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Fresh Air or Times Square?

Where do the smartest people move? A new report finds that higher intelligence is linked with rural-to-city migration, and with city-to-suburb movement.
posted by pearlybob on Jul 3, 2014 - 14 comments

Clap Your Hands

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band is a 3-piece country blues band from Brown County, Indiana. They share some metafilter politics, but sing about a few more unique experiences, too. Ben plays drums, Breezy plays washboard, and the Reverend himself plays guitar and the bass line (at the same time), sometimes on a cigar box guitar. If you like what you've heard: hop a train or an old pickup, scream at the night, share some pot roast and kisses, watch out for the devils who look like angels, and don't forget to clap your hands.
posted by ChuraChura on Jun 12, 2014 - 5 comments

Is it too far to care by now?

The Old 97's are a country rock band formed in 1993. A part of the country-punk genre designated as No Depression in the early 90s (named after Uncle Tupelo's first album), they later added a more brit pop feel to their songs. In twenty good years of about twenty-five they've made their mark on the American landscape. Their newest album, Most Messed Up, is a return to their country-punk roots, where raw feelings overpower courtesy. Their lead singer, Rhett Miller, did an AMA on reddit to talk about it. The new album can be streamed here. It debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at #30, the highest debut in their history.
posted by Quonab on May 9, 2014 - 61 comments

OK, in our defense, Europe is really complicated.

Americans Try To Place European Countries On A Map, Brits have similar results attempting to place US States on a map.
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 14, 2014 - 157 comments

"Hello, I'm Henry Rollins."

The late Jesse Morris covers Black Flag's "Six Pack"- in the idiom- and voice!- of Johnny Cash [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Jan 15, 2014 - 20 comments

Get into my truck, girl

Why Country Music Was Awful in 2013. Grady Smith reviewed the 10 ten country albums in 2013. This was his response to the comments. [more inside]
posted by zabuni on Dec 23, 2013 - 107 comments

Christmas Time in the Trailerpark

Y'all, consisting of Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and James Dean Jay Byrd, first surfaced in New York city in 1992, touting themselves as the first openly gay country music act. That same year, they preformed Y'all's First Xmas Xtravagaza: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Dec 20, 2013 - 8 comments

Hobbits would only drink ales since lagers are not found on Middle-earth

So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you? The big old dragon of Middle-Earth recipes is the charmingly retro 'Middle-Earth Recipes' (now with a more modern and photo-friendly blog version ) from which NPR's Beth Accomando has complied an all-day feasting menu suitable for marathon watching (or reading) assorted Lord Of The Rings media while Recipewise sticks to foods served by Bilbo in The Hobbit itself and explains the Victorian convention of high vs. low tea. (Author Diane Duane's own Hobbit-inspired recipe, Took Family Seed Cake can be made with poppy rather than caraway seed if that's your thing) Need something to do while digesting? Why not read about the history and meaning of the rural comfort food in Tolkien at Strange Horizons " Well Stocked Larders: Food And Diet Of Hobbits" by Stephanie Green.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 15, 2013 - 45 comments

Mvua ya mawe kwa mfalme

Sir Elvis is his stage name, but his real name is Elvis Otieno, and he may be the most successful country musician in Kenya. That's partly because Kenya doesn't have many country musicians. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Nov 6, 2013 - 13 comments

feel so good this mornin' ... gon' be downloadin' all night long

"Folk Music in America" is a series of 15 LP records published by the Library of Congress between 1976 and 1978 to celebrate the bicentennial of the American Revolution. It was curated by librarian/collector-cum-discographer Richard K. Spottswood, and funded by a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. It's absolutely fantastic. And here it is.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 10, 2013 - 21 comments

Slim Whitman, RIP

Country crooner Slim Whitman has passed away at the grand old age of 90. His gentle, relaxed and pristine voice (featuring an effortlessly soaring falsetto and a mighty fine yodel, friends) is the kind that, well, you just don't really hear anymore on the pop music landscape. Let's take a moment to revisit a musical aesthetic that now seems a million miles away... Cattle Call, Rose Marie, North Wind, Blues Stay Away From Me and Indian Love Call. So long and happy trails, Slim.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 19, 2013 - 36 comments

Smooth pickin' and sweet harmonizin'

Friends, neighbors, let's drop in on ol' Don Reno, Red Smiley and the Tennessee Cut Ups for a heapin' helpin' of some of that good old time country/bluegrass goodness, shall we? What say we kick it off with their fine rendition of Love Please Come Home? Mmm-MMM, so satisfying! You know, the boys had their own lil' ol' TV show, too, brought to you by the fine folks over at your local Kroger grocery store, and I'll just bet you'd like to watch the pilot episode, now, wouldn't you? Well, here's Part one, and there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 2, 2013 - 3 comments

Somewhere between Elvis and the Lone Ranger

An interview with Jimmy Ellis and Gail Brewer Giorgio. (yt) [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Mar 17, 2013 - 1 comment

From the Mississippi Delta to Dumfries and Galloway, and back again

Third Man Records, the US label owned by Jack White, is collaborating with Document Records to release vinyl-only remastered versions of blues artists. Document Records, run by Gary and Gillian Atkinson in Scotland, holds the largest known pre-1945 blues, jazz and country archive in the world, with 900 titles and around 25,000 tracks. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 6, 2013 - 43 comments

Excello Records roundup

From the early fifties to the mid-seventies, the Nashville based Excello Records released the kind of raw blues, R&B, and rock & roll that maybe wasn't ever going to make it to the Top 40, but was full of grit and sweat and soul, for those who liked their American roots music unadulterated. Their most well-known release was probably Slim Harpo's Baby Scratch My Back, but rocking blues like Lazy Lester's I Hear You Knockin' and Leroy Washington's Wild Cherry are little unpolished gems which deserved their place on any self-respecting cheap bar's juke box. Lowdown blues like Lonesome Sundown's My Home Is a Prison also found a welcome home at Excello, as did tunes that blurred the distinctions between country/rockabilly and R&B, like Lazy Lester's I'm A Lover Not A Fighter, and latin-tinged swamp-rock chuggers like Charles Sheffield's It's Your Voodoo Working. Then there were the straight up country tunes (reminiscent of that classic early Johnny Cash sound) like Al Ferrier's I'm the Man, or rough-hewn, raucous rockabilly like Johnny Jano's Havin' A Whole Lotta Fun. In short, Excello Records was a microcosm of the sound of the South, and though their artists mostly never achieved much in the way of wider national fame, they are an important part of the patchwork quilt of American pop music history. The tunes included in this post are just the tip of the iceberg: there's so much to explore from this one amazing little label. Happy searching!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 26, 2012 - 7 comments

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks
This is the complete show from the Catalyst in Santa Cruz in March 1987.   Via The Iwebender Channel

Love that Maria Elena.... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 9, 2012 - 10 comments

Haunted House: rock'n'roll novelty through the years

I just moved into my new house today1, moving was hard but I got squared away2. When bells starting rings and chains rattled loud,3 I knew I'd moved in a haunted house4. Still I made up my mind to stay,5 nothing was a-gonna drive me away.6 When I seen something that give me the creeps,7 had one big eye and two big feet.8 [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 26, 2012 - 8 comments

Bob Schieffer: debate modarator as interviewer and ref

Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer continue their trend of moderating the first and last presidential debates, as they did in 2004 and 2008. Both grew up in Texas, and got their starts in journalism there, too, both covering the JFK assassination in 1963. Following Lehrer's role as moderator in this year's presidential debate, subsequent moderators have been under significant scrutiny before and after their performances, and Schieffer, who has covered all four of the major Washington beats, is ready for his role in the political process, in the middle of partisan divide, which is deeper than any time he can recall from his 43 years in Washington. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 22, 2012 - 77 comments

Grandpa Jones

He won't win any accolades for subtlety or refinement, perhaps, but he was a beloved entertainer who stomped his feet and threw himself wholeheartedly (and very, very energetically) into every tune he ever performed, from the early days of country radio to the Grand Ole Opry to television's Hee Haw series. I'm talking about Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones. Today's his birthday, so why not drop in on some of the Grandpa performances on offer at ye olde YouTubes, such as Good Old Mountain Dew, Night Train To Memphis, Are You From Dixie or The Kickin' Mule. When he wasn't hamming it up for the camera, though, his vocal performances were often much more varied and accomplished. Check out, for example, his delivery and vivacious yodeling on T For Texas. And here he turns in a solid, honest version of the great Merle Travis classic, Dark As a Dungeon [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 20, 2012 - 34 comments

I think I see a rip in the social fabric. Brother, could you spare some ammo?

Corb Lund is a classically trained jazz musician who was a founding member of Canadian metal legends The Smalls. For the past seventeen years, though, as the centrepiece of Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans, he has been cranking out alt-country records that have garnered praise from well outside usual country music circles. His biggest hit is almost certainly the comedic Truck Got Stuck. His most recent single however is the sombre peak-oil apocalypse tune Gettin' Down on the Mountain. Corb also maintains maintains an excellent songwriting blog that he describes as 30% guitar lesson: "What That Song Means Now."
posted by 256 on Oct 15, 2012 - 22 comments

Back before the musical lines were so clearly drawn

In decades past, R&B and soul artists didn't shy away from covering country songs. That's right, children, straight up country songs. And the results were often stunningly good. For example, Al Green's performance of Kris Kristofferson's For the Good Times (best known as a hit for country crooner Ray Price). Or Ray Charles' performance of Eddy Arnold's You Don't Know Me. Or Aretha Franklin's performance of country chestnut You Are My Sunshine, first recorded in 1939 by the Pine Ridge Boys. And... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 30, 2012 - 98 comments

The Proclaimers, a lot more than I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

They're best known for one song: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), as featured in Benny and Joon in 1993, and though the identical twin brothers faded from the public eye in the US, 500 Miles was lovingly parodied by Homer Simpson in 2001, and the brothers appeared on Family Guy in 2006. That song was featured in Comic Relief 2007, and that rendition was the number 1 song in the UK for three weeks. Given this focus on a single song that was first released in 1988, you might want mark The Proclaimers as a one-hit wonder and leave it at that. But David Pollock, writing for The Guardian, wants you to reconsider: The Proclaimers are a lot better than you probably remember. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 25, 2012 - 72 comments

Howdy neighbor, howdy!

It's the Porter Wagoner Show! Starring Porter Wagoner and the Wagonmasters with Speck Rhodes and Norma Jean [more inside]
posted by dirtdirt on Aug 10, 2012 - 32 comments

Roots and Branches of Americana

Ray Wylie Hubbard hosts Roots and Branches weekly live from Tavern In The Gruene for New Braunfels, Texas radio station KNBT 92.1 FM. Two hours of music and interviews with established and up and coming Americana artists.
posted by Catch on Jul 18, 2012 - 18 comments

The Wonderbra. YOU'RE WELCOME!

Know Canada. Happy Canada Day!
posted by Fizz on Jul 1, 2012 - 75 comments

Response Records: Answers to Hit Songs

Before hip-hop beefs, there were response records, also known as answer songs, usually replies to well-known songs. There are a few key eras: blues and R&B recorded music in the 1930s through 1950s, including a number of responses to "Work With Me, Annie" (1954), recorded by Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, with answers including "Annie had a Baby," and "The Wallflower" by Etta James; and Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog" (1953), with a quick response by Louis Innis and Charlie Gore, made a mere week after the original was released, and Rufus Thomas' "Bear Cat" (1953), Sun Records' first hit. Country, rock & roll, doo-wop and pop music picked up where the blues left off, with most activity in the 1950s to 60s. Two examples from this era are "Are You Lonesome To-night" and "Who Put The Bomp," and responses to both. The most well known from the next decade was Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" (1974), a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man" (1970) and "Alabama" (1972). Until the 2000s, no answer songs had charted as high as the original hits. That changed with Frankee's "F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)" (2004), a response to Eamon's "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" (2003), which was the first answer song to reach number 1 in the UK. Six years later and across the pond, Katy Perry's "California Gurls" was a response to "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z. It was the first answer song to reach No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100. More Responses inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 31, 2012 - 53 comments

Seems like I've heard that tune before...

