Thursday, November 10, 2005


It's no secret I am big country music fan. So I figure I could read the article the Times had today about a songwriter who is up for an award:

He Writes the Songs, Out of the Spotlight - New York Times

Ummmm, and then I remember why I generally skip over their music reviews:

"The country music industry is really two industries, divided between the music publishing companies that sell songs and the record companies that sell singers to the public. It was a music publishing company, Acuff-Rose, that helped establish Nashville as the capital of country music. And while rock fans expect their singers to be songwriters, too, country fans have grown comfortable with the division of labor; some of the most respected country singers, like George Strait, pride themselves on being interpreters, not composers. "

Yeah, in country music, one person writes the songs, someone else does the singing unlike rock with its singer-songwriters. Uh, what? So yeah Nashville has profession songwriters who write songs for other people; since when did rock bands not have songwriters? Yeah, the back street boys and ashlee simpson write all their own music. What, you don't concider them very rock, more pop? Well, I feel the same way about much of the music they are talking about coming out of Nashvegas. It is just country pop, and you have a bunch of pretty singing faces getting pegged to sell the songs just like you have with so many friggin' rock/whatever bands. If they sing well and I like them as a performer, I really don't care, but you always have to have a special place for singer/songwriters. I just find it kind of stupid to set this out in an article like rock is all about the singer/songwriters and country is about putting words in pretty hillbillies' mouths to make a buck. How cute, they take pride in singing well, even if they can't write too. How fucking patronizing can you get? I don't mean to dis any artist out there who mostly sing songs written by other people, but this wholesale sort of stereotyping is annoying. Especially since so many country stars do also write, either for themselves or for other folks. And more than a few rock stars don't.

One more dumb journalist grasping at an angle and making his argument patronizing and pointless. The unsung stars behind the hits: is there a story to be found there? Sure, but make it interesting instead of moronic and simplistic and write about the story there instead of stretching your current event over a lame stereotype.

No comments: