Running on Empty

I find myself with little time to blog this week—real remunerative labor calls—so here’s some stuff to read while you’re not reading anything new here.

Once again this election cycle, Republicans are getting in trouble whenever they try to adopt rock songs or icons. Last winter, John Mellencamp asked John McCain to stop using “Our Country” at rallies; last week, Jackson Browne sued the McCain campaign for unauthorized use of “Running on Empty” in a commercial. Now Rosanne Cash has criticized country singer John Rich for suggesting that if Johnny Cash were alive today, he’d be a McCain supporter. It’s not that she disagrees with Rich on where her father’s allegiance might lie—she feels it’s inappropriate for either side to invoke his name, since he’s not here “to defend or state his own allegiance.” (I’ll risk it, though: I doubt a man like Cash, who learned tremendous empathy for his fellow man during his hard-bitten younger days, would support a political party whose main tenet is “I got mine, now you get yours, and together we’ll keep anybody else from getting theirs.”) Toby Keith, meanwhile, one of the country stars who hitched his wagon to the war on terror in 2001, praised Barack Obama this week, although it seems to be mostly because Obama went to Afghanistan and Iraq. Keith claims to be a Democrat, but take that for what it may be worth: Even my thoroughly old-line Republican father-in-law admits to being “intrigued” by Obama, but there’s also no way in hell he’ll vote for him come November.

Elsewhere, this month is the 50th birthday of the Billboard Hot 100. Although I use a lot of old radio-station surveys to chart music on this blog, in the final accounting, the chart numbers that matter most  come from the Hot 100. The magazine is celebrating the anniversary with a series of special charts you might find interesting. For example, in Hot 100 history, nine songs have reached Number One by two different artists: the first was “Go Away Little Girl” (Steve Lawrence, 1963, and Donny Osmond, 1971); the most recent was “Lady Marmalade” (Labelle, 1975, and Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink, 2001).

At the Great Vinyl Meltdown, Caithiseach has been writing about summer days spent with WLS constantly in his ear, and how some of the songs from those summers now hold memories like amber holds bugs. The last post is up right now, and it’s a good one.

A link that has nothing to do with the usual subject matter at this blog, but is interesting nevertheless, is here.

And finally, here’s one of the better headlines you’ll ever see: “Al Jourgensen Remains a Revolting Cock.” And he was trying so hard to improve himself, too.

One thought on “Running on Empty

  1. Shark

    Warning! Political Comment!
    Did I hear right? Did John McCain really say he had no idea how many houses he and his wife own? Did I hear right? Did John McCain really say that a rich person is someone earning $5 million or more?
    How about this theme song for the McSame Campaign?…”Out of Touch” by Hall & Oates?

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