I thought for a change I might comment for a moment on media and news sources. I found an excellent new blog titled All Generalizations are False, in which the author, Vanessa Otero, systematically breaks down news sources according to their relative biases and level of analytical thought. Below is the third iteration of her chart. Also check out her original analysis of the chart as well as her update.
Video of Morello discussing his guitar technique (the person who uploaded the video has blocked the ability to embed this video).
I’m not really a fan of heavy metal inspired guitar playing, but Morello is a very interesting player. I have a feeling the guy has massive chops, but it’s his unique use of just a few pedals that makes him stand out. That and his commitment to left politics makes for a very powerful musician.
I suppose most people wouldn’t equate a musician’s politics with their musicianship, but I have always been drawn to musicians who have something consequential to say. Sun Ra and Fela, for instance, were all about history and politics, and this adds depth to their music. At least from my perspective it does. I love Adrian Belew’s guitar playing, for instance, but most of his music is utterly forgettable to me. I much prefer someone who has something to say. This is yet another reason why I love the music of Son House – his lyrics talk about life (“porkchops 45 cents a pound, cotton is only 10” from “Dry Spell Blues”) in a way that highlights the everyday politics and economy of a black person living in the South. It’s a damn sight more substantial than “baby got back” (though I appreciate that sentiment as well).