May 26, 2010
AN ALTERNATIVE TO COUNTRY
For years I have loathed all things country music. I once almost broken-bottle stabbed a man over it. Because of Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and even Bob Dylan, I knew that the core of country was actually a pretty good, authentic form of music. Unfortunately it got derailed and sent the wrong way on a suicide collision course straight to the belly of hell by the likes of Shania Twain, Wynonna Judd, Brooks & Dunn, Shania Twain, Diamond Rio, Faith Hill, George Costanza... I mean Kenny Chesney, Shania Twain, and of course Tim McGraw. Did I mention Shania Twain? Since the 90’s, country music has been plenty of adjectives including appalling, comical, repugnant, and even terrible. Notice good wasn’t one of the adjectives used.
Country music has a funny way of recognizing the very worst in the genre. 99% of what is released is undeniably bad, but if you put out a song that is so offensive, so tasteless, so vile, and so unforgivably bad, the song is actually awarded with a line dance in its honor. So if you were too busy listening to quality, worthwhile music during the 90’s it's never too late to learn how to do the "Boot Scootin' Boogie". Or how about the "Achy Breaky Heart"? What's that you say? You never learned the "Chattahoochee" or “The Watermelon Crawl”?! Now is your chance!
Country music is so mixed up that one of its top acts, Tim McGraw, writes virtually none of his own songs! After extensive research I'm aware of only one song that he is credited for writing. It can be found listed on the highly successful "Flicka" soundtrack. He only has 3 or 4 more songs that he is even listed as a co-writer. So what's my point? He is no better than any other industry hired face & voice like Britney Spears or the thousands of other tools that don't write their own songs. They should labeled "puppet" instead of "artist".
His wife Faith Hill is just as bad in this department. In fact, pop and country music are the worst when it comes to this infraction. I would say the majority of artists in country music and a huge portion of those in pop music don’t write their own songs. Seriously how hard is it to write a country song?! Pick any random piece of anecdotal advice you've ever received and butcher it so its almost unrecognizable.
I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'.
Now add a pointless limerick preferably about your ex or pickup truck. Though any southern, white trashy reference will do, add a steel guitar, and/or fiddle, and prepare to sell it to a country act that can sing with an annoying twangy accident. Congratulations! Whether you like it or not you have just written yourself a country song.
Honestly, you should be listening to Alternative Country (Alt-country) artists that write their own songs like Ryan Adams, (not to be confused with Bryan Adams), and Wilco. I would also recommend My Morning Jacket, Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, and Beck's album Sea Change. Ryan Adams and Wilco are everything good about country without any of the disgusting byproducts. I will happily honor any and all requests to put on CD any Ryan Adams and Wilco albums for all that desire. Leave a comment or send me an Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
*Today Willie Nelson has cut off his trade mark pigtail braids
to feature a way more masculine "Bob cut".
*Is it possible to make a cover song better than the original? I don't know the answer to that question, but what I do know is a heavy set, ginger bearded, white guy covering Outkast's "Hey Ya" should not be this good.
*Speaking of Ryan Adams and cover songs that may be better than the original, this is worth your time.
*Are you a Beck fan? Are you an INXS fan? Beck's Record Club may be up your alley.
*Not usually a fan of the Dave Mathews Band I was watching Austin City Limits the other night and came across this halfway decent song called "Why I Am".