Author Archives: Julianne Staine

About Julianne Staine

I'm Julianne Staine and a journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin. I'm from Houston, Texas. Being raised in Texas, I have grown up around country music and always attending the Houston rodeo as a kid. I love all music, and while country music isn't my favorite genre, I have a soft spot for the likes of Tim Mcgraw, Johnny Cash, and my generations' favorite Taylor Swift.

Julianne Staine’s Country Music Experiences

My four chosen experiences

1. Watch Nashville

2. Watch ACM Awards

3. Go two-stepping

4. Explore some classic country records

This semester I have had quite the experience with country music. I have done things I wouldn’t normally do as well as things that I have been doing for forever. When this class started I was a casual consumer of country music. I knew the hits and the classics, but not much about the culture. It wasn’t my go-to radio station of choice and I rarely wore my cowboy boots besides on game days. Now that it is May, I don’t necessarily think my music taste has completely shifted but I do think I have a greater appreciation for the culture and history of country music.

My journey with country music this semester.

I am a huge fan of Nashville, the television show, solely because Connie Britton is the star and Friday Night Lights is my favorite TV show of all time, but tuning in and paying closer attention to the country music elements was actually really fun. I loved paying closer attention to the set when they played at the Grand Ole Opry and just noticing how sounding “pop” is not a good thing. The elements we studied in class were actually coming to life on my TV.

My favorite thing I did for this project though wasn’t watching Nashville, it was going to look at records. I went to my favorite record store on South 1st, End of an Ear. I actually ended up going on Record Store Day and it was packed. While I ended up leaving with a Beach Boys album (sorry!!!) I did look in the country section and was pleased to see a bunch of names I now recognized from Loretta Lynn to Johnny Cash, I felt way more knowledgable of country music and was proud to know more about music in general. There’s something awesome about looking at actual records instead of just downloading music to my phone that makes me truly appreciate the history of the music so this was my favorite experience of the semester!

My other two experiences were two-stepping and watching the ACM Awards. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo to commemorate my two-steppping efforts because my phone died that night, but I went to Midnight Rodeo with a bunch of my friends. We aren’t the best at that type of dancing and we didn’t go with any boys so it might not have been our favorite experience but I am glad I got to check it off my bucket list (and got a chance to chance to bust out my cowboy boots.) And the ACM Awards were fun to watch this year, especially since they were in Dallas! I actually had a few friends who ended up getting tickets somehow. I always love country award shows for the celebrity watching- especially my favorites Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert so I had a great time watching it. Since it was the 50th anniversary of the show, there was a particular emphasis on the history of country music that seemed very relevant to me because of this class, too!

All in all, I have really enjoyed my country music experience this semester. As a fan of music I am glad to say that I know more about one of the most unique genres that exists!


Filed under Austin, Class work, Reflection, Storify

A Miranda Lambert Playlist

Tonight, as I was flipping through the channels I came across the ACM Awards. I had forgotten they were on tonight (and so close to us in Dallas!) and I had started watching just in time for Miranda Lambert’s performance. Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara were awarding her an achievement award for being the single most winning female country artist at the ACM’s ever. I have always been a fan of Lambert, and I’m honestly not totally sure why. I don’t love her music overwhelmingly more than others or anything. I really think it might be her charisma. She has that whole, blonde and bad-ass thing going on for her which I guess appeals to my musical taste, (Ha!). Seeing her perform two of her recent hits made me think back on my favorite Miranda Lambert moments, and I compiled a list of my favorites!


This was my introduction to Miranda Lambert. While some may call the song cliché, I think Lambert definitely makes an impression. I also couldn’t get this song out of my head for what seemed like months back in 2009. (Not to mention, this music video is probably where I got all of my blonde, rebellious vibes from her.)


This music video and song couldn’t be more fun and that’s why I love it. I am also a fan of Carrie Underwood and so the combination of Lambert with Underwood is perfect to me and they make this video such a fun time!


I love this song because I think the lyrics are truly beautiful. Lambert wrote this song with her husband Blake Shelton about losing a family member and I think it really resonates with people who have experienced that type of loss.


This song, just like Kerosene, is classic Miranda Lambert to me: vengeful, sassy, and powerful. The lyrics are clever and her amazing vocals are clearly demonstrated. This is one of my favorite moments of her career because the song just feels like it was made for her.


I think I love this song the most from Miranda because while all of her other songs certainly make me admire her as an artist and a female performer, this song is the song I most identify with. It describes childhood roots and memories in a childhood home and as a college student I certainly think fondly of my house back home and my whole childhood spent in it. I think Miranda is such a dominant female country singer because she is able to master the emotional songs as well as the more up-tempo fun songs. I certainly am a fan for both of those reasons!

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Filed under Lists, Song Analysis, Women

Nashville: A Taste of the Country Music World

Country music has always existed in their own world, separated from the publicity and paparazzi of Hollywood or New York City. The hub of country music resides in Nashville, Tennessee, home of the Bluebird café and the Grand Ole Opry. Two years ago, I didn’t know much about Nashville or the country music world to be honest. And then, the show Nashville premiered on ABC. Last week, after a month or so hiatus the show returns for new episodes, and I am still as hooked as when I watched the first episode.

I will admit I first tuned into Nashville because of its star, Connie Britton (and her beautiful hair). I am a massive fan of Friday Night Lights and would watch pretty much anything that has Tami Taylor in it. But after the first episode I was drawn in by the world of Nashville and country music.

raynaAs a casual listener of country I was naïve to places like the bluebird and other Nashville country music sites that have launched the careers of many greats. But I love that the show films in Nashville so I wasn’t looking at sound stages and recreations of these legendary places, but the actual sites.

The music of Nashville was also a draw to me. Not all of it…unfortunately some of the singers are better actors than they are singers. But I was surprised by how good of a singer many of them were. And I found myself loving the more folk-y songs that the show produced. The show, while fictional, actually mirrors the music industry in a lot of ways especially in regards to the struggle for album sales and the dichotomy of the country music industry. There is not one specific sound of country today in my opinion, but rather a few popularized sounds and singers must struggle to find their place and success within those areas.

The show also deals with the pitfalls that surround Nashville including the different type of expectations that surround country music stars in comparison to other famous singers. Country music is known for appealing to a more conservative audience and more simplistic roots than rap or pop music. One of the shows main characters, Juliette, constantly is at odds with fans and parents of her fans for this very reason. She is a great country artist, but does not line up ideologically with her fan base. She has learned the hard way though, that with no fan base, she has no career.

Nashville is probably not winning any Emmys anytime soon, but because of it’s interesting take on the city of Nashville and country music, I am sure I will keep tuning in!

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Filed under Movies and TV

Tim McGraw Performs at the Oscars

Tonight, on Sunday, February 23, 2015, Tim McGraw performed at the Oscars, cowboy hat and all. He didn’t belt out one of his classics, but instead performed an original song by Glen Campbell, from the movie, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.32.17 AMThe song, “I’m Not Going to Miss You” was sad and beautiful, describing the experience of getting Alzheimer’s and losing your family and the experience that country singer Glen Campbell is going through. And Tim McGraw, without much production, let his performance speak for itself.

I am a huge Oscars person. I love all awards shows in general, but as a movie fanatic, this one takes the cake. I am also a Tim McGraw fan. (I have seen him at the Houston rodeo a ridiculous amount of times.) I absolutely loved seeing him perform, staying true to his roots with his country style simplicity up on that stage.

Watching McGraw’s performance made me think about his evolution as a performer. Growing up in Houston where country music dominates half of the radio stations, I was very familiar with his dozens and dozens of chart topping hits, like “Live Like You Were Dying” or “Just to See You Smile.” But as I grew older, McGraw’s presence in popular culture continued to evolve and expand. He was no longer just known for his country twang, but instead for his acting chops. From Friday Night Lights to The Blindside, Tim McGraw was all of the sudden on my television more than on my radio.

What I found really interesting about this change in career path for McGraw is that he somehow still felt like the same country singer. While I do struggle to recognize him without his beard he sported for the better part of a decade, his personality and career decisions still line up with the Tim McGraw country star persona. He’s not starring in action flicks or comic book movies, but instead he is playing roles pretty similar to himself or related to the roots of country music. Whether it’s Sandra Bullock’s husband hanging out in his native Tennessee in The Blindside, or playing a guy in the country music world in Country Strong, there’s an element of Tim McGraw in every role he picks.

The song he performed tonight might not have been his own, but it certainly made me nostalgic for some McGraw hits and it also made me wonder what next movie he will be in. Hey, maybe next time he will be up on that stage accepting an Oscar! You never know!


Filed under Awards, Country Pop, Live Music, Uncategorized

The Evolution of Blake Shelton’s Career

Two Saturdays ago, Blake Shelton was the host and musical guest of Saturday Night Live. He wore wigs, sang songs, and made fun of The Bachelor and himself. It marked, what I believe, to be the completion of the evolution of Blake Shelton’s public persona. And I’m not just talking about the evolution of Shelton’s hairstyles (naturally Buzzfeed is all over that) Obviously, I am not friends with Blake Shelton (or sadly any celebrities) so I can not attest to an actual character evolution, but from my perspective, as a consumer of music and popular culture, Shelton has undergone a lot of change in recent years.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 11.06.49 PM

There’s no question about it, Shelton has been a giant (and I’m not just talking about his height) on the country music scene since his introduction in the early 2000s. He has had hits, massive tours, and got countless award nominations including Male Vocalist of the Year. He’s even married to one of the biggest female country stars of the day, Miranda Lambert. But in 2011, Shelton made an interesting career move. He signed on to be a judge for “The Voice.” And then, at least to me, I actually learned real things about Shelton. His humor about women, alcohol, and making fun of Adam Levine, while maybe not that surprising or out of character, catapulted Shelton into a more prominent place in popular culture. People tune into “The Voice” for a lot of reasons, most likely to watch people sing, but they also tune into to watch Blake Shelton and Adam Levine jab at each other with one-liners what many Americans have dubbed a “bromance.”

Since joining “The Voice”, Shelton has not left country behind. In fact, he is just as country as ever, in his boots and jeans, and spewing words with a “twang.” Hollywood success hasn’t changed Shelton at all. If anything, Shelton has displayed that anyone can make it big in this scene if they are likeable. Shelton certainly is. His staying true to his roots mentality is a perfect encapsulation of what a lot of country music is based on- simplicity and loyalty. Country music is a well-defined clique, with their own award shows and cities that are all theirs. They love their own and love to stay true to those people. Almost as much as they don’t love when people leave them. (Just count how many Miley Cyrus jokes were made at the CMA’s a couple of years ago.) And while Shelton may be on covers of People magazine and giving opening monologues on SNL, he is still, at the core, a country guy, no matter how many twitter followers he now has.


Filed under Movies and TV, Reflection