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FIVE THINGS KANYE WEST COULD HAVE SAID INSTEAD AT THE VMA'S

Posted by Billyjam, September 15, 2009 03:18pm | Post a Comment
Kayne West vs Taylor Swift
Kanye West
's well publicized little outburst at Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), in which he bum-rushed the stage during country singing teen Taylor Swift's acceptance speech to grab her mic and offer his uninvited opinion on how unfair he felt it was that Beyonce didn't win in the Best Female Video category, gave the media some fodder complete with a good headline for their report on the otherwise ho-hum awards show. And the fact that there suspiciously was no security whatsoever to stop West from storming the stage merely proved what many have long speculated: that MTV's producers secretly encourage any kind of controversy to spice up and give some edge to their show.

But by now Kanye's attention grabbing stunts are beyond tired. On Sunday night, even Beyonce, whose honor he somehow believed he was defending, wasn't impressed by his rude gesture. Neither was anyone else it seemed. And why should they be? Beyond the disrespectful act itself, it's not like he was sticking up for some totally underrated, slept-on artist. It was Beyonce -- one of the world's biggest stars, who a little bit later on in the same show would be bestowed with the Video Of The Year award. If Kanye is going to bum rush the stage and grab someone's mic, he should use the opportunity to say something of substance or worth.  Here are five suggestions for Kanye of what he could have said instead:

1) Talk about something really important or of social/political relevance like he did four years ago in his infamous post-Katrina "George Bush doesn't care about black people" comment (see video below). Or take Beyoncethe opportunity to comment on the growing thinly veiled tide of racism towards Barack Obama, or question why a FOX News host is getting away with calling the president "a racist." Or how about offering some opinion on health care? Note that even the host of the evening, Russell Brand, addressed this issue. However, like everything else that this English host-with-an-acquired-taste uttered throughout the long evening, it simply didn't register with the VMA audience.

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THIS AIN'T NO PICNIC VIDEO - MINUTEMEN Vs RONALD REAGAN

Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2009 10:00am | Post a Comment
      
Minutemen "This Ain't No Picnic" (Double Nickles On The Dime, 1984 SST)

Until the other day when I accidentally stumbled upon the Minutemen's excellent video for their equally excellent song "This Ain't No Picnic," I had forgotten just how great this video was. The song, one of 45 Minutemen Double Nickles On The Dimebrilliant tracks off the SoCal band's flawless, four-sided 1984 release Double Nickles On The Dime (SST) -- an album that remains on my top five desert island discs all these years later -- was written reportedly by the late D. Boon out of frustration with his narrow minded employer at an auto parts store.

According to the recommended Michael Azerrad penned book Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 (Little Brown), which borrows its title from a Mike Watt (Minutemen) lyric, Boon, who was working at this Southern Cali auto parts store, had wanted to choose the music to listen to at his workplace and had flipped to an LA area jazz/soul radio station. However, his boss wouldn't allow him to, reportedly  calling the radio station's playlist "nigger shit." "His [Boon's] frustration fueled a Minutemen classic," wrote Azerrad in his 2001 book.

The Randall Jahnson directed video for the song (above) may have only cost a meager $600 to make, but regardless it still got some (albeit limted) airplay on MTV that year and even managed to be featured in the first ever VMAs (VIdeo Music Awards) by MTV the following year. Note that the Ronald Reagan (who was president at the time) war film footage was all copyright free to use since it was free public domain content. To have your own copy of this video, pick up the Minutemen documentary We Jam Econo at Amoeba Music, which features it as one of the DVD's bonus features. And, if you don't already own it, I highly recommend you buy the Minutemen's Double Nickles On The Dime album. It's a classic!
This Ain't No Picnic (D.Boon) lyrics