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Chris Cornell is gone.

And of course I have to blog about that because the very first time I heard Soundgarden … I wasn’t that impressed.

Not that I thought they sucked. Far from it. I just didn’t quite get what they were doing.

This was 100% my problem. I was writing album reviews for the college newspaper at the time, and I was very heavily into punk and underground music at the time. The way it worked was, the local mall record store would let me take a couple of new records home to listen to, and then I would choose which one I thought made enough of an impression (good or bad) to write about, then bring them back.

One week, one of the options was Soundgarden’s Loud Love. I forget what the other album was, but I wrote about it instead, because I could at least get a handle on it. I really didn’t know what to make of Soundgarden – they were long-haired guys with no shirts on and they sounded (to me) like a heavy Led Zeppelin tribute band. I suppose they didn’t fit within my narrow punk aesthetic so I kind of blew them off.

Less than a year later, some friends turned me on to Nirvana’s first album, Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone from someplace called Seattle. I liked them a lot. Then someone else reintroduced me to Loud Love again, and I gave it another chance and THEN it clicked. I got it. And I was both amazed at the music, at Cornell’s vocals, and at myself for being so thick as to not like it on first listen.

I tended to do this a lot when I was younger. (Heck, I probably still do it now.) There was a long list of bands I didn’t really “get” the first time I heard them, but give it a year and I’d hear them again and go, “Wow, this is great, what was I thinking?”


Here’s a true story: I saw Soundgarden live when they were promoting the Badmotorfinger album. My best friend and I drove from Clarksville, TN to Nashville to watch them open for Skid Row. The played for something like 40 minutes and absolutely blew the roof off the dump. We danced in the aisle and as soon as Soundgarden finished their set, we got out of the building before Skid Row could get anywhere near the stage.

It’s probably the only time in my life I ever paid full price for a concert ticket just to see the opening band.

That’s Soundgarden, of course. As for Cornell himself, I admit I didn’t buy his solo stuff, but I did like the first Audioslave album – it was basically Rage Against The Machine with a new lead singer, but it blended perfectly.

Even his James Bond theme song was pretty decent. That was a surreal pop culture moment for me as well, having grown up with Bond films, where one of the big deals about any new film was who would they get to sing the theme song – at one time, it was a sort of a career signpost signaling you’d finally made it. That arguably stopped being true by the time The Living Daylights came out. Still, they didn’t give the job of singing the latest Bond theme song to just anyone. Anyway, Cornell wasn’t an obvious choice – if you were going to go with “former grunge singer does Bond theme” atall, I’d have thought Eddie Vedder would be yr go-to guy.

In any case, admit it – “You Know My Name” was arguably the best Bond song since Duran Duran’s “A View To A Kill”.

Anyway, he was one of the iconic singers of my college years, and I’m saddened and shocked to hear he’s gone so soon.

Say hello 2 heaven,

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As you all know, Mary Tyler Moore is gone.

I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said – she was a TV staple of my childhood, and I do remember that final episode and what a big deal it was.

And with everyone talking about how revolutionary the show was in terms of featuring a female lead who wasn’t a housewife, I suppose it had some kind of background effect on me in terms of learning that women can be independent and have careers like anyone else. Which sounds obvious today, of course, but in 1970 this was still a new concept for many people. (So was the idea of putting a divorced female character on prime time TV, which was apparently the original premise, which CBS rejected.)

Anyway, among the tributes pouring in to MTM, some people have been posting covers of the show’s theme song.

The one I’ve known for years is, of course, the Husker Du version.

Then there’s the Joan Jett version.

You've probably heard both of those in the past week. 

But odds are you haven’t heard the Sammy Davis Jr disco version.

Or the Nashville Country version by Sonny Curtis (who. Incidentally, sang the original TV version).

Now that I’ve heard both, I still prefer the Husker Du/Joan Jett versions.

Yr gonna make it after all,

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Yes, I still do this.

And this year, we continued the trend of the last few years in which I’m buying a lot less new music than I used to. In fact, the releases you see below are pretty much every LP/EP I bought or acquired in 2016. So rather than do a Top 20, I’m going to do a Top 10 and categorize everything else under “Honorable Mentions”.

Ironically, there were plenty more new releases I was interested in this year, but thanks to the online preview ability we have these days (and I’m pretty sure that is what’s makes a huge difference in my buying patterns), I passed on them. Either I wasn’t that knocked out by what I heard, or it was okay but I just couldn’t imagine myself still listening to it a year from now. I don't think every album has to be an instant classic, of course – and indeed the majority of this list wouldn't qualify for that description. But there wasn’t enough incentive to click “buy”, I suppose.

