Aug 2, 2013
Dallas Davidson Deserves a Sackpunch
I'm not going to bother writing much of anything about this dude. However, I believe, as much as a songwriter can, Dallas Davidson has done nearly irreversible damage to the genre of country music on the mainstream level. Some other writers have been a part of some truly awful songs, but Dallas' track record is a tote board full of douche-ocity, truck fetishism and misogyny. For that, he deserves one of the most painful and physically damaging sackpunches FTM has ever issued. If you need some proof, look no further than the following videos & songs. He wrote or co-wrote all of them.
And not one to rest on his laurels, Dallas has now provided us with what may be the worst country song of all time:
Get ready, DD.
Jan 5, 2012
"…one of the most real country songs I've ever had the pleasure of listening to." - Country Standard Time
"A masterpiece that is as timely as it is well written and sung." - That Nashville Sound
""Cost of Livin'" is a remarkable artistic triumph that any artist would have just cause to be proud of." - 1 to 10 Country Review
"…the most frighteningly real song of 2011. – Dan Milliken (Country Universe)
"This track is a masterpiece, which I can’t praise enough…" - My Kind of Country
"…the song and Ronnie’s performance are a potent reminder of music’s gift and potential for reflecting life as it is — and for offering messages that truly matter." - Country Music Rocks
"If it doesn't reach the top 5, I'm done with country radio, other than making fun of it. This is a signature song of our times." - Farce the Music
"Shame on the program directors and station owners who don’t have the testicular fortitude to play “Cost Of Living…" - The Music Junkyard
So, here we are. 2 months have passed since Ronnie Dunn's "Cost of Livin'" peaked at #17 on the Bob Kingsley Countdown (and at similar rankings - mostly lower - on other charts) and I, true to my word, have not listened to top 40 country by my own decision in some time. To be fair, I rarely listened to it anyway, other than morning shows to hear traffic and weather reports, but still. This unforgivable snubbing of a masterful and universally praised song is the end. Screw you, country radio.
I'm not going to put this on the listeners for a change. Sure, 20-30% of listeners probably hated this song because it was too slow, too sad, too country, too real - but the rest either loved, liked or tolerated it. Surely that's about the same numbers for any given hit single on the radio. So why did "Cost of Livin'" get frozen out (of the top 20 in many cases)?
Could this theory be correct? I think it's very possible. I won't say it's a government conspiracy - more likely a business conspiracy. Big business would like to put forward the idea that the economy is improving - there's the axiom "as you think so shall you be" - no matter how slowly this may be so. And just maybe, they'd be so brash as to nudge Clearchannel into putting the kibosh on this song. Ronnie Dunn didn't, and for that, I applaud him.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.” - Mark Twain
This was originally going to be one of my "sackpunch" articles, but country radio programmers have no balls. I doubt anybody was going to lose a job over playing Dunn's song, so why'd they stop playing it? If I knew the inner workings of single promotion and demotion, I'd have a stronger case here, but there's undoubtably enough blame to go around. I'm guessing programmers do as they always do - follow. Follow the lead of higher ups. Crank the happy stuff, the revolving-door redneck stuff, the mild 'she-left-me' songs with hopeful endings, the drivel that sells ads. Eyes on the bottom line.
In a way, eyes on the bottom line got us here… to this economy. Buying the cheapest crap, hiring the cheapest labor, resting on the cheapest of excuses. Get it now! Live for today! While that may be a good plan for the individual on some levels, it's not conducive to society's long-term success. I'll get off my lame attempt at making sense of America's financial situation, because I have no idea what I'm talking about.
I just know what I like to listen to. I just know I want something aimed at the heart, not the wallet.
How dare anyone in power determine for the listener what he or she wants to hear? Yet, this is country radio's business model. The 'failure' of Ronnie Dunn's "Cost of Livin'" is a microcosm of what's wrong with commercial radio and I'm done.
I know traditional country won't be played on mainstream country radio anytime soon. I've come to accept that. What I can't accept is that they won't even play something that makes the listener feel any feeling other than happy or blissfully ignorant.
For that, I feel that they can kiss my ass goodbye.
