"I just hope whoever put the halftime together, they're getting their resume ready. Hey, this is a hip-hop weekend. Y'all think this is a NASCAR race? This ain't no NASCAR race."
Now, we at SFist have always liked the Round Mound of Rebound, even when he balled all over the Warriors in the 1994 playoffs, but we were a little bummed out by his larger point: most popular country music sucks. It sucks because it’s homogeneous. It’s produced for an audience with geographic, racial and economic boundaries, and it (i.e. the music, but now that you mention it much of the audience, too) has little to no regard for what else goes on in music, culture, or really anything. And don’t get us started on alt.country, which seems to abide by the following imperative more than anything else: As soon as you’re famous or important, stop making records that are fun, or sound like they were fun to make.
If you agree with Sir Charles, too, if you long for boundary-crossing or brio or in country-western music, if you are as annoyed by the whole thing as SFist (we annoy pretty easily, so we’re skeptical of that last), git along to San Francisco State University the next three Tuesdays (March first, eighth and fifteenth) to celebrate Bob Wills at 100. The inventor of “Western Swing,” Bob Wills combined country music with Nawlins jazz, blues, ragtime and traditional Mexican music. He and his Texas Playboys came up with a style that swung just as hard playing “Basin Street Blues” and "Take the 'A' Train" as it did playing "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Hey, Good Lookin'." They came out of the small-groups jazz tradition that gave us Louis Armstrong’s greatest work, with the Hot Fives and Sevens, and their bandstand improvisation foreshadowed groups like the JBs and the Meters.
SFSU is showing "Bob Wills on Film," a collection on Western Swing shorts and features, on Tuesday, March 1. March 8, they’re putting on two lectures, "Blacks, Whites and the Blues" by Wills's biographer Charles Townsend, and "Crossing Borders with Bob Wills," by Dr. Loco. March 15, Lost Weekend will play a tribute to Bob. The first two events are free, the third costs twenty bucks (fifteen for students), and Charles Barkley probably won't be there but we feel pretty confident predicting that it will all be better than LeAnn Rimes.
--SFist Jake, contributingfun