Archive for the ‘music’ Category

First impressions: George Strait, Cold Beer Conversation

October 4, 2015

19th straight year of buying George Strait albums on release day, and to sum it all up, he’s still got it.

I wasn’t terribly impressed with ‘It Was Love” the first couple of listens, but that song has started to grow on me. A bit too pop-county-ish for my tastes with what sounds like a drum machine, but it is still a nice little song that would fit in well on country radio —that is, if country radio was still the least bit interested in anything remotely resembling actual country music.

“Let it Go” and “Wish You Well” both channel the Jimmy Buffett-ish island very well without actually aping the sonics of such. I think I like the latter better, as I’ve never really been that big on the timpani as an instrument in country. Also, “Wish You Well” does lean more to the more polished yet still solidly traditional country that Strait music has become over the years, with the steel guitar occupying a very prominent place in the song, but “Let it Go” is still not a bad song by any means. Also, the title track is much, much better than the title might imply. Not that we should have been scared that George would “go bro,” but with what country music has become with ostensibly reliable artists selling out left and right this year, being skittish is somewhat understandable. As it turned out, it’s just two old dudes shooting the bull:

We could sit here all night trying to make it make sense. A little buzz is probably all we’re gonna get. But that’s alright…

Arguably the centerpiece of the album is “Everything I See,” written by George and Bubba with Dean Dillon and Keith Gattis, a tribute to the elder Strait’s father who died at 91 a couple of years ago. Strait really poured his heart into this performance, and you can tell. I got the idea that even in the recording of the song that made it to the album, he had a hard time getting through it. And though it is a very personal song, the most personal that the man has dared to get at least since 1988’s “Baby Blue,” it is certainly widely if not universally relatable to those of us who still miss loved ones long passed.

And all I could think when I heard “Something Going Down” was Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, take note, this is how you do a sultry love song. Between the swelling strings and Strait singing about a fever burning him up, it’s a bona-fide knockout.

There are some really fun songs on the album too. George doing Western swing a la “It Takes All Kinds” is a treat, though I don’t think I’ll ever be at least a bit unnerved by the King singing about liking a dip in his top lip. And the theme of “Goin’, Goin’, Gone” — Friday afternoon drinking after the work day’s through — is one as old as time, but Strait sounds so damn good doing it that it really doesn’t matter, and it’s yet another solidly country song, and the bar singalong at the end really contributes to the mood. Strait’s vocals through the entire album are really second to none. He’s never been a bad singer, but he sounds exceptional here. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but he really nailed it.

I am still trying to figure out where this album stands in the GS catalog as far as best and all the runners-up, but it’s way up there. If you’re a longtime Strait fan like I am, you’ll love it. I love it more with every listen.

Does one take it seriously, or not?

September 27, 2015

Ryan Adams covering Taylor Swift’s 1989, that is. There seem to be some people saying that it shouldn’t be, but there’s just one small problem with that:

With where he has positioned himself, Ryan Adams has automatically set certain expectations and is going to be judged by a certain standard by a lot of people, i.e., that no matter what he releases (hipster bullshit or not) it’s going to be a big deal and it will perceived as genius by those people solely because of where he has positioned himself on the musical spectrum. It may not be entirely fair — to an extent it’s unmitigated bullshit — but it is what it is, and the standard has to be kept up somehow.

To put it a different way — what if this had been done by Jason Isbell? Or Aaron Watson, or the Turnpike Troubadours? Would anyone be singing its praises then? Would we be saying to not take it so seriously? Or would we be saying, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT? YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS, GUY!”

If it is the latter — and don’t bullshit, we all know it damned well is — then why should we give Ryan Adams any leeway?

None of this is to say that such cannot be done. I’m not against one artist covering an album by another artist per se. But this isn’t Merle Haggard making an entire album of Bob Wills songs, or Dream Theater covering Metallica’s Master of Puppets. This whole thing strikes me as Ryan Adams being what seems to be his insufferable artiste hipster self, and undermining an entire musical movement — the very movement that he helped create — in the process. I know Ryan Adams doesn’t give a shit about that movement, but there are a lot of people who do, and I can sympathize with them feeling stabbed in the back because of this — not to mention because of Adams’ saying, repeatedly, that he does not like country music.

And then there’s stuff like this:

Only a few hours after Adams’ release, Father John Misty’s Joshua Tillman released his own cover—of Adams’s 1989 cover….Maybe Tillman realized that his attempt at trolling ended up elevating the game of 1989 covers to a whole new, impossibly meta, level: a cover of a cover in the style of classic band, where can it even go from there?

Straight to hell, that’s where. Indie music “artists” covering big pop albums everywhere you look, and their hipster fans chuckling at teh irony of it all. And I’m not the first to point this out, but who’s to say that Ryan Adams isn’t gonna come out down the road and call this project another thing he did just because he appreciated the irony of it? You know, just like he did with his country stuff?

I swear, there’s just so much wrongness here, it’s like it’s fractally wrong. And shit like this doesn’t help matters:

Why Doesn’t Pitchfork Review Artists Like Taylor Swift (Unless They’re Covered by Ryan Adams)?

…And this is where, I fear, gender may play a role. Of the most popular genres, the ones they’re most likely to ignore—pop and mainstream country—are also the genres where you’re likely to see as many women in the audience as men.

TL/DR: Slate sees no problem with Pitchfork reviewing Ryan Adams’ cover of this, just a problem with the Taylor Swift original not being reviewed, because of course SEXISM.

Look. I don’t mean to say that gender discrimination is not a thing anymore or even that it isn’t important, but if there’s a problem with the music itself, then maybe the music should be the main focus as opposed to the artists’ genitalia. Maybe that’s too much to ask from Slate, considering the fact that Slate is a slightly-less-deranged version of Salon, but it’s still something to strive for if we’re going to get anywhere with saving country music, or with retaining any shred of integrity with music in general.

My favorite take on it, though, was back in the comments at SCM:

That’s the problem with him. He’s a hipster and hipsters only take themselves seriously. Nothing else and no one else. I just don’t trust him. He makes country albums and then turns around and says he “fucking hates country music.” And notice how that happens after the underground country world started to gain more followers. Hipsters are always doing shit like that. Find either the least popular thing or the most popular thing and run with it.. Ironically of course. Fuck that arrogant mop headed son of a bitch. Even if he did do this album for fun, how could he in good conscience record something that’s gonna bring in revenue for people responsible for the decline of real talent in the industry?

Well, isn’t THAT the $64,000 question? Sure, people could say not to take it seriously, but maybe they should be telling that to the people in the music press who are taking it seriously and treating it like the indie equivalent of Ropin’ the Wind.

Monday music musings, 21.9.15

September 21, 2015

In one corner, Randy Owen, lead singer of Alabama:

I think that’s what Nashville still offers. They’ve got great songs and these great artists that can sing the phonebook, and that’s why they’re selling out stadiums.

In the other, Don Henley, lead singer of the Eagles:

What passes for country music, it’s formulaic. Where’s the insight? Where’s the reflection? Where’s the depth?

That’s quite an…interesting contrast. It’s certainly not in a good way, mind you. I more or less said my piece on Alabama last week, and all of it is just as applicable here. To add to that, I’m sure former Alabama drummer Mark Herndon is thanking his lucky stars that the other three guys don’t want to have anything to do with him after the way they’re crapping all over their legacy as of late.

All of it is to say in relation to this, though, that Randy Owen might have been legitimately considered an authority on good songs once upon a time, but now? Not so much. The Don Henley quote makes for an interesting counterpoint. How sad that an old classic rocker can see modern country music for exactly what it is but one of the biggest country stars of his day can believe — and try to tell the rest of us, to boot! — that the urine running down his leg is rain.

(I’ve been a bit more leery of Henley’s upcoming country album after the Steven Tyler and Bret Michaels turds, but if his and Dolly Parton’s cover of the old Louvin Brothers chestnut “When I Stop Dreaming” is any indication, that album might actually be very good as opposed to even just passable. We shall see.)


Scott Hendricks might say that “Real Men Love Jesus is “not a Jesus song,” but either way, it’s still pretty stupid, as most if not all songs based on insipid bumper sticker slogans are. I don’t love football, and I never did the Saturday night bar thing. So by Scott Hendricks’ standards I’m not a real man. Which doesn’t particularly bother me, but it’s still one more reason I tell people now, “I like country music, not the crap Nashville passes off as such anymore.”

And the less said about Michael Ray, the better. I saw Ray defended on another site as follows:

“Ray could give you a three hour concert of Merle Haggard and George Jones songs and do it convincingly….Unfortunately, doing that would not get him on the radio and would have not landed him a recording contract.”

Which may be true of course, but the same could probably be said of Darius Rucker and his foray into country music has been one disappointment after another too.

As for Ray doing what he had to do to get on the radio and whatnot…perhaps that may be true, but then I go back to what I say a lot about the mainstream game being rigged with a bunch of crappy rules that don’t benefit the artists or the longtime fans who give a damn about the genre. You might say he has no choice but to play the game, but as for me I beg to differ. The Red Dirt and Americana scenes are full of people who are playing an entirely different game by an entirely different set of rules, and I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and say that they’re doing pretty well for themselves, at least well enough not to have to apply for jobs keeping the shopping carts off the Walmart parking lot.

Ray seems to have made his choice, and that is fine. But if songs like this are what comes of it, then he deserves every bit of criticism that comes his way.


Speaking of Red Dirt, the long awaited new album from the Turnpike Troubadours came out Friday, and it’s very good. So far I’d have to say my favorite songs from it are “The Mercury,” the remake of “Easton and Main,” and the cover of the Old 97s’ “Doreen.”

Monday music musings, 14.9.15

September 14, 2015

…wait, what? People still care what Darryl Worley thinks?

I still catch myself breaking out in a sweat when I sing that song. I was so angered. I was just so angered by the coward of the attacks.

Oh, wait, Taste of Country. Never mind.

In all seriousness, when you talk of complete wastes of potential in 2000s country music, Darryl Worley’s pretty high up on the list of people who blew their potential all to hell between bad songs and/or career choices. I bought his first two albums — Hard Rain Don’t Last and I Miss My Friend — and they were both pretty good. But with Have You Forgotten, I was like, nope, no more of that shit — even if only because the album was mostly a compilation of songs from those first two albums riding on the success of a song that never should have been written in the first place. Sucks, too, because Worley had a solid voice quite evocative of Keith Whitley and was a pretty good songwriter too, at least if the credits on his albums didn’t fall victim to the whole “third for a word” phenomenon. But he put himself in the position of putting out poorly-written propaganda, and, well, you see how well that’s worked out for him.


Man, Dale Watson just nails it

The best songwriters and best musicians in the world live in Nashville, Tennessee. Unfortunately, that whole thing is a business plan. Music is made, but it’s like a sweatshop.

…as does William Clark Green:

It’s kind of like gentrification. What happens is you have neighborhoods in every town that you consider it poor. People live there forever and then somebody builds a Starbucks and it ruins the neighborhood. Rich people move in and make these sidewalk diners, and tax values go up. And we can’t afford to be there anymore.

Those are some really interesting analogies, and ones that put the whole “it’s just evolution of the music” argument into perspective. It’s certainly not a flattering perspective, either. You could very well argue that what’s going on isn’t evolution of the music, but consolidation of the music — consolidation into that big mono-genre that Trigger’s always talking about at Saving Country Music. And the same arguments against sweatshops and gentrification apply here, also, because there’s no long-term benefit to the music with what’s going on here. It’s just the artificial shift of the music from targeting an older demographic to targeting a younger, allegedly hipper one with the cheap mass-produced product, and we’re going to see the same thing happen to the music that happened to Suzette Kelo’s neighborhood. That’s where this is all gonna end up. Bet on it.

