Browsing articles in "Down with Pop Country"
Nov
13

The American Country Countdown Awards Already Suck

November 13, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  47 Comments

Hey Yeah, Kix Brooks My Man!

american-country-countdown-awards

Actually Sorry Kix, But We Just Decided…

american-country-countdown-awards-florida-georgia-line

The only thing worse than a country music awards show is four of them. It feels like these annual earaches are multiplying like a pestilence in country music and the music world beyond, and now we have yet another machination of forced television pageantry to contend with. Say hello to the “American Country Countdown Awards”—the Busch League of country music award shows, and the replacement of the now apparently defunct “American Country Awards.” Yeah, sorry all you previous ACA winners, but it looks like those trophies are being rendered even more meaningless than they were before.

american-country-countdown-awards-2Since the ACA Awards were fabricated out of thin air by FOX to screw with the other networks who carry legitimate country awards shows with actual history, the show has featured B-level country talent, bad sound and performances, forced gratitude by award recipients, shitty hosts (aside from Kristin Chenoweth, she kicked ass in her own perky way), and a general low production-value presentation. They hope to change that all this year by bringing Dick Clark Productions in the mix—the same brain trust behind the ACM’s, or Academy of Country Music Awards, which would seem like natural competition, but what do I know?

One thing that apparently won’t change from the ACA’s to the American Country Countdown Awards is their history of shafting country music’s female artists. In 2011 the show ran down the 10 greatest “Artists of the Decade” and didn’t include even one female performer. Not even one out of the ten spots they had to fill. And this year in typical ACA, or ACCA (is that right?) form, there are no female nominees for their Song of the Year, no female nominees for “Digital” Song of the Year (like this deserves its own category), no female nominees for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and no female nominees for Artist of the Year (though Lady Antebellum is somehow gerrymandered in there and is 1/3rd frau). Miranda Lambert’s Platinum is the only female Album of the Year nominee as well.

Oh and get this: Aside from the Breakthrough Artist of the Year category, the winners are chosen by aggregating airplay and touring stats from Soundscan and Mediabase and such, so pretty much anyone can sit there with a calculator and figure out who the winners are going to be before the first joke from hosts Florida Georgia Line falls flat. Watching those flunkies up there trying to read off a teleprompter might be the best entertainment all night. Kix Brooks was supposed to host the thing because he’s the American Country Countdown guy, but he’s all old and shit so let’s act like he doesn’t exist come TV time. Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and the FGL boys are also scheduled to spare the crowd to death with performances. It’s all happening on December 15th at 8 PM Eastern if you want to tune in while wrapping presents to laugh your ass off.

Here’s their stupid nominees. Get and extra chuckle off the “Song of the Year” contenders. Maybe Saving Country Music will do a live blog if I’m bored.

Artist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Blake Shelton

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Bryan
  • Randy Houser
  • Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Danielle Bradbery
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Cassadee Pope
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

Album of the Year 

  • Crash My Party, Luke Bryan
  • The Outsiders, Eric Church
  • Here’s To The Good Times, Florida Georgia Line
  • Just As I Am, Brantley Gilbert
  • Platinum, Miranda Lambert

Song of the Year

  • “When She Says Baby,” Jason Aldean
  • “Beat of the Music,” Brett Eldredge
  • “Lettin’ the Night Roll,” Justin Moore
  • “Drink To That All Night,” Jerrod Niemann
  • “Chillin’ It,” Cole Swindell

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

  • Brett Eldredge
  • Tyler Farr
  • Kip Moore
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Cole Swindell

Group/Duo of the Year

  • The Band Perry
  • Eli Young Band
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Zac Brown Band

Collaboration of the Year

  • “This Is How We Roll,” Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
  • “Small Town Throwdown,” Brantley Gilbert featuring Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett
  • “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s,” Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill
  • “My Eyes,” Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Sebastian
  • “We Were Us,” Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert

Digital Song of the Year

  • “Burnin’ It Down,” Jason Aldean
  • “Drink A Beer,” Luke Bryan
  • “Play It Again,” Luke Bryan
  • “Dirt,” Florida Georgia Line
  • “This Is How We Roll,” Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
Nov
12

The 6 Pop Country Archetypes (2014 Edition)

November 12, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  63 Comments

Have you ever wondered who actually listens to those awful songs they play on pop country radio? Here are the six primary Archetypes, or as Music Row refers to them,  the “target demographics” that make up the audience of the pop country world.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a revised version of the original 6 Pop Country Archetypes published in 2011. The new version takes into consideration country music’s changing demographics. Basically, pop country has become even more of a bastion for sexism and troglodytes.

The Objectified Pop Country Girl

pop-country-girl“Oh my God so like Luke Bryan and the boys from Florida Georgia Line are like so totally the hottest thing ever! lol.”

She thinks being condescended by country’s hot young Bro-Country stars is sexy. She used to like female country artists like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, but now she is mostly obsessed with male singers, and bases who her favorite acts are at any given time strictly off of who is the hottest. Shirt tied in the front, daisy dukes, boots, bronzer, blonde or heavily-highlighted hair under a cheap Panama Jack straw cowboy hat, she’s an automaton of patriarchal rule wanting to present herself as the perfect country girl to be talked down to just like the ones portrayed in Bro-Country songs. Technologically inept and “so totally going” to every mainstream country concert that comes through town, she is the economic catalyst still keeping corporate country alive by buying deluxe edition CD’s and $350.00 front row tickets on the secondary market. She lives to put her hands in the air and scream when the band tells her to. She won’t dance with you at the honky tonk, but as soon as the DJ starts playing hip-hop, she’s out with her seven friends in the center of the dance floor, twerking and taking selfies. Her face is buried in her phone.

wallet-chainsThe Wallet Chain Douchewad

Tight spandex-blended T-shirt, designer jeans, backwards baseball cap, and a Medusa of wallet chains clanking from his waist, he’s the bullseye of Music Row’s target demographic. Those rips in his jeans didn’t come from running barbed wire, but a 70-year-old Laotian woman working at an Armani factory making .36 cents an hour. On UFC stats and Florida Georgia Line lyrics, he’s a expert. He shaves his testicles so his panty-cut underwear won’t chafe, and he treats women like objects. He likes to listen to laundry list country songs about dirt roads and pickup trucks, but his idea of “roughing it” is not dousing himself in Axe body spray before hitting his suburb’s corporate country bar. Don’t mess with him or his frat buddies or they’ll call you a fag right before vomiting in the bushes. He wants to show you his tribal tattoos.

country-rap-archetypeThe Hick-Hopper

Morbidly obese, woefully unemployed, and draped in whatever his local Wal-Mart stocks in XXXL, he thinks he’s a gangster, but instead he’s just an overweight loser land locked in a small town in America’s breadbasket. If you don’t like Big Smo or Bubba Sparxxx, you’re clearly a dumb, city-dwelling Yankee liberal who drives a Prius and doesn’t get what it’s like down in the South. He got a title loan on his 1994 Grand Am so he could get a tattoo of an alien smoking a joint on his neck. He would move to a bigger city, but he doesn’t have the gas money to even make it to the county seat, and besides, the real gangsters would kick his ass within five minutes. He likes to snort Dr. Scholls foot powder and pretend it’s cocaine because he can’t afford meth. He knows a guy in LA that he sent his demo to, and once he hits it big, he’s getting the hell out of this town. He knocked up some girl that works at Dairy Queen just so he could bitch to his friends about his “baby mama drama.” His problems are everyone else’s fault.

The Red-Blooded ‘Merican

American-flag-archetypeHe can’t wait for Armageddon to come so he can start mowing down Muslims unilaterally with his stockpile of guns and ammunition hoarded before the Obama Administration makes all guns illegal and enacts Sharia Law. You’re damn right he likes Toby Keith, and only REAL country like Justin Moore and Jason Aldean. Any opinion that is in opposition to his will be spun into an insult to American troops in combat. He swears he knew the Dixie Chicks were commies way before everyone else did, but he had the plump one sign his Stetson in Sharpie in 2001 (he keeps it hidden in the bottom shelf of his gun safe). He’ll shoot at you if any portion of your tire touches his property line when you’re making a U-turn out on the highway, and if you’re one of them towel-heads, he’ll shoot to kill. He thinks Garth-era printed button up collared shirts are still hip.

The Adult Contemporary Divorcee

the-cougarThree grown kids, thrice divorced, she’ll elbow a legion of glitter-faced pop country girls out of her way to get eye level with Luke Bryan’s crotch as he does “The Move” on the edge of the concert runway, hoping he waxes out yet again and her ample bosom pads his gorgeous fall. Fueled by boxed wine and Lean Cuisine, the older men of mainstream country such as Tim McGraw and Keith Urban make up the cast of her sultry romance novel-style fantasies that she lives out during elongated bubble baths and bunkerings in her queen-sized bed with bon bons and ice cream pints. Celebrity gossip that surrounds her favorite country stars fuels her obsession, especially stories of heartfelt Cancer deeds and kindness towards animals, reinforcing her misguided view that these artists are altruistic heroes as opposed to plastic personas making calculated publicity stunts. She obsessively posts pictures of her cats/dogs on social media and lives in a mess of animal hair.

The Windshield Cowboy

winshield-cowboy-archetypeAlways sporting a brand spanking new F-250 truck or bigger, he needs this heavy equipment as a middle management quality control paper pusher in a cubicle farm located in white flight Suburbia. He listens to songs about dirt roads, but’ll be damned if he takes his baby off the blacktop and gets a brush scratch in the paint. Similar politics and mindset to The Red Blooded ‘Merican, but instead of spending his weekends target practicing, he’s towing his bass boat, ATV’s, jet skis, or other recreational vehicles to the lake. Similar to the The Wallet Chain Douchewad, his material objects mean everything to him. He believes owning a truck is a validation of manhood, and whoever is in that rice burner in front of him is ignorant and weak and better get the hell out of his way. He’d like you to think he owns a ranch, but a rancher’s wage wouldn’t even pay his truck’s interest. No, he cannot use his truck to help you move next weekend, he has to wash his truck. He likes songs about trucks.

- – - – - – -

Turnabout is fair play, so a revised version of The 6 “Other” Country Archetypes is on the way.

Nov
4

Translating Florida Georgia Line’s Sexual Innuendo

November 4, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  75 Comments

florida-georgia-lineWARNING: Language (sexual)

Professed Christians Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, known collectively as the pop country mega duo Florida Georgia Line have more euphemistic language on their new album Anything Goes than a salty-mouthed locker room. If you’ve been wondering what the hell they actually mean when they sing lines like, “Stick the pink umbrella in your drink,” then here are some useful translations of Florida Georgia Line’s most sexually-charged lines.

As Saving Country Music explained while declaring Anything Goes the worst album ever, “Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard have their own language, partial to the most grammatically-challenged and stupefying vocabulary lurking in the dankest sewers of the English dialect, but not residing firmly in any specific one of them so no truly proper translation can be obtained. It’s like Pig Latin for douchewads—understood by them and them only.” So please understand if certain translations could be interpreted a different way.

To save virgin eyes, medical terms have been used where possible. But of course, some language can only be properly translated by using other slang words.

And to be fair, sexual innuendo has been used in country music from very early on to circumvent the genre’s rigid moral codes, and sometimes to instill smart wit in the lyricism. However Florida Georgia Line’s poor use of innuendo should not be compared to these proud traditions.


FGL: “I sit you up on the kitchen sink. Stick the pink umbrella in your drink.”

Translation: “I sit you up on the kitchen sink. Stick my penis in your vagina.”

This line from Florida Georgia Line’s song “Sun Daze” has to be the most egregious innuendo of the entire project, not particularly well-veiled, and diseased in so many ways. The key to its sexual pervertedness is the use of “the” in the second line instead of “a.” If the line had been, “Stick a pink umbrella in your drink,” then it could have been passed off as more literal, and in turn would have made the innuendo more effective. But using “the” makes no mistake about what is being implied (keep it simple for FGL fans, I guess).

Even if you’re a fan of perverted innuendo, there still seems to be something universally unhealthy about alluding to male genitalia as “pink” anything, though admittedly the hue is somewhat accurate. Even more troubling is that a female was in on the “Sun Daze” songwriting session in the person of Sarah Buxton. One would have thought she would have put the stop sign up on this one, but no dice.


FGL: “Good Good” (title of third song on Anything Goes)

Translation: “Favorable Pussy” (slang for female genitals)

Florida Georgia Line uses the word “good” on Anything Goes 25 times, including multiple times as “good good.” The only word they use more is “girl”—used a whopping 42 times.

According to the Urban Dictionary, using the word “good” twice in succession means, “High quality kegel muscles that keep your significant other coming back and not looking for other people to satisfy their needs.” The example the Urban Dictionary uses is “So I’ve been dating this guy for three weeks, and yesterday he told me he loved me. I got that Good Good.”

Using “good good” as a euphemism for “pussy” is illustrated in the song by Ashanti also called “Good Good.”

When my man leave the house, I know he’s comin’ right back
I got that good good, I got that good good
No matter how much he might try to act, he know just where it’s at
I got that good good, I got that good good

I put it on him right, I do it every night
I leave him sittin’ mouth open like wheww
So I don’t worry bout nobody takin’ mine
Cause I know just the right thing to do (I got that good good)

When Tyler Hubbard was asked what “good good” meant by The National Post, he said, “It’s just all over the album, it’s fun, it’s words that nobody’s ever said before.”

Huh.


FGL: “And let me stay inside your drink.”

Translation: “And let me keep my penis in your vagina.”

From the song “Bumpin’ The Night” (which is innuendo itself), this line is yet another illustration of the adolescent mindset Florida Georgia Line has towards the human sexual anatomy.


FGL: “There it is, yeah, that’s the sweet spot. Blow your smoke, I’m gonna breathe it in, girl.”

Translation: “You have found the optimum erogenous zone. Continue to perform oral sex on me.

From the song with the divine title “Angel.” It’s the song built from the unforgivable cliché, “Did it hurt when you fell from the sky?” Incidentally, Florida Georgia Line says the word “angel” 21 times on Anything Goes.


Other Potential/Untranslatable Innuendos

“Put a little shine on the vinyl seat.”

“If you want you can pet on my Harley.”

“Flow you the trouble like a champagne bubble, sayin’”


A Proper Use of Sexual Innuendo in Country Music:

Oct
29

American Aquarium Recalls Florida Georgia Line Opening For Them

October 29, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  53 Comments

american-aquarium-sxsw-white-horse

Raleigh, North Carolina-based country rock band American Aquarium, and specifically their frontman, singer, and principal songwriter BJ Barham have been known to twist off about the state of country music upon occasion, both online and on stage. Such was the case on Tuesday (10-28) when the band reminisced about the time one of today’s biggest pop country acts actually opened for them during their 8-year run of playing some 300 club shows a year.

“Three years ago, to the day, Florida Georgia Line opened up for us in Jacksonville, FL with their same brand of bro country that is all over the radio today,” the band posted on their Facebook page. “They now have millions of fans, tons of money and all the cut off bedazzled denim vests anyone could ask for. At least we still have our self respect. Here’s to the working bands out there that never settle. Good on ya.”

Though you would think that most of the fans of American Aquarium would carry similar sentiments about Bro-Country as they do, apparently multiple people took exception, which stimulated American Aquarium to double down on their ideas of what is country and what isn’t, and the right way to make it to the top.

To the people bitching about the previous post…

1) I am surprised you are into what we do if you are taking up for this garbage on the radio, but to each his/her own.
2)You are right, I AM jealous of their success. Every band wants to be big. Every band wants to make a living. Every band wants to live the dream. But I want my fame to come from earning people’s respect, not it being handed to me. I want to bust my ass every single day and know that I earned it. I want to play music with my best friends, not some band that my label put together for me. I want to write my own songs. I want to sing my own songs. I want to know that 6 guys stood in a room with microphones and performed every single note you hear, together…as a band. A real band. But jealousy is not the only emotion. I’m also…

-Sad that this is what “country” music has been reduced to. One of the greatest American art forms has been reduced to garbage. No attention to detail. No honesty. No soul.
-Angry that when I tell people that I play country music and this is the first thing that comes to their mind. Angry that America has accepted this. Angry that these “songwriters” do it for the dollar, instead of the integrity.
-Afraid that its only going to get worse. If fans of country music keep letting the powers that be lower your standards, IT WILL become more and more laughable. As long as they know that you will buy it, they will keep dumbing you down. Scares the shit out of me.

But its not all negativity. I’m also…

-Happy that folks like Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Josh Ritter, Patterson Hood, Ben Nichols, Cory Branan, Sturgill Simpson, Evan Felker, Justin Townes Earle, Joe Pug, and many, many more folks are keeping a real, sacred tradition alive. Writing, playing and singing good songs that matter. That will stand the test of time. That will not go in and out of style, but will always fit, because I truly believe that is what honest music does. It transcends time, trends and everything else.

…and last but not least, I am excited that I get to be a part of the solution, and not the problem.

American Aquarium boasts a wide array of influences, and similarly have pulled from various sectors of the music world to form their loyal fan base, including country, Americana, and Southern rock. They’re also considered honorary members of the Texas country music scene. Jason Isbell produced their last record, the critically-acclaimed Burn.Flicker.Die.

And apparently Florida Georgia Line is not the only Bro-Country outfit that opened for the band and went on to big fame. Former Survivor contestant, “Cruise” co-writer, and rising Bro-Country star Chase Rice also once kept the stage warm for them as can be heard in the following clip of BJ Barham from an American Aquarium show.

Here’s another story from Jacksonville, FL:

Oct
20

Florida Georgia Line’s “Anything Goes” is the Worst Album Ever

October 20, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  472 Comments

florida-georgia-line

Congratulations Justin Moore and Outlaws Like Me, you’re officially off the hot seat. Because right here, right now, I am unilaterally declaring that Florida Georgia Line’s new album Anything Goes is the worst album ever released in the history of country music. Ever. Including Florida Georgia Line’s first album Here’s To The Good Times, including anything else you can muster from the mainstream, including a 4-track recording made by a head trauma victim in a walk-in closet with a Casiotone keyboard and an out-of-tune banjo. Anything Goes can slay all comers when it comes to its heretofore unattainable degree of peerless suckitude.

In a word, this album is bullshit. Never before has such a refined collection of strident clichés been concentrated in one insidious mass. Never before have the lyrics to an album evidenced such narrowcasted pseudo-mindless incoherent drivel. Never before have such disparate and diseased influences been married so haphazardly in a profound vacuum of taste, and never have all of these atrocities been platooned together to be proffered to the public without someone, anyone with any bit of conscience and in a position of power putting a stop to this poisoning of the listening public.

Not to get all old man on your ass, but most of the time I don’t even understand what the hell these dudes are saying. Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard have their own language, partial to the most grammatically-challenged and stupefying vocabulary lurking in the dankest sewers of the English dialect, but not residing firmly in any specific one of them so no truly proper translation can be obtained. It’s like Pig Latin for douchewads—understood by them and them only. And only with the perfect deficiency of brain cells will their concoction of Ebonics, metrosexual douche speak, and stagnant gene pool rural jargon become anything resembling coherent to the human ear.

florida-georgia-line-anything-goesForget the already ultra-concentrated and extremely-narrow breadth of modern mainstream country music’s laundry list songwriting legacy, Florida Georgia Line has devised a way to inexplicably make it even more attenuated and terrible. “Girl, alcoholic beverage, truck, river or lake”— that’s pretty much the alpha and omega of the Anything Goes building blocks. Most of these songs have more songwriters than they do basic lyrical themes, with an average of four cooks per diarrhetic serving, and one song that boasts five songwriters and still struggles to pen anything that comes close to a complete sentence or a comprehensible thought.

Shiny objects and fire also seem to excite and distract Florida Georgia Line and fill them with a profound sense of wonder, and so soliloquies to these things also show up occasionally, as does the word “good.” They really like that word.

“Got on my smell good.
Got a bottle of feel good.
Shined up my wheels good.
You’re looking real good.”

That verse pretty much sums up this entire album. And no, these are not lyrics to the song that is actually titled “Good Good.” Needless to say, any moments involving depth, sorrow, self-reflection, doubt, or evolved thinking in any capacity have been unceremoniously scrubbed from this project entirely, save for one song, “Dirt,” which only works to anger the blood even more because it proves that these morons are capable of so much more. A song like “Sippin’ On Fire” tries to cobble together some semblance of a love story, but bogs down like all these songs do in focusing on the material objects and consumables inadvertently on hand in situations instead of the honest sentiments being felt between two people. Women and “love” are compared to alcoholic beverages and other material objects, and vice versa more times than I care to count on this album, as if they are interchangeable in stature in the human experience.

Another song that would have been decent if only Florida Georgia Line didn’t figure out how to screw it up is “Bumpin’ The Night.” Despite the title alluding to the listener being in store for yet another demonstration of shallowness, the song displays a compositional depth that is both surprising and enriching, even though what passes for steel guitar is so transmogrified by the EDM production, it’s hardly noticeable. There’s nothing wrong with fun, feel good songs themselves. But in such a void of anything striking even close to variety, an otherwise decent song like “Bumpin’ The Night” suffers demonstrably amongst its peers.

florida-georgia-lineAnd talk about going to the cliché well too many times, there’s a song on this album called “Angel” that I kid you not is built around the often sarcastically-used pick up line “Did it hurt when you fell from the sky?” Any woman who hears this line coming from any man has my personal blessing to immediately spray them in the face with mace and knee them in the nuts. The idea that these knuckleheads think that this line is “sweet” just speaks to the depravity of self-awareness they suffer from in an irrevocable degree.

There really is a toxic concentration of bad songs on Anything Goes, and it is all punctuated on the final track “Every Night” where the hyper-everything that riddles this album somehow gets heightened even more as Florida Georgia Line explain they don’t need the weekend because every night for them is a wild, raging good time. This personifies the diabolical sameness of this album, where it’s just a contiguous string of carefree party references and virtually nothing else, almost throwing caution to the wind and daring fate to make a mockery of this project over the long perspective of time, if they’re not openly cashing out on the franchise in the face of the obvious dying of a trend.

I would call it country rap, but even that would give this album more definition than it truly carries. I would call it pop, but even that world would not stand for such vacuousness. And once again the listener is left steadfastly perplexed at what Brian Kelley (the short-haired one) actually does in this band beyond singing one verse of “Dirt” and a few random backup lines so heavily Auto-tuned you can’t tell for sure it’s him.

Everybody knows where Florida Georgia Line is going to lead. Scott Borchetta must know it. Their producer Joey Moi, formerly of Nickelback must know it. Their manager Kevin Zaruk, also formerly of Nickelback, apparently knows it, and admitted as much in a recent Billboard interview. “It’s bizarre because I know so many people who say they can’t stand them but listen to Nickelback and go to their shows. This is a band that sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise, and to this day, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a person with a Nickelback T-shirt on walking the streets anywhere in the world. I don’t know what it is, but for whatever reason it became cool to hate Nickelback, and once that trend took off, it exploded. What I’ve definitely talked to [FGL’s] Brian [Kelley] and Tyler [Hubbard] about is that whenever anybody becomes successful in any business, there’s people that get jealous.”

This is the problem. Florida Georgia Line and their fans will read a review like this, and truly believe that jealousy and nothing else is at the heart of the criticism, and will point to their “success” as proof of this. But Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, George Strait, and so many more were wildly successful in their time too, and also faced criticism, but never to the degree of criticism Florida Georgia Line is faced with. The music of these legends withstood the test of time, while artists like Nickelback, Billy Ray Cyrus, New Kids On The Block, and MC Hammer were also wildly successful in their time, but now their music is nowhere to be seen besides as a novelty, or listened to as irony or nostalgia.

READ: Florida Georgia Line’s “Sun Daze” (a semi-rant)

It is Florida Georgia Line’s destiny to go down as a laughing stock, to be the next Nickelback, where their fans hide their T-shirts and shun them, tearing them down just as vehemently and quickly as they artificially propped them up. Their sophomore album and a song like “Dirt” was their one opportunity to change that destiny and be known for something more. But instead they super concentrated what makes them bad as either a last cash-grabbing hurrah, or as a misguided miscalculation that their polarizing nature is due to the insecurities of others instead of a true concern about substance and sustainability. Point to current attendance numbers and call the haters jealous all you want. All one has to do is point to Nickelback as an example of why this doesn’t work in the long term.

Florida Georgia Line and Anything Goes are an embarrassment to country music.

Two Guns Way Down!

Oct
3

35 Artists More Deserving of an Opry Invitation Before Little Big Town

October 3, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  130 Comments

little-big-town-pontoon

Tonight (10-3) on the Friday night presentation of the Grand Ole Opry, Capitol Records recording group Little Big Town was surprised by Reba McEntire on stage and invited to become the newest members of country music’s most storied institution. Of course they accepted, and will be officially inducted on October 17th. Little Big Town for all intents and purposes is filling the membership spot vacated by Opry legend George Hamilton IV who passed away September 17th.

Now Little Big Town, like so many of the Opry’s newest members, can take the accolades and attention the distinction bestows, but not fulfill their performance obligations. Of course, nobody can guarantee this will happen, but we all know it will. Only appropriate that Reba would be the one to formally invite Little Big Town to the institution, since she is one of the Opry members that is most in arrears with meeting the solemn obligation to the institution of giving them at least 10 appearances a year, way down for the 26 appearances Opry members were asked for in 1963. According to Opry historian Byron Fay, Reba was recently quoted as saying she did not want to appear at the Opry because it “no longer fits her image.”

READ: Grand Ole Opry’s Newest Members Not Fulfilling Their Obligations

Though Little Big Town in no way represents the worst that country music has to offer in 2014 and have been singing and performing together since 1998, songs like their most recent single “Day Drinking,” or the unfortunate “Pontoon” in no way help either country music or the Grand Ole Opry put their best foot forward or preserve the roots and spirit of the genre or the institution. In fact when Reba came out on stage to offer Little Big Town the invitation, they were playing “Pontoon,” and Reba joined them in singing the word “Motorbotin’,” alluding to the activity of taking ones face, firmly ensconcing it into the bosom of a well-endowed woman, and blowing back and forth, immortalized by Vince Vaughan in the movie Wedding Crashers.

“I didn’t want to stop singing,” Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town said. “Who misses an opportunity to sing ‘motorbotin” with Reba? It was incredible.”

Though there certainly would be worse choices for the latest members of the Grand Ole Opry, here’s a list of 35 artists who would have been better picks in Saving Country Music’s humble estimation.

  1. Hank Williams
  2. Willie Nelson
  3. Merle Haggard
  4. Dwight Yoakam
  5. George Strait
  6. Kris Kristofferson
  7. Billy Joe Shaver
  8. Miranda Lambert
  9. Jamey Johnson
  10. Lee Ann Womack
  11. Hank Williams Jr.
  12. Zac Brown
  13. Kellie Pickler
  14. Rosanne Cash
  15. Dale Watson
  16. Mark Chesnutt
  17. Jo Dee Messina
  18. Sam Bush
  19. Kacey Musgraves
  20. Elizabeth Cook
  21. Easton Corbin
  22. Asleep At The Wheel
  23. Aaron Watson
  24. Gene Watson
  25. Gary Stewart
  26. “Cousin” Kenny Vaughan
  27. Lyle Lovett
  28. Sturgill Simpson
  29. Aaron Tippin
  30. Rhonda Vincent
  31. Radney Foster
  32. Chris Scruggs
  33. James Hand
  34. Brandy Clark
  35. Wayne “The Train” Hancock

And for the record, Little Big Town, according to Saving Country Music’s official Opry member endorsement aggregator, would have come in at #228 as a new member pick, right behind Earl Dibbles Jr.

Jim Lauderdale. He should be a member too.

Video of Reba Asking Little Big Town to Become Opry Members:

Sep
26

Keith Urban: “HERE’S SOME BOOBS! GIVE ME ATTENTION!”

September 26, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  33 Comments

keith-urban-somewhere-in-my-car-2

Good gosh, what does Keith Urban have to do to buy a break? I mean, he married a Hollywood A-lister, he posed for Playgirl, he took a job as an American Idol judge just to find out nobody pays attention to that crap anymore, and he had the CMA’s gerrymander him into “Entertainer of the Year” and “Male Vocalist” nominations when Jason Aldean probably deserved them more. Meanwhile his last album Fuse sits outside the Top 20 in the charts and he has to be wondering, what the hell is going on? Even Sturgill Simpson, who Keith Urban apparently loves, is currently kicking Urban’s ass in the album charts coming in five spots ahead of him.

So the Keith Urban brain trust gets together, scratches their heads a little bit and says, “Boobs. You know, there’s always boobs.” And so here we see Keith Urban resort to the same female objectification the rest of country music is suffering from in this new semi-NSFW video for his stalled single “Somewhere In My Car.”

The video shows a scantly-clad woman with various cuts of fabric oh so precariously clinging to her female parts and potentially ready to fall of at any second, while Keith Urban wanks off in the background. I mean…on his guitar…he wanks off on his guitar in the background—while some roided-out muscle man ponders the trapezoidal impossibility at getting any shut eye on a single bed fit for an adolescent. Basically the underlying plot line of this video is that some poor bastard is suffering from wet dreams.

Keith Urban I’m sure will be shielded from certain criticisms because the video is veiled as being “artistic” through black and white shades and other scripted elements of scene and choreography, but this entire video is predicated on the curvature of the female breast. Don’t be fooled, it’s just as objectifying as anything else country music has to offer, if not more. And really, who cares to you have breasts in your video? Any of us can navigate to our search bar and pull up an entire world’s worth of the finest female breasts ever assembled and oogle all day if we so choose.

Even more sad is that this song and even the approach to this video has a little something of merit, delving into the roiling mental anguish that can rip the psyche apart after a breakup through haunting memories and blind jealousy. It doesn’t belong anywhere near country though. I don’t want to come across as a moralist. I’m not offended by female breasts, and don’t make it my business if someone wants to see them. But there’s a time and a place, and country is neither.

P.S. the “model” is named Jehane Paris.

Sep
4

DJ Bobby Bones Cries Like Little Girl with a Skinned Knee After CMA Snub

September 4, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  36 Comments

bobby-bones

Why doesn’t this asshat move on to hosting game shows already?

On Wednesday morning (9-3) the nominations for the 2014 CMA Awards were unveiled, including the nominees for the CMA’s National Broadcast Media Personality, of which apparently Bobby Bones though he was a shoe-in for. And when his name didn’t show up on the ballot, he took to Twitter to bitch like the spoiled, self-entitled, self-centered prick he is.

Of course he began by putting the onus on his fans, like he always does. “Everyone calm down. I dont have to win every award. Getting 1000, ‘how are you not up for CMA personality of the year’.” he said.

Bullshit. The only people paying attention to the broadcaster awards yesterday were broadcasters and media. The broadcast nominees were not published by any major media outlet. Bobby is trying to shield himself by using his fans. He was butt hurt when he wasn’t nominated, and proved this as time went on. Bobby Bones continued,

“its not an ‘injustice’. I simply don’t play the political games the format is known for. Also Jason Aldean got screwed too! Id like to thank the almost 500 radio stations Im on & you the listener for the millions of $$$ we’ve raised for charity this year,”

This charity card is another indolent, insulting, and misrepresenting card Bobby Bones overplays predictably. Just because you give to charity doesn’t absolve you of all your sins. Why doesn’t Bobby Bones set up a charity for the hundreds of local DJ’s he’s put out of work, or the thousands of people laid off by Clear Channel in the most historic and sweeping homogenization and nationalization of a cultural institution since the dawn of American media? Give all the money to charity you want. It will never make up for the damage of poisoning people with the cultural filth broadcast on the Bobby Bones Show to millions every morning.

Bobby Bones continues, “going to need a lot of old people in this industry to retire or die before the Nashville “guard” lets something new get recognized.” And then he caps off what appears to be a threat.Im going to find out who you are. Don’t worry.

On this final thread, Bobby Bones does have a point. The CMA oligarchy is a cloistered and inbred bunch who is generally non-conducive to letting outsiders in. But in the case of Bobby Bones, they’re just trying to protect their own. The reason the CMA is not showering Bobby Bones with accolades is because he’s put so many of their own out of work, and out of business. The reason the CMA is seen as the most important governing body in country music is because it is tied deeply to radio, not just labels, making it the widest representation of the country music body. If Clear Channel and Bobby Bones had their way, there would be no other country music morning DJ in the entire nation other than Bobby Bones, and this dream is quickly becoming a reality as more local DJ’s who have very personal relationships with their communities and do many great charitable services for their locales are being lost to national syndication.

“I somewhat expected it,” Bones told The Tennessean. “But I have to voice my displeasure. We’re the biggest morning show in the country, killing the other stations in Nashville.” That’s right, “killing” is the optimum word there. There’s no competition when it comes to Bobby Bones. Bobby Bones has no respect for the cultural institutions of country music, including its legendary stations and DJ’s. They’re all just a bunch of old farts that need to get out of his way because he’s so awesome. And that’s the reason he wasn’t nominated, and shouldn’t have been nominated.

And then Bobby Bones really showed his ass by saying, “Awards in the end aren’t anything but dust collectors.”

But wait a second. If they’re just “dust collectors,” why all the hubub? Why even address the situation? Why does it even matter? Why did Bobby Bones make such a huge deal about winning the Academy of Country Music Country Music On-Air Personality of the Year in April? In fact, Bobby Bones shoved his ACM trophy in Saving Country Music’s face in April. If you have so little respect for the CMA’s distinction to call it a “dust collector,” why would the CMA ever consider bestowing it to you?

Bobby Bones is the single-most driver of cultural homogenization in America, and is the scourge of the airwaves. Hats off to the CMA for recognizing this, and not giving him a distinction he doesn’t deserve, and admittedly, doesn’t respect. A CMA Award is supposed to be about quality, not quantity. And that’s something Bobby Bones, and Clear Channel don’t get.

go-away-bobby-bones-billboard

Jul
22

Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down” (A Roast)

July 22, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  169 Comments

jason-aldean-burnin-it-down

WARNING: Language

Oh Jason, this is most unfortunate.

Since Jason Aldean has re-entered the single life after getting caught in a douche-soaked nightclub on the Sunset Strip handling up on some American Idol semifinalist castoff, now he thinks he’s Mr. Sexy, taking cues from Jerrod Niemann and entering the EDM space to keep the child support money streaming in.

As the first single from his upcoming album, “Burnin’ It Down” is a Casiotone piece of impersonal electronic awfulness in which any sign of true human inspiration or involvement has been so antiseptically scrubbed in lieu of animatronic tones and absolutist perfectitudes, the term “soul” has been completely and forever banished from being associated with this robotic piece of misanthropic pap. This isn’t a song, this is some guy with a MacBook Pro, a tub of Red Vines, and the cool tingle of cocaine tickling the edge of his nostrils creating an electronic sound bed to send over to Aldean’s studio so he can overlay his Auto-tune’d vocals and call it good. As Tom Petty would say, “You put your name on it, but you didn’t do that.” Even the guitar tones have been been so exhaustively massaged by 1′s and 0′s they sound like the warning signals emitted from a Star Wars protocol droid right before it explosively self-destructs. A kitten aimlessly careening across a Korg keyboard in a catnip stupor could make a more compelling composition than this.

Sorry Jason Aldean, but this song isn’t sexy, it’s creepy. “…with you baby layin’ right here naked in my bed.” They should exhume Barry White and make it the sole goal of the international scientific community to revive him for the exclusive purpose of kicking Jason Aldean’s ass for this song. What does Aldean know about sexy time anyhow? Aldean ain’t got the moves like Jagger, he’s got the moves like Grimmace. Mating couples won’t find “Burnin’ It Down” sexy unless they get equally horny for the annual return of the McRib. This song is a awkward as a hard on in a Speedo. “Burnin’ It Down” isn’t for intimate couples, it’s for lonely women to get all lubed up with in anticipation of an intimate encounter with Clyde the battery-powered hammerer.

How the hell is this considered “country” in any capacity? Talk about “Burnin’ It Down”, I wish the palette of votive candles featured in the stupid lyric video would set fire to the studio that birthed this monstrosity with the masters still in it. If the couple in this video gets turned on by shadow puppets, I can make my middle finger erect and have it look just like a love bird. The best part of this song ran down Aldean’s pasty inner thigh and ended up as an embarrassing stain on his $700 sheets. He should have worn a rubber instead of inseminating our ear holes with this public health audio pandemic. No, that burning you feel in your genitals isn’t from erotic allure, it’s because this song is the audio equivalent of a pussing venereal onslaught.

Oh, and Florida-Georgia Line took time from rolling naked in their own piles of money to co-write this song. So there’s that. Yeah, Aldean should have gotten the hint when country music’s boy band was handing him down their sloppy seconds that it would result in a career embarrassment.

Come on Jason Aldean, stick to singing about the common man and their struggles. That’s what you’re good at.

You should have kept this one in your pants.

Two guns way down.

Jul
16

Maggie Rose’s “Girl In Your Truck Song” (A Rant)

July 16, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  161 Comments

maggie-rose-girl-in-your-truck-songWARNING: LANGUAGE

What in the all kinds of actual hell do we have here my friends. I think we have just unearthed the biggest cultural abomination that has ever been classified as “country” music in its 70 year existence. No, I’m not talking bad, awful, terrible, or any other such adjectives. Even those words would seem to instill this embarrassment of Western Civilization with a dollop of undeserved respect. Truth be known, there are songs that officially sound worse than this one out there for sure, or that are more stupid either purposefully or inadvertently. But the degree of slavitude and cultural backsliding celebrated and edified in this song is as abhorrent as it is alarmingly calamitous, and hovers only very slightly, and uncomfortably so, above genuine calls of gender downgrading and the erosion of sexual equality in American society, bordering on downright pleas for date rape. I am severely embarrassed that I have poured my lifeblood into something that utilizes the term “country” in a world where this song exists, and pray that I have the strength to steady my hands enough to coherently compose just how angry this song makes me.

But get this ladies and gentlemen. Before we even get into the heart of this matter, sit back and appreciate that the same exact day the brand new female country duo Maddie & Tae released their first single ever called “Girl In A Country Song”, whose verses include lines and titles of actual “Bro-Country” songs, young Maggie Rose released her song called “Girl In Your Truck Song” …. WHOSE VERSES ALSO INCLUDE LINES AND TITLES OF ACTUAL “BRO-COUNTRY” SONGS.

Yeah, big oops by Music Row as they inadvertently pull the curtain back to expose the inner workings of their institutionalized conveyor belt formulaic and copycat songwriting rubber stamp machine laboring away. “Pay no attention to the man behind the green curtain” they say with blushing cheeks, as they pretty much just released the same exact fucking song, on the same exact fucking day, and from institutions that are only 0.8 miles away from each other on the same exact fucking street on Music Row; only one song has a negative take and the other has a positive one. If there has ever been a moment where the country music industry has trumpeted emphatically how stupid they think you are, this is it.

From the heartfelt yet respectful concerns of some for how young women were being portrayed in country songs, to downright calls of sexism being perpetrated in country music from the “Bro-Country” takedown of the genre, sincere worry was already being transmitted from many sectors about female’s devolving role in the country music format. Now this alarming trend takes a gigantic leap forward (or backward, as it were), as a young woman voluntarily puts herself directly in the path of the misogynistic and materialistic locomotive that is modern day country music by pleading with her overbearing beau captor to allow her to become the subordinate piece of meat that is portrayed in all the worst hits of the “Bro-Country” era.

“Friday night I’m getting ready. Call you up so come and get me.
I got my jeans on tight, I’m feeling sexy. Tonight, tonight …
 
I want to be the girl in your truck song, the one that makes you sing along.
Makes you wanna cruise, drink a little moonshine down, leave a couple tattoos on this town.
Chillin’ out with a cold beer, yeah, hangin’ with the boys round here.
Gonna take a little ride, That’s my kind of night.
You and me getting our shine on, I wanna be the girl in your truck song.
 
 Gonna hop on in, so slide it over. Lay my head down on your shoulder.
We can rev it up, or take it slow. I don’t care, I don’t care.”

As one studious observer on Twitter pointed out to me, women in country music have now become so marginalized, Stockholm Syndrome has set in. When Rolling Stone Country talked to Maggie Rose about this song, she said, “There are females embracing that role that all these men are writing about.”

What the fuck did I just read? That has been the concern the entire time with this “Bro-Country” bullshit, that having guys that learned how to treat women from 90′s hip-hop songs dominating country music would result in actual behavioral changes in young women. The entire time we’ve been told, “Don’t be so uptight, they’re just songs.” And here is Maggie Rose not only releasing a song that takes a further subservient step, but then she confirms this is how young women are reacting to this trend, and they’re doing so “all over the country.”

Then Maggie Rose goes on to say, “Don’t fight it; embrace it.” Huh. Is it just a coincidence that these are the same exact creepy words a date rapist utters as he has his way with someone’s daughter?

