Oh Blake Shelton

If you ever wonder what it’s like to live in Nashville and work in the music industry, you can either read Ashley’s hilarious recaps of Nashville, or you can read this article about Blake Shelton and just imagine a million douchy meetings where people sit around and say this same thing repeatedly, you’ll pretty much have it.

It’s not that this–

If I am “Male Vocalist of the Year” that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide if it moves forward and if it moves on. Country music has to evolve in order to survive. Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.

–doesn’t have a certain kind of truth to it. But as the dude writing the article points out, it’s a very small kind of truth. After all, Mumford & Sons and the Avett Bros. and just about anyone on the Americana state wouldn’t be making a living if people didn’t want to listen to their grandpa’s music. Or the music of someone’s grandpa, anyway.

And then, if you think about it for longer than five seconds and start to think how much country music sounds like rock music in the 70s, you know that people who listen to Blake Shelton are, indeed, listening to their grandpa’s music. Just that their grandpa didn’t listen to country.

And then, to second Saving Country Music’s point, dude, come on! The only people who still regularly and consistently buy music anymore are us oldsters.

I don’t really care if country music doesn’t sound like country music, because lord knows that they’ve been complaining that country music doesn’t sound like country music for as long as I know of.  Fuck, I’m convinced people were all “Oh, John Carson! That doesn’t even sound like old-timey fiddlin’!” The fight about what real country music is resides in the bones of the genre.

I do care that a musician has no sense of his own history. If Blake Shelton isn’t listening to the good music in his own genre because it’s grandpa music, it’s his loss as an artist. It shows a failure of imagination on his part, that he can’t love it, not a failure on the music’s part to be relevant.

Random Thoughts

1. Here’s the problem Rocketown has: these are their defenders in the comments. This is now the problem all people who aren’t comfortable around gay people have: you can either get more comfortable, decide that being uncomfortable isn’t worth fighting over, or these are your allies. It becomes a double-problem when your reason for being uncomfortable around homosexuality is that you’re Christian. Because, surely, if you are Christian and you find yourself on the side of the most hateful people in an argument, the ones wanting any excuse to keep hurting people, it must give you great pause. Even when Jesus admonished sinners, he never took a stance that would have left them publicly more vulnerable to harm. That the “Christian” stance is “leave those gay folks out in the cold” is a problem and its the kind of problem that Christians are going to have to wrestle with for themselves. Because, right now, a lot of people–many of whom are also Christian–are protecting people from Christians. Protecting from. If that doesn’t bother you as a Christian, I don’t even know what to say to you.

2. The Roy Herron thing. I think it just basically means that the troubles continue for the Democratic Party. Folks are rightly worried by a guy aligned too closely to Chip. But that the viable response you have to that is a guy too closely aligned to the bad old “Let’s just pretend we’re Republicans Lite” days is also not good. I mean, what does Roy Herron think a Democrat is? On the third hand, it may be that the Democratic Party does end up running some Republican Lites, because they figure out that they can’t win on their primary ballots, but have a shot at winning in the general. (I don’t think this is going to be true for a few more years, though. Republicans need to get a bit more codified.)

3. $900,000 for nothing? Lord almighty. As much as it pains me, you can’t say that voters were wrong to toss Democrats out on their ears. The level of lazy, genial corruption is just staggering.

4. But that kind of lazy, genial corruption is human nature. And a problem Republicans are going to have is keeping their members from indulging in it. If Tennessee threw Democrats out solely because it’s become a more conservative state, then Republican corruption won’t matter. But if Tennessee at any level threw Republicans out because they thought they were going to get more moral people, then Republicans succumbing to the temptations of office is a huge problem for them. And one they should not forget.