Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Support Free Speech

So, tonight I went to a free screening of Shut Up and Sing about the Dixie Chicks. As far as music documentaries go, it was pretty excellent. I was impressed. (I also sat right next to one of the filmmakers. He wrote down, like, every single one of my reactions. It was kinda weird.)

I'm not sure when this movie will be coming out, but you should see it. Some people in the focus group complained about the timeline switching back and forth between 2003 and 2006, but I really enjoyed the way the movie was cut. Especially involving the political aspects of their "controversy".

If you forget what it was all about (or never really knew), before the war started (what feels like eons ago), Natalie, the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, made an unscripted comment between two songs at a live concert in London at Shepards Bush. At the time there were anti-war protests going on in London and she commented on how she was with them - she was on the good side - and that she was embarrassed that the President of the United States was from Texas. (It's her home state, too.)

That one tiny little statement had people burning her CDs, country stations banning them from the radio, and a weird feud with Toby Keith. Natalie received death threats. The red heart of America went a little crazy, as they tend to do, and completely over reacted - basically killing their career. They went from the top female group of all time to not being played on the radio. They were suddenly unpatriotic sluts and they did nothing wrong.

The movie is about recovering from that backlash, not stepping down from their viewpoint, and finding a new audience. The newest album is good. And more emotional and personal than any of the others they've done because it's the first one that they've written on their own.

The girls are likeable and real.

And you watch this film and see things like news stories confirming that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, people saying that the war will be over in two weeks, and that the President's approval rating is at an all time high... and then you look at the world today and how wrong everyone was.

I like these women. They speak their minds. They sing well. They're funny and sarcastic. And they're all around good people. And they also have an attitude that's way more punk rock than country. That's what makes them so great.

And, if for no other reason, you should see this movie because Natalie actually says George Bush is a "dumb fuck" in one of the scenes. The audience cheered to thunderous applause in that moment. It was a brilliant moment. I shall remember it fondly.

And now, to make sure I do nothing else to help their career, I shall go listen to their newest album which resides on my computer's hard drive. (Again, I do not condone the illegal download of copyrighted music. I'd totally never do that.)

End Blog.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Excellent review! The Dixie Chicks rock and I am really looking forward to seeing the film. Thanks for the heads up.

On a side note, I actually purchased Taking The Long Way. So I guess that counterbalances us. Sort of, but not really.