The other thing I should address is the fact that three albums here were Obvious Candidates for every Best of 2016 list in the Western hemisphere. You’d be hard pressed to find a Top 10 list that doesn’t have David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and/or Nick Cave on it. Of course, there will probably always be debate on whether any of these albums would get as much critical acclaim if they had been made under different, less tragic circumstances (i.e. Bowie and Cohen dying shortly after the album's release, and the death of Cave’s son Arthur). But I feel pretty strongly that all three of them warrant the hype on their own merit, if only because (1) I liked the four Blackstar tracks I heard before Bowie died, and (2) I liked the lead-off single from Skeleton Tree before I even knew about Cave’s son.

Blimey, what a year, eh?

DISCLAIMER: Based on music I actually bought between December 2015 and November 2016, and therefore a useless metric for everyone else.


1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed Ltd)
2. David Bowie, Blackstar (ISO/Columbia)
3. The Claypool Lennon Delerium, Monolith Of Phobos (PIAS/Prawn Song/Chimera)
4. De La Soul, And The Anomymous Nobody (AOI)
5. Shonen Knife, Adventure (Damnably)
6. Bob Mould, Patch The Sky (Merge)
7. The Thermals, We Disappear (Saddle Creek)
8. Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker (Columbia)
9. Yello, Toy (Polydor/Island)
10. Fantastic Negrito, The Last Days Of Oakland (Blackball Universe)


John Carpenter, Lost Themes II (Sacred Bones)
Jambinai, A Hermitage (Bella Union)
Lush, Blind Spot EP (Edamame)
Iggy Pop, Post Pop Depression (Caroline)
Dan Sartain, Century Plaza (One Little Indian)
Seratones, Seratones On Audiotree Live (Audiotree)
Tacocat, Lost Time (Hardly Art)
Tricot, Kabuku EP (Bakuretsu Records)
Underworld, Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future (Caroline)
Tony Joe White, Rain Crow (Yep Roc)


Kate Bush, Before The Dawn (Fish People)


Richard Michael John Hall, Space Rock (Bandcamp)


Banäna Deäthmüffins, Political Songs For Miley Cyrus To Sing


Extended play! The details! )

Up next: the films!

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And so 2016 gets one more boot in with George Michael.

I have to confess, I’m one of the few people on the planet who wasn’t a big fan. Which is not to say I don’t think he was talented. He was a fine singer and a showman, and I can prove that with this video of him performing with Queen for a Freddie Mercury tribute/AIDS awareness fundraiser.

Sure, he’s no Freddie Mercury, but c’mon, no one was except Freddie. And in many respects Freddie was no George Michael.

That said, I was never really into Wham!, who I found to be a bit silly and pretty to be taken seriously. I’ll admit too that by the time I became aware of them, my musical tastes were more solidly in classic/heavy rock territory. And by the time George went solo, I was firmly in Punkville and turned off by Michael’s ubiquity. So … you know.

Now that I’m older and wiser (okay, older), I still can’t say I’m a fan, but it’s easier to see why Wham! were as big as they were, and why George ended up an even bigger pop star on his own. One thing I didn’t realize in the 80s was that Michael wasn’t just a pretty face being handed pro pop songs to sing – he wrote most of his own songs (both in Wham! and solo), and 30+ years later, his hits are still in circulation – one of them now being a staple Christmas song, albeit one that’s now going to have some extra emotional heft, seeing as how he passed on Christmas Day.

Anyway, here in HK he had his share of fans. And inevitably, one of the classic stories making the rounds here is the time that Wham! became the first Western pop group to play in mainland China.

It’s actually a fascinating story in terms of how they managed to land the gig (to include their manager screwing Queen out of the gig by portraying Freddie Mercury as kinda gay – hmmmm yes …) and how the audience had to be careful not to be seen having an unacceptably good time, etc.


Guilty feet have got no rhythm,

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After three or four years of releasing several albums’ worth of songs individually, Banäna Deäthmüffins is finally releasing our very first proper album, which is actually an EP or a mini-LP or whatever you call a record that only has seven songs on it.

Five songs are brand new. Two songs have been previously released, but since only about 25 people have heard either of them, we’ll go ahead and say they’re as good as new.

You can stream the whole thing from Bandcamp (or via the player below), and you can also download it in the format of yr choice (to include CD-level quality if you have a lot of storage and a decent internet connection).

Just put “0.00” in the price box and it’s yrs. (You can put more than that if you really want to, but I wouldn’t recommend it – we’re not exactly professionals here.)


Why release an album now?
Because albums are dead, so we figure now is the perfect time to put one out.

Are these songs really political?
Isn’t everything nowadays?

Which political party do you support?
Oh no you don’t, we’re not playing that game.

Is it a coincidence that yr releasing this just before the US presidential election?

Are these songs really for Miley Cyrus to sing?
If she wants to do any of them, that’s fine by us.

What about Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Carly Rae Jepsen, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, etc?
We don't object. But Miley gets first pass. We'll give Taylor Swift second pass since she went to my high school for a year.

Why Miley Cyrus?
Dunno. It seemed like a funny idea at the time.

If she does cover any of these songs, will you return the favor and record a Miley Cyrus cover?
We can't actually name any Miley Cyrus songs, much less play them, but we are willing to learn.

Aren’t you afraid she’ll sue the bejeezus out of you?
Not really – we’re sure she has a sense of humor about it. She may even get the reference.

How about her record company?
That’s a risk, sure, but given that (1) we don’t make a dime off our music and (2) even if we did, the number of people who even know we exist is smaller than Miley’s entourage, we’re not too worried.

Have you actually read the book Who Moved My Cheese?


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Achievement unlocked,

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Well, maybe it won’t. But it seems the more interesting new music releases I’ve come across in the last few months fit that description.

First there’s Tricot, a math-rock band from Japan who has released their second EP, Kabuku. The angular jazz chords and shifting time-signatures are kind of standard, but it’s the multi-layered vocals that help Tricot stand out, for my money.

Here’s the lead-off single, “Setsuyakuka”:

And then you have Korean band Jambinai, which combines traditional Korean folk instruments with post-rock, heavy metal and hip-hop. The result is surprisingly hypnotic and surreal.

Here’s the closing track from their second album, A Hermitage, out now:

To defy the laws of tradition,

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boing boing boing boing

[Via F*** Yeah Dementia]

And that’s about all I have to say about the new Beyonce album, which is currently being insanely overanalyzed and overpoliticized out there in the cyberspaces. I really don’t have anything to add to either “conversation”, the latter of which is essentially a rehash of that other conversation about her “racist” Super Bowl show.

Also, I haven’t heard the album and am not likely to – I appreciate Beyonce's accomplishments as a pop artist, but musically she’s not my cup of tea – so I can’t very well comment on an album I haven’t listened to.

Granted, that won’t stop everyone else on the internet, but, you know, we’re trying to do something a little different here.

When life gives you lemons,

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The Thermals are back album #7, and the question for many fans remains: “Is it as good as The Body The Blood The Machine”?

Which is unfair, maybe, but it’s a common problem for any band that makes a defining, landmark album then has to spend the rest of their career in its shadow. That said, Thermals leader Hutch Harris doesn’t seem to be losing sleep over it. And it’s not like their post-TBTBTM output has been awful. For my money, Now We Can See and Desperate Ground are underappreciated gems, and while Personal Life didn’t quite work for me, there’s still some good stuff there.

The new album, We Disappear, is thematically concerned with how people resist the end of things, be they relationships or life itself to the point of posting everything about themselves online in a possible bid for immortality after we die, as the opening track declares.

Musically, it’s also a step forward in that The Thermals expand their sound slightly – it’s still simple three-chord power-pop with Harris’ earnest yelp, but with more layered guitars and judicious use of echo on a few tracks.

That said, it’s still basically the standard Thermals template, and that’s why – as with the last few albums – I’ll need to revisit it a few times. But history suggests this one will grow on me.

We will always exist,

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You all know about Prince.

As a blogger I’m obligated to say a few things about this.

1. I should say up front I’ve never really been a fan of Prince in the literal sense. To be clear, I do like a lot of his music, and I have the utmost respect for him as a songwriter, musician, artist and general force of nature.

But I only ever owned a few of his albums, and none are from 1990 on. Prince was one of those artists that was so ubiquitous on the radio and MTV that it didn’t seem necessary to buy copies of his albums – I could hear him all the time anyway.

2. That said, this is my favorite Prince album.

Even though it was a major hit, I remember a lot of people put it down at the time – partly because it came across as a cheesy movie marketing gimmick, and partly because Prince turned the Batman and The Joker into a weird hybrid alter-ego that had nothing to do with the movie, which just seemed really egotistical even by Prince standards.

And yet the whole thing really is a weird kind of genius – the album and the videos are basically Prince deconstructing the whole Batman/Joker mythos and rebuilding it in his own image. io9 has a great write-up of what Tim Burton’s film would have been like if he’d gone with Prince’s storyline. I have to say, I'd go see that.

3. It’s always interested me that Prince was simultaneously heralded as a brilliant guitarist (which he was) and underrated to the point that he rarely made it onto any given list of the greatest guitar players. I suppose it was partly because most of the “great” guitar players are only really known for playing guitar, whereas Prince played lots of other instruments as well.

4. One of the benchmarks of any major pop star who writes his/her own songs is the extent to which people cover them. Famously, Prince has written hits for Sinead O’Connor and The Bangles. Lesser known covers include The Goo Goo Dolls doing “I Could Never Take The Place Of You Man” (with The Incredible Lance Diamond) and the Hindu Love Gods (Warren Zevon and ¾ of REM) doing “Raspberry Beret” (which I would link to if it existed on YouTube, which it doesn’t – see Item 7).

5. This sticker here?

Prince is basically responsible for that. It was his song “Darling Nikki” that set off Tipper Gore to start the PMRC and instigate a Senate investigation into “porn-rock” that eventually led to the music industry adopting that sticker.

Mind you, I’m not blaming Prince for that – I blame Tipper. But it goes to show how much Prince pushed at mainstream music’s boundaries. You know yr pushing hard enough when the Powers The Be who consider it their responsibility to set those boundaries decide to push back.

6. I know a guy who was in Minneapolis when the punk scene was raging in the early 80s. And to this day he resents that Prince made it big and got national attention and put Minneapolis on the pop culture map when there were more deserving local bands like Husker Du and The Replacements who should have been getting all the glory.

Of course eventually both bands got credit for being essential and influential. And both Bob Mould and Paul Westerberg have written touching tributes about Prince. So there’s maybe a lesson here about how being precious about yr little music scene only goes so far.

7. Anyway, it’s all been said elsewhere, but I have to respect a guy who did everything on his own terms and broke just about every rule he was supposed to play by to be a success at the time. Who else could change his name to an unpronounceable symbol and get away with it? Even his crusade against digital music (to include YouTube), while quixotic, was based on the well-intentioned argument that the artists should have control over how their music is shared and how much they’re compensated for that. 

8. This has nothing to do with Prince, but I thought I’d mention that he wasn’t the only influential music artist to die at age 57 that day.

Richard Lyons, one of the founders of Negativland, also passed away

Take me away,

This is dF

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Since the previous installment of this series covered David Bowie’s final album, it’s only fitting we should follow that up with Post Pop Depression, Iggy Pop’s final album

Well, maybe. He’s suggested he will likely retire after this. If so, he’ll go out swinging.

What fans will make of it may depend in part on how they feel about (1) the rest of Iggy’s solo catalog (i.e. is it as good as Lust For Life?) and (2) Josh Homme, who is Iggy’s musical partner here, along with Dean Fertita (of Homme’s main band Queens Of The Stone Age) and Matt Helders (drummer for Arctic Monkeys). As such, musically it bears a slight resemblance to Queens Of The Stone Age and/or Homme’s various side projects or desert-jam sessions.

But it would be a mistake to call this a QOTSA album with Iggy as frontman. It’s much more than that. Musically it’s more reflective than heavy, the sound of a guy who gave his all for the rockinrolls and lived to tell the tale. Which pretty much sums up Iggy’s career.

And of course Iggy dominates the set as only Iggy can, with lyrics that range from languid and sentimental to sputtering rage and the occasional venture into self-aware goofiness. They’re not all classics but I think several tracks here hold up against even the best of his back catalog.

All up, it’s a solid and often spellbinding album. More importantly, it’s the sound of Iggy Pop doing what he’s always done – whatever he wants, and on his own terms.

Here’s one of the better tracks.

Slick as a senator’s statement,

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Banäna Deäthmüffins isn’t on hiatus exactly – we actually have a number of tracks in the works and even a concept album, maybe. But our MIDI converter is acting up and we can’t get much else done until we get a new one.

However, we do have this to share with you: a cover of that classic song “Born Free”.

And we’d like to apologize in advance to fans of the original. Because we didn’t exactly take it seriously. The ending is pretty cool, though.

[This is where the lyrics usually go, but it’s probably not necessary in this case.]


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Music by John Barry
Original lyrics by Don Black
Updated lyrics by Dave and Lana (probably)

Ruined by Banäna Deäthmüffins, and we're very sorry about that really

©2016 Terribly Frog Music. Derechos Reservados!


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On a plain,

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It’s been a slow year for new music, mainly because most of the new releases I’ve been looking forward to weren’t scheduled to drop until the end of March or early April. So basically until this week, the only new album of 2016 that I’d heard was David Bowie’s Blackstar. Which, amazingly, I haven’t blogged about yet.

I shall do that now.

Basically, it’s brilliant.

And of course since I heard it a week after Bowie’s passing, we may never know how big an influence that will be on my assessment. But I had heard the title track the month prior to his death and thought it was just stunning, so I feel pretty sure about this.

I also liked the two songs here that were released a year ago alongside the Nothing Has Changed comp, “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)” and “’Tis a Pity She’s A Whore”, although Blackstar has new versions recorded with the jazz band Bowie recruited for the album. I have to say I like this version of “Sue …” more – it’s still jazzy but with a little more dramatic tension to it.

You can compare them, if you like. Here’s the Maria Schneider Orchestra version.

And here’s the Blackstar version.

And of course we all know by now that “Lazarus” was an intentional farewell song. In fact, Tony Visconti has said Bowie – who had already been diagnosed with cancer – knew this would be his last album. Leave it to Bowie to turn his death into an artistic statement.

There will always be arguments over how it compares to the rest of Bowie’s catalog, but I think it’s one of his strongest albums. And given the strength of his best work, I don’t see that it matters if it’s better than, say, Ziggy Stardust or the Berlin trilogy or whatever. It’s a great Bowie album, and it’s grand that Bowie was able to go out swinging.

So anyway, this is the first great album of 2016, and it’s hard to imagine anything else topping it.

Oh folly Sue,

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Here in Hong Kong, Sam Hui is generally recognized as one of the founders of what’s known as Cantopop, as he was one of the first and most successful singer-songwriters of the early 70s to sing pop/rock songs in the local Cantonese dialect instead of Mandarin, as was the tradition beforehand.

One of my favorite songs of his is “Students”. I don’t understand much of the lyrics, but I love the chord progression and key changes.

Turns out it’s actually a cover version of this song, which was a big hit in South Korea in the mid-60s and still gets a lot of tribute/karaoke action to this very day.

And it turns out that that song – the title of which translates to “Washington Square” – is actually an adaptation of this instrumental recorded a year earlier by "folk-Dixie" outfit The Village Stompers.

It’s an interesting evolution. Someone in Korea basically took an American instrumental and wrote some original Korean lyrics for it, then ten years later Sam Hui took that version and wrote some original Cantonese lyrics for it.

(I’m assuming he swiped the music from the Korean version rather than the US version. My conclusion is based on the fact that the Korean version contains one minor chord change from the original, and the Sam Hui version uses the Korean chord changes.)

Isn't this interesting?

All around the world,

This is dF
defrog: (45 frog)
Time to get back on track with this series.

If you’ve followed this long enough, you know I have a lot of one-hit wonders in the 45 library.

Gary Wright is not one of them. He was a two-hit wonder. But then I’ve only got one of those two hits on 45, so close enough.

This is the one I have.

This is the one I don’t have (not on 45, anyway – I did have it via a K-Tel comp, I think, so it doesn’t count towards this series).

Wright was, of course, formerly with Spooky Tooth, which I didn’t know at the time. And it probably wouldn’t have mattered if I did because Spooky Tooth weren’t all that big in the US when they were active, and I didn’t know who they were in the mid-70s when these two songs came out.

Anyway, I still kind of like both songs, but “Love Is Alive” is the stronger of the two, thanks to that hard-hitting bass line and the delay effects on the guitar. (I like me some echo.) And it does kind of rock. Listening to it now, it gets by more on nostalgia, perhaps  but I still like it.

It’s all clear to me now,

This is dF 
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George Martin is gone.

Not the bloke who writes the Game Of Thrones thing. The fifth Beatle.

You can probably get good recaps of his Beatles career here and here. And of course there was more to him than The Beatles.

