Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My psychosis, his psychosis

Jim Vicevich has forced me to face a conflict about my love of music.

Vicevich is a bellicose, shallow, misinformed, Rush-worshipping, conservative water carrying, divisive, radio talk show host on WTIC-AM. He's a classic chickenhawk, and a basher of all things progressive, liberal and Democratic. And, he spews his venom while professing to be open-minded and fair.

You've heard it before, right.

But, he has great taste in music, and much of the music he likes is very progressive in its lyrical message to its audience. Listen to his favorites like Todd Snider, Will Kimbrough, Adrienne Young, Rodney Crowell, John Prine, and Chip Taylor, and you'll find artists who sing out against war, the Bush administration, greed, power, and many of the other things that Jim so obviously loves.

The only way to consider this extreme case of "love the artist, hate the art," is to think about my own love of gospel, spiritual, country and bluegrass, which all feature a healthy dose of loving a Jesus whom I consider more myth than fact.

What's more, he's hosting a summer music festival, which features some of these very artists, and benefits ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), and he's paying for upfront costs out of his own pocket.

So, who but a mean-spirited crank could not support it. And still...and still. Well, hell, maybe some of his listeners will hear a message in the music that changes the way they think. Maybe Jim will. As John Hiatt sings, "it hasn't happened yet." So I won't hold my breath.

Finally, after I heard Colin McEnroe encouraging listeners to attend what he calls "Budstock" (because he calls Vicevich "buddy"), I figured, I can do this. I can support musicians I love, and a good cause. I'm holding my nose, and asking you to attend.

And hell, maybe the music will bring us together. Just not too closely together.

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