If you read news coverage of any awards event in the entertainment sector, you may wonder if Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow was right. Portnow drew crits for saying, women need to “step up.” Portnow used that term after media pointed out the scarcity of female performers among winners in 2018. Whiplash ensued, and Portnow clarified his remarks, but what you see and what you hear are in conflict.
Did you watch the Grammy Awards? I didn’t. Not for political reasons. I just get bored listening to people preach the same thing over and over. Let’s face it.
Media are breathlessly touting results of state ‘rankings’ that place the state of Florida dead last in an analysis of states ranked from “best to worst.” The list started with the “worst.” Headlines blared from eager media who probably are still smarting from Democrats’ loss in the Sunshine State in November, 2016. That’s beside the point, though. What is inside the point is that media who deliver your evening news on traditional networks actually took these ‘rankings’ seriously. These aren’t real ‘rankings’.
So many musicians these days get political, it’s hard to keep up. Most hail from one side of the aisle and follow party talking points. Right now R&B singer Erykah Badu is getting an earful on social media after making remarks about her brand of humanism, including her assertion she saw “something good in Hitler.” The interview appeared on a site named Vulture.
You move to Florida, even in the northern part where I live, you pretty much take weather for granted. While it’s true we do have concerns during hurricane season, in our area we have been very lucky. Extreme weather events are rare here. Until recently, we forgot what frozen felt like. All that changed with this week’s weather. New Year’s was fun, but cold. When the temp drops into the 20s, you start to remember what real cold feels like. When your HVAC system experiences sudden death, you really start to feel that real cold. That’s what landed my husband
Gunboat Diplomats isn’t your typical band. As we reported in 2017, this band focuses on recording and distribution across various media instead of relying on group gigs to survive. Our Christmas mail brought news of two songs Gunboat is releasing from the new album titled “Manifest Destiny.”
Every year I swear we will manage holidays better, and every year I fail. With Christmas approaching, our calendar is full of gigs, social events, and gatherings. Most years we kick off Christmas on a quiet note. My husband and I decorate—well, I decorate and he assists with the hard stuff—and then we make coffee and a snack and walk around looking at our Christmas décor. We might watch a Christmas movie. This year, our quiet moments were interrupted by a feathery visitor.
As a long time observer and chronicler of culture, I’ve often wondered how much farther pop culture can descend. Courtesy of the mass entertainment complex, we’ve been subject to mishaps with a bra on a Super Bowl stage, the perpetual dehumanization of the individual purely for sexual purposes, and a positively reviewed big film that begins with a child’s torture. Recently news feeds also brought breaking news on a Victoria’s Secret model who fell on the runway, “but recovered.” I ask you. What else could she do? It’s strange that we focus on content like this when so much else
Going unnoticed among the news gossip cycle is an interview a sports network presenter did with LeBron James. The interview sparked some commentary on a popular music site, leading to the conclusion James is “too cheap” to pay for streaming music. As the interview disclosed, James still has “Pandora with commercials.” How cheap is James, really?
By Jennifer Day Thompson I tend to avoid news sites. I even find myself staying away from social media some days. For a self-employed musician, social connections and engagement are everything. But every time I peruse Facebook or watch a local news broadcast, I’m bombarded with messages of hate and tragedy. I don’t report to an office each day. My office is across the hall from my daughter’s bedroom. I may spend 3-4 days at home, working on music as I’m able while raising a two-year-old. When the end of the week arrives and our gig schedule kicks in, I