Friday, October 22, 2010


In my heart, I know that the amount of mental energy and actual time I spend following professional baseball – more specifically, the San Francisco Giants – is preposterous. In Christopher Hitchens’ recent autobiography HITCH-22, he makes several typically withering asides about the hours of wasted life and squandered intellectual capital spent by some of his friends & associates watching soccer, or any other children’s game played by a team of highly-paid adults. I can’t say I disagree. I mean, I know people who have freed up a great deal more time in their lives for literature, music, family, film, exercise or what have you, simply by eschewing sports. I even went through a phase like that myself in the late 90s, when my beloved Giants made the ’97 playoffs, and I didn’t even watch a single game. I sure got a hell of a lot done that week – I was in grad school, getting married and doing a bunch of other very, very important things. But when I moved back to San Francisco in 1999, my dormant sports mania went haywire again with the flip of a mental switch, just as it had most of my sentient life up to that point.

There’s something screwy in our DNA that causes us to revere the most athletic of our tribe, and to take a collective interest in their accomplishments. We bizarrely reflect those accomplishments as somehow representative of the cities in which they are achieved. Of course I was raised to be a Giants, 49ers and Warriors fan. Those were my “home teams” (even though I grew up in Sacramento and San Jose). I clutch the 1978 Giants and the 1981 49ers to my figurative bosom very dearly – at the time, those teams and their races to first place were defining events, defining struggles, in my life to date. (Tough life, hunh?). I am proud that other than that brief period in the late 90s, I followed every San Francisco Giants box score each morning from 1977 up to the present day, along with somewhere between 50 and 100 radio or TV broadcasts per year. Mind you, this has been in some years with flat-out awful teams, which makes the very few good years – like 2010 – so psychically rewarding.

But before I start frothing about the team, I want to get back to the absurdity of it all. For me, if I’m going to get into a sport or a team, it’s all in – or nothing. For instance, I jettisoned any interest whatsoever in football years ago – because it took up too much mental space from baseball. I don’t think I can name 5 guys in the NFL right now. Brett Favre? Yeah. Ladanian Tomlinson? I think so. That guy from the New York Giants who shot himself? Yeah, that guy. That’s about it. College sports, I couldn’t care less. Yet when the World Series is over, it will be hockey time. And NBA time. I’m in, all the way – blogs, websites, deep dissection of the daily sports page, podcasts, what have you. If I don’t know the minutiae of every player on my chosen teams – his stats, his playing time, how he did last game – I feel like I’m not doing my “job” as a sports fan, and I worry. And that’s just crazy talk, isn’t it? I marvel at the luxury of time that allows me to do this, and fret at what is being lost in my short time on the planet as I engage in this completely ridiculous man-child pursuit.

Then again, let me admit that it is what it is. “I’m just as God made me”, as the “twisted old fruit” desk clerk says in This is Spinal Tap. That brings me to the San Francisco Giants. These are salad days for the long-suffering Giants fan. We have a totally “loveable” team, as much as athletes can be loveable, who are doing remarkable things, particularly on the pitcher’s mound. I don’t think there are two sports personalities I like in this world more than Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval, despite “Pablo Strand-'em-all”’s propensity for inning-crushing double play balls. (For my guide to pro baseball players from a few months ago, click here). They are overachievers, cobbled together after years of miserable play by faded veterans (which still continues to this day), led by a 23-year-old catcher named Buster Posey, and with a just-barely-21 tobacco-spittin’ country boy pitcher named Madison Bumgarner getting a chance to start in the playoffs. No egomaniac jerk-offs like Barry Bonds, no clubhouse downers like Jeff Kent – and the one that we did have, a failed September experiment named Jose Guillen, was decidedly cast away by management for the duration of the playoffs under the guise of a faux “neck injury”. I love that they cut their losses that way, which has allowed an unlikely hero, the chrome-domed Cody Ross, to emerge this Fall.

