Re: Independence Day Celebration Continues: Merle Haggard Is Shrill

1

"Why don't we liberate the United States, we're the ones that need it the most."

Gosh, if Bush is losing the self-pitying xenophobes, he might really be in trouble.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
2

I thought one of the most well-polling yet underused-due-to-disagreement-that-it-was-a-bad-thing was the observation that George Bush was closing firehouses in Boston to rebuild them in Baghdad.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
3

We've got Merle on our side this time! Maybe the war will end quicker than the Vietnam debacle.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 12:38 PM
horizontal rule
4

Magnificent. Haggard has been speaking out against the war for years and against the direction of conservatism for at least a decade. (Perhaps even before your paragons of political correctness like Mr. Politicalfootball...accusing people who genuinely love their country of xenophobia is very lame). But this is just a terrific song.


Posted by: Marcus | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 12:57 PM
horizontal rule
5

Well, the way Haggard puts it, it looks as though there's a binary choice between helping people here and overseas. You get the sense the it might get sticky explaining to him that it's much much cheaper buying people mosquito nets than it is blowing them up, and as a rich country we could probably do quite a lot of good overseas without running out of money for taking care of our own.

But on the war, and on the need for taking care of our own people and our own built environment, I'm absolutely with him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
6

The isolationist angle of it kind of weirds me out. Hard to imagine that "America First" isn't an intentional reference.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
7

Political quibbles aside, I love how his voice sounds these days.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
8

The thing is that it's not hard for me to imagine that it's an accident. "America First" is an easy combination of words to hit on -- I googled to make sure that my memory of the slogan was accurate, and putting "America First" in quotes doesn't get you the WWII era organization on the first page. I had to go to Wikipedia to check it.

Now, it's an easy combination of words to hit on if what you want to express is isolationism, but there's a difference between isolationism in the "We should probably have some indepth discussions of the benefits to the US and the world of peaceful engagement with the rest of the world" and the "Why are you so enthusiastic about the Nazis, freak" senses. And I don't think there's any reason to think that Haggard was at all thinking about the historical reference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
9

Populism basically scares the hell out of me, but I think this is an all-but-unabashed good. To the extent he's saying "America First," he's talking about real cash--Iraq--not $3 water straws.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:17 PM
horizontal rule
10

Hmmm. That's a long way from the Merle Haggard who sang "Walking on the Fighting Side of Me"...


Posted by: 3pointshooter | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:27 PM
horizontal rule
11

8: leave the quotes out and the wikipedia article is the second link. Anyhow, you're probably right. I find the former style of isolationism fairly pernicious as well, though obviously in a different league from nazi-enthusiasm.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
12

Also, Merle Haggard seems like a pretty politically aware guy. Pat Buchanan mentions America First all the time, doesn't he? Seems not unlikely to me that Haggard is sympathetic to Buchanan's version of conservatism.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
13

From the first page of google video search results for "America First" (quotes included): Guthrie sings about Lindbergh.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
14

Merle Haggard in early 2001:
Onion AV Club: How do you feel about being closely identified with the politics of "Okie From Muskogee" and "The Fightin' Side Of Me" now?

MH: Oh, I must have been an idiot. It's documentation of the uneducated that lived in America at the time, and I mirror that. I always have. Staying in touch with the working class... but it's pretty easy to lie to me. You could lie to me. They had me in a film called Wag The Dog because of "Okie From Muskogee" and my close scrutiny of the people that are being shitted. I've become self-educated since I wrote that song. But it still has a very timely description.

O: Did you vote in the last election?

MH: Yeah, yeah, I did. And I don't know, I wasn't happy with the count myself. I thought it was pretty damn obvious that we had a situation there where it made no difference what the American public thought. They intended to be in office, and they are in office. That's the bottom line, and we've been manipulated. I feel really violated as a citizen.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:46 PM
horizontal rule
15

Your techno-hatred of folk music betrays your better instincts, Sifu. Put down the plug, gather around the guitar.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
16

Merle Haggard plays folk music? I don't like folk music? Who knew!

