Re: Know Your Enemy

1

The Julie Andrews cover of "911 is a Joke" is very good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 8:45 PM
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I always wondered how people do this--like the "sound" but not the whole point of a band--and I think some people really don't listen to lyrics. In this specific case, though, it reminds me of all the kids I knew in high school who thought "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" was a hot lyric but not, you know, any of the other Rage lyrics that might be the reason that one existed.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 8:50 PM
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Then again, I am probably guilty of this myself. There are, for example, misogynistic jams that I groove to. I just wouldn't publicly say, Definitely, my favorite song.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 8:52 PM
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a shitty cover of "Fuck the Police"


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:03 PM
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I, too, feel ambivalent about this particular hubbub - bands aren't cult leaders you're obliged to follow in every way or not at all. But I can make an exception for when even the band's name is a political statement, and its politics have their own 4500-word Wikipedia page.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:06 PM
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2

... but not the whole point of a band-- ...

My guess would be Ryan thinks the whole point of a band is to make money.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:07 PM
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6: Ha!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:07 PM
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It's interesting, I suppose, that Ryan, the most politically consistent member of the GOP, claims his favorite music is a radical left band whose lyrics he doesn't care for, and that his favorite author is an anti-family atheist whose religion and social ideals he doesn't care for. But he's cherry-picked the anger and money stuff he likes.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:10 PM
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(I laugh, and then I wonder if Shearer might be exactly right with regards to what Paul Ryan thinks motivates bands to be bands.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:11 PM
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I know this is a cliche, but imagine what a field day Fox would have if Obama said Rage was his favorite band, even if he said he didn't approve of their message.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:13 PM
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"No man but a blockhead ever wrote sang, except for Eddie money."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:17 PM
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11 yay


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:19 PM
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I try to listen to lyrics, but with some singers, for whatever reason, I can't remember a single thing they say. I notice the Beatles' lyrics but not the Rolling Stones' (presumably this is common, given all the people who remark that they had listened to "Brown Sugar" 50,000 times before they realized it was about slavery).

The number one singer whose words I never, ever notice is the guy from The Shins. There isn't a single Shins song that I can match up to its title except "Young Pilgrims", even though when I go back and look at the lyrics the title is usually in there.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:28 PM
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Has there been any authoritative polling on the politics of musicians? Most of the folks I encounter are vaguely left plus the occasional Ron Paul supporter.

One real outlier: the time I played at a college house show, opening for an out-of-town punk band. They were musically great and fun to hang out with. The PA was shitty, so I didn't really notice their lyrics until we got home and read their CD's liner notes. The songs were all vehemently pro-life.

Conservative punk rock: it's out there.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:29 PM
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13: My current favorite example of that phenomenon is Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks". The song's about a violent shooting, and people sing along to it gleefully.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:37 PM
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15: I heard that song distantly a few days ago at a campground, and before recognizing it, wondered if it was a Christmas carol.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 10:03 PM
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16: My cover band covers it. Yesterday we played it at a suburban pool party, and I was nonplussed by the sight of a six-year-old child singing along blissfully.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 10:09 PM
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I can't really hear lyrics terribly well so, by consequence, they aren't terribly important to me. But this Ryan thing is I assume stupid thumb-in-yer-eye south park republicanism; the base probably looooves the fact that he is claiming a left wing band for his conservative self -- remember that "greatest conservative rock songs" list that was full of proudly liberal musicians?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:09 AM
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9

Ryan may also think a band's politics (at least in large part) are just part of the show and need not be taken too seriously.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:16 AM
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What does Gary Bauer think of this?
(I actually had 1) google to remember who it was that talked about "the machine rages on" and 2) check whether he's still alive, given how irrelevant he's become.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:20 AM
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10

I know this is a cliche, but imagine what a field day Fox would have if Obama said Rage was his favorite band, even if he said he didn't approve of their message.

But of course Obama would never say this even if true as it would clash with his performance of sensible moderate. Who knows what Ryan's actual favorite band is?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:21 AM
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Who knows what Ryan's actual favorite band is?

This is a good point. If you were a modern politician who, for example, never listened for choice to anything later than Haydn, you would presumably have to ask your kids what the right answer to this would be and hope that they didn't set you up too badly.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:34 AM
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10: There was already some of that when he revealed that Lil Wayne and Jay Z were on his iPod playlist but along with Dylan, Stones, Stevie Wonder etc.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:34 AM
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What a shocking thing it would be if he decided to simply tell the truth about such trivialities.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:55 AM
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The Right has been co-opting the Left's art since forever. I remember hearing a high school band play "My City Was Gone" to raucous cheers in Rightwingistan. Those kids had probably never heard of The Pretenders.

A lot of folks would be very disillusioned if they ever learned the politics of the guy who wrote "This Land Is Your Land."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:56 AM
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25.1: I assume that was after Rush Limbaugh had already been using it prominently on his show.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:03 AM
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Is there a universe in which Chrissie Hynde is left wing?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:10 AM
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24

What a shocking thing it would be if he decided to simply tell the truth about such trivialities.

It would be a little shocking if the truth was politically damaging and easy to hide. A sign that he wasn't ready for the big time.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:11 AM
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There was a dude at a Fugazi show wearing a shirt that said "Keep Your Politics Out of My Music!" which pretty much would have resulted in Mr Mackaye doing some kind of mute performance piece.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:12 AM
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This guy is a member of a party that plays "Born in the USA" as a jingoistic anthem, so no surprises here.

Like AWB I really need to get the lyrics to genuinely enjoy a song (unless they are in a language I don't understand, and even then I need to know hear with enough clarity to fake singing along).

Also the official band of Randroids is Rush.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:12 AM
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27: Huh? Or do you mean "isn't"? Over here, Limbaugh used to use "My City Was Gone" as the intro music on his show.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:13 AM
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And speaking of thread tie-ins to NE Ohio music, the internet is confirming that I am not the only one who tends to substitute "All the little chicks with the crimson lips" for the kids with their jumped up kicks. And some say it is basically the same melody, but it is too transformed for me to tell if that is even close to true. But would not be surprised if it was not an influence.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:19 AM
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Am I the only one who thinks that if Rage were so cool, innovative and iconoclastic, Morello ought to have been able to come up with something that doesn't sound like it was cut and pasted from the Early '90s Campus Activist's Clip-Art and Letters to Student Newspaper CD-ROM Set, Volume 1 ("Rock the Vote" in 47 fonts!)?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:23 AM
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One the one hand, Rage did some genuinely innovative and cool stuff on a purely musical level, so you can see where you might want to give them an "I read Playboy for the articles" pass. But on the other hand, their politics are pretty extreme and out-front. I'd say their pretty firmly in Pete Seeger territory.

Also, if you're going to pick a favorite band, don't you think you could hold out for one where you enjoy both the music and the lyrics? You have to be pretty cynical about the possibilities of popular music to just give up on a big chunk of the craft that way.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:23 AM
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33: He's a good guitarist. Doesn't mean he's smart.

34: I have known --- I mean really known --- the differences between their/they're and its/it's for at least 20 years and I still make these mistakes on a daily basis.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:26 AM
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I don't think I have a favorite band. Do I need to pick one?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:27 AM
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don't you think you could hold out for one where you enjoy both the music and the lyrics?

See, this is why it must be really hard to be a wingnut. Who wants to listen to The Right Brothers?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:27 AM
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26, 31: Limbaugh says he was using it in part to take the piss, but I wouldn't believe him on things like that any more than Ryan. Apparently now used with permission with the royalties reputedly donated to PETA.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:28 AM
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36: Your favorite band is Led Zeppelin. Now get rockin' with some hobbits or something.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:29 AM
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36: Are you running for president?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:32 AM
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I have to make a considerable effort to listen to lyrics. I assume Stanley, as a drummer, is only dimly aware that the noises made by vocalists can be interpreted as language.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:35 AM
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Well, I just discovered that I love the Louvin Brothers.

But, I still don't think that broadminded is spelled s-i-n.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:37 AM
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35.2: Yes, because it has absolutely nothing about what you know or don't know. Most likely a product of your writing/editing process relying more on an inner voice than paying detailed attention to the actual text on the page. But not that there isn't a confederacy of douchebags who love to pretend that such mistakes arise from ignorance (thus prompting unnecessary disclaimers like yours).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:39 AM
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OT: [Black, grim wrath.]

Not peace, but the sword, a whip of cords, a millstone, the deep of the sea.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:40 AM
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Also the official band of Randroids is Rush.

I guess this is why you shouldn't send your kid to rockstar camp in the hard right suburbs. Rory has developed an apparent belief in the past months that Rush is the awesomest. (Possibly she was told this by UNG and the Hausfrau, not band camp.) Sadly, I'm too commitedly square to credibly point her toward alternatives.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:40 AM
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45: I'm too commitedly square to credibly point her toward alternatives.

Rage Against the Machine.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:46 AM
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There's no shame in some Rush love. Neil Peart is a sick nasty drummer.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 7:03 AM
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44: Actually I can believe there was a fair bit of frostiness in relationship particularly on Paterno's part because Sandusky was the only guy around who approached Joe on the "belovedness" scale. And Sandusky was given a lot of credit in the press and among fans for Penn State's defensive prowess (in particular for the famous 1987 Fiesta Bowl upset of Miami--apparently still the #1 college football game for ratings).

Now, I would not be one bit surprised if Joe Posnanski* does not try to turn that in to something exonerating rather than just yet another illustration of Paterno's prickly dickishness. (And the whole thing has also seemed to induce Bill James to deploy his knee jerk contrarianism in a very stupid way.)

*Two Joe P's-ending-in-a-vowel? Twin sons of different mothers. Actually he was a relatively decent sportswriter (and from Cleveland, continuing the NE Ohio tangential subthread theme) who apparently zigged when he should have zagged.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 7:03 AM
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47: That's what a drummer would say...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 7:04 AM
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48: Paterno resented Sandusky's Q rating but liked him too much to inform the proper authorities of an eyewitness account of sexual assault? [Inarticulate choking sounds.] Flippanter smash.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 7:18 AM
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47: I remember overhearing a conversation like this all the way back when I was in college -- it's acceptable to enjoy Rush's music, but if somebody starts telling you how deep Rush's lyrics are then you can assume the person is an idiot.

30 years later and there are still young people talking about Rush? What's gone wrong with the world?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 7:21 AM
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51.2: Nothing's specifically wrong but everything's vaguely shit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 7:31 AM
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47: Hey, drummer, if the munchkin has expressed a desire to learn to play drums, is this something I could indulge without breaking the bank? That is, what's a super basic beginner kit likely to cost?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 7:49 AM
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53: Under $600, certainly. This is a steal, for instance.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:01 AM
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Isn't parental sanity the bigger issue.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:03 AM
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55: It's already a little late for that.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:08 AM
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Thanks, Stanley.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:09 AM
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Stanley already drove you insane?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:23 AM
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Randroids hardly have a lock on Rush fandom. Sci-fi nerds, music school nerds, a wide swathe of Canadians: that's basically pretty close to universally beloved. And anyhow they got tired of libertarianism pretty early on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:27 AM
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My wife went to a Rush concern with a friend of hers. Her friend was from Buffalo and I think she was a fan for quasi-Canadian reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:55 AM
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It seems that Rory may be turning into a badass. Nothing wrong with a girl idolizing Neal Peart (Rush is kind of the gateway drug for prog metal) and that has nothing to do with libertarianism. Rock on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 9:11 AM
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I would be a Rush fan but I've just always found Geddy Lee's voice grating for some reason. The instrumental parts are ultra awesome.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 9:13 AM
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(Rush is kind of the gateway drug for prog metal)

Most "prog metal" isn't that, like, progressive, though, you know, man? Please, Di, don't let Rory become a Dream Theater fan.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 9:16 AM
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ATLAS MOTH (more "doom" than "progressive" I suppose but certifiably badass)


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 9:21 AM
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I've just always found Geddy Lee's voice grating for some reason

For some reason! Who could guess?!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 10:01 AM
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My wife went to a Rush concern

It was an Arby's they own in Hamilton.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 10:04 AM
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8: Ryan, the most politically consistent member of the GOP

The thread has moved on (to the ever fascinating "prog rock/metal" argument discussion!), but I can't let this pass.

Ryan's not politically consistent. Despite professing to be a budget balancer and a deficit hawk, he voted for TARP (the bank bailout), he voted for the auto bailout, he proactively appealed for federal stimulus funds for Wisconsin, he voted for both (unfunded) wars, he voted for (unfunded) Medicare Part D. All of which increased the deficit, in some cases significantly. What he says bears little to no relation to what he does. His much-vaunted and -repeated reputation as a serious thinker and politician is smoke and mirrors. It really is.

Carry on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 10:12 AM
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To deprogram an precocious adolescent female Rush fan, I recommend Renaissance. Maybe Curved Air or Babe Ruth.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 10:41 AM
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It seems that Rory may be turning into a badass.

Well, she chopped off all her hair and wants to dye it purple. But then, she also wants me to sign her up for ballet. The badassery jury is still out.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 11:09 AM
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Ballet is pretty good covert training for ninjas.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 11:13 AM
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The badassery jury is still out.

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 11:22 AM
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Well, she chopped off all her hair and wants to dye it purple.

I'm not sure it's badass to dye hair when it's no longer attached to your head.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 11:37 AM
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White Swan, not badass - Black Swan - badass


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 11:43 AM
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At the risk of sounding presumptuous, Rory's going through phases, right? Did she do the vegetarian phase yet (which may or may not have stuck)? Maybe the I-might-be-a-lesbian phase? The Ayn Rand phase? The writing tortured poetry, or reading Sylvia Plath, or hanging out in cemeteries phase? The I want to be Ambassador to the UN phase? Not everyone goes through them all, and their nature has probably changed with the generations, but I've begun to suspect that all teenagers (girls, anyway) go through them. One or another might stick. I think you just have to roll with it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:02 PM
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Lesbian Ayn Rand should be a Halloween costume.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:07 PM
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His much-vaunted and -repeated reputation as a serious thinker and politician is smoke and mirrors. It really is.

I don't think you got the point of 8's reference to his reputation.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:12 PM
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I've just always found Geddy Lee's voice grating for some reason

For some reason! Who could guess?!

Just how did it get so high? Does Paul Ryan know?


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:16 PM
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And to finish mining a comment that I made at the other place -- I really want to see a t-shirt printed before this story goes stale with the slogan "Paul Ryan, Resposible for Genocide."


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:17 PM
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White Swan, not badass - Black Swan - badass

Natalie Raps, for those who haven't seen it.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:18 PM
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76: Well, I did grok the larger point, but the "the most politically consistent member of the GOP" threw me into a tizzy. AWB might have been completely sarcastic with that. On reflection, she probably was: it still made me freak out. I can't fucking stand Paul Ryan.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:21 PM
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Given that she then listed two favorite things of his that go against other stated beliefs, I took it either as sarcasm (i.e., he's not that consistent after all) or as pointing out just how little it means to be the most consistent among that cohort.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:24 PM
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77: Just how did it get so high?

Hey now. My first boyfriend could sing like Geddy Lee, which isn't at all easy. It's not easy to sing like Robert Plant either. Or Freddie Mercury.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:27 PM
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81: yes, I get it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:28 PM
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Has any band since Rush had anywhere near the same level of success with anywhere near the same level of chops? Name one contemporary Great Drummer in popular music. Music-school nerds are a criminally under-served market.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:28 PM
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77: I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:31 PM
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Name one contemporary Great Drummer in popular music.

Dave whatever from Nirvana.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:33 PM
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74: Oh, you hardly need to worry about me rolling with it. I love every one of the phases. Raising a kid is kind of like watching a really good series -- a bunch of cliffhangers and the delicious suspense of wondering what will happen next. Will she be a scientist? A starving artist? Ecoterrorist? I'm really quite pleased that she seems secure enough to try out so many different things.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:34 PM
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Dave whatever from Nirvana.

He's great, but he's no Neil Peart. He's also a traitor to drummers. Like Phil Collins and Don Henley.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:38 PM
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Most "prog metal" isn't that, like, progressive, though, you know, man?

Let's ask the Lutheran churches of Norway.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:38 PM
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Dave Whatver and Phil Collins are the only drummers I can name. If Guy-with-one-arm from Def Leppard counts, him to. (I had no idea about Don Henley.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:39 PM
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Let's ask the Lutheran churches of Norway.

Black metal and prog metal are totally different.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:42 PM
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Has any band since Rush had anywhere near the same level of success with anywhere near the same level of chops? Name one contemporary Great Drummer in popular music. Music-school nerds are a criminally under-served market./i>

It's all gone into metal music now. There are hundreds of well-known metal bands that pride themselves on virtuosity above all else.

As for "near the same level of success", no band of any degree of chops has that level of success nowadays. Except Train.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:48 PM
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87: I'm really quite pleased that she seems secure enough to try out so many different things.

Yeah, there you go. As a sidebar, I've been vicariously watching my work partner's daughter (now 24, I think) for the past 10 years. Studied Russian, wanted to be in international relations. Also horses. Then vegetarian. Midwifery. Lesbian. Organic farming. Not so much vegetarian, now locavore. Not so much lesbian, maybe bi. It's wonderful to see the progression.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:49 PM
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72: maybe she's going to spin it into yarn and do something crafty. That'd be badass.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:54 PM
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94: Ooh! She could be a goth! They do knitting and stuff.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:57 PM
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Rory was into decorating cakes, as I recall.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 12:58 PM
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91: Black metal and prog metal are totally different.

Metal is basically stupid, anyway.

{runs away, hides}


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:03 PM
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91: Racist.

97: Probably racist.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:07 PM
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45: Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:09 PM
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She did knit for awhile. Crochets now. I think she'd be an adorable little Goth. Cake decorating was fun, but since neither of us really eats cake, it lost its appeal. She plays instruments.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:10 PM
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Does Mucca Pazza have some kind of band camp? They ought to. I'm a Brass Messengers fan, of course, but MP is pretty mind-blowing.

Anyhow, as long as Rory hangs out with the queer-theater-role playing-comic book nerd-goth-punk-hippie crowd, she should turn out alright.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:16 PM
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100: "adorable" is deprecated.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:19 PM
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92: Well, right. Rush had, apparently, 14 platinum albums. Not even Jay-Z can match that. But setting aside the continuing rot of the modern recording industry, Rush was accessible in a way that contemporary metal isn't. Same with Phish: I guess those guys can play if you can get past the DFH accoutrements.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:22 PM
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Oh, and why does Rory like Rush? I mean, most people who are into them for non-Randian reasons are just into the symphony of the whole thing. It's an opera. If she likes it for the rush (no pun) and the emotional swell, she should listen to Yes. Possibly King Crimson, but that's a stretch.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:27 PM
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85: I know him. He does.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:28 PM
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There are hundreds of well-known metal bands

Nope.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:29 PM
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Actually, I don't know Geddy Lee. But I did spend the night in a jail cell with Tom Morello.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:29 PM
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Oh, I thought you were saying you knew Paul Ryan. Which, okay. Tell him we think he's an utter tool.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:34 PM
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Is Rush a metal band? I wouldn't have thought so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:34 PM
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108: You may have missed the Song of the Day over at Standpipe's blog.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 1:42 PM
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84: Meg White.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 3:45 PM
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on the OT: I will be much less likely to slag twitter now. I learned there that "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan" is an anagram for "My ultimate Ayn Rand porn".


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 4:11 PM
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The radio has been freakily all about Ayn Rand this afternoon: Dave Weigel, how Randian is Paul Ryan? Nick Gillespie of Reason mag, are Randians really as freaky as they seem? (his answer: of course not.)

I *told* you the libertarians were creeping up on us. It makes me nuts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 4:24 PM
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106: I think Ned may have odd standards for "well-known".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 4:34 PM
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100: "adorable" is deprecated.

In favor of "adorbs", right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 4:59 PM
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Totes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:01 PM
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Among metal bands, a lot of them seem to have fans that are attracted primarily by the instrumental virtuosity. Whether that manifests as extreme speed and melodicness (Dragonforce), extreme speed and brutality (Cryptopsy), extreme ability to withstand repetitive wrist injury (Krallice), extreme pretentiousness (Deathspell Omega), extremely high number of time signatures per song (Meshuggah), or sheer willingness to spend two months perfecting each song even though all your songs sound the same (Origin). Then there are all the one-man bands, and the bands that incorporate all the wacky traditional instruments (e.g. Windir for both).

People argue over which drummer can do the most blast beats per minute. Nowadays Neil Peart might get the most viewers for his series of instructional videos if he made his career in a band called "Necrofeast" or "Moondark Ravenfog".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:13 PM
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Totes depped.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:15 PM
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There's one band called "Animals as Leaders" that is basically just a guy who is one of the world's greatest electric guitar players, and a drummer. There's no lyrics and no sense of power or brutality. They're considered a metal band, but that's because there's nowhere else for instrumental virtuosity to go except in the direction of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:15 PM
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there's nowhere else for instrumental virtuosity to go except in the direction of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

Oh my.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:17 PM
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Ok ned now do Agalloch.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:28 PM
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Actually I think Mick Barr had to cancel part of a tour when he was still with Orthrelm owing to RSI.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:31 PM
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I think Agalloch are more about songwriting and atmospheres than virtuosity.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:38 PM
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Ok fine Gorguts then.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:39 PM
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Doom metal is sort of anti-virtuosity.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 5:46 PM
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Sunn O))) is playing here soon. HEAVY.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:00 PM
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There's that word again. Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:08 PM
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Sunn O))) is playing here soon. HEAVY

Bring your executioner's hood, a shelling knife, and some live lobsters.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:08 PM
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There's that word again. Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?

It's just that Sunn O))) have a massive sound.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:19 PM
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I remember once they were playing in Chicago, but I was at a bowling alley to hear Upsilon Acrux, who thanked us all for coming out even though Sunn O))) was playing that night too.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:20 PM
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127: Nice.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:21 PM
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127: THERE WILL BE.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:28 PM
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127: There is if you want leave.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:43 PM
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I want leave for leave to fall in fall. I see very pretty some day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:53 PM
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"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan" is an anagram for "My ultimate Ayn Rand porn"

Heh. "Immoral Ayn-Rand-type nut" and "A Truly Dynamite Man-Porn" were noted earlier, but that's better.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 6:54 PM
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The radio has been freakily all about Ayn Rand this afternoon

Maybe that's where my parents heard of it. They came up for dinner, and my normally quite apolitical dad asked me to explain Ayn Rand, who she was, and why it had come up in the current campaign. Delivering that explanation was actually very fun.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 7:47 PM
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136: Did you use my summary?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:20 PM
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Goths knit? And me without my tuberose perfume...


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:33 PM
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Immoral Ayn-Rand-type nut

Thank you very much.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 8:37 PM
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137: Heh, yep, that was the gist.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 9:39 PM
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Paul Ryan's Epic Drum Solo: "drummers essentially have the minds of children, and it is the job of a good record producer to make sure the stickman's "idea" notebook mysteriously vanishes in between sessions."


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 9:58 PM
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The post linked in 141 is fantastic.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-19-12 10:29 PM
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re: muso genres.

I suppose the canonical genres where people demonstrate instrumental virtuosity these days are metal, jazz, and country. Country players often have amazing technical ability.* That said, after years of teenage metal gig going, I was a bit shocked when I started going to see 'indie' bands at just how tight/proficient a lot of them were. Less of the guitar solos, but overall band performances that (in some cases) knocked supposedly tight 'heavy' bands into a cocked hat.

* and of course most of the classic soul records everyone knows had a bunch of country players in the bands.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 5:11 AM
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re: 143.last

Continuing a conversation with myself, the relationship between country and soul music is fascinating. It's striking just how much of the really classic soul music of the 60s and early 70s was made by country musicians.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:33 AM
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I'm listening, ttaM, I just don't have anything to say.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:37 AM
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Neither do I really, except, 'LOOK! LOOK! Isn't this music great!'. FAME, Muscle Shoals, American Sound Studio (in Memphis), etc.

A lot more people have heard of, for example, James Jamerson, than have heard of Tommy Cogbill.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:43 AM
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Country music is super-popular in Jamaica also. I am unable to find a record in the Google, but I remember hearing a radio interview of some reggae bigshot-- Freddie McGregor or maybe Winston Rodney?
Anyway, some touring reggae band was stoked to be in Nashville, they had amazingly detailed questions about microphones used on particular songs while visiting some recording studio.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:46 AM
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Country music is super-popular in Jamaica also.

I hope that's true, but I'm going to repeat it to everyone I see today. I'm also going to add that Kenny Chesney is the biggest star in Jamaica, but that can't really be blamed on you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:49 AM
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Hey! I put in five bucks and nothing came out! [kicks glass display door] Stupid %#@& machine!


