Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Journalism's kinda scary - and of it we should be wary"

M.C. and I have discussed, at length, the role that the mainstream media has played in leading our nation into its current predicament.
Below is a lyric fragment from a Frank Zappa song, which sums up his (similar) thoughts on journalists.

Who do you write for?
I wanna know
I believe you is the government's whore
And keeping peoples dumb
Is where you're coming from..."

Excerpted from "Packard Goose".

Artist Spotlight: Lonesome Spurs

Lonesome Spurs are a true duo in the sense that their recordings are made live in the studio with just the two of them performing.
Lynda Kay Parker and Danny B. Harvey are the component parts of this quirky country duo.Self-described as the “White Stripes of country,” the pair's debut CD, Lonesome Spurs, shows off the retro sound they call “honky-tonk garage.” Their music is centered around the vocal stylings of Miss Parker — who plays rhythm guitar, tenor guitar, and a bass drum made from a vintage Samsonite suitcase — and the twangy lead guitar playing of Mr. Harvey.

Texas natives Lynda Kay and Danny B., first met in the wilderness country of New Zealand while they were there with their local 4H club studying the art of sheep-herding. Their studies turned out to be a very important, but extremely boring, so to pass the time, Lynda Kay and Danny B. entertained the sheep, other US national 4H members, local shepherds and the town folk by playing their odd mixture of honky-tonk, rockabilly and garage music. Being as there were no drummers in the 4H class that year and longing for the clickety-clack of a train, Lynda Kay took her raggedy old suitcase, found in a second hand store outside of Austin, rigged up a dried out gourd with some bailing wire and, before long, turned her suitcase into a bona fide drum. By the time their summer program came to an end, they had forged their own unique, original sound, and had penned over 50 original compositions. They called themselves 'The New Zealand, Honky-Tonk Sheep Herding Garage Duo of Outrageously Clever 4-H Students'. Realizing that this name was somewhat long, they later would be become the LONESOME SPURS.

"He Spelled My Name Wrong"

Medley:Folsom Prison Blues > Whole Lotta Love > Who Do You Love? > Folsom Prison Blues

Friday, May 29, 2009

Elana James Live at Ballard Park - May 29, 2007

Today's Date In Music History:two years ago, Elana James and The Continental Two performed at Ballard Park in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Elana James is a masterful violinist and vocalist who is reknowned for her work with the Hot Club of Cowtown. She and her duo (Whit Smith on guitar and Beau Sample on bass) produced a dazzling mix of sound, predominantly old-timey dance tunes and foot tapping western swing played with enormous verve and spirit.

This performance was a part of the "C.H.I.R.P." (Concert Happenings In Ridgefield's Parks) series.

Disc 1

1.) intros, 2.) Exactly Like You, 3.) Ragtime Annie,
4.) Down The Line, 5.) Emily, 6.) Cotton Eyed Joe,
7.) Devil's Dream, 8.) The Little Green Valley, 9.) Dinah, 10.) Ida Red, 11.) 'Deed I Do, 12.) Fuli Tschai, 13.) Run Away With Me, 14.) Mississippi Delta Blues, 15.) Twenty-Four Hours a Day,
16.) Eva's Waltz, 17.) Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette), 18.) Orange Blossom Special
Disc 2
1.) Oklahoma Rag, 2.) Oklahoma Hills, 3.) Oh, Baby, 4.) One More Night, 5.) It Stops With Me,
6.) Hamilton County Breakdown, 7.) I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good), 8.) Stomp, Stomp,
9.) Dev'lish Mary, 10.) Blue Bonnet Lane, 11.) Tchavolo Swing, 12.) Atomic Cocktail,
13.) Cherokee Shuffle, 14.) I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me, 15.) Sally Goddin'

Play show here:

Download full show here.

Special thanx to MC for the C.H.I.R.P. photo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

“Johnny Sue-nami” - the most litigious person in America.

Man sues over most-litigious crown [via The Spokesman-Review]

Jonathan Lee Riches, aka Irving Picard, alleges that the Guinness Book of World Records is planning to print false information about the number of lawsuits he has filed, which he says is more than 4,000 worldwide. And he objects to the names Guinness intends to call him, including: “The litigator crusader,” the “duke of lawsuits,” “Johnny Sue-nami,” “Sue-per-man” and the “Patrick Ewing of suing.”
Some of the Federal inmate’s many targets include pirates, Plato, Nostradamus, James Hoffa, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

Jay Bennett - Dead At 45

Jay Bennett, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, producer, singer-songwriter, and former member of the band Wilco, is said to have died in his sleep Saturday night at the age of 45.
Further details were not yet available at post time.

From Wilco
"We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy. We will miss Jay as we remember him -- as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band's songs and evolution. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends in this very difficult time." ~ Jeff Tweedy

Miles Ahead Of His Time

Jazz trumpeter, composer, and small-band leader, Miles Davis (May 26,1926-Sept. 28,1991) was in the jazz vanguard for more than two decades.
To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-'40s to the early '90s. Miles was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the music during that period, and often led the way in those changes, both with his own performances and recordings and by choosing sidemen and collaborators who forged new directions.
Miles Dewey Davis III was the son of a dental surgeon, Dr. Miles Dewey Davis Jr., and a music teacher, Cleota Mae (Henry) Davis.He grew up in the black middle class of east St. Louis. Miles became interested in music during his childhood and by the age of 12 began taking trumpet lessons. While still in high school, he started to get jobs playing in local bars and at 16 was playing gigs out of town on weekends.
Davis first heard modern jazz at age 18 when Billy Eckstine’s ensemble - which included saxophonist Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie - came to town for a two-week residency. Davis wound up replacing a trumpet player in the band who had taken ill. He accompanied Eckstine back to New York, where he studied classical music at Juilliard by day and played jazz clubs at night. Davis joined Parker’s quintet in 1945 and made his recording debut as a band leader two years later.

Throughout the years, Miles continued inventing new ways of making music and in doing so he discovered many up-and-coming musicians. They include John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, among others. Besides making recordings with his own small jazz groups, Miles also had a great success with a large orchestra that his friend Gil Evans wrote the music for. In later years, he experimented with fusing rock and pop music with jazz.

Miles remained an innovator of music throughout his entire career.

Miles Davis died on September 28, 1991 from a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure in Santa Monica, California at the age of 65. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Freedom Highway (1956)

In honor of Memorial Day, I present to you this short patriotic film (about 30 min.).

Freedom Highway shows a nation in need of spiritual and patriotic renewal, and as we'll see, this renewal is to be sought in our past.
A Greyhound bus transports us through the landscape of American mythology in this entertaining "story of America".
You'll meet an unusual group of travelers on this cross-country bus trip. Fred Schroder, embittered by the death of his son in Korea, is riding to Washington to accept a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor on the son's behalf. Jimmy Rollins, the Boy Scout, is heading to Washington for his first Jamboree. Love interest is supplied by Mary (a young Angie Dickinson) and Bill Roberts, a football hero on the make. Tex Ritter, playing himself, takes a short ride on the bus as it passes through Texas, singing about the Alamo and the "freedom road." Most important of all, a black-suited mysterious stranger (Marshall Thompson) appears, as if from nowhere, to transform the outlook of the passengers.
The bus-bound journey through space becomes a journey through time as great moments and personalities in U.S. history are recreated.

There are a lot of families whose lives are forever changed by men who gave everything for us.

They deserve our respect.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"I think I'd rather eat the barrel, of a double-barrel loaded shotgun, than to hear that shit they call pop-country music, on ninety-eight-point-one"

Today's Date In Music History: Hank Williams III Live at La Zona Rosa in Austin, Texas on 5/23/2006

01) Straight To Hell - 02) Thrown Out Of The Bar - 03) A Little Bit Of Smoke & A Whole Lotta Wine - 04) I Don't Know - 05) Pills I Took -
06) Devil's My Friend - 07) Country Heroes -
08) Mississippi Mud - 09) Trashville - 10) Legend of D Ray White -
11) Dick In Dixie - 12) Longhaired Redneck - 13) If You Don't Like Hank Williams - 14) Ramblin Man' - 15) Cocaine Blues - 16) Crazed Country Rebel - 17) Seven Months 39 Days - 18) Not Everbody Likes Us -
19) Hoedown - 20) Louisanna Stripes - 21) Nighttime Ramblin Man'
01) Don't Wanna Go Home - 02) Prayin For A Heart Attack - 03) Life Of Sin - 04) White trash Pt. 2 - 05) Mississippi Highway (Go Fuck You) - 06) Hellbilly
01) Gravel Pit - 02) Trepanation - 03) Cutthroat - 04) Brutal, Rough & Bloody - 05) Redneck Ride (Gotta Buy Paw A Truck) - 06) We Take Pills - 07) Choking Gesture - 08) Tennessee Drive -
09) No Regrets - 10) No Values - 11) Punch, Fight, Fuck - 12) Cocaine - 13) Cops Shoot Drugs -
14) Eat and Kill - 15) Black Destiny

The sound on this one isn't crystal but it's good enough to get drunk to!

Play Show Here:
(warning-strong language)

Download full show here.

Hank and the band are extremely cool to all tapers, on June 25, 2004, Hank Williams III gave his OK for inclusion:
"I give all bootleggers permission to upload my shows ... if there are any venue troubles it is encouraged for the taper to knock on the bus door and ask for road managers Karma or Randy. If they arent available ask for Hank himself and he will get you taken care of." ~ Hank Williams III

Friday, May 22, 2009

One For MC

MC, over at A Fine Mess, has long been a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Actor Charlton Heston was also a champion of the right to keep and bear arms.

Below is a photo of what was reportedly** Chuck Heston's gun safe.
(thanks to Al at WGY)

Click photo to look inside!

