I feel like the best-of lists are showing up early this year. I prefer to read them while relaxing after having finished all my Christmas shopping for others while contemplating a post-Christmas record shopping outing on my own. No such luck this year. I could only skim the NY Times in a fatigued and harried state before rushing off to a Chuck E Cheese birthday party this morning, but there was at least one new discovery for me.
Like most of blue-state America, I'm pretty oblivious to current country music. I sit comfortably distant from red states listening to alt-country, but the chasm between commercial-radio country and alt-country is still something I find astounding. There's virtually no cross-over in either direction. I think the Pistol Annies could be an exception. Miranda Lambert is a huge country star, and if she's ever shown up on any NY Times year-end lists, I've certainly missed it. Her side project, however, showed up on a couple of lists this year, including Ben Ratliff's.
I was intrigued by the write-up and figured it wouldn't be too hard to find a video, and it wasn't. I hope things slow down enough during the holidays that I can explore the rest of the list and many others as well. I was very happy with this first discovery.