When I’d first heard that Marian Call was doing a garage band album with foul language, at some point I thought about Kaywinnet Lee Frye and Simon Tam discussing the appropriate times to swear. Regardless of what you do or do not know about Call personally, her singing persona doesn’t necessarily readily suggest anything other than the Simon end of that conversation.
Of course, being television, we not much later do see Simon swear. (Who could blame him, given the circumstances.)
When I posted about the first single dropping earlier this month, I’d said that it gave me “complicated feelings of expectations both met and confounded” that at the time I couldn’t explain. I probably could have; it’s mostly that somehow I’d imagined Call roughing up her voice more than she does here. That’s not a failing of the single, or of the album; it’s simply a mismatch of trying in advance to imagine the album in my head.
At any rate, the five-song EP itself — Swears! — drops today, and the only real thing I will say about it now is that “Glacier Bones” is brutal and while I always expect certain Call numbers to break me I fully did not at all expect to be broken by a garage band.
Fuck you, too, Nature.
North Portland’s resident tuba-playing busker performs in the shade at a busy intersection in downtown St. Johns on a Sunday afternoon.
The thing is, I’d retracted the good will I’d offered that white-people band that changed their name from Lady Antebellum to Lady A, because it turned out they didn’t bother to google and learn that Lady A already existed and she was a Black musician. Apparently, the two sides had been in talks about usage for both parties going forward that now have completely broken down. Here’s my thing, though: I don’t really fucking care that the white-people band trademarked Lady A back in 2010, when the real Lady A has been Lady A since 2001 at least. I feel like there’s possibly a story in here somewhere about access to intellectual property lawyers and privilege. There shouldn’t have to be a challenge: the band could have googled, their manager could have googled, the trademark office could have googled. The band’s usage as a nickname from 2006 onward postdates Lady A’s usage in her trade, period.
Somewhere in the reality within which our reality is just a simulation, someone is being asked by tech support if they’ve tried turning it off, waiting thirty seconds, and turning it back on.
“Whatever happened to Jennifer Trynin,” I wondered to myself as I went down a musical nostalgia hole once again, and then I googled, and now I know: the music industry did.
Marian Call’s much-anticipated Swears! album is up for preorders (so is, yes, Cuss!) and the single “Fix It Fix It” is giving me complicated feelings of expectations both met and confounded that I can’t properly explain, and that also in a weird way I could see as fully intentional. Where does this track fall on the album? Maybe that doesn’t matter; it’s the first track dropped and I feel like, as I’ve sat here staring at this post and listening to the song several times over before saying anything, that maybe there’s a reason for that. Absent the rest of the album, though, I can’t know.
Today I discovered that Lemonade is a good energy album when I need to get a bunch of tidying done. Insert shrug emoji.
David Browne’s look for Rolling Stone at the endurance and resurgence of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” got me adding to my Apple Music library the two albums I remember: Tracy Chapman and Crossroads.
Stowed another three months of funds in my Apple ID, safeguarding my Apple Music subscription through December.
Lady A already exists and she’s a black blues musician who not only isn’t amused at the appropriation of her name but isn’t amused with the band who took it pretty much at all.
Rolling Stone reports that the name Lady A is very much taken by Anita White, who works for Seattle Public Utilities by day. White told the outlet on Friday that Lady Antebellum is “using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time. If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before. It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it.”
The band says they weren’t aware of the precursor Lady A, which leads me to ask once again: do people not know about search engines? So much for the goodwill I afforded the band just yesterday.
Sarah Pinsker reveals that there’s a hidden soundtrack in the chapter titles of A Song for a New Day. (Presumably she has before; it’s new to me.) My attempt to make an Apple Music version’s been thwarted by song unavailability.
I’ll take my good news where I can get it: Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist has been renewed for a second season.