NASHVILLE SKYLINE: 2012: Bah, Humbug

Written by CMT News. Posted in Entertainment News

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NASHVILLE SKYLINE: 2012: Bah, Humbug

Published on December 27, 2012 by CMT News

Nashville Skyline
(NASHVILLE SKYLINE is a column by CMT/CMT.com Editorial Director Chet Flippo.)

Some year, huh, in 2012?
Let’s just wipe the slate clean and start with a clean, new 2013.

For one thing in this new year, I want to extend
congratulations to Big Machine chief Scott Borchetta for being named one of the “most disruptive” people in the music industry.
I consider that an honor. May Scott continue to vigorously disrupt the corrupt, hidebound side of the industry in 2013. And
to keep stirring the soup.

And for this new year, how about no more guns ever again being featured in music videos?
Ever.

And how about no more talking about being country in songs and music videos? Or singing about being country.
Just be country, dammit. If you have to work at it, you’re not country.

Speaking of trying to be country, did you ever
catch a glimpse of Nickelback‘s so-called video for the song “This Afternoon”?
The song was lame to begin with, but then they fashioned together a video that was their idea of what a cool country music
video should be. They threw in every possible cliché — the hot chicks around a pool, the endless beer, the cool dudes,
the hapless cops, enough, already. Didn’t Kid Rock already do all that?

2012
was an extremely anemic year for country music. There was a whole lot of Music Row’s songwriting factories churning out cobbled-together
songs that country radio wants and demands. Forgettable and disposable ditties. What’s the solution? Follow your ears. You
don’t have to listen to the crap. Fortunately, there are alternatives, like Sirius XM, Spotify, Pandora and the like online.
See what you can find.

I’m hoping for more good music from folks like Chelle Rose, Pam
Rose
, Lori McKenna, Matraca
Berg
, David Olney, the
Lumineers
, Kacey Musgraves, Kellie
Pickler
, the Avett Brothers, Alan
Jackson
, Jamey Johnson, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Kip
Moore
, Rodney Crowell, Dwight
Yoakam
, Little Big Town, Ashley
Monroe
, Darrell Scott and a whole bunch more I’ll remember later.

I’d
like to see more reissues of significant artists and albums. We could start with someone such as the underappreciated Gary
Stewart
, Tracy Nelson and Mother Earth, and Lester “Roadhog” Moran
and his Cadillac Cowboys.

I’m hoping for reasonable ticket prices for concerts and club shows, like figures that are
not in the triple digits.

How about less pork belly and more bacon?

How about fewer compressed downloads and
more vinyl? And less digital and more analog.

May all dirt roads lead off the edge of the Earth.

May all competitive
music shows die a horrible death from their own bad breath.

How about fewer pickup truck songs and more van and SUV
songs (after the kids come along, when the country audience gets a family)?

How about fewer fedoras and skinny jeans
polluting the so-called “hipster” landscape?

How about some real songs this year? Merle
Haggard
recently observed there are no standards being written and recorded any more. He’s right. Name a 2012 country
song that could become a standard and live for year after year, like a “Silver Wings” or “Hello Walls” or “Crazy.” The closest
that a song came in 2012 was Keith Gattis‘ composition “El Cerrito
Place,” which is actually several years old and has been recorded by Charlie
Robison
and most recently by Kenny Chesney. Go back through this
year’s chart hits and you’re not going to find any candidates for standards. Maybe that’s fine with the country music industry
these days. They just need those nonsensical radio hits that resonate in short listener research tests. Hey, country listener,
do you like the first seven seconds of this song? Great! It’s a hit!

Happy New Year.

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