It's rare that a piece fits two blogs so well. But hey, sharing is caring! So, in the interest of even more self-promotion, the following is adapated from THE DIESE BLOG.
In the movie "High Fidelity," Jack Black's character asks of John Cusack's, "Is it unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins? Is it better to burn out or fade away?"
Steve Earle is a country songwriter who was once lauded as the "next Bruce Springsteen." Earle's mid-80's albums Guitar Town and Copperhead Road have since become country/rock touchstones, but his recent works have found his prolific output reduced to a pile of rocks.
While the admittedly partisan The Revolution Starts Now provided a vitriolic kick, his latest, Washington Square Serenade was a pussy affair of love songs about his adopted home of New York.
Moving to Manhattan is diese if you do business. And only if you do big things. Moving to Manhattan in general is not diese, especially if you're a country musician.
We saw Steve Earle about this time last year in San Francisco at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. In addition to the varying quality of his recent work, Earle is a notorious liberal windbag. Half in the bag on Two Buck Chuck, we admonished Earle to, "Shut up and play Copperhead Road!" The crunchies didn't like that very much.
Despite these facts, we at Diese Blog must take these cases on an individual basis. We will call them as we see them.
As such, Steve Earle is diese, primarily on the basis of how ungodly awesome his biography, Hardcore Troubadour is.
This book should be on the Official Diese Reading List. It reads like this: Steve shoots smack, fires guns, rides horses, goes through gallons of booze and crashes cars into buildings. Sometimes all within a single page. In terms of pure unadulterated debauchery, it ranks right up there with the Zeppelin bio, Hammer of the Gods.
The following clip finds Earle at arguably his most diese, right before his 3-year "vacation in the ghetto." Dude was so shit-cocked on cocaine and heroin, he probably doesn't even remember it. And he totally burns Letterman on just what the hell a mandolin is.