Thursday, February 23, 2006

Country music?

I am by no means proficient in the study of country music. But in my experience, when citizens say 'I like everything but country,' they are really referring to popcountry--WHICH EFFING SUCKS if you didn't know this by now. However, I like anything that has that country feel. I want to say country but it's not really country, it's just the plains, cowboys, the south, beautiful two lane roads where you won't see a car for 100 miles. However, I've never been to the south or met a real cowboy or driven on the type of road where you don't see a car for 100 miles. Again however, out near the middle of Pennsylvania I pick up this type of feeling, like this is what it might feel like in desolate areas in the south or the midwest, and this is what country music was made for. Basically what good country music is good at is picking up the loneliness of being out in the country or any place. Because--WHAT THE EFF IS THE COUNTRY? Do we have a country any more? There's desolate reaches of most of these United States and this is where country music comes in. And when I say 'country music' it has this odd connotation like Garth Brooks or Faith Hill is going to stumble out of your speakers. But really I mean Neko Case, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Dirty Three, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Robert Johnson... a million others. So, really, I don't mean country music at all. I mean the lonely person's music. A perfect example of this is Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's (AKA WILL OLDHAM) "I See A Darkness." It is a ridiculous album and Johnny Cash did a cover of the title song. You know the guy has to be pretty effing outrageous when JOHNNY EFFING CASH is doing covers of the stuff.

Now, I really just have to express my undying devotion to Dirty Three. Even though "Ocean Songs" is entitled "OCEAN SONGS," I still pick up the countryish feel. "Restless Waves," also known as Track 2 to those who can't tell instrumental songs apart, is one of my favorite songs of all time. Also, "Deep Waters" is sixteen minutes and twentyseven seconds of slowburning sick-in-the-head-ness and the payoff is one of the most enveloping things the band has ever done. "Ocean Songs" is my favorite album of theirs because it has such a definitive storyline. It doesn't have a story that is explicitly described. On the contrary, it is a fill-in-the-blanks storyline. Also, if I go back to "Restless Waves" for a second, at about four minutes and 20 seconds the most ridiculous use of muted drums in recorded history ensues. It ACTUALLY SOUNDS LIKE CRASHING RESTLESS WAVES. This is not because I know the title of the song, it is really the impression you will be left with even without having previously know the song title.

So basically, what I was originally saying about country music really has nothing to do with Dirty Three except that their songs are lonely and the country is lonely and I also have just been into a lot of lonely countryish music lately. OH MAN! John Rae-Fletcher and the River... he does this song called "Two Hands." I'm pretty sure the guy is from Canada. I don't think he's really achieved any notoriety at all outside of Canada, I could be wrong, but a friend I have in Montreal made it sound like he was just a local guy. But the song is so sick in the head you wouldn't even believe it if you heard it. I am not sure if it is a cover or not. It's extremely COUNTRY like John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats type of stuff. JOhn's voice is so nasal but ... ahhhh ... Jesus, I want to play this song on 48000 decibels every time it comes on. Near the end it really hits its stride and absolutely murders you with its frenzied jubilant finish. I'm going to post a link here for you to download it from but it will probably expire in a couple of days so dont blame me if you weren't the early bird who caught the worm!!! You missed out, sucka! Ah sike just im me you can getfile it. soijumpedit.

download: John Rae-Fletcher - Two Hands


prodaea said...

you don't know me... i found your blog through tom's (

anyways, i'm from nashville. when i was a kid i hated country cuz all i ever heard was either pop 80's (if you think pop 00's coutry is bad... well... i don't know...) or "i lost my dog... i lost my car... i lost my wife" country. that kind really wears at my sense of purpose in life, you know? ok so long comment made short... i've started re-liking really really old-timey bluegrass. i kinda see it as the punk-rock of country. and its fun to do a jig to ;-)

Lauren said...

HEY! Thanks for taking the time out to add your two cents. It's funny you mention bluegrass because my affinity for any sort of country probably comes from my dad, and he is really into bluegrass, and you are right it definitely adds that fun element. Bluegrass is really fun for me to dance to. Of course, it's difficult to find other people who are into dancing to that sort of thing.