“This is what I love about Republicans. I honestly secretly really admire them because, man they have guts. They come in with both guns blazing. They take no prisoners. What I suggested to you here that played on last night’s show, about how there’s 420 bills that the House has already passed, that the Senate could pass right now because we have enough votes to do that, yet they won’t do it—I know they won’t do it—even simple bills like the child nutrition bill, they won’t do it. But I’ll tell you what, if the shoe was on the other foot, if this was the Republicans in a lame duck session, dammit, they’d be passing as much of that as they could. Because that’s how they are. Because they believe in something. And that’s what Americans love about republicans. Because they just believe in something.”—Michael Moore
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It was 40 years ago today that David Bowie arguably invented glam rock with the U.S. release of his third studio album The Man Who Sold the World. While the dominant storyline usually contends that glam’s genesis began with Marc Bolan’s glitter and satin-wearing appearance on the British broadcast Top of the Pops in March 1971, Bowie nonetheless predated T. Rex’s performance that mixed raunchy guitars with androgyny by addressing sexual uncertainty over hard rock riffs on the Sold the World’s opener “The Width of a Circle”.
What’s more, Bowie’s first iconoclastic challenges to the alpha male rock star stereotype continued during the Sold the World era with him donning a dress during the album’s U.S. promotional tour, and he later showed up wearing the same garb on the album cover for the 1971 UK release of the project.
But the Sold the World metamorphosis wasn’t just a stylistic change up but a musical diversion as well. Bowie abandoned his psychedelic folk-leaning roots on the release, teaming up with the virtuosic Mick Ronson (who later formed the backbone of the Bowie’s Spiders from Mars band) to concoct an album that leaned towards the proto-metal electric heaviness of then contemporaries Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.
Though Sold the World is now often overshadowed by Bowie’s commercial breakthrough Hunky Dory and the glorious run that is the Ziggy Stardust albums, the 1970 release is when Bowie’s strange odyssey really began. And when he became truly great.
The Rolling Stones’ co-lyricist and guitarist Keith Richards was on NPR recently promoting his memoir, Life. Most of the chatter has centered on the Jagger-Richards relationship, but during this interview with Terry Gross, Richards theorizes about “Under My Thumb”, one of the songs he did not actually write. The argument at hand: Are the song’s lyrics anti-girl, or not? See if you can follow his logic here: “You can take it as, you know, male-female, like or it’s just people. I mean, it could be about a guy. It could’ve been, you know, this is just a guy singing, you know, that probably you’re actually under her thumb and you’re just trying to fight back. You know, and these are all sort of relationships and stuff. And I wouldn’t take it as any sexist, I can’t even go there, you know, cause I don’t think about it. I just think we know what some people are like and then those things happen. And anyway, I didn’t write the lyrics.” Thoughts?
Stellar Om Source’s diluted atmospherics for the wonderful Olde English Spelling Bee label are given a properly hallucinatory rendering in VHS acid technicolor. Man, that food looks good!
“When your opponent states clearly that ‘our #1 job in the next two years is to make sure you don’t have a second term—our #1 job is to defeat you and to embarrass you,’ you don’t respond with Kumbaya….”—Michael Moore