Newsweek Calls Out the ACM’s / Pop Country

ACM AwardsTonight (Sunday) the joke that is the Academy of Country Music awards will be going down in Las Vegas.

Place your bets that this show will SUCK, and I guarantee it will pay off in spades.

I was going to write at length of why the ACM’s are a sham of the highest order, but then I found out that none other than Newsweek Magazine had beat me to the punch. Yes, Newsweek. Thanks to Jim who tipped me off about this.

You should read the whole ACM Newsweek article, but here’s a taste:

“Here’s what I hear on the radio today when I’m driving my Jeep through the streets of Washington, D.C.: songs like “Watching You,” which tells the gritty tale of a little boy making a mess of his McDonald’s Happy Meal after his daddy hits the brakes too hard (“His fries went a-flyin’ and his orange drink covered his lap”). It makes me turn bright red with shame every time it comes on, which is often, because it was Billboard’s No. 1 country song of the year in 2007. The group Lonestar had a hit not too long ago with these hard-core lyrics: “There’s a carrot top who can barely walk, with a sippy cup of milk.” It had another big song called “Mr. Mom.”

“I could go on, but you can see where I’m going with this. Country music just ain’t what it used to be. That might be good or bad, depending on your outlook, but it’s bad. When CBS airs the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards this Sunday from Las Vegas, the parade of hot bodies onstage will rival the Miss America contest. If past concert appearances are any indication, the nominees for vocalist of the year will be dressed in skintight, revealing tops, some with long, flowing blond hair and deep golden tans.”

He also made this very good point, a point I’ve made in the past:

“Then the 1990s brought us Garth Brooks, more commonly known as just Garth, who I originally thought was all hat and no cattle, surely the final nail in the honky-tonk coffin. His pop-sounding megahits and his wacky flying over arena stages on a wire in his way-too-tight Wranglers made my skin crawl. Almost two decades later, and by today’s Rascal Flatts-ian standards, I consider him almost a modern-day Hank Williams.”

If major media outlets have the rocks to publish articles like this people, this is a sign of hope. I’m telling you, the revolution has begun. People are fed up. They are starting to see the facade that Nashville has created, and are starting to look for where REAL country has gone. Even if there is a majority in the general population that disagree with the assertions of this article, at least it is starting a debate. People are staring to figure out country music is not supposed to be this way. They are staring to ask questions, and look for alternatives.

And we are not the only ones that recognize this. Nashville recognizes this too, trust me.

I also found another interesting note about the ACM’s on this CMT blog.

Long story short, the ACM has a rule that says an album cannot be considered for “Album of the Year” unless it has sold 300,000 copies. Well this year they made an exception for Jamey Johnson’s That Lonesome Song. Last week I wrote THIS BLOG wondering if Jamey Johnson was the real deal, or pop country’s patsy. I did not answer that question, at least for myself, but this development asks more questions:

Did the ACM make an exception for Jamey Johnson because they wanted to acknowledge his creative talent, or purposely prop him up because they are hearing the calls for more variety in the genre from places like Newsweek? Or could it be something simple like the album was a late bloomer in the calendar year? Make no mistake, Jamey won’t win, but this is an interesting development nonetheless.

But just remember, if you dare to watch the ACM’s tonight, keep a paper bag on your knee, and don’t stop telling yourself . . .


Fists in the air people.

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