The Hodgepodge: Your Favorite Artist Doesn’t Owe You Anything

The best and probably the worst thing about the internet and social media is the constant contact and potential interaction fans can have with their favorite artist. Many artists will do Q&As on social media or respond to other kinds of tweets at any time. The ability to connect with your favorite artists is awesome, and one of my favorite things about using Twitter. When abused though, that same ability can become the worst thing.

Personally, one of my pet peeves about Twitter are those who randomly ask their favorite singer, movie star, or athlete for a retweet. What does that accomplish when you beg someone to retweet your message begging them for a retweet? But that’s just the beginning, as you’ll see fans beg for meet & greets at concerts, autographs, or even concert tickets through tweets and Facebook posts.

Farce the Music noted this frequently popping up on Kane Brown’s Facebook page. This is also something I’ve noticed on Facebook with a couple of artists I follow. The biggest offenders I see on my Facebook (because I don’t follow a lot of mainstream acts) are Cross Canadian Ragweed fans on Cody Canada’s page who haven’t moved on from the fact that Ragweed is a band of the past. There are those who complain about a certain Ragweed song not being played at a Departed concert or pester Canada constantly about a band reunion. I can only imagine how obnoxious that must be to the singer.

But looking at mainstream pages of Kane Brown, Cole Swindell, or Luke Bryan, you see fans desperately beg those artists for any little recognition or perk simply because they’re fans with a sob story. This happens to the point where some people actually choose to publicly share their phone numbers with the hopes that the artist will call them back.

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Screen Shot from a post on Cole Swindell’s official Facebook page

 

 

 

Other fans beg for perks from the artist simply because they’ve recently lost a relative or friend.

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Screen Shot from a post on Luke Bryan’s official Facebook Page

 

 

 

 

 

These sorts of actions further add to the notion of how entitled music fans feel about their access to music and/or artists. Josh wrote last year about fans who believed they should be paid to listen to an artists’ album. Singers don’t owe anything extra to the fans than simply providing music for you to enjoy. If your favorite singer doesn’t want to do a free meet and greet, or sign autographs, they don’t have to. All that’s really expected is that the singer puts out an album you like and performs a concert you enjoy. Outside of that, there’s nothing you as a fan are entitled to.

Now, phrased in the right way, I think there are respectable ways of asking for that sort of information. “Will there be an opportunity for meet and greet after the show?” To me, that seems like a good way to learn that information without seeming pushy or greedy. But those who say “you should do ‘x’ or ‘y’ because I’ve experience ‘z'” are the entitled fans who try too hard. Singers are people too, and they’re allowed to run their tour in any way they choose.

Don’t be the entitled fan begging on social media. Respect your favorite artists and don’t expect anything that’s not promised by the concert ticket you purchase.

Upcoming/Recent Country & Americana Releases

  • Miranda Lambert will reveal a new single, “Vice,” off her upcoming album.
  • David Nail’s Fighter will be released tomorrow.
  • Also released tomorrow is Big Shoals’ Hard Lessons and Confederate Railroad’s Lucky to be Alive.
  • At the end of the month, Lori McKenna will release The Bird & the Rifle.
  • Hillary Scott will release Love Remains on July 29.

Throwback Thursday Song

“Bubba Shot the Jukebox” by Mark Chesnutt. When I was about 8 years old, a country cover artist at the local county fair brought me and my cousins up on stage to help him sing this song. All I really did was fold my hand like a pistol whenever he sang, “Bubba shot the jukebox,” but it’s a fun memory, and this song is special to me for that reason. So in honor of Mark Chesnutt’s release of his new album, this 1992 single is my throwback song.

Non-Country Song of the Week

“S.I.D.” by Rainsford Rainey Qualley, who released a pop-country EP featuring “Me and Johnny Cash” has released a full-fledged pop single under her name Rainsford. Not a bad pop single, and I appreciate the fact that she’s released the song under a different name from her country persona.

