Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Chicks Are Back

Some folks interested in such things suggested a couple of years back that The Dixie Chicks committed professional suicide with their "I'm embarrassed President Bush is from Texas" comment. Some radio stations refused to play their stuff, and lots of red state-ers boycotted CDs and shows.

Not yet ready to make nice, the Chicks recently released an album that is topical, shoots from the hip and takes no prisoners. (Add your own western-type cliche.) Taking The Long Way was last week's top-selling album, and far exceeded industry predictions. Without help from a hit single, or wide-spread radio play.




I'd like to think the high sales were the result of a society that appreciates smart and entertaining performers, regardless of their political leanings. My guess, though, is that the sales have as much to do with the low popularity of W.as they do the Chicks' talent.

Now, as Bill Lynch points out, if we could just get them to swing their tour through The Mountain State.

20 comments:

Kelly said...

The chicks suck! Several country music stations have already pulled their songs!

The Film Geek said...

(ahem)...Really?

Were you a Chick fan prior to their anti-Bush comment?

Anonymous said...

I commend the Chicks for speaking out. I think we need more celebs like the Chicks and Kanye West to challenge our country to actually think for themselves.

Off Route 75 said...

I just want to hear music. I don't want someone else's political views pushed on me so they can make money. That's why I don't like their stuff.

I hate any music that tries to make a political point either way. Just give me something to sit back and relax to when listening, and I'm happy.

Kelly said...

nope, don't really like country music. I agree 100% with 75. If stars want to talk politics (either dems or repubs) run for office. If not, shut the hell up! I don't pay for your movies or CDs to hear your political views!

Kelly said...

Hey anonymous, yeah, keeps the idiots talking (chicks and Kanye) only helps repubs on election day!

The Film Geek said...

The political process is so important and pervasive in our lives that I think it is natural that it become a part of any art. And for me, I like artists who make me think...in fact, I despise art (music or otherwise) that is commonplace, or which does make me ponder...well, something. So, I like the Chicks. Can't wait to buy the CD.

The Film Geek said...

man, I hate having massive fingers that cause freakin'typos...the above should read: "...which doesn't make me ponder..."

I'm a loser.

primalscreamx said...

I gotta disagree. Not every song needs to be about getting your heart broke or finding true love. Some of the best songs that have ever been written are political in nature. That a pop trio who had no real presence in politics decided to make a statement is more significant than a musician known for their political stances doing it.
They took a hit for speaking their minds. Probably if people had let it go, they would have, but nobody did, so they didn't. Free speech is a funny thing. Once the genie comes out of the bottle. It won't go back in. Once you start speaking your mind and people start listening, it's hard to stop.

The Film Geek said...

Agreed, Primalscreamx. The comments being made by the Chicks are really contrary to those of much of their core audience, and it is risky for them, which I admire.

I'm sure my political leanings are deeply rooted in the music I listened to as a child, especially Dylan, Joan Baez and (when I was really young) Peter, Paul & Mary. What I enjoy most about song and music is lyrics; and those artsts hooked me, early. Then, they made me think. The Chicks, some of Springsteen's stuff and Pearl Jam fill that for me know.

The Film Geek said...

damn...can't blame "know" for "now" on massive, oversized fingers...

Jackie Lantern said...

I could care less about musicians politics. Hell, almost all the bands I like are rabid liberal maniacs, but as long as it's not in the songs themselves I'm fine with it.
But....this is all about publicity. They're getting on TV and in the magazines because of something they did four years ago and now they're capitalizing on it to fuel record sales.

Funniest thing I heard today: "Yeah, but what they don't report is that Michael Moore bought 400,000 of the Dixie Chicks album because he reportedly thought it was 'some sort of sandwich'."

The Film Geek said...

Hey Jackie, who do you listen to when doing all your yard and garden work?

jedi jawa said...

I suppose that this is directed to Jackie and 75's "don't want to hear politics in my music" comments.

I'm not a country music fan, but I do like folk. I can't help noticing that a good part of country music plays to its audience. In some cases country music downright panders to their audience. So if the DC's are "capitalizing" on something that happened four years ago, how is that any different from that Alan Jackson song "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" which was parodied by "South Park" for capitalizing on the tragedy of 9/11? Isn't the word "capitalizing" all a matter of perspective?

Further, wouldn't you call these lyrics political (or even jingoistic): "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / After 9/11 man, I'd have to say that's right" (Daryl Worley); "You can stay behind or you can get out of the way / But our troops take out the garbage for the good old U.S.A." (Clint Black); "You'll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A / 'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way" (Toby Keith). I'm not saying that those guys don't have a right to their view any more than the DC's have that same right. Similarly, fans don't have to buy the cd or listen to the song. However, I would argue that jingoistic lyrics and sentiments in the popular media are every bit as damaging to the country as anything that I've heard the Dixie Chicks accused of doing by their detractors.

What about those songs that I've heard my father-in-law listening to or talking about that deal with the war or are about the soldiers? Are those "political" songs because they talk about current events (which politics tend to be)? Should the line be drawn at telling country artists that they can't write about "unpopular" politics or current events (unpopular again being a matter of perspective relative to the fanbase)?

I suppose that this all comes down to the fact that people listen to what they like. Half the time I don't even notice lyrics in a song until long after I've gotten to know the song as I tend to attach to the sound of the song first. Perhaps that is just me. The DC's are popular and it pisses off conservatives and politically minded fans who don't like having their views challenged by what they hear on their favorite radio station. I think that they should get a thicker skin and should think about how other people feel when those other songs come on that I quoted above rather than throwing out comments about how much the DC's are hurting America or aren't supporting the troops.

BTW, I borrowed those lyrics from this page:
http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2455/

Jackie Lantern said...

I'm not kidding when I say my favorite musicians are polar opposites to me in terms of political issues.

The only musician I can think of that I agree with issue-wise is Ted Nugent, and his music sucks ass. No way in hell I would listen to or buy his CD's just because he's pro-gun, etc. So I don't understand sheeple buying/supporting bands just because they lean "your" way.

I love Wilco, and couldn't disagree more with Tweedys politics.

I've been accused of having a man-crush on Chris Cornell, Mike Ness, and Ryan Adams and they hate people like me. So be it.

Film Geek- All the above and lots more. I've had a music-centric post waitng in the wings for the past week but Blogger won't upload my pics.....grrrrr!

Cara said...

I've taken a ride on the sin wagon a time or two.

Kelly said...

Cara, you are a republican so shut the hell up!

Marty said...

The Chicks are AWESOME!!!

Their talent is unmatched in Country Music. That's what people should focus on.

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