Monday, July 21, 2008

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Pretend Cowgirls


Becoming a country star is the musical equivalent of authoring children's books: It's the kind of thing that just about anyone can do serviceably and rake in bags of money, making it the perfect fall-back for the talent-deprived or those who've found their cultural relevancy waning.

Which is what makes it so amusing that Jessica Simpson seems to be failing miserably at it.

The formerly ubiquitous singer, "actress" and canned tuna connoisseur -- famous mostly for having large breasts and blonde hair -- was booed at her first official country music concert in Wisconsin over the weekend. Simpson took to the stage saying, "I don't know what your perception is of Jessica Simpson or what tabloid you buy, but I just want you to know that I'm just a girl from Texas," then, apparently forgetting that there were likely at least a few miserable heterosexual men in the audience: "I'm just like you. I'm doing what I love and dating a boy."

To Jess's credit, judging by the number of times she managed to use the word "just" in two sentences, she's all about lowering expectations for this little reinvention of hers.

The crowd was, shall we say, less than roundly impressed. "I'll have to drink a lot of beer to sit through her concert," said one man (although whether he was referring specifically to Jessica Simpson or to, you know, anybody, is unknown).

Added another: "She's an embarrassment to country music."

I'll just let you think about that statement for a minute.

37 comments:

Suzy said...

i think i might've just gotten fired for just laughing as hard as just about any cuban girl could!

Mr. Controversy said...

"...embarassment to county music"? Ladies and gentlemen, the head has caught up with the tail and is beginning to devour itself. Yee-fucking-haw!

b80vin said...

Why'd he limit the embarrassment to country music?

Anonymous said...

"Becoming a country star is...making it the perfect fall-back for the talent-deprived or those who've found their cultural relevancy waning."

Wow, the smarmy ignorant and flat out wrong hipster douchery fucking oozes out of my monitor.

So Johnny Cash was talent deprived.

So Willie Nelson is talent deprived.

So Dolly Parton is talent deprived.

So Hank Williams was talent deprived.

So Patsy Cline was talent deprived.

Tell me, "Chez, (oh, by the way, that's a singularly stupid first name to have. You truly got the actual shit punched and kicked out of you every day in elementary junior and high school yes? Thought so.) how many albums has Garth Brooks sold?

Actually don't even bother trying to come up with some smarmy sarcastic answer about how the amount of records someone sells has no bearing on their cultural relevancy/hipster douchebag quotient, because your wrong.

Brooks has sold well over 90,000,000 records, and is much closer to 100,000,000 sold. Y'know who else has sold 100,000,000 records?

The Beatles.

Now don't you dare try and claim that The Beatles were never culturally relevant or talent deprived.

The Beatles are the singular most culturally relevant act of the 20th century.


Oh, and take off the fanboy goggles and put on a pair of bigboy pants and actually post the comments of someone like me, who disagrees with you and refuses to suck your smarmy and slimy cock.

Chez said...

Are you kidding -- you don't think I'll happily let you look like an idiot?

trish said...

They're always Anonymous, aren't they?

Mr. Controversy said...

Anonymous - being a country star these days isn't exactly all it used to be. Even your god Garth Brooks sold out to Wal Mart and Santa Claus.

Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, and Patsy Cline were all country stars when country music meant something. Now, it's just bad, southern fried pop music that either cashes in on religious bigotry, extreme right wing political stances, and in the most extreme cases national tragedies...which, ironically, is what Jessica Simpson is classified as nowadays.

Chez said...

I'll "clarify" for the small but apparently vocal dingbat contingent reading this site: I never said everyone in country music was talent-deprived -- far from it. I said that it's a really easy default setting these days for musicians who are either too average to make it another genre or have had their shot and are falling from favor (see: every other American Idol contestant from the past four years).

Right now, country music is basically pop music with a much more charitable (and much less demanding) audience. Johnny Cash was astonishing, as was Waylon Jennings -- who put on one of the best shows I've ever seen, incidentally -- as is Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, hell, even the goddamned Statler Brothers.

Carrie Underwood, not so much -- regardless of how popular she may be.

Rob in Calgary said...

I admit I'm a country-music fan. I do believe it's America's soundtrack (yes, this sounds silly coming from a Canadian). I like the themes of the songs, which really echo what we go through in everyday life.

Still, I agree that the country-music industry is the refuge for those who can't cut it elsewhere. I watch Nashville Star weekly and am astounded at how NBC tries to make it as "un-country" as possible. The radio is filled with a lot of crap, and now we're adding Jessica Simpson to the playlist.(rolls eyes)

There are some modern artists worth listening to (Gary Allan, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley), and I think this genre of storytelling will survive the pop onslaught, but hopefully it goes away quickly.

The one plus is that Jessica's inevitable failure will lead to the most logical next step: a nude photoshoot or a "stolen" sex tape.

LaRoach said...

You know what happens when you play a Country and Western album backwards? Your woman comes home, your dog comes back to life, your truck starts running again...