The Giants are one win away from the World Series, and they’ll have two chances to get it in Philadelphia this weekend. San Francisco and the greater Bay Area will go absolutely berserk if they do. Admit it, we’re a race of man- and woman-children, hardwired to be this way, and only the truly disciplined among us can overcome this faulty wiring in our DNA. I’ll tally up the lost days and missed opportunities on my deathbed – meanwhile, this is way too fun to miss right now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Could have sworn I tried this imperial red beer once before, but since I had no real recollection of it and had recently read a glowing review, I decided to throw down for a bottle and give it a go. Petaluma, CA’s LAGUNITAS BREWING already make a jaw-dropping imperial red ale – the, get this, LAGUNITAS IMPERIAL RED – so it stands to reason that another similar formulation might do the trick. Slap a cute girl and a horseshoe on the bottle, mix up the vats a bit, and bingo! Let’s find out how it came together.

LAGUNITAS LUCKY 13 is, as expected, dominated by malts, and has medium hops. A thinner body that expected takes this down a small notch, and gives it a generally less-than-robust sort of feel in the mouth, commonly called “mouthfeel”, wink wink. Taste is light caramel and even a faint woodiness. Drinkability is high, which is pretty standard with all LAGUNITAS beers. They don’t play in the deep end of the pool, but neither are they flailing in the shallow end. I do like this one – I do. I could and will drink it again. Not quite that IMPERIAL RED, which is in a class by itself (which I understand might be defunct??!?? - noooooo), but quite strong. 7.5/10.

Friday, October 15, 2010


That’s right, one for me, and another one for me! Have you seen any of these beers in better beer stores that say “The Brewmaster’s Collection”? Would you believe it if I told you they were “unique expressions of the brewmaster’s art”? Well they are. It’s a series of beers put together by DE PROEF out of Ghent, Belgium. I just looked at this lineup, and I’ve had just about all of them – and not one has been a dud. I don’t think I quite realized until last week what a stunning collection of beers they are, honestly. That’s when I tried WITTE NOIRE, an “imperial amber wheat” that blew me away. Allow me to explain.

DE PROEF really have earned the hallowed right to use highfalutin hyperbole like “unique expressions of the brewmaster’s art”. This plumtastic, pruney mouth-rager is outstanding, and well in keeping with the experimental Belgian tradition. It’s a dark amber beer, almost “chesnut” really, and it has this very grape-like, dark fruit (plums) intensity along with a tangy wheat flavor that you might find in a souped-up hefeweizen. They say that there’s even some smokiness going on, and sure, I can buy that as well. It got just as high marks from the two folks I split it with, and I recommend it highly for you to imbibe this evening. 9/10.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Here's a re-post of some misty watered-colored memories from my youth, originally posted on my old Agony Shorthand music blog back in 2006.

Cathartically recounting one's ridiculous adolescence has certainly been a cottage industry for years, & my tales are likely not much different than anyone else's. Yet I still can't believe how metal-obsessed my junior high school (John Muir Junior High, San Jose, California) was circa 1979-82, and what ripe material I keep pulling from my memory banks even today. It was a time where the kids who smoked cigarettes on the fence outside the school were the "stoners", also known as "burnouts", and their musical direction set the tone for nearly everyone else's. Except, that is, for mine, and that of a few girls and the odd 13-year-old John Muir attendee who wasn't totally obsessed about rawk. A few anecdotes:
  • There was this dude right out of metal hesher central casting named Bobby Garcia, a total badass who started all sorts of fights & would give you a surprise grilling on your musical taste to see if it was up to snuff. He and his pals would go hang out & smoke Camels in an open field with a couple of dirt piles near the Almaden Plaza mall that everyone called "Stoner's Cove". I'm pretty sure very few of these supposed stoners had actually discovered pot yet. In a school with very few blacks, Bobby still made it a point to tell the handful that were around, that, in his words, "AC/DC, Rock and Roll, Disco Sucks and so does Soul". I always loved that, and repeat it whenever I get the chance. Note that AC/DC preceded even rock and roll itself in the couplet. AC/DC were huge at my school - they were the be-all & end-all for most kids, and if you didn't like 'em, you'd better damn well pretend that you did.
  • One time Garcia and this other mental giant whose name I forget chased this nerdy guy named Bob Zettlemoyer (I'm serious!) down after Zettlemoyer incorrectly claimed to be an AC/DC fan. With fists held above his face as he was pinned down -- I watched this myself -- they said, "Name two people in AC/DC! Name two, motherfucker!!". It was heartbreaking to watch as a trembling Bob answered "Bon Scott" (technically correct, but everyone knew Scott drank himself to death a couple years earlier) and -- uh oh -- "Led Zeppelin". Ouch. They "whaled on his ass" right then & there.
  • The chief radio station of my peers - listen to it or you suck -- was KOME. The station cranked a steady diet of Scorpions, AC/DC, Led Zep and The Who, and had the most inane radio personalities imaginable, totally perfect for the sexually pent-up 13-year-old male demographic. The station is deservedly famous for the tag line, "Don't touch that dial, it's got KOME on it", but I'll admit I never actually heard them say it. Late nights belonged to this clown named "Dennis Erectus", who would go off about his lust for Nancy Reagan in a stupid, unhinged voice that predated Bobcat Goldthwait, and then crank the beastly faux metal til everyone had gone to bed. Erectus' routines would then predictably be played out at recess by every would-be stoner looking to impress the chicks and the fellas.
  • Ms. Tossel, my 8th-grade English teacher, assigned everyone in class to conduct a poll of some kind - mine was "What's your favorite kind of music?". The choices I listed were "Hard Rock", "Easy Rock" (think Air Supply, Ambrosia and the Little River Band), "Soul", "Disco" and "New Wave". Of course the latter was a sop to myself, and no, I wasn't calling it punk yet (besides -- I really liked new wave). Final winner, out of roughly 40 kids polled? Hard Rock, of course, though I "interviewed" a disproportionate number of girls and almost got "Easy Rock" to squeak over the top. New Wave came in dead last. I remember having to stand up in front of class to read off the results and discuss my methodology (full regression analysis, discrete variables, etc.), and afterward, this total Cheech Marin-voiced Latino tough guy named Enrique ("Kiki") Salcido asked me what style I had voted for. When I sheepishly intoned that I had in fact voted for "New Wave", he looked stunned and incredulous, and asked me (remember his Cheech Marin voice), "No way Hinman -- you're a ponker???!?".
Naturally I could go on with self-referential tales such as these, but we all have them in some form or another. I actually missed nearly a decade's worth of schooling in "classic rock" because of my visceral hatred of my schoolmates and my reactionary decision to not listen to anything they liked. Therefore I thought (at the time) the Stones sucked, AC/DC sucked, Sabbath sucked, Led Zep sucked etc. The Pretenders? Adam and the Ants? Well, Adam and the Ants kinda ruled, didn't they?

Friday, October 8, 2010


In case you hadn’t noticed it, the musical paradigm of our age is now the song, as opposed to the album. I was brought up in a time where, if you were a fan of a particular artist, it was their upcoming album (LP) that you sat on the proverbial pins & needles for. An occasional 45 might slip in and fill the sucking, howling void, but everything was centered around anticipating that 10- or 12-song collection that the band had been working on the past year. Now – not so much. And truth be told, I like the new reality a great deal better.

