FMD: Let’s talk country

My mother-in-law recently bought a George Strait greatest hits CD. It's... kind of fantastic (despite missing a few obvious selections). Wit the exception of, say Sturgill, we don't talk country music 'round these parts too often. I listened to a fair amount of country in high school, mostly while working in the summers, and that era of Country still hits a sweet spot for me sometimes. I've also listened to a good amount of older outlaw country over the past, say, decade. I still loathe new country, for the most part, and the few good songs aren't worth wading through the rest, imo. For me, country music's decline started with Lonestar. Anyway... What thoughts have you on Country? Not just what you like/tolerate/hate, but... More. What stories, reasons, feelings... Etc.

172 thoughts on “FMD: Let’s talk country”

  1. I really enjoy old-time cowboy music and western swing. Mrs. A likes classic country, so I listen to a fair amount of that when we're in the car together--some of it I like (especially Roger Miller and Tom T. Hall) and some of it I don't. I like '90s and '00s country music, for the most part.

    The state of current country music reminds me of when disco came in. It's not so much that the individual songs are all so terrible as it is that they're all pretty much the same. There are very few current country singers trying to do anything creative or different. The problem for me is not so much that it's terrible as that it's boring.

    1. I agree with the sameness. I went to a Dierks Bentley show a few years back (free VIP tix) and was stunned that every song sounded so similar.

  2. 1. The Pharcyde “Passin' Me By” Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
    2. Tranquility Bass “The Bird” Let the Freak Flag Fly
    3. Shannon Stephens “The Most Delicious Hours” The Breadwinner
        a. Chipping Sparrow “Song”* (The Warbler Guide)
        b. White-breasted Nuthatch—Eastern “Song” (Cornell Master Set)
        c. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher “Calls” (Cornell Essential Set)
    4. Merle Haggard & the Strangers “I Made the Prison Band” Branded Man
    5. Gang Gang Dance “Sacer” Eye Contact

    6. They Might Be Giants “Ana Ng” A User's Guide to
    7. Lydia Loveless “Jesus Was a Wino” Indestructible Machine
    8. Ha Ha Tonka “St. Nick on the Fourth in a Fervor” Live in STL at Off Broadway
    9. Blawan “Why They Hide They Bodies Under My Garage?” His He She & She
    T. Current 93 “With Flowers in the Garden of Fires” Baalstorm, Sing Omega
    E. Jo Johnson “Weaving” Weaving

    *Notes:
    a. Included on "The Warbler Guide" to allow comparison to the song of the Pine Warbler.

    1. I count one country song and two "Bloodshot" songs: Indie Country/Rock.
      I found nothing likeable about country music until Johnny Cash played "Delia's Gone" on Letterman and my friend's parents bought the album.

  3. I cannot stand Top 40 country. It suffers from what Jeff A describes above as the disco problem - everything sounds the same. And to me, the subject matter is often banal - "Hey, y'all look at my dusty gigantic pickup truck. Ain't I so down to Earth? Let's talk about partying, and maybe throw a salute to the troops in there so everyone knows I love America!" There's no substance to it whatsoever.

    Dave Cobb is the greatest thing to hit country music in the last 10 years. He's produced Chris Stapelton's Traveller, Isbell's Something More Than Free & Southeastern, and Surgill's Metamodern Sounds & High Top Mountain.

    1. Well, Sturgill Simpson is pretty much country.

      I also love Reckless Kelly, a country jam band from Austin. They do a lovely, devastating version of "She Sang the Red River Valley."

    2. When I worked in a factory the supers rotated the radio station played on the floor. Since it was third shift, the number of stations broadcasting was lower than during the day, which meant the in-town Top 40 Country station was in heavy rotation. I'd grown up listening to Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Bob Wills, and so on; one of my grandfathers was a country & western fan. Well, I loathed listening to that contemporary Country station because of the homogeneity & lowest common denominator approach to song writing. The songs were neither lyrically or musically complex, nor were they distinguishable from one another. I don't recall ever hearing, say, Dwight Yoakam, on that station. Joe Nichols was big at that time and probably the most distinctive of the artists in the playlist.

