Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Feel My Body Getting Cold

"911"-- Wyclef Jean and Mary J. Blige

Today we're talking about the marriage of violence, death and narrativized passion, particularly as it manifests itself in popular music. For a variety of reasons, I think that Americans are most familiar with a Spansh-inflected, border-accented version that owes a considerable debt to our romance with the iconoclastic western hero. But there are examples, of course, from every cultural tradition; they're all awesome, but I must confess that I like the ones where someone dies the best. Even if that death, pace the Wyclef video above, is only metaphorical. Listen to Mary growlingly demand that "someone... call 911...tell them I just been shot down." Chills, family.

Anyway, here are a couple of musical treats for "Tell Me 'Bout It Tuesday," a new feature here at the Get Down. What's currently occupying mental real estate in your part of town, family?

"Seven Spanish Angels" -- Willie Nelson and Ray Charles

"Death Letter" -- Son House

"El Paso" -- Marty Robbins

"Ode to Billie Joe" --Bobbie Gentry
*bonus points for inspiring a film (directed by Max Baer Jr -- best known to you losers as Jethro Bodine) that starred a weirdo trifecta of Glynnis O'Connor, Robby Benson, and James Best. Coo, coo, coo!

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