Monday, November 4, 2013

For the Love of Ourselves: Tell Me How You Really Feel About The Story of Nashville

Posted By on Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 4:54 PM

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So, as promised, For the Love of Music: The Story of Nashville aired yesterday on ABC. The hourlong doc featured interviews with Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Charlie Daniels, The Civil Wars, Kings of Leon, Marty Stuart, Kris Kristofferson, Ben Folds, The Black Keys and countless more.

Of course, any 50-minute (after commercials) exploration of a city as storied and complex as Nashville is, by design, going to be pretty cursory. And For the Love was certainly that. (Though I must say I'm happy, perfunctory as it was, that the R&B scene of Nashville in the '50s was mentioned — de facto Music City historians like Marty Stuart and Vince Gill are good for that sort of thing.) It was a pretty big dose of boosterism. Sort of a pat on our own back, shot through with plenty of positivity and reverence and Ryman worshiping, with occasional clips of Kings of Leon or JEFF the Brotherhood (!) performing. No Lambchop though. At all.

So, did you watch? I want to know what you guys thought of this thing. Here's my two cents, condensed about as lean and tight as it'll go: Yes, Nashville is a very special place. I'm a native, and always happy to see outsiders acknowledging our legacy and cultural contributions (on a national and international level), and believe it or not, I don't really get tired of people's Johnny Cash and Ryman reverence (I'm still of the opinion that neither is overrated). But this "It City" thing. Does it feel a bit fleeting to anyone else? A bit shallow? Weren't we pretty cool back in the days of the Nashville Curse, in the days of Altman? Some rock stars and a network-television program set up shop here, so now we're worthy of the national spotlight? Of course, we've flirted with "hip" status in the past, but not quite like this. All right, I'm beginning to meander.

What I'm saying is, tell me how you really feel about For the Love of Music: The Story of Nashville. Did you eat it up, thinking it's exactly the sort of attention we're due? Did you think it was pretentious or masturbatory? Did you find it enlightening or informative? Negligible? Funny? Smart? Dumb? Outsiders, are you thinking of moving here now? Was it just something to watch other than football? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, if you have thoughts on it at all.

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