Friday, June 09, 2006

Dixie Chicks

There's a news story out about how the Dixie Chicks are seeing slow ticket sales in some markets for their latest tour, apparently due to fans who are still unhappy with their comments disparaging President Bush. Some folks think this is a triumph of "vote with your wallet" politics, though their album had fairly brisk sales in its release week. Personally, i think it's an indication that a bunch of country music fans are brainless goobers who have replaced rational thought with regional group-think.

Dixie Chicks have produced some of the best music in mainstream country over the last decade, and their new album (Taking The Long Way) is very, very good. It's not musically groundbreaking, and it's not overtly political in some Peet Seeger-esque folk music tradition. But all of the songs are very solid, and some are excellent. The track "Not Ready To Make Nice" has some of the angriest lyrics since whenever the last Rage Against the Machine album came out, but it's also a personal and sincere anger, not just a diatribe.

Country music has produced a number of jingoistic anthems in recent years (even before 9/11). I can dig the sentiment, but the music has consistently sucked (though i sort of like Toby Keith's "boot in the ass" song). The point is: country music fans can't have it both ways. Either this style of music is just a vehicle for propaganda and commercial jingles, or it's an earnest attempt to make something interesting or beautiful. As a fan, i think it's the latter; but if so then you can't dismiss the music simply because it doesn't match your ideology.

No comments: