I was supposed to get this up earlier today, but...well, pregnant. It's my handy excuse for everything.
Anyhow, today Country California turns four. From vicious mockery via Fake News that never fails to rile the TrooFans (see here and here for my personal favorites) to quotes from industry folks that will make you laugh, cry, and want to punch Tim McGraw (or is that just me?), it's the go-to site if you have ever paused on a mainstream country station just long enough to ask yourself "What the fuck is that and why does it sound like Don Henley having a stroke?"
I'm fairly certain this site also is to blame for the Drunken Martina meme. CM Wilcox is high on my list of people to whose snark I aspire.
And I promised him I would mock Nashville today in honor of the site's birthday, and since there are only 45 minutes left in the day, I figure I better get cracking.
So, I saw a version of this photo in the newspaper a couple of weeks back:
(Please note, clicking the pic takes you to the source.)
That's Hunter Hayes, Brantley Gilbert, & Scotty McCreery. Which I know only because I read the caption.
Man, looking at that, you can tell why Gilbert is so popular, can't you? I don't think the other two have hit puberty yet.
This photo is absolutely emblematic of what's wrong with Nashville. They're all boys, far too pretty, with all-too-obviously carefully crafted images. By contrast, look at this:
You think either one of those men even knew what the fuck an image consultant is? And yet, there is so much ambient testosterone in that picture that just looking at it while typing this post up practically guarantees that my unborn child will be male.
By the way, the dude in the ballcap in the first picture? That is what Nashville is telling us is an outlaw these days. Yeah. Nashville is now telling us who is too tough to play by their rules. And there are fans who are swallowing it. (I'd make a dirty joke about what else said fans probably swallow, but really I doubt they would on purpose, and any accidents would involve vomiting and an entire spray container of Binaca. Because they're just that fastidious.)
All that aside, you know what's really wrong with country music today? No trucker songs.
Hear me out. What was the last mainstream Nashville truck driving song that was anything close to a hit? The Sawyer Brown remake of "Six Days on the Road." Which they had to scrub for references to uppers, by the way. (The line is "I'm taking little white pills and my eyes are open wide" you pathetic dickheads, not "I'm passing little white lines...") Lee Ann Womack recorded a great trucker song years ago, but it was kept as an album cut even though it's a fantastic song.
The lack of trucker songs is only a symptom though. The disease? Country music's not about the working man anymore. Ronnie Dunn, who is an order of magnitude less annoying now that he's gotten rid of his hat act sidekick, did a song last year called "Cost of Livin'". Personally, I didn't much care for it, but folks who haven't given up on mainstream completely seemed to like it, but it went nowhere 'cause it was a song about the working man:
Nashville's not about that anymore. It's all fucking suburban soccer moms and redneck do-nothings who revel in their anti-intellectualism.
In other words, the music's got no balls, and you can tell.