Gram Parsons:Classic or dud?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Whats the story? Why do critics and musicians (REM and the whole alt-country scene) rate this guy so highly? I recently bought 'GP/Grevious angel' and i cant think of anything to recommend it.

Michael Bourke, Wednesday, 14 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

what a timely question! i've recently been doing a little poking around parsons's recorded output, and i must agree with you: i find very little of value. his tunes were insubstantial and his voice was too. perhaps it all boils down to that ol' cult of the dead before their time.

ON THE OTHER HAND, i've been listening to the flying burrito brothers and i largely love most of what i've heard from them. parsons's voice works much better in tandem with another singer and the songs represent the best fusion of country and rock *I'VE* ever heard, at the very least.

so, parsons solo = dud, but search: flying burrito brothers.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 14 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

He went further in melding country with rock than anyone, practically invented Confederate outlaw country, and his weird hippie trucker persona was a helluva lot more interesting than anyone similar, from the Byrds to the entirety of alt-country, even if his tunes or voice were rarely as good (but they were had more personality, which I care more about in country anyway). And of course, just like me, he denied being a hippie and more or less denounced them (see the song about the freak "on the weed"), even as he so obviously was one (just look at his clothes). The Burrito Bros' Farther Along best-of collects all but two of his songs with them and is completely essential, but I also think GP's totally classic and anyone who doesn't do the mooshoo boogie to "Still Feeling Blue", "We'll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning", and "How Much I've Lied" has got tailfeathers up their crack.

Anyone know if Emmylou Harris did anything else of worth after Gram passed on?

Otis Wheeler, Wednesday, 14 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

This may come as a surprise but ol' Gram was allright. Not totally classic, but sometimes a classic moment esp. '1000$ wedding'. You gotta be in the mood for it though and I haven't been for 8 years or so. THe biography is a pretty decent read.

Omar, Wednesday, 14 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I like Gram Parsons quite a bit, but otoh he was a big inspiration for Evan Dando, and that can never be a good thing.

Nicole, Wednesday, 14 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I have nothing especially insightful to say about him, but I like everything I've heard that he's been involved in, especially Flying Burrito Brothers' Gilded Palace Of Sin, one of my all-time favorite albums. Classic.

Otis - That song about the freak "on the weed" ("Hippie Boy") was a parody of "The Funeral", one of Hank Williams' old Luke The Drifter recitations - the original was about a preacher whose "Ethiopian face showed the wisdom and ignorance of a crushed, undying race" (hey, I didn't write it!). Chris Hillman just describes the kid in "Hippie Boy" in a similar fashion - it didn't stop the Burrito Brothers from being freaks themselves, through and through (or so I suspect). As for Emmylou, I've heard a 70s best-of that's pretty but bland, but you might like Wrecking Ball if you can stand Daniel Lanois' production style - all the songs are verrrrry slow, but there are some good covers.

Patrick, Thursday, 15 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Dud. I have FBB's'Gilded Palace...' and the one after it on a single CD, and well, I don't know, it's just too *country* for me. The press would have us believe all this stuff about creating a 'New American Music'. These two albums contain some fairly pleasant country-rock, but there is such a high percentage of the worst kind of trad, mawkish old country in there too, that this claim seems absurd.

He ruined the Byrds too - although I guess it's ultimately McGuinn's fault for letting in turds like Skip Battin afterwards.

Dr. C, Thursday, 15 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
I don't know about REM, but the "whole alt-country scene" praise Gram Parsons because, without him, there would be no such thing as country- rock or alt-country, or whatever you want to call it. I'm sorry, but to say that the FBB are "too *country*" just seems ridiculous to me: that's the point! All in all, I am personally more of a fan of Parsons' solo stuff, though. I most like the 1973 live album, but I think that "Return of the Grievous Angel" and "Still Feeling Blue" are great studio tracks. And "A Song for You" has to be one of the most sad, beautiful songs around. I suppose that it's hard to appreciate Gram Parsons without some perspective: you have to remember that this guy is basically responsible for an entire genre of music. If you think that he "ruined" the Byrds, just stay away from "Sweetheart of the Rodeo," and if you don't like country music, well, you should have done a little more research before buying anything connected to Gram Parsons. I hate to sound harsh, but you can't choose your music based on what REM finds influential and expect to enjoy all of it. Christ, I'm not a big fan of jazz, but I don't go around complaining that stuff is too jazzy!

Charley Scott, Thursday, 14 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

'Brass Buttons' is the best thing of his I've heard. Heartbreaking and beautiful.

Johnathan, Sunday, 17 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
Fuck it. At in the light of the day few of the tunes stand up, and he was a ropey singer, but $1000 dollar wedding is still one of the greatest tunes ever and i dare you to be heartbroken and listen to it and not cry.

Jon Xavier, Tuesday, 13 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
Chaps - in one way i know what you mean. I had avoided Parsons perhaps because of the cult - and country? well, y'know . . .

The a friend sent me a compilation cd of his favourite ever tracks and I thought, what the hell is that country shite doing on here BUT . . . the more I heard it, the more i thought, hmmmm there's something here - I mean 'callico bonnett'!!! - but, still . . .

Then another friend lent me the tribute album. No guys, listen to this, and then try and tell me that the man couldn't write a song with a tune - jesus, the whole album is full of killer songs, songs to rip ya heart out. Now, maybe, just maybe, it takes another artist to bring the tunes out but I am amazed at the complexity and shade that Parsons managed to convey into what are supposedly simple country tunes - listen to 'She' by Chrissie Hynde or Evan Dando's '$1000 wedding' - Hot Burrito the Mavericks - Juanita Sheryl Crow - listen to the hook on Sleepless Nights - I tell ya my kids are only in their teenage years and that wacky hook is driving them mad - and finally Ryan Adams - can't stand his solo stuff but this version of Song For You with Whiskeytown, wow.

Sorry guys, but if you can't get it after listening to this album then the problem is yours - the dude had so much soul.

Gavin King

Gavin King, Thursday, 16 May 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...
I've only recently got into Gram Parsons, and I love it. I haven't heard one bad track--certainly some are more preferable than others but I'd rather hear a mediocre GP song than the best one from the pop queen of the day. His soul bleeds through his music. Listen to "Sin City" or "$1000 Dollar Wedding" and I'm not one to prefer covers to their originals but The Flying Burrito Bros. version of "Wild Horses" shows up the Rolling Stones.

And if you think it's "too country," maybe you should start off with Willie Nelson's "Red Headed Stranger" then Johnny Cash's last four albums. By the time you've wiped the drool off your chin, you'll be a country fan--proud of your Hank Williams record collection. Then give Gram Parsons another try.

Trey Shiver, Saturday, 4 January 2003 04:55 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I was listening to 'Hot Burrito #1' only yesterday, and if that isn't great singing I dunno what the fuck is...

Andrew L (Andrew L), Saturday, 4 January 2003 10:06 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Haha. I just saw this thread and immediately listened to 'She' and '$1000 Wedding' to try and figure how a person couldn't be moved. I gotta assume the original poster is some cotten-eared REM fan joker and/or a knee-jerk country hater.

That quote from some guy about Parsons "ruining the Byrds" is hilarious as well. I mean, you might as well say you just hate country. McGuinn totally wanted to go that direction, Parsons just helped him along. But whatever, guy obviously uninformed/too-lazy to give a shit.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 4 January 2003 10:22 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Watched the EH doc last night: glad to see a lot of coverage of the GP partnership. But he didn't impress me much, on the programme: I sensed a layabout, a boozer, a spoiled wastrel. I am unsure even whether his voice was any good. And he then garnered this bogus reputation as god's own singer, grievous angel, etc, largely a product of early death: I can understand that process with Nick Drake, whose music really is otherworldly enough to make it make sense, but not with GP who was so downhome and hoeing. It made me think that EH was the real talent, for all her pained deference to him, after he'd gone and screwed it up for everyone.

And yet: he was the one who wrote the songs, quite a few key songs; maybe he knew something important after all.

the gramfox, Saturday, 4 September 2004 09:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not a Parsons cultist or a fan of whatever that alt-country shit is...I mean some of it's all right. Still, I like Gram Parsons a lot. He sang kinda funny but it works for me, and he was a genius songwriter. Emmylou Harris was a good backup singer but on her own, pretty bad. A few nice songs--yeah, wow, she's experimental and so forth recently. So obviously a classic. Anyone who ever listened to Buck Owens gets "Gilded Palace" in about ten seconds, too, what's the big deal. I don't think country music has advanced past what Parsons did thirty years ago, those records still sound good. I like Nick Drake but Gram Parsons was better, they're both equally dead.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Saturday, 4 September 2004 15:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i think parson's best music is pretty otherwordly, pinefox.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Saturday, 4 September 2004 15:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Their cover of 'love hurts' always sends shivers down my spire when I hear it.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 4 September 2004 23:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

also i am officially sick of nick drake

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 5 September 2004 02:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Being a dickhead is no barrier to greatness

