Dec 1, 2023
Nov 17, 2023
Nov 10, 2023
One town in the Hill Country has somehow escaped the gaze and thoughtful tunesmithing of Texas country and roots songwriters. Sabinal, Texas, located west of San Antonio in Uvalde County, has all the touchstones needed for a great country song, but has yet to be honored in that manner, and Mayor Jerry Guzman is tired of it.
“Freakin’ Gatesville has a song!” he frowned. “River floating, vista gazing, dust stirring, beer drinking, lie telling, domino slamming, chili without beans… we’ve got it all, but Gatesville… ptuih!”
Neither Cody Johnson, nor Willie Nelson, nor Randy Rogers, nor Pat Green, nor Rich O’Toole, nor Bri Bagwell, nor Robert Earl Keen, nor K.T. Olin, nor Jack Ingram, nor Rodney Crowell, nor Joe Ely, nor Nanci Griffith, nor Larry Gatlin, nor Mac Davis, Gary P. Nunn, nor Clint Black, nor Alejandro Escovedo, nor Jamie Lin Wilson, nor Beyonce, nor Steve Earle, nor Radney Foster, nor Kelly Clarkson, nor Cody Canada has bothered showing even 3 1/2 minutes of interest in the forlorn municipality.
"It rhymes with a bunch of stuff depending on how you say it," laughed the Mayor. "fall, in all, call, pal, Cristal... uh saddle if you pronounce it weird."
A small sampling of other Texas cities and towns that DO have country songs written about them are as follows: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Amarillo, Texarkana, Stephenville, Waco, College Station, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Odessa, Monahans, Wichita Falls, Nacodoches, Plainview, Fort Worth, Indianola, Lubbock, Galveston, Alpine, Austin, Luckenbach, La Grange, Beaumont, Midland, El Paso, Abilene, and Laredo. But not Sabinal.
The town has put together a discussion panel to find ways to make the area more amenable to being documented in the next TRRR smash. “First of all we’re looking to expand the Dairy Queen parking lot, at city expense, to draw in more young people who like to hang out yelling “Let’s go!” in parking lots with their pickup trucks. That’ll cover the more middle of the road Texas country sensibilities.” said Guzman. “But we also have to find ways to add more ennui, whatever that is, for the artsy-fartsy Texas poets.”
“We’ll figure it out..” he trailed off, with a tear in his eye.
At press time, out-of-state country songwriter Cody Wolfe had volunteered to write a song about Sabinal, provided that a nearby airport can accommodate his private jet.
Nov 3, 2023
Oct 20, 2023
Pop duo Dan + Shay is looking for costumes for a Halloween party this weekend. They’ve already chosen the theme - country singers - but they’re now searching for the perfect homespun attire, visiting Goodwills and western wear outlets across Nashville.
The Dan + Shay wardrobe usually includes bright colors and stripes, tailored pants, and hip casual wear. The aesthetics of country music fashion are a world away from their typical flair, but they’re digging it. “Ha, they call this a nudist suit, I believe,” laughs Thomas, holding up a rhinestone and gold beaded purple jacket. “I think old country stars like Buck Owings and Hank Wilson [sic] used to wear these… they had so much drip!”
After a couple of hours, the two have narrowed their selections down to an all black Johnny Cash-inspired ensemble or a Brooks and Dunn combo. “How did Garth have time to be in a duo and have a solo career at the same time?” asks a confused Smyers.
Slowly coming to a consensus for the B&D garb at press time, Dan + Shay seem excited about the impact they’ll make when they step into the party as someone so different from themselves. “They won’t even recognize us in these fits.”
Oct 6, 2023
Sep 29, 2023
As one might expect, the 1988 Rainy Weekend Bundle includes a copy of 1988 on black vinyl, a Lori tee, and temporary tattoos. Here’s where the marketing synergy begins. This deluxe package, priced at $69.95, also includes Kleenex Ultra Soft tissue, Clear Eyes Redness Relief eye drops, a swelling reducing cooling eye mask, and a coupon for wine.
“We thought we’d give the fans something they were going to have to buy after they listen to this album anyway,” said McKenna. “This will save them a red-faced, snotty sleeved trip to Kroger!”
McKenna, who has made a career out of making listeners disconsolate, said if this option sells well, she may add it to the merch table at shows. “Then they won’t walk out of my concerts looking like somebody told them their dog died while rescuing a child from the creek and the child also died.” laughed McKenna, oddly.
At press time, McKenna was Googling to see if American Aquarium has a copyright on “Sad songs make me happy.”
Sep 15, 2023
Dan + Shay, a pop duo from Nashville, performed at ESPN Gameday in Tuscaloosa, AL before the Texas/Bama game this past Saturday, and college football fans could not have been more thrilled.
Loud “DAN AND SHAY” chants broke out across the crowd and a wave started up as the raucous crowd laid down their pithy and silly Gameday signs to watch the the duo in all their glory. The group, Dan Smyers and Shay Somebody, has had great success in recent years convincing mainstream radio that their music is country, racking up awards, airplay, and legions of excited fans.