Nov 14, 2011
Feb 20, 2011
Dec 26, 2010
Nov 7, 2010
Oct 19, 2010
Jul 20, 2010
Jun 16, 2010
Apr 14, 2010
Jan 3, 2010
Dec 1, 2009
Sep 17, 2009
Jul 27, 2009
Jun 23, 2009
Apr 13, 2009
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em
Tell 'em what? I'll tell 'em. This guy gives our mutual home state a bad name, okay a worser name (blame the MS education system on that bad grammurr). The fact that this dude with the paint pen decorated cheap sunglasses is a millionaire is frequently cited as proof of the death of hip-hop and a particularly harrowing sign of the apocalypse. I wouldn't go that far but... well actually, that sounds about right. War, Famine, Pestilence, Soulja Boy... This horseman of the end times boasts a quiver full of soul destroying weapons including pedestrian, nay, stupid rhymes, simple beats and pornographic terminology hidden behind silly slang phrases. Some of his stuff is so inane it sounds made up on the spot during a drunken ramble, but a lot of Soulja Boy's slang is actually not as fabricated as it sounds. Many of the words can be found on urbandictionary.com, and their definitions might just make you blush. His most popular song is a dance tune that includes a section about, and I'm serious, a man, ummmm, releasing seminal fluids onto a woman's back and throwing a sheet onto it, thus having it stick, resembling a cape... thus, the "superman" dance (in "Crank That"). Yeah, really. And he's peddling this stuff to your kids, or your niece, or that nice young man that delivers your morning paper into the birdbath. Almost as bad, Mr. Tell 'Em is peddling mediocrity, hell, slackerism as the pinnacle of pop culture. Soulja Boy's rap is a mumbling, barely coherent delivery, or as we in the know like to call it, flow... yet, his songs routinely lodge in iTunes top ten singles for weeks on end. I remember cranking "All Eyez on Me" in college and my roommate saying Tupac was a talentless thug. Well if that roommate were to flip the radio to the pop or urban station and run across SB's "Love Me Through the Phone," he'd suddenly feel very warm and sentimental for the days when Pac still ruled the charts and breathed air. Say I'm too old to get SB, that's probably a somewhat fair assumption... but even many young rap critics agree that Soulja Boy is a hack and that the current mainstream hip-hop scene is, by and large, soulless and pathetic...a parody of itself. Hmmm, reminds me of another genre. SB is symbolic of the genre's demise. Downloading isn't what's hurting rap sales; it's garbage sold as gold. A turd's a turd no matter how nicely you package it. Time to flush Soulja Boy. Or at least deliver him a violent sack punch.
Update: After writing this, I read that Soulja Boy said he was sorry for using vulgar language and that he would try to be more of a role model. Good for him, but for past wrongs and current bad artistry, the sack punch is still in order.
Mar 16, 2009
Here's the first in a new series where I rant about wrongs in music and music-related areas. "Sackpunch" is obviously figurative in many cases.
1. Whoever Keeps Signing Guy and Girl Country Groups
Ever since Little Big Town hit it medium, every record company has rushed out their own set of cute young co-eds who can harmonize and called 'em country. Lady Antebellum, while not in my collection, is obviously talented and have a lot of good songs in them. Little Big Town has vocal chops but their song choices have been anywhere from dull to moderately catchy. Things will only become more watered down from here though (oh too late... Gloriana), so let's stop now before I get angry. The herd mentality is what got y'all in the unenviable position you're in today, record companies.
2. Kurt & Layne Wannabes
It's been 17 years since grunge destroyed hair metal and changed mainstream rock music as we know it. Some would say that's a good thing, but I'm sure all would agree that an endless line of watered down Alice in Chains and Nirvana copycraps was not what Kurt Cobain or Layne Staley had in mind. Don't get me wrong... I enjoyed the originators and some of the followers but this sound is way past its sell-by date. Why does every dude singer sound like they've got throbbing hemorrhoids and no pillow to sit on? It's got to end (pun intended). Maybe there will be a new hair metal revolution to put an end to all the angst and grunting! Okay, maybe not.
3. Chuck Wicks
I'm afraid a sackpunch, in this case, might be a swing and a whiff... if you know what I'm sayin'.
4. Every Emo Kid
I thought emo was over in '05, but apparently not, judging by all the flophaired rats I've seen at the mall lately. I actually call a moratorium on the look and lifestyle moreso than the music. Go away, dark, teary wusses and wussettes. Life may suck but you suck harder.