Monday, February 12, 2007
Okay, so one is a twit
Okay now, since everyone has an opinion, here are my thoughts.
I am really surprised that the NARAS voters decided to shower the Dixie Chicks with so many high honors at last night's Grammy Awards.
It became obvious that radio play and commercial success was not a major determinating factor for the voters with the very first award given - pop/rock collaboration with vocals that was given to Stevie Wonder and Tony Bennett, haven't heard that one on ANY radio station, and I surf the radio dial faster than I surf the cable offerings. I really expected that award to go to Shakira and Wyclef.
So let's talk about the Dixie Chicks.
As most of you know, back in 1993, on the eve of the United States invasion of Iraq, the Dixie Chicks were performing in England, and lead-singer Natalie Maines made a comment from the stage that as a Texan, she was ashamed because President Bush is also from Texas. This lead to about a year of media focus marked highest by the virtual banishment of Dixie Chicks airplay on country stations in the USA and a public exchange of barbs with country music's most polittically incorrect patriot, Toby Keith.
The Chicks went back to the studio in 2005 and released their first post-controversy album late in 2005 or early 2006. This is the album that won them so many awards last night. The albums lyrics are thought-provoking and semi-biographical revealing a bit of the life they have had since the statement in England. They have received death threats and most people expected their careers were over.
Here's the Problem
The women in this band are very talented. They had experienced tremendous success before the incident in England because they had talent, musically and vocally and they were very marketable. The comments made by Natlie that night only changed one thing, their marketability due to the closed-minded response from the radio industry in the United States. What remains true is that these ladies sing very well and have a great support system of writers and producers to help them. The end result is an evening likr last night. They were recognized by their peers for the work that they do, even more notable considering the adversity they have faced since 2003.
The One Negative
Natalie Maines is a bit of a twit. She felt some need to try to make light of their situation every time they were on the stage instead of simply thanking the people who made her award possible. She was not funny, and even commented on that herself. She made herself look much more dub last night than any ultra-conservative could have pinned her for back in '03.
And Finally the Fashion Thing
Their outfits when they performed were pretty bad, Natalie looked great from the neck up, but the white dress with the double row of ruffles was kinda atrocious, and the one sister who plays banjo and guitar looked like she was cut from Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love video tryouts. Their seated dresses were much better.