Posted by: OPINIONATED ZACH DE LA ROCHA RAGING AGAINST MACHINE | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:58 AM
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http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2011/09/01/140120452/reggae-loves-country-a-50-year-romance


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:59 AM
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and of course most of the classic soul records everyone knows had a bunch of country players in the bands.

I did not know this! Examples?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:02 AM
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Also wait am I to understand from 117 that there is a metal band called Meshuggah?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:11 AM
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Regarding the link in 141, I feel the need to point out that the true prog cognoscenti look down their noses at Rush.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:12 AM
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152: yes, and they're both highly thought of and Canadian.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:13 AM
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153: Anti-semite.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:15 AM
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154: Meshuggah? I'm pretty sure they're Swedish.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:28 AM
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Or did I just miss the joke?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:28 AM
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Standpipe's not here man.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:31 AM
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No, it's Standpipe, I've got the blog.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:38 AM
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Apo has been busy with a new project.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:42 AM
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re: 151

If you can think of a late 60s or early 70s classic soul record, then probably that. It sometimes seems like almost everything was recorded at FAME, Muscle Shoals, or American Sound [or by their musicians doing sessions elsewhere]. Soul nerds know this but a lot of people don't.

So, much/most of the 'Atlantic' era Aretha Franklin: the Lady Soul album [which is the one most people know]; the I Never Loved A Man album [which has most of the other ones people know]. Almost all the classic Wilson Pickett stuff, Etta James (Tell Mama, etc), Clarence Carter, Arthur Conley, Percy Sledge [When a Man Loves A Woman], quite a bit of the classic Stax stuff, Oscar Toney, Jr. Just hundreds and hundreds of amazing songs.

So, things like 'Chain of Fools': a bunch of middle-aged(ish) country musicians. 'You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman', ditto. 'For Your Precious Love', ditto. And so on and so on.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:46 AM
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Meshuggah is definitely Swedish. I don't know and maybe don't want to know how the name plays into the bizarro politics of Scandinavian metal (anti-Christian but also anti fascist but "rule of Wotan" but I am tired of this now). One nice thing about contemporary metal from the past 15 years is that it's generally impossible to understand the lyrics.

Ttam is totally right. I think part or maybe most of the explanation is that the south just had a lot of incredible session musicians, session musicians just wanted to get paid, and both country and (Southern) soul are southern music. What an incredible period, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:53 AM
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This is, for example, part of Tommy Cogbill's discography:

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Tommy+Cogbill

Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, James Carr, Townes Van Zandt, Elvis, you name it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:55 AM
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re: 162.last

Yeah, you get something similar with the LA 'Wrecking Crew' guys. You had people who'd first recorded with swing big bands in the early 40s, playing rock guitar solos in massive hits in the late 60s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wrecking_Crew_%28music%29

There's less of a cohesive sound there, though, as those were pure session guys, with less of a role in the shaping of the records, I suspect.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 8:58 AM
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quite a bit of the classic Stax stuff

Stax was in Memphis, so I'm sure there was crossover, but I thought that Booker T & The MGs were the house band for most of the early Stax music.

Separately, I recently watched part of Respect Yourself: The Stax Record Story and one of the interesting things that I learned was that when musicians would come to Memphis to record at Stax they would always stay at the Lorraine Motel because it was one of the few places that didn't mind having black and white groups staying (and partying) together. Knowing that, it was hard to imagine how much MLK's assassination must have shaken everybody.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 9:05 AM
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Was amused to see that the guitar on "Chain of Fools" played by Joe South (from Atlanta, and he did change his name from Souter). But its certainly would be a useful term for all of the relatively unknown southern session musicians.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 9:11 AM
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re: 165

Yeah, a lot was Booker T and the MGs [plus others], but they also sent artists to Muscle Shoals, later on. The M.G.s left Stax while they were still producing records.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stax_Records#Stax_as_an_independent_label_.281968.E2.80.931972.29


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 9:12 AM
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re: 166

Yeah. I think Bobby Womack was also on some of the Franklin sessions with the Muscle Shoals musicians, too, as a session guitarist.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 9:14 AM
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Ah-hah:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Womack#1967-1972:_Early_solo_career

Not on 'Chain of Fools' but on other tracks on the same album.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 9:15 AM
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Bobby Womack

This is a funny line from the wikipedia entry:

In 1973, Womack released another hit album, Facts of Life, and had a top 40 hit with "Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out", an older song Sam Cooke had done years before.

I like Womack's version a lot, I haven't heard Sam Cooke's version, but I think most people would name Bessie Smith as having done the definitive version.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 9:23 AM
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It sometimes seems like almost everything was recorded at FAME, Muscle Shoals, or American Sound

Fun fact: Muscle Shoals was founded by David Hood, father of Drive by Trucker Patterson Hood. It is worth remembering that when Patterson Hood sings about his complicated relationship with Skynyrd and "Sweet Home Alabama," he is talking about a song that was recorded at his father's studio and has a shout out to his dad.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 9:57 AM
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How well known is Bessie Smith? (Sincere question; I know almost nothing about her aside from that song about pigs' feet.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 10:04 AM
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How well known is Bessie Smith?

To the general pop listening public, I would think not very much at all (along with every other pre-war blues musician not named 'Robert Johnson' or 'Leadbelly').

I do think she'd be very well-known among blues-influenced musicians, aficionados, and critics, but, even then, more as an important historical figure than as someone associated with specific popular songs.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 10:33 AM
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172: I would have thought she'd be almost universally known of at least, but now that I say that I realize how stupid it sounds.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 10:39 AM
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174: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/who-is-paul-mccartney


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 10:46 AM
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I'd be surprised if any of my coworkers knew who Bessie Smith was. Why would they?

The only version of "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" I can ever remember hearing is the one on Eric Clapton Unplugged.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 10:58 AM
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I bet lots of people know at least one Bessie Smith.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:00 AM
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I'd imagine that most anyone who has any interest in the acoustic blues or in pre WWII jazz will be familiar with her stuff. Other people not so much.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:00 AM
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177: Was there more than one?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:06 AM
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I remember a Bessie Smith song being in a poetry anthology we used in high school.

I think it was "Empty Bed Blues", but the lyrics I've found on the web seem different than what I remember.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:08 AM
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179: Given the Smith is the most common last name in the U.S. and close to 1% of women are named "Elizabeth," I assume so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:09 AM
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I would have thought she'd be almost universally known of at least, but now that I say that I realize how stupid it sounds.

