Tag Archives: country

Rhiannon Giddens on Nina Simone biopic, Music, and Racism

Rhiannon Giddens is an emerging crossover star (former Opera star), as welcome at the Grand Old Opry as the Kennedy Center Stage.  Here she discusses the impact of discrimination as well as the new Nina Simone biopic.

Rhiannon Giddens: “Songs don’t change anything; they inspire people to change things”

This is her newest release –

And something a bit more “folksy”

And if you don’t believe “The Grand Old Oprey”…Here she is there…

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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Music, From Way Back When to Now


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This one was amazing. I certainly have heard lore about exorcisms being practiced on individuals by (typically) Catholic Priests…

But an exorcism on a whole country?

The Extraordinary Exorcism of Mexico

Christian exorcism has become so popular worldwide that now it’s not only performed on tormented individuals but also on entire nations. A few weeks ago Mexico, the second largest Catholic country, was exorcised of its demons in an unprecedented rite of Exorcismo Magno performed in secret in the city of San Luis Potosi. On May 20, the renowned Spanish exorcist José Antonio Fortea, author of the book “El Exorcismo Magno,” joined Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara, and a cadre of trained exorcists to perform the maximum type of Catholic exorcism, reserved for nations and dioceses, on the Mexican Republic itself. In an interview with the Catholic press, the famed exorcist, Father Fortea, explained that the Exorcismo Magno is “useful in situations in which great violence has been unleashed in a country.”

Mexico, of course, has been plagued by hyper-violence since 2006 when former president, Felipe Calderon launched an unprecedented assault on some of the major drug cartels. Since then an estimated 100,000 Mexicans have died in the ongoing battles over access to the largest drug market on earth here in the U.S. The first Latin American pope, Francis, has paid special attention to the conflict in Mexico. The chief reason for the recent promotion of the archbishop of Morelia to cardinal was his condemnations of the narco-violence plaguing his home state of Michoacan. The South American pontiff even got himself in a bit of hot water with his recent warning to his native Argentina to avoid “Mexicanization”of the country. And if Mexican folk saint, Santa Muerte, has been condemned by the Vatican and is denounced on a weekly basis in Mexico, it’s because the Church views the skeleton saint as the poster child of the narco-culture of death.

However, the cadre of exorcists working behind closed doors were not only expelling the demons of narco-violence but also of abortion. Though it doesn’t receive extensive international media coverage, the Church in Mexico has felt besieged since abortion was legalized in Mexico City in 2007. Legal and free abortion during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy ranks among the most liberal policies in Latin America, along with those of Uruguay and Cuba. In Mexico legislation on abortion is determined at the state-level, so there is considerable variation among the thirty-one states. One of the reasons the state of San Luis Potosi was chosen as the site of the unprecedented exorcism was because of its status as an early opponent of legal abortion. The Mexican church roundly regards the national capital city as a den of iniquity because of its estimated 100,000 legal abortions since 2007 and its status as one of Latin America’s most liberal cities. This was one of the reasons that Pope Benedict XVI bypassed Latin America’s largest city and headed instead to Leon, the industrial city in Guanajuato, Mexico’s most Catholic state and also one of its most culturally conservative.

The exorcism of the demons of abortion was also done on cue from Pope Francis. The Latin America pope surprised many with his impromptu public exorcism of a Mexican parishioner who claimed to be possessed by four different demons of abortion.Catholic journalist Roberto O’Farrill reported the demons possessing the Mexican parishioner as saying “you are all stupid because she (the Virgin Mary) ran us out of Mexico and now you with your stupid laws have allowed sacrifice, human sacrifice, to return to Mexico. We don’t want to say this, but she steps on our heads and forces us.” O’Farrill, who was the sole journalist permitted to witness the Exorcismo Magno in San Luis Potosi, added that during the recent rite the demons said they had returned to Mexico with a new infestation centered in Mexico City.

Exorcism, especially among Catholics and Pentecostals, has been surging worldwide for the past couple decades, but there’s no doubt that Pope Francis, between performing a spontaneous one at the Vatican and making frequent references to the devil and demons, has given it a further boost. The exorcism of Mexico marks a fascinating new development in which entire nations are viewed as demon possessed. Where might Father Fortea perform his next Exorcismo Magno?

73 conservatives running for President….We need one of those right here in the US of A!

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Posted by on June 17, 2015 in You Know It's Bad When...


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Breaking the Chains of Hip Hop

Those of you old enough to remember when AM Radio was the ONLY radio – undoubtedly remember the daytime stations. In many areas, R&B stations were limited to broadcasting during daylight hours. At night, the AM station signals would “bounce” – resulting in an ability to intermittently pick up stations hundreds of miles away.

The DC Market had two black stations, WUST AM 1120, and WEBB AM 1390, which were joined by WOL in the mid 60’s. The formats were strictly R&B. Tthe two biggest jocks in town for years were “The Moon Man” and Barry Richards, seen in this video in the 70’s –

And yeah, Barry was a white guy, who dominated black radio for years. I worked with Barry a couple of times in the early 70’s – and the guy’s voice was incredible. R&B music was euphemistically called “race music” at the time, and the airwaves were about as segregated as America.

Move forward into the first decade of the 21st century, and you find that music is still largely segregated. Sure, there are black and white artists who get airplay on different  station formats – but the venues still tend to follow the vestiges of that “race music” radio.

Breaking that mold are a whole new group of black artists, who are making waves in country – and many of the variations of rock.

SXSW shows why it’s a good time for black alternative music

Lisa Kekaula, lead singer of the rock, soul and punk quartet The Bellrays, is channeling Tina Turner. On one hand, it could be the muscular legs that are planted wide and shaking as she sings. But it’s probably the voice: She has this gutbucket growl that’s only getting more intense because she’s becoming increasingly frustrated at the ineptitude of the sound man here at this basement venue, Prague. Mics aren’t working and the mix in the house is way off. Despite this, The Bellrays are delivering the goods. The packed crowd, mostly white and largely male, is enthusiastically behind them. And the handful of black faces in the room are right there, too, thrilled to see this black woman rocker represent.

Here in Austin, Texas at the this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival, it’s being underscored again and again: It’s a great time to be a black musician who’s providing alternatives to what’s assaulting listeners multiple times an hour on most radio stations. Call it black rock, black alternative, Afro-Punk, whatever. The fact is that across the country, black artists are making music that doesn’t fit neatly into the either/or boxes of hip hop and R&B. Audiences are noticing, they’re open and they want more. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on March 22, 2010 in Black History


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