Tag Archives: Steve Earle

Steve Earle – I Ain’t Ever Satisfied

I’m participating in Hanspostcard‘s Song Draft – here’s my eighth pick.

For my 8th round pick in the song draft, I’d like to feature a song by one of my favorite artists, Steve Earle.  Together with Bruce Springsteen, John Hiatt, and Frank Turner, Steve Earle would comprise the Mt. Rushmore, if you will, of my favorite artists.

I Aint’ Ever Satisfied is off of Earle’s second record, Exit 0, released in 1987.  Given Earle’s life history (the varied musical styles, from country to rock to folk to bluegrass; the many record companies, string of marriages, and drug and addiction issues) it could perhaps be viewed as his theme song.  The singer in the song is never satisfied, always moving on to the next thing, culminating in this humorous conclusion:

Last night I dreamed I made it to the promise land
I was standin’ at the gate and I had the key in my hand
Saint Peter said “Come on in boy, you’re finally home”
I said “No thanks Pete, I’ll just be moving along”

I’ve always loved that image, of Earle standing at the gate, and the bearded St. Peter welcoming him to heaven, and Earle saying no thanks, and walking off into the clouds (or whatever).

This is one of my favorite songs by Steve Earle, and that’s saying something since there are many.  I think part of it is because of how I first heard it.  I was driving in my car, flipping channels on the radio, looking for a song I recognized.  I hit one channel and heard the initial acoustic guitar part of the song.  Not recognizing it, I quickly flipped away.  And then for some reason, I can’t tell you why, I decided to flip back to just hear a bit more of the song.  And that’s when I heard the drums and piano kick in, and the main melody start, and I was hooked!  Luckily at the end of the song, the DJ announced who it was, and I immediately knew I had to seek out the album.  I had heard of Steve Earle but didn’t know any of his music.  I loved Exit 0, went out and got his first album Guitar Town, loved it, and have been a fan ever since.  In my mind, Steve Earle is one of the best American songwriters out there.

Would I have become such a big fan of Steve Earle if I had not flipped back to I Ain’t Ever Satisfied? Perhaps, as I’m sure I would have been exposed to his music some other way.  But this experience made me feel that I was destined to be a fan if that makes sense.  Something made me switch back to the song.  And it taught me an important lesson – always be open to hearing new music, give a new song a chance even if it doesn’t sound like what you are expecting.  Don’t ever be satisfied, if you will, by what you know or enjoy.

Song of the Day – Special Valentine’s Day Edition: Steve Earle – Valentine’s Day

Just coming in under the wire for today.  I’ve always loved this Steve Earle song.  Protagonist of song is a total screw up who always forgets to do the stuff you’re supposed to do on Valentine’s Day – no flowers, no candy, no card.

” I know that I swore that I wouldn’t forget… I wrote it all down… I lost it I guess…”

But he just lays it all out there for his love about how he feels.  Very touching and gets at the real meaning of the day.

“The way you love me everyday… is Valentine’s Day”

Song of the Day 11/21/18 Steve Earle – Hard-Core Troubadour

Continuing to listen to Steve Earle discography to prep for next week’s concert!  This one is another favorite one of mine.  Off his comeback album of sorts, I Feel Alright (which may be my second favorite album of his after Exit 0).  The thing that puts this song over the finish line for me (or the icing on the cake if you will) is the Springsteen Rosalita reference right towards end!

Creeps, Deviants and Psychopaths

So its that time of year – Halloween.  Traditionally its has been associated with ghosts, vampires, and monsters.  Spooky fun.  But in the US, especially in the last 50 years, the holiday has also become associated with slasher flicks, serial killers, and other psychopaths – blame John Carpenter’s classic movie Halloween.  Or maybe not – maybe this is just my excuse to do a blog on some of my favorite songs about creeps and deviants.  I’m sure there’s a whole subgenre of these songs that I’m not aware of – my picks are by artists that you’ve probably heard of and that I’ve always liked.  And one is probably the creepiest song I have ever heard.  So without further adieu:

More Than I Can Do- Steve Earle

From his come back album of sorts, I Feel Alright, this uptempo song seems at first to just be about a guy’s unrequited love for someone – but as it continues it definitely moves into stalker territory.  “You left me just when I needed you
So l ain’t even close to through with you.”  Definitely Creepy.

I Feel So GoodRichard Thompson

From Rumor and Sigh, this song is definitely not an endorsement for the ability to reform juvenile delinquents.  Again, a pretty uptempo melody but there’s no denying where things are going right from the start: “I feel so good I’m going to Break somebody’s heart tonight I feel so good I’m going to Take someone apart tonight.’ And it goes from there.  Definitely Deviant.

Excitable Boy – Warren Zevon

From the album of the same name, this darkly humorous little ditty from the incomparable Warren Zevon starts weird and moves straight to deviant/psychopathic.  Zevon’s tongue in cheek lyrics – “He’s just an excitable boy” also perhaps are a dark commentary on society’s penchant for making excuses?  Also love the sax solo.

Midnight Rambler – The Rolling Stones

From Let It Bleed, this classic song from the Stones is pure psychopathy and evil.  It was written in part about Albert De Salvo, aka the Boston Strangler, who murdered 13 women in the early 60’s Boston area. Keith Richards has called it a blue opera, or a blues in 4 parts, even though the chord sequence isn’t a blues one.

And the finale, the song that always creeps me out just listening to it –

What’s He Building in There – Tom Waits.

From the album Mule Variations.  Not really a song, as much as a spoken word performance with a montage of assorted random background sounds.  Is it about a misunderstood freak?  A deviant, or something darker?  That’s the beauty of it – you can only wonder.   If you listen to any of these songs, listen to this one – even in the middle of the day,  it’ll freak you out.

Ok I have to go turn on every light in the house right now – til later…… oh, and Happy Halloween!

Sources: Wikipedia, Genius Lyrics, SongFacts