Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Stevie Nicks

Rob Sheffield's "How Stevie Nicks’ Lost Masterpiece ‘Ooh My Love’ Became a Cult Fan Favorite" (ROLLING STONE) is a really good look at Stevie's "Ooh My Love" and at the album it's from THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR:

Happy birthday to Stevie Nicks’ best song ever, “Ooh My Love.” It’s a buried treasure in her legendary career — never a hit, not even a single. She’s never sung it live. Just a deep cut from her most tragically underrated solo album, The Other Side of the Mirror, released 30 years ago, in the last days of May 1989. The album fell through the cracks — nobody was really checking for solo Stevie in the late Eighties. But it’s prized by hardcore Stevie freaks, especially “Ooh My Love.” For some of us, it sums up everything that makes her the ultimate rock queen — her most soulful moment ever, with or without Fleetwood Mac. If I had five minutes to convince a jury she’s a genius, “Ooh My Love” is what I would play. When my time comes, bury me with this song in Stevie’s shawl vault.

When I interviewed her in 2014, I confessed “Ooh My Love” was my favorite. “That’s one of my favorites too,” she said. “In fact, The Other Side of the Mirror is probably my favorite album. Those songs were written right before the Klonopin kicked in. ‘In the shadow of the castle walls’ — that song was very important to me. I was lucky those songs were written when they were, before that nasty tranquilizer. It was a really intense record. People don’t talk about that record much, but it was different from all the others. It was a moment in time. I had gotten away from the cocaine in 1986. I spent a year writing those songs. I was drug-free and I was happy.”
“Ooh My Love” is her sleek synth-pop power ballad about a princess who hides behind her castle walls. She dreams of the world outside, but she’s terrified of letting her walls down — a very Stevie Nicks dilemma. She belts her wildly emotional vocal (“Yes, it was a strain on her/Watching her castles fall down”) over a New Wave guitar groove from the Fixx’s Jamie West-Oram. Stevie as a princess trapped in her palace is like Bowie’s Major Tom inside his space capsule. “Ooh My Love” is her version of Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” or Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love,” as she fights to escape a solipsistic nightmare. A the end, when she wails “It was a strain on meeeee” — it’s powerful as Bowie pleading, “I want an axe to break the ice,” or Bush shrieking, “Take my shoes off and throw them in the lake!” A heartbreaking song that only Stevie could have done. But hardly anyone was listening.

Read the whole thing, that's just the opening.  It's a really great piece.

That said, for me, the find on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR will always be "Juliet."

It was way too hard
It was way too tough 
On this she had not bargained
But she was like some missionary
Dancing to the beat of some man's ancient drum
And she tries hard to tell this story
But it's a hard one to tell
She consults her book of miracles
Cry and the wind says fly on
Well, now you're on your own
You're back out on the road again for a million reasons
Well, you're back out on the road again
And you try to tie together some connections 
You get some ribbons and some bows
And get back out on the road again
So you found a queen without a king
Oh yes, and everyone here loved her
No one was wrong
But you're a little bit like her
You're just a little bit like her
A little bit like her, a little bit like Juliet

Is that not just amazing? 

Turn to the blue crystal mirror well as always it is truthful
Oh, well you see it in the reflection of the real blue lamp
Well, tie the connection, get some ribbons, and some bows
Get back out on the road
But when they were good
They were really good
Really good, stranger
So you found a queen without a king
Oh yes, and everyone here loved her
No one was wrong
You're a little bit like her
You're just a little bit like her
A little bit like her, a little bit like Juliet
Let the crisis become a bridge
And cross that bridge tomorrow
Well, let the time that goes between, baby 
Well, let it let go of the sorrow

It is just an amazing song.  We sing that on the road -- Wally, Ava, C.I. and me -- a lot -- "Get some ribbons and some bows and get back out on the road again"?  I love this song and it's one of my top ten Stevie songs.  Right up there with "Sara," for example.  And I really think "Sara" is my all time favorite to this day.  Now my top ten does change.  Yes, sometimes because of my mood.  But also because Stevie's still putting gout songs.  "For What It's Worth" has knocked a song off my top ten because I love that song.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Tuesday, June 4, 2019.  Today we look at some of the women running for president and at the way one veteran gets treated differently from other veterans in the race.

Starting with the race for the Democratic Party's nomination, Sunday, while CNN offered three town halls with three men, FOX NEWS held a town hall of their own featuring Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

We're noting videos, as we did with Mayor Pete Buttigieg's town hall.  FOX NEWS apparently doesn't offer transcripts.  When we covered Senator Bernie Sanders' town hall on FOX NEWS, we were on a campus we were speaking at and watching it with students, taking notes as it aired.  I never looked for a printed transcript.  I did for Pete's over and over and never found it in the five days following his town hall.  I've looked this morning for Kirsten's and it's not there.  So we'll just be noting videos.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand served in the US House of Representatives for two years before becoming a US Senator in January 2009.

CNN's coverage of the town hall encourages you to watch her "confront FOX NEWS,"  ABC NEWS emphasizes that the senator attacked the "network over abortion coverage," and POLITICO notes she "sticks it to FOX NEWS in scrappy town hall."

That matters.   Her going on FOX NEWS matters because she's attempting to reach all voters.  You have to go beyond the bubble to win a national election.  Yet in her desperate struggle to address her low polling, Senator Elizabeth Warren chose to strike out against Senator Bernie Sanders for doing a town hall on FOX NEWS -- a highly rated and impressive town hall on FOX NEWS.  Sorry to break it to Elizabeth, but those college kids we watched the town hall with?  They weren't right wingers.  They weren't even Democratic centrists.  They are young activists on the left.  And they were thrilled to watch Bernie go toe-to-toe with FOX NEWS.

Elizabeth Warren can't get anyone to support her campaign?  Is it a surprise when she is too timid to go on FOX NEWS?  She and Senator Kamala Harris look ridiculous and petty over this issue -- after Elizabeth made her announcement, Kamala quickly offered a 'me too!'

Why can't Elizabeth hold her own on FOX NEWS?  Maybe because she can't even handle her own on THE BREAKFAST CLUB which isn't really a confrontational program.  They have discussions on that show.  But watch her struggle with reality.

As she refuses to address it, Charlamagne tha God gets a little firmer and he, rightly, calls her  "The Original Rachel Dolezal."  It's a funny line and it's one that gets the point across.  It's a shame that Elizabeth Warren was (a) surprised that this very serious issue would be raised and (b) that she wasn't able to keep it light and respond to it.

Reality for Elizabeth Warren, people have been laughing at her for this for years now.  It's right up there with when Barack Obama said of Hillary Clinton that she was "talking like she's Annie Oakley."  For those who missed it in real time . . .

Yes, there was a degree of sexism in these remarks and ridicule.  And many of us defended Hillary in 2008 from the sexist attacks.

But the candidate needs to be able to defend herself or himself.

And if Elizabeth Warren can't handle a discussion of this issue with Charlamagne, how would she, as the Democratic Party nominee, handle it onstage with Donald Trump as he started spouting off about Pocahontas?  When she's responding to some question and he's rolling his eyes and singing "Can you paint with all the colors of the wind" (Vanessa Williams' song on the soundtrack to DISNEY's POCAHONTAS)?

Elizabeth insists she will not go on FOX NEWS because she won't 'legitimize' them but it really looks like she won't go on because she can't defend herself and if she can't defend herself, how can she defend anyone else.

Elizabeth made a fool out of herself with the Native American claim that went on way too long after she was in the national spotlight.  Nobody gives a damn that her mother told her this or that -- allegedly.

The buck stops where, Elizabeth?

She could have -- and should have -- ended this long ago by laughing about it and saying, "Boy, did I look like an idiot!  And you know what, we all do from time to time.  Part of being human.  I'm just glad I can laugh about it now."  And while she makes a statement like that, she should have a genuine smile and not one of those forced ones she favors when she's uncomfortable.

Unless and until her campaign can rehearse her for that moment, there's no point in supporting her.  She's not a worthy candidate even should she get the nomination.

But let her laugh about it and note how foolish she looked?  Then put her onstage with Donald Trump and he pulls out "Pocahontas,"  she can laugh right there on stage.  She can toss her head back and laugh.  And then she can say, "You're right, Mr. President, it is funny.  And you've had some funny, bone-headed moments too that we could talk about but, honestly, what I'd rather talk about are the moments that aren't so funny, the mistakes you made and are making that are costing our farmers, our children . . ."

Boom, Donald's on the defensive.  And he's yelling and shaking and he's lost the debate.

She could get to that moment.  But she can't get there currently.  She needs to stop acting like she never claimed she was Native American, she needs to stop pretending people don't find that funny.  She needs to own the moment without being defensive -- no mention of her mother or what someone else told her -- and just laugh about it.  A lot of Americans have laughed about it.  If she laughed about it, she would come off as a good sport and she actually could move on from it, pulling it out only when she needed to pivot a conversation to another point.