    3. I agree with the banality of the subject matter, too. Very few current country songs have anything at all to say.

      1. Most pop songs don't. The masses tend to like songs that are ciphers they can imagine as being relative to their own lives. Songs about specific people and specific issues don't have mass appeal.

        1. I can't argue with that. It's just that country artists used to pride themselves on being storytellers. That seems to be gone, at least for now.

            1. I once heard Trace Adkins interviewed about that song. He said as soon as they got done writing it, they knew they'd written a hit song. They also knew they'd written the stupidest hit song since "Achy Breaky Heart".

    1. This is one of my go-to lines from this film. I don't get to use "A – good Country key." nearly enough, though.

      I was thinking about "Stand By Your Man" last night. That might be my go-to karaoke song.

      1. This was pretty much the first movie I was cognizant of (not sure why my parents let me watch it so much as they were relatively strict about content), and I still unabashedly love it.

        However, my main complaint: they can't harmonize. Like, at all. That would have added such a great dimension to their songs, but nope, they sing the exact same notes on top of each other the whole time.

        1. I think the lack of harmony's actually part of the gag. Two white dudes with the blue-collar Chicago accent, huge music fans fronting an all-star band, and they can't sing basic harmony.

          I tell people that The Blues Brothers is my favorite musical. Most often people think I'm joking, but I'm completely serious.

          1. Eh, I'm not sure how much I buy it as a gag, but it's not something I'd get that worked up about. Dido on the "favorite musical" angle though. Also as a near-Chicagoite, I really appreciate how the city itself is a character in the movie.

    1. I got a CD of Gene Autry from the library a while ago... that was cool.
      But now I get how Western can be a [moderately] different genre than Country.

  4. I picked up Home On Native Land by The Hidden Cameras. It was a blind vinyl purchase on Amazon because it cost $3.38 to get it shipped to my house. The misprice meant I waited for probably 6 months to receive it, which was fine because I didn't know what "it" was.

    Anyway, appears "it" is a country/folk album. Maybe it's ironic hipster music? Maybe give it a try?

    1. Also, I'm listening to Shelby Lynne right now. Does that count?

      (Also, I'm really, really not a country fan. But I make exceptions. Like for Sturgill.)

  5. I have some pretty strong memories associated with certain country artists. When I was a kid my grandparents & their neighbors across the backyard would get their families together every Memorial Day & Labor Day for a cook-out. The music they played was almost exclusively Country & Western from the forties through the seventies – stuff like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Gene Autry, Bob Wills, Buck Owens, and so on. Jack, one of the neighbors, would often bring a guitar and we'd all sing cowboy tunes.

    The summer before I enlisted I was apprenticing with a private chef. I had two CDs in my car that I'd play each day. On the way in to work at 4:30am I'd listen to Hank Williams. On the way home after supper I'd listed to Patsy Cline. It was a really nice routine.

    Our local community radio station airs "Back to the Country" every Wednesday from 9am to noon; the show's hosted by Bill Malone, the original & preeminent historian of Country music. Bill's shows are theme-based, so there's always a mix of artists engaging the theme of the week. For a genre so tied to the "songs about dogs, beer, Mom, prison, breakups, and trucks" stereotype, there was way more going on in Country & Western that it was given credit for, even at the height of the Nashville Sound or Countrypolitan. I make a point of tuning in every week.

  6. For folks looking for a good read on the cross-currents between race relations and Country & Soul music in the mid-twentieth century, particularly in Memphis & Muscle Shoals, my friend Charles wrote a pretty awesome book on the subject.

  7. I have Lonestar's first three albums. They actually have some genuine country music in there, but most of it is the deep cuts. Even their lead, Richie McDonald, complained that their producers wanted to sell them as a romantic, family pop act. But I agree with you it was around 1995 or so that country started to change. I would say Shania Twain is probably the most responsible for that, even though her first big album (The Woman In Me) is still pretty country. But she sold out fast (and hey, who can blame her).

    Cosign on everyone else that modern (pop) country feels so samey to me. I can't tell the difference between most of the male singers. I occasionally like Miranda Lambert, and there's a song here or there that piques my interest, but I don't bother to listen to the radio anymore. I thought Taylor Swift was pretty good at country, but that ship has sailed.

