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I know my doggie when I hear him bark. I can tell my rider if I feel her in the dark - Charley Patton, Banty Rooster Blues

Author Topic: Life lessons from the Blues  (Read 1565 times)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Life lessons from the Blues
« on: September 03, 2011, 08:34:44 AM »
The quote generator just threw up Arthur Pettis' quote "Don't ever tell woman you love her if you do you have done wrong." or words to that effect. Now, most men figure that one out fairly early on, but what Arthur fails to say is that if you fail to deliver the magic words at the appropriate moment later on down the line you're cooked that way too. In fact considering that a sizable percentage of Blues are about getting dumped, we can probably safely assume that Blues players were not the experts on male-female relations they sometimes portray themselves as being. That being said I don't know any other art form that deals as frankly, realistically and painfully with relationship issues, except maybe the films of Ingmar Bergman, and he pretty much avoids the particulars of sex as a factor. Psychologically savage but still cultured and polite, in a way that would probably seem absurd to Tommy McClennan for example. I think Blake had it right in his eternal question; "I wish somebody could tell me what Diddy wah diddy means" to which I ascribe a greater meaning than the obvious.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline eric

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Re: Life lessons from the Blues
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2011, 09:04:44 AM »
Quote
Blues players...were not the experts on male-female relations...

Speaking from personal experience, I would say this an understatement.

Also, props for citing Tommy McClennan and Ingmar Bergman in the same paragraph.
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Eric

Offline misterjones

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Re: Life lessons from the Blues
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2011, 10:57:48 AM »
Still gotta stay away from them mean mistreatin' mamas.


Offline Rivers

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Re: Life lessons from the Blues
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 08:36:40 PM »
It's safe to say our heroes did not go to any Emotional Intelligence seminars.

Just as well, can you imagine a world of country blues where.... (sound of riffling overlapping arpeggios on harpstrings, go to blurry, rippling focus...)...

No, me either.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 08:37:51 PM by Rivers »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Life lessons from the Blues
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 08:55:53 PM »
Which started me thinking about who were the sensitive new age guys of the 20's and 30's, and likewise who were their opposites.

Funny Papa Smith had an interesting take on womankind. Semi mystical I always think, Seven Sisters, Honey Blues.
Broonzy when he wasn't joking around with his hokum pals penned some heartfelt love songs, particularly Louise, Louise Blues.

On the other side of the coin, who were the worst of what used to be called, 'male chauvinist pigs'? Let's ignore hokum, that's a cartoon world.

Likewise there were female artists operating at both extremes.

Hopefully this is what O'Muck is getting at and I'm not too OT here.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Life lessons from the Blues
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 08:19:34 AM »
Its certainly an important corollary idea, but I was really looking at the form in terms of what IT does that no other art form manages to do, and its value as a repository of real world accumulated wisdom on this most intimate of topics.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline misterjones

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Re: Life lessons from the Blues
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 07:56:43 AM »
Its certainly an important corollary idea, but I was really looking at the form in terms of what IT does that no other art form manages to do, and its value as a repository of real world accumulated wisdom on this most intimate of topics.

I would say nothing.  What thinking blues artists do is sing about the world around them as they see it, which is what I imagine all writers, film directors, etc. at least try to do.  (The ones who aren't so introspective and observant - like those parodied by "Mississippi Gary" above - just string a bunch of old, tired and overused lines together in the hopes of making a recordable song.)  Some artists reflect their violent, male-dominated worlds - real or imagined - and sing about beating sense into their woman or getting a gun to off their cheatin' "mamas".  Some a bit more cleverly sometimes cast the men in the inferior position, ultimately controlled by women and sex.  I'd put Blind Lemon Jefferson in the latter category.  As long as we're looking for comparisons with other art forms, I'd say Jefferson is a bit Pinter-esque in this regard.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 07:58:21 AM by misterjones »

Offline eric

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Re: Life lessons from the Blues
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 12:50:24 PM »
This music is direct; real so to speak.  Not very sentimental, particularly when compared to its contemporary styles. It was made by and for people for whom day to day survival in a hostile world was a constant concern, and one in which relationships were subject to all sorts of external pressure.  And, the form of the blues is brilliantly practical.   
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Eric

Offline blueshome

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Re: Life lessons from the Blues
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 12:38:47 AM »
Just a thought, we are told 90% of the old records were bought by women. Maybe the inadequacy of men to control relationships expressed in the songs appealed to the purchasers by putting the boot on the other foot. In reality the woman was quite often left holding the baby, not dominating a relationship.

Offline misterjones

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Re: Life lessons from the Blues
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2011, 07:49:50 AM »
Perhaps, but whose baby?

Heard a baby crying, what do this mama mean
Heard a baby crying, what do this mama mean
He's crying 'bout his sweet milk, and she won't feed him Jersey cream

Well, he crawled from the fireplace, stopped in the middle of the floor
Well, he crawled from the fireplace, stopped in the middle of the floor
Says, "Mama, ain't that your second daddy standing back there in the door?"

Well she grabbed my baby, spanked him and tried to make her leave him alone
Well she grabbed my baby, spanked him and tried to make her leave him alone
I tried my best to stop her and she said, "The baby ain't none of mine"

The woman rocks the cradle, I declare she rules the home
The woman rocks the cradle, I declare she rules the home
Married man rocks some other man's baby, fool thinks he is rockin' his own


Who has the upper hand in that relationship, Pinter might ask (if he were still alive).

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