Joe Biden vs James Murphy, or How I know I’ve truly become a MUSIC BLOGGER


I am not into politics. Anyone who sat at my bar during election time knows I would NEVER allow people to discuss candidates. However, that does not mean I don’t pay attention.

With my disclaimer out of the way, I want to explain last night. Lying on the couch with Camélia, we watched the New Hampshire Democratic Debate. We quietly cheered, mocked, and laughed, and the animals sleeping around us responded with annoyance every time we moved. However, when former Vice-President Joe Biden talked about bringing home troops from the Middle East, I really disturbed the peace in my house, specifically the area around and involving the couch.

“What’s happening?” Camélia said as I squirmed to get up. I was between her and the back of the couch; Lizzie was squeezed in between us, and Jack was lying on top of me.

“I need my notebook,” I said.

Since moving to Sandusky, I have been carrying a little notebook and pen, capturing snippets of ideas. A former professor, Darrell Spencer, suggested this a long time ago. He said that you have to write down these ideas because if you don’t, you’ll lose them and never get them back. Then one day, you will run out and not have any to fall back on. I am, of course, paraphrasing him as I have not seen him since...1999?

So, after climbing out of my comfy cave and unsettling the life that existed on its outer edge, I ran into the bedroom and grabbed my needed tools.

“What are you writing down?” Camélia asked.

“Joe Biden vs. James Murphy.”

“What?”

“You’ll see,” I said.

Let me back up a second. I joke with people that I only pay attention 15% of the time. That is an exaggeration, but I will tell you that 15% is the amount of direct focus I give people who share their beliefs. Politics fit into the beliefs’ category, as does religion, favorite sports and favorite sports teams, parenting, the economy, the study of one’s specific trade, and health and diet. That being said, you can imagine me lying on the couch listening to the Democratic Presidential Candidates discuss thoughts and theories on their and the United States’ future. But, when Biden said, “I helped put together a sixty-one nation group...then dealing with a man I know very well...I’ve been to every part of Afghanistan,” something sparked my attention. After Tom Steyer spoke about twenty years of failed military action and Biden continued, “I was part of the reason...I was there. I was involved in that...I was also part of putting together the Paris Climate Accord. I brought in the Chinese. I was part of that. I have been part of every major initiative we’ve had relative to diplomacy...” I laughed and knew I had something fun to write about.

Here we go...more background info.

Yesterday, I was looking through my Instagram when I came across this picture:

I thought, wow. I used to use more humor and poke fun at myself. What’s happened?

But here I am, with an idea that makes me laugh: Joe Biden vs. James Murphy.

“Yeah, I’m losing my edge,” James Murphy sings in “Losing My Edge.” “But I was there.”

Lying on the couch, I watched Biden’s face. Biden was standing with a group of extremely intelligent adults who had grown beyond him in popularity. He could see his time passing, and he was called out. The situation was intense, but he wasn’t going to go into the night peacefully.

“I have said, along with President Barack Obama...I have said.”

I could not help but think about James Murphy in “Losing My Edge.” “I was there when Captain Beefheart started his first band. I told him, ‘Don’t do it that way. You’ll never make a dime.’”

Biden: “I’m the guy that set up drug courts. I set them up. I wrote it into law.”

Murphy: “I was there. I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids. I played it at CBGB’s. Everybody thought I was crazy. We all know.”

Biden: “I was part of the reason why Elena Kagan got on the supreme court and why Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on the court, and why Sotomayor is on the court and she swore me in.”

Murphy: “I was there in the Paradise Garage DJ booth with Larry Levan. I was there in Jamaica during the great sound clashes. I woke up naked on the beach in Ibiza in 1988.”

Biden: “I agree the way to deal with Citizens United is pass a constitutional amendment I introduced 25 years ago.”

Murphy: “I used to work in the record store. I had everything before anyone.”

Biden: “I was listed for the entire time I was in the United States Congress as the poorest man in the United States Congress.”

Murphy: “I heard you have a compilation of every good song every done by anyone...every Niagara record on German import...a white label of every seminal Detroit techno hit...But have you seen my records?”

Yeah, I got lost too. Who’s saying what and who’s more important than who? But here’s the thing, the major difference between these two men. While former Vice-President Joe Biden was fighting for his life and his career, while he had an intense look on his face, James Murphy was able to step back and laugh at himself. “I was there. I’ve never been wrong...But I’m losing my edge to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent. And they’re actually really, really nice.”

I’m not stupid. I know that Biden was live, in front of an extremely nitpicky and judgmental audience. He was rolling of the practiced and prepared cuff, and James Murphy was able to sit at home and write the lyrics without an audience. I accept the pressure under which Biden was placed, so please don’t assume anything about my political preference.

This article is about self-recognition. I am a writer for Alt Revue, and think like a writer from a growing music blog. Like taking notes for the Grammy’s, and mentally rating every new song I hear. Should it make one of my playlists and if so, which one? Alt Revue is a home and great outlet for my music loving persona. It helps me make light of an overly-serious and stressful world, and when my heart is racing and my anxiety is high, I can reread “Joe Biden vs. James Murphy” and remember I can still find humor and enjoyment in life.

“I hear everyone that you know is more relevant than everybody that I know. But have you seen my records?”


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