Browsing articles in "Down with Pop Country"
May
29

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

May 29, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  98 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  //  133 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  //  123 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  //  138 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  //  120 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  //  122 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!

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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  //  154 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.

Nov
21

22 Things I’d Rather Hear Than Jamie Lynn Spears’ Country Debut

November 21, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  65 Comments

Reports have Jamie Lynn Spears, famous teen mom and sister of Brittney Spears, releasing a debut country album soon. I’m sure that Jamie Lynn Spears is a very sweet girl, and by all accounts she is blessed with remarkably white teeth and excellent skin. But the simple realities of running a website like Saving Country Music is that you can’t listen to every single piece of recorded music released in the greater country music pantheon. You have to be selective. So I’ve assembled a list of the things I’d rather hear than Jamie Lynn Spears’ debut country album.

  1. My parents having sex.
  2. My genitals being pureed in a blender.
  3. “I’m referring you to a specialist. A proctologist.”
  4. The cracking sound of my own bone breaking.
  5. “The DNA test confirms you’re the father.”
  6. “According to our compression test, you have a blown head gasket.”
  7. The smacking sound of peanut butter making the tongue of a 330-pound man sitting next to me on a city bus stick to the roof of his mouth.
  8. “You’ll have to go in person to the Department of Motor Vehicle for that.”
  9. A sumo wrestler passing a knife.
  10. A baby’s cry broadcast through a megaphone.
  11. “Your arraignment will be next Tuesday.”
  12. Anything produced by Max Martin.
  13. My laptop being crushed by a car tire.
  14. “Achy Breaky Heart.”
  15. “We will have to wait on the tarmac for two more hours before we are cleared for takeoff.”
  16. The distinct thud sound of a door not closing properly because your finger was in the jamb.
  17. “Next up on 98.1 we have the newest from Luke Bryan!”
  18. Chris Brown explaining why he’s actually the victim.
  19. Florida Georgia Line without Auto-tune.
  20. My girlfriend struggling with violent diarrhea.
  21. A puppy being stepped on.
  22. “It’s Cancer.”

But except for that, I look forward to receiving my copy and being the model of objectivity in my coverage of Jamie Lynn Spears’ forthcoming country album.

….actually strike that “Acky Breaky Heart” one. I think I’d rather take my chances with Ms. Nickelodeon.

Welcome to country music Jamie!

—xoxo

Oct
7

Tyler Farr’s “Redneck Crazy” (A Rant)

October 7, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  138 Comments

tyler-farr-redneck-crazyI don’t know what to say folks, except that maybe country music’s 2013 collective mission to find the absolute lowest depths of stupidity in song was accomplished so unequivocally with Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind Of Night” and Jason Aldean’s “1994″ that a new mission had to be named to explore the innermost reaches of emotional depravity bordering on downright psychotic tendencies, and that’s how this song came into being.

I’ve never heard a song whose mood is so befuddled and whose message is so depraved this side of Satan rock. Is this supposed to be a deep, heartbreak song, or a ‘bro” anthem filled with sarcasm? I don’t even know if Tyler Farr could answer that question. This song and video doesn’t offer any entertainment, it just makes you want to deadbolt your doors, ammo up, and clinch your loved ones a little closer.

Tyler Farr’s “Redneck Crazy” isn’t for jilted male lovers looking for solace, it is for socially awkward, introverted, creepy-ass chronic masturbaters that hold a minor in megalomania. This song doesn’t need a rant, it needs a restraining order and ankle bracelet. It’s an insult to both the terms “redneck” and “crazy.” True rednecks ride their problems out, rub their wounds in the dirt and move on, not whine about them like a panty waist, eliciting threats and enlisting their loser friends to enact adolescent acts of vandalism as some sort of self-righteous recompense.

Look at some of the lines in this creep fest:

“Gonna drive like hell through your neighborhood
Park this Silverado on your front lawn
Crank up a little Hank, sit on the hood and drink
I’m about to get my pissed off on”

“I’m gonna aim my headlights into your bedroom windows
Throw empty beer cans at both of your shadows
I didn’t come here to start a fight, but I’m up for anything tonight
You know you broke the wrong heart baby, and drove me redneck crazy”

Listen Tyler Farr, if you’re going to go recording some weird-ass soundtrack to your stalking escapades, do me a favor and keep the holy name of the great Hiram King Williams out of your demented claptrap, okay?

And this might be the worst line of all:

“Nah, he can’t amount to much by the look of that little truck
Well he wont be getting any sleep tonight”

No wonder you can’t get laid you loser, because if you think being a man means having a big truck and a bunch of cool camouflage shit, then you’re nothing but a little boy still playing G.I. Joe stuck in a man’s body. Just because you have a camo guitar and play with your privates doesn’t make you “Army Strong” Tyler. The fact that you’re making fun of the size of a man’s truck says less about that man and more about your own inadequacies, and the powerful sway they have over your emotional sense of self-worth.

Get over it Tyler. Put a napkin on your vag and quit acting like the world owes you just because you’re an emotionally-underdeveloped and shallow douche prick with no game. The saddest part is, “Redneck Crazy” is the type of stupid shit that passes for “deep” these days. And yes folks, I know this song wasn’t written by Tyler Farr, but a troika of professional songwriters. That’s even more scary—that in a cubicle farm somewhere there’s bean counters pouring over demographic data and concluding, “There’s not enough songs about psychos threatening physical violence against their ex’s on country radio. We feel it is time to exploit this niche.”

And who the hell is Tyler Farr anyway? Where did this dude come from? A few weeks ago I’d never heard the name, and now this is the #1 song in country music? I went to his wiki page and it had less substance than this song, probably because his shallow fans ran out of time on their free AOL disks, or won’t touch a computer unless it’s wrapped in camo tape. And while we’re on that, quit with the stupid-ass camo everything. Yeah, it was cute when Brad Paisley came out playing a camo guitar in 2008, but more and more camo is just a way to camoflauge the emotional frailty and insecurities of grown-up babies like Tyler Farr whose true redneck identity only runs as deep as his $170.00 Bass Pro Shop camo waders.

tyler-farr-redneck-crazy-4-wheelerAnd as is the norm these days, the video for the song does it one worse, with cameos from these Duck Dynasty guys and the country music Grimmace, Colt Ford. Come on, bringing Clot Ford on a covert mission would be like shoving a bowling ball down your pants before running a marathon. Hell, if you want him to be useful, leech a liposuction hose to his commodious midriff and spray his superfluous fat at this poor chick’s abode. I hear human cellulite is even more hell to remove from house siding than egg white. And if you watch the end of the video, tenderfoot Tyler Farr tumps his glorified golf cart while trying to make a basic turn. Just like Luke Bryan, these lugs love to sing about the outdoors in their songs, but when you get them off the pavement, they’re like a fish out of water.

About the only thing this song is good for is turning in for state’s evidence of why Tyler Farr shouldn’t be allowed within 200 yards of his ex’s or any elementary school.

You aren’t “Redneck Crazy” Tyler, you’re just really, really creepy.

Two guns way down!

Oct
3

Luke Bryan Rolls Big Black Jacked Up Truck Into Pond

October 3, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  37 Comments

luke-bryanLuke Bryan and his other bro-tastic pop country pseudo-rapping laundry list-espousing pretty boys may love to sing about big ol’ pickup trucks, but it has always been circumspect if they could even pilot one in a pinch. Maybe Luke had a little too much of that “real good stuff up under the seat of his big black jacked up truck,” or maybe the floozy he was riding with heard “hand me another beer” one too many times (references to his #1 song “That’s My Kind of Night” people, keep up!), but either way, Luke Bryan’s ride ended up in the drink a few days ago. Luckily the matching henna tattoo he got with Jason Aldean did not get wet in the incident.

“Before y’all get out of your truck. Make sure to put it in park. Trust me.” Luke Bryan tweeted, along with a picture of his submerged pickup. Maybe Luke should have written the directions for setting the parking break on his hand like he did the words to the National Anthem.

luke-bryan-truck-pond-crash

We all do stupid things and maybe it’s not fair to laugh, but I’m still waiting for Luke Bryan to do something that is not stupid. Even the catfish sucking up Frito crumbs off his floorboards are saying, “Man, what a douchebag.” Lucky for Luke, his appropriately-titled album Crash My Party just went platinum, so he can probably afford seven more of these to screw up at his leisure.

A friendly suggestion to Luke Bryan and his ilk: stick to traversing the backroads and ponds vicariously through your songs just like your suburban-dwelling listeners do. The country can be a very, very dangerous place.

‘Merica.

Sep
19

I Give A Shit, Jason Aldean. I do. (A Rant)

September 19, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  106 Comments

jason-aldean-2

Late Tuesday night (9-17), Jason Aldean took time away from getting fitted with pairs of $700 jeans and polishing up his Medusa of wallet chains to take to Instagram and call out Zac Brown for his recent comments about country music, and specifically Luke Bryan’s song “That’s My Kind Of Night,” characterizing it as the “worst song ever.” Though Zac Brown went out of his way to both say that his problem was not with Luke Bryan, but the song, and specifically clarify that he didn’t necessarily consider himself country either, though he does actually play real music with real instruments, Jason Aldean decided to take the low road with Zac Brown, and make it personal, saying:

I hear some other artist are bashing my boy @lukebryan new song, sayin its the worst song they have ever heard…….. To those people runnin their mouths, trust me when i tell u that nobody gives a shit what u think. Its a big ol hit so apparently the fans love it which is what matters. Keep doin ur thing LB!!!

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

Look ladies and gentlemen, if Jason Aldean was ever pressured to actually write one of his hit songs, he’d choke like a Kardashian giving face love to a professional athlete. And what’s with the language on this prick for someone who’s supposed to be family entertainment? Do you kiss Luke Bryan with that same mouth Jason Aldean?

We already knew from Jason’s numerous stuttering, cardboard-like speaking presentations at stupid country music award shows that the man had less of a handle on the English language than a horny monkey does a greasy football. But if Aldean’s garbled communique is any indication, there’s Chilangos headed back home on the deportation bus that have better command of broken English than this plastic, country music Ken Doll. Match that with the vernacular of a 12-year-old female texter hopped up on half a dozen pixie sticks, and Aldean’s attempt at defending his man friend Luke Bryan is more of a laughable indictment of Aldean’s own character and intellectual attributes than a worthy defense of his “bro.” Aldean should have remembered the advice from those record executives: shut up, look pretty, and only open your mouth when the Auto-tuner is on.

And what do they say about people living in glass houses? A year ago this month, Jason Aldean and his shimmering white teeth were gracing the shiny cover of People Magazine’s Country Music Special Edition, singing the praises of Aldean as a superlative father and family man, while at the same exact time he was hanging out in an LA night club getting handsy with some loose American Idol castoff. Hey, we all make mistakes, but Aldean is two left feet in faux leather boots stained on the inside with residue from his chemical tan. Just stick to making sure you don’t fall off the riser when you’re working through your choreographed stage moves Aldean. We the people of country music will determine who needs to be called out or praised for their contributions to the genre.

And just appreciate this: Aldean took the time to call out Zac Brown, but still to this day has yet to reach out to Joe Diffie, a man he did an entire tribute song to. That’s right, Aldean hasn’t taken the time to even text Joe Diffie and his mullet, yet he’ll go on some rant replete with sophomoric abbreviations through the stupid-ass, adolescent forum of Instagram. Take this advice Aldean, keep your texting thumbs holstered in the loops of your $700 jeans, or tickling the #2 holes of your barely-legal groupies.

Who gives a shit what Zac Brown has to say? I do. We do. Are we the minority? Maybe, but the statistics show that our numbers are growing every day while mainstream music continues to circle the toilet hole of financial insolvency, trying to shore up their golden parachutes by instilling this sugar rush of completely vapid and talent-less hack acts that amount to nothing more than a harey carey maneuver, sticking a dagger right into the heart of country music, sacrificing its long-term health and viability to prop up the facade of the here and now.

You think the popularity of something proves its worth? In the minds and pocketbooks of a growing number of consumers, a song’s mainstream popularity is proper stimulation to avoid it at all costs. In a moment of vanity-filled rage and in a complete vacuum of self-awareness, you may think that you and Luke Bryan are kings of the mountain right now. But one day you’ll wake up and realize that mountain is nothing more than a heap of ashes of what country music once was, with no body or structure to that mound, and that the impending fall from the top will be quite precipitous.

Nobody gives a shit, Jason Aldean? Sorry “bro,” but you’re wrong. I give a shit. I do. And I’m not alone.

Sep
4

Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind Of Night” (A Rant)

September 4, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  102 Comments

luke-bryan-dance-1luke-bryan-dance-2luke-bryan-dance-7luke-bryan-dance-6

WARNING: Language

Let’s start this off by dispatching with the 700 lb gorilla in the room and say what everyone is thinking, but few are willing to say publicly: The only reason Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind Of Night” is a #1 song is because bored suburban moms and their daughters want to fuck him. Luke Bryan’s music has the nutritional value of notebook paper, and is the clinical result of when an entertainer spreads his arms wide in a submissive pose and relents his entire will to the country music industrial complex, saying “Do your worst.” Luke Bryan has no soul. He is more machine than man. He has the integrity of a Guatemalan mule bridge with a squadron of M1 tanks trying to cross it. “That’s My Kind of Night” is like a diabolically-specialized form of audio diarrhea that marries the ideal ratio of water to solids so when it is sent through an industrial fan it inflicts the widest collateral damage on as many people as possible.

luke-bryan-thats-my-kind -of-night2 1/2 years ago a stupid little blog called Saving Country Music proposed that in due course, we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between country and rap songs. The hypothesis was generally laughed at or ignored, and even I didn’t know just how far we would come in such short order. And now yet again the #1 song in country music is a country rap featuring an appearance by a prominent hip hop artist. “A little Conway a little T-Pain?” Yep, that pretty much sums up American music in 2013, sans the Conway—replaced by Luke Bryan and his vomit-inducing country rap trend-chasing ilk.

But one of the disappointing things about this song is just how little T Pain there is after this was the big news ahead of the song’s release. Sure, he’s name dropped and appears on the track, but T-Pain is buried in the mix even more than the banjo. If you’re going to have T-Pain or some other washed-up rapper make an appearance on your shitty country song, then own it dammit. Have T-Pain popping out of a birthday cake with his rainbow dreads cascading out from under his top hat while shooting off Roman candles, Auto-tuning the shit out of anything and everything in his hack-ass, no-talent-having path. But T-Pain’s meager appearance is indicative of the approach to this song: round the edges off and take half measures until you have the most candy-assed, milktoast, generic song possible to infect the gullible masses with booty-shaking ear worms in a complete vacuum of artistic value.

The “Uh! Uh!” at the very beginning of “That’s My Kind of Night” is indicative to the kind of submissive role this supposed “country” song takes to its rap and pop influences. The reference to “real good stuff” hidden under the seat may seem risque for country, but this type of pussy-ass drug referencing has been bastardizing pop songs for years. And then here comes the indolent references to rural culture like “big black jacked up trucks” and “diamond-plated tailgates.” At one point Luke Bryan talks about floating down the Flint River with a girl and catching her a catfish dinner. Let me assure you folks, the only thing Luke Bryan could “catch” on a river may smell fishy, but that’s only because it originates from the pussing nethers of some floozy who’d be stupid enough to raft up with a tenderfoot like Luke in the first place.

The live video for this song does it one worse. As you will notice below, only women are shown in the crowd shots, because that is what all of this is geared toward because corporate country females are the last demographic too ditsy to figure out how to steal or stream their music. The submissiveness displayed by some of the young girls in this video is downright scarey, and reminds one of the worshiping of the Golden Calf in Chuck Heston’s The Ten Commandments. Seriously, what the fuck? The glazed over look in some of these girl’s eyes and the servile gesturing is outright cultish.

luke-bryan-video-girl-1lucke-bryan-girl-video-2

 

And what’s up with this guy and his monkeyshit green electric banjo? The thing looks like the instrumental equivalent of a bedazzled vagina. Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music.

luke-bryan-green-banjo

Worst country song ever? I’d have to say no. Jason Aldean’s “1994″ is a milestone that may take years to depose, but Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind Of Night” is certainly worthy of the type of ridicule reserved for only the absolute worst of quotation mark “country” songs.

Two guns way down!