Oh and get this: Preeminent “Bro-Country” songwriter Dallas Davidson took time from having narcissistic knuckle-chucking and homophobic-fueled meltdowns in Nashville’s douchiest fern bars to co-produce this song, giving it that extra special touch of misogynistic flair.

I don’t want to be any more disrespectful to this young lady Maddie Rose than she has already been to herself by cutting this song. But I’m sorry, this is a abomination, and the fact that this isn’t obvious to every listener and Maggie Rose herself shows just how bereft the country music moral compass has become. This song should be met with stiff and spirited resistance from all sectors. Tyler Farr and “Redneck Crazy”, eat your heart out.

READ: Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song” Anti Bro-Country?

And if I were to guess, I would say that Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song”, written by the two girls themselves, truly came from original inspiration, however good or bad you want to consider it. This “Girl In Your Truck Song” was written by the songwriting committee of Caitlyn Smith, Gordie Sampson and Troy Verges, and would have to be fingered as the ripoff if there was one. But who knows, maybe it truly was as coincidink that the two songs sprouted at the same time. Nonetheless, “Girl In Your Truck Song” should have been left on the cutting house floor, and releasing it is nothing short of culturally irresponsible.

Fuck this song.

Two guns way down!

Jun
30

Little Big Town’s “Day Drinking” (Review & Semi-Rant)

June 30, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  39 Comments

little-big-town-day-drinking

You know, for years people have been telling me how great Little Big Town is, berating me to give them a deeper listen. But I may never experience their album cuts are because their singles ward me off more than staring down a battery of AIDS cannons. First it was the motorbotin’ “Pontoon”, and now this.

I have been saying for years that country music singles are simply devolving into veiled commercials for major corporations that are underwriting music amidst eroding profits. You can’t make money selling music anymore, so hop into bed with America’s alcohol and automobile industry and make music that is de facto advertisements. They’ll back your tours if your artists back their products, and everyone can get naked and roll around in a big pile of money. Next thing you know, 90% of country music is about alcohol and trucks. There may not be a better example of an overt, gratuitous homage to consumer culture as this latest Little Big Town single entitled “Day Drinking”.

What the hell is day drinking anyway? Was this a commonly-used term a few years ago? I sure don’t remember it, but now it seems like every time I turn on the radio, some spokesperson won’t shut up about how fabulous it is while making their sales pitch, and to make sure I do it responsibly. Screw that, I got shit to do, and responsibility becomes fleeting when you’re slamming back infused vodka before the banks close. The alcohol industry has been attempting to incorporate this recently-adopted “day drinking” buzzword into society, cramming it down our throats to create a socially-acceptable environment to start consuming adult beverages before the socially-appointed time because that’s the only way Americans can pour enough adult beverages down their gullets to keep profits rising every quarter.

Tell ‘em Ralphie.

That’s right, Little Big Town’s “Day Drinking” is pretty much a crummy commercial; at least that’s what’s ringing in my ears—a day drinking advertising jingle. And if you don’t believe me, just pause the video at the 00.38 and 1:59 mark and ask yourself, “Why exactly is there a tightly cropped and prolonged shot of a Beats Pill audio player featured in this video, and twice no less?” That’s exactly what I thought the first time I saw the Miley Cyrus video for “We Can’t Stop”. It starts off with the same Beats Pill cameo. This is a pretty bold leap from mere product placement. Am I watching a music video, or QVC?

“Day Drinking” is all about being 40, and being fabulous, just like Little Big Town. And hey, in some respects, I can respect that, and don’t want to belittle that sentiment. But this is country music, not a commercial for Target’s signature line of tote bags and accessories. And act your age for crying out loud. I love how in the video the band is surrounded by a bunch of young people all happy and having fun, doing young people things, while Little Big Town is relegated to guarding the coolers. It’s like they’re trying to look young and hip by proxy, because get them out on the sand volleyball court themselves and there will be more pulled hamstrings than the NFL disabled list. All they can do is look at the ocean because the salt water would inflame their psoriasis. Little Big Town is the country music equivalent to that 90′s drama show Felicity that tanked after the main girl cut her hair. Buzz off the fake blonde girl’s frizzy do and it’s doubtful this act couldn’t make it on the club circuit. As Unknown Hinson would say, feed those girls some cheeseburgers.

The song itself isn’t offensive necessarily, but there’s really nothing of value here either. The lyrics in the verses are delivered in that monotone, nearly rapping and non-melodic style that is the norm these days, and the stupid whistling and the drum line that comes in later is so Lumineers getting run over by Imagine Dragons, it screams of stretching to find a relevant sound. It is catchy enough though to become a hit, but with all the smiles and fancy free attitudes (let’s just leave are cherry red convertible parked in the middle of the highway and start getting sloshed on the beach at 10:30 AM) it makes me wonder, do these people bleed? Do they ever experience pain, or moments of doubt? Life can’t be all fluff. Where’s the yin to this yang?

“Day Drinking” brings out the Jello Biafra in me, where I want to hate all the pretty people just for having fun, and dammit, I don’t want to be that guy; I don’t want to ruin anyone’s good time. But this vapid, fun-loving, soul-less, shallow, frappity shit sure is ruining mine.

You want to make cheesy party songs? Fine. But leave the commercials for between the songs, not during them.

1 3/4 of 2 guns down.

Jun
17

The Worst “Country” Songs of 2014 So Far

June 17, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  89 Comments

florida-georgia-line-luke-bryan-this-is-how-we-roll

WARNING: Language

The middle point of 2014 finds so called “bro-country” in full throat, with its death grips around the neck of the country music genre and threatening to throttle the very life out of it with no prayer for resuscitation. As you can expect, the assailants are the usual suspects of putrid country music specimens selling out to the lowest common denominator for commercial success. Here are your worst “country” music songs of 2014 so far.


Florida Georgia Line (w/ Luke Bryan) – “This Is How We Roll”

“Like one of those stationary rides in the front of Wal-Mart for toddlers, ‘This Is How We Roll’ makes a lot of noise, has a bunch of flashing lights, bumps up and down a little bit, but in the end, goes absolutely fucking nowhere. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers soundtrack has more sincerity, depth, and nutritional value than this explosion of diarrhea in country music’s bikini cut man briefs.

“An environment of sexual perversion and sheer stupidity permeates ‘This Is How We Roll’ and its respective video from stem to stern, including a scene near the start of the video with a dollop of hussies having consensual sex with a Kenworth. I sure hope these chicks have their Tetanus records in order. And then of course we have Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Florida Georgia Line riding on top of the semi like Teen Wolf, with the same display of doltishness and disconnect with self-awareness many mid 80′s movies like Teen Wolf were horrifically beset with.” (read full rant)


Jarrod Niemann – “Donkey” 

“‘Donkey’ is an uprovocated ass raping of the ears, and if any Niemannites come here preaching to me the virtues of this song because ‘country music must evolve,’ I will personally take a pair of donkey balls and use them to tea bag each and every one of their bedroom pillows when they’re not looking. “Donkey” isn’t just bad, it defines the catastrophic trainwrecking of the entire human evolutionary timeline. 800,000 years of homo sapien progress brought to a screeching halt because one pudgy douchebag wants an arena-sized “country” career before his pubes turn gray. “Donkey” is a harbinger for a dark age for arts, entertainment, and intelligence that humankind is on the precipice of plummeting headlong into.

“The worst song ever? I’m tired to doling out this distinction only to have to offer a revision every six weeks when some other pop country asshole finds a new gradient for rock bottom, but Jerrod Niemann’s EDM-encrusted, braying ass certainly deserves to be in the discussion for that most disgraceful of honors.” (read full rant)


Tim McGraw – “Lookin’ For That Girl

“What kind of fresh hell has Tim McGraw unearthed here? Apparently the once high-flying country star has been inadvertently inoculating himself with inebriating bronzer agents from his incessant chemical tan treatments that have now seeped into his blood stream. And combined with an undiagnosed eating disorder that has rendered McGraw’s figure to that of a 55-year-old Venice beach female body builder succumbing to a lifetime of melanoma, Tim has robbed precious nutrients from his gray matter, stupefying him into such an absolute scientifically-infallible vacuum and void of self-awareness that physicists want to employ it to see if it is the ultimate key to tabletop fusion. ‘Lookin’ For That Girl’ isn’t a cry for relevancy, it is a barbaric yawp, a banshee scream, a cacophonous ode to the onset of monoculture and wholesale mediocrity.

“The icing on this urine-drenched urinal cake topped with cigarette butts, spent gum, and used inside-out prophylactics oozing their venereal slurry out on the diarrhea-infested floor is the fact that through the entire drum machine-driven song Tim McGraw is singing through an Auto-tune filter turned to 11. T-Pain, eat your top hat-wearing heart out. I’ve been saying for years now that Tim McGraw is more machine than man, but not even I could have predicted this unmitigated rejection and headlong flight from anything analog or authentic. Hell, why do we even need a human to sing this fucking song? We should just have one of those iRobot floor cleaners sing it. At least that way it would be on hand to swab up the hurl this monstrosity will invariably evoke from enlightened music listener’s disgruntled guts. And like an iRobot incidentally, ‘Lookin’ For That Girl’ will also freak the everliving shit out of your dog.” (read full rant)


Jake Owen – “Beachin’”

“What’s going on here folks is now that Kenny Chesney has been put out to pasture by the country music powers that be, somebody has to step up and fill the void for swaying, stupid, sand between the toes sonnets of suburban escapism for 40-something women with skin Cancer on their shoulders to hold their Corona Lights high in the air to and scream ‘Whoooo!’ while breathing in the smoke of their Home Depot citronella tiki torches … Now Jake Owen and others are stepping up to fill this void of what apparently is a must-have staple of the American country music radio dial.

