Amoeblog

FRANK ZAPPA DEFENDING FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN MUSIC

Posted by Billyjam, October 28, 2007 08:30pm | Post a Comment

Back in 1986, when this heated debate on Crossfire was broadcast, the beginnings of the current era of censorship in popular music were just unfolding (meaning the era that began with the PMRC). In this must-see, 20 minute clip from the CNN show, the late, great self-described 'conservative' Frank Zappa goes head to head with arch conservative John Lofton of the Washington Times. Of course, Zappa had been in the center of this fight against popular music since his career began decades earlier, defending both the music and freedom of speech, but he was most publicly vocal during this mid eighties round which had begun the previous year, 1985, when the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center), the music censorship organization that was founded by then-Senator Al Gore's wife Tipper Gore and included many other political wives, first came about.The PMRC and Lofton in this debate were most vocal about such songs as Prince's "Darling Nikki," which was accused of promoting incest and videos such as Van Halen's "Hot Ffrank zappaor Teacher," which is included below. Note that the arrival of the PMRC around the same time as MTV's meteoric early years, with its obvious influence on mainstream America, was no coincidence.

In September 1985 Frank Zappa testified before the US Senate Commerce, Technology, and Transportation committee, attacking the PMRC and making a historic statement that said the PMRC's proposal to ban certain rock music was an "ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal's design. It is my understanding that, in law, First Amendment issues are decided with a preference for the least restrictive alternative. In this context, the PMRC's demands are the equivalent of treating dandruff by decapitation. (...) The establishment of a rating system, voluntary or otherwise, opens the door to an endless parade of moral quality control programs based on things certain Christians do not like. What if the next bunch of Washington wives demands a large yellow "J" on all material written or performed by Jews, in order to save helpless children from exposure to concealed Zionist doctrine?"

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The Manhandlers

Posted by phil blankenship, October 28, 2007 06:52pm | Post a Comment
 





Trans World Entertainment 49003

Oct Favorites pt. 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 28, 2007 12:00pm | Post a Comment
 

The second installment in my October favorites series starts with an opera LP from Brazil, it's a single LP of excerpts from Johann Strauss' "O Morcego" or "Der Fledermaus" or "the Bat" if you must.  Issued on the Copacabana label, the sound quality is radio broadcast level and the performance by the Zurich Radio Orchestra is fine, but it's the cover art that makes this a Halloween treat. Cool record store sticker from the Loja Gomes store on Av. Afonso Pena. It appears that the store was once in the center of Belo Horizonte-a huge city about 300 miles above Rio...





Up next...a classic American mix



Folkways and Edgar Allen Poe...Folkways records released this version of the Pit & the Pendulum in 1967, the orator is David Kurlan.  I was abe to dig up a little about  his Broadway work, mostly roles in musicals. He also did a couple of other Folkways voice overs. His reading is straight forward and very effective, kind of like the polar opposite of the Lou Reeds double CD nightmare based on Edgar Allan Poe. The LP comes with a small pamphlet containing instructions for teachers as well a sheet of transparency images for the old mimeograph...

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The Grandaddy of all Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Whitmore, October 27, 2007 10:07pm | Post a Comment

I do love conspiracy theories and here is one of the best. On this date, October 28 in 1943, at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, a naval military experiment often called the Philadelphia Experiment took place … allegedly. According to published reports the USS Eldridge turned invisible to eye witnesses for a brief moment, dematerialized, teleported to Norfolk, Virginia, and then reappeared in Philadelphia. The experiment supposedly had some horrific side effects on the sailors who either became extremely sick, insane or among other things, became engulfed in flames; many of the crew never led normal lives again. Since this had a few negative consequences on overall morale, the Navy halted the experiment and silenced the whole affair … allegedly.

The U.S. Navy of course has always stated that the experiment never occurred and many refer to the entire narrative as a misguided and absurd hoax. It doesn’t matter that many details of the Philadelphia Experiment contradict some of the facts about the Eldridge. (The USS Eldridge was not commissioned until late August 1943 and remained in port in New York City until September, 1943. During the month of October the ship was undergoing training exercises in the Bahamas -or was it the Bermuda triangle! - and never made it to Philadelphia that year. But who cares!) Conspiracy theories don’t get much more fun than this. Take this gem and sprint with it baby, because this where it all starts, this is the granddaddy of them all, from here countless Conspiracies can be traced, directly tripping into other conspiratorial ideologues of covert governments, secret organizations, murder corporations and agendas for world domination.  

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 27, 2007 01:20pm | Post a Comment
Another round of well executed, attention grabbing promotional sales stickers.  A very transitory artform as said stickers are almost always attached to the outer shrink wrap, most of them get thrown away as soon as an LP is opened for play .  In vinylandia we often come across NOS Long Players or records that have their shrink  wrap preserved and once in a while a brilliant little piece of advertising art will still be on that shrink.  Here's this weeks finds...

            "lasts a full hour and is designed to be repeated
             endlessly without fatigue or boredom."

            
             a bit from the mission statement from the
             Environments LP series website, a run of
             "psychoacoustical" field recordings that
             evidently made some big promises to their
             listeners. I'll have to give it a try next summer...
            



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