Tweet of the Week

As Pokemon Go continues to take over the world, I like the idea of song parodies!

A Mark Chesnutt iTunes Review

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I’d say some kids today understand good country music like Chesnutt, but I pretty much agree with this review. You’ll soon see our review for Tradition Lives.

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15 thoughts on “The Hodgepodge: Your Favorite Artist Doesn’t Owe You Anything

  1. I think it extends further into a problem of “fandom” and people also bashing people who have a disfavorable opinion of their favorite artist. Some people just obviously think they’re entitled to more than they really are unfortunately. Artists get tons of notifications from all over their social media accounts everyday. The least people can do is make it worth the artist’s time. For example, sharing a story with an artist about their music saved them during a tough time is perfectly acceptable in my eyes. Expecting free concert tickets for it isn’t.

    I completely forgot David Nail had a new album out tomorrow. I’ll probably check that out. I’m very excited for Miranda’s new single. I’ll be interested to see how it sounds.

    Great Chesnutt tune. One of the best artists of the 90’s!

    As someone who’s a fan of William Clark Green and Pokemon Go that tweet made my day!

    “I’d say some kids today understand good country music”……….uh yeah 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, yes, yes!!! I responded to FTM yesterday with this, but, Brad Paisley is a great recent example. I live in WV, where we recently had devastating flooding. Paisley is from WV, although he was raised a little over 100 miles away from the area that was hit. From almost the minute that the first drop feel, people (Including The Greenbrier Resort) were asking what he was going to do to help. Not exactly in a nice way either. The Greenbrier called him out on Twitter several days in a row. Mind you, he had been tweeting his prayers and concerns since the first signs of flooding, but evidently that wasn’t enough. Before the waters had even gone down, they wanted him on the ground, doling out cash. He had always remembered where he came from, but he doesn’t owe us anything. Finally he released a statement that, yes he was planning something, but he was going to decide what was best. He ultimately started a GoFundMe, had them waive their fees and donate $10,000 and he donated $100,000 personally. He also came here, toured, and met with teachers, coaches and principals of several flooded schools. To date, he has raised almost $700,000. That’s phenomenal, yet people are still asking him for money. Yes he is famous, yes he is wealthy, but he doesn’t have enough money to personally finance the rebuilding of the 1000+ homes that were destroyed. He’s done a hell of a lot more than most celebrities from here and for that people should be appreciative, not see it as an in to ask for him to buy them a car or fly then to a show show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like most artists in Paisley’s shoes would eventually do something should a natural disaster affect their hometown. Not to say that it’s an expected action from singers, because it’s certainly not, but many musical artists love giving back. He didn’t need to do anything there, and you’re right that people shouldn’t have been demanding. I’m happy to see that he did, and I missed it in the press.

      As FTM also tweeted, I think Taylor Swift’s multiple charitable actions that have been made public have affected the mindset of some people that it’s become an expectation (in their minds).

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  3. On a somewhat related note, another one of my pet peeves is when many so-called “musical artists” enjoy some degree of broader success that gains them new fans, and then compulsively feel the need to double down on that specific formula by recording follow-up albums “for the fans”: stating in interviews things along the lines of “We’ve got to keep delivering what our fans expect us to!”.

    Whenever singers, songwriters and bands do that, I think they’re full of it. I can guarantee it’s really code for “We discovered a way we can make a living for ourselves off of this, and we want to keep making more money than we used to!” It makes it sound like the earlier albums any act made weren’t authentic or were self-indulgent, and that the moment they become more famous they’re bound to an unwritten law where they have to keep constantly delivering the same kind of sound that brought them greater visibility in the first place regardless if it’s true to them and what they want to record or not.

    There are many examples and certainly plenty in country and roots music, but one example off the top of my head is David Draiman of Disturbed. He keeps saying time and time again in interviews statements along the line of “We have a very large, dedicated fanbase so we have to keep making records that give our fans exactly what they expect from us!”. Which is bulls***. They have garnered the biggest hit of their lengthy career this year with a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”, and it’s an aberration from their catalog as a whole in that there’s none of the band’s signature chugging guitar melodies and Draiman’s “Yuh-Muh-Nuh!” and “Oh-Wah-Ah-ah-Ah!” aggressive vocal cadences. Now, their fanbase is bigger than it’s ever been. How would you feel if Draiman took all of this in and then said: “This is what our fans expect from us, so we’ve got to keep giving them what they want!”………………..and then proceeded to cut a follow-up album where eleven of the twelve tracks are understated, guitar-less cover songs?

    David Bowie’s career would never be remotely as compelling if he subscribed to this notion of compulsively “giving the fans what they expect”. Nor would Prince’s. The Beatles would never have recorded “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, the Beach Boys would never have recorded “Pet Sounds” and Miles Davis would never have recorded “Bitches Brew”. Steve Martin may have still played banjo as a personal hobby, but he sure as hell wouldn’t have recorded music because he felt obligated to stick with stand-up comedy. And so forth.

    Now I do get that it is possible to veer too far to the other end of the pendulum where you’re too self-indulgent to the point you’re alienating fans. The Zac Brown Band’s “Black Out The Sun” tour is a perfect recent example. Apparently, they’ve been receiving many complaints from fans regarding how way too much of their setlist is comprised of cover songs as opposed to their originals. I’ve observed many saying on their Facebook page: “I paid hard-earned money to see you play YOUR music, not to be the world’s biggest karaoke band!” And they’re right that the Zac Brown Band have been overdoing the covers. They’ve been playing two hour shows including fifteen-minute intermissions midway through, and as many as six to seven of their songs on a recent night have been cover songs from The Who, Prince, Metallica, Charlie Daniels Band and so forth.

    But the bottom line is, countless entertainers grossly underestimate their fans. They assume all they want to hear is their biggest hits. And while it’s true many do want to hear their hits, many love their deeper cuts and B-sides no less, sometimes even more, than many of their hits. That’s why I love how Pearl Jam run with completely different setlists each show. I’ve been noticing this with Eric Church now, too. I love how he’ll always have a handful of his hits in a setlist, but he also includes songs that were never single releases, more obscure songs and new original tracks that haven’t been featured on an album yet. And you can tell how many in his shows eat them all up even if they don’t know the words and, thus, can’t sing along with them yet.

    *

    In terms of upcoming releases, both Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line are releasing their new singles tomorrow to iTunes. It’s going to be a busy day.

    Also, Keith Urban has announced “Blue Ain’t Your Color” as the fourth single from “Ripcord”. I’ll admit that it sounds decent and Urban’s vocals on that song are solid. But those douchey lyrics are the dealbreaker and make for what I consider to be the worst lyrical single of his career. Pity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are all good points. That’s actually why I tried to use the word “singers” whenever possible because I don’t look at someone like Cole Swindell as a “musical artist.” I think the best artists find the good middle point between catering to fans and being self-indulgent. I like that Eric Church shakes up the setlist and provides some deep cuts. He, as the artist, should be able to sing any original song he wants on any given night without complaint, and true fans will appreciate the song’s inclusion on the setlist.

      And I don’t mind a cover or two during concerts, it’s actually something I enjoy. With that said, it gets to a point where there’s too much, and Zac Brown Band seems to have found that line. The last time I saw them, I think there was 4/5 covers. They did a John Mayer/Stevie Wonder medley, covered Aerosmith, “Rivers of Babylon” and “Devil Went Down to Georgia.” I honestly believed that show to have the perfect setlist – they had their jam band moments with the Mayer/Wonder medley and “Who Knows.” It was right before Uncaged was released so they played a few off that record, and played a bunch of hits and cuts from their first two albums. There wasn’t a dull moment during the show, and I didn’t feel like they missed a “must play song.”

