24
Jul 03

Brad Paisley-Celebrity

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Brad Paisley-Celebrity

Brad Paisley’s hot new single (number 4 on Billboard Modern Country Charts), Celebrity, is kissing cousin to the Buck Owens classic Act Naturally,which was a cover of a Beatle’s tune, the only problem is that no one has seemed to parse the layers of artifice that mark these calls for authenticity. Its an irony country often does but rarely notes. In Act Naturally, the only way to gain the material success he may desire is to play at being natural. The authenticity required of a country singer is made a fool of, realized that it is as fake as anything else, that by the mere act of performance one loses any naturalism. But that was then, and now when everyone is expected to perform, when Andy Warhols 15 minutes are held more dear the most of the ammendments of the constitution, the concern is for something different.
Its an old complaint now, that you do not need to do anything to be famous, that content is gone and it has replaced with shiny suits and reality television–soon their will be a prefab star for every demographic but what is weird is how hurt he feels. There was a program called Nashville Star, but it was pure cult, and none of the contestants got movies or made it to the charts. Just like Buck Owens was noting the irony of performance in his age, Paisely is noting the irony in his.
But i am less convinced of Paisleys, as i noted before, his delivery is so angry and snarling that it smacks of sour grapes and desperation. The traditional Nudie suit wearing, discovered by Dolly, good old boy that showed up at the Grammies three years ago is gone, and so is the aw-shucks boy next door that was in last year. He is playing the fame game as well as anyone else, and the number one hits come in just as long as he keeps playing the game.

Its old, its hypocritical, and if the didn’t have a very good twang, it should be avoided.

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