I've had negative thoughts and made negative remarks about The Hive over the years. But I will give them their due tonight. Bil Browning (LGBTQ NATION) reports:
Jon Hetherington had waited 25 years to see Beyoncé in concert. He’d weathered the exhausting process to score a coveted ticket for the Queen’s Renaissance World Tour.
But on the day of the concert, his excitement crumbled when the flight from Eugene, Oregon, to Seattle couldn’t accommodate his wheelchair, leaving him grounded.
After he posted about his crushed dream on social media, the Beyhive went to work. Last night, Hetherington flew to Texas at this singer’s invitation to see her perform. Her team even arranged the flight.
So good for The Hive. And while applauding them, take a moment to think about Jon Heatherington and others like him. For most of us, we buy a ticket, we go to the concert. There may be some travel involved. Take a moment to grasp what is means if you're, for example, in a wheel chair and the extra steps that involves.
Okay, headline, "Pantera Drop Off Aftershock Festival, Replaced by Stone Temple Pilots." Sorry Pantera dropped out and wonder why. But am I the only one who recoils when she reads nonsense like "replaced by Stone Temple Pilot"?
Scott Weiland was STP. He's dead. There is no STP. The DeLeo brothers look freakier each day -- which is really saying something since they had unibrows going back to the band's formation and one of them is wall-eyed. Scott was the group. Without Scott there is no group. They really need to get a new name.
Corinne Bailey Rae‘s new album, ‘Black Rainbows’, is a fascinating tour de force. Inspired by multiple revelatory visits to Chicago’s Stony Island Arts Bank, a Black art and culture hub that Bailey Rae calls her “second home”, it’s a bold and unselfconscious collection that defies categorisation. One minute she’s chanting over punky guitar riffs on the thrilling single ‘New York Transit Queen’, the next she’s singing with bell-like clarity on the sublime piano ballad ‘Peach Velvet Sky’. “I just felt very free in terms of how I could use my voice and what the music could sound like,” she tells NME.
By design, ‘Black Rainbows’ is quite unlike any other Corinne Bailey Rae album. “I didn’t want to feel any weight of expectation in relation to what I’ve done before,” the Leeds-based singer-songwriter says when we meet in central London. What she’s done before, of course, is consistently impressive. Released in 2006, her eponymous debut went triple-platinum in the UK after spawning the Grammy-nominated pop-soul bops ‘Like A Star’ and ‘Put Your Records On’. The latter, which was turned into a TikTok hit in 2020 by American indie artist Ritt Momney, remains an enduringly lovely summer anthem.
Use the link to continue reading. Over at SPIN, John Leland interviews DJ Kool Herc:
Set the scene: 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, August 11, 1973, a summer party in an apartment building’s rec room. Twenty-five cents admission for girls, 50 cents for boys. Olde English 800 or Colt 45 for a buck. Could be just another sweaty night in the city, except that the DJ is up to something different. Instead of playing the hits of the moment, he plays some slow jams — yes — and lots of hard, drum-heavy funk: James Brown’s “Give it Up or Turnit a Loose,” Baby Huey’s “Listen to Me,” the Jimmy Castor Bunch’s “It’s Just Begun.”
He’s a Jamaican-born 18-year-old named Clive Campbell, or DJ Kool Herc, and he’s noticed that some kids only dance to the parts of the songs when everything drops out except the drums, and then they break wild. So that’s what he gives them: playing the break on one of his Garrard turntables, then repeating it on the other, back and forth, back and forth. On the microphone, he and his friend Coke La Rock call out the names of people in the room, giving them status.
You’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but you’ve just made your first rock’n’roll record, Rockstar. Why did it take so long?
I never thought about being rock’n’roll. Country was my vein, mountain music. My husband, Carl, is a rock’n’roll freak, the craziest thing. He only likes rock’n’roll, with the exception that he loves Merle Haggard and Lester Flatt. He’s one of those acid rockers. Led Zeppelin was his favourite group.
Carl, he never really particularly liked country music. He loved me, but he was never really that fond of my music. This is not a bad thing. I wrote one song on this album when I was a girl, the one I do with Simon Le Bon, My Blue Tears. One day Carl heard me singing that song, and he said, “Now, that’s a good song.” We were just young and married, so I remembered. When I got ready to do Rockstar, something told me to do it. It’s one of my favourite songs on there.
Will there be a sequel?
I won’t do another. I won’t need to – 30 songs is a lot. I may sing a song. I just got a call from Elton John the other day, saying, “Would you sing on my album?” Years ago, he did the Country Music Association Awards and sang with me on Imagine. We went backstage, and he knows all these country songs, these classics. We were backstage singing so good together. We said, “Man, we should do a duet of country songs,” but we never got around to that.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Deputy Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk and Deputy Assistant and Senior Advisor to the President for Energy and Investment Amos Hochstein met last night with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani of Iraq to confirm the strong U.S. partnership with Iraq as outlined in the Strategic Framework Agreement between the two countries. The United States took special note of Prime Minister Sudani’s leadership moving Iraq’s policy towards strengthening its own energy security, including with electricity grid connections to Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, as well as major energy deals with western firms to capture flared gas in southern Iraq for domestic use and future export. Hochstein and McGurk also welcomed recent agreements between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government regarding monthly budget allocations, and emphasized the urgency of reopening the Iraq-Turkiye Pipeline as soon as possible. On regional matters, McGurk pledged full U.S. support to help finally resolve outstanding maritime boundary issues with Kuwait, particularly in relation to UNSCR 833. Sudani welcomed this support, and reaffirmed Iraq’s longstanding and clear policy recognizing Kuwait’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, all prior bilateral agreements between the two friendly countries, and adherence to international law, including UN Security Council Resolutions.
Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate who built an unmatched global media empire over seven decades from a single newspaper he inherited in his native Australia, announced on Thursday that he would step down.
"I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change," Murdoch wrote in a memo to employees at Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the many other properties that make up his two corporations, Fox Corp. and News Corp. "The time is right for me to take on different roles."
Murdoch's career has been marked by a singular drive for business success, an eagerness to have sway over elections and policies, and the repeated eruption of scandals. Fox News, which he founded in 1996, has played an increasingly prominent role in his profits, his influence, and his crises.
Murdoch's Sun tabloid relied on anonymous police sources to blame soccer hooligans for a deadly stampede after a stadium collapse; in fact, the police's own poor disaster response was found to be responsible. News Corp. later paid hundreds of millions of dollars after it came to light that people acting on its behalf had hacked into the mobile phones, voicemails and emails. The Murdochs closed down one of its tabloids, News of the World, and abandoned hope of taking full control of Sky, a major British satellite television outfit in which it held a significant stake.
In the U.S., Fox News paid nine figures to resolve a growing wave of sexual harassment accusations against then-Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, among others. It later paid millions of dollars to the family of a slain Democratic National Committee staffer whom it baselessly claimed had leaked thousands of party emails that had actually been hacked during the 2016 campaign by the Russian government.
Yet nothing matched the debacle after the 2020 presidential election.
Murdoch's role in allowing Fox News stars to embrace discredited claims of fraud in that race came into sharp view during a defamation suit filed against the network and Fox Corp. The company settled for $787.5 million this spring, just before opening arguments in the trial were to begin. Dominion Voting Systems, the plaintiff, planned to make Murdoch one of the first witnesses to testify before the jury.
Despite Murdoch's contempt for Trump, Fox amplified his baseless claims of having been cheated out of victory. Documents from that legal case show network leaders were desperate to win back viewers angry that Fox News journalists had projected Trump would lose Arizona on Election Night.
Nothing matched the debacle after the 2020 presidential election?
I guess that's true . . . if you write a 920 word column and none of the words are: Iraq War.
But in the real world, far away from NPR apparently, the Iraq War is the debacle of the 21st century. As the UK's HEAD TOPICS notes:
An MSNBC presenter, Mehdi Hasan, linked Mr Murdoch’s influence and Fox’s news agenda to different political events in the past 20 years. He said in a post on X that “some of the worst things we have had to experience in recent years – the Iraq war, the rise of Trump, the Big Election Lie – are all thanks to him and Fox”. headtopics.
At THE NEW REPUBLIC, in a piece titled "Rupert Murdoch Made The World Worse," Alex Shephard writes:
The worst thing that you can say about Rupert Murdoch, who resigned from the board of the Fox and News Corporations on Tuesday, is that no one has had a greater influence on the news over the last half-century. Murdoch’s influence is both incalculable and fantastically corrosive. It is impossible to look at all of the most malignant aspects of the current news environment—its pace, its callousness, its rancor—without seeing his impact. It is also a fully baked cake. Murdoch may be exiting the scene, but there is no undoing the damage he has done.
[. . .]
Much will be made about Fox News, Murdoch’s greatest and most destructive creation. With Roger Ailes, he turned it into a juggernaut and transformed the media. The cable news industry as we know it is, more or less, the invention of Murdoch and Ailes. News had long been packaged as entertainment, but this reached new heights at Fox News. The network itself existed as an answer to long-standing conservative complaints that the media had a “liberal” bias. It portrayed itself as a “fair and balanced” corrective. It was, instead, a new, powerful partisan machine. It worked immaculately.
Fox News, with Murdoch and Ailes at the helm, transformed news into a massive engine of confirmation bias. It was a safe space for Americans, most of them older and white, to have their fantasies affirmed: Immigrants were pouring into the country, crime was out of control, their way of life was under threat from sources both foreign and domestic. For decades, it pushed conspiracies of every stripe and played a major role in pushing numerous disasters, from the Iraq War to the January 6 insurrection. Pushing conspiracies was and is Fox’s business plan: It exists to tell its viewers that their political opponents are not just their adversaries but represent an existential threat.
Before Rupert Murdoch began illegally making inroads in the US media (foreign ownership was forbidden when Murdoch began his media empire building in the US and he had not yet become a US citizen -- wouldn't until 1985), his trashy ways were already well known. COUNTERPUNCH has republished a 1976 piece by the late Alexander Cockburn.
US political races? So ABC NEWS is the one who let Ronald DeSantis lie this week. Is that the deal? He does a sit down interview with you and you agree to let him lie? From ABC NEWS' report on Linsey Davis' interview with him:
+ New CNN/UNH poll shows DeSantis in freefall in New Hampshire since the last poll in July.
Trump: 39% (+2)
Ramaswamy: 13% (+8)
Haley: 12% (+7)
Christie: 11% (+5)
DeSantis: 10% (-13)
Scott: 5% (-3)
Pence: 2% (+1)
Burgum: 1% (-5)