We've been discussing a lot of odd country/non-country pairings lately. Taylor Swift and Jack White (or T-Pain, for that matter). Trace Adkins and Gene Simmons. Barack Obama and Dierks Bentley. Jessica Simpson and Kenny Chesney...okay, okay, we take that one back--Jessica is genuinely country, we swear. Yeah!
Anyway, I gotta say though, the one I'm fixing to tell you about pretty much takes the cake. We should not be too surprised by anything LeAnn Rimes does lately--she's all over the news for everything lately, from singing "Jizz In My Pants" at MTV fetes to being blamed for ruining relationships (including her own, possibly). This time, however, she has done yet another something rather improbable; and this time rather slick.
She landed on the Lollapalooza stage yesterday in Chicago--well, actually the Kidzapalooza stage, which is the "family friendly" area of the famed alterna-fest, but close enough--and did a duet with the Lolla founder (and pretty much the Haysus On A Stick of alternative rock), Perry Farrell.
The announcement that she would join the Lolla lineup (even on the kid stage) was surprising enough, but I wouldn't believe this duet report if I hadn't read it reported by Jim DeRogatis, music crit for the Chicago Sun-Times, a fairly good authority with no reason to fib about such things.
The question lies now: Wherefore goeth thou, country music? It's one thing to see, say, the likes of a crossover-type with some swagger like Eric Church at Lolla. Or Dierks Bentley on the Coachella stage. Or have someone like Travis Barker fill in on drums at ACM performances. But--I'm sorry--this is getting out of hand. No matter how Hollywood LeAnn Rimes gets, she will forever be the lost, dreamy, 14-year-old little girl singing about heartbreak before she's supposed to know about it. Which is quintessentially country, and always going to be a brown-shoes, black-belt pairing with someone like Perry Farrell.
It's cool if you can pull it off. But--can she? She already caught a bit of flak for the "Jizz" stunt at the MTV Movie awards. And I'm beginning to wonder if these "ironic pairings" between rock/urban/etc. artists and country artists are starting to dilute the genre a bit. You know what I mean: OMG! IT'S A COUNTRY STAR UP THERE WITH insertcoolhipartistoftheday AND EVERYONE KNOWS COUNTRY STARS ARE UNCOOL! HOW NUTTY!
Personally, it's kind of funny once or twice, but it's beginning to get on my nerves.
Watch the performance, and let us know what you think.
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