It’s late and I don’t have much in me right now so this is mostly a reminder for later…

I can’t remember if I’ve written about this before, but, I like country music. I sometimes feel embarassed around some of my friends because I like pop country music…. I like country music radio. I just like how it sounds – the loud bass beat, the vocal harmonies, the pop hooks, all of it. I also don’t know much about the genre today or historically. I want to, very much, because a lot of it just sounds really good to me.

That aside, I also find the political and social content of a lot of country music really fascinating. There’s a strong class component, but in a populist sense. I mean this in a sense that I read about somewhere and don’t fully remember, something like where populism means an objection to a real problem tied to capitalism but without real solutions, with aiming for a fix within the terms of capitalism. To put this another way – there are responses to real problems but not necessary positive responses; country music is on balance conservative.

Part of why I find compelling is the conjunction of discussion of class with conservative values like religion, family, nation, and what seems to me the very clear implication that ‘country people’ are – that country’s ‘all-american-ness’ imagines an america that is – all white. (Note to self: http://www.post-gazette.com/magazine/20010218country2.asp including ref to “some racially repugnant themes and stereotypes” and also http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2006/jul/16/folk)

Specifically, they tend to be white people who live out in the country, not urban. This makes me guess that there’s some connection to white flight in the history of country music (my friend Erik said there’s some early connection as well to southern white migration to northern industrial centers, being interesting to find out more about that… he said one of the books about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers has some stuff on this w/r/t discussion of white rioters [snipers!] during big conflagrations in Detroit; I think he said this was in Detroit I Do Mind Dying).

Below are some videos to look at later. (Some of the comments on these videos are worth looking at too…)











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