Taking Back the Wheel
July 27, 2014 5:13 PM   Subscribe

A riposte to the bros: duo Maggie & Tae take on bro country in "Girl in a Country Song" - “Like all we’re good for is looking good for / You and your friends on the weekend, nothin’ more / We used to get a little respect / Now we’re lucky if we even get / to climb up in your truck, keep our mouths shut, and ride along.”

As coined by New York Magazine's Jody Rosen, "bro country" is "music by and of the tatted, gym-toned, party-hearty young American white dude" -
If “Cruise” were a guy at a bar, he would sidle up to the hottest blonde in the room, laugh loudly at his own jokes, and, after crashing and burning with a couple of lame pickup lines, ask, “Have you heard this awesome song?” Whereupon he would whip out his iPhone and dial up the video for Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.”
A number of artists and critics have expressed displeasure with bro country and its creators (who have not hesitated to speak back), leading to something of a genre-wide feud.

Much of the criticism of bro country also references the dearth of female artists on today's country charts, something one of the foremost bros attributes to the fact that female artists "kind of have to be able to hang with the guys but also be feminine and pretty, and it’s just a tough dynamic."

Some representative samples of bro country:
Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise" - the best-selling digital country song of all time
Luke Bryan, "That's My Kind of Night" - which Zac Brown called "the worst song I've ever heard"
Blake Shelton, "Boys Round Here"
Kip Moore, "Somethin' Bout a Truck"
Jason Aldean, "Dirt Road Anthem"

NB: "Girl in a Country Song" is not to be confused with the similarly-titled, also newly released single by Maggie Rose, "Girl in Your Truck Song," "a love letter to bro country" that is also provoking some strong reactions.
posted by sallybrown (57 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, too bad the song itself is sucky in the way that most of contemporary commercial Country, bro- or non-bro-, is.
posted by signal at 5:25 PM on July 27, 2014

So does that girl play guitar right handed, or left handed?
posted by carping demon at 5:33 PM on July 27, 2014

carping demon could have ended that question five words earlier.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:36 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Bro" is the teens "hipster" evidently.

But hey now I know what the dudes bitching about "Truck Songs" on my preferred college football blogs are talking about.

Country Music these days seems like brill building pop in the early 60's. My kid will probably get the benefit of time and separation to figure what wheat there is in this chaff.
posted by JPD at 5:38 PM on July 27, 2014

Really nicely curated, sallybrown!
posted by batfish at 5:39 PM on July 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

carping demon could have ended that question five words earlier.

It's actually kind of misogynistic to assume a woman in a music video is only faking knowing how to play an instrument. It's not like it takes a PhD in music to learn how to strum along to 3 chord changes.
posted by signal at 5:39 PM on July 27, 2014 [8 favorites]

posted by Debaser626 at 5:42 PM on July 27, 2014

That Maggie & Tae's "Girl in a Country Song" and Maggie Rose's "Girl in Your Truck Song" came out in the same week is such a striking coincidence to me, along with the similarity of their names and song names. Like two sides of the subjugation coin: fight back or play along - but it's a lot subtler than that, because Maggie & Tae are using the music of bro country even while they mock the lyrics, and Maggie Rose is using the genre to establish a hit for herself as a female country artist.

(I also wish the Maggie & Tae song was, you know...good. The lyrics are funny but I find the song bland and overproduced, like a lot of what I hear on country radio these days, and the video is just horrible.)
posted by sallybrown at 5:53 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am far from well-versed in the current state of country music, and I suspect it's a mistake to judge any musical genre by the top-40ish examples you hear on the radio, but every time my radio dial wanders to the country station in my neck of the woods I'm kind of flabbergasted by how shallow, superficial, and identity-focussed the examples I hear on radio playlists are.

A truly dismaying percentage of the singles played by the local country station (which I have no reason to suspect is anything other than typical in its programming) boil down to little more than assurances to the listener that they either:
  1. kick ass..
  2. are cool despite what other people might think, or
  3. are the "real" Americans, with a truer and more genuine experience of life than those "non-country" types.
I find the constant ego-service in these songs offputting and pathetic.

I know there's great music being made in the genre -- I've heard some of it and would enjoy hearing more, but is this kind of Suck-up Country (for lack of a better term) really where all the money is?
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:59 PM on July 27, 2014 [11 favorites]

I can think of maybe three mainstream country songs that haven't made me rush to turn off the radio in the last 20 years. The bro thing can pretty much be traced back to Billy Ray Cyrus, I think, with the ripped-off sleeves and buff bods (after losing the mullet). It is mostly stupid music for people who want to be stupid. Very often the song actually praises being stupid and having little to no ambition or curiousity about the world, aside from drinking and driving giant trucks. Occasionally it will be about how great America is.

Country music has always walked that line though; the stuff we praise from the early years was not all there was and a lot of what was there was atrocious novelty-hillbilly (or novelty-cowboy) or steeped in sentimentality beyond belief.

Which doesn't mean this shit doesn't need calling out, but I do think that it's a tricky proposition because redneck/bro-country is deeply white and Republican and those guys don't want to hear about women being angry or wanting different things or really wanting anything at all except a strong man to protect them and give them babies.
posted by emjaybee at 6:01 PM on July 27, 2014 [7 favorites]

There are actually two separate women playing guitar in the video, carping demon. One right handed and one left handed.
posted by classa at 6:08 PM on July 27, 2014 [10 favorites]

This post is missing Kira Isabella - Quarterback, a Canadian country song with a surprise ending.

All three songs were reviewed by The Singles Jukebox last week.
posted by subdee at 6:14 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

As a sort of counterpoint, though not specifically addressing bro-country, here's some of what I consider non-sucky, female-fronted country:

Pistol Annies - Hell On Heels

Kacey Musgraves - "The Trailer Song"

Sarah Jarosz - Build me up from bones.

Lindi Ortega - "Little Lie"

Holly Williams - Drinkin'

Audra Mae And The Almighty Sound - Little Red Wagon
posted by signal at 6:18 PM on July 27, 2014 [14 favorites]

redneck/bro-country is deeply white and Republican

It is, but at the same time it's like the video for "Boys round here" with the black guys being welcomed into the party or the line in the really terrible Luke Bryan song about the mix tape ("Put in my country ride hip-hop mixtape") -- the audience for these songs listens to rap as well as country and classic rock, but of course only the bro-iest strands of each.

Some of it is just stupid, but others, like the Blake Shelton song, are winking at the same time they are presenting the party fantasy (and it's no accident that one has the Pistol Annies listed as guests, since their music is also all about the wink and a nod). Country has always had songs that work on more than one level, and some of these definitely qualify.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:22 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Incidentally TSJ is looking for writers if some of you are so inclined.
posted by subdee at 6:31 PM on July 27, 2014

It is mostly stupid music for people who want to be stupid. Very often the song actually praises being stupid and having little to no ambition or curiousity about the world, aside from drinking and driving giant trucks.

We can probably trace this trend in country music back to 1974 at least.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:33 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

this is a long fight, going all the way back to kitty wells releasing it wasn't god who made honky tonk angels as an answer to hank thompson's wild side of life - a feat that earned her the first solo female #1 country song, knocking wild side of life off the charts, and eventually outselling it entirely.

as a life long country fan, including the poppiest of pop country in the late 90s, i've pretty much moved entirely over to alt country because anymore it seems like most people outside of the nashville system go the indie/alt route (unlike, say, outlaw country muscling in to the country charts back in the day). it's nice when occasionally someone tries to fight it from within.
posted by nadawi at 6:39 PM on July 27, 2014 [9 favorites]

I listen to country music of the crappy radio variety when I'm driving in the car. I have a VERY high tolerance for crappy country radio -- there are not a lot of songs bad enough that I'll change the station for them. But this summer's bountiful crop of "damn girl your ass looks good in that sundress get up on my tailgate yeah yeah" is seriously endangering my commitment to the genre.

I can't even tell these songs apart. There are so many of them and they are everywhere.
posted by gerstle at 6:50 PM on July 27, 2014 [19 favorites]

This post is missing Kira Isabella - Quarterback yt , a Canadian country song with a surprise ending.

I'm familiar with the song, which is in fairly heavy rotation on country radio here in Canada, but hadn't seen the video before. The song pulls no punches about the fact that he ends up with the support of the whole school and the whole town and she ends up with nothing, but the video suggests that the school sides with her. It's a nicer ending, but not nearly as realistic.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:51 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I listen to country music of the crappy radio variety when I'm driving in the car. I have a VERY high tolerance for crappy country radio -- there are not a lot of songs bad enough that I'll change the station for them.

Like you, country radio has been my car music for an awfully long time, and I have a really high tolerance for and even semi-genuine love of country cheese, because I like to sing along to things and country suits that well, but about a week and a half ago, I got annoyed by 3 consecutive tracks that were all girl in my truck songs, and I punched over to the Toronto indie rock / local artists station. Given that I plan to go car-free at the end of this summer, I'm not sure if there'll ever be a time when I listen to country radio again.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:58 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

As a non country fan, that video is fucking hilarious. And I don't understand why people are expecting this to be better than all the other Top 40 country. It's not enough to push back against sexism, they got to be better than the boys, too?
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:03 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

And I don't understand why people are expecting this to be better than all the other Top 40 country.

It's not so much expecting as it being a shame not being able to really get behind the song because, as timely and topical as it is, it kind of sucks.
posted by signal at 7:18 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

We can probably trace this trend in country music back to 1974 at least.

john denver? the guy who had his first big hit as a songwriter when that rustic trio, peter, paul and mary covered that old time hill country standard, "leaving on a jet plane?"

aw, shucks

bocephus would kick his ass - no, wait, he already did
posted by pyramid termite at 7:30 PM on July 27, 2014

Y'know for a long,long time you could always count on the country station to feature solid songwriting. Regardless of the amount of posturing, gimmickyness or plain old schmaltz, the songs were always front and centre. Lately, however, faux rural identity politics seem to trump everything. I really wanted to like this song for its timeliness but the fact that the chorus is so weak and the verses struggle to qualify as satire really shows how low Nashville has set the bar. I blame "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" as the beginning of this abysmal trend.
posted by jeffen at 7:34 PM on July 27, 2014 [5 favorites]

I think I've missed the bro-country trend, as the only country song I'd heard this year (before this post) was Steve Grand's All-American Boy.
posted by jb at 7:39 PM on July 27, 2014

also, you can tell that you definitely grew up in a city when the idea of riding in someone's car/truck holds no romantic nostalgia, but riding the 24-hour bus with someone does. (The 5am one - not the 2am Vomit Comet. No one likes the Vomit Comet).
posted by jb at 7:42 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

faux rural identity politics

so true.

I am also a lifelong country listener (as a kid unwillingly, now of my own accord) and bro country is killing me. I think that this can be a legitimate topic of discussion whether or not you find the song worthy of getting behind. It's not a brilliant song, but at least it has more clarity than a hundred thousand more "brooding" alt country songs might.

I like the first verse. Really gets to the heart of what it's like to be a young girl in these situations. (Namely OH GOD WHEN DO I GET TO CHANGE.) Especially in the country. Nothing says sexy like "I'm freezing, bitten up by mosquitoes and I'm going to have deep red chafing marks when I finally take these clothes off."
posted by stoneandstar at 8:05 PM on July 27, 2014 [6 favorites]

“Q&A: Tom Petty Finishing LP 'Unlike Anything We've Ever Done',” Patrick Doyle, Rolling Stone, 05 August 2013
Doyle: At the Beacon, you described some modern country music as "bad rock with fiddle."

Petty: Well, yeah I mean, I hate to generalize on a whole genre of music, but it does seem to be missing that magic element that it used to have. I'm sure there are people playing country that are doing it well, but they're just not getting the attention that the shittier stuff gets. But that's the way it always is, isn't it? But I hope that kind of swings around back to where it should be. But I don't really see a George Jones or a Buck Owens or any anything that fresh coming up. I'm sure there must be somebody doing it, but most of that music reminds me of rock in the middle Eighties where it became incredibly generic and relied on videos. I don't want to rail on about country because I don't really know much about it, but that's what it seems like to me.
P.S. Florida Georgia Line's response? “U think we care? Gonna keep doing #us.”
posted by ob1quixote at 8:14 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

P.P.S. While it's not what I would call country, you can hear country harmony in the bones of Rising Appalachia's music.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:21 PM on July 27, 2014

Kacey Musgraves - "The Trailer Song"
Kacey Musgraves is a GREAT songwriter. I don't love her voice, but I love her songs enough that her voice doesn't bother me too much.

