Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quick Hits

Some thoughts on the CMAs (from what I saw as I missed some of it):
  • There are some very sexy women in country music--Carrie, Reba, Martina, the woman from Lady Antebellum whose name I don't know, Faith, Taylor, Miranda Lambert, Joey, the women from Little Big Town, Lee Ann Womack
  • Brooks and Dunn still have it, as does George.
  • ZZ Top is one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time, but the fellas really need to retire. 
  • I don't get Sugarland.  Jennifer Nettles has a lousy voice and (as you can tell from the above list) is not very attractive.  
  • I don't like the song that Tim McGraw sang.  It just isn't a good song.
  • Martina and George's tribute to Barbara Mandrell was excellent.  As was Reba's performance.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed Jamie Johnson and Kid Rock's performance.  
  • I've never liked Kenny Chesney.  And Dave Matthews, as much as I love him, is too odd to be let into public without the rest of his band.  And what was with Dave's late entrance.  I was a horrible performance with which to end the show. 
  • Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood did a great job of hosting.  And their jabs at Kanye were great.  Not mean spirited, but funny and to the point (that the guy is a jackass).
  • Taylor Swift epitomizes everything that is good about country music.  She's attractive, but more than that, she is extremely talented, writes her own music, plays her own music, and is a very talented entertainer.  If you did not see her on SNL last weekend, go to and watch it.  She did great.
"Parks and Recreation" has been consistantly funny this season.  I would say it is my second favorite show on network television this season, behind "Modern Family".  Aziz Ansari is hilarious.  Everything he says on that show slays me.

This season of "The Office" has disappointed me.  The Jim/Pam/Micheal storylines have been weak and uncharacteristicly unfunny.  Dwight and Andy have carried the show, and Creed is always good for one great line (tonight, when he pulled up in his car late and was told by Micheal that there had been a murder and he was a lead suspect, and he hightailed it out of the office was briliant).  I hope they work back to their wheel-house and finish the fall portion of the season strong.  Although the company turmoil might not let that happen.

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" continues to impress me.  They haven't lost their edge and the past two episodes that I've wached, "Wrestling for the Troops" and "Kitten Mittens", were top notch.

Carrie Underwood's new album, "Play On", has been a bit of a disappoint ment to me.  The first time I listened to it, I only liked two, maybe three, of the songs.  It has grown on me as I've given it a few more listens, but I would say it has been her weakest album to date.

I've decided to have some fun with the latest Facebook meme, people post what things for which they are thankful.  Most of them have been cookie cutter cliches, like being thankful for family and friends, good health, and their jobs (who isn't thankful for these?).  I've gone outside the box and posted unique things about which I'm thankful.  Here are some examples:
  • is thankful that I can turn off the salary cap on Madden'08 and light up fools in franchise mode.  
  • is thankful for the past, present, and future members of the armed forces for protecting my many freedoms, which include, but are not limited to: hippie punching, warming the globe, eating meat, golfing, and being a greedy, money-grubbing capitalist. 
  • is thankful for the McRib sandwich.
    • The "McRib" update got a "like" from one of my personal blog heros, Jason Mulgrew.  And I couldn't be prouder.
 I hope to continue this trend, and maybe some other people might step outside their comfort zones and will join me in celebrating the little things in life.

My brother-in-law has started a blog, 23rd and Downing, and has been posting about some interesting topics.  He is one of the smartest, most well-read people I know and I look forward to more of his insightful posts about his life as an imigration attorney in Denver.

I have greatly enjoyed this "Indian Summer" we've been experienceing in the Mid-West, and have taken full advantage of the mild weather with two rounds of golf (and a 2-man scramble tourney lined up this weekend) and a trip out to Schramm State Park with the wife and dog.  Here are the wife and dog enjoying the perks of fall.

Now, if I can get Brodie to learn how to use the camera, I could be in more pictures with my wife.

Happy Movember!

UPDATE:  Allow me to clarify a bit with regard to country music, since it won't allow me to paste this into the comments section.

@ Friar Tuck -- Of the 4 songs I have on my iPod by Taylor Swift (Picture to Burn, Tim McGraw, Teardrops on my Guitar, Our Song), none of them can rationally be considered bubble gum pop. 

I would say that Taylor is not the Britney, but rather the Tiger Woods.  While I don't love all of her songs, she is good for the country music industry.  She's shaking up the establishment.  She's a big hitter that has won many awards early in her career, and I'd bet she has staying power.  The old timers are always going to resent the youngsters and how they are taking their industry/sport that they built in a different direction than they would prefer.

But look at how Tiger grew the game of golf, made it into a multi-billion dollar industry, and increased it's popularity tremendously.  Mickelson, DiMarco, Duval, and Els were never going to grow the game like Tiger's been able to do.  Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, and Alison Krauss may put out good music, but they are never going to grow country music.  They're never going to be able to draw in new listeners.  They'll please the base, but for country to continue to thrive, they need to bring in "swing voters, moderates, and independents", and if Taylor has cross-over appeal, then all the better.  (And I'm pretty sure I heard Sugarland singing with Bon Jovi on the "pop" station a few years back). 

A person has to have a gateway into country music, so why not have a face of the industry who has mass appeal.  A new commer has to find someone that they like, someone that they love, to enter a new genre of music.  Then they start branching out and getting into the niches of country music. 

Taylor Swift appeals to the next generation of country music listeners, and is following in a trend toward "pop-ified" country (Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Leanne Rhymes).  The thing I like about country (and rock for that matter) is that it is fairly "big-tent".  You have your pop country (Taylor, Carrie, etc.), you have your standards (George, Garth, Reba, etc.), you have your outlaws (Jamie Johnson, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, etc.), and everything in between.  What I like about Taylor Swift is that she has busted her ass from a young age to become as successful as she is.  She writes her own music, sings her own songs, and plays her music, and is pulling young people to country music.

While Taylor's not even in my top 10 of favorite country music stars currently on the radio, I see her success as being good for the industry.  She is a good role model for young women, and I see her grabbing a chunk of the young generation and bringing them to country music.  And she's doing it with class, hard work, and without being "slutty".  

Unattractive (to me), yet successful female country stars:  Wynonna Judd (and/or The Judds), The Dixie Chicks, Mary Chappin Carpenter, Allison Krauss, Terri Clark, Gretchen Wilson, Jennifer Nettles

My reasons for disliking Jennifer Nettles are as follows:
  • I hate the way she enunciates when she sings.  And her accent is so bizarre.  She just puts me off.
  • In my mind's eye, she is the female version of Kenny Chesney.
  • She's average looking at best.
  • I hate her facial expressions when watching her sing live
  • I hate how they are considered a duo when the guy never sings.
  • They only made it big when they dropped the less attractive fiddle player (coincidence, I think not).
  • They tried to make Bon Jovi relevant again.


  1. Oh how we disagree about the country stuff.

    1. Can't stand Taylor Swift. She is the Britney Spears of country music, and her music is bubble gum pop music, not country.

    2. Jennifer Nettles is the sexiest woman in country music. Her voice is sultry hot. Like the Janis Joplin of country or something.

    3. One thing that irritates me about CCM and Country is that women have a hard time breaking into the biz unless they are young, blonde, and have big hair. How many ugly country music singers do you find that make it big? Not many. How many rock chicks are at least average. Several. Too me that speaks to a lot of image over substance, which makes me turn off country on the radio every couple months for 3-4 weeks.

    But there are points of agreement

    1. Despite his protests to the opposite, the wifey thinks Kenny is gay. And although her poltics can be progressive, she has a hard time getting to excited about a gay guy who isnt even man enough to come out of the closet. So she is not a big fan either. I have tried not to be a fan of Kenny's, just because I am not a big fan of posers, and he comes across as a bigtime poser. But, I end up liking a lot of his music despite my not wanting to.

    2. Love Darius. You should have been here for the Pueblo concert. Stellar. He even sang David Allen Coe's "She don't even call me by my name", and Jamey Johnson "In Color" in addition to his own stuff.

    3. Also a big fan of Jamie Johnson. Makes me feel like I am listening to Waylon, Willie,and Merle reincarnated from the 70s.

  2. I agree with Friar Tuck that Jennifer Nettles is pretty darn sexy. I also disagree with you that her voice is not stellar. She carried "Stay" with just an acoustic guitar behind her. Agree to disagree on that one?

    Also, I think The Office has gone over its greatness hump and is on the downside. It always happens to shows, which is why shows generally do not stay on TV longer than a handful of seasons. I hate to say it, but I would be happy if this season was the last of The Office.

    Adorable picture of your wife and dog, if I do say so myself. -Rach

  3. @ Rach-- agree to disagree. She just doesn't do it for me.
    I could get behind this being the last season for the Office. Go out at (close) to the prime. Leave them wanting more.
    Great pic of a great woman and great dog.

  4. What about that performance by the Zack Brown Band of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"? It was actually the only thing that I saw, but I saw it in its entirety. I really liked it.

    Thanks for the 23rd and Downing mention!

  5. Oh goodie....a bloggie debate....

    1. We are going to have to disagree about Taylor Swift.

    2. Sugarland also has some pop stuff, although technically the Bon Jovi thing was released with her singing accompaning vocals. My wife has their album. I have never listened to it. What I don't like about her is that she has to raise her hands above her head singing all the time. But I don't see how you can't think she is better than average looking, especially early in her career.

    2. Out of the country singers you listed as unhot...the only one I would disagree with you on as they broke into the industry is Mary Chapin Carpenter. And she is more folk than country. I think Gretchen Wilson is pretty atrractive, but she barely got through the door because the record execs thought she was too old and thus unattractive. And, Wynonna is not bad looking, she has just gained 100-200 pounds since she was a teenager. She was cute by 80s standards when they broke through. Of course, the hottest of all the Judds is Ashley. I generally go away from these conversations, as I feel uncomfortable saying anyone is hot other than my wife since I got married. But anyway...

    Did you know Olivia Newton John got country singer of the year at one point?

    You should have a post of your top 10 country music acts.

  6. @ Ryan -- The Zac Brown Band performance was the one that I missed, that after reading reactions online, I need to hunt down and watch. I heard the fiddler was crazy good.

    @ Friar-- one top 10 genre artists list coming right up.