Sun
Feb 11 2007
10:57 pm

... at the Grammys.

Ludacris gave a shout-out to Bill O'Reilly as he accepted his trophy for Best Rap Album.

And Natalie Maines, accepting the award for the Dixie Chicks' Best Country Album, quotes Nelson Muntz:

"Ha ha!"

UPDATE: Most surreal moment: Ornette Coleman presenting Carrie Underwood with her award for Best New Artist. I think I'll find her agent and have her sent a copy of New York is Now. I think she probably needs one.

UPDATE II: "Not Ready to Make Nice" is also Record of the Year. (Sour grapes much, Chad?)

UPDATE III: Taking the Long Way is Album of the Year.

Fantastic. It's good to see the recording industry -- or at least a plurality of the 11,000 people who comprise the voting membership of "the Academy" -- being supportive of an artist who was the target of an irrational smear campaign. It is a testament to their toughness and resiliency.

R. Neal's picture

I try to not like Christina

I try to not like Christina Aguilera that much, but man, she knocked that over-the-top This is a Man's World right out of the park.

EDIT: Apparently, not everyone agrees.

CBT's picture

Yep, a left coast award for

Yep, a left coast award for the Chicks. Considering the treatment country music gets from the Grammys, it's no surprise. I mean, Bob Wills is responsible for an entire form of music and he gets one song and Don Henley three in the tribute? And, the Grammys don't even let two of country's biggest acts (Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood who have more album sales and concert attendance) do their own music. Look also at the country album nominees.

Those folks out there don't get and really don't care about country music. So, honoring the Chicks? No suprise.

As for me, I don't really care. Most of my choice in country was recorded a long time back. I like the drinkin', cheatin' and sad songs.

Andy Axel's picture

Most of my choice in country

Most of my choice in country was recorded a long time back. I like the drinkin', cheatin' and sad songs.

Call the wah-mbulance.

There's still plenty of that to go around, and there's still plenty of room in country for people who aren't Republicans.

____________________________

Recursive blogwhore.

R. Neal's picture

I've still got an HD

I've still got an HD recording of the Dixie Chicks' totally awesome performance on a recent Austin City Limits. I can't bring myself to delete it. I might have to get an HD DVD recorder just to save it.

R. Neal's picture

Natalie says "I'm ready to

Natalie says "I'm ready to make nice." I bet not. I hope not. Funny how the "backlash" over a silly, throwaway remark has turned out. There's probably a lesson in there somewhere about standing your ground. Congrats to the Dixie Chicks!

Jeanne's picture

Rascall who?

Those folks out there don't get and really don't care about country music. So, honoring the Chicks? No suprise.

As for me, I don't really care. Most of my choice in country was recorded a long time back. I like the drinkin', cheatin' and sad songs.”

They get it just fine, and so do the Chicks. If you were a fan, you’d realize they share your view of country music, expressed nicely a few years back in “Long Time Gone”:

We listen to the radio to hear what's cookin’
But the music ain't got no soul
Now they sound tired but they don't sound Haggard
They've got money but they don't have Cash
They got Junior but they don't have Hank
I think, I think, I think
The rest is a long time gone

Amen.

Johnny Ringo's picture

I'll bet

I'll bet the Christian Music Awards will be a gala night for the Right. And the MTV Music awards will be a big night for the Left. And I'll be you'll hear Rush Limbaugh support the President today, and Randi Rhodes will attack him.

Bad night for the Right at an Entertainment Industry awards ceremony? What a shocker. Put that one in the "dog bites man" catagory.

WhitesCreek's picture

In the dog bites man

In the dog bites man category, we have two Republican operatives still hanging on to the tired old bash the Chicks-only lefties like them anyway, line, and everyone else is happy for them because, well, THEY WERE RIGHT, by golly, and it's time to say we're sorry for letting a bunch of mean spirited creeps say nasty things about a girl or two speaking their minds.

More of us shoulda listened sooner.

Steve

Pretzels go really well with Chicks music, by the way.

rikki's picture

not so bad

I think Chad and Johnny are reacting more to the notion that what happens at an awards ceremony constitutes a bad night.