That would be my sense. Personally, I haven't listened to that much of her music, but she's a name I've run across relatively often. I think of her as one of the big names from her era.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:15 AM
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I would think most people like us would have heard of Bessie Smith, but we are collectively into some pretty obscure stuff. Your average HS student or long haul trucker or dentist is probably not aware of her. There's probably some very useful demarcation of your Pitchfork kids and college radio DJs beyond which knowing something of her work is de rigeur, but short of which no on has the faintest idea who you're talking about.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:27 AM
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Not so off topic: Judging from op ed columns, the Polish right has decided it hates feminist punk bands who stage protests in churches even more than it hates Putin.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:28 AM
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Your average HS student or long haul trucker or dentist is probably not aware of her

Let alone somebody who's all three at once. Super busy! No time for prewar blues!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:29 AM
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along with every other pre-war blues musician not named 'Robert Johnson' or 'Leadbelly

My impression was that people are a lot more likely to be familiar with Bessie Smith than Leadbelly. Billie Holliday is very popular and so to a lesser extent is Nina Simone, and anyone even semi-seriously into either of them will be familiar with Bessie.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:31 AM
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Reading Smith's Wikipedia entry, I remembered that I actually saw a production of the Edward Albee play some time ago, and had completely forgotten it. I think it was at the Loring Playhouse. Like 10 years ago. Wow. Makes me wonder how many other shows I've just completely spaced out.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:39 AM
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||

I'm not sure if this is the final link, but my musical improv comedy group will be performing a 20 min set on the Fine Bros' MyMusicLive Variety Hour from 2-3 pm Pacific today. Commentariat is welcome to submit suggestions that will be turned into show tunes on the fly. Presenting: Sexing Mutombo! The Musical.

|>


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:41 AM
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people are a lot more likely to be familiar with Bessie Smith than Leadbelly.

I doubt it only because Leadbelly's been covered by Zeppelin, Nirvana, Willie Nelson and other really popular musicians. I do think Bessie Smith is more important within the Blues tradition, but Leadbelly had more cross-over appeal.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:44 AM
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"You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Flag" from Michelle Bachmann's Fascist Follies

"Why Won't They Compromise With Me?" from Obama!

"I've Lusted In My Heart For Money" from Romney the Universal Robot


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:47 AM
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179: Given the Smith is the most common last name in the U.S. and close to 1% of women are named "Elizabeth," I assume so.

But Smith is still the surname of less than 1% of the population, so assuming independence, that's one in ten thousand people. Maybe double that to account for Anglo-name covariance.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 11:52 AM
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Everybody knows 5,000 people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:01 PM
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192: Not if they're down and out.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:03 PM
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People who know people are the luckiest people of all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:05 PM
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194 IS BULLSHIT AND BESSIE SMITH HAD A POTTY MOUTH


Posted by: MISANTHROPIC GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:08 PM
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Which Bessie Smith?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:15 PM
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I AM BESSIE SMITH!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:17 PM
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But Smith is still the surname of less than 1% of the population, so assuming independence, that's one in ten thousand people. Maybe double that to account for Anglo-name covariance.

On the other hand, I think the use of the nickname "Bessie" peaked around 90 years ago and is now very much a niche phenomenon.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:20 PM
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I do think Bessie Smith is more important within the Blues tradition, but Leadbelly had more cross-over appeal.

Yes, but which one would win in a rap battle?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:21 PM
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||
I'm gearing up for a delightful tour of TX and neighboring states that will take me to Little Rock, Kansas City (MO), St. Louis, Midland, and either OK City or Tulsa over the next several weeks. Any potential meet-uppers in any of those places?
|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:23 PM
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Yes, but which one would win in a rap battle?

Tulsa.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:24 PM
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200: If you make it to Austin, let us know!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:25 PM
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NMM to Phyllis Diller!?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:26 PM
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201: Tulsa has no flow.

203: Strange suggestion for a show tune, but it might work . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:28 PM
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The question mark in 203 is cover to finish up quickly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:28 PM
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204.2.last gets it right. Get on it, k-sky.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:30 PM
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last.fm gives 200k listeners for Bessie Smith, 250k for Leadbelly, 400k for Robert Johnson, 1M for Billie Holiday, under 100k for Memphis Minnie or Bukka White.

Here's a plot showing age and gender distributions of the 90 artists that I've been listening to the most in the last year; I think from that and browsing a few other profiles that younger people will listen to older music if they somehow get pointed to it.

Also, I think that people who listen to music via computer anticorrelate with country fans.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 12:38 PM
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I wonder if Leadbelly recorded anything he sung while exhaling helium?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 1:33 PM
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208: may I direct you to this little bit of studio wizardry incompetence.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 1:37 PM
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208: No, but the Chipmunks did cover "Goodnight, Irene".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 1:38 PM
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Less incompetent than this.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 1:40 PM
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211: oh, way more incompetent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 1:44 PM
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I mean, 211 is people with a really stupid idea. 209 is somebody with absolutely no idea how to use audio software.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 1:45 PM
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213: And then there's 210 -- some fool just making shit up.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 1:47 PM
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Exploring both ends with Mythbusters.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 1:48 PM
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Exploring both ends with Mythbusters.

I'll eat my hat if there's not a piece of fanfic called that.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 2:10 PM
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Ha.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 2:14 PM
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216: I was going to go with some version of "Oh, it's not going in that end, Mr. Lightbody!", but yours is more new millennium.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 5:11 PM
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I hate to break up a perfectly nice music thread with politics, but things are getting interesting in Pennsylvania.

The governor's top lawyer has responded to the US Dept of Justice request for information under the Voting Rights Act by telling them they are acting outside their authority and seem politically motivated:

"In light of the absence of authority for your request for information, I question whether your inquiry is truly motivated by a desire to assess compliance with federal voting rights law, or rather is fueled by political motivation," Schultz wrote.

Any lawyers here know whether the SC has ruled on what authority DOJ has under Section 2 of the VRA (as opposed to the sections that just cover the Southern states)?

In other news, new developments in the Voter ID case are breaking every day, and we're getting bombarded with progressive volunteers from out-of-state. Mostly a good thing, but I admit to feeling ashamed that we're now in the same league as Arizona, Alabama, and the rest....



Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 6:27 PM
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We're not exactly like Arizona. They have a very dry heat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 6:45 PM
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And here's the Christ what an utterly complete asshole bit:

Schultz took a shot at the Obama administration in the first paragraph of his letter, writing that he was "optimistic" when he saw the DOJ letter that it "marked the long overdue renewal of the Department of Justice's previously abandoned review of the 2008 voter intimidation case in Philadelphia, a review that would be particularly well-timed in this presidential election year, as I trust Attorney General Holder and the Department of Justice share the Commonwealth's commitment to ensuring that no violation of the voting rights of Pennsylvanians be tolerated."
My state government is headed by racist buffoons.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 6:59 PM
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And speaking of my fair state/commonwealth, city and local state-supported university, did not see this one coming one single bit. The 40 or so emailed bomb threats at Pitt last semester were apparently from a notorious supporter of the the Scottish National Liberation Army who lives in Dublin.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:12 PM
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I knew it all along.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:15 PM
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Wow, the SNLA - possibly the worst secessionist terror group in European history. I think they tried to poison the PM with anthrax-contaminated soil from Gruinard Island once.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 1:20 AM
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Ah, worst in the sense of least competent and likely to achieve anything. You had me for a moment there.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 1:26 AM
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I missed it if someone already linked to it, but this video should provide a suitable role-model for Rory: a 13-year girl playing YYZ.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 2:30 AM
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re: 224

The most recent Ian Rankin novel has a theme running through it about the various secessionist/radical-jockist movements floating through the late 70s and early 80s. I'd never heard of most of them, e.g.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Harvest_Commando
[which may be the source of the anthrax thing, but isn't specifically SNLA]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 3:53 AM
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Ah, yes, Dark Harvest. Sorry.

FYI there's an interesting book on all this called "Britain's Secret War: Tartan Terrorism and the Anglo-American State". Postulates all sorts of shady MI5 stuff and "mysterious deaths in prison" going on in the 1970s but fails to answer the question of why MI5 should have bothered given that none of the tartan groups did anything more than damage a couple of electricity pylons. The plan to seize Oban and declare an independent Scottish socialist republic is mentioned.
Douglas Hurd wrote a novel called Scotch on the Rocks around the same time in which they actually do it, assisted by Scottish troops unhappy about losing their regimental identities and being merged into one big Scottish unit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 4:24 AM
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Now someone please explain what genre "Geraldine" is, so I can find more songs like it.

(for British readers: "Ole Miss" means "University of Mississippi")


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:31 AM
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They have a university in Mississippi?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:35 AM
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It's in Oxford.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:35 AM
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Miami University is also in Oxford. Rather than being known for horrific racism and amazing brass-section-augmented garage-rock hits, though, it's known for horrific vice-presidential candidates who like amazing rap-rock hits.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:42 AM
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231. So do they refer to Harvard as "the other place"? (This is or was common usage at Oxford, England in talking about Cambridge.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:43 AM
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They call it "the place where the Compson boy came to no good end".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:45 AM
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Universities tend to sprout up in places called Oxford, Cambridge, and Athens.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:46 AM
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233: if by "Harvard" you mean "Arkansas" then yes, maybe!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:47 AM
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236: So that's what happened to The Oxford American.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:51 AM
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CALL ME "THE OTHER PLACE" MAYBE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ARKANSAS | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 6:52 AM
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233: also common usage in Scotland to refer to Hell.

...it is a bit mindboggling to consider that state governments actually thought "it's got the same name as an existing famous university" was a good decision to put a state university in one particular town. Would this frankly magical approach work for anything else? Is there a prosperous town called Federal Government Spending, Maine, or Pork Barrel, Wisconsin? Or Great Big Factory Providing Lots Of Well Paid Jobs, Iowa?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:27 AM
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The Roberto Clemente Bridge managed to bring in a baseball stadium, so why not?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:38 AM
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The State of Utah has encouraged a burgeoning millinery industry employing immigrant labour in Mexican Hat.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:42 AM
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...it is a bit mindboggling to consider that state governments actually thought "it's got the same name as an existing famous university" was a good decision to put a state university in one particular town.

It's the other way around in the case of Harvard; they founded the University and then changed the name of the town (formerly New Towne) because, I guess, they wanted it to be clear that there was a University there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:45 AM
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241: the gaussian filter factories are also booming.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:45 AM
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242: They need not have worried. Everybody knows MIT.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:47 AM
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Anyhow early New England (ahem) colonists are not known for their creative naming. Boston got its name because that was the name of the town the colonists had just left and I guess why not just stick with that if you're used to it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:47 AM
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They put all their creative efforts into impractical hats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:51 AM
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Boston is on the east coast of England, though.

It seems to be that Boston was named in honor of John Cotton, maverick nonconformist vicar who left his vicarage in Boston, Lincolnshire to help found the new colony.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:52 AM
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247: I thought a lot of them had lived there previously, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:53 AM
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Plymouth Colony was named after the port the colonists left from, but I didn't think that they were mostly native to that town. I'm not sure whether that's sillier.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:56 AM
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232: A friend from college has begun putting up pix from his sister's undergrad years at Miami U with Paul Ryan. (They aren't exciting.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:56 AM
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Intercourse, PA was named after how the founders were conceived.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:56 AM
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Population growth in southern Alberta was largely due to repeated failures of a recently developed barrier contraceptive known as the Medicine Hat (believed to be a variant of the Dutch Cap).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 7:59 AM
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A bunch of state college towns were deliberately named to invoke the universities that would be there. Let's think:

Athens GA
State College PA, TX (nice romanticism, guys)
Berkeley, CA (surprisingly)
Cambridge, MA
Oxford, MS


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:01 AM
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I can't find the exact quote or source, but there was a very apt joke about western towns being named after the first white man in or the last native out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:01 AM
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Collegeville, PA, hit snake eyes with Ursinus College, possibly the state's 30th or 40th most significant college.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:02 AM
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253: Ohio has an Athens, an Oxford, and a Cambridge. The last one has no university, so I think that Ohio should get some points for restraint.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:05 AM
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Medicine Hat, Alberta


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:06 AM
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256: also a Rome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:08 AM
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As well as both Mecca and Medina.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:09 AM
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And apparently a Neptune.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:17 AM
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A bunch of state college towns were deliberately named to invoke the universities that would be there...
Berkeley, CA (surprisingly)

False!

Berkeley the town and Berkeley the college were both named at a go after Bishop Berkeley. The name of the town doesn't "invoke" the university, much less the university that "would be there".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:17 AM
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Just the area between Buffalo and Utica, NY has Attica, Geneva, Warsaw, Medina, Batavia, Hamburg, Lancaster, Liverpool, Waterloo, Rome, Palmyra, Dundee, Ithaca, towns called "Greece", "Cicero", and "Albion", and of course Rochester and Syracuse.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:22 AM
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And as previously mentioned Cambridge was named to invoke the university that already was there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:23 AM
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The people of Idaho just accepted from the start that their university would be full of goddamn communists.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:25 AM
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False!

I refute him thus!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:27 AM
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Or maybe violent reactionaries, back when they were deciding.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:27 AM
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Anyhow, there's also College Station, TX.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:28 AM
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I can't quite figure out if College Town is a college town.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:30 AM
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267. They built the railway first and then the university?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:30 AM
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267: That whole Syracuse-adjacent section of NYS is heavy on the classically-themed names. There's even a Hemlock!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:35 AM
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of course Rochester

?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:39 AM
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261 -- Berkeley the town was named after Bishop Berkeley because it was decided (for some reason) that this would be an appropriate name for the town that would contain the university. It's surprising because you would have thought it was just named after some land speculator or Indian killer who happened to be named Berkeley.

The Syracuse area classical naming thing was done by land speculators; it's the early 19thC equivalent of "Oakbrook Lane" in a gated community.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:42 AM
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(for some reason)

As a poet of manifest destiny, I believe.

Westward the course of empire takes its way;
The first four Acts already past,
A fifth shall close the Drama with the day;
Time's noblest offspring is the last.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:45 AM
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273 is right, and looking at Wikipedia it was originally named by people from the (private) College of California, who were planning to build a campus there that was later taken over as the site for the state university.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 8:47 AM
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re: 272.1

IIRC, Berkeley spent quite a lot of time trying to found (or making plans to found) a University in the Americas.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 9:00 AM
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176.2 -- Couple white southern guys http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zWrxlcfJ3Q


And here's a couple of white southern guys doing up a Fenton Robinson song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTFvAvsHC_Y&


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 9:41 AM
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And there's always Bismarck ND. When I retire I will go there and start an eponymous microbrewery, solely in order to market my product with the slogan "SINK A BISMARCK THIS EVENING".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 9:44 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KecIdlEAKhU


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 9:50 AM
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273, 274: As discussed several times here in the past.

Founders' Rock is located on the north side of the campus near the corner of Hearst Avenue and Gayley Road. On this outcropping, 12 trustees of the College of California stood on April 16, 1860 to dedicate property they had just purchased as a future campus for their college. In 1866, again at Founders' Rock, a group of College of California men were watching two ships standing out to sea through the Golden Gate. One of them, Frederick Billings, was reminded of the lines of Bishop Berkeley, "Westward the course of empire takes it way," and suggested that the town and college site be named for the eighteenth-century English [sic] philosopher and poet.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 9:50 AM
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For whom the town of Billings, Montana -- home of Montana State University-Billings -- was named.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 9:53 AM
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I would not have said College Point, Queens had a college in it but I'm gonna google so chris y doesn't have to google it for me. It does have an excellent Korean spa. They should call it Bathhouse, Queens.

(Ah, ok. It was named for a seminary that closed in 1850. I guess changing it to Failed Seminary Point seemed like overkill.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 9:58 AM
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As mentioned most of the college-themed names were selected either in conjunction with the planning of a future college or renaming and existing place (Athens, Ga. was Cedar Shoals). It does appear that Oxford Miss. was chosen to help lure the university selection (which happened about a decade later), so somewhat in line with ajay's 239.2. (Although I suspect the political battles over where it was to be located was already underway when the town was named).

Penn State was renamed from a college to a university in 1953 (Milton Eisenhower was president at the time). They wanted State College to change its name to University Park but the town refused. But it is the official name of the campus and why the address of the university is University Park, PA.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 10:02 AM
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282.2 also from the archives.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 10:04 AM
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267, 270, 272.2: Also previously mentioned in the archives. And 272.2 does not seem entirely correct although the names were indeed artificially imposed.

The names of these townships in The Military Tract were not adopted by the residents, nor were they the result of immigration, but given by the New York State Land Office. In fact, many residents were upset over the names, feeling perhaps that they did not reflect their geography or their first residents, as many settlements in those days did with names like Smith's Tavern or Wheaton's Corners. Towns names like Homer, Lysander, Fabius, Pompey, Aurelius, Camillus and Cicero refered to heros of a time long past, which had seemingly little to do with the pioneer existence in upstate New York.
...
In the early years, classics lover and New York State Surveyor General Simeon DeWitt was considered the name giver for The Military Tract, but by the late 1800s the State Land Office decided it was Robert Harpur, an educator and colonial legislator, Deputy Secretary of the State of New York, and Secretary of the State Land Board. The Military Tract touched off the fashion for classical naming that extended from 1790 to 1850.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 10:12 AM
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278: now if that had been the plot of "BATTLESHIP" I might actually have watched it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 10:12 AM
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The University of Alaska Fairbanks is actually just outside the city limits of Fairbanks in the unincorporated community of College, Alaska, which is its mailing address. I'm not sure how this came about, but it was probably some sort of dispute between the school and the city similar to 282.2.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 10:16 AM
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286: Good one, teo. Was trying to think of others.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 10:33 AM
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284 -- yes, that was folk knowledge from the grandparents that I'd forgotten was sort of wrong (the big land speculators, particularly Robert Morris, who owned most of western New York, was to the West of Lake Seneca, and outside the area with all the classical names).

The central New York towns were named as part of the "military tract" which was designed to provide free land, based on a lottery system, to NY State veterans. So, artificially named to draw in settlers, but by big (state) government giving out free land, not land speculators.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 10:34 AM
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288: Alan Taylor's The Divided Ground is quite good as a history of that period. It doesn't talk much about the naming practices, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 11:02 AM
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Via the link in 284, there is a book on the subject, Classical Place Names in New York State: Origins, Histories and Meaning.

I never would have guessed that Cuba , NY had a classically-based name. According to local historians, Cuba was named to honor the Roman goddess who protected infants in their cribs and put them to sleep.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-12 11:34 AM
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