I get more angry email when I write about music than virtually any other topic (save when I post on 9/11 conspiracy nuts), so I will tempt the fates in order to mock the Dixie Chicks. Another band that's a little to thick too realize that rabid anti-American sentiment is merely a niche market, they too struggle with their latest release:
Disappointing airplay for the first two singles from the new album by the Dixie Chicks exposes a deep -- and seemingly growing -- rift between the trio and the country radio market that helped turn the group into superstars...
"Taking the Long Way," due out May 23, is the band's first album since singer Natalie Maines sparked a major controversy in 2003 by declaring that she was ashamed to hail from the same state as fellow Texan President George W. Radio boycotts ensued, and many fans abandoned the band.
The first single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," peaked at No. 36 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, beginning its descent after just seven weeks. The second single, "Everybody Knows," is now at No. 50, down two places in its fourth week.
Hmmm....could it be because the Natalie Maines and the Chicks continue to throw fuel onto the fire with sneering, unapologetic lyrics -
The first single, which starts with a lone acoustic guitar and then builds in intensity, was co-written by the trio — which also includes banjo and guitar player Emily Robison and fiddle and mandolin player Martie Maguire.
It addresses the controversy head on, with Maines singing in the chorus, “I’m not ready to make nice. I’m not ready to back down. I’m still mad as hell and I don’t have time to go round and round and round.”
She also sings, “How in the world can the words that I said send somebody so over the edge,” and “I made my bed and I sleep like a baby.”
In Denver, KYGO program director Joel Burke also was bothered by the lyrics. KYGO tested the song, and while Burke said listeners reacted favorably, he isn’t ready to add it to the playlist.
“...what concerns me about this song is it’s backward thinking,” he added. “I’d rather wait until the CD comes out and pick a song we can embrace and that doesn’t have any negative connection to it.”
-or because they disown the fans and genre that made them so big to begin with?
Maines was quoted in late January on entertainmentweekly.com, before the single went to country radio, saying: "For me to be in country music to begin with was not who I was ... I would be cheating myself ... to go back to something that I don't wholeheartedly believe in. So I'm pretty much done. They've shown their true colors. I like lots of country music, but as far as the industry and everything that happened ... I couldn't want to be farther away from that."
Maines also said, "I don't want people to think that me not wanting to be part of country music is any sort of revenge. It is not. It is totally me being who I am, and not wanting to compromise myself and hate my life."
At KNCI Sacramento, Calif., the Chicks' music weathered the 2003 controversy only to be pulled as a result of Maines' new Entertainment Weekly comments, coupled with poor scores in local music tests.
"When an artist says that they don't want to be a part of that industry, it made our decision a no-brainer," program director Mark Evans says. "There are too many talented new artists dying to have a song played on country radio, so I'd rather give one of them a shot."
What an immature group of no-nothing primadonnas!
I'll take wagers, though - how soon until we see something in the New York Times' or Washington Post's Arts section, bewailing the "censorship" of these "fine young patriots"?
Hey Maines! You "made your bed", right? You know what to do...