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charlie brown

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Here's another interesting tidbit. Of all the American Idol winners' date=' Carrie Underwood, who went country, is by far the biggest. [/quote']


I don't know...I'd dispute the fact that Carrie Underwood is really "country" - indicative of "new country" perhaps, but really just a product - like so many of her contemporaries (whether they are pop, country-pop, or faux-rock or whatever else...)


OK, here's why I hate this current style of country music..to my ears, not only is it bland, but it's also incredibly self-righteous. Now, it may be hypercritical of me to say this because I love Dylan and he certainly wrote music with the aim of advancing the causes which he supported (Masters of War being a great example)...but this slightly weird religious/patriotic blend of contemporary country really gets on my nerves. Whether its Carrie Underwood singing Jesus take the Wheel or Tim McGraw attempting to mix both religious (Christian) belief and patriotism in song (and also, apparently, in his many country music award acceptance speeches), there's something extremely self-righteous and yet also rather flimsy about it. This is what I sort of regard as 'Fox News patriotism' - unquestioning yet palpably displayed. Of course, I'm not questioning these artists' right to express themselves in this way - it just irritates me, and discourages me from buying their records. Additionally, when one group of country music stars did have something to say that contrasted with this conventional country orthodoxy (I'm speaking about the Dixie Chicks and their criticism of Bush), they were, as the New York Times put it, "disowned" by the country music community (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/21/arts/music/21pare.html ) Thinking is clearly not an essential part of subscribing to the new-country mantra - obedience (and extremely vocal obedience, at that) is all that it is required. Along with an over-sized cowboy hat, of course.


Perhaps that's the crux of the matter. When Dylan wrote The Times They Are a-Changin, or Lennon wrote Give Peace a Chance, or The Edge and Bono wrote Sunday, Bloody Sunday those songs came from an impassioned recognition of the wrongs of the world and the desperate need to change things for the better. On the other hand, singing about that place which, in the contemporary inelegant idiom, is so often called one's own "comfort zone" seems much less satisfactory. Or, to put it more bluntly, I didn't care when the ersatz cowboys were singing about Jesus, America, guns, and pick-up trucks to their own select, pre-disposed and adoring audience. However, now that there seems to be an intention to bring this freak-show into the mainstream, I suspect that I will be avoiding VH1 and the right hand side of the FM dial even more than I do at present...

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And...as Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "No one can make you feel inferior (or take advantage of you) without Your permision!"

Musically, or otherwise. I seem to be a "moderate," in both politics, and music..or, even "Life," for that matter. I love "Common Sense," something that seems to be missing, in a lot of areas, these days?! (IMHO) Since when, does anyone have to be "only this way, or only that way," to be OK? I'm not picking on anyone, here...or even any artist, in particular. There's plenty of pontificating, in every segment, and/or sub-classification, musically and politically. Somewhere in both, there will be some truth. Finding it, is/can be the real challange, nowadays, seemingly. And, a lot of that so called "Truth," is based on personal belief, experience, education, and "wealth and power!" Right or Wrong. A lot of, if not most, things pushed off on the public is for greed, or power. Make more money, have more power.

They don't care, if it's "good" or not, as long as it sells! Music, Products, Services, whatever! But, it's up to the consumer, to make his/her own decisions, about what they will or will not buy. You can't fault those that put it out there, if you're willing to purchase it. Music is in the state it's in, because someone is buying it! The country is in the state it's in, because someone elected the officials, that are continually sabotaging "The American People!" Whose fault is that?! The leaders and/or changers, of any movement, are...quite often, the ones that buck the tide!

"Right or Left!" Musically...it's the same thing. As long as people just "go along," and buy the "junk," and do so in greater numbers, that's what we'll have...."Rock, Country, Folk, Blues, Jazz, Classical"...whatever!


It's interesting (to me) too, that with all the great ways there are to explore, listen to, and purchase the "Good Stuff" (whatever you choose that to be), that the overall state of "pop" music, either hasn't changed (except in a technical sense) all that much, or may have actually declined. Again...IMHO. Some probably could argue, that's true with all kinds of music, not just "Pop." Who knows?


In the end, it really just boils down to what we, as individuals, like/love, and what we will, or won't, put up with!



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