The musical world just became a little odder, now that Pansy Division and Willie Nelson are separated by only one degree. Nelson has recorded Ned Sublette's 1981 song "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond of Each Other)" -- released on iTunes on Valentine's Day too -- apparently as something of a tribute to his tour manager, who came out to Nelson a couple of years ago. (Pansy Division was supposedly the first to cover the song.) The lyrics are funny, but not in a nudge-nudge-wink-wink sort of way (though queer theory folks out there would probably wince a bit); the music itself is played dead sober. (Yes, it looks like he's jumping on the Brokeback bandwagon, but there's apparently a song of his on the soundtrack already.)
I wish Willie Nelson had played the song in concert sometime last month at the Fillmore, but no matter. To be in the presence of a real-life, honest-to-goodness Musical Legend (or, as this blogger puts it, "Willie Fucking Nelson!") was enough; to be reminded of how good a guitar player Nelson is was icing on the cake. And a fantastic songwriter as well: one tends to forget that he actually wrote Patsy Cline's Greatest Song Ever, perhaps in keeping with the big introductory spiel he received at the beginning of the concert as "the Walt Whitman of our time." (Hmm -- Whitman.) His longtime band, of course, knew the songs inside and out, as road-tested as a band could possibly be, even if they were all blinking through the billowing clouds of weed smoke at the venue.
The highlights of the concert -- well, they were all highlights, really -- were a kickass "Whiskey River" (at the opening of the set, naturally), a triumphant "City of New Orleans," and a rollicking version of "The Harder They Come" ("about the Bush administration," my friend J said). But you can't go wrong with a set that included "Blue Skies," "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground," "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," "Pancho and Lefty," "Always on My Mind" and "Crazy."Posted by the wily filipino at February 15, 2006 11:20 PM