Archive for the ‘Forecast: Fascist Future!’ Category

I thought I’d post this little treat up for fans of the sublime, rich aesthetically attuned Joan of Arc.  Here is the video for a song off their newest album, He’s Got the Whole This Land is Your Land in His Hands.  It’s entitled, “Never Wintersbone You”  Hope you dig it.

PS -it’s got something to do with Phil Collins and his big hit, “In the Air Tonight” from his debut solo LP, Face Value.  That album was made right at the time Collins was going through a particularly nasty divorce.  I have and you too have probably heard that rumor that went around, mostly in the 80s & into the 90s that describes the story of this song & how Phil had set the “perpetrator” (?) up by sending a ticket for the front row, center so he could see him and expose him for some grave misdeed from years past.  Now, I don’t know if that’s true or to what extent it has validity, but, well, who knows?  Anyway, Tim & Melina are taking it to that end, it seems, in this tune.  OK?  Well, just listen & watch for yourself! Enjoy! and See you Really Soon! –KM.


Hi Everybody!! Hope you are enjoying this year, so far, which, for a minute there felt like a “new year”, the way it always is, you know. Anyway, I’ve been away from the blog too long lately but it’s not cuz I don’t want to write, on the contrary, I’d love nothing better than to be able to have all the time in the world to devote to nothing except writing (reviews and other things), but as it is, things come up “IRL” for me – sometimes things that are my own problems, other times it’s because I’m taking care of a sick girlfriend. Well, no, sick isn’t the word, really, more like distressed, suffering, in pain & it seems that the drs whom she sees are either incompetent, at least partly incompetent or they just don’t give a damn. I’m on the fence about that, kinda, but I’d probably say, if I had to, that it’s a bit of both. So, forgive my extended absence: all you lovelies whose great albums I’ve reviewed over the last few years, please feel free to contact me whenever you have a new CD coming out, I’d be happy to help. Until then…happy dreams! (BTW, up next should be a review for the smokin’ new album from WOODS, who, last year, brought us the interesting City Sun Eater in the River of Light, whose review you can also read here, just do a search for Woods or the album title & it’ll bring it to you or you to it, depending on your POV. Anyway, so, FYI (especially you, daniel g. -you know who/what I’m talking about- oh & sorry about that long-winded email I sent back, after you had just asked me what I thought of their new album (WOODS’s new CD, I mean). I hope to incorporate a bit of that into my review, or maybe I won’t… >smiles< OK, see you REAL(ly) SOON!

Hello Everybody!!!                                                                  learylead091815

C’est moi. I’m back!  Sorry, all you great people who read Independent Review and an extra special sorry to those bands whose new albums I’ve been putting off reviewing for much of the last month.

I figured, now that I’m back; tanned, tested and rested, so to speak, I’d better write a little something to possibly puzzled new indie music fans to let you all know that the craziness, the chaos, et cetera, et cetera, now passed, is going to allow me to get back to a better, quicker reviewing system.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           something to help you ‘tune out’

Just to make a note of it: 2016 was a horrible year.  It started off with so many beloved musicians, singers and even an actor or two dying left and right.  For the first couple months of 2016, there seemed to be about three deaths of people whose names many of us would recognize, some more than others, possibly, but I was surprised with the high volume and rapidity with which these people died; all within a month or two of each other. Then, the year ended on a really big downer:  Somehow, that “brash asshole”, the walking, rambling “human” joke actually won the election.  Of course, Russia had a hand in helping trump getting “elected”, the extent of it all is something that isn’t so obvious, but the new admin. is already spreading word around about possibly considering lifting the sanctions put in place on Russia for their interference and military taking (back) of the Crimea and nasty things in other parts of Ukraine.  The evidence of Russia’s involvement include a few things here:  the (undisputed, at least by US admin.) hackings, the disruption and interfering with Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, something which makes the whole “Watergate” scandal, from the early 1970s pale by comparison (for those who may be too young to know what “Watergate” means, well, in 1972, an election year for Nixon, the White House “plumbers” unit, put together by such brains as Haldeman, Ehrlichman and John Mitchell, broke into the Democratic Party HQ which was in the Watergate office complex (it’s a hotel today, I’m not sure if it had hotel accomodations back in the day)).   The break-in at the Watergate was a plot related to the upcoming ’72 elections, even though it obviously didn’t work out the way Nixon wanted it to (he still beat George McGovern quite handily).

Anyway, with things the way they are, contemporaneously, I’d give anything to have a Richard Nixon as president over shithead!

Dark times ahead, dark times indeed.  One way to help combat the ugly situation we, as Americans have allowed ourselves to be put in  – someone out there voted for this bag of dogshit!  Most live in states that would’ve had soldiers dressed in gray uniforms during the civil war, 152+ years ago – southerners.  In fact, only 27% of Americans actually voted for the bag of shit with the awful orange wig, far from a majority and definitely not any kind of “mandate” from the “people” – anyway, one way to ameliorate this mess is to GET ORGANIZED and VOTE, dammit, VOTE!  Sure, the Democratic party may not be the panacea that’s going to make everything rosy and perfect, but it’s going to go a long way in keeping the reactionaries in the GOP-controlled congress from being nothing more than a rubber stamp for trump, essentially, going along with every hare-brained scheme he comes up with.  The Democrats have to take back the senate.  Taking back the house would be great, but harder.  As for the senate, all it would take is a shift of just a few seats, e.g., get rid of, say, three or four Republicans and replace them with Democrats or Independents who would caucus with Democrats, thereby giving them the majority again.  Too bad that isn’t so right now; if it were, Jeff Sessions, that asshole from Alabama, would not have been confirmed as Attorney General and neither would Mr. Puzder, the current head of Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr., as labor secretary (ed: since I originally wrote this, Puzder took himself out of the running for running the Labor Dept.; a wise choice).  Then, you have the extremely unlikable little troll from Georgia:  congressman Tom Price, this shameless, demon, straight out of Deliverance territory(!) named to head the dept. of Health and Human Services.  He is the absolute worst possible candidate to head HHS.

I do concede, however, that OK, the Democrats didn’t have the best possible candidate in Hillary.  Sure, she’s well-known, popular and so on, but because assholes like Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor from the worst state in the union:  South Carolina (don’t get me started!) who headed a subcommittee to “investigate” (I use that term loosely) Hillary and her use of a private email account when she was Secretary of State in Obama’s first term, instead of the email account she and all govt. employees use.  Nothing ever came of this long, drawn out “witch-hunt” (because that’s exactly what it was); for one, because there was no there there.  One Republican who sat on that subcommittee even admitted as much, “off the cuff”, when he was heard to say that these hearings and the subcommittee overseeing them, were purely political.  Now, just to hear that, coming from the mouth of a GOP was damning enough, but the fact that nobody else – GOP or otherwise -said or wrote (lol: “wrote”) anything, rebuking that statement.

But we’d just be deluding ourselves if we were to say that trump “won” “only through chicanery and appealing to base instincts like racism, sexism, jingoism/xenophobia; the sort of “My country, right or wrong” crowd; so-called “patriots” who only want white, English-speaking, affluent people to be in America.  With that idiotic travel ban placed on seven “Muslim-majority countries”, trump’s already sown the seeds of more hatred of America and ensured there be more terrorist attacks to come, by giving the disaffected, poverty-stricken, idle young people in the Middle East as well as other “hard-core”, self-styled “Muslims”, giving them a “cause” for which to fight.  Trump is a real asshole, but he can’t really be that stupid, could he?  I mean, well, I just heard that the appeals court has refused to reinstate this idiotic travel ban, but of course, the WH is not going to let it go and will next petition SCOTUS to have an emergency session so they can twist their arms into giving in to their xenophobic way of dealing with immigration (e.g., just shut it down):  trump must know these actions are going to inflame those already with an anti-American bent and that more terrorist attacks are sure to follow:  is trump baiting a terrorist attack in the US?  I wouldn’t be surprised; that way, he’ll have an excuse to exercise all sorts of made-up executive powers and a scared-shitless American public will be willing to go along with all this creeping fascism, just as long as they’re “safe” (from the “terror menace”).  Canada’s looking more and more like a viable option for a place to live.  Vancouver, B.C. is a great city, so is Montreal and Toronto as well as many other towns all over Canada.

Anyway, with that, I want to just say:  “welcome to 2017”.  I hope your year is going well so far.  We’re at the bottom of the barrel, politically speaking, so it can only get better from here (well, that’s not necessarily true, it could get a lot worse, but for the optimistically inclined, we’re, indeed, at our nadir, after really doing nothing about it and letting trump just walk off with the presidency, thanks to help from Putin and his team of criminals).

Also:  going forward, just to let you – that is, both the readers as well as those who are awaiting reviews:  I’m going to start shortening the reviews I write: instead of long, sometimes drawn out articles, I’m going to start writing more concise, shorter reviews.  Reviews that will be around the 400-500 word mark.  Sometimes they might be a little longer than that and other times they’ll be around 300 words.  But, you’ll still get the maximum out of the reviews, you’ll just get the info in a compact yet concise review.  This way, with all I have at the moment, to catch up on as well as the new stuff I continue to receive, I can get, say, three reviews written with the amount of space it’s taken, in the past, to write one review.

OK, so I hope all you who’ve made “New Year’s Resolutions” haven’t yet given up on them.  It’s only February 10. Give it some more time, whatever the goal was.   One of mine is to get going on these reviews and start writing them shorter, so as to get more done as well as write in a new, less wordy style.  Hope you’ll stick around to see how things look over the next month.

Signing off for now…

Kent Manthie

PS- just an FYI: if you’re reading this & that cool pic of Tim Leary isn’t radiating colors when you first see it, just click it and that should start it going.  🙂


Hi There.  Kent here…FYI:  King Crimson, along with, you know, Velvet Underground, Bowie, Eno, as well as Joan of Arc (as well as all the other Kinsella-based bands).  Anyway, listen to this little msg & maybe it’ll inspire you to go further (you can find a lot of these DGM concerts on YouTube!)  Enjoy! – KM.

bowie heroesWhen I read on the internet that David Bowie had just died, well, the first place I saw it mentioned was, of all places, the comment section on You Tube, where his new video for “” had been posted.  It had been up there for a few days, so there were already comments.   Then, on Sunday, it was late, about midnight or after, and I was jumping around, checking stuff out, which is not unusual, when, for one reason or another, I was returned to the “” post again because of a previous comment I had written.  Being a member – or signed up to it, or what-have-you, to Google Plus or “G+”, when one writes a comment, gets in on a “thread” on something on You Tube or some Google-affiliated site and someone replies to what you’ve written, you get notified, e.g., up in the right-hand corner, there’s an icon of a bell, and when you have waiting messages, there will be a number.  It could be 1 or it could be, well, I suppose, 20 or more, depending on how long it’s been since you’ve gone through them.  It’s a shame because 90% of the messages one gets on this platform are just plain garbage:  whiny trash from trolls.  Now and then one gets an intelligent reply to something you wrote or even a reply to someone else’s comment from a thread which you happen to be a part of.  So, the point is, there was a reply to some comment I wrote about Bowie in reference to this new release (). I don’t even remember what the comment was or what the reply was.  Whatever it was, I read it, then wrote a reply, which eventually brought me back to the original thread at the “Blackstar” post and, seeing some new comments posted, I scanned some of them, then I read one – a rather short one which just read, something like “He just died”.  Not a long post, just a concise, brief statement.  But, you know, when I saw that first comment, I didn’t take it as meaning Bowie, the man, had actually, you know, died.  I thought, maybe, the person was either being sarcastic and just writing that or possibly it was some sort of commentary on his new music.  But then I saw another similar comment, then another one and after I saw one more, my blood started to run cold.  “Wait a minute”, I thought to myself, “Is this for real?” So, I went to my Yahoo home page and, not necessarily expecting to see any news right on the front Yahoo page, the first thing I did was to type in the search box “David Bowie Dead” or something like that and up came a plethora of responses to the search query and my worst fear (at that moment) was realized:  Bowie had just died!  For a minute or so I was just frozen.  I didn’t know what to do.  I’m not really an “emotional” person.  For instance, I rarely ever cry.  My girlfriend says I don’t “feel”, but, to be fair, she only does that when she’s mad at me and wants me to show some sort of emotion.  So I don’t cry, the way some do.  In fact, there are lots of people who express their grief or sorrow, etc. in different ways.  I happen to be Norwegian and a typical trait is stoicism, which is to say, not the type to show emotion,  be it overwhelming joy, ecstasy or conversely, sadness, extreme anxiety, even panic, but there are always exceptions for all those- I laugh, I smile, I can articulate the way I feel about a particular thing.  I’m not a friggin’ automaton.  I just don’t show outward signs of sadness or the opposite.  But I do feel those emotions on the inside.  Hence, that moment after I verified the news of the loss of Bowie and was frozen.  I mean, I was up at my PC, my girlfriend was asleep already, so I had no one to respond to if she said anything anyway.  But I just sat there, wide-eyed and just went numb, more so mentally, than physically, but I was sitting, so I don’t know, like, would I have fainted or lost my balance had I been standing?

Anyway, it was like being punched in the stomach, but without the pain of getting socked hard in the gut – you sit there, absorbing the punch.  In this case, it was mental “punch in the gut”.

What made Bowie’s death, which was tragic beyond belief, actually somewhat bizarre, was that, not unlike when John Lennon (another superstar, in the truest sense, not some modern-day unoriginal pop-star who is famous but doesn’t really deserve the accolades) was gunned down just outside his apartment building in Manhattan, December 8, 1980, there was a new album just finished – in Bowie’s case, he had just released it, two (well, it was actually, officially Monday, since I read this after midnight, after Sunday night, so technically, three) days earlier and, on his 69th birthday, no less.  In Lennon’s case, what was very tragic besides his unexpected, totally senseless death, a complete waste committed by a mentally deranged loser – a loser in every sense of the word.  I really and truly wish, when he was serving his sentence at Attica that some inmate- say, a murderer serving multiple life sentences with nothing to lose – had stabbed him, over and over again, until he had no chance of being revived.  That would never have brought Lennon back, but it would’ve at least given some people the sense that justice had been done.  OK, so, a forgiving soul I’m not.

