Alive & Wired

Old 97’s. <i>New West.</i>

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Alt-country bands tend to be stuffy purists with too much respect for their sources. Often lumped in that category, Old 97?s provide a raucous antidote: On this crackling, two-disc live set, which puts their fine studio albums to shame, the Texas quartet sputters and rumbles like a garage band with a hillbilly streak, equally attached to Merle Haggard and the Clash. Disheveled front man Rhett Miller plays the charming, eager troublemaker to perfection, his soulful voice ranging from a cocky rasp to a self-pitying sob as he spins tragicomic tales of alcoholic calamity and ill-considered romance. ?Will you sober up and let me down?? he wonders at one point, while in a more hopeful moment he admits, ?I?d be lying if I said I didn?t have designs on you.? It?s a testimony to his charisma that you wish him well anyway.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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