The Dixie Chicks – Shut Up and Sing

“Freedom of speech is fine as long as you don’t do it in public.” From Shut Up and Sing.

Come with us back to a 2003 when the US was ramping up to a war that turned out to be unecessary wasted many young peoples lives, billions of dollars and trashed the reputation of this great nation for years to come.

Most celebrities played it safe and said nothing, just did goofy celebrity shit, you know..wearing silly clothes, getting divorced and starving themselves. But not Natalie Maines.

From a London stage lead Chicks singer Maines offhandedly said “Just so ya’ll know, we’re ashamed that President George W. Bush was from Texas. Funny, when I read that on a news web site I thought to myself, “Yeah, me too.”

After the statement the News show and web sites fanned the flames like they do everything else to get eyeballs to sell to their corporate masters, the rabid Right-Wing blogs picked it up because, we’ll they’re thin skinned and hate our freedoms
(especially that whole freedom of speech nonsense.)

This documentary follows the Chicks in performance around the U.S. and London between the years 2003 and 2006. And show the events leading up to the war and the personally, political and, yeas, professional ramifications of that statement heard round the world.

Filmmaker Barbara Kopple brings a real behind the scenes view of Maines and sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire in
dressing rooms, on stage, and in recording studios, and hanging with Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer who played on the Chicks latest “Taking The Long Way”, and a very guru looking Rick Rubin (complete with prayer beads), who produced the album.

Recently the Chicks played at the Grammy’s and walked away with 5 Grammys for their efforts. Was it worth it? The worry, the heartache, The death threats? Only the girls can know. But it must feel nice to know your not alone and that not all country fans are Right-Wing zombies programmed to wave a flag at the strain of the Star Spangled Banner. Some of us actually remember what that flag preresents and can think past simple-minded slogans.

In the end Natalie turned put to be right and 70% of the  American public are finally comfortable enough to agree with her publically. Excpet when Natalie did it when it was not comfortable to do so, it was unpopular, it was unwise for their career and it was dangerous.

The Dixie Chicks embodied the American spirit at that moment, and that’s what being an outlaw is all about.

4 Replies to “The Dixie Chicks – Shut Up and Sing”

  1. An extremely interesting documentary — a classic even. The Chicks are fun to watch, even through controversy. The Free witch-hunt was frightening to watch unfold, even though I was already aware of the facts.

  2. Loved this movie. Stood up and cheered with the rest of the audience when I saw it in the theater.

    These gals are my heroes. Not so much for what they said, but for how they endured the backlash that followed. Every time I see an asshole like Foxworthy or Toby Keith trash them like they’re horrible people, I’m reminded by just how genuinely kind and funny they seem to be in all of their public appearances and in this film. I think it’s a confidence that comes with being great musicians, but also being willing to stick to your guns no matter the cost. That was always evident in their music, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised they followed through in every other area of their lives.

  3. It reminds me of Willie and Wayon in te 70’s when they alienated Nashville and much of the common fan base of the time to follow their muse. The Chicks are more the keepers of the Outlaw legacy than the cardboard tough guys like Toby Keith.

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