Showing posts with label dixie chicks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dixie chicks. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Part 3 ~ Fake Outrage


In Part 3 of my "new country" screed, let's discuss fake outrage and grasping for relevancy.

Part 1 was an excruciating listen and on-the-spot review of July's top ten tracks.

Part 2 discussed the sad cookie cutter state of today's music.

This installment returns me to artists I'm at least a bit familiar with, albeit they've changed, by God! Just watch! They're woke!

The Dixie Chicks are back after a fourteen year recording drought. There was a time, okay a really brief time, when the group formerly known as The Dixie Chicks were hot. That time was 1998 to 1999 and comprised two albums, Wide Open Spaces and Fly. They also released Home in 2002, but the album produced no hits, nor did Taking The Long Way, which dropped in 2006.

Thus, two hit LP's.

2006 was approximately the time that Natalie Maines shot off her mouth about the president, which is neither here nor there (and seems quaint in retrospect). The group milked the ensuing publicity, but the fact was, by that time they were already living off seven-year-old hits and no one really cared.

Fourteen years later, the Dixie Chicks are back with a shortened name; and no offense, but they're really no longer "chicks". The word Dixie obviously is now forbidden. Always adept at garnering press, they've been bestowed with a glowing New York Times article. And they're still nursing grievances, new and ancient.

Let's face it; other artists from their era aren't getting written up in The Times. I haven't caught a feature about Diamond Rio or Lee Ann Womack. No, The Dixie Chicks are news because they're "sassy". Or at least Natalie is. We don't really hear much from Martie and Emily.

Natalie is what we benevolently call a drama queen. It seems she's recently divorced and has some scores to settle. And this is what the single "Gaslighter" is apparently about. I surfed on over to YouTube to check out the track. It's not terrible. Not great, but it doesn't reek, either. The harmonies by the unspoken other members of the group help...a lot.

Unfortunately, what stands out for me is Natalie's severe butch haircut. I'm sure that's another statement, but all it states for me is Angela Kinsey from The Office. And here's a clue, New York Times and Dixie Chicks: women have other emotions beside "defiant". It must be draining to live one's life in a perpetual state of fury.

In other "woke" news, Lady Antebellum has changed their name to "Lady A". Firstly, I don't know how the two guys in the band feel about being referred to as ladies, but I guess they must be okay with it after all these years. Second, they might have wanted to conduct a Google search to find out if anyone else was using the moniker "Lady A". Sure enough there was, and she wants ten million dollars in compensation (a Google search, by the way, costs zero dollars). Now the band Lady Antebellum A is suing the original Lady A (Anita White, who, by the way, is African-American) because the band trademarked the name in 2011 but never used it. Good job, woke musicians! You've endeared yourselves to countless downtrodden minorities!

All I know about Lady Antebellum A is that their biggest, and basically only,  hit was a rip-off of an Alan Parsons Project single, Eye In The Sky.

At least Lady Antebellum A ripped off a white artist that time.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave....

So, essentially Lady Antebellum A are neither ladies nor original. And they hate African-Americans. Great job! Now if Hillary Scott dons a severe hairdo, she'll have completed the trifecta.

Thanks for your wokeness, ladies (and token males).

I prefer not to thrust my finger to the winds.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Keep Politics Out

There was a time when artists just wanted to have a hit. It's true. For a couple of years, The Monkees recorded anything that was laid out before them. Then their egos exploded their brains and they thought they were much more than a hugely successful pre-fab pop group. And then they were done.

There was a time when making good music was the objective. Sure, we had Bob Dylan, but he was drunk on Woody Guthrie songs and a plethora of vomited words. The Beatles might have had something to say, but one couldn't actually tell, because a million people interpreted their lyrics a million different ways. The seventies were essentially a silly time, when anything, no matter how insipid, could become a hit, and did.

Then came the eighties and Bruce Springsteen, who insisted on airing his grievances for the world. The rich boy who bemoaned the plight of people like me, who he could only conjure in his imagination. He had a problem with a president most of us revered, but Bruce was drowning in jewels, so he could afford to bitch from his gated mansion on the hill.

In the two thousands, a perfectly nice country group called The Dixie Chicks couldn't muzzle their lead singer, who was compelled to spill her bitter guts about another president. And we just wanted to hear "Tonight The Heartache's On Me". The Dixie Chicks, like Springsteen, forgot about the music.

I don't want anybody's politics to befoul something as sacred as music. There is an absolutely putrid single that's currently setting download records, called "Shut Up About Politics", and I just want The Stupid Five to shut the hell up. If I have to hear that insipid soundbite one more time, I'll smash a rock through my TV. And I generally like The Five.

Can we have one thing in our lives that isn't political?

Everybody seems to have forgotten that music is supposed to be fun. That's the bane of social media ~ it's ruined one of the precious few organic pleasures in life.

Here's what music is supposed to be:

Friday, September 28, 2018

Faking Country

You know me -- I don't listen to today's country. I am easily irritated by cacophonous sounds, like sirens and repetitive construction noises....and US senators preening for television cameras. So, I admit I'm not exactly "hip" to the latest sounds. But I was browsing The Federalist the other day (not actually for music news) and ran across this article regarding a new song by someone named Walker Hayes. The hook is, apparently, that the lyrics reference titles of nineties country songs.

