When Clem Snide began recording albums more than a decade ago in New York, the band’s clever alt-country songs often came across as an ironic take on Americana. Everyone knows you can’t do country music in the big city, and where did Israeli-born singer/guitarist Eef Barzelay get that twang from, anyway? After years of slogging through the indie-rock touring circuit, a band breakup and a move to Nashville, the reunited Clem Snide has earned the all-American desperation and heartbreak that lies in the marrow of its latest album, The Meat Of Life, out this week on 429 Records. Barzelay is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with him.
Barzelay: There’s a great radio show here on WRVU (Nashville) hosted by a kind-hearted Spaniard named Cowboy Anton. He speaks with the improbable accent of someone born in Spain attempting a Southern drawl and always plays the most exciting and obscure old country music. I first heard this song on his show and was just haunted by it. I always remember Slim Whitman from those old TV commercials that claimed he had sold more records than the Beatles and Elvis combined—or maybe that was Boxcar Willie, I’m not sure. Slim is kind of like a poor man’s Roy Orbison, I suppose, but I just love the steel-guitar solo on this song and the overall message of defiant resignation. Video after the jump.
“Keep It A Secret”: