Thursday, August 13

Videos from Purgatory #46: Cree Summer -Curious White Boy

Here's a song you don't hear everyday - Cree Summer with her latest single "Savior Self"

Cree Summer is actually a pretty well known actress and voice-over artist. Years ago she starred on Bill Cosby's "A Different World" with Lisa Bonet as "Freddie" (The Wild-haired Hippy Chick) - and has done almost two hundred voice actor spots in animated shows from Rugrats to Ani-Maniacs, Batman Beyond and Clone Wars. So she's been around. But actually that isn't the half of it.

Revelation Sunshine

Before she released her solo record (which was produced by Lisa's ex-husband Lenny Kravitz) she had a group before that. That group was called Subject to Change.

Unfortunately before the album was even released, they were dropped by their label (a lot like the way Tom Morello's original band Lock Up was dropped) - so there are no videos other this one I found done by a fan using the Sims.

This isn't really a great example of the kind of songs STC did, since it only used half the band - but the intensity of the attitude and sentiment is clear. The album featured grooving hard rock songs, some with a jazz tinge, that address feminism, religion, peace and war in a very in your face manner - and oh by the way - IT ROCKED HARD!

But nearly a decade later when Lenny finally produced her solo album most of the hard rock edge was gone, in fact all of it was gone except for the one song "Curious White Boy".

Now this song bears a bit of explanation, even though the basic idea is pretty obvious ("Jungle Fever Gone Awry") it really wasn't originally one of Cree's own songs. It actually came from her Subject to Change bandmate - Tory Ruffin and his previous group Civil Rite. She redid the lyrics to fit herself, because the CR version was written from a male perspective and called "Butt Naked in a Field of Daiseys". Also the guitars were recorded a lot better - I still don't know why the HELL R&B bands can't get distorted guitars recorded right.. it's always sounds completely fucked up! I have to think it's just another part of the reflexive aversion to ROCK that seems to permeate Black Music and Black Radio.

Anyway Cree - just like Dionne Farris and Mother's Finest - started out Rocking Hard, but in order to get a record out that the industry would support had to pretty much cut that practically down to nothing. You could even see this trend with Tori's own career, he started out rocking like an MFer with Civil Rite, which was like Zeppelin meets Parliament meets Coltane, then softened just a little bit for Subject to Change, a bit more with Dionne for the song "Passion" (where he's featured in the video), but now he's doing almost entirely straight up R&B as the touring guitarist for Morris Day and The Time as well as his own side project - FreakJuice.

Bit by bit the scrape the Rock off of you, until there's nothing left.

Another example is David Ryan Harris who started out Rocking his BUTT OFF with Follow For Now, then moved to Pop Rock with his next band Brand New Immortals and what's he doing now? He's playing backup with - wait for it - John Maher. Yeah, like he *really* Rocks.. not.

Maybe someday Cree will get a chance to Rock again, but at this rate I'm not hopeful.

Update : I looks like Cree has continued to collaborate with Tory, on the Freakjuice song "Hidden" from their second CD "Like You".


Tuesday, August 11

Keith Olbermann's Palin "Death Panel" Special Comment

Even for Keith, this was s Tour De Force

Full Transcript.

I think Keith did a great job of seperating the honest (if deeply misinformed) passions of those who are current raging at these Town Halls from those who've cynically done the mis-informing. Forgive them, they know NOT what the spew!

For example let's all please remember that the provision which allows Medicare to pay for Voluntary End of Life Discussion was originally suggested by a Republican, Rep Johnny Isakson, and he thinks all this "Death Panel" talk is Nuts.

ISAKSON: I have no idea. I understand — and you have to check this out — I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin’s web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up. [...]

It empowers you to be able to make decisions at a difficult time rather than having the government making them for you

But it's a form of NUTS that the PR firms supporting the current Health Care establishment have carefully cultivated as Rachel pointed out last night with her piece on the lobbying firm 60 Plus.

The hysteria these lies have created have led to a Four Foot Swastika being painted on the Office Walls of Rep David Scott (D-GA).

I have one small quibble with Keith's comment here, but it's not really his fault. It was only revealed yesteday by kossack booksnmore4you - that while Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin's Administration really DID run a "Death Panel" involving restrictions of care provided to the Elderly.

In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.

This came from an initial report last July from the Anchorage Daily News on the massive failings in the Alaska In-Home Care system.

State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life -- taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom -- are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found.

The situation is so bad the federal government has forbidden the state to sign up new people until the state makes necessary improvements.

No other state in the nation is under such a moratorium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Clearly 99.9% percent of us didn't Rise Up to prevent this - but the Federal Government did. Thank Allah, Vishnu and Jehova for the "Intrusive" Intervention of the Feds.

I would also give her slightly more credit for calling for non-violence at the Town Hall Riots

Also this week, Alaskans will join Senators Murkowski and Begich in town hall meetings to discuss the current health care legislation. There are many disturbing details in the current bill that Washington is trying to rush through Congress, but we must stick to a discussion of the issues and not get sidetracked by tactics that can be accused of leading to intimidation or harassment. Such tactics diminish our nation’s civil discourse which we need now more than ever because the fine print in this outrageous health care proposal must be understood clearly and not get lost in conscientious voters’ passion to want to make elected officials hear what we are saying.

But then again this could simply be an elaborate case of C.Y.A.

Let’s not give the proponents of nationalized health care any reason to criticize us

Yeah. You guys don't want to get Criticized for derailing the first real chance at deeply needed Health Care reform in 50 years wouldja? Not like that Scarle Letter "H" branding would ever come out.

A similar call for "calm" (y'know that thing the head of FreedomWorks said couldn't be asked for) has come from Glen Beck ("One Lunatic Like Timothy McVeigh Could Ruin Everything") unfortunately Beck still believes the "Death Panel" claim is true.

Only in Sarah Palin's Alaska Glen... only there.


Monday, August 10

Videos from Purgatory #45: Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name

Rage Against the Machine is the band that nearly ended All BANDS!

Killing in the Name

Signed to Geffen Records after their Second Show, the group was a phenomenon almost as soon as they were formed by former Lock Up Guitarist Tom Morello, vocalist Zach De La Rocha from Punk/Hardcore group Inside Out, Timmy C on bass and Brad Wllk from the grunge band Greta on drums the band took De La Rocha's fiery angst-ridden Public Enemy inspired Rap lyrics - the cultural isolation and anger of a young Chicano from East L.A. living amongst the vapid corporate Buffy's and Biff's crawling through Orange Co's Irvine -with the slashing Metallic Funk of Morello and a watertight rhythm section.

But it's not like they didn't face obstacles and bumps in the road, their first single "Killing in the Name" was banned by the BBC and their videos were initially banned by MTV for almost 2 years. But they eventually broke through.

"Know Your Enemy" - which essentially said everything in one song.

Equal parts Afrika Bambaataa and Urban Dance Squad, during the 90's Rage Against the Machine was like a Airborne antidote to the Weapons of Mass Delusion employed by the Corporate Fascists who attempt to manipulate the world from their glass and steel castles of power.

The one you can't say - is they didn't predict the 2000's perfectly, because they did.

Everything that Faux News is today, keeping the worker mases pacified while sucking them dry with Health Care and and Loan Schemes that trap them in a every tightening cycle of despair, dependence and anger - RATM documented and in their video for Guerilla Radio.

Or how about when they shut down the New York Stock Exchange for the Sleep Now in the Fire Video, looks pretty prophetic in the wake of the bailouts, eh?

Every Show by RATM - IS a Tax Tea Party.

Sadly the group disbanded in 2000, just when we probably needed a radical, but well informed and unflinching voice like theirs the most - but has now reformed and has begun playing festival shows like Coachella.

At one point in the Electric Purgatory Documentary, Angelo Moore of Fishbone speculates that RATM may have gotten as far as they have because "there's a white guy in the band". Well, technically there are two of them - Brad & Timmy - but if was referring to Zach he's wrong. Zach, as I said, is a Chicano and Damn Proud of it. What I think it probably more true, is that a lot of people frankly don't even realize that Tom Morello is BLACK, partly because his mom was White and his dad was African (like our current President) and after attending Princeton, he certainly doesn't sound Black - but he is. Tom was a member of the Black Rock Coalition right along with members of Fishbone in 1991. Even i didn't know it and I WAS THERE. So was he, and he's always been down with this cause and issue.

