Followed an Obama canvass in Richmond earlier this morning. I’ll have a story about it for the Prospect on Monday.
“On a chilly evening in early October, Jay Ferus stood waiting in the Family Dollar store’s parking lot in Racine, Wisconsin. Ferus looked out of place with an iPad in front of the discount store, which sits on an unglamorous stretch of Washington Avenue down the block from payday lenders and pawnshops. It’s not an unusual scene in Racine: The post-industrial, Rust Belt town was decimated in the late ’70s when plants that once employed more than 20,000 workers left the city. Jobs have been hard to come by ever since, and Racine’s troubles only magnified when the recession hit in 2008. Its 9.2 percent unemployment rate in July (the latest numbers available) ranked among the highest in the state, though it was a sharp improvement from February 2010, when jobless numbers peaked at 12 percent. Downtown, every other storefront is vacant. Even the suburban shopping mall just outside of the city limits shows signs of a weary economy—large retail spaces empty and a kiosk vender offering to buy gold.”
I spent some time in Wisconsin reporting on the county that could swing the state in the presidential election. Checkout the full piece at the Prospect.
Do it! And follow my other Tumblr since it’s the one I use more often these days.
For the Charlotte show, Against Me! was the headline act, but less than three weeks after Grace came out, the group started traveling as the opener for The Cult, a band coasting on songs from the 1980s. The Cult-headlined shows tended to pull in an older audience. Given the generation gap, I went to a few of them this summer half-afraid to see someone disgusted or outraged by the gender-bending opener.
At a show in Philadelphia, I stood next to an ’80s rock couple, the man sporting a handlebar mustache and leathery skin, his arms wrapped around the woman, who wore a tight dress and a face that couldn’t be natural. It was clear that they weren’t familiar with Against Me! Still, they began to bop along, smiling. As a rowdy group of Against Me! supporters rushed the stage, the Cult crowd looked on bemused but friendly from the edges. One fan near the center thrust his arms up, hands clasped in a makeshift heart. Another shouted, “I love you Tom!” A third leaned over and offered a low-key rejoinder: “It’s Laura now.”
I spent a week following Against Me! on tour earlier this summer right after their leader singer came out as a transgender woman and wrote about it for the Sept/Oct issue of The American Prospect. Read it online here.
Reblogging myself is lame, but some of you folks will probably enjoy this article.
Alternatively, this video is dreadfully dull (doesn’t Weezy realize ghost riding stopped being a trend a few years back) but GOD DAMN that beat is perfect.
I’ve been on the road for work the past two months, so I’ve been listening to waaayyy too much Top 40 radio. The current rotation isn’t actually half bad, with this probably my current favorite, even though I am continually amazed a song this ridiculous and profane became so popular. And any video with Nikki is bound to be great.