I liked the song fine, it's just a weirdly simplistic view of what the problem is, in some ways. I'm sure it's a good thing generally.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:53 PM
horizontal rule
17

1. I know nothing about music.
2. I refuse to call it "country"; folk is ours, country theirs. I'm sure there are important differences, but see #1.
3. It was a joke.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 1:57 PM
horizontal rule
18

17.2 is actually kind of right. "Country" as a genre developed in response to the general non-lily-whiteness of early radio, IIR the radio piece I heard on it C. Folk music is some kind of weird mid-20th century construct, though. We could call it "old timey music," but it ain't.

17.3 is obviously a lie meant to cover up the intended grievous insult.

Honestly, I don't like all that much of what gets called "folk music" these days.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
19

Folk Song Army


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 2:13 PM
horizontal rule
20

music labels are always constructs. No muscician really likes the label music rags tag them with.

Why is he using a 48 star flag? that makes me think the WWII era reference was intentional.

Leftist movements always happen through populist demagogues.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
21

Sifu "The only music white people are allowed to play is electronica" Tweety objects to 15?

Sounds like someone may have been overstating his positions for dramatic effect in the past. I'm pretty sure that's not allowed here.

Given that folk music includes both black and white music written and performed mostly by semi-isolated, for want of a better word, autodidacts, I think it's a very real distinction from Country music, which is pretty definitionally white.

Also, it seems to me that there's an accepted distinction between balladry and folk song forms that actually has meaning moving forward (eg, specific rock songs can be grouped as to which form they are). I have no idea if this relates to whether the beat is on the 1/3 or the 2/4. But isn't that a meaningful difference?

Shit, maybe I finally will write the post I've been contemplating for a year now about what a jagoff Elijah "Escaping the Delta" Wald is.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 2:59 PM
horizontal rule
22

shivbunny's a fan of country, and I have to say that country as it is now is damned weird. Just a straight shot of nostalgia chased with a little bit of Jesus.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 3:05 PM
horizontal rule
23

Leftist movements always happen through populist demagogues.

Is this supposed to be a good or a bad thing?

Regardless, I'm pretty sure it's not a true thing, unless you bend definitions and causality a fair bit. Among other things, which Leftist part of the 60s owed anything to Populist demagogues?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 3:06 PM
horizontal rule
24

21: in case it has not been established yet beyond a shadow of a doubt, I was incredibly drunk when I wrote that post. I could rephrase it to make it a more reasonable statement (just pop music/not artists genres/really I'm an idiot deep down) but what's the point?

Anyhow, I agree with you. "Country" as a genre was the repackaging of Appalachian folk tunes for a white rural radio audience horrified by jazz and opera. That some of those Appalachian folkies were (and are) incredible musicians and memorable songwriters does not contradict this history.

All I meant is that "folk" as a genre for current music is weird. "Folk" taken to mean "the music people have always played", as embodied in the Smithsonian field recordings, totally makes sense. "Folk", as in "a political guy in the mid 20th century trying to recapture that tradition", also makes sense to me, but I might be biased, as I had a childhood full of Stan Rogers sing-a-longs. "Folk" as in "I'm going to whine about my life in a narrative song while playing acoustic guitar" seems to diluted as to lose all meaning. "Folk" meaning "I'm going to play my acoustic guitar over electronic hip-hop beats" is just retarded.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 3:09 PM
horizontal rule
25

Well, I do think it's critical to distinguish between pop-country and the more old-school stuff. There's been glitzy country for decades, but since about the advent of Garth Brooks, mainstream, radio-friendly country is little more than twangy rock with, as you say, nostalgic, patriotic, and/or treacly-Jesus content.

It's strange to me that edgier, less-poppy stuff doesn't appeal to the red-blooded country base, but I guess that pop music is almost always poppy (in the sense of non-threatening and bland), and that ass-kicking lyrics give the testosterone thrill that once came from having bad-asses, not pretty boys, singing your favorite tunes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 3:15 PM
horizontal rule
26

"Folk" as in "I'm going to whine about my life in a narrative song while playing acoustic guitar" seems to diluted as to lose all meaning. "Folk" meaning "I'm going to play my acoustic guitar over electronic hip-hop beats" is just retarded.

I had no idea that I would ever agree so deeply with Sifu on a musical issue.

Much of what arguably belongs to the folk tradition is termed alt.country or Americana, while "folk" means just what you said. I blame Bob Dylan.

