Dirty Country is a 70-minute documentary about the little-known tradition of filthy music, popular with truckers and frat boys ... and, it turns out, just about everyone else in the southern United States.
The artist who best embodies the dirty-country style, according to the movie, is an aging singer-songwriter named Larry Pierce, who has recorded literally dozens of albums; among his output are such three-minute singalong classics as "She Makes My Pecker Stand Up" (dedicated to his wife) and "Hike Your Skirt Up Higher (Stank Up The Whole Room)".
Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher's camcorder-scale movie feints in the direction of a larger consideration of the dirty-country scene, dropping in on other acts like John "Dr. Dirty" Valby, the aging ensemble Doug Clark's Hot Nuts and Blowfly, but Dirty Country is really about Pierce. Structured as a quest narrative, the film follows him from obscurity (though everyone interviewed knows who he is) to appreciation, as he's sought out by the "extreme" country-rockers -itis (yes, that's their name) and ends up booked on Howard Stern's radio show.
I watched Dirty Country perched somewhere between bemusement and irritation. I don't want to sound like a cranky old guy or anything, but the songs aren't particularly funny; once you hear the title, you get the joke, and there's nothing left but repetition. And the musicianship is competent at best, though I suppose that's beside the point.
Yeah, the unassuming, low-voiced Pierce comes off as a pleasant fellow - imagine Hank Hill with Tourette's Syndrome - but he's not exactly a charismatic subject. His legions of fans might be curious to see the legend in action ... but at the same time, how many fans can the guy have in Toronto?
Of course, I'm an elitist douchebag who owns the complete recordings of They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton, so it's entirely possible I'm just clueless about the Larry Pierce phenomenon. Feel free to correct me in the comments below.