/What kind of music you play here?
//Both kinds!
//Country AND Western!

Captain Babypants said...

Wow.

And I felt silly because I was going to politely inquire if you were painting all country with the same brush, or just that awful pop country that has become the Nashville standard since the 80s.

Thanks Anonymous for throwing yourself on the grenade for me!

em said...

Wow. Defensive, much, anonymous? When "country" music can now include a song called "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" I think it's safe to say that the likes of Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, etc. are not a part of that particular "country" grouping.

Now, back to working on Chez's manly bits...

VOTAR said...

Shockin'. Y'all.

Anonymous said...

Country in recent years has turned into little more than whiny pop music.

Listening to it is like watching an emo kid do the moonwalk in cowboy boots with silver spurs: You keep thinking you just don't understand what's going on, but eventually you just realize what's happening is simply painful.

I think a fair explanation of this phenomenon lies in the fact that there are very few "true cowboys" anymore, and those that remain usually shy away from selling themselves out as "commercial cash cows". No "true cowboy" would want to be herded, exploited, and ultimately slaughtered when he was no longer useful, as usually happens to both farm animals and out-of-style musicians.

Quite simply, commercialization invariably kills the artistic spirit in favor of the statistically safest money-making scheme.

MataHari said...

Simpson's southern fried days are numbered. When the country thing doesn't work out, what is she going attempt next? "Jessica Simpson Does Death Metal..."
Plus, I don't think that moaning and creaking an annoying little girl voice into a microphone counts as real singing to begin with.

She doesn't have a damn thing on
Johnny Cash Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennngs, Patsy Cline and Hank Locklin.

Chez said...

Yup Votar my friend, I can now officially say that I've seen the dumbest thing created in my lifetime.

I think my goddamned IQ dropped two dozen points just watching that.

b80vin said...

Speaking strictly in terms of The Fuck, what? So much is wrong with you anon. Forget country music and forget Chez. Let's deal with smarm. Posting a logically farcical post like that on someone else's blog? Smarm. Referencing the Beatles in relation to country music? Smarm. Putting forth a pop country act's total sales as a defense for cultural relevance, as if the tastes of pop audiences are relevant to historical sustainability? Stupid and smarmy (to illustrate, Brooks is already a footnote in pop cultural history, while the Beatles are still relevant). Finally, imagining your post is daring and brings something to this blog is like me crashing a church service and speaking through a bull horn about evolution: no one wants to hear it, no one is persuaded and it's a crushing bore. Not to mention SMARMY.

Stephen said...

As a lifelong fan of country music, road-travelled concert goer of Willie, Merle, and George Strait, I can say without a doubt Mr. or Mrs. (if you are a Mrs. and you talk like that call me) Chez is right. Country music is now recorded in such a manner as to simply remove the fiddles and steel guitars from the track so it can be played on pop or adult contemporary stations.

I blame "Islands in the Stream" for it all. Two very talented country stars at the top of their game recording pop platinum written by none other than Barry Gibb. Yet another thing we can pin on the Bee Gees.

Suzy said...

anonymous is jealous that chez's got friends in low places.

UneFemmePlusCourageuse said...

What is truly annoying to me is when fans of modern country music try to claim that they're so much more moral and righteous than fans of other music. In one of my classes last year we had to do group projects analyzing song lyrics, and one guy got up and said that he "used to be a fan of rap, but saw how 'bad' and sexist it was and now loved country."

Ah yes, because traditional country family values are so much less sexist...urgh.

To put it plainly, there's crap everywhere. If you wanted to, you could find the good country music, the good rap music, the good rock music, et cetera. Or you could just laud one genre over all the others because you like it, so it must be good. (Which is what I think Anonymous and the dude in my class were doing, not what I think you are doing, Chez, to be clear.)

Anonymous said...

I don't care for country music but I think even the minimumly successful artists in that genre are able to tell stories with their songs.
Jessica completely fails at that and her voice talent sure isn't going to save her. IDK why she thought that being from Texas = country fans would love her.

Kara

Deacon Blue said...

Frankly, while it was better in the 70s and 80s when I was young and forced to listen to it b/c my mom was a huge C&W fan, it was already starting it's decline back then. There were still some great stars, but some of them were starting to show signs of wear and too many up and comers were making the same mistakes pop/mainstream rock were making. It has already start to become an embarassing "my wife left me and the field is dead and my truck is all I've got besides my dead dog" genre.

As others have already pointed out better than I can probably, it simply has run afoul of what most major popular musical genres do. Rap and hip-hop mostly sucks now, pop music has sucked for a VERY long time, country and western mostly sucks, R&B still has some legs but has largely become a joke, alt rock got too full of itself and started to become a self-parody, etc.

So while I would dearly love to defend C&W music on behalf of my late mom, I just can't. Good artists there have been, and I think few country songs are better than Charlie Daniels' "Devil Went Down to Georgia" and Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" and pretty much everything Johnny Cash ever did...well, mostly the talent out there just doesn't exist.

Maybe we need some grunge-punk country...

Chez said...

