Music

Another tech reality check- Facebook not an underdog and Metallica wises up a little

Looks like Rupert Murdoch's got a little to sweat about besides maybe not having the GOP stay in power next year. According to Tech Crunch, Facebook is now catching up to MySpace in terms of the number of unique visitors (aka web users) coming to its site. What that means is that FB isn't the underdog anymore and now, maybe more than ever, is a potent force not just in online social networking but increasingly, it's becoming a place for music heads to congregate, which its connections to Last.fm, Imeem, iLike and other music-related widgets that are popping up all the time. That means not just more ad dough but also developers, fans and bands might be flocking to them more and making them more of a king-maker in the entertainment world.

Then there's the fan-friendly guys of Metallica who have laid off demanding that web users get sued and are now somewhat more fan-friendly to blogs. A recent scuffle occurred when some blogs were told to take down reviews of the metal-heads upcoming album. Mind you, these were not negative reviews either. Lars and friends decided that this was bad PR (which they know all too well) so they blamed their management and were gracious enough to let the blogs put out their nice reviews of the band. It was definitely a boneheaded move to begin with and by using management as a scapegoat, if that's the case, makes the band look better and actually heroic in stopping this madness. That would be the story line if you weren't a skeptic like I am. Part of what makes me cynical is this tidbit at the start of their press release: '... rarely do we feel the desire/need to respond to the "blogosphere"' Boy, that drips with contempt, doesn't it? Sounds like they think the blogs are a bunch of stupid bozos who they shouldn't take seriously. Kind of like the people who wouldn't want them posting about the band in the first place...

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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Here comes another Kompakt Pop Ambient collection to make life just a little more bearable.

Another (extremely rough) year has come and gone, which means that the German electronic music label Kompakt gets to roll out their annual Total and Pop Ambient compilations for us all.

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Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11
Amazon
iTunes

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

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