Kenny Chesney’s Song Made a Football Fan of Me

I’ve blogged before that I’m not all that interested in sports. Not as a spectator. Not as a player. And I think part of that stems from living in a neighborhood where people are so completely over-the-top about sports. You can’t just sign your kid up for a baseball team at the local park district, you have to get him on a traveling team and plan your vacations around his all-star game schedule. And if he plays basketball, you’ll need to sign up for special shooting clinics. And football? Well, he’s going to need a personal trainer at the very least. It’s gotten so bad that parents actually talk as if they are grooming 7-year-olds for college scholarships. But Kenny Chesney has changed my mind.

Now that his “Boys of Fall” is on the radio all the time, I can see the joy in football. Specifically, the team spirit of it all. I know that his song paints a very vivid picture of what a high school football team means in a small town: sports-page clippings on the coffee shop wall, players wearing their game-day jerseys in the hallways at school, calling out “Yes, sir, we want the ball,” and helmets, cleats and shoulder pads. I can see all that in my head without even watching the video. But what I hear when I listen to the lyrics is the message about “I got your number, I got your back, when your back’s against the wall.” And most importantly, “You mess with one man, you got us all.”

When I heard the title of this song, I just assumed it would be a deafening rocker that would serve as an anthem at pre-game pep rallies. I had no idea it would be a country ballad powerful enough to take me from an anti-football mom to the one who’s counting the days until tryouts.

Director Roman White Gives the Scoop on “Mine”

Roman White is the man behind the new Taylor Swift video, “Mine.” You can scour the Internet for details on the shoot (what designer was wore, how hot was that guy in it, is there some kind of kissing scene, where did they shoot it), and you will never find more comprehensive scoop than in White’s own blog now that the video is officially finished. He rants a bit about how hot it was in Maine (“I’m talking eggs boiling on your buns HOT!”). And he reminisces about the producer getting accosted by a sea gull and about getting a Hugs A Lot bear from Swift at the end of the project. The shoot started on a 2,000-acre estate, then the cast and crew headed to a small town called Cape Porpoise. White doesn’t give a premiere date for this insanely anticipated video, but since the song itself was released earlier than planned, maybe the same will happen with the video.

Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher Settle Into Ottawa

I know Carrie Underwood is crazy about her new husband, Mike Fisher, but is she seriously letting him handle the interior design of their new house in Ontario? That is true love right there. That’s what Us Magazine is reporting about the new house Mr. & Mrs. Mike Fisher are building in Ottawa, where Fisher needs to be for his position with the Ottawa Senators hockey team. It must be so hard to choose where to live as a couple when both of you travel for a living and when your current homes are separated by more than 1,000 miles. I suppose they could’ve split the difference and set down their roots midway between the two, perhaps in Akron, Ohio, or Pittsburgh. But Ottawa won. Fisher apparently told Canada’s CTV that he loves it up there and that “Home is where we are.” Aw. How sweet is that?

Martina McBride Crazy About Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”

Nightline now has a segment called Nightline Playlist and they let the person they’re interviewing do all the talking. In this story with Martina McBride, she raves about the music she loves for a good five minutes. She spends the first minute talking about what a career song “Independence Day” was for her and how important it was for her to not record fluffy girl songs or novelty songs. But then she goes on to list what’s at the very top of her playlist from other artists. And they are: “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, “Mad Love” by Linda Ronstadt, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “Friends in Low Place” by Garth Brooks and “Somewhere Over the Raindow,” the Eva Cassidy version. “I never get tired of it,” McBride says of the song she sings so well in concert.

The Real Jennette McCurdy Far From iCarly’s Sam

Jennette McCurdy has not let the narcissistic character she plays on iCarly bring her down in real life. Thank God. That’s just her being Sam. But I much prefer the real McCurdy who you can get a glimpse of in this making-of video for her debut country video, “Not That Far Away.” It’s been a year and a half since I first wrote about the young star launching a country career after all those episodes of iCarly on Nickelodeon. And it’s been 10 years since McCurdy got her first taste of Nashville’s charms when she played Faith Hill’s daughter in the video for “The Way You Love Me.”McCurdy’s video debuts on Saturday (Aug. 14) and was directed by Roman White, the man behind “Fifteen,” “You Belong With Me,” “Before He Cheats,” “Last Name,” “Just a Dream,” “So Small,” “Hillbilly Bone” and many more. So I think it’s safe to say, this video will be huge.

Be Careful at Concerts When Urine to the Music

If you’re smart, you already know that you’re never supposed to let your drink out of your sight at a bar, club, concert, whatever. There are all kinds of date-rape drugs that creepy freaks can easily slip in there without you knowing. And now creepy freaks have one more way to gross us all out. With their pee. This guy in Florida has been accused ofurinating in cups and putting them on a bar in the House of Blues. And now he’s out on bail. It’s not clear whether he was doing it because he couldn’t find a restroom, or if he was literally trying to get people to drink his pee just for kicks. In a dimly lit room, pee and beer would look very similar. So I may have to think twice now every time I’m at a show and the singer yells out that it’s time for a holler ‘n’ swaller. Be careful out there.

Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images News

Kanye West’s VMA Stunt Can’t Be Easily Forgotten

Kanye West wants a fur coat. Kanye West orders bellinis too early. Kanye West drinks New York City tap water. Kanye West likes his new collaboration withBeyoncé. And Kanye West is thrilled he has more than 600,000 followers on Twitter. And that’s all well and good, for Kanye West. But have those 600,000 people forgotten what West did? Do they not remember that just about a year ago, he yanked the microphone out of Taylor Swift’s hands during her MTV VMA acceptance speech for”Love Story” “You Belong With Me” and told her and the millions watching that, essentially, Beyoncé had the better video? I am not quite over that. So I don’t know that I’d want to follow him. Plus, nothing says “It’s All About Me” quite like a man with around 610,000 followers and 0 people on his following list.

Photo credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Country Music Covers Uncover New Discoveries

If it was not for Jerrod Niemann’s swift rise to fame, and his very infectious “Lover, Lover,” I might never have heard of Sonia Dada. Neimann remade the group’s 1992 hit, “You Don’t Treat Me No Good,” into “Lover, Lover.” And if it was not for Kenny Chesney’s “Down the Road,” I might not have taken it upon myself to fall in love with Mac McAnally’s music, as he sings the thoughts of a hesitant father on that tune. And really, I might not have paid enough attention to Kelly Clarkson until she andReba McEntire came together for that unforgettable collaboration on Clarkson’s “Because of You.”

When two like-minded artists get together on a song (like, say, Kellie Pickler andTaylor Swift on “The Best Days of Your Life,” or Trace Adkins and Blake Shelton on”Hillbilly Bone”), it makes perfect sense. But when they branch out a little (Taylor Swift and John Mayer on “Half of My Heart,” for example), it always takes me by surprise. And I usually love the results. It’s often the same with remakes of songs I’d never heard of. When Miranda Lambert put Gillian Welch’s “Dry Town” on her Crazy Ex-Girlfriend album, I immediately looked into more of the Americana singer-songwriter’s music.

There are days, though, when I like the cover song and the cover song only, like when Dierks Bentley put the 26-year-old “Pride (In the Name of Love)” on his new album, Up on the Ridge. I already knew the U2 song. Who doesn’t? But I never really paid much attention to it. Never even liked it. Now that Bentley’s singing it, with Del McCoury on vocals, I dig what they’ve done with it.

Some days I am exhausted just looking at the tall, tall stack of CDs on my desk. There is just so much music. But then on other days, like today when I have time to sit and think, I’m so glad that I can stop putting music into neat little boxes. It’s better to have an open mind and let the music come to you.