(Seriously - when he went electric, most folkies followed or just started whining with their acoustic guitars. The latter 'tradition' became the modern definition of folk).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
27

25: I should be more clear, I don't mean the early music. I meant the development of the genre as an independent entity, seperate from "old timey music" or "traditional music" or whatever. I would certainly never presume to diss Hank Williams or Patsy Cline (or Johnny Cash, for that matter).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 3:19 PM
horizontal rule
28

26: hey, man, I played Seldom Scene at Burning Man last year. Went over big. Judging my musical tastes by the goofy things I say on the internet would probably be somewhat reductive.

Have you ever heard Cindy Kallet?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
29

In the words of JB Beverly and the Wayward Drifters, you won't find no country on country radio. In which respect it is exactly the same as every other "authentic" musical genre.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
30

And I always liked the term "y'allternative". Sadly, it never took off.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
31

In the 20s and 30s the two big genres were "race music" (the blues) and "hillbilly music" (country). Those names have a certain honesty about them that I appreciate.

Sifu: We can all agree that contemporary country was a conscious reaction to something on urban radio, but I was under the impression that it was not jazz and opera that people were reacting against. In the 50s, race and hillbilly music were were selectively appropriated by white urban youth to create "folk" or "old time music." I always thought contemporary country music formed as a reaction specifically against the liberal, mixed race, Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly vision of its own past.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 4:47 PM
horizontal rule
32

Also, I blame Simon and Garfunkle and for the transformation of folk music from an attempt to revive traditional forms to an occasion for artistic introspection with an acoustic guitar. S&G had more and bigger hits than Dylan and were frankly more pretentious.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 4:50 PM
horizontal rule
33

25: Definitely. I was meaning the pop-country stuff, which is mostly the story of boy sees girl, boy gets girl, BOY DOES THE MANLY THING AND MARRIES HER LIKE JESUS WOULD WANT.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 4:54 PM
horizontal rule
34

Whatever. Paul Simon hit his stride at the end of the folk explosion, and is just plain pop.

Ian & Sylvia are a better case study, rise & fall, for the NY Folk-Revival, or maybe Fred Neil. When Ian Tyson made his 1st cowboy album around 1970, he titled it after a 1936 Roy Acuff hit, Great Speckled Bird.

Martin Carthy is the father of modern English folk, transcibing the Child Ballad songs, extending antique fragments. Jansch & Renbourn took it a little electric. Child Ballad is folk, I know that much.
You write your own songs, it ain't folk.

Rosalie Sorrells is a treasure out there, hunting up 19th century mining camp and union songs. Dan Zanes has some wonderful albums, including one that has his 11-yr-old kid singing a salty sailor drinking song. I don't have enough time for the Celts or Bretons.

I got me some Jimmie Rogers, some Foggy Mountain Boys, some Carter Family. But I haven't a clue what country music was or is.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
35

My son's al crowd distinguished "country" and "Nashville". "Nashville" is a cheesy pop country style coming from that city after about 1975 or 1980.

The first electric blues guitarist (more or less) T-Bone Walker. If you listen to his stuff, it's sort of jazz/swing blues. I thought it was late stuff when he tried to go upscale, but electric blues started that way. The gutsy raw stuff came later.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 6:22 PM
horizontal rule
36

Dan Zanes is a hero in our house. The kid on the Sea Songs album isn't his, though. His own daughter, Anna makes appearances on albums and videos though, as does his brother and former co-Del-Fuego, Warren. And his brother in law.

Like all good folk acts, Dan Zanes & Friends is basically a family band.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 6:27 PM
horizontal rule
37

I don't like the isolationism, but I do like the song. And if Merle is looking for a populist, anti-war, (pro-green), infrastructure movement, there actually is one out there: http://www.apolloalliance.org/


Posted by: Craig | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
38

OT: A plan-less Fourth of July has evolved into eekbeat and me attempting to make a Spanish tortilla while drinking Chilean wine and listening to Less Than Jake on vinyl. ¡Viva Bolívar!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
39

That's fun. What I am doing is sitting on my front porh looking at the web (The Web!) and listening to the first disk of Rhino's release of The Band's Last Waltz. On headphones! -- Having earlier watched the fireworks with my friends Bob and Janis. Ellen and the girl are both shy about the noise of the fireworks and prefer to stay indoors.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
40

Me, I'm sitting around at home alone pissed off and sad at no one but myself. Hah, suckers!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:05 PM
horizontal rule
41

Sorry.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:06 PM
horizontal rule
42

Um. Yeah, no, never mind.

