Country Roots to Post-Rock

Friday, February 11, 2011 12:56 PM By Stephen J Christophers

Some years back, a friend of mine, graced me with a hand full of compact discs including a compilation covers album by Johnny Cash called, CASH. And thereafter, one became obsessed with this amazing style of country-come-pop music, its mystery and ambiguous tones. Or, that nonlinear connectivity to the pop music genre immortalised in some respects by the passing of time and transience of culture. Leonard Cohen in the track 'Tower of Song', which without intent, conditions itself around that which one might find harder to define as a direct genre; a common musical context, often melodic, often country, often folk, but with inclinations of hypnotic-mood and melodic overtones - otherwise soul food for thought. Transfixed by the power of 'CASH' and its iconic set of covers, the pinnacle of which, a masterpiece 'One' by U2 and 'The Mercy Seat' a cover from Nick Cave and The Badseed. Henceforth, the search was on: rewarded by Mazzy Star - "I want to hold the hand inside you": A 'number' in ones hand, in an old recliner, with an acoustic tune from Ben Gibbard singing Brand New Colony, or positioning myself for other great pieces of acoustic guitar, with magical vocals and melodic harmonies from the obscure, but, incredible Sarah Jaffe or Wye Oak. Fantastic, nevertheless, the journey they say. More recently Jesse Woods brings the old back to life, with his traditional blues acoustic sound. Lady Ga-Ga, should I say that, again? - also, seems with honesty, to have one foot in front of the twisted country folk with, 'You and I'. However, such tunes are overshadowed by the likes of Lana Del Rey, and her rendition Elvis or Damien Rice - Your Ghost. Nevertheless, and with reverence to the influence of in moodful melodic tones, Bon Iver - Skinny Love and Ed Sheeran - "Give Me Love". With hip-hop in the mix, CunninLynguists - The light. And Nirvana could be eluded to, with enlightenment found in this wondrous track by Mos Def.

It was only recently that I stumbled upon Primal Scream's "Dixie Narco EP" and the track Carry Me Home. Nevertheless, being a long-time fan of Primal Scream 'Damaged' from the iconic album Screamadelica. Somehow, the Dixie Narco EP had eluded me. Regardless, it fits almost like a fragment to the puzzle of this elusive genre. From here the snowball effect: rewards ensue, with that of Yo La Tengo and Mogwai, all the more instrumental than roots; their mood, ambient in quality, their sounds seem more emotive. Nevertheless, a quality and essence shines, as complimentary Post-Rock, with an emphasis on beauty: Hammock, and with it, an almost naive minimal passion to their craft. Then,'God Is an Astronaut - Forever Lost' takes on deep instrumental Post-Rock piano, with a soul that alludes to a modest urban drum and bass euphoria, a tone also set by, Glen Porter airing on the side of Down-tempo instrumental Hip Hop. With elements of Post-punk we plugin to Flunk and Dutch, and to hint at a portrait of goth-rock with Wolfsheim, but the DNA is felt here too, regardless.

(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.· Wye Oak- Civilian - The Walking Dead ·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)

The Walking Dead - Wye Oak- Civilian - Music Video from EmptyVids on Vimeo.

It wasn't until I found Trespassers William by-way of their track 'What Of Me' that things started to gel, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and my eyes began to open-up to a confluence of genre that work so effortlessly, the periphery of Rock, Hip-Hip and Jazz-Trip-Hop. Portastatic - Spying On The Spys is a song of the times. A trip to the darker side with, Nicolas Jaar - Don't Break My Love : remixes come tastefully packaged by The Weeknd , Lanterna - B minor is love, Blue Foundation - Bonfires is enchantment, Black Chamber spiritulizing, and of cause the essence, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, and furthermore, Industries of the Blind... and whisper: Microclinic - The Resulting Impression for fear of reprisal...

More than anything, I again, like previous music posts, such as The Culture Bomb being the latter, the likes of which; and, to ask that you explore, for yourself these bands, as their music is timeless. And, being a writer of a transient nature, please excuse me, as I shall endeavor to update with pleasure, when I find mood and music illuminating enough to do so, and that it is for now. I will leave you with...

(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.· The Smiths vs Lana Del Rey ·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)

The Smiths vs Lana Del Rey - This Charming Video Game (mashup) from Reborn Identity on Vimeo.