Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crossroads in the Crosshairs of the Dog Days

The thing about change is that it's not easy. We live in interesting times. The hypersensitive, decentralized nature of the media means that we are all observers and participants, acutely aware of the shifting sands beneath our collective feet as we struggle to balance and maintain our sight on our individual goals. The placid late summer mood could be shattered in an instant with the ugliness of a town hall meeting. An in-your-face wingnut living in that echo chamber we call the popular culture pulls out his or her automatic weapon and decides to become a hero. Who thinks that is inconceivable? Why are the Secret Service even putting up with that b----t?
Sometimes I listen to the country music stations that blossomed on the air waves a few years back, a product of some corporate consolidation that meant the "Nashville" sound, sanitized and sterilized, was deemed ready to go mainstream. The surprising thing, and I'm not sure what this reflects, either my deteriorating sensibilities, the dearth of good rock music, or my age, but I find some of it is pretty good, with an honesty and lack of pretension that is a refreshing change from an uber-hipster sound or the pop muzak of the rest of the spectrum. Of course some of it is trash, utterly unredeemable, formulaic, tugging at the worst, reptilian heartstrings of national and Southern pride. But here's a song by Pat Green which reminded me of why the best of what we do as artists, musicians, creators, needs to transcend barriers and get us on the same page of what is really important.


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