Opie and Anthony: Takes a Look at Country

Thursday, January 19, 2006

XM Radio's Opie and Anthony took a look at country music today in a bit where they commented on the top 10 country songs this week.

As a fan of the show, I know a lot about these guys. They aren't exactly for everyone. This is a show for adults that don't get offended easily, to say the least. They are 2 guys that have been in the radio business for quiet sometime, mainly in the Boston and New York radio markets. These are your pretty typical New York dudes that have an remarkable talent to do very good radio. They aren't country fans, and commented today and in the past they don't understand the music.

That makes sense to me. Country music isn't for everyone. No doubt.

Steve, one of the guys that help run the show, made a comment early on in their conversation answering a question that comedian Patrice O'Neal (filling in the 3rd spot for Jim Norton while he is working on a television show) asked about what makes a country song a "country song." Steve commented on that the mechanics of a the songs remain the same and its about the story and lyrics of the song. That is something that a lot of non-country fans don't understand and why they don't give it a try like that should. Its about the lyrics and the story... You have to actually listen to the music for awhile to really grab a hold of the music at its core.

One thing though I found really cool about this radio bit was the following. First, they gave it a try and really listened. Second, they included country music fans in the conversation and also a couple that didn't. Third, even though they may not have noticed, but they made a lot of good points about the music.

The bit turned into naming the song and then trying to guess what the song was about before they played it. They didn't do so well. Funny stuff, but they were reading way too much into the titles and trying to take what little knowledge of the stereotypes to make their decision. So in doing that, they showed that there is indeed some good songs in the style.

For instance... the songs we love as country fans are simplistic in lyric, though go much deeper. Example was in the #1 song of the week, "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood. They guessed it would be about asking Jesus taking over the wheel of the car etc. (including very funny comments about how possibly drinking involved.) However, they did notice that the song was about something deeper than the lyrics. It has a spiritual connection to it.

Sure, since they were talking and thinking of what to say to entertain us listeners, they missed a few of the actual lyrics. But hey, they got the just of the song.

Opie and Anthony are true music fans and know music. Even though country isn't there choice of music, they understand the music on a certain level. I feel the same way about rap, R&B, and other urban styles of music. Do I like it? No, not really. Do I understand how someone could like it? Sure, I understand the connection between culture and lifestyle. They also know that their listener-base is all over the country and now even in Canada. They know they have country fans listening and thought they would give it a try.

I applaud Opie and Anthony for giving the top 10 exposure and a try today on the show. Sure they were joking with it and having fun, but it was done in a way I felt comfortable with. Why? Because I understand these two crazy guys. A first time listener may not feel the same way, but if you listen to them long enough, you will see everything and everyone gets joked on.