Mar 31, 2010

In the Year 2030 #2

•Contemporary male country singers now name drop Justin Moore, Eric Church and Jason Aldean as proof of their country cred

•King Obama proclaims September National Western Swing Appreciation Month

•Martina McBride killed in 5-hour shootout with Mexican border narcotics officers

•Grunge hip-hop latest musical trend; flannel and bling shortages reported nationwide

•Big Kenny saves 5 refugees from house fire during Costa Rican civil war; John Rich saves flask of Black Label from flipped Land Rover

•Digital music can be downloaded from iTunes by thought to a 3 terabyte chip in the purchaser's temple, bringing new meaning to the phrase "that damn new Flo Rida song is stuck in my head"

•Kristian Bush sues Jennifer Nettles for half her career earnings, despite Sugarland having broken up 17 years prior

•Miley Cyrus' jazz album tanks

•Kings of Leon loses last original fan by covering Bon Jovi's "Have a Nice Day" non-ironically

•Tobacco references banned from ClearChannel; Jake Owen, Jerry Reed catalogue royalties plummet

Mar 30, 2010

Spotting the Fakes

Since the dawn of Twitter...all those many months ago, there have been fake celebrity accounts. Most of the b.s. accounts were and still are bored people actually pretending to be such personalities as Taylor Swift or Perez Hilton or whoever, starting all sorts of rumors and generally confusing their fangirls and boys. Bored and boring. "Verified" accounts have mostly put an end to these dopes, thankfully.

Lately there has been a much more interesting trend of imposters just doing it to entertain their followers with dirty jokes, idiotic opinions and other general absurdity. These fakers make no pretense about their falsehood. In fact, most of them say so right in the user name.

Since this sort of jackassery is definitely right up FTM's alley, today we take a look at some of the doppelganger country singer accounts and let those of you who are Twitter users know who is and isn't worth your follow.

And as far as you know, none of these is run by me...

We start with probably the most buzzed about falsie. Fake Jake is subversive, egotistical and gleefully sexist. He also seems to be a Nashville insider. Possibly he's just done his research, but he knows an awful lot about uh, himself, and his Tweet subjects (he often pokes fun at other artists and songwriters) - enough to hit the really hot buttons. Jake Fauxens even interacts with some of the other artists on Twitter, tossing insults directly at them. Not for the easily offended (actually Twitter may not be for the easily offended in the first place), but worth a follow.

Fake Jake's brother in barbs, Kenny Fauxgers is a caricature of the bearded balladeer, proclaiming his love for groupies and dissing contemporaries like Neil Diamond at every opportunity. Like Jake's, Kenny's head is also about 3 sizes too big, to hilarious effect. I'm not sure who's behind these two accounts, which seem joined at the hip since they only follow each other and have a similar style of humor. I'm perplexed that they only follow one other person each and still manage to have hundreds of followers, but I'm no Twitter expert ...obviously. Anyway, fake Kenny is extremely funny.

New to the faker game, not-Mr. Chesney has a bit of a split personality. At times he's all about the ladies; others, he's hinting at possible homosexuality. He stays current with what's happening in pop culture and is generally pretty effective with his humor. Worth a look, if not a follow.

This one seems to have sprung up just after the previous entry, hinting that maybe the two are from the same author... or maybe just that there are a lot of fratboy-humor loving reactionaries with too much time on their hands. Fake Chuck is more consistently laughable than Chesney, while treading similar subject territory. Chuck is portrayed as a complete metrosexual who knows little about country music but a lot about fashion and style ...and other male country singers. It will be fun to see how this one develops.

Another trend-follower that started up just this week. So far, not really all that funny and frequently vulgar, but there are hints that this account could be entertaining in the long run.

The "former Hank Williams" doesn't say a whole lot and doesn't seem to be in it for laughs, except for the dark humor of his frequent "rolling over in my grave" Tweets. From time to time, ol' Hank recommends a country artist of today whom he grants his stamp of approval to. Interesting.

This guy says even less than Hank, but it's always funny. JR shows himself to be a drunk, self-important, horny hothead, much like... well, much like the real JR. Hopefully he'll start Tweeting more often.

Bubba Downer Debunks #3

Click for a closer view.

Mar 28, 2010

Exclusive shot of Justin Moore rehearsing for a show

Top 10 Country Song Titles That Sound Dirty

Honorable Mentions: Rascal Flatts - Bob That Head, George Strait - The Big One

10. Hillbilly Bone - Blake Shelton (ft. Trace Adkins)

09. Big Ball's in Cowtown - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

08. Drill Here, Drill Now - Aaron Tippin

07. The Lowest Pair - John Hartford

06. Plastic Girl - Mel McDaniel

05. Banging Away - Chris Knight

04. Jingle in My Jeans - Dave Stamey

03. Lucille (You Won't Do Your Daddy's Will) - Waylon Jennings

02. Squeeze Me In - Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks

01. Beatin' on the Ding Dong - Jim Reeves

Mar 27, 2010

YouTube Gems: The Fox Hunt

From their new album (which will surely land in my top 20 of the year after I've had time to give it a good listen), Long Way to Go, here's The Fox Hunt with "I'll Drink Cheap." RIYL: The Felice Brothers, The Avetts, Old Crow Medicine Show, Justin Townes Earle, The Steeldrivers.

