Monday, October 27, 2008

found on Edge of the American West. yes, they're on the sidebar. NO, I am not going to write anything new. Yes, I will post something besides a video from somewhere else in Al gore's interwebs sometime soon.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cates on video

Ok, so since i've brought the Cate Brothers up a few times here, I thought I'd post these videos that I found on Youtube. The first one is from an AETN performance. it's the newest lineup of the band, but the song,"Start All Over Again" is an oldie. There's a version on one of the two Cates Gang albums, from 1970, and another one on the second Asylum album, In One Eye and Out The Other in 1976.

and here is a video montage that some dude ("Music Mike" put to Union Man, from the 1975 self-titled LP. I psted some thoughts awhile back regarding this song, whether it;s anti-or pro union. I hold by my revised take: that it's about a southern working man putting aside years of previously held predjudices and facing the fact that he can't face down the bosses by himself.

Friday, October 17, 2008

RIP Levi Stubbs

We're saying goodbye to a powerful, unique voice. As I recall, the Motown staff had trouble finding songs for the Four Tops because Levi Stubbs' voice was in a lower range than most of their lead singers. Well, they found one, and this was it:

and then this one:

there's more, go find 'em yourself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This is weird!

Ok, while googling for my own site as I moved that last post from the laptop to an office computer due to shitty wireless, I found a blog called..."Radio Free Lunch." What's especially weird is that the name of this (my) blog is actually a deeply idiosyncratic dual reference to:1. Camper Van Beethoven's first album, and 2. a friend of mine's long ago rant about some folks who took a student funded junket to the CMJ marathon in New York after our local college station got taken over by NPR and replaced by a cable-only channel that effectively only reached the dorms.

Also: check out some new sites on the blogroll: Russ Peterson's Satired, Michael Berube's American Airspace, and for crypto-countercultural history buffs, Stories of the Aquarian Revolution.

"a social history of remembering in the South."

Sorry for the long absence from this site. There's plenty on my mind, but no particular thing floating to the top that I want to blog about. so, instead, I want to share something that I read (again) today that's driving what I'm hoping to do:

“We should not take for granted, then, the inevitability of the contemporary southern landscape, dense with invocations of the past. The historical South that exists today is the consequence not of some innate regional properties but of decades of investment, labor, and conscious design by individuals and groups of individuals who have imagined themselves as “southerners.” If characterizations of southern memory are to be meaningful, attention should be given to what kind of history southerners have valued, what in their past they have chosen to remember and forget, how they have disseminated the past they recalled, and to what uses those memories have been put. We need, in short, a social history of remembering in the South.”

W. Fitzhugh Brundage, from No Deed But Memory” in Where These Memories Grow: History, Memory and Southern Identity, 2000.

To this I'd add the commonsense note that different southerners have valued different memories, and used different mechanisms for archiving and disseminating those memories too. some of that memory work corresponds to dominant hegemonic notions of southerness, and some of that memory work defies those notions, sometimes activating and enlisting contrary and alternative imaginations of southerness in that effort. And while even this could stand a little unpacking, I want to press forward and suggest a couple of unusual sites for archiving and activating memory, sites available to groups who who lack (for a variety of reasons) the political clout to write their past into the literal landscape in the form of either shopping malls or graveyards. One of them is Facebook, where my own hometown has been holding a kind of extended and far flung countercultural reunion. The other one, broader and more directly applicable to my project is live music in general.

My own experience in playing at and putting on shows suggests to me that live musical performance is all or mostly or often about the construction of memorable moments, and that popular musical performance specifically is about the ongoing practice of enacting (constructing, whatever performative verb you want to use here) a (roughly) duplicable series of memorable moments. Looking at live musical performance in this way ties those performances to recordings, ties together the interests of musicians and audiences, and helps, I hope to get at the role that social musicking plays in the (re)construction of the past in the present. In the context of Brundage's remarks on southern memory it also allows us to see southern musicking as an ongoing identificatory project.

Now, there's a cluster of thoughts around "southern music" and especially "southern rock" that I think cries out for some expansion, but I need a cup of coffee to think about that. Specifically, I'm thinking about southern music, genre, and memory as the overall theme of the next post.