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In Which I’m Listening To A Lot Of Old Rockabilly – Mike McAlister

April 28th, 2016 No comments

I don't dig it

I’m driving much shorter distances and less frequently lately which effectively derails my 3 year streak of obsessively listening to audio books. I’m a little bit sad about that but not enough to want to go back to the stress and work load I had previously. Even with SiriusXM, I don’t have much in common with radio. I guess that there’s no room with all James Taylor and Elvis stations to host a free-form channel. Not that there’s anything wrong with listening to every single live performance Sweet Baby James ever recorded. And not to say that I don’t get into genre grooves.

Speaking of which…

I stumbled across a 10-CD set called Nasty Rockabilly recently which kept me company over the past several weeks. As a history buff and a cultural history buff, at that, I find old music fascinating, the more obscure the better. The songs that didn’t make it, didn’t make it for a multitude of reasons. In many cases, the glut of that new-fangled “rock and rock” music provided the greatest barrier to entry. With so many diamonds like Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and the ubiquitous Elvis, shining out from some shitty little town in Arkansas or Montana proved nigh impossible even if you were a local celebrity. And a lot of the performers on this compilation don’t appear to have reached that height. I only recognized Link Wray immediately. Almost nothing is known about Mike McAlister.

I want to highlight some of the songs of note here over the next bit of time. These songs grabbed my attention for one reason or another – either they rocked, had a cool hook, whored themselves shamelessly to exploit the trend, outright sucked or, in the case of I Don’t Dig It, made me scratch my head.

Given there’s no songwriting credit, I assume that Mike wrote this tune. And if you take the text as a psychological profile…don’t date this guy…even in the 50’s. The songs strikes me a musical cognitive dissonance. Early rock and roll garnered a reputation Satan’s music partially due to its direct descendancy from “race music“. The jungle beat forced normally placid, church-going white children to fornicate like savages. It also brought about a resurgence of the drag king movement with girls…not dressing like girls.

tomboy

Given the loose sexual morals of rock and roll (and, remember, the original Tutti Frutti was about butt sex), finding a song decrying your girlfriend’s dress code seems an odd choice of subject.

You’re a real gone gal in your Sunday best
But when you go home, baby, you change to a mess
I don’t dig it
I don’t dig it
It ain’t right

As with most control freaks, it’s not about the actual issue. It goes deeper. And it’s about sex or the lack thereof. The chronology and logic of the song confuses me. Here’s two of the couplets in order.

When you give me a date, I jump for joy
But when I pick you up, baby, you look like a boy

Well, you tell me, pretty baby, I’m the only one who rates
But all I get from you is a 13th date

Notice anything weird? Swap those two lines and you get a clearer picture. Mike’s gone out with this chick at least twelve times. Every time he’s gone out with her she’s looked like a boy and hasn’t put out. Mike must really want to nail her to keep going back to an obviously dry well. The takeaway, then, is not how she dresses. He uses that excuse to get shame her into a dress that he can slip his hand under. Because Mike thinks if he can just get her started, she’ll be up for some Tutti Frutti.

Ironically, wearing jeans promotes abstinence more effectively than skirts providing a greater…well…barrier to entry.

Check out the short article referencing Mike and Hob Nob records. This is the area The Band came from.

Categories: Media, Music, Rockabilly Tags:

In Which White People Can’t Keep Their Grubby Mitts Off Anything

March 1st, 2013 No comments

IMG_1725

Anti-Rock: The Opposition To Rock ‘n’ Roll isn’t, per se, about how white people stole rock and roll from the blacks who created it but the theme runs strong through the book. As with most things American, the original art form scares the living bejesus out of John and Mary Whitebread so steps must be taken to either kill it or to suck out what makes it great. I mean, really? Pat Boone??

The lobotomizing of rock began when white men started fraternizing with the help. This isn’t a bad thing but, sadly, rather than hang out at the help’s houses they grab their food and anything that’s not nailed down and take it to our own houses where the help is not welcome. It’s not that they wouldn’t invite them into their  homes but…ya know…society is so cruel and maybe one day that will change but…until then, keep your eyes on the prize, proud, noble, black people!

Public Enemy got into a shitload of trouble with the lyric

Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant, shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother fuck him and John Wayne

But this is what they talking about.

“HUH? Elvis Presley didn’t write Hound Dog?”

No. No, he didn’t.

“But Elvis was a champion of black music! He loved black people!!”

I’ve heard arguments that Elvis did black people a lot of good by stealing songs from black people. I think Big Mama Thorton would disagree with that. Again, back to Public Enemy

Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps

The plot goes like this – you get white people “discovering” rock and roll. The parents get outraged over their kids listening to “nigger music” even if it’s performed by white people. The “good music” industry tries to literally kill rock and roll but, in the end, it’s too profitable so they allow it to live.

Kind of.

What they actually do is take Little Richard, straighten his hair, bleach him white, put a suit on him and nail his feet to the floor so he can’t move. Then they attach their names to the songs he wrote and take his money. It’s enough to make you quit rock and roll. Which Little Richard did for a time.

More insidiously, you replace Alan Freed, who truly loved rock and roll and played the original black versions of songs, with some smiling zombie like Dick Clark. This industry did this on purpose and Dick Clark knew what he was doing. The industry invented a payola scandal and pinned the blame of Freed. Payola, of course, existed well before rock and roll and Clark took his fair share of it. But, not so oddly, Congressional hearings at the time believed Clark when he shunted away owning a stake in the music he was pushing as simply “promotion” and condemned Freed for accepting money from the industry that was behind his own prosecution.

Clark came away smelling like a rose because he was so boring and drenched in industry-approved deodorant that his shit literally didn’t stink. The government continued to hound Freed until he drank himself to death.

Read that again – “The GOVERNMENT continued to hound Freed until he drank himself to death.

Yes, the government. Freed spent his last years simply trying to cobble together a living as the IRS continue to break down his door demanding back taxes on the over-inflated amount of payola they accused him of taking.

Obviously, Dick Clark won because now we have Justin Beiber.

But the extent of the victory, the sheer Genghis Khan devastation of rock may shock  you and, hopefully, make you weep.

Rock and Roll started as black music. Budding white rock and roll bands knew this, covered the originals and sometimes did a great job. But what’s the end effect? I did a very unscientific poll with my Facebook friend asking, “When you think of rock and roll, who or what band first pops into your head?”

With the exception of two people, everyone thought of a white band. There was one black guy that said Jimi Hendrix and a white woman that said Chuck Berry.

Such is the extent of the theft of rock and roll that black rockers like Lenny Kravitz, Fishbone and Living Color prove the exception rather than the rule. And, to my shame, when Lenny Kravitz first came on the scene, my first thought (and I wasn’t alone) was, “black people don’t play rock and roll! What the fuck?”.

While this book focuses on rock and roll, the pattern shows itself in jazz. How do you go from Louis Armstrong to Glen Miller? When you hear “jazz” what first pops into your head?

Thus far, rap/hip hop seems to have broken this pattern. But let’s remember it took MTV seven full years to recognize rap and, if I recall, Blondie’s horrible “Rapture” got play before actual rap music did. But despite the Beastie Boys, Vanilla Ice and Eminem, rap manages to keep it roots intact.

So maybe that’s progress.

In Which I Offer An Analogy On The Prisoner Abuse Photos

May 14th, 2009 1 comment

So here were are.  Democrats won pretty much everything they could win and yet it’s still not enough.  For some reason (and it holds true for Republicans, too) we’re compelled to eat each other.  I recently listened to a conversation where the..well…combatants went after each other for not being liberal enough.  This kind of  political pissing contest just doesn’t help.  I’ll say it again – too many people projected their own views onto Obama in direct contrary evidence to the facts.  “I’m not anti-war.  I’m anti-stupid war.”  Which part of “not anti” don’t you understand?

You could have backed Dennis Kucinich but you didn’t so with all due respect – STFU.  (And DON’T give me your rationalizations about needing to win the White House.  If you compromised your values then you compromised your values.  End of story.)

The latest “outrage” comes over releasing more photos of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.  Yes, Obama reversed course on this.  No, it’s not a betrayal.  Why?  Because we already know what happened.  The reports say that there’s nothing new.  It’s just more of the same.

For the past couple months, Obama has slowly begun mending fences with the rest of the world and making it clear that the US is not some kind of closet-gay, date-rape jock.  We need to focus on that.  We need to make the apologies we need to make, take our lumps when they’re warranted and, to coin a phrase, “Move On”.  Look – the bush administration was evil – utterly and non-debatably evil.   They shredded the Constitution, ruled with unbridled hypocrisy and forced us to say that we were Canadians when traveling overseas.

So now that we’ve got a decent President that wants to fix it, why would we want to remind everybody of this fact?  We’re in a relationship with the rest of the world.  We’re just getting out of the dog house and you want to put us back in?

Allow me to go Bob Newhart here for a sec.

Hey, honey!

Good day at work?  Did you get the flowers I sent?

Well, I love you and I just wanted to show you.  I’ve been kind of a shit lately and I know how lucky I don’t have to sleep on the couch anymore.

Yeah, I know.  Fucking your sister was wrong.  Taping it was even worse.  I’m really sorry.  I’m so happy that we’re working through it.  I really don’t know what I was thinking.  Thank you for forgiving me.

Oh, while we’re on the subject, there’s something I wanted to tell you.  We did it more than once.  A bunch of times, actually.  Dozens.  I’ve got a lot more tape.  Hours.  Man, your sister is a freak!  There’s this one part where she wants me to put underwear on her head and chain her to –

No, I know you saw that part, but this was a different time.  You didn’t see that specific one.  That was on…just a sec, lemme check the time stamp on tapes.  Have a seat, we’ll watch them together.  I feel really good that we can do this together.

Why are you crying, honey?  I thought we were past this?

See?  It’s not helpful.  In fact, it’s cruel and unproductive.  It’s going to put the US back on the couch again.  We don’t need to be there.

This isn’t about denying the truth of what happened.  The truth is already out there, backed up with photographic evidence.  The US abused prisoners under the bush regime.  It’s not useful to release every single photo of every single instance.  It changes nothing. A photo of a dog attacking a prisoner at 21:38 holds the same weight as a photo of a dog attacking a prisoner at 21:39.  It’s abuse.

The only reason to release more photos is a self-serving one – for Democrats to prove we were right all along.  But we already proved that.  Repeatedly.

So, to use my recently coined phrase, let’s move on and get to the business of healing the wrongs we committed.

In Which Michael Savage Proves Wingnut Radio Is Useless

May 6th, 2009 No comments

Wingnuts love prattling on about how the Fairness Doctrine would stifle free speech.  If implemented, they whine, their right to free speech would be stifled.  No longer could they call non-wingnuts terrorists, America-haters and homos.  No longer could they say, as Jay Severin did

So now, in addition to venereal disease and the other leading exports of Mexico – women with mustaches and VD – now we have swine flu.

When we are the magnet for primitives around the world – and it’s not the primitives’ fault by the way, I’m not blaming them for being primitives – I’m merely observing they’re primitive.

It’s millions of leeches from a primitive country come here to leech off you and, with it, they are ruining the schools, the hospitals, and a lot of life in America.

We should be, if anything, surprised that Mexico has not visited upon us poxes of more various and serious types already, considering the number of criminaliens already here.

They’d be held immediately responsible for the shit they spew since the opposing side would be on the other mic.  Wingnuts are quite literally against fairness.

If you don’t know Michael Savage, consider yourself lucky.  He’s the number three wingnut radio host in the US and hates just about everything and everyone.  And his actual name is Michael Weiner so you figure out what happened in his childhood.  It’s not just Muslims he hates

Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, “Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.”

Yeah.  He’s like that.

England just banned him from entering the country which, as a sovereign nation, it’s in their right to do.  Honestly, I’m not sure why they’d bother with him, but they did and it gave him something else to get pissed off about.

Normally, it’d be a big “who cares” except that NPR, for some reason, put him on Talk of the Nation for his reaction.  Weiner is so hard wired for assholery that he couldn’t even remain civil on someone else’s show.  Think about it – the most liberal radio station reaches out the third most conservativeve talk show moron, giving him a platform make the case for free speech and what does he do – he acts like it’s his show.  It’s akin to improv performers who are always on and won’t shut up.  Pretty much right off the bat, he tries to tie Neil Conan to the liberal agenda and hurls insults at England (bad teeth, bad food).

Conan does his best not to take the bait, preferring, instead, to keep the conversation on track rather than follow the gerbil in the habitrail that leads into Weiner’s ass.  There are moments that Weiner sounds down right sane and professional.  But then Conan takes the first call and Weiner’s auto-pilot kicks in.

CONAN: Let’s see if we get a caller in on the line. 800-989-8255, email: talk@npr.org. Our guest is Michael Savage, the host of “Savage Nation,” learned earlier today that he’d been banned from entering the United Kingdom.
Jeffrey is on the air. Jeffrey is calling from Des Moines, Iowa.

JEFFREY (Caller): If you listen to Michael Savage – if every time he says Islam or Muslim, you insert either Jew or Christian, he would be off the air in one day. I’ve had…

Mr. SAVAGE: Wait! I don’t want to listen to this foaming lunatic. I came on the air to give you my opinion, not to listen to someone in pajamas in a mental asylum in Iowa. So if…

(Sound of laughter)

JEFFREY: You know…

Mr. SAVAGE: No, no, you listen to me. You’re a nobody!

JEFFREY: (Unintelligible)

CONAN: Michael Savage?

Mr. SAVAGE: You’re nobody and I’m not going to talk to you!

I listen to a lot of this stuff so I’m somewhat numb to the ad-hoc attacks.  It’s one thing to do it on your own show.  It’s another to piss all over the guests on someone else’s show.  And a billion-tuple more so when you’re bitch about your right to free speech getting taken away.

Let’s distill it down to it’s essence

Conan:  Here’s a caller.

Caller: I don’t like Michael Savage

Savage: Shut the fuck up, you don’t deserve to talk.

And this is the guy that says liberals want to stifle free speech.  Savage can’t even be bothered to try to defend himself because he’s indefensible.  He knows this.  Even David Duke and Fred Phelps do their level best to sound sane when they speak.  They understand that calling someone a mental patient in pajamas (and I’m compelled to point out it’d be about 1pm or so in Iowa when the guy called) alienates the person you’re talking to and kills your chance of converting them.  That means that you’re point, assuming it’s valid, can never be heard.  That’s the whole paradigm behind wingnut radio – assholes calling people assholes.

It’s not often that someone delivers their own coup d’grace.  Weiner, though, has no self-control.  As the dictator of his own show for so long, he can’t break his habit of threats and bullying.  Lucky for us, he’s not on his own show and he falls into the trap of thinking that he can run over weak-kneed, lily-livered liberals by threatening to walk out of the interview.

He was wrong.

SAVAGE: Now, Neal, if you’d like to continue the discussion, I’ll do so. Otherwise, I have more important things to do than talk to someone in pajamas in an institution in Iowa.

CONAN: Then go do them, please.

SAVAGE: [Hangs up]

In a sane world, this is the end of Michael Weiner.  His base would call him a pussy for running away from a fight.  They’d see him for the coward he actually is.  Sadly, it’s not a sane world because people who listen to wingnut radio are cowards.  They live in their little echo chamber where torture is hazing and where they piss on the ACLU that has defended their own right to free speech.  I’m guessing the reaction to Weiner’s rapid and shameful retreat will break down into

1) Boy, oh, boy, you sure showed them!

2) See how those liberals tried to make him look stupid?!

Yeah.  It’s pretty sad.

Thanks very much to Wolfetone for getting the transcript from NPR

In Which I Posted On The New Majority

March 3rd, 2009 No comments

Isn’t blogging lovely?  If I felt like it, I could post the word “ocelot” everyday until my hosting company went out of business!  Yesterday, someone said they started a new blog but couldn’t think of anything to write.  Normally, that’s not a problem for me.  It’s not the subjects I have trouble with, it’s the time and space to actually get them down.

David Frum, writing at the New Majority, has a heartwarming piece that, if he were a liberal, would be called Fuck Rush.  He finishes off, thusly

But do the rest of us understand what we are doing to ourselves by accepting this leadership? Rush is to the Republicanism of the 2000s what Jesse Jackson was to the Democratic party in the 1980s. He plays an important role in our coalition, and of course he and his supporters have to be treated with respect. But he cannot be allowed to be the public face of the enterprise – and we have to find ways of assuring the public that he is just one Republican voice among many, and very far from the most important.

Amen!

