Tag Archives: Music

Super Bowl Derp Alert v2.0

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha……

JonesIllyuminati

I see a lot of Infowars bumper stickers plastered on road signs from coast to coast, in my own neighborhood and in my travels (here’s a sample from last summer). I have to wonder what kind of loon would spend their money and time on such an endeavor.

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Filed under conspiracies, conspiracy theory, Music & politics, pop culture

RIP, Pete Seeger

Woops brain fart. Woody Guthrie wrote “This Land,” NOT Pete Seeger … ! Well, I got it right the first time.

Looks like I’ll have to do another photographic tribute.

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I did a photographic tribute to Pete Seeger Woody Guthrie a couple years ago. In honor of the passing of this great American, here it is again.

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Filed under music, music and politics, pop culture

“I Just Came To See What Hate Looked Like”

[UPDATE]:

I told Mr. Beale “I Just Came To See What Hate Looked Like” sounded like a country song. I guess Democommie read my mind, because he’s fleshed out some lyrics at his place. Not bad for a Yankee.

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Westboro Baptist Church protestors targeted Vince Gill’s Kansas City concert this weekend. Gill confronted the church and it was all captured on video:

I normally don’t want to give the Phelps cult the benefit of more exposure but country music artists are always knocked for being right-wing assholes and that stereotype just isn’t true.

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Filed under country music, gay equality

How To Tell You’re In The Wrong Church

[UPDATE]:

Shocked finally responds:

On Wednesday, the singer made a statement (e-mailed to news outlets, and me in response to my inquiry): “I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that. … When I said, ‘Twitter that Michelle Shocked says, “God hates faggots,” ‘ I was predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted. … And to those fans who are disappointed … I’m very sorry: I don’t always express myself as clearly as I should. … And my statement equating repeal of Prop. 8 with the coming of the End Times was neither literal nor ironic: It was a description of how some folks – not me – feel about gay marriage.”

Shocked said her own sexuality isn’t an issue here. “I’d like to say this was a publicity stunt, but I’m really not that clever, and I’m definitely not that cynical. But I am damn sorry. If I could repeat the evening, I would make a clearer distinction between a set of beliefs I abhor and my human sympathy for the folks who hold them.”

Well, I sure would love to see a YouTube video of that concert. I wasn’t there so it’s hard to say how her comments were construed, but the fact that people left in droves and the club staff had to literally pull the plug and turn off the lights lets me think she was pretty damn clear at the time.

For you folks who say you haven’t heard of her, she was big back in the 90s when the whole singer-songwriter thing exploded. You might have heard this song.

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When your church makes you say stupid shit that alienates a huge chunk of your core fans, maybe you’re in the wrong church.

Seriously, WTF Michelle Shocked? While I can’t say I was ever a huge fan — somewhere I’ve got a box with the CD containing “Anchored Down In Anchorage” on it, and that’s about it — for some reason I’d always believed Michelle Shocked was a lesbian. I lumped her in with the rest of the late-90s Lilith Fair era of women’s music — you know, Indigo Girls and all that. I guess I haven’t kept up because according to the New York Times, somewhere along the way Shocked became a born-again Christian of the holy roller, Pentecostal persuasion.

There are two kinds of churches in the world: the kind peddling love and hope, and the kind peddling hate and fear. I’ve always been fiercely allergic to the latter kind. I really don’t understand why someone would attend a church that makes a person feel bad about who they are, who their friends are, fills them with fear, and alienates them from those who support their creative endeavors. I also don’t understand people who pay more attention to a handful of passages from the Old Testament while ignoring 99.9% of the New Testament:

Michelle Shocked cited Old Testament verses condemning homosexuality and told the audience she hoped the courts would uphold Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage, according to Yahoo Music. “I live in fear that the world will be destroyed if gays are allowed to marry,” she said. Then she also told the audience to go on Twitter and report that she had said God hates homosexuals, though it is unclear whether that remark was sardonic.

Much of the audience walked out after her remarks. The club’s manager tried to end the show, but she continued playing until staff members pulled the plug and turned off the stage lights.

The thing is, gays are already allowed to marry in about a dozen countries around the world, and in portions of half a dozen others. Yet we’ve continued to dodge asteroids, while Harold Camping’s end-times predictions have been one huge failure after another. Meanwhile, we continue on in our foolish, carbon-chugging, earth-polluting ways. It seems pretty obvious that if the earth is destroyed, it won’t be the fault of gays.

I do think the Bible is full of lots of eternal truths, one of them being, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Right now, Shocked is sowing a very bitter harvest. There’s anger and cancelled gigs and people walking out of shows because she’s repeating what her church told her. The good news is, there are plenty of churches out there of the “love and hope” persuasion, that don’t make you feel bad for who you are or who your friends are or the things you’ve done or believed.