Come back Jason and the Scorchers.

kanye said...

Here lies Country, strangled by a blonde that couldn't sing; strangled by a blonde that couldn't siiiiiing...

So she's moving from Pop to Country? Since that's opposite the path that most musicians take, does that mean she's pulling a reverse cowgirl?

Chez said...

And the Comment of the Week award goes to...

Fungi said...

You heard about the legend of Jesse James
John Henry just to mention some names
But there's a truck driving legend in the south today
A man called Bandit from Atlanta G.A.

Every gear jammer knows his name
They swear he got icewater runnin in his veins
Foot like lead, and nerves like steel
He's gonna go to glory ridin 18 wheels.

Fungi said...

just for you my friend...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOBRlOfoRCo

Chez said...

That's so fucking surreal it's just brilliant.

aaron said...

There was a pajiba flamewar on this topic, leading our friend TK to launch http://themusicisthemessage.blogspot.com/ as an exploration of what is good country vs what is crap. I myself have never cared for country and count its rabid fans among the special-needs segment of society today, but due props to TK for reminding me that it was, at one point, somewhat more respectable than it is now.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the complete and utter ignorance of the comments is astonishing.

But since the vast majority of those commenting are either from NYC or LA/San Fran, that's not surprising as those communities seemingly exist in a snarky, greasy, smarmy bubble which gleefully espouses complete ignorance of anything and everything culture wise outside of it's own area code.

To put it simply, country music today and for the last nearly 20 years is what The Eagles were doing in the 1970's.

There's nothing wrong with that. the Eagles made some excellent and classic records, no matter what you douches bleat and fart.

I guess it's just the lockstop sycophancy for slobbering all over Chez's 1/2" boner and every word he farts out on his laptop that is mindboggling.

And pathetic.

And sad.

Because here's the thing: Chez continually bleats and shrieks about how network and cable news sucks dick (not his own of course, but someone else's) and moans and wails about his unjustified firing (Ha!!) and screeches about leading the revolution in new media and killing off the old media, which one presumes includes newspapers/news magazines and tv news. Which means that according to Chez, soon EVERYONE on the fucking planet will only get their news from the INTERNETS.

Chez, please explain to me how that's going to happen for those billions of people who not only don't have access to a computer, but don't have access to regular electrical power?

In Chez's bizarro universe, EVERYONE qualifies as a journalist, because you don't have to bother with Facts to be a journalist, hell no, just do what Chez does and fart out completely unfounded OPINIONS and wrap them up in mind numbingly longwinded and skullsplinteringly boring blog posts.

Oh, and Chez, about those Emmy's that you shriek about winning, those wouldn't be the kind where you simply nominate yourself and then pay a certain amount of money and pick up the award at the local banquet. I only ask because no matter how I Google, I can't find anything other then various blogs simply repeating your shrieks about winning an Emmy.

Quite suspicious how I can't find an official list of Emmy winners with your name anywhere on it.

Deacon Blue said...

Anon 4:10 pm...

...you are actually comparing the average country music today to what the Eagles were doing in the 1970s?

(pauses to retch violently)

Most country artists today are so FAR away from the skill, style and auditory wonder of 1970s Eagles music that they might as well be any of the actors trying to sing on those old Golden Throats albums, like William Shatner (or was it Leonard Nimoy?) trying to do Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Most of them wouldn't be fit to serve as roadies for the 1970s Eagles.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Chez, Local Emmys are like trophies for 4th place in pee-wee T-Ball.

the doctor said...

Not so sure she is an embarrassment to country music. Look at what blonde hair and big tits did for Dolly Parton. Quite honestly I am not sure that Mrs. Parton has any more talent than Jess. She may have bigger tits though.

the doctor said...

hey anonymous - pee wee and t ball are two different divisions you illiterate shithead.

Fungi said...

Anonymous…

First of all, we’ll all be getting our news from the INTERNET, not the INTERNETS, douche. Second, if you ever worked in news, you’d understand that the Emmy’s you win there are different from the Emmy Awards you see on TV once a year. I’m guessing you didn’t find anything on Google about it because you were using the INTERNETS, not the INTERNET. I have won a few myself and I can’t find them on Google either. That doesn’t mean I didn’t win them, assbag. Back to your original argument, country music. I’m not even sure where to begin. To me, country music is an acquired taste. I like a few songs here and there, but the rest of what I heard is shit, and it’s shit because I said so. That’s right. Like Chez, I’m allowed to have an opinion on that shit music. I can’t relate to it at all. I guess because I’m not fucking my cousin, drinking at noon and driving my truck with my dog in the back. These morons still wave the rebel flag. Usually people who really like country music are big NASCAR & WWE fans, so I don’t really expect you to understand. As a matter of fact, country boy, I’m not sure you’re even qualified to talk to the rest of us. An IQ is required.

Chez said...

YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO RENT HERE ANYMORE!!!

C Riedel-de Haen said...

What stumps me is this anonymous commenter's obsession with dick, dick size, and dick sucking!