Plenty of the commenters agree with him.  Plenty of the commenters effectively call him, as Rush would, a faggot.  I’ll probably be called a faggot, too, for leaving the following comment –

The fact is that Rush does nothing. Nor does Medved. Nor does Randi Rhodes. Nor do ANY talk show host. If you want to hold up Limbaugh as the savior of the right then elect him president. If you believe he’s right on every issue and that only he can save America then it is your duty as an America to do so. Not to take this action proves that you hate your country…or you don’t have the courage of your convictions. It’s a simple as that. If Limbaugh refuses to run then he is a coward. If he refuses to run then he is admitting that he is, for lack of a better phrase, “all talk and no action”. That goes for all talk show hosts. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make up insults like “Hitlery” and “Feminazi”. You cannot govern with those words, though. Governing takes intellect and tact. Limbaugh has none of those. Instead, he is the middle school football dad kicking the crap out of a referee because he knows more than the ref but is too unstable and lazy to do the job himself. You may hate Al Franken but he had the guts to get out from behind the mike and put his words (faith?) into action. Limbaugh can’t and won’t. In the real world, you can’t scream insults into the face of world leader and expect to get your way. It’s time to put away childish things and one of those things is Limbaugh.

How does Limbaugh do when he has to physically face his opposition?  Horribly.  That’s why he’s on teh radio where he can keep his little bubble in tact and not have to witness the destruction he causes first hand.  That’s why he’ll never run for office – because once you physically see him and he can see you, he turns into the chubby third grader that got his ass kicked over and over again for mouthing off.

Enjoy the sight of ordinary Americans verbally kicking the shit out of Limbaugh.  I did.

In Which Larry Is Proved A Liar By Methods Used To Exculpate Him

March 7th, 2008 3 comments

Reverse Speech Technology is often referred to as a “controversial” method by which to assess innocence or guilt.  The underlying premise is sound – it is impossible for people to truly lie.  They will always , consciously or unconsciously, tell the truth.  Lie detectors and blink analysis are just one in the arsenal of tools that a “truth technologist” can use.

This method has previously been used to assert Larry’s innocence. 

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I’m not sure why the court has not yet cleared Larry on the basis of this.

Until I started wondering…

Might someone, someone in the past, have had a premonition about Blow-me-gate?  Throughout the past weeks, when I think about Blow-me-gate, one song keeps popping into my head – You Made Me Love You.  I couldn’t figure out why.  Then, it occurred to me that there was a compelling reason to listen to this song….and then listen to it backwards.

Larry, it’s not like I believed you to begin with, but a part of me was willing to wait for your evidence to come out.  Now, however, I can never  believe that you’re telling the truth.

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In Which Larry Sinclair Was…Lying?

February 24th, 2008 5 comments

Wow.  My faith in humanity is shattered.  Broken.  Busted.  Lying in a smoldering heap at my feet dampened by my bitter tears of disillusionment.  Put another way – I’m really fucking sad.

I hereby pledge to everyone who reads this blog that next time I’m not going to be taken in.  The next time a criminal who spent time in jail for credit card fraud and admits to trafficking in drugs and people accuses a sitting US Senator and presidential candidate of drug use and gay sex, I’m going to side with the Senator.  I know I’ve said that before, but this time I really, really, really mean it.  PINKIE SWEAR!

Larry Sinclair, I’m afraid, led us ALL down the garden path to Hell.

It’s not JUST the Globe article that trashed his credibility,  (Not the Boston Globe…The Globe Magazine…no, not the Boston Globe Magazine – THE GLOBE MAGAZINE…the one at the checkout counter…yes, that one), but that goes a long, long way.  I mean, think about it.  If  a tabloid that believes Bigfoot exists won’t believe Larry Sinclair then you’re talking a fairly insurmountable image problem.  I can’t accurately categorize the socio-economic bracket to which most of Sinclair’s followers belong but I can’t help but posit that many of them buy the The Globe and, perhaps, even have subscriptions. 

Whitehouse.com released the preliminary results of his polygraph today and it came back with “deception indicated”.  Polygraphs aren’t admissible in a court of law.  In fact, they may simply not work.  G. Gordon Liddy, I believe, can beat it at will.  Also, if you’re dealing with a truly mentally ill person then they honestly believe that they, say, blew Barack Obama in a limo outside an “upscale” club.  Sadly, the Larry-Trash didn’t think about this before they began screaming about how the polygraph would clear Larry’s name.  It didn’t.  Game over.  Shut the fuck up and go back to your trailers, m’k.

The question that remains is – why did people who should theoretically hate gays and criminals believe a gay criminal over an accomplished black man?