Review: The Flaming Lips' new album isn't just provocative — it's really good
The Flaming Lips“American Head”(Warner Records, ***½)For the last decade or so of their 35-year career, Oklahoma’s Flaming Lips have doubled down on their love of extremes, from the abrasive “The Terror” to full-album covers of “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Sgt. Pepper’s” to numerous collaborations with Miley Cyrus. They’ve been fascinating, but inconsistent.In its open-heartedness, love of melody, and Dave Fridmann’s expansive production, “American Head” recalls their mid-period heyday of 1999’s exuberant “The Soft Bulletin.”Leader Wayne Coyne wrote a set of semi-autobiographical songs inspire...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: Psychiatry's complicity in a pathological presidency
Bad stuff, it seems, runs downhill. Something about the human spirit wants to align itself with authority and with the thinking that comes from the top. Many people, including those in high government positions, fall under the sway of their bosses, even as they know in their hearts that they are being misled.Donald Trump’s bad stuff — including the signal he constantly sends out that the coronavirus is not that much of a threat — has badly crippled U.S. efforts to contain this very real menace. Trump has managed to convince many government officials, and not a few of his base supporters, that ...
New York Daily News
Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett thought about opting out this season. What made him decide to play?
SEATTLE — Tyler Lockett’s elusiveness is one of his best traits on the football field.But when it came to one of the most sensitive questions facing NFL players these days — did he have any hesitation about playing this season as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic? — Lockett addressed it head-on Friday.“Oh yeah, I definitely had a lot of hesitation,” said Lockett, who set a career-high with 1,057 receiving yards last season. He is entering the second year of a contract extension that runs through the 2021 season which will pay him $8.5 million in base salary this year.Lockett had tw...
The Seattle Times
Inga Saffron: Convention centers drive urban economies. Will we ever meet there again?
PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump may have given up on holding a convention in the midst of a pandemic, but not Mark Yuska.A professional meeting planner, Yuska is so convinced that convention centers can be made safe that he decided to organize a gathering for the people who manage the world’s conferences and trade shows. His company, Alliance Exposition, booked the main hall at Orlando’s convention center, went into sanitation overdrive, and signed up a room’s worth of exhibitors. On July 24 — while Florida was experiencing an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases — 1,400 people poure...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Former presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain dies at 74
ATLANTA — Herman Cain, with his rich baritone voice and natural showman’s instinct, reinvented himself multiple times over his lifetime: computer analyst, millionaire business executive, political lobbyist, broadcaster, motivational speaker, author and presidential candidate, among others.Cain, of Henry County, Georgia, was as successful and opinionated as he was unforgettable, but COVID-19 silenced him, his current and former employees confirmed Thursday. He was 74.“We’re heartbroken, and the world is poorer: Herman Cain has gone to be with the Lord,” an employee wrote on Cain’s Instagram pag...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Nation and world news briefs
White House has ‘zero concerns’ Trump contracted coronavirus from Oklahoma governorWASHINGTON — The White House said Wednesday that it has “zero concerns” that Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt — who announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus — interacted with President Donald Trump at a June campaign rally.Trump is tested every day, a White House official told McClatchy.“That would be the longest incubation period in history. We have zero concerns about that interaction,” the official said.Trump held a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20 that Stitt attended. Neither of the men wor...
Tribune News Service
Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt contracts coronavirus
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday he is infected with the novel coronavirus, but steadfastly refuses to mandate protective face masks as the state battles a spike in the deadly pandemic.Stitt, a Republican ally of President Donald Trump, reportedly chaired an official meeting Tuesday with a mask hanging around his neck and pointedly did not wear a mask when he attended the president’s poorly attended rally in Tulsa last month.“Not thinking about a mask mandate at all,” Stitt told a journalist.Stitt, who found out about his positive test Tuesday night, said he was suffering from fai...
New York Daily News
Getting your hair cut or heading to the gym? Get ready to sign a waiver
MINNEAPOLIS — As businesses reopen amid a slew of safety and cleaning requirements, many are asking something new of their customers and employees: a promise not to sue if they get sick.Liability waivers have long been used for risky endeavors such as downhill skiing or youth sports. But in the unchartered legal waters of the coronavirus pandemic, people now find themselves signing such forms when they get their hair cut, nails painted and teeth cleaned.“It’s a whole new world,” said Matt Murphy, an attorney with Nilan Johnson Lewis in Minneapolis. “Everybody’s freaked out.”With no specific le...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Texas county gives thumbs-up to tax breaks to lure Tesla factory
The prospect of a Tesla Inc. factory in the Austin area has moved a big step closer to reality, after Travis County, Texas commissioners on Tuesday approved tax breaks the electric vehicle maker requested that are worth a minimum of about $14 million over 10 years if Tesla invests $1.1 billion here.Under the terms of the deal, the amount of the tax incentives to Tesla could rise significantly if the company invests more than $1.1 billion in the manufacturing plant, which it has said will employ 5,000 people.The amount also will rise if the agreement eventually is extended for an additional dec...
Coronavirus isn't scaring some Trump supporters away from his Republican convention in Florida
PHILADELPHIA — Val Biancaniello knows the threat the coronavirus poses.A respiratory therapist working in downtown Philadelphia hospitals, she’s spent months intubating infected patients, most of them older people with compromised immune systems. And in cases where they’ve been too weak to overcome the virus, she’s sat with them as they died.Biancaniello, of Marple Township, is also a Pennsylvania delegate to the Republican National Convention. And she has every intention of going to Jacksonville, Florida, in August to nominate President Donald Trump for reelection — even though Florida has em...
The Philadelphia Inquirer