Sifu Tweety, gold medalist, buzzkill olympics.

Weren't Bob and Janis in that movie with Ted and Alice about the sex or the 70s or whatever?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
43

Yes, I believe they appeared in that rĂ´le.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
44

Serious ska revival going on right now in my house. w-lfs-n would probably be upset. Good thing that gentle orchid is miles away.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:16 PM
horizontal rule
45

A policeman was just driving by my house in an intimidating fashion and implying that the citizenry ought to be indoors tending their own fires and moving me like an automaton off my porch into the house. (Fuckin cops.)


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:21 PM
horizontal rule
46

Still cooking. Hm. Bored.

Okalahoma!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:29 PM
horizontal rule
47

New Mexico!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:29 PM
horizontal rule
48

Arizona!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
49

Alaska!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
50

Hawaii!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:31 PM
horizontal rule
51

Saskatchewan?


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 8:35 PM
horizontal rule
52

Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands....

Tortilla results: overdone but tasty.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 9:04 PM
horizontal rule
53

That's a long way from the Merle Haggard who sang "Walking on the Fighting Side of Me".

The video will have to wait for my office broadband. But I'm not so sure about this. I can't be bothered to look it up, but my impression was always that songs like "Okie From Muskogee" were exercises in (self-)parody. Like Springsteen's "Born in the USA," lots of people didn't get it.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 9:11 PM
horizontal rule
54

I'm not sure Merle was really going for self-parody, but I saw a Beach Boys version in about 1970 that made the point very well. And then there was the Youngblood's Hippie from Olema:

we don't watch commercials in olema
we don't buy the plastic crap they sell
we still wear our hair long like folks used to
and we bathe often, therefore we don't smell

well i'm proud to be a hippie from olema
where we're friendly to the squares and all the straights
we still take in strangers if they're ragged
we can't think of anyone to hate


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 9:22 PM
horizontal rule
55

Hey you know what if you have a party to go to and it gets cancelled it's not a good idea to drink all the sangria you had prepared on your own because man those blueberries are potent little bastards after absorbing alcohol all night.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
56

I like the neologism "roots music." Nicely avoids all the stupid fights about what is or isn't "real" folk, country, or whatever the hell else, and lets me get on with listening to Howlin' Wolf and Hank Williams Sr. in peace.

The song isn't a classic addition to the Merle Haggard canon or anything, but its heart is in the right place. I like it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 9:30 PM
horizontal rule
57

it's not a good idea to drink all the sangria you had prepared on your own . . .

It's a great idea!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 9:31 PM
horizontal rule
58

If your party is canceled, drinking all the sangria you prepared is probably the best idea. White Sangria, that's my fave: peaches and apricots soaked in white wine.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 9:33 PM
horizontal rule
59

Mine has strawberries and raspberries and blueberries in white wine! It was a pretty red white and blue sangria.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 9:43 PM
horizontal rule
60

Have you ever heard Cindy Kallet?

Heard of her, own a couple of albums, have met her a couple of times, and know people that have taken classes from her at PSGW.

I really like her first album. Several songs off Dreaming Down a Quiet Line are absolutely fantastic, but the album as a whole sometimes feels overly earnest.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 9:45 PM
horizontal rule
61

It was a pretty red white and blue sangria.

Then it's definitely your patriotic duty to get stinko.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 10:02 PM
horizontal rule
62

At the moment, I'm at the house where my wife and daughters are house-sitting for a friend for a couple of weeks while I get a project done at home. My wife's friend is an elected official and very wealthy, and the house is in a fabulous location. From where I'm sitting, I can see the alpenglow fading from Mts. Rainier, St. Helens and Hood, and I'd see the same from Mt. Adams if I bothered to stand up, which I won't because I'm relaxing with some of the friend's delicious Port and because I so wanted to share with you all before the fireworks begin. God bless us every one.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 10:09 PM
horizontal rule
63

Fuuuuuuuuuck July Fourth.