A bad night for the right would be, for example, Douglas Feith appearing on Fox News to explain that manufacturing "alternative" intelligence to feed the President was his job, dammit! Of course, no one saw that because they were watching the Grammies.

I do wholeheartedly agree that it is long past time that Republicans start acknowledging their errors and apologizing. The Libby trial has brought closer to the surface what has long been apparent to the informed: WHIG and the Office of Special Plans were a concerted, deliberate effort to trick the American people into an expensive, foolish war. There is a ton of evidence to support impeaching Cheney and handing Rumsfeld over to a war crimes tribunal, and a bad night for the right would be the night the Democrats get tired of squabbling over procedural niceties and non-binding resolutions and decide to hold Dick and Rummy accountable for their crimes.

Why would any political party want the two most vile political criminals in American history tarnishing its membership?

Andy Axel's picture

Yeahbut..

I think Chad and Johnny are reacting more to the notion that what happens at an awards ceremony constitutes a bad night.

A bad night for the right would be, for example, Douglas Feith appearing on Fox News to explain that manufacturing "alternative" intelligence to feed the President was his job, dammit! Of course, no one saw that because they were watching the Grammies.

Still, look at the time & energy that's taken by, say, a Bill O'Reilly crusading against Pepsi because they choose Ludacris as a spokesman. (Talk about "ludicrous.")

And I'll bet you that most people couldn't actually tell you what Maines actually said to that audience in the UK. I'm ashamed that certain people who have the privilege to call themselves Americans share my citizenship (seeing as how they so poorly use it), but I'd hardly call that reason to launch a coordinated campaign to destroy my livelihood.

Small measures, perhaps -- but it was a single sentence which we remember to have left Joe McCarthy writhing for air: "Have you left no sense of decency, sir?"

I'll take a few small measures myself.

(And there's still room for Doug Feith's confessional in this world, too.)

Bad night for the Right at an Entertainment Industry awards ceremony? What a shocker. Put that one in the "dog bites man" catagory.

Still badly feigning non-partisanship, I see. What a shocker.

____________________________

Recursive blogwhore.

Thag13's picture

Here's the Thing

Wasn't that long ago that a lot of pundunts were saying the Chick's career was over. Lagging ticket sales and only selling 10 million copies of thier latest CD was a sure sign that folks had turned thier back on the Chicks.

I just think its nice to see the Chicks prove a few folks wrong.

And the Grammy's are a pretty middle of the road if not consertive organization. Its been around about 50 years and been safe in thier awards over the years. Grammy voters are a stright laced bunch. So its not a Lefties only party.

YMMV

Factchecker's picture

We'd be a lot better off if

We'd be a lot better off if Natalie Maines had been Sec'y of Defense (or State) four years ago. And now an administration all out of credibility is issuing the same kinds of "warnings" and "proof" of threats about Iran that we got then about Iraq.

We have an old saying here in Tennessee, perhaps they do in Texas too: Fool me once, shame on....uh, ... me. Fool me twice...

Won't get fooled again!!

...Dixie Chicks' totally awesome performance on a recent Austin City Limits.

I meant to TiVo that, but forgot. Guess I'll have to wait and look for it on the re-run schedule in a few months.

Re "Long Time Gone," to be fair that tune was written by Darrell Scott, though I imagine it fairly reflects the Chicks' feelings as well.

Why do right-wingers so quickly resort to stereotypes and name calling? They have no argument, so they have to resort to straw man politics to keep their sad little world in order.

P.S. There was a GREAT letter to the editor about Maines in yesterday's KNS, and again to be fair, a great editorial by McElroy too.

ultron's picture

So then why did Maines

So then why did Maines apologize for her remarks when the controversy blew up? And then some time later retracted the apology, if I recall correctly ...

Did they really stand their ground? I think public opinion just swung their way. (Actually it did a while ago.)

R. Neal's picture

Maybe they just decided it

Maybe they just decided it wasn't good business to pander to a shrinking market of 30% deadenders.

gttim's picture

Where is he?

Wasn't that long ago that a lot of pundunts were saying the Chick's career was over. Lagging ticket sales and only selling 10 million copies of thier latest CD was a sure sign that folks had turned thier back on the Chicks.

I remember Bill Hobbs and me just arguing over this point. He said the DCs were finished and their career was killed by the Bush statement. Hell, I think they have a long way to go and see them getting better every year.

CD sales have gone into the toilet industry wide, as have concert ticket sales. The DCs are still making money like crazy and giving people good music. The are widely adored now and probably made new fans last night. Life is must be pretty damn good for them now!

BTW, I embarrassed that Bush is from this planet.

Rich Hailey's picture

Yep, I'd be really proud of

Yep, I'd be really proud of winning a Grammy. It takes talent and skill to win one of them.

Just ask Milli Vanilli.

If I remember right, they were up against Billy Joel (Storm Front) and Fine Young Cannibals, two acts who actually, you know, sang their own songs.

I lost all respect for the Grammy Awards the year they voted Jethro Tull's Crest of a Knave as the best Heavy Metal album.

Andy Axel's picture

So you're comparing the

So you're comparing the Dixie Chicks to Milli Vanilli? Is that the most salient criticism you can come up with?

Bwah ha ha!

(For what it's worth, and as far as your memory is concerned, you are in the wrong category. In 1990, Milli Vanilli was voted "Best New Artist," not "Album of the Year." That honor, by the way, went to Bonnie Raitt for Nick of Time. So, actually, your criticism would be best directed to Carrie Underwood's fans -- she won Best New Artist last night. Is Carrie Underwood this year's Milli Vanilli, Rich?)

(Oh, and MV's Grammy was later voided.)

____________________________

Recursive blogwhore.

Rich Hailey's picture

Nope.

So you're comparing the Dixie Chicks to Milli Vanilli?

Nope. I'm just not impressed by somebody trying to use a music awards show as a political response to criticism over political commentary, particularly when the history of that music award demonstrates an inability to render competent judgments inside its area of supposed expertise.

Put simply, in deference to you Andy, if they can't even tell whether a singer is actually singing or not, I hardly think their collective political judgment is worth 2 pennies.

By the way, do you really think that Taking the Long Way was truly the best album issued last year? Or do you think that maybe, just maybe, the Grammy voters were, as you said yourself, "being supportive of an artist who was the target of an irrational smear campaign." And if they were voting to send a political message, instead of voting based on musical merit, then what does that say about the Grammy Awards as a whole?

It says exactly what I started off saying.

As a musical award, they are meaningless.

Factchecker's picture

OTOH

By the way, do you really think that Taking the Long Way was truly the best album issued last year?

Of course any such award isn't universal, no objective "truth." It's industry recognition. There are other reasons for the Chicks getting the awards besides the politcal right's usual conspiracy theories, though: They bounced back musically after many wondered whether they were artistically spent, and they broke musical barriers and teamed with a noteworthy producer to blend genres and come up with a fine, creative work. They didn't cower in the face of so much ugly and manipulated hatred hurled their way; they used it to grow their art.

99% of all the music I listen to wasn't represented last night at all, except for the Chicks. Of the choices given, it absolutely was my best album, by far.

rikki's picture

Libby Tellfibby

if they can't even tell whether a singer is actually singing or not, I hardly think their collective political judgment is worth 2 pennies.

That's pretty much how I feel about the Bush administration sitting Ahmad Chalabi next to Laura Bush at the 2003 State of the Union address.

In a lot of ways, the Office of Special Plans is EXACTLY like Milli Vanilli, completely fake and designed to sell, sell, sell! a dipshit's war to an adolescent President. They even kicked Chalabi off the CIA payroll when they found out he was faking it. For some reason, though, we're still listening to the album.

In any case, I agree with you that the President's foreign policy judgment is worthless and juvenile.

Factchecker's picture

I grant you...

The Grammys have been "cool" at least in terms of diverse styles of music for some years now, but I remember (maybe up 'til around the time of the Tull thing) when it was really out of touch with, say, that crazy rock'n'roll stuff the kids had been listening to for only--oh, about 30 years. Major awards routinely went to short-lived pop tune "artists" like Christpher Cross.