    I actually don't like most older country. Hank Williams, Earl Scruggs, George Jones, Merle Haggard. Doesn't do a lot for me. I do love Waylon and Johnny, though, so maybe it's just certain voices. The bread and butter for me is 1985-1995 country. I love 90% of the artists during that time, including George Strait. I own his box set, and there's some solid deep cuts there. He doesn't write any of his own songs, but the way he sings them it often feels like he lived it.

    1. Heh. I debated listing Shania Twain and Faith Hill as part of the downfall of country too, but I felt like both of them at least started as legitimate country. I don't know when Lonestar first started, but from the beginning of when I remember hearing them (~'97?) I remember thinking they were just pop.

      I'm right with you on that bread and butter era though. I'd probably extend it out, and suggest that there was still some really great stuff coming out to the end of the 90's, along with the bad, but, yeah... Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, George Strait, Trish Yearwood, early Toby Keith... and some very very strong one or two hit artists. Yeah.

      1. Lonestar first hit the scene in 95. Their stuff got increasingly poppy, culminating with Amazed.

        To add to your list...Brooks & Dunn, Tracy Lawrence, Tracy Byrd, Mark Chesnutt, Reba McEntire. I'll also cosign on early Toby Keith; he wrote really good country before 9/11. It's funny, too: there were songs from that time period I actively disliked, but now when I hear them I enjoy them much more because I miss the era.

  8. 01. “All The Critics Love U In New York” – Prince1999
    02. “Programme” – BreakbotBy Your Side
    03. “Have You Seen” – Sharon Van EttenBecause I Was In Love
    04. “Good Patient Woman” – Green On RedThis Time Around
    05. “Seigfried” – Frank OceanBlonde
    06. “Cold Shot” – Stevie Ray Vaughn & The Double TroubleLive At Carnegie Hall
    07. “Death To Everyone” – Bonnie Billy & The Picket LineFuntown Comedown
    08. “Menagerie” – Caitlin RoseThe Stand-In
    09. “Black And Tan Fantasy” – Thelonius MonkPlays Ellington
    10. “Raw Milk” – Parquet CourtsSunbathing Animal

    Hmm, only one Country song.

  9. I grew up surrounded by the sounds of Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, Patsy Cline, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Roger Miller and the like. A range of sounds and levels of subversiveness, which I came to appreciate.

  10. I never grew up with country music. My parents were more into Elvis. I actually disliked country quite a bit.

    I didn't really appreciate country until the early 90s. I started to listen to Steve Earle, Uncle Tupelo, and The Jayhawks. More of an alt-country/Americana fan. This led me to Cash, Willie, and Waylon.

    I'm still pretty limited on what I like that would be considered country. Probably just Sturgill and Isbell.

    1. Yeah, I think I followed a similar path. I was down on country for a long time. An old buddy of mine getting me into The Jayhawks started to turn that around. Thinking back on it, I think that began to open a lot of non-rock doors for me.

    2. My parents were oldies fans, and I still adore Elvis, et. al.

      It wasn't until I was shingling roofs with my uncles that I started to listen to any country, and it wasn't until maybe the last decade or so that I discovered that the Waylons and Willies.

    3. Given what you mentioned you like already, you might enjoy Dwight Yoakam, Robbie Fulks & Robert Earl Keen.

      1. I adore Yoakam. He's Buck Owens, but with a much much better voice. Also in a somewhat similar vein (a little less outlaw), Lee Roy Parnell.

      2. It's funny you mention Dwight. I've had multiple people tell me that but I haven't been able to get into him. Too honky-tonk maybe?

        1. I can see that, though not all of his stuff is honky-tonk. "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere," "Nothing" and "Sorry You Asked?" are certainly not. He also does a good cover of "Suspicious Minds." His best honky-tonk song is probably "Fast As You."

    4. My parents didn't listen to country music either. (Actually, I wasn't exposed to much music through them, though I know my dad still has some old Motown records.)

