Saturday, June 10, 2006

Since the Red Sox were supposed to have a double header today, I might as well throw up two posts in one day. This will probably be short, as I have somewhere I am supposed to be in one hour.


It's been a while since I posted the first installment of the Random Things I Hate series. These things are random in the sense that they do not pertain to the Red Sox or the Boston sports scene. I should probably come up with another title to distinguish these short segments from the randomness of the things I hate about the Sox, but I am somewhat lazy and not particularly imaginative. This evening, I think it's time to talk about the Dixie Chicks.

I like some country music. I am a big fan of George Strait. I love Johnny Cash. A lot of the old time country music is great stuff. Some of it isn't, but I can put up with it. I don't like too much of what has come out of Nashville of late. The Dixie Chicks are at the top of the list of the acts that I hate.

Unlike a lot of people, or so it seems lately, I don't really care about the politics of musicians. Republican, Democrat, Communist, Nihilist, whatever. If the music is good, I listen. I think that celebrities should probably stay away from their misguided efforts to influence voters. First of all, no matter which side of the spectrum they're on, they should remember that they really aren't smarter or better informed than the average person. Also, they probably do more damage to their own cause than they help.

That said, it's a free country. So they can say and do whatever they want. The Dixie Chicks have every right to say what they want about the President. And people who like the President (few though they may be right now) have every right to react to those comments as they did. I've now gone a long way to say this: the Dixie Chicks, like Mark Cuban, are frauds.

What got my attention was the fact that they compared themselves to Bruce Springsteen. They may have similar political leanings, they record music, and as far as I know they breathe air, but that's about all they have in common with Springsteen.

In the apology one of the Chicks made to the View, she did say that they consider the Boss a role model and not a peer. She said the Dixie Chicks often ask themselves: "What would Springsteen do?" I would offer this as an answer to that rhetorical question: "Springsteen would make good music."

By a conservative estimate, Springsteen has at least 3 songs that are infinitely better than anything in the Dixie Chicks' songbook on the Seeger Sessions alone. "Wide Open Spaces" and "Ready to Run" aren't ready for comparisons to "Tenth Avenue Freezeout" and "Backstreets," let alone "Born to Run" or "Thunder Road." "Earl's Gotta Die" has nothing for edge or power on anything from Darkness on the Edge of Town or Nebraska.

I hate the Dixie Chicks. They were ready to trade on their appearance and their cutie-pie redneck image to make it big, and now they're not ready to make nice, if I can take their recent album title at its word. Not ready to make nice. Would that they were ready to make something approximating music.

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