[First posted in April 2010]
OMG! OMG! Hysteria Alert — Why Am I always the last to know???
Was listening to the Cardinals game on the way home tonight, and heard that on June 24th in Busch Stadium the greatest thing since the last World Series there (maybe even greater) will happen:
It’s . . .
(Be still my heart)
It’s . . .
It’s . . .
I can’t STAND it:
THE DIXIE CHICKS!!!!!!!
YES — the three most magnificent accidental heroes of the Iraq war years, The DC’s are BACK.
(Okay, so you probably guessed that from the headline. But still.)
Well, for eight tour dates, that is. The Busch Stadium gig is the last one. And they’re not headliners — the top of the bill is some other band named after a bird: the Buzzards, maybe; or the Snowy Egrets; could it be the Quaker Parrots? Blue Herons? (Can’t seem to remember.) It’s not the Cardinals; that’s baseball.
Ennyway, let’s review: the Chicks leaped into my personal pantheon in 2003 after Natalie Maines, their totally dreamy and mouthy lead singer, let fly her famous wisecrack in London about how they were ashamed that the (still un-indicted) president who pre-emptively invaded Iraq, started an official torture program and committed numerous other crimes, middle initial “W,” was from their home state of Texas.
Not that I noticed at the time, because I really hadn’t been a fan. But then came the firestorm, when much of their less-enlightened fan base went nuts and dropped them like a plate of too-hot barbecue. Then I started paying attention.
When this fat hit the shin, the Chix had EVERY REASON to buckle, fold, give in, surrender, yield, hoist the white flag, roll over, quit, succumb, submit, throw in the towel and otherwise sell out under this barrage — after all, they’re not a political band, no peaceniks, nothing but some mighty fine, sassy and sexy musicians, who at the time were running what seemed like a nonstop money machine, which none of them wanted to mess with.
But there it was, messed with BIG time. Yet when Bush — I mean push — came to shove (not to mention came to radio blackouts, gig cancellations, hate mail and death threats), they didn’t turn tail or drink the kool-aid.
By god, the spirit of the Alamo lived, and The trio rose to this unexpected occasion, standing tall for their feelings and their rights as Americans. Theirs was a defiantly real and creatively patriotic spirit that could make a cynical old man cry.
This amazing story is told in the fantastofreakinfabuknockemdeadulous documentary, “Shut Up And Sing,” pieces of which you can find on YouTube, like here:
but if you haven’t seen it–
STOP, go directly to Netflix.com and rent it. Right now. Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect even 200 cents. No excuses will be accepted.
If you doubt me, first click on the link below and watch this video of their song, “Goodbye Earl,” and prepare to be astonished (as well as entertained):
I mean, come on — how do three cute country girl singers who call themselves “chicks” pull off something as subversively feminist , hilarious, irreverent, yet unquestionably All-American as this within the conventions of country music??? You just have to see it to believe it.
The upshot was that they not only survived this repressive onslaught (which despite all the media blitz and glitz was a dead-serious attempt to shut down and completely erase their brief moment of dissent), they fought back with a Number One, multiple-Grammy-winning-Album-of-the-Year stick-it-in-your-ear-George CD in 2006. Here they are in the song that says it all, with killer visuals, “Not Ready To Make Nice”:
Totally cool, but they have been quiet and offstage for more than four years since. And in the meantime, many of us stuck here in the DixieChick-less darkness have been weeping buckets and gnashing our teeth down to the gums.
Okay, as the movie shows, it turns out they all have lives (what a concept) — something like seven kids among them, and decided to live them for awhile. Meantime, that creep who started these monumental fiascoes proceeded to turn himself into a historic national disgrace and finally crept back to Houston under cover of darkness. Fair enough.
But now the page has turned, and finally they’re coming back. No new album yet, they say; tho a greatest hits collection is on tap; and when the crowds go totally, utterly, bonkers nuts for them in June, as they will or my name isn’t Burke Hickenlooper, can more new music be far behind??
Two of the eight gigs are in Canada, the place where true American values go to hide out til the freeze thaws, as it’s beginning to. I’d head for the Winnipeg gig myself on June 22, but alas I think it’s already sold out.
So if I don’t get to one of the live shows, there’s certain to be dozens of cell-phone videos from them online, so all of you and me too can catch up that way, screaming and blubbering in the privacy of our own computer screens, so no one will ever know about the total meltdown of our phony dignified facades. (You know who you are.)
Either way it will be a historic win-win for both their fans and All freedom-loving Americans. God save America, and God save Texas (never thought I’d say that) and if the Dixie Chicks are really BACK, there won’t be much more of those blessings left to come to pass, will there? (Okay, we still need some war crimes indictments; we’re still working on it).
More here, including a video interview with Natalie Maines (and dig her totally butch do):
But after all the celebrating is done, there’s still one nagging question:
Is my name really Burke Hickenlooper ?