I may have to buy my first country music album. *Shudder!*

Update: Here’s a clip of their appearance on Letterman the other night:

The Dixie Chicks are back and they’re still earning my respect and admiration with this cover story in Time Magazine (excerpted on CNN.com):

Now that she’s truly notorious, having told a London audience in 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas,” Maines has one regret: the apology she offered George W. Bush at the onset of her infamy. “I apologized for disrespecting the office of the president,” says Maines. “But I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t feel he is owed any respect whatsoever.”

A sizable chunk of their once adoring audience feels the same way about the Dixie Chicks. After Maines’ pronouncement, which was vigorously seconded by bandmates Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, the group received death threats and was banned by thousands of country radio stations, many of which still have informal bans in place.

Programmers say that even now a heartfelt apology could help set things right with listeners, but it’s not happening. “If people are going to ask me to apologize based on who I am,” says Maines, “I don’t know what to do about that. I can’t change who I am.”

As proof, the first single from the Dixie Chicks’ new album, “Taking the Long Way” (out May 23), is called “Not Ready to Make Nice.” It is, as one country radio programmer says, “a four-minute f—- you to the format and our listeners. I like the Chicks, and I won’t play it.”

“I guess if we really cared, we wouldn’t have released that single first,” says Maguire. “That was just making people mad. But I don’t think it was a mistake.”

Whether the Dixie Chicks recover their sales luster or not, the choice of single has turned their album release into a referendum. “Taking the Long Way” is designed to thumb its nose at country’s intolerance for ideological hell raising, and buying it or cursing it reveals something about you and your politics—or at least your ability to put a grudge above your listening pleasure.

And however you vote, it’s tough to deny that by gambling their careers, three Texas women have the biggest balls in American music.

I’m not a fan of country music in general, though there have been a few exceptions over the years (I have a shameful appreciation for the warbling of John Denver), but I think I’m going to have to see if I can’t pick up a copy of this CD if for no other reason than to show my support. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even like the music on it. Either way I love the attitude of the women who made it so I gotta do my part to keep them around.

Link via Blogesque.

18 thoughts on “I may have to buy my first country music album. *Shudder!*

  1. Yeah, I’ve been seriously thinking about doing the same. Probably just the song and not the whole album, but I’ll have to see if I can find a copy to listen to first to see if it’s something I could handle listening to.

    Hell, if anything else, I’d buy the album just to show my support! She’s got more guts then any of the Hollywood types that “oppose” the war.

  2. I’m glad I got to mention ‘our miners’. here.

    I’m not a fan of country music in general,

    I know what you mean – but when our miners (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaconsfield_mine_collapse) came outa the ground and gave their 1st interview (after 2 weeks 1 km underground), finishing by singing some song about ‘don’t lay your cards on the table or count your winnings’ or some such thing, it was alright.
    2 blokes trying to find some common ground, underground: one was a hunter –  the other liked animals, one liked water-sports, the other liked hunting, one liked Fords > the other liked Holdens and, one liked Country songs > the other liked Rock (they called them rock-bites when they got hit/damaged by rock-falls) …  fuckin’ casual bastards … there were so many difference – it’s what kept them sane/alive … the older one lost it a coupla times – the younger one threatened a kiss – the older one said he’d threatened a tongue kiss – they kept sane – one of the very few time I’ve watched commercial TV.
    It was a good show.

  3. Why all the hatin’ on country?  Granted, most of what they play on the radio or CMT isn’t stuff I care for, but listen to Neko Case sometime (for instance), tell me she isn’t easy on the ears.

    Yep, gotta buy the Dixie Chicks when it comes out.

  4. the group received death threats

    Who are these morons who keep sending death threats to people that say things they don’t like or people who actually publicly say how they really feel? This really pisses me off that these people sit at home and send death threats to other people for no good reason at all. How is this different than when people call for fatwah on other people’s heads because they said or did something they didn’t like? When will people be able to speak freely without being sent death threats or being banned by thousands of radio stations?

    I do admire their courage to stand up for what they believe in even at such high cost to themselves. I actually never listened to any of their songs but I guess I should at least give it a try since they seem to be honest and honesty is the quality I respect the most.

  5. Tiger, I’m gonna find you and slit your throat with a rusty spoon you unpatriotic motherfucker.

  6. Neon, country music has never been my cup of tea, but it’s mainly the artists with the twang in their voices that bug me. Think of it as a rebellion against my redneck heritage.

    Tiger, I don’t think we’ll ever see a day when someone who dissents and speaks out about it doesn’t receive death threats. I’ve had a few of my own over the years. Some people just aren’t capable of coming up with a rational argument to support their position so they go the route of intimidation.

    Jim, next time you say something like that you’d better have a smilie at the end of the sentence. I’m going to assume for the moment you were joking, but tossing death threats around on my blog isn’t something I’ll let slide.

  7. Country music has never been my bag either. I enjoy older country, or roots, such as the music of Johnny Cash, John Denver, and even some Dolly Parton. But in my opinion a lot of the newer stuff, i.e. Toby Keith, just sucks.

    That said, I like the Dixie Chicks and I will definitely be buying their new album. Anything that pisses off Pat Boone must be doing something right.  smile

  8. I am not a country fan at all. I do own one and two of the Dixie Chicks first CDs, but had no interest in buying their third one. With all the crap that people are giving them, I have bought (placed my order with Amazon today) their newest, along with buying a new copy of an old one, plus the one I skipped (Home.) Even if I hate the CD I am VERY happy to have bought it. People need to get a grip in this country and realize that it was based on everyone being able to say and believe what they wanted to.

  9. So what’s wrong with John Denver?  Huh?  (Except that he forgot to check his friggin’ gas gauge)

    I believe roughly 90% of everything is crud, including 90% of country, 90% of rock, and so forth.  So music fans exercise a selection bias that causes them to overlook the 90% in their preferred kind and only see that 90% in the less familiar kinds.

    While I respect the Chicks I thought their version of Landslide was rather flat compared to Fleetwood Mac’s version.

  10. Thanks for the link, Les. Having bought the CD, I have to say that I actively like most of it, even through my usual bias against contemporary country. The title track is an acknowledgement that their audience has shrunk and they’re going to have to build a new fan base by “Taking the Long Way.” The old fans don’t want them anymore, and according to the Chicks it’s mutual.

    There are more than a couple songs that show pretty clearly how these ladies feel about the whole mess. Even if you hate country, it’s worth getting just to hear that whole “cautiously optimistic defiance” thing happening.

    Not to mention that they really can sing and play exceptionally well. smile

  11. No support from me, if for no other reason than to discourage this kind of thing. I don’t like celebrities getting overly political on either side of the aisle. When they reach the point that the first thing I think of when I hear their name isn’t their music, but their political opinion, it’s gone too far.

    Besides, spouting a poltical opinion that you know is going to offend the majority of the people who buy your records isn’t brave, it’s just stupid. When I go to work, I leave my politics at home, some I don’t offend any potential customers. They should be doing the same.

    Same goes for any celebrity, democrat or republican. Just because you’re famous, it doesn’t make you smart. I can think for myself, thank you very much…..

  12. Dang, I’m really sorry for the ambiguity of my previous statement.  It was meant to be ironical and funny and things because of the content of Tiger’s post. 

    Also, I’m not really sure why I chose a spoon as my hypothetical instrument of death, so I’ll stick with what Frumpa said and call it a day.

  13. Hey, if you want to take baby steps, my album only has one country song on it, and you still get an anti-Bush rant, as well. wink

  14. Listening to it now – it’s only country by the barest of threads. More bluesy than anything.


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