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  1. #1
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Natalie Maines: God Only Knows (single) era

    Some of you may know that Natalie Maines has released a one-off song to coincide with a US television show called "Big Love". The song is a cover of a Beach Boys classic, "God Only Knows".

    For anyone wondering, this is not a Dixie Chicks release - Natalie cut it with Rick Rubin in California. The female vocalists backing her are the Webb Sisters (Charley and Hattie), and the lap steel is played by a young male artist, Blake Mills. However, it is not said to be a prelude to a solo album, and she is officially still on "hiatus".

    For those interested, the single is available from iTunes and Amazon (at least in the United States)


  • #2
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Carrieflattsfan's Avatar
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    I'm actually really surprised that Natalie has released something as a solo act.
    From what I've read, Natalie wasn't the least bit interested in getting back into music so that's why Martie and Emily formed the Courtyard Hounds. I really hope this isn't a sign of something sour going on behind the scenes, but I adore DC and can't wait for new music.

  • #3
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    I sure miss that voice.
    Someone remind me again why it is that country music is supposed to be born of the heart and mind of America and America was built on freedom of Speech and country music shunned Natalie for using her God given right to freedom of speech.
    Sometimes I hate the country music genre.
    Yes, I am exercising my right to freedom of speech.

  • #4
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Carrieflattsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post
    I sure miss that voice.
    Someone remind me again why it is that country music is supposed to be born of the heart and mind of America and America was built on freedom of Speech and country music shunned Natalie for using her God given right to freedom of speech.
    Sometimes I hate the country music genre.
    Yes, I am exercising my right to freedom of speech.
    I completely agree, Patrick. The Dixie Chicks were one of the most talented groups around (they still are), and it's disgusting how everyone treated them.
    I have to say though, I think that had a lot to do with the area they were playing in (Republican state, Bushes hometown, down in the South), and just the fact that it happened in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    Had Natalie made her comments a few years later, I don't think they would've gotten near as much attention. Plus, we had just found out we were going to war- Bush supporters (especially in Texas) were probably some of his most loyal ones & didn't want to hear anyone speak negatively of him or his decision.

    I don't know the reason for radio programmers treatment of them, but I'm guessing it had something to do with the fact that a lot of people were way too angry about her comments & they just felt like it was something they needed to do to keep people listening.
    Look at the way people burned their CD''s and sent death threats; it didn't just blow over, and the reaction proved it.

    Natalie was also outspoken about her distaste for the country music genre and its fans, and she didn't apologize. While I fully respect her for not backing down and speaking her mind, I do feel like the way she handled it hurt the Dixie Chicks in the long run.
    If people make a comment in the president's home state when he needs support for his decision to go to war, people aren't going to react nicely. Add in that Natalie made some distasteful comments about country music and its fans & constantly said she wasn't apologizing, etc, and you've got yourself a mess with some angry Bush supporters/former fans who keep the DC machine alive all turned against you.
    An impossible situation to mend.

  • #5
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I've followed the Chicks for a long time, and tend to see their talent as something wider than their lead singer. I don't always admire the things they say, but I think they are among the most talented artists to break into Mainstream Country in the recent era, and will be a loss if they don't return.

    I'll try to comment on this - if possible, without stirring things up or speculating too much on matters that are likely to divide fans.

    Something sour behind the scenes? I think, yes and no. Emily says she cried at the end of the 2006 tour, because she knew they were about to go into a prolonged hiatus.
    Some of Martie's remarks have suggested some frustration with the failure to return to music. It was Joe Ely (of the Flatlanders) who persuaded Martie to build a studio at her house in Austin and return to performance, and it was Emily's divorce that gave her the impetus for a new bout of songwriting. Their project as the Hounds is something they definitely want to continue - but on the other hand, they stay in touch with Natalie, spent Christmas together, and say the door is open for new trio work.

    It seems that Rick Rubin (the producer) probably did intend the above recording to be for the Chicks - he included three part harmony singing and a lap steel part in the arrangement. It also seems that the other Chicks did consider the song, but decided to pass on it. It was then released under Natalie's name alone, with other artists filling those parts. (I'm pretty sure, though, that the reasons for the Chicks' declining were musical, not a matter of personality or rifts)

    The Hounds do get quite a lot of support from other Texas artists, and are well received in the Alternative Country field. They were guest presenters at the AMAs, played and charted on the AMA reporting stations, and enthusiastically received back at Telluride (where they had originally begun their effective public career) .

    The problem Martie (primarily) and Natalie (to some extent) have with "Country Music" is almost entirely with the Mainstream - they feel hurt that few Mainstream artists publicly defended them (they claim only Chely Wright and Merle Haggard did - which is an exaggeration. Faith Hill defended them in a women's magazine, and Martina McBride and Sara Evans - who are both known Republicans - said the backlash was 'ridiculous' and 'over the top'. They also exaggerate the extent to which Nashville turned against them. Sony, AEG, CMT and even - to a divided degree - Clear Channel, continued to back them. Their main problem was with Mainstream Country radio - especially stations associated with Cox and Cumulus - for which they blame a symbolic internet campaign whipped up by Right Wing web sites.

    Where they go wrong (though Emily is the most diplomatic), in my view, is in stereotyping Country fans in general, and making statements that should be explained and targeted, but end up sounding like an attack on fans. In fact, their core fan base, which was estimated 80% female, and mainly young, largely stood by them - it was, for the most part, casual radio listeners that turned on them.

    I think the Hounds are the active future - but I also think there will be DC reunions, with new songs - but probably on an occasional basis, rather than as a continuous performance band

    (Please remember that all this is the opinion of a long term fan, and I have no special claim to knowing their minds!)

  • #6
    Insane Carrie Fan judes's Avatar
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    First I want to say had Natalie let the criticism die down and kept her mouth closed through it all they would still be a high selling group today -I do believe it was Natalie's attack on the fans that really did them in - calling them rednecks etc - you can't really blame the fans or radio when the attack is against the very people that support you - I think all would have been forgiven though if they hadn't then come out with an album that reminded everyone about what went down - if they had come out with a usual great album of songs I think all the furor would have been left in the past and forgotten but they had to seek revenge and they got it with the Grammy's giving them the accolades but at what cost?

  • #7
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    You're probably right, Judes - but I think we also need to look at it from their angle, in the emotional turmoil they were going through. The point is they definitely didn't want, or see any need, to be "forgiven". To approach it in that way would have meant giving in to the mindset of their opponents. Was that stubborn, unrealistic, and career-threatening? Maybe - but it's also human nature, and from the standpoint of the political point they were trying to defend, a consistent way of looking at the situation. You only need to be forgiven if you're in the wrong - and they and their supporters just didn't see it that way. (Natalie actually did try an apology - probably on management advice - but it was roundly rejected, and she later withdrew it)

    Their most confrontational song "Not Ready to Make Nice" (the only new song to chart significantly, reaching the thirties on both Country radio and Adult Contemporary - and, significantly, number one in New Braunfels, the closest station to Roots Country's "mother church" of Gruene Hall, lol) was not Natalie's idea. Co-writer Dan Wilson thought it up as a title and basic theme, and had to discuss with Martie and Emily whether they thought Natalie would go along with it.

    In my view, their mistake was not in making that song, but rather in plugging it exclusively in almost all their media appearances. I think there were deeper songs - such as "Voice Inside My Head" and "Silent House", which dealt with the sensitive topics of a mother's regrets after abortion, and the suffering of Alzheimer's Disease - and more stylistic variety, including a Gospel song, "I Hope", a British Isles Folk-styled song, "Bitter End", and an Outlaw Country-styled song "Lubbock or Leave It" Yet these were never promoted, or heard by most of the general public.

    Apart from the personal feelings, their reasons for playing up the confrontation angle were probably to gain new support among Pop, Rock and non-Country general music fans - but the long term results of that were relatively disappointing. They did gain support from resentment over the Conservative backlash - but most of that was specific to the issue and not really based on musical appreciation. However they're dressed up, Martie and Emily are Roots Country musicians, stylistically drawing from Mountain Music, Newgrass, Western Music and Roots Rock. Without Natalie, that mixture is hard to sell to commercial Country radio, and even with Natalie, it's hard to sell to Pop.

    I think their future will be mainly as a duo, with a smaller audience, based around the festivals and the smaller club venues - which they seem to really enjoy again - but with occasional "legend" trio reunions with short tours to bigger audiences. I think there will definitely be a new CYH album (which is already taking shape), and a fair chance of a new DC album eventually (but much less chance of regular DC releases)

  • #8
    Insane Carrie Fan judes's Avatar
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    ^^ I really think if you want to remain a viable artist and have people buy your albums and go to your concerts you have to remain focused. After the initial reaction of the country community to Natalie's first statement in London, it should have been left there, the chicks should have given it time and it would have waned as all things in the press do with time - as an artist you can't judge your audience - they can judge you but you can't judge them if you want to have a career, if an artist feels they have to judge their audience then they should be prepared to play on street corners


    I agree about the song Not Ready To Make Nice - it was thrust at the country audience and hence a bad reaction - I feel it was all done very badly for their career.

  • #9
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    I can't believe that the comments were 8 years ago. YIKES!! does time fly by.

    She had all the right in the world to say what she did, but those were comments that were best kept to yourself when you are a celeb and it can do serious damage to your career which it cleary did.

    Natalie along with a whole lot of other people in the entertainment industry weather it be film, tv, sports, music etc... need to know what "Fredom of Speech" actually means, you are free to say whatever you want to say but there are always going to be consequences if you say something that people are not going to agree with.

  • #10
    Carrie Fans Maniac robinannhunt's Avatar
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    I can still remember the comment by Natalie after the grammy win. I know it was curtins for them that moment. Couldn't they let it lie?

    It is a reminder that as a celebrity your politics if announced might split your fan base. Another reason to understand the intelligence of our girl.

  • #11
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    Agreed with all of the above, but with the power of the axe that country radio used to basically "chop them down", there was a resounding messege to anyone and everyone who thinks they can dare question the right wing and still be a country singer.
    The messege was clear.
    Even Carrie who is clearly conservative but has liberal leanings here and there has been watched like a hawk to make sure she does not fall out of line with any "hollywood" ideas or liberal notions.
    The irony for me is simply that country music and it republican leanings suggests that they are the warmest, most caring people in the country and yet their whole belief system is based on "it's our way or the highway".
    btw, I'm independant so there is no need to pigeon hole my "political agenda".

  • #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post
    Agreed with all of the above, but with the power of the axe that country radio used to basically "chop them down", there was a resounding messege to anyone and everyone who thinks they can dare question the right wing and still be a country singer.
    The messege was clear.
    Even Carrie who is clearly conservative but has liberal leanings here and there has been watched like a hawk to make sure she does not fall out of line with any "hollywood" ideas or liberal notions.
    The irony for me is simply that country music and it republican leanings suggests that they are the warmest, most caring people in the country and yet their whole belief system is based on "it's our way or the highway".
    btw, I'm independant so there is no need to pigeon hole my "political agenda".
    Patrick, I am independent too and in fact in the five Preisdental elections that I have voted in I have voted for both parties and I TOTALLY agree with you on your take about Republican learnings.

  • #13
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB172 View Post
    Patrick, I am independent too and in fact in the five Preisdental elections that I have voted in I have voted for both parties and I TOTALLY agree with you on your take about Republican learnings.
    Completely off topic:
    I got your messege about Melanie. Amazing last night.
    She should probably win the show based on last nights offerings alone.
    Shasha is fierce there is no doubt. But Mel has that "indefinable something" when she dances.
    IT was like when Carrie was on AI. You just knew you were watching something bigger than the show itself.

  • #14
    Carrie Fans Maniac robinannhunt's Avatar
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    Did I miss something here? Is Melanie on DWTS?

  • #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinannhunt View Post
    Did I miss something here? Is Melanie on DWTS?
    She is one of the last 8 left on So You Think You Can Dance and she is just breathtaking for the lack of a better word to describe how great she is.


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