Everything CMA

From here on out this blog will go from an academic blog to all things CMA, Country Music Association. What better way to kick off this transformation than to start with the CMA Country Christmas Show, tis the season! Look for upcoming posts about events going on in the Country Music Association.


CMA Christmas


 

What’s so special?

What makes country music so different from other genres? Besides the obvious tunes and instruments why and how is country music different? Unlike other types of music, country, provides us with a story and instead of attacking others they talk about how everyone is a family and can come together. Also country musicians are there to help one another out especially during times of adversity. They don’t fight one another, instead they bounce off and use each other to better themselves.

Country music for these people is their way out and their life in essence. They tell the stories of their lives through the music. Singing about their problems in these ways is their version of coping with them. Simply its a euphemism for sadness in their lives.

Examples include, but aren’t limited to:

Luke Bryan- Drink a Beer

Blake Shelton- Over You

Brantley Gilbert- You Don’t Know Her Like I Do

 

Life’s a Rollercoaster

The day before a 19 year old boy from southern Georgia was going to leave home for Nashville, tragedy hit the Bryan family. They had just gotten word that their oldest son Chris had died in a car accident. He decided to stay home and work on his father’s peanut farm until the time was right. His father knew that if he didn’t leave now then he would never achieve his dream career. Luke’s dad told him “You know, if you’re going to pursue your music career, you need to pack your truck up and move to Nashville” and threatened to fire him so that he may go get his dream.

After packing up and leaving home, it didn’t take Luke long to launch his first album. On that album was his first hit song ‘All My Friends Say’ where he talks about his times in college at Georgia Southern. He was then invited to play at the famous Grand Ole Opry, when his sister Kelly organized 129 people from his home town , which was almost the entire town, to go watch the performance. A couple of days after the performance Kelly passed away at home of undetermined causes.

This sparked him to write what is his mother’s favorite song: ‘Drink a Beer’

In this song he talks about all the good times he’s had with his siblings.

“So long my friend
Until we meet again
I’ll remember you
And all the times that we used to…

… sit right here on the edge of this pier
And watch the sunset disappear
And drink a beer
Drink a beer,
Drink a beer.”

It’s not always sadness, but rather enraging as it is confusing.

“Sometimes the greater plan
Is kinda hard to understand
Right now it don’t make sense
I can’t make it all make sense”

He admits it doesn’t make any sense but he realizes that it doesn’t have to death and tragedy happen anyways.


Storyteller

The latest album release of Carrie Underwood, Storyteller, is exactly what the title says it is, an album that tells stories. Each individual song is a different independent story. Examples are:

‘Clock Don’t Stop’ – “And we’ll make it right tomorrow…But tomorrow’s not a sure thing…The clock don’t sto-o-o-op ticking away”

‘Relapse’

“Don’t think I’m coming back
It’s just a relapse”

‘Church Bells’ – “He came home ready to fight
And all his money could never save Jenny
From the devil living in his eyes”

The most meaningful and my favorite story on the album is ‘The Girl You Think I am.’

This is a story that can relate to most of us as at one point we will move on from our home to do bigger and better things in life. When we grow older and move on our parents will always remember the stories of when we were younger, it’s natural.

“You told me I was gonna take the world by storm
And Mama said you cried all the way home”

Its hard being away from home for a long period of time especially for the first time, but it is even harder for our parents.

Parents are our biggest critics but also our biggest supporters.

“You think I’m strong, you think I’m fearless
Even when I’m, I’m at my weakest
You always see the best in me when I can’t
I wanna be the girl you think I am”

They always see the greatest in us even when we don’t.


3rd Time’s the Charm

Blog post for this week: Reflect on the process of writing your third essay. What do you feel are the strengths or limitations of your final draft? How was the assignment similar to or different from the other kinds of writing you’ve done this semester? Do you perceive any changes in your writing or thinking process compared to the first two essays?

This essay was probably the hardest of them all. With all the chaos there was and all the different limitations there were it was hard to write, but I believe it is a great piece of work. The week of the due date was hectic as I was going from place to place, fighting over the phone with both the train company and airlines, and just getting home on a reasonable budget.  On top of that because I had to leave my dorm in such a hurry to get off of campus I left behind my book that I needed to use for the essay.

Besides the chaos it was mainly the same process as the previous essays and it was fairly an easy assignment as we have done these before. I can definitely see some progress as we write each essay. My final draft for this essay compared to my original essay from project number 1 are very different. It is very much noticeable that my writing has improved in the time during the semester.

Forwarding Back in Time?

Toni Morrison writes the Bluest Eye with several intentions and points to get across to the reader. The biggest of these intentions is ‘racism’ (not like today’s racism) in the post-WWI through the WWII era. If you’re not the “perfect type” then you will not succeed in life. In this time period you have to be a specific type of person, (Aryan) to go anywhere or to do anything. She is very straight forward with what she is trying to say yet she still writes the forward to explain further this concept.Why?

I do agree with her as she was very blunt at times but that did help me understand what she was getting at. I think in the forward she introduces us to the topics that she will be talking about and is very blunt about it. This may shock people at first but she then explains exactly what she said before with examples through the characters, such as Pecola wanting blue eyes.

Morison isn’t talking about the same racism that we know today, where it’s targeting on one specific race. She is talking more on the lines of if you aren’t a specific race as compared to if you are. Today it is “I don’t want to be Black,” or “I don’t want to be Hispanic,” or “I don’t want to be Asian.” Morison is talking about a time where it’s, “I want to be Aryan,” or “I want to be Aryan,” or “I want to be Aryan.”

The rhetorical question here doesn’t have to do with racism but reverse racism. Instead of I don’t want to be this it’s I want to be this. So the real question here is, “Does having a specific ‘person’ being the epitome of pop culture reflect on others that they must be like said person to be successful?” As pop culture has shown over time, you don’t have to be a specific type of person to be successful. Today we have people every color, race, gender, age, shape, size, and sexual orientation all in pop culture. Slowly but surely racism is dying out, it won’t happen over night but it will eventually happen.

Pop Culture in Aryan Life

Shirley Temple was the face of pop culture in her early days. She was a hit sensation when she was just 3 years old. Instantly Shirley became a star, all because of her hair. She is known mostly for her curly blonde hair. Yes, when she was younger she was naturally blonde. As she grew older the color of her hair changed to light brown, brunette, and later to red. This was atypical considering this was the 1930’s and 40’s, when aryan culture was what really was pop culture. This is what shocked Pecola as she wanted blue eyes just so she can look aryan, to become successful and move out from where she was. Shirley became a very successful woman with red hair and brown eyes (not your typical aryan). Pecola more or less looked up to Shirley as a hero for making it on the big stage and becoming successful when the odds are against you.