Friday, March 20, 2009

Can you say "cognitive dissonance"?

I knew you could...

"I gave up on Nashville a long time ago," he (Pat Green -- ed.) sang during the fiddle shuffle of Here We Go.

Compare that, if you will, to this more recent lyric:
Well, I sure am tired of these coffeehouse gigs
'Cause there ain't no money and there ain't no chicks
It's gettin' harder and harder to get my kicks so I bought a little ticket to Nashville
Cause I wanna see my name up in neon lights, drink pink champagne and party every night...

Don't get me wrong. I am not altogether opposed to Texas guys going to Nashville and making it big. (case in point: George Strait) But in the case of Pat Green it's just really rubbed me the wrong way. And I guess the above contrast is the perfect encapsulation of the reasons for that. He'll stand up there on the stage at Billy Bob's and the HLS&R and sing that line about "giving up on Nashville" and have everybody saying "Hell yeah!" and then turn around and go to Nashville, prostrate himself before those record execs and bastardize his music, compromising everything he stood for? I know he has a family to support now, and that he's entitled to do whatever he wants, but he comes away looking more than a bit hypocritical. (Of course Cross Canadian Ragweed says "Fuck Nashville" too, but then I'd love to have seen the looks on the record executives' faces at Universal South when they heard "Walls of Huntsville" and "Cold Hearted Woman." Or "Wanna Rock And Roll," for that matter.) I guess all of this is to say I don't have a problem with Pat Green wanting to do better for himself. I just don't see why he had to compromise to such a degree to do it. After all, from what I've read the powers that be in Nashville know all about the red-dirt music scene; one would think they'd take its practitioners for who they are and not try to put them through the Nashvegas star-making machine. Who knows? Maybe that's where Pat's heart was all along, or maybe the money helps him sleep better at night. Either way he ain't what he was. I don't think that's good and I make no apologies for that. Somehow I doubt I am alone.