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At the Alejandro Escovedo show on Saturday the couple next to me were raving about Jesse Malin.  I've heard of him but am unfamiliar with his work.  Turns out he's playing in Nashville the same weekend I'll be there -- tickets were only $15.00 so I grabbed a couple (not much of a risk at that price).  If there are any Jesse Malin fans out there, I'd appreciate recommendations on albums of his I should check out.  Thanks.

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I saw him open for Counting Crows in 2002 in NYC. He was very good, but I've not kept up with him. When I saw him he was supporting The Fine Art of Self Destruction, which is the only one of his albums that I return to. That album was produced by Ryan Adams, who is a very vocal Malin fan. 

Funnily enough, I was browsing through Jesse Malin's Instagram feed the other day, and noticed that he made a post about sharing the bill with Tweedy. Ryan Adams made a pretty snarky comment:


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Jesse is a good (to great) solo act in a small club.  Plays in the Springsteen vein and tells interesting stories.  See him if you can.  When he plays Chicago (which is a couple times a year) he never sells-out the venue.



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I saw him open for Counting Crows in 2002 in NYC. He was very good, but I've not kept up with him. When I saw him he was supporting The Fine Art of Self Destruction, which is the only one of his albums that I return to. That album was produced by Ryan Adams, who is a very vocal Malin fan. 


Funnily enough, I was browsing through Jesse Malin's Instagram feed the other day, and noticed that he made a post about sharing the bill with Tweedy. Ryan Adams made a pretty snarky comment:



DRA still has a lot of butthurt over Tweedy's off hand dismissal of him 15 or so years ago (really more of a distancing from the Alt Country label...leaving it to Ryan Adams)

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Someone who's more internet savvy than me should find that "Adams v Tweedy Celebrity Death Match" thing from about 10 years ago here. That was funny stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Welcome to Celebrity Death Match!

JG: I'm Johnny Gomez, and with me as always Nick Diamond! Tonight, we put on our flannel shirts and cowboy boots and go "alt country" as the kids say...

ND: What do the kids mean when they say that? Alt-country? Just what the hell is that?

JG: I wouldn't know if I stepped in it, Nick, or care, but what I do know is that tonight's death match will be a no-holds-barred bloody battle between two of the leading practitioners of this sound, both known for their attitude and disagreeable sullen personalities. Let's introduce our brawlers! From Chicago by way of St. Louis, let's welcome that bad boy of Wilco, Jeff Tweedy! And from Nashville, that mixed up monster who used to be in a band called Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams!

ND: I'm having a hard time telling them apart, Johnny! The flannel, the scuffed boots, the faded jeans, the unshaven faces and shaggy unwashed hair! The acoustic guitars! Which one is which?

JG: A good question and I don't have an answer for you. I thought one of them was gonna be Bryan Adams. I'm a big fan of that rocker, but this guy?! I'm gonna have a word with our producers! This is really scraping the bottom of the celebrity barrel here!

ND: Yes, Johnny, we're all longing for the days of Sting getting the crap beat out of his "soul cage! " Oh well, we might as well go to the floor cos the fight is about to start!

JG: First, I'd like to note that this is one of the smallest audiences we've ever had here. And what's with the way they look? Flannel shirts, boots, dirty wife beater tee shirts, eyeglasses, crossed arms and those are the women!

ND: Yes, and all the men look like record label guys, internet geeks and radio dj's! We're already out of cheap beer! Can this fight get any uglier?

JG: We're about to find out, Nick! Here's Mills Lane to get this fight underway!

[Jeff Tweedy and Ryan Adams, circling each other]

JT: So you just gonna keep copying my moves, Adams? Huh! Figures! Why don't you put out a pop album next?!

RA: Guess you didn't hear "Amy" off "Heartbreaker" a critical fav! And talk about aping riffs! Why don't you fire another dude from wilco?

JT: So when's that double album coming out?

ND: Oh boy, this is the dullest fight we've ever had!

JG: You said it, Nick! But look there! They are both making a move for their acoustic guitars! Uh oh, whichever one is first with a G chord followed by a Em is gonna land the first blow!

ND: And there it is! Tweedy fires off a simple two-chord progression, and Adams is reeling!

JT: Hah! [singing] " Little little coo joo, I'm a gonna do you!"

JG: Adams is shaking it off, and it looks like - oh baby! He's cracked that valuable Martin acoustic right into Tweedy's chops! Why bother with lyrics when you have that bad boy image! And he's on Tweedy like an Uncle Tupelo fan is on to Napster for a rare demo recording of Whiskey Bottle!

ND: Huh?

JG: I don't know, I'm just reading the script! Ooh, I've never seen guitar strings do that before!

ND: Betcha Tweedy won't be making music with that sound hole anytime soon!

RA: Sorry, dude, but Jay Farrar's not hiding in your colon! I checked it for you.

ND: It looks like Tweedy is down, but he's reaching in his pocket for.....oh! A harmonica!

JG: Noooo! He's not gonna play it, is he?

ND: Thankfully no! He's just gonna......

