Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Goin' Honky Tonkin' (A trivial post)

Did you know that the majority of radio stations in the United States cater exclusively to country music aficionados? This music genre is arguably one of the most popular types currently in existence, boasting millions in record sales each year, and televises countless numbers of award ceremonies that many Americans enjoy watching. Many of my closes friends love country music as do many of my co-workers.

I hate it.

I love the country and the contemplative plains and log cabins and horses and stables and much of the imagery that is currently associated with country music. It's the soundtrack to the country scene that I CANNOT absorb without medicinal assistance (kidding). But my aversion to country music is very real. That twangy, ascending and descending scales played by an instrument (I think) called the pedal steel guitar is the yowl of Armageddon, as far as I'm concerned. And the accentuated vernacular that we all have heard country music singers employ, I simply find cruel and immoral, since I'm convinced it's bundled with the sounds of a tortured kitty. Ya'll get me?

No, no, no, thank you, Mr. Strait. Listening to your song makes me feel like I'm on a wagon surrounded by outlaws.

By the way, I'm opened and receptive to criticism of the so-called "music of antiquity" : the Allegri, Victoria, Tavenor, Part and Palestrina compositions. I recognize that their music- which I love to no end -is not exactly what one would refer to as mainstream.


Rita said...

Aww Tom,

How can you dismiss Johnny Cash? That guy is one of my all time music greats.

I also have to admit I like bluegrass though being a Brit I hope I can be forgiven for lumping it in with country, it probably is very different.

There is a dubious Scot's comedian, but one of his clean jokes goes something like this:

"All country music is about either family, death or religion. How about I write the perfect country song "My mother drowned in the pool at Lourdes"?"

Not that Country (despite often being religious) can compare to Sacred Music....though I will be contentious and say the Lutherans Buxtehude and Bach should rate amongst your greats, and why no Bruckner?....

Incidentally don't you find some polyphony very difficult to listen to prayerfully, it is so complex you marvel at its skill and do not necessarily hear the scriptures coming through? Just a thought.

Katie Alender said...

Ha ha, Tom! Seriously, I wish I could sympathize, but heaven help me, I'm a country music fan. I love me some Dolly Parton.

There's nothing that can be done about it, either! Oh well. ;-)

Melody K said...

In general I agree with you; I like Victoria and Palestrina a lot better than most Country. But there are individual songs I like, such as "Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo".

Tom in Vegas said...

LOL! I must look up that Scottish comedian you mention. I think there might be a similar joke here in the US that tries to summerize country music as humorously. When I think of Johnny Cash, I think of the spoken word set to music- something I’m also not a huge fan. I do, however, like folk music that doesn’t come dangerously close to producing a country sound. I love polyphonic music, Rita, and I’ve never experienced the distraction that you refer to. Goes to show you that everybody is different:0)

I must say, I did not know our friends across the Atlantic would have an affinity for country. You learn something everyday.


I had the feeling you were country! Isn’t the music of the Indigo Girls in that same vein? I might be wrong. However, I know for a fact that Winston is NOT a country music enthusiast. He enjoys the far more intellectually (like me) stimulating sounds that come from Baroque and polyphonic music

When I was just a pup, Dolly Parton’s “Working Nine to Five” was climbing up the Billboard’s top 100 at an accelerated pace. And that’s all I can tell you about the music of Ms. Parton, except, of course for Whitney Houston’s remake of “I Will Always Love You”, and her duet with Kenney Roger’s (Islands in the Stream) which I do like (it was written by the Bee Gees).


I agree with you but with a small variance: I like Victoria and Palestrina more than ALL of country music:0)

Shirley said...

Tom most modern country music sounds like it is all made from the same three chords. I used to love country, but now I listen (other than sacred music, which is the best) mostly to bluegrass, which is much more complex than mainstream country, and I love bagpipe music.

Tracy said...

Sorry, I'm a county fan:-) I must admit I like tons of different music, country, christian, rock, jazz, oldies, pop, soft rock, instrumental... the only thing I don't like? Rap!!

Tom in Vegas said...


I think we both are on the same page when it comes to those sacred works that "seduce" the soul with a Mystery that no one can fully grasp. As I wrote to Rita, I do like folk music as long as it doesn't sound like twangy country music (for example, the lovely 60's song "500 miles" is one of my favorite folk tunes).


I'm afraid we can no longer be blogger pals. Your affinity for the country music stuff makes you my arch-nemesis. JUST KIDDING! :0) I agree with you. Rap music (is it really music?) is not to my liking either. Of country and rap, which one do I like the least? That's a tough call.

Jennifer said...

I have to agree with you. I can't stand country, especially Patsy Cline...can't stand when my husband plays crazy.