      The earliest country music exposure I really remember was in the early/mid 90s, and I didn't like it. I also didn't like the guys at my high school who were country music fans, so that was probably a factor too.

  11. Also, I have to confess here... I don't love Johnny Cash. I like some of his songs just fine, but he's just not quite in that sweet spot for me.

    1. I'm not a big Johnny Cash fan, either. I don't dislike him or anything, but he's not really a favorite, either.

    2. My entry to Johnny Cash was through the American albums. If you haven't checked those out, I highly recommend them. I'm all about musicians who come out with some of their most stunning work forty years into their career.

      1. American Recordings & Unchained blew me away when they came out. I bought them with my BMG subscription. Pops, who was a Johnny Cash fan back to the Sixies & his variety show, did not like the American albums. Too dark, he said, which I thought was interesting. ("Delia's Gone" was a song he particularly didn't like.) Pops liked most everything Johnny Cash did between the beginning of his career up to the first Highwaymen album. I like the early stuff up through One Piece at a Time (1976), and then get back on the train with American Recordings. I do dig that first Highwaymen album, too.

        1. After he sang "Delia's Gone" on the Late Show, Letterman asked something like "From the new Christmas album?"

          1. Heh, when I was in college, a friend put "Delia's Gone" on a mix tape for me. Let's just say it was an interesting choice.

      2. I have heard much of them. I feel like there's a lot of sameness and repetition among them. To my mind, you could probably take his version of "Hurt" and call it a day.

          1. Instead of just virtue signaling, point me in the direction of one that sounds different, will ya? 😉

        1. I: Man Who Couldn't Cry, Tennessee Stud, Redemption, Cowboy's Hymn, Beast in Me
          II: Rusty Cage, Southern Accents, Never Picked Cotton, Unchained, I've Been Everywhere
          III: Mercy Seat, I See a Darkness
          IV: I Hung My Head

          I and II are tops.
          Thins out a bit after, but still good.

            1. Don't forget Man Comes Around from IV. I heard that on the radio and immediately drove straight to Electic Fetus to buy the CD.

                  1. With the condition of his voice alone, it wasn't like he had a ton of range... The dark tone, the high school goth dramatics... It runs together for me.

                    1. High school goth dramatics? We're talking about a God-fearing, half-blind, dying, wheelchair-bound drug addict. It's wasn't a pose or a cry for attention.

                    2. yeah, you keep saying that, but if you insist that everything must be perfectly executed, then stick to the top 40 stations. if things beyond that are unacceptable/boring to you, then maybe you're not as open minded as you think you are.

                    3. CH: Yeah, I know. But you have to admit, there's a certain quality there that syncs up nicely there. Also, are you suggesting that high school goths aren't totally sincere?

                      HJ: Alright, now we're just getting into insults. There is a lot of tight, clean music outside of Top 40. I can like clean execution and still be "open." My point was that there is a strong similar quality and theme running though the American records. I've listened to many of the ones listed here, and I still think it's true. That's not a huge condemnation. It's the case with lots of artists, including ones that I like. I was probably too flippant in my initial comment, but you even dropped the eye roll to my acknowledgement of "Man Comes Around" being awesome.

                      Maybe I'm misreading your reaction here, but it seems pretty... sensitive. I once stopped posting on FMD largely because of these condemning types of reactions from you. Your thing is being too cool, my thing is tinkering around inside of what I like and what I don't like, to try to figure out the why behind it. I've come around on lots of things I didn't used to like as a result. Lighten up and let me do it, eh?

                    4. in all honesty, i'm trying very hard to understand where you're coming from. i feel that you have this "box" that encompasses what is "good music" for you. i feel i've tried to explain that music itself cannot be put in a box. music is crazy, chaotic, unhinged, and, yes, messy. many art forms, be it literature or poetry or theatre, are exactly the same way. if anything, "music" itself pushes those boundaries even further. just because it's not pretty doesn't mean it isn't great. if anything, the disregard for those boundaries is why music is still a viable artform. sure, there's gonna be bullshit on the radio for years to come, but if you start to focus on the boundaries of what are the current trends, beyond that is where you will find true art being created.

                      would you say the same of paintings? should everyone try to copy monet, picasso, whoever? if so, i certainly wouldn't care.

                      i don't mean to discourage you from what you like. in fact, i've been trying hard not to chastise those whose opinions i disagree with (and, as with several other around here, i have many opinions). you say i'm attacking you for your tastes. it kinda goes both ways though.

                    5. Not suggesting all high school goths are insincere – a good friend of mine fit the sincere goth description – but that comparing people with not-fully developed brains, comparatively shallow life experience, and runaway hormones to the sensibilities of a dying man in his seventies seems a bit off.

                      I certainly wouldn't draw the same comparison with Vic Chesnutt, and he was half Johnny Cash's age and recorded music that could've fit quite well on one of the American albums.

                    6. I think I see what you're saying. Thanks for the response. I don't mean the following to be argumentative, just pondering.

                      I wonder if you've conflated "music" with art and - to use your word - "bullshit" with entertainment. Music is both. It's more than both. And there's nothing wrong with liking music to entertain, or to soothe, or to hit a specific emotional note, or to dance to with my kids, or to drink a beer to on Friday after work. It doesn't need to push the boundaries or challenge to have value. Maybe to have the most value as art, sure. But that's a pretty limiting criteria.

                      Same with other mediums. I can be moved emotionally by an Oscar darling or laugh at a dumb comedy or learn from a documentary or spend quality time with my kids watching some Disney flick. Those all have value.

                      Stating my tastes isn't an indictment of your tastes (okay, maybe sometime I'm too bombastic in my statements and it comes across that way...). But the mere fact that you have to try hard not to chastise those you disagree with suggests... well, plenty of things, I suppose. But I'd start with "it suggests you should do more to educate than condemn." Push my boundaries, challenge me to see the artistic value, tell me why two similar seeming songs are both important, etc. Rolling your eyes only discourages.

                    7. CH... I mean, he did cover "Hurt." ...

                      Actually, and this is kind of the thing I was going for when I talked about covers the other week, Johnny doing "Hurt" transformed it from "high school goth" into something deeper and beautiful. Indeed, he did that a lot with his covers. I guess what I'm trying to say is that my point wasn't that the American recordings lacked depth, it was that the songs ran together. One of the ways they did so was by repeatedly taking similar themed/toned songs and adding that new perspective.

                    8. I'd say no, you haven't. The daily vids are something, but to me they're more of a courtesy "here, this exists." The times you actually engage me you either condemn what I like or insult me for not liking what you do. That doesn't exactly help expand boundaries.

                      AMR listens to plenty of challenging, artistic, boundary-pushing songs too. He has successfully gotten me to listen to and appreciate significantly more such songs.

                    9. And I guess I'd add that it is sometimes hard to take to heart the recommendations made when they seem to be coming from a place that doesn't see the value in music as entertainment qua entertainment.

                    10. in fairness, i don't think i've dismissed your opinions until after you've dismissed mine (if i'm wrong, let me know; at this hour i'm not going to go looking).

                      look, all art is subjective. i feel very strongly about my tastes in music. i'm willing to venture that what i like goes far outside your comfort zone. and that's fine. i've most likely been too harsh in my admonishment of you feel to be "music". if you're involved in the daily videos, i haven't much proof of that (other than you claiming to dislike live music), so, no, i guess it's not more than a courtesy to you. it's not supposed to be a test. if i engage you, it's because you've made a statement.

                    11. I'll just suggest that there's a whole wide world of music between "beyond the borders art" and "the 2 broke girls equivalent" and I'll step away. For now.

                    12. We're talking preferences here. When we're talking preferences, there really isn't a right or wrong. We like what we like, for whatever reason. My musical tastes are different from lots of people around here. That doesn't make them right or wrong. It just makes them different.

                    13. Somewhat related topic (and hey, let's make this the biggest FMD ever): While I find myself not caring two hoots about anyone's music preferences, I probably would judge someone (even if secretly) if they said their favorite show was Two Broke Girls. I don't know if TV show or movie preferences reveal more about someone's personality than a music preference, but something tells me that if someone thought Two Broke Girls was hilarious, they might not find me particularly funny. Whereas it seems to me people tend to like music less for the actual words than they do the melody and instrumentation, which speaks less to personality I think. I suppose if someone only liked music that screamed racist, hateful remarks, that would be one thing. But that's really fringe.

