Jump to content


Episode 38 — Rockabilly


5 replies to this topic

#1 Earwolf Admin

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 1,202 posts

Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:00 AM

Andrew Ti and guest Nick Mundy tell us to feel comfortable with listening to all kinds of music. They talk about why Rockabilly is wack, how racist fans probably exist everywhere, and what the least racist decade is. Grow up, tone down on the nostalgia, and leave us a question at (323) 389-RACE.

#2 LemonDropKid

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 193 posts
  • LocationNashville

Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:16 AM

This one was pretty puzzling. Wearing a confederate flag: yes, very racist. Listening to rockabilly music: no, have fun. Does rockabilly tend to have white power lyrics?

#3 Kevin Irmiter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 309 posts

Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

They were mostly focusing on the rockabilly / 50s nostalgia SCENE rather than the music itself. The point is that a lot of the nostalgia for that era has some racist connotations, because saying you want to return to that period is basically saying you want to return to a time when segregation was in full effect. Now, I'm sure that very few of them expressly want to bring back segregation, but I think a lot of them do take a revisionist view of the period that whitewashes things a lot. The people who most enjoyed the 50s were a relatively small and privileged group, while for nonwhite America the 50s weren't necessarily a fun time that people want to return to. A lot of the 50s nostalgia tends to ignore/deny this. Even if you do enjoy things from the period, I think it's important to temper that with awareness that it was hardly a utopia that we should want to return to.

One thing though, is that I think that a lot of people (not just Andrew of course) go too far with that mentality, and take a view that is very revisionist in the other direction. I'm not denying that overall things are much better when it comes to racism, and no one in their right mind should think society as a whole would be better off if we returned to that. But sometimes it gets treated like this dark age which totally sucked for EVERYBODY except white people. To the point where people say that only white people could ever enjoy even traveling back in time to VISIT earlier time periods because racism made everything so terrible. In fact, I would say this can lead to a reductionist view of the nonwhite world.

To take an example: yeah, things are definitely better off for black people OVERALL compared to the pre-civil rights era. But it's not like black people were just living in misery all that time. In the rockabilly era that we mentioned, you had black artists like Chuck Berry and Little Richard that were absolutely smoking hot in popularity, and there were of course plenty of black teenagers who loved the music. Let's not forget that Motown was basically born out of rockabilly and rhythm & soul music. Not to mention the jazz and blues scenes in the big American cities, going back to the turn of the century. In fact, I think it would be pretty damn cool, if you were a black person, to go back in time to the 1920s and experience the Harlem Rennaissance. Of course I can't speak for black people, but I have a feeling that it would be MORE reductionist to assume they would have nothing to enjoy from these eras.

#4 LemonDropKid

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 193 posts
  • LocationNashville

Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:15 AM

I don't really see the rockabilly types as having a Happy Days kind of idealizing of the 50s as much as they seem to like space-echoey spaghetti western rock and Jerry Lee Louis's hair.

#5 Solomon Goldman

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

So was Marty McFly racist for traveling back in time?

#6 Kickpuncher

    Sentient Meat

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,425 posts
  • LocationIthaca, NY

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:38 PM

Well, that (at least the first time) was an accident, so no.