Monthly Archives: January 2014

2 thoughts on Macklemore’s performance at the Grammys

Watch the performance below if you haven’t seen it yet.1

1) The decision to include straight couples in the mass weddings seems like a choice made to soften the impact of the image of gay marriages on national TV. In turn this reduces the impact of the performance as a political statement. Last I checked no one is trying to prevent straight people from getting married. If your response to this is “The point of the song is that marriage is for everyone, gay and straight,” then I think you might have a real misunderstanding of the social problem of discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Also, that actually may be the message that Macklemore intends, which speaks to the issues with using this song as some kind of protest song.  And when you think about it, it speaks to the problem of gay marriage as the principal LGBTQ issue in the public’s mind.

2) I saw the West coast broadcast so it wasn’t live and I don’t know how it played out on live TV. However it was obvious that on the broadcast that I saw, the editor/director made sure to show as little physical affection between same sex couples as possible. Every time a same sex couple would move in for a kiss, the camera would cut away abruptly to Macklemore or Queen Latifah.  I can’t emphasize how super shitty this is.  Basically, someone took a giant crap all over the political statement that the song was making.  Whether it was for personal beliefs or whether it was in the interest of avoiding angry phone calls or emails – it shows that even with more and more states legalizing gay marriage, we are no where near where we want to be on this issue.  If something as simple as two newly married people kissing each other immediately after getting married is still something that needs to be edited out of a national television broadcast, then we as a culture are still discriminating based on who you want to make out with.

I promise that I’m not just trying to shit on a shitty rapper.2  After all, it was nice that some kind of social justice issue was engaged with at all on national TV.  But what should have been a very nice and touching moment was marred by CBS’s desire to ‘sanitize’ the broadcast, so you know, eff those a-holes.

Bonus thought on Grammys unrelated to Macklemore’s performance as political statement – Macklemore3 winning best rap album over Kendrick Lamar is like a poop on rye winning best sandwich over the Monte Cristo.

Both of these white guys have extremely stupid haircuts.

  1. Before it gets yanked from Youtube that is []
  2. See what i did there? []
  3. Did you notice I never mention that clown Ryan Lewis.  He doesn’t do shit except press buttons on his Macbook and jump around like an asshole.  A John Oates for the new century []

Richard Sherman

The flack that Richard Sherman is getting is exactly the same that Muhammad Ali got. History has shown that Ali was not only one of the greatest athletes of all time, but also one of the greatest human beings of all time.  Part of what made him great was that he did speak his mind.  It remains to be seen if Richard Sherman will be as much of a towering cultural figure as Ali, but I think it’s safe to say that the backlash against him is as motivated by race as much as it was for Ali.

Bob’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

Obviously, I’m not a professional music critic, so this is limited only to the music that I’ve been able to spend quality time with.

1. Rhye – Woman
The androgynous mystique of the vocals only enhance an already lush and full album.  I would have never thought that an indie version of Sade would work so well but it does. Basically, I want to make out with this album.

2. Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob
Everything that the critics are praising HAIM for, Tegan and Sara did it first on this album. They also did it way more successfully.

3. Lorde – Pure Heroine
While I am not sure that the narrative of Lorde as Kurt Cobain is completely accurate, the combination of her ethereal voice with the expertly produced minimalistic drum and bass is irresistable.

4. Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady
Third albums in three part concept albums about bisexual androids have never been more funky.  I regularly twerk to this album.

5. Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
Neko continues her streak as every album she’s made since 2006 have been clinics in songwriting.

6. Icona Pop – This is…Icona Pop
Very worthy heirs to the great tradition of Swedish pop music. Perhaps it was due to the wild success of the single “I Love It” as a club anthem, but the rest of this album has been very overlooked.

7. Kanye West – Yeezus
This is a little surprising since this album is not nearly as good as the previous two.  But even Kanye’s B-roll is catchier, more interesting, and more compelling than almost anything else out there.

8. Brandy Clark – 12 Stories
Pretty much all the good things about country music before it went full redneck-son-of-the-south around 2002.  Like Neko Case’s album, this is a showcase of extremely competent songwriting.

9. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
The critics pretty much nailed it with this one – this album is the complete fulfillment of Daft Punk’s potential as the ones to take electronic music mainstream.

10. Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe
I’ve had trouble figuring out exactly what I like about this album so much.  All I can tell you is that I play the crap out of it when I surf the web.

Came close but no cigar
Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety (It killed me to not put this one in the top 10)
Beyonce – Beyonce (This might have made the list if I was able to spend more time with it)
Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap
Jason Isbell – Southeastern

Didn’t come out in 2013 but I started listening to them this year and love these albums
Lydia Loveless – Indestructible Machine
Vijay Iyer Trio – Historicity (High School Jazz Band Drummer Bob here – this album is a stunning achievement)

Album that I have to admit I liked at least a few songs despite hating their last two albums
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Albums that the indie kids seemed to like but I didn’t get at all
Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold
Arcade Fire – Reflektor – I seriously hate this album, but not as much as….

Worst Album of 2013
HAIM – Days are Gone