Sound Advice

Greg Miller lays it out for you.

The Whiskey Daredevils
The Whiskey Daredevils specialize in liquored-up barnburners that veer from country to punk to good ol' rock and roll -- often in the same tune. Frontman Greg Miller shares his expertise on all things kickass.

What have you been listening to lately?
Bob Dylan's No Direction Home, Alcohol Stunt Band's demo, a Camper Van Beethoven soundboard recording from a 2003 show, and Eddie Spaghetti's new solo album, Saucier.

What records help get you through the hangover from the night before?
You need something with some twang, but it can't be too loud. Merle Haggard, the new Sadies record, Calexico, quiet Neil Young '70s records, and My Morning Jacket are all pretty good ideas. Pretty bad ideas would include anything nü metal. Nobody needs some suburban kid screaming at you about how his parents/girlfriend/society don't understand him and now he's really angry about it. In fact, there's never really a good time for that.

You goof on fashion-obsessed rockabilly poseurs with the song "Ironic Trucker Hat," but what are some real touchstones of the genre?
If you want to create a paint-by-numbers rockabilly band, here's what you need: A) An upright bass, even if it sounds like crap and the bass player may not know how to actually play it; the visual is a must. At some point the bass player must stand on top of it while playing, preferably during the last song of the show. B) Vintage gear. I cannot stress this enough. Modern rockabilly is not about the music. It's all about scrounging around garage sales, swap meets, and vintage stores, trying to find 50-year-old equipment and clothes. The band with the most old crappy stuff wins. C) Songs about things that have no relevance in today's world. You must write exclusively about sock hops, switchblade rumbles, way gone daddy-Os, girls that look like Bettie Page, and old cars. Please note that any self-respecting lad in the rockabilly camp would never wear an ironic trucker hat. That would hide the all-important hair.

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