November 9, 2010

Single Ladies - The Pigs with John Williamson on Jaw Harp

Original Facebook Message:

Long live Bluegrass!!! Especially bluegrass covers of pop songs ;-)

I heard this on the radio this morning, and had a perma-grin for the next hour! Just watched the video...i think the perma-grin will last the rest of the night.

For those of my friends who have ever wondered how I can be a feminist and stay tied to my prairie roots....I think this song sums it up. Man, I love music!

I have this memory of high school that comes up whenever I think about how far my music knowledge has come over the years. There I was in this small town in northern Saskatchewan, working at a Dollar Store, which was one of the best places to work there (much better than the grocery store ;-D). Every night, business would slow down around 730 or 8 at night, and so we would stop shelving, or working the till, and start cleaning the store. This was one of my favourite times as I had something productive to do, and the night was almost over. Plus, with all of the customers gone, we could just listen to the radio. And...well, when I knew nobody was watching, I would dance with the mop and bucket. (Trust me, this became more difficult for me to do once I found out that the owners watched the videos from their home sometimes! But, whatever, I was still a good employee...and now I embrace dancing in front of CCTV... ;-D)

One night, early on in my career at the Dollar Store, this ridiculous song came on. Wait, hold on, I should probably explain that there were only three radio stations that we could actually pick up on our stereo: the local AM from North Battleford, the local FM, and NBC from LaRonge. NBC does not stand for National Broadcasting Channel. No, it is Native Broadcasting Channel, which was completely understandable. Regardless, these three stations meant that we listened to a) country b)pop from about two years ago c) local artists who didn't necessarily need to write the government for a grant before being given money from them. (That's all I'll say on the matter for now, although I'll probably rant about grants, capitalism, and what truly makes an artist at another time.)

The latter was not necessarily bad, but, for some reason, whenever somebody is singing terribly, I think of a song that I heard on NBC in high school. I believe it's title was "My Honey Makes Me Cornflakes." One of the lines followed the title with, "yeah ... no 'snap, crackle, pop' for me." It was an interesting song. And I heard it more than once. It was very twangy...but with a 'northern' accent. I have a love-hate relationship with the song, and I wish I could remember the artist's name to see if he's still putting out music. I hope he is. :-D

These boys - The Pigs - are hilarious! The not only remind me of "no 'snap, crackle, pop' for me," they embrace the whole hick thing. I love it! Blue grass artists are fabulous people. How could you come from such roots - singin' 'bout love 'n' family 'n' what reeeaally mattahs - and not be a good person. I love that they can laugh at themselves a little bit. And - in reaction to one of the comments on youtube - you can actually catch all of the lyrics when they sing this song!

And another thing.

While I'm on the subject of my roots, and rural life, I thought I'd share a conversation from this weekend. I met a nice city man. He was born, raised, and sadly ripped from the world of urban life. Near the beginning of our conversation he was upset with the fact that rural people are so proud to have grown up in the country.

Suddenly I was having a conversation with myself five years ago. (For anybody who has those opportunities, embrace them as life lessons. They truly are a marker for how far we are able to change.) I looked at him and confidently defended the people I had been running from for most of my adult life. Of course, I did explain that I was a 'country folk' myself, and I knew that I was meant to live in the city for the rest of my life, but I also stood up for us, poor, pitiful "country bumpkins," who have inferiority complexes. We grew up being told that life doesn't really begin until you hit the big city. That's where culture, art, university, and therefore entertainment, creativity, intelligence exist. And that is just NOT RIGHT.

I was back in Vancouver almost two months ago. While there, I had the opportunity to meet Jian Ghomeshi and hear him talk in person. I loved every minute of it...until he said that Canada was an "urban country." WTF!?! Anybody from the prairies, the North, Ontario/Quebec (north of Ottawa/Montreal), or the Maritimes knows this is BULLOCKS! In fact, I'm pretty sure British Columbians outside of the Lower Mainland think this too. Yes, the majority of our population now lives in a city, but our country has been and always will be built by people who live in the country. And what a beautiful country to live in!!! Sadly, I didn't explain this to Mr. Ghomeshi at the time. I don't think he would understand. He's just a city kid, anyways. ;-)

Maybe there is an inferiority complex that exists between rural and urban. That's ok. I'm the first to admit that I'm the most ignorant farm girl you will ever meet, but I appreciate the knowledge that my peers have because they grow up on the farm or in a farming community. That's why my heart will always be in Saskatchewan. However, I can also adapt to life in the city, much like many other 'country bumpkins.' And, I haven't done the opposite, but I think it's much easier to move this way than the other. We don't laugh at the city slickers because we think we're better than them. We laugh at the city slickers because, in the country, it's better to laugh than anything else. :-D

So, all of this revelation over a bluegrass cover of a pop song. I think it's all relative! :-D

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