“As much as hearing even the opening stanza of a corporate country beach song can make a distinguishing music listener pucker harder than trying to down a cheap Mexican beer without lime or salt, Jake Owen and ‘Beachin’’ makes this exercise even more excruciating by featuring him rapping, yes, rapping the verses … yo yo. And to this end, Owen delivers what has to be the worst white boy rap performance that has ever been proffered to human beings for public consumption that isn’t meant to be taken as ironic. I guess his voice is supposed to be all low and sexy, but the ultra-monotone and lifeless pitch makes Charlie Brown’s teacher sound like Loretta Lynn. Is the term ‘Beachin’’ supposed to be a lyrical hook that delivers some sort of payoff? Because it’s about as unfulfilling as Daytona Beach when you’re dreaming of Cancún.” (read full {semi} rant)


Cole Swindell – “Chillin’ It”

“Cole Swindell is the most not-having-any-bit-of-soul-or-culture human being I think I have ever observed on God’s whole creation. He’s the human equivalent of a piece of bleached white bread with the crust cut off, served with a glass of room temperature tap water. He’s more milk toast than Caspar, and more boring than a bowl of vanilla. It’s like a thermonuclear holocaust of culture and personality-scrubbing destruction swept over Cole Swindell while he was swimming in the very fissile material of the root detonation agent, leaving a man that is so vacant of anything interesting or distinguishable that he is the utmost purified and scientifically-verifiable essence of Miriam Webster’s unabridged definition of ‘generic’ that could ever be procured as an example or proffered as evidence.

“’Chillin’ It’, just like Cole Swindell himself, is the refined, filtered, and homogenized version of something that was rapaciously trite and disappointing to being with. The first thing that pops in your head when hearing ‘Chillin’ It’ is that it’s pretty blatantly Florida Georgia Line’s ‘Cruise’ version 2.0. Except somehow, inexplicably, Swindell discovered how to do them even one worse by engineering something so aggressively vapid that labeling the song ‘bad’ even seems to bestow this spiritless, prosaic waste of effort with more personality and distinction than it actually contains or deserves.” (read full rant)

NOTE: Was released officially in 2013, but didn’t rise to prominence and become a multi-week #1 until March of 2014.


Brantley Gilbert – “Bottom’s Up”

“In this the season of giving, can we all at least come together as one, regardless of sex, race, orientation, creed, religious, political or social status, or cultural background, and swallow our collective differences, hold hands in the common bond of humanity in a rising chorus of hosannas, and all universally decree that Brantley Gilbert is the biggest douche ass to ever suck air on planet Earth?

“Such a gift from heaven it has been to not have Brantley terrorizing us with new music for a good long while. But apparently Brantley was just resting up, refining his putrid exploration into the very innermost reaches of human vanity and self-ingratiation to then unleash upon his trashy fans with the sweet residue of methamphetamine glistening on the edges of their inflamed nostrils, the purest form of raging narcissism ever witnessed in Western Civilization in the construct of his new diarrhetic single ‘Bottoms Up,’ and it’s accompanying video.

“At one point in the video, three women are surrounding Brantley, rubbing their hands all over him. But these girls aren’t copping a feel, their feverishly searching for Brantley’s beleaguered genitals that have taken the form of two acorns flanking a Vienna sausage that then fled up into his abdomen like a rodent scampering into its hole—the result of a tireless regimen of prolonged steroid abuse; hence the nonstop, headlong pursuit of this song and video to compensate and dramatically oversell Brantley’s manly prowess and masculine superiority.” (read full rant)


Dishonorable Mention:

May
29

On Brad Paisley’s New EDM-Inspired Album “Moonshine in the Trunk”

May 29, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  100 Comments

brad-paisley…and I swear, if anyone says, “Yeah, but he’s a really great guitar player,” I’m going to personally come to your house and urinate on your furniture.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read that comedian and country music performer Brad Paisley‘s new album due out August 26th was called Moonshine in the Truck and “sees Paisley adapting the modern technology of EDM and dubstep to the classic country formula.”

Just read this following quote from Brad Paisley, if you can somehow comprehend it and make it all the way through, while understanding this is supposed to be a country music artist, and one of the “good guys” at that.

“When you hear a banjo through stutter edit, it’s the coolest thing you ever heard,” Paisley told Billboard. “I have a song that’s a basic love song, it’s got a great groove, and I cut this guitar part that gets distorted when I turn the nob up. I would say to Luke [Wooten, the producer], ‘Oh, that should’ve been done 20 years ago, but they couldn’t.’”

You’re making crazy talk Brad that I don’t exactly understand, but I’ll take it as a sign that yet another one bites the dust, gives up the ghost, pulls a Benedict Arnold, and has migrated to the other team. Please turn in your cowboy hat on the way out the door.

READ: EDM Replacing Rap As The Scourge of Country Radio

traditional-country-music-fanThis is the problem folks. You try to be a pragmatist. You try to find some common ground. Hey, Paisley is a likeable guy: funny, smart, and yes, a great guitar player. But everywhere you look, as someone who simply cares a little bit about the sound that traditionally is considered to be country music, just paying scant attention is an exercise in getting socked in the nuts while being told you’re a closed-minded idiot who just wants all music to sound like Hank Williams. “You know, music has to evolve, man! They said Waylon wasn’t country either! Patsy Cline was pop too!”

Yeah, yeah.

And then it gets even worse from Mr. Paisley if you can believe it.

“The rulebook’s gone, or was there ever one?” Brad says. “They try, but I don’t play by it.”

Oh come on Brad, you played by the rulebook for fifteen years, and now by going in some “EDM” direction, you’re conforming to the rules more than ever. Breaking the rules on Music Row these days means actually playing country music. That’ll get you 86′d from your major label deal and knocking on the doors of Americana faster than anything. It’s like what songwriter Luke Laird recently said to The New York Times: “Right now, to write a country rap, it’s almost predictable. It’s more of a risk to write a traditional country song.”

And possibly the worst commentary about all of this is that it’s not even shocking that Brad Paisley’s next album will be “EDM inspired.” Of course it will be. It’s predicable, and expected, and virtually required. And meanwhile the dissent that was being levied last summer by many worried artists about all this madness in country music has gone hush.

What’s the solution? I don’t know. I guess we should just wait for the bass to drop.

May
7

Jerrod Niemann’s “Donkey” (Review & Rant)

May 7, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  139 Comments

jerrod-niemann-donkey

Warning: Language

Country is the only genre of music on planet Earth where the midlife crises of its artists play out on the airwaves and populate the very top of the charts, effecting the sonic path of the entire format for all the world to unbearably behold. And right now, Jerrod Niemann is doing the country music equivalent of blowing his retirement kitty on a red Lamborghini, and showing an unhealthy, creepy interest in his daughter’s hot best friend’s after school extra-curricular activities.

To call Jerrod Niemann an “ass” isn’t even hyperbole at this point. He isn’t spreading his arms wide in a submissive pose and pandering to Music Row to do their worst with him—be damned whatever destruction it might do to his legacy or long-term perception—Niemann’s precarious position at the moment much more resembles the compromising and unsavory posture of the poor bastard that graced the original cover of Pantera’s album Far Beyond Driven. Jerrod Niemann in 2014 might as well be like that fictional, computer-generated pop star in Japan: soulless, inhuman, and completely void of free will, relegated to a malleable piece of pop country EDM silly putty for marketing pricks to digitally program and have do their bidding without any fear of human will hindering the money making process or harboring any resentment or conscience. Jerrod Niemann is nothing more than a puppet, and the iron hands of the recording industry are confidently ensconced in his orifice whose colloquial name is an alternative to the title of his new single, “Donkey”.

Don’t fall for the ruse that just because Jerrod Niemann admits that this song is stupid that it somehow absolves it of all of the inexcusable, heinous sins it commits. Forgo all of the superfluous banjo on this track, Niemann’s cadence on “Donkey” evokes hellish nightmares of a cross between a castrated Right Said Fred and whoever the fuck sang that omnipresent mid 90′s ear worm “How Bizzare”. The line “They all walk funny when they’re done riding you know who,” singularly sets back country music 50 years, and would turn Loretta Lynn into stone like Medusa’s gaze if it ever graced her sainted ears. Our Lord Jesus Christ should resurrect Waylon for the exclusive purpose of shoving one of his Flying “W”‘s straight up old Niemann’s keister to see what kind of gait his pathetic ass would sport afterwards.

The jargon and inspiration for “Donkey” comes directly from the uncultured mouths of mid-pubescent 14-year-old boys with hard on’s, and any man who ever utters the term “honkey tonkey” in his entire existence should be banished from ever feeling the touch of another woman till the end of eternity, or certainly from mentioning the immaculate George Jones or his riding lawnmover in their stupid songs. And Niemann shows just how “country” his designer drug, upper crust dance beats are when he reveals that he thinks the term “donkey” and “mule” are interchangeable.

“Donkey” is an uprovocated ass raping of the ears, and if any Niemannites come here preaching to me the virtues of this song because “country music must evolve,” I will personally take a pair of donkey balls and use them to tea bag each and every one of their bedroom pillows when they’re not looking. “Donkey” isn’t just bad, it defines the catastrophic trainwrecking of the entire human evolutionary timeline. 800,000 years of homo sapien progress brought to a screeching halt because one pudgy douchebag wants an arena-sized “country” career before his pubes turn gray. “Donkey” is a harbinger for a dark age for arts, entertainment, and intelligence that humankind is on the precipice of plummeting headlong into.

The worst song ever? I’m tired to doling out this distinction only to have to offer a revision every six weeks when some other pop country asshole finds a new gradient for rock bottom, but Jerrod Niemann’s EDM-encrusted, braying ass certainly deserves to be in the discussion for that most disgraceful of honors.

Two guns way down!

Mar
25

Jerrod Niemann Is No Willie or Waylon (A History Lesson)

March 25, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  127 Comments

jerrod_niemannTuesday was the release of Jerrod Niemann’s dumb new album High Noon, and before we’ve even had a chance to really delve into just how much of a mockery it makes of country music, Niemann’s already out there on the defensive, preaching to us how country “purists” really don’t know what the hell country music is all about, and how he’s just carrying on the traditions of Willie and Waylon by pushing the boundaries of the genre.

High Noon‘s first single “Drink To That All Night” drove country more in the direction of EDM than ever before, to the point where I’m not sure what’s country about it aside from the stupid, formulaic, country stereotyping lyrics. The second single from the album called “Donkey” promises to take this trend to a place many shades worse, and very well might go down as the worst song in the history of country music in this bear’s opinion—but that’s another story. A further perusing of High Noon‘s wares shows a lackluster effort of EDM and hip hop pandering veering towards a pop wasteland with little redeeming value afforded to distressed ears searching for any single reason why it shouldn’t be considered any more than some EDM/country mashup side project instead of a premier solo effort from an established country artist.

But that hasn’t stooped Jerrod Niemann from naming himself amidst country music’s Outlaw pioneers.

“When people think about country music, and they use the term ‘Traditional Country,’ they’re talking about something that has happened in the past,” Niemann tells Billboard. “But, when those songs were out currently, they were the freshest thing on the radio. Nobody was saying ‘Let’s go record traditional country.’ They just wanted to record music that meant something to them. Willie and Waylon were getting flack for being progressive at the time because they were mixing it with rock and the outlaw thing.”

Sorry Niemann, but that’s bullshit. Were there some voices saying that Willie and Waylon were pushing the boundaries of country music too far back in the day? Sure there were, and Saving Country Music has pointed this out before as well. But…

1) This had just as much to do with the fear people had of Willie and Waylon because they were shaking up the established Music Row system as it had anything to do with their music.

2) Willie & Waylon’s new take on country music was nowhere near outside the boundaries of country compared to what some artists are doing today. The musical equivalent to High Noon if Willie and Waylon would have done it would have been to cut straight up Disco records with country lyricism and called it country—and then thrown it back into the faces of critics before they even had a chance to raise a peep because Hank Williams was criticized too.

3) Oh an sorry Jerrod, but yes, Waylon and Willie did say, “Let’s go record traditional country.”

For example: What was Willie Nelson’s breakout album during the mid 70′s Outlaw era? Red Headed Stranger—the consensus pick by critics as the greatest country album of all time. What was the biggest single off of Red Headed Stranger, and really the only single of note from the album? It was a song called “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” was a traditional country standard when Willie cut it. The song was written by Fred Rose, originally recorded by Roy Acuff in 1945—30 years before the release of Red Headed Stranger. It was also cut by Hank Williams in 1951, Ferlin Husky and Slim Whitman in 1959, and Bill Anderson in 1962 among others. Red Headed Stranger also had other classic country songs such as Eddy Arnold’s “I Couldn’t Believe It Was True” and a hymn called “Just As I Am” that get this Jerrod Niemann, was written in 1835, making it over 140 years old when Willie cut it. So saying that Willie didn’t say, “‘Let’s go record traditional country,” is completely bogus. One can make the argument that’s exactly what Willie said, and it resulted in arguably country music’s greatest contemporary work.

Meanwhile Waylon may have had a touch more rock in his sound compared to Willie or his other country artists of the time, but the backbone of his music was the steel guitar of country veteran Ralph Mooney, and Waylon was cutting songs like “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” and “Bob Wills Is Still The King” that paid homage to traditional country greats. Then take a look at the lineup of The Dripping Springs Reunion—the gathering that arguably put the power of Willie and Waylon on the map. It included Bill Monroe, Buck Owens, Loretta Lynn, and other aging country greats that at the time were being forgotten by Music Row. Even as Willie and Waylon were rising in prominence, they were paying homage to the ones that came before them.

“I’ve always tried to respectfully add a few elements here and there,” Niemann tells Billboard. Are you kidding me? “Drink To That All Night,” Donkey,” and other offerings from Niemann’s High Noon aren’t respectful to anything but his label’s bottom line. Take a look at this video and tell me the non-country elements are just “here and there”:

The problem with Jerrod Niemann, the reason he’s even worse than many of his current pop country cohorts is because he knows better. I have no doubt Florida Georgia Line grew up listening to mixtapes with Hank Williams Jr. on one side, and Drake on the other. To Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Shania Twain are classic country. But Jerrod Niemann is 34-years-old. He’s not trying to push limits, this is last ditch effort to get attention from the industry in a no hold’s barred, sellout move to secure his share of the fortune being made off the destruction of country music. And no matter how much he wants to be in front of this issue, how much he preaches falsehoods about how country music once was, he’s simply a sellout in a woman’s Ross Dress For Less discount bin hat—and certainly no progeny of Willie or Waylon.

Mar
12

Florida Georgia Line w/ Luke Bryan “This Is How We Roll” (A Rant)

March 12, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  139 Comments

**Warning: Heavy Language**

florida-georgia-line-luke-bryan-this-is-how-we-roll

Why are Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line standing in front of a big explosion? Because they’re fucking awesome, that’s why. And you probably don’t get that because you’re all old and shit and your pubes are probably gray and you think that country music should be Hank Williams played over and over again which is boring. Get over it. Country music has changed man, and there’s now redundant wallet chains, deep V-neck shirts with weird crap written on them, popped collars modeled with douchebag poses, and super awesome explosions for no reason. And we love it ’cause this is how we roll, yo!

- – - – - – -

Like one of those stationary rides in the front of Wal-Mart for toddlers, “This Is How We Roll” makes a lot of noise, has a bunch of flashing lights, bumps up and down a little bit, but in the end, goes absolutely fucking nowhere. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers soundtrack has more sincerity, depth, and nutritional value than this explosion of diarrhea in country music’s bikini cut man briefs.

My first question about this song is why exactly is Luke Bryan on it aside from marketing? Exactly what value does he bring to this collaboration? The very first thing out of his sewer hole is, “We’re proud to be young,” which is ironic because the 37-year-old is wearing testosterone patches to help boost his “performance” so he can keep up with the kids two decades his junior on his most recent and increasingly age-inappropriate Spring Break album. Luke Bryan has descended into that creepy late 30′s uncle character sent with a group of 16-year-old girls to “chaperone” and spends the whole time working up the courage to ask his niece’s best friend to roleplay Miley Cyrus while the rest of the group heads down to the beach.

An environment of sexual perversion and sheer stupidity permeates “This Is How We Roll” and its respective video from stem to stern, including a scene near the start of the video with a dollop of hussies having consensual sex with a Kenworth. I sure hope these chicks have their Tetanus records in order. And then of course we have Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Florida Georgia Line riding on top of the semi like Teen Wolf, with the same display of doltishness and disconnect with self-awareness many mid 80′s movies like Teen Wolf were horrifically beset with.

And are the “words” to this “song” for serious? It sounds like the babbling of a toddler with its tongue cut out, or Buckwheat trying to order Thai food while fighting through the lingering paralysis of a massive stroke.

Yeah holla at yo boy if you need a ride
If you roll with me yeah you know we rollin’ high
Up on them 37 Nittos, windows tinted hard to see though
How fresh my baby is in the shotgun seat oh
Them kisses are for me though, automatic like a free throw
This life I live it might not be for you but it’s for me though

And is anybody else bothered by watching people hanging out in the back of a moving semi? Does it seem like fun to anyone to be locked in a cargo hold with no window to the outside world, especially with a bunch of douchebags running motorcycles inside and other dumb shit? How many smuggled immigrants have been sweated to their death or suffocated in similar scenarios? I’d hate to see them take their rolling party through the same border checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, TX that busted Willie and Snoop while singing about “you know we rollin’ high” and watch the jack boots down there sodomize the whole lot of them with government issued toilet plungers in a tireless search for contraband.

And poor Brian Kelley, the Doogie Houser looking dude from Florida Georgia Line. Once again he’s more buried in the mix than Hoffa, offering no real contribution to the band aside from helping with the head count to qualify them for the CMA and ACM’s “Duo of the Year” awards. But that doesn’t stop him from showcasing how bad he is at lip syncing while sporting a doltish grin and no-soul-having wannabee hip-hop gesticulations. Let’s face it, Florida Georgia Line is Tyler Hubbard. Brian Kelley is just in charge of holding Hubbard’s penis pump.

Then finally to make up for the lack of any true machismo or talent emanating from Florida Georgia Bryan whatsoever, they send the troika out to a motorcycle track to stand there and look awesome while explosions go off and people who actually have skill do tricks for the camera that the pairing can try and take credit for by proxy.

The worst “country” song ever? I don’t think so, partly because this is just par for the course from Florida Georgia Line, while other sellouts like Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw hypothetically know better. Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are such tenderfoots, they think classic country is Shania Twain. Still I think this song is positively shitty enough to be a colossal super hit. I predict huge things for this song, and anyone with half a brain or a full compliment of testicles to be pursued by its permeation of American culture for months to come.

Two guns way down!

Feb
28

Cole Swindell’s Horrifically Generic “Chillin’ It” (A Rant)

February 28, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  121 Comments

cole-swindell-3You knew with the huge success of Florida Georgia Line that doppelgangers of the pop country duo would be coming down the pike. Well ladies and gentlemen, welcome to country music Cole Swindell; not even 9 months into his record deal, and he already has a #1 hit.

Cole Swindell is the most not-having-any-bit-of-soul-or-culture human being I think I have ever observed on God’s whole creation. He’s the human equivalent of a piece of bleached white bread with the crust cut off, served with a glass of room temperature tap water. He’s more milk toast than Caspar, and more boring than a bowl of vanilla. It’s like a thermonuclear holocaust of culture and personality-scrubbing destruction swept over Cole Swindell while he was swimming in the very fissile material of the root detonation agent, leaving a man that is so vacant of anything interesting or distinguishable that he is the utmost purified and scientifically-verifiable essence of Miriam Webster’s unabridged definition of “generic” that could ever be procured as an example or proffered as evidence.

Whereas a lot of country music artists pay their dues sweating it out in honky tonks and clawing their way up the circuit, Cole Swindell got his start schlepping pop country panties for Luke Bryan. No, I’m not kidding. Swindell’s initial claim to fame was as a Luke Bryan merch peddler, landing the job because the two were Sigma Chi frat buddies at Georgia Southern. Swindell’s gone from trying to upsell you the T-shirt with Luke Bryan’s name highlighted in glittertext, to sharing the stage with his Georgia Southern buddy, tag teaming the unclean masses in impersonal stadium shows with ultra-slick, overproduced, and abominably-average lite rock drecky schlock.

“Chillin’ It”, just like Cole Swindell himself, is the refined, filtered, and homogenized version of something that was rapaciously trite and disappointing to being with. The first thing that pops in your head when hearing “Chillin’ It” is that it’s pretty blatantly Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” version 2.0. Except somehow, inexplicably, Swindell discovered how to do them even one worse by engineering something so aggressively vapid that labeling the song ‘bad’ even seems to bestow this spiritless, prosaic waste of effort with more personality and distinction than it actually contains or deserves. Even the pop country pom pom waver Billy Dukes of Taste of Country called “Chillin’ It” the “decaf version” of “Cruise”.

Of course, calling this song “Cruise Lite” makes even more sense when you look behind-the-scenes and see how Swindell was one of the co-writers on Florida Georgia Line’s song “That’s How We Roll” with Luke Bryan. “Chillin’ It” was cut in a studio with producer Jody Stevens playing every single piece of the music and Swindell singing. Next thing you know Swindell is being signed by Warner Bros. in the wake of the historic success of Florida Georgia Line in 2013, as everyone on Music Row is looking for their version of Scott Borchetta’s new pop country boy toy.