Musical enjoyment is really all about the song, anyway. Not to get all Jacques Derrida on you, but the album is a “twentieth-century construct” that we all simply got used to. Some bands or artists did a good job using this construct to create albums that felt as if each song were part of a larger whole, yet even my favorite records“The Velvet Underground and Nico” or “A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die” or “The Ramones” - could easily be said to just be one long winning streak of great song after great song. So now that the people are trawling the internet for single-song downloads, or buying songs at 99 cents a pop on iTunes or Amazon or eMusic, it has reshaped the music consumption experience, and is saving me and you a great deal of money to boot. My favorite method of musical discovery these days is downloading the crap out of stuff that looks interesting, and throwing it all into my iTunes “To Listen To” folder. Once I get to 40 or 50 songs, I actually do the listening, and I then pick out the gold. And the god’s honest truth is that there are some friggin’ bands popping up every week that continue to make rock music extremely exciting for this curmudgeonly codger.

Take the MYELIN SHEATHS for instance. This Canadian pack of raw yet melodic robo-power punk sound like they might individually be creeping up on 19 years of age, and this song “Everything is Contagious” from their forthcoming album just totally explodes in a gooey mess all over your headphones. Love it, and that album’s going to be a must-buy when it hits the digital shelves in a couple weeks (no, I didn’t say the album was completely buried yet). Atlanta’s BARRERACUDAS are similarly fantastic, but are frolicking in a totally different slice of the pie. Their tarted-up Johnny Thunders guitar screamer “New York Honeys” is right out of the UK glam/NY Dolls playbook, except it’s from this past year and it’s kind of hilarious, as a lot of the strutting, preening hard-glam stuff is. I like it when the singer warns us to “Look Out” before the song’s even three seconds in. Now that’s confidence.

READING RAINBOW are from Philly, as I understand it, and this track “Wasting Time” is a wonder of chugging, harmonic convergence. Boys and girls holding hands and singing their lungs out under a sparse, garagy blanket of sound. Finally, the veterans and most well-known of this bunch are THEE OH SEES from San Francisco. Noise for noise’s sake is a huge pet peeve as my ear canals become more sensitive and as my BS detector continues to sharpen, but these guys & gal leaven any tendencies they have toward needless free-form freakouts with an absurd sense of 60s pop melody. This is a sha-la-la song of the highest order, and I command you to take note of it.

That’s it – see you on the other side of the weekend.

Play MYELIN SHEATHS – “Everything is Contagious”

Download MYELIN SHEATHS – “Everything is Contagious”

Play THE BARRERACUDAS – “New York Honeys”

Download THE BARRERACUDAS – “New York Honeys”

Play READING RAINBOW – “Wasting Time”

Download READING RAINBOW – “Wasting Time”

Play THEE OH SEES – “I Was Denied”

Download THEE OH SEES – “I Was Denied”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


The Hedonist Jive has been indulgent when it comes to all manner of fine ales this past month, and yet we’ve had a hard time keeping you up to date with many of the elixirs we’ve been chasing and nabbing. “Our bad”. There was that SIERRA NEVADA “Fritz & Ken’s Stout” that was so god-bless-America amazing that we had to interrupt all the other things we wanted to post about to give due kudos to, but in between that and today and in the weeks before all that, well, other beers have been tried and rated. Let’s meet them all, shall we?


STONE BREWING “LEVITATION ALE” – I can’t believe it, but I’d never had this 4.4% alcohol marvel before. I loved it. It is a superlative red ale. Malty and delicious, absolutely perfect for a night when you’re settling in and know you’re going to need more than one beer. It’s just one of those ubiquitous yet under-the-radar STONE beers (like their basic IPA) that blow nearly everyone else away. The perfect “session” beer. 9/10.


WACHUSETT LARRY – My pal Aaron Goldfarb from the Vice Blog – whose very funny book “How To Fail” is about to hit the shelves in a few weeks – not only gave this a superlative review on his blog, he personally bought me this bottle in Massachusetts and hand-delivered it to me last time I was in New York. This was made by WACHUSETT BREWERY in “Mass” for Boston’s PUBLICK HOUSE, whom longtime readers may recall we raved about here one drunken night. This is a “sipper” of an IPA, pouring a copper color and bursting out with a fruit-packed citrus taste, leavened with some fresh, piney hops. Strong aftertaste – the kind you like. Really, really enjoyable. 8/10.

 FLYING DOG BREWING “RAGING BITCH” – This appeared at my local Whole Foods for about 5 minutes, so given the reviews I’d read I went for it with gusto. A very yummy Belgian-style IPA. Hoppy, citrusy and super yeasty. That’s about all the review I can give – they only come in 12-ounce bottles (sad face emoticon). I’d buy this again for sure. 7.5/10.

TELEGRAPH BREWING “WHITE ALE” – I was totally floored by this beer when I had it fresh in the Santa Barbara-based brewery in 2008, but had yet to buy one of their elaborate corked bottles and try it that way. It may not be a world-changer but it’s damn good. A tangy, chamomile-like witbier, one that’s exceptionally carbonated and bottle conditioned. Enormous head. Fruity, zesty and definitely tart. I continue to be a huge fan of this Central California Coast brewer. 7.5/10.

MIDNIGHT SUN “SOCKEYE RED IPA” – These Alaskans all of a sudden have their beer available in Northern California, and most of their stuff is really good. This is a malty, lightly-hopped red IPA. Light and fruity with some caramel and a good bite on the finish. A big step beyond solid. 7.5/10.

HOLLISTER BREWING “ALTERED STATE” – I was in the Santa Barbara area this past weekend for my Aunt’s memorial service, and used the occasion to stop in at this much-loved Goleta, CA brewery. They are located a mere mile from the University where I spent four years of my life from 1985 to 1989, and what a revelation they would have been had they been around back then (I do remember Tim Slater giving me a “Sierra Nevada Pale Ale” in 1989 while we were soaking in a pool, and it totally rocking my world). Anyway, this is a Dusseldorf-style altbier, or “sticke”. Sweet malts, chewy amber, and quite refreshing. A great first choice while I waited for my fish tacos. 7.5/10.

HOLLISTER BREWING “HIPPIE KICKER IPA” – The brewery had two IPAs on draft, and I asked the server which one was better. I was stoked he said this one, because the name alone had me ready to hand over my credit card. It’s a super-hardcore IPA, folks – whoa. Bitter and dry. Piney and sharp. Huge bite to it. You could call this a “double” or a “triple” IPA and no one would blink. It’s hard to believe how mainstream the eye-watering IPA is these days. 7.5/10.

ETNA BREWING “BLACKBERRY BLONDE” – This one’s from a tiny town from way up in rural Northern California. I bought it at a hippie market in Mt. Shasta City, CA, simply because I was on one of those obsessive beer quests for things I’d never had before that I’d never see again. And lo, it was good! A really light pale wheat ale with some sweetness from the blackberries, I’m guessing. It’s see-through and had no head. It’s made to be refreshing and to not give you too big of a buzz to interfere with your chores or what have you. Very enjoyable and recommended. 7/10.


SPEAKEASY BREWING “BOURBON BARREL-AGED PAYBACK PORTER” – I’m not a big fan of this local (San Francisco) brewer and I’ve tried to give them “constructive criticism” over the years on my blogs to no avail. This one’s quite decent enough, though. I tried it before a (National League West Champion) Giants game a week ago right there at the olde ballpark, and found it to a be a thin and smoky porter, with only the faintest hint of bourbon barrel aging. If this is what their weirdo, crazy “imperial” version of Payback Porter is like, I’m glad I haven’t spent real cash money on the basic version, though this one’s definitely OK if you encounter it on tap. 6.5/10.

NINKASI BREWING “TOTAL DOMINATION IPA” – Total domination? Puh-leeze. Total begrudging acquiescence maybe. Great fruity smell, and tastes stronger than its 6.7% alcohol, but this creamy, hoppy IPA is one of those “good enough” beers that one can run into at just about any brewery. 6/10.

MT. SHASTA BREWING “MOUNTAIN HIGH IPA” – Only a few months ago this crew was still known as “WEED ALES”, as in Weed, California – home of the Hi-Lo CafĂ© and a great spot to stop in on your way to (or home from) the Pacific Northwest. The bottle cap still even had their “Drink Legal Weed” (haw haw!!) slogan on it. So now they’re MT. SHASTA BREWING. They make a sharp and piney IPA with a pleasingly deep malty backbone. A little chalky, though, and at the end of the day it doesn’t come together all that well. I could drink it again, but given the cornucopia of other India Pale Ale delights, I likely won’t. 6/10.

SCHLAFLY BREWING “RESERVE IMPERIAL STOUT 2008” – I’m contemplating this very beer as I type these reviews, and color me severely disappointed in this one. I was at the Whole Food Beer Store in New York City two months ago, and I whipped out this list I was carrying in my iPhone of beers I needed to buy. Based on some respected blogger’s musings, this was one of them – and I’m guessing $14.99 is the minimum I paid for this, But truly, this bourbon-barrel aged, sharp-ass imperial stout is no big deal. It is a 10.5%-abv monster, and in Missouri that might impress the locals, but from where I sit this thing is just missing a lot of the chocolate/caramel oomph it needs to put it over the top. If you want a lesson in how it should be done, like I said last week – take a lesson from FRITZ & KEN. 6/10.

NINKASI BREWING “BELIEVER DOUBLE RED ALE” – After the Hedonist Jive and Hedonist Beer Jive spent the better part of the last two years praising every “imperial red” ale that came across our lips, it’s actually something of a relief to find one we don’t like. I bought this in Oregon over the summer, mostly because I was so blown away by these guys’ TRICERAHOPS double IPA. This one just doesn’t have the warmth and the depth of flavor of some of the newer amped-up ambers out there, and the hops seem super muted. Not horrible, but I still choose to not believe. 5.5/10.


UNION ALES “PINEHOPPLE IPA” – After I was done tasting the aforementioned HOLLISTER BREWING beers, which were great (or shall we say, “very good”), I headed into downtown Santa Barbara to try this new brewery near the train station, one that wasn’t even in town last time we came through (and we go here over other year on vacation – when the weather is ON, this is one of G*d’s Chosen Places). Well, the brewery was total doucheville on this Saturday night at least, with the lowest-common-denominator sub-sports bar clientele imaginable. And in case you were wondering, a pineapple-infused IPA is pretty awful. Super weak, off-taste, and I couldn’t scramble out of this place fast enough. 3/10.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Once a new beer gets rolling on the hype train, it’s either get on board quickly, or run the risk of missing out. This sport, while perhaps not the sport of kings, is among my favorite pastimes: chasing the big ones from market to market, from trade partner to trade partner, from sea to shining sea. O what a life I lead! So it was with the beers of STILLWATER ARTISINAL ALES. This Maryland-based duo made up of a homebrewer and a beer fiend are itinerant brewers in the nascent MIKKELLER tradition - so don’t go looking for their brewpub or even their kettles next time you’re in Baltimore. Beer making continues to evolve and take on new roots and branches, and this tentacle in particular got a huge reaction out of the gate. I ran down to my local beer store and picked up bottles of STATESIDE SAISON and CELLAR DOOR, both farmhouse ales in the “Belgian tradition”.

