Johnny Cash – The original conflicted badass and friend to all.

This song has been hounding me all week—I have seen it performed live a couple times (both great!). It sneaked on a Pandora feed when I picked Coldplay to start. (Hey, Coldplay is great to matt and frame to-you need to be in a zen state while slicing those boards to perfection!)

I have this on-and-off-fling-thing going with country music. I love the passion and the traditional “common man struggling against the odds” mixed with the drinking and facing down trouble. It cuts right to the heart of the American dream.

Maybe it’s all the time at the county fair this week—I’ll just say it—The Washing County Fair in Greenwich N.Y. — Full of bad food, rides, and….of course…cows, pigs and people of all shapes, sizes and attitudes.

It brings you back to earth.

I need to be brought back to earth.

To get out among the huddled masses and connect because I am they and they are me. I can think I am whatever I want..… but in reality –I am just a guy struggling to get by, just like lots of others here in the great Upstate agricultural land of New York.

fair

Which brings me to Johnny Cash. I don’t care how famous or rich he got-I don’t care about the awards and all the other trapping of his historic rise to the top of the music world.

This guy is genuine and down to earth. Accessible to prisoners, punks, senior citizens and [put another group in here-they all work] at the same time.

If he walked by you at the fair-you would think of him as a long lost friend. You would think of him as one of you.

This is a rare and beautiful thing to have.

The ability to connect with everyone.

Who does not love this guy and his music?

Respect from the cave.

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Wax Tailor.How I Feel

Wax Tailor.How I Feel

They call it trip hop and I call it old guy suave- this dude is almost 40 which is about 120 when you translate rock music to regular years —— it goes the opposite way in jazz —the older you get-the cooler you get. I like this music. It does not pound you in the head; it seeps in the brain like a rising tide of sophistication. Must be a French thing.

This is closer to bebop than hip hop-

Rock music is young people being inspired and all over by the time you hit 28 (or don’t hit it). That is largely true because even the geriatric rockers are still playing songs they wrote when they were young. The typical fan is yelling “play the good stuff—-from the first two records—-not that crap you guys did when you got older!!”—- O.K. they don’t exactly say it like that—-but that is what they mean.

Then you have this guy making good music and even new music that you want to hear even though he is not still a puppy. The paradigm has shifted in a cool way. Art should improve as you gain experience. It happens in folk music—–it used to happen in country music (Country music adopted the young and gun model from rock and added the “have to be good looking- no exceptions” clause to it for new country).

Wax Tailor and a really cool frozen

Disney is ubiquitous and that song about the cold never bothering a true princess bothers me a ton. It bothers me because it is and cookie cutter emotion. It takes kids and unsuspecting adults on a journey that makes them feel emotion just to feel emotion. There you felt something so you can say that you felt something. I love animation but I hated the few minutes that I was exposed to this “Frozen” movie—-That is OK because it is not for me-Wax Tailor is for me and when he does essentially the same thing as Disney and manufactures fake emotion in an alternative slightly edgy but mostly the  same cute way as Disney—I am eating it up—I am a little princess myself!

Wax tailor and the girl with the really bad henna dragon tattoo

I figured I would leave you in a jazzy strip club to finish up this post. It also has dragons in it which seems to be a new theme around the cave.

I am glad I found this dude and this type of music.

Music that old dogs can dance to without having to learn any new tricks.

Thank you Mr. Jean-Christophe Le Saoût.

 

 

Gone Country

Country music that makes me feel better

My last post was very emotional and it took my blog to places that I never take it- The traffic was overwhelming. I went from my usual 10 or 20 visits a day to 2,700 in an afternoon. This is bittersweet because I wrote it for my own sanity. I awoke at 2am, unable to sleep, and it was a post an hour or so later.  I thank those high school kids for lifting me up and giving me the courage to speak my mind.

But I want to get back to the music- I enjoy writing about music.

You have to deal with things – and I am learning you live the best way you can no matter what situation you are in. You have to start up that beat-up pickup truck  of life and just keep driving-a smile on your face and a song on the radio don’t hurt either.

This sounds like country music.

This rock guy will go out of genre  in order to find solace. If you limit music  because of prejudice; you are only hurting yourself. Worse than that-you are closing your mind and that is never a good thing.

Rosanne Cash. Seven Year Ache

I love Rosanne Cash because she is authentic- Authentic to me is a feeling that goes from the heart out into the world with no alteration. Like when you see a coyote on the side of the road just looking back at you with no fear. He is in his time and his place and he could give a damn what you think. And I got to say-he sure looks cool.

Rosanne Cash is an authentic cool heroine in her own right- this women just reeks of suave country sophistication.

Montgomery Gentry.Roll With Me

Maybe this is what would be considered light pop country with more than a splash of holy water gospel, but it makes me feel better. I am not going to search for music that makes me look better-I am going to give you songs that make me feel better!

