Entries by tag: dottie west

The Elephant In The Room
Posted this on a Freaky Trigger comment thread:

The elephants in the room of popular music, the ones who not only don't get talked about by critics and who (as far as I know) don’t get paid attention to on news or entertainment sites either, but who also get undercounted on Billboard and are mostly excluded from the Brit singles chart and therefore Popular, include what was historically called "easy listening" or "beautiful music," as well as smooth jazz, quiet storm, lite rock, adult contemporary, urban AC, and oldies. Music liked by the audiences [for such genres and formats] will always get undercounted because their listening is less concentrated on specific tracks and less concentrated on recently released ones but also because these audiences are less likely to buy the music directly, whether on a single or an album. They're nonetheless consumers, and presumably respond to what gets advertised on radio and TV (and now on YouTube?).

But I’m guessing these audiences download a lot that in the old days they'd never have purchased in physical form, and that there's been a change in e.g. the way people listen on the job from, in days of yore, hearing a radio station piped into an entire office to, nowadays, listening to their individual iPods and such. I emphasize that these are guesses.
Ref. to "Popular" is to Tom Ewing's project over the last decade of blurbing and shepherding a discussion on every track to hit number 1 on the British singles chart from 1952 to the present — hence also my reference to the Brit singles chart.

The phrase "elephant in the room" usually refers to something that everyone affected by knows is there — a mother's drug addiction, for instance — but that, owing to e.g. family members' desire to sustain their habitual ways of working around the problem and getting through the day without too much pain, no one is willing to talk about. Whereas (1) "adult contemporary" and ilk are only a problem for someone, if there is such a person, who takes all of Anglo-American popular music as a good hunk of their remit and (2) such genres, though big enough, are generally barely attended to by those who don't deliberately tune to the stations, so are in effect invisible, and so discussion is simply not generated rather than being psychologically suppressed.

I myself don't feel a great imperative to try and take the measure of e.g. Jason Mraz and Michael Bublé; they're part of the general environment of the music I do care about, so I'd rather have knowledge than not have knowledge. But the world is full of other relevant stuff, such as the economics and sociology of music, music theory, J-pop, and so forth, that I'm also not paying enough attention to, and that I'm more interested in. So Mraz, Bublé, et al. will continue to get short shrift from me.*

Actual elephant hiding under the cutCollapse )

FootnotesCollapse )

Concrete toes and pigeons' feet
I hate the term "alternative," but that doesn't mean I get to dismiss other people's use of it.

When Christopher Weingarten sent his list of potential acts for Spin's '60s alternative roundup, I wrote back that they should get rid of the Velvets, Stooges, and Leonard Cohen and put Vanilla Fudge, Rare Earth, and Iron Butterfly in their stead. Was trying to rescue both the list and Velvets-Stooges-Cohen from respectability, I guess. Nonetheless I volunteered to write about the Velvets and Stooges, and the Holy Modal Rounders. Got two of the three.



I also unsuccessfully proposed the following:

--He 5 Merry Christmas Psychedelic Sound
--Lee Jung Hwa with Shin Joong Hyun and the Donkeys No/Spring Rain
--Shin Joong Hyun Beautiful Rivers And Mountains (but is a compilation that crosses decade boundaries)
--20 Heavy Hits, an advertised-on-TV album put out by Crystal Corporation, with tracks by the Impressions, Tommy James & The Shondells, Strawberry Alarm Clark, Len Barry, Janis Joplin, The Intruders, The Ohio Express, The Who, Ricardo Ray, The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Turtles, The Amboy Dukes, The Happenings, The Lemon Pipers, and Sonny & Cher
--Nazz Nazz (but I said that Nazz would need some writer other than me)
--The Best Of The Chocolate Watchband
--The Swinging World Of Johnny Rios And The Us 4 Nuevo Boog-A-Loos
--Grace Slick & The Great Society

Concrete toes and pigeons' feetCollapse )

FootnotesCollapse )

A Dog's Life
When last I embedded Brown Eyed Girls' "Abracadabra" I asked for theories regarding the dog in the video, but got no response. I would like to ask again, not just regarding this video, but dogs in general in Korean music vids.

My own commentary in full, regarding the dog in "Abracadabra," was: "The dog? Someone walks a dog down the hallway." What I might have added, had a conversation developed, is, "Cool people who have adventurous sex (or whatever) walk haughty dogs down hallways." But I'd overlooked a crucial piece of the video, the dog playing an actual role in the plot. Right after Jea* and dog traverse hallway for the second time, SPOILERCollapse )

Dottie West Image Shift Award for 2009Collapse )

*I suspect it's not really Jea but rather a professional dog walker, since we only view the walker from the neck down.

Why country singers want to go pop
Why country singers want to go pop.

Dottie West 1968:

Dottie West 1979:

But I don't claim to know anything about Dottie West or about fashion, and anyway, few stories are ever simple or simply linear; e.g., here's Dottie in 1967:

Dottie West: Here Comes My BabyCollapse )

And in 1965, with her sound bleeding into old-style r&b:

Dottie West and Boots Randolph: There's Someone Who's MissingCollapse )

(I'm looking at all these while exploring the idea that periodically country moves into pop in order to shake its sense of stodginess and squareness, but that also there are countermoves to try to find a specifically country form of hipness. In the late '90s you get Faith Hill and the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain pushing their style into glamour, while maybe you get... I don't know, would Toby Keith and Brooks & Dunn qualify as a countermove into country hipness? Big & Rich, in the '00s? Meanwhile, Taylor Swift is taking the Faith 'n' Dixie Chick glamour rebellion in her own idiosyncratic direction. Are there any country guys who might be said to be currently doing this?)

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