Episode Extras: Enthusiasm Spotlight - Bluegrass!
We hope you enjoyed our newest episode, “Enthusiasm Spotlight - Bluegrass!“ You’ll notice that it is on our BRAND WONKIN’ NEW YouTube channel. We love the idea of an independent nomadic republic of channel-hopping video-blogging wonkiness, but several of you have asked for a more central location to get your Wonkistani fix. And we like to deliver.
Please subscribe and pass the word along about our new space!
Ready, set, addenda:
- Washington, DC public radio station WAMU has an extensive bluegrass-country audio archive, as well as a number of bluegrass, country, and jazz radio programs. Ivan, for one, is astonished that DC-area public radio is doing something interesting and competent besides Diane Rehm and Kojo Nnamdi. You can also listen live (which Amanda is doing as she types up this post)!
- Did you know that the Smithsonian Institution has a nonprofit record label? It does! Folkways Records, which the Smithsonian acquired in the 1980s, produced such iconic songs as “This Land is Your Land” and won an armful of Grammys. Their mission is to “record and document the entire world of sound.” No big deal.
- Here, again, is our playlist of recommended music. Also embedded below!
- We didn’t have time to cover this, but it’s worth pointing out that of course we used “bluegrass” as an enormous piece of shorthand, not as a term of art. We’re dealing here with country, bluegrass, mid-century blues, the early folk revival, other indigenous forms of Appalachian music, and the tremendous muddle of contemporary genres that they spawned. As we discussed in the video, what we’re really talking about is music, old and new, that has its roots in the inherited cultural practices and aesthetics of the rural (generally Eastern) United States. (Edit: we wrote a bit more on the subject here.)
- This meditation on how the internet, by promoting a culture of “digital Brooklyn,” is inadvertently killing everything we love about local music scenes. Terrific, if sobering. Written from DC.
- Ivan mentioned subversive Soviet anti-regime singer-songwriter music. You can read much more about the bardy here.
- wonkistan posted this