Wednesday music musings, 4.8.16

Brad Beheler at Galleywinter posts a fine tribute to Hastings, the Amarillo-based music store chain that’s on the verge of closing.

I certainly hated to hear it, myself. God knows I love the convenience of Amazon, but I have some quite fond memories of that place. I bought my first Texas music cds — from Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Owen Temple, and Roger Creager — at the Hastings in College Station. That was the beginning of my 15-plus years of digging this music. Spent a good deal more on OKOM in the next year and a half at that store, and later the one in Greenville. I’m sorry to see them go.

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I don’t know who was responsible for this, but it was well done, indeed.

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Aaron Watson exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Not bad for a guy who doesn’t exist.

Still, though, I keep thinking now of…

• The Band Perry, who seem to have gotten themselves a new major-label record deal in spite of making complete fools of themselves as artists; and

• Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, who got his own deal through Dot Records, a joint venture between Big Machine and the Republic Records unit of Universal Music Group…

…and how Watson told Saving Country Music that he shopped The Underdog to every label in Nashville, and as he put it, the album “wasn’t their cup of tea.”

I know that TBP is a known quantity, as is Steven Tyler even if he did make his mark in a different genre. And Aaron Watson, God bless him, has been ever-magnanimous and the consummate gentleman about his own situation, and it’s not like he’s in a bad place.

Still, though, I think all of this is a thoroughly damning commentary on the Nashville music establishment. And with Grady Smith leaving The Guardian, almost no one in the mainstream music press is calling any of this out for the BS that it is. Worse than that, even, to the extent that anyone is calling it out, they still don’t get it, as evidenced by the Washington Post calling Sam Hunt “progressive” and “forward thinking” and the Houston Press advocating that Beyonce be played on country radio when there’s so much other worthy country music from actual country artists being left on the table.

And it all makes me wonder if things are really going to get any better for the mainstream…

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