Not a Country Music Fan, but…

Lately I’ve been following the tour of the Dixie Chicks.  Not like some stalker or anything, but every now and then I just hop over to their website to see what’s up.  They are scheduled to play in Oakland on Friday, and I’m seriously thinking of getting tickets to the show. I’ve heard they are good players, and who knows, maybe I’ll be a fan after I see the show.  Ever since Jefito featured a couple of songs from their new CD on his site a few months ago, they’ve popped up on my “Party Shuffle” mix on my iTunes player, and the songs are growing on me.  DAMN YOU, JEFITO!
Now, I have to say that the Dixie Chicks are not quite a country act.  They have such a pop sensibility that, in a way, listening to the Dixie Chicks reminds me of listening to The Eagles, Michelle Shocked, or Cowboy Junkies.  If it wasn’t for their opposition to the Iraq invasion, I think I wouldn’t have bothered with their music. After they were effectively blacklisted from country stations owned by Cox and Cumulus, they took a hit in terms of record and concert sales.  The usual crowd of intolerant idiots fired up their bonfires and went witch hunting, but instead of backing down, the Chicks got more defiant and stood their ground — except for an attempt to apologize to Bush for being disrespectful, that didn’t quell any of the anger from the hardcore country crowd.

So now here we are, the DC tour had to be rerouted to parts of North America where people weren’t boycotting their shows or issuing death threats.  Their audience has shrunk, but they are still making money.  Maybe not the gazillions they were before, but hey, they’re popular in Canada! And they have a new film coming out chronicling the fallout from taking an anti-Bush stance in the heart of so-called “Red America.” The film, “Shut Up and Sing,” was supposed to be released last week, but for whatever reason the company who is distributing the film held back on its release.

Now that the film is coming out, the tour is underway, the CD is out, the Chicks will probably make converts of people like me who can’t stand country music, but make exceptions when it comes to artists who exhibit a kind of rock rebelliousness. 

I saw them on Hardball with Chris Matthews and, I gotta say, Matthews comes across as quite uniformed when it came to who boycotted the Chicks’ music.  Have a look at the YouTube clip and you’ll see Chris not-quite-on-his-game. He was probably drunk.



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