Steve from Montreal put the MTX "Sex Offender" 7" on his jukebox and provided this documentation. Everything about that is super cool. https://youtu.be/LbatD4tcawA This is, if you don't know, a Blondie cover. (Some people are surprised when they learn this, despite the sample at the beginning.) I've heard more than one person describe it as "the mother of all Blondie covers" which is very gratifying because it remains one of my favorite things we've ever done. Something about the over-the-top, in-your-face-ness of it, those double leads... it's just a great big dumb sonic assault. And it's a great song, obviously. "Sex Offender" was the original title of the Blondie track, but it was released as "X-Offender" because of record company objections. That's the sort of thing that, at one point in time, seemed so silly and quaint -- like Rob and Laura Petri having to sleep in separate beds or only showing the top half of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show or Spiro Agnew being mad at the Beatles for getting high with a little help from their friends. But nowadways... well, it's not so quaint. Things get banned and suppressed for far less than that. And though we live in a cultural world awash with sleaze and gross-outs and mandatory vulgarity, we are squeamish about the least little thing as well, in a way that makes the old style of squeamishness look positively libertine. Different rhetorical pretexts, same basic result, which is literal or de facto censorship. The more things change the more they stay the same. I genuinely thought we got over that hump long enough ago to laugh at it, but I guess I laughed too soon. To wit, as I pointed out a ways back, Amazon silently deleted this title and its b side from the MTX digital music catalog published through The Orchard. It's the only such deleted title. It doesn't seem like it could be coincidence, though maybe it is. (That's a really annoying hallmark of the kinder gentler censorship of our internet age: they never, ever tell you why something is being removed, if they say anything about it all -- which they didn't here.) It must be that the words "sex" and "offender", put together, are too much for Amazon of 2019 just as they were to much for an over-reacting music biz in 1977. I wrote about it at the time I noticed it, and I just checked and it's still deleted. I'm not mad about this, just amused. It's so stupid. There are way "worse" things in this world than the appearance of impropriety supposedly created by covering a Blondie song under it's original title. The censorship was probably done by a robot. But it's still just as gone. And there's no one to contact to inquire about it. It's just the way it is. Here's that original essay: https://medium.com/@drankf/sex-offender-3b8adf9161b7 To quote myself from it: "We recorded and released the song under the original title for no other reason than it seemed like a cool thing to do, and also because there was no one there to censor us, no one whose skittishness could have any influence on us. We just thought it was cool, so we did it. That’s the way punk bands used to do things way back when." Also: "I know many people think I’m nuts. Relax, man, most of the stuff is still out there. Just go with it. It is, by definition, the best of all possible digital worlds. Praise Google. "But I’m an anxious person. I like things to be clear and straightforward and I’d prefer not to have to check up on every little thing to make sure it’s okay. I’m a bit OCD and doing so typically takes up my whole day. I would prefer a world where the platforms and services (if we have to have them) would have the integrity of whatever corpus is at hand as a major priority so I wouldn’t have to wonder if I should launch an investigation every time I want to listen to a song, check out a band, or read a book. But that’s (probably literally) just me. "There are, of course, worse things to worry about. Rest assured, I’m worrying about them too, quietly to myself mostly." Still true. I also note that our release, via The Orchard, of Dr Frank Live at the Court Tavern has finally made its way on to Youtube, except that instead of the artist being listed as Dr Frank it is listed as Various Artists. Now, that's probably a mistake, I'll grant, more an example of "nothing works" than of "they're out to get me." But on the other hand, what are they trying to say? I'm not plural, nor am I in any way "various." I am paranoid though, as you should be as well. Cheers. I didn't mean to write an essay here. I just wanted to post Steve's cool video. I guess this wound up being an extra Song for Odin, accidentally. (Or I suppose it's Thunder's Day... Thor.) Anyway, the Aesir happen, when you least expect them yet on a predictable schedule. It's a funny old world. #music #records #jukebox #censorship #minds
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