Re: But oh sometimes I think about you, with your rhinestones and your sequins.

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I think of the stereotypical "dog died, wife left me" strain in country music as being blues-influenced, but I have no evidence for this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:26 AM
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Whereas the "wife died, married my dog" strain is sui generis.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:30 AM
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And #1 makes me think of the "Me and My Dog Blues" by Brownie McGhee ("Me and my dog . . . we aiiiiiinnnn't got no friends . . .").


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:31 AM
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1: Oh, good point. So why are the blues types so bummed out?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:32 AM
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They lay down last night, turning from side to side.

You see, they were turning from side to side.

They weren't sleeping: they were just dissatisfied.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:40 AM
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Moreover, when they woke up, the blues was walking around their bed.

Yes: They got up this morning and the blues was walking around their bed.

And to top things off, when they went to eat breakfast, the blues was in their bread.

It gets a fellow down.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:42 AM
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Dueling masculinities! Hip-hop masculinity is about being a sovereign agent. Country music is more about the loss of agency (via say one's legs in Nam -- that fucking Ruby).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:42 AM
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7: Oh, very well-phrased! I like it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:44 AM
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When you and your baby have a falling out, come and see me darlin', and we'll have a sympathetic discussion.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:45 AM
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4: Once upon a time it was a bummer to be a black man in America, but then came Civil Rights, Obama and possible healthcare reform, so now it's a bummer to be a white rural guy.

Is this going to be on the *final*?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:45 AM
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4 and 10 don't account for the sad-sack strain of bluegrass and hillbilly music generally.

Though there is also the extremely randy strain as well.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:47 AM
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10 made me laugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:49 AM
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Please remember that the "dog died/wife left/crying in my beer" subgenre of country has been dead for at least 30 years. In fact, it was dying pretty much at the same time that hip hop was being born.

When crying-in-my-beer country was still alive, it was heavily influenced by the blues--it is from the days when "race" and "hillbilly" music were allied. The sixties changed all that. Black music became prouder, and country music wanted less and less to do with black music. Right now, country music is middle of the road rock for people who, on some level, think rock is too black.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:49 AM
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Well,heck, I don't want to make heebie cry.

how country culture lauds prostrating oneself quasi-religiously.

To me "country" derives from the old (15th-16th) Scot-Irush folk tradition, to the extent that a lot of the "country" I listen to occasionally revisits those songs. "Tam Lin" "Pretty Polly" "Lord Grenville" "Trip to the Fair" "High Germany" the abandoned abused maiden is at the core. This is of course partly about keeping the virgins wearing the promise rings, but by no means entirely.

I mean, attractive available young men were scarce in the Highlands, risky, short of prospects, liable to leave or get impressed, and died young. What's a wench to do? Sames still true, well, everywhere?

The cheating, I don't sense as much rage at the cheating. I guess if the dude just stuck around, it was better than nothing. Nothing left you and the kids hungry.

Let me think while listening to Lisa Deaton singing "He Moved Thru the the Fair" acapella. Gorgeous.

My love said to me
My Mother won't mind
And me Father won't slight you
For your lack of kind
Then she stepped away from me
And this she did say
It will not be long love
Till our wedding day


She stepped away from me
And she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her
Move here and move there
And she went her way homeward
With one star awake
As the swans in the evening
Move over the lake

The people were saying
No two e'er were wed
But one has a sorrow
That never was said
And she smiled as she passed me
With her goods and her gear

And that was the last
That I saw of my dear.

I dreamed it last night
That my true love came in
So softly she entered
Her feet made mo din
She came close beside me
And this she did say
It would not be long love
Till our wedding day.

Whatever. I mean, what else is worth saying? Joyce ends his three good books this way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:50 AM
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When you and your baby have a falling out, come and see me darlin',

If your baby is falling out, neb should time your contractions and see how long they last and how far apart they are.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:50 AM
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Please remember that the "dog died/wife left/crying in my beer" subgenre of country has been dead for at least 30 years.

I really, really don't think this is true. At all. Really.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:52 AM
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You have to understand, heebie, that rob knows that slick, Nashville-produced twang-pop isn't real country.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:53 AM
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11, 13: You're right, I forgot about that house in New Orleans.

But making heebie laugh is more important than being right.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:53 AM
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Right now, country music is middle of the road rock for people who, on some level, think rock is too black.

This is seriously not true at all, either. Hip-hop and country music and rock music are listened to in equal parts by plenty of high school students, if not most, and it is totally independent of how racist they are.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:55 AM
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Nobody thinks rock is too black. Rock on the mainstream radio nowadays is bands like Switchfoot and Three Days Grace.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:56 AM
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16: You might be closer to it than, I. Honestly, I'm going off of what I hear on country music radio. Music radio in general is in the business of building heavy brand loyalty without much actual variety in content.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:56 AM
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Oh yes sir my name is Lee; I murdered little Sadie in the first degree.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:59 AM
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21: It certainly doesn't dominate the country scene. But probably most country artists have a few songs where they pay homage to crying in their beer/watching her dance with someone else and seeing how happy she is/not seeing their truck in her driveway.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:00 AM
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7: Hip-hop masculinity is about being a sovereign agent. Country music is more about the loss of agency (via say one's legs in Nam -- that fucking Ruby).

Country is about bitches, hip hop is about hos.

max
['BREE! BREE!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:00 AM
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Nobody thinks rock is too black.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:03 AM
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23:Merle Haggard sings a ton of guilt. Some he's cheated on;most he fucked it all up and the bottle let him down.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:04 AM
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Merle wears his own kind of hat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:06 AM
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Yeah, it has been a while since I've been around high school age kids who listen to country music. I teach a lot of high school kids right now, but mostly they are into music in the hip hop/metal spectrum. Brokencyde is definitely trying to appeal to my students.

The country music I run into is definitely aimed at adults. Mostly I just hear two groups--the Nashville/Clear Channel Communications axis, and the Austin/NPR axis. Thee latter definitely preserves crying-in-your-beer traditions, but it seems forced, for some reason.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:06 AM
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25: Dammit, I clicked on that and now I feel implicated in something bad. I'm going to clear my browser cache.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:10 AM
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24: We don't rap about bitches and hos; we sing about witches and trolls.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:10 AM
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Modern middle of the road country music often sounds like just one of the many sub genres of 'music for people who don't really like music'. Like Coldplay, or Dido, or whatever. Music with all the goodness taken out. Diet music.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:12 AM
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31: well put.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:14 AM
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Can I subscribe to 31 in general and still say you won't find a better breakup song than "The Scientist"?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:16 AM
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Modern middle of the road country music often sounds like just one of the many sub genres of 'music for people who don't really like music'.

It's about damn time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:20 AM
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33: No. Unless you want to get a reputation as a horrible liar, at least when it comes to finding breakup songs.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:20 AM
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perhaps the issue is that the cryin' in yer beer genre of song is almost always sung by a man; whereas, the I'm cheatin' on you song is often sung by a woman? I will cite, "You win Again," "She's Acting Single, I'm Drinking Doubles," "Lucille," "Ruby," etc. While women sing OR are the main protagonists of songs like "Silver Threads and Golden Needles," "Little Rock," "She's Not Foolin' Now," "Ring on her Finger," "Your good girl's gonna go bad" etc. But there is a definite kind of celebratory, good riddence to bad rubbish, i'm steppin' out on you kind of song that is sung by a female singer. Is there an equivalence with hip-hop or rap on this one?

ps--I would also posit that the sad sack song is sung bya man 99% of the time because gender roles are so stratified in country music that men have the freedom to display their sad sackness without having their masculinity called into question.


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:22 AM
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Mostly I just hear two groups--the Nashville/Clear Channel Communications axis, and the Austin/NPR axis.

Well, I don't listen to the first. Amazing how many of the names I don't recognize.

The latter includes North Carolina, Georgia, Boulder and includes a lot of what is called bluegrass, alt-country, "folk". John Gorka and Eliza Gilktson play the festivals with Grisman and Krauss.

Din't seem forced to me when Martin Carthy or Sandy Denny or Gram Parsons did it;or somebody doing "Crossroads" one more time;doesn't seem forced to me now. Seems the most natural thing in the world to grab a guitar and sing an old sad song.
Ain't exactly the same as keeping Boccherini or Charlie Parker alive.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:22 AM
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But there is a definite kind of celebratory, good riddence to bad rubbish, i'm steppin' out on you kind of song that is sung by a female singer. Is there an equivalence with hip-hop or rap on this one?

"No Scrubs" would be one example. Also the various songs about spending all your man's money as revenge for his unfaithfulness.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:25 AM
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Actually, thinking it over, I'm not sure "No Scrubs" is exactly the same kind of thing. But it's in the same general area.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:26 AM
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But there is a definite kind of celebratory, good riddence to bad rubbish, i'm steppin' out on you kind of song that is sung by a female singer. Is there an equivalence with hip-hop or rap on this one?

Oh yes, there's lots of songs like that.

