Don't Follow Me (I'm Lost)
September 24, 2014 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Born to Nashville music royalty. Grew up next to George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Had a #2 record on the country charts at age eight. Had a minor alt-rock hit for the same major label as Korn and Incubus in his 30's. His mentor was Shel Silverstein. One of his bands, The Young Criminals Starvation League has featured members of My Morning Jacket, Lambchop, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Clem Snide, and myriad others. His other band Is She Weird? Is She White? plays Pixies and Breeders covers on weekends in Nashville. Unless he's opening for Guided by Voices or playing someone's living room. Or delivering lost luggage to pay the bills.

It's a hell of a life singer-songwriter Bobby Bare, Jr. has had. It's only makes sense that someone went and made a movie about him: Don't Follow Me (I'm Lost). Sample the trailer.

Bare's newest album, Undefeated is out now on Bloodshot Records (with SoundCloud streams). New Noise Magazine calls it "a grab bag of tones and styles, spacey sounds, mariachi horns, twang, folk-punk, psyche-rock and distorted post-punk illuminates each song in its own right, bringing to mind influences as vast as Grandaddy and The Replacements." And that's maybe as well as can be said.

No Depression picks his brain on this "break-up record."
Bobby Bare does a set for KEXP.
posted by DirtyOldTown (17 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
A partial list of bands and sounds I would have liked to have found an economical way to tell you Bobby Bare Jr's music draws on: Morrissey; Big Star; 1970's countrypolitan music; America; Bread; Sonic Youth; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Tom T. Hall; the Beach Boys; Cheap Trick. A similar list of song topics I wanted to mention but could not shoehorn in: Liz Taylor's lipstick gun; his baby son's relentless cockblocking; a tree crashing on his mom's head; a monk at a disco; why you shouldn't stand at the stove; bionic hearts; Jesus sandals; gun shows; snuggling world championships; a magical afterlife with the Pope and Sonny & Cher; superheroes; why cocaine makes you a shitty husband and friend; a flat-chested girl from Maynardville; flaming goats; the place where they cook the souls of the boys who make pretty girls cry.

He also produced a mighty fine Shel Silverstein tribute record that featured Black Francis, Andrew Bird, My Morning Jacket, Lucinda Williams, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Dr. Dog, and others, including his own daughter who helped him remake the Shel Silverstein tearjerker he'd once topped the charts with in a duet with his own dad.

He also produced Bobby Bare Sr's 2005 comeback record.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:50 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love, love, love Bobby Bare Sr. I will have to check Junior out.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:52 PM on September 24, 2014

Who names his bands? Stefon?

Heard You Blew Me Off on the Cruel Intentions soundtrack. Good song. I had no idea who Bare Jr. was.
posted by maggieb at 9:00 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Heart Bionic
posted by philip-random at 12:19 AM on September 25, 2014

My favorite of his tunes: Dig Down

This song might be your economical way to list the sounds he draws upon, DirtyOldTown.
posted by GrapeApiary at 5:27 AM on September 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

Bobby Bare, Jr. opened for The Slip on the first date I ever took my now wife on.

I'll buy everything he releases until she leaves me.

(Favorite track, Your Adorable Beast, this fan video of it uses all 101 Dalmatians clips.)
posted by DigDoug at 5:34 AM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm seeing Bare Jr. and Sr. playing together in Nashville in November. I wonder if they still do "Daddy what if?"
posted by ghharr at 5:47 AM on September 25, 2014

"Come Visit Me in Music City"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:28 AM on September 25, 2014

He does "Daddy What If?" in the closing credits with his own son. Pretty moving. We showed a sneak preview of this film at a film fest in Chicago a couple years ago, and he played a set afterwards. I liked that he refused to be part of the Q&A for the film--he told me "It ain't my movie, it's their movie about me."
posted by goatdog at 6:32 AM on September 25, 2014

This is SO GOOD.
posted by padraigin at 6:55 AM on September 25, 2014

Thanks so much, DirtyOldTown -- I'm looking forward to diving into these links.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:10 AM on September 25, 2014

If you ever see him live, make sure you get a copy of his American Bread EP, which is composed entirely of covers of songs by America and Bread, rendered in every style from straightforward to experimental noise.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:51 AM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I believe I'll Be Around was the second song at our wedding. Thanks for this.
posted by yerfatma at 8:09 AM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

GrapeApiary: Oh my.
posted by Leon at 8:26 AM on September 25, 2014

Music is everyone's biography. Anyone can point to one song and say, "That. That right there is my (insert time of life)." You can usually tell a lot about a person and what they feeling and who they were when they say this. I'm going to go against my better judgement and tell you, gentle strangers of the internet, that the live version of Bare Jr's "Guitar Playin' Woman" is a certain chunk of my 20s. Not the soundtrack to, but a rough and ready drunken description of all the foolish things I did and how it all felt at the time.

"All your songs sell me 'bout something I never had, and I feel fuckin' bad."

Fuck, yes. Go get this man's music, he needs all the love this miserable world can give.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:09 AM on September 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

"I Hate Myself" , the last song Shel Silverstein ever wrote, was co-written with Bare, Jr.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:12 PM on September 25, 2014

Who names his bands? Stefon?

They are a bit ... determinedly po-mo, no?
posted by Chitownfats at 9:05 PM on September 25, 2014

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