I have some strange rules about cowboy hats, rules that no one should ever hear, that I’d like to share with you now. The first and most important rule is that while I find I can accept cowboy hats in fiction or movies, I find them completely incongruous in real life, and for some reason I’m almost never happy to see one there. I feel the same way about buccaneer hats, and Indian feathers, for that matter: they just don’t blend.
It’s almost too bad, because cowboy hats are a trip to wear. For one thing, I think they actually make you look taller, but also, more like a pirate. Plus, you’re actually 50% more likely to have a mustache if you’re wearing a cowboy hat (in fact, as soon as you put a cowboy hat on, you can actually feel one starting to grow! Try it -I swear to god!)
I have a friend who wears a cowboy hat -someone I know personally -and I’m trying to figure out how I feel about that. He seems to be normal otherwise, and, y’know, kind of a nice guy, who doesn’t really seem that depraved, other than the hat.
On the other hand, he has chosen New York City as a great place to play country music, so of course all kinds of warning signals go off there, too. And apparently about half of his songs are about drinking, and that does represent a serious commitment of some sort. The four albums Jack put out after his relatively earnest debut, “Introducing The Sounds Of Jack Grace”, were called “Stayin’ Out All Night”, “I Like It Wrong”, “The Martini Cowboy”, and (now, his soon-to-be-released) “Drinking Songs For Lovers.” One does detect a certain thrust, and Jack seems to be a very personable sort of fellow, thankfully less drunk than his set list would lead you to believe.
Problem is, long ago, I promised Jack I would never listen to his music, if he would reciprocate and never read my column. And I believe he’s kept up his end of the deal (I mean, say what you will about Le Codder, it’s nothing if not avoidable), but I find myself curious about the music. I mean, there’s some great titles on here: “If You’re Gonna Raise A Drunk”, “When The Morning Margaritas Hit You Right” ” (which has a great line about “waking up at the crack of ice”), and my favorite, “The Worst Truck Driver In The World”… the guy can definitely write a lyric.
Hell with it, he sent me the damn thing, I’m going to listen to it.
NO! That’s just the devil talkin’! YES! YES! I’m a listenin’! I’m a’ listenin’!!
This starts out kind of in Johnny Cash territory… lots of cool songs about drinking, and you know? I haven’t been drinking enough lately anyway, I believe I’ll take the hint, try to get in the spirit of things…
Sure enough- this sounds better! Banjo on track five, and it’s not really bothering me… yup, the booze is working. Just heard “I Drank Too Much Again”, and then “Drinking & Gambling”, wait, this isn’t killing me… more booze… it’s FINE! I don’t know what I was being so uptight about!
Then you get “The Worst Truck Driver”, which is definitely my fave; and “Ugly” is interesting, and “It Was a Really Bad Year”… it’s almost like salsha! damn, this is OK. Yeeaaahhhhhh! Capitol O-k, phew i’m getting slakkurrd. This a really good ban…
Another thing I like about Jack is, he’s got another band that does all bastardized country versions of (whooooooaaaaa) Van Halen songs called (mmmmmm…) Van Hayride. Now, lots of people might get a idea like that, but Jack actually did it. It’s like wearing a cowboy hat on earth!