Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Monday, August 14, 2006

Todd Snider gets away with it


I am in love with "The Devil You Know," the new album by smartass folk songwriter Todd Snider. I saw him described somewhere as a cross between John Prine and Tom Petty, and while I hate descriptions like that, it will do. (I'd throw in a dash of Randy Newman.)

I became a Snider fan with his previous album, 2004's "East Nashville Skyline," a great collection of short stories about losers and guys too lazy to lose. "The Devil You Know" might even be better. Snider mostly plays electric guitar on this one, and he has assembled a loose rockin' band that sounds drunk on Old Milwaukee and "Sticky Fingers."

The songs, of course, are top notch, both hilarious and full of indignation. The best of the lot is "You Got Away With It," a song sung from the point of view of an frat brother talking to his famous friend. It's pretty obvious by song's end who the bro is addressing, but it's a joy to hear Snider slowly reveal himself through the progressively biting lyrics.

This YouTube clip is of Snider performing "You Got Away With It" at a recent concert. The quality is OK, but it's worth checking out for Snider's trademark stoner dude introduction where he talks about his past adventures at frat parties. If you ever see the man live, you'll find the between-song patter is almost better than the songs. Which is saying a lot.

I strongly recommend going here to hear four songs from "The Devil You Know." You can hear "You Got Away With it" along with "Looking for a Job," a song about an ex-con who isn't about to take guff from the rich guy who hired him to put up day wall.

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