"The link between profound and pain covers you like Sherwin Williams."
It's hard to believe that when they first appeared on the scene in the early nineties, Lambchop were considered a country band; of course, it didn't take long for this highly idiosyncratic, artistically brilliant, and ever-evolving collective to alienate the schlock-masters who have turned Nashville into a vapid quagmire of commercialism over the course of the past 30 years. While country is certainly a recognizable element in Lambchop's sonic pastiche, it is often twisted, reshaped, and interwoven with Jazz, Soul, and a nice helping of Indie guitar pop; there simply isn't another band that sounds quite like these guys. And then there's the singular sound of Kurt Wagner's witty, droll, and seemingly elastic vocals, which can stretch from croaking baritone to soulful falsetto in the matter of a few seconds. Live at XX Merge crisply documents this perennially under-appreciated band taking the stage at Merge Record's 20th Anniversary bash, and by all accounts, they brought the house down. Running through a nice cross-section of songs from a discography ten albums deep, what is most striking in this set is how beautifully and seamlessly Lambchop integrate all the disparate parts into a sublime whole. Modern American music doesn't get any better than this.
Live at XX Merge
1. Jon Wurster: Intro (0:51)
2. I Will Drive Slowly (5:37)
3. The New Cobweb Summer (6:32)
4. Grumpus (4:14)
5. Sharing a Gibson with Martin Luther King Jr. (4:01)
6. What Else Could It Be? (3:15)
7. Tony Crow: Joke (1:49)
8. National Talk Like a Pirate Day (5:03)
9. Hey, Where's Your Girl? (2:13)
10. Your Fucking Sunny Day (3:24)
11. Up with People (3:58)
12. Give It ("Once in a Lifetime") (6:28)