Live: Miranda Lambert Gets Sassy At The Izod Center

Miranda Lambert w/Chris Young, Jerrod Niemann
Izod Center
Saturday, January 28

Better than: Being a good girl.

At around 9 p.m. on Saturday, the lights went down at the Izod Center and Beyoncé's "Run The World (Girls)" began blaring from the speakers. Loretta Lynn's image came up on the screens hanging above the stage; she spoke of how Miranda Lambert, the former Nashville Star runner-up turned arena headliner, was, in her mind, the real deal. From there a rapidfire montage of females who could be identified with one name followed: Oprah, Jackie, Gaga, Bettie, Dolly. And then Lambert herself took the stage, clad in a skull t-shirt and knee-high boots, and launched right into "Fastest Girl In Town," one of her many rollicking odes to living life as a bad girl.

Hearing one of her chart-topping hits—the vengeful "Gunpowder & Lead," the accusatory "White Liar"—makes Lambert's appeal pretty obvious; she's operating as both an outlaw country star and a confessional crooner, ready to show her scars to any comers and kick the shit out of those people who might cross her. She delivers all of this with a brio that isn't quite sunny, yet remains bright and thrilling; "I like that innocent smile when you know you've done something bad," she said after tearing through the burn-it-all-down anthem "Kerosene." The screeched assent indicated that a lot of women in the audience agreed.

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Q&A: Pistol Annies On Three-Way Songwriting Sessions, Organic Groups, And Reeling In Elvis Fans


Much of what you need to know about the Pistol Annies is encapsulated in this delightful couplet from their song "Lemon Drop": "I owe two dozen quarters to a washing machine before these clothes will ever really shine/ But I got me a man that just don't care if his little darling's got underwear."

Other things you should know about the sweet-and-sour trio: 1. Its members are the country superstar Miranda Lambert and two of her Nashville singer-songwriter pals, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. 2. The band's debut, Hell on Heels, is out this week. 3. It's great. We corralled the ladies in a Beverly Hills hotel room Monday afternoon for a chat.

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The Voice Trots Out The Biggish Names, Crowns Its First Champ

Here we are, at the end of The Voice's almost shockingly successful debut season, one that may have actually turned around NBC's abysmal fortunes. There's not a ton of internal drama in The Voice's reality, and I can't say I cared too terribly much which of the four finalists would win. But the journey has been an altogether pleasant one, and everyone who appeared on the show last night looked like they somehow belonged on television—everyone who wasn't Carson Daly, anyway. The guest stars were all pretty low-rent by American Idol standards (the guy from OneRepublic? Now?) but last night's finale was more a beginning than an ending, and we're still a long way away from learning if the show will ever become a part of the cultural firmament the way Idol has.

In the end, Javier Colon narrowly squeaked out a win over Dia Frampton, and nobody looked all that surprised. In the moments leading up to it, the only people who looked stressed were Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, Javier and Dia's respective coaches. It was nice, but it wasn't earth-shaking, and all four finalists have almost the exact same likelihood to go on to do anything.

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Live: Miranda Lambert Praises Campfire Culture, Shows Off Engagement Ring at Terminal 5

Mikey Ayers
iPhone paparazzi

Miranda Lambert
Terminal 5
Wednesday, September 29

Better than: a sixpack of Miller after gettin' that first buck of the season

Of all things to prop up a mike stand, a simulated shotgun works pretty well, as country music's current queen Miranda Lambert showed off during "Gunpowder and Lead," the anthemic revenge tale that makes anyone with testicles cross their legs and anyone with a bad testicle experience whoop with joy. As I said a few years back, Lambert's perceived authenticity is welcomed, cherished and honored within and outside the country music landscape because she seems to be an honest to God shit-kicker, one of them redneck chicks (her words) you hear about, that found her way through Bacardi (her words) and got a tattoo much to Daddy's dismay (again, hers). But when it comes down to it, she tells us she just wants to "sit around the campfire and have a beer." Don't we all--sure would be nice to indulge once in awhile without having to rent a car, a cabin and an EZPass. It's borderline unfair for her to ride into town, bragging about campfires and such, where at most we can hope for is a city trashcan set on fire by some drunk NYU kids.

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Nashville Scene Poll Reveals "The Mount Rushmore Of Country Music's Future"

nashville country poll.jpg
A tip of our metaphorical cowboy hat to our Nashville cohorts, who've unveiled their annual country critics' poll and further underscored the supremacy of Brad, Miranda, Taylor, and Jamey. "With Paisley and Lambert, Swift and Johnson completed the Mount Rushmore of country music's near future," writes poobah Geoffrey Himes. "Four relatively young singer-songwriters who are inventing new ways to mix carefree jokes and reluctant confessions, twanging guitar and banging drums. It's been a while since the prospects for hillbilly music looked so bright." Results are here.