I suppose if I had to list what I hated the most about modern country music I would say that the music itself was my first reason, with the country aspect coming in at a close second. To me it always felt like music for people with cow-brains where croaky yodeling millionaires masquerade as simpletons to attract revenue streams whenever there’s a terrorist attack. The musicians dress up as bad-dude outlaws yet they write songs about being nice to their “mommas” and supporting socially-oppressive government.
That being said, it’s grown on me like a staph infection. Country music as an art form is about as true to the nature of story-telling as any genre of music out there. It relies on narrative, and for that reason country music is the most popular form of American music in the world. This was detailed brilliantly last year on an episode of NPR’s Pop Culture Podcast. I would recommend downloading the episode here.
At the height of their mainstream popularity in the 90’s, the rock band Ween decided to record a country album. Half satire, half endearing tribute, the group enlisted some of the greatest session musicians in country music to record their twelve song honky-tonk, and they called it 12 Golden Country Greats. With song titles like “Piss Up A Rope” and “I Don’t Want To Leave You On The Farm“, the band took what many thought would be an inside joke and turned it into a high concept storyboard that blurred the line between mockery and flattery.
Writing Exercise. Think of names for 12 original country anthems. Songs to be played at monster truck rallies, sporting events, political fundraisers, and state fairs. Think about your country audience. What do they want to hear? What speaks to their soul? Are your songs satire? Tribute? Post-modern? What stories would these songs tell? Get down in the mud and wrestle that pig!
Feel free to share in the comments section if’n you are so inclined. As always, I elected for mockery…
BARBEQUE AND SHIT STAINS K.G. MadMan & the Fuck Yeah’s
1. Since When Do We Elect the Help?
2. Me and Jesus Shootin’ Freaks
3. Catfish Pond (Grandpa Caught A Biggin’)
4. A Horse Named Abrams, A Pasture Called Iraq
5. She’s Pressin’ Charges
6. Man, I Miss That Pig
7. Whiskey, Flags and Body Bags
8. Tooter or Cooter?
9. Fag Draggin’ Four Wheel Drive
10. Blue Jean Bulge
11. I Touched Her First (Daddy’s Little Girl’s Grown Up)
12. Give Them Liberty or Give ‘Em Death