Everyone has a reason they like a certain band, song or style of music. For those who can concoct a real answer and not just a simple, “it’s cool,” that answer can be an elaborate look inside their mentality and more importantly, their personality. 73% of the time, for me, it’s about the lyrics. I can’t lie and say it’s a full 100% because I am a sucker for a cheesy pop song and will sing you Carly Rae Jepsen at the drop of a hat, and I also have a liking for songs about lost love even though I’m destined to be that “forever alone” dudette.
This leads me to the whole point of this piece I wrote mainly out of boredom one night as Blanche and my other Golden Girls acted as my BFFs. I grew up on Country music and appreciate the simplicity of not only the storytelling, but the heart of said stories. Yes, there are songs in Country that are downright silly, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” really? But there are songs like that in every single genre. Look at Hip-Hop, you have the poetry of 2Pac and then the full on idiocracy of Lil’ Wayne. The same goes for my personal favorite, rock.
Rock, and every subgenre under its umbrella, has a reputation of being badass. It’s all about anti-the norm, bashing politics, being an outsider and of course with pop punk…relationships. But wait, aren’t some of those in Hip-Hop…Country? Yes, see…Point made. In the end all music is the same, just set to a different beat…Those Punk Goes Series proves that shit.
I just wanted to point out five Country artists who have songs that if put to the Warped Tour mainstays Bad Religion, Pop Punk kings New Found Glory and even newcomers Man Overboard’s music…Would probably garner the attention of those people who sneer at the mention of anything Country.
We’ll start with an easy one, Johnny Cash. He’s already respected by people who love all types of music, and that’s because he was able to make a name for himself as a rebellious man. Who doesn’t love that? Since you can find his tees on the backs of a number of 14 year olds at your local middle school, this takes little convincing that his signature hit, “I Walk The Line” has essential elements that would translate well into the pop punk realm. The lyrics are quick to learn, you can add claps to it and sing it in a nasally voice, and it’d still sound awesome.
When Paramore popped up, it was only a matter of time before every girl who once thought they were the next Britney, would soon trade in their pop stardom dreams for a bottle of Manic Panic to be the next Hayley Williams. So when it comes to those girl fronted groups with sugary sweet lyrics about the ups and downs of boys, look no further than who else? Taylor Swift. She writes songs like “Fifteen” and “Love Story” that could easily be translated into the next We Are The In Crowd pop rock hit.
Anarchy, that’s a big deal in the punk scene. You hate the government, and nowadays whine about it on the world’s most popular site, Facebook, as you sip on Starbucks because your drink is finally in season. No one understands your hardships but your music, and if you think Country can’t go there, think again. Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (Angry American)” does just that. Keith is a loud mouth and no matter what party he’s representing, he isn’t quite about it when he’s pissed.
Staying on the political side of things for a second, the Dixie Chicks pissed off a lot of people when they bad mouthed President Bush years ago. Stations refused to play their music and fans started abandoning them left and right. So instead of apologizing and putting on a happy face, they remained strong and released, “Not Ready To Make Nice.” This song not only showcases three women who aren’t scared of their critics, but has lyrics anyone who’s ever stood their ground can hold onto.
Last but certainly not least is Garth Brooks. He’s a showman, a pure entertainer. His crossover from Country to mainstream was a pivotal point in music history. To not know a Brooks song, is to fail as a pop culture enthusiast, in my mind at least. But why mention him here in this ramble of Country gone rock? No, not the whole Chris Gaines fiasco where he appeared like Chris Angel before Angel was even a thing. It’s his ability to write songs like the ones that attracted me to rock in the first place. That whole “outsider, I don’t belong anywhere” thing and being okay with being different. “Standing Outside The Fire” is perfection for those who feel less than perfect, and “Friends In Low Places (Brooks music is hard to find on YouTube, he’s a badass who doesn’t put his shit on there)” is hands down, the most punk rock like song on this list. Give this one to New Found Glory and let them intertwine with “My Friends Over You” and call it a day.
If you’re one of those people who are hard headed about the music you listen to and fail to step outside the walls you’ve created…I feel bad for you. Take a long look at the “why” you like what you like and explore that in every genre, because…surprise, it’s probably there hidden under your disability to not see it.