Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Early Xmas shopping

Thanks to Matthew Zuckerman:

“Gordon Macniven writes:

> ³I'm intrigued, however, by the timing of this unfortunate venture - why bring
> out a CHRISTMAS album before mid-October? Surely a late November/early
> December release would have been more appropriate?


“I presume it is connected to the fact that profits from the album will go towards feeding the hungry at Christmas. In order to do so, the money will be needed sooner than the week before Christmas.

As for its "mawkish sentimentality" being "deeply embarrassing": in 1969 and 1970 when Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait were released, much of the indignation was aimed a the very fact that Dylan had chosen to sing country music. I mean, country music!

“To newly serious ears that had forsaken "pop" music a few years earlier for "rock", this seemed the ultimate betrayal. Redneck music. That the world of country music might have anything to teach
these young pioneers was a ridiculous thought.

“Now, of course, we know better than that. We have outlaw country, country rock and alt country, we listen to music from all over the world, Paul McCartney writes classical music and classical musicians perform arrangements of Jimi Hendrix.

“Sentimentality is the last frontier, and it seems to be a tough one. We listen to Jimmie Rodgers' Blue Yodel, In the Jailhouse Now and Waiting for a Train and we applaud, but when he starts to sing The Soldier's Sweetheart or Mother the Queen of My Heart, we look the other way.

“My wife calls Sony the prince of darkness, the Walkman being the devil's tool. It taught generations of music lovers how to listen in private, make their own musical world, and lose the sense of music as a shared experience.

“Why do people chat during a concert? Why do people recoil at music that is designed to be shared across the generations? Why do people treat music as a way to retreat from the world where it used to be a cement to hold it together?

“Christmas in the Heart may not solve this state of affairs, but if it can awaken a few people to the fact that fun, sentiment and the quality of sharing are at least as central to music as being cool, then it will have more than justified its existence.”