Music

Fall Out Boy Vs. Family Values?

Normally, you could laugh off a story about an ignorant parent who misconstrues what they hear hears at a rock concert but this story in particular had some troubling implications: Enraged Mother Calls Fall Out Boy Concert 'Liberal Homosexual Rally. From the article, FOB bassist Pete Wentz posted this message on the band's website:

"The only thing I said in Charlotte was, 'You can leave this show and say, ‘I think this guy is an arrogant jerk,’ or think, ‘This band is better than this one,’ because these are your opinions. The only thing we consider unacceptable is for you to engage in sexist, racist or homophobic behavior. If you do, we don't want you as a fan.'"

Which you think would be harmless (and righteous enough) but evidently one mom in the crowd didn't think so, deciding that the band was promoting homosexuality and insisting that she was going to start a campaign against the band to get their fans to turn on them. Of course, this kind of stupidity will fail and probably backfire (it's getting them media coverage) but it's also telling for a few reasons. Once you get past the ignorance of the complainer (curiously un-named considering her seemingly passionate convictions), it's interesting to see that she seems to be exactly the kind of homophobe that the band was warning its own crowd about. But then dig Wentz's follow-up:

"(Our show) is not a liberal homosexual rally, but at the same time, it will never be a Ku Klux Klan rally."

Fine for the second part but using a term like "liberal homosexual rally" sounds like more like neo-con rhetoric than blue state pride. Is that a bit of back-peddling? Is that to say that it's much more dangerous for the band (or any band) to come off as racist as opposed to homophobic (where there's less potential backlash)? Make no mistake- Wentz's (and the band's) initial instincts were the right ones but language like that makes me wonder why the hateful things said about gays aren't seen as being as dispicable as a racist comment. Ideally, both kinds of speech should be seen as equally reprehensible.

Personally, I've always thought the best part of FOB was their Simpsons-derived name.

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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9

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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