The Chicks Just Drove Old Dixie Down
Here is a nice story for you about a country band that should be one of your favorite bands, even if you didn't jump on the bandwagon back during the Iraq war like a common LIB, just because they cussed George W. Bush.
We are of course talking about the Dixie Chicks, except for how that is not their name anymore. They are now simply The Chicks. They made the announcement on their website:
We want to meet this moment.
That's it. That's all it says.
Yes, there is another band with that name already, from New Zealand, but unlike a common Lady Antebellum forgetting to check if there was already somebody called Lady A, Chicks lead Natalie Maines and her pals Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer checked first. And the band from New Zealand was like sure, we will be name-buddies with you!
Variety has that statement, from The (American) Chicks' publicist:
A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to 'The Chicks' of NZ for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name. We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock! — Emily, Natalie and Martie
That's nice, long live all bands called The Chicks!
Earlier this year, there was some confusion about when The (Dixie) Chicks would be blessing us with a new record, their first studio album in 14 years. They had dropped a truly kickass anthem in March called "Gaslighter" — in case you're curious whether they're in a political mood or not — and there was supposed to be a record called Gaslighter. But then all of a sudden, in April, after about a month of coronavirus lockdown, it was postponed "indefinitely." They did say "additional details are coming" at the time, and said please keep your eye out for news. This is news!
Considering everything going on in America right now, people had started suggesting, notably in this column right here, that it might be time for the band to get the "Dixie" out of their name. For many white southerners, the word "Dixie" has always sort of been just another name for the South, but like so many things in the South, "Dixie" has a history, a very specifically Confederate States of America history. We have not asked every Black person we know, but we suspect Black folks don't experience the word with the same fond feelings many southern white people do.
As Jeremy Helligar explained in the column we linked above:
"Dixie," for the record, is the epitome of white America, a celebration of a Southern tradition that is indivisible from Black slaves and those grand plantations where they were forced to toil for free. The origin of the word, though, is unclear. One theory links it to Jeremiah Dixon, who along with Charles Mason, drew the Mason-Dixon line as the border between four states that later became the unofficial separation between free states and slaves states. Other less likely theories trace it back to a slave owner from Manhattan as well as "dix," a word written on Louisiana's 10-dollar bills pre-Civil War that's French for "ten."
Regardless of its origin, for many Black people, it conjures a time and a place of bondage. If a "Dixie"-loving Southerner today insist the word merely represents a deep appreciation of their homeland, they're probably white.
Yeeeeeeeeeah, as a white southerner ourselves, all of that is factcheck true. And when you know better, you do better.
Now, let's talk about the new badass song that came out with the name-change. It is called "March March," and it is an intersectional anti-racist political anthem for what's hopefully the last few months of the Trump ages. They sing of the Parkland kids, climate change, and following the youth who have to "solve our problems." The video features stirring images of protests, all the protests, for racial equality, women's suffrage, abortion rights, gun control and LGBTQ rights, and obviously, for cops to stop fucking killing Black people in the streets. Old protests, new protests, they're all there.
As the video nears its end, an instrumental outro begins, and with the fiddle and the banjo still going, they Say Their Names, starting with George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, then moving to Sandra Bland and Philando Castile and Trayvon Martin and what seems like hundreds of names flashing across the screen, because there are so many names. As the screen goes dark, the words "Use your voice. Use your vote" appear, along with a list of organizations to support.
It's a really good fuckin' song and video.
The Chicks - March March www.youtube.com
Oh yeah, and there are two lines in the song that made us laugh. "Half of you love me, half already hate me," Maines sings, because WTF, they really don't give a shit what you think about all this.
And as the last verse ends, Maines belts "WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED IN HELSINKI?" That warmed the heart of this writer who'd still like to know what the fuck Donald Trump's apparent KGB handler Vladimir Putin told him in Helsinki.
The record is coming July 17, by the way. It's still called Gaslighter.
The Chicks are back.
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