And this is one.

Hank Williams Jr.Family Tradition

“I have loved some ladies and I have loved Jim Beam and both of them tried to kill me in 1973”

Maybe my favorite line in country music, it never ceases to bring a smile to my face

There is something satisfying about someone admitting that they have lived life with zest the wrong way. Maybe that is because we all make mistakes, so we can all relate. And if someone like  Bocephus can trump you and have fun joking about his-then it makes you feel better about any you have made. This has been going on since the middle ages with court jesters.

Rolling Stones.Memory Motel

This is straight ahead country. It has pickup trucks and drinking. It also has a cheap motel by the ocean and a lady with crooked teeth. What more do you need? I will give you one more…throw in Dave Matthews and make it a buddy song.

Concrete Blond.True

This is a country song trapped in a rock song’s  body.

Again with the pickup trucks-mixed with some cool west coast punk. Punk music and country music are closer than you think.

I feel better—I really do – this one has brought me home.

Thank you Johnette

Oh, what the hell- One more for the road

Bonnie Raitt – This is a “go to” classic. I am not writing-I am just enjoying at this point.

Cheers from the Cave.

And special thanks to http://peacelovegreatcountrymusic.com/2014/03/09/philosophy/  for helping to spur this post.

Spur* get it?

O.K, that was a cheap shot at the genre…:)

It’s not Rock n’ Roll- but I like it.

I am stepping out of Rock music to highlight a few pieces “out of genre” that cut me right to the soul.

Talk about old school

Let’s take it back to someone who received a few more dabs of the stuff that makes man the image of God than the rest of us. Or if you don’t go for that- “The accidental combo of D.N.A that evolved by pure chance from the primordial soup and a dash of comet dust to create a perfect music producing specimen.” This is a one in [however many humans have ever been born] shot. What is that? About one in 4 trillion or something?

And I know time and upbringing and all manner of other things had to work together to make this genius happen. It did happen and he was a rock star for his time!

Mozart taps into the very essence of the joy of being human.

Miles Davies is cool

This sounds like walking deserted streets on a summer night with no fear because you know the town and it knows you- mixed with a complex and overwhelming feeling of loneliness. Refined to an actual entity so we can all join in and be alone together. I actually feel like I am part of one of those dime store detective novels when I hear this.

Country music does hold some amazing talent

This guy makes great music and I am not even sure if most country music fans really like him? He polishes the ridiculous into the sublime. This song works like Procol Harum’s Whiter shade of Pale. It grabs you and takes you on a cosmic journey. A sort of Texas psychedelic trip complete with ponies and Tonto telling the Lone Ranger to “kiss his ass”. This is just one favorite in a huge catalog of great songs.

Tupac is a legend

He was not around for very long and I totally get why they brought him back as a hologram. I love this song because it always makes me dance and lifts my spirits. This is not a great video so I would skip ahead to 1:18 and get to the start of the tune. Pure rock fans can argue all they want about how terrible hip hop music is but I do not agree. No genre of music is inherently bad.

All good music is derived from the same well of inspiration and there are many rivers to drink from and swim in.

Accidental Racist- We all agree- It’s just a bad song.

I had Starbucks coffee on a Friday night
I had Starbucks coffee on a Friday night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow…that is one awkward song to listen to. It may be the most uncomfortable filler song that has ever been produced. I get what they are trying to do and I respect them for giving it all they had-but this was doomed to fail for many reasons….Now maybe rich rednecks (like duck dynasty rednecks or country music stars) hit up Starbucks for a mocha cappuccino on the way down to the creek for some bluegill fishing. But I am not thinking that is too typical. And I have a tough time picturing L.L. Cool Jay as a barista. It seems like the Skynyrd shirt is the least of the things that could go wrong with this song.

You have two very rich and famous men trying to relate to the everyday man in this country. It is just too big of a jump to make. Again, I respect them both for taking a running start and doing a big cannonball into this pool of historical anger and guilt that no one else wants any part of.

This is the first time through and like all first times at everything- it is not going to be smooth.

Brad Paisley tends to write cartoony songs about all kinds of subjects and this is no exception to that style. What makes this approach usually work is his strong sense of humor weaving around the quirky guitar lines. LL Cool J tries to offer the clarifying view from the other side but can’t make the mis-written words fit. There is nothing worse than listening to an unfunny joke poorly delivered and this is how this song comes off.

I thank them for breaking the ice and getting the conversation going.

And to all the critics and distracters out there….Go write your own song about healing these wounds and see how it goes.

I for one am glad that representatives from country music and hip hop music have met and are starting talks. This is a complicated issue that cuts through many layers and generations and I hope this bad song starts the writing of some good songs. I would love to live in an America that lets music bring us together instead of driving us apart.

And maybe it is starting to work…because all the different cultures and sub-groups in this country have gotten together with one single voice to declare “This is a bad song”