Sunday, September 21, 2008


I've been on a Tracy binge the past few days. The jones has been fed from all corners. Yesterday I heard her pouring from the radio in two different spots (with two different songs) as I ran errands. Lately, her self-titled 1990 debut album (damn, almost 20 years) has really been vibrating its truths, timeliness and, given the dire & fucked up state of this country ("privatized profits / socialized pain"), its timelessness. There absolutely is great and powerful music being made now, so this is not a lament for the present while fellating the (not-so-distant) past. But I do believe that songs like "Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution" have an urgency and poignancy now that they didn't even when they were first released, and I can't imagine anyone in this Clear Channel era becoming a major pop star, especially with a debut album, on the strength of songs like "Mountains O' Things," "If Not Now," "Why" and that great love song of dyke love, defiance, resilience, and criminality, "For My Lover." With "Revolution," I always thought and still think that it is way overly optimistic in its battle-cry that the powers-that-be better "run run run run run run run run run.." (however the fuck many runs she sings) because the poor and down-trodden "are gonna rise up and take what's theirs... rise up and get their share." Mmmmmm... Can't quite buy that. Not when so much of middle-America that has been brutally sodomized by the polices of the Bush administration is now voluntarily face-down/ass-up asking for More! Harder! Faster! ... 'Cause it ain't just the usual-suspect "others" who are the target of contempt and derision by "the man;" it's also those white folk struggling at near-nigger status, who only have the faded (but still potent) promise of whiteness (click here) to delude them into thinking that the "we" the Republicans care about actually includes them.

The fact that anybody could even consider voting for McCain almost makes me give the whole country the side-eye. The fact that anybody could defend and praise Sarah Palin as a legit politician lets me know that this whole experiment is on the tragic side of decline... intellectual, moral, spiritual. Especially given the polling numbers. How is the McCain/Palin ticket even in the double-digits? What the fuck is in the water? Is the educational system really that far gone? But we'll see. There's a sliver of something like hope and defiance and even intelligence that is on life-support but rallying hard. There is. You can feel it beneath the fear and despair. Anyway, here are a few clips of Tracy performing live, plus a bonus of the video for the underrated "Crossroad." (BTW: "Fast Car" is simply one of the most beautiful love songs ever, with its political commentary and short-story detail all poured through the vessel of that emotion-quivering voice that is folk, soul, gospel and just unadorned truth.) Oh, and all of that's followed by a non-Tracy related item: Sandra B. going off in a profanity-laden rip on Palin in a clip from the revival of her one truly brilliant career stroke, "Without You, I'm Nothing." RIP John Boskovich.

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