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Jul
31

If Pop Country Stars Had To Find Other Jobs

July 31, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  27 Comments

So many of pop country’s celebrities have such a vacuous amount of life skills, without being propped up as pretty faces by the country music industry, they’d be clueless in the real world. Others probably have some skills outside of singing into Auto-tuners at concerts, and that’s probably what they should be doing instead of trying to be artists.

Always wanting to be helpful here at Saving Country Music, we have compiled some ideas/suggestions of what some big pop country stars could do if they had to find other employment.


justin-moore

Star: Justin Moore

Profession: Jockey

Yes, because he’s barely tall enough to ride the Tilt-A-Whirl, and is no more than 95 pounds soaking wet. Gotta work what God gave you.

 

 

 

joe-diffie

Star: Joe Diffie

Profession: Mall Cop

“No Mr. Diffie, no need to cut the mullet or shave the mustache. You’ll fit right in here at The Shops at Westcreek.”

 

 

 

 

gary-levox

Star: Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts

Profession: Gynecologist / Youth Minister / Celebrity Chef / Professional Karaoke Singer

I know, quite a breadth of professions. But with hair that great, the possibilities are endless!

 

brantley-gilbert

Star: Brantley Gilbert

Profession: MMA-World Ball Sack Sniffer

He can pump iron and down copious amounts of steroids, but doesn’t have the instincts or smarts to actually handle it mono e mono in the octagon. So he stands in a corner with a towel thrown over his shoulder, holding a water bottle, waiting to wipe up a nosebleed and maybe pick off a sloppy second groupie stumbling away from one of the contenders.

 

 

brian-kelley-florida-georgia-line

Star: Brain Kelley of Florida Georgia Line

Profession: Mannequin / Wallflower

Doesn’t really sing, doesn’t really play guitar. This dude does less than Congress.

 

 

 

 

colt-ford

Star: Colt Ford

Profession: Grimmace at McDonaldland / Transvestite Truck Driver

I don’t know what mental image is more disturbing: Colt Ford cooped up in a big purple suit (just imagine the butt sweat), or his rippling thighs confined by fishnets, with a dash of eau de toilette perfuming his pasty inner thighs. (Worth noting he tried his hand at professional golf for a while.)

 

 

luke-bryan

Star: Luke Bryan

Profession: Male Stripper

You may want to check the ID’s on some of those girls, Luke.

 

 

gretchen-wilson

Star: Gretchen Wilson

Profession: Leg Breaker / Diesel Mechanic

She can beat you at arm wrestling, or strip down an engine and machine your headers all before lunch.

 

 

 

dave-haywood-lady-antebellum

Star: Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum

Profession: Non-threatening male elementary school teacher / puppeteer

Has there ever been a more emasculated star in the history of country music?

 

 

 

 

 

jason-aldean-baseballStar: Jason Aldean

Profession: Roided-out, AA-level, baseball wash out

Aldean actually almost went to college on a baseball scholarship and had some moderate skills in that direction. Our ears could’ve only been so lucky….

 

 

 

kenney-chesney

Star: Kenney Chesney

Profession: Sandals / flowery shorts model

Oh great, yet another damn song about hanging out on the beach. And what the hell’s going on in this photo? Does he even have pants on?

 

 

 

 

blake-shelton-435

Star: Blake Shelton

Profession: Manure Shoveler

After all, isn’t that what his initials stand for?

 

 

 

 

 

Jul
16

Montgomery Gentry’s “Titty’s Beer” (A Rant)

July 16, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  112 Comments

montgomery-gentryAmerica, my apologies, but yes, this truly does exist.

This isn’t a cry for relevancy folks, this is a blood-curdling scream; a banshee yawp from the innermost depths of holy hell, destined to beset the eardrums of all rationally-minded music listeners with a cursed memory so potent and terrible, it will be well-documented as a clinically-certified precursor to the most acute and debilitating onset of post traumatic stress disorder, terrorizing the very sanity of any semi-intelligent human.

If a truly good country song is represented by a delicate pair of supple female breasts, then Montgomery Gentry’s “Titty’s Beer” would be a rack of cellulose-addled man boobs replete with coarse and graying disheveled chest hair, pock marked with skin Cancer and bisected by a grizzly double bypass scar.

Originally recorded by the Country Music Grimmace Colt Ford, “Titty’s Beer” is an ode to idiocracy and a battle hymn for the forces of misogynistic cultural reduction. The premise doesn’t even make sense, but you can see some oaf going, “Well hell. I like titties, and I like beer, so….” And no folks, this isn’t some buried album cut from the once high flying country duo, this song has its own video and is being pushed hard to the teeming masses.

Oh the poor Troy Gentry, trying to stay hip by squeezing his doughy, middle-aged chub into an extra-shrunk child’s medium Affliction shirt, while the steamy day stimulates beads of Just For Men dye solution to roll down his wrinkled brow buffed over with multiple layers of man-formulated Maybelline. This silly arse is even rocking the wallet chains, just like all of those cool, hip male pop country acts. You know, the ones that actually still sell records?

And what’s up with Eddie Montgomery in this song and video? This dude is doing even less shit than Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line does. The video is clearly being shot in the blinding heat of summer, with chicks in bikinis running around everywhere, and yet this dumbass is duded up like he’s ready to take the stagecoach over the Continental Dive in the dead of a Wyoming winter. Eddie Montgomery must have more sweat cascading down his ass crack than the water of the roaring rapids in the wild and scenic Snake River.

And somebody take that stupid microphone stand Eddie’s poking the crowd with away before he punctures a slew of silicone boobs and they have call out the Hazmat unit for a chemical spill. Seriously, there’s more synthetic components embedded in that crowd of floozies than in a semi-truck full of iPhones.

