There’s this goofy meme going around, something like “Which musical genre would you get rid of, and why is it country music?” I don’t much care for most country music, but you don’t get to speak for my musical taste, and there’s some great country music out there (not Lee Greenwood, which is the poisonous crap I usually hear.) I will approve of the Chicks, though.
Besides, why would you pick on country music when Christian rock exists?
Bravo for The
DixieChicks, who I believe are still banned on some USAlien country & western stations for their song protesting one of the wars in Iraq.
As for alleged music to pile on, there’s always French rap, considered a WMD and banned on all civilized planets and by all sentient lifeforms, and even by the rocks and molten lava throughout most galaxies.
Matt G says
For people who love “freedom,” there seem to be strict rules for country music. Are there any songs which DON’T mention many (usually most) of the following: God, Jesus, church, America, freedom, beer, cigarettes, guns, trucks, mobile homes? Also, a tone of defiance which masks deep insecurity and self-pity.
Does Xian Rock even count as music?
Ah yes, the newest version of “If it ain’t [my favourite genre], it ain’t ****!”
No matter what genre it is, you know that somebody’s not going to like it. You can’t please everybody. . .and if you’re a musician and you are trying to please everybody, then you’re pandering to the lowest common denominator while seeking the highest common denominations ($$$).
Bad music is noise forced on unwilling listeners. Don’t make me hear it, and I won’t say a word.
Tabby Lavalamp says
I got to see a lot of bad faith “Isn’t ‘chick’ offensive?” tweets yesterday. There was no point in engaging.
I also got to see some “I’m never listening to their music again” tweets as if the right didn’t already cancel The Chicks seventeen years ago.
Anyway, I’ve been a fan for a long time, got to see them at Lilith Fair as well as in their own concert. It was great.
While there’s a lot of bad stuff in Country, there’s some super great stuff, especially when you get into stuff like Orville Peck:
Every track on Pony is incredible.
Hmm, it didn’t like that YouTube link:
And even christian rock is acceptable when you have National Socialist black metal, because that’s actually an thing
I recently had a change in heart about country music which, with the exception of bluegrass and Willie Nelson, I have always detested. Watching Ken Burn’s “Country Music” did open me up to the genre and gave me an appreciation of the songs of Patsy Kline (she died way too young), Waylon Jennings. and a few others. Even loaded a few of their albums onto my iPhone. It’s not the genre, it’s the talent of the performers and songwriters that makes a piece of music detestable, tolerable, or you fall in love with it.
#2 Matt G
You said it all for me, brother. I’d have added the sweet siren lure of long-distance trucking, convoys and citizen’s band, which fortunately has long left the scene.
@Larry, note Patsy Cline’s signature song “Crazy” was written by Willie Nelson.
I tend to listen to a wide scope, from classical instrumental pieces through soft/medium rock, country, some soundtrack music, even some foreign works.
Khalas is OK, enough, we’re done, stop it in Arabic.
And parodies are good too.
Stuart Smith says
Christian rock is at least funny. It’s this sad desperate attempt by endemically uncool people to be cool, and it shows. It’s like watching a 30 year old hanging out at the junior high to show off his car. The pathos is so intense it crosses over into comedy. By contrast, country music is just awful. There is no comedy value there, just an auditory blight so execrable that the very concept of sound is made worse by their association. It is sad not because of what it aspires to be, but because of what it is at its core. It is not a failure of music, but a success at anti-music.
Dunno how far you can stretch the definition of “Country Music” before it breaks, but I think it just exploded.
Great American Satan says
by the title of the article i thought you were going to say you hate sousa.
I didn’t listen to the whole thing, but I don’t see how what they were playing would be classified as country.
While not a country fan, the genre I could well do without is rap. On the whole, though, the genre that should be banned is anything people play at a high enough volume that it is imposed on everyone else…often for a 100 yards in all directions. (It’s nice that people find some type of music they like, but why do they insist that I have to listen to it, too? What I muse about is attaching a wall transducer to the outside sheet metal of the car door and then then playing Sousa at people who can’t figure out how to turn their car system down to a reasonable level. Besides Sousa, Johann Strauss Sr’s Radetzky March would also be good.)
Pierce R. Butler says
Some years ago, late at night, I was driving alone along the Florida Panhandle – hundreds of miles of nothing but trees, and a few gas stations every 30-60 minutes or so.
Remembering an exhortation from Michael Moore about taking some time to really listen to country music, I turned on the radio and eventually found some non-Jesus stations. I’m such an elitist snob that I didn’t recognize anything they played.
But … I tend to focus particularly on the drums, if any, for whatever type of music. And, after an hour or so, I was utterly convinced that every country song played was using the exact same drum tape, some reject track from a pop Top-40 studio on continuous loop.
Michael, please don’t make any more music recommendations.
I swear, “I hate (music genre)” actually means “I’m very unfamiliar with (music genre)”. There is SO MUCH great country music that is genuine and exciting once you skip the overproduced Budweiser/Ford ads that get too much airplay.
I’ll second Orville Peck’s album Pony, the songs are heartbreakingly tender and his voice – he might be my favorite new singer I’ve heard in a decade. That record made me twice as country-fried and three times as gay as I was. Gonna be in rotation a long, long time.
Howard Brazee says
I knew that I didn’t care for country music until I Ray Charles was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It took me a moment to realize that much of his music that I loved certainly was country. Useful discovery about my biases.
As if the very people huffing and puffing at the Chicks’ name change didn’t already hate them 20 years ago.
As for music, I’m mostly a rock chick, but most genres have a couple of tracks I like. Even Techno.
Hey, on its own terms Christian Rock works. I remember the first time I was turning the dial on my car radio, and heard a couple of measures of Christian Rock lyrics—took me less than a second to shout out “Jesus Christ!” at the top of my voice.
@2: Nah. There’s plenty of country music that doesn’t involve god, beer, church, etc. Have you ever listened to any Chicks songs? Few of them are about god, beer, etc. Quite a bit about freedom, I must admit. Goodbye Earl, for example. Pretty clearly about freedom. And Traveling Soldier certainly references the US, even if it’s never mentioned. Don’t think there’s any gods, beer, trucks, America, or even much on freedom in Gaslighter, though.
And consider US rock. Most rock by cis white US males is about their dick and how they don’t get to use it enough. (As opposed to German rock which seems to be about getting the kids to school and then going off to fight fascism…but I may have a biased sample of each.)
Look who’s been listening to the Hosen
Warren Senders says
Older country music (from the days before the accountants and producers achieved ascendancy) is often wonderful. Jimmie Rodgers and the Carters are among the great voices of American music (and the Carter family story is so bizarre and improbable it really needs to be made into a movie — who’d play the goat-gland-peddling Dr. Brinkley?).
As a voice teacher I frequently use George Jones’ singing as an example of effective phrasing and intonation.
But jeez, the SOTA nowadays is pretty parlous.
Warren Senders @ #27
The melodies and harmonies for sure, but also the lyrics.
“As you leave you’ll see the nursery,
Oh, she left me without mercy.”
–George Jones, The Grand Tour
And Roger Miller, who rhymed “purple”
with “maple surple.”
A lot of current country music gets labelled as bro country, and shares strong similarities to mainstream ’80s rock, minus the lyrics. Of course even before bro country came along I’ve long thought the only criteria the music industry uses to define if something is country or not is whether it was signed by the Nashville reps of a company.
Hey Matt G. Way up at the top. That’s the point…
The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) says
There’s a really good shpiel about Country Music and the Dixie Chicks which I’ve seen repeatedly… here is one reblogging of it.
My CD collection is probably mostly contained within a half-dozen genres or so. And there are some genres I’m not generally interested in.
But, as I said to a coworker on a work trip recently regarding the vehicle radio; “I don’t really care, so long as it isn’t Christmas music. I despise Christmas music, but I think I’ve got a couple months before that becomes an issue…”
WMDKitty -- Survivor says
While country isn’t my favorite, every now and then something comes along that piques my interest. ~shrug~ I generally prefer heavy metal and classic rock and — hey! guess what? — it’s ALL cool.
…unless it’s that white supremacist black metal shit, those guys can go eat shit.
dianne (#24) –
And people criticize Prog Rock.
Existential lyrics > misogynistic lyrics
consciousness razor says
Some elements do come from country music, but that’s really not saying much. (Is it enough to count? Well, I don’t really care, but what do we hope to do with an answer to that question? I really don’t know, but I’m not calling it “a march” either.) Anyway, you can find exactly that sort of thing in all sorts of music, from the US or elsewhere.
I would say this one has more residual country flavors (which is still saying very little), as well as more talent. The shuffling from the drums is a nice traditional touch, although of course it also avoids being a waltz this way, despite the name.
It’s also a counter-example for Matt G in #2: no God, Jesus, church, America, freedom, beer, cigarettes, guns, trucks, mobile homes, nor a tone of defiance which masks deep insecurity and self-pity. (The self-pity is out in the open, and he doesn’t seem all that bothered by it.)
It fails to check all of the right boxes. And as a bonus, I didn’t make you listen to the Patti Page version. You can thank me for that someday.
Listen to Brandi Carlile for a bit and then tell me you hate country.