In his three-decade career, Marshall Crenshaw hasn't taken traditional routes. He's a Michigan-born singer-songwriter with a penchant for complex chord structures and pub rock-flavored pop while portraying other musicians. In the early years of his career, he played John Lennon in a production of "Beatlemania," then found himself onscreen as Buddy Holly in the 1987 film "La Bamba."
The word "hippie" has a bad connotation. Hippies don't mind because that's the way of the hippie. In fact hippies love to call themselves hippies.
With the EP "Nation of Heat," Joe Pug delivered an argument: All you need is a voice, a guitar and a vision to change hearts and minds, to take a willing listener on a journey. "Hymn #101" makes that case and pursues that journey as well as any song could.
In music writing, as with anything worth doing, there's always the pull of undeniable predilections, the force of personal bias and pure subjectivity. And then there's the way I feel about the music of Ray Wylie Hubbard.