The worst part about “Titty’s Beer” is that the song doesn’t even work on any fundamental level. There’s actually a legacy in country music that uses innuendo and wordplay to veil sexually-charged content that can be both witty and entertaining. But “Titty’s Beer” bears it all, leaving nothing to the imagination.

Two guns way down!

May
28

We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now. It’s Called Florida Georgia Line.

May 28, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  94 Comments

florida-georgia-line-003I’ll be honest with you, it makes me chuckle a little bit when I see some traditional country fan get hot and bothered over Kenny Chesney. It’s not that Kenny Chesney and his flowery shorts and flip flop songs don’t deserve a spirited berating every once and a while, but the exercise seems so out-of-touch with the current trends in popular country music. Chesney may still be one of the few country acts who can consistently sell out stadiums, and maybe he has a song tickle the Top 10 every so often. But his tenure as one of country’s top influential artists has long since passed.

It was Taylor Swift who broke Chesney’s streak of four CMA “Entertainer of the Year” awards in five years when the young songstress shocked the world in 2009, stimulating real country fans to take to the internet en masse to proclaim country music dead. The man behind Taylor Swift’s success was the Country Music Anti-Christ Scott Borchetta, herr führer of Big Machine Records; the same man behind the success of the sizzling hot pop country duo Florida Georgia Line. Similar to Taylor Swift, the Florida Georgia Line sensation has sprung out of nowhere, and threatens to downright dominate the popular country music landscape for the near future.

These dudes are on the mother of all tears. Their song “Cruise” threatens to be the biggest country song in 2013, and has already set multiple records, including spending 12 weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart—the first time this has happened by a duo in the 69-year history of the chart. It’s also the first time a song has spent over 12 weeks on the chart since Buck Owens “Love’s Gonna Live Here” did it in 1963-64. “Cruise” has charted for a whopping 43 straight weeks stretching back to 2012, and has hit #1 on three separate occasions. It hit #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart as far back as December 15th of last year, and the song is still going strong, now with a remix featuring hip-hop’s Nelly allowing the song to re-enter Billboard’s all-genre Hot 100 chart at #8.

“Cruise” has already been certified triple-platinum, and is showing no signs of slowing down, and Scott Borchetta and Big Machine have already released the second Florida Georgia Line single “Get Your Shine On,” which has also been very successful, hanging steady at #5 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, and having spent a total of 31 weeks on the chart so far.

And the scariest part is, these may not be the biggest singles from Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s to the Good Times album. The record is jam packed with catchy songs ripe for radio. Florida Georgia line can’t just be laughed off as some flash-in-the-pan overnight sensation, or some gimmicky country-rap outfit riding a trend. Current songs competing with “Cruise” like Jason Aldean’s “1994″ or Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” reek of desperation, and just downright reek as songs. As much as it pains me to admit it, Florida Georgia line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard have an ear for catchy melodies, and make writing popular country hits look easy. Will it last? Time will tell, but right now they are positively dominating the mainstream country format.

And it’s not just country purists who seem slow on the uptake to Florida Georgia Line’s success. The country music industry seems a little lethargic to recognize that they have their next superstars on their hands. At the ACM Awards in April, the duo was only given one minute to perform “Cruise.” They reside on a subsidiary imprint of Big Machine Records called Republic Nashville, usually meant for smaller, developing bands, but there’s a good chance in six months they could be selling out arenas. Or maybe this is a sign that Music Row still doesn’t know about the long-term viability of this band, worried that there’s not enough substance to sustain their success moving forward. If this is the case, I think they’ve underestimated the shallowness of the mainstream country fan base.

Either way, Florida Georgia Line is here, and will be eroding the purity of the term “country” and terrorizing the ears of traditional country fans potentially for years to come. When the next round of CMA Awards come around next February, it may not be Taylor Swift winning the Entertainer of the Year award over Kenny Chesney, it may be Florida Georgia Line winning it over Taylor Swift.

May
20

Saving Country Music’s Worst Country Songs of All Time

May 20, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  132 Comments

SCMLOGOLAYERSWe all know them and we all hate them, those ubiquitous and ridiculous pop country songs that make us hang our heads in shame, embarrassed to call ourselves country fans, constantly making us having to explain that no, we don’t listen to that type of country. They pursue us doggedly, on the radio, over the speakers at the grocery store, blaring from a car full of high school kids at a red light.

Saving Country Music’s Greatest Songs of All Time

Please note that this list has a few ground rules, namely that a song must have been released as a single to qualify (i.e. no Brad Paisley’s “Accidental Racist”). Also, songs that may have been classified by radio as “country” but were classified by artists or their labels as pop (principally Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”) will not be dignified by being included on this “country” list either.


luke-bryan15. Country Girl (Shake It For Me) – Luke Bryan

Positively nothing more than a pop dance song with a banjo, Luke Bryan commands country girls to “shake it” for the birds, the bees, for the crickets and the critters and the catfish swimming down deep in the creek, for the gerbils crawling way up his rectum to massage his prostate… oh wait, he left that line out, but you get the point. This song is like a frozen sledge hammer to the balls of anybody who has any sort of musical taste or dignity.

corn-star-craig-morgan14. Corn Star – Craig Morgan

Yes my friends, this song actually exists, and was even released as a single. How do you out cornpone your corny competition? Make a pun about corn and insert into a sexually-charged urbanism, aka the Honky Tonk Badonkadonk songwriting formula. The writers of this song Jeffrey Steele and Shane Minor are not laughing with you, they’re laughing at you for buying into this worthless piece of drivel. If you think “Corn Star” is funny, then the joke’s on you.

13. Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland

This song sounds like it was made with a bubble machine. I don’t know what I hate worse in this song, the reggae breakdown, or the way Jennifer Nettles sings way on top of every note making this song especially unbearable to listen to. At least Sugarland’s cries for relevancy were answered by the song reaching #2 on the country charts, and eventually being certified double platinum. However since then, they have yet to have another hit single, and both Sugarland members are pursuing solo careers.

florida-georgia-line-cruise (2)12. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line is a horrible combination of Rascal Flatts pretty boy hyper-pop, and designer jeans Jason Aldean “backroad” laundry list pap. They are everything bad about quotation mark “country” combined into one big stuffed crotch sandwich. Punctuating how pathetic “Cruise” is, is the fact that these two dudes apparently don’t know how to use punctuation. The first line of the song goes, “Baby you a song,” instead of, “Baby you’re a song.” But what else can you expect when the title of their first  EP was It’z Just What We Do. Yes, it’s one of those albums, blurring the lines between Ebonics and idiocracy. (read song review)

11. Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy) – Big & Rich

Big & Rich may think they’re saving horses with their fringe-lined parasols, dandy top hats and prancing midgets, but it is at the expense of our hearing. “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)” acts like a good healthy turn of a corkscrew right after it’s been inserted in one’s earhole. “Save A Hose” has the the shelf life of a knock knock joke. Hear it once and maybe it makes you smile. Hear it twice and you can’t reach for the radio dial quick enough. This song is the reason fans of other genres think all country music sucks.

Swimsuit: Musicians Kenny Chesney  14-DEC-2006 X77016 TK3 CREDIT: Steve Erle10. She Think’s My Tractor’s Sexy – Kenny Chesney

Boy, little did we know back in 1999 that this machination of mixing sex and farm machinery would become such a prevailing trend in country music. Chesney should’ve just stuck to figuring out what to rhyme “coconut” and “flip flops” with in his idiotic and incessant beach songs. What Kenny and his sexy tractor cohorts lost sight of is that the beauty of country living is in its simplicity.

9. Brown Chicken Brown Cow – Trace Adkins

trace-adkins-brown-chicken-brown-cowSome songs we call “a joke” figuratively. This one is a joke, literally. No really, they took a punch line and figured out how to build a song out of it. “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” mentions corn fields and slopping pigs, but since these days less than 2% of Americans actually live this type of traditional farm lifestyle, he is not using these things to relate to people, but to disguise the fact that this really is a hip-hopish rock song, and that he isn’t singing to country folks, he’s singing to suburbanites that like to listen to this kind of smut as a form of escapism. Trace Adkins has become one of the kings of gimmick songs, with his super hit “Honky Tonk Bandonkadonk” being his most well-recognized hit. But even Trace had to admit later that”Brown Chicken Brown Cow” went too far, saying, “I guess I went to that well one too many times.”

8. Red Solo Cup – Toby Keith

That’s right ladies and gentleman, raise your red solo cups high, and let’s all toast the onset of idiocracy! This is not only one of country’s worst songs ever, it was possibly the first song written to be a video first and foremost. Make a stupid viral video for an even more stupid song and you have the spoon fed public eating out of his hands. And just because Toby Keith admits this song is stupid, doesn’t mean it’s still not in fact stupid.

tim-mcgraw-truck-yeah7. Truck Yeah – Tim McGraw

A creatively-repressed Tim McGraw finally breaks free from the 20-year-old bounds of Curb Records, and like an out-of-control Catholic schoolgirl unsupervised, releases this scandalously ill-advised attempt at country rap, forever soiling his reputation. Realistically speaking, this may be one of the worst, if not the worst song on this list. But since it’s creative depravity is so heinous and obvious, it petered in the charts, and its impact was marginal compared to the Frankenstein-like super hit McGraw and new label partner Scott Borchetta were hoping to score.

billy-ray-cyrus6. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus

“Achy Breaky Heart” is country music’s version of waterborading. The song itself was not as awful as the machine gun frequency and pandemic-like omnipresence it terrorized society with throughout 1992, until it and Billy Ray Cyrus’s atomic mullet rose to the level of becoming a national embarrassment that America will likely never absolve.

5. I Wanna Talk About Me – Toby Keith

Yes, you forgot about this little bit of mullet-era Toby Keith awfulness, didn’t you? Before there was “1994″ and before there was “Dirt Road Anthem,” there was this wretched piece of pseudo country rapping released in 2001, written by Bobby Braddock of all people. The song was supposed to be a hit for a young, emerging Blake Shelton, but his label turned it down as too risky. “I Wanna Talk About Me” wasn’t even Toby Keith’s first country rap. He had another single “Getcha Some” in 1998. But it isn’t just the rapping that makes this song awful, it is the self-centered arrogance of the lyrics.

4. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk – Trace Adkins

The title says it all. No really, it does.

3. Boys ‘Round Here – Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” is songwriting by algorithm and analytics, fashioning together words and sounds known to have the widest impact on mainstream radio’s weak-of-mind demo. It is the worst combination of both mainstream country rap and laundry list songwriting. The “boys” in the title of “Boys ‘Round Here” is fitting, because this song is rank immaturity. It’s the audio equivalent of sneaking out of your mom’s house to smoke pot behind a Pizza Hut. Though Jason Aldean’s “1994″ may be a worse song, “Boys ‘Round Here” might be more dangerous as because it is a chart-topper.

jason-aldean-ludacris-dirt-road-anthem2. Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean

This song seems rather innocuous now compared to the newest wave of country rap that has given rise to songs like “1994,” “Boys ‘Round Here,” and “Truck Yeah.” But at the time, “Dirt Road Anthem” was the edifice of awful, the one that broke the doors open for country rap. As the best-selling song in country music in 2011, the impact of “Dirt Road Anthem” cannot be understated.

1. 1994 – Jason Aldean

jason-aldean-1994Jason Aldean and his crack team of producers and songwriters were exhaustive in their efforts to compile only the absolute worst elements from every corner and crevice of popular music and then assemble them together to compose this ode to the decay of Western Civilization. At their dispose are hip-pop, wiener rock, laundry list country, Auto-Tune, and the general douchebaggery awfulness caused by a complete lack of self-awareness that Jason Aldean is a exemplary specimen of. These ingredients are then extruded into a feces-like industrial slurry that is injected into the hollow, mulleted, cop-mustached corpse of 90′s country semi-star Joe Diffie’s dwindling career.

In Music Row’s everlasting quest to train all of its resources on scouring America to unearth only the finest, most purest form of audio diarrhea, they have struck the mother of all motherloads originating from Jason Aldean’s unholy bowels. Yes Nashville, pat yourself on the back, let all of the Auto-Tuned stars sing out in unison as Stratocasters bray out a cacophony of stadium rock riffs in unified celebration–you have officially discovered the shittiest country music song to ever touch the human ear drum. (read full review)

May
9

Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” Video (A Rant)

May 9, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  86 Comments

I’m sorry people, but unfortunately this exists…

Apparently we’ve been fools America, toiling aimlessly and unproductively with the issue of race for 150 years when the solution was right under our noses. Why did we fight The Civil War? Why did we waste our time with the civil rights movement? Why did we integrate schools when the whole damn time all that we needed to bridge the racial divide were bouncing cars and really really bad music? What a shame that the hydraulic automobile shock wasn’t invented in 1860 so Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant could’ve just rolled their respective shagging wagons up to Appomattox and worked that shit out by swapping dance moves. Blake Shelton is a goddamn genius. Somebody give that douche nozzle a Nobel Prize!

If equality is what Blake Shelton was looking to strike in the video for “Boys ‘Round Here,” then he deserves a big pat on the back. Because anything and everything about this eye-raping edifice to the universal monoculture and hyper-driven consumer excess mixed with vomit-inducing racial tokenism is as equally repulsive as it is embarrassing. Yes, let all of the rationally-minded people of the earth, regardless of sex, race, creed, religious background, or social status come together and join hands in perfect harmony to collectively declare like a chorus of hosannas that this video blows complete and utter ass. Hallelujah!

This dude is gonna live forever!

This dude is gonna live forever!

The problem with this video is that if you don’t take it as a given that white people and black people are inherently distrusting of each other, then the premise doesn’t work. Just like with the Brad Paisley and LL Cool J collaboration “Accidental Racist,” Blake Shelton is using the race card as a Trojan horse to hopefully invade mainstream radio with country rap, positioning this song so that if you disagree with it, then you’re closed-minded, ignorant, and don’t want country to evolve.

Yes, this is the evolution of country music people! And we’ll finally know that racism has been forever vanquished and country music has finally evolved when every single song on the radio sounds exactly the same, and contrast and diversity has been forever bled out of culture. Because the way all people can come together is not by understanding and celebrating our differences, but by resolving them until we are all the same. Oh, and isn’t it convenient that this would also make us all so much more susceptible to mass marketing?!?

Country Taking Submissive Role to Rap in Mono-Genre

Even this cow thinks these people are tools.

You can tell by the look in this cow’s eyes that even she thinks these people are tools.

But enough conspiracy theories, I ask any of you that either own cattle, know someone who owns cattle, or anyone that works with cattle what the likelihood would be that you would have a porch party and invite a heifer to just be standing there to pet like a lap puppy? And how ironic is it that right after Boyz to Men shows up to the party is when the lyrics about “keepin’ it country” kick in? Combine all of that will the silly placement of the Pistol Annies like coiffed sirens at the edge of a shit crick, and this is video is so contrived it hurts my soul.

And I would bet you blinged-out car rims to cowpies that more fans of this song think that Blake Shelton is name-dropping Chewbacca in the “chew tebacca chew tebacca” refrain than have any idea what the hell a “Bocephus” is.

But we’ll have the last laugh folks, trust me. This country rap crap will be the pet rock of our generation. For many, this song and video is their entertainment. For the rest of us, our entertainment is watching those knuckleheads be entertained by this garbage. So do the world a favor, and if you find someone who is a fan of this song or video, for the love of God, don’t have sex with them.

Two guns way down!

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Your official Saving Country Music “Boys ‘Round Here” healthy replacement alternative courtesy of Corb Lund:

Mar
27

Blake Shelton’s Country Rap “Boys ‘Round Here” (A Rant)

March 27, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  193 Comments

blake-shelton-001Just when we thought the American public was finally getting wise to the fact that country rap is a Cancer of Western Civilization, needing to be cut out and radiated like the grapefruit-sized, puss-filled tumor it is, here it comes roaring back like a raging case of bleeding hemorrhoids.

Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” is songwriting by algorithm and analytics, fashioning together words and sounds known to have the widest impact on mainstream radio’s weak-of-mind demo. The “boys” in the title of “Boys ‘Round Here” is fitting, because this song is rank immaturity. It’s the audio equivalent of sneaking out of your mom’s house to smoke pot behind a Pizza Hut.

This song starts off by violating your ear holes with the most horrid, chicken scratching “Red! Red! Red! Red!” sounds that Blake must have directly sampled from the soundtrack Satan himself uses to torture the souls stuck in eternal damnation. Instead of being rhythmic and catchy, the machine-gunning “Red! Red! Red!” bursts come at your face like a flying cocktail of nail and glass shrapnel from an improvised car bomb–like the nerve grating ticks of a touretts sufferer compounded by the onset of the mother of all Grand Mal seizures. Come on Blake, spit it out! Or for God’s sake someone shove a wallet in his mouth before he chokes on his own tongue.

You think I’m being harsh? Just listen…

Told ya….

Then the soul-less electronic 1′s and 0′s of a hip-hop beat kick in as the aggressively-cliche lyrics begin to flow from Blake’s brazenly overly-effected put-on Southern drawl. “The boys ’round here. Drinking ice cold beer. Talkin’ ’bout girls, talkin’ ’bout trucks. Runnin’ them red dirt roads out kickin’ up dust.” Are you shitting me with these lyrics? This stuff was cliche back when Charlie Sheen was having his public meltdown. Is this song the “leadership” from our Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year? Because I’d rather shit a knife than listen to this.

Oh, and it gets worse. “Backwoods legit, don’t take no shit. Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit!” For those of you that don’t speak country rap, that roughly translates to, “Please Nashville, let me remain relevant despite virtually ignoring music for a career in reality TV!”

As much creativity went into making this song as does the making of a geriatrics’s bombed out adult diaper in the aftermath of a post-constipation bowel explosion. Oh, and the Pistol Annies are on this thing too? Well great. Screw me for hoping they had the heart to help return mainstream country to some semblance of substance, and here they are acting like the Staple Sisters for country music’s version of Satan.

And I seriously was a gnat’s eyelash away from praising Blake for finally fulfilling his Grand Ole Opry obligations a few weekends back and playing some free shows for his fans last week, including apparently some sets of classic country. But with this song we see that he was probably just attempting to preemptively curb criticism.

When Blake Shelton made his “old farts and jackasses” comments now some two months ago, I went out of my way to distinguish him artistically from the lowest rung of Music Row’s male talent like Brantley Gilbert, Jason Aldean, and Florida-Georgia. But after this song and his last single “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” Blake has dramatically lowered his standards to the level of a sub-par, genre-bending, trend-chasing, country-rapping, tasteless and directionless douche that’s no different than the other names on the tip of our tongues when asked who in Nashville is the absolute worst. It truly is a shame, because unlike Florida-Georgia Line or Brantley Gilbert, Blake Shelton is truly better than this.

Two guns way down!

Mar
4

Florida-Georgia Line’s ‘Get Your Shine On’ (Pictorial Rant)

March 4, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  34 Comments

florida-georgia-line-shine-on-6florida-georgia-line-shine-on-5florida-georgia-line-shine-on-7

 

I bet you never though you’d see a member of a double platinum-selling “country” band getting humped by a Mexican midget wrestler on the beach like a poodle going to town on a human leg, did you? But you probably never thought Big Machine Record’s Florida-Georgia Line would ever rise above being stars of the cruise ship cover band circuit where they belong. These dudes are the proverbial sand in the country music Vaseline.

In direct violation of every single rule of country music and the State Department’s South American travel warning, Florida-Georgia line flies down to fake Mexico to participate in a music video that becomes one of the most “WHAT THE HELL?!?!” moments in country music history. This music video is only a couple of quaaludes away from a tasteless Girls Gone Wild installment. Or, a Boys Gone Wild installment for that matter. Because as Pretty Boy and Capt. Douche Rocket from Florida-Georgia Line hook up with a couple of girls looking for anything capable of an erection, their band hooks up with a couple of midget Mexican wrestlers who proceed to dry hump them on the beach.

No, I’m not kidding. Even Scott Borchetta thinks this shit is weird.

But before we go any further, I have to pat myself on the back for a victory, and give Florida- Georgia Line a little credit. Remember this from the last Florida-Georgia rant?

florida-georgia-line-unplugged

Well that’s right, I finally got these bastards to plug in their stupid guitars as they fake play them. If I never accomplish anything else through this dumb website, at least I will have done that.

What I am most awe struck about is how inanely similar the “Get Your Shine On” song and video are to Florida-Georgia Line’s last single “Cruise.” The song structure is very similar, the tone on the guitar and the vocal range sounds exactly the same, and even the video follows nearly the same dumb storyline just in a different setting, relying on hot women to make up for a lack of substance. This is Xerox country.

The lyrics in this song read like ad copy from GQ. “Silverado, candy painted. Ray Ban’s got the whole world shaded.” It’s the same lyrical obsession with physical artifacts that is the venereal disease of today’s male-dominated mainstream country, but what else could you expect from a band that has songs titled, “It’z Just What We Do” and “Dayum, Baby.”

And in everything I’ve seen from these turds, the long-haired Tyler Hubbard is doing all the work. So what exactly is the point of the other one, Brian Kelley? Is he supposed to just stand there and look pretty? Or is he there at all times just in case Tyler Hubbard needs his hair held back as he vomits his designer drugs into a toilet? The only reason this is a “duo” is the same reason there’s all these redundantly-fronted “groups” in country music these days like Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town: they’re all trying to exploit the duo and group categories of country’s incessant awards shows.

This is truly a country music embarrassment. I’m gonna let the pictures tell the rest of the story for those smart enough not to sit through the video.

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What’s going on here? Don’t ask.

florida-georgia-line-shine-on-1

 

Oh be gentle!

florida-georgia-line-shine-on-2

florida-georgia-line-shine-on-3

 

 Wait, how did this get in here?

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What happens in Cancun, stays in Cauncun.

florida-georgia-line-shine-on-4

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