Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Country Kike

I'll admit it - I love country music! You'd expect an East Coast Jewish kid from Miami to be the furthest thing from a shit-kickin' country fan. However, technically, I'm from the South - yes, a Semitic enclave of the South, but still more South than Nashville and Texas. And, I'm an agnostic Jew, which means that I can listen to all types of music, in addition to just Klezmer.

My love for country music is not ironic. I'm not one of those douchebags that thinks it's cool to sing Ring of Fire at karaoke bars. I'm not one of those hipsters that grows a wide mustache and wears country shirts because I think it's funny to jam to indie rock looking like Buffalo Bob from The Howdy Doody Show. No, I genuinely dig this shit. Always have.

Growing up, I was the only South Floridian that didn't have a Hispanic babysitter. My babysitter was a southern old lady, like June Carter Cash right before she died. She made me watch Hee Haw and The Mandrell Sisters and Mama's Family. She made me listen to Chet Atkins and Roy Acuff and Loretta Lynn. She also smelled like garlic, but it was worth the odor.

When I watched The Great Space Coaster before elementary school, they always ran those commercials for K-Tel's Country Music Story. I recognized the songs and I made my parents buy me the records. When we went to Disney World, I gravitated to The Country Bear Jamboree. That's where I felt at home.

I jerked off for the first time to Flo from Alice.

As I grew older, I got into Dylan and Neil Young and The Dead. They weren't really considered country artists, but they were country artists. I also started listening to The Pixies, Pavement, and REM. There was country in there too. You just had to look for it.

When I started blogging in '96, I gained my following by publishing to ween.com, on which I was cybersquatting. This was around the time when they did their 12 Golden Country Greats album with the Jordanaires. My readers, who didn't know Ween from their early punk rock glue-sniffing years, thought I was a country guy. Subsequently, they would send me CD after CD of alt-country. That's when I discovered Uncle Tupelo and Wilco and Whiskeytown and The Old 97's.

These days, I listen to to Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard and Hank Williams and Charlie Pride and Patsy Cline and Roger Clyne and Kenny Rogers (pre-plastic surgery) and Dolly Parton (pre-plastic surgery). The themes are the same themes of my life. I like to drink. I like tobacco. I like anonymous sex. No, I don't live in a trailer park, but I'd like to. I may or may not have several illegitimate children. I'm somewhat racist (only to Jews).

I do not listen to modern NASCAR Fox News country (Clint Black, Shania Twain, etc.). Modern country is not country music, it's disco with a twang. It's also gay. Chaps and Brokeback - not my in my country (or Miss California's). I also don't listen to Boulder country music (Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, etc.). I'll leave that to the Subaru-driving Whole Foods-shopping yoga moms.

I don't wear a cowboy hat either. Since I'm short and stout, it makes me look like a mushroom.

I hate people who say they love all music, except country. Come on! The lovelorn white trash. The roadhouse outlaws. The beer-soaked poets. It's America! Yes, I'm a Jew that loves country music. And believe it or not, I'm not the only country kike. Kinky Friedman is a country legend. Plus, Jesus, a common character in country music was Jewish. Shit, we essentially started this shit! Yee-hah!

By the way, if you take offense to my use of the term kike, kiss my grits!

1 comment:

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