Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

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pearlbeer
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Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by pearlbeer »

https://www.savingcountrymusic.com/jaso ... ngwriters/


I'm just gonna leave this right here and see what happens.

I expect the 3dd community will have some sharp opinions....I know I do.
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Sterling Bigmouth
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Sterling Bigmouth »

I tried avoiding this article all day at work, but finally gave in and it’s about as much of a shitshow as I expected. I like Saving Country Music to keep up with releases that don’t always get as much attention as they should because of their genre affiliation, but any time it dips its feet into more political matters it comes across as amateurish.

I don’t always agree with Jason’s politics, but I can’t imagine reading his tweet as saying there are NO good conservative voices in music. Are there great conservative musicians? Absolutely. Does there seem to be as many as there are liberal voices? Probably not. And regardless whether that’s how the author construed the tweet or not, calling it an “irresponsible and reckless” evaluation seems like a Hell of an overreaction. The only part that made me roll my eyes more is the comment section, which I admit I made a mistake even reading. Hey, maybe Jason really is a “hack”, and he learned all this from his “unhinged bandmate Patterson Hood”, but what do I know?

There’s another discussion here about how awful political Twitter discourse has gotten, but I don’t even want to broach that subject.
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Iowan
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Iowan »

The guy who runs that site is a real piece of shit. He's been milking the demise of Turnpike Troubadours (at this point my favorite band after DBT) to death for several years to generate clicks. His fauxrage about Isbell is ridiculous.

If you wanted to be offended by the new Isbell song, be offended by it sucking. Lyrics are the only good part.

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Clams
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Clams »

Sterling Bigmouth wrote:I tried avoiding this article all day at work, but finally gave in and it’s about as much of a shitshow as I expected. I like Saving Country Music to keep up with releases that don’t always get as much attention as they should because of their genre affiliation, but any time it dips its feet into more political matters it comes across as amateurish.

I don’t always agree with Jason’s politics, but I can’t imagine reading his tweet as saying there are NO good conservative voices in music. Are there great conservative musicians? Absolutely. Does there seem to be as many as there are liberal voices? Probably not. And regardless whether that’s how the author construed the tweet or not, calling it an “irresponsible and reckless” evaluation seems like a Hell of an overreaction. The only part that made me roll my eyes more is the comment section, which I admit I made a mistake even reading. Hey, maybe Jason really is a “hack”, and he learned all this from his “unhinged bandmate Patterson Hood”, but what do I know?

There’s another discussion here about how awful political Twitter discourse has gotten, but I don’t even want to broach that subject.
You summed up my thoughts better than I could have.
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jimmyjack
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by jimmyjack »

Surely I am not the only one who prefers Isbell the Chubby Fratboy Poet to the self-righteous, sub-Ryan Adams Nashville goblin he has become?

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Shakespeare
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Shakespeare »

jimmyjack wrote:Surely I am not the only one who prefers Isbell the Chubby Fratboy Poet to the self-righteous, sub-Ryan Adams Nashville goblin he has become?
nope

i respect his sentiments but i think he does an awful job of selling them in song. maybe its just that its so focus grouped sounding, or that his overall presentation is too slick for the anger to come through, idk, but stuff like that we wont shut up and sing line in the new song makes me cringe.

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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Iowan »

jimmyjack wrote:Surely I am not the only one who prefers Isbell the Chubby Fratboy Poet to the self-righteous, sub-Ryan Adams Nashville goblin he has become?
I'm with you. He hasn't put out a really good album since Southeastern, and it's obvious the universal adulation of "greatest living songwriter" (he isn't) has gone to his head. How couldn't it though? "Be Afraid" sucks, and I think this new album will be trash.

Saving Country Music/Trigger still suck(s), and I don't have an issue with Jason being outspoken, but he could take a page from Todd Snider's playbook regarding politics. No one has any misgivings about where Todd stands, but he's never self righteous or belittling.