It's also fair to say that the Grammy folks are out of touch with the latest modern country music (i.e., redneck rock'n'roll), but that's deserving because modern country is so bastardized. They have their own CMA awards for that (mostly awful) crap.

For the steel guitars no longer cry
And you can't hear fiddles play
With drums and rock 'n' roll guitars
Mixed right up in your face
Why the Hag wouldn't have a chance
On today's radio
Since they committed murder
Down on music row

Copyright, etc. Larry Cordle

Andy Axel's picture

...if they can't even tell

...if they can't even tell whether a singer is actually singing or not, I hardly think their collective political judgment is worth 2 pennies.

Again, they rescinded the Grammy given to Milli Vanilli. It didn't stand. So.

Just insofar as politics goes, let's just talk about the politics of the music industry (not of George W. Bush) for a moment.

Is it possible that Maines was dedicating her Nelson Muntz moment to the clueless, tin-eared music industry insiders on Music Row who helped coordinate the spike campaign against her band?

It wouldn't be the first time that a genuinely good country record made waves without getting much airplay -- or don't you remember the success of O Brother Where Art Thou. It caused a number of execs quite a bit of heartburn -- that their prized lap-dancers like Shania Twain were struggling while some Kentucky old-timers kicked their collective asses with a hit crossover compendium of 100 year old songs from "the hayseed version of Lawrence of Arabia."

I don't defend the industry for a moment, but I am willing to acknowledge that sometimes they do the right thing, and for the right reasons. They stood by one of their own, rather than letting the breathless winger brigade dictate who should have whom on whose roster.

What's more, country belongs to Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle and Allison Moorer and Buddy & Julie Miller and Maura O'Connell, too. There's room enough for them and their politics in the universe of American music.

And country belongs to George Jones and Merle Haggard, whose new work can't get on country radio. The fate of The Possum and The Hag has everything to do with the Chicks' struggle, in case you didn't know it.

By the way, do you really think that Taking the Long Way was truly the best album issued last year?

Let me answer this way first: Do you concede that it's possible that a plurality of the voting membership of the Academy thought that it was? Because that's what matters, not what you or I have to say about it.

(Regardless, as a spectator, I love all of this innuendo coming from Bush-apologists/Grammy detractors about vote-rigging. Truly priceless.)

Anyway... who's to say. In the interest of full disclosure, I own a copy of that album, and I went to their show when they came to Nashville. As for what I listened to this year, my ears were taken with the sound of Brazilian tropicalia from the early 60's and a mish-mash of deep cuts from the American funk tradition. My top 10 would have included artists like Jorge Ben and Gilberto Gil and Marcos Valle, even though most of them aren't performing around the US these days. I just discovered these, in fairness.

This is all to understand that my tastes aren't exactly the mainest-of-stream. That said:

Out of the albums nominated, I paid attention to Gnarls Barkley & the Dixie Chicks. (Can't stand Mayer or Timberlake.) I thought RHCP made a middling album; their radio-friendly sound isn't quite my thing (although I loved them from their self-titled release all the way through to Blood Sugar Sex Majick). Given the choice, I might have gone for Gnarls Barkley, but I gotta tell you, in all honesty, the songwriting and the cohesiveness of the Chicks album was all there. It was a little more immediate for me, and among the five nominees, I'd give the edge to Dixie Chicks.

ETA:

Put simply, in deference to you Andy

"Why Rich, what an ugly thing to say! Does this mean you're not my friend anymore? You know, Rich, if I thought you weren't my friend, I don't think I could bear it."

____________________________

Recursive blogwhore.

Factchecker's picture

Mayer and worse

I hadn't heard most of the other music featured on the show, and many artists I'd never even heard of. Most sing in the horrible Amer. Idol trend of imitating Whitney Huston and Mariah Carey, no matter the race, style, or sex of the singer.

On Sunday we were recording the first part of the show and had the sound down for most of it. I thought it odd that this John Mayer kid, I had never heard, was actually playing electric guitar leads in this sea of mostly dance/rap/R&B/hip-hop/whathaveyou. (Aside from the few big name acts like the Police, DCs, and RHCPs.)

Last night we fast-forwarded through the show to parts we wanted to hear. While a decent player, I thought John Mayer plays like he's just ripping off B.B. King and maybe some SRV thrown in with a few other derivative licks. His singing is also in the regurgitated Huston/Carey style, IMO. I'm not sure Justin T. is much worse...

Melissma and its overwrought excess has got to be one of the worst fads in music history.

Got a chuckle from Gnarls Barkley, but can't say I listened to more than a few seconds of him... I wanted to hear Christina Aguilera's piece after skb's comments, but I had stopped recording before her number.

R. Neal's picture

The current Rolling Stone

The current Rolling Stone cover has that Mayer kid featured as a new guitar hero. I'm with you, I don't get it. Each successive generation of derivative white bluesmen seems to get weaker and weaker.

On the same cover, with their photos upside down for some reason, are Derek Trucks and some other guy I never heard of. They call Mayer "Slowhand Jr.". Which is funny, because after his performance at the Grammys I said "well, he's pretty good but he ain't no Eric Clapton." But he sure can emote.

Derek Trucks may in fact BE a (the?) new guitar hero. He's got the chops, but he also has a wide range of styles and influences. Not to mention the pedigree.

WhitesCreek's picture

Derek Trucks is a player.

Derek Trucks is a player. How he got to be a guitar player as the son of a famous drummer would be interesting to know.

You can hang out at the Guitar Center most days and hear blinding fast guitar players ripping through lick after lick. Technically good guitar players are everywhere these days, but they usually spit out other people's stuff.

Trucks can do all that but he's got his own language. Playing a guitar is one thing, singing with it is something else all together.

R. Neal's picture

How he got to be a guitar

How he got to be a guitar player as the son of a famous drummer would be interesting to know.

I think he's a nephew, but I could be misremembering.

They say he's the spiritual reincarnation of Duane or something like that. I think he's just a great player, who was probably hearing all that ABB stuff from in the womb and beyond and it got imprinted on his brain like a second (or first?) language.

(Dicky Betts' boy ain't no slouch, either.)

Andy Axel's picture

Guitar Slingers

Among all Nashville cats, Will Kimbrough is vastly underrated. If memory serves, Tommy Womack (speaking of his experience in the Bis-Quits) said something like, "I'm a fair hand at guitar. Grimey [Mike Grimes] is a great guitar player. Will is a monstrous player." You should check him out if you haven't, Randy. His CD Americanitis is pretty good, and I'm certain that they carry it at Disc Exchange.

For guitar slingers, and I know I've said this before, the best I've ever seen is Kenny Vaughan. He currently plays with Marty Stuart as a "fabulous superlative," but he's also gigged with Lucinda Williams and about every other A-list lineup on the Row. He has an unstoppable imagination.

Donnie Herron (of BR5-49) is no slouch either. He plays guitar, fiddle, steel, and mandolin on the new Bob Dylan CD and tours with Dylan, too.

But speaking of newish guitar players fluent in the blues tradition? Jack White. Oh my hell, is he ever good.

____________________________

Recursive blogwhore.

Factchecker's picture

I listen to little electric

I listen to little electric guitar anymore, but I agree Derek Trucks (and wife Susan Tedeschi) is (are) very much the real deal, if not my style.

I too like Kenny Vaughan, who used to be/maybe still is R.B. Morris's Nashville guitarist. I mostly know his playing from his work backing up Mindy Smith.

Lucinda's main guitarist is pretty awesome, Doug Pettibone, I think.

If you're into acoustical guitar, there are too many good ones to mention, but don't miss checking out Tommy Emmanuel if you've never heard him. He's pretty amazing.

KTB's picture

Logical

Wouldn't it be logical to look at record sales as a point of reference for the nominated album(s) of the year?

If the Dixie Chicks were near the top of the list then it seems to me they are entitled to (and deserve) the award, at least in this category, regardless of how they feel about Bush. Would this be an accurate assessment?

UPDATE: Amazon Top Music Sellers

KTB

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