Here's one that leaps to mind.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:26 AM
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The song in 40 is a classic example of the type of song I mentioned in 38.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:28 AM
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Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" is definitely about being cheated on. But perhaps that's the exception that lets you park on Sundays.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:28 AM
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There are PLENTY of songs about being cheated on in hip-hop. Just start with "Caught Out There" by Kelis (involving setting a cheating man's truck on fire - definitely a theme we can all find in country songs), "Irreplacable" by Beyonce ("everything you own is in a box to the left.... go call that girl and see if she's home"), and my personal favorite, "Let Me Smell Yo Dick" by Riskay ("Why you comin home five in the mornin something goin on let me smell yo dick...").


Posted by: Aaron | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:30 AM
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that men have the freedom to display their sad sackness

Please, the correct word is "sadsacity".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:30 AM
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43: Of course there are. That doesn't mean there aren't way more about having several girls and getting caught, etc.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:33 AM
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This Dwight Yoakam song is my break-up song.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:35 AM
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30: 24: We don't rap about bitches and hos; we sing about witches and trolls.

The rap part was the one that worked in that.

14: To me "country" derives from the old (15th-16th) Scot-Irush folk tradition, to the extent that a lot of the "country" I listen to occasionally revisits those songs.
16: I really, really don't think this is true. At all. Really.
28: Thee latter definitely preserves crying-in-your-beer traditions, but it seems forced, for some reason.
OK!

Shades of Gray by Robert Earl Keen.

We made Oklahoma a little after 3
Randy, his brother Bob and my old GMC
We had some moonshine whisky
And some of Bob's homegrown
We were so messed up we didn't know
If we were drunk or stoned

Randy was a sad-sack, tall kinda frail
Bob was a raving maniac, crazier 'n hell
They been kicked out of high school several years ago
For pushin over port-a-cans at the 4-H rodeo
Since then they'd done their little dance
Right outside the law
Popped twice in Oklahoma, once in Arkansas

And I don't know what possessed me
To want to tag along
Cause I was raised a Christian
And I knew right from wrong

Chrous:
Right or wrong, black or white
Cross the line your gonna pay
In the dawn before the light
Live and die by the shades of gray

We stole two Charolais heifers from
Randy's sweetheart's paw
Sold them at the livestock sale
Outside of Wichita
We got $900 and never did suspect
The world of hurt we'd be in once
We cashed that check[...]

Is that... forced?

max
['Cowboy music.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:37 AM
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Please remember that the "dog died/wife left/crying in my beer" subgenre of country has been dead for at least 30 years.

Recent songs that disprove this that get played on the Top 40 Radio Station:

1. Billy Ray Cyrus (yes, that Billy Ray) - Could've Been Me.

2. George Strait - Living For the Night.

3. David Nail - Red Light.

I could go on, but I'll refrain unless told these don't disprove anything. (And why, yes, this is all from memory. How embarrassing.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:38 AM
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Dolly has a bunch of great songs about cheating and then feeling really bad about it. "Love is Only as Strong," "Loneliness Found Me," etc.

I was just reading Zizek on Kant's divisions of kinds of evil.

The first kind is based on weakness: "I know what my duty is, I fully acknowledge it, but I cannot gather enough strength to follow its call and not succumb to 'pathological' temptations."

The second kind is based on self-deception: "[H]ere the subject claims to act for the sake of duty, to be motivated solely by ethical concerns, whereas he is truly led by pathological motivations." I can think of a few male country songs that seem this way to me.

The third form is based on a complete inner dissociation from ethical concerns, "to perceive morality as a simple external set of rules, of obstacles that society puts up in order to restrain the pursuit of egotistical 'pathological' interests." A lot of 90's rap seems this way to me.

Zizek disagrees with Kant's denial of the fourth category, "diabolical Evil," in which the motive for pathological activity is not self-deceit, but a truly nonpathological desire, as in Jacobinism. I'm sure there are good pop-music examples of this, too, possibly in punk?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:38 AM
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48: Just in case you really, really wanted to read the lyrics - Could've Been Me.

47: I love that song.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:40 AM
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My greatest exposure to "country" music was in Houston in the mid-late '70s and I was always amused by the huge divide between the gritty, loser stuff that was pretty much the takeoff point for someone like Townes Van Zandt (and which was also the basis for the "Outlaw movement") and the "glitter country" shows that I would get dragged to by my then girlfriend's family. I'm not well-versed in the history, but the Wikipedia article on the Nashville Sound is informative. Apparently the more pop stuff came to be known as Countrypolitan (had never heard that term). Upon being asked what the Nashville sound was, Chet Atkins would reach his hand into his pocket, shake the loose change around and say "That's what it is. It's the sound of money". I think a lot of latter-day country singers try to keep a foot in both camps, you know, like a rhinestone cowboy.

This book of essays, All That Glitters: Country Music in America looks to be a good read for some deeper analysis and coverage of earlier history.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:40 AM
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"gender roles are so stratified in country music"

Mebbe so. Part of me wants my consciousness lowered when I listen tto music.

Almost trolled the other night, because right after I read about the children of Katrina dying in NOLA (41% anemia vs 16% in the poorest parts of NYC) I heard Marcia Ball's cover of Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927".


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:41 AM
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You know, it almost seems like the "cheated on" songs are sung by males in country and females in hip hop, and just the reverse for "cheating on" songs.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:47 AM
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49:Which Zizek?

"but a truly nonpathological desire, as in Jacobinism"

Ummm....some other time.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:48 AM
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"gender roles are so stratified in country music"

Now that my area no longer has a good alternative station, I flip back and forth between the hip-hop and the country stations. Both drive me insane with rage when it comes to misogyny, but the country brand is packaged in a way that I can deal with, whereas I get more upset at the hip-hop station for it.

To add to the contemporary Nashville* country songs featuring a woman being cheated on, there's Taylor Swift's "Should've Said No," and Kellie Pickler's "The Best Days Of Your Life." (A horrid song.)

*I figure we're dealing with stereotypical country, right? I can talk for days about alt country too but I don't think that's really quite what heebie was getting at.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:48 AM
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Explain the fit of jacobinism here.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:49 AM
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54: Tarrying with the Negative. It's sort of a page-turner.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:50 AM
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50.2 gets it right.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:52 AM
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50: 47: I love that song.

I've been stuck on it for a month now. Which is funny because the REK version of "The road goes on forever and the party never ends" (original version) is too slow and kinda sucky. All the covers are better.

51: I think a lot of latter-day country singers try to keep a foot in both camps, you know, like a rhinestone cowboy.

Coca-Cola cowboy.

max
['Lot of that goin' around.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:54 AM
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Charolais heifers

Ah, all the times I heard that song, and I never knew. I think I was hearing "Charlie's heifers."

Anyway, on the theme:

I've got your picture that you gave to me
And it's signed "with love," just like it used to be
The only thing different, the only thing new
I've got your picture, she's got you
I've got the records that we used to share
And they still sound the same as when you were here
The only thing different, the only thing new,
I've got the records, she's got you
I've got your memory, or has it got me?
I really don't know, but I know it won't let me be
I've got your class ring; that proved you cared
And it still looks the same as when you gave it dear
The only thing different, the only thing new
I've got these little things, she's got you

Patsy Cline, "She's Got You."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:55 AM
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49: The third form is based on a complete inner dissociation from ethical concerns, "to perceive morality as a simple external set of rules, of obstacles that society puts up in order to restrain the pursuit of egotistical 'pathological' interests." A lot of 90's rap seems this way to me.

Geto Boys!

max
['Was there some other kind of rap?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:56 AM
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I think what he means is that diabolical evil's "nonpathological" impulse is one that deeply believes in human freedom, equality, or whatever--some ethical, socially-beneficial impulse--but causes the subject to commit pathological acts, those that are hurtful to community, freedom, etc.

For Zizek, the difference between the second type and the fourth type is similar to the difference between right-wing authoritarianism and left-wing totalitarianism. I'm inclined to believe he's blinded here by his own political commitments. It's easy for him to see that right-wing authoritarians are deceiving themselves about the ethical function of evil actions, but he seems to accept that left-wing totalitarianism emerges from ethical impulses. I see his point, but there are some missed steps there in his argument.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:58 AM
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57:Thanks

The example that comes to mind here is the difference between rightwing corrupted authoritarian regimes and left-wing totalitarian regimes: in the case of right-wing authoritarian regimes, nobody is duped, everybody knows that behind all the patriotic rhetorics hides a simple greed for power and wealth; whereas left-wing totalitarians should not be dismissed as cases of disguising selfish interests under virtue's clothes, because they really act for the sake of what they perceive as virtue and they are prepared to stake everything, including their lives, on this virtue. The irony, of course, is that the exemplary case is the Jacobinical "dictature of virtue"; although Kant opposed the Jacobins in politics, he laid the foundations for them in his moral philosophy[*] (it was Hegel who first detected this terrorist potential of Kantian ethics). Kant had therefore good reasons for excluding "diabolical Evil": within the parameters of his philosophy, it is indistinguishable from the Good!

*Isn't there a little problem of timing here? If not, that's why I shouldn't read philosophy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:58 AM
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49: Nice. I find some kinship between how the 2nd kind is often expressed in country songs (and political rhetoric) and the "back in the veldt" arguments. The former is all justifiable action from some bygone, pristine world of honor sadly now PC'ed out of existence by city folk and their ilk. It makes it a perfect genre of music for reinforcing your God-given right to get in the pickup you really have no need for and exercise your God-given right to drive 30 miles to a Wal*mart and buy cheap foreign goods just like in the good ol' days*.

*I have recently been spending too much time in the suburban/exurban/semi-rural enclaves of Western PA and NE Ohio,


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 11:59 AM
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63: It seems wrong to say that Kant unwittingly made Jacobinism morally possible, but Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals was published four years before the Jacobin Club started. I am more inclined to think there are larger issues influencing everyone than that Kant, like, gave rise to Jacobinism.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:05 PM
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Interesting.
Does this song really describe a type of evil?


Posted by: Cryptc ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:06 PM
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61.last: Well, there's also the kind of rap that says, "I only ended up in this lifestyle because my life is so hard and I couldn't resist it," more like the first type. 2Pac's "Hold on Be Strong" comes to mind.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:08 PM
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for reinforcing your God-given right to get in the pickup you really have no need for and exercise your God-given right to drive 30 miles to a Wal*mart and buy cheap foreign goods just like in the good ol' days*.

Omigawd, I'm gonna have some kind of existential post-modernist moral conflict if I stick round this thread, and me without benefit of drugs or drink.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:10 PM
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1. I've decided I don't know enough about country music to opine on it. I should have kept my mouth shut

2. Isn't Kant's denial of diabolic ack hang on.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:11 PM
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I look forward to the follow-up of 69.2. I know better than to take Zizek's word for anything other than what Zizek thinks, but have been ignoring (for now) the parts of Kant that aren't going to end up in my dissertation.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:13 PM
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68: Less elliptical please.

(And less "God-givens" from me, please.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:18 PM
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The most pathetic song in country music has got to be Alan Jackson's "Don't close your eyes":

I know you loved him along time ago
And even now in my arms you still want him I know
But darlin' this time let your mem'ries die
When you hold me tonight don't close your eyes

Don't close your eyes let it be me
Don't pretend it's him in some fantasy
Darling just once let yesterday go
And you'll find more love than you've ever known
Just hold me tight when you love me tonight
And don't close your eyes

Maybe I've been a fool holding on all this time
Lying here in your arms knowing he's in your mind
But I keep hoping someday that you'll see the light
Let it be tonight, don't close your eyes

Don't close your eyes let it be me
Don't pretend it's him in some fantasy
Darlin' just once let yesterday go
And you'll find more love than you've ever known
Just hold me tight when you love me tonight
And don't close your eyes

Don't close your eyes let it be me
And don't pretend it's him in some fantasy
Darlin' just once let yesterday go
And you'll find more love than you've ever known
Just hold me tight when you love me tonight
And don't close your eyes

Just hold me tight when you love me tonight
And don't close your eyes...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:21 PM
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Wow. that's vulnerable.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:22 PM
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72: A close second might be Luke Bryan's "Do I":

Baby what are we becoming
It feels just like we're always running
Rolling through the motions everyday
I can lean in to hold you, or act like I don't even know you
Seems like you could care less either way
What happened to that girl I used to know
I just want us back to the way we were before

Do I turn you on at all when I kiss you baby
Does the sight of me wanting you drive you crazy
Do I have your love, am I'm still enough
Tell me don't I, or tell me do I baby
Give you everything that you ever wanted
Would you rather just turn away and leave me lonely
Do I just need to give up and get on with my life
Baby, do I

Remember when we didn't have nothing
But a perfect simple kind of loving
Baby those sure were the days
There was a time our love ran wild and free
Now I'm second guessing everything thing I see

Do I turn you on at all when I kiss you baby
Does the sight of me wanting you drive you crazy
Do I have your love, am I'm still enough
Tell me don't I, or tell me do I baby
Give you everything that you ever wanted
Would you rather just turn away and leave me lonely
Do I just need to give up and get on with my life
Baby, do I

Still give you what you need
Still take your breath away
Light up the spark way down deep, baby do I

Do I turn you on at all when I kiss you baby
Does the sight of me wanting you drive you crazy
Do I have your love, am I'm still enough
Tell me don't I, or tell me do I baby
Give you everything that you ever wanted
Would you rather just turn away and leave me lonely
Do I just need to give up and get on with my life


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:24 PM
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Although you've got to admit that Boys II Men is competitive for Most Groveling in this spoken word portion of "End of The Road" where the deep-voiced guy says:

Girl I'm here for you
All those times of night when you just hurt me
And just run out with that other fella
Baby I knew about it, I just didn't care
You just don't understand how much I love you do you?
I'm here for you

I'm not out to go out and cheat on you all night
Just like you did baby but that's all right
Hey, I love you anyway
And I'm still gonna be here for you 'till my dying day baby
Right now, I'm just in so much pain baby
Coz you just won't come back to me
Will you? just come back to me

(lonely)
Yes baby my heart is lonely
(lonely)
My heart hurts baby
(lonely)
Yes I feel pain too
Baby please

This time instead just come to my bed
And baby just don't let me go


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:27 PM
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Witt, thanks for linking that. Of course I've known Patsy Cline's name and known I should check her out. But now that I've heard that, I realize how much I need to listen to her right away.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:28 PM
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I think Parenthetical and I might have the same taste in music.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:28 PM
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67: 61.last: Well, there's also the kind of rap that says, "I only ended up in this lifestyle because my life is so hard and I couldn't resist it," more like the first type.

Well, fair enough, although sorta trends over to R&B. (Back in the early oughts, ex-person had the radio on the 'rap' stations a lot and it was all this three beat plus an old casio keyboard plinking along stuff that sounded like sorta-psuedo-R&B plus wannabe gangsta rap - the perfect genre for people with no talent and no axe to grind. GAH.

max
['Where are the badasses of yesteryear?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:32 PM
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It seems to me what Kant was really about in that typology was simply identifying different forms of failure of will and failure of knowledge, the same sort of thing Plato and Aristotle discussed. Denying the fourth category was simply asserting that the good is ultimately coherent, so if your knowledge and your motivations are in order you will do what is right. You can't have a "moral tragedy," a situation where two perfectly moral agents are in conflict.

Zizek seems to be playing a logical trick here, as if Kant said "If a bachelor were married, he wouldn't be a bachelor, he'd be a married man," and Zizek comes back "See, Kant asserts that there are married bachelors!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:34 PM
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What is the cowgirl version of LGBNAF ?

More west-side than western, but wild !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBgHGafPet0


Posted by: E | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:35 PM
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This book of essays, All That Glitters: Country Music in America looks to be a good read for some deeper analysis and coverage of earlier history.

"All That Glitters" is the name of the song that this post title is taken from. I think it's kind of beautiful when he hits the high note in the chorus.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:37 PM
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77: I do love your mix! The question is, do you enjoy this wholly nonsensical rip off piece, Room Service? The best lines are of course stolen, but nonetheless I will sing Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn to myself and then crack up.

I don't own much in the way of contemporary mainstream country (I have Garth Brooks on cassette and that sort of thing); I only listen to it on the radio. Same goes for much of hip-hop, though I own a few classics. So my opinions of those two genres are almost entirely shaped by Clearchannel, I assume, which is a bit odd to think about.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:39 PM
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Also one time I tried to make a mix CD of country songs about The Rodeo As A Homewrecker. I think I got four songs, which was insufficient.

Did I mention that I totally want this mix? It did include "Amarillo By Morning," right?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:42 PM
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66: Does this song really describe a type of evil?

Wow, that was chirpy.

max
['A revolution for Muffy?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:49 PM
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Why is Robert Earl Keen so popular among people who have never been within 500 miles of Texas? I can't think of another artist who has achieved such universal popularity among NPR types who have nothing in common with the persona he presents.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:51 PM
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My friend once freestyled a rap that was themed around the notion that "all that glitters is not crack."


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:54 PM
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Why is Robert Earl Keen so popular among people who have never been within 500 miles of Texas? I can't think of another artist who has achieved such universal popularity among NPR types who have nothing in common with the persona he presents.

I don't really get this. We're supposed to have something in common with the people who make the music we like? Or maybe it's just that I have a different sense of his persona than Ned does?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:59 PM
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The question is, do you enjoy this wholly nonsensical rip off piece, Room Service?

I never heard it before, but I do!

The mix included Amarillo By Morning, Rodeo by Garth Brooks, the Everything that Glitters song above, the Montana rodeo song, and the song where the rodeo guy ends up dying and something about the California ocean; I can't remember now how that song goes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 12:59 PM
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84: They're doing what they can.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:02 PM
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87: I don't really get this. We're supposed to have something in common with the people who make the music we like?

No, Ned is right. Heebie should totally get her ass to Texas and stop being such a poseur.

max
['Inland California just isn't good enough.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:03 PM
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You could make a whole compilation by combining these rodeo songs with to the "teen boyfriend died in a car race" genre of the early 60s.


Posted by: Cryptic jned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:03 PM
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We're supposed to have something in common with the people who make the music we like?

I think (correct me if I'm wrong, Ned) the question was why REK specifically is so well-known and well-liked among this distant-from-him demographic, in contrast to other musicians from his background or with his focus.

I don't really know the answer, although I would guess that part of it is a snowball effect. E.g., "Shades of Gray" was covered by Cry Cry Cry, the folk group comprised of Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, and Dar Williams, and therefore was heard by a lot of people who listen to singer/songwriter music and might not necessarily have picked up a "country" album.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:06 PM
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Inland California just isn't good enough

Bakersfield Sound.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:07 PM
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92: Ah, I knew I was missing something. Thanks, Witt. (And that, I really have no answer to, as I listen to many artists in Robert Earl Keene's larger milieu.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:09 PM
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['Inland California just isn't good enough.']