“I’m ready to run through a wall,” shouted Kayleigh Miller of Vestavia Hills, as the superstars took their marks on stage. “I hope Coach Saban and the team are watching this to get jacked up for the game!”
Over a thumping beat, and lightly strummed guitars, the megastars performed a medley of their smash hits, including “Tequila,” “She Keeps Them in Her Purse,” and “Can I Pick Out the Wedding Theme?” When the short concert was over, football fans in attendance and across America were indeed “ready for some football” as Hank Jr. once sang.
“They could not have possibly picked out a more badass way to get us turnt!” said Leo Halverson, a Tide fan from West Memphis. “I’m happy as s**t they knew exactly what the demographic for SEC college football wanted and needed this morning. ROOOOOLLLLL MOTHERF***ING TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!”
Alabama, the host team whose campus Dan + Shay played on, lost 34-24.
Sep 8, 2023
Sep 1, 2023
A recent convert to country music fandom, Marietta Lester of West Memphis, AR, is doing a little research. The song she just heard on a TikTok video really grabbed her. So much so that she replayed the video several times, bobbing her head along to the sparse but plaintive tune.
“I had to stop myself though!” said a concerned Lester. “I can’t be sure that the melody is truly pleasing to my ears until I make sure the singer shares the exact same political ideologies as me.”
Lester immediately began to scan the internet to verify that she did indeed enjoy the song. “What if he supports the people who are trying to destroy our country?” she pondered. “What if he didn’t boycott the same companies I was boycotting in 2016??”
Throughout her Google, Wikipedia, and Twitter (X) investigation, Lester searched both the singer’s name and the song’s title, to little avail. His only online presence of note was the one TikTok video and an old Reddit sportscar thread where he called someone a “dickhead” in 2019.
“I just need to be sure it’s good - my ears have lied to me before.” said Lester. “It’d be so bad if I told the people in my bubble I like the song and they already had the inside scoop that he was one of those fascists on the other side of the political aisle! They’d kick me off the text thread and Linda wouldn’t meet me for brunch at Another Broken Egg on Friday mornings anymore!”
Very little is known of the viral sensation who dropped the hot song, other than his rural living situation and clear lack of a wardrobe consultant. The artist has been courted by several political firebrands on Twitter, but seems content to move his career along slowly.
At press time, Marietta dropped her head a bit and said “Well, the song isn’t actually good after all; he’s a f***ing centrist.”
Aug 25, 2023
Aug 18, 2023
Aug 11, 2023
Country superstar Garth Brooks recently announced the details of his 18th album (counting Christmases and Chris Gaines and whatnot), which is not his next release, but the one after the one he just announced was only being included in a new Bass Pro Shop box set. If you’re still with us, just know that we’re befuddled too.
While many Garth fans and country music fans in general have scratched their heads at Brooks’ increasingly inaccessible music catalog, the mega-star behind country classics “Friends in Low Places” and “The Dance” intends for his 2024 album to be an even bigger enigma.
Upon a Time, Brooks’ 18th studio release (or 14th, depending on what you consider an album), will only be released as a single cassette tape, and when they say ‘single,’ they mean it. The album will be hidden somewhere in Nashville, with a scavenger hunt providing the clues for one lucky person to find the only copy of Upon a Time in existence.
“It’s gonna be fun, kooky stuff,” smiled an ever-positive Garth. “Neat wild slick stuff.”
While slight on details, Garth did say that a signup for the contest would be posted on his Myspace page, and that clues would be delivered by SMS texts. “We try and stay hip with the youngsters and their apps so they’ll be as excited as us about the new album!” said Brooks. “The clues will be off the wall hints like ‘the best place to get rid of a heavy item you don’t need anymore,’ just silly stuff.”
The release date for Upon a Time has also not yet been announced, but is likely slated for fall of 2024. No singles will be released from the record, nor are there plans for it to be available digitally, so the eventual contest winner, who hopefully still owns a cassette player, will be the only human to hear it. Contest rules will clearly state that the album cannot be shared online nor played for friends and family by penalty of law, according to Brooks.
At press time, Garth Brooks was in my house stealing the 2 CDs of his I own.
Aug 4, 2023
Jul 28, 2023
Unaware that the culture war has broken their brain, local music fan Pat Markham has convinced themself that a popular song is pleasing to listen to, despite it not being so. The song, a mid-tempo anthem with lyrics carefully chosen to align with the values of their particular side of the struggle, has caught on with many like-minded persons who believe in individuality of thought.
On their first listen, Pat grimaced a bit as the music began, sounding much like other songs in that specific genre. “I couldn’t tell it apart from that other recent song,” explained Pat. “But since all my friends in my social media bubble were touting how good it is, I gave it the ol’ college try.”
“I read the lyrics as I listened to it the second time, and it really started to speak to me,” relayed Markham. “The way the singer warbled about the things I’m against was inspiring.”
The song in question has become a rallying cry for people who feel wronged in today’s society. Even with its laborious lyrics, cliche sonic pastiche, mediocre vocals, and lack of artfulness, the tune has really caught on because of its use of political-party-approved key words and insinuations to keep adversaries in their place.
