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WEDNESDAY

Do you like wholesome time travel? I do, so I click on Country Music Television to catch the latest videos with soap-opera story arcs and mid-’80s, Dallas-style production values. You wanna see the death of country music? Check out the latest Willie Nelson video, where he plays a forensic scientist called out of retirement to solve a gruesome case. No kidding. Catch live shots of the Grand Ole Opry—the longest-running Osmond special ever. This channel delivers a kind of porn where Kenny Rogers is a country-music John Holmes. Eddy Arnold may have started the white-wash ‘n’ blow-dry, but CMT is country’s nationally televised, 24/7 (minus infomercials) grave-digging. Don’t agree? Well, ask Colin Escott, noted country-music reporter and author of Lost Highway: The True Story of Country Music. “The current concept of country music is for 28-year-old housewives shopping at Wal-Mart,” he says. He wonders where that great Ray Price song “Crazy Arms” has gone these days, the one with the classic four/four shuffle beat—the kind of country music, Escott says, “that pours its own drink.” He should know, and he does. Let him guide the way down those old highways, into Appalachia and further west. Escott will be playing tunes in celebration of his new book. Maybe he’ll resurrect the ghosts of Rex Griffin, Charlie Walker, Jimmie Driftwood, and Jimmie Davis. Bring crystals and your love of the Carter Family for the séance when Escott spins the music he mourns and discusses and signs copies of his book at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, at Cafe Saint-Ex, 1874 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 265-7839. (Jason Cherkis)