Review : Todd Snider - Peace Queer
SpinOne of roots music’s slyest, smartest songwriters, Nashville-based Todd Snider isn’t up to the usual protest-song ploys on this eight-song mini album (which nonetheless protests plenty): "I did not do this to change your mind about anything," he explains in a spoken interlude. "I did this to ease my own mind about everything." Peace Queer includes an acoustic antiwar rant and a ghostly reading of Creedence’s "Fortunate Son" (with Patty Griffin on backup vocals). But the high point is a ragged bar-band jam about the dissolution of the middle-class dream ("Stuck on the Corner [Prelude to a Heart Attack]")....full text
BlenderOver his past few albums, Todd Snider morphed from a wisecracking country-ish journeyman to the sharpest and funniest protest singer working today—Pete Seeger with a pickup truck and a sense of humor. But more than seven years into the reign of George Bush, Snider isn’t laughing anymore. On this eight-song EP—available for free on his Web site—the amiable 42-year-old lends his peach-cobbler drawl to songs about maimed soldiers and power-drunk bullies, a doleful cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” and “Mission Accomplished (Because You Gotta Have Faith),” which deploys a Bo Diddley beat to excoriate a leader who “drove us off a cliff and told us we were flyin’.” Still, the real evildoer is the protagonist in “Dividing the Estate (A Heart Attack)”—an 800-pound gorilla of a metaphor named Sam, who as a youngster was humble and idealistic but wound up fat, rich and unhappy with his standing in the world and too lazy to do anything about it. Sound like any country you know?...full text
Popmatters“Things happen in this album besides you being told that war is wrong, with a beat ... I don’t know that war is wrong. I just know that I’m a peace queer, and I’m totally into it when people aren’t fighting, in my home, at the bar where I hang out or in a field a million miles away. It’s a drag to hear that people are punching each other or hurting each other.”
-- Todd Snider, in the press materials for Peace Queer
Like any songwriter worth his salt, Todd Snider has engaged in social commentary more than a few times. “The Ballad of the Kingsmen” used “Louie Louie” as a launching pad to examine “won’t someone please think of the children?” reactions to popular culture. “Betty Was Black (and Willie Was White)” looked at the ramifications of an interracial relationship, while “The Devil You Know” sketched a scene in Snider’s crime-plagued Nashville neighborhood, where police helicopters seemed as thick as mosquitos.
He’s even dipped his toes into political waters with “You Got Away With It (A Tale of Two Fraternity Brothers)”, a thinly-veiled theory that George W. Bush’s 2000 election victory simply extended a continuum of connections, good fortune, and wiles. On the more humorous side, Snider’s “Conservative Christian, Right Wing, Republican, Straight, White, American Males” offered a litany of stereotypes about the title demographic before ending with a little self-deprecation about “tree huggin’, peace lovin’, pot smokin’, porn watchin’ lazyass hippies like me” for good measure....full text
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