Cosmic Music Is Coming Back

Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons


When Gram Parsons first called his version of rock infused country music “Cosmic”, I bet he had no idea that it would encompass so many people, in the same way he explained it as gathering all styles together (country, rock, and soul at the time). To Gram it was just a mixed bag. But today there are so many groups that express Parsons as an influence bigger than most, which makes it nearly insane that he isn’t in the Country Music Hall Of Fame (believe it or not).
Don’t know who he is? Well do you know these groups? Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, to name a few? It appears that all country rock groups can be traced directly to Gram Parsons, and everyone playing country music knows who he is. And now there are loads of cosmic groups (many are rag-tag) popping up who love the old country sound mixed with alternative music, who at the same time absolutely hate the new country pop sounds coming out of Nashville. What is happening? What’s new is old. What’s old is new.
I was introduced to Gram Parsons by a guy last year, and I have never been the same. He said that Gram was the very first to mix country and rock. That he was in The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and The Fallen Angels, and then died suddenly, leaving behind a ton of recorded music. Through the years after his death, he was shunned by the music industry, but kept alive by many, like Emmy Lou Harris. But his “musical children” have grown up with it, stuck between hateful screaming rock and pathetic country pop shlock. They have nowhere else to go! The industry (with a half-grin) call them Alt. Country and seem to refuse the name of cosmic or GP to be mentioned.
Let’s face it. Rock music is boring. There’s nothing new in it. The screaming makes it stupid. Country is so overproduced, that it is too shiny and not real enough. Cosmic is real, underproduced, has feeling and sensibility to it. It grabs the soul and holds on. Yeah, Gram Parsons.
That guy who introduced me to Gram is the singer of PC & The Angels Of Death, and sound more like the Burrito Brothers and Gram than any I’ve heard. And there are many, many more groups like this out there. This education has held my attention ever since. Besides, sometimes his songs make me cry. Now that is real. How did such great music get left behind until now? I don’t know. The bigger question may be why has he been kept out of the Country Music Hall Of Fame?

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New Group: PC & The Angels Of Death, One To Watch

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The new group I discovered is a great one. They are called PC & The Angels of Death, and they are so cool. At first I was appalled by the name, but they are a fun loving stoner country rock band out of California. Cosmic, maybe, because of the strong Chris Hillman/Gram Parsons Flying Burrito Brothers’ sound I’m hearing. Find their Facebook page at http://facebook.com/pcandtheangelsofdeath
I know that many of you don’t know who that is, but you should. The Burrito Brothers (Hillman and Parsons) single-handedly started country rock that the Eagles and many others took form from back in 1968-1970. But PC & The Angels of Death are not a 60s band. They are very new, very alternative, very fun, and very cool. (I know I already said that, but you will see why.)
Singer/songwriter Patrick Coleman (aka PC) is the focal point of this group and has a mighty band of musicians behind him. One is the famous Bobby Black, pedal steel player from Commander Cody and Asleep At The Wheel. And together they make magic. The quality of songwriting is excellent and I believe they will soon be found by the business. There are some videos/music on Youtube to find.
One song, “Codeine” is a song that I love! So mesmerizing and beautiful, it belongs in a movie or tv show. http://youtu.be/T13VEjE2LYQ (and yes, I got their photos and put up the videos myself! I’m in love!) Another song is “Time Between” that rocks! http://youtu.be/pR3g_WbtefU And a cool song called “Little Girl, I’ll Decide.” http://youtu.be/EYYxSLcN8cE You won’t be sorry, in my opinion.
If you want to find out more and get their photos and songs like I did, go to their website at http://pcandtheangelsofdeath.weebly.com Their four song EP is on sale, while you are waiting for the new full CD to come out, called “Jaded Starlings In A Gilded Cage.” Enjoy!

Is Music War Becoming A Social War?


On October 25, 2012, I read a blog titled “Has Pop Music Gotten Worse Over The Last 50 Years?” about what started as an argument between a girl and her boyfriend.

There were many comments after the blog, some very angry, about the different views that split two types of music:
* current radio (pop/hip-hop/dance/rap/diva)
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* alternative music (rock/ alt-country rock/ rockabilly/punk) which is NOT on the radio, but very accessible.

And what I found interesting was not so much the blog itself, but the irritated voices in the comments that followed it. It looked very much like a social war of words between many, many people that took sides and got heated. I’m talking hundreds.

Like a scene out of Quadrophenia, where the “Mods” and the “rockers” were fighting in the streets (and it really did happen), I read about how the “Alts” feel encroached upon and disenfranchised by the record companies and music business, selling out to snotty thugs riding around in cars, rubbing their “blaring feces” in everyone’s faces. Meanwhile, the “Pops” feel an almost racist anger coming at them by people who are not willing to conform to the “new” music standard. And they want to “shove it down their throats to acclimate them or choke them altogether”.

This is a real social war, a music war not unlike the fights in England in the early 70s’ mods vs. rockers. There is reported physical fighting and retaliation, as told to me by commentors I contacted. People who are riding the fence tend to stay quiet, not being immune to angry outbursts and shaming. But what is it all rooted in? Why is this happening?

One person said, “You can’t compare todays music to yesteryear’s”. Another, “You can’t compare pop and alt music because it’s too different”. But the angry views come from intelligent people who say, “All art CAN be compared”, or it’s “stupidity in splitting hairs (classical with violins vs. without violins). Long ago it was all called rocknroll. Who decided it needed to be cut into classifications, some anal music exec or a pop star that just wanted to stand out? Yet the sides are drawn.

And what about the record companies? Do they simply sell the latest regurgitated shlock that worked last month? Kids WILL buy anything their friends are buying, and that goes for soccer moms too. I heard Katy Perry blaring out of a SUV; mom driving kids somewhere (and the song was too x-rated for the kids in my opinion).

So I’m just looking for an opinion from as many as I can get. Is it becoming a war? Do these sides despise each other? I want to see this war on the internet right now as it is raging. If you hate pop or alt, say so. Let’s see who wins in this blog.

And to help you along, I’ll give you a simple choice for discussion. One pop song on the radio (choose any of your choice) or the other; Two songs by a really cool rising alt. underground group called PC & The Angels of Death (stoner country rock). Click on the Youtube links here to see and listen.

and

Keep in mind the songwriting, freshness, excitability, or just how it moves you and makes you feel. Everyone will have their own opinion, but fight it out right here, once and for all for the world to see how the world feels. The record companies are listening too.