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The Dixie Vics' New Image

"Vic" as in "victims," that is.

I used to be a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks' music. I still love the music, and I still own their first three CDs, but I rarely ever listen to them anymore. There are many liberal recording artists that have spoken out against the war and against the President. I own some of their CDs and would probably not hesitate to purchase more. The Dixie Chicks, however, will not get one more red cent out of my pocket. So, why the double standard? I asked myself the same question because I wasn't really sure why I had such a visceral reaction to the Chicks ever since Natalie Maines' infamous insult to the President while on foreigh soil, when others have made similar statements and I have not stopped listening to them.

I have given it some thought and there are several reasons really, but something I heard on t.v. last night was reason enough. When country singer (and "Redneck Woman") Gretchen Wilson was asked about the Dixie Chicks controversy she said that it isn't about who you vote for but rather "It is all about the music." The Chicks have incredible talent and have made some beautiful music, but even from the beginning their careers have not been all about the music. They built an image as an unconventional, fun-loving, hip-dressing, non-conformist group of gals. Their audience included many young girls, no doubt attracted not only by the excellent music, but by that young, fun and funky image.

Not long after Maines' anti-war, anti-Bush statement, the group seemed to cultivate the image of victim and martyr. They lashed out at those who didn't agree with them as uninformed. The controversy got them a Rolling Stone magazine cover three years ago (in the nude, by the way), and has just this week landed them on the cover of Time. To say that the Dixie Chicks had absolutely no understanding of their country music audience is an understatement. Evidently they have learned enough in the past three years, though, to know that their old audience isn't buying what they are now selling. Instead of touting the quality of the music on their new CD, their media blitz (as well as the words to their first single) are about nothing but message. That message is still angry and petulent and I am not buying it. I don't want to encourage their newly found victimhood, nor do I want my girls looking up to a group that appears more interested in spreading an anti-Bush message than in making good music. That is a real shame, too, because the music was really good.

Update: Someone pointed out that the magazine they appeared nude on was actually Entertainment Weekly, not Rolling Stone. Sorry for my poor memory. They also said they didn't believe I was really a fan because I got the naem of the magazine wrong. Give me a break. I didn't buy the magazine, I just saw the cover on television.


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Comments (30)

I agree with you except tha... (Below threshold)

I agree with you except that whole talent part. They are just three Brittany Spearses that are trying to stay popular as they gain weight and years. They were crap before they opened their stupid cakes holes, and they are still crap. And as far as country music goes, it is extinct.

The DC learned a hard lesso... (Below threshold)

The DC learned a hard lesson. Country music fans won't allow anything that remotely sounds anti American, and "the comment" was made not long after 9-11 when patriotism was still high amoung fans. When the outlash first bit their ass, they tried to play the victim by saying "We're really not political"...and..."I can't believe there's so much hatred out there" Now they're attempting to cross over to more of a rock oriented audience and willing to cut all ties with their previous fan base and Nashville in general. Yes they are victims alright ... of psychotic behavior.

I agree totally with your a... (Below threshold)

I agree totally with your assessment of the Dixie Chicks. Most of their music was great. There were some songs that Natalie Maine's voice was harsh, but for the most part, the other girls' voices & harmonies smoothed out that harshness. But, I haven't listened to one of their songs since they spoke out in England, and then blamed the administration, of all things, for trying to quiet their voices, as if the administration cared what the Dixie Chicks had to say. They place way too much importance on themselves and I am repulsed by that whole situation.

The name is very catchy - D... (Below threshold)
Frank O:

The name is very catchy - Dixie - connoting the south and country and Chicks - connoting sexy young and hip. They are not very "Dixie", and they are not very "Chick".

There is a difference between an artist and a celebrity, and I just wish these people would stop pretending they are artists.

An artist does not preach or lecture. An artist lets his work speak for him and tries to reach people on another, suposedly higher, plane. An artist is beyond day-to-day politics and is supposed to have a deeper insight to some aspect of nature. Any joining of the political fray turns the artist away from his strength and into a realm where he is most likely quite handicapped. In this age of specialization, to reach the level where these girls, er excuse me, chicks, are, one must spend a lot of time practicing, rehearsing, performing, preparing and resting. Few of these people have equal talent in intellectual pursuits, and even if they did, do not have the time needed to research and hone their ideas. These chicks may be masters of music (though that is highly questionable) but are kindergardners in politics.

The proof of their idiocy is that they alienated half their audience by expressing their heartfelt opinions publicly for no apparent reason. Would they change someones mind? A fan of the Dixie Chicks who is a Bush supporter will vote for Kerry because Natalie Maines comes out? Of course not. It was a pure power play. They let fame and glory go to their heads and spouted off in arrogance, then they apologize, then take it back. (Are any of these women in a relationship? I pity the poor soul)

People like this don't create art, they destroy it.

This controversy came came ... (Below threshold)

This controversy came came and went a year ago. So why has it come up again? I notice they're on the cover of Time magazine; do the Chicks have friends or fans there who are trying to give their flagging careers a boost?

I question the timing.

: )

Oregon: in came back again... (Below threshold)

Oregon: in came back again due to the new release and the media hype attending it, again more self-absorbed gratuitous self-aggrandizement in the lyrics and the hype. Don't limit yourself to reviewing the title track, check them all out. A mess of whining and adolescent rebellion (sure to capture the hearts of any immature personality that matches the self-absorbed gratuitous self-aggrandizement mentioned above. Hmmm, that sounds like the liberal MSM if anything does.

I've heard a couple version... (Below threshold)

I've heard a couple versions of their name, I like combining two into the "Dipsy Vics."

Lorie:They buil... (Below threshold)


They built an image as an unconventional, fun-loving, hip-dressing, non-conformist group of gals. Their audience included many young girls, no doubt attracted not only by the excellent music, but by that young, fun and funky image.

The Dixie Chicks are victims all right - victims of the kind of hyperinflated ego that comes only with rapid success. When you are on top of the world, you feel empowered to say anything. The sad part is, they seem unwilling to accept responsibility for the consequences of their foolish behavior.

That "fun and funky" image you mention is now pretty passe in the country music genre. What really set them apart was their excellent harmony and clean, laid-back style along with a nice mingling of pop-rock and county melodic structure.

Nowadays, though, you see a lot more of the things that made them unique a few years back from other artists. Keith Urban and Rascal Flats have employed variations of the same techniques in their more recent efforts to similar effect, as well as newer country supergroups like Sugarland.

Unfortunately, Dixie Chicks metioric rise to the top of country music must have convinced them that they were more talented than they really are. Maines' vocal style has been done to death lately, and I think their moment has largly passed.

I don't think the writer wa... (Below threshold)

I don't think the writer was ever a fan - she didn't even get the magazine that the DC appeared on correct. It was Entertainment Weekly.

Aside from that, if you liked the music before, then you'll like the new music. It is fantastic. This coming from a Republican who disagreed with Natalie's comments.

Put aside your petty differences to their political leanings and buy the new cd simply for the music. That's what it is all about.

Would it be indiscreet for ... (Below threshold)

Would it be indiscreet for me to mention Neil Young's new album? I suspect it will make some people here appreciate the Dixie Chicks a little more...

After retiring from the Arm... (Below threshold)

After retiring from the Army 6 years ago I went into the retail business in my favorite tourist town.

An analogy would be if someone purchased something from me and that person was wearing an anti-war button. I would thank them for their purchase and then what if I go on to tell them how stupid I thought they were for their beliefs.

Get a clue Dixie Chicks, you don't insult your customers and then ask them to "Come back again".

These "chicks" sound like dingbats anyway, especially when they can't distinguish between what is freedom of speech and insulting your customers.

I don't care to hear the Di... (Below threshold)

I don't care to hear the Dixie Chicks pontificate on politics any more than I want to hear Rumsfeld or Pelosi sing.

I'd love to hear Condelezza... (Below threshold)

I'd love to hear Condelezza Rice play piano! But I'm not really wild about John Ashcroft's singing...

Hmmm.Personally I ... (Below threshold)


Personally I prefer entertainers to entertain. I'm generally uninterested in the political or social opinions of most people, let alone entertainers.

As for the DC's attack on Bush. Frankly I think it would be largely irrelevant except that it annoys their primary fan demographic. That and I'm pretty tired myself of people apologising to Europeans for America.

Bill, Sorry for the ... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Sorry for the wrong magazine name. I never bought the magazine, just saw it on television, but I do, in fact own all the Chicks' CDs except for this new one and both me and my daughters know every word to every song. I also introduced many of my friends that did not like country music to the Dixie Chicks (in their pre-political statement days) and won them some new fans. It is hard for me to listen to Natalie Maines sing now without thinking of all the ignorant and arrogant things she has said over the past few years. (Remember the FUTK incident?) As for the new CD, I have only heard the new single about them not being ready to make nice or whatever, and the Lullaby song that was played on the season finale of Medium this week. Both songs sounded incredibly boring to me, nothing like the music they did before they became political statements.

Will somebody please remove... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Will somebody please remove the fish hooks firmly implanted in mouth of Time magazine? "Radical chicks"? LOL. Boy, did someone at Time's editorial department fall for the PR release from the Chicks label. I actually laughed out loud in line at the grocery store last night when I saw this cover! (Much to the chagrin of my wife.)

Seriously, who takes them seriously as a socio-political, er, band? (I know you're laughing, so stop.) And country band? There's another laugher!

Here's Nashville' recipe for success: Find a couple of hot white girls--like the Chicks (exception: Maines) or Twain or Faith Hill--put the occasional slide guitar into a song or a solo, a twangy pitch here and there, some down-home sounding lyrics and, presto, you've got your country music star.

Note to Chicks: I'm free to hate your music and your lousy, misguided, petulant and uneducated points of view as you are free to bash the President. It cuts both ways, girls. And if it hurts? Tough cookies, sweethearts.

(Yes, I'm annoyed.)

P.S. I've got a helluva lot more respect for Bono who goes about his crusades with a lot more dignity, diplomacy, class, passion and, yes, Faith. And his music's a helluva lot better than Chicks could ever hope to be.

I'll also add one more thin... (Below threshold)

I'll also add one more thing that people seem to have forgotten. I believe it was last year, when Natalie pouted to some magazine that the Chicks were no longer a country group but becoming a rock group. Country fans were just too backward to appreciate them. Interesting that they've now put out country album. Perhaps they realized that rock fans just aren't interested in their caterwauling?

Well, I used to be a country DJ (on actual radio stations, in Idaho & Pennsylvania). I can assure anyone that country fans are among the most intelligent folks around. They may not phrase things the way college snobs would like, but I can assure you that they understand national & foreign policy, trade policy, etc. Why? Because they're the farmers & ranchers affected by trade policy, while their children are the ones serving this country (so that Natalie & co. can make their millions while whining about those same service people). Another thing I can assure you is that country fans do NOT like to be dissed. I was a DJ when Anne Murray was one of the biggest stars going. She could have sung the phone book & people would have bought it. Then she decided she wanted to be Disco Diva Anne & recorded an album with David Foster producing. Absolute disaster! She came running back to country after that, but her career never recovered. It's one thing to have a country album cross over (Garth Brooks used to all the time, as have Faith Hill & others). It's another to actively turn your back on your loyal fans. The Chicks are discovering the same thing. They've dissed their fans one too many times. But I'll bet they blame the failure of their album on Bush, somehow.

My Dad was a HUGE DC fan </... (Below threshold)

My Dad was a HUGE DC fan

But he ain't no more - He hasn't spent one red cent on them since their little rant overseas - As for me, I could care less. didn't buy their music before and sure as hell ain't gonna start now.

I'm not about to give Bono ... (Below threshold)

I'm not about to give Bono OR Geldorf any "musicality points," but I have the utmost respect for the way they have put their beliefs and concerns into practice. They have actually tried to DO things. In Geldorf's case, when he found the things he had tried didn't work, he was honest enough to acknowledge it and to find out WHY they didn't. As a result, his current efforts are better focused.

All the Ditsy Clucks wanted to do was spout trendy-lefty slogans, figuring they would gain invitations to parties higher up the food chain than they could before. They didn't want to DO anything. None of them ever showed up at an antiwar protest, for example, until well after it was apparent they had alienated their country audience.

The only heavy lifting being done is by the roadie who has to put Maines back on the bus.

As others have said, here and elsewhere, if you go out of your way to insult your customers, don't be surprised if they shop elsewhere in the future. There is only one Soup Nazi who could get away with that . . . and the DC's broth is rather thin {unlike their lead singer} . . .

The Dyksie Chips are not Ar... (Below threshold)

The Dyksie Chips are not Artists! they are angry activists who sing like Banshees and pontificate like Striesand..

Most of the time I listen t... (Below threshold)

Most of the time I listen to Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai. Guitars never get political. They just bend notes, not the truth.

Chix were NOT nekkid in Ent... (Below threshold)

Chix were NOT nekkid in Entertainment Weakly; they were airbrushed (literally) up the wazoo! Laura Ingram & Ann Coulter both pointed it out. Chix pretend to have balls, but, on close examination, they girdle their loins & not gird them.

I didn't realize that they ... (Below threshold)

I didn't realize that they were airbrushed. It also explains the "not airbrushed" on this knock-off this.

How appropriate! what else ... (Below threshold)

How appropriate! what else would make an Airhead complete then Air-brushing?

They should change their na... (Below threshold)

They should change their name to "Hixi Pigs".

I think most of the stories... (Below threshold)

I think most of the stories that are coming out, now, about the Dixie Chicks, are missing the boat.

I didn't care for what was said in England, wrong place, wrong time. However, I also think that they have suffered for it, for three years.

While all of the stories point to that, and how "brave" the Chicks are, to stand up for what they believe, none of the stories that I have read mention their recent insults to Country Music fans.

They don't want to have fans like Toby or Reba (a pretty large group of people). They came to realize how stereotypical the country fan is. They don't want to consider themselves "country" anymore.

Fine, even the country fans that may be willing to forgive what was said three years ago, isn't likely to feel compelled to buy their album, after statements like that.

Yet, according to most of the stories, it's all about the fans, and three years ago. What about statements made now!

Personally, I think that what they are doing is a very business oriented decision. They say that they don't want to be "country" anymore. Although I haven't heard the new album, if is usually described as "California Rock". I believe that they are using all this publicity to reach out to the "California Rock" crowd, rather than the country fans. They are hoping that their insults will bring a new group of fans, those that look down on country fans, as they morph into a rock act.

I doubt the DC really care ... (Below threshold)

I doubt the DC really care what you think anyway.

Exactly. They don't care w... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Exactly. They don't care what any country music fans think of their music anymore. Therein lies the problem. Maybe they will do really well with their new rock audience. I just want to listen to music, not buy some political agenda. I get enough politics elsewhere.

You weak, feeble-minded per... (Below threshold)
You must be weakminded:

You weak, feeble-minded person.

Three girls who happen to disagree with your political views and have the guts to say it have SO upset you that you need to caste them out for eternity, for their betrayal to what you call "their audience".

Which part of the constitution covering free speech is confusing to you?

Why do you hate America so much?

The country music kingdom i... (Below threshold)

The country music kingdom is just a big good ol' boys network, so fragile and sensitive to any nonconformity that one simple comment can lead to exile from country radio. It is never just about the music with country music "fans". If it was, then why did kd lang also end up in country music exile? It is about conformity, which, speaking from experience, is all the good ol' boy network wants. Bravo to Natalie for retracting her apology, which was not necessary in the first place. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go to Amazon.com to get my new DC album (since I cannot get it at any store in town since they are all sold out!)






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