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(Reason Magazine)   The Delta blues owes its near-mythic origins to slavery, gospel music, Jim Crow, the bayou, cotton fields, whiskey, shotgun shacks, midnight deals with Satan at the crossroads--and the catalogs of Sears, Roebuck & Co   (reason.com) divider line 51
    More: Cool, Mississippi Delta, Sears, Jim Crow, Delta blues, depressions, Satans, B.B. King, Chris Kjorness  
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2619 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 04 May 2012 at 5:31 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-04 02:36:58 PM
And cold hearted women
 
2012-05-04 03:41:20 PM
The tragic image of the blues that originated in the Mississippi Delta ignores the competitive and entrepreneurial spirit of the bluesman himself.

"Hey, instead of listening to music, let me explain to you how this completely unrelated phenomenon is related to my political beliefs."
 
2012-05-04 05:30:28 PM
This article is yet further proof of the old saw: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them. And the only way to do THAT is not to read...but to listen.
 
2012-05-04 05:37:26 PM

MaxxLarge: The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them.



25.media.tumblr.com

Nah.
 
2012-05-04 05:41:58 PM

MaxxLarge: This article is yet further proof of the old saw: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them. And the only way to do THAT is not to read...but to listen.


disagree with that part

plenty of folks have opportunity to be wallowed in misery / grind themselves to dust at work / be involved with a crazy lady etc & that is certainly worth of fitting into having the "blues".

just like with any other music....you don't have to be a white hillbilly / redneck from the 50's to truly "understand" hank williams.

though it helps i suppose.

but it's not mandatory.
 
2012-05-04 05:46:10 PM

MaxxLarge: This article is yet further proof of the old saw: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them. And the only way to do THAT is not to read...but to listen.


I think you're going a bit far with that, but indeed most writings on music fail.
 
2012-05-04 05:59:14 PM

Cagey B: The tragic image of the blues that originated in the Mississippi Delta ignores the competitive and entrepreneurial spirit of the bluesman himself.

"Hey, instead of listening to music, let me explain to you how this completely unrelated phenomenon is related to my political beliefs."


ProTip: Never click on a Reason tag. Ever.

/yes, it's a misnomer
 
2012-05-04 06:07:20 PM

MaxxLarge: This article is yet further proof of the old saw: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them. And the only way to do THAT is not to read...but to listen.


i180.photobucket.com
 
2012-05-04 06:20:42 PM

MaxxLarge: The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them. And the only way to do THAT is not to read...but to listen.


If I didn't know better, I'd give you troll ratings score.
From what you just stated, in a matter of decades, no one will be able to understand the blues, because there will be no one left alive who wasn't born before 1965. This just doesn't make sense. By your analogy, no one who was born after ~1980 will understand Prog rock (date may be off but you catch my drift)
 
2012-05-04 06:24:39 PM
presbyterianblues.files.wordpress.com

Sold his soul to the devil, played like an angel and died when his no good woman done poisoned his whiskey.

THAT's how you blues
 
2012-05-04 06:39:51 PM
Well, thank God for white folks.

/jeez...
 
2012-05-04 06:50:14 PM
I can't speak for anyone but me but Sears also began my guitar playing. White flying V Harmony guitar FTW! Wish I still had it.
 
2012-05-04 06:51:26 PM
cinder block train done hit me in the balls blues
 
2012-05-04 06:56:15 PM
i.ytimg.com

Smokin on a night train
Chewin on a jelly roll
 
2012-05-04 07:08:46 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-05-04 07:11:17 PM
..... the banjo ..... melodic, and relatively easy to play.

No, it is not.
 
2012-05-04 07:11:21 PM
Ism getty fill hoo!
 
2012-05-04 07:11:28 PM
I always thought "sold his soul at the crossroads" was a euphemism for heroin.

/Looks at record collection. Yep.
 
2012-05-04 07:31:43 PM

patcarew: I always thought "sold his soul at the crossroads" was a euphemism for heron.

/Looks at record collection. Yep.

 
2012-05-04 07:52:50 PM

Cagey B: The tragic image of the blues that originated in the Mississippi Delta ignores the competitive and entrepreneurial spirit of the bluesman himself.

"Hey, instead of listening to music, let me explain to you how this completely unrelated phenomenon is related to my political beliefs."


done in 2.
 
2012-05-04 08:12:38 PM
And Marc Cohn.


/"Touch down in the land of the Delta Blues, in the middle of the pouring rain."
 
2012-05-04 08:15:03 PM

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Well, thank God for white folks.

/jeez...


and that was part of the point in Maxxlarge's post which he's being called a troll for?
 
2012-05-04 08:15:43 PM

MaxxLarge: This article is yet further proof of the old saw: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them. And the only way to do THAT is not to read...but to listen.


www.forgetthebox.net

Was born a poor black child,
 
2012-05-04 08:19:32 PM

8 inches: And Marc Cohn.


/"Touch down in the land of the Delta Blues, in the middle of the pouring rain."


...but Memphis isn't in the Mississippi Delta!
 
2012-05-04 08:22:39 PM
if i could only listen to one person's music the rest of my life it would be this man. over and over and over and over.
userserve-ak.last.fm
 
2012-05-04 08:28:32 PM

ExperianScaresCthulhu: Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Well, thank God for white folks.

/jeez...

and that was part of the point in Maxxlarge's post which he's being called a troll for?


Is that supposed to be a question?
 
2012-05-04 08:31:16 PM

MaxxLarge: This article is yet further proof of the old saw: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them. And the only way to do THAT is not to read...but to listen.


As a huge fan on The Blues, I find your attitude about the understanding the blues to be racist and distastful.
 
2012-05-04 08:52:35 PM
Now, it might be that I'm a member of that unusual demographic of "not a complete farking retard", but I always understood blues to be "outsider art" in the sense that the invention of blues was not connected to the "mainstream" musical trends, and mostly was created and performed by people who were not heavily engaged by the mainstream economy.

Which is actually true, as opposed to Reason's take, which is an idiotic strawman made of shiat and fail.
 
2012-05-04 08:59:45 PM

MaxxLarge: This article is yet further proof of the old saw: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them. And the only way to do THAT is not to read...but to listen.


1.bp.blogspot.com
Would like a word...

Link

 
2012-05-04 09:11:01 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-05-04 09:38:07 PM

t3knomanser: Now, it might be that I'm a member of that unusual demographic of "not a complete farking retard", but I always understood blues to be "outsider art" in the sense that the invention of blues was not connected to the "mainstream" musical trends, and mostly was created and performed by people who were not heavily engaged by the mainstream economy.

Which is actually true, as opposed to Reason's take, which is an idiotic strawman made of shiat and fail.


I thought your point was made rather repeatedly in the article. Did I miss something?
 
Slu
2012-05-04 10:10:06 PM

mxypltz: ..... the banjo ..... melodic, and relatively easy to play.

No, it is not.


Playing chords on a banjo, rather than finger picking, is easier than a guitar. At least I think so. But then again, I can barely play a banjo.
 
2012-05-04 10:39:15 PM
Possible threadjack, but doesn't Dave Linley have a large selection of low end, vintage guitars that he uses because of their unique sounds?

I know Hendrix started on a Sears model that had the amp in the case.
 
2012-05-04 10:41:42 PM
And Sam Phillips.
 
2012-05-04 11:20:32 PM

Lord Jubjub: Did I miss something?


The first three or four paragraphs where the author tried to convince everyone he was an idiot. I took him at his word and stopped reading.
 
2012-05-04 11:39:23 PM
"Music has always been an instrument of upward mobility in the black community. During slavery, performers were afforded higher status than field workers."

Uh, no. They were generally seen as drifters and hobos. They weren't "upwardly mobile." They were too weak or were too much work to get them to put in a solid day on the plantation.

Romanticizing the Blues is like rating the sleeping conditions under bridges and in homeless shelters.

I have an incredible reverence and appreciation for them, but I don't try and make my heroes out to be anything other than what they really were.

And when you're in my house, and it's Sunday morning, you listen to Robert Johnson. That's my church and that's what we do.
 
2012-05-04 11:58:57 PM
The answer to the question of the crossroads can be found here: Musical theater always has the source.
 
2012-05-05 12:49:09 AM
I caused the death of many a kitten to the lingerie section of the Sears Roebuck Catalog growing up.
 
2012-05-05 02:02:53 AM

DoctorRock: acad1228: The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965

we disagree.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx6FV2qR2TY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWBE7Oh7ih8


More disagreement...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PErWlyLAsk
 
2012-05-05 02:26:43 AM
Delta blues is as much legend as it is music. In the popular telling, blues articulated the hopelessness and poverty of an isolated, oppressed people through music that was disconnected from popular trends and technological advances. Delta blues giants like Robert Johnson were victims, buffeted by the winds of racism, singing out mostly for personal solace. The story is undoubtedly romantic, but it just isn't true.

www.cynicalsmirk.com
 
2012-05-05 02:33:16 AM

robmilmel: MaxxLarge: This article is yet further proof of the old saw: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965. The best anyone else can do is try to appreciate them. And the only way to do THAT is not to read...but to listen.


