The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, February 18, 2011, Music

Todd Snider

Live: The Storyteller (Aimless)

Although Todd Snider's made albums since the mid-1990s, he must be experienced in person to fully appreciate his talents. This double-disc set does a magnificent job of capturing the onetime San Marcos scenester's genius, a heady combo of post-folk punk and stoned comedian not witnessed since the passing of Mitch Hedberg. At times he's backed by Americana standouts Great American Taxi, featuring guitarist Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, with a few tracks picked on by Snider alone with just his trusty acoustic guitar. Throughout he reveals why he's the best singer-songwriter of his generation, whether tackling the Kingsmen of "Louie Louie" or, as with "America's Favorite Pastime," spinning the tale of Dock Ellis pitching a major league no-hitter on LSD. There are several extended monologues where he exposes a twisted yet endearing view of the crazed side of life, the best of which leads into a frenzied rendition of the late Rusty Wier's trademark "Don't It Make You Wanna Dance." If you're a fan, The Storyteller is something you'll treasure. If you're not, it's sure to make you one.


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