There will inevitably be those tempted to compare this incident to the Dixie Chicks’ infamous public flogging after Natalie Maines said she was against the Iraq War and ashamed President Bush was from Texas. There are similarities, but they’re thin. For one thing, the Dixie Chicks were at the peak of a red-hot career — they had the number one single on the charts, fer crissakes — when they were attacked by their own very clubby industry. The Dixie Chicks’ words were greeted with cheers at the time; only later was a controversy manufactured by the suits on Music Row and at corporate radio.

Someday we’ll find out the full story behind what was an organized, industry-directed campaign ginning up outrage for fun and profit. Few people remember this today, but at the time the ‘Chicks had just emerged victorious in a major, very public battle with their powerful record company, Sony. From the memory hole:

The war with Sony started in 2001, after the group’s first two albums, Wide Open Spaces and Fly, sold more than 10 million copies apiece. In an interview with Dan Rather that aired on CBS, the Chicks announced that by their math, Sony had made $200 million off them but that individually they had yet to gross seven figures. Then, in a move that sent shock waves through Nashville (admittedly it’s a town that’s easily shocked), the Chicks served Sony with papers claiming that because of the company’s alleged accounting misdeeds, they were declaring themselves free agents. “We all know there are some major problems in the music industry,” says Maguire. “Every new act signs a bad deal. But we never dreamed that the s_____ deal we signed wouldn’t even be honored.”

Sony sued the group for breach of contract; the Chicks countersued, alleging “systematic thievery.” As the charges escalated, the Chicks found themselves Nashville pariahs. For country acts, the relationship between label and band has historically been in loco parentis; bands presumed the label always knew best. “Everyone in the country industry kept telling us, ‘Keep your mouths shut. Why don’t you appreciate what you have?’” says Maguire.

That’s the context that’s always ignored when people talk about how the Nashville music industry turned on its own stars. Despite all of this, they still had a Number One radio single and a Number One album. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the whole Iraq War fauxtroversy popped up on their first post-Sony endeavor. It was a way of teaching the Chicks a lesson by a hubris-filled entertainment industry. That this lesson veered way out of control and ended up ultimately hurting the industry itself is just par for the course.

All of this is water under the bridge, and it’s a little off topic, but I figured some wingnut is going to go all “liberals-are-hypocrites” on this story, so I thought I’d get ahead of the game.

Anyway, Michelle Shocked is entitled to her opinion, as misguided as it may be, but her fans don’t have to subject themselves to it. And I don’t see any coordinated, industry-generated campaign to ruin her career as happened with the Dixie Chicks. I see an artist engaging in some very public self-sabotage for reasons I can’t begin to fathom but are probably rooted in the very toxic, negative messaging she’s been getting every Sunday.

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Filed under gay equality, marriage, music and politics, pop culture

Silver Bells

I thought we could use a break from all the downer news out of Connecticut. If you’ve never heard an angel sing, well here you go. Mindy Smith is a true treasure. Enjoy and peace out.

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Filed under Holidays, music

Friday Night Music Video

Enjoy. This chick is something of an internet sensation for her acid flashback videos. Some might say they are best enjoyed with the sound off.

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Filed under fun and games, music

This Land

Our ribbon of highway hit a few bumps ….

… so we roamed and rambled a road less traveled …

… from the Redwood Forest …

… to the Gulf Stream Waters … (well … almost! I’m still boycotting Florida!)

… the sun was shining …

.. and a voice came chanting …

This land was made for you and me!

And the final verse of that song which we didn’t sing in summer camp:

In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.

I always thought that Woody Guthrie wrote that song during the height of the Great Depression, but wikipedia tells me no, the lyrics were written in 1940 and the song recorded in 1944. That’s at the height of the World War II, a time when we’re all trained to believe the entire nation was uniformly pro-war, pro-America, the “greatest generation” of patriots sacrificing for the cause of freedom, etc. That Guthrie would record such a cynical message in 1944 (or be allowed to record it, I should say) is amazing to me.

It’s also interesting that the song went on to become such an iconic American tune, though I concede it’s primarily the first two politically correct verses which have been seared into the national consciousness and I suspect that all came later during the ’60s folk revival, anyway.

Still, this reminds me of the distorted view of history we all have.

More travels tomorrow ….

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Filed under music, music and politics, travel

And They Wonder Why We Laugh At Them

The CPAC rap, starring Fox News’ Steve Crowder and Chris Loesch, husband of Dana Loesch. I bet parties are really un-fun at their house:

Dudes. The jogging suits and Federalist-era wigs? Really? Seriously? And the granny trying lamely to rock out? This is the kind of stuff that requires brain bleach after viewing.

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Filed under conservatives, CPAC, music and politics

Gingrich Campaign Steals From Songwriters

Newt Gingrich’s campaign has repeatedly violated copyright law by improperly using “Eye Of The Tiger” at campaign events, says the song’s co-writer and publisher, who is now suing the campaign:

After months of attempting to deal with Gingrich’s campaign, a Palatine-based music publishing company owned by Survivor lead guitarist Frankie Sullivan has filed suit seeking damages and an injunction to block the Republican contender from using the song at appearances and in campaign videos.

“This has nothing to do with politics. This is a copyright issue,” said Annette McGarry, Sullivan’s lawyer. “We’ve tried to deal with them for months, and they’ve been trying to ignore it.”

Since at least 2009, Gingrich has entered rallies to the pulsing guitar riffs of the song, which was the background track to Rocky’s training montages in the 1982 film “Rocky III.”

Despite complaints from Sullivan, Gingrich still was using the song at events in South Carolina this month, and the song is featured in several campaign videos posted on the Internet, McGarry said. Polls show Gingrich trails rival Mitt Romney by double digits in the Florida primary.

This is so typical of assholes like Newt Gingrich. Is it so hard to ask a songwriter for permission to use their copyrighted material to sell your campaign? Apparently it is. Especially if you’re too cheap to pay to use licensed material. C’mon, Newt: ask Sheldon Adelson to cough up a few thousand more so the songwriters you’re stealing from don’t get ripped off.

Here’s the money quote:

“He likes to walk in like a fighter entering the ring,” she said. “He should have to pay for it.”

That’s exactly right. Gingrich selected this song for marketing reasons, the same way a beer brand picks a classic pop song to burnish its brand’s image. The same way Sarah Palin chose Heart’s “Barracuda” to be her theme song. Music is a cultural touchstone and it’s as crucial for branding a politician as it is a box of detergent. For Newt, “Eye Of The Tiger” evokes images of a fighter, the guy who won’t back down against all odds, the come-from-behind winner. But if Anheuser-Bush has to pay to use a song like that in its advertising, Newt does, too.

But nooo, God forbid he should pay for something when he can just steal use it for free. This is so indicative of how the Gingrich’s of the world operate. Like bullies and thugs, offering nothing but an “Oh yeah? Make me!” to people whose work they’re happy to use but not pay for. And the audacity to do this at campaign events where he spews crap about how poor black kids don’t want work, “unless it’s illegal” — when you’re effectively stealing!

Here’s a thought: roll up your sleeves and go to work, Newtie. Write your own damn theme song, asshole.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, music and politics, Newt Gingrich, pop culture

Farewell Etta James

One of my biggest regrets is that I never got to see Etta James perform live. She played Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium five years ago, played Arrington Vineyards outside of Nashville two years ago, and I didn’t see either show.

I have a bunch of Etta James CDs, I think I loved every single song she did. Yes, Mr. Beale and I played “At Last” at our wedding. I don’t care if it’s cliche, it’s an amazing song and an amazing performance.

A lot of folks don’t know that James recorded a country album back in the 90s. It was, in my view, one of the finest recordings of her career. It’s called Love’s Been Rough On Me, and it contains one of my all-time favorite Etta James songs: “Cry Like A Rainy Day.” Oh, man. That song slays me every time. And I do mean every time.

That said, in this Rolling Stone interview from 1997, James didn’t seem to have the same high regard for her foray into Nashville as I did. She said:

Well … I’d been dying to make a country record. I love the women in country ‑ Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells ‑ and I wanted to be the first black woman to do the Grand Ole Opry, if just to say it’s the same fucking thing as rhythm & blues! So I did Love’s Been Rough on Me with Barry Beckett [James' longtime producer], and when it was done, the label heard it and said, “You gotta pizazz this up or it won’t get played. [Growls) Needs some of that ass‑kicking shit." Uh, OK. So they put all these horns on it and remixed it. Even the cover photo ‑ they wouldn't use the one I wanted. That record has nothing to do with me ‑ looking like some old woman with a leopard scarf around my neck, getting ready to go make some spaghetti!

But I wasn't gonna fight it, 'cause I wasn't gonna win. Nowadays, when you get past 35, it seems like you can't get a record going. I never hear my stuff played on the air, unless it's an oldies station and somebody goes [mock DJ voice], “Now we’re gonna go waaaay back.” But I’ll make that country record yet. I’ll be on the cover standing by an old wagon wheel, with my foot propped up on a cactus or something, with a cowboy hat on and one of those shingle leather jackets. Etta Goes Country

God love her! RIP, Miss Etta. The world will miss your talent. I know I will, for sure.

Here’s “Cry Like A Rainy Day,” pulled off the YouTube. Don’t arrest me, internet police; I’m just sharing something I found on the internet. Go buy the record, peeps:

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Filed under music, Nashville, pop culture