Thursday, June 01, 2006

Not Ready To Make Nice, But Ready To Make Moolah

From the Washington Post:

....the Chicks are on top of the pop and country charts with their first album since publicly criticizing Bush three years ago. They did it without the support of country radio, which largely ignored the Dixie Chicks after lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience in 2003 that the group was ashamed Bush was from their home state of Texas.

The new album, "Taking the Long Way," took the No. 1 spot Wednesday on the country albums chart and the Billboard 200 overall chart which are based on sales rather than radio airplay with 526,000 units sold in its first week.



Congratulations to the Dixie Chicks. You're too talented for mainstream country radio, anyway.

6 Comments:

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

I see our taste in music is as agreeable as our taste in movies.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

Meaning that it's questionable at best?

I tend to be fairly ecelectic in my tastes. I've got enough love in my heart for T. Monk, Pantera, Robert Johnson, and Hanson. Write a good song, and I'll buy it.

I don't love the Dixie Chicks, but I think they're uber-talented. And I think that they got put through the ringer for being a little feisty, which bewilders me.

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Well, aside from the relative merits of the Dixie Chicks, I don't think they were put through the ringer for "being a little feisty."

Nor do I adhere to the conventional wisdom that both celebrates them as courageous idealists and decries negative reaction toward their stated views. From what one may gather of their (and we should acknowledge that they are individuals in thought (hopefully) if a collection as a band), views, I disagree, but who really cares about that.

They make good music (and I admittedly have a poor taste in the same), and that's about it for me. I'm tired of them playing the "martyr card," but what can you do?

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

As opposed to their opposition playing the "Wounded Patriot" card?

It's just nice to see that musicians can still be iconoclastic, rude, juvenile, contrary, or questionable and still sell albums.

Music's gotten too safe.

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Couple of things:

1 - "Wounded Patriot Card"? I'm not sure I understand, although I'm sure you'll elaborate.

2 - I can't help but laugh reading your comment posts with the blue fuzzy looking Beast doing cartwheels right next to it. I read your posts and then in my head finish with a "Yippee!!!" It's great.

3 - As far as music being too safe, I'm not sure about that. I think, in part, we've set the bar pretty high for the shock value of music. We are certainly no longer shocked by an artist's shaking hips (see Elvis). Nor are we necessarily led, like children by the Pied Piper, when an artist creates a song with political undertones. What's not safe music anyway?

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Couple of things:

1 - "Wounded Patriot Card"? I'm not sure I understand, although I'm sure you'll elaborate.


Ie - People using the Chicks as a vehicle to sell their own brand of vitriol. See: O'Reilly and his ilk. People made hay out of their "faux pas" for months, yet no one calls them on being Blatant Opportunists, while the Dixies seem to get saddled with playing the Martyr card by many.

Basically, if they're exploited by their critics for financial/ratings gain in the guise of "Wounded Patriots," I've got no problem with the Chicks reversing that and making money off of it.

2 - I can't help but laugh reading your comment posts with the blue fuzzy looking Beast doing cartwheels right next to it. I read your posts and then in my head finish with a "Yippee!!!" It's great.

I think I've finally found an Avatar that suits me to a T. And the idea of finishing with a Yippee!! after my posts is somehow deeply appropriate.

Seen the flick yet?

3 - As far as music being too safe, I'm not sure about that. I think, in part, we've set the bar pretty high for the shock value of music. We are certainly no longer shocked by an artist's shaking hips (see Elvis). Nor are we necessarily led, like children by the Pied Piper, when an artist creates a song with political undertones. What's not safe music anyway?

I'd define not-safe music as music that makes adults uncomfortable. In other words, what rock n' roll used to be, but isn't so much anymore.

I absolutely agree that we've set the bar high (too high, I think) for shock value, but shock is overrated and, I think, ultimately pretty "safe." Shock doesn't last, after all. You get SHOCKED! And then you calm down (see: Marilyn Manson).

I'd also agree that we're not led, Pied-Piper like (and oh, the sinister undertones of that, when one thinks of the original Piper ending) by music.

But I think that music, through economics and general cultural pressure - not any malificent intent - has been pasteurized and homogenized to the point where music - specifically rock n' roll - no longer serves many of the purposes it has always served in cultures the world over. One of those purposes is to make people intentionally uncomfortable. To shake them from their quiet, or stupor, or mindset, and MAKE them reexamine the world around them.

Rock and Roll was built for that. That, and shaking your ass.

People in this country seem almost afraid of music's possibilities- and we're working overtime to make the very idea of music into aural wallpaper. We don't want any dirty musicians or rock stars comin' round and invading our Own Private Musical Idaho with dissent and thinking and opinion and expression (even though music is expression personified).

And the Dixie Chicks are a perfect example of that. What they said was possibly disrespectful, depending on your political views - but the reaction? Jesus. You'd have thought they'd called the Virgin Mary a whore.

And I say good for them. Not because I think what they said was brilliant (frankly, the content of their statement's kind of lame), but because it genuinely outraged and offended people.

And that's, like, the definition of Rock n' Roll. Elvis didn't just freak people out because he shook his hips (though man, did they go all wiggy on him for that) - he freaked them out because he was playing "black music," and because he was bringing that music into white homes.

That's the spirit of Rock n' Roll, to me. "You don't want us in your house? Fine. We'll break the doors down, motherfucker." That's Rock.

And I'd hate to see that disappear amidst predictions of who the next American Idol will be.



Yippee!!

 

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