Posts Tagged ‘bruce springsteen

01
Apr
12

Note to Little Stevie… freedom is not a privilege

This weekend, I pulled out my vinyl copy of Little Stephen’s Artists United Against Apartheid project – Sun City.

Unlike Band-Aid or the “We Are the World” project, Little Stephen brought artists from a wide variety of genres – and far more alternative, at the time, than the more poppy predecessors. Also unlike them, his assembly of rappers and rockers produced an entire album’s worth of materials – seven songs in all.

All of the songs on it are pretty solid, which doesn’t surprise me given the musicians involved, but as I was listening to the song and thinking about where we are these days, politically, I was struck by one lyric:

“Freedom is a privilege nobody rides for free”

This gave me pause for two reasons:

1. The first half claims that freedom is a privilege, but it’s not. Freedom is a right. No man or woman has the right to own or shackle another. In this day and age, when people believe things like health care, a job and even a driver’s license is a right, I’m surprised that this group would produce a lyric stating the ultimate right – freedom – is a privilege.

2. The second half says “nobody rides for free.” I’m making an assumption, but I’m guessing most of the people involved with this record believe in Obama’s healthcare law – which claims to give things for free. In fact, Obama’s approach to government is to redistribute wealth and give money and benefits for free to those who “cannot” fend for themselves. (And by “cannot,” I don’t mean the truly unable, but those able-bodied and often educated people who’ve decided to reap the benefits of government programs.) It’s all about “free” these days.

I was stunned that in one sentence, they got two fundamental ideas so backwards, and in fact, they don’t actually support either notion.

But aside from that, the song is still solid – though I think it may not entirely be holding up well against time. There are other great songs on this album though, including the largely Peter Gabriel-based “No More Apartheid.” If you can find a copy, I recommend checking out this historical relic from the 80’s.

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03
Sep
08

and the republicans get rachel lampa

Oh to be a Republican…

I recently posted about the opportunity out there for some indie/alternative band to OWN an entire base of fans that no other indie band can touch. More evidence presented itself last night at the Republican convention.

Sure, the Democrats have Springsteen, Bon Jovi and P Diddy. Well, the Republicans have, um… ahem, Rachel Lampa.

I’m wondering if it helps the Republicans image of the “freaky religious guy down the street” any when the only entertainment they can come up with is a Christian pop singer.

Granted, she has talent… and to borrow an observation from Friend Steve… I bet she’s insatiable.

12
Aug
08

nils lofgren wants to teach you how to play guitar

Our website, NewTunes, is not just a music search engine for music fans. An important component of our site is also to provide a place for independent or unsigned musicians to upload their music – for free – and incorporate their songs into our search results.

And now, thanks to our good friend Nils Lofgren, the base of potential musicians should expand.

Nils Lofgren, guitarist to such greats as Bruce Springsteen, is now teaching guitar online. If you go to his site, you will see that for $20/lesson, he’ll show you how to play guitar. But the best part is that he teaches you using his songs. So you learn both how to play and how to play his songs. (Well, this is only the best part if you like his music, in the first place.)

I’m watching the promotional video right now, and I have to say, as a non-guitar player, it is pretty interesting. It’s about as much like sitting in a room with Nils teaching you guitar as you can get – without actually being there.

Check out the video and see what you think. You’ll learn a G chord for free…

05
Aug
08

death of arena rock

A few people have forwarded this story to me, recently, about the death of arena rock. Apparently, the days of Bruce Springsteen or The Who filling huge outdoor theaters every other year are behind us. There won’t be another band who can fill an arena for 30 years straight. This, apparently, means that gone is the sensation of being part of a large crowd all singing along together with the artist.

As is often the case, the journalists are looking at a static situation and deciding it either is or it isn’t. What they’re failing to consider is that it might just be evolving.

In 1990, when I spent my junior year of college in Coventry, England, one of the things I noticed is the incredible number of music festivals that happen every summer. On the back pages of Q and NME, you could see the massive lineup for any one of what seemed like 20 different festivals, and all the names on the page were huge – Paul Weller, Elvis Costello, Blur, Happy Mondays, etc.

So, fast forward to 2008 and what do we have here in the United States? Coachella, South by Southwest (SXSW), Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza… and that’s just a few. This past weekend’s Lollapalooza drew over 225,000 people. I watched some woman do sign language for Radiohead with over 70,000 others.

What this article laments is the fact that no one band is going to be able to fill an arena for 30 years straight. This may or may not be true. But the onset of successful music festivals is simply the evolution of that model. Who cares whether one band or 70 bands draw a huge crowd to a huge venue.

The more important question, to me, is are the masses still involved and engaged in music, and I think the answer is a loud and resounding “absolutely.”




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