Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This city ain't country

Chicago may be smack-dab in the middle of the Midwest, but that general heartland fondness for country music passed us right by. There are a few country music stations on the radio dial, but none of them are based in Chicago or even Cook County.

I saw a cowboy hat on the dashboard of a parked pickup truck this morning. You know what demographics sport cowboy hats in my neck of the woods? Mexicans and gay cowboys, possibly also gay Mexican cowboys. But not many of Nashville's key demographic.

This suits me just fine, as a man in a cowboy hat is not a particularly compelling image for me.

So how about you—do you live in country-music country or a country-free zone?

14 comments:

Klynn said...

Bleh. Smack dab in the middle of redneck heck. We have almost as many country stations as there are other genres combined. I can listen to almost any kind of music...except country/bluegrass. I can't stand the whiney she/he-done-me-wrong crap.

Otherwise, I have very eclectic tastes. I like everything from classical to jazz to jam band to 80's-90's alternative to modern alternative.

Becky..AMHW said...

My first little junior high boyfriend is now a gay cowboy in Chicago. Though we grew up in an area where there were lots and lots of cowboys, I don't remember him ever being interested in rodeo then...

I live in mariachi zone.

Jay said...

Country music is present but avoidable - one FM station, one AM station, but the Texas two-step bar changed over last year to something else.

And nothing could be as bad as being stuck in the middle of Nevada with only an AM radio the year that Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" hit #1. {shudder}

Linda-landslide14@gmail.com said...

Exported country music makes it all the way to the emerald isle. It gets in the mix on most of our radio stations here in ireland.
Good stuff for the most part:)

Anonymous said...

Orange -- actually, US99 ("the BEST of today's country!") is based in 312 area code land, according to my country music-lovin' south side mother in law.

Minneapolis has crummy weather, but some GREAT radio stations. Three NPR outlets (one talky, one current music, one classical), a jazz station owned and operated by the Mpls Public Schools (fun to listen to the student djs butcher names, but some great programming) and a few independent radio outlets that change formats every hour.

I know radio is quaint and old fashioned in the digital age, but I really enjoy the serendipity of cruising around in the car and hearing something I never would have listened to otherwise.

Sara S

Narya said...

I'm always amused by the Mexican-cowboy thing, especially when I head to Alcala's to buy more cowboy boots (because how many is too many, really?).

Rayne of Terror said...

Downstate IL has PLENTY of country stations, but it's avoidable.

Charly said...

Country music has changed a lot in the past few years. Most country artists are indistinguishable from pop artists. There's been a lot of crossovers from classic rock, pop, and even R&B. It really annoys me when I hear someone say how they can't stand country because it's all "she done me wrong crap." That's like saying I won't listen to alternative because it's only about killing yourself, or I won't listen to rap because it's only about guns and drugs. I just recently moved from Tulsa, OK, where country stations outnumber all other genres except Christian, to Alaska, where there's very few stations, period. What I have found here is that most people listen to and enjoy whatever station they can pick up, regardless of what it plays.

bitchphd said...

a man in a cowboy hat is not a particularly compelling image for me.

?!?????

You're missing out.

Anonymous said...

Years before Nashville had the Grand Ole Opry, Chicago was the agricultural center of the Midwest (think of the stockyards, and the fact that McCormick Place is named after the guy who invented the mechanical reaper). It used to be that the place to hear country music was WLS's "National Barn Dance." The program began in 1924 and ran until the 1960s, when WLS was sold and began to play rock 'n' roll instead (which is when I first began listening to it). NBD was where "hillbilly" music got respectable and became "country and western," and then "country," and a lot of early country music shows were modeled on it. It's where Gene Autry, that singing cowboy, got his start.

I don't know why all the country music went south, except that that's where it came from in the first place....

Jessie

Mona Buonanotte said...

We live in Shitkicker Heaven, m'dear. Not overrun, mind you, but enough to drive me to drink.

Feral Mom said...

Yeah, nothing but club beats and hip hop here in L.A. I kind of miss the twang and 80s hair metal that was the staple of both my hometowns, actual (IA) and adopted (downstate IL).

E. said...

Yes, downstate IL has plenty o' country, but here in my university town, country listeners tend to be outside of the campus zone, while campus is fairly country free.

I'd just like to say that while I have no use for new Nashville shite, I do love Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, and the Carter family. And I went to the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium a couple years back, and it was pretty damned rad (and very old timey). (I also listened to WLS as a kid, but post-60's and thus post "National Barn Dance," which I'd never heard of 'til today.)

Psycho Kitty said...

Smack dab in the middle of the *real* cowboys, darlin'. Got a big "A" for "Aggie" painted up on the foothills and everything.