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Donald Trump

Father John Misty Announces 'Pure Comedy' LP, Releases Music Video and Short Film

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

What do Donald Trump, Pepe the Frog, and the cruel, cruel miracle of birth all have in common? A six-plus minute music video from Father John Misty, of course.

Waxing philosophical on the existential absurdity of the human condition as only Joshua Tillman can, "Pure Comedy" combines idiosyncratic observationalism with soulful detachment in a way that is simultaneously earnest and composed.

Tillman takes the obligatory stabs at politics (Where did they find these goons they elected to rule them? / What makes these clowns they idolize so remarkable?) and religion (They worship themselves yet they're totally obsessed / With risen zombies, celestial virgins, magic tricks, these unbelievable outfits), but isn't afraid to start at the very beginning (The comedy of man starts like this / Our brains are way too big for our mothers' hips).

So appropriately his forthcoming record begins with this meandering title track. Pure Comedy is due out April 7 via Sub Pop, and so far it sounds every bit of the quasi-preachy-satirical masterpiece you would expect. Tillman explains,

Pure Comedy is the story of a species born with a half-formed brain. The species’ only hope for survival, finding itself on a cruel, unpredictable rock surrounded by other species who seem far more adept at this whole thing (and to whom they are delicious), is the reliance on other, slightly older, half-formed brains. This reliance takes on a few different names as their story unfolds, like ‘love,’ ‘culture,’ ‘family,’ etc. Over time, and as their brains prove to be remarkably good at inventing meaning where there is none, the species becomes the purveyor of increasingly bizarre and sophisticated ironies. These ironies are designed to help cope with the species’ loathsome vulnerability and to try and reconcile how disproportionate their imagination is to the monotony of their existence.

Something like that.

The music video with its aforementioned eclectic cast features cartoons from Matthew Daniel Siskin and is accompanied by a 25 minute companion film directed by Tillman and Grant James. See both, along with the album art (also by Siskin) and tracklist, below.

father john misty pure comedy.gif

Pure Comedy

  1. Pure Comedy
  2. Total Entertainment Forever
  3. Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution
  4. Ballad of the Dying Man
  5. Birdie
  6. Leaving LA
  7. A Bigger Paper Bag
  8. When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay
  9. Smoochie
  10. Two Wildly Different Perspectives
  11. The Memo
  12. So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain
  13. In Twenty Years of So

See more by Father John Misty here.

Arcade Fire and Mavis Staples Benefit ACLU With New Track "I Give You Power"

New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Arcade Fire have returned after two years of silence with a timely released anti-Trump anthem, "I Give You Power." The soulful call and response of the track features music icon Mavis Staples and continues the dark rattle and groove of the band's last LP Reflektor.

It remains to be seen if the track will appear on the full length record Arcade Fire have recorded and poised for release later in the year, though it appears to be a one off according to Win Butler's statements during the premiere on Zane Lowe's Apple Music’s Beats 1 show:

The song was made to come out now. That’s one of the beautiful things about the times we’re in — you can just put something out. It’s the eve of the inauguration and I think it’s easy to get sucked into sitting on the couch and checking your news feed and watching things on CNN, and we’re just musicians and the only thing we really have to offer is our music. I talked to Mavis last night and she said now more than ever we just need to hold onto each other. For us it’s a feeling of solidarity — to not feel powerless and focus on what we can do as individuals and try to do our part.

All proceeds from "I Give You Power" go to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.  Listen below.

Gorillaz Return After Six Years With Politically Charged Single "Hallelujah Money" on Inauguration Eve

New MusicWeston PaganoComment

In an age of campaign finance and special interest lobbying dismantling the fabric of Democracy we can at least find some respite and gentle comfort in the jarring reminder of "We are still human" nestled in the vocoder bridge of Gorillaz' first track in six years.

"Hallelujah Money" features the Mercury Prize winning Benjamin Clementine spinning a gloriously irregular (and not unlike Belave) gospel-turned-spoken-word delivery on Trumpian politics backed by choral chemtrails. From references to the refugee strawman as "Scarecrows from the far east" to comparing wall building to unicorns, it's the poetic truth to power only a cult virtual band could procure.

According to their Twitter and YouTube description, the Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett project drops this "lightning bolt of truth in a black night" "on the eve of the Inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump to serve as commentary on a politically-charged, historical moment. #wearestillhumanz" The accompanying visual directed by the band along with Giorgio Testi depicts La Candelaria brotherhood imagery and more projected on Clementine.

They say bad elections result in good art, and while healthcare could probably bring about that end far better, here we are. We'll take all of this that we can get.

Gorillaz are set to release a new record this year, though "Hallelujah Money" will not be on it.

The Ultimate Playlist for Your Next Political Rally (as Long as You're Not a Republican)

Music ListWeston PaganoComment

It happens every election cycle - politician plays song at rally, artist complains, politician replaces it with another song, that artist complains, rinse, wash, repeat.

Of course many musicians do pledge support of some campaigns and lend their tunes to the cause (Killer Mike and Grizzly Bear's stumping for Bernie Sanders being recent highlights), but it's always the conflicts that get more news time and are, well, more amusing.

While America's touring president-hopefuls usually turn to safe, generic fight songs and vaguely patriotic anthems for firing up their attending constituents there can sometimes be peculiarly glaring disconnects, from Trump's doomsday-implicating entrance to an incensed R.E.M.'s "It's The End Of The World As We Know It," to Reagan evoking the ostensible feel-good nationalism of Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A.," a song that is actually a clear criticism of the US government and its war-mongering. But even if it's just a song about the sun, there will likely be complaints assuming the politician has one thing in common - the GOP.

Often candidates are technically allowed to play the tunes in question due to the venue holding a blanket license with a performance rights organization (PRO) that pays out royalties for such public performances of the songs. But sometimes the candidates are not covered and thus fall afoul of copyright infringement. Those responsible usually back down either way once a complaint is lodged, even if only out of awkwardness. While it's rare, there are a few examples of lawsuits actually taking place, most notably the time also-bassist Mike Huckabee had to cough up $25,000 in reparations for tainting Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger." 

While countless pieces have been penned (and performed) on this matter before, we at Transverso have taken the liberty of being the first to compile all (well, at least until Trump adds to it again) of the songs that have been retroactively barred from being used as sweet, sweet misappropriated right-wing propaganda in recent years into one playlist. In the age of Spotify hawking mix tapes from "Teen Party" to "Jock Jams" to "Not Your Mother's Christian Music," we figured why not curate the ultimate collection of tracks for you to use at your next campaign speech or event - that is, of course, if you're not a Republican.

The playlist itself is sorted by artist name, and we also provided a list of the tracks below sorted by the names of the offending candidates and public figures.

Donald Trump

  • Adele - “Rolling in the Deep”

  • Adele - “Skyfall”

  • Aerosmith - “Dream On”

  • The Beatles - “Here Comes The Sun”

  • Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band - “All Right Now”

  • Neil Young - “Rockin’ in the Free World”

  • R.E.M. - “It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

  • Rolling Stones - “Start Me Up”

  • Rolling Stones - “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

  • Queen - “We Are The Champions”

John McCain / Sarah palin

  • ABBA - “Take a Chance on Me”

  • Bon Jovi - “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”

  • Foo Fighters - “My Hero”

  • Gretchen Peters - “Independence Day”

  • Heart - “Barracuda”

  • Jackson Browne - “Running On Empty”

  • John Mellencamp - “Our Country”

  • John Mellencamp - “Pink Houses”

  • Orleans - “Still the One”

  • Van Halen - “Right Now”

George W. Bush

  • John Mellencamp - “R.O.C.K. in the USA”

  • Orleans - “Still the One”

  • Sting - “Brand New Day”

  • Tom Petty - “I Won’t Back Down”

George H. W. Bush

  • Bobby McFerrin - “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

Newt Gingrich

  • The Heavy - “How You Like Me Now?”

  • Journey - “Don’t Stop Believing”

  • Survivor - “Eye of the Tiger”

Mitt Romney

  • K’Naan - “Wavin’ Flag”

  • Silversun Pickups - “Panic Switch”

Mike Huckabee (ft. Kim Davis)

  • Boston - “More Than a Feeling”

  • Survivor - “Eye of the Tiger”

Rand Paul

  • Rush - “Spirit of the Radio”

  • Rush - “Tom Sawyer”

Chuck Devore

  • Don Henley - “All She Wants to Do Is Dance”

  • Don Henley - “The Boys of Summer”

Michele Bachmann

  • Katrina & The Waves - “Walking On Sunshine”

  • Tom Petty - “American Girl”

Ronald Reagan / Bob Dole

  • Bruce Springsteen - “Born in the USA”

Marco Rubio

  • Axwell / Ingrosso - “Something New”

Paul Ryan

  • Twisted Sister - “We’re Not Gonna Take It”

Scott Walker

  • Dropkick Murphys - “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”

Charlie Crist

  • David Byrne - “Road to Nowhere”

Bob Dole

  • Sam & Dave - “Soul Man”

Joe Walsh

  • Joe Walsh - “Walk Away"