While I’m a ruminatin’ in an artistic direction, let me give a huge thumbs up to last night’s House of Mercy‘s show at the Turf Club.  For those who may not know, HoM is a church that doubles as a killer bluegrass label, and they have a monthly showcase of all the really phenomenal talent they’ve managed to accrue that is well worth your time if your in the area.  Beer + Country Gospel Goodness =Definitely the best way to spend a Sunday evening.  (Except for the blazing hot main-room. Oh well.)

Last night featured several old favorites, Pocahontas County and the House of Mercy Band, as well as the Floorbirds, who I hadn’t run into before.  Listening to them was rather like getting a deep brain massage… Suffice it to say I was impressed. Take a listen:

Advertisements

I know I’m a bit late to this, but I’ve been ruminating on something that was said in the Conor/Riehl debate… As Conor later summed it up:

As best I can tell, Dan thinks that Ronald Reagan was a conservative, that people who favor an economy free of government interference are conservatives, and that religious conservatives who dissent from the Club for Growth orthodoxy are perpetrating a fraud if they call themselves conservative. Never mind that these folks don’t actually hide their supposedly heretical views, and are very upfront about where they stand on any specific matter you ask them about. They are still somehow being duplicitous or at least misleading if they invoke the c-word as a general descriptor.

Seconded. But on top of that, there’s another aspect of Riehl’s definition that’s worth exploring.  If the meaning of “conservative” is to be explicitly political, and any variance from that political definition is duplicitous, then the door is closed, not only to political reform, but also to the broader cultural sensibility  that supposedly underpins the political dimension.  That kind of small “c” conservatism, the conservatism that calls our attention to the small inescapable givens of life, must of necessity have a larger field than politics. This is because there is no simple political answer to the questions we face daily, be it how we treat ourselves, our families, our surroundings, our traditions, or those we are in community with.  Conservatism at its best is about how we square these questions with the big picture, but denying their complexity by over-politicizing them them drains the politics of ideas and the ideas of vibrancy.  This all but guarantees a hidebound ideology, not a vital force in the culture.

So if we’re looking for an explanation for the horrendous Young Cons, this would actually be a good place to start.  Making a conservative piece of culture in America is hard for a lot of reasons, but under the current conditions, when the movement has fatted itself on Happy Meal talking points, it shouldn’t be surprising that the best it can come up with is basically more of the same.

New plan: We get together with the Canadians and burn down the Recording Academy’s offices. Bastards.

This is an excellent idea:

The festival invites guest to “think/listen/dance/play”, and offers a programme ranging from philosophy seminars to arts and theatre workshops and musical performances. The line-up includes Susan Neiman, Will Hutton, Phillip Blond and Geoff Mulgan, as well as Prospect’s own David Goodhart, who will be discussing market regulation and individual freedoms. Other topics of discussion include religious fundamentalism, utopianism, revolution and the enlightenment

The festival invites guest to “think/listen/dance/play”, and offers a programme ranging from philosophy seminars to arts and theatre workshops and musical performances. The line-up includes Susan Neiman, Will Hutton, Phillip Blond and Geoff Mulgan, as well as Prospect’s own David Goodhart, who will be discussing market regulation and individual freedoms. Other topics of discussion include religious fundamentalism, utopianism, revolution and the enlightenment

Blond addresses the hippies.  This can only end well.

 

 

 

Everyone should go read this really nice piece by Rick Moody over at the Rumpus. It’s a bit winding at the first, and if you don’t find prep-school stories terribly compelling it might seem pointless, but the payoff is so worth it:

The larger question, the somewhat disappointing one, is thus raised. What is the purpose of this music? For me this gets to a related and more interesting question: Why make music in the first place? There’s a very specific reason for making this music, as John has pointed out on numerous occasions. People with Down’s Syndrome require cerebral stimulation or else they lose function. That is, if you treat a person with Down’s like they are impaired, they will eventually suffer with that impairment…

Read the rest of this entry »

Koray Salman, ladies and gents.

Happy tuesday, dear readers! Here’s Minnesota’s own Charlie Parr rocking out “God Moves On The Water.”

Oklahoma just got a lot cooler.

Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne spoke out Friday about a state House vote that killed a resolution naming the band’s 2002 hit “Do You Realize??” as the official state rock song. 

“It’s a small minority of religious wackos that think they can tell everybody what to wear and what to say and what to do and what music is right for the rest of the world. 

And all the smart, normal, rational people of Oklahoma know better,” Coyne said during a phone interview with the Tulsa World. 

Soon after Thursday’s vote, Gov. Brad Henry intervened by announcing that he would sign an executive order proclaiming “Do You Realize??” as the official rock song of Oklahoma.

This is the kind of executive power I like to see. Now if only we could get T-Pawl to recognize the Suicide Commandos as a state treasure…