Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More from the NBA/Music blogger. This time he takes on Country music and for the most part I have to whole heartidly agree with his impressions of modern country music and how bands such as Wilco, MMJ, DBT and the sorts embody more of what country is born to be; from the heart and of the head. I even love how he's not afraid to call some of the what the National does 'country' because it certainly is. In fact a lot of what falls under a broader 'indie' tag is nothing more than what country grew into when those artists intent on music and not pop success created a back to basics but evlolved sound.
See what he has to say: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/thelife/news/story?id=4375278

I'll get back to my work later, just enjoy finding a blogger I can relate to, despite our vast differences in lifestyle we share a commonality in musical taste and perspective on life.


m. jejune said...

I don't want to put this too bluntly, but I hate this guy and everything that he stands for. His columns are full of knee-jerk indie snobbery.

His country music article starts off by saying that he doesn't like Hank Sr. or Gram Parsons, but he "respects" their work. At this point, the reader can be forgiven for asking why he is writing an article about how much pop country sucks when he doesn't even like "authentic" country. (Also, the authentic/inauthentic discussion is so tiresome. When a song comes on the radio, I don't need to know whether the crooner grew up in the Mississippi Delta or had an uncle that used to drink Old Crow or whatever. I tend to base whether or not I like the song based on the song itself.)

This article is the work of someone who is insecure in his music taste. He hates Clint Black, of course, but he loves Jason Isbell because Isbell is more "authentic", but he doesn't really like Isbell because Isbell's show was boring to him, but that's ok, because authentic country music is only a niche genre and it is meant to be consumed in a lonely bar. Seriously, that's his argument and it doesn't make a lick of fucking sense. Johnny Cash, we can all agree, represents authentic country. Johnny Cash had a show on network television. Maybe authentic country is not such a niche.

Seriously, I could keep going. I wrote four or five paragraphs about how I hated his column on pop music, but they mostly revolved around the thesis that Discovery sucks. I'll delete those to save everyone the trouble of reading them. Hate, hate hate everything this guy writes. (I just read a chat transcript and he says that he really regrets not seeing Stone Temple Pilots in concert. You can't mock anyone else's music taste when STP is your #1 music regret.)

kavorka said...

A thoroughly enjoyable read. Now this is kind of music in which our venn diagrams ever so slightly intersect.

Wilco, Whiskeytown, Chris Knight, Slaid Cleaves, Son Volt, Kasey Chambers, Greg Trooper, Bruce Robison, Charlie Robison, Ryan Adams (his early solo stuff), Brandon Rhyder...these are but a select few of the "country" artists that swing my gate.

Thanks for sharing, LTME!

bcp said...

I must say I've been writing this blog for almost three years now and this is by far the most involved reaction to a post I have seen. Jejune, as always, I agree with you, just in a different kind of way. I do think that this guy's material is way over the top 'idie flag waving' rantings and at times quite naive. However, it do love that he is an NBA player whose forum to voice his opinion on music is the ESPN website. Whether or not he takes advantage of this and plays to his presumed unaware audience I don't know. But I feel he has the means to connect with a large audience and very much an audience that needs some enlightenment when it comes to pop culture and music.

I agree that it is shameful for him to say Gram Parsons is unlistenable and then praise DBT, but at least he doesn't bash Waylon and then stick up for Kenny Chesney. What I'm getting at is that he may not be an expert by any means or really have strong of a perspective or grasp, but at least he has the right intentions.

I see him as a person that wants and expects more from the general populous. Challenge yourselves to not buy into every crap artist the radio pushes on you and spend a little time learning what it is you like and explore it some. Give yourself some credibility and enlightenment.

I don't know where Passion Pit is from or even where Chris Knight is from, but I do know that I like both artists because they make far better music than the staples of their respective genre. I don't think everyone in America should be a fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but I do wish Americans could see why 90% of the shows on TV are mindless, soulless and embarassing to watch.

It's really all a matter of opinion. Shoot, 80% of my friends don't read my blog because they either can't relate, don't care or disagree. Doesn't mean I should stop pushing Fugazi or Justin Townes Earle. For that matter I really don't know what the fuck I am talking about a lot of times, but I love to hear perspectives, be challenged, challenge and ultimately rewarded by music, albums, shows and critics.

What ties it all together for me is that I respect the heck out of Jejune and his music perspective (even though I strongly dislike Of Montreal) and at the same time Kavorka for the first time found a connection to something on my blog despite his working his way along for months of shit that isn't on his radar.

Glad to have people posting. I appreciate the feedback.

kavorka said...

Well stated, bcp.

For what it's worth, I thoroughly enjoy checking in on your blog on a fairly regular basis.

It has, indeed, opened my eyes to a lot of bands and styles that I would have never come across. Band of Horses and Passion Pit are but two of the many audio pleasures that I've taken away from LTME.

I wholeheartedly agree that different perspectives are fascinating when applied to the same medium. To each his own, but respect for each other's own, as it were, is truly the neatest thing, in my opinion.