There’s sweetness to Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear’s music that makes me smile, and then there’s so much more. I first saw the Kansas City mother-and-son duo perform last fall in Nashville’s Blue Room, a small, perfect-sounding stage at Third Man Records. The bluesy roots of the music suited the space, and the sound — with young Madisen Ward’s powerful, quivering voice backed by his mother Ruth — had a homespun feel. But there’s vitality to the pair’s music that kept it from feeling like a throwback or a gimmick. I immediately set out to get them to the Tiny Desk.
Now, eight months later, the Wards have released their first album, released the day we recorded this concert. Their heartfelt Tiny Desk set features some playful banter, while the songs themselves are memorable and singable even days after you hear them. In all, it’s a perfect introduction to a one-of-a-kind duo.
“Sorrows And Woes”
Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Brian Jarboe; Videographers: Morgan McCloy, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Michaela Gugliotta; photo by Morgan McCloy/NPR
New Evidence Chuck Johnson May Have Been Behind the “Pretty Little Liar - Rape Hoax” Posters at Columbia
During Commencement Week at Columbia University earlier this month, someone hung posters on the Columbia campus and on Broadway with a photo of activist Emma Sulkowicz and the words “Pretty Little Liar.” At the same time, someone created a Twitter account: @fakerape, and according to Anna Merlan’s article linked above, one of the first people to follow that account was infamous cyberstalker Chuck C. Johnson.
More than a few people suspected Johnson was behind this stunt, and there’s a substantial amount of evidence for that suspicion. For one thing, Chuck tweeted this ugly comment on May 1st:
Someone should let Emma Sulkowicz know this psycho is plotting to harm her. pic.twitter.com/CqsKsxdkit
For another, as we pointed out at LGF a week ago, Chuck Johnson recently registered the domain names FakeRapeRegistry.com and RapeFraud.com, listing his photographer friend Peter Duke (who took the photographs of Chuck stalking me at my former apartment) as the registrant organization. Chuck has made it very obvious that he’s obsessed with rape and smearing rape victims as “frauds,” with or without evidence. And he was particularly nasty and obsessive about Emma Sulkowicz.
Well, now there’s another interesting development that strongly suggests Chuck Johnson was indeed involved in this ugly stunt at Columbia: shortly after all of Johnson’s accounts were permanently suspended by Twitter, that @fakerape account set up to promote the posters was also suspended — raising the possibility that it was identified by Twitter as being either registered by Chuck Johnson himself, or by someone closely associated with him.
Obviously this isn’t absolute proof Chuck was involved, and he probably didn’t hang the posters himself even if he was. Note that he was in New York a few days before Columbia’s commencement, however, in time to prepare the posters and arrange to have someone hang them.
We may never know the truth, and Johnson will lie about it, of course, because that’s what he does. But there are an awful lot of coincidences here, and Johnson explicitly mentioned “planning something big.” So draw your own conclusions, dear readers.
And here’s even more circumstantial evidence that Chuck was behind the posters. Check out the design and the font used in this illustration from Johnson’s website:
Yes — that’s the exact same “stressed” typewriter font used in the “Pretty Little Liar” poster. (h/t: @rothschildmd.)
Chuck Johnson also used the same font in an illustration for a bogus post about Lester Holt:
In my opinion, the font evidence is conclusive. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of similar — but not identical — typewriter fonts out there; it’s very, very improbable that a random person unconnected to Johnson in any way would have picked exactly the same font for the Liar poster that Johnson had used at least twice before — and that definitely is the exact same font. You can tell by looking closely at the shapes of the letters used in common on all the illustrations.
Just to seal this one for good, here’s a better closeup of the “Pretty Little Liar” poster:
All the letters in common with Chuck Johnson’s Brian Williams illustration are exactly identical. There’s no doubt whatsoever; it’s the same font.
LGF reader “WhatEVs” put together this side-by-side comparison of the fonts — there’s really no doubt at all that these are the same typefaces.
Here we go again. This time it’s a crazed anti-Muslim right winger in Phoenix, planning to hold a ‘Draw Muhammad’ Contest right in front of the Islamic Community Center.
The organizer of the event, Jon Ritzheimer, has held two protests in Phoenix since the Texas shootings. The chants and slogans at the protests are brash and hateful. Some supporters wear t-shirts that state, “(expletive) Islam.” Ritzheimer says he is using provocative methods to draw attention to a religion he believes at its core promotes violence.
“I want this to be about pushing out the truth about Islam,” said Jon Ritzheimer. “I’ve read the Koran three times… [Sure he has. – ed.] the ones flying the planes into the tower, those are Muslims following the book as it is written.”
A Facebook page dedicated to the event titled “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” states: “This will be a PEACEFUL protest in front of the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix AZ… Everyone is encouraged to bring American flags and any message that you would like to send to the known acquaintances of the 2 gunmen.”
What this article at KPNX doesn’t mention is that Ritzheimer is actually leading a gang of bikers to stage this protest — and they intend to display lots of guns as well.
And to give you an idea of what kind of person Ritzheimer is, here’s a picture he proudly posted of himself at his Facebook page:
Displaying an amazingly horrible tin ear and that casual misogyny for which the Republican Party has become well-known, Gov. Scott Walker, a probable presidential candidate, says that government-mandated ultrasound examinations for women seeking abortions are “just a cool thing.”
“I’ll give you an example. I’m pro-life, I’ve passed pro-life legislation. We defunded Planned Parenthood, we signed a law that requires an ultrasound. Which, the thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea. Most people I talk to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who’ll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It’s just a cool thing out there.
“We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information, that more people if they saw that unborn child would, would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child.”
This is a beautiful illustration of why it’s vitally important that Republicans be voted out of office in every part of American life. They’re completely lost in a fantasy world in which rolling back all the progress this country has made in women’s rights is “just a cool thing.”
It’s not. It’s not cool. It’s dangerously reactionary and stupid.
Bill Nye unveils new information that suggests that the universe has the ability to communicate directly with white women.
Watch more Inside Amy Schumer: on.cc.com
The GOP presidential race is looking a lot like that old circus routine in which dozens of clowns keep climbing out of a tiny car — but in reverse, because the Republicans in this case just keep climbing into the Clown Car. The latest buffoon to elbow his way in: Rick “Man On Dog” Santorum.
CABOT, Pa. — Rick Santorum, who was the runner-up in the Republican primary race four years ago but has never been considered his party’s heir apparent, is announcing his second presidential bid on Wednesday.
A former senator from Pennsylvania, who with his wife home-schooled several of their seven children, Mr. Santorum appeals primarily to social conservatives. He is facing heavy competition for those voters this year from rivals like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Santorum, of course, is yet another creationist; so far I don’t think there’s a single GOP candidate who isn’t.
To cleanse the mental palate after all of this Chuck C. Johnson whargarrbl, here’s an excellent duo playing several gorgeous modern classical pieces, from NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series.
We rarely invite Tiny Desk alumni back to the confines of Bob Boilen’s work space, but we couldn’t resist this time. Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux have both given solo Tiny Desk performances. Since then they’ve paired up for concerts and a new album of works composed especially for their combination of instruments.
Although the harp and guitar are both instruments you pluck and strum, they seem to come from different corners of the classical world. The guitar conjures up the legacy of zesty Spanish music while the harp must contend with the cliché of its angelic role in the orchestra. But when Kondonassis and Vieaux are together, the two instruments seem to merge into a singularly evocative voice. Kondonassis joked that they could call it a “guitarp” until someone quickly Googled and told us there actually is such a contraption.
Music for harp and guitar isn’t easy to come by, so Kondonassis and Vieaux have been busy commissioning works like the opening “Elysian,” part of a larger suite written for the duo by Gary Schocker.
Anything that sounds even vaguely non-Western is a good fit for the duo because most cultures enjoy their own versions of the harp and guitar. Alan Hovhaness, an American composer with a global outlook, weaved Asian ideas into his Sonata for Harp and Guitar, subtitled “Spirit of Trees.” And the duo ends by beating out the interlocking rhythms of the African candombe, which Argentine composer Máximo Diego Pujol placed in his Suite mágica. — TOM HUIZENGA
Gary Schocker: “Elysian” (from Hypnotized)
Alan Hovhaness: Fuga: Allegro - Andante grazioso, Canon: Allegro (from Sonata for Harp and Guitar, “Spirit of Trees”)
Máximo Diego Pujol: Vals, Candombe (from Suite mágica)
Producers: Tom Huizenga, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Brian Jarboe; Videographers: Morgan McCloy, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Meredith Rizzo; photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR
In the final chapter of cyberstalker Chuck C. Johnson’s ignominious downfall on Twitter, his last remaining account, @GotNewsDotCom, which he used for auto-posting links to his awful website, is now…
This brings the grand total of Chuck Johnson suspensions to seven.
Chuck really messed with the wrong guy when he posted that tweet about “taking out” @DeRay McKesson. It’s a little disturbing, though, that it takes a comment like that to a celebrity to get someone like Chuck banned for good.
When Chuck Johnson stalked me in real life, hunted down the address of a former apartment where I lived years ago (he thought it was current), went there, took pictures of himself standing in front of the building and posted them on Twitter, I filed a report of harassment and revealing private information. I thought this was such an obvious case of cyberstalking that Twitter would have to take action.
But this is what I received from Twitter:
And even with Twitter’s much-vaunted new policies against harassment, Chuck has been blatantly violating the terms of service over and over for months, harassing and stalking women, rape victims and minorities, and posting horribly racist comments by the hundreds.
It’s good that Twitter takes action when someone like @DeRay is involved; but you’ll know they’re really getting serious when they take the same action to protect women with 133 followers as they do for celebrities with hundreds of thousands.
This beautiful composition by Andy McKee has a bittersweet quality that evokes emotion and distinctive technique that has fostered innovation in contemporary finger-style guitar. “Rylynn” was one of the compositions that propelled Andy McKee’s YouTube celebrity when it was first uploaded in 2006; today the video has over 28 million views. It was this video that caught the attention of Prince who asked Andy to join him for a series of shows in Australia in 2012.
“Rylynn” was first released in 2005 on the CD Andy McKee/Art of Motion (CandyRat Records). Then, in 2007, a video recording was released on the DVD Andy McKee/Antoine Dufour (CandyRat Records). This printed music is a note-for-note transcription of the performance from the DVD which is now available at candyrat.com