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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
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Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
View All
Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

This Week in Music History | Dec. 11-17

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On Dec. 11, 1964, famous musician Sam Cooke was found dead in his Los Angeles motel room. Immediately, when talking about this case, it is important to mention the mysterious circumstances surrounding Cooke’s death. When police arrived at Hacienda Motel, they discovered that Cooke had died from a gunshot wound. They questioned the manager of the motel, Bertha Franklin, and she admitted to shooting Cooke in self-defense, but the story she told doesn’t quite add up.

Franklin claimed that Cooke forced his way into her office, looking for a girl while also not being clothed. Soon after, she claimed that she shot Cooke, who died after she hit him in the head with a broomstick. This was immediately disputed by Cooke’s friends and family, but, ultimately, the case was ruled a justifiable homicide.

We may never truly know what happened the day Cooke was killed, but he left behind a legacy of music that will never be forgotten. Cooke was one of the first black musicians to achieve mainstream success, in turn influencing a plethora of musicians for decades to come. From “You Send Me” to “What A Wonderful World,” Cooke’s discography and impact will always be remembered.

– Alex Jimenez-Vega

 

 

On Dec. 14, 1995, the FBI publicly released documents detailing their plans to deport Beatles legend John Lennon in 1972. While that may sound like something from a “sentences nobody has ever said” generator, that is indeed a fact. This whole saga began in 1968, when Lennon pled guilty to a misdemeanor cannabis possession charge in London. At the time, immigration rules barred anyone convicted of any sort of drug charge from entering the United States. However, come 1972, Lennon had been living in the United States for a year on a tourist visa that had since expired.

When Lennon initially hired lawyer Leon Wildes, it was to have his visa extended so he could support Yoko Ono in her custody battle for her daughter, Kyoko. However, the Nixon administration didn’t like Lennon much, so he would need Wildes for much more than that. In fact, it was a letter from South Carolina’s favorite civil rights opponent, Strom Thurmond, to then-Attorney General John Mitchell following Lennon and Ono’s appearance at a rally supporting John Sinclair, a poet and manager of rock band MC5, that started the Nixon administration’s attempts to deport the rock star. The rally, which took place at the Crisler Center, featured several notable artists protesting the harsh sentence for Sinclair. 

But why would a misdemeanor drug charge from four years prior be the catalyst behind the attempted deportation? According to Wildes, it was politically motivated. Lennon was a popular figure within the anti-war movement and the hippy counterculture, and his influence over the youth wasn’t something Nixon appreciated.

During Lennon’s deportation trial, Wildes revealed that there was a secret program classifying immigrants as “priority or non-priority for purposes of deportation.” The regulations the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) had to announce following revelations in this case were the basis for the current deferred action program the United States government currently follows.

– Ashe Burr

 

George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic revolutionized funk. One of their seminal works, Mothership Connection, was released on Dec. 15, 1975, marking a pivotal moment in the evolution of the genre. The album is a cosmic voyage into the outer realms of funk, blending psychedelic influences with the raw energy of traditional funk elements.

Horn players from James Brown’s band punch through the groove in a frenzy of hits, while the choir responds with mesmerizing harmonies. The rhythm section, too, spreads an infectious groove. Bass player Bootsy Collins is to be credited to that end. His godlike funk is present throughout the album, though the rhythm section would be nothing without Bernie Worrell, who laid down all the keys.

Clinton, the mastermind behind Parliament-Funkadelic, crafted a narrative that transcended music with a blend of science fiction and social commentary. The album’s impact goes beyond its infectious beats and imaginative storytelling; it played a crucial role in shaping the Afrofuturism movement. The mothership itself is the cosmic connection between music, culture and the boundless possibilities of the imagination.

Mothership Connection is home to some of Parliament-Funkadelic’s most iconic tracks, such as “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)” and the title track, “Mothership Connection (Star Child).” These songs captured the spirit of the ‘70s. More than that, they defined the future of R&B, hip-hop, soul and funk music. This album continues to inspire artists and broadcast its good vibes.

– Robbie Sullivan

 

Hunky Dory, David Bowie’s fourth studio album, was released on Dec. 17, 1971. His prior three albums were essentially flops, with the exception of the track “Space Oddity,” which reached the tops of many charts. With Hunky Dory, Bowie was hopeful to push past his one-hit wonder stage and truly break into stardom. His eccentric personality began to shine through, and his claim to fame expanded to his bizarre outfits and flamboyant personas, not just his music. It would be impossible to go a lifetime without knowing a song from this album.

One thing you will quickly learn about me is I’m a David Bowie fan first and a human second. I grew up listening to whatever my parents had on, whether that was Duran Duran, The Beatles, Beastie Boys or Rush, but within that, some Bowie would sneak in. Hunky Dory is home to many of the songs I grew up listening to, such as “Oh! You Pretty Things,” “Changes” and my personal favorite, “Life on Mars?,” so it holds a special place in my heart. 

“Life on Mars?” has a wildly interesting backstory, as the song was originally dreamt up in 1968. Bowie had been invited to write English lyrics for French singer Claude François’ “Comme D’Habitude.” After taking a crack at it, he came up with a song titled “Even a Fool Learns to Love,” which was quickly rejected. The song was passed on to Paul Anka, who turned it into “My Way,” which was, of course, passed on to Frank Sinatra and quickly became a hit. Although he knew his lyrics were rather terrible, Bowie wrote “Life on Mars?” in retaliation, following a similar chord progression and style.

Bowie was a man of experimentation. Throughout his lifetime, he created a vast collection of alter-egos, tried many forms of expression and released music right up to his last breath. Hunky Dory was the end of an era for Bowie, as a mere half year later he debuted The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, with the introduction of his new alter ego Ziggy Stardust — an androgynous, narcissistic, intergalactic rockstar who would take the universe by storm. After Hunky Dory, he never had to worry about being a one-hit wonder again.

– Noelle Simonelli

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About the Contributors
Ashe Burr
Ashe Burr, Writer
Ashe is a second year student majoring in both professional and public writing and linguistics. The resident international music aficionado at the station, they can be found constantly seeking out new music from all corners of the globe. When not looking through music, they can be found with the Spartan Marching Band Color Guard and State of Art Winterguard. "Might be bleeding, but don't you mind, I'll be fine." - Cornelia Jakobs
Robbie Sullivan
Robbie Sullivan, Writer
Robbie Sullivan (he/him) is a physics major at Michigan State University graduating in May of 2024. As a volunteer at the Impact, he loves beat-making, creative writing, audio mixing and all kinds of music. When he isn’t in tears from struggling with calculus, he is probably listening to some ‘70s funk, ‘80s rock or even some ‘90s grunge. Beyond music, he enjoys the great outdoors and being in nature. Kayaking, mountain biking and hiking are his favorite hobbies. “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” - Carl Sagan

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