Friday music musings, 07.05.2021

On modern mainstream country music, stolen from an away game, revised and extended:

“It isn’t just the electronic music and vacuous lyrics or pop sound, it has no soul anymore. I don’t think I’m being nostalgic here: the music itself has no roots in anything meritorious. I happened upon an old Dolly Parton record the other day and I had forgotten just how much her voice and the instruments spoke to me. It was like you could feel the mountains in the music. The only thing modern country makes me feel is used.”

I thought all of that was pretty much on the money. It’s just all good-time party music and more lately, vacuous, cliched Hallmark greeting-card odes to significant others, and that’s meaningless almost by definition. As I heard it put before, it’s about what happens on weekends instead of weekdays anymore. And so much of it is backed by programmed snap tracks and whatnot, which, in my own opinion, is necessarily going to suck the soul right out of it. This is all way beyond “get off my lawn, the music was better in my day.” Used to, at least more than now, country music was music played with real instruments by real people with real talent; just as an example, take that killer Bruce Bouton steel guitar bit in Ricky Skaggs’ “Highway 40 Blues.”

You can’t recreate that with some machine, at least not credibly. It takes a real person with real talent. Lyrically speaking…well, they all say, “we write and sing what we know.” That may be, but it’s still a copout; after all, Curly Putman didn’t dream of home and sweet Mary the night before his execution. Roy Clark didn’t look back extremely regretfully on his youth as far as anyone knows. Jimmy Webb was never a phone line technician, and neither was Glen Campbell. But I don’t even want to think about how much poorer the country music canon — indeed, the American music canon — would be for the lack of “Green, Green Grass of Home,” “Yesterday, When I Was Young,” or “Wichita Lineman.”

===

Wow, this is really good.

And a cover, to boot. It definitely sounds like something Sabaton would have written themselves.

Really, listening to all those Sabaton songs got me to thinking. You’d think after the Attack of the Dead Men

the Germans would’ve learned not to screw with the Russians. But sure enough they did, at places like Stalingrad

…and Kursk.

Funny thing about Kursk: that was where the German Panther, which came to be one of the most feared tanks of the war, made its rather ignominious debut. 200 Panthers had debuted at the Battle of Kursk. After five days of action, wear, and tear, only 10 remained operational….

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