I digress…I was only putting out the comparison that both singer/songwriters, residents of New York, among other places, had brand new albums when they died.  Bowie, at least, was lucky enough to see his new album,  [Blackstar] be released.  In John Lennon’s case, the album he had just finished, which was also special because, in 1980, he and Yoko Ono, who had had some turbulence in their marriage:  in the mid-70s, when John was using a lot, drinking, etc. he started to be, well, let’s just say, not the most perfect husband (or father, to his then, young son, Sean), so they separated for a while.  These were the so-called “lost years”, when Lennon went West, to Los Angeles, living it up, partying with a wide range of artists, etc.  This was around the time when David Bowie recorded Young Americans and who do you think came together at this juncture?  The two legends I’m writing about!  The last song on Young Americans, “Fame” was written by both David Bowie and John Lennon and you can hear Lennon’s distinctive voice on it as well as you can hear Bowie’s distinctive voice singing background vocals during the ending bridge of Lou Reed’s classic, “Satellite of Love”, from the album Bowie worked on with Lou (credited as Producer; he also plays the sax solo at the end of “Walk on the Wild Side”; but that’s another story).  “Fame”, the song itself, is a great song.  It’s a jaded, but not untrue, song about how fame is, at best, a double-edged sword.  It has been a way for people of real talent, with artistic vision, whether in literature, poetry, music, painting, sculpture or even those involved in theater and/or cinema.  In short:  men and women with a pure, unvarnished, unyielding vision.  Idiosyncratic archetypes who set the scene which is then stylized, improved upon, in the best of cases, sometimes challenged, other times merely adequately followed, as in footsteps and after this paradigm has about worn out its usefulness, you’ll see it become a part of advertising, cheap, pret-a-porter chain store commerciality, et cetera.  Of course, I could go on and on about missteps and/or mistakes Bowie made, say, during the 80s and maybe a couple in the 90s, but, hey, when you’ve been doing things, almost always staying a couple steps ahead of the pack since at least 1969 (when David Bowie, his eponymous debut came out), and you’ve managed to produce a library of peerless work up through 1980’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) – meaning, from Space Oddity to Ziggy, through the Berlin Trilogy (Low, Heroes, Lodger), with Brian Eno as well as help bring another good friend, Iggy Pop, back from the dead, so to speak, after the implosion of The Stooges – Bowie produced and co-wrote two of Iggy’s works that remain among his best and catapulted him into a new “self” (his debut solo album, The Idiot, and Lust for Life) you can be forgiven a few mediocre, at best, albums in the mid-80s.  The man had given his life for art and sublime music all through the 70s.  Not just his own, but for others, as well – there’s the aforementioned Transformer he “produced” with Lou Reed, there’s the song-you-can’t-get-out-of-your-head he wrote for Mott the Hoople:  the title track to the great All the Young Dudes album and, not least, the friendship he had for Iggy Pop that included a trust and a belief in his, obviously, manifest talents, which shone brightly on those two solo albums of his (Lust for Life even contained a song, “China Girl”, which Bowie liked so much, he used it on Let’s Dance– I’m not even going to say which version I like better; that really isn’t that relevant:  I’m not reviewing his music). I will say this, though, about ★, the title track is simply sublime.  But just to make sure it wasn’t a one-off shot of greatness, there’s “Lazarus”, the name of an Off-Broadway play he’d written and recently staged in New York.  “Tis a Pity She Was a Whore”, “Sue (or in a Season of Crime)” and “Girl Loves Me” are some examples of the fact that, indeed, this album is, in my opinion, undoubtedly, the best thing he’s done – and I’m loath to say this, but, to be honest, I’d have to say since Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), even though Scary Monsters is – well, dammit, there’s the rub:  I can’t really say which one is better, because that is not the point.  It’s not a friggin’ competition.  It’s just a different album, but, I would say, in a heartbeat that it’s much better than Let’s Dance or the forgettable Glass Spider or the already forgotten other albums he did during those dark days of the 80s – dark days for whom, you may ask?  Certainly not for indie up and comers, like Sonic Youth, or the great, sorely shortened (by the tragic death of D. Boon) Minutemen, or the groundbreaking swirling, cascading bliss of Husker Du and others who refused to play the corporate music industry game, which, at that time was stagnant and spit out a lot of awful stuff.  Was Bowie a victim of this era?  We could play the “what if?” game for hours and wonder “what if” Bowie had gone through different avenues and, instead of  (well, maybe he had some kind of contract to fulfill for a major label, which by then were on the way to becoming total, dispassionate businesses, who only cared about increasing shareholders profits) doing what he did.  What if he had teamed up with some of these younger bands or singers.  What if he had done a project with, after Bauhaus had broken up, either Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins & former Bauhaus roadie Glen Campling’s band, Tones on Tail??  That wouldn’t have been any worse than “Never Let Me Down”.   Or, when Tones on Tail was active and Bauhaus bassist David J (Haskins) played with Jazz Butcher for a couple years, what if Bowie was involved in that project?  There are so many great possibilities!!

But, he did do some, now that I look back at them, pretty tight stuff in the mid-90s:  there was OutsideEarthling and Black Tie White Noise.  Of course, I think Outside really was a solid work – something on which he worked with Brian Eno. But the real capstone that topped even his last release, on which I really can’t comment, since I haven’t heard it (The Next Day), was his unexpected (or – wait a minute, listen, I mean really listen to the lyrics, especially to the title track (“★”) –are those lyrics not a subtle prep for death?  I mean, hell, Bowie was fighting cancer for the past 18 months, so it wasn’t as if his death just came out of the blue, say, the way Andy Warhol so very tragically died:  he goes in for a routine gall bladder surgery – something probably 1000s of people do all the time – and winds up dead due to an incident involving the anesthesia!!   August, 1987, another sad event that I remember only too well.

Well, OK, it’s been about six days now, so there’s been a little time for this terrible, terrible news to sink in.  But there is one thing from which I can, at least, take solace in; and that is the fact that David Bowie, over the last 48 years, made a huge bounty of wonderful music.   Music that will, in one form or another stay with us as long as there is something on which to play the music.  Not only that, but he made his mark in a number of cinematic pleasures, including Nicolas Roeg’s, The Man Who Fell to EarthThe Hunger, which he did with French beauty, Catherine Deneuve as well as Merry Christmas, Mister Lawrence, a small part in David Lynch’s movie version of Twin Peaks:  Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me as well as a role in Labyrinth.  I know there are some others as well, but I can’t mention every single one right now.

Anyway, to sum it up, there’s really now way to just stop -maybe because I don’t want to say “good-bye”.  But what can we do?  Death comes to all.  When it takes you or someone close, all you can do is grieve and then try to console yourself with the fact that in the grand scheme of things, you and whomever the dearly departed is, at least you and they shared the same space and time when you stop to consider how long there’s been life perpetuating itself.  Also, whenever you start to miss Bowie, and you are one of the lucky ones who happens to have at least some of his music – however much or little – you can always comfort yourself by listening to the greatness he left behind, by which he is immortalized.   RIP, DAVID BOWIE, You pretty thing!  (“Ashes to Ashes…”)        -KM.



Here is an interesting little read I came across on the web recently.  It is a transcript of a lecture that William S. Burroughs gave – imagine that: 39 years ago!! -in Ann Arbor, Mi, at what was known as the “Teach-In”.  Below this introductory paragraph, you’ll see three words: “MIND CONTROL COMPLETE” – simply click that – it is the link – and you’ll be zipped to the PDF document, which, by the way, you can save for your own files.  Happy reading!! –KM.

Burroughs Danger Pic


I just found this incredibly cogent and wonderfully brilliant article online, from the New Yorker, for a long time, one of my absolute favorite magazines.  Anyway, one of the really pleasant surprises about it is that it reads pretty much the same things which I’ve been trying to point out in a number of comments after articles that have appeared around places online, whether it’s in Yahoo! or on the New York Times online articles I get in email daily.  It’s great that Gregg  Easterbrook, the ingenious author of this article, has a large forum in which to spread this message out to any who have it within their reach.

The main idea of this article is that, not just Davis, but all the other anti-gay haters out there who justify their bigotry by quoting bible passages that have been thoroughly cherry-picked and the funny thing is that they’re all from the OLD testament – including the first five books of the bible, which Jews use as one of their holy books, the “Pentateuch”; the “Torah” – it depicts an angry god who has no time for sinners and prescribes all sorts of nasty punishments for so-called “sinners” or rather, those who fail to follow certain, almost arbitrarily thought-up “laws”.  Well, I’m not going to synopsize it here, but I will re-print the article here -and I just want to say “THANK YOU” to Gregg Easterbrook for writing such a well-thought-out, intelligent rebuttal of the garbage that has been spewed over and over again, for decades, regarding gay people, by hypocritical, so-called “christians” who obviously have not taken much time to really read or study the bible -meaning the NEW testament – the book that is the foundation for christianity and which differentiates it from Judaism.  I hope those who read it email it around to as many people – send it to that holy-roller acquaintance of yours who’s always bragging about just what pious sonofabitch he is.

Well, hope you enjoy – ( (c) New Yorker / Gregg Easterbrook, 2015). -KM.

     [Above: some of the WORST people in the world!]

Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, returns to her post soon, after spending five nights in jail and then a few more days recovering at home. A Pentecostal Christian, Davis says “God’s authority” instructs her not to issue licenses for gay marriage, even though the law compels her to. Presidential contenders, including Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, both fundamentalists, have praised her stance.

It’s undeniable that the earliest scripture books, the ones Christians call the Pentateuch and Jews call the Torah, don’t like same-sex relations. At the Garden of Eden, God decrees that a man will be the husband and a woman the wife. (See the second and third chapters of Genesis, ideally a scholarly translation such as the New Revised Standard; this article cites the N.R.S.V.) In Leviticus 18:22, the text states, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” In 20:13, Leviticus specifies that both parties in male-male sex shall “be put to death.”

That seems open-and-shut, though one might wonder why Davis, Cruz, Huckabee and the like seek only to deny gays marriage, rather than execute them as God decreed.

But here’s the thing. Christian theology says the New Testament amends the Old: what happened in the days of the apostles amends what came long before. Acts 13:39: “By this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” (Acts is the founding text of Pentecostalism.) Jesus overturned existing law about sin, the Sabbath, the afterlife and many other matters. His ministry proclaimed “a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.” (II Corinthians 3:6.) “Letter” in this context means archaic law—that is, the law Davis, Cruz, and Huckabee want applied today.

When conservative Christians justify opposition to gay relations by citing ancient scripture, by the most amazing coincidence they don’t mention the other stuff there. The ancient passages that denounce same-sex relations also denounce eating shellfish and trimming one’s beard. The Christian who says God forbids homosexuality – then shaves before going out for dinner at Red Lobster – is speaking from both sides of his mouth.

In Leviticus, the Old Testament book that calls homosexuality an abomination, God not only sanctions but encourages slavery. Leviticus 25:44–46 , spells out rules for seizing, holding, and selling slaves. And there’s no estate tax: slaves may be kept “as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property.” In Deuteronomy 21:18–21, near the passages on the abomination of same-sex relations, ancient scripture directs that a disobedient child be taken by his parents to the city gate and stoned to death.

If banning homosexuality is “God’s authority” to a modern Christian, ritual murder of children ought to be as well. So why don’t today’s Judeo-Christians believe in slavery and filicide? For mainstream Jews, some ancient doctrine has been reinterpreted by rabbinical commentary or civil law; for Christians, premises of ancient scripture have been amended. This happened first via the middle prophets Isaiah and Hosea, who came centuries after ancient scripture—biblical tip: the key that unlocks the beauty of Abrahamic faith is the seldom read Book of Hosea—and then through the ministry of the Redeemer.

What does the New Testament say about homosexuality and gay marriage? Silence on the latter; on the former, there’s one reference. In his Letter to the Romans, verses 1:26-27, Paul observes of idol worshippers, “Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.”

Conservatives prefer translations, such as the God’s Word Bible, that substitute “perversion” for “error.” Yet many church-married, monogamous, man-woman, devout Christian couples engage in acts once thought perversion. Beyond this, Paul frowned on all sexual interaction, including by men and women married to each other. (I Corinthians 7:29.) The apostles evinced no interest in any form of carnality. Jesus never wed, and if he experienced erotic longing, the specifics are lost to history. The Old Testament is chock-full with lust and rape: by the New Testament, it’s as if sex has gone out of style. Those who beheld Jesus bathed in the glory of the resurrection believed the long-dreamt golden age about to arrive. Sex just didn’t seem terribly important compared to that.

At any rate, the key word in Romans is not “perversion;” rather, “natural.” The science of the question of what a person’s natural sexual preferences are is unsettled, but tends toward the idea that people are born that way. If we are born with our sexuality, either it is a gift from God or evolved naturally. And if same-sex attraction is natural, then it is in concord with the New Testament.

Of course, believers of all stripes pick and choose. Liberal Christians avert their eyes from Christ’s near-absolute ban on divorce, in Matthew 5:32. Wealthy Christians ignore their Redeemer’s warning that the rich are barred from heaven, in Matthew 19:24. Most Christians would rather not know that Jesus said to give to panhandlers, in Luke 6:30. Right now, the mainly Christian leaders of the European Union don’t seem concerned that Jesus said that only helping the destitute counts in the eyes of God. (Christ says, in Luke 6:33, “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.”) Republican candidates thumping their chests about how admirably Christian they are skip the fact that Christ banned exactly such puffery. (Matthew 6:1 reads, “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”) The Israeli right pounds the table about ancient scripture, but skips Exodus 22:21: “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”

In the eight hundred thousand words of the Bible, one can find a verse to support just about anything. Even so, it’s disturbing that contemporary Christian conservatives lash out against homosexuality by calling on ancient divine pronouncements of anger, rather than upon the serene divinity who offered the world unconditional forgiveness.

