Sunday, August 8, 2010

Country Time

Although I've never really listened to any of Brad Paisley's music, I enjoyed Kelefa Sanneh's New Yorker profile of him. The piece has some great insights about country music, race, and Paisley himself, who comes across as a funny, down-to-earth, and likable guy.

Sanneh pulls no punches, however. I loved this passage, about Paisley's second single, "in which a boy pays tribute to his mother's new husband":

It built to a chorus—"I hope I'm at least half the dad that he didn't have to be"—that was designed to make remarried mothers cry.... The song was a deft and novel articulation of family values, and it was Paisley's first No. 1 hit. It was also profoundly square, with plaintive piano chords and cozy lyrics about a happy family "crowded 'round the nursery window," and the literal-minded music video looked a lot like a commercial for something (maybe a mortgage company, or powdered lemonade).

It may have struck me as especially funny since I've been drinking a lot of powdered lemonade lately. It's my replacement for fountain soda, which was starting to give me stomachaches.

Paisley may also be a New Yorker reader. He's entered the Cartoon Caption Contest at least twice, and his captions are actually pretty good.

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