Skip to comments.Country Music: Too Much Freedom Loving?
Posted on 05/17/2009 7:34:47 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In these hard times, Americans are trying hard to relax and take refuge in entertainment. But The Washington Post is insisting that country music fans are not really sympathetic figures. They are prone to self-congratulation and "closing ranks" behind the thought that they live in the "real America."
The Post music critic going by the name Josh Freedom du Lac -- that just can't be his name -- doesn't really seem to like patriotic music, despite the patriotic byline. He worries that songs like Jason Aldean's "Hicktown" or the Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" do something wrong: They are "narrowcasting to a specific community: the core country audience, whose roots aren't exactly in America's urban centers."
That claim in itself sounds silly. Aren't people who make rap music or big-band music or polka music "narrowcasting"? Maybe du Lac just doesn't like this particular niche audience. He doesn't like the message that's offered, either. "The symbolism and prideful sentiments of the songs are intended to create a sense of belonging among people with similar backgrounds and lifestyles, or at least people who romanticize life in the rural South," he wrote. "To some listeners, though, it might sound as if the artists are closing ranks."
Then he arranged an expert to echo his theme: "Some of these songs seem to fall into the 'we're from Real America, and you're not' camp," said Peter Cooper, who covers country music for Nashville's daily newspaper, the Tennessean. "Seems like being divisive while the industry around you crumbles is a poor decision."
At this point, the country music fan has a question: Is a newspaper writer from Nashville possibly making an unwise decision to deride his hometown industry while the newspaper business crumbles around him?
Where, oh, where, is the controversy in country music fans loving their country? Offended urbanistas (like big-city newspaper writers) never seem to ask whether they can be accused of their own superiority complex about how much smarter and more sophisticated they are than those ignorant rural rednecks.
Is divisive anger what these country musicians are selling? Take a quick look at lyrics from the Zac Brown Band song singled out by the Washington Post: "I thank God for my life/ For the stars and stripes/ May freedom forever fly, let it ring./ Salute the ones who died/ And the ones that gave their lives/ So we don't have to sacrifice/ All the things we love." Those things include fried chicken and beer and blue jeans.
Where, exactly, is a call to "closing ranks" in those lyrics? Is embracing freedom and the American military a form of "narrowcasting"? The only ones who could possibly be uncomfortable or feel excluded are those who don't embrace freedom.
So what does Freedom du Lac embrace? His "Best of 2006" list of musical favorites included a different kind of Southern vibe from the Virginia-based rap group Clipse: "The Virginia Beach brothers Pusha T and Malice make morally bankrupt music -- stark, punishing rap songs about selling cocaine." How on earth does that appeal to a broad audience?
His "Best of 2006" list was topped by the Bush-bashing Dixie Chicks, whose "Not Ready to Make Nice" was hailed as "one of the great singles" of the year. The song demonized people who supported a war on terror: "It's a sad, sad story when a mother will teach her daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger." Dixie Chick critics were cartooned as people who write letters "Sayin' that I better shut up and sing, or my life will be over." Don't look now, but someone is "romanticizing" their own viewpoint and "closing ranks" with people who aren't "haters."
But that song is a picnic of patriotism compared to another du Lac "Best of 2006" pick -- a disc by a rap group called The Coup, titled "Pick a Bigger Weapon." He hailed the musical genius of their leader, Boots Riley: "He hurls poetic Molotov cocktails at the usual suspects (capitalist pigs, President Bush, the CIA); but he also spikes this Marxist manifesto with lusty lyrics." Boots Riley has referred to this country as the "United Snakes," and believes that "the American flag stands for oppression, slavery and murder."
So praise the freedom America offers, and Josh Freedom du Lac will curse you; write Marxist manifestos against the "United Snakes," and he will praise you as the best. Someone needs to drop the word "Freedom" from his name.
Something tells me he won't be attending Sean Hannity's Freedom Concerts this summer.
Buncha damn freedom loving nazis. LOL
Country music fans do live in real America, the other pop music is pretty much for perverts. Classical is of course in its own category.
Whodathunk Liberals would hate country. To many flags...
Interesting concept. Did anyone think to mention this to Hollywood when they were making all those "We're the Bad Guys in Iraq" movies that lost so much money?
What other genre of music celebrates traditional American activities and the men and women of the Armed Forces that help protect that way of life? What other genre of music celebrates and mourns those who die in that cause?
If one’s music casts hate and disparages the USA then the one can go to hell.
IMO of course.
Take a look at the last national county by county presidential election map.
City people aren't patriotic.
Give me classic country (Marty Robbins, George Jones, even Jim Reeves) over the crap that comes out of Nashville today. And I wish ALL musicians would STFU about their politics. They all need to listen to Johnny Cash's "One on the Right is On the Left."
Those who refuse to support and defend a state have no
claim to protection by that state.
Killing an anarchist or a pacifist should not be defined
as murder in a legalistic sense.
The offense against the state, if any, should be Using
deadly weapons inside city limits, or Creating a
traffic hazard, or Endangering bystanders, or other
City people aren’t patriotic.
No, they aren’t. That’s because they live like laboratory rats in a controlled environment.
Elitist libs. What do they know? I love Country Music, and I live in NYC.
That is a deeper truth than most Liberals are capable of fathoming.
But it makes perfect sense....how can one rail against the country on one hand then expect to enjoy its freedoms and expect its protection on the other hand?
Oh, yeah, I forgot, Liberal = Hypocrite.
Washington ComPost - consider the source.
Give you a hint sweetheart. This country is built on the backs of proud rednecks who live where there isn’t even a Wal-Mart.
Perhaps, but the freedom to inbreed is perhaps best suppressed.
They can take the boy out of the country but not the country out of the boy.
Am I wrong or isn’t it correct that the number one radio format in America is Country Music? If that’s the case, that means that people who could get all choices for free and choose what they want most behind the locked doors and privacy of an automobile choose country music.
If America is about democracy, the right liberty to make self determining choices and the true pursuit of happiness then I’d say that the people have spoken and country music is not only American, it is obviously quintessentially American. What the critic doesn’t like is that the freedom and popularity of country music doesn’t fit tidely with his own world view. I suppose Kanye West would be his choice instead.
Folks in the beer joints like new singalong song which is called “Find A Place To Hide and F##k Yourself”, but I think the title’s too long for radio.
***Classical is of course in its own category.***
I love Classical music! Mozart! Hayden! Verdi! Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys!
Nothing comes up on Google, which is probably as it should be.
Country music in NYC? How blasphemous. Check out stations on the net. My favorite is out of Huntsville, Texas. Goes by the name of K Star, 99.7 Another good one is WSM out of Nashville. My heart goes out to you. Spent 4 years in NJ. Being from Southeast Texas, I felt like I was on another planet. Best of luck you you.
“When you leave Amarillo, turn out the lights”
The same big names and up and coming songs get syndicated country-wide, from Maine to California, from Washington to Florida.
My sister is a Walmart checkout clerk. Is there something wrong with that?
True. But believe it or not I was born and raised here and still live here. Got into Country Music about 7 years ago while channel surfing and came across CMT. Aside from sounding good, the songs and videos were very patriotic and wholesome. Been in love with it ever since. Still listen to rock though.
Yeah, I get teased at work about it. I have a 10 gal. cowboy hat but can’t where it here. I could hear it now, “Yo what’s wit da hat? Are ‘youse’ a cowboy or someting? Hey, I gotcha lasso right here!”
1988 was my last year in New Jersey, lived ther for 33 years. Had the car radio set to a local country station just to piss off the yuppies. Then in September 1988 I emigrated to Houston, and never returned to that awful place. Of course now I’m stuck in Minnesota, and after nearly eight years here, my tag line (to paraphrase Davy Crockett):
I knew a woman who worked as a Walmart checkout person for years.
When she retired and cashed in her stock she was well set up financially. She had been witht WM from sixties.
I knew several people who turned down a chance to buy WM stock back in the 1960s. They still moan about the lost chance.
How can you love freedom too much?
If yes, I will send it to FR, send a donation to FR with
“the freedom to inbreed is perhaps best suppressed.”
Yes, we’ve seen what has happened in England and is happening in America’s cities.
“My sister is a Walmart checkout clerk. Is there something wrong with that?”
“Hey I’m not complaining ‘cause I really need the work
Hitting up my buddy’s got me feeling like a jerk
Hundred dollar car note, two hundred rent.
I get a check on Friday, but it’s all ready spent.”
She’s part of the solution, not the problem. Too many Chicagoite’s in this country for my liking.
City people in a cage...we call 'em RATs.
du Lac is unbelievably pretentious, and has a very narrow range of taste. I am certain that he is an Obamite (otherwise, why would he be at the Post) and any music that celebrates America is bound to be anathema to him.
LOL So true.
Josh Freedom du Lac, Pop Music Critic for The Washington Post (formerly at the Sacramento Bee)
as a music critic in the nation's capital, he is often at the confluence of national politics and pop culture, for example when famed investigative journalist Carl Bernstein asked du Lac to watch his son's rock band perform.
There was rebellion in county music long before rock n roll.
Yeah, right. ...Dixie Chicks, Merle Haggard,... Many musicians of all kinds are immoral and anti-American. Some are immoral and only pretend to be patriotic. The old western music was alright, though, IMO.
I applaud the few patriotic and moral musicians of various kinds.
DING! DING! DING! DING! DING!
No more calls, please, no more calls......
Don't be too tough on Minnesotans. After only a couple of generations in Alaska, they brought forth Sarah Palin.
Proof positive. When you dump a Diana for a horse something has to be wrong.
Plus it is the number 1 music format for radio. Overall, number 2 after talk/news.
There are some good country singers out there, Charlie Daniels is one, also not all country folks are immoral.
I found two good stations, WDSY FM, Pittsburgh and one in Detroit believe it or not, WCYD FM. Excellent country stations via internet streaming. Plus the latter just had a major downtown hoedown concert weekend.
Plus country is America on soundtrack. Just take a look at a recent song called “Shutting Detroit Down” by John Rich.
I”d love to hear that poofter complain about a cowboy boot up his ass.