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Sunday music: James McMurtry

A friend of mine has a theory that 'genius' in any kind of artistic endeavour is a result of both the nature of the artist's work and of the audience's response to it. The work of the artist alone isn't enough; it has to be acclaimed and studied and obsessed over to be defined this way. In a way, I understand what he means: that 'genius' cannot really be intrinsic in anything, and can only be claimed when something has made a true impact on an aspect of our culture -- even if it's very small.

But in another way I find the definition disappointing. We live in an age of unimaginable wealth, with an overabundance of leisure time. Tools to create art have never been more affordable, and the means to share it have never been more powerful. Never have so many books been written, paintings painted, and songs been recorded. Most of it is crap, sure, but there are still too many brilliant creators that go mostly unnoticed, and who will die in obscurity.

I've spent a lot of my life looking for musicians that I consider 'geniuses', but who are not appreciated as much as they deserve. It makes me sad that too many people are more interested in the most insignificant sound-fart by the likes of the Beatles or Bob Dylan to bother to look for great works by the less famous. In my own minor way, I'm going to attempt to alter this karmic imbalance: I'm going to slap a few tunes by some of my favourites every week or so, depending on whether this starts to cost me too much money from my webhost. I hope you enjoy them.


First up is James McMurtry, who you could stick in the country/rock/folk category. You can find out anything you need to know about him on his website, but let the music do the talking. If you can only listen to one song, make sure it's Choctaw Bingo. From the opening lines you'll know you're in for a wild ride:

Strap them kids in,
Give 'em a little bit of vodka
In a cherry coke, we're going to
Oklahoma to the family reunion
For the first time in years...

Okay, I've written enough here. I really have to get to bed...

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» Sunday Music: Orbital from Autonomous Source
First of all, I must apologize for last week's babblings about the quantities of 'genius' in the world. Reading it over, I found it somewhat preachy and overly simplistic. I was quite tired when I wrote it and possibly had... [Read More]

» Sunday Music: Orbital from Autonomous Source
First of all, I must apologize for last week's babblings about the quantities of 'genius' in the world. Reading it over, I found it somewhat preachy and overly simplistic. I was quite tired when I wrote it and possibly had... [Read More]

» Sunday Music: Orbital from Autonomous Source
First of all, I must apologize for last week's babblings about the quantities of 'genius' in the world. Reading it over, I found it somewhat preachy and overly simplistic. And earnest. Painfully earnest. I was quite tired when I wrote... [Read More]

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sweet, that guy can boogie.

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