I love that pic -- it relates to something I've alwaus found interesting, the fact that Blues somehow turned into music for suburban white guys born before 1965.

Not surprising when you think about it. Close enough to old Rock to not sound too foreign, a rootsy 'authentic' appeal for anyone who grew up in the dominant Wonder Bread culture, and much of it's great music.

Fun to listen to, and you can pretend some coolness is going to rub off on your pasty white ass.

In this light hipsters' love of ironic stupid shiat makes perfect sense, considering a lot of them grew up watching their rich dads pretend they were poor sharecroppers turned Hell's Angels.
 
2012-05-05 02:41:07 AM
stupid um ... 'dorky', rather. Sorry. I intended a commentary on style, there, not a value judgment or insult.
 
2012-05-05 02:54:34 AM

BroVinny: I caused the death of many a kitten to the lingerie section of the Sears Roebuck Catalog growing up.


For me it was Low Rider magazine, all those hot ass mexican chicks in bikinis bent over a hood, god dayum.
 
2012-05-05 04:46:58 AM

Cagey B: The tragic image of the blues that originated in the Mississippi Delta ignores the competitive and entrepreneurial spirit of the bluesman himself.

"Hey, instead of listening to music, let me explain to you how this completely unrelated phenomenon is related to my political beliefs."


I'm no fan of libertarianism, but the author's pretty much right. I have an old interview with BB King on tape where he explained why he became a musician. He was working on a plantation making $25 a week, and playing his guitar at parties for fun in the evenings. Eventually people started offering him money to play, and he eventually started making $12 a night playing guitar. Becoming a musician was never some lofty dream, just a way to increase his income.

These days they say you have to starve to be a musician. BB King grew up starving. Becoming a musician was a big step up in "less starving" direction.

Of course, a "competitive and entrepreneurial spirit " is a dick way of describing the idea. That's Reason for you.

/CSB
 
2012-05-05 07:39:45 AM
I woke up this mornin, saw both cars were gone
I woke up this mornin, saw both cars were gone
I feel so lowdown deep inside, I threw my drink across the lawn

\Blind Lemon Pledge, singin them suburban Cleveland Cuyahoga Delta Blues
 
2012-05-05 08:20:28 AM

DoctorRock: acad1228: The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965

we disagree.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx6FV2qR2TY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWBE7Oh7ih8


OgreMagi: DoctorRock: acad1228: The only way to truly understand the blues is to be black, poor, southern and born somewhere between the antebellum era and 1965

we disagree.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx6FV2qR2TY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWBE7Oh7ih8

More disagreement...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PErWlyLAsk


You fellas are disagreeing with the wrong brother. I didn't post that original erroneous statement. Here's a little more from Little Joe Mclerran:

Little Joe McLerran

 
2012-05-05 12:27:49 PM
Nowadays, you just need the ability to negotiate your contract with the Blues Devil, so all it will cost you is a Hot Topic gift card, and a percentage of the Devil's soul.
 
2012-05-05 01:08:53 PM

leviosaurus: Cagey B: The tragic image of the blues that originated in the Mississippi Delta ignores the competitive and entrepreneurial spirit of the bluesman himself.

"Hey, instead of listening to music, let me explain to you how this completely unrelated phenomenon is related to my political beliefs."

I'm no fan of libertarianism, but the author's pretty much right. I have an old interview with BB King on tape where he explained why he became a musician. He was working on a plantation making $25 a week, and playing his guitar at parties for fun in the evenings. Eventually people started offering him money to play, and he eventually started making $12 a night playing guitar. Becoming a musician was never some lofty dream, just a way to increase his income.

These days they say you have to starve to be a musician. BB King grew up starving. Becoming a musician was a big step up in "less starving" direction.

Of course, a "competitive and entrepreneurial spirit " is a dick way of describing the idea. That's Reason for you.

/CSB


Not consistently the case, though. There were several old blues guys who were too blind, crippled or crazy to have a day job. They often survived by busking on street corners. Off the top of my head, Blind Boy Fuller and the Rev. Gary Davis would be examples.
 
2012-05-06 12:06:14 AM
Anybody who mentions 'blues' and 'Clapton' in the same sentence is getting punched in the dick.

/...oh.
 
2012-05-06 12:09:42 AM

IlGreven: 8 inches: And Marc Cohn.


/"Touch down in the land of the Delta Blues, in the middle of the pouring rain."

...but Memphis isn't in the Mississippi Delta!


It's the northern tip of the Mississippi Delta.

thebluehighway.com

The area between the state line and US 49, roughly an arc with Memphis at the northern point is generally considered the Mississippi Delta.
 
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