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Speaking of Progressive Music... - Riffs and Licks
Speaking of Progressive Music...
You don't like the sound of the truth
Coming from my mouth
I'm thrilled to see that the Dixie Chicks have hit number one with their new album, despite a complete lack of airplay on country radio stations. I got the album last week and have been listening to it on my travels, and I wish I could say it was as good as 2002's Home, but it's not. I'm glad they're writing their own songs (along with collaborators like Mike Campbell and Keb Mo') but they are not yet writing at the level of Patty Griffin. But it's still a damned good album, and I'm very happy to see that good music is overcoming bad politics.

The Chicks have been attacking country radio for years -- their last album, a huge country radio hit, declared in its opening song "Now they sound tired but they don't sound Haggard / They've got money but they don't have Cash / They got Junior but they don't have Hank," so it's their political position, not their feelings about commercial country radio, that's resulted in their ostracism.

But who cares. Natalie Maines said in Time Magazine that the only thing she regrets is her apology. They said what they thought, they were right, and they're succeeding despite the opposition. Buy this album. Buy two for your friends.

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From: laurie_daniels Date: June 2nd, 2006 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to admit, I always found the public persona of Natalie Maines to be mildly irritating- as if she'd exaggerated the backlash in order to fish in the larger pop pond- and my boss is a huge fan who must have played "Long Time Gone" about 30 times in the office, so I tend to freeze up when I hear them.

Still, I'm pretty happy that they are doing so well with this, and even happier to realize that I was talking out of my behind when I assumed that the backlash was temporary! Who knows- they might get me as a convert soon enough. If I run into them on television sounding awesome live one more time, it might tip the scales. :)
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: June 2nd, 2006 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)
One side-effect of not having a television is that I experience most public personalities through their writing or what others write about them. I don't know that I've ever heard Natalie Maines speak so I wouldn't know if her manner is irritating, but I've read a lot of interviews and such and the more I read the more I find myself cheering her on. And the backlash certainly wasn't exaggerated -- read the Time article for what people are still saying about her.

But endless repeats of "Long Time Gone" would grate on me too -- I can think of many songs of theirs that are much better. Another possibility for a Roxy payback disc!
From: laurie_daniels Date: June 2nd, 2006 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha! No jackaldom for me!!! But, if you're up for it, I'd love your opinion instead. I come from a musical family, but I don't play anything, and the teeny bits I know about production come from a friend of mine who has worked as a studio musician for years. Put simply: not a lot has rubbed off from either set of influences!

I was listening to Flesh and Blood again as I copied it, and the opening song is a cover of "In the Midnight Hour". I hate it, I think it's horribly done, but I have nothing to back it up but my own underdeveloped taste. I'd love to hear what you think- not to copy, of course, but as comparison from someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

As for the Chicks- you're not missing anything by rejecting television, and I'm sure you know this better than most! It's also not hard to imagine what Maines is like "in person" if you're so inclined- kinda loud, a bit brash, a bit ballsy. Normally charming, but perhaps I was in a crabby mood that day, ha ha.

Still, the article in Time was chilling, and I regret assuming that they were the ones keeping the story alive. Clearly, there's nothing fake about becoming persona non grata in Nashville!

steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: June 2nd, 2006 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I found a video of her acceptance speech for the "Big Quote Of the Year" award from VH1 in 2003, and I have to say, unreservedly, she's wonderful. Two laugh-out-loud lines:
There's an old Texas expression ... if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, then go to London and say it in front of 2,000 people.

I think I found one thing that I have in common with our president ... neither one of us know how those words got into our speeches.
From: laurie_daniels Date: June 3rd, 2006 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
HaHA! Okay, I admit it. Funny lady. :)
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