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[From] Western Terrestrials are set to release a rock musical feature film, ‘The Ballad of Ethan Alien’, in June 2021. Here is the video premiere of ‘1984’, part of the soundtrack for this ambitious project. The song touches on a whole range of issues afflicting our world right now, from the pandemic through to those who deny the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s a song born out of frustration and anger at a lack of progress and adequate leadership and the mismanagement of these terrible situations. The lines: “This don’t feel like home anymore // It feels more like it’s 1984,” reflect the deep divisions in society and the way so many people have felt alienated and isolated, not just physically.

The group’s lead guitarist and singer, Nick Charyk, says of the song: “‘1984’ is a tune about the intrusion of the surreal, the farcical, and the truly terrifying into everyday existence. Like literary tropes come to life. It’s a topical song that I never thought would feel so on the nose. As I was watching Confederate flags paraded on the Senate floor on live TV, the absurdity and horror of this moment we are in hit me hard. And it hit me that the intended over-the-top imagery in the song we’d just recorded last fall, ‘1984’, was no longer facetious. If 2020 was a year where the surreal has become almost mundane, what better way to document the madness than with a country song, chock full of Wizard of Oz references, set to a groove of 80s gated reverb drums and synthesizers?” Indeed, that rhythmic groove drives the song forward and hooks the listener in. Of course, the title owes something to the chilling book from George Orwell and there are references to The Wizard of Oz and to John Prine amongst the clever lyrics that ultimately speak of the need for acceptance. Such themes follow on from the recent album, ‘Back in the Saddle of a Fever Dream’, of which Jason Pappas (bass) said: “When you look at things from outer space, we’ve all got more in common than some of us humans care to admit.”

These self-styled ‘honky-tonk outsiders’ produce music rooted in classic country but with an engaging freshness, reaching for something new. We’re pleased to premiere the engaging new video for ‘1984’. Check it out.

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By Art Edelstein, Arts Correspondent, Times Argus

. . .Best Country Album The Western Terrestrials released their second album “Back In The Saddle of a Fever Dream” with a very different approach to country music winning Best Country Album. The track “Ethan Alien” delivers the message of Vermont as “a sanctuary state for wierdos and aliens and other outsiders,” according to co-writer Nick Charyk, bandleader based in Sharon. Charyk imagines an alternative Vermont history in which the Green Mountain Boys leader was actually a little green man.

As we wrote in July, “From the first thump of bass guitar on ‘Space Cowboy’s Got the Blues,’ to the last steel guitar arpeggio riff on ‘Space Coyote Dub,’ we hear a musically creative quintet who can navigate a variety of country music styles, from Texas Swing to Rockabilly and Nashville cool. Each track from this alt-country ensemble has great energy, and this is definitely an album that you can dance to.”

Original Story, here.

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By: Paul Heintz, Seven Days

It's a good thing I mostly cover hard news. Unlike Seven Days' valiant arts and culture writers, I rarely find myself interviewing celebrities or artists whom I particularly admire.

When the bosses do let me cover the occasional story outside my beat, I tend to blow it. Take, for example, when I encountered Phish drummer Jon Fishman — one of my favorite musicians — testifying at the Vermont Statehouse in April 2015. Suffice it to say that, while interviewing him, I nearly pissed my pants.

"I'm wondering why you're such an awesome drummer," I actually asked.

That episode nearly repeated itself in June, when an old pal approached me with a wild story. Nick Charyk, whom I'd gotten to know in his days as a political operative, called to tell me that his band, the Western Terrestrials, had collaborated on a new song with another of my favorite musicians, Old Crow Medicine Show bandleader Ketch Secor. If I wrote about it, Charyk suggested, I might get to interview Secor.

Didn't take long for me to say yes.

When I connected with Secor over the phone a couple weeks later, I held my fanboy impulses in check — at least, for a time. Only toward the end of the call did the gushing commence. I didn't quite say, "Dude, man, I really love your music." But it was close.

Speaking of unprofessional, a good reporter never accepts anything of value from a source. But, come September, I heard from Charyk again — and this time he was offering me a cameo in a film adaptation of the Secor collaboration, called The Ballad of Ethan Alien.

Once again, I said yes.

Charyk told me I'd be playing a television news reporter — OK, a bit of a stretch for this scruffy scribe — and promised to get me my lines ahead of time. He didn't. And when I showed up at the set at Middlesex's Camp Meade, I learned that I'd be improvising. Not exactly my strong suit.

What followed was an excruciating period of line-flubbing, bad acting and general awkwardness. I was amazed Charyk's crew didn't fire me on the spot.

Like I said, a good reporter never accepts anything of value from a source. But when Charyk handed me a tall boy of Upper Pass Beer's Fred Red Ale to compensate me for my time, it again didn't take long for me to say yes.

Paul Heintz is a staff writer for Seven Days. He previously served as political editor and wrote the "Fair Game" political column.

Original Story, here.

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