Sunshine Blogger Award #19

Thank you!

I want to thank Kae for nominating me for this award and I want to apologise for taking forever to respond. I think she has a phenomenal blog where she posts about lifestyle, travel, wellness and more. Be sure to stop by her blog and check it out by clicking here. 

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your blog post.

Questions:

1. What did you want to be when you were small?

A vet! I’ve always loved animals and wanted to be around them. However, I realised I suck at all things science so now I’m just a history major with a cat lady complex…

2. If you can live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Probably Ethiopia or Bhutan. 

3. Do you hit the snooze button or wake up immediately?

Does anyone except sociopaths wake up immediately?!?

4. What are your top 3 favourite shows on Netflix? (I need Netflix recos hahah)

Lol don’t we all! My favourite right now are Dead To Me, Working Moms and Brooklyn Nine Nine.

5. What items on your bucket list are you planning to check off in the next 5 years?

A lot of travelling, a lot of stuff to do with food and a lot to do with history

6. Do you enjoy big parties more or small gatherings?

Small gatherings- I am not a big parties person…

7. What is the best gift you have been given?

The gift of life by my mother. Also what I got on Valentines this year!

8. If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

Invisibility because I feel invisible a lot and as someone with anxiety I’m okay with that.

9. What would you do if you win the lottery?

Buy some sneakers, donate to different animal charities and used what’s left to travel.

10. What are you most terrified of?

The dark, ghosts, butterflies, holes and just a lot of stuff in general lol.

11. If you can be one celebrity or fictional character for a day, who would it be?

Ooh that’s a good one. I would probably be Natalie Maines just because I want to know what happened with her husband on that boat. I mean she made an entire album out of it so something real crazy must have gone down and as someone who loves drama I need to know!! If you don’t know who she is she’s the lead singer of The Chicks (formerly known as The Dixie Chicks).

The Dixie Chicks GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

My Nominees

If you’re reading this post and feel as though this may be something you want to participate in please consider yourself nominated and use the same questions I did- I would love to read your take on them! And if you don’t want to do an entire post dedicated to it you can leave the answers in the comments below.


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Gaslighter By The Chicks (Review)

Gaslighter By The Chicks

The Chicks, formerly known as The Dixie Chicks, recently released their first album in fourteen years. If you have read any of my posts about country music or about music in general you will know that I love The Chicks and they are one of my favourite country bands of all time so you can imagine just how excited I was when I heard they were releasing an album. And this was pre-pandemic times so I was excited about them going on tour because they usually come to Canada and I was hoping I would have the opportunity of seeing them live. Obviously, that’s not going to be happening anytime soon.
I was still super excited by the release of their album and I also knew that it was going to be about Natalie’s divorce so I was kind of excited to get all the tea too- not going to lie lol! Just to give a little background information about that- Natalie Maines, the lead singer of The Chicks, got divorced from her husband Adrian Pasdar and it was quite a bitter divorce to say the least. I am not going to tell you the full story because that’s not what this review is about but if you’re interested feel free to read about it by clicking here. 
Anyway, back to the album. As you can imagine I was super excited and listened to Gaslighter as soon as it was released- the song not the album- and I listened to the album as soon as it was released as well. I had been meaning to do the review as soon as it came out but unfortunately I got a bit busy and was not able to do the review till today but better late than never I guess. I decided to review each song separately first and I will give you my final thoughts on the album as a whole at the end.

Gaslighter

 

They released this song before they released the album and as soon as I heard it I knew the album was going to be brilliant. This song was raw, emotional, unapologetic, honest and so perfect. It was everything The Chicks are and stand for. Even though the lyrics are about Natalie’s experience I think they are quite relatable for most people who have felt manipulated at some point in a relationship, in a friendship or just in general. This is now my go-to song when I’m pissed off and I love it.

Sleep At Night

 

This song is a lot more specific to what Natalie is going through with her husband and unlike Gaslighter this one is more about her situation right now. Obviously, divorce is a very complicated thing and hers got even more complicated due to the issues between her and her ex husband. This song deals with the effects of these complications and how her life has changed because of everything that happened between them and also how this whole situation has effected their children’s lives. This song is just mainly her anger and disappointment towards her ex-husband and his betrayal. I really appreciated how honest and transparent she was in this song and how she was willing to put her feelings out there like that.

Texas Man

 

So compared to the last two songs this one is considerably more upbeat. It talks about the kind of guy that Natalie wish she could find now that she’s single again and the things that she looks for in a man. She also points out how since she’s older and more experienced that may not be what a lot of men are looking for. I think this brings up something interesting because women are often judged differently according to their age, if they’ve been married etc whereas men can get away with a lot of these things without it necessarily being seen as “baggage.”

Everybody Loves You

 

A lot of times when you have loved someone for a long time it’s hard to hate them even when they have acted in a horrible way and you know deep down you should hate them. This song is like an internal conversation that Natalie has with herself. She wants to hate her ex-husband but deep down a part of her still loves him and she hates herself for feeling these conflicted feelings towards him. She tries to justify to herself why she feels this way and why she is unable to hate him even after everything that he has done to her and after everything that has taken place between them. She starts out being angry at herself for feeling that way but by the end she realises why she feels that way and is able to forgive herself and to let go of the anger she feels towards herself and her body.

For Her

 

This is such an amazing and powerful song about not only standing up against the patriarchy but also about supporting other women. I think sometimes we women tend to be our own worst critique and unfortunately over time due to multiple reasons a lot of women are quick to tear down other women instead of support them. I think this song is the perfect reminder of how important sisterhood is. If we truly want equality we need to love and support one another even if we are different, even if we may not be fighting for the same thing. It’s not about having the same short term goals it’s about the final goal- equality.

March March

 

This is such an incredible protest anthem and definitely one of my favourite songs in the album. They address issues that have gotten attention this year and they also talk about how they are disappointed that some people in the older generation did not do anything to help solve these issues and instead went in the other direction. But they do also say that they are proud of the younger generation and how they are trying to get involved and bring change.

My Best Friend’s Wedding

 

At first it seems like Natalie has lost hope of ever finding someone again and she does not seem like she believes that she will ever love someone enough to get married again. However, as she sees how happy her friend, who is getting remarried, is she realises that there is still hope and that her divorce is not the end of her love life but may just be the beginning. Maybe she too can find someone who will make her as happy as her best friends future husband makes her.

Tights On My Boat

 

“Okay, I hope you die peacefully in your sleep, just kidding, I hope it hurts like you hurt me”

This song is an absolutely brilliant way to tell someone to go screw themselves. Unlike the other songs about Natalie’s marriage/divorce this one is a lot more upbeat and kind of fun- still angry of course just angry in a fun way if that makes any sense. As I mentioned earlier something went down on their boat and clearly it had something to do with him not being a very faithful husband. This song is pretty much what you think about when you break up with someone and you are just so happy to be free but also very pissed at them for being such an awful person. It’s the kind of petty and angry thoughts everyone has had at some point it’s just that we are not as musically talented as The Chicks and can’t make a song out of those thoughts. I will definitely be singing this song every time I break up with someone until the end of time.

Julianna Calm Down

 

Although the majority of the songs on this album are about Natalie Maines, the lead singer, this one is for the daughters of Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer. The song gives these girls advice about how to deal with men who hurt them in the future. The Chicks admit that it is inevitable that someone will hurt them at some point but they advise to stay strong and keep getting back up.

Young Man

 

This song is made for Natalie’s sons- they have obviously been through a lot with their parents divorce. In this song she offers them advice and tells them that they should learn from the mistakes that she and her father have made over the years. However, she accepts that they are their own person and that all she can do is offer them this advice but it’s up to them whether or not to listen to her.

Hope It’s Something Good

 

This song is towards the end of the album for a reason. It’s sort of a final goodbye for Natalie Maines. Although she is bitter about how he threw twenty years of marriage away she does admit that she has learnt how to move on- as difficult as it was- and has been able to move forward with her life in her own way.

Set Me Free

 

So this final song in the album sort of has two meanings for Natalie. Yes, she absolutely does want to be free of the pain, hate, anger and all the other emotions that accompanied her divorce. It is definitely her way of trying to free herself and start over. However, it is an actual plea from her to her ex-husband to let her go because in 2019, her ex-husband petitioned to stop them from releasing this album/the tracks on the album. She legally needed permission to release these songs and The Chicks are still not legally allowed to mention specifics about the album/tracks. She wants him to set her free both metaphorically and literally. I think this song was a perfect pick to end the album because it shows that Natalie is still not fully healed from her trauma but at the same time she has not given up and is still ready to fight.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, my final thoughts on the album are going to be a little bias considering that I love The Chicks and this is their first album in over a decade. I will say this though- they did not disappoint. They maintained all the things their fans loved about them- their honesty, their ability to keep fighting, their bond with each other and so much more. They knew the expectations for this album would be insane but somehow- at least in my opinion- they delivered.
Although the album is centered around Natalie and the recent events that have taken place in her life over the last couple of years I thought the songs were still quite relatable for most people. You don’t even need to have been through a breakup to really understand and feel the emotions in the songs.
I also loved the way they worked with female visual artists to create the visualizers for each of the songs. A lot of people preach about female solidarity but it’s always refreshing to see people practice what they preach. I have always loved how the three women supported one another throughout the years and it’s awesome that they continue to support one another and other women as well.
Overall, I absolutely loved this album. I know that country is not everyone’s cup of tea but to be honest although the songs do song “country” to an extent they are still more of an alt.country band and their sound has evolved from being traditionally country. That’s why I would recommend listening to the album even if you aren’t a huge fan of country.

Your Thoughts

Are you a fan of country music or alt.country? Do you enjoy music by The Chicks? Have you listened to Gaslighter yet? If so what were your thoughts on it? What was your favourite song from the entire album?


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Female Country Musicians To Check Out

So as you guys probably remember I took that one course on country music and haven’t shut up about it since lol… Anyway I decided to share some amazing female artists with you guys because apparently female artists in country at the moment aren’t doing great and are being ignored by mainstream country so I thought I would do my part and share their amazing music with you guys!
The Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks are one of, if not the most, iconic female country band of the 1990’s and 2000’s. They have always had a very unique sound even when they first started out and over the years that sound have moved away from the usual country sound to a more alt.country sound. This was probably a conscious choice because after the controversy that they faced they said that they no longer felt like they were part of mainstream country and so they may have changed their sound to alt.country which seemed to welcome them. They recently finally put out music after 14 years and expected it did not disappoint.

Kacey Musgraves
She is definitely one of my favourite country musicians at the moment! She emerged at a time when country music did not have a lot of strong female musicians and those that did exist were sort of being sidetracked by “bro-country” which was growing increasingly popular. Unlike a lot of mainstream country musicians she is a lot more liberal and many of her songs do have political messages. She also has an alt.country sound but also has a lot of elements of mainstream country.

Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert is exactly what you think of when you think of a badass Southern girl that’s strong and independent. She has solo music as well as with her group Pistol Annies. She sounds very country unlike the earlier two and definitely sticks with her roots. I personally find her music extremely raw and empowering.

Dolly Parton
I mean I couldn’t possible make a list of female country musicians and leave out Dolly! She is one of the most iconic country musicians of all time and a living legend. She is not only a brilliant musician but also a brilliant business woman who has achieved so much in her life despite coming from a pretty rough background. If you haven’t heard Dolly Parton yet I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

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Country Songs I Discovered

As you guys know I really enjoyed my country music course that I took and some time ago I wrote a post about my favourite musicians. I decided to also write a post which specifically was about the songs I truly enjoyed and some information about the song and why I loved it so much.

The Carter Family- No Depression

As you may know from my previous post The Carter Family is country music royalty and No Depression at least to me is one of the most beautiful, raw and real songs I have ever heard not only in country but in music in general. It was released during the Great Depression and I think it did a great job in describing what life in the 1930’s was like in the South for the working class.

Dixie Chicks-

After the 2003 incident The Dixie Chicks received an insane amount of hate even though they were just expressing their opinion and practicing their right to freedom of speech. This song was released to address this and to express their side of everything. I love that they refused to apologise and stayed strong.

Kitty Wells- It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

This song was among the first response songs ever written in country music. It was a time when honky tonks were popular and many men got drunk in these honky tonks and cheated on their wives. However, instead of taking responsibility for their actions the men often blamed the women at honky tonks who were referred to as honky tonk angels. Hank Williams song Wild Side Of Life in particular did this to which this song by Wells’ was released as a response.

Dolly Parton- 9 to 5

I mean it’s Dolly Parton of course she had to be on this list! This song in particular is such a perfect description of what blue collar work feels like for the proletariat that I was just obsessed with it. Of course, it helps that it’s also super catchy and fun to listen to!

Johnny Cash- Folsom Prison Blues

I love Johnny Cash and this song is probably one of my favourite songs by him. I think it’s amazing how much time he spent trying to reform prisons and that he even performed in prisons.

Let me know in the comments if you would be interested in reading a post will the full list of country songs I learnt in my class!

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Country Musicians I Discovered

As you guys know I really enjoyed my country music class and thought I would share some of my favourite artists that I learnt about along with some background information on them and their music. Also this is far from the full list there are lots more musicians that I loved these five are just the ones that truly stood out for me.

The Carter Family

To me at least The Carter Family is really the heart of what country music is. They are really country royalty and the people who pretty much started what we now know as country music. There were of course other early musicians but they were extremely popular. What really stood out for me as well was that they didn’t make much from the music and continued working throughout their life and only made music for a couple of hours every year.

The Dixie Chicks

I love the Dixie Chicks so much! They are an incredible band that you have likely heard of at some point if you were alive in the 2000’s. They were the biggest country band at one point but unfortunately lost a large chunk of their fan base due to an incident in 2003. However, this changed their sound and made them more alt.country which I actually love!

Steve Earle

He’s another alt.country musician that I am really into. He has a very unique sound that isn’t exactly country and isn’t rock either. It’s just very unique and I personally really enjoy it.

Old Crow Medicine Road

This is another alternative country band that I have been very obsessed with lately. I love their sound and how old school country they sound.

Kitty Wells

I absolutely love her because she started something called response songs which are a very classy version of a diss track. Basically in a response song the singer will usually use the song they are responding to’s music, rhythm and sometimes words and respond to that song in this way. Kitty Wells’ response was to a Hank Williams song but also country in general which was blaming women in honky tonks for the affairs men were having there but she was like it’s not the ladies fault it’s the men who act like they aren’t married and sleep with random women they meet at the honky tonk.

O.B. McClinton

He is one of the very few African American country musicians and instead of hiding his race or not talking about it he put it out there and was proud of being African American. He also knew what racists were saying about him and his music and made fun of it. Unfortunately, he eventually stopped making country music due to the racism he faced but the music he did make was amazing.

 

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