Musical Space: Fake News

Apr 24, 2018

Now that fake news is being reported by real news, I thought it would be good to look into how much fakery goes on in the music business. Sure, there’s autotune and lip-synching, but in the business of music the chicanery goes even deeper.

Pop success is measured in sales numbers, and fudging those numbers is as old as the Billboard charts. For years record companies have leaned on stores, by bribery or coercion, to report inflated sales numbers to push whatever they want to be the next hit.

Hal Prince is the producer-director behind such musicals as Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, and Cabaret

In 1989, the first year that rap music was included as a category in the Grammy Awards, half of the winning duo boycotted the show altogether. The winning act, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, felt slighted by the exclusion of the category from the television broadcast. The emcee, Will Smith, along with several other nominees, declined to participate. The rap group Salt N Pepa put it succinctly, saying “if they don’t want us, we don’t want them.”

In 2007, I watched a documentary called “The King of Kong." If you aren’t familiar, it’s about Steve Wiebe, a laid-off engineer attempting to break the world record on the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong. The ostensible villain in this film is Billy Mitchell, who has been a prominent figure in arcade game high scores since the ‘80s. The movie shows Wiebe playing the game in his garage and getting the world’s first recorded score over a million points.

Justin Cary

What does a communion wafer and one of my favorite breakfast foods have in common? More than you would think.

The state legislature, under an edict of the Kansas Supreme Court to fund K-12 education adequately, passed in the last minutes of this year’s session a $500 million+ measure in new funding to cover the next five years. This will be reviewed by the court for funding adequacy. 

Well, come on, everybody, and let’s play a game
Making up a rhyme from a Trump nick name
All you gotta do is look at his childish tweets
Put a rhyme together and it sounds so sweet
(And there isn’t anybody that Trump can’t insult!)

Crooked rooked mo mooked
Banana bana fo-rooked
Me-mi-mo mooked – crooked!

Slimeball rimeball mo mimeball
Banana bana fo-limeball
Me-mi-mo fimeball– Slimeball!

New York Times!
Failing railing mo mailing
Banana bana fo-railing
Me-mi-mo mailing – failing!

Once, when I was young, my dog ran away. She ran out the door into the rain and never came back. I was heartbroken. After a few days we checked the Humane Society, just in case.

On April 17th 1905, the US Supreme Court held, in a 5-4 decision, that maximum hours laws violated the 14th Amendment and an individual’s right to contract. The New York state legislature had passed the Bakeshop Act in 1895 that restricted bakery employees to 10-hour workdays and 60-hour workweeks. 

Lisa Halliday’s debut, Asymmetry, is an experiment in the form of the novel, and an exploration of the multilayered life of an artist. It’s made up of three sections: Folly, Madness, and a Coda.