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      • And you see, they were able to get away with that better then because they still hadn’t accumulated enough hits to fill a complete setlist themselves.

        Before, they would also pull up some more obscure songs off of their independent releases that predated “The Foundation” (“Big Fat Bitch” has certainly remained a cult favorite) and covers to complete their setlist.

        Since then, however, they have more hits as well as album tracks: certainly more than enough to make a show on their own. And especially considering their recent forays into the mainstream rock format (it remains to be seen if it’s a one-time thing or if they’ll try shipping more singles there), it is baffling that they haven’t played either “Heavy Is The Head” or “Junkyard” at quite a few shows. Doesn’t it stand to reason they should at least offer something to appease fans they may have gained at rock radio? It doesn’t have to be “Heavy Is The Head”, but surely it can be “Junkyard” or “Day For The Dead”.

        There have even been shows where they don’t even play the song that inspired the tour’s namesake (“Tomorrow Never Comes”).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t use Twitter or Facebook. Reading the comments on YouTube is enough.
    Social Media is a chance to communicate with an artist. But the artist is not a family member & fans tend to forget the difference between a twitter account & the real life.

    Love the song “Fighter”. David Nail is back on my “heavy rotation” list.

    Upcoming Country Releases:
    Chris Lane – Girl Problems – Album – 8/5 – From the cover to the last “song”…the album is pure dreck. A perfect 0/10.
    The Time Jumpers – Kid Sister – Album – 9/9 (Source: Rounder Records)
    Olivia Lane – Olivia Lane – Ep – 7/29 (Source: Music Row)
    American Young – American Young – Album – 8/5 (Source: Music Row)
    Cody Johnson – Gotta Be Me – Album – 8/5 (Source: Music Row)
    Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Single – ? (Source: The Highway/YouTube)

    My ReCurrent/Country Gold Playlist:
    The Stickers – “There Ain’t No Way”
    Burnin’ Daylight – “Say Yes”
    Clay Walker – “Rumor Has It”
    Gary Morris – “Miles Across The Bedroom”
    Aleyce Simmonds – “The Keeper”
    Ronna Reeves – “My Heart Wasn’t In It”
    Mario Flores – “Been There Too”
    Girls Next Door – “Slow Boat To China”
    George Ducas – “Lipstick Promises”
    Southern Pacific – “Midnight Highway”
    Brandon Holland – “Man In The Moon”
    Adam Gregory – “Crazy Days”
    Southern Post – “Love & Memories”
    Deep Creek Road – “If You Only Knew Me When”

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    • I’m cautiously optimistic “Fighter” is going to be another solid album for David Nail.

      The title track is very poignant and has a lot of emotive teeth. And I’ve been hearing great things about “Home” and “Babies” as well, most notably.

      I also liked the promotional track “Good At Tonight”. It’s obviously radio and live show opening fodder, but it’s still very enjoyable between the energetic chorus, some tasty use of accordion and some thought-provoking lyrics at times in the verses.

      The only promotional track I haven’t warmed up to yet is “Got Me Gone”. It’s by no means a bad song, but the electronic percussion is shoved too far to the front of the mix and hits me over the head in distracting fashion.

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  5. What gets me annoyed, is when you have superfans of artists who will just bash anyone who’ll disagree with them. Artists like Keith Urban, Kip Moore are the worst (note I am a fan of Kip Moore) as I have personally interacted with fans of both artists and I got told “Your an idiot if you don’t like Keith Urban”, like I don’t care for his latest album but people on Pulse and my own life have shamed me for being negative.

    I have to say Cassadee Pope (who I saw in concert a week ago) actually had a perfect setlist for her concert. She played her first two singles did all 4 songs off her EP, did a cover of an 80’s song, “This One’s For The Girls” and “Stupid Boy”. What was also gteat is she performed her album track “11” along with another so she didn’t leave out songs from her debut album.

    But it’s the fans who say anyone that dislikes a song is (insert insult) and says it’s a fact that artist song is automatically good.

    David Nail’s album is one I am cautiously looking forward to. Just hope it’s more like “The Sound Of A Million Dreams” and less like his lead single.

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    • As you know, I was a former Pulse Music contributor but left several years ago when I had just concluded the forum had less to do with artistic discussion and more to do with the commerce and business side of country radio. I felt there were definitely quality contributors to each discussion and a couple of good moderators, but in my opinion there were one too many stifling rules and nagging on behalf of the moderating team that resulted in censorship of sorts and suppressed one too many worthwhile viewpoints. If I recall correctly, it was a discussion regarding a “RED”-era Taylor Swift single that didn’t sit well with me that was the final straw to me in that all the hostility to what I thought was a level-headed opinion kind of underscored how I had grown to feel out of place there.

      Still, there are plenty there that mean well and do exceptional work with analyzing raw data on behalf of radio and have extensive knowledge of earlier country music. It’s just I don’t consider it a worthwhile forum to have an honest discussion about the state of the genre itself. They’re mostly evaluating things from more of a business angle. And with that, you come across a lot of Matt Bjorke-esque compulsive devil’s advocating there. It’s definitely a great character trait to have in being able to see the bigger picture and acknowledge other points of view, but what I’m referring to is just this forced, compulsive crutch towards devil’s advocating that, in result, seems to blatantly excuse where country radio has aggressively changed as “evolution”. Just a nearly utter lack of accountability.

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      I do hope Cassadee Pope can succeed in taking on another commercial life outside country radio.

      Her days at country radio are going to be over after “Summer” is pulled, aside from perhaps featuring on another singer’s record. It doesn’t instill confidence in radio programmers when you’ve just co-anchored a hit duet with Chris Young, milk that success for all it’s worth by wheeling out a timely single accompanied by a video with a moderately big budget………………and all you have to show for it is a current peak of #55 and not even featuring in the Top 100 of the iTunes Country Singles chart presently.

      I’d perhaps try making a run for Adult Top 40 radio.

      *

      Absolutely agree, and I’m cautiously optimistic “Fighter” will wind up as such.

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    • I could be wrong in this, but it seems to me that when these so-called superfans bash those who don’t like their artists, it is a sign that they have fairly thin skin to start with, and that they also aren’t nearly as secure in their “fandom” as they pretend to be. This seems to be true of a lot of the fans of Bro-Country acts like Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Florida-Georgia Line, to name just a few.

      If you are a true fan, and are willing to stand for a little legitimate criticism, then you are in a better place and on more solid ground to respond to those who just bash indiscriminately. But you don’t see that with certain acts’ fan bases, because perhaps deep down, they know that the “product” these guys keep churning out is terrible, and yet they see it somehow as being their appointed “duty” to prop those acts up as being the next Elvis, Beatles, or Garth Brooks, however blinkered and wrong they may be in doing so.

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  6. I am a recent follower of Cody Canada and the Departed on Facebook, and yes, it’s absolutely appalling how many comments they get agitating for Ragweed to get back together. Yeah, I’d love it if they would, but why can’t people enjoy what we have now with the Departed?

    That Mark Chesnutt album is a real gem. My favorite song off it is “I’ll Think of Something,” with “Ol’ Country,” “It’s Not Over (If I’m Not Over You),” and “Uptown Downtown (Misery’s All the Same)” all running a close second.

    Fun fact about “Uptown Downtown…”: it was originally recorded by Ray Price back in 1984, under the title “Better Class of Losers.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s tough to pick a favourite song of that Mark Chestnutt album, but mine is “Old Country,” followed closely by “I’ll Think of Something,” “Old Flames Have New Names” and “Postpone the Pain.”

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  7. Don’t have much to add, but great article, and I agree completely!

    I actually revisited “Longnecks and Short Stories” a couple days ago. Not a single dud among the tracks. It’s one of the first albums I’d use as an examples why mainstream country was so great in the early ’90s.

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