This week we have been ruminating on the fact that this week is the fifty year anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by The Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany and Poland (a combined force under the direction of The USSR). Some one hundred and thirty seven civilians were killed and a further five hundred were seriously wounded. All, really, because people had expressed discontent with totalitarianism and just wanted an easier life. Here’s a cheer then for the underdogs, the repressed and the put upon who still exist in all corners of the world and who still dream of voicing their discontent and hope for an easier life.
News of the death of the “Queen of Soul” felt like a hammer blow yesterday given the state the US is in right now, and though Franklin claimed that she wasn’t a political singer, many of her best-known songs had a clear resonance with the womens and civil rights movements. She also gave the world a song originally heralded as an anthem of female independence but which soon “transformed it into an angry rejection of the chain of command” for African-American soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. As Lee Andresen wrote in Battle Notes: Music of the Vietnam War: “Although songs like ‘Chain of Fools’ and ‘Respect’ didn’t directly address the war, tapes of [Franklin’s] music became as essential a part of field kits as C-rations and morphine.” Elsewhere RS notes her 6 best country interpretations.
This week we were struck (once again) by how differently people are treated depending on which side of the political divide they fall into. Granted the only thing we like falling into here at Americana-UK Towers is a gently drunken slumber but it piqued our interest that one fellow, a life-long anti-racist, can’t seem to do enough to persuade others of his credentials (despite all of the evidence being there) whilst another has been gently ticked off (and has indeed seen his cachet rise with some in his own ranks) for saying some quite obviously and overtly racist (and indeed sexist) things. Not fair we thought. But hardly surprising we thought. There really are some foolish people in the world we thought.
We don’t pretend to know much here at Americana-UK Towers and when hunkered down in The Bunker we care less than we know. Except about hard liquor and great tunes. We certainly don’t pretend to know anything about certain conversations that have been had of late between two parties who we shall call A and B. It goes something like this: Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Tom T Hall “Sneaky Snake””
It won’t have escaped the attention of UK based readers that it’s been a tad warm of late. So warm has it been, in fact, that we have taken to The Bunker at every opportunity to cool down with select beers and suitably frosty chasers. And, in extremis, the odd glass of chilled water. News has reached us that the water companies are mooting a restricted use policy on the old Adam’s Ale starting with hosepipes but who knows where it will end? Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Hank Williams “Cool Water””
As we realised when we were excavating the cellar in order to turn it into The Bunker here at Americana-UK Towers – when you’re in a hole, stop digging. Such advice seems to have fallen on deaf ears with Terry Might and The Blues however. In the continuing saga of “Leave You, EU, Wouldn’t Wanna Be You” it would, for all the world, appear that (a) there isn’t a plan (b) there isn’t an objective and (c) there isn’t an achievable outcome. If anyone is unfamiliar with the back story here then what you need to know is that the mess we’re in is entirely about the survival of The Blues as a political entity and always has been – from the announcement of The Plebiscite to the triggering of Article 50 the main focus has been on balancing the various factions of The Blues from the Raab-id right to the Eton(ian) Mess to the Vaguely Misguided In Thinking That We Are Centrists. So thanks for that but, as this tune has it, we’re sick and tired of hanging around with dogs like you…
This week we have noted with a strange combination of amusement and disbelief that the UK’s negotiating strategy regarding Brexit (yep – that again) continues to consist mainly of our glorious leaders throwing their toys out of the pram and stamping their petulant little feet (supposing that it is possible to stamp one’s feet in a pram). People from all over the political spectrum are divided over the issue and it did look at one point as if The Blues might implode under the pressure of self-righteousness. However Minister Prime Terry Might stepped in and poured oil on burning waters promising some of the rebellious little tykes all manner of concessions in order to keep the party together. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Wilbert Harrison “Let’s Stick Together””
Our attention was drawn this week to the annual festival of gloating in which a national ‘news’ paper rubs the rest of our noses in the dirt by telling us who has the most money in the country. How odd, we thought, that when so many people have so little that it’s deemed acceptable to tell us how so few have so much. And it was also interesting to note how much is given by whom to various political parties. Actually not that varied of course with 99% going ‘blue’. Given our track record you’d think that at this point we would think of some smart arsed quip to make making light of the situation. But we can’t. It’s just too familiar and depressing. So have some ‘blues’ on the subject.
A little bonus video for you today on this International Workers Day from the lefty bard of our time. The words seem as resonant today as when they were first written: “Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own, Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone, What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child, There is power in a union.” Have a good one comrades!
This week when we came to boot up our trusty BBC Micro (younger readers might need to Google that) in order to check our social media we were surprised to learn that, via Netscape Navigator (younger readers might need to Google that too), all and sundry knew everything about us from our shoe sizes to our off-shore bank account numbers. Actually on closer inspection it became obvious that marketing companies didn’t know that about us because we have our profile set up in such a way that we identify as mixed race, non-binary, early twenty-somethings. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Clarence Gatemouth Brown “Information Blues””