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And here is a big article about how the really important artists in shaping today's music scene are actually Led Zeppelin. But the writer also sounds like sometimes he doesn't like them much:
Today “Whole Lotta Love” is so famous that it’s easy to forget that it’s probably one of the stranger singles to scale the upper heights of theBillboard charts. For starters, it’s not much of a song: There are no chord changes to speak of, and the “bridge” is an extended interlude that sounds like someone faking (?) an orgasm in a haunted house. The rest of the track is just a guitar riff supplemented by Plant intoning lame pickup lines. And the pickup lines aren’t even his: The lyrics to “Whole Lotta Love,” originally credited to Page and Plant, are blatantly lifted from Willie Dixon’s composition “You Need Love,” a theft redressed only after Dixon took the band to court.(It’s worth pausing to marvel at the unbelievable stupidity of this. For starters, “You Need Love” was first recorded by Muddy Waters in 1962, as the follow-up to his hit “You Shook Me”—which Led Zeppelin had covered on their previous album.Secondly, Dixon wrote some great lyrics in his day, but these certainly aren’t them, unless you think the opportunity to rhyme “coolin’,” “foolin’,” and “schoolin’ ” is worth being hauled to court over. The “Whole Lotta Love” plagiarism was a failure of ethics, execution, and just plain good taste.)
Ok, other places he raves about how great they are. But then there is this:All that said, “Whole Lotta Love” is Led Zeppelin at their most essential. It’s big, loud, riff-driven, not terribly bright, and probably twice as long as it ought to be.
But Led Zeppelin weren’t a minstrel show—they were something so much weirder. To suggest that all they did was steal from the blues is an insult to the band, but also to the blues. Zeppelin’s appropriations could be bereft of ethics, but they were more often just bereft of logic: Here was a band that wedded Robert Johnson-isms to plots borrowed from Tolkien novels with no sense of incongruity, or embarrassment.Worth reading at least, though I will refrain from embedding any clips.
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Aaaannnndddd, debuting in the Number One spot this week is Weird Al Yankovic's new album "Mandatory Fun". Which you should definitely have this weekend. The fun that is. Here is a cut from the album, the instant classic polka version of Miley Cyrus's song "Wrecking Ball":
I just want to remind you that I called this the cutting edge of pop two days ago, way ahead of the curve. Weird Al Yankovic, the biggest talent in pop!
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On a serious note, conductor/pianist Daniel Barenboim has published an essay on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that you might want to read. As a holder of both Israeli and Palestinian passports (and how many of those are there?) he tries to strike a middle path. Yes, both parties are suffering and both have rights. He ends by saying:
At the very heart of the much-needed rapprochement is the need for a mutual feeling of empathy, or compassion. In my opinion, compassion is not merely a sentiment that results from a psychological understanding of a person’s need, but it is a moral obligation. Only through trying to understand the other side’s plight can we take a step towards each other. As Schopenhauer put it: “Nothing will bring us back to the path of justice so readily as the mental picture of the trouble, grief and lamentation of the loser.” In this conflict, we are all losers. We can only overcome this sad state if we finally begin to accept the other side’s suffering and their rights. Only from this understanding can we attempt to build a future together.Yes, I'm sure this is true, but it reminds me of something Golda Meir said many years ago:
Peace with the Arabs will only come when they love their children more than they hate us.Unfortunately, this seems not to have come to pass.
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And on a much less serious note, here is the latest on Yuja Wang's wardrobe choices from Norman Lebrecht.
For the full panoply of opinions on this sort of thing, read the comments, which are fairly entertaining.
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And that gives us our music for the day. Yuja Wang, playing selections by Scriabin: