13 Replies to “Aquarium Drunkard on Alt. Country”

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  2. Baron,

    Please tell me you are sick of the whole “death of alt. country” vibe that is going around? Aquarium Drunkard, Austin Chronicle and others seem to have this wierd need to put a nice, little bow on something that isnt “nice and little”. What do you think??

  3. Kelly, I have to tell ya I’m on the fence. This has been an ongoing struggle for people much more learned that I. No Depression ended up with The Alternative Country (Whatever that is). as humans we like to categorize and even though there are good people that argue that the alt.country, Americana, roots crowd would do well to keep their talent within the country music fold. I don’t think they have that choice. I think the atmosphere of the Nashville country music industry is too noxious for certain strains of music that may take a card from country music but takes it to other, more interesting places.

    Anyway, alt.country sure beats Dale Watson’s idea of calling his music Ameripolitan….eeeeeesh!

  4. I quite visiting Aquarium Drunkard a while back because it became apparent the author’s disdain for alt-country. I read that piece as a big heap of disingenuousness. Fear not twang fans, Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Ryan Adams are still making great records, as you all know, and frankly its bullshit that great alt-country records by new and exciting artists aren’t emerging anymore.

  5. trey, right you are and if my mailbox is any indication of the genres strength then it’s got plenty of steam going.

  6. My other main issue is that you will be hard pressed to find an artist that the public has labeled as “alt. country” to claim the same label. Most of the artists despise it and see little need for it. I agree with your take on the “noxious” nature in Nashville, but again, I just dont see why people are in a hurry to tie things up so definitively. Isnt each key genre suffering from a dearth of new and innovative material? In rock, Radiohead and White Stripes continue to be lauded as groundbreaking (I love both by the way), but I am not convinced they are, yet no one is bemoaning the death of rock…

  7. @ trey. What is this “disdain” for alt.country you speak of? In terms of music blogs I think AD has been pretty “alt.country” friendly. Josh Neas’s Aquarium Drunakrd piece on alt.country (yes, a label, but a label that most americana/roots music lovers can at some level understand) simply posed some questions.,,as the title stated “What Happened To Alt.country.”

    Of all the posts that have been on Aquarium Drunkard in the past three years, none have been more mis-understood, mis-quoted, and mis-appropriated than this one. People half-read the post (if even that) and then went on to spout venom on message boards, blogs, etc. Neas used the Whiskeytown reissue and No Depression as a springboard to pose some questions. That’s it.

  8. AD – I read the whole post. So you’re saying the entire post was a big hypothetical? This is the same post that started with a quote by Darin Wald of Big Ditch Road stating “I saw the writing on the wall, with the Americana movement…I started to see country-western reproduction shirts at the Gap, and once something gets that big, it’s over.” Then after some vague statement about great artists making great music “regardless of whether alt-country existed” (couldn’t the same be said for rock? Or polka?) the paragraph concludes with “That’s not a complaint or a criticism. It’s just the sign of it getting late in the day for alt-country.” Funny, I don’t see a question mark at the end of that sentence.

    The post goes on to state that since Ryan Adams came on the scene with “Stranger’s Almanac” that the genre has merely been “coasting.” With friends like that…

    I linked to the post so that anyone can read the original post that cares to. You’re the first to defend it on the basis of some mass misunderstanding.

  9. I think Josh’s use of the Darin Wald quote was funny. And yeah, as an fan of alt.country, or whatever you want to call it, I agree with Josh that it seems that the genre has been coasting. As he said, thats not a complain nor a criticism.

    “With friends like that…” no one is attacking anyone “scene” or tastes or whatever .

  10. AD- I respectfully disagree that the genre has been coasting.

    And as for alt.country/roots/Americana/real country/whatever being a scene, I believe it’s the ultimate non-scene. It’s just people that love music making and listening to it. It’s a big tent kind of thing.

    Usually you can see the difference. People at a “scene” show are yakking while the music is being played. At most alt.country/roots/Americana/real country/whatever shows the people are there to see the music and showing the respect the music, and the people performing it, deserves.

    If the band breaks through and gets any hipster buzz they will jump on the bandwagon. They’re the ones talking over the music at the next show… they never stick around long.

    I address the rise of the hipsters in another post:


  11. re: coasting, I think we can agree to disagree.

    re: hipster/scenesters that go to shows only to be seen and bullshit with one another, yeah that blows.

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