Monday, July 20, 2009

Straw man alert..., seen at Country California:

I would hazard a guess that some members of the rabid keep-it-country purist crowd are also angry Yankee-haters and those who are suspicious of anyone who appears to be from somewhere else.

I would hazard a guess that Chet Flippo is still a flaming asshole -- with, apparently, a huge supply of a certain agricultural byproduct hidden somewhere or another, considering the size of the straw man he sets up in his column and what he uses to support said straw man. I don't think I'll ever quite understand those who accuse the traditionalists of saying the genre shouldn't evolve. Who is saying or implying this? I'd bet you a lot of those folks' tastes are more varied than people like Chet Flippo would give them credit for. No doubt the purists have been raising hell about the newer artists probably at least since the first amp was plugged in, but like I said over at CC, why does Chet Flippo seem to think it’s so wrong for people like me to think evolution of the genre shouldn’t be duets with ’80s rock acts like Def Leppard and the B-52s? And pointing to Willie Nelson’s duet with Julio Iglesias? Is this where I'm supposed to say, vis-a-vis my own position, quod erat demonstrandum? Because to put it mildly I thought that was a low point in the Red-Headed Stranger’s catalog. And Jennifer Nettles and Bon Jovi? I am sure you might be able to figure out what I think of that considering I am a fan of bands like Queensryche, Megadeth and Pantera. (Actually, I really don’t hate the hair metal, I just find it more than a little banal after hearing the more traditional metal.) And of course, the tune that was playing here one day comes to mind...

Well the folk scene's dead, but he's holdin' out in the village
He's been writin' songs speakin' out against wealth and privilege
He says 'I dont believe in money but a man could make him a killin'
'Cause some of that stuff don't sound much different than Dylan
I hear down there it's changed you see, they're not as backward as they used to be
He's gone country

...that is, washed-up singer from another genre looks to Nashville and sees the cash cow being milked, gets the dollar signs in his eyes and off he goes. It isn’t the evolution of the genre that’s the problem. It’s the bastardization of it. Really, what's next? A "country" cover of "Silent Lucidity," "Bringing On the Heartbreak" or "Nothing Else Matters"? And where exactly do the Texas-red dirt artists fit into Chet's paradigm? It seems to me he'd think they're holding the genre back, considering what he's advocating and how he supports it. And I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering where Chet Flippo's been for the last 30 years or however long it's been, but it's still very disappointing. Keeping in mind his earlier definition of "country" as "something that shows up on the Billboard country charts," I have to ask, who exactly is the narrow-minded contingent here?