So let me just say this…Bob Schneider‘s new album is quite good. The whole thing can be streamed from his new website, which is also quite good; I’m especially fond of his depiction therein. The album has an impressive studio version of “Blow Me Back to You” (now entitled “Wish the Wind Would Blow Me”), and there are plenty of feel-good tracks as well. I have to be thankful for a man who can continue his dedication as he approaches his quintessence (or prepares to become a quinquagenarian).
While on the topic of music, let’s talk country. Country has all the right ingredients to be good: a leading guitar (often with piano accompaniment or additional strings), heartfelt vocals with an emphasis on storytelling and chorus, but often de-emphasizing repetition and eschewing electronic distortion or ubiquitous unimaginative percussion (i.e. it bears no resemblance to common night club music). But the stories are all the same, and are often overtly contrived or beer-inspired. And then there’s that twang, that unnecessary desire of every country singer to contort his or her voice in such a way that makes them all virtually indistinguishable to the untrained ear. And there are songs like this and this, some of the worst contributions to music in the history of modern humanity and a true stretching of the definition of “art.”
Breaking News: I had no idea that there is, in existence, a collaboration between will.i.am and Justin Bieber, and its title is a hashtag. My mind was just blown at the sheer absurdity, the juxtaposition of things so distasteful to me. Suddenly country music seems so much more palatable.