Macklemore has become a beacon of white gay hope and the face of "progress." As an independent artist, his fame and wealth are truly surprising and almost inspiring. However, he does a more destructive and problematic work, and his success, as validated by his new Grammy awards, speak to a larger injustice.
If you're a boomer, your brain is teaming with decades-old pop tunes that you just can't forget. The real reason you can never remember where you put your keys? Too many of your brain cells are clinging to every last lyric to 'Fire and Rain,' 'Free Bird' and 'Sweet Home Alabama.' Don't believe me? Just take this simple test:
The Beatles wouldn't be crossing the pond to America for another seven years, but all over the country, radios were blasting an infectiously bopping new tune that signified the arrival of a new sound. The song was called "Wake Up, Little Susie" -- a real toe-tapper, if ever there was one -- and it had been recorded by a pair of Midwestern siblings named the Everly Brothers.
As a teenager in the 1980s, I amassed a large, eclectic collection of that decade's vinyl. In going through it all, I find myself listening more often to the hits less travelled, and after some research, I discovered an array of brilliant singles that failed altogether to grace Casey Kasem's countdown.