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billyjerome 11-26-2008 06:04 PM

Country First?
 
How country music lost the election--and why that may be the best thing to happen to the genre in years

Thoughts and opinions on the state of country music?

mr dave 11-26-2008 07:18 PM

country music has been 'dying' since it's younger generations focused on twang-ified pop tunes for CMT, or heavy handed 'patriotic' tunes that would get anyone else labeled a bigot.

this election did nothing to change the state of the style if anything it's only showing the divide between what it was and what it's become.

much in the same way that if you want to hear good rock music the best thing you can do is turn off the radio/tv the same applies for country music.

Janszoon 11-26-2008 07:26 PM

Great article. I'm definitely with the author that the state of modern country music is pretty awful and I think it's been that way since at least the 80s.

Also, that Ronald Reagan quote, "one of only a very few forms that we can claim as purely American" made me laugh. I guess there's a reason he's not remembered as any kind of cultural historian.

4ZZZ 11-27-2008 02:34 AM

Thanks for the link. I always enjoy a read like this but I am going to say that I disagree a fair bit. The item posted is an attack on mainstream Country the way I read it with the political angle thrown in. Please bear in mind I am writing this reply from another country and am looking in from the outside. I am happy to be corrected if I have got anything wrong or are generalising.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr dave (Post 552658)
country music has been 'dying' since it's younger generations focused on twang-ified pop tunes for CMT, or heavy handed 'patriotic' tunes that would get anyone else labeled a bigot.

this election did nothing to change the state of the style if anything it's only showing the divide between what it was and what it's become.

I don't know if it is 'dying' per se but it sure has an image profile issue outside of it's own audience. As you imply the 'patriotic' implications within certain confines of the audience is nauseous to say the least. There are a lot of great artists in the country genre but they, with the rare exception, are not receiving the publicity that they deserve. Your right "twang-ified pop tunes for CMT" are the mainstream and that is what the vast majority are into. We know that to be true of all genres.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr dave (Post 552658)
much in the same way that if you want to hear good rock music the best thing you can do is turn off the radio/tv the same applies for country music.

I agree but that just proves that the article posted is just an attack on the mainstream. Lets have Rolling Stone writers attack Andre Rui. He is touring Australia and shifting units in record numbers in both ticket, CD and DVD sales. I have read the more elite press get themselves very narked as to what he produces, one item in defence of him called him Wiggles for adults. Cut the politics out and in a sense there is a "Classical music is at a low ebb" feel. FWIW I could not care less. Most music after a while loses it's vitality when the adventurous mainstream becomes but a poor image of it's once glorious self. That is why the vast majority of music lover chat on sites like this so as to escape the mainstream and look beyond.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janszoon (Post 552661)
Great article. I'm definitely with the author that the state of modern country music is pretty awful and I think it's been that way since at least the 80s.

I disagree that modern country is awful. As I stated above I think that the mainstream gets tired after a while but at a roots level there is plenty that is vital. I think that there is a massive amount of alternative Country that is worth exploring for anyone with an open mind. Giant Sands, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Callexico, Lambchop are just a couple of names that spring to mind.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janszoon (Post 552661)
Also, that Ronald Reagan quote, "one of only a very few forms that we can claim as purely American" made me laugh. I guess there's a reason he's not remembered as any kind of cultural historian.

Indeed.




To add to what I have written above I purchased 2 CD's last weekend by 2 Country bands both out of my home town Brisbane Australia. One by a band of local muso's who got together and in three days recorded a Bluegrass style album, the other by a duo who's style is more morose and sparse. The independent store I purchased them at told me that they had both been selling very well just by airplay on one radio station and word of mouth. This to me is where it is at. Vital Country music made at a grass roots level. Not an item proclaiming the mainstream death of a genre for political purposes.
Both CD's lay on me desk at work, I get to listen to music through headphones at work lucky me, and a workmate picked them up to have a look. "What type of music?" he asked, Alt Country I replied and I preceded to get the "Dog and the truck and the wife" and the Blues Brother scene. All good fun but it just showed that the image sure has a problem.

mr dave 11-27-2008 03:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4ZZZ (Post 552834)
I agree but that just proves that the article posted is just an attack on the mainstream.

i think you're spot on with this. the style is HUGE at a grass roots level. you can always find weekend festivals in the summer. it's not really my thing but i'm not gonna deny its presence.

Janszoon 12-02-2008 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4ZZZ (Post 552834)
I disagree that modern country is awful. As I stated above I think that the mainstream gets tired after a while but at a roots level there is plenty that is vital. I think that there is a massive amount of alternative Country that is worth exploring for anyone with an open mind. Giant Sands, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Callexico, Lambchop are just a couple of names that spring to mind.

I was referring more to mainstream country, but you're right there's always good stuff going on under the radar. The only band you mentioned there that I'm at all familiar with is Callexico, I'll have to check some of those bands out. Do you have any specific album recommendations?

4ZZZ 12-03-2008 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janszoon (Post 556725)
I was referring more to mainstream country, but you're right there's always good stuff going on under the radar. The only band you mentioned there that I'm at all familiar with is Callexico, I'll have to check some of those bands out. Do you have any specific album recommendations?

I can recommend a fair bit.

Giant Sands. I am a fanatic. Love all of their music. Howe Gelb is the main man so his solo stuff counts as well. If you like a voice that is an off tune whispery cross between Dylan, Young and Lou Reed then this is for you. If push came to shove I would go for Giant Sands albums, The Love Songs, Chore Of Enchantment and Is All Over The Map. I love his latest *proVISIONS* but that is for the fan maybe. Howe Gelb has a "solo" album out called 'sno Angel Like You. A very odd amalgam of country meets gospel meets rock. Could be a good place to start.

Willard Grant Conspiracy try the Regard The End Album. All the albums I have I like but that is a good place to start. The track called The Suffering Song is brilliant.

I just love that song.



Lambchop. Damaged is a good one.

I will add a couple of others.

Jim White. He is appearing next year in my home town and I cannot wait.
Check out Transnormal Skiparoo. Top album.

Just released is an album called The Junkship recording by Texas Tea a Brisbane, Australia alt Country duo and this album has hit my best of 2008 with a bullet. Morose and dark goth country and I am unable to stop playing it. Maybe hard to get outside Australia but they do have a myspace site.
Check out Cane Farmers Song and The Ferry Song. Also the Clip for Caroline. MySpace.com - Texas Tea - Brisbane, AU - Country / Americana / Soul - www.myspace.com/texasteaband

Janszoon 12-04-2008 10:41 PM

Definitely liked the song in that YouTube clip, 4ZZZ. I'll have to check more of their stuff out.

Something Six 12-22-2008 02:30 AM

It has gone to crap. Country in general has lost 90% of its soul to mainstream media. The phrase "cookie cutter" comes to mind.


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