Friday Jukebox: Drinking with Jesus

Michelle Togut

Michelle Togut resides in North Carolina with her husband and pets. She has worked as an adjunct professor of history, contributor and writer, and small-firm attorney, among other things. These days, she's trying to sell real estate. For fun, she reads political blogs of all persuasions, practices yoga, drinks wine, hikes, reads, and volunteers for a local animal rescue.

Related Post Roulette

30 Responses

  1. Kazzy says:


    Somehow I missed you becoming an author here, for which I apologize. Nonetheless, welcome! Glad to see your perspective more widely available.Report

  2. Cowboy Junkies a girl group? C’mon!. They’re 3/4 men.

    And, since you had to mention them…Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    I find that outside of the Anglosphere, people tend to be more forgiving of manufactured pop music, think Back Street Boys. I never heard any Russian pop but J-Pop, K-Pop, and C-Pop are similar in their apparent manufactured pop music. Before rock, Americans used to be more forgiving of manufactured pop to. Elijah Wald covers this a lot. Its why we used to refer to certain pop songs as being standard, meaning that everybody from Frank Sinatra to Billie Holiday to the band you hired for your wedding, was expected to know them. Rock music changed this. Songs became closer identified with a particular artist, artists were expected to write their own material for the most part (before the Beatles the concept of the cover song would make no sense to people), and have their own voice.

    Coincidentally, widespread knowledge of how to dance while touching somebody else, collapsed during the transition period between traditional pop and rock music. The decline began very swiftly after the end of WWII and was complete by the hippie era.Report

    • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

      To be fair, a lot of half-assed singers make great careers out of being fine songwriters. The good ones write to their own voice, creating songs that are designed for them.

      Walking a fine line back to the coloratura…where the artist was expected to improvise around the composer.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Kim says:

        See Irving Berlin, great and witty song-writer but horrible singer if you listen to a recording of him singing his own songs. Rock music, particular the Beatles but the trend started before them, really changed what a lot of people expceted in pop music. Artistis became expected to write and perform their own material, the material was expected to be true to their experience. In short, they had to be authentic. Before rock, nobody expected authenticity in pop music. Whether Frank Sinatra experienced what he sung about was irrelevant to enjoying him. In many other countries, this expectation of authenticity doesn’t exist.Report

        • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Authenticity seems to cut against the grain of people like Bowie and A Flock of Seagulls.
          Maybe it’s not the right word…

          “This is me, I am here, this is what I want to tell you.”

          Ah, singer as storyteller, as having the volitional choice to tell which tale they wish!

          I agree that most rock fans make a big deal about not liking some of the pop-commodities (hanson, Bieber, yadda yadda). I doubt idol singers get the focused hate …Report

  4. Patrick Cahalan says:

    These guys would be awesome at a party.

    And that says something, because usually you want party music to be singalong music. These guys are fun to listen to even when you don’t know the words.Report

  5. GailVortex says:

    A friend played “Sad Cowboy Song” for us the night before family was heading to Cedar Point for a weekend roller coaster extravaganza. I ran out and bought “I Wanna See You Bellydance” for road tunes. Fortunately, my husband and daughter also thought they were awesome. Sitting waiting in the train for our first ride up the Millennium Force, we starting singing “Rocketman”.

    For Chicago-area-folk, don’t know if they still are, but for a long time they regularly played at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn early in October.Report

  6. dexter says:

    I have only listened to Lara’s Wedding and think they would be a great party band. But listening to the beginning of the song I kept expecting Clint Eastwood to jump out of the shadows and shoot somebody.Report

  7. Glyph says:

    what I call Rooskie CD-skies

    I know he’s Russian, not Soviet, but I woulda gone with “CCCD’s”.Report

  8. BlaiseP says:

    No discussion of Russian music is complete without a few bits of Zvuki Mu.Report

  9. NewDealer says:

    1/2 of Russian Culture is the Gogol/Chekov/Pushkin stuff

    1/2 of Russian Culture is pure kitsch.

    They have nothing inbetweenReport

  10. James Hanley says:

    The theme of drinking with Jesus makes me think this is appropriate (and if you don’t know and like Martin Zeller you’re a bad American).Report