Sunday, December 03, 2006

Back to the matter at hand

Not too long ago One More Epicycle asked what deep country was. I'm at loss myself. Googling for the phrase brings us back to the post in which the question was asked before we get anything close to an answer. As an adjective for country music, deep seems to be used primarily to describe The Be Good Tanyas. So things have come full circle. Deep country is what The Be Good Tanyas play. The Be Good Tanyas play deep country. Not very helpful. Call me crazy, but I hardly think that a band from urban Canada is going to define a type of country music, especially since much of the music on the CD of theirs that I own consists of covers and reinterpretations of traditional tunes.

A bit more sleuthing seems to indicate that deep country is "white man's gospel music". There's at least one song on Chinatown, which I own, that resembles gospel music to me. The Be Good Tanyas being white people, by this definition that song would qualify as deep country, so maybe this is what is meant. The term also seems to be used to describe country music that hasn't been corrupted by Nashville or at least is in an earlier stage of corruption[1]. This too would fit, but it's too vague of a description for me to think that that's what is meant when calling their music deep country.

Whatever was meant by deep country, it's got to be a better descriptor for their music than "like Led Zeppelin" as Conan O'Brien said. Owning one of their albums and having listened to it, I have no idea where he got that from.

Personllay, I'd prefer not to think of The Be Good Tanyas as country music at all, since I like them, but I don't like country.

[1] I really can't stand country music radio, metonymously known as Nashville, on the whole. Occasionally I hear something that doesn't make me want to change stations immediately. Lately though, I've come accross a fair amount of country music that I do like. It crossed my mind that my attitudes toward country music might be changing, so I tried to listen to country music radio or watch country music tv to test that possiblity. But no. I still can't stand it. It's not my attitudes that have changed. It's the music that I have access to. Thank you internet!

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