Lunch Buffet

At Daylight Video today commenter lowtechcyclist allowed as how it would be nice if I could feature some 21st century music now and then instead of epitomizing the Baby Boomer tendency to relive my youth via endless loops of Classic Rock. It’s not the first time this complaint has arisen here, so it’s probably time to address it.

The whole reason I’ve been featuring music videos here at PA (other than to buy myself some time to wake up and catch up with the news early in the morning, which comes pretty damn early here in Cali) is that YouTube has recently made available a vast archive of embeddable videos covering decades and decades of all kinds of music. Like many of you, I’m plunging through all this material when I have time, sometimes looking for stuff I remember and sometimes finding stuff I don’t remember at all or have forgotten. At some point, though I doubt I’ll reach it before I’m sent off to the nursing home or the boneyard, I’ll have spelunked enough and I’ll do something else.

I try to make this feature something other than “Classic Rock.” I look for the obscure and the offbeat and the underappreciated, including the old blues virtuosos who never get their due, and some old country musicians many of you may have never heard of. But there’s not a lot of recent stuff, for two reasons: I honestly wouldn’t know where to start in exploring new music, and just as importantly, I don’t figure you guys need my help in this department. I mean, you can turn on the radio or check out the new viral stuff as well as I can and you may have more time to do it.

But I tell you what: I think I’ll start periodically offering a “What Are You Listening To?” open thread where you can share links of new stuff you like. I know that on the rare occasion I’ve discovered a new act I like–e.g., Alabama Shakes, Blackberry Smoke–it was strictly by word of mouth. So I’ll be happy to encourage more of that here at PA.

Here are some less musical news/views treats for this Friday:

* Ted Cruz calls Mitch McConnell a liar as their dispute over which meaningless Kabuki amendments will be considered on the Senate floor escalates.

* In listing parallels between Nixon and Trump, David Corn notes that none other than Roger Stone is working for The Donald, which I had somehow missed.

* New York Times tones down headlines of stories on criminal investigation of Clinton emails, which either means they’re shilling for HRC or are trying to rein in their enthusiasm for attacking her, depending on how you view it.

* At the Prospect, Adele Stan defends the choice of Netroots Nation as a venue for a protest by #blacklivesmatter.

* At the Plum Line, Paul Waldman notes that GOP efforts to rationalize destructive versions of “entitlement reform” by claiming the programs are unsustainable is an argument that’s about ten years out of date.

And in non-political news:

* Did you know the minivan “evolved?” Neither did I.

As we break for lunch, here’s another Gentle Giant gem: “Free Hand,” as performed on the BBC in 1978. No, I don’t know why the British drummer is decked out in full Oakland A’s regalia.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.