Speaking of country music… this sounds like an interesting book:
To my ears, a lot of the new music currently being touted as ‘country’ is this strange amalgam where the familiar textures of the genre are grafted onto chord and song structures associated with boy bands and FM club music.
And yet, the lyrics still encircle what Jesse Barron (in your linked article) describes as “the brutality of love, the rhythm of work and leisure, the steady roll of the seasons, the passage from birth to marriage to death.” And it is kind of sweet to hear songs where the lyrical gist can be summarized as ‘Golly gee, I love my wife and kids’—or would be, if it weren’t for the shadow of suspicion that many of the fans of such songs, if not the songwriters themselves, probably see this as God’s One True Union for Mankind. 1
The currently accepted state of the genre is hard listening if your taste in country is that of Cash, Nelson, Case, or Lynn. Still, if one considers country as just another type of musical folklore, this most recent evolution2 makes an amusing amount of sense.
1 And those people are just gonna have to fucking deal.
2 Not to be confused with ‘progression’.
Smashing Pumpkins are back. (well, kinda)
Listened to it last night, and honestly, I was kind of underwhelmed (I was only ever a casual SP fan, though).
What did you think?
Smashing Pumpkins are cancelled, permanently.
Musical palate cleanser from the politics:
I thought it was rather boring. I miss the earlier rage rock of my youth.
Thanks @Wanderfound for the intel on Billy. Damn, one just never knows. They’re off the playlist!
Yeah, outside of rocking out, Billy’s had a weird trajectory from vegan-tea-shop owner to pro-wrestling writer and CEO to far-right MAGA-spewing crazy-conspiracy-theory pundit on Infowars. He’s even been theorizing about lizard people lately.
What’s this strange weirdness on 1960s West German TV, why it’s the Monks, a avant-garde rock band of 5 American soldiers:
Ahh The Monks… Protopunk at it’s best.
Really crazy stuff, these guys.
Wow! Clearly ahead of their time.
I’m somehow not surprised that they found an appreciative audience in Germany.
I wonder what happened to those guys?
(I know, Google could probably tell me, etc.)
I think they got back together later on, but I think at least one of the guys in the band has since passed away. Fortunately, there great music is still there for us to enjoy.
Low has been a favorite band of mine for a long time, and their music tends to swing between crunchy, heavy guitar tunes and some of the most delicate, pretty, atmospheric songs in my record collection. They’re turning 25 this year, and are apparently celebrating by putting out the weirdest stuff they’ve ever done.
Former subway band is getting their groove on. Latest recording makes for great party music. New Orleans style y’all!
Some friends of mine have been discovering how cool hurdy-gurdies sound recently, so I found this video (not taken by me) from the concert where I first heard one, back in 1995, and its sound knocked me out. Nigel Eaton with Page & Plant.
It’s actually a great primer for the different sounds a hurdy-gurdy can make. He starts out with just the melody strings engaged, so it’s basically a mechanized violin. At 1:33 he reaches up and engages the drone strings (this was very intense live) for that deep medieval sounding tone. Then at 2:26 he engages the trompette string, which creates that rhythmic buzz. When I heard this, I couldn’t believe all of that sound was coming from this one guy.
I always like this as an example of “too much music from one instrument”:
(slow build, but worthwhile)
Or if we allow simultaneous instruments…