Like all efforts to measure true popularity and influence using Internet hits, it’s interesting and relevant, because we live in the social media era, but such popularity is also fickle and easily faked. It seems like most politicians have tumbled to the idea of building up “Astroturf” political support, so they can brag about impressive numbers of Twitter followers and Facebook friends.
Bobby Choy is Big Phony, a sensitive singer-songwriter from NYC, but now living in Seoul South Korea, with a base in indie folk music. Early this year he released two albums simultaneously “LONG LIVE THE LIE” and “BOBBY.” Each album has a slightly different feel but Choy’s vocals and lyrics are similar across the pair. “LONG LIVE THE LIE” mixes an 80’s new wave influence with updated laid-back electronic production making the album perfect for sunshine and a hammock. “BOBBY” is more of a stripped down folk album, closer to Choy’s earlier releases. He sings with a raw tender tone on the latter album, presenting a full sound that should make for an eclectic live set. For an artist from South Korea there’s a heavy American or British folk influence on Choy’s style. After SXSW Big Phony will be playing a string of US shows throughout the second half of March and into April.
2014 Review:It seems Korean artist Big Phony has chosen to pull a 180 with the release of the aptly-titled “All Bets Are Off”, a synth-laden pop song that has literally nothing in common with the 2010 LP Kicking Punching Bags, a dead-ringer for an Elliott Smith album. Let’s start with the early stuff – Big Phony had a real alt country lean, finding a way to deliver introspective lyrics with a grizzled whisper. Along comes this new track, which actually holds up just as well on it’s own, relying on 80s-style effects to enliven the soul within the record. It’s similar to what Phosphorescent pulls off with “Song for Zula”, using something once so sterile to actually make a lyric even more devastatingly personal. This upcoming LP, his first in four years, could really go in any direction at this point, but the unknown spells hope with this fascinating songwriter.
The Phony Piety of the GOP: Jeb Bush Heads to Liberty University to Pander to Christian Right
Jeb Bush famously told us that to win the White House, a Republican presidential candidate had to be willing to “lose the primary to win the general, without violating your principles.” It was widely interpreted as evidence that if Bush ran, he’d do it as a more centrist, reasonable candidate who’d be, in his own words, “much more uplifting, much more positive,” and willing to stand up to fire-and-brimstone party hardliners.
Now comes the news that Bush will give the commencement address May 9 at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, where Sen. Ted Cruz announced his own presidential campaign. It’s just more evidence that Bush is not really a moderate or a maverick — especially when it comes to the issues that matter most to the Christian right – he just fools Beltway reporters into covering him that way.
Let’s also face that Liberty University has become a mainstream institution within the official Republican Party, despite Falwell’s lifelong crusade to harmonize church and state and to smite sinners (the way God punished the nation for tolerating feminists and gays with the 9/11 attack.) The last two GOP nominees gave commencement speeches at Liberty – Sen. John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. President George H.W. Bush did the same in 1991. But it didn’t appear to help any of the three shore up their weak evangelical Christian base.
Romney did particularly poorly with the Christian right: In 2012 exit polls analyzed by FiveThirtyEight, his performance with evangelicals lagged behind his overall numbers with Republicans. That softness persisted into this cycle: In a December ABC News/Washington Post survey, Romney had support from 20 percent of Republican primary voters but only 13 percent among evangelical Christians.
But while Bush is promoted as the more “moderate” figure in the race, in the mold of Romney, he’s got much better numbers with evangelicals than the 2012 nominee because he’s courted them more avidly — for his father, his brother and during his own career as Florida governor. In that same December ABC News/Washington Post poll, Bush ran behind Romney with overall GOP voters, with 15 percent to Romney’s 20. But he beat him among evangelicals, taking 20 percent to Romney’s 13. (Romney, of course, later pulled out of 2016 speculation.)
It’s the tea party that represents Bush’s base weakness due to his support for Common Core, his not-unkind rhetoric on immigration and his refusal to sign Grover Norquist’s no-taxes pledge. From abortion to gay rights to his fanatical over-reach in the case of Terri Schiavo, though, Bush has made the Christian right happy at every turn.
On the only big social issues test of the fledgling 2016 campaign, the Indiana “religious liberty” law, remember that Bush defended Gov. Mike Pence harder than Pence himself. He softened his tone a little when confronted by the only voters who matter more than the Christian right: rich people. But if we’re going to see Bush chart a surprising, risky course to “lose the primary but win the general,” it’s not going to come at the expense of evangelicals.
So the Liberty news shouldn’t be a big surprise. Bush cheerleader Jennifer Rubin depicted it as a blow to Sen. Rand Paul:
Hot on the heels of SXSW’s K-pop Night Out came Seoulsonic. This show did not have the same magnetic attraction for a huge audience as headliners Crayon Pop and Epik High had at K-pop Night Out with their collectively massive international fandom, but that didn’t affect the performances at all as these artists
were just as energetic, and the crowd was just as excited, if not more,
for this lineup.
While that claim may seem odd, think of the fact that the majority of
these acts were plucked straight from the Korean indie music scene.
With the exception of legendary rock band and headliner of the night’s
showcase YB, all of the artists remain under the radar
to many international K-entertainment fans, particularly the new ones,
who remain in a Hallyu bubble replete with K-pop, dramas and little
Preview Big Phony’s new acoustic album “BOBBY” here.
These songs were all recorded at home in my bedroom on a laptop with a cheap mic and my $40 guitar. Personally I would have wanted to record these songs more properly, but I’m also happy with them stripped down as they are. It represents where I am in life. Broke financially and in resources, but still committed to this journey as an artist. That’s why the album is simply titled “BOBBY”, which I found fitting given that it’s just me being myself - imperfect… but that being okay.
Thank you so much to Wendy Wang for doing such a great job of mixing this album. You’re the best, Wendy.
There are literally countless people I need to thank from the bottom of my heart for helping to make these albums possible. You all know who you are and I hope to repay you in being just as great to you as you’ve been to me over the years. Can’t wait to see you all. God bless you and keep you.
Next year is the 10 Year Anniversary of Big Phony. Expect something big…