                    14. You fellas were up late...

                      This exchange reminds me of an argument I once had during graduate school.

                      Me: we need to have some sort of standard by which to judge art whether it's aesthetic value or conceptual impact. I don't care, just that we need to set a standard by which to judge
                      Friend: Taking into account the critical theory approach consensus is how we determine the value of art to society
                      Me: So, Bob Dylan is less important than Britney Spears because she's far more popular than Bob....
                      Friend: It's not like that
                      Me: How is it then?
                      Friend: You're being an ass
                      Me: Really?
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      (an hour and half later + 44 beers)
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      Me: So you're saying that Britney Spears is more important than Bob Dylan...

                    15. many of us have little interest in listening to the musical equivalent of two broke girls.

                      See, I totally get what you're getting at here, but I derive a lot of satisfaction from pop music being blasted at me as people throw beads and blinky toys at my face. I also really appreciate when (the good) marching bands adapt pop for the parade route...

                    16. Your trolling has gotten me so upset, I've been listening to all the American Recordings sessions all morning.

                    17. It's taking an awful lot of will power to not say more on this topic, but I just wanted to add this little bit:

                      I like what meat says, and it's a big part of what I was getting at. But I would also add (reiterate) that there's a big difference between HJ's "messy" artistically valuable music and Top 40. The a huge number of bands and artists I like fall into that grouping. Metric, Decemberists, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats, Spoon, Jenny Lewis, etc. Heck, the Jayhawks, which HJ cites above as being influential probably fall into that "not messy, not top 40" middle. None of that is 2 Broke Girls territory.

                    18. HJ -4 for instigating with the eyeroll

                      Philo -2 with retaliation on comparing Johnny Cash to a goth highschooler

                      HJ -4 for comparing pop music to Two Broke Girls. This is the equivalent to a below the belt shot.

                    19. Philo, I should also mention that my comment was only in reference to new orleans carnival parade routes. This year has been pretty sparse with new additions as there wasn't a Happy / Wrecking Ball / Uptown Funk / danceable Beyonce song / Eye of the Tiger level hit from the summer to hit the parade routes. The bonus being that way, way more bounce 'hits' are being blasted at my face this year. If you want messy and bounce doesn't do it for you something is really, really wrong with you. (Yeah, in case you can't tell, I'm a big fan of bounce, but I won't link because some folks may find it NSFW)

                    20. So basically the HJ view is: music can be divided into two categories, messy art which has value and everything else is complete valueless crap, whether Top 40 or other.

                      Meat's addition: with one exception for parades located within the city of New Orleans.

                    21. I wouldn't say we forgot about him...

                      Actually, when I put up this comment I almost listed Shat as an example of non-art music that has value. But I didn't really think that would help me.

                    22. music can be divided into two categories, messy art which has value and everything else is complete valueless crap

                      I'm sorry I muddied this conversation, but there are only two kinds of music ---> Wilco, and good music. #wink

                    23. HJ - Throughout the conversation I asserted the non-artistic value of various musics and offered examples of artists that aren't messy but aren't top 40. You explicitly dismissed music as entertainment. Then when I again specifically suggested there was more to music than just being art or "2 Broke Girls" your response strongly implied disagreement.

                      That is, throughout the conversation, I pressed you to see values other than the artistic in music and you repeatedly rejected that such value existed.

                      Don't suggest I'm being absurd for restating the position you took.

                    24. "Let it go?"

                      First off: Hi, I'm Philosofer. I don't believe we've met...

                      Second... you know what? Nevermind. Everything I want to write is just too harsh. Short version: you don't get to insult my entire musical taste and then tell me to let it go when I confront you on it. I thought we'd reached kind of an agreeable stalemate, but your "yeesh" this morning made it clear you wanted to continue dismissing what I said while not actually engaging the subject. You have to expect a response to that. If you really wanted it let go, you could have done that yourself. You opted to keep going (while, again, not actually offering any substance on the point in question), while telling me to drop it. That suggests you aren't really about ending the conversation, you're just interested in pointing fingers.

                      Third... that was the short version. See point #1.

          1. My highlights are a little different:

            American Recordings: Delia's Gone, Drive On, Why Me Lord?, Bird on a Wire, Down There by the Train, Redemption

            Unchained: Sea of Heartbreak, Rusty Cage, Spiritual, The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea, Southern Accents, I Never Picked Cotton

            American III: Solitary Man: I Won't Back Down, Solitary Man, Nobody, I See a Darkness, The Mercy Seat, I'm Leavin' Now

            American IV: The Man Comes Around: The Man Comes Around, Hurt, I Hung My Head, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, We'll Meet Again

            American V: A Hundred Highways: Help Me, God's Gonna Cut You Down, Like the 309, Further On (Up the Road), Four Strong Winds, I'm Free from the Chain Gang Now

            American VI: Ain't No Grave: Ain't No Grave, For the Good Times, Cool Water, Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream, Aloha Oe

  12. I've never really liked pop country, but I've always dug alt-country (like The Jayhawks or Old 97s) and outlaw county. The judge for whom I clerked was obsessive about bluegrass music, and the Valet has always loved bluegrass as well (starting with the Okee Dokee Brothers), so I'm starting to get more exposure to that as well.

        1. I'd say that you were here to stir shit, but I saw philo leaving with a paddle under his arm last night /wink

        2. Who the hell was I thinking of?

          (Google Google)

          Oh, Gillian Welch. I'm a fan of the work of both but this isn't the first time I've swapped their names.

  13. Other Philo FMD topics to goose up comments in the future:

    Florence and the Machine's Ceremonials is better than Abbey Road

    Ok Go! 's songs are much more than quirky videos

    Which is better by Ace of Base: The single version of The Sign or the dance remix?

    1. Which is better by Ace of Base: The single version of The Sign or the dance remix?

      Clearly the single version. That'd be the shortest thread ever

      1. Yes. The Dance mix pushes the too hard. I have no idea if there's a difference between the single and the album version.
        The beat on the original is the whole reason the band existed and got $$$, not their pseudo-ABBA vocal thing.
        Some weird and interesting place between dancehall reggae, 80's post-new-wave-pop, 90's europop. Given that it actually had pop appeal in the US to the point that any of us have heard of it, it could have only come from Sweden.

        1. Oh that's actually about "All that She Wants"
          "The Sign" sucks either way.
          Free italicized it which might imply the album, for which there is a remix version.
          But he said single version.
          [Edit: there is no The Sign Remixes album. I was so certain there was.]

    1. True story: last night Philosofette fell asleep while flipping channels. Before our conversation. It ended on 2 Broke Girls. After 5 minutes, I woke her up and told her to never ever do that again.

  14. I haven't had time to get through the big thread above.
    I would like to add that the Meat Puppets' Too High to Die has more than 50% responsibility for me ever listening to country music, and that Cash on Letterman performance of "Delia's Gone" has about 50% of the remainder. The rest is probably girls, not starting with the one I married, but ending with it.

  15. That feeling when you're watching Julien Baker live clips on youtube and you realize she reminds you of your daughter.
    Maybe I can get AJR to start "softening"* some of her vowels like JRB for emphasis.

    *Maybe the wrong word. Adding a consonant /y/ before them, like so many Russian vowels.

    Possibly related SelectShow
    1. (That was supposed to be a reply to AMR's original JB message. I've definitely spent a night or two going through her stuff on youtube as well. Still good even if done sans libation.)

  16. I know everyone has moved on but how exactly did Philo stir things up? By having different tastes in music? Do we need to update the off limits list?

    Politics
    Religion
    Anything negative about Johnny Cash
    Not liking beer

    1. I've yet to read it (though I've scanned). I do have a printout.
      In my scanning I was reminded of Milt on Tilt.

    2. It's funny, because before I liked beer, this list would have been right in my wheelhouse. Fortunately, I've fixed that part of myself.

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