Here's a little something that's appropriate viewing for sitting back and reflecting on a most excellent Boxing Day.
Now . . . on to New Year's!
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."
Culture precedes politics . . . and everything else.
Music both produces and is produced by a culture.
A culture centered on titty bars -- music deemed stripper friendly before it can burrow into your children's brains -- is no culture at all. It is an anticulture.
NPR was on the anticulture beat Thursday. I'm not so sure the reporter would have been this bemused had she known what she was dealing with. Then again, maybe the NPR report is part of the anticulture just as much as titty-bar-tested hip-hop singles -- I don't know.
JUDGE for yourself:
Hip-hop producers have been breaking records in Atlanta strip clubs for a long time now — at least as far back as 2003, when Lil Jon was doing it with songs like, "Get Low." He's been quoted as saying "the butts don't lie," meaning if the strippers can dance to it, the song has potential. In Tamara Palmer's book, Country Fried Soul: Adventures in Dirty South Hip Hop, Lil Jon says "Get Low" had a slow start: the dancers "didn't feel it at first." But eventually it grew on them and several dancers at different strip clubs asked the DJs to play it during their stage sets. "Get Low" took off — in mainstream clubs and on radio and TV across the country.ANTICULTURES CANNOT long endure. They're either going to collapse utterly of their own societal, dysfunctional weight, or they're going to fold like a cheap tent before some opportunistic onslaught. See Visigoths, The.
What attracted us to this story was that the strippers seemed to have a lot of power in the hip-hop hit-making process. Obviously they are the focal point when a new song is being played. As DJ Scream told me, "There's nothing like seeing a woman dance to a record. There's records that I hate and when I see a woman dancing I think, 'It's not that bad.'"
Another reason strip clubs are the perfect place to test out a song is the clientele. In Atlanta, I'm told nobody thinks twice about going to strip clubs for a bite to eat or just a night out. They're so popular that some of the dancers are treated like local celebrities.
On any given night you might find record label execs and radio programmers, other professionals, college students and couples watching the booty shake.
The dancers have an incentive to make a song exciting: They get paid when the patrons 'make it rain,' or throw money on the stage while they're dancing. I asked Sweet Pea, one of the main dancers in the Snack Pack at Magic City, if she'd ever refused to dance to a song she didn't like. She made it sound as though that just doesn't happen. "If it's got a good beat, you can dance to it," she said. In other words, even if she doesn't think a song has potential, she'll give it a try because she knows the folks from the record label will make it rain extra hard when she's dancing to their song.
As for the strip club DJs, they get paid when the dancers tip them at the end of the night. So it's in their best interest to keep the dancers happy and play whatever songs they request. Record label executives usually spend a lot of money on those nights they're trying to break a record, not just on the dancers but on drinks and food. When the song is working, and the dancers are happy, it might rub off on the patrons who — it's hoped — will spend even more money. So the strip club owners fully embrace the process. Sweet Pea says, "It's like a little promotional circle." One DJ told me, "We're all just hustling each other."
I understand you've been kinda stressed out this Christmas, Cap.
Hear tell that you've been the Target of lots of hype by desperate retailers -- it Sears your brain, really -- to Shopko till you dropko, because you're somehow less of a great American (Nay! Less of a human being!) until you make that Best Buy this holiday season.
Over and over again.
Why don't you just buy the wife a new Beemer? Yeah, that's the big ticket!
And then there's the lights. And the tree. And getting the house perfect. And the kids to the Christmas parties. And you to your Christmas party. Where the magnifying glass is upon you as you lift a glass or three. Where that scrutiny would never impact your career, noooooo sir, nuh uh.
THEN THERE'S the bell ringers, and the Christmas Eve wingding you're throwing, and the kids wanting new cell phones -- and laptops and iPads -- and appearances that have to be kept up. Despite your mortgage that's under water.
Merry Christmas, all!
Now . . . just stop. Why are we doing all this, again? Is there something we might be missing here, something buried beneath all the desperate consumerism and corporatism and overextendedism and general "festive" mayhem?
Could it be . . . Christmas?
Stop. Look. Listen to 3 Chords & the Truth, and the sounds of the season.
This Christmas, we at the Big Show give you a break. We give you the chance to just stop, grab a hot cup of something, take a load off and relax for 90 minutes. No commercials, no urgent calls to consumeristic action.
It's Christmas. Don't forget the joy, or the opportunity to just be. Don't forget to just stop for a while and appreciate the things that really matter this time of the year.
It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Alo-ho-ho-ho-ha.
