Home / What Your Taste In Music Says About You Part 1: The Country Grammys

What Your Taste In Music Says About You Part 1: The Country Grammys

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Some might call me a music snob, and for the most part they would be right. I suppose it’s not any more fair to judge a person for their taste in music than it would be to judge them based on their skin color, ethnic origin, religion or personal appearance. But hell, if the Christian Right can get away with it, so can I.

I am at a unique advantage to most people who choose to indulge in the aesthetic values of music. I have access to a cd and vinyl collection that is close to 20,000. I disclose this information right off the bat so as not to paint myself as some kind of music intelligentsia, but to state that while I have access to this extensive library it doesn’t automatically make me a sophisticated music listener. You must WANT to care about what you cram in your ears and brains to really call yourself a music lover.

Take “country” music for example. Anyone listening to “today’s country” as it is labeled here in Cleveland is a complete douchebag. That’s right, I said it: HUGE WASTED SACK OF DOUCHWATER IN A BAG.

Whoa trigger, don’t get ahead of me, let me explain.

Now I am not cutting on country music as a genre. HELL NO. Country music is America’s music right? I guess so. But what’s been done in the name of country is truly a crime against humanity. This year’s Country Grammy Nominees actually includes Shania Twain and Faith Hill – two of the most grating, vile, useless, worthless purely fabricated piles of shit stuffed into a Barbie Doll, dressed-up-like-whores, tools of the devil I have ever seen.

In fact, what Shania Twain and her demonic husband, Mutt Lange have done to the world of country music is worthy of deadly retribution. Instead of vilifying these two music nitwits, the land of Nashville has embraced them and made them their ParaOlympic posterchildren for a musical genre that already teeters on the brink of extinction. Might as well just shove country into the pigtrough, ‘cuz here come Faith Hill, Toby Keith and Tim McGraw shuffling up behind them.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

When I listened to the latest Shania Twain cd, Up it became pretty damn clear that the working title was Throw The Fuck Up, but someone in marketing gave that a thumbs down. “I’m Gonna Getcha Good” is exactly right – but it’s not some ten-gallon-hat-wearing yokel she’s talking about – SHE’S TALKING ABOUT EVERY DIPSHIT WHO THINKS SHE’S COUNTRY. Play it backwards if you want, Satan’s message can and will be heard:

“Don’t wantcha for the weekend/don’t wantcha for a night
I’m only interested if I can have you for life, yeah
Uh, I know I sound serious and baby I am
You’re a fine piece of real estate/and I’m gonna get me some land”

Translated what she is saying is:

“I know you think I am country, but really I’m not
I am a pop singer, sauced up like a tart
My husband overproduces and craps out my shitty songs
And you stupid dumbasses pay for it, it’s so wrong

Yeah, uh, uh
I’ve already planned it – here’s how it’s gonna be
I’m gonna love you and – you’re gonna fall in love with me”

See, Satanic messages, and you people are falling in love ten million times over.

To be honest, even Willie Nelson isn’t country anymore, but at least he has paid the piper and should be allowed to sell his soul with dignity. Whatever happened to Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn? Real Appalachian-looking women dolled up and hootin’ and hollerin’. I bet Hank and Patsy are rolling in their graves.

Shania, may a plague of frogs visit upon you, may you be riddled with herpes, may you gain fifty pounds and grow planters warts on your feet. And as for you Mutt, I hope Def Leppard rises up and showers you with urine and Anges Young hands you an exploding guitar. Hang your head in shame, man, for you have earned it.

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About Dawn Olsen

  • Eric Olsen

    I’m not sure I’d go all that far, but the most recent Shania is about as artificial as it gets, and it isn’t very good either.

    Faith is even farther removed from country than Shania, but at least she’s pretty good.

  • Harley Neal

    Laughing my ass off! Oh boy, where do I start on this “review” It looks to me like your definition of “country” music is backwoods inbreds with tobacco juice dripping off their chins as they blow into a moonshine bottle and twang on a jewsharp. Is that your definition? It’s surely not mine. That is the kind of music that about killed country music. Music has evolved and believe it or not it has also gotten watered down at the same time.

