The Kacey Musgraves Kerfuffle


In case you missed the memo, Kacey Musgraves’s new album was disqualified for the country music Grammy because it wasn’t country enough, despite her working with the same damn people she always has.

I don’t want to debate the issue. Because the Grammys are irrelevant. If they meant anything, their ratings would be sky high instead of bottom barrel. Nobody cares, it’s just a circle jerk for those sucking the at the tit of the organization and the wankers unknown by most people whose self-image is burnished by winning these crappy little trophies, physical in a world of digital, where the fake merch you buy for your videogame has more value. Real artists take no pride in awards. Because if you’re really pushing the envelope, organizations don’t give you your due until way after the fact. And art is not a competition. Then again, there are people invested in every tiny little niche, so I guess these males, and they are males, can live in their John Gruden world unfettered but they keep on committing these faux pas that draw attention to the inherent flaws of the generation.

Last year it was the Weeknd. He had the biggest record of the year and wasn’t nominated. THAT became the story. If he’d just been nominated and even won no one would have cared. But by being EXCLUDED, it was a big story, that ran for months, now everybody knows who the Weeknd is, everybody who cares was drawn to listening to “Blinding Lights” in a world where the history of recorded music is at one’s fingertips.

Do most Americans know Kacey Musgraves? NO WAY!

Most Americans don’t know anybody these days, except for maybe Donald Trump. This is the fallacy of the entertainment business. Everything is smaller than ever before. Look at TV ratings. Check the numbers for the networks. They’re less than A TENTH of what they were in their heyday, there’s just too much in the channel, and it’s even WORSE in music. So, you can make yourself feel good by hiring a PR company and getting ink in dead tree media that means nothing, or manipulate the “Billboard” chart by releasing signed CDs to people who don’t have CD players, but unless you’re the artist or the purchaser, no one cares whatsoever, NO ONE! No one cares what the number one television show is, nor the number one musical artist. That’s so last century. But the media loves charts, rankings… Today it’s all about the individual, their vertical, until there’s a train-wreck.

Like Donald Trump.

Like this Kacey Musgraves kerfuffle.

Kacey Musgraves is uber-talented. My only complaint is the endless plastic surgery/fillers/who knows what. She was a very cute woman who is now trying to achieve conventional beauty and ruining her appeal. It’s dangerous to even say this, but I’m sick and tired of women who change their looks, often permanently, to appeal to people who ultimately find it a turn-off. It seems women are doing their best to impress other women, because they’re certainly not impressing the men. And in this politically correct world one can’t even say this, even though I just did. Musgraves’s music is so honest, I wish she were happy, satisfied, with her God-given looks, which are better than almost all of the population’s to begin with!

But John Lennon urged us to give him some truth, and then Jack Nicholson told us we couldn’t handle the truth and then Leonard Cohen told us everybody knows the truth but in the end, truth is taboo, we have to deny it exists, to keep everybody happy.

Anyway, Musgraves’s latest album, “star-crossed,” is quite good. It’ll turn your head when you hear it, you’ll want to play the whole thing in a world where you can usually not even make it through the single. Is it her best work, is it great work? We can debate that all day long, but in a world of flotsam and jetsam it stands out.

On Spotify, all of “star-crossed”‘s tracks have over a million plays. One has ten million. Sounds impressive until you compare it to the hits, which have triple digit millions, can even have a billion. Actually, Kacey has two tracks over a hundred million streams, and one very close to that number, from her previous LP, 2018’s “Golden Hour.” But rather than repeat the formula, Kacey continued to push the envelope, into new territory, and for this she is being PUNISHED!

Isn’t this what we want from artists, to stretch? Instead, the Grammys keep rewarding those who stay in their lane and repeat themselves, they hew to conventional wisdom, and that’s got nothing to do with art.

In a changing environment. They rap in country songs and have soul singers in country songs and some of these even cross over to pop…that’s the world we live in, especially amongst the younger generation, the genres have blurred. But no, in Grammyworld, they’re defined. You’d better not put a fiddle on your rock record, you’ll be excommunicated from the category!

And the truth is the hype on Kacey Musgraves’s new album has been monumental, there’s been a story in every outlet known to man, but it’s definitely not working, the streams are not there, they’re not commensurate. Because the public knows it’s hype and no longer trusts it. I was aware of the hype, I’ve even seen Kacey Musgraves twice live, but I didn’t listen to it, and then I heard a track from “star-crossed” on a playlist from someone I respect and it stood out from every other track, it was a cut above, I had to listen to it again, then I had to listen to the album, I almost wrote about it, didn’t, BUT NOW I AM! Because the Grammy organization messed with her!

Unlike the Weeknd, Musgraves didn’t get her knickers in a twist, she just posted a pic on Instagram giving the middle finger. That’s where you speak today, on social media, Musgraves is young and gets it, the old men at the Grammy organization are still clueless. Let’s see, Harvey Mason, Jr. has 13,100 followers on Twitter, Kacey Musgraves has 977,300. Harvey Mason, Jr. has 26,500 followers on Instagram, Kacey Musgraves has 2,300,000. I ask you, who has the power here? THE ARTIST! The way it was before Clive Davis and Tommy Mottola tried to tell us they were the stars. It hasn’t been this way since the seventies, the artists are in charge.

But that does not mean each and every one of them can gain traction.

But when you pour gasoline on the fire they’ve created, a conflagration can transpire. Now the story is how out of touch the Grammy organization is, by time it burns out, the story will have been EVERYWHERE! More and more people will check out Kacey’s music to form their own opinion, just like they did with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” which was deemed not country enough!

Categories are BS. Kacey Musgraves wasn’t promoting “star-crossed” based on category, it was just music. The Lil Nas X country kerfuffle was a manipulated story proffered by the establishment, it was not like any country radio stations had decided not to play it, THEY WEREN’T EVEN AWARE OF IT!

So now Lil Nas X’s career is all about spectacle, the music is secondary.

But with Kacey Musgraves the music is still primary. And when people go to check it out, a number will be intrigued. People will become fans. Her career will be enhanced, embellished, all because the Grammy organization is out of touch, not living in today’s musical reality, and doubling-down on the inanity. Didn’t the music business learn its lesson twenty years ago, with Napster, et al? If you don’t know what you’re talking about, SHUT UP! Then again, the more out of touch you are the less you’re aware your head is up your butt and you put yourself in the spotlight to be made fun of.

Let’s say “star-crossed” was nominated in the country category. It probably wouldn’t win, based on the number of streams, but even if it did, who exactly would be complaining? Not the rest of Nashville, because they know the Grammys are irrelevant, that it’s all about the CMAs. That’s right, country has its own awards show. Meanwhile, every other musical genre wants to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And you wonder why all these organizations have lost credibility.

This is no movie.

But that’s what the best art is. Like Kacey Musgraves’s song:

“If this was a movie
I’d be surprised
Hearing your car
Coming up the drive
And you’d run up the stairs
You’d hold my face
Say we’re being stupid
And we’d fall back into place
If this was a movie
If this was a movie”

“If This Was a Movie..”:

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