I am another car-country person, and I too have been listening to podcasts in the car for the last six months because it seems like all the songs are the same.

My favorite song of that time period is Cop Car by Keith Urban. Least favorite is Play It Again by Luke Bryan, which isn't a truck song, but it's still so dumb I can't stand it.
posted by Night_owl at 9:43 PM on July 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

After Kitty, Patsy, Loretta, and Dolly, I can't help but be disappointed in these songs. The bro country songs feel false. They lack grit.
posted by Anitanola at 10:14 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

I don't care, I like that someone did a song on this topic. And had guys in skimpy clothing eating strawberries seductively. And that the hot blondes are rolling their eyes over this shit. And for the "wah wah this sucks," I have a coworker who insists on listening to country music for 9 hours a day, it cannot be turned off, and everyone else but me likes it, and I hear crappier songs than that every damn day. This is really not that bad. It's at least different.

Holy shit, that quarterback song.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:26 PM on July 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh, man, I totally thought that quarterback song was going to end in a gang rape and maybe murder. I did not see the internet twist coming. But since there were two high profile cases like this in Canada, and least it didn't end in her suicide.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:36 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Anitanola: “After Kitty, Patsy, Loretta , and Dolly, I can't help but be disappointed in these songs. The bro country songs feel false. They lack grit.”
That reminds me, I meant to link to my favorite Dolly song.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:54 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Kacey Musgraves is a GREAT songwriter.

45 minutes later, I am inclined to agree with you. Wow!
posted by Dokterrock at 11:54 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

This explains why all my rancher and cowboy friends kids listen to hip-hop.
posted by fshgrl at 1:22 AM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

The beginning of that "Somethin' Bout A Truck" video seems like an awkward unintentional homage to Tawny Kitaen lolling around on the hoods of two Jaguars. If only there were two trucks I could call the allusion 'closeted'.
posted by the painkiller at 5:01 AM on July 28, 2014

That's why people should listen to more death metal. At least you can never understand the shitty lyrics.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 6:37 AM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

NB: "Girl in a Country Song" is not to be confused with the similarly-titled, also newly released single by Maggie Rose

And she is never, ever to be confused with the girl wearing nothing but a smile and a towel in the picture on the billboard in the field near the big old highway.*

*Nor ever should it be confused with actual country music.
posted by spitbull at 6:41 AM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, Merle Haggard is still recording.
posted by spitbull at 6:43 AM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm not a fan of country music, but once in a while I'll hear some solid writing and will make an exception. Like Stripes.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:52 AM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I will throw in here one of the few truck-related country songs that I've actually liked over the past few years: Lee Brice's I Drive Your Truck. It's not exactly subtle, but it still manages to get to me.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:07 AM on July 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

I grew up in the semi-rural south; my ipod has a lot of country on it, and I seriously think this is the worst the mainstream country industry has produced. I tie some of it to the point when MTV stopped just owning CMT and totally MTVized it, some of it to a reaction to a decline in purchases/rise in online sharing, and an increasing emphasis on focus groups, demographic targetting, and going for the familiar, sure bet. I also think the Dixie Chicks kerfluffle scared a lot of people in the industry and the reaction was to cling to what they think of as being their core base - Southern/Western men who think of themselves as an endangered, misunderstood group who could easily be tempted away by pop sirens or the hard-scrabble life of many hip hop or rap artists, whom many are already listening to/connecting with.

I no longer can listen to commercial country radio, because the message I get is "We don't care about you." I'm generally wary of all commercial radio, but country has really sunk into a nadir.

There is really good music being made out there (by outsiders, by innovators, by chart/industry veterans sidelined for not being young enough, cute enough, or too challenging).

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, and Ashley Monroe (plus Dolly, Patty Loveless, Loretta, Matraca Berg, and Emmylou.) Kacey Musgraves is linked above, and is delightful (and willing to play the system in her own way).

Brandy Clark's album 12 Stories features her strong songwriting: (Stripes | Take a Little Pill | Crazy Women | Get High ).

Ashley Monroe (she sings with Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley in Pistol Annies, too): Like a Rose | Two Weeks Late | Used | Weed Instead of Roses )

on preview: Excellent choice, kinnakeet!
posted by julen at 7:07 AM on July 28, 2014 [7 favorites]

Although a lot of modern country music is as processed and abysmal as modern pop music, historically it's often been a place where women's voices were heard.

Witness: The amazing kickassery of Miss Loretta Lynn
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:30 AM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh stop it.

I got tears in my ears
from layin' on my back
cryin' on my pillow over yeeew.

(I wish I had made that up)

Much recorded music nowadays seems to have the same 1000 frogs per prince ratio that it enjoyed when I was listening to Annette and Frankie pretend to be real people.

On the other hand, the princes shine like diamonds, and make me glad I can still tap my feet. My era was one where the troubadour had a good and faithful audience, and could pay his bills most of the time. Some of them became standard musical fixes and others stood on shoulders to carry on. Let's compare Fabien to Elvis, for example, to get a feel for what I'm trying to say. And visit Ochs, Van Ronk and Dylan for a look at the spectrum. I don't mean this to just be a list, but it could turn into one. The Outlaws of C&W were pissed at Nashville, good for them, but they all still worshiped at Chet Aktins' feet--for good reason...and now Chet's gone, but Nashville is still here.

In recent years the Dixie Chicks swam upstream and got riverboated for it, but they still shine. I say celebrate the worthy and sing their songs. But that's just me. We are inundated in frogs, and the ratio seems to be climbing. This truly puzzles me, because the internet confirms my notion that, not only are good guitar players a dime a dozen, but the crazy-good guitar players are multiplying like lemmings. I guess it's not about the music.

I'll never smoke weed with Willie again. More's the pity.
posted by mule98J at 9:03 AM on July 28, 2014

I've never been a real fan of country music, although I always liked the classic stuff my step-dad listened to like Johnny and Hank and Merle and Loretta and et cetera. But a couple of months ago I got bored, and I missed Connie Britton's hair, so I started watching Nashville... and to be honest, I don't have any real idea of how accurate the show is in regards to what the country music industry is like, but judging from the flap over this song and the whole gross "bro country" thing, it seems like the show isn't too far off the mark. On the show, you've got your singer-songwriters who write really great songs (Gunnar, Scarlett, and Avery) but who exist on the fringes of the industry because what really sells is the manufactured image-conscious "bro country" stuff (embodied by characters Luke Wheeler and up-and-comer Will Lexington who is also closeted and oh lord is that going to blow up in a serious way). And as we all know, money is king, and if you're not a money-generator, then you're nothing.

So on the show, you've got great songs like The Moon Is High* and Fade Into You and Believing**, but what gets the attention? What If I Was Willing, with a girl in a sundress on a porch right there in the first verse, sung by a country bro. A very nice boy, but a boy trying to live up to the country bro image to sell records. And then there's the pop-country diva on the show, Juliette Barnes, who made big piles of money for herself and her label singing songs like Love Like Mine and Boys and Buses and I'm A Girl... but when she wants to branch out and make music that comes from her heart, like Consider Me or Dreams, she gets shot down by her label and her manager... basically, anyone that stands to benefit financially from her talents tells her if she deviates from the bubble-gum country that made her rich, she'll fail and be worthless.

I know it's just a TV show, but damn. Seems like they got all this stuff right.

*lyrics by Elvis Costello! I'd love to see some established artists cover this song.
**you guys, keep an eye on Lennon Stella. She's got something.
posted by palomar at 10:27 AM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I agree that the song isn't that good, but if they want to appeal to the county bro crowd, don't they sort of have to sing down to their level? I think a large percentage of the target audience would be repulsed by an actual good country song.

And my contribution to the here is somebody worth listening to list - Karen Jonas
posted by COD at 6:37 PM on July 28, 2014

I have only recently started dipping my toe into modern country music of my own free will. While I love the classics (Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Pasty Cline, Buck Owens, George Jones, and the like), I started watching the first season of ABC's show Nashville, and got hooked.

