Wednesday, October 7, 2020

You Lost Your Gig For Being Stupid

I don't know why I have to even write this, but if you do stupid shit in public, you can lose opportunities that would help you bring your music to people who don't know who you are:

Country artist Morgan Wallen has been pulled from his forthcoming performance spot on Saturday Night Live after videos of him at bars and parties without a mask went viral. 


Over the weekend, videos surfaced on TikTok of Wallen Tuscaloosa, Alabama at bars and a house party, without wearing a mask. One video also showed him kissing someone who had their mask around their neck.

Wallen should be given a second chance. I don't have a problem with Saturday Night Live doing what it felt it had to do to act on behalf of the greater good. Artists who set a poor example in the public sphere have to feel the sting of lost revenue now and then. There's a reason why you hire a manager when you're trying to negotiate this sort of thing--you have to listen to someone who isn't afraid to tell you that you're full of shit.

I think Wallen heard from someone who gave him spectacularly good advice:

“I’m not positive for COVID, but my actions this past weekend were pretty short-sighted and they have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams,” he said.

“I respect the show’s decision because I know I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership for this.”

No idea if Wallen has the ability to move past this and continue onwards and upwards. No idea what kind of artist he is, and I'm not going to make a value judgement on his music or his ability to entertain. In order to be considered for Saturday Night Live, you have to be ready, music business-wise, to handle an immense amount of public attention and be ready to sell music. 

The impact of a performance on a program like that is one that cannot be ignored. It can bring you an avalanche of sales and might mean the difference between a tour where you're playing theaters instead of small venues. It can also break you and humiliate you.

If there's a moral to the story, it's this. Wear a fucking mask. It could save your life and the lives of the people around you.

Friday, October 2, 2020

(What's the Story) Morning Glory?


We are at that point in human history when an album of songs turning twenty-five years old leads to discussions about how important it was and what it all meant. If you put out an album in 1970, we're talking a fifty year anniversary and so on. It's a curious way to do things.

(What's the Story) Morning Glory? is as complex as the punctuation found in the title. It's one of the greatest rock and roll albums ever. Full stop on that.

It was the thing that delivered the songs that were meant to be played live. As a band, Oasis may have been average in size and ability but they were a tremendous band when put in front of a football stadium crowd.

Oasis inspires love or contempt as soon as it comes up as a topic. I am in the camp that prefers to live in a world where being an Oasis fan is perfectly fine as long as you maintain your decorum. I don't hate bands so bashing someone else's legacy is of no concern. As soon as their 1994 debut came out, I had that album on cassette and I couldn't believe how good they were. This was the gold standard for recorded music in the 1990s. Each and every song was meticulously recorded and performed. You won't find a single clunker on the first two Oasis albums and if you look at every single released, the B-sides were often better or just as good as the songs that were not released as singles. 

Incredibly, they only released four of the songs on the album as singles. We're talking about a record that has now sold 22 million copies worldwide and has established itself as the high water mark of the phenomenon known as Britpop. 

I remember how uniquely structured it was. It kicks off with a false start and blows through a murderer's row of songs that are unbelievable in their quality and structure. There are two mini-tracks that break up the flow of the album. There are over a dozen B-sides that cannot be dismissed or ignored.

It was an essential album in an era where everything is disposable. People who ignore it don't know what they're missing.