Unpacking Accidental Racist by LL Cool J and Brad Paisley, line by excruciating line
In a development absolutely no one could have predicted, country star Brad Paisley and career initial enthusiast LL Cool J got themselves into some hot water Monday with the release of their song Accidental Racist. Hailed as everything from a “real, horrible song” to as bad as a song about the Holocaust, the track’s been able to unite people of all colours over how terrible it is. Others find it at least ironically funny, since it is basically doing for Paisley and Cool J’s reputation as sensitive men whatSouthern Man did for Neil Young among people for whom y is not only sometimes a vowel.
All right, so it might be bad. But do Paisley and LL Cool J at least address the problem they’re trying to? Or are they just a couple of accidental racists themselves, accidentally being racist all over this accidentally racist song? We decided to take a page from our poetry professors of years past and go line by line through the song, to see if we can understand what all the fuss is about. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Music has become more digitized than ever, yet two documentary filmmakers seek to recapture the wonder of field recordings on good ol’ acetate.
Using a single microphone and a 1930s direct-to-disc Presto recording machine, Mt. Ephraim native Lavinia Jones Wright and friend Alex Steyermark co-founded The 78 Project, a web series inspired by Alan Lomax, a field collector of folk music, and “his quest to capture music where it lived throughout the early 20th century.”
In general, I find the structure of The Next Day significant, because it plays like a collection of discreet singles — songs each in a different style, genre, mood — very much in the current mode of consuming music, downloading one hit, or potential hit, at a time. Yet the music also coheres as an album in the classic-rock sense: a unified statement that can be listened to at full length, to tell a story about one man’s progression through innocence, experience, arrogance, cynicism, doubt, redemption, and inspiration. Yes, that’s overstating it a bit, but not much. Yes, some of these steps falter in melody or in sustaining the desired effect. But in general, The Next Day is a thriller, not merely a return to form — partly because David Bowie never took one form to begin with.
Image via Mr.Garcia/Flickr
Really interested in this album.
Full Mega Man III cover album! Share and Download!
This is maybe the most amazing thing in the world ever.
I could be wrong.
“Game of Thrones” + “Downton Abbey” = genius
Do we call this marvelous new ditty “Game of Downton” or “Abbey of Thrones”?
I just can’t wait til the celebrity death match between The Dowager Countess of Grantham and Cersei Lannister.
I’m putting my money on Maggie Smith, y’all.
Here’s a cool music video from UK recording artist Sivu, “Better Man Than He.” It’s filmed inside an MRI machine. It really … uhm … let’s you get into his head.
Lucky dog. The last time I got an MRI, I had to lie perfectly still for fear of causing a general collapse of Western civilization. Must be nice for some people.
On a Saturday morning in Center City, Philadelphia, outside the First Baptist Church at 17th and Sansom Streets, a singer gets ready for his day.
“Facing a long day of rehearsal,” said Steven Bradshaw. “It’s 10:30 going to 5:00. Doing a lot of singing.”
Bradshaw is a professional freelance singer. Most of the year he ekes out a living singing classical repertoire for organizations like the Choral Arts Society, the Mendelssohn Club, the Philadelphia Singers, and The Crossing.
In December, Bradshaw does the holiday hustle.
“People’s appetites for traditional and classical music is awakened during the season,” said Bradshaw. “These groups are ready to pounce on that.”
Yeah. Gotta agree. Reaching back into the archives on this one.
This is fucking insane.
This was a neighborhood crawling with talent.
“It was not uncommon to have boys and men walk around ‘crooning,’ as they would say,” said Ruth Birchette, who grew up at 19th and Norris streets in North Philadelphia in the 1950s and ’60s. “Many times I would run to my window to hear. It was so angelic.”
Birchette was living in the sweet spot of the Philadelphia sound. Just up the street was the rehearsal space of the Dreamlovers (who backed up Chubby Checker on “The Twist” and had their own hit with “When We Get Married”); in the neighborhood lived members of the Stylistics (“You Make Me Feel Brand New”); and a short walk away was the Uptown Theater.