23 February 2007

Music and Politics. But mostly music

Thanks to my mom, who was (rightly) concerned about my well-being while Rebecca traipses across the world, I'm currently watching the Dixie Chicks performance on Austin city limits. I thought Taking the Long Way really was one of the best albums that I listened to this year, so I was pleased to hear the Chicks raked in all the Grammy's. But I hadn't paid close attention to the details or to the current status of the political conflict that continues to swirl around the Chicks.

But after already impressing me by playing a spot-on version of Patty Griffin's "Truth No. 2", the Chicks really blew me away by playing a song that I'd never heard before. I thought it was called "I'm still here," but googling got me nothing on that. Turns out the song is called "The Neighbor" and was recorded for the documentary movie (about the controversy), titled Shut up and Sing.

At any rate, the google search revealed a few other juicy tidbits (I got them here):
  • After the Grammy's their album has jumped up to No. 8
  • "Not Ready to Make Nice" is the no. 4 single
  • No other group has ever won the Grammy award for Best Country Album more than once
  • The Dixie Chicks have won it for every single album they have ever made (4)
I did some other reading as well and it's clear that the country music industry remains committed to their boycott of the Chicks. They've had to cancel a number of shows, and country radio stations refuse to play their music or sponsor the concerts. But it doesn't matter much when it comese to the music, which is clearly better now than it ever was when they were trying to fit into the Nashville country genre. For anyone who doubts this, please get your hands on this Austin City Limits concert (or go see them live), so you can hear their cover of Dylan's "Mississippi".


tenaciousmcd said...

Sam, too bad you're not still living in Nash-Vegas. This was front-page material in the Tennessean for DAYS on end (Google it), and it's still the subject of constant letters to the ed, as well as stories in the Nashville Scene, etc.

The level of anger toward the Chix among the wingers and CMA execs remains intense. The Tennessean had a huge cover story on how country music execs believe the Grammy's are evil: how dare they utterly ignore country music this year, blah blah blah. As if the Chix dominance of that ceremony was an unmentionable act of treason. The other half of the gripe: Rascal Flatts, one of the lamest bands ever, didn't get to perform their own material but had to do an Eagles tribute with (the equally suck-tastic) Carrie Underwood.

BTW, I know I've already hyped this on FFB, but if you haven't heard M. Ward's Post-War, it is, for my money, the best album of last year. But I can't begrudge the Chix their wins: they were the STORY of this music year.

Ruth said...

Wouldn't the plural of "grammy" be "grammies?"

Transient Gadfly said...

Spending the weekend at the elder Chambers', we screened the ACL episode, and indeed, they are freakin' awesome. But what the hell is Natalie Maine wearing? A black garbage bag?

fronesis said...

Tmcd: Thanks for the nashvegas perspective. Will check out M. Ward.

Ruth: I plead blogger's license.

TG: technically, I think that's a 'designer garbage bag'.

tenaciousmcd said...

If it's any consolation, I've seen multiple articles where the plural of Grammy was indeed rendered as "Grammy's." We're all losing our possessive minds.