JG: ....ram it into Adams' left ear! Wow, now he's blowing into it, and watch as Adams' eardrums blow! Hah! So much for hearing his critical raves!

ND: Yes, I'd say acceptance in critical intensive care is what he's craving right now! Ok, they are both back in the corners, and the blood has been flowing here at celebrity death match!

JG: What's Tweedy up to now?

ND: It appears that he has someone in his corner! It's.....it's.....I'm told that it's his right hand man Jay Bennett! And look at the load of keyboards and antique sound equipment he has with him! It's as if Tweedy's puny body is enhanced by layers and layers of lush keyboard sounds! It's a musical shield! How is Adams gonna penetrate that, I wonder?!!

JG: We're about to find out....seems as tho Ryan is doing some sort of mumbo jumbo with chicken bones and.....a mist is forming in front of Tweedy now...it's a spirit, it's.....oh my god, Adams has summoned the spirit of the cosmic cowboy Gram Parsons! Look at the pot leaves on that nudie suit! What a hippie!! How is this gonna help?!!

ND: Hey, I wouldn't laugh if I were you, this is getting weird! I'll admit I don't see the rationale of bringing in another scrawny long haired punk, but it does seem to be confusing Tweedy!

JT: [voice muffled as if surrounded by sound waves] Hey man, is that you, Gram? Whoa, dude, this is cool!

[GP smiles widely at JT, who smiles back and waves]

JT: Man, I've always dug you, way before Adams did! Me and Jay, we....we....aw man, I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna cry....

[GP's smile suddenly turns to a frown, then another smile appears, with fangs this time. He begins to float toward Tweedy, with Adams crouching behind GP, moving in for the kill]

GP: Hey man, what about the cosmic country sound that I started? Why did you turn your back on me?

JT: I....I....what?

JG: Oh, this looks bad for Tweedy.

[GP looks at Jay Bennett, and snarls; JB yelps and disappears in a flash of fire. The keyboards blow up, and Tweedy stands exposed]

GP [in a voice like Satan]: I was your god, and thou hast displeased me, man!

JD & ND: time to get out of here!

[GP fully materializes, and walks over to Tweedy, smiling, and in his normal voice:]

GP: Mr. Tweedy, I sure did like your music on them first couple of Uncle Tupelo albums, but then you lost me.

[Tweedy shakes, looks confused; Adams skitters around behind Gram, with a mouth full of cookies]

GP: Since when did ELO become cool, man?

JT: No, not you too! Look, Gram, I grew as an artist, I followed my....

GP: ....and the way you butchered "100 Years From Now" on my tribute, well, now, that was just rude. It was an insult. The last straw, man. I put up with Summerteeth, but.....

JT: I still play your records, man! I'll strip down again, I'll record analog, I'll do anything.....

GP: Aw shucks, I'm just kidding ya! I'm a good ol boy from Wayyyycross, GA! I like to have my fun! Here, to make it up, have a hit of this joint. Keef made it back in 1970. I've been keeping for a special occasion, and since Hillman ain't dead yet, well, let's me and you partake.....

JT: Really? Cool! Thanks, man! Boy, if Farrar could see this...!

GP: Are you sure you want to sit down? That looks like it might hurt.

JG: Hmmm. I think Tweedy is gonna regret that puff of loco weed!

ND: Yes, I think this might be a trick! Not just anyone can smoke a Keith Richards joint, circa 1970! This is gonna have some kind of kick!

[Tweedy takes another puff....his expression changes from mellow oneness to horror, steam blows out his ears, his teeth fly out of his head, his tongue swells and bursts, his ass pops off and finally his head explodes; tiny pieces of flannel and burned whiskers float down]

JG: And that's that! Mills Lane is coming out to call Ryan Adams the winner!

ND: And look how smug Adams is! Is...he...yes, he's cleaning out his burst ears with flakes of Tweedy skin! Oh, the final indignity!

JG: But look there! The Parsons monster Adams created is out of control! He's got a hold of Adams! Oh, the horror! I can't not watch this!

GP: Hey buddy, I thought I told you 'bout staying away from Miss Emmylou! [GP lifts Adams up by the scruff of the neck with one hand, holds him out as Adams flails around, crying.....]

RA: Caitlin, Phil, the drummer dude....I'm so sorry, I loved Whiskeytown, I never should've gone solo, oh sweet Carolina.....

[GP swings back a skinny long nudie suited clad leg and drives it up Adams' ass and out his mouth, and then shakes the remains off into the screaming audience, which proceeds to devour the leftover Adams parts like so many half written half baked songs. There's nothing left.]

JG: Well, there you have it! Mills Lane is awarding the match to Gram Parsons, the man who started it all, or didn't, depending on who you talk to! Some say the Monkees were the first, others Carl Perkins or Bill Monroe and Hank Williams....

ND: What? The first what? What's wrong with you?

JG: Again, I'm just reading the script. I do not know.

ND: Whatever. And that's it for us!

JG: Tune in next week when Celebrity Death Match welcomes back Kotter and Ralph Malph! Happy days are here again next time on...

Celebrity Death Match!!!!!!!!!

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