STATESIDE SAISON is the one I unloaded into my glass first. It’s a 6.8% ABV, brewed with US- and New Zealand-grown hops, with a ridiculous amount of foam. I was taken aback right off the bat with the amazing taste - fruity and juicy, with just a slight whiff of funk. It was refreshing, and it tasted just fantastic cold. Lemon and pepper could be noted in the aftertaste. As it got warm, I daresay I was a little less interested, and made a vow to drink this a little more quickly next time. A great debut from this new brewer, and if I ever run into these guys I’ll clap ‘em on the backs and assure them they deserve the hype they’re getting. 8/10.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Most guys I know, if they’ll cop to enjoying country music at all, it’s usually the most rough-hewn “outlaw” country of the late 60s and early 70s, as exemplified by WAYLON JENNINGS and JOHNNY PAYCHECK. It might sometimes stray into slightly more commercial country like WILLIE NELSON or GEORGE JONES, or to acts with a bit of quirk like PORTER WAGGONER. Everyone loves Hank Williams, and most everyone digs Johnny Cash. Women that I know seem to hate country music with a vengeance, except for the lunatic fringe who believe that Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts et al represent aynthing more than a tangential, Southern-accent connection to the country music of yore. I think we can ALL agree that country music in its best forms died around 1975 or 1976, with the arrival of Kenny Rogers, Eddie Rabbit and the Oak Ridge Boys, and the godawful crossover of country with dance music and rock. Country since that time certainly has had acts that have made good records, but to my ears those have primarily come from the modern “No Depression” sect of bands or acts who took their cues from the 50s, 60s and early 70s, or who’ve gone in a more folkie direction a la TOWNES VAN ZANDT.

This is all my way of saying that while many of us have universalist standards for what is or isn’t good country music, when we like the form at all, some of us – say, for instance, me – allow ourselves to indulge in different sub-fringes of classic country music and call it “the best”. In my case, I am a total sucker for strings, backing vocals and the slicked-up “countrypolitan” studio sound that many of the top female artists of the 60s employed. For me, LORETTA LYNN’s version of “Hello Darlin’” is probably the greatest country music song of all time, notwithstanding Hank Williams’ entire oevre. A song like WANDA JACKSON’s melancholic “Back Then”, rather than striking me as purely syrupy schmaltz, comes off to me as a syrupy, schmaltzy, beautiful tearjerker that I could listen to 100 times in a row. I’ve read enough books on 1960s country to know that this was the era when the songwriters really took over, and men like Harlan Howard, Shel Silverstein and Tom T. Hall wrote dozens of well-crafted hits during this time and duly have their place in the Country Music Hall of Fame as a result.

I’m also a fan of some of the drunken hellraisers (check out the awesome Johnny Paycheck and Merle Haggard songs I've got for ya), trucker music (Dave Dudley!), some of the more offbeat male singers (JIM ED BROWN is a particular favorite) and some of the less-countrypolitan women like Jerry Lee Lewis’ little sister LINDA GAIL LEWIS. Here’s a collection I put together of 17 of the best country songs, all from the time I think country music was peaking in roughly 1965-1975. It's perfect for dragging into iTunes, as everything is saved in the .m4a format.

Let me know if I missed any knockouts, and hope you enjoy.

Track List

1. As Soon As I Hang Up The Phone – LORETTA LYNN & CONWAY TWITTY
2. Pop a Top – JIM ED BROWN
4. Back Then – WANDA JACKSON
5. I’ve Lived My Life – DOLLY PARTON
6. Motel Time Again – JOHNNY PAYCHECK
8. Loser’s Cocktail – DICK CURLESS
9. Pack Up Your Sorrows – JOHNNY CASH & JUNE CARTER
10. Singing My Song – TAMMY WYNETTE
11. Blanket on the Ground – BILLIE JO SPEARS
12. Hello Darlin’ – LORETTA LYNN
13. Hello Saturday Morning – LEE HAZLEWOOD
14. Put It Off Until Tomorrow – BILL PHILLIPS
15. Big City – MARGIE BOWES
16. I Got Lost – DAVE DUDLEY
17. I Don’t Want To Throw Rice – DOLLY PARTON

Download “If You’re Looking At Me, You’re Looking At Country” 17-track CD (this is a .zip file)

Another way to get this one is to download each track individually - they're all labeled and easy to import. Thanks to Jeremy Nobody for this labor of love. CLICK HERE to do it this way.