Review of Who, the new album by the Who

By John Ruberry

Forty years ago Sunday I saw my first rock concert–and a great way to start out–it was my 18th birthday and it was the Who at the International Amphitheater in Chicago.

Sunday morning I was headed to another midwestern city on another birthday of course, this time headed for Milwaukee to run in the Santa Hustle 5K. And from my iPod I pressed “Play” to listen to the latest, and probably last, album by the Who, entitled, simply, Who.

The Who always had an attitude–and they still do. Lead singer Roger Daltrey, 75, now a baritone, barks out Pete Townshend’s lyrics on the opening track, “All This Music Must Fade.”

I don’t care. I know you’re gonna hate this song. And that’s it. We never really got along. It’s not new, not diverse. It won’t light up your parade. It’s just simple verse.

Townshend, 74, who wrote all but one of the songs for Who, the exception is “Break The News” by his brother Simon, looks back at the past, as is expected by any old man. Townshend once wrote on his iconic 1965 classic, “My Generation” this boast, “I hope I die before I get old.”

Chronologically only drummer Keith Moon,died young at 32, but years of drug and alcohol abuse aged him quickly–he was a physical wreck when he died in his sleep of a drug overdose. Drugs killed bassist John Entwistle at 58, also in his sleep, on the eve of a Who tour.

The Who have taken us from “The Music Must Change” on Who Are You, the last album with Moon, to “All This Music Must Fade.” Moon, who died a month after that album’s release, was unable to play drums on “The Music Must Change” because it was in the 6/8 time measure. He was once considered the worlds greatest rock drummer

The surviving Who members, aided on some tracks by unofficial bandmates Zak Starkey on drums and Pino Palladino on bass, don’t embarrass themselves. But they don’t exceed expectations. So if you’re looking for a septuagenarian anthem to match with “I Can See For Miles,” or “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” you will be disappointed. With few exceptions, the aforementioned “Break The News” is one, Who is formulaic, it’s got just enough synthesizers to recall Who Are You and the other Townshend/Daltrey Who album, Endless Wire, and the Townshend backup vocals seem scientifically placed. And that’s a problem as Townshend and Daltrey never appeared in the studio together for Who.

Other elements of the past on Who include the album artwork, designed by Peter Blake, who also created the Face Dances album cover, and the song “Detours.” Who scholars know that the earliest incarnation of the band was named the Detours.

“Ball and Chain” was the first song released from Who. It’s about the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Townshend opposes it, and that’s all you can extract from the pedestrian lyrics, that is, to reference “All This Music Must Fade,” only “just simple verse.”

As one ages death often becomes a common thought, and Townshend explores mortality in several songs here. If you are looking for intriguing albums about death, I recommend instead Magic and Loss by Lou Reed and the later albums of the American series by Johnny Cash. If you are prefer something less morbid from an older person looking back, the two Americana albums by Ray Davies, the Kinks mastermind, will provide a much better experience than Who for you.

Let me obscure. The most moving song about getting old and having regrets is “Ghosts” by Randy Newman, from his largely forgotten Born Again collection.

Back to the Who.

But does any of this discussion even matter to Daltrey and Townshend? I downloaded the deluxe version from Apple Music, which contains “Got Nothing To Prove.” An unexpected throwback to the mid-1960s, when the Who was a great singles band, it would have been one of the best tracks on the album, had it not been ruined by James Bond-theme styled orchestration.

Yes, the Who has nothing to prove anymore.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Report from Louisiana: Quick Roundup

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Since I was on the road last week doing book events and unable to post, this week I’m bringing you a roundup of all things Louisiana; while I may not often love Shreveport (it’s in decline), I do LOVE Louisiana and this has been both a good and bad week to be in the Bayou State.

The Bad

Ransomware Attack: the state’s DMV was crippled early in the month by a ransomware attack. No one likes to go to the DMV, but for the last two weeks nobody has been able to go to the DMV!  From The Advocate:

Two weeks ago, a ransomware attack – triggered by what officials suspect was an employee opening a sketchy link – hit several state servers including at the Office of Motor Vehicles. The state quickly shut down network traffic to prevent the spread, and have subsequently brought most of the state’s offices back online. Gov. John Bel Edwards said the state did not pay a ransom or lose data, and he said the effects could have lasted weeks or months under a worst-case scenario. Ransomware attacks typically lock users out of their computers until they pay a ransom, and the attackers threaten to delete the data if they aren’t paid.

Edwards activated the state’s cybersecurity response team after the attack. He also declared a state of emergency, allowing OMV and other agencies to forgive fines and fees for people unable to take care of business because the computers were down.

As of close of business Friday, only DMV offices were still closed. 

I can’t even begin to imagine the lines and wait time after such an event. 

The BP Oil Spill (2010):  Nine years after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, new lawsuits are hitting the courts.  This will never end.

Recession: There is talk of a coming recession in the state, but some officials refuse to believe it. There is a sort of wait and see attitude. Much of our revenue is of course tied to the oil industry and as prices drop, tensions rise.

The Good

LSU: Oh, baby! What a beautiful season!   Championship bound!

The Saints: Not always pretty but not too shabby.  It’s certainly been worse.

Christmas: I love Christmas in Louisiana!  The bonfires on the levee on Christmas Eve, the community parades and concerts, the Natchitoches Christmas Festival, it’s all fabulous, as it is all across the country. Every community has its own traditions and celebrations – take part in those. Explore something new.

Christmas was really hard for me after my mother died a few years ago; I’m still overcome at the most unexpected moments with sentiment and tears. I think I’m all past that, and then I walk past the candied fruit in the grocery store and am weeping. You never see it coming.

