I don’t get out as much as I used to, or want to, so I often wind up “attending” show vicariously. One show that you attend for me is Todd Snider’s appearance at the Grammy Museum as part of their The Drop series. The Drop is a very cool on-going program the Museum has where it hosts an act that is releasing (“dropping”) a new album. I saw a Drop session with Marshall Crenshaw and was a very worthwhile experience.
Todd Snider might make for an even more engaging guest than Crenshaw. The Nashville-based singer/songwriter is one of the best around at telling a story that’s laced with wit and arsenic. For several years, Snider was on John Prine's label and if the master songsmith Prine wants a singer-songwriter for his label that's a high compliment. While Snider's last disc, Peace Queer, was a decidedly politically charged effort, his new album, The Excitement Plan (on Yep Roc), promises to be his trademark collection of darkly humored tunes.
Snider’s best-known numbers probably are “Alright Guy” and the satiric “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues,” from his 1994 debut. However, over the past 15 years he has crafted a slew of memorable tunes, like “Thin Wild Mercury” (that deals with Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan), “D.B. Cooper” and “Play A Train Song,” to name a few.
But Snider is really in his element on a stage, where he can tell colorful tales about his just-as-colorful tunes. It’s this quality that makes The Drop’s Q&A-plus-performance set-up such an appealing scenario to catch Snider.
However, if you can make it down to the Grammy Museum on Oct. 8, Snider is scheduled to return to L.A. on December 12 for a show at the El Rey.
Todd Snider appears at the Grammy Museum (800 W. Olympic Blvd., LA, www.grammymuseum.org) at 8 p.m. on Oct. 8. Tickets are $10.