The Louisiana SPCA started discontinuing animal control services for the city of New Orleans Monday, and the group now says they'll stop taking strays from the public on Friday.REMEMBER, boys and girls, fat, drunk and ungovernable is no way to go through life. In fact, it's sure to be the death of you.
It's the latest in a controversial battle over how the city will provide animal control services without their 60-year partners.
From animals surrendered by their owners to strays to abused animals to animals that have bitten someone, the Louisiana SPCA has taken them all, unable to turn any away because of the group's contract with the city of New Orleans.
“Since October, we've had 500 stray animals brought to the shelter by the public,” said LA-SPCA Communications Director Katherine LeBlanc.
In October, the SPCA stopped going out to retrieve strays, saying the city stopped funding animal control.
But since they decided not to submit a proposal to the city to continue the contract for $300,000 less then they had wanted, the SPCA will now stop taking strays all together.
“We asked the city if they would like for us to extend our services through January, the end of January, in order to assist in that transition period. We have not heard back from the city about that transition period,” LeBlanc said.
Bundled up on the sideline in a heavy, gray coat, Brett Favre could only watch as Devin Hester and the Chicago Bears sped through the snow to the NFC North title.BRETT'S GONNA spend some time at home now and "cut a little grass"? That's what Gavin Grey did a lot of -- beer in hand -- once his playing days were done.
Favre's surprise start ended with a concussion, perhaps putting him out for good, and the Bears spoiled Minnesota's first outdoor home game in 29 years.
Hester set the NFL record with his 14th kick return touchdown, running back a punt 64 yards for a score shortly after halftime to help the Bears fly past the Vikings 40-14 on a frosty, hard-hitting Monday night.
"You play long enough, you're going to get your bell rung," Favre said.
In the second quarter, the Vikings lost Favre - possibly for good.
On third-and-4 from the Bears 48, Wootton got in the backfield and grabbed Favre by his non-throwing shoulder, slamming him to the cold turf players had worried about in the days before the game. The career leader in almost every major statistical category for quarterbacks, Favre lay motionless for a few seconds before climbing to his feet and walking off with his head hung down.
During a career that lasted more than 50 years on local television, New Orleans viewers came to trust his calm and accurate forecasts so much so that the question “What does Nash say?” was the way many gauged the potential impact of an impending weather system.NASH ROBERTS is gone. Now the Gulf Coast is stuck with those damned computer models, none of which was produced by a supercomputer with even a fraction as much processing power as a certain meteorologist's brain.
“Sometimes I wish I knew myself why I am right,” Roberts said in a 1998 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But a portion of it is just instinctive. It’s just a talent I have.”
Roberts retired from meteorology and his on-air role at WWL-TV during hurricane season in 2001. Throughout his career, he was the informed and educated voice of calm and reason, and his forecasting with felt-tip pens (which served him well, years into the high-tech age of broadcast meteorology) helped illustrate the direction of hurricanes since 1947. When he was inducted into the Greater New Orleans Broadcasters Association’s New Orleans Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the group commented that Roberts had been on the air longer than 95 percent of the stations in the country. By the time he retired, Roberts had worked at three of the city’s television stations.
For over five decades, the New Orleans native was a rock of stability during trying times: the horror of Hurricane Audrey in 1957, the devastation of Hurricanes Betsy and Camille in the 1960s, and the heart-stopping threat of Hurricane Georges in 1998. Roberts was there through it all, with his simple map, felt-tipped pen and lifetime of weather wisdom.
The Times-Picayune summed up Roberts’ impact in 1998, in a special issue commemorating 50 years of television in New Orleans: “His power is tremendous. Some of us won't go to sleep until Nash says it's OK. His strong suit is personal forecasts - a mix of hunch and 50 years of knowledge - mapped out in Magic Marker.”
Avant-garde musician Captain Beefheart died this morning in California from complications of multiple sclerosis. He was 69.
An all-time favorite of rock critics — and known to readers of lists of the best rock albums of all time as the guy with the hat and the fish face — Beefheart earned a reputation for making challenging music. But his work was, at its root, well-executed blues-based rock.
His given name was Don Vliet — he added a Van in between his first and last names later. He was one of those musicians who sold fewer records than his best-known fans: Tom Waits, members of R.E.M. and New Order are just a few of dozens. The late British DJ John Peel called Beefheart a true genius, possibly the only one rock ever produced.
Mark Mothersbaugh, of the band Devo, calls him one of the all-time greats.
"The Beatles and The Rolling Stones would definitely be in that group of what turned me on about music," Mothersbaugh says. "But I have to say that he made me want to be an artist."
Born in a Los Angeles suburb, the only child and art prodigy was featured on a local television show making animal sculptures as a child. When he was 13 years old, his family moved to the Mojave Desert, where he befriended a young Frank Zappa.
In 1966, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band signed with A&M records and scored a regional hit with a cover of Willie Dixon's "Diddy Wah Diddy." Pretty soon, Van Vliet was writing original material for his band. In a 1980 interview with the BBC, he insisted he was a composer, not a songwriter. And in his band, he was exacting.
"I play the drums. I play the guitar. I play the piano," he said. "I want it exactly the way I want it. Exactly. Don't you think that somebody like Stravinsky, for instance — don't you think that it would annoy him if somebody bent a note the wrong way?"
Ho! Ho! Ho!
In the festive, yuletide sense of the term, as opposed to the festive, misogynistic sense.
It's the week before Christmas, and 3 Chords & the Truth is giving the gift of music this year! Of course, that's exactly what we gave last year, too.
And the year before.
As a matter of fact, the Big Show gives the gift of music every single episode, and we don't need a special excuse -- like Christmas, for example -- to do it. That is truth.
Public relations, however, dictates that we make it sound like giving the gift of music is a special Christmas thing. You need a good peg for proper public relations, and the promiscuous consumption and self-indulgence of the holiday season fills the bill for pimpin' the Big Ho . . . er, Show.
SO CONSIDER yourself sold. And remember to tell your mom that you absolutely, positively have to have a whole bunch of 3 Chords & the Truth this Christmas, or you'll just die! I mean, all the other kids are getting the Big Show this Christmas, and she just can't let you be some kind of freak.
What will everybody say about you on Facebook, after all?
I swear to God, everybody is downloading the thing -- this 3 Chords & the Truth -- and if she doesn't get it for you . . . YOU . . . WILL . . . JUST . . . DIE.
You'll hold your breath until you turn blue.
You'll throw a tantrum.
You'll cry forever.
You swear to God.
OF COURSE, this is one case where getting what you want will actually be good for you. Unlike all that Easter candy last spring.
3 Chords & the Truth actually will expand your mind and, as an extra added bonus at no additional cost, feed your soul.
Some have even reported developing good musical taste. Your mileage, however, may vary.
So ask your mom for lots of the Big Show this Christmas. You -- and she -- will be glad you did.
It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.
"Why I'm not married yet, I don't have the exact reason. Some things in life you don't have the exact reason.
"My father was killed when I was three years old... I never got a chance to see the way a family lives, but I'm not making an excuse."
Not satisfied with his answer, Walters further inquired, "Six children by three women, how much time do you need?"
Diddy cut her off saying: "I get to spend a lot of time with my children. Everybody has a different life. Mine and your life is totally different.
"That's the way it is. My life works for me, it works for my family."
He added: "They have no cavities... and they pray every night."
Diddy is the biological father of five and he is the informal stepfather of another child.
In July, Diddy called British journalist Martin Bashir a racist, after Bashir grilled the rapper during an interview on Nightline about the star's lavish lifestyle and gifting his son Justin with a $360,000 Maybach car for his 16 birthday.OH . . . Diddy didn't give a straight answer to the baby-daddy question when Bashir asked it, either.
"There were times in the interview when I had to give him a ultimatum, the questions weren’t being handled the right way,' Diddy explained afterwards.
"In hindsight when I saw him I shouldn’t had done the interview because I know the style of interview that he does. The whole thing about giving a Maybach to my son, that’s really like a racist question.
"You don’t ask white people what they buy their kids and they buy ‘em Porsches and convertible Bentleys and it’s no question.
It’s really a racist question and put things back in perspective with money and the way that people still look at you. And I’m not saying that consciously he’s a racist.
"But he probably don’t even realize that he would not ask Steve Jobs that. He would be like Steve Jobs has that money and that’s the gift his kid is supposed to get."
All we are saying is give peace a chance. . . .
Glenn Beck Meet & Greet Breakfast
and Radio Show Ticket Package
Breakfast and Meet & Greet at 7AM
Radio Show at 9AM
* Breakfast at the General Denver Hotel
* Meet & Greet with Glenn Beck
* Photo with Glenn Beck
* Premium Ticket to the live Radio Show Broadcast at the Murphy Theatre
Glenn Beck Live Radio Show Broadcast
Radio Show: 9:00AM (Must be seated by 8:45AM sharp)