Friday, April 18, 2008

Ministry 'The Land Of Rape And Honey'

If you happened to read my review on the Steve Earle show in the Greensboro News & Record, then you know my review wasn’t very flattering. And the Editor really toned down my scathing comments…

Here are some of the unfiltered comments that I made in the review that were omitted by the Editor:

The historic Carolina Theatre was transformed into a coffee house last Wednesday night as liberal, protestor friendly Allison Moorer and Steve Earle took the stage. But instead of serving espresso, they poured decaf and nearly put this reviewer to sleep.

Moorer should sing like she stole that voice and take her Ferrari throat for a joyride. Instead she chooses to maintain school zone speeds on a Sunday afternoon.

Steve Earle’s performance was a self indulgent, slightly preachy masturbatory exercise that seemingly pleased the crowd.

The highlight of the evening was the impassioned performance of “Billy Austin”. The rest of Earle’s set was like Billy Austin’s pulse after a sit down in that electric chair. The lack of “hit” songs and listening to his protests about U.S. involvement in Iraq had me saying, “Steve… Pull out already.” Proving there is such a thing as too much folk.

Like the lyrics from his closing encore, “Copperhead Road”, the engine from that big black Dodge had been torn down. But sadly, I remember and miss that rumbling sound. Earle managed to convince this fan of over 20 years to rethink another live performance. I will prefer to stay at home and listen to the protest on my compact discs without the all of the politicking.

Now keep in mind that I love the majority of Steve Earle’s music. I was once invited to hang out with him and drink a beer backstage at the Rialto Theatre in Raleigh. During a meet and greet, I made a smartass comment that embarrassed a local music critic that requested to have a few too many items autographed by Earle. That night is one of the highlights of my life.

Personally, I think the unfiltered comments were witty and yes… Kinda nasty. I can easily understand why the News & Record would leave out a word like “masturbatory”… I’m sure the word would actually cause 4 Triad readers to have heart attacks.

I’d love to give you a link to the News & Record website where you can read the review, but they don’t have it posted. You got to go out and find a copy of the Greensboro News & Record for yourself.

I’m sure that a lot of Earle fans weren’t pleased with my review, but I have to call them like I see them. I just didn’t appreciate Earle’s reluctance to play the songs that a lot of people love… “Nowhere Road”, “More Than I Can Do”, “Esmeralda’s Hollywood”, “Guitar Town”, “I Ain’t Ever Satisfied”, “Feel Alright”, and “The Rain Came Down”.

I guess Steve Earle prefers the smaller crowds or choirs that he can preach to over making money by playing his “popular” hits. Half empty venues are always a sign of success.

But on the other hand, perhaps that’s the direction his heart is leading him. And if that’s the case, more power to him. I can always slip the ‘Exit O’ CD into the player and sing along with the song “San Antonio Girl”.

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