There’s Nothing Like a Good Old Country Song, whether it's The Great Speckled Bird, I Am Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes, The Wild Side of Life, or It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels. All I know is, There's a Grand Old Opry Show Playing Somewhere. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Feb 4, 2012 - 19 comments

Tonight they play again

The Kendalls sing about the Pittsburgh Steelers (+ Live in Rotterdam). [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 10, 2012 - 4 comments

Drink up, y'all!

New Year's Eve is fast approaching, and for lots of folks that means... drinking. Plenty of drinking. And since there's no shortage of singers and songwriters who've had a little something to say about that particular topic, maybe some of the following tunes can serve as an appropriate soundtrack to your own joyous (or not?) imbibing of spirits. For example, there's... Jimmy Liggins with his succinct rendition of Drunk, and there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 30, 2011 - 67 comments

You shall Hear things, Wonderful to tell

A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt] is remembered for a lot of things: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography (a pioneer of digital color grading), its whimsical humor, fluid vernacular, and many subtle references to Homer's Odyssey. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music. Assembled by T-Bone Burnett, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads and angelic hymns to wistful blues and chain-gang anthems. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South. Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, an extraordinary yet intimate concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Chris Thomas King, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley) and wryly hosted by John Hartford, an accomplished fiddler, riverboat captain, and raconteur whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu and YouTube -- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list's fascinating history. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 22, 2011 - 107 comments

Drone music, sorta

Throughout time immemorial, songs of patriotism, such as Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" are a staple of countries at war. Our ballads root for our soldiers to come back safe and sound to families and sweethearts, but who sings the tale about the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the autonomous drone that pines for the vending machine it left at home? Only the evil ghost of Johnny Cash does. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 19, 2011 - 37 comments

"...That we are the Hitlers of comedy/and everyone else is the Jew."

For safety's sake, please consider all links herein either nsfw or potentially offensive* Let's Have a Shambles! with the Country Teasers! Formed somewhere in Scotland in 1993 around one Ben Wallers, the Country Teasers forged an unusual contrast between acerbic lyrics, trash punk twang, and honest affect(at)ion of country-western tropes and sounds. They were also equal opportunity offenders, their songs frequently featuring seemingly misanthropic, misogynistic, and even racist lyrics. But despite their affrontive controversy, perhaps they aren't quite so easy to dismiss. Though rarely does he give in-person interviews, Mr. Wallers will, when confronted, defend his "schlock tease," though not without characteristic aplomb. Although the Country Teasers are pretty much dead, their extensive discography has plenty of noteworthy diversions. Some albums to start with are 1996's Satan Is Real Again or Feeling Good About Bad Thoughts, 1999's Destroy All Human Life, and 2006's Back to the Future. Mr. Wallers continues to release new records under the moniker The Rebel. A number of Teaser records were released on In The Red records. *Although if you do find it offensive, I'd simply request considering if that is perhaps the point.
posted by SomaSoda on Nov 9, 2011 - 5 comments

Both Kinds

R. Crumb's Pioneers of Country Music [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Oct 7, 2011 - 19 comments

Even Witches Like To Go Out Dancing

There's a new crop of Australian bands that take inspiration from old blues, but twist the music in a strange fashion. The trend may have started with CW Stoneking (Jungle Blues, Love Me Or Die), who channeled the old bluesmen despite being a young man. Its continued on to Sydney's Snowdroppers, who started out as a house band for burlesque shows and kept that dirty sensibility up with songs like Rosemary , Do The Stomp, and their signature tune Good Drugs, Bad Women (lyrics NSW). Frequent Snowdroppers touring partners Gay Paris add a Southern horror twist (House Fire In the Origami District, My First Wife? She Was A Foxqueen! ) and an antic stage energy. Some of the bands relay on gimmicks, like Adelaide's The Beards, who sing about how you should consider having sex with a bearded man and point out that if your dad doesn't have a beard, you've got two moms. The Beards recently performed at the World Beard and Mustache Championships. Horror-country-rockers Graveyard Train have picked up the torch dropped when Sydney psychobilly masters Zombie Ghost Train (Graveyard Queen) disbanded. Graveyard Train tunes like Mummy, Ballad for Beelzebub , Tall Shadow and Dead Folk Dance combine cheerful Misfits horror theming with stompy country. Most of the singers from this loose scene are joining forces in Sydney this week to pay tribute to Tom Waits.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Oct 4, 2011 - 32 comments

Hank 3 x 4: Country, Cajun, Cattle-Core, and Doom Rock

Hank Williams III has had a rocky relationship with his label, Curb Records, from the beginning, when his first album with them was an album with his grandfather and father, "thanks to the wonders of 21st century digital overdubbing." A decade and a half later, Hank 3 was free from Curb Records, though the label snuck out one last album, even though the contract was over. It was actually an old album from a decidedly non-country style, but that didn't stop Curb from offering it as a Hank III album at a fire-sale discount, ensuring Billboard Country charting. That was in June of this year. Jump ahead to September: Hank 3 released three albums over four CDs, spanning his broad musical styles and beyond. CD1: country (of sorts); CD2: haunted ambient soundtrack and Cajun-tinted country, with guests (like Tom Waits); CD3: cattle-core; CD4: doom rock.
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 20, 2011 - 91 comments

I'm Only Going Over Home

Remembering Bill Monroe, the “father of bluegrass,” on what would have been his 100th birthday. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Sep 13, 2011 - 13 comments

I like both kinds of music - fuzztone Country AND fuzztone Western!

"Call me nuts, but I find extraordinarily endearing the improbable blend of country music traditionalism and tastefully restrained space-age guitar pyrotechnics that can be heard in these tunes." Yes, friends, the fine folks at WFMU are back with the long-awaited 2nd installment of the tasty and wonderful Country Fuzz Spectacular! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 24, 2011 - 8 comments

Live and Die by Shades of Grey

Robert Earl Keen is a country songwriter and storyteller, with an unusually good guitarist named Rich Brotherton. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher on Aug 21, 2011 - 36 comments

Finger Pickin' Good

Jimmy Murphy was a great country musician who has had less recognition than this MeFi'r feels is justified. Some of his songs are irreverent (but with precedence). Others a bit poignant, if in his signature upbeat kind of way. The man cooks. "When you get salvation you'll know it by it's tone"
posted by Jibuzaemon on Jun 28, 2011 - 7 comments

Hard Luck Guy

Say, you wanna hear a sad song? Eddie Hinton was a guitar player, vocalist, and songwriter from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Co-writer of one of the tenderest, sexiest hits of the late 60s, Dusty Springfield's Breakfast in Bed, Hinton was a key member of the world-famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section from 1967 to 1971 (turning down an invitation from Duane Allman to be a member of the Allman Brothers Band) who worked as a studio musician on albums by Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, the Staples Singers, and Toots Hibbert, but his early success was sidetracked by mental problems, booze, and drugs. [more inside]
posted by BitterOldPunk on May 31, 2011 - 22 comments

Mike Runnels

Time for some Texas twang and honky tonk blues from Austin's own, Mike Runnels: Dream Girl :: Last Date
posted by puny human on May 20, 2011 - 3 comments

Off with his head!

Little old ladies do it too, not just dictators.
posted by infini on Apr 7, 2011 - 20 comments

You Know They Got a Hell of a Band

Stephen King and John Mellencamp will debut their long-awaited Southern gothic musical 'Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County' next year. The story concerns the deaths of three people in Atlanta in 1957 and the CD will have songs by Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Meg Ryan, and Matthew McConaughey. King is also working on the 8th Dark Tower book, 'The Wind Through the Keyhole', which is due next year.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Apr 3, 2011 - 48 comments

That High, Lonsome sound

Toshio Hirano is from Japan. Toshio Hirano lives here now. He came to this country following a particular sound and has made a career of it. He even has a movie about him (YT trailer)! He plays monthly here in San Francisco. Last night, as I watched him sing the blues, I reflected on how different yet connected our two countries are. Join me in sending good thoughts to our brothers and sisters in Japan.
posted by Jibuzaemon on Mar 15, 2011 - 8 comments

Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Wes Freed (some images NSFW) is a painter who combines Southern gothic subject matter with an outsider art style. He's best known for his work with the great Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers and has designed most of their album covers, posters, and merchandise.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Mar 14, 2011 - 27 comments

"I just don't know what the limit is!" - Earl Scruggs

In 1969 banjo virtuoso and bluegrass innovator Earl Scruggs parted ways with his longtime musical partner Lester Flatt and the band they led to great popularity and acclaim, The Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs wanted to push his musical gifts as far as they could go. In 1970 he was the subject of a PBS documentary where he played with artists such as Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, The Morris Brothers, The Byrds, Charlie Daniels, Bill Monroe, Joan Baez, various friends and family members, and even records a track accompanying a Moog. You can watch the whole thing online: Earl Scruggs, His Family and Friends.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 28, 2011 - 17 comments

Charlie Louvin 1927 - 2011

Country music legend Charlie Louvin has passed on. Charlie rose to fame with his brother Ira as the Louvin Brothers, whose career was cut short by Ira's death by automobile accident in 1965. Charlie continued to record and perform solo, and though his popularity never quite reached the heights that it did with his brother he retained a loyal fanbase until the very end. [more inside]
posted by item on Jan 26, 2011 - 32 comments

DeFord Bailey, American musician

Within that small and very specific sub-genre of musical Americana identifiable as the train imitation, there is one amazing performance, from 1926, that set the standard: Pan-American Blues. The man who recorded it did a fine and fanciful job of evoking the sounds of a fox chase as well, and his rhythmically compelling solo rendition of John Henry stands as testament to the potential for musical greatness achievable by one man and a humble harmonica. He was an African-American who was a founding member of the Grand Ole Opry, a musical institution that we rarely (as in, never) today associate with black people, and his touching and tragic story, documented here, is one that will be of interest to those concerned with the racial, economic and socio-cultural history of American popular music. He stands at one of its more unexpected intersections: his name is DeFord Bailey. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 30, 2010 - 15 comments

The reason for the season.

It’s maybe a little early yet for year’s end retrospectives, but who cares: we’ve got 157 songs, 10.5 hours, 1.12 GB of “some of the best and most notable music from 2010... covering indie, pop, rock, punk, folk, rap, R&B, soul, dance, country, modern classical, ambient and electronic music, and in many cases, hard-to-classify genre hybrids.” —Curated by FluxBlog’s own Matthew Perpetua.
posted by kipmanley on Dec 3, 2010 - 30 comments

Peter Grudzien is the original New York gay country musician

Peter Grudzien lives in New York and makes psychedelic country music or at least used to, since only two albums of his material ever came out, The Unicorn in 1974, and The Garden of Love, which is mostly a collection of demos. His songs are varied, ranging from noise music to straight up country, and their subject matters are equally wide-ranging, from strange fare, such as lyrics about his clone being at Stonewall, to straight-up love songs. His best known original is probably The Unicorn, a beautiful song whose lyrics recast the early 70s New York gay demimonde in terms of a barren zombie-filled wasteland which will be reborn when the titular unicorn is found by the queen. Other songs on YouTube are White Trash Hillbilly Trick, New York Town and an instrumental cover of the Georgia Gibbs hit Kiss Me Another. Finally, here's a lovely cover of The Unicorn by Calgary folkie Kris Ellestad.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 21, 2010 - 16 comments

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