Random Records with Steve O
Ramshackle Glory - Live the DreamSteve O - June 22, 2014
So two of the Change the Rotation team (Davey and myself), will be at Plan-It-X Fest in Bloomington, IN this weekend. To celebrate there’s three Random Records, highlighting one of the bands playing each night. In addition to placing the spotlight on some great folk punk records, it’ll be a three day story of my relationship to the genre, through three of the more influential acts. So check in throughout the weekend for some good music (definitely) and good reading (hopefully).
While Ramshackle Glory is a newer band than both Ghost Mice and Andrew Jackson Jihad, its origins lay in Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains, who, much like Ghost Mice and Andrew Jackson Jihad have laid much of the foundation for folk punk today. Johnny Hobo led to Wingnut Dishwashers Union, which in turn led to Ramshackle Glory. The constant throughout was the voice: Pat “the Bunny” Schneeweis. Both Johnny Hobo and Wingnut had a sense of nihilism, self-destruction, and despair. While I really enjoyed it for a period of time (say, 2007-2009), it got old. Ramshackle Glory brings a completely new feel. Instead of despair there is hope, instead of nihilism there is a sense of wonder and acceptance with the world.
Live the Dream is a record of transition. It covers Pat’s life traversing from addiction to sobriety. It’s personal and shockingly honest. It’s about learning to live with yourself, and so, despite the personal narratives, is a record anyone can connect with. Ranging from the epic “From Here to Utopia,” to the frankness of “More about Alcoholism,” to the positively inspirational “Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist,” Live the Dream covers a range of emotion. All of these are illustrated by Pat’s articulate and creative lyrics: “Seat belts are for people who have time to die; hell, I don’t even have time to sleep” (from “More about Alcoholism”); “The world needs more spinach, not more motherfuckers like me” (from “We are all Compost in Training”); to the definitive statement of the record: “Your heart is a muscle the size of your fist. Keep on loving. Keep on fighting. And hold on, and hold on, hold on for your life.” (From “Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of your Fist”).
The first time I saw Ramshackle Glory I told Pat, that despite my years of listening to his music, there was nothing else that I connected with like Live the Dream. His smile could’ve filled the whole garage where the show was held. I’ve had the pleasure to see him play and talk to him a few times since then. Every show is fantastic and he comes across as a quality person in every discussion. He poured his soul out into a fantastic record, so you should probably give it a listen and admire his story. To do so go here: http://ramshackleglory.bandcamp.com/album/live-the-dream