GreenSug is having a White Trash Christmas Party and naturally my self-appointed responsibilities include one thing - creating a playlist that fits the party's slightly racist/self-righteous theme. So I am put in the position (again, self-appointed) of deciding what exactly is white trash music?
As much as I love creating party playlists, I am a bit conflicted. You see, the first genres that come to mind when I think of white trash are country, rap, and any poorly executed combination of the two (ahem, "rap-rock"). These so-called genres were just about the last thing I ever wanted to listen to growing up and led me to listen to only Phish during college as Detroit radio in the late 90's was monopolized by Kid Rock, Eminem, and Limp Bizkit. I'm feeling nauseous just thinking about it. The same music that tormented me during my years in Ann Arbor will be the soundtrack of 5 hours of my life - hours spent taking jello shots, drinking shitty beer (non-ironically, sort of), and eating mini hot dogs and green rice crispie treats.
I just vomited a little in my mouth...
The only way I'll stay focused on the project without getting physically ill is by staying objective. I must create rules for creating a playlist of arguably the worst music in the history of American (blue state) culture.
And away we go...
(1) The Lead Singer With a Mullet Clause - Though this may be blatantly obvious, the Mullet Clause brings a number of bands into the mix that may never be considered. Journey, for example, tried to escape the label of white trash music by being the rallying cry for the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox. Nice try, Steve Perry. Like this fan of yours isn't complete trash. Also included under this rule are Joan Jett, Billy Ray Cyrus, Toby Keith, and Metallica.
(2) Songs By Bands Named After Red States - Though this basically limits us to Alabama and Kansas, I think it's totally worth it. Check out "Carry On My Wayword Son," "Song Of the South," "High Cotton," and "Dust In the Wind."
(3) White Artist From the State of Michigan - This isn't a hard and fast rule since it would include artists such as Iggy Pop and Mustard Plug. However, it sure does work as guidance since it includes Kid Rock (see rule #10), Eminem, Ted Nugent, Uncle Kracker, and Bob Seger. I'm not saying the now defunct auto-industrial, eastern half of the state of Michigan represents white trash...
(4) Songs That Refer to America, Patriotism, and Supporting Our Troops (aka "Songs in Chevy Commercials") - Nothing quite says white trash like listening to music because "it's unpatriotic not to listen to it" (or even buying a car because it's unpatriotic not to). Unfortunately, this list of songs is literally endless thanks to the millions of people who voted George W. Bush to a second term. Great examples include "Born In The USA," "American Soldier," "Pink Houses," "Our Country," "Like A Rock," and "Only In America." God Bless America for making this list so obnoxiously long.
(5) Any Group Associated with the Confederate Flag - This one is so easy it's almost not worth mentioning as a rule. Lynard Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird" are not only southern rock anthems, but also anthems for every red neck south of the Mason Dixon. Certain Allman Brothers Band's "Ramblin Man" and "Blue Sky" will have to make an appearance.
(6) Any Sheryl Crow Song Post 1996 - Let's be honest. Sheryl Crow meeting Kid Rock was easily the best thing that ever happened to her music career... from a trailer park perspective. Songs like "Picture" and collaborations with artists like Miley Cyrus, John Mellencamp, and the one the only Kid Rock makes her music a tad bit white trash. However, her protests of George W. Bush makes cancels out many of her "favorite mistakes." Okay, weak rule.
(7) Falsetto/Hair Rock - This one was easy. If you're confused, then see examples such as The Darkness, Guns n Roses, Van Halen, and Motley Crue. Still confused? You're uninvited to the party.
(8) Twangity, twang, twang - Thrash-grass bands such as Trampled By Turtles or Split Lip Rayfield would fit into this. Though I don't personally consider a lot of this genre to be "trashy," most party goers won't be able to tell the difference. If it has a twangy banjo and a tempo of over 180 BPM, then it'll do.
(9) Jean Cutoffs and Jean Jackets - Cliff Burton era Metallica songs such as "Sanitarium," "Ride The Lightening," and "Seek and Destroy" fit this rule. And it kills me to write this because I'll be honest - I LOVE METALLICA. However, in retrospect there were lots of mullets, jean cutoffs, and particularly high ranged singing (early on). Verdict: early Metallica is trashy.
(10) All Kid Rock All the Time - I don't think there's an artist out there that epitomizes the essence of white trash more than Kid Rock. He's from Detroit. He's sported a mullet. He's a self-proclaimed cowboy (I'm guessing of the urban variety). He's sampled Skynyrd and collaborated with Ms. Crow. At a time when our country needed a group to rival the crappiness of the Spice Girls, 98 Degrees, and Sugar Ray, he surged to the top with a perfect combination of country, rap, and rock - which makes Kid Rock the perfect filler for any white trash party playlist. For specific examples, see "All Summer Long," "Cowboy," and "Roll On."
For a sample of the official 2010 White Trash Christmas Party Playlist, click here.