes Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and, of course, Perkins.

Isbell adds cynical grit to the man vs. machine industrial revolution (The Day John Henry Died), pays homage to The Band (Danko/Manuel), and spits defiantly at those who think Southerners need to evolve (Never Gonna Change).

His shining moment comes on the dark and brooding addiction of Goddamn Lonely Love that closes the record and is still a highlight of his live shows.

"And I could find another dream,
one that keeps me warm and clean
but I ain't dreamin' anymore, I'm waking up.
So I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take everything you got
to kill this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love."

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
Isbell left Drive-By Truckers largely because of his divorce from Tucker.

In the split, she got the band and he got a solo career.

Drive-By Truckers steered down a mellower route and Isbell didn't have to share the musical wheel with any other drivers.

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit is his second post-Truckers release and the first with his new posse that included guitarist Browan Lollar, keyboardist Derry deBorja, bassist Jimbo Hart and drummer Matt Pence.

deBorja, formerly of Son Volt, weaves his parts perfectly between Isbell and Lollar throughout their self-titled debut.

Musically, the songs move from slow and achy ballads to mid-tempo rockers to shades of Crazy Horse. They bring in the horns to take the lead on No Choice In The Matter and the Muscle Shoals spirit is alive in all of them.

Isbell's songwriting is always realistic, sometimes ironic and colorfully observational.

The character Mary of the opening domestic tragedy Seven-Mile Island sets the tone with the lines, "She used to say that she wanted a daughter/now she only wants a Saturday night."

Soldiers Get Strange tells the troubled tale of the veteran who comes home to find he and his wife have grown into strangers.

"You want her to try new things.
She reminds you she wears your ring
and after a couple drinks she's a little scared of you.
A good friend is hard to find.
You wish you could spend more time
towing civilian lines, but they're all scared of you."

There's plenty of heartache to go around on the rest of record, as well.

It's doubtful Isbell's break-ups with Tucker and DBT were part of his original plan, but consider them splits that opened the road to create even better tracks.

The Dirty South Song For The Soundtrack: Carl Perkins' Cadillac

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit Song For The Soundtrack: Soldiers Get Strange

Running Data For Wednesday, June 12:
9.00 Miles

Mileage In The Change Jar: 0.57 Miles