The Wall

“Mother” — Amanda Palmer & Jherek Bischoff (Pink Floyd Cover)

“Mother” — Amanda Palmer & Jherek Bischoff (Pink Floyd Cover)

Sounds Like:

The vulgarity of the year 2017, sweetened by ballet.

Why You Should Care:

Amanda Palmer began her career as an eclectic street artist, going from living statue to a punk pianist in the Dresden Dolls, to best-selling author. She is a vocal proponent of crowdfunding and other communal approaches to art, and never shy of controversy. With this video adaptation of a Pink Floyd classic, she outdoes herself (and unhinges our jaws) once again. “Mother” is not necessarily Palmer’s most shocking creation. She has a history of exploring darker themes (drugs, depression, death) with her share of blood, nudity, and profanity. But with “Mother” she reaches a new height of authenticity, merging her experience of motherhood (she and author Neil Gaiman had their first child in 2015) with the current American political and sociological climate.

Palmer has recast Roger Waters’ 38-year-old lyrics to address the literal and figurative “walls” of today and celebrate the role of motherhood in tearing them down. In hushed, motherly tones, backed by Jherek Bischoff’s fervid string arrangements, she frames the lyrics as a conversation between the President and his own deceased mother. Palmer and Bischoff are joined by dancers and instrumentalists, both adult and children, who seem to intentionally share a common life-giving, nurturing spirit.

The video and ballet end with Palmer breastfeeding a Trump-like character…you might just have to watch it to understand. Palmer dedicated this composition to the current administration, saying, “You will not build walls in our children’s hearts.” “Mother” holds its own as a protest song, but as a visual masterpiece, it may be Palmer’s most important work thus far, from one of the 21st century’s premier artist-activists.


ROCKTOBER 2012: 1979 - All In All It Was Just Another Fool In The Rain

With 1979 we saw the end of an era. Foreshadowing electronica and more arena rock, the 1970s also showed us how to do the hustle and spit on our fans. We smashed guitars with Townshend and (years later) became immortalized by Billy Corgan in Smashing Pumpkins' hit "1979," and we saw a lot of new music and new faces with punk rock, disco, and everything in between. We lost Sid Vicious and Charles Mingus but saw the birth of Derek Trucks, Pete Wentz, Kris Kross, Macy Gray, Chris Daughtry and Bob Bryar of My Chemical Romance. It was a big year for music, rounding out the last decade of ROCK AND ROLL before it went down the path of becoming alternative, independent, underground, massively mainstream, English, and sad.

1979 gave us new bands from everyone between Bananarama and Modern English. Leaders of the Do-It-Yourself movement, Mission of Burma and Husker Du, got together; we saw the first EP from Def Leppard and Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Out Door, their final record of entirely new material released just before the too-soon death of legendary drummer John Bonham. And if you weren't rocking out to Cheap Trick's infamous At Budokan, you were learning how to skank with The Specials, the first of many British ska revival bands.

One of the greatest bands ever released Highway To Hell, the last AC/DC record to feature Bon Scott before he too, faded into the black.  Hell is FULL of ROCK including the title track - which you might also know from any commercial outlet ever including baseball games, TV commercials, movies and mixtapes – and the timeless “If You Want Blood (You Got It)”.