Rating: R (Restricted)
Return to Sin City - A Tribute to Gram Parsons offers clear evidence that Parsons, who died at age 26 and whose output consisted primarily of just five recordings (one with the Byrds, two with the Flying Burrito Brothers, and two solo albums), commands a degree of respect and influence these days that's far greater than the modest success he enjoyed before his death in 1973. Recorded in Los Angeles, this 106-minute, 21-song concert features some big names (Keith Richards, Norah Jones) and slightly lesser lights (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle, John Doe) performing tunes Parsons wrote and/or recorded before his career was cut short by drug and alcohol problems (executive produced by Parsons' daughter, Polly, the concert and DVD will help raise funds to battle substance abuse). And if the material's country-rock flavor (Parsons disdained that label, preferring to call it "cosmic American music") sounds a bit hackneyed nowadays, well, it's not his fault; after all, Parsons was only around to help invent the genre, not run it into the ground. On this night, it's left to the artists with unique voices and personae to lift the flavor of the proceedings from the merely pleasant to the truly inspiring, and that's precisely what Doe ("Hot Burrito No. 2"), Earle ("Luxury Liner"), Williams (a raw, somewhat ragged, and unabashedly vulnerable "Sleepless Nights"), Yoakam ("Sin City"), and Richards (who croaks his way through "Love Hurts," a duet with Jones, and "Hickory Wind") do. After that string of remarkable performances, closing the show by bringing everyone (including the great guitarist James Burton) onstage for "Wild Horses" and "Ooh Las Vegas" may be a tad anti-climactic, but Return to Sin City is still a fine way to remember a music legend. --Sam Graham
It wasn't you losers who killed Goldie. The guy who did that knew what he was doing. Still, you got to have something to tell me. Like who it was who sent you.
I already have killed you, you jerk! Wise up! But even though it feels like Niagara Falls down there, you'll be a damn long time dying and I can make it quick, or I can make it worse.
I don't hear you giving me any name, jerk. Guess when I shot you in the belly, I aimed a little too high.
You keep holding out on me like this, and I'm going to have to get really nasty. I don't think you want that to happen any more than I do.
Most people think Marv is crazy. He just had the rotten luck of being born in the wrong century. He'd be right at home on some ancient battlefield swinging an axe into somebody's face. Or in a Roman arena, taking his sword to other gladiators like him. They woulda tossed him girls like Nancy back then.
It's your apartment. But be careful, Shellie, this clown's got big, mean drunk-on and he's got four friends out there in the hall, breathing hard and just as drunk as he is.
Hey, I could swear I heard somebody in there with you, just now. You got somebody with you, baby? You be honest with me. You owe me that much.
Somebody? Jackie Boy, it's a regular African love-fest in here. I got me all five starters and half the bench of the Basin City Blues keeping me company. You feel like taking them on?
You're teasing me, baby. I'm no racist.
The wind rises electric. She's soft and warm and almost weightless. Her perfume is sweet promise that brings tears to my eyes. I tell her that everything will be all right; that I'll save her from whatever she's scared and take her far far away. I tell her that I love her.
The silencer makes a whisper of the gunshot. I hold her close until she's gone. I'll never know what she was running from. I'll cash her check in the morning.