Saturday, February 7, 2015

Can Napalm Death’s Frontman Change The Mind of Indonesia’s President?

Can Napalm Death frontman Barney Greenway convince Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare the lives of three convicted narcotics smugglers? 

By: Ringo Bones  

Given that the current Indonesian president is a huge heavy metal music fan (remember that exclusive Christiane Amanpour interview?) and counts Napalm Death as one of his favorites, can Napalm Death’s frontman Barney Greenway change President Joko Widodo’s mind not to execute three convicted narcotics smugglers of Australian nationality when one of the president’s platform that he ran on was a tough crackdown on narcotics smugglers? But the story behind the three convicted narcotic smugglers convicted back in 2005 is a bit more complex than your typical prima facie case Lindsay Sandiford – who is a grandmother, was coerced into smuggling heroin by local Indonesian drug lords who threaten her grandchildren – with Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran could be executed within the next few weeks after being denied the chance for a judicial review of their sentences. 

An excerpt of a letter written by Napalm Death frontman Barney Greenway to Indonesian President Joko Widodo goes as: “As a follower of our band Napalm Death, you would appreciate that our lyrics and ethos challenge the unbroken cycle of violence in the world, whether it comes from a state or individual. If these things are not challenged and ultimately changed, I believe we will truly move forward as humankind.” From a social media perspective, it seems that Barney Greenway is the best hope for a commuted death sentence for Lindsay Sandiford, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. 

According to avid fans, Napalm Death’s moniker was inspired by that iconic Pulitzer Prize winning picture of a 9-year-old South Vietnamese girl named Kim Phuc who was running away from a napalm strike at the height of the Vietnam War as she ripped away her burning clothes to avoid the sticking burning napalm from causing further burns. Since I’ve heard of them back in 1989, Napalm Death has a preference of writing songs about man’s inhumanity to his fellow man that is quite rampant during the second half of the 20th Century at the height of the Cold War. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Taylor Swift Copyrighting Her Song Lines: A Fool’s Errand?

Even though some unscrupulous fashion accessory manufacturers had taken advantage of the “hooks” of her most recent and most popular songs, does patenting them a “fool’s errand”? 

By:Ringo Bones 

So Taylor Swift is already in the process of “patenting” the hooks of his latest hits because she thinks everyone is ripping her off. It is very Quixotic in every sense of the word, but does Taylor Swift’s “reactive” action against fashion accessory manufacturers riding the coat-tails of the popularity of her recent hit singles and album – i.e. 1989 – nothing more than a fool’s errand? 

From my own perspective – and past experiences as a working musician on of copyrighting your own works – I think “This sick beat” is probably stood out as one of the more unique of Taylor Swift’s hooks. Then again, it might have already been widely used by either hip-hop pioneers Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash back in 1976. And the most difficult to copyright of all – “Party Like Its 1989” – had been oft used by music critics since 1992 to poke fun at hair metal groups who still crack the Top 10 of the Billboard Album and Singles Charts at a time when Nirvana and other “Seattle Grunge” bands were already reaching multi-platinum status, so good luck with that, Taylor Swift. 

Even though Taylor Swift – like she said – “We’ll Never Probably Go Out Of Style”, even if she succeeds in copyrighting and patenting the hooks of her most recent hit singles, other more soulful working musicians may hate her for it. Given Taylor Swift’s US Republican Party leanings while adopting a “Bohemian” lifestyle as a well-paid musician could easily make her be labelled as “hypocritical”, liberal haters – even though they shun away from violent acts – are the most persistent of all. Will she be able to “Shake It Off” like those leaked racy Instagram photos from former lovers John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal?