Remember when Jerry McQuire was in the Miami Hilton, ate some bad pizza, went to bed and suddenly woke up to a nervous breakdown that led him to write his “Mission Statement”? I kind of feel like that is how the birth of my latest Rawhide and Velvet column in the October/November issue on Lone Star Music went down…except without the nice hotel and instead of some hockey player’s kid making me feel guilty, I got pissed off at random comments on iTunes. Hmmm…so that means it was nothing like Jerry McQuire.
I am a little worried about this one…but it was sincere. That is all I can say.
So the Randy Rogers Band has a new song out. It’s the first single from their next album, Trouble, and it’s called “One More Sad Song.” Have you heard it yet?
Well of course you have. The more important question is, what do think of it?
No, wait — let me take a wild but educated guess, based on everything I know about fans of Texas country music: You LOVE it and it’s the best song you’ve ever heard! Or, you HATE it, and you hate it with a passion so deep, you have no choice but to call the coroner because everything you ever loved about the Randy Rogers Band, everything that made them special and worth believing in for 10 long years, is clearly dead. So dead, in fact, that you didn’t even have to hear the whole song: you could smell the stank of Nashville all over it just by clicking the little sample on iTunes.
It’s that simple, because you’re a Texas country FAN, and clearly there’s no room for any opinion on the subject between those two extremes. You either love the new Randy Rogers Band single or you hate it, and by extension, you KNOW that the rest of the album is going to either be totally amazing, or it’s gonna suck — even though Trouble won’t even be out until like, next year.
What the hell is wrong with you people? And by “you people,” I mean … us. Because hell, I am the first person to jump on an artist and give them a hard time about making what I consider to be a “bad” decision. And I’m not only a total bitch who’s said some pretty harsh things about various people on my blog and on the radio, but a total hypocrite, too, because I have seriously cried when some of those people have turned around and criticized me — calling me a “bitch,” for instance (like William Clark Green did because I said he looked like Chaz Bono). Oh, and on the flip side, I can totally gherm your ass, too, as Brandon Jenkins, Sunny Sweeney, and the Trishas can all attest.
So yes, people — I am a fan, just like all of y’all, so don’t think I’m just passing judgment here. This is a cry for help that I’m making on behalf of all of us. Well, actually just on behalf of the haters and “the sky is falling” doomsayers on the scene. The self-help group for all the “Go Team!” cheerleader apologists will meet in a column to be scheduled later.
Now … let’s have us a look-see at what some of us Negative Nancies and Bitter Bills have been saying about Randy’s “One More Sad Song” on iTunes. Fair warning, it’s gonna get ugly.
“Needs to go back to the drawing board and start writing his own songs again. C’mon man. Think outside of the box.”
You’ll note how this one starts out addressing Randy in the third person, and then switches to directly addressing him. We feel entitled to that kind of familiarity as fans in this scene because we’re accustomed to having direct access to our favorite artists after each and every show. Well, at least until they get too big for their britches or get spooked and stop feeding the man-fan bears. But I digress. Let’s address that matter of Randy needing to write his own songs again. Uh, hello — who do you think wrote “One More Sad Song”? RANDY DID.
“The new single is something you wouldn’t wanna step into out in the cow field …”
Translation: “I think this single sounds like shit, but I’m gonna say so using one of those fancy metaphor-whatnots that so-called “professional” music critics like to use so people think I’m clever.” Well played. But wait! He/she goes on …
“Idk if they wrote this song but it isn’t what we are used to hearing from them … it sure as heck isn’t Randy Rogers Band sound/music.”
“Idk” what your computer calls it, but it sure as heck says Randy Rogers Band when I play the song in my iTunes — and I’m pretty sure that’s them standing up against a brick wall behind a giant RRB logo and above the song title in the album art. But you make a point echoed by another confused fan here:
“I am from 13 miles outside of Cleburne, TX in Grandview and this isn’t what I am used to.”
This I do know and understand, because change is scary, right? Every time I hear a new song by one of my favorite artists and it’s not a carbon copy of their other song that I’m already used to, Ike Turner Ballou has to take a sick-day to make sure I don’t have another episode like that one time Stoney LaRue played that song with two chords in it.
Moving along …
“OK song, but definitely not Country and doesn’t sound like Texas country at all. Guess that’s why they didn’t allow the 484 South Band to open for them in Baton Rouge this year — didn’t want an outlaw country band to show them up.”
I’m sorry, but can you please be a little more specific there, iTunes user “Joe Schultz”? I’ll admit I’m not familiar with this apparently jilted 484 South Band you speak of, so let’s pop their name into Google and see what … ah, there it is: Baton Rouge’s own 484 South Band, featuring the guitar stylings of one Mr. Keith Schultz! Surely no relation, right?
Now I wonder when somebody’s going to say … ah, here it comes:
“The title of this song should be ‘Welcome to Nashville.’”
Ah yes — we LOVE to bring up the Texas vs. Nashville rivalry every chance we get, don’t we? Again, there’s no “we” without “me,” because I break out that “N word” just about each and every time when I want to gripe about what I think is crappy music, too. I’m going to address that a little bit more in a second, but what I love about how it’s used here is that “welcome to” part. Because we all know Randy and the boys are all brand new to having anything to do with anyone in Big Bad Music City. Up until last week, they were still safe inside the womb of Cheatham Street Warehouse, right?
Please. By now, I can assure you that Randy knows Nashville so well, he probably knows the name of every gift shop and food vendor in the airport there. And you wanna know who probably told him “Welcome to Nashville” before you? Radney “Del Rio, TX 1957” Foster, that’s who — way back in 2003 or whenever they first started writing and recording Rollercoaster together. Now I’ll grant you, Randy has gotten a little slicker over the years and “One More Sad Song” isn’t exactly “Lost and Found,” but come on … it isn’t exactly “Truck Yeah” or “Corn Star” either, is it? And it’s not like Randy’s rapping about drinking beer on a backroad.
But sticking with that mindset, uh oh …
“Long way from Cleburne to Nashville. Say hello to Pat Green while you are there.”
OUCH! Hold the phone. It’s all over now. Someone just played the Pat Green “sell out” card. Ewww … that is the ultimate insult of all insults to get from a dedicated Texas music fan, isn’t it? But again with the trying to say it all sly and clever? Can’t anybody here in iTunes land stand up and HATE like they really mean it?
“100% pure Nashville CRAP. You boys have done a darn fine job of selling out, u aint what u used to be. Was the money worth it??”
Finally! Someone with the balls to go all-caps on the band’s ass. And then the guilt trip, jamming that “darn fine job of selling out” in their face like a mock complement, followed by a one-two combo punch of shame-on-you and was-it-worth-it. When I read that, I can’t help but picture Randy and Brady and Geoffrey and Les and Jon all sitting on top of a giant pile of cartoon cash like greedy Scrooge McDucks, looking at each other with “what-have-we-done?” looks of self loathing. And then I imagine that reviewer, iTunes user “west tx cowboy,” smiling all proud and smugly to himself in front of his computer screen and dribbling chaw spit into a Lone Star Beer can.
Like I said, I can be a real bitch myself sometimes.
Trust me, I had a lot more to say, so if I haven’t already lost your attention, click HERE to finish the article. PLEASE feel free to comment on what you thought about this one…and you don’t have to agree with me, I like it better when you don’t.
Be sure to pick up this issue of the Lone Star Music magazine to read all about coverboy Ryan Bingham, a column from Isbell, reviews of the new Departed, Bart Crow, Chris Knight, Uncle Lucious and a crapton more!