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Tag: Country Y'all! (81-90 of 180)

CMT Music Awards: The Best and Worst

Oh, CMT Music Awards. You’re a night where one man (our friend Dierks Bentley) brings his dog Jake as his date and another (Toby Keith) gets bleeped for saying the words “Long Dong Donkey” while discussing what his rap name could be with his co-presenter, T-Pain. A night where a young woman (Taylor Swift) could win the biggest award of the evening, Video of the Year, for a sweet song like “Love Story,” and another (nope, still Taylor Swift) could close the show essentially stripper dancing while re-creating her CMT Crossroads “Pour Some Sugar on Me” duet with Def Leppard. A night where “Start a Band” collaborators Brad Paisley and Keith Urban actually accept their award from ventriloquist Terry Fator and his dummy Vicky the cougar. Here, a closer look at the best and worst of the fan-voted 2009 CMT Music Awards:

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Best moment in host Bill Engvall’s opening: The video where he crushed Taylor Swift’s dream of hosting the show. You see, her dreams always come true. Cue her insisting that she be in the new Star Trek movie even though it’s already been released and her collaborating with T-Pain on the rap track “Thug Story.” Watch it above.

Worst moment in host Bill Engvall’s opening: When Bill mistakenly thought that the audience would laugh at this joke: “Do you know what Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and John Rich all have in common? At one point or another this year, they all had to be bailed out.” Crickets. Except for in my living room. He continued. “But last week John Rich said on Larry King that he might run for the governor of Tennessee in 2010. It’s not that he likes politics that much, he just thinks it will be easier than asking for a pardon.” Half the audience grew a sense of humor.

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Paula Deen's goat story made my morning

Paula Deen was on the Today show this morning, promoting her new book and cookin’ up a storm, y’all! Dessert with Kathy and Hoda was fine, but things took a turn for the bizarre when she and Matt tag-teamed a beet salad, which starts around 2:35….

I’m going to call this "This is how to tell a goat story, How I Met Your Mother: A play in one act."

Paula: I’m not a big fan of goat cheese… It takes me back to a day, y’all, there was a goat in my life called Thumper—

Matt: A goat in your life?

Paula: It was actually my aunt and uncle’s goat, Thumper, and he would wee wee in his beard, and it would stink so bad!

Matt: Why did you have to do that!? Did you have to tell the goat wee wee story?!

~fin~

I have watched this nine times. Seriously, Matt Lauer, 10 bonus points for hilarity.

ACM Awards best and worst: McConaughey, McGraw, and...Jamie Foxx?

Carrieunderwood_l_2Carrie Underwood became only the seventh woman to win Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday night — and the first since the Dixie Chicks in 2000. Here’s the best and worst of the night as seen from in front of my television.

Best Plug: Matthew McConaughey. I’m not a fan of award shows pimping presenters who have projects to peddle — McConaughey has a movie coming out next month that I’m going to refuse to name here in protest — but at least he gave us a happy ending. Presenting the night’s final award, Entertainer of the Year, he said he had to first throw out a thank you. In 1987, he and his brother took a short road trip to another town in Texas to see a hot new artist named Dwight Yoakam. "While we’re there, we meet a couple of ladies that we’re trying to pick up, right? Conversation comes around to what we do for a livin’, and so on cue, my brother and I said, ‘Well, we have an exclusive contract with George Strait. We custom-make his boots.’ And they were like, ‘Really?’ We’re like, ‘Oh yeah. Say, as I a matter of fact, out in the parking lot, in the trunk of our white Corvette, we have the next year’s new edition white ostrich quill George Strait signed series that he’s gonna wear on tour next year.’ [Cut to Strait, who's laughing] And they got pretty excited about that and said, ‘Well, can we see? Can we see? Can we see?’…And we obliged…Point of the story is, we got lucky that night. Thank you, George." This was McConaughey’s first ACMs, and he said he wants to come back. I can see him being their Jack Nicholson. He was already sitting in the front row wearing sunglasses (he just needs to learn to smile!). He was also referenced in a speech: Accepting her award, a tearful Underwood said, "I don’t know what to say. I got nothin’…I want to see those boots, Matthew. [Audience erupts in laughter] I’m just kidding. Apparently you all agree."

addCredit(“Patrick Harbron/ABC”)

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Heidi Newfield: The EW Pop Culture Personality Test

Heidinewfield_lHeidi Newfield is nominated in a surprise four categories at tonight’s Academy of Country Music Awards (CBS, 8 p.m. ET) including Top Female Vocalist and Single, Song, and Video of the Year for her hit "Johnny and June," which she’ll also perform. We decided to get to know the former Trick Pony lead singer, who’s gone solo with the album What Am I Waiting For, with an EW Pop Culture Personality Test.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The person or band you still need to see in concert?

HEIDI NEWFIELD: We were just talking about this the other day: I have not seen Bruce Springsteen in concert, and that’s just wrong. I still kick myself that I never got to see Ray Charles in concert, that’s a huge regret of mine. So sad I never got to see The Police when they did their last tour. And AC/DC, they just came to town and I was workin’.

The song you wish you’d written?

"I Can’t Make You Love Me." That’s one of my all-time faves. I wish my name was on that one.

What is your position on karaoke?

I suck at it. That’s my position on it. [Laughs] I’m absolutely the worst karaoke singer on the planet. It’s because I’m used to playing with a live band, and it’s so different when you walk up there and you sing to the record. I promise you I have screwed up my own songs. People have literally been in the bar going, "Is that… that’s… no, nevermind." [Laughs] Obviously, I can always pull up a Trick Pony song. Or I’ll do something Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nicks. Growing up playing in all kinds of situations, from bars to events, I covered a lot of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks.

Your guilty pleasure dance song?

Right now, it’s Jamie Foxx’s "Blame It." If you want something, like, fallback, baby girl, it’s gotta be "Brick House." "Sweet Home Alabama." Oh, I’m totally embarrassed to admit this, but anything like "We are Family," the stuff they play at weddings and you’re like, "Oh, I haven’t heard this for awhile."

So you’re doing the Electric Slide is what you’re saying?

I’m not afraid an Electric Slide. I’ll get out there and rock it with the best of ‘em.

addCredit(“Erick Anderson”)

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ACM Entertainer of the Year: Last call for votes!

The Academy of Country Music Awards air Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, so get yourself over to CBS.com and vote for Entertainer of the Year. I was gonna keep this post neutral (really I was), because I’ve witnessed four-time winner Kenny Chesney sweat through his shirt on the first song of a concert. I know that nobody combines talent, heart, and humor like Brad Paisley. I can’t believe George Strait‘s only won the title once before — 20 years ago — when he’s being named ACM’s Artist of the Decade. And I’d love to see Carrie Underwood, who delivered some of 2008’s most memorable TV performances (from Idol Gives Back to the CMAs), become only the seventh woman to go home with the night’s top prize. But then, Keith Urban had to go and play New York City’s Webster Hall last night — one of a handful of club dates in support of his new album, Defying Gravity — and I remembered that I find nothing more entertaining than watching that man play a guitar. Judging from the number of videos on YouTube of his "Stupid Boy" solo, I am not alone. Check out one from ’08 below, which does not include his new haircut, the best of his career, in my opinion. (And, this one, too, because the girl shooting it had a great angle.) Then, let us know your ACM EOTY pick in our poll.

 

Clip du jour: The late Dan Seals' "Bop"

Singer Dan Seals passed away March 25, at the age of 61. I’ll be honest (and mildly ashamed): At first, I didn’t think I remembered any of his No. 1 hits. But then, I played the video for "Bop" (below), Single of the Year at 1986’s Country Music Association Awards, and I was suddenly 11-years-old, singing along to the car radio.

Shooter Jennings: The EW Pop Culture Personality Test

Shooter_lIf you’re not already a Shooter Jennings fan, you will be after you read this interview. Even if you’re a Jonas Brother. (Maybe not if you’re Bret Michaels, a member of Rascal Flatts, or someone involved in choosing the performers for last month’s Grammys…). Today, Jennings celebrates the premiere of his CMT Crossroads concert with close friend Jamey Johnson. "It’s not a real raucous show. I play piano for most it," he says. "I tried to take it as psychedelic as we could possibly go." (Look for their "wild" cover of his father Waylon Jennings’ "Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out of Hand.") Tomorrow, his compilation Bad Magick: The Best of Shooter Jennings & the .357’s hits stores. Expect that to tie a ribbon on his time straddling the country and rock aisles. "The reason I chose to name the package Bad Magick is because the music I’m making now [with a new band bound for this summer's Warped Tour] is kind of an extension of that song we did," he says. "[My next album] will be a new sound, probably the most anti-radio but most progressive thing I could possibly do."

After taking our EW Pop Culture Personality Test, there’s no doubt he’s a little bit country, but a lot more rock ‘n roll…

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You called precisely on time. Is that typical for you, or did we just catch you on a good day?

SHOOTER JENNINGS: I’m usually pretty punctual. I’m not one to like to be late. When I was younger, I was the guy who’d leave the house early if I had to get somewhere and drive around for a while until it got to be time to show up.

[We like him already.] Let’s jump right in. What is the best concert you’ve ever seen?
That’s a tough one. I’ve seen some good concerts. In terms of being so excited that I couldn’t hold myself together, and production value and everything, when I saw the Nine Inch Nails’ Downward Spiral tour. It was with Jim Rose Circus and Marilyn Manson. I remember seeing it at Vanderbilt Auditorium in Nashville. Most of the time I get bored at concerts by the end, and that was one where from top to bottom, I just couldn’t believe what was goin’ on. I felt dirty, I felt all kinds of stuff watchin’ all that s— go down, you know. I saw My Morning Jacket and the Raconteurs last year at the Greek [Theatre] in Los Angeles within two days, and those were both great concerts. I saw the new Guns N’ Roses, the first show they did on New Year’s 2001 at the House of Blues in Vegas, that was pretty wild. But in terms of the kind of glory that goes on in a teenager’s mind, that Nails show still stands out to me as one of the best.

The act you still need to see?
I would have loved to have seen Zeppelin if they were really gonna reunite, which I guess now they’ve called the whole thing off since Plant isn’t gonna be involved. Back to Nails again, I really want to see this tour with Jane’s Addiction. I never saw Jane’s Addiction play, and to see the entire group would be really exciting.

The song you wish you’d written?
"Please Come to Boston" [by Dave Loggins], as cheesy as that sounds. Or "Loving Her Was Easier" by Kris Kristofferson. Pretty much anything Kris Kristofferson ever wrote I wish I’d written. "Isis" is another good one, that Bob Dylan song.

Your guilty pleasure dance song? Have you been able to resist BeyoncĂ©’s "Single Ladies"?
Okay, "Single Ladies" didn’t resonate with me quite like it did with other people, but there are things on pop radio now adays that I can get down with. Like, I didn’t hate the Justin Timberlake record. "What Goes Around… Comes Around," I definitely didn’t change the channel when that was on.

So "SexyBack"?
[Laughs] Look, the production was quite progressive on that record. I dig that. I’m kind of a stickler for progressive music to some degree. Not like Dream Theater, but if something seems different and new to me, I can kinda get down with it. Oh, you know what song I don’t mind? "Lovebug," that Jonas Brothers song. It feels like the Beatles to me in a way. And then at the end, when it rocks out, I’m into that. I’m not afraid to say that. You’re probably just gonna print this part, and then I’m gonna f—in’ read this thing, and be like, Jesus. So you gotta state that there were expletives all around this statement. [Laughs]

Oh, it will be noted.
Oh yeah: "Jonas Brothers’ ‘Lovebug,’ that’s his favorite song!"

But you get the Jonas Brothers.
I get it for what it is. I don’t own the record. It feels very muchlike teenybopper music, but I’m not gonna hate on them before I’m gonnahate on Rascal Flatts or somebody, because their stuff feels a lot morehonest. Even though those guys are part of a machine, they still seemlike they’re doin’ their thing, so I can respect that. I can respectMiley Cyrus. I’m not gonna walk away and say that s— is completelyinvaluable, because I don’t believe it is.

addCredit(“James Minchin, III”)

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Keith Urban debuts new album, track by track, on iLike (which I love)

Keithurban_lKeith Urban’s new album, Defying Gravity, hits stores March 31, but in the meantime, he’s debuting one full track a day on his iLike page for free. You even get a video from him introducing that day’s release (watch him talk about "Kiss A Girl," a song that will make you want to buy said new album if his single, "Sweet Thing," already hasn’t, after the jump).

I’ve cheered Keith Urban on PopWatch before for his ability to "do it right" live. (Multiple times.) And now I’ve gotta hand it to him for his marketing. When money is tight, people are less likely to gamble on an entire album. Give them a free, easy listen to full tracks and you remove the risk. Defying Gravity sounds like it will be money well spent.

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Keith Urban whoops it up at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

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The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is up and running in the ol’ hometown, and I made my traditional pre-SXSW visit to Reliant Stadium on St. Patrick’s Day, joining 60,000 green-clad Texans and my gratuitous-turquoise-jewelry-laden mother to pet cows, watch chicks hatch, eat foods God never intended (today: baked potato smothered in brisket), cheer on some steer wrestlers, and cap it all off with a performance from country music superstar Keith Urban.

First time seeing the Aussie in person, though I’ve long enjoyed his hyper style — I like how he’s always at a banjo-pickin’ clip, it’s real jaunty — and I heartily endorse his thetan-free marriage to Nicole Kidman, who we discovered was in the building tonight when he opened “Making Memories of Us” with a dedication to her. Cue gasps and heads turning left and right, as though Nicole Kidman would be just hanging out behind the bull chutes in a bedazzled vest and pink Ropers for all to see. She wasn’t. But follow me after the jump anyway, as Keith Urban did something tonight that I’ve never seen another rodeo performer try — and yes, that does include Garth Brooks, George Strait, and late-80’s-era Huey Lewis. Suspense!

addCredit(“Chris Graythen/Getty Images”)

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'George Strait -- ACM Artist of the Decade' concert: What should the performers sing?

Georgestrait_l George Strait has been named the Academy of Country Music’s Artist of the Decade, and CBS will tape a tribute concert in Las Vegas on April 6 (the night after the ACM Awards) to air later this year. So far, Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban have been confirmed as performers. Which of Strait’s songs should they sing? My picks:

Faith Hill: "Today My World Slipped Away"
Toby Keith: "Round About Way"
Tim McGraw: "She’ll Leave You With a Smile"
Sugarland: "I Just Want to Dance With You"
Taylor Swift: "You Look So Good in Love" (she changes the "him"s  to "her"s)
Keith Urban: "Blue Clear Sky"
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw duet: "Carrying Your Love With Me"

Your turn.

More country music news:
Brad Paisley leads ACM noms, Carrie Underwood up for Entertainer of the Year
Sugarland 2009 tour dates announced!
Taylor Swift’s Fearless tops the charts… again
Jake Owen: The EW Pop Culture Personality Test
Dierks Bentley: The EW Pop Culture Personality Test
Blake Shelton: The EW Pop Culture Personality Test
Billy Currington: The EW Pop Culture Personality Test

addCredit(“Frazer Harrison/Getty Images”)

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