Take it back.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:09 PM
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Hey Megan, did you see that you got tagged with a meme by someone who doesn't appear to know what a meme is?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:10 PM
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Yes. She seems sweet, and it was kind of her to say nice things. But yes, she did not appear to know what a meme is. Nor my dislike of them. And besides, tag more water blogs? There are only four or five of them to start with.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:14 PM
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Also one time I tried to make a mix CD of country songs about The Rodeo As A Homewrecker.

[Jumping in, before reading the comments]

Did it include some version of "Someday Soon" ? (great song).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:15 PM
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I can't think of another artist who has achieved such universal popularity among NPR types who have nothing in common with the persona he presents.

I haven't listened to REK, but Nancy Griffin?

Not the same, but she also achieved popularity with at least some of the "NPR types."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:20 PM
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nth


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:22 PM
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I don't own much in the way of contemporary mainstream country

It isn't mainstream, but I want to, again, recommend Corb Lund as highly as a possibly can.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:29 PM
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Patsy Cline, "She's Got You."

The first version that I heard of this song was the gender-reversed version by Jimmy Buffet (not very good, but it is a great song. Thanks for that version).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:40 PM
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I appear to have killed the thread.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:43 PM
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Everyone's just gone to a barbecue, Nick. Nothing personal.

[Max, you still here? Thanks for your reassurance in the other thread that that the NYT article on life insurance looked like a submarine piece.]


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:46 PM
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99:It's Nanci Griffith, as stated later in the piece. What do y'all listen to, anyway? She's wonderful.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:47 PM
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:It's Nanci Griffith, as stated later in the piece.

I knew that, considering I wrote the linked piece but just had a slip of the mind (Patti Griffin, Nancy Griffith), but thanks for the correction.

And, yes, she is wonderful.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:52 PM
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100 -> 105


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:53 PM
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Do you like Kate Wolf, bob? She was a family favorite.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:54 PM
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Everyone's just gone to a barbecue

Not in this weather.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:56 PM
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Contemporary country is only very rarely about self-pity, sadness, etc. it's usually about self-assertion. Generally aimed at women. Whenever someone hauls out the old country stereotypes you can tell they haven't listened to a country station in the past ten years.

Also, classic country was full of songs from the cheaters perspective, as well as the cheat-ee. But they were often pitying themselves for having screwed up their marriage or anticipating fallout of some sort. E.g. Carl Butler's plea to god: "Punish Me Tomorrow (For Loving Her Tonight)". Or trying to resist temptation -- "Almost Persuaded", or "Don't Let Me Cross Over". I think the basic difference between classic country and other forms of music is that it presupposes a strong moral perspective in the background. Although some of the older stuff had that amoral quality to it. Some of Jimmy Rogers big country hits from the late 1920s/early 30s absolutely have the rap perspective -- take out the yodeling and this one could practically be a rap song .

Actually, even classic country anticipated contemporary country with the "wronged woman asserts her right to cheat" theme. Country has always had a pretty feminist edge to it, dating back to Kitty Wells at least . Here's another classic of the justified cheating woman genre .


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 1:58 PM
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But they were often pitying themselves for having screwed up their marriage or anticipating fallout of some sort.

Okay, one more link to myself, two versions of We'll Sweep Out The Ashes In The Morning.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:00 PM
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'Was there some other kind of rap?'

Yes, grandpa. Many other kinds.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:03 PM
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Whenever someone hauls out the old country stereotypes you can tell they haven't listened to a country station in the past ten years.

PGD's got mad street dirt road knowledge.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:06 PM
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Contemporary country is only very rarely about self-pity, sadness, etc. it's usually about self-assertion. Generally aimed at women. Whenever someone hauls out the old country stereotypes you can tell they haven't listened to a country station in the past ten years.

I continue to fail to buy this assertion. I have, in fact, listened to a country station just yesterday, and to continue hauling out the examples, I heard this song, Brooks and Dunn's Neon Moon. Sample lyrics:

Oh, but I'll be alright
As long as there's light
From a neon moon

If you lose your one and only
There's always room here for
the lonely
To watch your broken dreams
Dance in and out of the beams
Of a neon moon

Self-pity, no?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:07 PM
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Also, see 48, 72, and 74.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:09 PM
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It's Nanci with an 'i" but 99 is a pretty good link.

Look I don't want to get descriptive around this, because it can devolve into urban-rural conflicts or sexism or whatever. And it is all complicated and conflicted in my own mind. I should take months off to read and choose some coherent defensible brand of bullshit.

You may ask what this has to do with rap or hip-hop, and I won't answer, but I did read yesterday that Mrx thought the Lumpenproletariat is a reactionary force. I guess I should add that Huey Newton disagreed.

I like elliptical, especially since I think class while so many think social, race, or culture, and direct expression can end communication.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:10 PM
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108:Yes, but I like Kate Rusby and others better. Not sure why Wolf has never grabbed me.

I should list my directories. Brooks & Dunn aren't there.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:13 PM
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Related to 112, nattarGcM rM. linked to this a ways back, and it has since been praised by DS, but this song just came on my radio and it's really great.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:13 PM
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I caught a few minutes of Scrabble on tv once and one of the players was described as a country music singer in addition to a top Scrabble player. I was hoping he had a song about Scrabble as a homewrecker, but they didn't mention any titles before going back to the game. I don't remember what his name was.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:14 PM
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117: Brooks and Dunn and Kate Wolf (or Rusby) aren't exactly in the same genre so I wouldn't assume they'd be in your directories. I took Heebie to be making an argument about contemporary popular country, not so much the bluegrass/folk/americana folks.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:16 PM
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It's Nanci with an 'i" but 99 is a pretty good link.

Yeah, I am clearly not at my best today, I managed to make that mistake twice.

I do appreciate your compliment, however, since I know that you disagree with the premise of that post.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:17 PM
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I like elliptical, especially since I think class while so many think social, race, or culture, and direct expression can end communication.

I like elliptical too, although it must be said that there are thousands of examples of the deeply personal and specific having near-universal appeal.

Semi-related:

Scotland Yard said today that it was altering a "potentially racist" form which asks clubs whether they play music popular with the black and Asian communities, after pressure from politicians, musicians and equality campaigners.
Form 696 - targeting violence at music venues - asks owners to provide the name, address and telephone numbers of artists and promoters, as well as the style of music to be played at forthcoming events.
In particular, the form gives "bashment, R&B, garage" as options - genres popular with black and Asian people.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:22 PM
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I am also way open to (slower, not progressive bluegrass) banjo-fiddle-mandolin-dulcimer stuff, and not at all averse to "Old Rugged Cross" "Diamond in the Rough" Xtian music, so tastes will vary.

I found a friend whose taste I grew to trust.

"W"

Dar Williams
Gillian Welch
Hank Williams
Robin & Linda Williams

Abigail Washburn
Adrienne Young
The Waifs
The Wailin Jennys
The Weepies
Yarn

I listen to too few men, I think. Way too few.

But honestly, All Music Guide is a great resource. You use the columns at the bottom, see who is listed as "similar" or "influenced by" for all of 3-4+ artists and give them a try. The lesser known niche artists can help narrow tastes.

Link won't work, but Wailin Jennys gives ya Shocked, Indigos, Dixies, Alison Krauss, Welch, Maddy Prior, Neil Young, Heart(?)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:38 PM
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Somewhat related: Kidsbop 16 has an alarming number of extremely bitter break up songs.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:43 PM
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since I know that you disagree with the premise of that post.

I take it all back.

Hey, if you let Hejira in all the guitarists will move to Boulder and Asheville, and pretty soon people will start thinking country is country.


Posted by: bob mcmanusb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:45 PM
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123: Apparently our musical tastes overlap a great deal. I have seen most of those acts live.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:47 PM
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Now I am off to barbeque. I will have "Someday Soon" stuck in my head all afternoon.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:48 PM
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There's at least one great band from Asheville (Ahleuchatistas).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:49 PM
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114, 120: yeah, I'm somewhat overstating it, but not by all that much. There's the occasional exception, but something like this or this or this are much closer to the modal country song these days.

Actuallly, all those songs reflect good positive values and I only dislike them because I'm such a bitter twisted negative coastal elitist.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:50 PM
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129: Maybe it depends on the station, but you can't throw out the strain of melancholy that runs throughout country without throwing out about half of the music. Definitely assertion is there - pride in being country, in being sexy, in being white and working class - but it's balanced by a nice hefty dose of self-pity, introspection, and worry.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:55 PM
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Nobody thinks rock is too black.

Huh? Have you ever been to the South? Seriously, have you never heard a country music fan defend their genre by contrasting it with "jungle music"? I'm sure I heard that particular trope at least 100 times before I was old enough to vote.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:56 PM
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(Why am I still arguing about this? I spend about an hour, max, a week listening to country. Give up, (), give up.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 2:56 PM
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Also one time I tried to make a mix CD of country songs about The Rodeo As A Homewrecker. I think I got four songs, which was insufficient.

