The Civil Wars

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The Civil Wars

Postby Ian » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:48 pm

I saw these guys just a couple of weeks ago for the first time on the superb 'Jools Holland Later' music show.
Wow! I'm totally loving their album.
How established are these guys over there?.. I'm suprised I'd not heard of them before.

The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby keith from ny » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:54 pm

They've been HUGE since the day Barton Hollow was released here in February, before that they were practically unknown. I was lucky I got tickets to see them at Joe's Pub from 5 feet away before the CD came out, the next time they played NYC they sold out Town Hall (where I saw them with Arlene and our friend Adriana). Barton Hollow was just nominated for a Grammy for "Best Country Duo/Group Performance" by the idiots at our National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

I got a pretty good recording of their Town Hall show if anyone would like to hear it:

http://tapers.org/kbergendorff/cw2011-10-27mp3.zip
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby Rob » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:42 am

keith from ny wrote:Barton Hollow was just nominated for a Grammy for "Best Country Duo/Group Performance" by the idiots at our National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Hey, I've worked with them and they're not all idiots (and I don't think you meant that). Some of them are really nice and very much dedicated to music. As a whole, the organization tends to take longer than we'd like to recognize our favorite artists, but they do get things right.

Patty was nominated for 1000 Kisses, Impossible Dream, Children Running Through and won one for Downtown Church. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss won big a few years back. Oh Brother Where Art Thou won, too. So someone at NARAS is paying attention to good music. But they also have to pay attention to material we may not like.

And I kind of enjoy an organization that can honor everyone from Ralph Stanley to Ricky Martin to Miriam Makeba. It ain't all bad.
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby keith from ny » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:14 pm

They're idiots for classifying The Civil Wars as a Country Duo, among many other things. Every year they honor many of the most egregious examples of the brain-rotting drivel American pop music has become. I could care less about their opinion of anything and haven't watched the awards for years.
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby Ian » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:39 pm

keith from ny wrote:They're idiots for classifying The Civil Wars as a Country Duo, among many other things. Every year they honor many of the most egregious examples of the brain-rotting drivel American pop music has become. I could care less about their opinion of anything and haven't watched the awards for years.


I think they do it for a giggle sometimes Keith.
I don't watch the Grammys (or the Brits either) but I would just love to have seen the look on the face of Lars Ulrich in 1988 when Metallica were heavily tipped to win the first ever 'Heavy Metal' Grammy, only to be pipped to the post by an unexpected rival.
Even against stiff competition, including Iggy Pop, AC/DC and Jane's Addiction, Lars was ready to run on stage and pick up his award.
Only to hear Alice Cooper announce that his band had been beaten by those dark lords of Metal... JETHRO TULL :lol:

I don't know if you've ever seen Tull live but every time I've seen them since, Ian Anderson recants the tale... I especially love the fact that when Metalllica finally got their first Grammy, that they gave special thanks to Jethro Tull for NOT putting an album out that year :D
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby keith from ny » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:30 am

Hey Ian,

Last time I saw Jethro Tull was at the Fillmore East circa 1971. Must have been before they became a metal band! ;)

Typical Grammy idiocy...
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby Rob » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:05 pm

keith from ny wrote:They're idiots for classifying The Civil Wars as a Country Duo, among many other things. Every year they honor many of the most egregious examples of the brain-rotting drivel American pop music has become. I could care less about their opinion of anything and haven't watched the awards for years.

To you, some of music the Grammys honor is egregious brain rotting drivel, but in the end, it's still music. And if someone enjoys it, live and let live. Besides, if someone is truly passionate about music, they'll discover more on their own. But not everyone's as passionate as you.

And a lot of that "drivel" allows a lot of professional musicians to make a living. I know a drummer who's worked with the Backstreet Boys among others. Should he have walked away from that paycheck to make a point to NARAS about their nominations? Of course not. Those paychecks allow him to do what he loves. And he's not at all perturbed by some of the artists he works with. And the Grammys play their own role in that process. They hype the Backstreet Boys, the Backstreet boys produce albums, and terrific musicians who play on those albums get paid.

I used to listen to a lot of pop music when I was a kid and loved it. Look back on some of it now and laugh, but back then it was boffo. And what was the harm? Besides, the type of American pop music you're referencing has existed in one form or another for quite some time. There's a long tradition of musical fads in this country, and many have been excoriated. As in:

William F. Buckley in 1964 wrote:The Beatles are not merely awful. They are so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art, that they qualify as crowned heads of antimusic.

As for the Grammys, as I stated, they're not all bad and they're not all idiots who work there. So they put the Civil Wars in the Country Duo category. They also put them in the folk category. And this is what Joy said:

Joy Williams wrote:I love that it's folk and country combined.

They don't seem to have a problem with the categories in which they were nominated and when I watched a clip, they seemed genuinely thrilled by the nominations. They also talked about how much they've always enjoyed watching the Grammys.

Be happy they're getting exposure as great talents. They certainly are.
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby Arlene » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:01 pm

Barton Hollow is also nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Folk album, along with Gillian Welch and Steve Earle, among others. I hate the whole genre classification game, but if I had to characterize them, I think of them as more "pop" than country, folk, or americana-- they were also nominated for an Americana Music Association award and performed at this year's AMA awards ceremony that was filmed for Austin City Limits. I really enjoyed the Town Hall concert I attended with Keith and Adrianna.

(I'm in a grumpy mood but while I love their music, I wouldn't mind if, on stage, she was a tad less cloying and he lost the cheesy tuxedo--wait, did I actually write that?)
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby keith from ny » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:59 pm

Your Jedi sophistry won't work on me, Rob! ;) Of course I'm glad they're getting the exposure, but obviously they're not about to bad-mouth the Grammys when they have a shot at winning one and the increased audience that goes along with it. And you're not really comparing the Beatles with Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Cee Lo Green?

The comical misclassifications are really the least of my issues with NARAS. I sometimes disagree with the Academy of Motion Pictures' choices, but at least they tend to nominate films that represent what's worthwhile about the industry instead of trashy blockbusters for the big Oscar awards. Can't say that for the Grammys. Now and then a less-than-mainstream artist like Arcade Fire will get a major award after they've become well established, in their case it wasn't until it became obvious (even to NARAS) that the band had inspired an entire generation of musicians to explore new instrumental configurations. The Grammys are really all about what's making money, and Barton Hollow wouldn't have gotten a second glance from them if it hadn't sold so many copies.

FTR I love John Paul's tuxedos and don't find Joy especially cloying, although I could do with a tad less hand fluttering.
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby Rob » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:20 pm

keith from ny wrote:Your Jedi sophistry won't work on me, Rob! ;) Of course I'm glad they're getting the exposure, but obviously they're not about to bad-mouth the Grammys when they have a shot at winning one and the increased audience that goes along with it. And you're not really comparing the Beatles with Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Cee Lo Green?

As Ronald Reagan used to say, "there you go again." :wink: Watch the clip where they're interviewed, not only are they genuinely thrilled, they talk about how much they loved watching the Grammys, and how much they enjoyed some of the other performances that night. You might be surprised at who they name. And they're not just saying it for the cameras. No sophistry involved.

Which leads to one of my main points: people love to categorize and pigeonhole artists, but where the rubber hits the road, all share a love of music. And except for the rare few, no matter the genre, all have genuine respect for each other's work. I've seen it many a time backstage at the events I do. To the artists, it's all music, and when they meet up, they have a great time together.

And of course I'm not comparing the Beatles to Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Cee Lo Green. That's simply a point about the subjectivity of music and how silly it is to try and objectify that which is subjective. And if people love Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Cee Lo Green, so be it. Like I said, where's the harm?

keith from ny wrote:The Grammys are really all about what's making money, and Barton Hollow wouldn't have gotten a second glance from them if it hadn't sold so many copies.

That kind of disqualifies 1000 Kisses and Impossible Dream. Neither of them were exactly blockbusters in the album sales department. And compared to Barton Hollow by sales, they're not even close. So how did Patty get those nominations? By being the remarkable talent she is. And yes, the Grammys are about making money and hype music we don't personally care for, but they also honor and expose terrific artists who deserve to be noticed. They're not perfect, but no organization is. And I'll repeat: I've worked with the Recording Academy. And some of the people I've met work really hard, not only on the shows, but because they truly love music and enjoy being around such creativity, even on the production side.
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby keith from ny » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:54 am

I don't really have time for watching clips about the Grammys and I don't have time for an extended debate with you on this matter Rob. Bottom line is I don't much care what Joy and John Paul think of the awards, I believe they're bad for American music. Regarding 1000 Kisses getting nominated, as you're aware that was Patty's THIRD album to be greeted by thunderous critical acclaim - it was pretty hard for NARAS to ignore her by that point. The real question is why was it stuck in the relatively obscure Folk category instead of being nominated for Record of the Year like Come Away With Me? The answer of course is that Norah Jones came out of the gate selling 20 million records with her ingratiating lounge pop. Where's the harm? The harm is that instead of promoting art and making it easier for important non-mainstream artists to gain an audience by recognizing great music regardless of bullshit considerations, NARAS actively promotes the perpetuation of mediocrity for the sake of $$. That said, I'm sure you're right that there are some members who aren't idiots or intentionally evil.

See you at Marybeth's gig tonight?
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby Rob » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:26 am

keith from ny wrote:See you at Marybeth's gig tonight?

Yes! We can continue our Civil War there! :wink:

MB will (M)be with her entourage :wink: so she's not up for dinner afterward, but maybe you, me and Arlene can grab a bite after the show.
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby keith from ny » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:15 am

Rob wrote:
keith from ny wrote:See you at Marybeth's gig tonight?

Yes! We can continue our Civil War there! :wink:

MB will (M)be with her entourage :wink: so she's not up for dinner afterward, but maybe you, me and Arlene can grab a bite after the show.

Unfortunately I won't even be able to stay for her entire set, I have tix for Ryan Adams at Carnegie Hall at 8:00. My friend Rhonda and I will be getting to Gizzi's around 6:15 for an early bite.
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby Our Kid » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:45 pm

Wow!

I'd forgotten how fun these spirited exchanges can be.

Let it rip, boys!!!
"You could write a song about some kind of emotional problem you are having, but it would not be a good song, in my eyes, until it went through a period of sensitivity to a moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity to contribute to the song, it's just complaining."

-Joni Mitchell-
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Re: The Civil Wars

Postby Turk » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:53 pm

I really like that Poison and Wine tune.

Greetings to all you guys here!
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