“It really brings us all together,” smiled Markham, now watching the music video. “Hell yeah! This is the way all normal people should feel and if they don’t, they’re an enemy of humanity!”
At press time, Pat was listening to the song a 4th time while making a face that indicated there might be a foul odor wafting about the room.
Jul 21, 2023
Jul 14, 2023
A music influencer and blogger was assaulted this week in the parking lot of his place of employment. Jesse Lindvall of Tupelo, MS, was walking out of his office Monday afternoon, when a large group of young men and women reportedly accosted him.
The attack left Lindvall, 36, with a bloodied nose, scratches, bruises, and a hunk of hair pulled out. “I took out a couple of them before they just overwhelmed me,” said the victim. “Those 2 were women, but hey, they hit me first and they had weapons, so I don’t feel bad about it.”
The reason for the violence left police scratching their heads. “So, they beat him up because he said (popular Americana/country artist) Zach Bryan is only ‘pretty good,’” said Tupelo police chief Harold May. “Sometimes I don’t even understand what’s going on anymore.”
“That’s right,” confirmed a shaken Lindvall, “they said it was because I have a large platform - my website and social media accounts - and have repeatedly said I think Zach Bryan is just alright.” Lindvall assumed they’d tracked him down by his Instagram posts. He then relayed to us the bizarre events of the fray.
He was leaving his printing company job around 5:02 Monday afternoon, when 2 women wearing Zach Bryan t-shirts approached him at his truck. They allegedly yelled “Only pretty good, huh?? You motherf***er!!!!” before both swinging their customized tumblers at Lindvall's face. One struck him on the right cheek before he pushed one of the assailants to the ground.
A third female attacker ran out of the bushes yelling “something in the black and blue!” and delivered a punch to his right eye. Lindvall recoiled with an elbow, unintentionally knocking out one of the first women. He then rammed another of them with the door of his Silverado, before a gang of 6-10 others, including several bearded, vaping men, descended upon him.
When he woke up, the group was gone, leaving him with a scratched cornea, bleeding face, and a bald spot. There were also several Zach Bryan stickers covering his truck. He was treated at the scene.
Police say the print company’s security camera was not in operation, so none of the offenders have been identified, but that if anyone in the public has information about the crime to contact police immediately. “I don’t think there’s a threat to the community or anything,” laughed May. “But maybe watch what you say online about Zac Brown or Bryan or whoever. These community college kids are tougher than they look.”
At press time, Lindvall was purging his online presence of any references to Zach Bryan.
Jul 7, 2023
Jun 30, 2023
Country/rock star Kid Rock’s grandiose White House replica home burned overnight, and fire investigators say it appears to be due a meth lab explosion. Experts say the evidence was so substantial and certain that Rock, real name Bob Richey, was taken into custody on scene.
He went on to detail the source of the fire clearly being a corner utility room littered with broken beakers, metal piping, and a somehow unscathed pile of Sudafed. “There was also a half-melted metal door sign that said ‘Meth Lab,’ so we’ve pretty much got him dead to rights,” said Jones.
Back on record with the chief of police, Brittan Marks, we learned that an uninjured Richey was taken into custody without incident, wearing only a pair of flip flops and a “Hillary Lied” t-shirt. He was processed and bonded out a few hours later.
“With a net worth in the millions, we’re not sure why Mr. Richey would need to be cooking up meth, you know,” said a bemused Chief Marks, “Maybe he was just trying to live up to his outlaw reputation.”
At press time, Mr. Rock was tweeting and working on plans for his new ten-story ass shaped house on the same hill.
Jun 23, 2023
Hey you. Yes, you reading this very article as you scurry down the alley to your car from the vape shop. Don’t make any noticeable movements, but there’s a guy following you. Dammit, you looked. Yeah, that guy with the beard and the art gallery on his face.
While your initial reaction to seeing the portly fellow walking faster than a guy that size should walk, ten yards behind you and closing, was that it may be the “Need a Favor” singer, I’m here to tell you that Mr. Roll is currently in the studio recording a guest appearance on a Willie Nelson track, so it’s not him. Move your ass!
He’s getting a bit winded now; you’ve only got 30 more steps to your Altima but now is not the time to lose focus. Screw the second thoughts - I’m telling you it’s not Jason Bradley DeFord, aka Jelly Roll, American multi-genre singer/songwriter who won 3 CMT Awards this year for “Son of a Sinner.” This particular fellow has a hand in the pocket of his hoodie and it’s not to hand you a mix tape.
Oh now, you’re feeling bad for judging someone by their appearance. Sir or ma’am or other, I’m thinking even Jelly Roll - who is an admitted reformed criminal and seems like he’s really made a change for the better - would tell you not to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. Trust your gut.
Shit! He’s caught up. As you look into the tattooed face of your attacker, your fingers attempting to enable the Emergency SOS on your phone you thought was in your pocket, the man reaches out his hand and says “You dropped your phone back there.”