Fuuuuuuuuuck America.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuck all this.

Chew on that, wingnut bloggers!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
64

What kind of pussy-ass fireworks are these, anyhow, that they aren't igniting widespread brush fires? Safe and sane my fucking ass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 10:18 PM
horizontal rule
65

According to wikipedia people still use the phrase "America First" :

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan has frequently praised America First and often uses its name as a slogan. "The achievements of that organization are monumental," writes Buchanan, "By keeping America out of World War II until Hitler attacked Stalin in June of 1941, Soviet Russia, not America, bore the brunt of the fighting, bleeding and dying to defeat Nazi Germany."[1] For this reason the movement is still an icon to paleoconservatives and other Americans who wish to return to a foreign policy of non-intervention.


Posted by: joeo | Link to this comment | 07- 4-07 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
66

re: 35

Yeah, you've mentioned that before, about the sophistication of the late 40s blues players compared to the later electric players. I'm not sure it holds 100%, but it does show, as you say, that the received narrative history of that style of music is wrong. The same applies to all the 40s 'jump blues' bands, which often used very involved horn arrangements over sophisticated changes while still using fairly standard blues lyrics.

I've read similar things about jazz too. The orthodox view of the evolution of the 'blues' progression in jazz has it starting with a fairly simple 12-bar pattern then the swing guys start adding in 6ths, a VI chord and so on, before the bebop guys end up with a completely different and much more 'outside' sounding progression laden with substitutions. Some musicologists have pointed out that this clean narrative is slightly spoiled by the fact that you can find Louis Armstrong playing what look suspiciously like the more sophisticated swing blues and bop changes on recordings from nearly 20 years prior to the 'invention' of bebop.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:05 AM
horizontal rule
67

To celebrate July 4th, I spent half the day surfing the internet, rode my motorcycle through the Santa Cruz mountains in the late afternoon, briefly touching 100 mph (take that, cops!), listened to willie nelson, drank sierra nevada, had hamburgers with friends, watched a professionally produced fireworks show in Sannta Clara, and am currently watching denizens of the next neighborhood over shoot of fireworks in contravention of most local ordinances. This country is awesome.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:10 AM
horizontal rule
68

To celebrate July 4th, I spent half the day surfing the internet, rode my motorcycle through the Santa Cruz mountains in the late afternoon, briefly touching 100 mph (take that, cops!), listened to willie nelson, drank sierra nevada, had hamburgers with friends, watched a professionally produced fireworks show in Sannta Clara, and am currently watching denizens of the next neighborhood over shoot of fireworks in contravention of most local ordinances. This country is awesome.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:11 AM
horizontal rule
69

I remember liking this Merle Haggard song when it came out, two years ago.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:12 AM
horizontal rule
70

Was that before Merle sold out?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:16 AM
horizontal rule
71

That reminds me of a great line I once saw or heard, I can't remember, someone jestingly employ, to wit, "I hated this band before they were popular".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:18 AM
horizontal rule
72

Speaking of Merle Haggard, he has a good version of this song, does a good Sing Me Back Home with Johnny Cash. Not speaking of Merle Haggard, but cool nonetheless, some dude playing Stars and Stripes Forever on the guitar.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:21 AM
horizontal rule
73

And, in a sign that YouTube is truly what the internet was invented for, I present some korean girl playing the top gun anthem.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:32 AM
horizontal rule
74

re: 73

There are quite a few videos of her playing on YouTube, it seems. Some pretty good, some a bit less good. YouTube in general is full of guitar players 'check me shred' vids.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:46 AM
horizontal rule
75

But few of them are attractive women with wind blowing through their hair.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:49 AM
horizontal rule
76

Not sure if it's the same girl, but now she has a friend, and is doing Bon Jovi.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:50 AM
horizontal rule
77

re: 76

Yeah, same girl. Guitar geeks notice it's the same EVH signature-model guitar that she's playing.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fer8rdp3hCs

Much better than the Bon Jovi tune.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:55 AM
horizontal rule
78

The same applies to all the 40s 'jump blues' bands, which often used very involved horn arrangements over sophisticated changes while still using fairly standard blues lyrics.

Mmmm...T-Bone Walker...