Yesterday, we were speaking to a group of women about the wars and about this race and how it might or might not result in someone in the White House who could end these forever wars.  A woman asked a question about sexism, she wanted to know who we thought was treated the most sexist of the six women running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Those women are Kirsten, Elizabeth, Kamala, Marianne Williamson, Amy Klobuchar and Tulsi Gabbard.

We all offered our opinions -- and that's all they were, opinions.  No one was giving a wrong answer, we were just sharing what we observed.

For Kat, it was Kirsten.  Senator Gillibrand is a sitting Senator, she's got more experience in the Congress than any other woman running.  Before someone e-mails, Amy has been a senator since January 2007, yes, she has.  But that's when Kirsten started in the House.  She then moved to the Senate and Kat's argument was that was more experience in Congress because though she and Amy have served the same amount of time, Kirsten's served in both houses.  Kat noted that Kirsten is from a media intensive state (NY) and yet she has received very little press and she's also been the target of a smear campaign by Al Franken loyalists who blame her for Al's behavior that led to his resignation.  White boys do love to stick together, don't they?  John Conyers was forced to step down and unlike shuck and jive Al, John made a difference in Congress.  They've never wept a tear for John Conyers.  And for those who don't know better, Al was arguing for Democrats in Congress to vote for the Iraq War to be 'safe.'  Al was never the hero the White fan bois wanted him to be.

And Kirsten's been targeted online with vile attacks.

So a strong argument can be made that Kirsten's faced more sexism than the other five.

I went with Tulsi.  Tulsi is either ignored or attacked by the media -- and both attacking and ignoring are ways of dismissing a candidate.  Look at how our 'women's rights organizations' did both to Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente in 2008 when they were running mates on the Green Party's presidential ticket.

But what I find most interesting about the sexism aimed at Tulsi is that she's an Iraq War veteran.

Because you served does not make you above criticism here.  I don't hero worship, sorry.  But the press does.  It constantly whines that this person was insulted and they served or that person or that we have to love an asshole like John McCain because he was in the military.  Blah, blah, blah.

But this same press attacks Tulsi.  They attack a veteran while insisting that veterans are above reproach.  What's the difference here?

Tulsi's a woman.  And those of us who attended the many Subcommittee hearings former US House Rep John Hall held are aware of how  remedial they were and how necessary they were.  Women veterans were not being recognized as such.  John did many wonderful things in his brief time in Congress but what I will especially applaud him for is his work demanding that we rethink what a veteran is and that we bring ourselves into the 21st century.

The press has not done that.  Nor have social media commentators.

Now if they want to join me in the 'no one is above criticism' fray, well, welcome to the party.  But while they -- the press and social media commentators -- repeatedly whine over this or that MALE veteran and what was said about him and how it's so unfair because he's a veteran?  They better stop attacking Tulsi.

And they have attacked her and done so repeatedly.

Tulsi is our first female veteran candidate running for president.  And it's apparently very difficult for the press (and social media commentators) to shed the bias that they have allowed to be instilled and that they themselves have instilled.

When Seth Moulton speaks of whatever, the Alyssa Milanos rush to prop him up -- to virtue signal just how wonderful they are themselves.  But Tulsi is treated like trash.  Mayor Pete gets propped up.  Tulsi gets treated like trash.

I sat through John Hall's hearings, I heard women who had served talk about going to the VA and being treated like 'the other' and like they weren't veterans and how that impacted their use of the VA.  I heard about how the VA wasn't even prepared for them.  Strip and do so without a curtain so anyone walking down the hall can see you.  That was the VA for some women.  I heard the women outline how they were treated by the press, how even if it was an issue that was a specific issue to female veterans, the press would grab a male veteran to put on camera or to quote.

They were rendered invisible over and over.  And John Hall deserves tremendous praise and credit for not doing just one hearing on this topic but multiple hearings.

It would appear that the same sort of effort needs to take place only focused on the press.  Because there is the praise and applause that they give a male veteran and then there is the nothing that they give Tulsi.

She makes them uncomfortable because nothing is more static than the press.  They do not move easily forward.  (Look at how so many of them were espousing 'safe' views regarding LGBTQ issues only ten years ago -- 'safe' views that, as many of us noted, were actually homophobic.)

Tulsi is calling for an end to forever wars and that also threatens them, absolutely.  But pay attention to how she gets treated by the press compared to any veteran in office -- she's a member of the US Congress -- and you should start to wonder why there's the veteran standard of easy press for men and then there's the special standard the press doles out for Tulsi?

Kat's "Kat's Korner: Another classic from Mavis and also check out Middle Kids" went up last night reviewing Mavis Staples' new studio album and the new EP from Middle Kids.
The following sites updated: