A highlight from The Chicks vs. The Iraq War
Right now which is the most convenient possible thing you can continue finding us and today we are talking about the chicks yes. The artist formerly known as the dixie chicks. I feel like is a good way to introduce them. Yes so okay. A month and a half ago. I started researching an episode on cancel culture one of the defining moral panics of our era. You're okay simpson. Trial exactly and i was like okay. I'm gonna look into the precursors. I'll do like a little fifteen ten minute segment on political correctness. And then i read like two books and articles and it's like oh shit like now this has to be its own episode and after we recorded the political correctness episode. I was like okay next week. We're doing cancel culture. I'm going to do like a little prelude. Ten fifteen minutes on the chicks and everything that happened three. I know your ten minutes. And then i read two biographies. I found a bunch of long articles. A bunch of old interviews. And i was like. Oh there's a real story here so this is kind of become the two towers of a cancel culture trilogy. Oh that's delightful and that makes sense because the seems like the one where we get to lake cultural warfare tension. We're going to sort of reintroduce characters from political correctness and we're going to send things up for next episode. When i promise we finally get to actual cancel culture. Well such is a maybe such as it may be. But i want us to keep in mind the institution of quote unquote cancellation as we go through this episode. I think it's a really interesting way to look at the episode and what happened in two thousand and three because a lot of the articles about this massive explosion in two thousand and three they all mention this hasn't happened like a celebrity cancellation like this hasn't happened since sinead o'connor in nineteen ninety two We didn't use to have this many of these. this is something. It's so difficult to remember because celebrities have so many more outlets to make political statements. Now yeah so. What do you remember about this. Okay so basically. What i remember about is that it was leading up to or at the start of the iraq war at a concert that the band then known as the dixie chicks gave one of them. I wanna guess it. Was natalie maynes but i. Mike is saying that because she's the only member whose name i remember said of george bush. He's not our president. Okay and i thought that was really cool. Because i had been saying that about him since he was elected and i was like yes me either. That's i like your songs more now. And then everyone lost their minds for literally months. Yeah it was huge. This is an excerpt from an excellent texas monthly article about this twenty thirteen. It says in barely five years. The dixie chicks first. Three records had sold twenty eight million copies their then. Current home had sold six million in six months. But in the ten years since natalie spoke those words none of those records has sold even one million more copies and the dixie chicks as an entity. Scarcely exists yeah. They fell off a cliff after this happened. And i remember that because they used to get a lot of radio play. Yes what do you remember about the losing their minds phase. I'm going to bring up margaret show again because she had a routine about this and about like just the spectacle of people coming together to publicly destroy. Yeah their albums their cd's and their tapes and like having them bulldozed yes. There is a sense of lake. They had achieved mainstream country success and they had to be pulled out at the roots. Yeah it's so weird how you can write a song kind of lake endorsing the idea of murdering someone and then say like i don't like the man who is president right now and people are like. Where did this come from. What is your relationship with country music. Oh i mean my mom has always had country music on in the car and yeah my sense of it is it is a big american musical ecosystem. Yes that has a lot of things that i love inside of it so i didn't get any country music growing up. We were like a paul simon. Jesus christ superstar family one of the great joys of researching. This episode is listening to nonstop music the whole time. That's so exciting for you. It's wonderful and we need to do a brief history of country music before we get into the dynamics of the chicks in the one thousand nine hundred eighty s to all right. Yeah so you know. Genre has a definition but the old joke is that the definition of country music is three chords and the truth is basically a weird bully obeys of all of these different folk traditions so in late eighteen. Hundreds there's all these people arriving to the united states each with their own folk traditions. So there's like swiss yodelling their scottish ballads. There's like german like proto. Schlager stuff like everybody. Has these singing traditions. That they're bringing with them. Pop bands gathers the eurovision song contest very diverse time so you essentially have in the south poor white. People poor black people and indigenous populations. There's a lot of opportunities for these musical traditions to affect each other so the banjo is famously of a west.