What About Creed?

Against all probability, Jonah Weiner somehow manages to praise the reunion of the band Creed, whose song ‘With Arms Wide Open’ should be in any serious person’s list of top 10 rock songs with a point, and mock Christianity in the same article:

If your impulse on hearing that it has reunited is to groan, stifle it long enough to locate a copy of Creed’s 2004 Greatest Hits collection. It’s a fantastic baker’s dozen of first-rate schlock-rock, courtesy of one of the most underrated and unfairly maligned groups in pop history.

From the start, critical gatekeepers dismissed the band as derivative blowhards with a self-righteous Christian agenda

Creed’s sound was very similar to that of Pearl Jam in particular; however, where PJ went squishy and liberal – something more to Weiner’s liking, I must suppose – Creed’s music had a purpose.  If that’s too righteous for the hipsters at Slate, so be it.

Democratic Party, Public Enemy

There’s some buzz that says Public Enemy will be playing a gig at the Democratic Party’s National Convention.  Sounds like a perfect match to me!

Chuck D:

“We’re at a transition point where we have a black man who might be president. You’re starting to see all the ugliness come out, the lies and stuff,” he said. “My position is to be at the DNC in support of change. … In my heart I don’t want John McCain to win. I know Barack Obama will bring about change no matter what.”

That’s it – change no matter what.  No regard for whether it’s actually good for the country or not.  If it feels good – fair, in Obama-speak – do it.  Facts – and taxes – don’t matter.

Obama-mania is fading, though, and Peggy Noonan knows why:

Why is it a real race now, with John McCain rising in the polls and Barack Obama falling? There are many answers, but here I think is an essential one: The American people have begun paying attention.

Now that they are, what have they seen?  Barack Obama splitting hairs over abortion and possibly having Public Enemy introduce him to the nation as the Democratic candidate for president.  Please, let it be so!

Words of Wisdom

I heard this song by Chris Rice a few minutes ago and, for obvious reasons, thought of the presidential race:

Everybody take a breath
why are all your faces red?
We’re missin’ all the words you said
you don’t have to yell.

Draw your lines and choose your side
’cause many things are worth the fight
but louder doesn’t make you right
you don’t have to yell.

That goes for bloggers, too!


One’s perspective is all-important in forming opinions.  It also defines how one will express those opinions.  This observation is nothing new – I’ve made it before yet failed to fully integrate it into my life and writing.

But there are moments of clarity in which one sees things are they are – or perhaps as they could and ought to be.  A Newsboys concert recently made me realize that two of my personal duties are:

  1. To defend not only my own home but my county, state, and America
  2. To make the U.S. a better, safer place to live and a stronger, more cohesive society

Duh.  That’s just basic high school civics.  I guess I’m not too bright – the lesson didn’t sink in until now.

Black Shards is one way that I can make a difference.  In a halting, half-blind way I’ve always known that was what I wanted for this blog.  But my lack of perspective kept me from bringing that goal into focus.  No longer.  A target seen is one that can be hit.  I plan to aim now.

So how does this impact my previous posts and positions?  It doesn’t.  I stand by everything I’ve posted here.  My positions re Bush, liberals, the “war on terror”, Iraq, illegal immigration, abortion, the death penalty, and education remain unchanged.

What will be different?  Morals, ethics, knowledge, and reasoning are the tools I use in my work here.  The Newsboys epiphany isn’t about altering any of them; it’s about purposefully combining them with language to create a weapon.  A war is being fought on multiple fronts and the right words can be used in the fight to achieve the best possibly outcome for my family and America.  The realization is knowing that it’s my duty to do so.

That much has been achieved.  As for the rest, time will tell.

Oops, I’m a bimbo!

Britney Spears is quite a fox and yet, she’s not quite a genius, now is she?

Not that she’s any worse than any of the rest of your twenty-something musicians and movie/TV stars. It is, however, a sad realization to recognize that as a younger person, I actually thought these types had something meaningful to say.

Senator Hatch: Destroy Music Downloader’s Computers

Now that’s the legal and ethical vision a U.S. Senator should have! I’m just sorry that Orrin’s presidential bid floundered…

I suspect there’s a band of 19-year old hackers looking into Hatch’s on-line presense even as I type…wrong bunch to poke a stick at…

And who ever would have guessed he was a song writer?


Dwight Silverman of the Chronicle had some comments about Senator Hatch’s desire to trash music downloaders’ PCs.

One cannot hold back the tides of change, Mr. Hatch. Better to adapt to the changes that are inevitable.

Music to my Ears

Here’s another of my favorite rant topics: on-line music sharing. Music industry sues students over alleged file-swapping networks, says CNN.com.

I can’t decide if it irks me or makes me want to laugh. You decide. Either way, it’s a joke.

The music recording business will do anything, no matter how ridiculous, to hold on to it’s position as filter between artists and the consumer. Don’t record execs realize their industry is dead? It’s nothing more than a hollow tree, rotten inside, waiting to collapse at the next high wind.

“CD sales are down!” the execs cry. “It’s Napster and Morpheus, let’s get them!”

That ain’t it, boys. Try putting out some decent music once in a while, say for example a CD with more than one decent song on it. Maybe that would help business.

The fact is, record companies are an anachronism. Musicians have access to technologies that make big production studios a waste of time and money. It’s time they were removed from their place in the food chain.

Songwriter Decries MP3s

Songwriter Diane Warren penned a different ditty this week: an impassioned indictment of music “piracy” via MP3 downloads. If anyone is entitled to an opionion, Diane is. Read a bried bio on-line.

Unfortunately, she is dreadfully wrong. Ms. Warren works in an industry in which barriers to entry, in the form of monolithic recording companies, have stifled competition for decades. Now those barriers are crumbling, making those manning the walls uncomfortable, to say the least.

Denying that times are changing won’t change the fact that they are. The genie is out of the bottle and won’t go back in. Musicians will continue to make music because they love it. Fans will continue to pay for the works of the artists they love. The mediocre will fall by the wayside.

CD Pricing Fixing Found

Universal Music Group, Sony Music, BMG Music Group, Warner Music Group, EMI Group, Musicland Stores, Trans World Entertainment and Tower Records settled a lawsuit alledging price fixing of CDs over a 6 year period. Read about it in the Yahoo News.

Of course, they admit no wrongdoing – who does these days? But any tracker of technology knows music prices have been held artificially high since the introduction of CDs fifteen years ago.

These is the same industry that is attempting to stifle digital innovation by squashing the MP3 movement. The fact is, these companies and their services are anachronisms whose usefulness has been outlived. Witness Rik Emmett, former frontman for the power trio Triumph. He basically does all of his own production work now himself. No big record label, no 7 year contract, no compromises. Check it out, he’s never sounded better. The same could be true for many musicians, if we were free of the music biz as it is.