Mar 26, 2010

Best of 2010 So Far: 1st Quarter Report

It's been a good year for music so far. I always say that though. If you look (listen) hard enough, there's plenty of great stuff to listen to out there... and most of it isn't played on your local country or rock station.

What's this list missing? Let me know in the comments!

01. Joe Pug - Messenger
02. Austin Collins - Wrong Control
I've been playing this one about twice a day since I got it. Great great stuff!
03. Kasey Anderson - Nowhere Nights
04. Drive-by Truckers - The Big To-Do
I wasn't that impressed with this after a few listens but it's really growing on me.
05. Great American Taxi - Reckless Habits
06. Retribution Gospel Choir - 2
07. Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
08. Tim Barry - 28th & Stonewall
09. Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave
10. Hellbound Glory - Old High and New Lows
Country songs about heroin and heartbreak, chock full of profanity. I like it!
11. Reckless Kelly - Somewhere in Time
12. Butch Walker and the Black Widows - I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart
13. Drew Kennedy - Alone, But Not Lonely (Free here!)
14. Dirty Sweet - American Spiritual
15. Ray Wylie Hubbard - A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C)
16. Gary Allan - Get Off on the Pain
17. The Brothers Comatose - Songs from the Stoop
18. Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig
19. Whispering Pines - Family Tree
20. Murder By Death - Good Morning, Magpie
21. Freedy Johnston - Rain on the City
22. Rogue Wave - Permalight
23. I See Hawks in L.A. - Should've Been Gold
24. Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here
25. Easton Corbin - s/t

Mar 25, 2010

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #32

Love songs aren't really in fashion, but happily, ass tappin' songs are! Jake Owen, Josh Turner and Dierks Bentley have pooled up the legal tender by wetting the, um, check that, whetting the appetites of lovers all across the land. The good thing about this trend is that you don't really have to work that hard, errrr, don't have to put that much effort into these simple little ditties. Just take an old Conway song or your favorite 80's R&B ballad, change up the melody a little and describe your last nookie encounter in a rhyming fashion. Make sure to throw in a nifty hook like "I been waiting all day, so here I come" or "let me take the worry off your mind, and the silk off your behind." See how simple it is. You'll have the curvies eating out of your hand and a big ol' fat hit on your hands. Get some, baby.

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Honest Movie Posters #2

Mar 24, 2010

In the Year 2030

This is the debut of a brand new series in the spirit of Conan O'Brian's old "In the Year 2000" bits. FTM looks into the cracked crystal ball and tells you what's going on in the world of music (and other things) 20 years from now.

Without further adieu....

In the Year 2030:

•Governor Tim McGraw signs facial hair tax breaks into Louisiana state law

•Autotuner a mentor on latest season of American Idol

•Rising country singer Hank Williams IV (Real name Carlton Eubanks Williams, product of a Hank III one-night-stand in Tulsa) signs with Curb Records just to spite his estranged father; debut album scheduled for May 2036 release

•Huck Paisley, much to his father's dismay, records his first country album which is entirely devoid of novelty songs

•Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore put out a duets album in the style of George Jones and Tammy Wynette

•Parental Advisory label phased out; Pink "Sissy Songs" warning label phased in for niche market of profanity-free music

•Snoop/Dre record The Chronic: 2030, featuring songs "Nothin' But a AARP Thang," "Gin and Cialis"

•Cowboy Troy opens for Big & Rich for 27th consecutive summer despite not having a charting single since "I Play Chicken With the Train"

•Taylor Swift Behind the Music episode shows the extravagant lifestyle and the over-generosity to her extended family, large dance troupe and entourage that led to her current destitute state

•P Diddy changes his name to an unpronounceable symbol that looks a lot like The Notorious B.I.G.'s face with a dollar sign as the nose

•Justin Bieber still trending on Twitter

New in the FTM Store

The Taylor Face is always in style, especially when it's on your shirt. Here's a little something for the ladies from the non-existent Farce the Music Store. Not available in women's sizes S-2XL. Don't place your orders now!

Mar 22, 2010

Next post is...

Country Day: March '10
All new parody album covers featuring Blake Shelton, Clay Walker, Reba, Colt Ford, Lonestar, Burns & Poe, Rascal Flatts and more!

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio April 2010

Did this back and December and it was such a rousing meh, I thought I'd do it again. Here are some quick "reviews" of all the songs your local country station will be running into the ground next month.