Seems like you could get to four with just Garth Brooks (or songs performed by him)... You had Rodeo... and there's Much Too Young... and Beaches of Cheyenne... well, almost to four.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:00 PM
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Definitely assertion is there - pride in being country, in being sexy, in being white and working class - but it's balanced by a nice hefty dose of self-pity, introspection, and worry.

In other words, it's about having a chip on your shoulder*. I date this trend back at least to Charlie Daniels Band's God Bless America (Again), and arguably all the way to Merle's Okie from Muskogee.


*Exceptions do exist, and include most of the best of contemporary country.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:05 PM
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132: You can deny it, but your comments belie it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:15 PM
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Huh? Have you ever been to the South? Seriously, have you never heard a country music fan defend their genre by contrasting it with "jungle music"? I'm sure I heard that particular trope at least 100 times before I was old enough to vote.

And by "jungle music", they mean Pearl Jam and the White Stripes?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:19 PM
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They're talking about hobo music: harmonica atmospherics and the like.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:21 PM
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134: See, that's the shift in country music that stands out for me most--the move launched by Merle H and Charlie Daniels. It also seems clear Merle is an interesting artist and a true believer, and Daniels is most likely some kind whore. But this prominence may be an artifact of my decent political awareness and limited knowledge of country.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:23 PM
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Here's another classic of the justified cheating woman genre.

I was about to take issue with that comment, on the grounds that Your Good Girl is Gonna go Bad wasn't about wifely cheating at all, but rather about an unconventional strategy for winning back the affections of one's philandering husband. But then I realized that maybe the interpretation I adopted of those lyrics wasn't cynical enough. Way to harsh my mellow, PGD.
.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:24 PM
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|| Is this recession different from past ones? |>


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:24 PM
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138: But here's the weird thing: Merle went from being a voice of the Silent Majority in the early 70's to being a vaguely leftish critic of Bush in the 00's. Charlie Daniels did the reverse: some of his early hits (Uneasy Rider, Long-Haired Country Boy even The South's Gonna Do It) express a nonconformist sensibility that totally disappeared from his music in the Reagan years.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:34 PM
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Diet music

I will be appropriating this term now, thanks.

Also, this thread is reminding me that love is shit.


Posted by: piminnowcheez | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:39 PM
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Speaking of folk, there's a singer, Karine Polwart, from the village a few miles over from mine. A lot of her stuff I don't really like, it's either a bit twee or a bit countryfied for me, but she did an album last year that's primarily of Burns songs, and is amazing. Quite akin to the Rachel Unthank album I was linking a fair bit a year or two back.

Clips:

http://www.karinepolwart.com/flash/fairest/01dowie.html

http://www.karinepolwart.com/flash/fairest/03mirk.html

http://www.karinepolwart.com/flash/fairest/06learig.html

Unfortunately none of that Polwart album appears on youtube or any other streaming media site, or I'd link to it. Most of the Polwart stuff on youtube is really not quite so much to my taste.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:41 PM
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Listening again, that version of Mirk, Mirk is the Midnight Hour is quite lovely.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:41 PM
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That Unthank stuff was really good.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:43 PM
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Huh? Have you ever been to the South?

My racist uncle-by-marriage was from Greenwich and called the tape I had on in the car (probably something like the Buzzcocks) "n/gg/r music." He got screamed at by my mother and by my aunt (not his wife) who memorably said, "It sure as shit is better than that German oom-pah-pah music you listen to."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:44 PM
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re: 145

The Unthanks [as they are now known, as there's equal billing for both sisters] have a new album about to come out. Apparently it's very good, although I've not bought it yet.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:47 PM
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146: Uh, yeah, that other term had some currency too. "Jungle music" was thought to be a more polite euphemism, one of the sort frequently employed by the "I'm not a racist, but..." crowd.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:48 PM
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141: Merle, I think, was a right-wing critic of Bush, which shows integrity, at least. Daniels' shift seems mostly about appealing to an increasingly polarized demographic.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:51 PM
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Yeah, I didn't think Merle's "let's fix America first" song, for instance, was particularly left-wing, critical of Bush as it was.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 3:56 PM
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134: In other words, it's about having a chip on your shoulder

This gets at some of what I was aiming at in my comment 68, a veritable grievance industry has risen up around the veneration of the good ol' days, and a lot of the slickest corp-country drivel* drives its double cab pickup to the big box store right through the middle of it (frantically trying to delegitimize the black boy president along the way). Per bob, I certainly understand how stating it this way might activate some "class" triggers. But tough shit, "simpler days nostalgia and guilt tripping" is something for the media elites to play at down at the Consent Factory.

*Not to say that country music is unique in being thus manipulated.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:00 PM
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149-150: didn't he publicly support Hillary Clinton in the 2008 campaign? Maybe I'm misremembering. [The obvious rejoinder about there being no contradiction between being right wing and supporting Hillary is hereby anticipated and acknowledged.]


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:05 PM
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Now that you mention it, that does sound familiar.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:06 PM
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104: [Max, you still here? Thanks for your reassurance in the other thread that that the NYT article on life insurance looked like a submarine piece.]

No problem. It just smelled (smells) wrong. Nobody tells you about their cons before they've stolen the money.

134: I date this trend back at least to Charlie Daniels Band's God Bless America (Again), and arguably all the way to Merle's Okie from Muskogee.

'I am an Asshole from El Paso' as Kinky would have it.

116: You may ask what this has to do with rap or hip-hop, and I won't answer, but I did read yesterday that Mrx thought the Lumpenproletariat is a reactionary force. I guess I should add that Huey Newton disagreed.

People on the lower rungs tend to be very conservative. Guess why.

112: Yes, grandpa. Many other kinds.

Goddammit, in our ghetto we breakdanced on broken glass and we fuckin' liked it that way. Built character. Well, actually it didn't build character, but we didn't care because we were fucking tough. You people with your acceptable-to-whitey rappers. Feh.

95: ['Inland California just isn't good enough.'] Take it back.

Inland California is way too special to be filled with hicks and other undesirables. That's why the desert has to be filled with houses.

113: Whenever someone hauls out the old country stereotypes you can tell they haven't listened to a country station in the past ten years.

Is that a problem? Pink Floyd was a most excellent band, as was Jefferson Airplane, but you know, Flock of Seagulls SUCKED. As did Huey Lewis.

max
['Amoungst others.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:11 PM
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Here's an interview of his from the WaPo from late 2007 where talks about some of his political shift.

I predicted 15 years ago that Hillary would be president of the United States. Bill Clinton is still the number one diplomat and Democrat in the world, and we get him as a package deal. Anybody with the least bit of intelligence is going to say, "Maybe we need some diplomacy." It's more about him than it is about her.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:12 PM
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Contemporary country is only very rarely about self-pity, sadness, etc. it's usually about self-assertion. Generally aimed at women. Whenever someone hauls out the old country stereotypes you can tell they haven't listened to a country station in the past ten years.

I have heard tons of whiny emasculated country music in my drives up and down the five.

There's also a good deal of self-assertion, and then there's this.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:13 PM
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156: Thank you, nosflow, for backing me up. There's also this, which is perhaps all about self-assertion, but it's also hugely whiny and not particularly strong. (But Brad Paisley seems to thrive off parody songs, so I'm never sure how to read his music.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:16 PM
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Tangential to the OP, whatever the differences in the image of masculinity conveyed by country and hiphop, the image of femininity is strikingly similar: in both cases, the ideal woman is characterized principally by cultural authenticity. In one case, she's authentically Black/urban, in the other case she's authentically "country". The most appealing woman of all is one who drifts far from (or rises far above) her roots but remains loyal to them, e.g. the country girl with a college degree and a job in the city who still loves pickup trucks and fishin'.

Also, the ideal woman's demur comportment should conceal a surprisingly vigourous sexual appetite.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:17 PM
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I listen to so little country music that the only rodeo-related song I can think of is "Papa Was a Rodeo".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:20 PM
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158: In order to back up Knecht's statement, I offer you Jason Aldean's She's Country.

159: That song is fabulous and belongs on the mix.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:21 PM
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Most of what I know about country music comes from the relevant section of American Exodus.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:23 PM
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it's usually about self-assertion

Some further evidence for PGD's thesis.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:24 PM
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159: That song is fabulous and belongs on the mix.

The original and the Kelly Hogan cover.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:26 PM
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157: Hm, I just realized nosflow is supporting PGD's thesis. I suppose that points to the fact that I don't disagree with PGD that certainly country is about self-assertion. But it has multiple and often paradoxical dominant themes, of which the self-pitying one is still strong and not just relegated to the past.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:27 PM
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I'd back you up any day, paren.

I mentioned the Paisley earlier.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:30 PM
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Hm, I just realized nosflow is supporting PGD's thesis.

