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The Dixie Chicks: Political musicians from here on out?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Maines use of free speech.
  3. The blacklisting of the group by a few media conglomerates.
  4. Literature review.
  5. Hypothesis.
  6. Methodology.
  7. Findings.
  8. Analysis.
  9. Conclusion.

The source for the controversy that has been surrounding the band, the Dixie Chicks, and has forever changed the image and role of this band in the music industry, possibly for the rest of their careers, can be pin-pointed to the date of March 10, 2003 when the group performed at Shepherd's Bush Empire, a nightclub in London, England. The United States was on the eve of war, and three women making up the Dixie Chicks (Emily Robison, Natalie Maines, and Martie Maguire) who had been following the European coverage of the war while on tour, felt at odds as musicians about to put on a show, while as Americans their country was on the brink of something much larger and important. Lead singer Natalie Maines expressed in that she knew she felt the need to let the London audience (who had undoubtedly also heard the news, as there were multiple ant-war rallies occurring in London during the time) know that they weren't completely oblivious to what was happening in the world outside the concert venue, when it came time to introduce their song ?Traveling Soldier??since it now held much more relevance to current events, though the song's about a soldier in the Vietnam war.

[...] Even though it's obvious that there's going to be a little pain or anger on their part derived from those events, Jon Pareles of the New York Times makes a note The Dixie Chicks sound determined not to whine on ?Taking the Long and they focus on personal reactions, not protests. The album is a defiant autobiography of their career, and Ready to Make Nice? mentions the death threats after the Incident. But until it does, the song could be about the resentment following any breakup or betrayal.? Still, he admits that while listening the Incident continues to lie under the surface of the rest of the songs on the album describing the ?country's mandolin and pedal steel guitar of ?Everybody Knows? as carrying the line the things I can't erase from my life/Everybody Knows? as a confession, and notes the comfort or refuge the Chicks reference finding in their loved one when ?Anger plays on every station? and ?Answers only cause more questions? in ?Easy Silence.? Another thing that was immediately obvious to reviewers, was that the new album had a different sound than previous releases from the band. [...]


[...] (The Dixie Chicks Controversy) By the 14th, the AP had another report announcing that radio stations had begun dropping the Dixie Chicks from their playlists, as well as setting up trash cans outside stations to throw cd's away and organizing anti-Chicks events hiring bulldozers to roll over recordings, or in Louisiana ?Dixie Chicks Destruction had tractors running over cd's and kids stomping on them. (Norris; Radio and Records- trade Journal) Within days, songs from the Chicks' album, disappeared from American airwaves. [...]


[...] Although the political climate of the country (and assumedly the opinions of at least a portion of country music's fans, based on the recent 34% Presidential Approval ratings according to NBC/Wallstreet Journal at pollingreport.com) have shifted, and since 2003 many other public figures and musicians have come out against the war or stated their feelings toward the President or current administration, the hard feelings for the Dixie Chicks still remain. The album landed at on the Billboard 200, was the nations Top Digital album, and surprisingly also took the spot for America's Country Album chart. [...]

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