But it’s only fair that everyone focuses on the Beatles stuff, because that whole story illustrates the importance of having a good producer in the studio who knows how to collaborate with a given artist and get the best possible results. Some bands don’t require producer intervention. Some do. The Beatles may or may not have needed it, but there’s little doubt they benefited from Martin’s input, and very likely wouldn’t be as influential as they are now.

At least some of that comes to the sheer innovation that Martin enabled. Think of it this way – as big as Beatlemania was, The Beatles would have likely gone the way of other teen-idol pop groups (here today, gone tomorrow) if they hadn’t evolved into something more serious and innovative. And Martin was the key to making that innovation work, not least because of the technical limitations at the time. In these days of Pro Tools, software effects and digital editing, it’s easy to forget how hard it is to record, mix and edit a musically complex song with a four-track mixer, analog tape and a razor blade.

And I’ve done both analog and digital audio production, so take it from me.

Anyway, Martin gets full credit from me for taking both The Beatles and pop/rock music forward into new and unexplored realms. Yes, rock as a music form has been in arrested development for a long time now. But Martin helped get it to where it is now. We need someone else like Martin to find the right artists to show us how to move forward again.

One other thing I’ll say about Martin: he also wrote the score to what is arguably my favorite Bond film soundtrack.

Not to put down John Barry, who did some awesome Bond scores. But Live and Let Die is the only Bond soundtrack with wah-wah.

BONUS TRACK: Martin also produced Cheap Trick’s fifth album All Shook Up, which tends to be underrated because it didn’t have a lot of radio-friendly songs compared to Dream Police, and it’s relatively more experimental. But it’s still a solid Cheap Trick album, IMO. Here's the opening track.

Hello goodbye,

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defrog: (sars)
I don’t care about the Superbowl – so much so that I don’t really know who actually played in it (I’m assuming it’s the Cowboys and the Broncos – they’re in it pretty much every year, right?). But I do find it hilarious that (1) Coldplay was the halftime headliner and (2) they got upstaged by Beyonce.

And I wouldn’t even know about that except that Beyonce’s act has apparently upset Rudy Giuliani, Rush Limbaugh and the poor lambs at Fox News for being all militaristic and black and stuff.

Which for some reason made me think of the other time a prominent black R&B superstar made a sociopolitical album with a military-fashion look. 

Okay, it’s not the same thing exactly. But I suspect the reason we didn’t see the same level of freakout over Janet’s look was that Fox News didn’t exist in 1989.

Anyway, I can’t top what Jessica Williams has already said about this.

I will add that I find it grimly hilarious that Fox News creatures took Beyonce to task for the message in a song that they claimed they couldn’t even understand the words:
“I couldn’t really make out what Beyoncé was saying,” host Brian Kilmeade added after the show aired some footage of her performance. “But at the end, we find out Beyoncé dressed up in a tribute to the Black Panthers, went to a Malcolm X formation. And the song, the lyrics, which I couldn’t make out a syllable, were basically telling cops to stop shooting blacks!”

It’s kind of like: “I can’t understand a word of ‘Louie Louie', but I know it’s obscene!”

You could argue that the Super Bowl is no place for political statements. On the other hand, three Republican Super PACs (for Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio) ran TV spots during the game, and even the non-political ads ended up being politicized to varying degrees. So in this age where everything is political, it seems churlish to single out Beyonce for doing it.

And to be honest, given the current situation, I don’t blame Beyonce for using the Superbowls as a platform to speak against racism. It’s a conversation that America desperately needs to have, and one that at least a certain portion of white America is desperately trying to avoid, or pretend is unnecessary, or pretend the conversation yr trying to start is really about something else (i.e. when #BlackLivesMatter says “We don’t want white cops to shoot unarmed black kids without accountability”, Rudy Giuliani and Peter King hear, “Fuck the police, kill all cops, kill Whitey”). When the people on the other side don’t want to listen to what you have to say (and indeed see no reason to come to the table), it’s necessary to use an amplifier. The same rationale informed and drove Martin Luther King’s protests in the 1960s. Beyonce is no MLK, but she’s got a huge fan base, a national audience, and a microphone, and she would really like for white police officers to stop shooting unarmed black kids – what would you do?

You may question her use of Black Panther fashion imagery (not least since discussions about the Black Panthers on both sides tend to be oversimplified), but you can’t deny she’s started a conversation – even if the conversation on the other side of the table mostly (and predictably) ranges from simplistic to dumb. But that’s not on Beyonce. 

The revolution will be televised,

This is dF


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