1. Jason Aldean - "Crazy Town"
This dreck tosses what little goodwill I'd gotten about the guy based on his strong single "The Truth" right out the window. This is a rock song about becoming a country star. And not a very good one at that. Its emotional depth on the subject of making it in country music runs about as deep as Cowboy Troy's street cred. D

2. Miranda Lambert - "The House that Built Me"
Some have called this the single of the year and who am I to argue? Let's just hope Miranda has built up enough glad tidings with radio that she can get this fine ballad played as much as it deserves. A

3. Blaine Larsen - "Chillin'"
Blaine's groovy little summer song seems to have been ripped from Kenny Chesney's songbook. His likable drawl and delivery will probably make this a hit, but as laid back top-down songs go, this is middle of the pack due to a heavy dose of cliché. C+

4. Tim McGraw - "Still"
Moderately more exciting than its title. "Still," it has an interesting enough sonic texture to give it a little more weight than much of McGraw's output of recent years. C+

5. Tyler Dickerson - "Tell Your Sister I'm Single"
While I'm a little uncomfortable that it seems young Tyler is making a play not only on his ex's sis but also on his ex's mother in the chorus, this is a catchy song from a strong new talent. It's also a male-centric attitude song, something sorely missing on country radio in recent years. B-

6. Jimmy Wayne Ft. Whitney Duncan - "Just Knowing You Love Me"
Another slice of soft rock banana bread from the master of milquetoast (Carb overload!). Luckily, this one's not as bad as most of his previous singles and the compliment of Whitney Duncan's vocals makes this fairly listenable. I just wish J-dub would get some testosterone replacement therapy. C

7. Kenny Chesney - "Ain't Back Yet"
This Springsteen-esque country rocker is more satisfying than Chesney's recent work by a pretty long stretch. It's another reminiscing song added to a long resume of 'em, but a lot less annoying than say, "Young." Surprisingly, I think I like this. B

8. Taylor Swift - "Today Was a Fairy Tale"
Treacly, schmaltzy, cliché, lilting, formulaic, but somehow I can't bring myself to hate it. It'll make millions (more). C-

9. James Otto - "Groovy Little Summer Song"
I'm glad he reminds the guitar player where to start his solo, because he may have just dozed off during the early part of this happily lazy, uh, groovy little summer song. Sure it's a release calculated for maximum timeliness, but just the fact that it's not a hard rock song celebrating bonfires and cutoffs sets this apart from the usual summer dreck. B

10. Jason Sturgeon - "Simple Life"
Simple song. Repetitive, fairly dull and without a single chance at heavy rotation, though some of the instrumentation is nice and Jason's voice is good on the ears - kind of a mix of Radney Foster and Toby Keith. C-

11. Brandi Carlile - "Dying Day"
A token folk-alt-country addition to this month's edition of the promo only disk. For the rare few stations that will play something outside the mainstream. While I'm an apologist for and a big fan of folk-alt-whatever-country, this track is actually fairly listless and unmemorable. Brandi's a big talent in a small genre though. C+

12. Jerrod Niemann - "Lover, Lover"
Well, this is an unexpected surprise. It's bouncy, catchy and commercial while still managing to sound like nothing else on the dial with its bluesy front porch clap-along sound. Excellent track! A-

13. Uncle Kracker - "Smile (Happy Hour-Deluxe Version)"
I'm not sure I can tell the difference between this version and the version that played on pop and AAA stations a couple months ago. The fact that it didn't have to be changed much, if at all, to be presentable to country radio speaks volumes. This was a guilty pleasure the first 3 times I heard it. Since, not so much. C-

14. Laura Bell Bundy - "Giddy On Up"
I'm still in the honeymoon phase with this song. I'll hate it and myself for kinda liking it after a couple of weeks, but damn if it's not catchy and so bad it's good. This generation's "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" or (more likely) "Achy Breaky Heart?" It's Broadway country custom built for line dancing. B (2 weeks from now grade - D)

15. Jaron and the Long Road to Love - "Pray for You"
Wow. Here's attitude for you. I was about to write this one off as a Jimmy Wayne wuss-song (though the over-wrought organ intro should have clued me in) until the chorus punched me in the stomach. I like the resurgence of gonaditude on this compilation, but this might be a little harsh with the hopes for God to call down vengeance with flower pots and blown tires. Still, it might elicit enough of a "hell yeah" response in listeners to smooth over the fact that Jaron's praying physical and emotional harm upon his ex. B

16. Emily West w. Keith Urban - "Blue Sky"
See this review. B+

17. Lee Allen - "Settle Down"
Cute hook. A voice reminiscent of John Michael Montgomery. The song is pretty reminiscent of some of JMM's non-ballads also. It's not bad. Probably not enough oomph to conquer the top 30 though. C

18. Coldwater Jane - "Bring on the Love"
The second act on this compilation from my home state of Mississippi (the first being Tyler Dickenson), these girls slide pretty easily into the spot SheDaisy vacated with their hit drought (if that spot still exists). Thankfully, Coldwater Jane is far closer to country than SheDaisy ever thought of being. B-


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