Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Need a Ride to the Wilco Show?

Get in on the Passenger Side!

"Passenger Side", the new Wilco on-line ride board, addresses both the rising costs of fuel and the energy use involved in touring, while reducing the number of vehicles traveling to each concert venue.
It's a novel idea and it sounds like a great way to reduce costs and consumption, and potentially make new friends while you share a ride with other Wilco fans from your area.

I, myself no stranger to the Passenger Side, think it's a great idea and sure the whole "green" aspect of it is fine and good, but it appeals to me most... because I don't drive.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Glenn Miller: Musician-Patriot

"America means freedom and there's no expression of freedom quite so sincere as music." ~ Glenn Miller

The Krauts weren't the only ones using swing music to propagandize in WWII.
Glenn Miller had been broadcasting propaganda messages to Germany, in the German language, extolling its citizens to stop fighting and help bring the war to a speedy conclusion.
Hitler had declared music illegal, so the Yanks sent it to his people with a German announcer named Ilsa.

Did Miller's contributions to the Allies' quest for victory lead to his mysterious disappearance?
Conspiracy theories abound.

Click here for more Glen Miller results at the Internet Archive.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Music sound quality has been dumbed down to Fisher-Price toy levels since the inception of the iPod. "

Apple has killed audio quality, says Neil Young.

This is an update on a previous post.

In related news,

Roger Daltrey, saying "the scrapping of long-play records signaled the death of the music industry", has this to add:

"The CD was a confidence trick. It wasn't just music that people used to buy, it was a total art form. ... I think that's what people like. They like it personal. They like vinyl because if you scratch vinyl, it'll be scratched, but it'll be your scratch. It will only be on your record."

Here It Is! - Episode 10

This is the final episode in PART 1.

NEVER FEAR! Italian Spiderman will be back in PART 2 SOON!! So keep posted.

Italian Spiderman Movie - Episode 10

A Brief History of Hemp

Here's a little video on the history (and future?) of hemp from PEACEBUD.com.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pizza Goes Outdoors

Summer means that it's time to fire up the grill.
So what 'll it be ? Burgers?, Dogs? , Steak?, Chicken? ... or Pizza?!
White Cheese Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto is a great dish for the grill.

Christopher Tanner serves up this summer special White Cheese Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto recipe to give fans of charcoal and propane another option for July and August flames.
You'll find more culinary info over at executive chef Tanner's blog:“Gastronomical Inspirations”.
... and while I'm touching on the subject of things edible, allow me to direct you to another post on cake mishaps from today's birthday-girl.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This One's For Jimmy

Those of you that know Jimmy probably also know that he is a big fan of The Who and the music of Pete Townshend.

What I present here is a work by Petra Haden that pays tribute to The Who.

''Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out" is is a homemade one-woman a capella re-creation of the Who's 1967 album. Haden, the daughter of jazz bassist Charlie Haden, sings every word, every drum roll, every guitar solo, and every mock commercial, note for note, front to back.

''I would never have thought of doing this. It was Mike Watt's idea." says Haden.
Watt, who co-produced the album, brought Haden the concept and an eight-track cassette recorder with the ''The Who Sell Out" loaded onto track eight. She spent three years pressing rewind.

''I was a little embarrassed to realize I was enjoying my own music so much, for in a way it was like hearing it for the first time. What Petra does with her voice, which is not so easy to do, is challenge the entire rock framework: the traditions, the processes, the decor, the accessories, the entirety of the established dynamics of traditional pop-rock. 'I Can See For Miles' is powerful not for the restrained electric guitars and suppressed and distant thundering drums of Keith Moon but for the torturously sustained vocal harmonies that John Entwistle added over my fairly conventional four-part. Petra is the first analyst who heard the vocal harmonies as they were written and reproduced them properly. When she does depart from the original music she does it purely to bring a little piece of herself -- and when she appears she is so very welcome. I felt like I'd received something better than a Grammy."~ Pete Townshend

Here's a clip of Petra Haden and The Sell Outs performing live in Los Angeles, July 1, 2005

Everybody Rumba!

''Rumba King'' Xavier Cugat, or "Cugie", was the first bandleader to front a successful Latin orchestra in the United States.
Born in Catalonia, Spain, he and his family emmigrated to Cuba when he was 5, and then to NYC at 15.
Cugat was also a talented caricaturist. His work appeared in newspapers, magazines and galleries around the world. During the 1920s he worked as a cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times newspaper while playing music at night.
I Love Lucy's Desi Arnaz, who would go on to play Cuban bandleader Ricky Ricardo, began his career as a guitarist in Cugat's band.
Cugat had a reputation as a womanizer and was married several times including a marriage to Charo.

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9...

Italian Spiderman Movie - Episode 9


More links for Italian Spiderman.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Obama's Off To Afghanistan and Iraq

There 's considerable risk involved.
Will the U.S. military have his back?

Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves

In this cartoon from 1937, we get to see Popeye battle some A-rabs!

Listen carefully to Popeye's asides, they're much funnier than the dialogue between the characters.
This film also contains some interesting animation technique developed by the Fleischers.They were on the cutting edge of innovation along with their rival studio Disney.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Emperor wears No Clothes

Jimmy called out for some suggested reading, as he is about to go on a trip.
His request jogged my memory about this gem.
The Emperor Wears No Clothes is a fascinating book written by Jack Herer.
The book compiles detailed information about the numerous uses for cannabis. It is often cited in rescheduling and re-legalization efforts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Duet To It

I've decided to showcase some choice duets today (for no particular reason, must be the cabin fever).
I'll begin with Frank & Louis on "The Edsel Show".

This clip is eerily similar to one I featured previously.

Next up is some fine country crooning from Doyle and Debbie.

(if that vid wasn't American enough for y'all, try this link)

Finally here's a clip from the film "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story".

View the trailer. It's a must-see for fans of "Walk the Line".

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"The State Of Things"

On April 29th 2006, the artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese installed a temporary sculpture in the garden of Jim Kempner Fine Art, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.
Sculpted in ice and spelling out the word “Democracy” in block letters, the installation reflected on the current political state and the transience of our cultural values. Measuring 20 inches high and 120 inches in length, the word melted over 24 hours. The sculpture cracked, diminished, and ultimately disappeared, leaving as its final trace a puddle of water.

"It is a good likeness... of my darkest fears!" - Jackie Broyles

"C'mon, only an idiot 'd get mad about satire."~Dunlap

I wanna know where I can get the T-shirt!

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Bang, zoom, straight to the moon!"

Jackie Gleason trips out on LSD in this clip from 1968's Skidoo .

The film starred Jackie Gleason, Groucho Marx, Carol Channing, Frankie Avalon, Mickey Rooney, Peter Lawford, Richard Kiel, Slim Pickens, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith, Caesar Romero, George Raft, Arnold Stang, Harry Nilsson (Nilsson also composed the soundtrack), and many others!
A cult-classic, Skidoo was directed by Otto Preminger who was experimenting with LSD (along with Groucho Marx) during the film-making.

Watch the movie (97 min.) at Google Video.

So Long Bud!

Anheuser-Busch sells-out!
For millions, Budweiser is synonymous with American beer, or at least it was.
Although Anheuser-Busch as a company has little influence in the daily lives of Americans, its flagship brands, Budweiser and Bud Light, are (or were) closely linked to American rituals such as barbecues and baseball.
Here's a slide show of famous "American brands" that are now in foreign hands.via BusinessWeek.com. These sort of takeovers are nothing new, but certainly a disturbing trend.
Where does it end? It seems the whole U.$.A. is for sale to the highest bidder.

This Bud's for EU!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Karl Schwendler

... aka Charlie and his Orchestra (also referred to as the "Templin band" and "Bruno and His Swinging Tigers") were a German swing band that played Nazi propaganda to England (and north America by way of short wave radio).
The American swing and popular British songs were initially performed true to the original, until about the second or third stanza where pro-German lyrics and monologues would be introduced. The idea was to lure the masses in with the irresistible tonic of swing music and then slyly work in the anti-Jewish, American and British lyrics.
The broadcasts of Charlie and His Orchestra were not available in the Fatherland proper, but that only enhanced their legend, and they picked up an underground following in Germany as well.
Hitler outlawed popular music in Germany and made these popular songs for his enemies who enjoyed these as comedy. Anecdotal accounts indicate that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill enjoyed the broadcasts, finding the lyrics hilarious.

Jolly Roger

Today is Roger McGuinn's birthday.

Roger is best known as the frontman for the influential folk-rock group The Byrds.

Here is a clip from the movie Easy Rider, featuring one of my favorite songs by The Byrds.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be,

... you can survive it."~ Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby; comedian, actor, and activist is 71 years old today.

... and before the white folks say "I is racist", allow me to point out that funny-man Milton Berle (1908-2002) was also born on this date.

Did you know Uncle Miltie also played a villain on T.V.'s Batman?

My Favorite Dead 'toon

Get ready for some Saturday morning cartoons.

This psychedelic inspired animation, which features a fine medley of music, was created by Gary Gutierrez and featured as the beginning of The Grateful Dead Movie.
Even if you're not a "Deadhead," you'll find much to enjoy in this film, so check it out sometime. For now, just dig this trippy animated intro. The clip runs about 7 min. (there's about a 30 second lead in on the video.)

Here's a list of some of the Saturday morning 'toons that didn't quite work. via Cracked.com.

Friday, July 11, 2008

War is Not Pretty

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Snopes sheds some more light on the subject.

He Stands for Hope and CHANGE...

... Change of his stance.

"Obama is the candidate of real change. change his stance on every issue out there. The hope he speaks about is the hope we know what his stance is on any given day. The media is his partner in all of this fraud and deception. McCain can still win, if he starts fighting now and delivers a strong message that the American people can't ignore. If he does nothing, Obama will be able to ride his double talk all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. For those who think the election is over, do not listen to the media and don't give up hope."~ Jackie Mason

Vote NObama '08!!

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
- Bertrand Russell

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Will Wonders Never Cease?

Eight New Natural Wonders have been added to the World Heritage List.
Among these eight is the Saryarka Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan, pictured above.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ray Davies has a brand new web site

"I put my pants on one leg at a time like the rest of you boys and girls but the difference is once my pants are on I write songs." ~ Ray Davies

The Kinks' Ray Davies has a brand new website online as of July 4th!
You'll find the latest news, tour info, photos, a video blog, and more.
So stop by this Working Man's Cafe, and see what's on the menu.

Here's an album review from the old blog, in case you'd missed it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Gloomy Sunday

This could be my new theme song.

"Gloomy Sunday" was written by Hungarian composer Rezso Seress and lyricist Laszlo Javor.
The song drew little attention until 1936, when it was supposedly connected to a rash of suicides in Hungary and allegedly banned there. Soon American musicians and singers were recording their own versions of "The Hungarian Suicide Song", serving to further the urban legend that surrounded the tune. Seress would take his own life in 1968.
The most popular American recording is probably the one by Billie Holiday.
I prefer the version by jazz great Paul Whiteman (with Johnny Hauser).

Here are those cheery lyrics :
(Most English-language recordings have used these Sam Lewis lyrics)

Sunday is gloomy, my hours are slumberless
Dearest the shadows I live with are numberless
Little white flowers will never awaken you
Not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you
Angels have no thought of ever returning you
Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?

Gloomy Sunday

Gloomy is Sunday, with shadows I spend it all
My heart and I have decided to end it all
Soon there'll be candles and prayers that are sad I know
Let them not weep let them know that I'm glad to go
Death is no dream for in death I'm caressing you
With the last breath of my soul I'll be blessing you

Gloomy Sunday

Wow!, now I'm really depressed.
Maybe I'll go walk the dog. That might lift my spirits.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Song About The American Dream

Denis Leary - Asshole (uncensored)

Holiday Thoughts 7/4/08

I'd like to wish everyone a happy and safe Independence Day!
Remember in every nation there is a 4th of July but only in America may we lay claim to this holiday.We must all remember those that fought for this right.Freedom isn't without cost.Some paid greatly.
Here are some thoughts on the holiday from
The Ultimate Jew.

A Puzzling Hypocrisy

The same U.S. government that has maintained that marijuana holds no medicinal value owns the patent on its therapeutic chemicals. via NORML.

U.S. Patent #6630507.