I always thought Talking Heads was a hugely overrated band. I can hear "And She Was" or "Burning Down The House" in January and be good for the rest of the year. They were a minor band -- one top ten hit and two more minor top forty hits.
The band was the only reason to listen, for the groove. The singer couldn't sing. That would be David Byrne. He was always pompous and irritating.
He's only gotten worse. He's about to have a show on Broadway. But we're also supposed to ignore the fact that he's a scab. Pitchfork explains:
Here Lies Love, David Byrne’s musical theater collaboration with Fatboy Slim, is slated to begin previews at New York’s Broadway Theater on June 17. Now, as The New York Times reports, a labor union representing Broadway musicians is objecting to the production’s use of instrumental tracks instead of a live band. Byrne and the team behind Here Lies Love later shared a statement in response.
According to the American Federation of Musicians’ Local 802, the production’s plan to rely on pre-recorded music violates its contract with the Broadway League, which reportedly dictates that all musicals at the Broadway Theater must employ at least 19 musicians. In a statement to The Times, production spokesperson Adrian Bryan-Brown claimed that the tracks are “part of the karaoke genre inherent to the musical and the production concept,” and have been essential to Here Lies Love from its inception.
The musical, according to production spokesperson Adrian Bryan-Brown, has always performed with tracks since it was conceived in 2006. In a statement to Playbill, Bryan-Brown calls the choice "part of the karaoke genre inherent to the musical and the production concept." Here Lies Love contains an electronic and disco-inspired score.
"The music for Here Lies Love was inspired by the phenomena of 'track acts,' which allowed club audiences to keep dancing, much like this production aims to do," continues Bryan-Brown. (It should be noted that earlier stagings included some of the musical's cast playing instruments in two musical numbers and there is also a live DJ.)
The decision has predictably drawn criticism from Broadway musicians. Local 802 of American Federation of Musicians (the union representing Broadway instrumentalists) President and Executive Director Tino Gagliardi told The New York Times, "[W]e're not going to stand by and let this happen. It's not fair to the public."
Our request for comment from union representatives was not returned by time of publication. But AFM is circling a petition, urging signatories to "say NO to canned music on Broadway" and calling Here Lies Love "a direct attack on Broadway audiences, a direct attack on the professional musicians of NYC, and a direct attack on the long tradition of live music on Broadway."
If David doesn't want live music, then don't take your trash to Broadway. I am happy though that at least he doesn't appear to be exploiting Africans for this project.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Julian Assange remains imprisoned and remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden who, as vice president, once called him "a high tech terrorist." Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian. WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs. And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own. For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs. Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:
A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
• US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.
• A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
• More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.
The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat
The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.
The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.
But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.
Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.
Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.
Before 1933, Germany was a center of LGBT+ community and culture, with several renowned organizations serving and supporting trans and gender non-conforming people. Hitler’s Nazi government, however, brutally targeted the trans community, deporting many trans people to concentration camps and wiping out vibrant community structures. As transgender people are now increasingly targets of discriminatory legislation and hate, join the Museum for a program exploring these stories and experiences prior to and during the Holocaust.
This panel conversation features Dr. Anna Hájková, Associate Professor of Modern European Continental History at the University of Warwick; Dr. Katie Sutton, Associate Professor of German and Gender Studies, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics at Australian National University; and Dr. Bodie A. Ashton, a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer at Universität Erfurt, with moderator Rabbi Marisa Elana James, Director of Social Justice Programming at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York.
Watch the program below.
During the program, a number of resources were mentioned for further research. One of these was the book Trans Talmud: Androgynes and Eunuchs in Rabbinic Literature by Max K. Strassfeld. Another was the magazine The Third Sex which was printed in Weimar Germany from 1930-1932. We also recommend historian Jake Newsome’s series LGBTQ+ Stories from the Holocaust, where he shares the true stories of LGBTQ+ people in Nazi Germany.
Learn More About the LGBTQ+ Community in Pre-War Germany
Before WWII, Berlin was a center of life for the LGBTQ+ community. Robert Beachy’s book Gay Berlin chronicles the milieu that gave rise to the international gay rights movement, with key strides made for scientific research, advocacy, and visibility. Learn more in this conversation between Beachy and Eric Marcus, creator of the podcast Making Gay History.
Discover the Life of Eve Adams
Eve Adams was a rebel. Born to a Jewish family in Poland, Adams emigrated to the United States in 1912. She befriended anarchists, sold radical publications, and ran lesbian and gay-friendly speakeasies in Chicago and Greenwich Village. Then, in 1925, Adams risked all to write and publish a book titled Lesbian Love. In a repressive era, when American women had just gained the right to vote, Adams’ association with anarchists caught the attention of the U.S. Bureau of Investigation, leading to her deportation into the Nazis’ reign of terror, where she was sent to Auschwitz and killed. Learn more about Adams’ life in this Museum program.
After World War Two
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese – who has been at the forefront of this call – earned the gratitude of Assange's father, John Shipton.
On May 4, Prime Minister Albanese made his strongest statement yet on the Assange issue, declaring:
"The U.S. Administration is certainly very aware of what the Australian government's position is. There is nothing to be served by his ongoing incarceration."
MARGARET KUNSTLER: Well, I’m not only deeply involved in this lawsuit as a witness, but I am deeply involved in this lawsuit as a plaintiff. And there are many people who — perhaps who are not with us today who would be very happy to hear that the name of the lawsuit was Kunstler against Pompeo.
This is a lawsuit that we hope will, in fact, be one of the major ingredients about why the United States cannot try Julian in this country. They cannot try Julian in this country because they’ve overdone their misconduct. They’ve engaged in the level of misconduct in interfering in the defense of Julian Assange that cannot be tolerated.
And it’s brought in this country so that people can understand just the tip of the iceberg about what has been done to Julian Assange, the actions that have been taken against him. Here, lawyers, doctors and other professionals who visited Julian Assange were — their conversations were recorded. But more than that, their equipment was taken — their telephones and their computers — and they were gone through.
Now, this started happening in 2017. Before that, we had thought that the surveillance of the embassy was to protect Julian. But we found out, through a lawsuit that was brought in Spain, that starting in 2017, the lawsuit had completely — the type of surveillance that was going on had completely changed. And now the surveillance was on a level that has been unheard of in this country and unheard of anywhere in the world, that you would record and take information about conversations, about what plans were being drawn up, about — specifically about the health of Julian and about what was going to be the defense at trial. Now, you’re not allowed to do this. This absolutely violates the concept of justice in this country.
And what caused this? How did we reach this level of hatred, of disobeyance of law when it comes to Julian Assange? Well, it’s significant that it began in 2017, because that was the year that Pompeo came into authority. And Pompeo’s very first speech was that he considered Julian and WikiLeaks a nonstate hostile intelligence agency. Now, to say that was an explanation that Julian had no rights left to him, that they could go in, they could kill him, anything they wanted to do was fair game. And that is something that is so astounding to our level of understanding of justice in this country, that that was the cause of this lawsuit.