Bless ‘Em, Blame ‘Em – January 23

statue of libertyBLESS…

Cumulus Media, for launching the first full-signal New York country station in 17 years. Even if you’re no fan of media consolidation – as the nation’s second-largest broadcaster, Cumulus already operates 525 stations – country being back in New York after such a long absence is a big deal.

Mercury Records, for scheduling a March 19 release for Kacey Musgraves’ major label debut, Same Trailer Different Park. Frankly, I think Musgraves has been hugely over-hyped on the basis of one song thus far, but hopefully the full album bears out the promise people are hearing in “Merry Go Round” and makes all the hoopla seem prescient. Either way, it’ll be nice to get more supporting information.

George Strait, for selling 77,000 tickets to his March 17 show at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in two minutes. The cowboy’s still got it.


Lyric videos, for being stupid and a growing trend. On the other hand, at least we don’t have to see the posturing of Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, or Eric Church in this video for “The Only Way I Know.”

Charlie Daniels, for continually dispensing nonsensical wisdom like this on Twitter:

The right thing is always the right thing, huh? Thanks for the moral insight, hoss.

CMT, for pairing Rascal Flatts and Journey in a special Super Bowl XLVII CMT Crossroads concert set to tape and air the night before the big game. Because nothing says “Are you ready for some football!?” like aging arena rockers desperately clinging to their youth… and, also, Journey.

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  1. says

    I get you on the Musgraves hype to a certain extent; I honestly am even kind of tired of hearing about Ashley Monroe (blasphemy!) until I can actually listen to the new album. But then, I also just happen to consume a lot of media inclined to spotlight artists like that. And I would point out that while “Merry Go ‘Round” has been the focal point of the Musgraves conversation (and I think it is pretty significant for a mainstream hit by a new female artist), I don’t think the conversation would be happening if she didn’t also have a promising recent track record with “Mama’s Broken Heart” and Nashville‘s “Undermine.” But it’s her first major-label record; expectations have to be measured.

  2. says

    Dan does a fine job of getting at the heart of my Musgraves fatigue. Great as the single is, we’ll have been subjected to about 6 months of its hype – in high-profile publications like American Songwriter, Slate, the New York Times, and Rolling Stone that often have zero time for similarly-talented others – by the time we’re allowed a clearer picture (in album form) of what she’s all about. It’s a bit much.

    Given that my only lasting impression of her from “Nashville Star” was that of a teen girl modeling herself after Miranda Lambert, the fact that she penned one of the songs on Four the Record that sounds most like “Kerosene” doesn’t provide much new information.

    That’s not to say I have any reason to believe she won’t measure up. In fact, I’m encouraged by what little I’ve heard. It’d just be great to have more material on which to base an opinion.

    Which is why I’m blessing the album release even as I question the hype.

      • idlewildsouth says

        I’m really happy you didn’t call that ironic. Not that I assume you’re stupid, but these days I’ve given up.

        I saw her play a round back a few years ago here in Nashville and, honestly, wasn’t impressed at that time. However, a lot of that is probably due to my thinking “Sorry, Miranda Lamberts already got Miranda Lambert down pat”, but 4 or 5 years does allow for a lot of growth, and the other stuff on youtube does seem promising. Can’t wait till we all find out for sure.

  3. KC says

    I think part of the Kacey Musgraves hype is due to her being on a major label. I’m sure the Mercury Records promotion department is trying to get her name out there. I get tired of it too, but it’s not really different than any other record release. There’s always a ton of press before we finally get to hear the music.

    Definitely agree with the “blame ’em” for lyric videos. I like the ability to stream a track before it’s released, but they could skip the dumb video and just use soundcloud.

  4. Sabra says

    Sadly, two of those George Strait tickets were not ours. Wish us better luck for the SA concert.

    I only know Kasey Musgraves from “Merry Go Round,” which it seems KFWR was playing long before anywhere else, just going off when everybody started talking about it. I was and remain unimpressed; Tracey Lawrence did that song years ago (as “Time Marches On”), and it was tiresome back then. The comparison to Miranda Lambert might be apt; she’s someone else I can’t stand but everybody else loves.

    • Michael A. says

      It’s funny, I picked up on the similarities to the Tracy Lawrence song the first time I heard it too (the mama/daddy/brother structure, references to marijuana), but I think Musgraves’ song has more depth. The sound is organic, it’s darker and it feels like a more authentic depiction of modern small town life.

      I’m in the same boat as C.M. and Dan. I actually really like the song and I’m cautiously optimistic that the rest of the album will live up to my expectations. I’m trying to think of another example of a singer coming on the scene with a strong debut single and then promptly disappearing, but I can’t come up with one off the top of my head.

      Finally, I think another part of the reason I love “Merry Go Round” is simply because almost everything else surrounding it on Top 40 Radio is so incredibly horrible. “Truck Yeah” makes the plumbing commercial that follows it sound like a masterpiece in broadcasting.

  5. Sarah says

    I don’t really have anything intelligent to add to the Kacey Musgraves debate; I listened to Merry Go Round on Youtube once when I saw it reviewed online, and I thought it was pretty good. But it didn’t make me excited for a whole album by her, or even interested in adding that song to my own music collection. Not having a car leads to pretty much never hearing the radio, so I had no idea it was supposed to be anything particularly exciting or over-hyped.

    My main reaction to this post is wanting to congratulate you on the Rascal Flatts joke. That provided me with way more minutes of amusement than it probably should have.

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