June 15, 2006

Go North, Young Chix

Hatched by Sachi

I know, I know, I am obsessed with the stupid Dixie Chicks. I see them everywhere I go. Wait, they are everywhere I go, but not for long, I hope.

The other day, I talked about the Dixie Chicks' sagging ticket sales for their upcoming U.S.Tour, especially in the American heartland (the South and the Middle West). Well, they've wisely charted a new course: they're heading north, up through New England and the lefty Northeast all the way to the Great White North of eastern Canada.

They had to postpone (and probably cancel) twelve originally scheduled concerts:

  • Milwaukee, WI;
  • Kansas City, MO;
  • St. Louis, MO;
  • Indianapolis, IN;
  • Fresno, CA (in the Republican-leaning San Joaquin Valley);
  • Los Angeles, CA (that one is odd);
  • Las Vegas, NV;
  • Oklahoma City, OK;
  • Memphis, TN;
  • Houston, TX;
  • Jacksonville, FL;
  • and Greensboro, N.C.

Note that each of these concert venues (except for L.A. and Las Vegas) are locations known not only for being quite conservative but also for being "core country" music centers; they are all in the South, the Midwest, and the West -- the heartland of America. They didn't have to cancel any concert dates in New England! In fact, even Los Angeles and Las Vegas have a lot of "urban cowboys" who tend, by and large, to side with that fellah from Texas over the Chix from Texas.

I am surprised that Los Angeles is on the chopping block. I can understand Fresno; that central Californian farm city is very conservative, as is the entire central valley (except for Sacramento, the state capital, of course).

But Los Angeles? Only a couple of weeks ago, operations manager R.J. Curtis of LA's popular KZLA country station insisted that listeners consider the Dixie Chicks controversy a "non-issue." Much to my annoyance, and despite my protest letters, they play the Chix often enough:

"I can play this music," he said. "I just did a focus group [how Hollywood!], and for our listeners it's a non-issue. Now, down the road in San Diego, where there are military bases, the program director would tell you that the Chicks are unplayable."

Hm... maybe he should have conducted the "focus group" among KZLA's actual listeners, instead of the station management!

Meanwhile, the promoters have added eight northern cities to the tour -- five of them in Canada:

  • Uncasville, CN;
  • Jones Beach, NY;
  • Atlantic City, NJ;
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia;
  • St. John, New Brunswick;
  • Montréal, Quebec;
  • London, Ontario;
  • and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Ontario date replaces the "postponed" Milwaukee concert... an indication that they're writing off the Midwest in favor of Canada. Not a single one of these venues is in a more conservative area; and only one, Winnipeg, is even in the Canadian prairie country (the rest of the Canadian dates are in the eastern provinces). Nothing in Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, or even northern Manitoba -- Canada's "cowboy country." Not even a single concert date in British Columbia, though I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually added one (BC is more like Oregon and Washington than like Montana or Idaho).

The conclusion is inescapable: whatever the Dixie Chicks are now, they are no longer a "country western" group. Martie Maquire has abandoned country fans, saying "we don't want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do." Natalie Maines has called the country audience "rednecks" (she didn't mean it like Gretchen Wilson does), and she says she never really liked playing country music in the first place. Their promoters have abandoned cowboy country in favor of New York and New Brunswick.

The Chix have abandoned country altogether. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Maybe they'll be successful as a pop-rock group, though their country sound -- and their name -- may be hard for the new audience to swallow over "the long road."

But in keeping with their new orientation, I think the Dixie Chicks should change their name: they should call themselves the Yankee Feminists. Truth in advertising, you know.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, June 15, 2006, at the time of 2:22 PM

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Comments

The following hissed in response by: Piraticalbob

Another blogger (think it was Misha) suggested "Yankee Skanks" as a new name for the Chicks.

The above hissed in response by: Piraticalbob [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 2:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

I support the Dixie Chicks right to Freedom of Expression(Speech) and Freedom of Association.

What Natilie said a couple of years ago IS a non-issue.

They have stated clearly they do not WANT fans like me.

""we don't want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do." Natalie Maines has called the country audience "rednecks" (she didn't mean it like Gretchen Wilson does), and she says she never really liked playing country music in the first place. Their promoters have abandoned cowboy country in favor of New York and New Brunswick"

So I,and I would assume the vast majority of the Fans they have decided to reject are merely following their own wishes and not inflicting our money or ourselves on them.

So what's the fuss about?

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 3:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Brent

You have presented a rather biased version of events. Check out http://www.liberalcountryfan.com/?p=87

I'd be willing the bet the Chicks won't cancel ANY concerts, and if they do, I'll be posting on why I think that will be the case. Basically, it's because many of you folks have misinformation (the Chicks LOVE our troops and our country), and are so mean about spreading your hate. That makes Chicks fans less inclined to see concerts because they're worried about you folks dissing them.

The above hissed in response by: Brent [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 3:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

"But in keeping with their new orientation, I think the Dixie Chicks should change their name: they should call themselves the Yankee Feminists"

I like Yankee Crows myself.

"If a crow wants to fly down the Shenandoah, he must carry his provisions with him." The destruction presaged the scorched earth tactics of Sherman's March to the Sea through Georgia—"

They did it to us, let's return the favor for the "Yankee Crows" the South and any other Country Western territory can be scorched earth.

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 3:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: Don

There are some odd cancelations on that list. LA, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis. None of them are core C&W markets.

Milwaukee (my old home town) has a fairly discriminating audience due to the presence of one of the nation's major music festivals (Summerfest).

Perhaps the Chicks are boring this year? All that bitter stuff about their nasty fans is just a turnoff. At least away from the terminally embittered, it is. Wisconsin is one of those states on the knife edge between Red and Blue. The cheeseheads probably found 'The Payback Tour' boring.

(I checke3d out Chicks tix on the internet. They play in London in a theater not far from me, then open for The Eagles at Twickenham - you can't get tickets for love or money for either date. They obviously should have scheduled more dates around here. I checked out tickets in Milwaukee and some other places - no problem getting tickets any of those places.

These concerts cost a ton of money, BTW. You can't touch a ticket for less than $100 anyplace I saw them. That can buy a lot of music or form a nice down payment on a fancy music system these days, and is almost double the cost of the hottest London musical around. So I should pay that kind of money to listen to them trash the people of Luubock (Lubbock or Leave it). Please....

The above hissed in response by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 6:22 PM

The following hissed in response by: Sachi

Don

There are some odd cancelations on that list. LA, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis. None of them are core C&W markets.

I noticed that too. By the way, Rascal Flats' concert in the Staple Center, an arena, in Los Angeles is sold out.

[$100 is]almost double the cost of the hottest London musical around

Really? I'd much rather see a musical than any concert.

The above hissed in response by: Sachi [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 7:15 PM

The following hissed in response by: Sachi

brent

That makes Chicks fans less inclined to see concerts because they're worried about you folks dissing them.

Are you saying Chicks fans are a bunch of chickens?

The above hissed in response by: Sachi [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 7:27 PM

The following hissed in response by: ira

I just got around to watching the ACM (Academy of Country Music) award show from 5/23/06 and one of the biggest crowd cheers was from host Reba coming back from a commercial with " thats as hard as the Dixie Chicks trying to sing with their foot in their mouth". The crowd went nuts. Not only have the Chicks pushed back from their fans, but country music in general.

Only other audience reaction near that was the Big & Rich song with 8 Purple Heart vets from WWII & Viet Nam joining them on stage with a bunch of military in uniform, standing in attention in the background. (the main reason I burned it to DVD).

The above hissed in response by: ira [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 8:37 PM

The following hissed in response by: Don

Sachi, it's shaping up to be a great London season, though expensive as heck. "Evita", "Mary Poppins", "Show Boat", and "Sunday in the Park with George" are playing now with "Cabaret", "Spamalot", and "Sound of Music" opening this fall.

Most of the dinosaurs have died off (all those Webber musicals which used to run 15-20 years) and that has improved the range and diversity of the London theatre offerings a great deal.

Trouble is it is high season & few good discounts on until fall. After Christmas is usually the best time to see this stuff. It's not unusual to get good tickets for half off plus the RSC is having it's London season about that time. They are simply great. Every year I see more RSC plays - this year I went to 5(!) of them, three Shakespeare comedies and two classic American plays.

The National Theatre has a good run of plays in summer subsidized by various businesses so the bottom price tickets cost about (£10) $18 - a huge bargain when you consider that my local cinema hits me up for £7.50 for a movie these days.

The above hissed in response by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2006 12:53 AM

The following hissed in response by: Sachi

Don

Most of the dinosaurs have died off (all those Webber musicals which used to run 15-20 years) and that has improved the range and diversity of the London theatre offerings a great deal.

Except for JCSS, and Evita, I am not impressed with Lloyd-Webber. I am envious that you live in the place where you can see plays with such low prices.

We have many theaters in Los Angeles, but they are not in the level of London or Broadway.

my local cinema hits me up for £7.50 for a movie these days.

And we thought $10.00 was expensive!

The above hissed in response by: Sachi [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2006 4:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: Don

I like Lloyd-Webber musicals fine but the trouble is I go once. Cats, Phantom, Les Miserables. Cats ran 20 years, Starlight Express ran 15+ years, etc. I enjoy it when they cycle the musicals through - which they are doing now. 'Whistle Down the Wind" is going now with a cheap no name cast - I'll probably go because I don't have to take a mortgage....

What makes London theatre special (compared with the New York scene) is the presence of the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company). They have a London season every year with 4-5 Shakespeare plays plus another season with other playwrights with various themes. Last year it was 'Spanish Golden Age' plays. Didn't see any of those because I went to 'Twelfth Night', 'A Midsummers Night Dream', and 'A Comedy of Errors'. The first two were memorable. A Midsummer Night Dream was merely the best play I've ever seen in London. Out of 50 or more.

In May they had "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "The Crucible". The nice thing is that if one is willing to risk nosebleed and see the previews one can usually score a cheapish (or downright cheap) ticket for RSC productions. I was able to see three of the Comedies for less than a full price stalls ticket.

There is more. Because of the huge supply of well-trained dramatic actors available in London there is far more than just the RSC offers. I can't begin to list them. Low season (November, early December, January to March) prices often are little more than cinema tickets.

Some things are bizarre - the first time I saw 'Romeo and Juliet' it was by a troup of very young and extremely gymnastic Icelandic actors! Rather good actually - and the price was right. Later on I saw the RSC rendition which was excellent.

I think January is a great time for a London theatre vacation. The weather is cold and rainy but hotel and theatre prices are the best of the year - one can get a good hotel room for $60 a night! There are restaurant bargains and the museums are open daytimes, plus sales at the stores.

The above hissed in response by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2006 5:25 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

the Chicks LOVE our troops and our country), and are so mean about spreading your hate. That makes Chicks fans less inclined to see concerts because they're worried about you folks dissing them.

The above hissed in response by: Brent at June 15, 2006 03
**************************************************

From my latest post on the subject.
I will close with a few observations on these words by Natalie Maines.


The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."

Oh Sachi? You will get a kick out of the following. ;-)

"I just LOVE this! They have been replaced in first place on Walmart's Top 100 CDs by just doesn't this warm the cockles of your heart?

The Blue Collar Comedy Tour:
One For The Road (2CD)

Back
Down The Hill.


As for that pathetic plaint about being afraid to go to a concert because they might be dissed?

I have better things to do with my time than waste it on harrassing Yankee Crow Fans.

Had they left the past in the past I would probably have moved on, but their recent statements? The Left can have them and more power to the movement, out of my view.

The Chicks are disgusted with folks like me?
That is a two way street and

Liberal Country Fan? That hate seems to be a two street, there certainly is a lot of it directed to the old Fans by the Chicks

"

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2006 8:20 PM

The following hissed in response by: Sachi

Dan

I did not know about this comment by the chicks.

The Chicks can't hide their disgust at the lack of support they received from other country performers. "A lot of artists cashed in on being against what we said or what we stood for because that was promoting their career, which was a horrible thing to do," says Robison.

"A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."

They love troops, give me a break.

The above hissed in response by: Sachi [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2006 10:21 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

That gave me pause, but this made my jaw drop

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."

Some Americans are so clueless about how fortunate they were to have been born American Citizens.

So many good people would give anytbing to come here, and then you have those like her, who neither appreciate their fortune, nor deserve it.

Oh thanks so much for the comment you left on my site.

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 17, 2006 6:45 AM

The following hissed in response by: Don

That makes Chicks fans less inclined to see concerts because they're worried about you folks dissing them.

I don't get why people care so much about the Chicks. One way or the other. Natalie Means has a mouth the size of the Straits of Gibraltar but why should I care? Frankly I had never even heard of them until her comment in 2003!

Maybe they have talent (I'm not sure one way or the other) but the little I know about them seems slanted to the cheap and trashy. Seems to me that they will be a footnote in the history of country music. I'm listening to a lot of classic rock these days & have no time for the Chicks.

I did recently buy an album from a 'political' artist. I saw the demos for the Springsteen Seeger Sessions album and decided I had to have it. Springsteen is a strong critic of the war (as was Johnny Cash) but both of them have more wit and insight in their little fingers than Means seems to have in their entire body.

The above hissed in response by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 17, 2006 7:05 PM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

The ongoing failure of the Chicks efforts to make a rich livelihood retailing anti-American cant at concerts and in interviews prompts a mournful response from the clueless, Elton John, along with a plaintive objection to the highly offensive "Protest Song Suppression Act of 2006."

Oh, that's right-- there isn't such a thing! It's just that Americans don't want to hear this fluf, and don't agree with Natalie. And, those objections are resulting in a decline in her income. Fancy that.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2006 9:16 AM

The following hissed in response by: Steve

I just want to make a minor correction in your blog. You write that the chicks do not announce dates in conservative Alberta in favor of the recently cancelled dates but why would they? Calgary and Edmonton were among the original dates announced (Nov. 4 Edmonton Nov. 5 Calgary). As well you mention that they choose not to play the NWT but name me on relatively big name band who does. The same can be said about northern Manitoba. I don't remember the last time I heard of anyone playing Churchill or The Pas. Just so you know I am from Manitoba. Saskatchewan was a suprise to me but Regina and Saskatoon are pretty small cities as well.

The above hissed in response by: Steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2006 9:38 AM

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