The road leading away from Home, the Dixie Chicks' acclaimed 2002 return to straight-ahead country, proved to be quite rocky for the Texan trio, largely due to anti-George W. Bush and antiwar comments lead singer Natalie Maines made during the long crawl to the 2003 Iraqi War. Maines' words, initially spoken off the cuff in concert but then repeated in numerous interviews, earned her plenty of enemies within the country community (most notably Toby Keith), but despite the hailstorm of publicity, Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Robison did not back down, even as their country audience slowly diminished.
The rightwing US magazine National Review recently published a list of the 50 top conservative rock songs. "The result is of course arbitrary," noted its author, John J Miller. You can say that again: it dismisses authorial intention in a manner that would have impressed Derrida. It features the Clash, the Sex Pistols' Bodies - about which John Lydon recently remarked, "If you construe that as being anti-abortion, you're a silly cunt" - and, most perplexing of all, Iron Maiden's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.