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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hey, Huey Lewis Fans ! Check this out !

Click here to hear Heart and Soul

You've got to read Steve Hyden's article/interview in Grantland, 'Huey Lewis's Old, Weird America', excerpted below.


"I don't know what a new record is anymore," Lewis says. "I think what we have to do is record it, and video the recording and make a YouTube clip. I think YouTube is what matters. Records don't matter."

As a prolific seller of records once upon a time, Lewis is naturally perturbed by this. "American popular music is our only art form. It's our most important export, period. And since time began, it's been handled not as an art form but as a commodity. I mean, all records are the same price. Books are different prices, paintings are different prices, wine is different prices, but all music is the same fucking price. And why? Because the executives in charge of the business are not real businesspeople. They didn't go to business school, they don't have a business vision. 'He just managed a band that sold 8 million records. So let's put him in charge.'"

Click here to hear But It's Alright
Here's one thing the record business is definitely no longer good at: selling rock albums made by thirtysomething white men who are into sax solos and doo-wop. MJ, Prince, Springsteen — you can point to contemporary artists attempting to follow their commercial examples. But Huey Lewis represents an archetype that is not only absent from the pop charts, it's one that is nearly impossible for a young person to imagine ever being popular. Sports is the epitome of old-world musical broadness — it touches on new wave, '60s soul, beer-commercial blues, and classic honky-tonk. One of the album's most recognizable tracks, "I Want a New Drug," topped the dance charts. That's right — the clubs of '84 banged to Huey Lewis and the News. It's inconceivable that any album today could (or would even attempt to) cover so many bases in such a deliberate "one size fits all" manner.

"I think everybody's screwed by that," Lewis says. "[In the past] music was integrated, but society was segregated. Today, society is integrated, but music is segregated. And that's not a good thing. Information is segregated. If you're a right-winger, you know there's a bunch of shows you can watch where nobody disagrees with you. If you're a left-winger, there are other shows, nobody disagrees with you. Not healthy. Not good."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We welcome any sign that the Apocalypse has been postponed

Enough already, says WB
even when said portent is merely Warner Bros' cancelling a Dumb and Dumber sequel ( according to The Hollywood Reporter.)

However, be advised that other studios may yet embrace the project, so we're not entirely out of the woods, end-of-the-world-wise.

'Nation World Money' Links Updated

Turkish Protests Continue : How long before Erdogan drops the hammer ? include Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern news sources.

On this soggy N.E. day, Blogger DJ daydreams about summer sun sand and surf...

...with one of his Beach Boys faves, Surfer Girl.

Carpe Diem, Culture Vultures ! Caravaggio Show Soon To Close !

That's right. You've got 'til this Sunday June 16 to take in the Caravaggio's at Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneaum. For more info, click the above link.

Are U. S. Colleges and Universities Endangered ?

Yes, Bluto, they are, according to Robert Kuttner, whose SEEKING ALPHA post, 'Higher Education: The Coming Shakeout' is excerpted below.

* * *

Just as markets over-built housing, mispriced mortgages and bid up prices beyond the real financial capacity of homebuyers, America's colleges and universities have over-expanded and over-priced their product. We are getting an education bubble with dynamics similar to the late housing bubble. As more and more students find themselves with debts that exceed the salaries offered by the current job market, colleges have expanded beyond the capacity of their markets. Some kind of shakeout is coming. The question is: what kind.

During the long boom in higher education, colleges have also dramatically increased salaries and staffing levels of administrations. Some of this reflects efforts to game the rankings, which also is another aspect of the same imbalance. For-profit universities, with high dropout rates, heavily reliant on federal Pell grants and student loans, are only the more explicit and extreme expression of a general trend of colleges and universities becoming more marketized. Colleges are doing deals to set up satellite campuses in sheikhdoms, recruiting full-tuition state-supported foreign students and creating vanity diploma mills as profit centers. The flip side is a massive disinvestment by state legislatures in America's great public universities and an under-investment in community colleges.

Despite the broad premise that the cure for America's poor economic performance is more and better colleges, resources have been skewed in exactly the wrong direction. A report by the Century Foundation released last week reveals that per-pupil spending in community colleges, where 44 percent of post-secondary students attend, most of them children of the non-rich rich, has been flat since 1999, while spending at elite private universities is up 31 percent.

There is a huge mismatch between the greatest need -- affordable public universities and community colleges -- and where the investment has gone. Basically, it has gone to overbuilding and hyper-competition in elite universities, too much money for administration and marketing, for-profits siphoning off resources and graduates being saddled with lifelong debt (except, of course, for graduates with affluent parents, who generally pay the freight, leaving their offspring debt-free.)