by Michael Todd
Howard Beale had two weeks left. The men in charge at UBS Evening News were forcing Beale, the anchor, to quit because of poor ratings. When Beale then announced on air that he'd commit suicide on the next Tuesday's broadcast, they fired him.
Still, he's allowed to bid farewell, though when given the chance, Beale instead declares that life is "bullshit." It's a tantrum that works for viewers, and Beale is allowed to remain on television, just as long as execs' exploitation of Beale's anger drives up ratings. It's during this run of broadcasts that Beale says the following:
"I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it."
The diatribe goes on, and now some 36 years later, his speech — from the 1976 film Network — is still powerful as it opens a new EP by Conchance, The Mixed Taped/E P'eed. These six tracks, produced at Omaha's Make Believe, lay rhymes over Benny Goodman, beats by Johann Carbajal and Dojorok, and feature bookends by Sam Martin, with the last track including work by Greg Elsasser and Conchance himself.
Stream the first three songs of the EP below, or download the whole record with artwork here.
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. If you're a band that would like to premiere your album, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.