Then call me a “music snob”

Then call me a “music snob”: (From today’s Tennessean) “Music snobs might see Trace Adkins’ latest hit, Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, as little more than a marketing-driven party song, shamelessly fusing together redneck and urban slang in a not-so-subtle sweep for lowbrow listeners.”

The story goes on to suggest that the success of the song is a “ray of hope” for Nashville record labels.

Despite the coincidence of me living and working in Nashville and sharing the same work address as Trace Adkins’ record label, I have nothing to do with the music industry in Nashville except loathing crap like the aforementioned tune. If this is the best the “industry” of commercial music in Nashville can do, then I celebrate their demise. Bring on MySpace or whatever can replace artificial scarcity tactics that allow “hit-making” based on the redneckification of hip-hop exploitative misogyny and calling it “a ray of hope.” This stuff is crap and surely even Capitol Records and the Tennessean reporter Ryan Underwood know that.

There is some great music created in Nashville. Strangely, it’s easier to find in a Starbucks than on the radio dial. Here’s a suggestion for someone looking for good country music from Nashville. Go to Pandora.com and create a radio station based on the artist “Tim O’Brien” and see where that takes you. I have no idea where it will take you, but I’ll guarantee you it will be a better playlist than any “Top 40” commercial country radio station in America. It won’t be crap. And I won’t be embarrassed to say it was created in Nashville. And I think that’s a “ray of hope.”

Update: Philip Woodgate (see comments) followed my Pandora-Tim O’Brien suggestion and likes what he heard. For a great list of such musicians, I suggest looking through the archives of Candace Corrigan’s podcast, “The Nashville Nobody Knows,” including this interview with Tim O’Brien.

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  • Philip Woodgate

    Everyone knows that Nashville is packed with good musicans, but the odd thing is I’ve never heard anything I ever really liked. Tim O’Brien changes that. I’ll be getting the CD. Thanks for the tip Rex.

  • Cole

    I agree, Rex. Most everything coming out of Nashville these days is crap. I’m a huge country music fan and I cannot stand to listen to our Top 40 country station anymore. However, the music execs in Nashville could learn a lot from the Austin music scene. Wonder if any of them will be attending SXSW…

  • Philip Woodgate

    It’s not all bad news though. There are some excellent radio stations. In the UK we have the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/). No adverts and on stations like 6 Music they play have no real playlists (check out the Freak Zone – you may not like it, but the guy plays whatever he likes). Also people like Seth Lakeman have are given exposure in UK, which I find quite heartening. Although I hope he’s heard of Tim O’Brien as I reckon he could teach him a thing or two!