Monday, August 21st, 2017

Kid Rock – Po-Dunk

Less than that, Robert…


Jonathan Bradley: There have been meaner sons-of-bitches than Kid Rock with worse politics who’ve made hot songs, and “Po-Dunk” has a greasy guitar lick and a slow and ramshackle rhythm section that suggests it might have something to say about a song titled so. Instead, there’s a chorus that makes rock ‘n’ roll a chore and a lyric too intent on hitting its cultural signifiers to locate the life in them. One could toss around bright ideas about political campaigns and Hillbilly Elegy as if this tune held the key to the Zeitgeist, but better to point out that Gretchen Wilson did this song better when it was called “Redneck Woman” and sounded like people really lived it.

Ryo Miyauchi: Bad tans or a pile of junk in your yard isn’t what gives your kind a bad name, Kid Rock. Screaming with overt pride about your ignorance is.

Mark Sinker: The minstrelsy of achieved privilege.

Nortey Dowuona: Blank guitar, no bass, and flat drums.

Thomas Inskeep: Fascinating to see some labeling this as “country” now — is it because of his political leanings? Because musically, this sounds very little different from his glory days ca. 2000 of “Bawitdaba” and “American Bad Ass.” Sure, the root is a little twangier, but this is still Kid’s nearly-patented blend of rapping bullshit over whatever he wants. And the message hasn’t changed, either. So if you like Kid Rock, you’re likely to like this, and if you don’t, you won’t. There’s no outreach going on here. 

Stephen Eisermann: Donald Trump started a terrible precedent by running a campaign on hate, fear-mongering, and appealing to the worst of our society. To no one’s surprise, Kid Rock is following suit in his senatorial bid and has said that this music is meant to live in the same realm as his politics. It makes sense, then, that this song serves as a dog whistle for the stereotypical Trump supporter. “Love us if you can, sorry if you can’t” is a phrase straight out of the Trump campaign and the war on “political correctness,” which is disturbing given the current events. The worst part is the music isn’t even remotely good either, with the production sounding cheap and dated and the percussion feeling very… well, chant-y. If you don’t give a “flying hillbilly fuck” about good music, intelligent people running our country, or smoking during pregnancy (sorry, but the video did everything in its power to be as offensive as possible), then, sure, give this a listen and vote for Kid Rock. As for me, I’ll keep listening to Aymee at night, after spending all day working and finding out ways to flip the House and Senate.

Alex Clifton: I live in Louisville, Kentucky, but I’m not really from here — I never grew up in a small town, Southern or otherwise, so I’m not the target audience for this song. I think this song was also meant to generate interest in Kid Rock’s run for office in Michigan (which I had no idea is where he’s from, since I associate him so heavily with Southern rock, nor did I think that life in Michigan was like mudfights and chickens). I don’t really know what I expected, really. The melody is actually not terrible and is going to be stuck in my head for the next day, but that breakdown, where he begins singing and the record scratches, isn’t needed and goes on too long. I can’t say much about the lyrics, other than they rhyme and that “po-dunk” sounds weird when repeated fifteen times, but other than that it sounds like most other Southern rock hometown pride songs I’ve heard. In terms of songs about small country towns, I’ll take Darrell Scott’s “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” instead — it’s melancholic and fond, with a more believable small-town feel. If Kid Rock’s campaign is as good as his music, I hope for his sake he gets a better campaign manager.

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