Country Music and Al Jourgensen

11 09 2010

Apparently it had rained since I got back from the doctor’s. I got to leave work early to go to the doctor to have an ultrasound done on my thyroid. It turns out that my pituitary gland’s secretion of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is under the normal level and this has caused my thyroid to become enlarged and underperform a bit. I haven’t been outside since arriving at my house from that appointment, about 3:00pm. I had been alternating between reading for Dr.s Martens and White and doing chores. I decided it was time for a change in venues. It was 2:37am when I left the house for OU. My current course load consists of two directed classes, Readings (on archives) and Project (a Bob Wills/Western Swing/Cain’s Ballroom collection). I had been reading Hubert’s Freaks: The Rare-Book Dealer, the Times Square Talker, and the Lost Photos of Diane Arbus by Gregory Gibson. Apparently the subject of the book is into synchronicity. Funny then that just prior to leaving the house, I should notice a bit of that happening in my sphere of influence.

Tuesday night I was out with a friend and she, for reasons that escape me, starts talking about the “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt (sidenote, I hate both the song and artist), even pulls up the video on Youtube so as to refresh my memory of said song. Since then, today is Saturday, either James Blunt or “You’re Beautiful “ has come up, like, seven times. I even sent her an FB message commenting on this. This is neither here nor there, so I shall continue with the story started above.
I’m driving to OU at 2:30am, dead ass sober, to continue reading for my classes. After sitting in the drive way scrolling through the artists list on the ipod and deciding on the, almost brand new, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings album “I Learned the Hard Way,” I headed out. The reason for the driveway selection was that on the way home, in a bit of a mood, I had selected a playlist of The Cure and Smith’s songs and when starting the car “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” was playing, I needed a switch. Driving south on the highway from my home in Gilcrease Hills, I noticed a mist, then the roads showed small signs of dampness, then heavier mist and more obvious signs on the road of a rain but, not enough to roll up the windows. So here I am, enjoying the smell of rain, windows down so I can enjoy the cool temperature, smoking and falling more deeply in love with this album and how good it sounds on my recently added, way too expensive, car audio install.

Being 2:30am, I was overly cautious of other drivers on the road, fearing them all to be drunk. An SUV pulls up to pass on my right side. As it passes, it slows, I can hear the call of the Woo Girls, “WOOOOOO!,” as it cruises along side of me. I look over and discover, I am being mooned. The ass was that of a skinny white girl in a black g-string, poked out of the rear driver side window. Though the girl was obviously skinny, and white, it was still a decent ass, I digress. The ass retreats back into the car, the woooing stops and the car heads on. My first thought is that I hope the girl’s butt didn’t get all dampened by the mist, cause that feels gross, putting a wet ass into pants. The next string of thoughts are what caused me to take time out from reading and write this down. It struck me that I was happy to see this kind of display.

Here I am, 33 years old, worried about privacy settings on Facebook, setting up groups so that I can limit who sees my posts, (no family and/or no coworkers and/or no charity adds, etc., etc.), pretending to give a shit about customer service at work, looking good in front of bosses and in general being more paranoid of authority and surveillance than I had been when I was the age of the gd punks in the moon-car.

I’m glad I came of age when I did. I’m not sure that I could have done the stupid/awesome, evil/rad stuff I did in back then, in this age of youtube and unmarked police cars. Rather, I’m unsure I’d have the stones to do the things I did. It was really awesome to see what appeared to be a carload of socs being this punk rock, having stones that big. I was really glad to see that despite technology’s encroachment on privacy/anonymity, young folks are still bucking, still fighting the good fight, or, as Christian Slater’s character says in True Romance, “…throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may.” It’s not an overt political statement, nor do I attribute any conscious, serious thought to this action. I know it was probably just drunken funtimes. Still, the act is a socio-political commentary and I’d vote for it. Further, it was this kind of thing, doing things just cause, messing with the normies, stealing from corporations, breaking stuff for no reason, the punk rock ethos, that I got into Country music in general and Bob Wills in particular.

Country was my grandfather’s music, and I hated it, all my life, until I read an interview with Ministry’s front man my freshman year in high school. Al Jourgensen, the frontman, states that he is in a band with a bunch of other musicians I loved called “Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters.” This band was dedicated to making country music. Jourgensen went on to explain that another of his side project bands, “The Revolting Cocks,” was named after the early country musicians, as he said, “the original revolting cocks.” He goes on to explain how country music was the punk rock of its day. Men talking about drinking to excess, spending time with women of questionable morals and the musicians themselves hanging out with black folks and making music that sounds like “race music.” All of this occurs while I’m on my way to OU to do work for class which is aimed at me starting a physical collection of Bob Wills/Western Swing/Cain’s Ballroom stuff. So, here I am, lifelong atheist, anarchist, anti-authoritarian, indie rock/hipster-rish, 33 year old man-adolescent, being retaught an ethos I subscribe to by drunken automatons (socs) on a rainy Friday night/Saturday morning.
Attention to detail. That’s why I like music so much, it pays dividends.  The more attention you pay to it, the closer you examine it, the further you research it, the bigger the dividends. It’s why I have a record player and countless records, instead of owning only digital formats. It’s why I spent way too much money on a car audio install. It’s why I’m an audiophile. All of these things bring out more of the details of the music, recreates the studio sound, in all of it’s splendid clarity and detail, or noise and mud, regardless but, it does it all faithfully. I hope I can add to this, in some small way, with a faithful recreation of Bob Wills/Western Swing/Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, through objects, articles, books, recordings.