Music: The Greencards: Weather and Water
Today has been decidedly lazy. The Sunday ritual commenced with a read of the Austin newspaper to the backdrop of This Week and Meet the Press. Rick Santorum was on This Week, and I cannot believe how fucking idiotic this man is. His new book, It Takes a Family, is essentially that conservative talk-show style of “rhetoric,” you know, empty and baseless. He blamed “radical feminists”—and later, “academe” in general–for devaluing stay at home moms, and when George Stephanopoulos pressed him to name a radical feminist, he couldn’t. It was really fun to watch. At this point, us Leftists can claim George Will as one of our own since he’s clearly retreated from the neo-cons—at least on television. And can you blame him after Santorum’s book?
But today has mostly been about . . . bluegrass. I headed to Cheapo Records off of South Lamar to scout for some cheap vinyl, found some good stuff (some bluegrass, as well as the one-hit-wonders Kajagoogoo). Close friends know of my fondness for the Louvin Brothers, the Grateful Dead, and southern gospel. Well, I’m coming out: I love bluegrass music, and I’m proud to admit it. I honestly think I can blame this passion on Camper Van Beethoven, whose classic, golden era albums (such as my favorite, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart ) got me hooked on the fiddle. I also grew up as a kid at my grandmother’s house watching lots of Hee-Haw, and therefore, hearing lots of banjo. So imagine my delight when I discovered the Greencards, a local band who creates divine bluegrass/Americana music. Their latest record, Weather and Water, is a contemplative masterpiece, mostly slow and depressing, with a lot of acoustic guitar and sad lyrics. My favorite track, “Long Way Down,” is worth the price of the disk alone. It begins with a sorrowful but medium paced fiddle, and then a gentle male voice sings: “Flying so high/ain’t gonna last/touchin’ the sky, but you’re fallin’ fast/findin’ a love, somethin’ brand new/is more than enough for me and for you/ and it’s a long way down . . . ” and when the chorus comes, it is a lovely harmony with a female voice. It’s perfect Sunday music, gentle, sad, but hopeful.
I’ve been lusting after the Louvin Brother’s box set for many years. Now that I’m in Texas—and further from Kentucky and Tennessee—I may just have to give in. I spent over a decade fighting my genetic heritage, but something soul-deep responds to bluegrass. How I can get goose bumps from synthpop and bluegrass at the same time is inexplicable, except for the fact that I like good music regardless of genre . . . and apparently drawl.