This Lady Gaga “Gone Country” Thing

March 26, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  33 Comments

Ah ha. So everyone wants to tell you that pop megastar Lada Gaga has “gone country”. And everyone wants to know what I think about it. Well to be honest with you, I think it is a brilliant stroke of mad genius.

The song is horrendous of course, but that goes without saying. It’s not even meant to be good, so smattering it with criticism is irrelevant. What does matter is that you are talking about it, and every news and entertainment publication is talking about it. Lady Gaga hasn’t gone country, any more than when Gwyneth Paltrow got cast in the movie “Country Strong”, or Jennifer Anniston got cast in an upcoming movie about the 40’s female country group The Goree Girls. But that didn’t stop the “gone country” stories from coming either.

Hell, Cher simply wanted to make an album with a producer that at times has made country albums with Carrie Underwood, and everyone ran with the story that she had “gone country”. I bit my lip and waited, and apparently that was wise, but I’m sure it didn’t stop thousands running to iTunes to download “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves” so Cher could afford another face lift. Whether purposeful or accidental, the effect was a huge public relations boon, and Lady Gaga as Queen of the Attention Whores took notice.

It is chic right now to “Go Country”, and the country is so gullible, you don’t even have to do it to get credit for it. Darius Rucker went country. Lady Gaga just instructed some folks to remix a song while she got her anus bleached. She doesn’t even have to monetize the song. She released it through her friggin’ Twitter account for crying out loud. Gaga understands she doesn’t even have to make money off of music like most artists. She can make it on merchandise, social appearances, whatever. The Lady Gaga name is a franchise. “Going country” accomplished the goal of dominating the news, and her other monetized intellectual properties benefited directly.

Jokes on you.

Listen to me and listen good folks, DO NOT DISCOUNT LADY GAGA, and while we’re on the subject, don’t discount Taylor Swift either. They are the future of mainstream music. The formulas they are using to get their music to the people, and to keep their names on your lips is what is giving them the advantage. It’s savvy social networking and marketing practices. And as bad as they are, they are better than most of the stuff out there. Yeah, I said it.

Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga are leading, and everyone else is following; sonically, culturally, and financially. As bad as their songs might be, they are doing what they want to do, recording songs they wrote, and dominating the trends. Everyone else is following like a bunch of lap dogs. Taylor Swift has a 55-year-old Reba McEntire out there in a pushup bra singing hip hop songs. Blake Shelton, Sugarland, and Jason Aldean are all recording songs that insult their dignity in hopes of appealing to the mainstream crowd. They all want what Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga have, so they sell out and show their asses in pathetic attempts to stay relevant.

The names of people “going country”, real and fictitious, is so voluminous, I would need to hire another writer exclusively to cover that beat, but I’m not sure that it is even important to worry about. I had a theory last week that Music Row was casting its fate with celebrity franchises, like Cher and Gwyneth and Gaga, but now I’m pretty sure they have no idea what the hell they are doing. I think they are all waiting for EMI in England to get gobbled up by Citigroup, and then for all the dominoes to start falling in the music business reorganization.

But in the meantime, what it’s best for us to do, “us” being the aw shucks country purists, is to not take the “gone country” bait. I do believe Gwyneth Paltrow will have a country album coming up, but Lady Gaga is no more country than Taylor Swift. This is the new reality. The super-genre is here and the mono-genre is coming. Expect “going country” stories every day as the other genres dissolve into the country platform.

And anyway, the pop star you really need to worry about going country, is Ke$ha. Mark my words.

Good song:

33 Comments to “This Lady Gaga “Gone Country” Thing”

  • Truth is there isnt much difference in the sound of pop music and the sound of country radio anyway. Gaga can have her “country remix”, and I suppose it may fit well on country radio. All the same to me, I don’t listen to her or pop-country. Thats a fight I (we) cannot win. Best we can do is try to find and hear real artist.


  • That crapola is not my future Triggerman. I can GARAN TEE it. Now. Off to hear some real good stuff. . . .


  • I don’t know whether to laugh at how ridiculous this is or to cry over the sad state of country music.


  • Trigger,

    I agree on Ke$ha. Isn’t her mom a Nashville song writer?


    • Pebe Sebert, and she has some hits to her name.

      The story is very similar to Caitlin Rose, whose mom Liz Rose is the writer behind Taylor Swift, or used to be. Both were single mothers who raised their kids on songwriting, taught their kids songwriting, singing, guitar, as they were growing up. I’m fascinated by their stories, I’m not sure why. I think Ke$ha was tired of living out of her car, and was smart enough to write enough bullshit pop songs to set herself and her family up for life. Eventually she’ll get bored and want to do something she’s proud of. She’s already hinted at doing country in the future.


      • I actually discussed this with a friend yesterday, and I could see her (Ke$ha) with a country career, shes got some vocal talent nothing special but she can carry a tune:

        and when she sings (without the aid of auto tune) she actually has a pretty interesting voice.


        • Trigg must of seen the same interview I did with Kesha where she said she could see herself “dabbling” in Country at some point.I thought I heard her say something before too about liking the “old country” better than today’s? Who knows.And yes,she’s really not too bad of a singer without auto-tune. Here’s another youtube classic,lol

          You know,with all of this pop crap we hear today on country radio,maybe a drunken Kesha throwing up on Reba (while she’s humping Trace Adkins leg at the same time), on the ACM awards show is just what we need!


  • I COULD YOU INSULT COUNTRY LIKE THAT !!!!!! ahah kidding

    well to be honest, that’s one of the most interesting article that you wrote about mainstream music. Because to me that’s what is missing in independant roots/country scene. This scene is strong with artists like jayke orvis, rachel brooke, wayne hancock, .357 string band and many others. They have proved that they can create a lot of awesome music all by themselves. They got talent, writing skills, they are great musicians but they all have ONE big problem in common……..nobody knows them. First of all, maybe some will find it silly and says ” ah come on ”. I know that many folks might hate social networks like facebook and twitter. But just compare mainstream artists who are successfull and indepedant artist that we love and cherish.

    Mainstream artists :
    Lady gaga : 31 218 863 Fans on facebook, millions views on youtube
    Taylor Swift : 18 997 806 fans, millions views on youtube
    Aaron Lewis : 62 658, country boy ….3 000 000 views lolll
    Rascal Flats : 2 398 895 millions view

    ” popular” indie country artist or roots whatever you want to call it:
    Jayke orvis : 1889 fans, 2000 or 3000 views
    Rachel Brooke : 1584 fans , best video….13 000 views
    .357 string band : 3809 fans, best video 30 000 views

    as you see there’s a huge gap between those 2 kinds of artists. how much you like facebook or not…it’s a great way to know how popular those artists are. Having a big fanbase is the only way for an artist to make a great living of their music.

    For the youtube views, it has even more influence than facebook fan….it says that people love those artist and took the time millions of time to listen music of those artist they like. if any a half of them only bought that only song on itunes….it’s a ton of money right in artist’s pocket….crap or not…it works for them and their name sell.

    Must of you must have noticed that i didn’t talk about Hank III. Hank III is the most well known figure in independent country music. First he was blessed by having the same name and being in the bloodline of the most important man in country music history. But he also have something else that most other artists in the underground don’t….and it’s a loudmouth. He is always ready to give interviews to anybody, gives his comments about everything. Being on a major and stand against it also made noise in all country music industry. All those things helped him to be well know in music fanbase and industry which help him to make a great living of his music and gives him the liberty to do almost whatever he wants.

    Here’s the internet stats for hank III

    45000 folks on his best facebook page
    most seen video 1 388 825 views
    As we see hank III found a way to be known and it worked.

    Finally, you may find that i wrote a lot of things that could be resumed in one sentence. If we want that indie-country scene to be successful and healthy, artists, independant labels, show promoters must work together to create a great promotion, publicity structure. Earlier this year, shooter tried to make a big move by attempting to create a new genre and start a new radio show to spread the word. Maybe it was a clumsy move, but at least he tried to take action to help indie country to get known. I’m only a fan of that scene, i’m not a musician, a label manager but the only thing i can say is that us fans need to support any effort made to help that scene grows instead of bashing and start an internal war everytime someone thinks outside the box and tries to make a move to help real country music to take his place in music industry.