To celebrate July 4th, I spent half the day surfing the internet, rode my motorcycle through the Santa Cruz mountains in the late afternoon, briefly touching 100 mph (take that, cops!), listened to willie nelson, drank sierra nevada, had hamburgers with friends, watched a professionally produced fireworks show in Sannta Clara, and am currently watching denizens of the next neighborhood over shoot of fireworks in contravention of most local ordinances. This country is awesome.

Indeed. That, and '40s jump-blues bands, summarise the reasons to keep going with it, rather than just build a big wall along the Canadian border and re-route the TAT-xx cables.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:35 AM
horizontal rule
79

I like to think the "America First" in the song is a deliberate, but ironic, invocation of the slogan. Sort of, "Okay you America First-ers, how 'bout you quit pretending to bring freedom and democracy to the rest of the world when you've kind of screwed up the freedom and democracy we're supposed to have here?"

On a separate note, phrases like "America First" and "Buy American" tend to unsettle me after having visited Dachau a decade ago, where the museum displayed late 1920's and early 1930's German newspapers sporting the same slogans with respect to Germany. Obviously, Germany of that era was not "isolationist," but it's challenging to think about how the same "me first" philosophy operates in different times and places. Or something.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:37 AM
horizontal rule
80

I like to think the "America First" in the song is a deliberate, but ironic, invocation of the slogan.

It wouldn't have to really be ironic, though, since plenty of actual America First-ers and so-called "paleocons" have been expressing just these sorts of sentiments for some time.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
81

80 -- I know. It's just more satisfying, for me, to interpret it with a snide tone to it. Personal character flaw of mine, I suppose.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
82

80. Yah, I agree that this song fits an intellectually coherent conservative critique of the Iraq War.

(Does that seem like too much of a burden to impose on a C&W song? In this case, I actually don't think so.)

Anway, that's my problem with it. There are a lot of problems with the Iraq War, and certainly the resources wasted is one big problem, but Merle casts this as helping them furriners when we ought to be helping ourselves.

That ain't the problem. If we were actually helping the Iraqis, then that would be a pretty compelling reason to be there.

That said, I do actually like the song, and hey, all fellow travellers are welcome, I say.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:08 AM
horizontal rule
83

I'm no Merle Haggard expert, but in light of that Onion interview, couldn't we speculate that what Haggard is doing is trying to find a way to express opposition to the war and the administration in a way that is maximally agreeable to parts of his traditional fan base? Especially since so much of the imagery in the video is devoted to showing working-class people, some of whom are veterans, being in desperate straits? I know there are some tensions along those lines in my neighborhood, where there's a significant presence of Vietnam veterans who simultaneously venerate military service and oppose the mass of US government policy. And a lot of them listen/ed to country music.

Also, isn't this pretty much exactly what Guthrie was trying to do with "Lindbergh"? That is, convince working people that the fake populism expressed by the isolationist tendency didn't add up to any positive change in the lives of regular people, and was, in fact, a tool of the elites for consolidating their own power? That's how I've always read it, so I think the "America First" reference could be seen that way too.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
84

All I meant is that "folk" as a genre for current music is weird. "Folk" taken to mean "the music people have always played", as embodied in the Smithsonian field recordings, totally makes sense. "Folk", as in "a political guy in the mid 20th century trying to recapture that tradition", also makes sense to me, but I might be biased, as I had a childhood full of Stan Rogers sing-a-longs. "Folk" as in "I'm going to whine about my life in a narrative song while playing acoustic guitar" seems to diluted as to lose all meaning. "Folk" meaning "I'm going to play my acoustic guitar over electronic hip-hop beats" is just retarded.

I completely agree with this as well. I also agree with the idea that it isn't usually the fault of the performer. Most of the people I know performing "folk" (i.e., singer-songwriter) music are well aware of this problem.

It also reminded me of this, from "The Ballad of Elizabeth Dark"

This was back in the days
Of the folk music craze
Lenny & poetry & jazz
Cats & chicks snappin their fingers
To Lord Buckley doing The Nazz
Kierkegaard Ginsberg
Sartre & free love
Parties to cover the rent
We all wanted to be existentialists
None of us knew what the hell it meant


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:14 PM
horizontal rule