(h/t Country California)


Quote of the day, from a Redditor on Judas Priest, discussing the 25th anniversary of the release of Painkiller:

They’re absolutely not dad rock…unless your dad is metal as fuck.

Yep, that’s pretty much it, although I thought they were kinda meh for a long time. While they weren’t as banal and uninteresting as, say, Fleetwood Mac or U2, all the Judas Priest songs I heard on the radio got to be pretty boring after a while. I had heard so much about how Priest were one of the baddest-ass of the metal bands out there, and I heard songs like “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” “Turbo Lover,” and “Breaking the Law,” and I thought, really? That’s all there is?

And then I heard this.

Metal as fuck, indeed. And the entire album is just as great. I had much the same reaction to this as I did to Queensryche when I heard the Operation: Mindcrime songs for the first time, i.e., “Holy spitballs, this is the same band?” I have heard that not all of JP’s stuff was quite as hard and fast as the stuff on Painkiller, but I am definitely interested in exploring their back catalog….

Tuesday music musings, 12.9.15

September 12, 2015

Oh, huh, more defensiveness from Luke Bryan:

For people to call me the father of it (bro-country), well, whatever. It just seems like a term that was invented to cheapen me as an artist.

Sounds like all the criticism is getting to him.

Well, tough shit. Like I’ve said before, if Mr. Bryan doesn’t wanna get called out for making crap music, there’s a reeeeeaaaaaally easy way to make that happen. And as for the term “bro-country” cheapening him as an artist…well, it seems to me he’s doing a bang-up job of that all on his lonesome, whatever term one might use to characterize his “music.”


Aaaaaand, more of the same from Thomas Rhett:

I love my dad with all my heart. But that’s one of the main questions I’ve been asked since I became an artist. To this day, every phoner I do for a radio station, one of the first things is, “I played your daddy’s songs back in 1995.”

Well, that’s kinda apropos, considering that if it weren’t for Thomas Rhett’s dad’s connections he’d probably be sweeping the floors at Walmart.

And as I’ve said before, that in itself is a meta-commentary of sorts on how bad things have gotten in mainstream country, because Rhett Akins’ record even before the Peach Pickers was nothing to write home about. He had a serviceable voice but never released anything particularly memorable. Truth be told I kinda liked “Not On Your Love.”

Or was it “She Said Yes”?


How bad can a song called “Southern Drawl” be? Pretty damn bad.

The title of this song was bad enough, to be sure. I shut it off about 55 seconds in.

They had some clunkers, to be sure, but I was a big Alabama fan back in the day. I say every now and then that pop-country isn’t necessarily bad by default; it’s just that it used to be a whole lot better. Acts like Glen Campbell, Earl Thomas Conley, and Alabama are usually the examples I use to support that observation. I don’t know why they feel like they have to cheapen their legacy with this any more than they already have with songs like the *NSYNC duet and “When It All Goes South.” You’d think they’d have been set for life after their ’80s success….

Monday music musings, 24.8.15

August 24, 2015

Sigh. No, Kelsea Ballerini. Just, no:

I think that the key is respecting the roots and traditions of country music and always putting value in that, but country radio has really opened its arms to other influences. It’s been really cool to me to watch someone like Sam Hunt, whose lyrics and roots are in country but you can hear that he listens to Drake and Justin Timberlake — and that’s OK. It allows songwriters to be more honest, because it’s like, “This is who I’m listening to.”

This is, in a word, crap. Prime example: Aaron Watson listens to Sam Hunt. He straight-up admitted to Saving Country Music that he had Hunt’s album and that he thought it was good, even as in the same sentence he said it was the most un-country thing he’d ever heard. Yet if you listen to even The Underdog, even at its poppiest, you’re not going to hear anything that sounds like Sam Hunt. Why? Because Aaron Watson is a country music singer and he’s not ashamed of it. Granted, he’s not my favorite non-Nashville guy (that honor goes to Jason Boland), but even so, I’d still be very hard pressed to say that Watson didn’t love country music with every fiber of his being or that he was being even slightly dishonest with his fans by not sounding anything like Sam Hunt.

But I am not the least surprised with such self-serving claptrap coming from an early-Taylor-Swift wannabe like Kelsea Ballerini, who seems to be only trying to make a name for herself in country music because she couldn’t hack it as a pop singer right off the bat.


I really wanted to believe Jody Rosen was trolling Grady Smith here

Mainstream country, it’s smart music. Even if it’s a big dumb song about kicking the dust up or whatever, it’s very intelligently done.

…but unfortunately, he appeared to be deadly serious. I don’t know. I guess that tripe is smartly done in that the writers figure out what the most lucrative demographic likes and then give it to them, but then when you look at it that way, that seems to imply that all the people outside mainstream music that isn’t writing about trucks, beer, and girls are the dumb ones — and surely I don’t have to spell out the obvious problem with that.


On a more positive note, via Galleywinter on Facebook, today marks the 11-year anniversary of the release date of the Randy Rogers Band’s Rollercoaster — a seminal Texas music album if ever there was one. I actually discovered that album in 2008, strangely enough as I was looking for another piece of red dirt music (Cross Canadian Ragweed’s Garage, for the curious), and I was floored at how great it was — not that I’d have expected anything different with the writers on that album (Rogers, Cody Canada, Radney Foster, and Kent Finlay, among others). I bought it for “Tonight’s Not the Night,” but I also really liked “Somebody Take Me Home,” Finlay’s “They Call It The Hill Country,” and the RRB versions of “Again” and “This Time Around.”

I thought it was pretty funny that “This Time Around” was on that album, because the Ragweed version of that song was the reason I was looking for Garage….

Oh, Darius Rucker…

August 18, 2015

As if Darius Rucker hasn’t been a big enough disappointment, now we have this:

…there’s this whole fashion of people who want to take back country music and make it old school and country music to those people is the only kind of music that’s not allowed to evolve. […] I mean, rock ‘n’ roll, there’s nobody sounds like The Beatles. There’s nobody sounds like Bill Haley and The Comets right now. Pop music has changed drastically over the years and keeps changing. And, you know, everybody wants country music to be the same. All the country music fans only want to listen to classic country music and the umbrella’s just much bigger now.

So — mischaracterization, or foul and malicious lie? You make the call. As for me, I would lean toward the latter.

Why? Because with Rucker’s self-professed musical heroes — Radney Foster, Nanci Griffith, and the like — there’s no way you’re going to get me to believe that he doesn’t know better than to characterize “all the country music fans” like this. I could probably write a book on it, but Deryl Dodd said it best not long after Pearl Snaps came out:

“It doesn’t have to be the actual old hits of the ‘70s or ‘60s, but a music that puts a new twist on the traditional sound, like Dwight Yoakam and Alan Jackson.”

Or, in other words, music that at least maintains some link to its roots as it moves forward. I mean, really. All those Texas, Red Dirt, and Americana people that everyone sings the praises of don’t sound like Waylon or George Jones, but you can clearly tell they were at least influenced by those folks and all the folks that came after, like Keith Whitley, George Strait, Ricky Skaggs, etc. I would argue the opposite of what Darius Rucker says, though — that is, country is the only genre, it seems, where wanting the genre to have some semblance of a signature sound with certain instruments and beats is seen as holding the genre back instead of keeping it grounded in its identity. Just as another example, metal has changed a pretty good bit between, say, 1970 and now — I mean, there’s a world of difference between ParanoidPainkiller, and Symphony X’s Iconoclast, but I never heard anyone claim that the latter wasn’t a metal album, and they’d rightly have been laughed off the planet if they’d tried. And I’m pretty sure I never heard anyone claim that even Symphony X wasn’t metal, or that Accept was stuck in 1982 with their last three albums.

My favorite response to this, though, came in the comments at Saving Country Music back when Rucker started spouting this line of crap:

“Dude got famous for ripping off REM and has the nerve to say this? People talk about rock being dead or needing saving all the time. How many bands have been credited as saving rock? In my lifetime at least 2 (Nirvana and The Strokes). Maybe if he wasn’t in one of the most famous one shot wonder bands and had to slum it in country because fucking NO ONE bought any other Hootie albums except for the first one (which is currently clogging up the user bins and landfills near you) he wouldn’t be so defensive about his career.”

I will still say, though, that with this new talking point, Darius Rucker shows himself to be at least as big a fraud as Ryan Adams. Why? Because Rucker, just like Ryan Adams, has in a way been lying to his fans and country music fans in general. Rucker has been saying, from the beginning of his career, that he’s a fan of that kind of music and that he wanted to do more of it, but the label wouldn’t let him do it because it ostensibly wasn’t commercial enough — which implies that he believed that country music should still sound, well, country, as it evolves. This new talking point suggests that he didn’t believe any of that, and in a way, that’s even more disappointing than his actual music.

(h/t Country California)

First Impressions: Symphony X, Underworld

July 31, 2015

So first off, for a little background: I first discovered Symphony X with 2011’s Iconoclast and 2007’s Paradise Lost and really enjoyed the heavier sounds of those albums. Last year I picked up 2002’s The Odyssey and really enjoyed it as well, though it was more on the melodic side with a lot more cleaner vocals from Russell Allen. To be honest I did like it, though not quite as much as I did the albums after it. If I remember correctly, it was guitarist Michael Romeo who said the band was going back toward the earlier sounds with the new album (which was released last Friday), and I was pretty curious as to how it’d sound. I really liked the first song that was released from it, “Nevermore,” but as you all know, one song is never really indicative of the full quality of an album…

Holy hell, did they ever hit the sweet spot between those two styles. Just as a few examples, the title track and “Kiss Of Fire” may well be the heaviest songs the band has ever recorded, with Allen roaring like a pissed-off demon on both, and the latter even has blast beats! Killer, just absolutely KILLER. And toward the other end of the spectrum, the closing track “Legend” is a thing of utter beauty, as the guys channel the relatively softer tones of songs like “When All Is Lost” and the title track of Paradise Lost, albeit at a faster tempo, about the speed of Iconoclast’s “Bastards of the Machine.” And “Charon” sounds like it would have probably fit right in on The Odyssey. (Side note: There are precious few things that bring out the inner music snob like listening to a song based on Greek mythology.) And the intricate guitars and synthesizers are present throughout, as are the ethereal choral sounds. I could probably write a freaking book on this album, but here’s what it all boils down to:

Classic modern metal, classic Symphony X, quite possibly a desert-island album.

The dancing chicken speaks!

July 10, 2015

…or, Luke Bryan channels his inner Blake Shelton/Jason Aldean, and it’s an ugly, ugly thing, indeed:

I think that people who want Merle, Willie and Waylon just need to buy Merle, Willie and Waylon. I’ve never been a “Those were the good old days” kind of guy. I’m not big on looking back on the past. I’m not an outlaw country singer. I don’t do cocaine and run around. So I’m not going to sing outlaw country. I like to hunt, fish, ride around on my farm, build a big bonfire and drink some beers—and that’s what I sing about. It’s what I know. I don’t know about laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs. I don’t really want to do that.

Honestly, what does one even begin to say to that? Yet again with the straw man that everyone who doesn’t like him just wants the old stuff and doesn’t want the music to, well…evolve. That’s not true and has been shown not to be true on numerous occasions.

About the whole “laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs” bit…I suppose one could say the old guys did know about that, and that it did affect their music to a great extent. But it still strikes me here that Luke Bryan is insinuating that the drug use was the overwhelming thing defining the Outlaw movement, and it’s just so disgustingly self-serving and disingenuous. I really couldn’t put it any better than Trigger did at Saving Country Music:

Being an Outlaw was about being yourself, insisting on having creative control of your music, and moving country music forward while still respecting the roots of the genre and all the greats that came before—all virtues Luke Bryan and many others could learn from.

And sure, maybe Luke Bryan’s being himself, but even that and the second thing…well, those are both questionable at best, considering (at least what I heard from) his first album was so radically different than what came after it. And as far as “moving the genre forward”…well, I’ve asked the question before and will ask it again: Why is it that every time these new hacks talk about how country music has to evolve, it is always, without exception, in the context of the music sounding dumber and, well, less country?

And then there’s this:

I like to hunt, fish, ride around on my farm, build a big bonfire and drink some beers—and that’s what I sing about. It’s what I know.

Now, if you’ll think about it, that line of reasoning has some pretty ugly implications of its own, namely that, among other things…

• Steve Earle was a fraud as an artist because he didn’t do “two tours of duty ina place called Vietnam.”

• George Strait wasn’t being, well, straight with his audience when he sang of being “14 and drunk by 10 AM.”

• Charlie Robison was full of crap because he isn’t doing LWOP in Huntsville for killing an old rich woman and stealing her diamond ring.

I could go on, but you get the point by now. As another commenter put it at SCM:

If all he knows is bonfires and drinkin’ beer at 40 years old, that’s not much experience to draw from. You’d think he’d have picked up some more experiences by now, especially with touring all over the world and whatnot. 

When I hear “I write what I know” I respond with “you must not be very imaginative or creative, then.” Or maybe it makes (his) head hurt to read and learn stuff. Thank God the great songwriters of yore didn’t only write what they experienced. Paul Simon may have never written “The Boxer”. Springsteen wouldn’t have written hardly anything. Melvin never fought a whale, so what’s he doing writing about such?

Good question. And if you read that whole interview, you’ll see that the interviewer didn’t even ask him about any kind of controversy regarding the bro-country sound or any of that. He just went right into that whole ugly tirade. Which makes one wonder, why is he so defensive?…

Random Tuesday musings, 24.6.15

June 24, 2015

The adage of “never read the comments” is proven once again in spades here. I swear, some people…

“My name is Ozymandias, Taco Cabana Hater of All Taco Cabana Haters! Look upon my hate, ye non-hipsters, and despair!”

It sucks that TC’s raising prices on all their egg dishes, but I still don’t get the hate. Is there better Tex-Mex? I suppose so, but for what it is and even on its own merits Taco Cabana is damn good.

You see the same hate toward Whataburger in the comments, and I don’t get that either. People act like all fast-food joints are equally bad, and they’re not.

(Speaking of which, if you like Whataburger and haven’t tried the avocado bacon burger yet, you are missing out. It’s gotten to be my favorite non-breakfast Whataburger thing.)


I really get tired of this line of “reasoning” for country not sounding like, well, country:

I suppose if the current country artists only ever listened to Waylon and George and Tammy and Loretta, then their music would sound similar, but like me, they grew up listening to everything so it’s all influenced their music.

I don’t see that as a valid excuse. You longtime readers know I listen to a lot of heavy metal anymore, Judas Priest, Ozzy, Maiden, that sort of thing, right along with the classic and Texas country. But if I was going to call myself a country singer I would leave the metal on the bus and bring the country music on the record.

Yes, that sort of thing can be done. Consider this, from Aaron Watson:

If you look at the chart right now, you see me, and then you see a guy like Sam Hunt. Now a lot of people would assume that a traditionalist like me would not like Sam Hunt. But I’m going to surprise you. I have his record, it has some really cool moments, there’s some really good songwriting in that record. It’s also the most un-country record I’ve ever heard—I’ll be honest about that.

So Aaron Watson has Sam Hunt’s album and likes it, but he sounds nothing like Sam Hunt. And then there was the Dixie Chicks’ response via Natalie Maines when they were asked to remix “Landslide” for pop radio:

“We listen to those other stations, and we’re fans of that other music…but we’re trying to bring country back to country.”

I don’t see why that’s not how it should be done….


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