Voicing the thoughts of the serene God in John 15:12, Jesus summed up Christian theology in one sentence: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Once, God was full of anger; ultimately, the Maker cared solely about love. Why don’t today’s Christian conservatives understand that the second part amends the first part?

The following is something I read online, an article that appeared on the website of probably the greatest magazine, EVER, The New Yorker.  I wanted to put that out there, so, 1) one doesn’t mistakenly think that I wrote it (it was written by humorist Andy Borowitz – (c) 2015 and has an accompanying photograph taken by Daniel Acker/courtesy of Getty) and 2) because it’s just SO hilarious, I really wanted to get this thing out there  (thanks in advance, Andy/New Yorker) .  Also, just to put this out one last time:  the article, below, is a SATIRE, it is NOT  “real” news.  Hope you find it as funny as I did!  What makes it so funny is that, even though it’s humor is rather “over-the-top”, the gist of it is not really that far-fetched!  Enjoy…

P.S. – a couple more reviews are on their way really soon.  Keep an eye out in the next few days –KM.

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, center, pauses while speaking with the media during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. Like most every other candidate in the historically crowded field, the Wisconsin governor's standing in state and national polls has been hurt by the summer surge of billionaire Donald Trump, the party's front-runner. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, center, pauses while speaking with the media during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. Like most every other candidate in the historically crowded field, the Wisconsin governor’s standing in state and national polls has been hurt by the summer surge of billionaire Donald Trump, the party’s front-runner. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WICHITA (The Borowitz Report)—Saying that “things just didn’t work out,” the billionaire Koch brothers have decided to put Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker up for sale.

The Kochs, who earlier had purchased Gov. Walker with great fanfare, announced their plan to sell the politician in a terse statement from Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita.

“Scott Walker is a fine individual, and we wish him well,” the Kochs’ statement read. “We are confident that he will be a good fit for some other billionaire industrialists.”

Republican insiders, however, called the Kochs’ plan to sell Walker highly optimistic, and noted that the market for the Wisconsin Governor was, at this point, virtually nonexistent.

The Kochs, who reportedly had been frustrated by Walker’s poor performance in the polls, finally decided to sell the Wisconsinite after last weekend’s odd pronouncement, in which he seemed to support a border wall with Canada.

According to a Koch associate, “Ignorance has always been a part of Scott’s appeal, but that Canada thing was just too much.”

After their plan to sell him was announced, the Kochs immediately pulled Walker off the campaign trail for fear that he might say something that would further reduce his dwindling market value.

In Iowa, an aide to Walker said that the Governor was “still processing” the news that he had been put up for sale. “It takes a while for Scott to understand things,” the aide said.

Hi, Back in Brack

Posted: August 1, 2015 in Forecast: Fascist Future!

Hi all readers, bands, artists, labels, DIY-ers and other fans/review suppliers:  Sorry I’ve been kinda lagging lately.

I’ve just been away from my writing biz lately as there have been some extraordinarily big things which have consumed my time over the past 2 months.

I do feel awfully bad, though and wanted to write this little note, to let you know (hopefully you all haven’t given up on me – yet(?) – besides that, I also am trying to sort of re-invent -well, maybe that’s too strong a word- but at least, somewhat change the way I structure my reviews:  for instance, my favorite rock critic and one of the biggest legends of his time – (and he grew up in the same nowheresville town in which I currently, unfortunately, reside -that is, just for the next 2 months or so, until I move up, back to Northern CA): Lester Bangs!  He was one wild & crazy guy, though he was anything but “crazy” – he had a flair for the dramatic and a tell-it-like-he-really-felt, a take-no-prisoners attitude and who he was reviewing be damned (their record label too-especially when it was some corporate slimy major label-then, of course, back in the 70s, it wasn’t as bad w/the majors as it is today-then again, before you had the stable of indie labels you have now, there was really nowhere else to go). Anyway -there’s TWO things I’d like to change a bit about my reviewing: one is, I’d like to go back to the way I would write reviews when I was writing for other publications, where they wanted reviews that were around 300-500 words, which, was actually a good challenge for me, who loves to go on & on and then digress into other topics, tangentially related, but in being concise, I can stay focused on the album at hand; focus on the material within, introduce the band members, if need be or just mention some in passing.  That and I’d also like to be more aggressive, if I can put it that way: not be so middle-of-the-road.  Doing that, sometimes makes me feel dirty, as if I’d just tried to make a crappy album come off as being something that wasn’t “so bad”, when, in reality, it sucked!  The only thing that kept me from doing that was that I would be afraid of offending artists who’d sent me their work in hopes of getting it noticed.  If it was a new band that just needed to be given a bit of publicity, I wanted to give them a chance and just lay it out, what they did, etc.  But, if you read the older things, I never did really compromise my principles and actually “put lipstick on a pig”, so to speak.  I’d just sort of say what was there and who did it, etc as opposed to when I got a real gem of an album, Two, for example, the long-awaited follow-up to Owls, the self-titled debut by the Joan of Arc side project (Tim Kinsella, Mike Kinsella, Victor Villarreal, and, I think, Sam Zurick).  Two came out in March, 2014 and I put it on my list of “The Best Albums of 2014” -in fact, it was probably THE best album which came out that year.  Every song on there is a great song; Two is one of those albums that one has to listen to in its entirety, in one sitting -and doing so actually makes the time go by quickly, so it’s no chore.

So, there’s an example of something fabulous which I wouldn’t hesitate to foist upon you, the reader.   Unfortunately, in 2015, while there’s been some good stuff that’s come out, I can’t, the way I was able to pick out Two off the top of my head as an exemplar of that year’s best, but you can read through this year’s reviews and see what I’m talking about.

Anyway, in the next couple days I’m going to put up some new stuff – now, it may not be the long, drawn out reviews that I’ve been doing -but that won’t mean that it’s because I don’t like that album, it’ll be because I’m going for a new reviewing style: shorter and concise.  I will still, when it’s apt, deconstruct some worthwhile tracks on new albums, but am not going to go off on tangents.  That is a problem I have to stop doing.  It’s good for an essay on whatever that topic is but bad for an album review!

So – READERS:  Please be patient and don’t leave.  The best is yet to come.  I promise.

Hope your summer is going well, so far.  Where I am it’s been mostly sunny and really hot!  But inside my air conditioned place, I can work comfortably.   Anyway, I’m also going to try to get out more and go see more bands around town (San Diego area), something I haven’t done in some years, since I’m not right in the midst of a bunch of great clubs, like the Casbah, even the SD House of Blues (which, to its credit, has been hosting some great indie bands and so on) and the Irenic, the Soda Bar and whatnot.  I just need to start communicating w/various labels or the bands themselves or their “representatives” about getting review passes & photog passes, since, when I went to Joan of Arc’s SD show in May of 2012, I took some absolutely awesome pics – photos I still have & treasure for the spirit they capture.

Well, enjoy the great weather while you can – pretty soon “El Nino” is going to creep up and soak you through & through (buy an umbrella or 2)!

Thanks all you regular readers -and any new ones I’ve gotten lately!  I won’t let you down, i.e., no more will there be long periods between reviews as I won’t be overwhelmed by feeling that I have to write 1500 word essays, deconstructing each album and then relating it to some kind of social structure or other.

Peace, Out…KM.

This: from the Dangerous Minds website (taken from an NBC story of one of the famous  “eyeballs” the Residents were famous for wearing in public, onstage, in pix – everywhere – anyway, let me show you…

SAN FRANCISCO POLICE NEED YOUR HELP LOCATING A STOLEN RESIDENTS EYEBALL HEAD MASK The San Francisco Police Department has issued a statement detailing the theft of one of the original Residents’ eyeball head masks.

The mask, valued at $100,000 (yeah, OK), was signed for by an unknown person and is now missing. Along with the mask is an original photograph of the Residents which is valued at $20,000 (yeah, OK).

SFPD has included an anonymous tip line, should you happen to see the famous eyeball in your local pawn shop.

The missing mask

And the case it came in

A local San Francisco resident had a famous “Eyeball with Hat” mask and an original album cover photo from the musical band called the “Residents” taken from him by an unknown suspect.

In this incident the victim loaned the mask, which was valued at $100,000.00, to a museum in Seattle for a predetermined period of time. On May 5th, at the conclusion of the loan, the curator sent the mask back to the victim using a major delivery courier service. Unfortunately, the victim was traveling and was not present to receive the shipment.

The package was delivered and signed for by an unknown person using an illegible signature. The mask has been used on a record album cover and is periodically displayed throughout the country. The pictured top hat is now black instead of white and was contained in a shipping crate (photo attached). Stolen along with the mask was the original album cover photo which the victim values at $20,000.00.

Anyone who recalls seeing the mask, photo, or crate or has information on this case is asked to contact the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or Text A Tip to TIP411 and include “SFPD” at the beginning of the message.