The music direction that first season was handled by T-Bone Burnett, and he exposed me to a wonderful selection of country songwriters:

* If I Didn't Know Better, originally by The Civil Wars
* Twist of Barbed Wire by Elvis Costello
* Fade Into You, by Shane McAnally and Matt Jenkins
* Buried Under, written by Natalie Hemby and Chris DeStefano
* Gun For A Mouth, by David Poe
* When The Right One Comes Along, written by Georgia Middleman and Justin Davis of Striking Matches (and originally recorded by Striking Matches)
* Stronger Than Me, written by Sarah Buxton and Kate York
* Wrong Song written by Sonya Isaacs and Jimmy Yeary, along with Marv Green
* No One Will Ever Love You - written by Steve McEwan
* Lookin' For A Place To Shine, originally by The Lunabelles.

I could go on about the songs all day, but my ultimate point is that Nashville's first season was that the stories were very woman-centric (and I expect no less from a show produced by the woman who wrote Thelma and Louise). Yes, it's a soap but like a lot of soaps, the women had agency and were depicted in charge--of their careers, of their songwriting, of their love lives. The women characters were complicated and well-realized. They were most definitively not the scantily-clad girls found in bro country videos.

But the network insisted on cranking the soap suds up a little too much, and some of that agency was lost. That's when they lost me as a viewer.

In the meantime, I have those soundtracks. I look for work by those bands and those songwriters. And I hear that the network execs at ABC may have realized they made a mistake, and are changing the direction of the show again.

This post was way more rambly than I meant it to be, but my point is, plenty of contemporary country artists are making great non-bro country music. Check out the Nashville soundtracks (if not the show) for a sample.
posted by magstheaxe at 7:08 PM on July 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

Seconding the Nashville soundtrack recommendation. There's some truly great stuff there.
posted by palomar at 9:07 PM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't get some of the criticism here. They took a bro-style song, and lyrically turned it on its head. And people are arguing that it's a problem that it sounds like a bro-song? This actually has potential to be a big song on radio stations that play the kinds of songs they're criticizing. Would you rather they make a great song criticizing bro songs that only gets play in places where bros will never actually hear it?

Do y'all complain about Weird Al, too?
posted by Bugbread at 12:02 AM on July 29, 2014 [6 favorites]

I keep seeing "Fade Into You" and wondering when Mazzy Star became a country band.

As you were.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:21 AM on July 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cannot favorite Bugbread's comment enough. I also have an incredibly high tolerance for shitty Top 40 country, despite a childhood country diet that was restricted by my parents' tastes to whatever was on the Grand Ole Opry, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, the Statler Brothers, Bill Monroe, and Ricky Skaggs.

This is a song cleared targeted to the very people who listen to Top 40 radio country. The stations in most markets rarely play anything even remotely approaching the classic stuff (on many country stations, Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson now practically constitute "classic country," let alone something like George Jones). Look, I love Jason Isbell as much as the next indie country fan, but people who love Blake Shelton or Jason Aldean are not by and large in that market. If country-bros listen to this song and it provides a stepping stone for women in their lives to step up and regulate, I'm all for it.
posted by mostly vowels at 3:58 PM on July 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Flavorwire: A Feminist Guide to Country Music. Has there even been another song by a woman, let alone a country song by a woman, that celebrated birth control since Loretta Lynn's "The Pill" in 1975?!

By way of Bitch Magazine, a Feminist Country YouTube playlist. Almost all the songs on there were mainstream country hits.

I would be really interested in more study of the relationship between female country singers and murder ballads, because it feels like there's a lot of overlap. "Independence Day," "Goodbye Earl," "Gunpowder & Lead," "Blown Away"--and those are just some of the murder ballads that were smash hits. More than in any other popular music genre, women in country music take back power through violence.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:15 PM on July 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

Is it wrong how much I love "Independence Day"?
posted by Night_owl at 8:52 PM on July 29, 2014

"Independence Day" is a devastating and powerful song. Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning!

As a bonus, when Sarah Palin used the song in her presidential campaign, the songwriter donated the royalties to Planned Parenthood in Palin's name.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:05 PM on July 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Hey, thanks for the country recs, folks. I don't listen to it as much as I should for the amount that I get annoyed over the indie schtick of ragging on pop country (just feels hella classist). But boring bros is boring and I haven't had nearly the time for music that I used to, so… anyway, thanks again.
posted by klangklangston at 6:07 PM on August 8, 2014

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