Monday, March 9, 2015

Mark LeVine: Al Jazeera's New Music Critic

Mark LeVine is a UC Irvine professor of Middle East studies, Distinguished Visiting Professor (or guest researcher-I'm not sure which) at Lund University in Sweden, part-time rocker, and op-ed writer for Qatar's Al Jazeera English News. In other words, he is quite a multi-talented guy. If you don't believe me, just check out his busy website.

"Mark LeVine is a leader of the new generation of scholars of the modern Middle East and Islam, Globalization, and Popular Culture, and an award winning musician who has performed with many world renown artists."

"Mark LeVine is an intellectual giant" (raves Air America-or should I say raved the now defunct Air America?)
"Watch Mark do this"
"Watch Mark do that"
"Watch Mark leap over tall buildings with a single bound"

As you can tell, Mark is pretty much all-everything. Do not, however, say that he is anti-Israel. I made that mistake recently, which set Mark off on a profanity-laced tirade against little ol' me. Mark's love for Israel is something he takes very seriously I learned.

Apparently, he is now a music critic as evidenced by this latest piece for Al Jazeera in which he takes the Grammys to task.

Well, at least Mark didn't storm the stage with Kanye West and grab the awards from any of the winners.

At any rate, let me tell you that I play no musical instrument, nor can I sing. In addition, I don't watch the Grammys, American Idol, The Voice, or any of those other shows. I can't even name the top singers in America today. I basically gave up on English-language music decades ago and now listen mostly to Spanish-language music. At least they are still singing. To me, Heavy Metal is just loud noise while Hip Hop has all but destroyed one of our great American art forms-black music.

Best I can figure out, Mark plays  Heavy Metal or rock guitar mixed with Arabic music. He is into something called Heavy Metal Islam. Here is a taste.

At any rate, when he talks about notes and chords, it goes over my head not unlike some of his other writing, but that's just me; I'm just a simple guy whose musical tastes (in English-language music) go back to the 50s.

Image result for jerry lee lewis

Now that's what I'm talking about.

To wrap up this meandering piece, I seriously doubt the Grammy folks give a rip what Mark LeVine-or me for that matter-think about their awards. I for one, will continue to look internationally for my listening pleasure.

But it sure won't be in the Middle East.

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