Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dixie Chicks Just Don't Get It

As reported by Reuters, The Dixie Chicks released their new album "Taking the Long Way" May 23rd. The first song “Not Ready to Make Nice” hit 36 and 32 on the Country and Rock stations respectively and is now riding to the bottom of the chart. The second single, "Everybody Knows" is languishing at 50 on the Billboard chart.

The groups lead singer peeved most of America (who listened to their albums) while touring in London, England professing her embarrassment to be from Texas, George W. Bush's home state. The London fans cheered. The group's American fans boycotted the group. Their new album, far from being even remotely conciliatory or better yet, moving on, stirs the hornets’ nest once again. For fans, the group’s views just don't fly, if you know what I mean.

During the controversy and for at least a year afterward, Hollywood and every liberal media institution gave the Chicks help. Yahoo Launch featured the Dixie Chicks for forever with old tunes. With all the new groups out there and Launch's demographic (not a ton of country fans) what were the Dixie Chicks doing there?

Whatever. The liberals loved their message. Even country stars like Vince Gill begged fans to be kind, "the girls are young and free to have their opinion." I didn't disagree with Vince. They are welcome to their opinion. When they howled about censorship, I had to laugh. Not buying someone's art is not censorship, ladies, its other people exercising their constitutional right to buy what they want or not buy what they don't want. I didn't see any Senators participating in public "Fly" burnings and banning the album for the moral good of the American people. That would be censorship.

Hey, I was willing to give them a pass. "Sin Wagon" is a great song--irreverent, ripping instrumentals, zippy rhythm. Fun. Even when singing about drowning an abusive SOB, "Earl", probably got a pass from the violence police, simply because the girls are cute and the tune is catchy. After they opined in England, I wanted to forgive them for being 1) cowardly--you don't level that kind of opinion offensive from the safety of Europe, for heavens sake 2) silly--embarrassed for being from Texas? Why not be embarrassed for being a woman--G.W. was birthed by a woman after all 3) naive--surely they must know their core consumer. It's never a good idea to antagonize your buyers since business tends to suffer.

They never backed down. They acted smug. They got attagirls from every vapid actor and musician confirming the surreal, narrow world in which they all float.

Then, they release an album full of pretentious pap. Pretentious is not fun. The Dixie Chicks might fancy themselves as important social commentators, but how can I say this nicely? Well, they're just not. Their stunning lack of self-awareness speaks volumes of their arrogance. They are not young women. They are adults and mothers. I would like to think they were raised better than to insult friends who hold different opinions than them. Would they pick a fight with someone who cares about them personally, at a dinner party because they hold different politics? Why would they do that and worse, to people who must actively choose to buy their narrative?

Do they hang around smug, self-congratulating, narrow-minded rubes confirming every little thought that pops through their heads? "Oh yes, Natalie, you are SO right! You should write a song! People would buy it. Everyone feels that way and just want someone to speak what we all feel."

Angry, snobbish, condescending people tend to not be fun to hang around. These emotions often interfere with beautiful art or even provocative art. Art needs a certain amount of intelligence, awareness, humility, humor or mystery to keep someone interested. The last element is most lacking with the Dixie Chicks. When they blabbed about their politics, they removed any mystery. They removed the fun. They added insults. In addition, they demonstrated the leading indicator of impending divorce: contempt. They continue to demonstrate their contempt for their partners in success. Clearly, they desire the relationship with their fans to end. The paperwork is all but signed.

Ladies, it's over.


Anonymous said...


It appears it is you who does not get it. Over six in ten Americans agree with the sentiment the Dixie Chicks shared.

Furthermore....they're record has had tremendous advance sales....and when it has tremdendous release sales, I hope you will have the integrity to write a new post, and admit it is you, who does not get it.

Dr. Melissa said...

1. Please cite what poll mentions that 6 in 10 Americans are embarrassed to be from the same state that Bush is from. That is what Natalie said. I don't think 6/10 Americans live in Texas. I could be wrong about that.
2. While a good chunk of Blue State America probably supports her inane statements, they are not the Dixie Chicks core customers. Surely, you'll grant me that? The Dixie Chicks are country stars--a typically Red State constituency--like it or not.
3. If the Dixie Chicks new album busts out, I'll be sure to post about it. I'll keep track and post the album and all singles released from the album status, either way as I'm genuinely curious about their career future.

My bet is that they are O-V-E-R. But I've been wrong before.

Chalmers said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christy're said...

I waited on the phone for hours to get tickets to their Fly concert but nope, I'm not even going to buy one song. I am part of their ex-loyal fans, I guess! They no longer connect with me.

Chalmers said...


I hope the poor grammar from "anonymous" assures you that brother is not on the liberal attack wagon, this time! :-)

I love the way he or she put Dr. in "quotes!" I am enjoying picturing someone Chris Farley-esque saying, “Doctor” while throwing up the air quotes!

By the way, I am glad that Natalie recanted her apology; at least she can be commended for honesty. I can take a pretentious Hollywood nut, just don't sell out and apologize. Even as liberals, Amanda and I will probably not be purchasing the new record, mostly because what we’ve heard so far is crap pop music... no soul. At least Neil Young's new album has honesty and soul, even if a person disagrees with his views.

If the CD is worth buying, buy it, regardless of differences in politics.

Like the people refusing to "support" the gnostics by purchasing a ticket to the Da Vinci Code! Give me a break! If you are trying not to support the liberals in Hollywood, you better never darken the doors of any movie theatre.