Gimme a break Bob, I've been saying this since 2001 when I heard "She Couldn't Change Me."
They don't know how to record guitars any more in rock music, I said. Guitars in country music sound like they did in rock music in the 70s, I said.
It's probably no accident that this videomaker chose That 70s Show for the images, even though it has nothing to do with the trappings (cowboy boots, trucks, etc) of country music.
From: Bob Lefsetz <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 11:06 PM
Subject: Pistol Annies
Too many people who would like this album will never hear it.
You see country is the new rock and roll. Or, more accurately, the old rock and roll. But it's wrapped up in so much ass-kissing right wing family values bullshit that there's a wall through which the music doesn't penetrate, it lives in its own ghetto, happy as a pig in shit, but it could be so much more.
I don't want to say this album is fantastic, but I'll say there's not one moment when you want to pick up the needle and trash it. And then you hang in there long enough to hear winners like "Boys From The South" and "Family Feud".
Country music too often plays to the lowest common denominator. When they start singing about babies and church I puke. It's like the CD should come with the minivan. The boys all wear cowboy hats and the girls wear cowboy boots and it's so inauthentic you want to dismiss it out of hand. But if you do you miss so much.
Just listen to Keith Urban's "Stupid Boy", especially the long guitar instrumental. If Jerry Garcia were still alive he'd be asking Keith to sit in.
And Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder & Lead" rocks harder than the work of the Brooklyn shoegazers.
But too many people don't hear this music.
Now I'm not sure Pistol Annies will sell that well, because the album doesn't have the obvious big hits. That's how we've been selling albums for the last decade or two. By bait and switch. We load 'em up with singles and you find out there's nothing holding them together, they're like swiss cheese, full of holes. And then there are albums like this, collections that hang together but are minus the radio showstoppers. But it's albums like this that make us fans, make us want to go see the act live, make us want to hear what the act is up to next.
You see it comes down to music, not fame. And I can't stop listening to Pistol Annies. Because they're not working hard to convince me they're the shit, because they're not banging me over the head to pay attention. Sure, there's the hype in newspapers, the glitzy website, but they're just obscuring the music, this is good music. You could go to the gig and let your mind drift, tap your feet a bit, leave feeling like you got something you couldn't get anywhere else, that you weren't an endless cog in the money machine.
The single is "Hell On Heels". It's good, but doesn't live up to its initial promise. Starts off all swampy and moody, a slowed-down country "Gimmie Shelter", then great harmonies and a good change, but it's just a bit too sing-songy, not quite memorable enough, in other words, the song doesn't go anywhere.
But I love the aforementioned "Boys From The South". It's got the country intimacy of Neil Young's "Harvest", albeit without the attitude. It's an aural movie, a great antidote to the two-dimensional crap being forced down our throat.
And "Family Feud" may seem like an outtake from a Dixie Chicks album, but is that such a bad thing? The Chicks spoke the truth and for that they were excommunicated? Are we really so big on Bush and Iraq and Afghanistan these days? Polls say otherwise. But ain't that America, the knee-jerk reaction, the drawing of lines when we're really all in it together.
And the dirty little secret is those on the margins of both the left and right have a lot in common. They're both disillusioned with the government, mad at corporations, could what happened in the Middle East happen here?
If we come together instead of fighting while the bad men make all the money.
There's no reason left wing liberals can't eat up Pistol Annies.
And although the trappings might lean right, the music here is positively dead center. We've all got problems, we're all trying to get along. That's what Pistol Annies are singing about.
And the music is no secret if you're a country fan, Miranda Lambert is a star.
But if they'd only take off their cowboy boots and leave their smugness at the door...
And if the city rockers pooh-poohing the "ignorant" folks down south would realize that all the real playing and singing comes from Nashville, maybe we could meet in between.
This music isn't for everybody.
But it's for a lot more people than what's being played on Top Forty.
They say rock is dead, radio stations are dropping like flies. But that's wrong, rock is flourishing, just turn on the country radio, there might be some banjos, but underneath it's all rock and roll. You'll like it.
"Family Feud": http://bit.ly/p7Kkrl
"Boys From The South": http://bit.ly/nGCSWD
"Hell On Heels": http://bit.ly/roAxVK
"Stupid Boy": http://bit.ly/14uZ7r
"Gunpowder & Lead": http://bit.ly/aCG2EU
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I want to play in your town for you and 2 of your friends.