    I used to be a morning host at a country station and was also the music director and took the station to the number 1 slot in Arb ratings. I think this allows me the luxury of putting in my 2 cents worth on the state of country radio as well. With the evolution you are going to see “slick” starting to make its way to the stagefronts of concert venues all across the us. It’s gotta be palatable to sell. And the folks that you are referring to, Willie, Patsy, Hank Loretta all had their day. But WAKE UP….their day is over and their music style has long since passed. Country music has had the long standing tradition of propping up the old fogies and letting them sing “one more time” until I could just puke. Jesus, Kenny Rogers is still making albums. Earth to Kenny……your chops are gone…you used to be able to sing fairly decent but now it’s just pitiful. Willie singing with Toby Keith?….who’s idea was that duo? Hand me my gun….didn’t anyone have the Cajones to say “hey, these guys are from 2 different schools and they mix like oil and water…this sucks” No…they didn’t. Why? Because country fans have been spoon fed the “Nashville” formula for so long they are like zombies marching to the record store to pick up the latest album from Alan Jackson. That is why you have “Critics” spouting “OMG this isn’t country”

    Let me tell you something, this isn’t 1960 either. Granted, Hank Patsy and all those folks made some good music in their time. But there is good music being made today as well and a lot of it is coming from Shania and Chesney and Toby, Hell even the Dixie Chicks are making good music!

    Quote “To be honest, even Willie Nelson isn’t country anymore, but at least he has paid the piper and should be allowed to sell his soul with dignity. Whatever happened to Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn? Real Appalachian-looking women dolled up and hootin’ and hollerin’. I bet Hank and Patsy are rolling in their graves.”

    Appalachin looking women…hootin and hollerin?……I think i’d just as soon shoot myself as to see that kind of hillbilly crap ever again.Hank and Patsy rollin in their graves? I think they are probably sleeping peacefully knowing that they made their mark on the world….but in time, those marks on the wall get painted over and the world moves on.

  • Eric Olsen

    Harley, you confirm the point yourself: country is no longer country and what made it great – the authenticity of “white blues music” – is no longer in play. What you are talking about is pop and twangy pop-rock. If you’d rather shoot yourself than hear that hillbilly crap again, then you simply don’t like country.

    That hillbilly crap is about the only country I really like.

    And your radio format needs a new name: “twang-pop”

  • Ok, so country music isn’t the same. It is country-driven pop or something. Rock isn’t the same as it was either. The old-school stuff like the White Stripes and the Strokes, etc, is sectioned off from the rap-rock, nu metal, hardcore, indie rock, death metal, etc. Why is it so different in country? There are still some people making more traditional country music, just not as scaled down and gritty as some of the most famous stuff from the past. Maybe the real problem is the overly broad categories for the grammy’s. Or maybe the problem is radio narrowing it’s acceptable music playlists.

    No matter what it is, I agree with Dawn in that I don’t find this type of music appealing. You can’t really blame Shania and Faith Hill though. They (and their cohorts) put something out there, and enough people liked it that radio came in and made it THE country music of choice on radio playlists, even if it is just country-driven pop as opposed to traditional country.

  • Harley Neal

    Eric, You misread. I said quote “I think i’d just as soon shoot myself as to see that kind of hillbilly crap ever again.”

    What I am referring to is the picture Dawn (you related BTW?) paints of “appalachin looking women dolled up hootin and hollering” which roughly translates to me as near cave women stomping aroud barefooted.

    I enjoyed some of the old music, but I enjoy the new as well. It’s all a matter of opinions I suppose and we are all entitled. You think the roots are what made country “great” I think that the continuing evolution makes it “great”.

    In my opinion the format should more aptly be named “evolved country”

  • Eric Olsen

    Okay, I see the difference, sorry I missed it. I agree it’s a matter of opinion and I don’t dislike all contemporary pop country, but it is a very different appeal from “country.” Pop country’s appeal is “suburban.”

    Traditional country has been shifted over to “roots” music with bluegrass and other indigenous genres.

    How did you in “evolved country” handle the success of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” that was about as de-evolved as it gets and sold millions and won the Grammy. what happens when the Louvin Brothers tribute wins this year?

    And i totally disagree with you about Willie – “Beers For My Horses” was the best song of the year. Obviously Toby thought Willie had something to offer.

  • Harley Neal

    Actually, funny you should ask about the “Oh Brother” song. Quite funny actually.

    I left the radio business about 5 years ago and still live in the broadcast area of the station I formerly worked for. During lunch one day, I flipped on the radio and heard the “Man of constant sorrow” song playing. I hadn’t seen the movie and made it a point to call the station to see why they were playing this song, becuase they aren’t a bluegrass station. I was told that it was beiing requested and they played it.

    Had I still been Music Director I wouldnt have played it because it didn’t fit our format, it is a Bluegrass song and was accepted by country radio because it was the theme song of a pretty darn good movie. Wrap it another single from the album and distribute it as a single release to country radio and I guarantee you’ll be buying that one at KMart in the bargain bin within 2 months.

    I still disagree about Willie singing with Toby. The message is obviously the selling point of this song. Listen to the clash in the vocal phrasings and styles between Willie and Toby. It’s a novelty. Marketing genius to make a few more bucks for the artists I’ll agree but as far as a quality tune….so much fodder for the ears. Luchenbach, now theres a duet!

  • David

    The country I prefer is the honky-tonk of the ’50s and ’60s, when there was still a subtle swing and tin pan alley influence in the music. It was a lingering remnant of an era when pop musicians were expected to be able to deal with changes, or at least have their ears developed. Though the harmonies were generally simple, the melodies were rich and beautiful. The suggestion that contemporary country is more sophisticated is false.

  • Eric Olsen

    Very well put David, I don’t think Harley means “evolved” toward greater sophistication, just away from its roots, which he sees as positive and Dawn and I see as generally negative. The “country-rock” of the ’70s is more country than what is called “country” today.

  • My problem with Shania, Faith Hill, and their ilk (besides that I can’t stand their music) is that nothing they do resembles anything remotely “country” at all. Maybe they got their start in country music, but what they turn out today bears no resemblance to country in any way. It’s adult contemporary pop. That is all. Why can’t we call it what it is? WHy won’t they?

  • All I’ve heard of Shania Twain (which isn’t a lot) sounds like Def Leppard with female vocals.

  • Eric Olsen

    classic Tim!

  • Dawn

    Shania is free to make that music, but for goodness sake, don’t call it country, and for all that is holy, don’t call it good.

  • uh…ah, forget it.

  • Imagining Shania singing Pour Some Sugar on Me is great for a laugh.

  • find yourself a copy of Emm Gryner’s “Girl Versions”

    when she sing “i’m hot and sticky sweet” you won’t be laughing.

  • Eric Olsen

    we love Emm around the Olsen hacienda

  • her “Pour Some Sugar” is a cover that totally transforms the song from dumb to, well, something…

  • Docent Shark

    Harley sez: “I used to be a morning host at a country station…”

    …which explains why he wouldn’t know REAL country music if it smacked him upside his Nashville-addled head.

    NEWS FLASH: Kenny Rogers was never country, so to berate him for continuing to record despite having lost his country soul is like criticizing Emenim for suddenly being out of touch with his Black Ghetto roots.

    BTW: What used to be called “country” is now known as “Americana”—and is represented by the most talented singer-songwriters in American; *Steve Earle, Kevin Welch, The Old 97s, Chris Whitley, The Hangdogs… man, the list goes on and on, but your’re not gonna hear them on ‘Country’ (read “over-produced, heartless, souless, market driven, profit-oriented, hollywoodized crap”) Music Stations.

    Do some research. Listen to some Renegade radio, and you’ll find that country AND rock-and-roll (both DEAD in the mainstream music world) are still very much alive under the heading of “Americana”.

    *Steve Earle said “Shania Twain is the highest paid lap dancer in America.”

  • Eric Olsen

    dead on, Docent, thanks!

  • Eric Olsen

    Let’s not be too hard on Harley, though, he really is talking about something else altogether.

  • Docent Shark


    Sorry, but… “Whatever happened to Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn?” –sorta *disqualifies you as a music snob.

    1) Loretta went ‘country pop’ decades ago; a string orchestra accompaniment automatically disqualifies a person from the authentic country music category.
    2) Dolly is still around–singing and writing ‘hillbilly’ music, ie bluegrass… which explains why she’s off radio’s radar.

    *but then again, any expert “country” fan from Cleveland gets a free pass…


    A Texan

  • Docent Shark


    Re: being “too hard on Harley…”

    I have a suggestion for the BLOGCRITICS LOGO: maybe you should trademark the phrase:


    and add it at the top of your home page.

    Of course, that might quiet things down a bit, eh?



    Def Leppard with a female lead singer would be awesome!

  • KS

    Face facts people, New Country should be destroyed or locked away and occationally showned to children on how not to make music. Country music split into two very obvious “good and bad” camps during the birth of the Nashville Sound in the ’60s. I’ve been to Nashville twice, and it gives me a smirk on how little good country is played live there or how little support there is to anyone different from the New Country image. Living in London, I’m lucky to be surrounded by a lot of good country of old, alt country and various hybreds of the genre. New Country in the UK is still a minority thing, few under 40 years old own up to liking it. Rightly so. As a friend of mine once called it; “Chris De Berg with a bit of slide guitar.” In reference to Harvey Neil’s little rant, I can’t help thinking that music just isn’t his thing.

  • Hellena=Carter

    Twain stinks
    makes me hate music
    so cold and fake and blank eyed
    greedy corporate whore
    shame on you and your evil husband payola reigna
    there may be millions of ‘sold’ cds in their castle dungeon

  • MC

    Aug 2007 Sitting in Germany bored but listening to Boot Liquor and the French country station, Radio Country Club and trying to read about the Hangdogs. Somehow I get to Faith Hill?? Nicely written above. Could never have said it that well. Irony of Irony, I’ve been ripping CDs from the local library because library cards aren’t free here in Deutschland so I’m really paying for this. And who do I pick up today but Faith Hill…don’t ask me why. I expect it will pollute my iPod.