Friday, November 13, 2009

Re-Convert

You know how when you ask people what kind of music they listen to many will say, "Anything but country....oh and rap."

As a die hard country music fan, this totally pisses me off. Ok, so country is just not your thAng, I get it- that's fine. But REALLY? You like every other category in the repertoire of worldly music EXCEPT country? How much more of an insult can you give to a down-hown, line-dancing, wanna-be country gal? It's borderline ridiculous!

I mean seriously? You'd prefer to listen to hours of ear splitting mountain yodeling than country music? You would choose whinny teenage emo music over a couple bars of an acoustic accompanied by a fiddle and some lyrics about pick-ups and bud light? How about hokey polky acccordian music in another language? You'd rather listen to THAT too? Well, at least you disclaimed a distate for rap as well, but notice how it is almost an afterthought as if country music where the ultimate in horribleness.

Am I missing somethere here? Is country music THAT horrible? I mean it's a brother to Rock and Blues. And excuse me, but ELVIS PRESLEY was consideres a country music artist as well. I admit a lot of country is "redneck," but that's because country singers know how to HAVE fun and MAKE fun of themselves. Example lyrics:

"She thinks my tractor's sexy."
"I can hotwire your tractor and plow up your land."
"I can take you for a ride on my big green tractor."
"If you gonna learn to farm you gotta learn to drive a truck"
"We all gotta hillbilly bone deep inside."
"I was sittin' there sellin' turnips on a flatbed truck."

Maybe it's genetic. You are born to like country or not. Maybe I just like it because it brings back memories of riding my bike in my garage as my dad worked on his boat and blasted the local country station. Maybe it just speaks to where I am in life right now. Or maybe I'm just a country girl trapped in the city. Oh, and there IS something beautiful about an accoustic or steel guitar that can't be replicated by a synthesizer.

In highschool I claimed that I hated country along with all of my friends. I think I even believed that myself for a while. From highschool to the age of 25, I refused to listen to it because of it's reputation as being "uncool" and "hick." But then, one day, my mom drove my car and left the radio station blaring. I decided to leave it on that channel for my entire 45 minutes drive home. By the time I got home I was singing along to my old favorites and loving some of the new stuff. I could hide no longer- country found me again and it stuck.

If you just don't like country, I respect that. I'm not trying to convert you. I just want people to respect country as a legitimate expression of the values and experiences of people from all across the country. And not just unsophisticated, toothless people, either. Sure it can be as loud an obnoxious as a dirty pickup with monster wheels. It can be as sexy as a shirtless rodeo bronc in boots and a dirty cowbow hat. But it can also be as sweet, romantic and breathtaking as an endless field of wheat and rolling hills.

And if you STILL refuse to respect country, you can take my shit kickers (aka:boots) up your @$$, you dimwitted gooseberry.

9 comments:

Someone Being Me said...

Hey I live in Texas and hated country until I went to college. Here you are pretty much forced to like it because it plays in every bar and club at least part of the time. Plus there is even "Texas" country which is really revered in my college town like Pat Green. It grows on you.

rachsu said...

I am wildly obsessed with Brad Paisley. Wildly. And I would rather two-step than grind any day. ;)

Proto Attorney said...

I probably have a different take on it because of where I live, but the majority of country music (at least played on the radio) annoys me. Do I hate all country music? No. There are many artists I like very much, but they are more exceptions rather than the rule. As a genre, I think it tries too hard to be redneck and backwoods, in particular, portraying certain areas of the country to be rural that actually aren't, rather than simply being stylistically and topically country.

For instance, this dimwit I graduated with is now a country artist. She writes all these generic songs about growin' up in a one horse town, blah blah stereotypical country platitudes, blah blah. Yeah, we grew up in a small town, with 10,000 people, that is a suburb of a city with a half million people. There are definitely rural areas of our county, but she lived in town, not in a hollow, and to my knowledge she has never even been to a farm, let alone had anything to do with a tractor. It's like someone from Downers Grove, Illinois writing songs about growing up in a small town. STFU, insincere country-crooning classmate.

Regardless, I've had a lot of interaction with fantastic country musicians over the years, as well as bluegrass and folk artists. I love Elvis's country stuff (Blue Moon of Kentucky!) and some of my best childhood memories are going to shows at Renfro Valley. But I also throw up a little in my mouth every time I drive by the street named for Billy Ray Cyrus. Blarg.

Cee said...

I have to admit, I don't know a lot about "real" non pop country music. I am mostly familiar with the stuff they play on the local radio. And yeah, I think country artists feel like they have to fit a "backwoods" mold, perhaps. So maybe it does lack some genuinity (is that a word?) and is more striving to sing about an idealized fantasy. but if the music sounds good, then that's fine with me.

There are some coutnry artists that totally annoy me, one in particular who is only 19 and cleaned out at the CMA awards. God, she's annoying....but, in general, when it comes to idealizing farm/country/cowboy living- I am gullible and I will fall for it everytime.

Gillian said...

We like classic country: Willie, Waylon, etc. But I can't stand "pop" country (Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood) because I think it is just as unimaginative, formulaic, and rote as pop rock. Which I also pretty much hate.

I do like the tractor;s sexy song, though. :)

je said...

omg... you have no idea how TIMELY this post is. You just tapped directly into my day's anger at a professor who, despite being from Cleveland, OH, knew better than I did whether or not I am from the South based on where I live. There is so much anti-anything related to the South at my school that it makes me want to scream! And before I moved here, I didn't even know that I considered myself a southerner. Okay, I know that's not exactly what your post is about. At all. In high school, I hated on country music because I thought I was too cool to like it. No more! Country music rocks, yes, even generic mainstream country which is no more inauthentic than the millionaire hip-hop artists singing about slinging drugs or the emo dudes crying about not being able to get a girl. Country songs tell good stories and touch on contemporary issues with a directness that maybe makes some people uncomfortable. see Tim McGraw, Red Rag Top. Ending rant....now!

J said...

Totally love this. I've been a country music fan since.. well birth. There are certainly artists that I cannot stand in the genre, however, and I hate how now EVERYONE thinks they can be country (Jessica Simpson, for example).

There's so much on country radio that is the farthest thing from country music (Taylor Swift is just ONE example out of mannnnny).

I love the classic country and really enjoy some of the artists who seem to have more of those roots but I also love me some Garth Brooks. I would sell a kidney to be able to see his live show again.

IT's kind of ridiculous how popular country music is now. I thought Martina singing "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" was so appropriate on the CMAs because it is VERY timely!

legally certifiable said...

Your post cracks me up (sorry if that's not the intent!) DH is a total country hater. He has the most eclectic musical tastes of anyone I know, but he is always hatin' on the country.

I grew up on country and listened through high school and college (I also regularly squeezed my size 5 ass into size 3 Rockies and went out to country bars every weekend seeking our guys in too-tight Wranglers. Yeah, I was one of those girls.)

Don't ask me how I ended up up with DH! I rarely listen to country anymore--except when we are on a road trip in the middle of nowhere, then I will torture DH and the kids by singing obnoxiously loudly to the country station because I know all the words to all the old country tunes!

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