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Shakespeare
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Shakespeare »

SCM is unbelievably terrible, thats without question.

i think part of jasons problem is his political songs just feel like shouting into an echo chamber. he writes songs that his npr audience can hear and nod to without having to do any real thinking, and thats enough for him and them to feel like theyve really done something. theres still some commercial risk to that but the way he talks about it youd think hes pissing on the flag in every performance.

hes a gifted writer, even though sometimes i think too good for his own sake. i feel like he could overcome this echo chamber thing if he wanted to, but instead he leans on soft platitudes. its a shame

Zip City
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Zip City »

I’m not going to belittle Jason for this song or this stance. Lots of artists have let a feud or a rift fuel a crappy song. I mean, name a song more petty than Assholes.
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Clams
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Clams »

It's like all you guys are getting inside my brain and putting all of my random Isbell thoughts into words

ETA: this was posted before I read zip's comment, lol
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Shakespeare
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Shakespeare »

Zip City wrote:I’m not going to belittle Jason for this song or this stance. Lots of artists have let a feud or a rift fuel a crappy song. I mean, name a song more petty than Assholes.
ok but i dont see the relevance here at all? jasons talking about political songs and his own kinda suck. good sentiment or not, its a fair topic in response

Zip City
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Zip City »

Shakespeare wrote:
Zip City wrote:I’m not going to belittle Jason for this song or this stance. Lots of artists have let a feud or a rift fuel a crappy song. I mean, name a song more petty than Assholes.
ok but i dont see the relevance here at all? jasons talking about political songs and his own kinda suck. good sentiment or not, its a fair topic in response
My point is that Jason’s song is clearly fueled by the twitter comments that he gets (and that he feels compelled to respond to). I’m not saying it’s a good song, just saying that he felt the need to address these people.
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Iowan
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Iowan »

SCM has increased awareness of some quality artists that deserved it.

That's all the good I can say about it.

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Shakespeare
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Shakespeare »

the song sounds like a response to a mean tweet. it probably felt good for him but its tossed off and empty. thats what makes it so disappointing

also the music.

Iowan
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Iowan »

Shakespeare wrote:
jimmyjack wrote:Surely I am not the only one who prefers Isbell the Chubby Fratboy Poet to the self-righteous, sub-Ryan Adams Nashville goblin he has become?
nope

i respect his sentiments but i think he does an awful job of selling them in song. maybe its just that its so focus grouped sounding, or that his overall presentation is too slick for the anger to come through, idk, but stuff like that we wont shut up and sing line in the new song makes me cringe.
Shakespeare's a genius.

That's a perfect way to describe his work recently. It is so goddamn calculated. Just like his live sets. Nothing feels organic in his approach any more. It all feels designed for likes from the NPR crowd.

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jimmyjack
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by jimmyjack »

Iowan wrote:[ he could take a page from Todd Snider's playbook regarding politics. No one has any misgivings about where Todd stands, but he's never self righteous or belittling.
I agree with this 100%, and Todd is a perfect example

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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by brettac1 »

Iowan wrote:
Shakespeare wrote:
jimmyjack wrote:Surely I am not the only one who prefers Isbell the Chubby Fratboy Poet to the self-righteous, sub-Ryan Adams Nashville goblin he has become?
nope

i respect his sentiments but i think he does an awful job of selling them in song. maybe its just that its so focus grouped sounding, or that his overall presentation is too slick for the anger to come through, idk, but stuff like that we wont shut up and sing line in the new song makes me cringe.
Shakespeare's a genius.

That's a perfect way to describe his work recently. It is so goddamn calculated. Just like his live sets. Nothing feels organic in his approach any more. It all feels designed for likes from the NPR crowd.
Great take. I think it nails it on the head. Being milquetoast/inoffensive is not the way to write a good political song and milquetoast/inoffensive is basically the exact NPR lane. People who are very comfortable but would like to show they are angry without any risk of upsetting the apple cart.

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cortez the killer
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by cortez the killer »

jimmyjack wrote:Surely I am not the only one who prefers Isbell the Chubby Fratboy Poet to the self-righteous, sub-Ryan Adams Nashville goblin he has become?
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Zip City
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Zip City »

I think Jason can be an artist who is making so-so music that has drifted away from his early roots without being a Machievellian Nashville "goblin".

Jesus Christ
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jimmyjack
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by jimmyjack »

Zip City wrote:I think Jason can be an artist who is making so-so music that has drifted away from his early roots without being a Machievellian Nashville "goblin".

Jesus Christ
His music is beside the point, as are his politics. It is his online persona I find insufferable (this recent flap is just the latest example) and that's what I'm reacting to. I find him smug, pandering, and insincere. The bland Heartland horseshit he's currently writing just makes it easier for me to ignore him. FWIW, once upon a time he was my favorite member of DBT.

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rlipps
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by rlipps »

I just wish I still enjoyed his music. I haven't saw him live since 2013 and it's sad that it doesn't bother me in the least.

Iowan
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Iowan »

I don't think anyone is accusing him of being Machiavellian.

I just think his recent career decisions are more about his brand and making money than making great art. Which he's earned every right to do. As a result, I've lost interest in the music he's making. He's picked up an army of folks who would celebrate him for farting into the mic, so I think the guy's doing just fine without me.

He's not out there trampling people to get his. He's just figured out what they want, and is giving it to them. No one is any worse for the wear.

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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by Zip City »

I disagree to a point. I don’t think he’s making music that he doesn’t like in order to sell records. I think it’s a mix
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jr29
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by jr29 »

I've stopped trying to get into his new work.

I'm also at a point where if I want to listen to a political song I want it to be For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield or Zoysia by the Bottle Rockets. I'm ready for the temperature to come down.

jr29
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by jr29 »

Iowan wrote:
jimmyjack wrote:Surely I am not the only one who prefers Isbell the Chubby Fratboy Poet to the self-righteous, sub-Ryan Adams Nashville goblin he has become?
I'm with you. He hasn't put out a really good album since Southeastern, and it's obvious the universal adulation of "greatest living songwriter" (he isn't) has gone to his head. How couldn't it though? "Be Afraid" sucks, and I think this new album will be trash.

Saving Country Music/Trigger still suck(s), and I don't have an issue with Jason being outspoken, but he could take a page from Todd Snider's playbook regarding politics. No one has any misgivings about where Todd stands, but he's never self righteous or belittling.
He MIGHT be the third best living songwriter from northwest Alabama.

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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by gordonlw »

jimmyjack wrote:
Iowan wrote:[ he could take a page from Todd Snider's playbook regarding politics. No one has any misgivings about where Todd stands, but he's never self righteous or belittling.
I agree with this 100%, and Todd is a perfect example
um.....


Conservative Christian, right wing Republican
Straight, white, American males
Gay bashin', black fearin'
Poor fightin', tree killin'
Regional leaders of sales
Frat housin', keg tappin'
Shirt tuckin', back slappin'
Haters of hippies like me
Tree huggin', peace lovin'
Pot smokin', porn watchin'
Lazy-ass hippies like me

Tree huggin', love makin'
Pro choicin', gay weddin'
Widespread diggin' hippies like me
Skin color-blinded
Conspiracy-minded
Protestors of corporate greed
We who have nothing and most likely will 'til
We all wind up locked up in jails
By conservative Christian, right wing Republican
Straight, white, American males

Diamonds and dogs, boys and girls
Living together in two separate worlds
Following leaders up mountains of shame
Looking for someone to blame

Diamonds and dogs, boys and girls
Living together in two separate worlds
Following leaders up mountains of shame
Looking for someone to blame
I know who I like to blame

Conservative Christian, right wing Republican
Straight, white, American males
Soul savin', flag wavin'
Rush lovin', land pavin'
Personal friends to the Quayles
Quite diligently workin' so hard to keep
The free reins of this democracy
From tree huggin', peace lovin'
Pot smokin', barefootin'
Folk-singin' hippies like me

Tree huggin', peace lovin'
Pot smokin', porn watchin'
Lazy-ass hippies like me

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bovine knievel
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by bovine knievel »

Image

Looks like he’s sneaking into mamma’s closet for her jeans and boots.
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roland
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by roland »

bovine knievel wrote:Image

Looks like he’s sneaking into mamma’s closet for her jeans and boots.
Looks like he's wearing an Outfit.

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brettac1
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by brettac1 »

Think it’s a Jake The Snake Roberts tribute, perhaps.

boyyourself
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Re: Isbell on Political Songs and Songwriting

Post by boyyourself »

Gadgets and one thousand dollar sneakers

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