Monday, November 24, 2008

As the turkey thaws...

Okay, so we've been slacking a bit here...

Well, quite simply, news has been a bit slow post-election. Aside from that new progressive talk station in Boston, there really isn't much to talk about.

In addition, I've been preparing a rather juicy Thanksgiving feast for all of ya. Yes, it's the return of the "Turkey of the Year," 2008 edition. Kinda like last year, but there's enough turkey around to bring Zimbabwe out of famine. Well okay, it's pretty close. There are so many Turkey candidates this time around that much of the time has been spent cutting the article down to a manageable length. It's almost complete, and you can look for it here sometime Wednesday.

In the meantime, the news...

Mr. KGO?

Listeners of KTLK in Los Angeles may remember Marc Germain, a.k.a. Mr. KFI and Mr. KABC at previous gigs. He was cut loose at the end of last year, along with many other Clear Channel personalities across the country (or what they call "overhead").

But Germain is keeping busy, and this past weekend, he filled in for Dr. Bill Wattenburg at ABC/Citadel talk station KGO in San Francisco.

For those of you needing a further Germain fix, he is currently online, hosting a weekday evening show from 11P-1A ET (8-10P PT) at Podcasts of his shows are also available.

Chinese Bureaucracy?

Okay, Guns n' Roses has virtually nothing to do with the typical fare discusses around these parts. But really, what does?

Besides, I have long been trying to find a way to incorporate the title of their new, long-awaited album "Chinese Democracy," into a blog entry, or even as a headline. And this is the best way I've been able to do it. Sorry.

But since this is a holiday week, why not some rather silly news. This one concerns The Axl Rose Band, er, Guns n' Roses, which finally released his their new album at Best Buy stores across the land yesterday, 16 years since GNR's last release, more than a decade since recording on it began and at least 2-3 years after everyone even remotely interested in it had already heard it illegally on the internet. Believe it or not, this 'lost album' has been released, and there is actually photographic proof of its existence. I'm still not convinced, but I'm just a natural skeptic, I guess.

And people can actually hear it legally online too, via the band's Myspace page.

The album, curiously, has been getting some decent reviews. However, the Chinese government is giving it a thumbs down. At least the title, anyway. A newspaper published by China's ruling Communist Party is blasting the new album as an attack on their country.

How dare they call it a democracy, dammit!

In an article headlined "American band releases album venomously attacking China," the Glocal Times said unidentified Chinese Internet users had described the album as part of a plot by some in the west to "grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn."

The album "turns its spear point on CHINA," the article said.

The Global Times article referred only to the title of the album and not to specific song lyrics. The record's title track makes a reference to the Falun Gong meditation movement that was banned by China as an "evil cult" and warns "if your Great Wall rocks blame yourself," in an apparent message to the country's authoritarian government.

In a 1999(!!!) interview on the making of the album, Axl Rose gave his reason for the title. "Well, there's a lot of Chinese democracy movements, and it's something that there's a lot of talk about, and it's something that will be nice to see. It could also just be like an ironic statement. I don't know, I just like the sound of it."

Whatever that means.

And don't expect to hear or be able to buy "Chinese Democracy" in China, since national censors maintain tight control over films, music and publications. They also maintain an iron grip over the internet, so good luck there, Chinese readers. But it's likely Chinese street vendors have been selling bootleg copies for the past five years or so anyway, so there.

Another day, another Rachel

Finally, we've had a bit of a dry spell of these lately, but for all Rachel Maddow fanatics, there is a new article up, this one from NBC rival CBS. You can find it here.


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