February 2015: Conflating the Good Times Balance
2015 has already gotten off to a busy start for words that end in -late. Deflate. And, now conflate. Deflate was brought to the national consciousness via the New England Patriots alleged football tampering during the NFL Playoffs. Conflate has arrived on the back of a Chinook helicopter piloted by Brian Williams…or something to that effect. Webster defines conflate as follows, “combining two things (ideas, stories, etc) into one”. I was recently confronted by a message board post someone sent me that criticized Texas Country music as being just as bad as mainstream bro-country by saying:
“Texas country is just as bad, it’s the same thing that the labels put out to teens with boy bands and girly pop. What is happening is that awesome parties, nights at the bar, or having a great time at concerts is distorting your view of the music being played. I understand. It’s Pavlov’s theory of conditioning. You are equating a drunken good time in the company of good looking girls with good music, and that’s not the case.”
While I don’t necessarily wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment, I feel as though there is definitely some merit there. There’s nothing wrong with a good time. In fact, it’s an essential life element to enjoying a well-balanced existence. However, there is something wrong if that’s all you’re doing. And, music that is only about the party is destined to have a short shelf-life. That’s why I enjoy both types of shows. That’s why Greenfest has a rowdy Saturday night followed by a communal acoustic healing. A great analogy is when fantastic comedic actors such as Jim Carey yearn to cross over into dramatic parts. They need that well-roundedness to their art. As great as they may be at stretching their face and taking pratfalls to make us laugh…they also want to make us think with moving dialogue.
Have we been conditioned to like bad music just because it revolves around an awesome Saturday night? Probably. Are we conflating the memories from the bar with the connection to the music? Probably.
There’s nothing wrong with that either (for the most part). I’m still transplanted back to 16 when I hear AC/DC. I still want to float the river when I hear old Pat Green tunes. But, I’m not proclaiming either “Girls Got Rhythm” or “Here We Go” as amazing. They’re fun. You’d have to search pretty long and hard to find an AC/DC tune with depth. But, Pat has them all over the place, including our site’s namesake song. He has that balance. When I listen to his old catalog I don’t solely jam out to the uptempo party anthems, I also listen to “Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters”.
Developing that balance as an artist is difficult. It shouldn’t be that hard for fans. We can pick and choose what we like and with digital technology tailor any playlist to any mood or gathering. There’s a reason DJ’s and dancehall bands play a few fast songs followed by a slow dance or two. I implore y’all to not conflate the good times with good music. They are separate. While they can go hand in hand, it’s not automatic. Sufflate the good stuff and insufflate the bad. Boost what you dig and ignore what you don’t.
-We’ve announced the first round of Greenfest information. Check it out HERE.
-Our 5th Annual Ultimate LJT Giveaway will launch next month.
-Better Call Saul is as good or better than advertised. Jimmy McGill.
-The sports wasteland between the end of football season and the start of baseball is interminable.
-Mother Nature is teasing us with April like weather this week. It’d be a whole lot cooler if she’d let us keep it.
– The upcoming NWA movie looks awesome.
-I’ve so far resisted the Girl Scout cookies this year…have you?
–This month’s recommended album: Haley Cole – Illusions. Haley Cole is one of the first GF15 artists we’ve announced and her record has been in my rotation nonstop for a month. It’s beautiful and mature beyond her years. It’s full of whimsical hippie wisdom that’s balanced (there’s that word again) with some real world toughness. You listen to it and put it away only to find it sticks with you. Very impressive collection of songs. This girl is special.
-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain