Yeah, Toby Keith got pretty jingoistic for a pretty good stretch. But lately over the last 3 years he's gone back to material similar to his pre-9/11 catalog and really dialed down the "America YEAH!" schtick.

I chalk this one up to Brad Paisley either taking some really bad advice or trying to do good and going about it in a completely ass-backwards way. He's human, he screwed up, but it isn't like he's made a pattern out of it.

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The Wall Drug of the South.

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Or maybe he doesn't think that every song written in the first person has to be absolutely autobiographical.

Make no mistake, I think these are very clunky and badly-written lyrics, but people do sometimes write from a borrowed point of view.

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This is the second time I've heard of the Shaggs, both via Wonkette. So, I've just bought the album, and I'm happier than a pig in a nice clean sty. A+ music blog, would take advice again.

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I'm going to have to take modest exception to your second sentence. While it is true that the original Lynyrd Skynyrd did do "Sweet Home Alabama" ¹, they also did "Saturday Night Special" and "That Smell" and "Gimme Three Steps" and "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" and "The Needle and the Spoon" and "Gimme Back My Bullets". And, of course, things like "Simple Man" and "Call Me the Breeze" and "Tuesday's Gone", and, yes, "Free Bird", which was actually pretty fucking good the first thousand times.

So, you may not care for "Southern Rock", but there are those² who think that the original Skynyrd lineup has some merit, and that therefore a Skynyrd t-shirt doesn't automatically make you lame.³

¹ FWIW, Neil Young is a fan. He has played Sweet Home from time to time. You can look it up.

² E.g., me.

³ I do not own, and have never owned, a Lynryd Skynyrd t-shirt. In fact, I think the only band t-shirts I've ever owned were the Who, Dire Straits, and CSN. This is because I am cheap.

EDIT: Yes, wearing ANYBODY's t-shirt with a Confederate Battle Flag on it is offensive.

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My general impression is that Paisley is a pretty reasonable guy. And James has always been up for a little genre-breaking (hell, he did a "Three Little Pigs" rap on a Disney VHS. I still have it).

Someone much earlier in the comments mentioned "Ebony and Ivory". I'm sure they thought it was a good idea, too. Heavy-handedness, or over-obviousness, gets everybody's back up, whatever the subject is. Also, too, these particular lyrics suck. Both of them can do much better.

I'm rambling. If they'd asked me, I'd have said "Do a properly written Paisley song about some particular problem -- veteran's care, voter obstruction, health care for the poor, maybe I'll write a fucking song -- and then bring James in to highlight some points."

The simple fact of the collaboration would have shaken folks up, and it might have resulted in a decent piece of music to stick in people's heads.

Oh well. I think their intentions were good, but the execution sucks.

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One thing that seems to be important in this discussion is the emotional reaction to the Confederate Battle Flag. Now, my ancestors immigrated to the US after the Civil War, so I don't have any genetic linkage; but I grew up in Wisconsin, so I was taught that the Stars and Bars are a symbol of treason. And, implicitly, a symbol of a desire to return to a world where slavery was commonplace.

On the other hand, we have the "Heritage, Not Hate" folks. However conflicted that may be.

Now, there are a fair number of Wankettes who either grew up in, or now reside in, the states that comprised the former Confederacy. I would be very interested to know your feelings about the Confederate Battle Flag. To what extent is it a symbol of regional pride? To what extent is it a symbol of political/racial ideology?

Anybody want to share?

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To quote myself: "Yes, wearing ANYBODY's t-shirt with a Confederate Battle Flag on it is offensive."

So yes, we can agree that is lame. I'm also disappointed to learn that Brad was wearing an Alabama (the band) t-shirt, but, you know, musicians.

It seems to me that there are two major branches in "Southern Rock" -- straight rock (e.g., Skynyrd, or {pah} 38 Special, and bluesie, e.g., Allmans, or some of the newer kids like Alabama Shakes. I like both branches. YMMV.

EDIT: I haven't listened to it, and with luck never will, but from just reading the excerpted lyrics I fully agree that it is a "song".

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Okay, I haven't examined these lyrics, and with luck I never will, but you can't visualize do-rags as "objects of hate"?

I'm an old white guy, so I mostly know a lot of old white people, and many of them (not all) fucking hate do-rags.

It's not even racist -- it's like tats or piercings or too much or too little hair. It's "other".

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I don't believe LL is offering to "forget" about the chains. OTOH, he shouldn't offer to let the subject drop quite yet -- we've got a ways to go before slavery becomes an historical footnote, and not ragging on him over his bling doesn't advance the cause all <i>that</i> much.

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I see Paisley as kind of an anti-Toby Keith. He's taken a lot of shit from the southern red neck bigots for his liberal stances. Yeah it's a shitty song but I'm cutting him a break and yes, he can he play guitar.

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I am not much of a fan of country music, and in particular not "modern" country, heavy on the yee haw, America fuck yeah, God, gunz, et al.

Oddly enough, I rather like Brad Paisley, not least because he seems to have a pretty good sense of humor in some of his songs.

This one, however, I'm not even gonna listen to, because just reading the selected lyrics is painful enough. Based on history, I'ma say his heart was probably in the right place, but oy, Earnest Bullshit strikes again.

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Oh, yeah, I forgot about the he can play part.

This tune appears to be a pretty bad misfire, though.

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Mister Nixon Risin'

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If he starts washing the feet of any rednecks, Too $hort is going to <a href="http:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/East-West_Schism" target="_blank">take away his unleavened rhymes.</a>

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Damn, "Radio" was a long ass time ago.

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