Lonesome Onry and Mean

Lonesome Onry and Mean: Best In Texas and Pat Green's "Grownup" New Album

As anyone with half a clue knows, Best in Texas magazine is little more than a low-rent People, an open public-relations channel for Texas music performers and labels with the bucks to sit at the table. About the only difference between People and BiT is that, instead of Britney Spears or Tom Cruise on the cover, BiT opts for Texas music personalities. But the "news" within is little more than the usual slow-pitch softball stuff and celebrity sucking-up of pulp personality mags.

However, the recent Pat Green issue revealed some interesting stuff not only about Green but about how BiT perceives its audience. The article has all the usual rah-rah cheerleader hoopla, of course, but reading between the lines can be an eye-opener. Out of the mouths of babes...

Take, for instance, this summary of Green and his current album, What I'm For. Writer Greg Barr describes Green as "now making a name for himself on the pop-country Nashville scene." I remember less than ten years ago, any self-respecting Texas music practitioner would scream "fuck Nashville" at the very suggestion that anything good could ever come out of Music City. Barr and Green engage in a twisted dialogue about how going Nashville pop-country is not "selling out." Believe me, it's a moving target.

Barr goes on to inform us that Green changed up things for his new album, bringing in a new producer, different writing partners, and, ahem, "introduced some more grownup themes in the lyrics."

Well, thanks, Pat, for admitting what some of us have been saying for years: that your music had about as much depth as a wading pool, and that your audience was equally shallow. No wonder former President W, never known for his critical thinking or his support of the arts, played Green's terminally banal "Wave on Wave" at his inaugural.

Thank God we won't be experiencing that again. As a local honky-tonker once pointedly asked me about "Wave on Wave," "Ain't there one of you goddamn idiots in the music press that sees Green is ripping off Cher?"

Not to worry, sir. Green is a deeper artist now, writing with "more grownup themes in his lyrics." I know it's true - it says it right there in Best in Texas.

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William Michael Smith