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George Michael, Copyrights and Common

By Staff · May 18th, 2011 · Minimum Gauge


No More Careless Whispers

George Michael recently announced his plans to return to music with a new album and worldwide tour. Michael, now known more as a tabloid joke, is making his comeback to help improve his tarnished legacy, but not for solely selfish reasons. The singer said his return is for young gay people, who he felt he let down in his career by not being “out” publicly from the start. Michael never “announced” his homosexuality; the news came out after he was arrested in ’98 for soliciting sex in a public park (one of a string of run-ins with police). Michael said during his career peak, those in his inner circle were the only people who knew he was gay. Oh, and every single person who saw the “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” video.


Fear of a Copyright-Protected Planet

In Jazz, live performance is where the music truly shines, best showcasing the crucial element of improvisation.

But if you couldn’t catch a pioneering artist live, you were left with recordings, which, due to the time constraints of early vinyl, were often brief sketches, making the full picture of Jazz somewhat incomplete. Jazz historians popped boners last year when a ginormous collection of longer recordings saved by tech-savvy engineer William Savory was turned over to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. But legal trade publication ABA Journal revealed that much of the collection might never be publicly accessible due to copyright. Instead of being sued out of existence by, say, the musician who played triangle on a Benny Goodman recording or a distant opportunistic relative, the museum is only allowing limited access. It’s sad that every note Phish ever played on stage can be downloaded in five minutes but modern-day litigation-phobia might keep the blueprints of American music forever in storage.


Stop Using Hip Hop As A Weapon

If those behind the Republican propaganda machine ever decided to get into entertainment PR, they could get Rebecca Black inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This year. The evil geniuses aren’t even trying to be conspicuous anymore, as the way over-publicized “controversy” fabricated about Hip Hop star Common proved. Obama’s foes used the strategy du jour — disseminating cherry-picked, out-of-context info that draws condemning headlines, outrage and fear. The rapper’s appearance at a White House poetry event was used by right-wingers to show the President’s ties to scary black America by distorting Common’s music and life. Now, to many, the uplifting, socially aware MC who does Gap commercials is actually a thug who raps about killing cops. Despite being widely invalidated, by turning a teddy bear into a rabid grizzly, they still succeeded in buttressing their gullible base’s belief that Obama is going to throw whiteys into concentration camps and turn America into a nonstop, nationwide version of Freaknik. 



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