Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sing about drinking, cheating, killing and going to hell?

You Might be a Redneck

Last night my best friend, Deadhead Girl, brought my son a gift. She gave him a CD—A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC by Hayseed Dixie.

Let me explain why she would bring him such a thing. My son, Tee, is a die-hard AC/DC fan. When he was a small boy, Tee would sit in the backseat of my car in his little car seat and sing T.N.T. Nothing is cuter than a four-year-old singing at the top of his lung capacity, “’Cause I’m T.N.T. I’m dynamite…. T.N.T watch me exploddddddddddddde…” As he grew up into the fine, young teen that he is today, Tee expanded his AC/DC repertoire to include Back in Black, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and Highway to Hell.

Listening to this CD puts a big, yummy smile on my face, complimenting the fact that Tee got a huge kick out of it. It includes all of your favorite AC/DC hits, performed bluegrass style. I give it a big thumb’s up, but then I do love a good bit of fiddle and banjo playing.

How did the guys who comprise Hayseed Dixie decide upon paying tribute to those bad boy Aussie rockers? According to their bio page,Genesis, it all began in Deer Lick Holler (located in Appalachia), when an unfortunate soul smacked his vehicle into a healthy sized oak tree located on the Devil’s Elbow Curve. The man didn’t make it, and as an accolade to him, the good ole’ boys of Hayseed Dixie learned to play the music on the vinyl found under the back seat of the wrecked car. You guessed it—the records were all by AC/DC.

So, why did they go on and record their own album? Lead singer and fiddle player, Barley Scotch, sums it up nicely, “I mean, verily, verily I say to ya'll, there's 4 key elements in any good mountain song - drinking, cheating, killing and going to hell. That's what we've been singing about our whole lives. And that's just what them AC/DC songs was about too.”

Scotch and the rest of the band are busy individuals. They’ve gone on to record 4 more albums, the latest slated to be released in the US in 2006. Current tour dates are scheduled in both the UK and Europe; in October the guys will be shaking some ‘grass in New Zealand and Australia. I should also mention that Mr. Scotch’s family business might be of interest to gulchers. “Me and my whole family, we're in the alternate fuel and beverage business, you know.”

Taking Charge of Your Career

Creativity can be both a joy and a curse. As a writer, when I’m in my groove, my feet lightly knick blades of grass and the tops of flowers as I float along. When I’m derailed, sheet marks, deeply pressed into my face, are my only fashion statement. From the chitchat I’ve engaged in with other writer types, I fit pretty snuggly into the norm.

What’s one of the largest banes that drop creative types to their knees? Come on; say it with feeling—the almighty dollar, i.e. how to spawn some bills in your wallet. It is possible to make a living doing the creative gig that rolls your turtleneck, but damn it is hard.

A recommendation was passed on to me. “Read Michelle Goodman’s article in BUST.” Yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it. Well, this week I did get to it, and the recommendation was a worthy one. In the April/May 2005 issue of BUST, Goodman's Wageslave a day-job survival guide for arty girls gives constructive advice on how to place some coinage into your piggybank without sucking the juice out of your soul. The main thrust of the article is to restructure your life, and your attitude, so that the arty girl you are can take advantage of the day job that puts some hummus on the table by using it to forward your creative pulse.

Some of the advice is simple and “duh,” like snagging a job that doesn’t require brain-drain in your off time and breaking goals into manageable, bite-sized pieces. The counsel I found most constructive gave multiple scenarios to accommodate diverse pocketbooks and involved doable action, like networking with other creative types in your area, setting up an office or studio and turning the friggin’ TV off. For those in the marketplace, the sidebar midday creativity snack outlines ways to insert artistic pursuits into the doldrums of your day engagement.

For those folks, creative or otherwise, who are looking for a way off the wageslave merry-go-round, author Claire Wolfe’s latest book jumped into the marketplace this week. It is titled How To Kill The Job Culture Before It Kills You Living a Life of Autonomy in a Wage-Slave Society. Wolfe addresses both escape routes and what needs to happen to prod wholesome change in the corporate realm. Knowing the stellar quality of Wolfe’s work, I’m planning on laying some greenbacks down for this book.


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