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Author Topic:  Guardian article: ambient country
Mitch Drumm

 

From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 15 Jun 2020 8:39 am    
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Mike Anderson wrote:
The writer lost me at “white, male.” Rolling Eyes


I managed to get past that, but gave up when I saw this pic.

I'm tempted to say "affected", but one wouldn't want to be judgmental, would one?

I see from the article that "Suss co-founder Bob Holmes" says "We might capture this big sky Montana feel, but we’re urban musicians". From his Manhattan apartment, no less. Apparently without irony.


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Tucker Jackson

 

From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jun 2020 9:54 am    
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Exactly. How could someone not actually under the Montana sky possibly capture that sound?

These posers remind me of this guy Emmons (or something like that) from Indiana who dressed up like he was a cowboy or something. With no irony. So affected. He's treating it like it's show business.



.

Don't even get me started on that so-called Yankee steel player from Motown who thinks he can play real country. I'm looking at you, Mr. Franklin!

.
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Mike Anderson


From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 15 Jun 2020 10:35 am    
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Affected is right. Can we please call it something other than "ambient country"? Remove the utterly irrelevant word "country" - that'll suffice.
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Bryan Staddon


From:
Buffalo,New York,
Post  Posted 22 Jun 2020 5:14 pm     Killin me
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Tucker, thanks for the killer post, laughed my butt off.
The desert at night does sometimes sound like an Eno Ambient album.
I love weird spacey pedal steel, a lotta notes isn’t always necessary
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Mike Anderson


From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2020 6:44 am     Re: Killin me
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Bryan Staddon wrote:

The desert at night does sometimes sound like an Eno Ambient album.


...said the guy from Buffalo. No it doesn't.

Tucker Jackson wrote:

These posers remind me of this guy Emmons (or something like that) from Indiana


You can always tell when someone knows less than nothing about a state. No wonder - <i>Portland</i>.
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Barry Blackwood


Post  Posted 23 Jun 2020 8:19 am    
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Judging from the gentleman second from left, it would appear they are involved in discussing the concept of "size does matter" amongst themselves.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2020 8:42 am    
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Barry, or "only a slight false move of the bar sounds disasterous".
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Bart Bull


From:
New Orleans, USA/Paris FR/Berkeley USSR
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2020 10:34 pm    
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Gentlemen:
Without further comment, I give you Rubber Rodeo (now known as Suss, noted for capturing that big sky Montana feel) and their cover of "Jolene." Let the fireworks begin.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0MkA5hUfjo
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Bryan Staddon


From:
Buffalo,New York,
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 7:27 am     You’re assuming you know something you don’t!
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To Mr Anderson. I’ve spent hundreds of nights in different deserts in the US and Mexico . Did you ever think people may have traveled? Are you’re ears hooked up to my neural network. Do you know more than everyone. I’ve worked in oil refineries that sounded like Industrial music backing tracks. I’ve heard echoes of Tangerine Dream while cleaning the highest refinery tower in Grand Bahama. I’ve shoveled snow on the cog railroad tracks above tree line on Pikes Peak and the wind sounded like The Residents Eskimo album. Ive heard echoes of screaming sounds of death while meditating in ancient ruins in Rome.I’ve heard ambient spooky sounds in the desert at night, pretty sure you weren’t there with me. I don’t know if you’ve ever traveled but I would never assume I know anything about you or what you’ve heard. Please apologize for your ridiculous assumptions.
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Last edited by Bryan Staddon on 24 Jun 2020 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mitch Drumm

 

From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 7:47 am    
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You left out the part about toting your pack along the dusty Winnemucca road.
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Tucker Jackson

 

From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 8:01 am     I am kind of an idiot
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Mike Anderson wrote:

You can always tell when someone knows less than nothing about a state. No wonder - <i>Portland</i>.

I'm from Texas. Who else would name their kid "Tucker Jackson?" And you're right.... Texans do think they own the cowboy thing. Indiana? One thousand miles north? Get a rope.
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Chris Brooks

 

From:
Providence, Rhode Island
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 5:49 pm    
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>when I saw this pic. I'm tempted to say "affected", but one wouldn't want to be judgmental, would one?

I am curious. What makes this group of musicians seem affected?

Chris
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 8:07 pm    
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Chris Brooks wrote:

I am curious. What makes this group of musicians seem affected?

Chris


I'm guessing their "Neew Yorrk City!" black attire. Or perhaps that they're silver haired guys that are daring to attempt to maintain some relevance?
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 6:15 am    
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This thread has a lot in common of what Mark Twain thought of James Fenimore Cooper.
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 8:07 am    
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Joachim Kettner wrote:
This thread has a lot in common of what Mark Twain thought of James Fenimore Cooper.

I remember reading that essay years ago. Twain was merciless!

I actually like these guys, especially after seeing that they were using steel guitar back in the 80's in what was a sort of rootsy new wave band. I don't have a problem with music attempting to evoke images, even if it's drawing on our nostalgia for Sergio Leone westerns to do so. Plus, they look pretty snappy for a bunch of old guys. Smile
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Barry Blackwood


Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 8:10 am    
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Quote:
I’ve worked in oil refineries that sounded like Industrial music backing tracks. I’ve heard echoes of Tangerine Dream while cleaning the highest refinery tower in Grand Bahama. I’ve shoveled snow on the cog railroad tracks above tree line on Pikes Peak and the wind sounded like The Residents Eskimo album. Ive heard echoes of screaming sounds of death while meditating in ancient ruins in Rome

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
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Ken Pippus


From:
Lake Oswego, OR
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 8:13 am    
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I spent a month in Philadelphia one weekend.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 8:17 am    
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I walked on water in Minnesota! Whoa!
Erv
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 8:26 am    
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The steel player is a member here. Also, Pat Irwin is a NY institution.
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Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 8:28 am     Re: You’re assuming you know something you don’t!
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Bryan Staddon wrote:
Please apologize for your ridiculous assumptions.


I think an apology is only owed for making it personal. The obsession with authenticity is one of the hallmarks of country music. It is so persistent that it exists even in the face of the fact that country music is produced in more of a factory process than other kinds of music. The performers are rarely the songwriters and the musicians performing live are often not the ones on the recordings... who themselves often played what the producers said they wanted. Without that obsession, the genre would lose its compass and its ability to move people with simpler, repetitive music.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 8:33 am    
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And it’s a hard rain that’s gonna fall.

Articles like this seem to perpetuate the idea that Country Music never expected itself to evolve, or never even wanted to. It’s ridiculous. I guess we're just supposed to play Your Cheatin Heart forever, because that’s how the great unwashed masses see us anyway, and we’re shocked when somebody comes along and expands the boundaries - which have been expanded many times before, with and without mainstream recognition.

Is it the playing of an instrument that inspires composers to create new music? Or is it the desire to create new music that inspires them to play the instrument? Either way, it is important for the composer to know something about both the music they’re trying to create and the instrument they intend to play it on. What happens after that is up to the listener.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 11:45 am    
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Brooks Montgomery wrote:
Barry Blackwood wrote:
Quote:
The article describes an emergent music that is a blend of country and other genres, whose “artists emphasise [sic] abstract expression over linear narrative and conventional structures.”

What does that mean, exactly? Shocked


It means that it is sumptuous and fruity, with traces of savory and smoke. Has a bit of a leathery and tobacco finish, which does not hide the black berry tanginess. Best served live.


It’s smells like moldy figs in here.
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Tucker Jackson

 

From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 12:16 pm    
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Linear Narrative versus Abstract Expression.

Big words for the simplest of concepts:

Linear Narrative: (Key of C)
I came home last night, 'bout quarter past midnight
Saw my lady with another man, I shot her dead
Yeah, I shot her dead
How did I end up in this prison?

Abstract Expression: (Key of Abb. That's right. A double-flat.)
I came home last night, 'bout quarter past midnight
Tinsel. Tinsel on my toes, I knows.
Streaming ball of comet! Fire up and down my nose.
How did I end up in this prison?

+++
I'm not putting it down. Basically, most of the rock canon 1967-1974 is written in that disjointed-imagery vein. Bob Dylan might have written one like that. Maybe two. It doesn't put me off of enjoying something just because a bat randomly flies into the song for a reason only clear to the singer -- as long as everything else is happenin' in the song and the steel is up in the mix.


Last edited by Tucker Jackson on 25 Jun 2020 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 12:44 pm    
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This is exactly why I don't like articles like the one that is the subject of this discussion. IMO, they just stir the pot - written by people that I sense know essentially nothing about the instrument or its history, and generate mostly heat and little light.

And I've heard a lot of stereotyping going on here too. Look, I'm from Boston and a lot of people that haven't known me for decades think I must be from Tennessee or Mississippi or something because of the music I play. But I'm a Yankee - a damned Yankee - and proud of it. But I try to play Southern music authentically because I love it. Does that make me "affected"? Am I not allowed to wear a bloody cowboy hat 'cause I'm not a cowboy? How about leather boots? Is that restricted to "real" cowboys?

Anyway, I repeat what I said earlier - I think this article is mostly about culture, not music. Lots of people have been bending musical genres for decades in all kinds of music. That will continue and I'm all for it, but I don't think there's anything special about this type of genre-bending. IMO, it's absolutely valid and they can call it any bloody thing they want. Whether other people agree on those labels - well, that's another story, we'll see. There are a lot of attempts to re-write history going on these days, and it's hard to tell where this is gonna wind up. I honestly would rather just play my guitars and let the cultural arbiters on both sides beat each others' brains in until they, hopefully, get tired of it. But the noise this kind of stuff generates can be distracting.

With respect to this music relative to the "country music" label - I'll be pretty surprised to see it embraced as any sort of "commercial mainstream country music" anytime soon, if ever. Again, time will tell, but I don't see any particular move in this direction at this point.

Hopefully, steel guitar will be embraced in lots and lots of different styles of music. But I don't see why we need to make the musical and especially cultural separations that continue to divide us further. And with that, I guess I'll shut up and play my guitars.
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Bill McCloskey

 

Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 12:47 pm    
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Is Louie Louie linear narrative or abstract expressionism?
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