I was? I meant to acknowledge that there's a lot of self-assertion while simultaneously claiming, contra PGD, that there's a lot of whiny self-pity.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:32 PM
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I guess I can't really say I don't listen to much country. I listen to Neko Case all the goddamn time. But, there's country and there's country country.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:32 PM
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156-157: You're missing the point, the whiny quality of some singer has nothing to do with it. Also, the male/female line is important in contemporary country. Generally, songs by women are about self-assertion, songs by men are about flattering and reassuring women. And both are about upholding positive-thinking suburban values. (Self-doubt and fear are present only as a repressed and unacknowledged threat motivating the positive thinking). The kind of tepid "I'm Still A Guy" retailing of harmless Mars/Venus stereotypes fits fine within this framework. All of this is light-years away from the frank acknowledgement of loser-hood that was so common in classic country. You will not find any losers on your contemporary country radio station, just humble, earnest strivers who occasionally joke about their fondness for fishing or a beer with the boys before returning home to their cherished family. Also, sometimes they have memories of a fight in high school.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:33 PM
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Oh, I remember that post! Has his other amusing hit, Online, been discussed here?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:34 PM
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I meant to acknowledge that there's a lot of self-assertion while simultaneously claiming, contra PGD, that there's a lot of whiny self-pity.

Come to think of it, that accurately describes the song I linked in 162 as well. Comity!

This also goes a long way to explaining the elective affinity between country music and the contemporary Republican party.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:35 PM
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All of this is light-years away from the frank acknowledgement of loser-hood that was so common in classic country.

Disagree, sort of. Montgomery Gentry's "Long Line of Losers" has just been covered and is on the radio all the time, for instance. But it's also pretty clear that a la The Drive-By Truckers, that sort of loserdom is cool. And I'm confused with how that relates to self-pity about failed relationships, which seems distinct from what you're discussing.

166: I am having a hard time with reading comprehension today. Must be all the country music.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:38 PM
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Surely you would never hear the Drive-By Truckers on a self-styled country station, though, of the sort that's still scandalized by the outlaws of the 70s.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:40 PM
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claiming, contra PGD, that there's a lot of whiny self-pity.

OK, I guess it depends what you mean by self-pity. Presenting yourself as the world's biggest self-righteous hero for kissing your kid goodnight certainly has a vein of unacknowledged whininess in it. But country is no longer a genre in which frank or acknowledgement of being defeated by life is permissible. The class background that permitted big humorous hits about starvation or homelessness is no longer there.

The analogue to classic country is Americana, which has been picked on by the urban middle class and is a thriving niche market. But it has almost nothing to do with Nashville country at all. (Though there's the occasional crossover, like Alison Krauss).

Sorry for the querolous tone, I'm in a bad mood because IT'S THE LAST FREAKING DAY OF SUMMER. I'm feeling sorry for myself. But no contemporary musical genre reflects my pain!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:43 PM
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You will not find any losers on your contemporary country radio station, just humble, earnest strivers who occasionally joke about their fondness for fishing or a beer with the boys before returning home to their cherished family.

This is true. This song captures the spirit pretty well.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:44 PM
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172: Of course not. But Long Line of Losers is a song that sounds like the Drive-By Truckers.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:45 PM
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I swear, PGD and I must listen to completely different country stations.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:46 PM
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But country is no longer a genre in which frank or acknowledgement of being defeated by life is permissible.

Like any generalization, this one is bound to have exceptions. Like this song. Granted, it's not sung in the first person, but it's pretty damned close to a frank acknowledgement of being defeated by life. And Alabama ain't no alt-country band.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:49 PM
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But it has almost nothing to do with Nashville country at all

That people mean "Nashville country" by "country" bothers me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:52 PM
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178: I have a really hard time figuring out what's country, what's alt-country, what's americana, etc, etc. I think I've mostly given up on it. I just assumed we were talking Top 40 Country here, which is primarily Nashville country, I suppose.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:56 PM
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We've got both kinds of music here: country and western.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:58 PM
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Top 40 country = twang-pop, different only in a few of its instrumental trappings from anything else. Shania Twain's Up! should have established this.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 4:58 PM
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a self-styled country station, though, of the sort that's still scandalized by the outlaws of the 70s

Funny how the 70s outlaws been absorbed into the canon with the passage of time. Just like conservatives have always believed in MLK's vision of a colorblind America, country music has always embraced Willie Nelson. A decade from now, the Dixie Chicks will be undoubtedly be played by and for the demographic that scorned them. And KennedyCare will be an untouchable entitlement. [A fellow can dream, can't he?]


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:01 PM
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181: So when you use the term country, what does it encompass?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:01 PM
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You know, hillbilly music, country blues, outlaw country, christopher denny, the bakersfield sound, that kinda stuff.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:03 PM
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Uh, Texas swing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:04 PM
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184, 185: Thanks.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:05 PM
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184-185: and if that ain't country, I'll kiss your ass.


Posted by: OPINIONATED DAVID ALLAN COE | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:06 PM
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Can't catch up, have to read to kids, but:

1. Neko Case is the first person I thought of when I thought of the NPR/Austin country music axis, and also the reason why I thought of naming it the Austin/Chicago axis.

2. Calling Case country is like calling John Doe country. John Doe, who is on NPR right now.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:18 PM
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177: ah, but the moral of that song is that the listener should learn from the protagonists example and start living, ASAP! It's a positive thinking song in disguise.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:21 PM
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Herr Ruprecht,

If you are willing, would you email me at the linked address? Thanks.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:31 PM
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(): I just assumed we were talking Top 40 Country here, which is primarily Nashville country, I suppose.

The sort of shit I like is bands that might've headlined Liberty Lunch back in the day at any time. Unfortunately, Rob is telling me that John Doe has been lobotomized. So: hosed.

It was a nice country while it lasted. So just to get off the subject of Dirty Fuckin' Hicks and onto the important subject of Dirty Fucking Hippies, here's some dance music, which I first heard on a dance station in Dallas. That station was on the air for approximately 12 minutes, but surely beat the shit out of the local hip hop stations which played nothing but blanderized crap that would've scandalized the Commodores with it's empty commercial soul. So here you go, a megapop hit in Europe, but something I heard exactly once on the air. In the best mix I could find on Youtube. And there's a lot of mixes of this song on Youtube, which is mostly a bad plan.

max
['Nonetheless I really this version of this DISCO.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 5:39 PM
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This thread is making me feel confident that my general policy of avoiding country music (not to be confused with my indifferent attitude toward music overall) is the right one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 6:16 PM
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192: Why do you hate authenticity?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 6:19 PM
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Because I'm SWPL, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 6:20 PM
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SWPL=STL -> T=WP


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 6:21 PM
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I'm fairly indifferent to music also. That said, props to Shakira for getting the word 'lycanthropy' on pop radio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 6:21 PM
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192: I am rather indifferent towards Top 40 country (despite my impassioned arguing here), but really, as nosflow and others have pointed out, country encompasses oh so much more, which one should really listen to. The "oh so much more than just top 40 country" is the music I grew up with, though, so I might be biased.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 6:22 PM
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197: Fair (and SWPL) enough. I'm not really categorically opposed to all country; I like Hank Williams, for instance, and I'm sure I'd like a lot of this alt-country stuff I keep hearing about if I ever listened to it. On the other hand, seeking out new kinds of music to listen to is a very low priority in my life.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 6:25 PM
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195: I thought he was indicating that White People liked *him*.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 6:28 PM
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EVERYONE LIKES TEO. RACIST.


Posted by: OPINIONATED KOBE | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 6:57 PM
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I am pretty much of the same opinion as teo, except I have no opinion of Hank Williams.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:07 PM
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Hank Williams is why I wouldn't give my son my name. If we both became famous, he'd be sixty and people calling him 'junior.'


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:10 PM
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I'm thinking my "rather indifferent" is very different than teo's and eb's indifferent attitudes.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:10 PM
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Country music (the predominant variants) is often political, and closely follows various forms of what's now called Red State politics. The self-pitying woe-is-me phase in some ways -- to varying extents -- had appeal as a disguised lament for dear old trodden-down Dixie*; there was a reason Charlie Pride's face had to be hidden from audiences until his third album, and why there hasn't been a notable country artist of the duskier hues since him and Ray Charles (who in any case found his fame in a different milieu). The current widespread protagonist of the country song, folksy and hardworking and down-to-earth unlike-some-people-he-could-name-but-doesn't, is the self-image of many a contemporary Republican voter. Hence the excommunication of the Dixie Chicks for disliking old Dubya. Both forms could transcend into self-righteousness or fury when challenged ("I'm Doing This For Daddy," "Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue").

The protagonist in hip-hop is much more about bitter consolation and disillusionment than about agency. The bulk of gangsta rap was for a long time frank about despising the lifestyle it simultaneously glorified -- and various artists quite open from time to time about how most of what they said on their records was bullshit (cf. Dr. Dre "It's all entertainment... you don't actually go out and do that shit unless you're stupid") -- but simply not feeling that there was anything better on the cards. "Conscious hip-hop" is largely about how stupid and stepinfetchit the gangster rappers are, and yet often partakes of or slides into much the same fury and hopelessness. Party hip-hop is mostly about simple escape. Various artists can slide between these modes, often despite previous furious protestations about preferring one to the others. (Cf. formerly "conscious" rappers The Black-Eyed Peas.)

(* Of course there was more going on than this, and I don't include here the poignant and/or moralistic ballads of your Hank Williams Seniors or your Johnny Cashes or Merle Haggards, nor your bad boys like Kris Kistofferson and that hippie Willie Nelson, all of whom stood out for being bigger than the norm. Hank the Second, though? Fits right in there.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:15 PM
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203: Eh, maybe it is, maybe it isn't.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:18 PM
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Either DS's locale is a lot more like the American South than I had assumed it was,* or we all just got schooled by a Canadian.

*Don't tell me; you grew up outside Calgary.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:21 PM
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There's no shame in being schooled by a native of more northerly climes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:26 PM
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This discussion reminds me a bit of the Daily Show segment: "Rapper or Republican?"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:27 PM
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Onto New Jack Swing: has it lost the soul and earthiness of its earthy soullful essence?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:29 PM
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206.2: Only in the early years. But Alberta is rightly called "the Texas of the North."


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:30 PM
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formerly "conscious" rappers The Black-Eyed Peas.

Am I the only one who thinks that "Tonight's Gonna Be A Good Night" song sounds like it's advertising a car for twenty-somethings?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:39 PM
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What's to be expected when poultry steal one's very way of habitude?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:46 PM
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211: I hadn't heard that song, but I can definitely hear the car-ad thing. I also hear in it further evidence that the Era of Auto-Tune may never end.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:46 PM
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my swagger is copped!


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:47 PM
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211: Who knows but that might be specifically what it's crafted for.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:48 PM
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This thread needs more Kitty Wells.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:48 PM
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Era of Auto-Tune

I never thought about car jingles this way before.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:49 PM
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the song isn't that old


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:52 PM
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213: Hovie disagrees.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:53 PM
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216: Wow. I only knew the Patsy Cline version, so I didn't know any of the history (courtesy Wikipedia):

Wells' statement [i.e., the song] was a rather daring one to make in 1952, particularly in the conservative, male-dominated realm of country music; plus, women's liberation and their sentiments in song were still more than 10 years away[4]. There was plenty of resistance to the song and its statement: the NBC radio network banned the song for being "suggestive," while Wells was prohibited from performing it on the Grand Ole Opry and NBC's "Prince Albert" radio program.[3]
Yet, Wells struck a chord with her fans, as "It Wasn't God ..." became a six-week No. 1 song on Billboard magazine's country charts. [...]
Ironically enough, Wells was at first reluctant to record the song, but eventually agreed ... if only to get the standard $125 session fee payment. Eventually, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels" outsold Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life," and launched the then little-known Wells into superstardom.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:54 PM
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And where does Brenda Lee fall on this spectrum? ("But did he tell you that he's known as Johnny One-Time?/Did he tell you that your heart would soon become/
Another trinket on his bracelets of broken hearts?")


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 7:57 PM
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Setting aside Kant, and since Nancy Griffith was mentioned, I'd like to share my favorite song of hers, about a woman who's leaving her man and seems pretty happy about it.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:10 PM
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Nanci


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:10 PM
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You all are focusing on the country, which is swipple in a weird way, but who can tell me that I am wrong to dismiss post-pac rap?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:19 PM
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222: "When you can't find a friend, you still got the radio internet!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:23 PM
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222 reminds me that I sent a post suggestion to heebie.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:25 PM
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Sorry, I mean 225 reminds me.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:26 PM
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223 to 224


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:30 PM
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but who can tell me that I am wrong to dismiss post-pac rap?

Since it became a bona fide pop genre, there's a lot more bad rap available since Pac. But, yeah, there's a lot of good rap.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:30 PM
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Bad rap gets a bad rap.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:32 PM
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Shania Twain's Up! should have established this.

Little-known fact: her real name is Shania Langhorne Clemens.

Calling Case country is like calling John Doe country.

There's a can of worms, right there. I think she's earned the right to be considered among the best country vocalists, along with, say, Teddy Thompson, who is from another country.

On the cheated-on song, my favorite is Gram Parsons' "Strong Boy", which offers a refreshingly upbeat perspective:

Strong boy
You're wrong, boy
You think you've got my baby now
But this fight ain't quite won

You sure did make
A mighty big mistake
'Cause muscles ain't enough
To make her run away from me
She knows what kind of lover I can be

Strong boy
You're wrong, boy
My baby likes to have her fun
But I'm the one she loves

You made your pass
You did fine in your class
But all that you've been holdin'
Is a glove without a hand
You may be her boy, but I'm her man

Strong boy
You're wrong, boy
You leave women everywhere
You never get your fill

You've lost the prize
My heart is twice your size
How does it feel now
That you found one thrill you can't try
Stick around and watch my love roll by


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:34 PM
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230: Riprap, on the other hand, is rarely ripped upon, and rightly so. Stuff's baller.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:38 PM
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226: you did! And it will be posted post haste. But not at the moment because my fingers are sticky from eating cereal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:38 PM
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Alternative joke: that stuff rocks!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:39 PM
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Uh, 234 to everything.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:40 PM
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Beartraps are rarely beart raps.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:41 PM
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My fox is suffering from mange and foxt rot.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:44 PM
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Speedt raps? Weird. Probably German.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:45 PM
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Ned has a cryptic fox.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:45 PM
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It's possible that DS's knowledgeable take on hip-hop in general comes from the long oral historical traditions of the Canadian furt rappers.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:47 PM
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Crypticn Ed isn't taught in public schools because it contains notions that disqualify it for federal funding.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:47 PM
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Ew! Who furted?!?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:47 PM
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Who Phar-Ted?

Too soon?

(note: the long loading time is definitely not worth it)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 8:54 PM
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One of the reasons I love country music (the Toby Keith / mass radio brand) is that I can understand it. Not only can I relate to most of the themes, but I can understand the words.

I don't know if it's my inadequacies or typical of the genres, but outside of country and Whole Foods Singer Songwriters that's usually not the case.

I'm curious where folks would qualify someone like Greg Brown. Cause I'd say country, but cool people love him and reject the moniker.


Posted by: pm | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:06 PM
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eating cereal

Vanilla flavored Shreddies are the most disgusting cereal I've ever eaten. No wonder my roommate rejected them. I should have just thrown them out instead of going out for milk and then trying them out. They're almost ok dry.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:09 PM
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224: I can. Especially since Pac was and is massively overrated. Say what you will about Jay-Z, Kanye or Eminem, they're all supremely talented entertainers.

244: You know who else I can understand? Hitler, that's who!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:10 PM
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Although it's true that in Hitler's case I don't relate to all of the themes. And I don't speak German, either. It just felt like we needed a Godwin's violation.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:12 PM
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Oh yeah? Well, Hitler was overrated, too!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:12 PM
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True dat.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:13 PM
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216: Social Distortion agrees.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:14 PM
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Remember Mase, Puff Daddy's little buddy? I think he was one of the least talented rappers to ever get big time promotion. He was one monotonic dude.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:15 PM
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The only Downfall subtitle video I liked is the one making fun of all the Downfall subtitle videos. But it wouldn't have been as funny had I seen just that one.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:15 PM
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this is pretty


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:16 PM
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At least Mase wrote his own rhymes.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:17 PM
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Did he? Who didn't in particular?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:19 PM
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Also, this thread has caused me to spend all day listening to SiriusXM's "Outlaw Country" station. It's like being back in Austin! (And it's nice to see Mojo Nixon's still getting work.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:19 PM
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Hitler.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:19 PM
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Puffy has his rhymes ghostwritten. He even brags about it, presumably not in his own words, on one of his tracks.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:20 PM
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Dude had no rhyming talent at all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:20 PM
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but she needs more tuning, out of tune cz, it can't be the audio is set quicker when compiled


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:20 PM
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(Also, ever notice how Puffy has a moustache? Guess who else had a moustache? Coincidence... I think not.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:21 PM
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Oh, but all of Puffy's melodies were original, so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:22 PM
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I am actually just fine with people sampling other people's music, for the record. Even ludicrously so, like when you change one or two words in the chorus.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:23 PM
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The one I always found funny is when Tupac re-did "That's just the way it is" except he changed the second line from "some things will never change" to "things will never be the same."

I like to picture him listening to the original song and saying, "Yes, yes, this is perfect! Keep the tune, the words, the piano, everything the same. Except the point should be the exact opposite point."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:26 PM
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I will admit to liking a great deal of post-2Pac rap. Bave and I discussed this at dinner tonight. I have many reasons for this position, not the least of which is the great developments made in flow, which have required extraordinary advancements in meter, unlike any similar developments since those that transformed English verse in the 17th century. Admittedly, mid-17th-century poetry is of extremely uneven quality--some genius, some terrible. This happens whenever massive developments of style are happening. Some artists effect transformations in the form hardly imaginable before; others revert to stupid clich├ęs.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:28 PM
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I will also admit to never having liked 2Pac. My exposure is limited, but only because I have not thought much of what I've heard. I am made to understand this is because I am wrong.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:30 PM
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246: Really, it was Great Britian's fault. It's not like he wanted a big war.


Posted by: pm | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:36 PM
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246: Don't fuck with the poet laureate of Marin County. St Pac brought hip-hop the gift of interiority, and lo, it was scorned. Actually, I only used it as a milestone; IMO Illmatic was the last worthwhile record to be released, and wiki tells me that was 2 BP.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:37 PM
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Honestly, FM, not even Ready to Die is good enough for you? (I assume you mean the last worthwhile rap record?)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 9:47 PM
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Mussolini creates a lot of possibilities, flow-wise.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:06 PM
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If MC Weiner were here, I'm sure he could provide some examples of good post-2pac rap.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:10 PM
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Seriously, have you never heard a country music fan defend their genre by contrasting it with "jungle music"?