The video for “Chillin’ It” rises to the occasion of offering a fair visual representation of Swindell’s unparalleled mining of mediocrity. Beyond featuring the obvious elements of a pretty girl and classic trucks out in the country, the “Chillin’ It” video makes poor use of ‘B’ roll-quality footage taken with the sun obnoxiously hitting the camera lens. Cole Swindell is featured hanging out by a lake, white boy hip hop dancing with awkward and embarrassing gesticulations that make him look more ridiculous than your drunk and racist uncle when he’s mocking black people he sees on TV.

The whole vibe of the songs seems to be Cole trying up make up for the fact that he’s an uncultured, pasty white boy on the outside looking in of what is cool with his stupid, Ebonics-laden lyrics that go absolutely nowhere, and one of the most limp dick lyrical payoffs at the resolution of the chorus I think I’ve ever heard.

We don’t need another Florida Georgia Line Cole; one was already too much.

Two guns way down!

Jan
15

Tim McGraw’s “Lookin For That Girl” (A Rant)

January 15, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  126 Comments

tim-mcgraw-lookin-for-that-girlWARNING: Heavy Language

What kind of fresh hell has Tim McGraw unearthed here? Apparently the once high-flying country star has been inadvertently inoculating himself with inebriating bronzer agents from his incessant chemical tan treatments that have now seeped into his blood stream. And combined with an undiagnosed eating disorder that has rendered McGraw’s figure to that of a 55-year-old Venice beach female body builder succumbing to a lifetime of melanoma, Tim has robbed precious nutrients from his gray matter, stupefying him into such an absolute scientifically-infallible vacuum and void of self-awareness that physicists want to employ it to see if it is the ultimate key to tabletop fusion. “Lookin’ For That Girl” isn’t a cry for relevancy, it is a barbaric yawp, a banshee scream, a cacophonous ode to the onset of monoculture and wholesale mediocrity.

The lyrics of “Lookin’ For That Girl” read like a “How To” manual to date rape, which is similar to how this song maliciously violates your earholes with such unwanted and violently barbed penetrations that you find yourself overwhelmed with such desperate loathing for your situation you pray for nothing less than the sweet release of death itself.

That girl, she’s a party all nighter
A little Funky Cold Medina, little strawberry winer
That girl, She’s a love gunslinger
Neon Jager-bomb country okie singer
 
That girl she’s a sugar sweet drive by
Hold my dreams in her blue jeans, oh my
Yellow hammer south Georgia Mississippi chick
Trick cherry wine, Louisiana lipstick

Though this song is supposed to be urban and hip, it comes across as the cries of an introverted internet masturbator who never matured past a middle school mentality. Funky Cold Medina? “Hold my dream in her blue jeans, oh my!” are you fucking kidding me? This song makes me hate sex, and is simply a smattering of ultra-stereotypical urbanisms chased by countryisms trying to apologize for itself and accomplish the widest possible splash zone of victimhood with its catchy pap like when a hippo turns his hind quarters towards the herd and scats the hell out of anything and everything aided by a helicoptering tail.

The icing on this urine-drenched urinal cake topped with cigarette butts, spent gum, and used inside-out prophylactics oozing their venereal slurry out on the diarrhea-infested floor is the fact that through the entire drum machine-driven song Tim McGraw is singing through an Auto-tune filter turned to 11. T-Pain, eat your top hat-wearing heart out. I’ve been saying for years now that Tim McGraw is more machine than man, but not even I could have predicted this unmitigated rejection and headlong flight from anything analog or authentic. Hell, why do we even need a human to sing this fucking song? We should just have one of those iRobot floor cleaners sing it. At least that way it would be on hand to swab up the hurl this monstrosity will invariably evoke from enlightened music listener’s disgruntled guts. And like an iRobot incidentally, “Lookin’ For That Girl” will also freak the everliving shit out of your dog.

What made Tim McGraw one of the greatest country music performers for a generation wasn’t his singing necessarily, though he’s a gifted and inspired vocalist without question. It wasn’t his songwriting. And it wasn’t his unique or creative approach to performance. It’s that Tim McGraw could somehow out of the massive crush of song material every artist must sift through, select the very best compositions that would invariably become the soundtrack to so many people’s poignant, life-changing moments. “Don’t Take The Girl,” “Live Like You Were Dying”—these songs inspired millions, and spoke straight to the heart of people looking for meaning and solace in the desperate throes of human emotional frailty. And now we get “Truck Yeah,” and “Lookin’ For That Girl” that makes a two-time Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year sound like Stephen Hawking reciting middle school sex ramblings.

The worst country song ever? I’d add the addendum that since there’s really nothing here that is even remotely close to “country”, ingratiating it by calling it the worst “country” song might be inadvertent flattery. And also, we are so early in 2014, this may be an unfortunate signifier of where we’re headed and could be toppled at any moment. But except for these qualifying points, sure, let’s sleep on the idea for a little bit, but I won’t put my dukes up against anyone who would assert that Tim McGraw’s “Lookin’ For That Girl” is the worst song in the history of country music.

You’re 46-years-fucking-old Tim McGraw.

Two guns way down!

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

Dec
31

Billy Ray Cyrus Recording Hip Hop Version of “Achy Breaky Heart”

December 31, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  26 Comments

billy-ray-cyrusYes folks, you read that right. According to media personality Larry King, Billy Ray Cyrus, King of the Atomic Mullet and father of devil spawn Miley Cyrus, is recording a hip hop version of his everlasting, demonically evil, and historically bereft scourge of Western Civilization known as “Achy Breaky Heart.”

“Just spoke with @billyraycyrus on the phone – he’s recorded a hip-hop version of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ – he’s excited about it & so am I!” Larry King tweeted out at roughly noon Central time on New Years Eve. Despite the terrible, devastating news, New Years celebrations across the globe reportedly will still transpire as scheduled.

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel immediately wrote back to Larry King through Twitter saying, “Congratulations to Larry @kingsthings on getting the best tweet of 2013 in just before the finish line.” But in all likelihood this is no joking matter. Billy Ray Cyrus sucks just bad enough to make such an evil wish his New Year’s resolution.

Larry-king-jimmy-kimmel-billy-ray-cyrus-tweet

“Achy Breaky Heart” is considered by many regardless of genre or taste as one of the worst songs in not just the history of country music, but the history of music, period. It came in at #6 on Saving Country Music’s Worst Songs of All Time. The news leaves some hoping The Mayans were right, but just a little off with their calculations, and the destruction of planet Earth can transpire before the hip-hop version of “Achy Breaky Heart” can terrorize the ears and hearts of mankind.

God help us all.

Dec
23

Brantley Gilbert’s “Bottoms Up” (A Rant)

December 23, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  188 Comments

brantley-gilbert-bottoms-up-2Warning: language

In this the season of giving, can we all at least come together as one, regardless of sex, race, orientation, creed, religious, political or social status, or cultural background, and swallow our collective differences, hold hands in the common bond of humanity in a rising chorus of hosannas, and all universally decree that Brantley Gilbert is the biggest douche ass to ever suck air on planet Earth?

Such a gift from heaven it has been to not have Brantley terrorizing us with new music for a good long while. But apparently Brantley was just resting up, refining his putrid exploration into the very innermost reaches of human vanity and self-ingratiation to then unleash upon his trashy fans with the sweet residue of methamphetamine glistening on the edges of their inflamed nostrils, the purest form of raging narcissism ever witnessed in Western Civilization in the construct of his new diarrhetic single “Bottoms Up,” and it’s accompanying video.

Some may want to tell Brantley Gilbert to go fuck himself for putting out such an awful song, but in Brantley Gilbert’s self-centered world, truly fucking himself would be the fulfillment of his wildest dreams. The video for “Bottoms Up” starts with a bunch of submissive prohibition-era flapper girls doing all the heavy lifting—loading up crates of bootleg alcohol into Brantley’s motor carriage, while Brantley orders them around, flexing his back muscles and showing off his water pistols for the camera. Yes, what a gentleman. Then what ensues is the most self-absorbed 5 minutes one can witness this side of masturbating to oneself in a mirror.

Like many of it’s sonic peers originating from mainstream country music males right now, “Bottoms Up” offers absolutely no redeeming nutritional value to its listeners whatsoever. It simply beats its audience over the head with a servile sense of rabid shallowness and wanton materialistic consumerism conveyed with Nickelback stylings underlayed by a buried banjo track. Joey Moi eat your heart out. About the only thing “Bottoms Up” is good for is supplying the soundtrack to a 16-year-old’s first drinking escapade subsequently followed by throwing up in a Taco Bell parking lot.

brantley-glibert-bottoms-up-1At one point in the video, three women are surrounding Brantley, rubbing their hands all over him. But these girls aren’t copping a feel, their feverishly searching for Brantley’s beleaguered genitals that have taken the form of two acorns flanking a Vienna sausage that then fled up into his abdomen like a rodent scampering into its hole—the result of a tireless regimen of prolonged steroid abuse; hence the nonstop, headlong pursuit of this song and video to compensate and dramatically oversell Brantley’s manly prowess and masculine superiority.

One interesting part about this song and video is the premise is all based around alcohol and drinking. Brantley is cast as a bootleger and party Barron, but in real life he swore off the sauce over 2 years ago, or supposedly did. Hey, I commend Brantley’s sobriety if it’s still ongoing and applaud his discipline, but it really doesn’t lend to the sincerity of whatever muddled, mumble-speaking and Ebonics-inflected message Brantley is trying to convey in this “Bottoms Up” monstrosity. Brantley may have a brass knuckles handle for his microphone to show just how much of a hard knocker he is, but his preferred beverage is more akin to 2% milk than 90-proof moonshine.

The video ends with Brantley pulling up to his hideout, and despite him being such a badass that he could impregnate three women at the same time simply by starring at them from across the room, he fails to notice the sheriff’s car parked 15 yards away from his illegal still shack. I don’t want to come across as too sensitive or gratuitous by saying the video for “Bottoms Up” ends with a cop killing scene similar to something Ice-T would dream up circa 1990, but man, that is certainly what it looks like. Sure, this is all make-believe, but the murdering of Brantley Gilbert’s dignity in “Bottoms Up” is very, very real.

You didn’t bottom up Brantley, you bottomed out.

Two guns way down.

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