Dadaismus (Dada), Sunday, 5 September 2004 10:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Tired of Nick Drake tired of life

Out Of My Fruit Tree, Saturday, 11 September 2004 22:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I have been thinking about Parson's legacy lately, too. I think Parson's created some truly beautiful music AT TIMES. I think the Flying Burrito's debut is gorgeous; I think the second record is spotty. I also think his two solo LPs have their ups and downs. "Brass Buttons" is so delicate and gentle. And it seems to reflect Parsons in general. He was no real outlaw. He was sad, gentle and fragile.

Having said that, I do not think he is THEE founding father of country rock, alt-country, no depression, etc. And it is here that I wish Parson's legacy be cut down a little. So many great country, folk, bluegrass, psych, rock hybrids came out from '66 to '73. First, I ask anybody into country rock to PLEASE, PLEASE listen to Sir Douglas Quintet's Mendocino LP, as well as others. Doug Sahm had a real vision for fusing garage to country to psych -- great songwriter, interpreter and singer. He seems to be just as big an influence on Uncle Tupelo-Wilco as Parsons. The Everly Brothers Roots LP is a masterpiece psych-country-rock masterpiece. I really, really think this is a special record. Furthermore, pick-up the Warner Brothers' collection of the Everly's 60s material, I like it even better than the 50s stuff. Moby Grape's debut and Skip Spence's Oar can both be considered radical fusions of rock, country, folk and psych. Third, the Beau Brummel's Bradley's Barn LP from '68 is a totally unique country-rock-pop hybrid. Waylon Jennings, before his outlaw image, made a handful of flawed records that contained some great countrified Buddy Holly-type pop tunes. (He was Holly's bass player on the tour that killed him.) Now this might upset a few, but I find the Dead's Workingman's Dead and American Beuty as enjoyable and satisfying as any Parsons record from the same time. The Band's Music from the Big Pink and self-titled second record both possess real country-rock milestones As does the six-volume bootleg set of the Basement Tapes. Hell, what about Dylan's Nashville Skyline and John Wesley Harding? The former being way more country than the latter. Jerry Lee Lewis' country output from the early to mid-60s is more country but Lewis is putting some old-time rock muscle behind it. The Downliners Sect made a crazy country folk garage album in like '65. Killer. Anybody heard the Kaliedescope from 60s San Francisco? Some of their stuff is prime dreamy country-tinged psych-folk. Hell, we also need to touch on Byrds LA: Dillards, Linda Ronstadt, Gene Clark, etc. Some fine country-rock to be had in there. I gotta stop typing...

-Justin

Justin Farrar (Justin Farrar), Sunday, 12 September 2004 01:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

PLEASE, PLEASE listen to Sir Douglas Quintet's Mendocino LP

seconded.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 12 September 2004 04:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Stangely enough I haven't listened to don't own "Mendocino."

AaronHz (AaronHz), Sunday, 12 September 2004 04:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

have we discussed that live 2-cd thing on amoeba?

amateurist, Sunday, 6 January 2008 23:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i think i mentioned it on another thread, but nobody had heard it yet -- including me. However, I got it last week and think it's nice -- super ragged, for sure, but if you dig the burrito bros. it's essential. in fact, i find it pretty weird that it's marketed as a "gram parsons" set "featuring" the burritos. As Gram has gained more and more notoriety over the years, it seems like people forget that they were a band -- chris hillman and sneaky pete contribute as much to the sound as Parsons does. on these live sets, the psychedelic pedal steel is often the star of the show. anyway, nitpicking -- just glad this got released really. perhaps the most amazing thing is just how clunky a drummer michael clarke is -- not really news to anyone who's heard Byrds records, but it is kind of remarkable. he totally loses the plot on one of the hot burriton no. 2s here. Still, it ends up being a bit more endearing than annoying.

tylerw, Monday, 7 January 2008 00:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink

He ruined the Byrds too - although I guess it's ultimately McGuinn's fault for letting in turds like Skip Battin afterwards.

Or is it Rog's fault for being so directionless at that stage that he would actually let Gram (or anyone) take over the Byrds? And then wipe his vocals off?!

Then appear on the 700 Club? Just who is the turd?

Gram is fucking beyond classic!

Saxby D. Elder, Monday, 7 January 2008 04:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

700 Club??

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Monday, 7 January 2008 04:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

um, yes... Roger appeared on the 700 Club about 7 years ago, causing a huge controversy amongst the Byrds usenet group, in which he used to regularly participate. There was enough bad blood stirred up to cause him to "leave" alt.music.byrds.

Saxby D. Elder, Monday, 7 January 2008 07:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I don't care what they may say
I don't know what they may do
I don't care what they may say
Jesus is just alright oh yea
Jesus is just alright

gershy, Monday, 7 January 2008 07:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

yeah the live recordings are pretty ragged, and some of the instrumentation is almost inaudible. and the packaging--i can barely get the discs out of the sleeves. but given the paucity of burrito bros material (and yeah it's unfortunate this was billed as a "gram parsons" release) it's quite a find.

amateurist, Monday, 7 January 2008 08:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

wow, total classic. i'm just listening to a mix of gram parsons stuff a friend sent me, this is all pretty amazing. never really gave him a listen before.

Mark Clemente, Thursday, 10 January 2008 18:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Jesus is just alright

haha, yes, I didn't die of shock at the 700 Club thing either and in fact, I was one of the few regulars in the newsgroup to support him on it. (this was more like 10 years ago actually, more I think about it).

The last time I had seen him was in the gym in a high school in Edison, NJ so i kind of felt that if he has a chance to be on TV, he should really jump on it no matter what. I shouldn't have implied that I was that bothered about the 700 Club thing because I wasn't-- although looking back, it ain't exactly a feather in his cap.

I am a bit of a Roger "revisionist" though and as much as I love Rog (and first got the thrill of meeting him when I was a teenager in 1978 at a quite ipromptu radio session, where we all crammed into the booth to sing along on "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"), I do have several reservations about it, not the least of which was his luring Gram away from LHI to front the Byrds and then wiping his vocals off the tape, only for them to appear long after he was dead. I think that this was cowardly, somewhat typical of Roger's calculated behavior both past and future, and that it is quite pathetic to invite someone in to front your band just a few short years after you started it (setting aside the issue that you had already forced out the lead singer and main songwriter whose genius you hadn't properly appreciated).

But yeah, Jesus is just alright w me too...

Saxby D. Elder, Thursday, 10 January 2008 19:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

Someone please, please, please explain to me why most people prefer Grievous Angel over GP. I like Grievous Angel, but GP is one of the 20 greatest albums ever written.

Reatards Unite, Saturday, 6 December 2008 21:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

I like me some International Submarine Band.

Hinklepicker, Saturday, 6 December 2008 21:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

i like sweetheart of the rodeo

ice cr?m, Saturday, 6 December 2008 21:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

I have it on excellent authority that when I was four years old my favorite records were Sweetheart of the Rodeo and John Wesley Harding.

Passenger 57 (rogermexico.), Saturday, 6 December 2008 22:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

i think the grievous angel love is probably colored by the title track (because who doesn't love it?). and also maybe just its retroactive aura of impending doom. but i totally agree that gp is superior.

tipsy mothra, Saturday, 6 December 2008 22:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

the burritos live disc that came out a while back on amoeba is worth getting, but who the fuck decided on the billing, jeez

velko, Saturday, 6 December 2008 22:47 (ten years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Hot Burrito nr 2 is my favourite song of the moment FUCK. such an awesome song. cant listen to the whole album all the way through as i am not a country girl at heart.

Nathalie (stevienixed), Saturday, 14 February 2009 20:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

i can't get w/ people who would say 'dud'

mark cl, Friday, 8 May 2009 04:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

so classic it hurts

mark cl, Friday, 8 May 2009 04:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

gram's the king of heartbreak

mark cl, Friday, 8 May 2009 04:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

whatever that means

mark cl, Friday, 8 May 2009 04:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

a grand piano made entirely of smack

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Friday, 8 May 2009 04:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

this old earthquake's gonna leave me in the poor house

mark cl, Friday, 8 May 2009 05:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

sin city is the best song i've listened to all year

mark cl, Friday, 8 May 2009 05:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

<3 his cover of "to love somebody" so much...

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Friday, 8 May 2009 07:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

i can't get w/ people who would say 'dud'

― mark cl, Thursday, May 7, 2009 11:14 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

so classic it hurts

― mark cl, Thursday, May 7, 2009 11:14 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark

word, esp the first part

i like to fart and i am crazy (gbx), Friday, 8 May 2009 07:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

Dud. I have FBB's'Gilded Palace...' and the one after it on a single CD, and well, I don't know, it's just too *country* for me. The press would have us believe all this stuff about creating a 'New American Music'. These two albums contain some fairly pleasant country-rock, but there is such a high percentage of the worst kind of trad, mawkish old country in there too, that this claim seems absurd.
He ruined the Byrds too - although I guess it's ultimately McGuinn's fault for letting in turds like Skip Battin afterwards.

― Dr. C, Wednesday, March 14, 2001 7:00 PM (8 years ago) Bookmark

fuck you imo

i like to fart and i am crazy (gbx), Friday, 8 May 2009 07:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

velko ty for the correction i totally thought those were fiddles all this time and i feel a douche

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 5 June 2009 08:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

and now hoos still feel a douche.

james k polk, Friday, 5 June 2009 09:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

xxpost Mekons did an awesome cover of that song btw

clotpoll, Friday, 5 June 2009 09:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

the back-to-back jams of still feeling blue & we'll sweep out the ashes do it for me every time

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 12:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

hoos listen to 'sin city'

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 12:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

or 'return of the grevious angel' god this guy is so good

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 12:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

so guys gp or grevious angel? i think i like gp. what i really like tho is the 2-disc sacred hearts anthology that basically has both these albums + all kinds of stuff from ISB/byrds/FBB

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^^OTM
Best present I got last year (thank u gf). Want a Nudie suit (gf protests).

willem, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha me too

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

I checked out this guy's records from the library and was surprised by how shitty they were. I was led to believe that this guy was some kind of genius.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Friday, 5 June 2009 13:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

wife says i play too much gram parsons

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

do u like country music? xp

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

anyways so i've also been reading 'twenty thousand roads' by david meyer, prob the most detailed bio of gram that i've come across (tho i know there are others out there). really fascinating book. guy has an irrational hatred for the eagles (then again i suppose most people do) and has a few quirks but all in all it's a really interesting and entertaining read. especially enjoyed the nellcote/stones stuff during the recording of 'exile'

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

through tons of interviews what meyer conveys so well is the effect gp had on everyone around him - so many people were like 'yea i didn't really think much about country music, thought it was mostly for hicks until gram sat me down and played me a bunch of songs'

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

*checks amazon*
ooh, might want to get that. i'm not that familiar with gp apart from the musics

willem, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

like a lot of musician bios i never read them start to finish - i just bounce around and pick up chapters here and there, but it's really good. there's also a big section in that back w/ a suggested discography of country records gram loved, albums by his contemporaries, and later bands that were influenced by him

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

do u like country music? xp

Yeah, I do actually-- well, the old stuff. Not whatever passes for country these days.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Friday, 5 June 2009 13:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

what didn't u like about parsons?

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah i enjoyed that book a lot, tho my major takeaway was that gram had a totally weird and fucked up life.

hugging used to mean something (call all destroyer), Friday, 5 June 2009 14:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is true

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 14:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

I can't really get into Parsons because what I've heard sounds like some rich kid who stumbled upon country music and wanted to adopt it.

Kerm, Friday, 5 June 2009 14:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

ha u get that from his music or from reading that he came from a rich family?

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 14:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

b/c i don't really know how someone could tell from listening any particular song that he came from wealth

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 14:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

more "steeped in" than "stumbled upon" imo

hugging used to mean something (call all destroyer), Friday, 5 June 2009 14:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

Something about the guy's music sounds makes me think of posturing-- mimicry and affectation. This is also true of the Rolling Stones, but for reasons I can't really articulate, I can let them slide.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Friday, 5 June 2009 15:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

this prob gets way into issues of authenticity that go over my head but imo musicians we often think of as 'authentic' wrt to any type of music (and perhaps ESPECIALLY country music in this case) there are all kinds of mimicry and affectation.

even hank williams who people might take as the prime example of a'pure' authentic classic country music was a PERFORMER, who's borrowing from a tradition and emulating aspects of that tradition, mimicking it, using affectation

authenticity is a messy business imo and i don't necessarily have the theoretical savvy to unpack it, but i do know it's messy. stones affected and mimicked and borrowed like crazy but i would never say they're not an authentic rock n roll band

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 15:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't care that he actually was rich kid who stumbled upon country, but sounding like one is a dealbreaker. If he'd made it past 30, who knows.

Kerm, Friday, 5 June 2009 15:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

like i said i don't know how u can glean from his actual songs that he's a rich kid?

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 15:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

He sounds like a wuss so I blame the money.

Kerm, Friday, 5 June 2009 15:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

well yea i guess. gp wasn't a hardman country singer, nor was that what he was trying to be obv

mark cl, Friday, 5 June 2009 15:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

obv

Kerm, Friday, 5 June 2009 15:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

He sounds like he's going through puberty all the time. With a backing singer he's often forgivable but anything he's flying solo on sounds like a fourteen-year-old's demo recordings. Oh, oh, he sure couldn't sing. Now his writing, on the other hand... "$1000 Wedding" and "Sin City" alone would place him in the history books, and there's any number of good songs that in other mouths are devastating. But as a performer, overrated: essential for those who think Costello's "Almost Blue" is an essential album. For all the genre-hopper mythology it all sounds just so straight, so suburban. Maybe if he didn't have some "cosmic vision" to play out and he'd just let himself bring it instead of approaching it like a religious convert who needs to convert the rest of us heathens. And to play him out as the sole father of country-rock? Just wrong. Buck Owens, for example, both rocked harder and was more authentically country than at least three Gram Parsonses put together. But Buck didn't party with the Stones and overdose himself while he still had his baby fat, so he doesn't get the posthumous girl.

staggerlee, Sunday, 7 June 2009 03:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

Whatever all that's supposed to mean.

staggerlee, Sunday, 7 June 2009 03:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

staggerlee = chris hillman sock

♪☺♫☻ (gr8080)(gr8080)♪☺♫☻ (velko), Sunday, 7 June 2009 03:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, that's the kind of paragraph you stumble upon years later and realize how completely naive and off the mark you were.

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Sunday, 7 June 2009 03:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

His voice and songs fuckin' break my heart. And that's all that matters to me.

banjoboy, Sunday, 28 June 2009 01:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61tWL7qrO5L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

^^^ this is really, really great. i think i actually like it better than all the records.

*steens furiHOOSly* (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 26 August 2011 15:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

its well mastered too so it sounds really warm and organic, all the albums always felt like they were recorded in a sardine can to me.

*steens furiHOOSly* (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 26 August 2011 15:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

"This DJ tried to ask me how it felt to be leading the Progressive Country movement, I told him we played Regressive Country." - emmylou

<33333333333

*steens furiHOOSly* (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 26 August 2011 16:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

ohh i didn't know about that, and now i need it.

puerile fantasies (Matt P), Friday, 26 August 2011 16:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

I've never really dug deep into Parsons catalog but I gotta say that the Hank Williams inversion in Hippie Boy is pretty clever

I didn't hear Sweetheart of the Rodeo until long after I'd gotten familiar with Bakersfield's country scene and it just sounded like half-assed shit to me. maybe I would feel differently about it now.

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 16 December 2013 19:10 (five years ago) Permalink

i much prefer ISB, burrito bros, and solo parsons to sweetheart of the rodeo, unless it's the parson-sung originals. mcguinn isn't convincing on that album, imo

marcos, Monday, 16 December 2013 19:19 (five years ago) Permalink

yep. solo parsons > burritos >>> sweetheart.

fit and working again, Monday, 16 December 2013 19:25 (five years ago) Permalink

sweetheart is a totally sweet record

tylerw, Monday, 16 December 2013 22:49 (five years ago) Permalink

I've never really dug deep into Parsons catalog but I gotta say that the Hank Williams inversion in Hippie Boy is pretty clever

I thought that was a Chris Hillman track?

Eats like Elvis, shits like De Niro (Tom D.), Tuesday, 17 December 2013 13:50 (five years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Got Burrito?

calstars, Sunday, 23 July 2017 00:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Buritto no 2 vs Rundgren's Hello it's me

calstars, Sunday, 23 July 2017 00:43 (one year ago) Permalink

Latter may be more smooth but former has the energy

calstars, Sunday, 23 July 2017 00:45 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Is "Oh Lord, grant me speed" a reference to speed.....or speed?

Sam Weller, Friday, 10 May 2019 08:16 (one week ago) Permalink

That line is from the bible.

Kim Kimberly, Friday, 10 May 2019 14:48 (one week ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.