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Thread: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

  1. #151
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

    I really enjoyed this and most all of Burns work. Granted the late versions of "country" were just as annoying as they are now, but what can you do. I would however liked to see a segment on the gazzillion of "regular" folks who could show what real country music, played by real people is about .

  2. #152
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    I though the jazz documentary was quite good! Particularly the focus on Louis Armstrong.

    You guys that couldn't get into it - do you even like to listen to jazz? or was it the show itself that bothered you?
    It has parts that are brilliant. It glosses over difficult concept. The history of race in jazz is not as clear cut as he suggested.

    Wynton Marsalis was the wrong focus. Unlike Shelby Foote in the civil war war doco, who gives a different but arguable case, Marsalis treats jazz like something that stopped before be bop. In fact, jazz read like an obituary to me.

    This is not to deny its many great moments and interviews. Ken burns does quality work. But compared to his civil war doco or his on on the Roosevelt’s, this falls short. It was perhaps too ambitious. That is not necessarily a flaw.
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  4. #153

    Default Re: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis View Post
    It has parts that are brilliant. It glosses over difficult concept. The history of race in jazz is not as clear cut as he suggested.

    Wynton Marsalis was the wrong focus. Unlike Shelby Foote in the civil war war doco, who gives a different but arguable case, Marsalis treats jazz like something that stopped before be bop. In fact, jazz read like an obituary to me..
    Wasn't it Artie Shaw who said,"Jazz was born in a whiskey barrel,grew up on marijuana,and is about to expire on heroin."?

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  6. #154
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

    I never quite got the delineation between country and folk or how so much music could be excluded, but it's a tough subject to tackle and, overall, he did so with elegance.
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  8. #155
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    Default Re: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

    I missed a few episodes while working nights. Going back and streaming them now. I've really enjoyed it. One thing I like is how every artist they mentioned or interviewed seemed to get painted in a sympathetic or positive light. Two such artists that I never felt charitable toward are Hank Williams Jr. and Garth Brooks. After hearing more of each man's story my views softened toward them.

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  10. #156
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post
    Wasn't it Artie Shaw who said,"Jazz was born in a whiskey barrel,grew up on marijuana,and is about to expire on heroin."?
    Whoa. He ought to know.

    Except Louis lived to a ripe old age....and so did Artie.

    For me, Burns's focus on Armstrong in Jazz and on Jimmy Rogers / Carters / Nelson/ Cash in Country Music was Dead-On.

    Burns isn't trying to tell the history of a music. He is trying to remind us of a history of our ourselves as shaped in music.

    His docs make it clear that music emerges from rich, hybrid cultures that "rub up" against each other. Despite the segregation (and horrific--if not unique--history) of the American South, it happened to produce more vital, transcendent art forms than in other supposedly more "integrated" parts of the country.

    Jazz could only have been born in one place in the Universe at one period in history. And that was New Orleans. Period. And Satch was the Fairy Godmother, if not the Midwife. Marsalis reminded us of that.

    Same in their own time and place can be said about blues and country (and particularly bluegrass.) Or tango or bel canto singing....

    Burns emphasizes a singular conceptual point about country music that transcends all its specific little roots and origins. Something which has been profoundly meaningful to us all: That, at its best, it is about Redemption: in the church pew, in the living room, in the fields, in the honky tonk.

    In "Country Music" Burns made a case that Johnny Cash embodied that. And if that weren't enough, review his words to "A Man in Black".

    Nobody, not anyone, has had the huevos to make it so plain. Folk and protest singers at the time sang in the third person or in the voice of another character. Cash put his own voice out on the line. And walked the walk.

    "I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
    Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
    I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
    But is there because he's a victim of the times."

    Jazz, blues, opera, fado, rap, all telling the same story.

    Whatever your ethnicity, race, gender, residency: along with jazz and blues, country music is a singularly American gift to world culture.

    I love Puccini and Mozart and Piazzolla and Louis and Hank and Waylon. And Lester and Earl. Don't get me started on Dolly or Patsy or Linda or Emmy Lou.

    Why shouldn't everyone? The music's there for the taking.

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  12. #157
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    Default Re: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

    Nice post Brunello97, "American" music is awash with the Blues and its pentatonic form. Blues in itself is a hybrid form, what I wonder is were West African people using the same musical scale as in Northern Europe or did they adopt their style to fit the Western scale? Kind of like adapting the English alphabet to a native language that has no corresponding written form. Certainly musical scales existed in Egypt for centuries before the 1500's and could have been dispersed throughout the continent.
    Early Northern European liturgical music has plenty of examples of pentatonic melodies and 5th harmonies as well as 7th chord resolutions, and pentatonic scales are abundant in ancient secular music. The reference to "redemption" through music also refers not only to early Church music , but also to ancient religious musical devotions to deities as petitions for the relief of suffering and sorrow.
    The Blues is a music of hope, hope based on a belief that suffering can end and happiness, while elusive at times, can be found in this life.
    I think the genuine America Spirit is one of optimism, the spirit that got us this far anyway and the blues is the perfect way to express that even if it is wearing cowboy boots.
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  13. #158
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    Nice post Brunello97, "American" music is awash with the Blues and its pentatonic form. Blues in itself is a hybrid form, what I wonder is were West African people using the same musical scale as in Northern Europe or did they adopt their style to fit the Western scale? Kind of like adapting the English alphabet to a native language that has no corresponding written form. Certainly musical scales existed in Egypt for centuries before the 1500's and could have been dispersed throughout the continent.
    Early Northern European liturgical music has plenty of examples of pentatonic melodies and 5th harmonies as well as 7th chord resolutions, and pentatonic scales are abundant in ancient secular music. The reference to "redemption" through music also refers not only to early Church music , but also to ancient religious musical devotions to deities as petitions for the relief of suffering and sorrow.
    The Blues is a music of hope, hope based on a belief that suffering can end and happiness, while elusive at times, can be found in this life.
    I think the genuine America Spirit is one of optimism, the spirit that got us this far anyway and the blues is the perfect way to express that even if it is wearing cowboy boots.
    That mi or third in the melody clashing against the major third in the chord - that space between those two is African tonality. The 7 in the 1 chord. The flatted fifth (downtown) or sharpened fourth (uptown) is another.
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  14. #159
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    Default Re: Did you catch the Ken Burns Country Music series opening?

    I would imagine everyone has watched the concert that seems to go along with the series? If not. Here is the link.
    https://www.pbs.org/video/country-mu...oncert-kcfxsq/
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