Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Remain in Love


You will learn a number of things from the new book by Chris Frantz. He has written Remain in Love about his time in Talking Heads and as a student and artist. This is really the Chris and Tina Weymouth version of things, and it is probably the definitive story of how David Byrne blew up a successful band because he's an asshole.
Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz has revealed what happened when the band finally split in 1991.
Speaking in his new biopic Remain In Love, the sticksman documented the band’s final meeting and said frontman David Byrne was so exasperated that the other members kept their cool when he announced their split, that he yelled: “You should be calling me an asshole.”
It’s believed that Byrne had been telling the other members for years that he wanted the band to break up, but they ignored him for their own purposes.
There was always a belief, at least on my part, that Talking Heads were always breaking up. It took nearly a decade for it to happen, but when it did, Byrne did it in a way that emphasized his need to be a solo artist. And that's fine--no one should be forced to continue in a situation where they are unhappy.

Frantz has taken the unusual step of trying to emphasize the positive outcomes and the love that he and Tina had for what they were doing. The thing that I did not realize was that their Tom Tom Club single, Genius of Love, was far more successful than anything that Talking Heads had done up to that point and that it generated some envy within the band. And yes, I did think of The Other Two.

The quality of the books that are coming out about music made in the New Wave and punk era is really staggering. Can't wait to get this and read about it.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Best Intentions of Bob Geldof


Sometimes, good intentions are just not good enough:
Bob Geldof has opened up the personal cost of the Live Aid concerts, admitting that it “impinged” on his private life.

The Boomtown Rats singer and musician Midge Ure were the masterminds behind the 1985 fundraising concerts in London and Philadelphia, which took place 35 years ago today.
The concerts raised more than $127 million for the victims of African famine and were watched by nearly two billion people worldwide, over 40% of the world’s population.

They also took in some of the most iconic live sets in music history – including Queen‘s show-stealing turn at Wembley Stadium.
But in a new interview to mark the 35th anniversary, Geldof said the shows had a huge personal cost on his life.

“I hated it. It became impossible,” Geldof said of the praise that surrounded his charity work.
“For a while I was bewildered. I didn’t have much money at the time. It impinged entirely on my private life. It probably ended up costing me my marriage (he later divorced Paula Yates in 1996),” he told AP.
Geldof is of the belief that no one could do it again. There isn't a universal quality to music today that would bring everyone together--it would be too fractured I suppose. I think that you can trace the decline of music to the early 2000s, which is when music became something that was free for anyone who wanted to download it and when all the genres went in different directions.

You can't get a tenth of that many people to do anything anymore. They won't participate at all in a shared commonality for good, it seems. And you can accuse Geldof of being a misguided misanthrope but I would argue that he's right.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Go Away, Lady Antebellum


I love the fact that I can rail against Lady Antebellum now:
The US country group Lady A – known until recently as Lady Antebellum,before changing their name to shed slavery-era connotations – is suing the black female artist Lady A over use of the name.
When the trio first announced the name change in June out of respect for black Americans, it appeared that they were unaware that Anita White had been performing as Lady A for 20 years. “This is my life,” White said at the time.
The two parties shared an image of a Zoom call and said they were “moving forward with positive solutions and common ground”. The talks appear to have broken down. In a statement, the members of Lady A said that representatives for White “demanded a $10m [£7.79m] payment”.
The group is not seeking financial damages from White, nor that she change her stage name, but is instead suing her for recognition of a trademark it claims “we have held for many years” and to avoid further litigation.
Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood formed Lady Antebellum in 2006, and say that they faced no opposition, including from White, when they registered “Lady A” as a trademark in 2010.
“We are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the group said in a statement. They added that with White they had “shared our stories, listened to each other, prayed and spent hours on the phone and text writing a song about this experience together.
They added: “We can do so much more together than in this dispute.”
Wait, what?

They registered "Lady A" as a trademark in 2010? Who the hell does that?

I'll tell you who does that.

If they already knew that their original name, Lady Antebellum, was "problematic" then why didn't they just change it in 2010 when they registered their fallback name as a U.S. trademark? Why didn't they do it then? To change it now, because of heightened awareness, when they already knew a decade ago that their name was linked to the institution of slavery and white supremacy smacks of opportunism. And then to go out and destroy another artist in the process is white privilege writ large.

Fuck these people, and fuck their phony appeals to doing the right thing.

They're just sharks, swimming in the water, destroying other artists, protecting their rights. They don't care about ethics. They're just lawyered up in order to crush anything that gets in their way. I hope Miss White sues their asses into bankruptcy and I hope she walks away owning their microphones, monitors, and tour bus. 

Any criticism of her asking for $10 million ignores the fact that Lady Antebellum is worth far more than that in terms of past and future earnings from their catalog. They should have paid it and they should have moved on. Now, they get to reap the whirlwind. 

Seriously, fuck them. They're the worst.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

That's the End of Tom Meighan

Tom Meighan, far left, looking down

At some point, whatever is left of Kasabian will wish this was a more definitive statement as to how they feel about men who beat women:
The former frontman of British rock band Kasabian has pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-fiancee -- a day after it was announced he was quitting the band over "personal issues."
Tom Meighan, 39, admitted assaulting his former fiancee Vikki Ager at Leicester Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the court confirmed to CNN.
The British group, formed in Leicester 1997 in the English city of Leicester, announced the singer's sudden departure on Monday in a statement posted to its social media channels.
"Tom Meighan is stepping down from Kasabian by mutual consent," the statement read, explaining only that the lead vocalist "has struggled with personal issues that have affected his behaviour for quite some time."
 The fact that this has been in the wind for months is shocking enough. On April 9, Meighan admits that he did, in fact, assault his ex-girlfriend Vikki Ager:
At the time of the call, Ager could be heard saying “get off me, get off me.”
Ms Ager suffered bruising to her knees, outer ankle, left elbow, and big toe as well as reddening around the neck, which she confirmed to police was a result of the assault.
Defending Meighan, Michelle Heeley QC said the singer “offers his sincere apologies to the people he has let down and he has sought to address his offending behaviour”.
Mr Valli also told the court that the offence was a “sustained assault” and it “could be argued to be relatively serious”.
Why they didn't part ways with him sooner is one question. The other question is, "don't you think you should condemn him for what he did?"

Apparently, the answer is no.

UPDATE: Someone got to them and now there's this:


Friday, July 3, 2020

On Sunset


I never go into a Paul Weller interview expecting him to give up much. He's a very guarded artist, and I would imagine that his attitude, all these years later, is "listen to the records, it's all there."

Weller's new album is called On Sunset, and I never would have taken him for an L.A. type of guy. This is a loose album, and if you know Weller's output, these explorations are becoming a welcome addition to his catalog.

This series, from Consequence of Sound, is one of the better ones out there so I heartily recommend it.