Let’s count up our alternative-country supergroups. Sure, we’ve got our highwaymen, our Golden Smog …. And if we’re willing to stretch the definition a little to a self-described “bourbon-soaked weekend collaboration” between David Lowery (Cracker, Camper von Beethoven), Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous, Lambchop’s Paul Niehaus and Kurt Wagner, and Vic Chesnutt – well, then, we’ve got A Loose Confederation of Saturday City States, who will stand …. well, stagger, and be counted.
Okay, it’s just a single, only two songs. “Plagiarism” is a roundtable storytelling of loss: loss of familiarity, loss of innocence, loss of coherence; an overall noir-ish dialogue with Tarantino overtones (“Listen up now, ‘cause he’s gonna tell you a motherfuckin’ story, OK” it opens) connected by Chesnutt wailing “Too much rain, not enough drain” all over a relaxed background strum-and-steel. Over easy, indeed.
Everyone hums behind Chesnutt on the flip, making a gospel of the refrain, “How can I face tomorrow, if I can’t stand today?”
Singles like this help, though it sounds as if this collaboration may be pushing their luck if they try to do it again. Sometimes, two songs is all you need.