The song was written by Shane McAnally and "LYRX", a suspicious name -- a global conglomerate like "EXXON"; a corporation that features thirty-something brunettes in sensible pantsuits in its commercials, sagely reassuring us that their cabal is environmentally-friendly, while in fact they are poisoning us.

The song is clever! And lazy! "I can't seem to write a good song, so I'll just string some titles together and voila!"

The recording itself is as far away from country music as The Captain and Tennille.

I'm okay with people saying country music is dead, because it is; but don't disingenuously co-opt the name. It's fine -- we get it -- you want country to be a lukewarm glass of 2% milk. But why not call it something else? It denigrates the name "country" when your gas-passing is lumped together with actual music. 

My honest review of this song? It's horrible. Don't try to make excuses. It reeks. 

If one was to listen to any of the songs referenced in the lyrics, they'd slink away in shame.

Okay, since you asked for it:

Meanwhile, I'll get my new music from TV commercials.

At least it's genuine.

Friday, September 19, 2008

CMA Nominations - A Look Back - 10 Years Ago

Since I was a bit confused by this year's CMA nominations - I wasn't sure if the list was from 2008 or 1998 - I thought I'd take a look at the nominees from ten years ago, just to see what was up way back then....when I was still fairly young, thin, and still had that dewy, line-free complexion.

Oh, and the music was better, too.

One thing I noted, right off the bat, is that they had fewer categories! That's a plus! Let's stop muddying the waters, I say. You can have 538 categories, and that still doesn't mask the fact that the music today is crummy.*

*The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. The CMA takes no responsibility for the words that may or may not be typed on this page. Side affects include headache, nausea, diarrhea, extreme hunger pangs, listlessness, difficulty sleeping, difficulty breathing, black, tarry stools, indigestion, night sweats, day sweats, rosacea, clinical depression, anxiety, and conditions yet to be discovered. Your mileage may vary.

So, without further a-dew, here are the 1998 CMA nominations:


Brooks & Dunn
Garth Brooks*
Vince Gill
Tim McGraw
George Strait

*Remember when Garth Brooks was relevant?
See 1989 - 2001, Chris Gaines, some concert in Central Park, dismissed Capitol Records executives, striped Roper shirts.
Garth Brooks
Vince Gill
Tim McGraw
Collin Raye
George Strait*

*Remember when George Strait was relevant?
See 1981 - present, legends of country music, will most likely never be topped, at least 56 number one songs, awards too numerous to mention, the post-modern granddaddy of country music, what all those other guys wish they could be.


Faith Hill
Patty Loveless
Martina McBride
Lee Ann Womack
Trisha Yearwood*

*Remember when Trisha Yearwood was one of the most admired female country music singers? One of those who actually could sing? Guess what - she still is.


Trace Adkins
Dixie Chicks*
Jo Dee Messina
Michael Peterson
Lee Ann Womack

*Remember when the Dixie Chicks were nice?* Before they got all strident?

*The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. The Dixie Chicks take no responsibility for the words that may or may not be typed on this page. Side affects include angry protests, placard carrying, sign-waving, bitter blog scribblings, left-wing Grammy award winnings, country music abandonment, and self-righteousness. If symptoms persist, please see your duly-elected President. Your mileage may vary.


Diamond Rio
Dixie Chicks*
The Mavericks
Sawyer Brown

*See above.


Bellamy Brothers
Brooks & Dunn*
The Kinleys
The Lynns
Thrasher Shiver (is this a typo? Who the...?)

*Remember when somebody
other than Brooks & Dunn won this award? I don't.


Come On Over - Shania Twain
Everywhere - Tim McGraw*
Long Stretch of Lonesome - Patty Loveless
One Step At A Time - George Strait
Sevens - Garth Brooks



Eddie Bayers - drums
Paul Franklin - steel guitar (hey! they still used them then!)
Brent Mason - guitar*
Matt Rollings - keyboards
Brent Rowan - guitar

*I could be wrong, and frankly, I'm too lazy to look back at my previous post, but aren't the musician nominees the same in 2008 as they were in 1998?


A Broken Wing - Martina McBride
Holes In The Floor Of Heaven - Steve Wariner
I Just Want To Dance With You - George Strait
This Kiss - Faith Hill
You Don't Seem To Miss Me - Patty Loveless (with George Jones)

*Remember this song? I barely do.


Still don't care* *

*If it involves Faith Hill in any way, then I'm better off not knowing.


A Broken Wing (Sam Hogin/Roger Cook)
Holes In The Floor Of Heaven (Billy Kirsch/Steve Wariner)*
How Do I Live (Diane Warren)
I Just Want To Dance With You (John Prine/Roger Cook)
It's Your Love (Stephony Smith)

*Considering the other nominees, I can't really complain about this one. Can you?

Okay, maybe I looked back a bit too fondly to 1998. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

But, you know, you have to take the CMA's with a grain of salt. There's a whole bunch of politics and back-room finagling, and tit-for-tat, going on. I don't exactly know what that means, but it sounds plausible.

But, in perusing the hits of 1998, I found one that didn't get any nominations, but, believe me, is WAY better than anything that Tim McGraw or Brooks 'n Dunn, or Garth Brooks, for that matter, released.

So, for your video enjoyment, I offer this: