Tag Archives: stephen colbert

Interview: Darius Rucker’s gone country

DARIUS RUCKER has become South Carolina’s biggest-ever country music star. You may now stop calling him Hootie.

(Hilton Head Monthly, November 2010) Veterans of the local music scene talk about a time, 20 or so years ago, when it was still possible to hit local bars like the Old Post Office and see bands on the brink of national fame. At the time Hilton Head played host to a good number of future stars, including Duncan Sheik and Edwin McCain, but nobody blew up nearly like the University of South Carolina classmates in Hootie and the Blowfish — which you already know if you ever left your house in 1994-95.

Popular music marched on, of course, but Hootie stuck around, dropping occasional records, returning to Hilton Head for big local gigs at Honey Horn and Sea Pines and generally maintaining a career of consistent, unsurprising solidity.

The surprise, when it came, was a good one.

In 2008, pretty much out of nowhere, Hootie singer Darius Rucker released his debut solo country record, “Learn to Live,” on the Capitol Nashville label. Haters chuckled, but the single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” speedily reached the top of the country charts, making Rucker the first solo African-American artist to chart a No. 1 country hit since Charley Pride in 1983 — which is why, these days, you don’t find Rucker having a beer and feeling sorry for himself.

This month, Rucker releases his second solo country album, the hometown love note “Charleston, SC, 1966.” We caught up with him on tour to talk about old times, check in on Hootie’s 25th anniversary and attempt to instigate a rivalry with Stephen Colbert. Continue reading

This week(ish) in Great Sentences

I’m a little behind on some of these, but it’s August and the world is slow, so I feel no shame.


You slog through your days beleaguered and reactive even when there are no noticeable disasters — a normal day has its many large and small annoyances, and the world, if you care to notice, and it is difficult not to, is burning

Norm Fischer, “For the Time Being,” NYT 8/7, on zen meditation and finding concrete happiness


Surrounded by candles, Stapp strummed an acoustic guitar, with an annotated Bible open on the table in front of him, next to a closed copy of The Art of War.

DX Ferris, “Creed’s Stapp talks breakup, make up and shaved head,” Rolling Stone, 8/7, via Idolator

Who were the people clamoring for a Creed reunion again?


But we have needs we can’t admit, and one is to be in a scrum of thinly clad corpulence milling in brilliant sun in front of the deep-fried-ice-cream stand and feel the brush of wings, hip bumps, hands touching your arm (“Oh, excuse me!”), the heat of humanity with its many smells (citrus deodorant, sweat and musk, bouquet of beer, hair oil, stale cigar, methane), the solid, big-rump bodies of Brueghel peasants all around you like dogs in a pack, and you—yes, elegant you of the refined taste and the commitment to the arts—are one of these dogs.

Garrison Keillor, “Take in the State Fair,” National Geographic, July 2009

“Scrum” is a tragically under-used word in modern writing.


“It’s what we’ve got to keep doing. People feel that here. I think even our drivers feel like, We’re not bringing in doughnuts. We’re bringing in The Inquirer and Daily News.”

Brian Tierney, quoted in “What’s a Big City Without a Newspaper?” NY Times Magazine, 8/6


“How far will reporters go for a story? Some are so desperate, they’ll work for a newspaper.

— Stephen Colbert, Aug. 17, via Obsolete

The Taco Bell Friday Happy would like to volunteer for the bake sale

On the news this week that the tragically under-appreciated Dana Carvey Show will be released on DVD this May, here’s one of the classic clips that show just how much of an important step in the evolution of cultural comedy this show represented. Years before any of them had successful solo careers, the show was home to pre-Triumph Robert Smigel, pre-airplane rant Louis C.K, pre-Malkovich Charlie Kaufman (!), and pre-Even Stevens Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. Other great bits included the guys who pull pranks by paying for gas then driving away without paying, Carell’s German’s Who Say Nice Things, and the ongoing meta joke of a sponsor’s name in front of the show title every week.

That makes one more inhabitant of the smart-but-under-appreciated shows on DVD realm. Are you listening, The State?

Germans Who Say Nice Things, and Waiters Nauseated by Food

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