Female Revenge Ballads

Seriously what is this weaksauce bullshit?

The semester is nearly over, and I have potentially awesome New Year’s plans, and I am happy. As a result, I’ve been taking a break from the (now seasonally-appropriate) constant loop of hippy Christmas music, and have instead been rocking out to 94.9 The Bull, the Decatur area’s answer to all of your pop-country needs. Since the weather’s been nice, I’ve taken to blasting my music at the top of the Wee Honda Civic’s speaker capacity with the windows rolled down. My neighbors love me.

Folks are sometimes surprised by my tolerance for pop-country (and my straight-up love for good bluegrass). I will be the first to admit that this makes sense. Mainstream country music is often superproblematic. Sometimes, it’s just dopey and bad. Sometimes it’s all of Taylor Swift’s whining! I don’t know that it’s any more problematic than other genres, necessarily, (see Katy Perry’s visually arresting alien rape song) but the problematic things that crop up in pop country are not alien to my experience.

Like, other small children tried to witness at me for being Jewish back when we lived in Oklahoma. So certain flavors of Very Vocal Evangelism (and its friends Rigid Gender Roles and Woo America) make me wary, and they are more present in pop country than other genres.

But country music does one thing consistently well that I think is less of a Thing in other genres: female revenge ballads.

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Skinny Little Dude in the Air Vent

This weekend, I managed to dance along to a room full of people who jumped so enthusiastically that you could feel the floor flex a good six inches. It was a great deal of fun.

The floor-creaking incident happened at the Macklemore show at the Masquerade I hit with a couple of friends this weekend. Given that Macklemore puts together a strange Seattle rap-dance hybrid, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect from the show (my usual concert bands are along the Avett Brothers/Decemberists continuum, and no one dances because of feelings).

Two songs into the set, Macklemore noticed one of the folks wearing thrift shop coats and asked to borrow it. It was duly passed up, and he broke into the one track off the album that every drunk college kid in the audience knew by heart. There was jumping and lights and at one point Ryan Lewis, Macklemore’s producer, climbed on an air vent and jumped into the audience. It is rare that I see skinny little white dudes from Seattle leap from the ceiling.

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