Search - Dan Bern, Ijbc :: My Country II

My Country II
Dan Bern, Ijbc
My Country II
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

Summoning the ghosts of Phil Ochs and Woody Guthrie, Southern California's most irreverent town crier throws his hat in with the anti-Bush crowd and lobs a grenade or seven for good measure. A few wind up as duds: tyranny ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Dan Bern, Ijbc
Title: My Country II
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Messenger Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2004
Re-Release Date: 8/31/2004
Album Type: EP
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Americana, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 632662101926

Summoning the ghosts of Phil Ochs and Woody Guthrie, Southern California's most irreverent town crier throws his hat in with the anti-Bush crowd and lobs a grenade or seven for good measure. A few wind up as duds: tyranny may come with no surprises, but then neither does the song, and Bern doesn't do the gay-rights movement any favors by fantasizing about allowing monkeys to marry. Much more biting and catchy are the mass-media satire "Ostrich Town," the brutal troop support of "After the Parade" (a soldier's wheelchair remains the most devastating antiwar image), and the obscure Pete Seeger poem "The Torn Flag," with its call to redesign old glory's revolutionary ideals. The blue-state hit "Bush Must Be Defeated" (rhymes with "Rose Garden weeded" and "goodbye coffee heated") closes this EP with a drum machine and a final plea: "Do not vote your conscience!" These satires will make a fine souvenir of the 2004 election, but they're not likely to age well after the last ballot is counted. --Roy Kasten

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CD Reviews

Dan vs. Bush
Edward A. Lorah | Seattle, WA USA | 09/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've been a Dan fan for many years and have seen him perform many times- mostly at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Dan's great strength as an artist is his spontaneity + his musicianship. When he is "on" few can compare.
His "stream of consciousness" approach to his music can also result in performances that don't always match up with his best.

"My Country II", I am very happy to say, is among his best efforts. People who love Dan know that he's great at being smart and sarcastic. When he's empathetic and tender he really shines though. "After the Parade" and "The Torn Flag" are my favorite tunes on the new CD; as good as "Sister" and "Wasteland" from previous CD's.
I've looked forward to the release of this CD and Steve Earle's "The Revolution Starts Now" for the past month. I can hardly believe what's happening to our democracy. I love Steve and Dan but think that Dan has put out the better CD. If you're looking for emotional/spiritual/political support over the next couple of months I'd recommend both of these CD's... unless you're a Republican."
Land of Ostriches & Home of the Corporate
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 03/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dan Bern's "My Country II" is vibrant folk music. It's topical & bubbles with the best protest music. Rather than tracks such as "President," "Bush Must Be Defeated" & the title track seeming outdated because of George Bush's election, this is part of the soundtrack of the continuing protest of a government dominated by Republicans in the executive, congress & in the courts. The music becomes even more on point because of the spiraling debt, intolerance of gays & lesbians and bellicose foreign policy of what has been referred to in the past as "the land of the free."

Brian Schey's bass riffs joyfully on the title track with Bern's lyrical sense in top form, "I don't drive a Mercedes Benz & I don't desire to own one; I'd sooner watch a flower grow than the latest from Sylvester Stallone. I don't have me a country club membership; I ride the Greyhound bus. I don't have a cabin two hours north of here & I don't celebrate Christmas, but it's my country too." Bern sounds like a nouveau Woody Guthrie on "The Torn Flag." "Bush Must Be Defeated" is creative if only for the unique lyrical rhyme that Bern utilizes, "Bush must be defeated, his evil gang unseated, his base of power deleted, his energy depleted." "President" is one of those fantasy tracks of what Bern might do if he were president & is as humorous as it is poignant. "Sammy's Bat" is another of the best tracks on this set with the fast repeat on "I had a dream." "Ostrich Town" is an excellent metaphor for America in the Bush era where the politics of selfishness & greed supercede the traditional American values of caring for others, helping the little guy & loving your fellow man. "After the Parade" is a sad epitaph for how America celebrates its veterans by cutting their benefits and pay. Obviously, this is not music for the right wing. Along with Stephan Smith's "Slash & Burn," some of Rickie Lee Jones', the Mammals & Kate McDonnell's new "Where the Mangoes Are" CD, this is vibrant political music in an era that needs some hope. Enjoy!"
After the election is over
Larry Yudelson | 11/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you're a real Dan Bern fan ... as am I ... then you'll love this album.

But: As the other reviews indicated, it was a pre-election Bush bash. "Bush must be defeated," sang Bern, but he wasn't. Now what?

Thoughtfully, Dan answered the question on another EP released right before the election: Anthems. While his modified-Guthrie call to vote against Bush as "the greatest thing mankind has ever done" is now a melancholy listen, other songs on Anthems are indeed Anthems for those of us what to do with our electoral energies after the balloting is over.

"Take Back the New Millenium" he sings, "this one was going to be ours." "Planes crashing into airplanes..... can't pull us apart."

"Revolution Begins in the Basement" is Beatlesque in its apparent appeal for political action mixed with surrealism.

I ordered Anthems from MessengerRecords; now it's on Dan's site too. Hopefully Amazon may start carrying it. It's my soundtrack for the next four years."