[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Cancel Culture Is Out of Control

The Madness of Political Correctness

White Kid’s “Privilege” Didn’t Save Him

US Officially Withdraws From World Health Organization

Angry Lesbians Release America-Hating Remake of Lee Greenwood’s Classic for 4th of July

Fairmont cop drove twice the speed limit in a fatal crash. He won't be charged.

Manhattan DA Charges White Woman For Calling 911 On Black Man Who Admitted He Threatening Her

153 "Left-Leaning" Economists Say US Should Continue To Hand Out Free Money Indefinitely

Ilhan Omar Calls For ‘Dismantling’ Of U.S. ‘Economy & Political Systems’

WHO Created Global Pandemic Panic Based on Fraudulent Data and Its Leader Tedros is Connected to Islamic Terrorism and Is a China Puppet

Coronavirus Death Rate Plunges As MSM Breathlessly Hypes ‘Surge’ In Confirmed Cases; McEnany Sets The Media Right

Nation That Kills 3,000 Babies A Day Feels Morally Superior To Slaveowners From 200 Years Ago

Picture of The Day: Left-Wing Fireworks

Trump rips Redskins, Indians for eyeing name changes to be 'politically correct'

This headline is real: It’s from a feminist, of course

BLM Teacher Says 2+2 Only = 4 Because of “Western Imperialism”

150 Top Intellectuals Sign Open Letter Decrying Cancel Culture

Gavin Newsom caught wiring half a billion dollars to communist China in massive face mask money laundering scheme

Victims speak out after July 4th assault

Ann Coulter Warns: ‘Get Ghislaine Maxwell On Tape’ Before She Dies Like Epstein

Walt Disney Signs Colin Kaepernick in First-Look Deal the Weekend After He Calls Independence Day a “Celebration of White Supremacy”

Democrat hypocrite of the Year: Newsom Triggered When Constituent Asks Why His Business, Plumpjack Winery, Received COVID Relief Loan

A group of armed black protesters march in Georgia, US

The end of the observance of the Last Supper

Another conservative celebrity - Susan St. James.

“F**k You Cracker A$$!” – Peaceful Protest: BLM Thug Harasses, Threatens White School Kids on Their Trip to DC

Minnesota Doctor who Revealed Hospitals Get Paid More for COVID-19 Patients Is Now Being Investigated by the State

Billy Strings - "Dust In A Baggie" (Live at the Opry)

Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels dies at 83

AntiFa Girl Gets Challenged For Trolling A Freedom Rally, Calls The Police, And Loses Her Mind

Post-Pandemic Americans May Be Done With Taking Orders

“Tell My Family I Love Them” – Not Making Headlines Today: Last Words of Murdered Police Officer Anthony Dia to Police Dispatch

Previously unreleased video shows Pasco County deputies shooting unarmed man

Should cops who shoot someone be tested for drugs and alcohol? Metro Council may demand it

Armed Black Marxists swarm innocent family’s car — Then shoot and kill their 8 year-old daughter….

FACT: Mask Mandates UNLAWFUL In US

A Visitor From The Past

Two terrorists taken out

College to look into how its wasp mascot (yes, the insect) is related to systemic oppression

White couple arrested after gun pulled on black family

Police Departments Asked "Live PD" To Cut Footage That Made Cops Look Bad

The Old America Is Dead. Where Do We Go from Here?

The World Through the Eyes of a Globalist ((Twilight Zone 2020))

Now Even The COMMON COLD Is Being Counted As A Positive COVID-19 Result, CDC Says

Trump: Planned BLM mural in NYC a “symbol of hate” that would “denigrate” Fifth Avenue

The Teenage Girl Gang That Seduced and Killed Nazis

Camera off Mask off (the dickhead)

11 Redacted Seconds of Video of Fatal 2014 Drug Bust Undermine Florida Cops' Official Story

Revival with Miracles Breaks Out in Spot Where George Floyd Died in Police Custody

Tens of thousands of coronavirus tests have been double-counted, officials admit


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

United States News
See other United States News Articles

Title: Son Volt’s "Union" Joins in the Anti-Trump Clamor
Source: National Review
URL Source: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019 ... oins-in-the-anti-trump-clamor/
Published: Jun 11, 2019
Author: Declan Leary
Post Date: 2019-10-23 15:48:01 by Deckard
Ping List: *Music*     Subscribe to *Music*
Keywords: None
Views: 127
Comments: 1

It was almost 40 years ago that Jay Farrar started playing music with his brothers in their garage in southern Illinois. They called themselves The Plebes, and a friend of his from school, Jeff Tweedy, joined in early on. In ’84, Farrar’s brother Dade left, Mike Heidorn joined, and The Plebes changed their name to The Primitives. By 1987, Wade Farrar (not to be confused with Dade) was gone too, and the now-three-piece band — Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heidorn — changed their name again. Now, they were Uncle Tupelo — their mascot, more or less, was a fat cartoon Elvis. And they were great.

It’s the cliché of all clichés in talking about music, but they really were doing something new. They wrote like Woody Guthrie and they played like the Minutemen. The music was grating and loud and in-your-face and then, before you knew it, it was a folk ballad with a single acoustic guitar. It was Gram Parsons and Hank Williams (the real Hank Williams) and The Allman Brothers and punk rock and the blues and anything else that would fit all rolled up together.

They call it alt-country now, but the label doesn’t do it justice. Americana would be a better word if that word hadn’t been overused to the point of meaninglessness. That’s really what it was though: authentic American music — eclectic and raw and real. No Depression, the genre’s flagship publication — which, by the way, takes its name from that of Uncle Tupelo’s first album — has described its subject as “alternative-country music (whatever that is).”

The movement’s defining band had a rocky road from the start, fueled mostly by conflict between Farrar and Tweedy. (Each one thought he was the band’s defining artistic voice and rightful front man. Tweedy was wrong.) They broke up in 1994, having released only four studio albums over seven years. Heidorn had already left in ’92 to get married and had been replaced by three new members. All three went with Tweedy to form Wilco, which has achieved moderate fame with its weird-hipster-alt-pop-rock and unnecessarily strange album titles. Their Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2001) barely made the cut for Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; the justification for its placement at #493 calls the album (for whatever reason) “Wilco’s great leap forward” — probably a more fitting description than the author meant it to be. (It should be noted that this same list places four Beatles albums in the top ten, and ten across the whole 500, so the judgment of its compilers should not be taken seriously at all.)

Farrar, meanwhile, sought out Heidorn again, and, together with brothers Jim and Dave Boquist, formed Son Volt. Within a year they had put out their first album, Trace. It was, in many ways, the culmination of Uncle Tupelo’s work — the best of the rock-folk blend and brutally poetic lyrics that had defined Uncle Tupelo could be found in Son Volt’s debut. It certainly settled the question of who had been Uncle Tupelo’s guiding voice.

After two more albums, Straightaways (1997) and Wide Swing Tremolo (1998), following closely in the Uncle Tupelo mold, Son Volt took a hiatus, only to reappear in 2004 with a new lineup, a more refined sound, and another masterpiece album: Okemah and the Melody of Riot. The band has undergone a few more lineup changes since, and the sound has seen the inevitable fluctuations expected of a two-decade run, but Son Volt has remained one of alt-country’s leading groups. All along — through Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, and plenty of other side projects — Jay Farrar was perhaps the single best voice in a movement that gave a unique artistic expression to experiences of middle America. He wrote about the lives and troubles and trials of everyday people, and he did it as well as anyone. And then the world ended.

Or so you would think to hear Son Volt’s latest album, Union (2019). Every song — literally, every single song — is a protest against the Trump administration. Now, Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt have never shied away from protest music or lefty politics — hell, anyone who cites Woody Guthrie as a major influence has to be dangerously close to blood-red-commie territory. There’s plenty of great music that voices terrible politics, and most conservatives have learned to deal with that. But there has to be some kind of a line beyond which it becomes just unbearable. With Union, Farrar crossed that line and kept driving until he hit the ocean.

One track, “The 99,” opens with a line that sounds more like the Soviet Union than Trump’s America: “Journalists in jail for covering the scene . . .” (No journalist, to my knowledge, has been jailed for “covering the scene” by the Trump administration.) Oddly enough, the Trump–Soviet confusion features even more explicitly in “The Perilous Night,” by Drive-By Truckers, whose streak from Pizza Deliverance (1999) to The Dirty South (2004) presents the only real competition for the genre’s golden age against the Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt 1990–98 peak. It seems that Trump derangement has hit more than one alt-country great, and the results aren’t looking good.

The next lines (“Profit columns rise for the corporate machines. Take the stand now, protest and holler. Desecration of the land for the almighty dollar.”) suggest some kind of Randian anarcho-capitalism that’s not really supported by anybody in the present administration, or anybody who lives above ground level. Nowhere in the album does Farrar actually engage any realistic version of the world we’re living in.

More importantly, he never once addresses any real experiences with the emotional depth and genuineness that made the early stuff so great. When Uncle Tupelo wrote way back in the day about the fear of getting drafted into a Middle Eastern war, their bad politics still made good music because it focused on the personal, the intimate, and the real, and it crafted a depiction of an American life that made sense to people who had lived it. That’s what people wanted to hear, not preachy abstractions about the supposed failings of U.S. policy and the personal shortcomings of a given public official. Most people are sick of even hearing that stuff on the news. Why would they want it in their music too?

Jay Farrar was, in better days, a prophet. Subscribe to *Music*

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

#1. To: Deckard (#0)

What Anti-Trump clamor?

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2019-10-24   8:38:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com