Today I'm introducing a new column called "Bipolar Opposites." Each month I will focus on a particular topic as seen through the lyrics of two different musical artists. Compare and contrast, if you will. Today's subject is small town life. Obviously, there are pros and cons to this sort of lifestyle, and each of the musicians featured today paints a dramatically different view. First up is the folk singer Iris Dement. Her song is pretty and nostalgic, almost to the point of being saccharine. Call me Grandma, but I think there's a timeless quality to it that makes it enjoyable. I have no idea what happened to Ms. Dement (I'm too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia); she made a couple of albums in the 90's and then seemed to fade away. Maybe she should've moved to a bigger city.
Next up is the 80's noise band Big Black. Their take on small town life is a bit different. I remember really liking this song as a teenager; for a bored kid in suburban dullsville, how could it not resonate a little? Anyway, it's still a great song, with the best guitar sound of all time: it's like they're sawing through sheet metal. I'll take it over Clapton any day.