It helped a lot though when we decided to develop some new traditions. When you have a very small family, Christmas can be lonely.  Our friends adopted us into their traditions and families, and it has helped. As you celebrate this year, take a moment to check on those who may be struggling.

Coming Soon:  76 days until Mardi Gras.  And we are starting to see live crawfish available in local places!  Few things are more celebrated than crawfish season.

Here ends the short roundup. I’m off to a Christmas concert!

Pat Becker blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation (LSU Press). Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

The AOC Impeachment or the redefinition of a “Safe Seat”

 A Congressman’s first duty is to get re-elected

Sam Rayburn

It is a very rare thing that I disagree with Don Surber. His experience in this fields exceeds mine by decades and when it comes to the Trump years I submit and suggest he has been THE must read on the net.

Nevertheless I have to disagree with his opinion on impeachment:

The big news on Friday evening is that Democrat leaders are not pushing House members to vote for impeachment.

Now it could be Nancy has the 218 votes she needs and is allowing some congressmen in tough races next fall to punt.

But I don’t see it. I do not see Democrats being suicidal over President Donald John Trump. Plus Clyburn’s words undercut the Democrats’ self-righteous call to impeach.

Now Don’s argument here is not a bad one and in almost any other political era would be correct. As a general rule the primary goal of pols in “safe” districts (meaning a district that the opposing party has no chance of taking) is to retain control of whatever house they are in because of the perks and power that come from a chairmanship.

However the fate of Joe Crowley changed all that.

Joe Crowley was a Democrat NY state representative for 10 years who was elected to congress in 1998 succeeding congressman Thomas Manton a Democrat 1st elected in 1984 who succeeded Geraldine Ferraro a Democrat who was 1st elected in 1978 who succeeded James J. Delaney a Democrat 1st who was 1st elected in 1944 and after being defeated in the great republican wave of 1946 by Republican Robert Nodar was re-elected in 1948. Delaney was preceded by Andrew Sommers a Democrat 1st elected in 1924.

In short other than the two years of the great republican wave of 1946. This seat has been a lock for the Democrat party for just under a century and one a member of the party got it, they held it until they didn’t want it anymore.

As a rule such seats are fiefdoms in fact that Mr. Crowley 1st came to power, ironically being bequeathed a congressional seat without any forewarning that he was getting it.

When Rep. Thomas Manton of Queens retired in 1998, he announced it quietly after circulating petitions for re-election. On the last legal day to find a replacement, Mr. Manton convened a small meeting and telephoned Joseph Crowley, then an Assemblyman, to tell him he would be on the ballot in November as a congressional candidate.

And having been given that seat his power grew until he became the Chair of the House Democrat Caucus one of the top positions in the house Democrat hirearchy.

And then came Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Democrat Socialists of America who came from nowhere to oust him and became a rock star of the left.

Not only did she oust him, but she along with Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) became known as The Squad becoming a power among the most rabid and active members of the progressive left.

Furthermore rather than slowing accumulating power over time this squad has made it clear that they are willing to back candidates challenging democrats who are not sufficiently woke:

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday threw her weight behind a new national campaign to mount primaries against incumbent Democrats deemed to be ideologically and demographically out of step with their districts.

The incoming star congresswoman from New York again put the Democratic establishment on notice that she and activist groups on the left aren’t content with a Democratic-controlled House: They are determined to move the party to the left.

and they are rather proactive about it:

As for which Democrats they will target, the grass-roots organization welcomed its members to submit nominations of candidates and potential districts to target in 2020. 

And the activist left loves it:

Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats (a group that played a major role in Ocasio-Cortez’s election victory), emphasizes that “safe” Democratic districts shouldn’t stay safe for just any Democrat. The goal is to “hold representatives who throw diverse working-class voters under the bus accountable.”

Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid wrote in a Jan. 6 mass email that “real on-the-ground organizing work” can bring “a new generation of progressive leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into the Democratic Party.” He added: “We believe there are leaders just like Alexandria in every district ― who just need a little bit of encouragement and support.”

While largely ideological, the battle lines are also attitudinal and behavioral. Democrats need to replace passive liberals with real progressive boat-rockers. That’s how Northern California Rep. Ro Khanna has distinguished himself from the longtime incumbent he defeated in 2016, Mike Honda. And attitude was a big reason why, in Boston last year, Ayanna Pressley was able to win a primary victory over senior Rep. Mike Capuano.

Both Honda and Capuano hardly legislated as centrists ― both leaned left and earned antiwar credentials ― but they lost to challengers who insisted that just checking progressive boxes wasn’t enough.

And that brings us back to impeachment.

Nancy Pelsoi knows that impeachment is a bad deal for the Democrats, she understands that is will likely not only help Trump to Re-election and cost her the house. Don Surber is absolutely right about this.

But he is forgetting what Pelosi and the other high ranking Democrats who in what were once called safe seats know, that while a vote for impeachment will put at risk dozens of seats now held by Democrats in swing districts but that to even seem to push forward impeachment sufficiently is enough to cause panic among Democrats who until the rise of the Squad were assured of seats in congress for as long as they wanted them.

Jesus said to his disciples No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13).  The veterans of the Democrat caucus are going to allow their newly elected colleagues to demonstrate this love by risking their seats in a general election by a vote for impeachment in order to protect the seats of those self same Democrat veterans of the house from the wrath of the squad and the specter of the next Presley or Ocasio-Cortez.


With me laid up and issue with my Workman’s Comp delaying things it looks like at best a lean Christmas and at worst some very late bills and bulging debt around here. If you would like to help us avoid these problems please consider hitting DaTipJar Here

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