Opera, Rap, and Country

Music runs in my veins, it keeps me alive.  And I have pretty diverse tastes, from medieval chants to the Sun Ra Intergalactic Arkestra and all points in between.  But I missed the bus on opera, wow, sounds like chicken torture - and rap and hip hop - well - what can I say? - I'd rather drink bleach than listen to punks throw marbles into blenders and talk about how bad they are.  But country - oh my God!  (Excepting bluegrass and mountain music, which is great.)  No, I'm talking about the slick, semi-rock country you hear today.  This is music that celebrates anti-intellectualism - "She's actin' single and I'm drinkin' doubles."  Help me.  The only way I can hack country is if it's way out in the country, another country, on the other side of the world.
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
20 Responses Jul 13, 2007

Merely an ex<x>pression - disingenuous humility and all that.<br />
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Propaganda vs. art is a fighting topic in some circles - not sure how much heat it would generate here. Take Diego Rivera for example. Or that hideous "heroic" art in China.

Since when has your O ever been H, my dear El? <br><br><br />
Oh, and one of these days we'll have to revisit that "can propaganda be art?" discussion. Just for fun.

:- )

What happened to the other 5?

I applaud your taste.<br />
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As a poet I myself I believe that even "good rap" fails as poetry, it's just the incessant "clanging" of juvenile A/B/A/B rhyme. It works as propaganda, but not poetry. IMHO propaganda can never be art.

Lynn...I think....but yeah-<br />
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My grandmother saw her sing before she was famous, when they were eating bologna and touring the country. My grandma knew Buck, Tex, Merle...all those guys. I used to love hearing the stories :-)

Always did like Loretta Lynne.

Give me the Loretta's, Tammy's and June Cash's any day over the Carrie's and Faith's...

SB - Well put. When you get country purist it begins to resemble blues, and is tolerable.<br />
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Alan Jackson? Jesse's brother? ;- )

Love the avatar - and your quote from Jimi.

I suppose NASCAR fans and Klan members need a way to find each other.

Love Patsy Cline - it's the slick - made for TV contemporary country that sets my teeth on edge.

I accept that as a compliment. Look for the story in your in-bin.

You're a hoot.

I will take it off line. It's one hell of a story. Many years ago Jimi Hendrix and I were doing lines in the cloakroom of the Cafe Wa and he said something I'll never forget, "Alistair," he cautioned, "namedropping is tacky and a sure sign of insecurity - you shouldn't do it."

My mom's very musical, but wouldn't call herself a musician. Thanks to her I know lots of Debussy and Lerner & Loewe. (sp?) My dad? Not so much. Last thing he tried to turn me onto - right around when I was twelve - was Rick Wakeman. Eek.<br />
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My older brother was my hero, restlessly searching for the good stuff, and he got me onto the jazz. He also inspired me to go on quests of my own - that's how I started to find the other flavors.<br />
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I won't ask you about your lunch with La Sills but I will be forever curious.

Were your parents musicians? That's some heady trail mix for a 12 year old.<br />
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Sills is interesting because she's more remembered for her personality than her singing. (Whatever you do, please don't ask me about the day I had lunch with her!)

When I was 12 I said there were two kinds of music I'd never listen to: opera and country. At that moment I was moving from an initial fascination with Billie Holliday, Miles, Monk and Mingus into the whole wild world: music of the pygmies of the Ituri rainforest, Ravi Shankar ragas, shakuhachi music, songs from the 14th c. by Adam de la Halle - anything I could get my hands on.<br />
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Then I brought home the Hank Williams record. From age 13 on I've loved country music, as first as a laugh, but soon very seriously, deep down in my bones. I'm used to people I like hating it.<br />
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The opera thing - that's been a harder nut to crack. I will say I saw a Great Performances episode on Beverly Sills the other night that really moved me. What an exceptional woman. And it was a thrill to see the ease and zest she brought to her music, even though I know much of the music was lost on me.

Don't let me influence you with my supercilious musical elitism. Like what you like.

Mozart's operas - amazing! If you can separate out the music from the ludicrous stories and over-the-top production values, sometimes opera is tolerable. But the style of singing is so overwrought.