Wednesday, May 6, 2009

25. God bless the Dixie Chicks (unedited)

I don't watch a ton of movies per year, and when I rent a bunch for a month or two during the winter via an online rental service I usually end up watching a decent number of documentaries.

Tonight I finally got around to watching "Shut Up & Sing," a documentary about the Dixie Chicks and how the lead singer's 12-word comment sent country music fans into a tizzy. When you look back on it, it was ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

Some hicks took exception to the fact that the comment was made overseas, as if saying it to an American audience would have made it OK in their eyes. Some people acted like they should be deported for daring not to support the president. And as usual, if you are against a war in any way, you don't support the troops who have no choice but to go to battle overseas. A death threat against the lead singer prior to a Dallas concert is chronicled in the film.

The Chicks didn't back down when it came time to record their first CD following the controversy, and the documentary shows them candidly at times, discussing strategies to maximize or minimize circumstances. The lead singer's response to President Bush's comments about their album sales is priceless.

And I forgot what an opportunistic redneck Toby Keith is. This movie reminded me.

I'm not a fan of country music, and I can't claim familiarity with their music, but the few times I've seen concert footage, I'm impressed with their material and performance. It may be country music at its root, but it can easily transcend the genre, which is perhaps why they did so well with their "Taking the Long Way" CD. That CD earned the Chicks five Grammy Awards. Damn impressive.

I'll never be a fan of country music, and I'll probably never own a Dixie Chicks CD, but after watching the documentary, I'm a fan of the Dixie Chicks.

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