by Mike Vangel
Because you're a self-respecting human with some shred of dignity, you probably didn't spend two hours of your life last night sitting in front of the TV, drinking White Russians and watching the first-ever American Country Countdown Awards (2014's fourth televised awards show celebrating the country music industry, in case anyone's counting). But if you had, here are some thoughts that might've crossed your mind.
- What are we counting down to? Wait never mind, they thought of that: American Country Countdown is a Top 40 radio show. OK, got it.
- And here we go with the unnecessary hashtags. "#CarrieKickOff"? Sounds like an obscure early 1900s football maneuver, like the Flying Wedge, which got so many people killed that it had to be banned.
- How sweet death sounds as Carrie mutilates her notes, no trace of remorse on her face.
- Tyler Hubbard (the Georgia half of Florida Georgia Line) looks like a redneck Vincent Vega, minus everything that made Vega's character cool. God, I'll never be able to un-see this.
- I wonder how many performers will make Jesus references onstage?
- OK, if they have a bar on the set, I'm drinking too.
- I wonder what Jesus thinks of country music?
- Luke Bryan is up, I've heard of him. Singing about a roller coaster. His twang is so exaggerated it sounds fake. Do they have a machine that can do that now? Auto Twang? If not, I should get really good at computers and invent that; I'd make millions. Note to self: Investigate Auto Twang.
- But seriously, other than Bryan's voice, this sounds like a cheesy rock love song that would feature in a low-budget '80s family movie while our young male protagonist stares off into the distance, thinking about the girl he fell in love with over the summer but can't be with because this is a low-budget '80s family movie and he has to learn a lesson about growing up or something. Dammit, '80s.
- There are probably going to be so many ridiculous ads for pickup trucks during this show. I'm so excited.
- Would Jesus drive a Ford or a Chevy?
- And now Kix Brooks is singing about a girl who listens to Merle. I wonder if any members of the audience know who Merle Haggard is.
- Real talk, why the big to-do about this production? Yeah, it's all "based on metrics"--which is a fancy way of saying they're rewarding whoever sold the most albums/singles/whatever in 2014. Other awards shows at least have the goddamn decency to fake the pretense of judging musical quality (despite the way most charting country songs come off as carefully designed to target a specific consumer base), but this one is unabashedly rewarding salesmanship. Which is kind of sickening, but also maybe more honest?
- I could use another drink.
Continue to page two for more.
- Miranda Lambert wins Female Vocalist of the Year! Wooo! Wait, what is she... She's singing about the joys of being blonde... And that bleaching her hair some more will make her dreams (e.g. bigger heels) come true? That's kinda fucked up.
- And immediately after, a commercial for antidepressants. Still no pickups, though.
- Here's old Kix again: "I know you country music fans hold really high standards when it comes to the artists that you support. There's just no foolin' you when it comes to integrity, sincerity, and most importantly, that God-given talent." I'm sorry, what?
- Reba is haunting us like the ghost of country past.
- And now some dude named Brett Eldredge is singing about girls in Mexico. Except he was inspired to write it in the Bahamas. He knows they're different places, right? Also, what's with country's weird fascination with Mexico? Not the Mexican part of Mexico, of course, only the affordable spring break resort part, where you can lounge on the beach and drink Corona Lights and get away from "it all." Which is even more bizarre considering that country is practically the official genre of the GOP, whose politicians were arguing not two months ago that the Southern border needed to be sealed so self-infected ISIS Ebola warriors couldn't attack the USA -- this despite the fact that most terror threats have come from our neighbors to the North (but they, at least, have the benefit of being -- ahem, Canadian). I guess they only really want access blocked in one direction.
- I wonder how many minorities are watching this show?
- Kenny Chesney is receiving an award for selling out stadiums. Great. I'm sure he'll have lots to say. "Music allows us to find commonalities, and it validates all of our lives in ways that nothing else can. And that's what I love about music." Holy shit, I agree with Kenny Chesney.
- Here comes Hank Jr. to cap off the night. He sounds like a raving lunatic. Like Hunter S. Thompson, but with less to say. This calls for another drink.
- I seriously can't believe there wasn't a single commercial for a pickup truck.
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