Many have argued that what needs to happen to help focus this issue, as I've tried to do over the last several weeks by pointing out the literally dozens of groups who've fought against and through the resistance of some people to the idea that non-White people CAN ROCK - (which sometimes comes most strongly from non-Whites themselves, or people who are just afraid to confront the resistance or don't wanna be bothered with it) that instead of having a set of summer festivals featuring some of these bands all drawn together in one place headlined by Prince or Lenny Kravitz - you need Rage Against the Machine in the house at the top of the bill, particularly since they're more likely to do festivals shows than the others are.

Just imagine a show with Sevendust, Killswitch Engage, Suffocation and God Forbid on one stage, while Robert Randolph, Kenna, Ben Harper and Relentless 7, Adrenaline Sky, Fishbone, Living Colour, Ra, King's X, 24-7 Zpyz are on another and new up and coming bands (which I'll eventually get to) like Year of the Dragon, Asphalt Messiah, Fear Nuttin Band, Blaxmyth, and TV21 are on a third all headlined by RATM! Who needs Ozzfest or Lottapoorlosers - that would be BAD-ASS.

I'm just saying...

And don't give me that "It's too racially biased crap" - it's really about having the freedom to make the music you wanna make no matter WHO you are. How many years did they have the "BLACK CHARTS" for just authentic "Black Artists" on "Black RADIO" in Billboard Magazine or Cashbox, but those stations wouldn't play ANY of these artists? They were functionally White Listed off the air. That's the way it was right into the late 80s (and frankly that's what it still means when it says "Dance/R&B/Hip Hop"), so don't pretend it isn't time for a little MUSICAL parity to that ongoing blockade, it's been a long time coming...

Glam Rock Artists were all marketed together and toured together, Grunge and Seattle Artists were all marketed together as a package - and that's what made them all as big as they got. It never made any damn sense to put King's X on tour with AC/DC or Scorpions, but that's what happened. It's always been true that strong bands like Nirvana made weaks bands they have a common bond (even if only geographical) like Mud Honey tolerable, that's what Hasn't happened in this case yet. All it would take is for someone - a promoter most likely - to put the pieces together and make it happen. This is exactly what the Black Rock Coalition was originally intended to create.

Until it does, most of these bands remain in Electric Purgatory.


Videos from Purgatory #44: Suffocation - Abomination Reborn

Suffocation is a Death Metal band that's been releasing albums since 1991, including six so far - heavy, fast and uncompromising this is a group that takes no prisoners what so ever.

Aboination Reborn

Having so far avoided the curse of Electric Purgatory, at least so far, may have been luck but also the fact that the African-American members of the band (on drums and guitar) are not quite as noticeable until you take a closer look and the fact that in Death Metal, nobody really gives a shit what you look like.

It's like getting upset that the semi-truck that just ran you down - had a broken tail light.

Synthetically Revived


Sunday, August 9

Videos From Purgatory #43: Relentless 7 - Shimmer & Shine

Well known for his long history of pop, folk and acoustic songs with his group Innocent Criminals, it appears that Ben Harper has a brand new project - a Rock Band called Relentless 7 who manage to have a both a fresh and retro sound at the same time - IMO a bit like R.E.M. but with some balls.

Here's an Interview with the band by

I have to hope the group well, but looking at the long history of a projects like this - even with Ben's existing notoriety - I have to expect it won't be long before the industry chase him right back onto the Pop Plantation. I might be wrong, the group might make it to their second CD - but if they didn't already have Ben long history behind them, I really don't think they'd be anywhere near where they are already, or would have an ice cube's chance in death valley of surviving.

"Number With No Name" from Jimmy Kimmel Live


Videos from Purgatory #42 : Xavion - Eat Your Heart Out

1984 Xavion was an All Black Hard Rock band with a Glam Edge from Memphis Managed by Tommy Mattola (Hall & Oates, Sony Records, Ex-Husband to Maria Carey) Considering the other Glam Bands that got big in the 80's these guys are about average and would've done well playing gigs with Dan Reed Network, Mazarati or Sound Barrier but instead as you can see from this Performance Video (Embed Not Available) they were essentially being marketed as a dance/R&B band to shows like Soul Train! Epic Fail!

It's true they do have the Linn Drum sound that Prince used to use, plus the heavy use of keys and funky grooves - but these guys are clearly a Rock Band with Huey Lewis sounding break downs or early Bon Jovi-ish screams, and Rock Guitar Solos especially this song - Self Made Hell.


FreedomWorks has an Abject Apology to the Left for the Town Hall Riots

Apparently all of our crying and whining that the Health Care Screamers are just so MEAN - hasn't completely fallen on deaf ears. Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey's has an "Abject Apology" to all us Lefties.

Today FreedomWorks released an apology to leftist political organizations including, the Democratic National Committee, the AFL-CIO and ACORN for our apparent ignorance of the fine art of political discourse.

FreedomWorks’ August Recess Call to Action encouraged grassroots citizens to attend Congressional town hall meetings and listening sessions. We asked everyone to voice their opinions and communicate their opposition to the President’s proposed hostile takeover of the American health care system. Apparently, the very act of showing up and having an opinion is, in effect, to act like a “thug.” Opposing President Obama’s policy agenda on health care is, in and of itself, unacceptable, and has no place in our democracy. Bottom line: it’s “disgusting,” according to our friends on the left.

Anyone feeling better?

Of course I would be remiss if I were to ignore the fact that we Lefties have an Apology to the Right as well...

Dear Republicans,

Over the past week, we have seen your passionate protests and heard your concerns about Democratic proposals for health care reform. We have considered your insightful and well reasoned arguments, and on behalf of progressives everywhere, I am here to say: OK! We give up! We are willing to compromise on the proposals that concern you. You've won! Yay!

In accordance with your cogent and potent criticisms, these are the terms of our concession:

1. We will not euthanize your grandmother. This is the big one, and I really hope you guys appreciate how much of a concession this is on behalf of the progressive movement. Since the days of the Bull Moose Party, progressives have wanted nothing more than to slaughter old people by the millions. That much is obvious. After all, if we wanted senior citizens to have long and healthy lives, why would we have created Social Security and Medicare? Think about it. Death to grannies has long been the core of progressive policy, so it's not without some consternation that we give it up. So there: no euthanizing old people. You've got it.

2. Rahm Emanuel's brother will not kill Sarah Palin's baby. While this will require us to gut HR 3200 "America's Health Choices and Murder Sarah Palin's Baby Act of 2009," we're currently working with Henry Waxman to remove the extensive Sarah Palin's baby-killing provisions from the final bill. While this will probably cost us Andrew Sullivan's support, we recognize that this is a necessary sacrifice for securing broad bipartisan support of health care reform.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, let just see what it was that has brought the Left to such as sad state...

On the section of the Freedomworks site titled "Take Action to Stop Socialized Medicine" they present three questions to ask your representatives:

1. Do you support any of these middle-class tax hikes to fund government-run health care? If not, how would you pay for it?

Currently the United States spends 15.3% of our national GDP on Health care costs. That is 5% higher than ANY - I REPEAT ANY - other country in the world. The bulk of that cost is not coming from Medicare or Medicaid or other public programs (which accounts for 6.9% of GDP) it's coming from Private Insurance Costs which top out at a whopping 8.5%. The only other country even close to that at 8.4% is Lebanon.

How would we pay for adding new people to the system? By cutting all the price gouging and insurance scams that makes our private health care costs well over twice (and sometimes three times) as expensive as just about every other country in the world, that's how.

2. Under Obama’s plan, can you guarantee that I would get to keep my current health care plan and doctor?

Yes, that is included in SEC. 102. "PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE" of HR 3200.

Dean vs Gingrich on being "Forced out your plan"

DEAN: Look, let’s be fair. Lewin Associates is owned by a health insurance company. So let’s — let’s — let’s — the CBO, which I think is a more reasonable organization, says 5 million or 10 million people are going to end up there. [...]

Second of all, what the speaker didn’t tell you is, let’s just suppose you get forced out of your employer-based system, which I think is unlikely, but let’s suppose that you do. You’ve got a choice. The government will pay your subsidy to either go into — based on your income, either to go into the public option or a private option. Nobody is forcing you in to the public option.

On Gingrich's point claiming that Employers will drop Private Coverage because a Public Plan would be so much cheaper - well, isn't that the result of the Free Market Deciding? Besides, hasn't Walmart been doing that for years?

Next question?

3. Provisions in the Obama plan call for “comparative effectiveness research” to be used to decrease costs. “Savings” are achieved by denying treatments based on criteria such as cost, a patient’s health and/or a patient’s age. Isn’t this health care rationing?

First of all denying treatment via "Pre-existing Conditions" and rejection of claims is how insurance companies are padding their profits RIGHT NOW. Our care is already rationed away from those who need most - y'know Sick People.

HR 3200 Specifically Prohibits the use of "Pre-existing Conditions" to block access to care.


A qualified health benefits plan may not impose any pre-existing condition exclusion (as defined in section 2701(b)(1)(A) of the Public Health Service Act) or otherwise impose any limit or condition on the coverage under the plan with respect to an individual or dependent based on any health status-related factors (as defined in section 2791(d)(9) of the Public Health Service Act) in relation to the individual or dependent.

This is what the bill says On Comparative Effectiveness Research.

`Sec. 1181. (a) Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research Established-`

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish within the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (in this section referred to as the `Center') to conduct, support, and synthesize research (including research conducted or supported under section 1013 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003) with respect to the outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of health care services and procedures in order to identify the manner in which diseases, disorders, and other health conditions can most effectively and appropriately be prevented, diagnosed, treated, and managed clinically.

The Center will submit reports to the Secretary and to Congress for evaluation - that's ALL. They don't make the decision, they just issue a study - like the CBO does. Further there's also an independant Oversight Commission made up of physicians and experts in bioethics, patients, employers and insurance companies authorized in the bill to double check their suggestions.

But the bottom line is that don't make the final decision - Congress and the Secretary do, which frankly is what they already do for Medicaid and Medicare. Now they'll just have some outside non-governmental experts specifically charged with providing some better ideas.

`(h) Construction- Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the Commission or the Center to mandate coverage, reimbursement, or other policies for any public or private payer.'.

All of this is simply to ensure that providers are using best practices and the latest technology in order to provide care at least equivelent to that currently provided by Medicare - not deny it.

But here's the thing, the real purpose of Freedomworks here isn't to apologize for their own bad behavior it's to turn around and accuse the left of being the REAL Thugs with harassing phone calls.

Specifically, “school” included phone call blitzes from and the AFL-CIO that jammed FreedomWorks phone lines and filled up staff voice mail boxes. Callers’ consistently used profanity, vulgarity, ever-popular references to “Nazis” and “brown-shirters,” racial slurs targeting an African-American staffer, and even veiled threats of violence and bodily harm.

Oh, so we're the Meanies here? And exactly where is the evidence that this was sponsored by ACORN, the AFL-CIO or Move-On? I looked at their site and i don't see anything that says "Call Up FreedomWorks and act like a Jack-Ass - here's their number!"

Really I don't.

But I do see that the SEIU is receiving threaten calls demanding they "Stop the Violence" or else they'll "Come up against the Second Amendment!"

I do see FreedomWorks providing (error ridden) scripts and maps to these Tall Halls, and I see their Vice President boasting about "blowing them up" and claiming on C-Span that he just can't tell people to "calm down"?

PAPPAS: We don’t have the power to control how many people turn out or how they behave there. All we really do is facilitate their participation by letting people know when these town halls are and giving them information about the issues that are going to be discussed The passions are so deep about this issue that we can’t send out an email that says “calm down.”

Yeah, actually - you could, pal.

Seriously, these guys are like a bunch of 12-year-olds who take a Cherry Bomb, light It, stuff it in your mail-box, run away - then when the shit Blows UP claim they had nothing to do with it.

"The Fire Made It go BOOM, I couldn't have been bothered to try and put it out after I started it and aimed it! It's not my fault that Gunpowder Plumps when you cook it."

Really, now?

Apology Not Accepted.