Texas Never Whispers – Pavement (1993, Big Cat Records)
Every week the Major League publishes it’s ‘Power Rankings’, basically a run down of which teams are hot and which are not. My team the Kansas City Royals are currently so far away from being hot that they are hiding inside a large freezer. They currently sit rock bottom of the Power Rankings and so are once again seemingly the worst team in the Major League. The team currently at the top of the rankings?? The bloody Yankees.
Today’s team are the Dallas based Texas Rangers, (who are currently 17th in the Power Rankings) who I know very little about. What I do know is that they have previously been owned by what some people might describe as a right shower of shit. In 1989, the club was sold for $89 million to a consortium headed up by George W Bush, or the King of Stoopid as he is known round these parts. In 1998 the club was sold again to a man who is more hated in Merseyside than Piers Morgan and Boris Johnson put together, Tom Hicks. In 2010, Hicks sold the club to its current owners. Meaning for the first time in at least thirty years the Texas Rangers appear to be owned by individuals who do not appear to be morally bankrupt assholes.
The change in ownership in 2010 also coincided with an upturn in the fortunes of the Rangers, who reached two successive World Series Finals but lost them both (to San Francisco and St Louis respectively). They remain one of the few teams to have never won the World Series and judging by their form over the last two seasons that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Musically, Dallas is all about folk and country music having given the world people like LeAnne Rimes, Old 97s and Maren Morris, none of which I am in that much of hurry to listen to. Away from fiddles and videos shot in big ol’ barns, Dallas has spawned at least two bonafide legends.
Firstly, Meat Loaf was born and grew up in Dallas and he remains to this day the only singer to have released a Christmas album in March, that’s how leftfield and relevant Meat was. The second legend to have been born in Dallas was hip hop pioneer Vanilla Ice, who could regularly be seen in Dallas nightclubs on open mic nights. When he’d finished cleaning the tables, he sometimes was allowed to clean the toilets.
Aside from Ice and Loaf one of the biggest musical acts to have come of Dallas in recent years is Erykah Badu, who apart from Michael Stipe, remains the best person to have performed on Sesame Street.
Love of My Life (an ode to hip hop) – Erykah Badu (2002, MCA Records)
In 2002 the Dallas formed choral rock band The Polyphonic Spree had a (somewhat surprising?) Top 40 hit in the UK with ‘Light and Day’ and has since been used to advertise Sainsburys, which I suspect is exactly the audience that Tim DeLaughter was looking for when he wrote it.
Light and Day – The Polyphonic Spree (2002, 679 Recordings)
There were of course several members of The Polyphonic Spree when they first started out, one of them was a young lady called Annie Clark, who a few years later went on to be better known to us as St Vincent.
Digital Witness – St Vincent (2014, Republic Records)
And this weeks previously unheard of band dragged back from the cliff edge of obscurity to the relative warmth of the car park café is the wonderfully named and Internet unfriendly Hen and the Cocks, who apparently sound like “what Green Day would sound like if Patti Smith was their singer”. Well, we will be judge of that (they sound like a bit like Babes in Toyland though).
Speed – Hen and the Cocks (2021, Unknown Label)
Next Week – Colorado
Oh and its my birthday today, feel free to shower me with gifts I don’t mind them being late.