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Sunday, May 21, 2006



I wish I really dug the Dixie Chicks. I respect their musical roots, their ballsy attitude, and their politics, but the tunes don't really grab me as much as I wish, and man do I wish they did. I'd never shut up about them if that was the case, I mean they got great taste in instrumentation - banjo, mando, Natalie Mains' father is the premier pedal steel player of our day.

They face a marketplace that is very adamant about shunning them, and what do they do? They chose to release as their first single a song which is an out right 'fuck you' to Country Radio.

Oh hells yeah.

UPDATE: The New Dixie Chicks LP, 'Taking the Long Way' is produced by the near ubiquitous Rick Rubin, so it has to at least sound real good.

Far be it for CC Writer to question Jackson's musical likes and dislikes. To each his own and viva la difference. But I DO dig the Chicks. Their music and their politics. Dug them when they were just a little hottie bluegrass trio playing (their asses off) for buffet lines and parties at corporate gigs at the Antatole in Dallas. They struggled for almost a decade just trying to make gas money to survive and travel to the next music festival or dancehall in their "successful attempt" at keeping bluegrass and real country alive.

I dug them as they found fame and did their stadium "country pop/rock" thing and still had the balls to speak out against the killing machine. They also knocked out some killer ballads (Bruce Robison's anti-war "Traveling Soldier" comes to mind.)

After the Dan Rather interview on 60 minutes about 6 years ago when he told them point blank on camera that they were being robbed by Sony out of "millions" in royalties and tour income, they looked into it, saw he was right, and took on Goliath and won(!!!) gaining both artisic and financial freedom. They set a precedent for other artists out there who were "getting the shaft".

If one is only familiar with theDC;s "radio hits" I strongly urge you to give another listen to the gal's "albums". Especially, the post Sony lawsuit "almost acoustic" disc that the Chicks fought hard for (had to sue) and succeeded over the label's objection in having Lloyd Maines produce. Go Chicks!

The gals are also pretty good songwriters in their own right and have throughout their career covered songs by some real aces like Boston-to-Austin transplant Patti Griffin and the righteous babe Susan Gibson formerly of the GRUBEES.

On the political side, if I might co-op a moment more of your blog:

While the Chicks WERE "shunned" in the press, if you go back and look at the stats, their records still sold well, if not better, and they still got loads of airplay on the radio after they made their UK stand.
EXCEPT, that is on stations (over 1,200) that were owned by Clear Channel

For the record Clear Channel (aka the evil empire)banned the Chicks from it's playlist and did this on a corporate NOT a local or grassroots level OR as a response from "listeners" as was portrayed in the right wing press (or reported as "news" on it's own stations. Hmmmmm) Clear Channel created, SPONSORED and then REPORTED the "Rally America" protests of the Dixie Chicks. No coincidence that Tom and Steve Hicks, the executives who run Clear Channel are good pals of W. and also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in hard and soft to his campaigns. In exchange for their "loyalty" and "support" of their man GWB. Clear Channel was handsomely repaid by the FCC who granted all their licensing wishes and concessions courtesy of Colin Powell's son in his short lived pathetic chairmanship of that Agency. Not to get off topic, but I can't help but remember another of Clear Channel's attempts to control our musical lives after 9/11and found an account of it at:


an excerpt:

"After Sept. 11, to the amusement/horror of music critics and radio industry professionals, Clear Channel issued a list of 150 songs to its member stations that it deemed too sensitive to play in the wake of the terrorist attacks. The list included an odd mix of songs: the more understandable choices featured flight references ("Bennie and the Jets," "Ticket to Ride"); others were associated with New York ("On Broadway"); and, most surprisingly, many were related to peace ("Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Imagine"). The list also included all songs by the political rock group Rage Against the Machine."

I'll quit ranting now. If you wanna read more about the bastards at Clear Channel there's lots out there on the web.

So even though the Chicks aren't your thing musically, Jackson, I do shout out a big thank you for giving the ladies some well deserved props.

I know I'll be plunking down my hard earned "Jacksons" on May 23rd to hear what Mr. Rubin did with my home gals.

Lastly...FUCK Clear Channel and long live the Chicks!
Well, I guess I'm basing my opinion of their musical output on what I've heard in the past five years, and that's only the radio stuff - so I should put some cash on the bicuspid and buy the new record and have an informed opinion.

Thanks Mr. Writer - see, see writer, see what you have done...
12 of the 14 songs on this cd were written by members of Golden Smog and Semisonic...

Minneapolis guys.

for that reason I hope the CD does well.
Texas, New York, and Minnesota - this CD seems cabable of bringing the nation together!
Amen, Jackson! That's what scares the bejeezus outta the Bushes and the Cheneys and the Roves et al. There was a reason that Woody Guthrie wrote "This Machine Kills Fascists" on his guitar. If you wanna get a "taste" of the new Chicks CD they're streaming the whole disc at


Keep the music alive my friend!
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