This doesn't surprise me, and it's alright. A lot of people don't like jungle music, even though clearly they're missing out.

Don't really know anything about country, and I've never been made to feel guilty enough to care (even about alt-country). Rap, though, whoo! There're some songs about being cheated on, but they're definitely rarer (and in that case include some cheating and violence on the part of the cheated-upon). I'll try to think of more, but I don't have my music with me. I'm pretty sure El-P has a couple songs along those lines, too.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:20 PM
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"Fancy Clown", that's a real good one. Which reminds me of another one by Ghostface Killah, .


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:25 PM
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Dammit, I linked to the official video because of sound quality, but it's missing about 30 words because of censorship. Just look for the lyrics I guess.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:27 PM
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Man, that Photek track kinda drags on, doesn't it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:28 PM
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I was hoping 272 would link to Yma Sumac, "Jungla."


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:34 PM
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216: see 110.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:35 PM
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269: Don't pick nits just because you can't dig west coast funk.
272:Why did the lion get lost?
Because jungle is massive.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:36 PM
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273: Oooh, I'd forgotten that song was Ghostface. I even have Fishscale, but I always listen to "The Champ" and "Shakey Dog" over and over without really getting to the rest very often.

Foolishmortal: Nothing since Illmatic? Not even Liquid Swords? Madvillainy? Fantastic Damage? The various output from Clipse and the such? I would understand a little more if you don't really care for many albums (a lot of stuff since then has fair amounts of filler), but do you have individual tracks that you've really loved since then?

For those who haven't checked it out yet, the Mos Def from earlier this year is very worth a look. Much more cohesive and solid as an album than pretty much any other rap release I've heard in a while. The first song gives a good taste, as does this commonly-cited highlight (and this personal favorite of mine).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:43 PM
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275: Oh Neb, it's like you never even listened to the 21 minute album version of "Timeless"! I can't think of many genres that benefited more from the highlight-reel approach of the mixtape than DnB, with all its damn 7+ minute tracks and fanatical attention to incredibly minor variation.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 7-09 10:54 PM
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mase's worst crime was that he sampled the riff from 'hollywood swingin', rendering it somewhat useless for the truly great rap song it should have graced, in a just world.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 12:11 AM
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I may have asked this before, but can any of the DFHs here help out with a country query? Sometime in the late eighties I was given a compilation tape made originally by the boyfriend of the head of the Arts Council here which had two perfect songs on it of which google knows nothing.

One was called "She used to sing in church on Sundays when she was a little gurl" or at least had that as the chorus -- but now, of course, she's leanin' hard into the wind, learnin' she can't never win, in the entertainment capital of the world [or some very similar fate]

the other was an actual rodeo heartbreak song, where the singer is ringing his wife after an accident. Friends have wheeled his wheelchair into the phone booth, but when he calls her up she tells him "I only need a man for the things a man can do" ...

and how come no one has mentioned this classic of self pity?


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 12:18 AM
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re: 275

I don't know, that particular track has always been a personal favourite of mine. But yeah, as Po-Mo says, tons of that stuff does drag a little.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 12:38 AM
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Ah. the second one turns out to be "Silence on the Line" by Chris Ledoux


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 5:09 AM
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While folks are ruminating on hip-hop, something that is possibly well-known to the cognoscenti (or maybe to everybody who isn't me) but which I only learned of recently from the comments to MB's recent post on NEU!) was the Kraftwerk/early hip-hop connection:

Kraftwerk--I don't think they even knew how big they were among the black masses back in '77, when they came out with 'Trans-Europe Express.' When that came out I thought that was one of the best and weirdest records I ever heard in my life. I said, 'scuse the expression, this is some weird shit! Everybody just went crazy off of that. I guess they found out when they came over and did a performance at the Ritz how big they was. They had four encores, and people would not let them leave."
--Afrika Bambaataa

Referenced with some further discussion here.

So how does krautrock deal with cheatin' and messin' around?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 5:15 AM
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Yeah, the Kraftwerk/Bambaataa thing is mentioned a lot in hip-hop documentaries. Ditto the role of the break from 'Apache', and so on.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 5:33 AM
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275: Yes, it sure does.

I never got D'n'B. I will happily listen to Squarepusher/u-ziq/Aphex Twin drilling away, but gosh is mainstream D'n'B tedious. Probably drugs would help.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 6:46 AM
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I was hoping he had a song about Scrabble as a homewrecker, but they didn't mention any titles before going back to the game

Otis Lee Crenshaw: The Scrabble Song


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 6:49 AM
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So how does krautrock deal with cheatin' and messin' around?

Like this, for example. Or the krautrap variant.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 7:40 AM
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Or this one, in which the mixture of assertiveness and self-pity so familiar to us from country music is on display.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 8:13 AM
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It's not country and it's not hip-hop, but I don't think there is a better cheating-on song that Robert Cray's "Sonny."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 9:29 AM
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and how come no one has mentioned this classic of self pity?

Bill Kirchen, the Commander Cody lead guitarist, still regularly plays in the DC area and elsewhere. Seeds and Stems is certainly a great classic of hippie self-pity.

Trad country is as "black" as any other 20th century vernacular pop music, since like almost all American pop it comes directly from the blues. But white music reflected expectations that led to self-pity when they were disappointed. In the blues, there are no expectations, hence only the blues, which are beyond self-pity.

Great line on race relations from old Bob Wills song "Take Me Back to Tulsa":

"Little bee finds the flower
Big bee gets the honey
Darkie picks the cotton
White man gets the money"


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 10:05 AM
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I think it's a mistake to think that all of these types of pop music descend exclusively from the blues. There's a whole tradition of folk song [mentioned by Bob, above, for example] that's easily as much a source for country music.

Some of the Western swing tunes just _are_ blues tunes, of course, and even when they aren't they are heavily influenced by (originally black) swing and jazz. But there's a lot of fairly schmaltzy pop music, and folk derived music that isn't.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 10:10 AM
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In the blues, there are no expectations, hence only the blues, which are beyond self-pity.

Different, but I guess not inconsistent with Houston Baker's characterization of blues as being located at "the crossroads of lack and desire". (Which from the Google, seems to have also been applied to hip-hop by a number of folks.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 10:56 AM
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110, etc;

Last time I had a long drive & c&w on, what struck me was a male/female divide in anticipating success -- not even success at cheating, though I suppose that would be included. There were several 'women rule' songs, sung by women, alternating with more or less defensive 'I'm a country boy even though people look down on it' songs sung by men. Worst of the latter, 'She's spreading her wings (don't go)' and best of the latter was a trucker being kind of charming about being hit on by a transvestite.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 1:51 PM
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Ah. the second one turns out to be "Silence on the Line" by Chris Ledoux

I just read the lyrics for that one . . . it packs a punch.

I like the way it places the conversation in the context of what was clearly a long running argument between the two.

Just reading the lyrics, it's hard to tell what the emphasis is when the wife says, "If you want to know my mind leave that rodeo bum behind /
Don't waste our time I'm waitin' here for you"

But I wonder how many times in the past he had showed up with a friend from the rodeo and sat up all night telling stories and singing songs and ignoring her.

On the other hand, that may be giving the song too much credit, the previous comment from the wife is, "Put yourself in his place it'd awful hard to face / All the chores and work and nothing he could do" which feels like an odd thing to say, unless she actually knows what is going on in the conversation in which case it's awfully cold.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 2:06 PM
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Huh, in the random connections department, I see that Chris LeDoux also recorded "Someday Soon."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 2:08 PM
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275: Man, that Photek track kinda drags on, doesn't it?

That was kinda a sparse version but Photek Ni Ten Ichi Ryu [TeeBee Remix] is much less so. It took me a minute to get into the first version, but I was raised on Kurosawa movies so I like sparse.

max
['Thanks PoMo!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 2:56 PM
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There's no shame in being schooled by a native of more northerly climes.

This is precisely what Southerners are so defensive about.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 3:39 PM
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282.2: Didn't find Nworb's song, but in looking for it came across this Gordon Lightfoot song with a somewhat-related theme, "I Used to be a Country Singer"

I was sittin' in my hotel room, strummin' my old guitar
Not much to do when you're far away, playin' some smokey bar
I was feelin' a little empty and feelin' a little blue
When the maid came in and asked me if she could do my room
I put down my old guitar and she gave me a smile
She had a crusty voice and a drinker's
look, but she had a friendly style
She dusted my room and made my bed and she talked of days gone by
She spoke of when she wooed the men; a tear came to her eye

And she said
I used to be a country singer
I could sing a mean Patsy Cline
My husband
he could yodel like Wilf Carter
Kitty Wells was a real good friend of mine

[several more verses]
I like my country music to be Canadian and not really country.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 4:29 PM
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but who can tell me that I am wrong to dismiss post-pac rap?

This may be the dumbest sentence I've ever read on Unfogged.

St Pac brought hip-hop the gift of interiority . . . .

Oh wait, I spoke too soon!

IMO Illmatic was the last worthwhile record to be released

Definitely too soon.

As pennance, fm shall be require to photoshop his face onto the various covers of Things Fall Apart.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 8:16 PM
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"require" s/b "required".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 8-09 8:17 PM
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