Honestly, the need to be a smart-ass dickhead always surpasses the need to be a sweetheart, but the truth is, I don’t care about what you listen to and I am sure there is a ton of country music that I would love. I love Johnny Cash, and he was country, so I am half full of shit. I just love to tease.
You have to consider how I grew up. I was skater/surfer from Orange County California in the 90s. Listening to “grunge rock” was not cool even back then, in the crowds I hung in, so “My achy breaky heart” was downright comical and you’d lose friends and women if you listened to that crap. Garth Brooks and all the country stuff that came out back then was just pathetic, and when I hear it now, I still think it is.
We listened to Guttermouth, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Operation Ivy, Janes Addiction, and the Pennywise. Even Pearl Jam was frowned upon.
As I got older, my music tastes were refined into a much deeper appreciation for quality musicians such as Tool’s Danny Carey, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, and Frank Black of the Pixies. This appreciation got even more deep with good bass lines like in Primus, 311, and Weezer, and for whatever reason, country music places very little emphasis on the bass guitar, which happens to be my favorite instrument to hear.
So for music to be good to me, or good enough for me to listen to the entire album, it needs to include talent, a general anti-authority attitude, and passion, in a beautiful symbiosis that becomes art. Music to me is the best art there is.
Johnny Cash was an artist. He was all heart. He was rare, country or not.
And at my age, I am yet to find much country music that I consider art. Some exists, for sure. But just like pop and R&B, most of it is just commercial, money-generating garbage I’d rather not allow into my ears.
So enjoy your Luke Bryan concert. I checked his tour dates. 311 happens to be touring in the same areas coming up. I suggest you treat yourself to both experiences. Watch P-Nut and the audience reactions. Watch people single along and move and lose their minds in a full-body dopamine rush.
Rock blows country music away in so many ways it’s hard to count them. It blows away punk. It blows away rap. It blows away everything. When done right, it is all heart.