Tag Archives: Ty Segall

Surveying Sin in American Music

What a blast! But there’s danger in the air─someone on the dark floor’s got a gun, and everyone “does his best to act just right, ’cause it’s gonna be a funeral if you start a fight.” In [Billy] Hughes’s terms, folks “struggle and they shuffle” until the sun comes up, delicate diction for a Saturday of screwing and fighting. “Tennessee Saturday Night” hit number one on March 19, 1949, and remained on the Billboard country charts for nearly three months.

“Gonna push the clouds away, let the music have its way, let it steal my heart away, and you know I’m-a-goin’.” On Saturday nights, the journey is as jubilant as the destination. So affirms John Fogerty in “Almost Saturday Night, from his self-titled album, released on Asylum in September of 1975. This narrative is fractured, too: there’s a train bringing the rodeo to town, or is it bringing the singer home? A radio is playing outside the window (a bedroom? a train compartment?), but it competes with the bells at the train crossing, or from an imagined Gibson in the hands of a Chuck Berry wannabe. The story is embodied in the singing, exultant melody, and arrangement that praise and make passionate contact with the expectations of a long-awaited weekend night. Six years after Fogerty released the song, Welshman Dave Edmunds issued his own rollicking version (on his album Twangin), its joy elevating the song’s hopes and promises in the universal, trans-oceanic desire: bye bye tomorrow. The most powerful word in the song is “almost.” The taste of a Saturday night’s recklessness and exhilaration is more rousing at the brink of maybe, when anticipated, when prayed for.

Joe Bonomo, writing in The Normal School about the role sex, drinking, violence and catharsis play in American music, particularly country, blues and rock and roll, and the ways people sing about blowing off steam. Bonomo’s essay ran in Spring 2014.

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Does Ty Segall Ever Sleep?

Another factor zooming Segall into the here-and-now is his prodigious streak, which has been an unintentional but fortuitous adaptation to the era of social media, where music arrives and vanishes from the cultural consciousness in the space of mere days, if not hours. It’s tough to forget him, because he always has a release on deck: an album, a 7”, or maybe he’s just playing drums and singing backup vocals on his friend’s record. Suddenly, without realizing it, the last three LPs you bought have Ty Segall’s name on the cover, or somewhere in the liners. Though, for better or worse, 2012 may mark a golden age for Segall’s workaholic bent. “Never again,” he says, laughing, when asked if he’s got another three records in the bag for next year.

Aaron Leitko writing in Pitchfork about guitar shredder and prolific songwriter Ty Segall.

 

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