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Lost Moments in Music History: Frank Zappa's fight against the PMRC

7/26/07 by Endorse

Back when I was first forming coherent sentences, the wives of Al Gore and Strom Thurmond came together in a rare instance of bipartisan ignorance and - with the help of the National Parent-Teacher Association, Recording Industry Association of America, and family-value Christians - went apeshit over offensive lyrics in pop music. As everyone today should know, when you find a "Explicit Lyrics" sticker on your newly-bought album, you can thank Al Gore's wife, Tipper, and the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). Thanks, gang.

That's common knowledge. What isn't widely known is that in the midst of this political hoo-ha which threatened the first amendment and the commerce clause, only a few musicians actually spoke up to make the artistic viewpoint heard in the congressional hearings before the Senate Commerce committee.

John Denver, who whined about misunderstood lyrical allusions in "Rocky Mountain High."

Dee Snider, who wimped out and said, No, no, 'Under the Blade' isn't about sadomasochism, it's a simple description of medical procedures.

And Frank Zappa...who kicked all of their asses:

At the PMRC hearings (Check out a young and sheepish Al):

On mo'f*ing Crossfire:

And debating on Charlie Rose:

Yeah, we all appreciate the DIY aspect of the '80s, the underground scenes, the new wave, and the punk sensibility that has reared its head today against the RIAA's efforts to sue the pants off every college kid. But let's give Frank some credit here. Of all the articulate, news-savvy musicians of the day, Zappa was the only one who stuck up for free speech when the PMRC threatened it. Yet to this day, he's unfairly remembered as a jam-rock Howard Stern.

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"Frontman needs Best band in the Universe Ya down?"

by Endorse

What classic band is just approaching its metamorphic stage over at Craigslist's musicians forum, today?

Cockiest Potential Front Man
I am 22 and am a passionate mofo. heh i could put all this energy in this post - but dont feel it, maybe next post. i have the look cuz im a hotstud.. the talent and mind, creativity... oh it's high. i have not yet sung in a band, but i like my voice.. and my emotional power and creativity is unique, so i rock, guess ill be a muscian - lead singer, gotta get on it , oh yeah! write me with words of encouragement or if you need a singer / art director writer. Sounds patterns, beats all come easy to me.

Most Over-reaching Headline

Worst Idea for a Cover Band, Best Emphasis on Fitness
We performed off-Broadway in a show about Cobain that contained all songs from Nevermind. Need drummer who can cover Grohl and Channing from Bleach, Incesticide, Nevermind, In Utero. Will reprise show and gig around NYC. Need a banger with attitude. No overweights please. Serious only.

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Map of Africa: great blends of sound, questionable name

by Endorse

"LCD Soundsystem revamping Phil Collins" is how Dave at blog The Rawking Refuses to Stop characterizes this band, Map of Africa. He's posted two tracks, one which surely bleeds echo guitar and the crooner type on the mic. Browse the self-titled album on iTunes, and you'll hear strains of dub, synth-rock, ambient floaters and funk, too. Brazen name for two white dudes, but hey, I like the record.


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Your web designer rocks

by Endorse

Sometimes bands' homes on the Web are more captivating than the band itself.

So it goes with Frauke, your typical tongue-in-cheek descendant of the Pixies...

Pretty menus!

Interesting side note: the main site's url is "Fraukehatesyou," where the MySpace url dares "Fraukefuckinghatesyou."

Make up your mind. Seriously.


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Endorse listens to just about anyone who innovates, embraces change, and challenges a listener. Endorse cares not for indie, hippie, hipster nonsense.


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