    PS I’m curious to know if fans will start bashing on artists who will achieve real succes in the meanstream audience even if they keep doing the same stuff they are doing right now. It happened to many times in metal scene…as soon as a band starts to get noticed and achieve a little piece of success, fans start to throw them in the garbage and call them posers and bash on every fans who like them. Bands are now scared to try anything new, because of fans who are to hard and are ready to bash on them at anymoment.


    • i just had the Triggerman-syndrome……sorry if it’s to long but those are my real thoughts about what that scene needs sorry for the mistakes….english isn’t my first speaking and i tried my best loll


    • Very well said. I agree. I want to fight the same fight as you and most others on here do also. To me it is assinine to rip XXX because it came from Shooter. It is a way to get artist that we love more attention. If there were a “format” for those artist, one that seperated them from pop, just by format name alone, seems to me that alone would let most people know there are other types of music out there. Not just this stuff were pop and radio country boundaries are blurred and crossed.


      • Well yeah that’s right….what we need to understand….that it’s not most of music fans who search and try to discover artist we like, who are true and make deeper songs…most people just take what you give to them…and how can we blame them….problem with independant country isn’t that the music is too metal, too rough, not pop enough, i’m sure that mass country audience is waiting for artists like rachel brooke or bob wayne…even myself a listened a lot of mainstream country crap…until i discovered hank III, SCM, Outlaw radio chicago, which makes me discover a whole new level of country music which i’m addict and now when i listen mainstream country i find it disgusting for most of it. What people needs is that we bring those artist to them which is easier said than done….when it’ll be done it will bring that scene to another level for sure.


        • Oh it will be done. Sites like this one (there are others, but this is the front line), movements like XXX (and others), fans like all of us, and artists that we are proud to promote, we will get these artist to a point that they can make a living with one job.


        • You guys are making a great point: that most mainstream country fans are wanting something better than what they have but are waiting for somebody to spoon-feed it to them.

          You don’t know how many times I’ve heard family and friends of mine lament the fact that country music just hasn’t been the same since Keith Whitley died and Dwight Yoakam left the charts.


          • Tramps like us.

            What we will gain from fighting this fight is what we wanted in the first place. More good music for us to enjoy. Nothing more, nothing less.


          • I hear you, Adam. The thing is, though, is that you have to want it bad enough. I’ve gone with people who are casual music listeners to see someone like John Hiatt and they’re often blown away. We’re not talking inaccessible music here. Just a good deal deeper and much more soul than the pap one hears on the radio. The next step is theirs, though. Did the music touch their soul enough to go after it or is it more to them like eating a hamburger that is much, much better that a Big Mac.


          • You hit it on the head Adam, people need to be spoon-fed good music. They won’t seek it out themselves. In my life, in my opinion, the only time that radio had it right was when AIC, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Pantera, and Metallica were dominating the airwaves. That lasted a couple years and record labels ruined it all by diluting the formula with half-assed knock-offs. Kurt Cobain once said in an interview that most people don’t truly love music and most that do are musicians. It is an elitest statement – and not without exceptions – but I agree with it. Your average joe who listens to radio country isn’t ever gonna Google underground country music and in turn find this web-site. If they are on-line they are gambling or searching for porn. This is why I don’t understand the pushback to XXX, regardless of the name. It can do nothing but good as-far-as I am concerned. Drum these zombies over the head with decent music and eventually the mainstream will follow. It’ll most likely never be as good as we all think it should/could but it might make it so more artists can spend more time creating music and touring and less time @ their day jobs – and I think that would be a great thing for all of us fans.


  • “A brilliant stroke of mad genius.” My sentiments exactly. I actually first heard about it from seeing it posted on your facebook wall. I listened to it, laughed and again, shook my head in awe of the brilliance of that woman. I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually commissioned it as a “fuck you” to the likes of Taylor Swift and all these pop country artists (did I just say artists?!?) to demonstrate they really are nothing but fraudulent pop stars. From what I can tell nothing has been changed about that song at all, just some token country instrumentation was included in the mix. I think it’s brilliant. I don’t think Gaga is going country, I don’t think we will hear another peep from her in this regard. I actually think she was doing our movement a huge favour by proving there is nothing country about pop country at all. Love her.


  • NO NO NO NO NO Lady Gaga is NOT music. She is not leading. If that is what you want me to believe, I’m sorely disappointed in y’all. I don’t care about statistics. I don’t care about FB numbers. I don’t care how weird Gaga wants us all to think she is. That’s not music.

    Willie Nelson, singing Bloody Mary Morning is music. Shame on y’all.


    • I’m not calling Lady Gaga music, and certainly not calling it good music. I think I went out of my way to say it was so awful it wasn’t even worth criticizing. But I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t think she is leading. If people are following you, that means you are leading, and right now there are a LOT of artists following Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.


  • P.S.

    He also sang three Hank songs. :) Willie is the man.


  • I’m pretty sure that seeing Lady GaGa’s picture at the top of the SCM website is a sign that the portal to hell is about open up and spit out some crazy shit. Like that one scene in Ghostbusters.

    And Ke$ha looks like if I touched her, she would be sticky.


    • Time to cross the streams and blow Lady Gozer back to hell.


      • Nice!


      • Dorks with hats.


        • “And Ke$ha looks like if I touched her, she would be sticky.”

          LMAO. I think the lot of them would be sticky…from too much lip gloss.

          My kids begged me to turn on the XM channel “20 on 20″ the other day in my van. I was shocked at how: a) the music all sounds exactly the same and b) it is all so technologically influenced and modified by such devices as autotune.

          There was one song that was acoustic by some guy I didn’t recognize…but my boyfriend said he heard it a lot on the radio at his work. I said it reminded me of Jack Johnson or something. That was the only break in the techy sound.

          I was thinking about this and considered dub music and beat/scratch stuff from the 80s and 90s. Massive Attack, Lee Perry, etc etc. This stuff wasn’t crap. So it isn’t technology mediated music that sucks. It’s something else about this Black Eyed Peas/Lady Gaga/Kei$ha, etc etc stuff that bites. And Taylor Swift isn’t so technological but she still sucks. Or does she?

          Man, Trig, I can’t stand to listen to it. It hurts.


        • I do have a hat on.


          • Of course you do. So do I. So does Trig. So does Jahshie. We’re dorks with hats.


    • WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Kei$ha is indeed sticky. She’s is just a pale sticky Xerox copy of Lady Gaga – a hot sticky mess who needs a makeup lesson. She is indeed a failing pop star whose move into pop country could be beneficial. For her that is. She is trying to compete with Gaga, Katy Perry, Rhianna. Broads that actually have a slither of talent and/or good looks. Well at least a steady hand in which to apply their eyeliner.


      • I was suckered into buying my 10-year old step daughter a Ke$ha cd for Christmas. Normally I screen cd’s before I buy them for pre-teens but my husband said he had heard a few of her songs and they were ok. She put in the cd, we listened to 3 songs, I removed the cd and it is in the safe until she is older. I am now the evil step mother.


  • I got no problem with the Gaga Lady, I’m not a fan by any means, but this country-road-remix doesn’t sound too bad. In fact it could be brilliant if she made a clip for it, in wich she puts her famous meat-dress on a giant barbecue.
    Listen to it, have a laugh or piss on it, and then go back to the real stuff. We don’t have to support the Gaga Lady, and while I like reading Triggerman’s stories on pop-country, I’m really more interested in reading about the real stuff. There’s a lot of great country-music being made, and that needs to be heard. Listen to Buddy Miller’s Majestic Silver Strings, THAT is real country music.


  • Why so much concern over LABELS? Its a song, and now you can hear it somewhere else…it doesnt speak to the state of country [sad? someone said? please…youre ignorant…or only watching fox news] it doesnt mean any huge transition…it doesnt mark any forthcoming events..its lady goo goo trying to grab some additional listeners. thats it. thats all. dont you people have jobs?


    • Yes Catfish I have two jobs, er three jobs. One is keeping up on the pathetic state of country music today. Lady Gaga’s job is trying to infiltrate the walls of a dying institution: real music.

      Have a nice day.


  • Didnt realize trashville would stoop this low . Seriously now you got crappy AUTOTUNE POP MUSIC. On top of that Justin Bieber, Gwinneth palthrow? WTF is going on? I really want Waylon to come back from the dead and start beating the crap out the Trashville mutherfuckers.


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