As this Memorial Day weekend approaches, take a moment to reflect on all the brave souls that have given their lives to protect this, and other rights.
Don't let their deaths be in vain.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today's Date In Music History:

(This type of post may become a new regular feature on the blog, so feedback is welcomed.)

Grateful Dead Live at Edmundson Pavilion - University of Washington on May 21, 1974

Set 1
Me And My Uncle, Brown Eyed Women, Beat It On Down The Line, Deal, Mexicali Blues, It Must Have Been The Roses, The Race Is On, Scarlet Begonias, El Paso, Row Jimmy, Money Money, Ship Of Fools, Weather Report Suite Prelude -> Weather Report Suite Part 1 -> Let It Grow -> China Doll
Set 2
Playing In The Band, U.S. Blues, Big River, Stella Blue, Around And Around, Eyes Of The World -> Wharf Rat -> Sugar Magnolia
Johnny B. Goode

Particularly of note is the version of Playing In The Band, which clocks in at over 46 minutes!

Play show here:

Download complete show here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pete Townshend

Rock musician/composer Pete Townshend, founding member of The Who, celebrates his 64th birthday today.

Below is a video of The Who performing at Tanglewood in July 1970.

Download: The Who at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 29, 1969
- complete soundboard recording of The Who in 1969 includes a full performance of Tommy:

or, if you'd prefer, download some solo Pete - The Lifehouse Demos.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"if there is any justice in the world, she will be eating out of garbage cans by the end of the year!!!"

-Bob opines on Nancy Pelosi

Alfred has also posted on the subject, as has Jimmy.

Has anyone noticed how these people so quickly rely on the "idiot defense" each time a scandal arises?
Either they're lying or incompetent.Neither quality should be tolerated in a leader.

Michael Savage rants on Pelosi as well:

I like where this appears to be going.Soon we'll all be singing that song from The Wizard Of Oz.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The "Sunshine Superman" turns 63

Born Donovan Leitch in Glasgow, Scotland, the singer/songwriter known as Donovan has achieved immortality on oldies radio thanks to the popularity of songs like "Mellow Yellow" and "Sunshine Superman." First promoted as Britain's answer to Bob Dylan, Donovan began as a straightforward modernizer of folk music, and then later embraced the flower-powered spirit of hippie mysticism that characterized the mid-'60s. Teaming with producer Mickie Most, Donovan put out a series of increasingly eclectic albums that tapped into the psychedelic spirit of the time before turning heavy and apocalyptic as the '60s drew to a close.

Below is the song "Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)" recorded in May of 1969, on which Donovan is backed by the Jeff Beck Group (Beck on lead guitar, Ronnie Wood on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and Micky Waller on drums).

Happy Mothers' Day!

Mama Tried

First thing I remember knowing was that lonesome whistle blowing
And a young man's dream of growing up to ride
On a freight train leaving town, not knowing where I'm bound
No-one could change my mind but mama tried

One and only rebel child, from a family meek and mild
Mama seemed to know what lay in store
In spite of all my Sunday learning towards the bad I kept on turning
Mama couldn't hold me any more

And I turned twenty one in prison doing life without parole
No-one could steer me right but mama tried
Mama tried to raise me better but her pleading I denied
That leaves only me to blame 'cause mama tried

Dear old daddy, rest his soul, left my mom a heavy load
She tried so very hard to fill his shoes
Working hours without rest, wanted me to have the best
She tried to raise me right but I refused

Click image below to hear Mama Tried as performed by New Riders of the Purple Sage (w/ special guest, Bob Weir), recorded at the Fillmore East May 15, 1970.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Feeling a bit Odd?

Happy Odd Day!

It's 05/07/09 which means there are three consecutive odd numbers that make up the date.
This happens only 6 times per century.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Oh, the Humanity!!"

The Hindenburg disaster occurred on this date in 1937.
The German rigid airship caught fire and was destroyed while attempting to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station.Out of the 97 people on board, 35 were killed, in addition to one fatality on the ground.

The largest man made object ever to fly, the Hindenburg would carry a gas volume of 7,062,000 cubic feet.

Although the Hindenburg is most famous for her fiery death, she was not initially meant to be filled with hydrogen at all. In order to keep the Zeppelin Company afloat during the hard times of the depression, large sums of money (bailout?) had been accepted by the National Socialist Party (anyone see a parallel here?).The United States, having the only natural deposits of helium in the world, was getting more and more suspicious of Hitler and his new Third Reich. Government officials wondered if the Zeppelin could be used for military purposes.Thus, a decision was made in the U.S. Congress and The Helium Control Act made it impossible for the Zeppelin Company to obtain helium for their new ship. With this turn of events, the Hindenburg was inflated with the volatile gas, hydrogen.
The "accident" served to shatter public confidence, and marked the end of the giant, passenger carrying rigid airships.
While many conclude that the cause was sabotage, various alternate theories abound.
Some credit the Pineys.

Just as with many of today's recent happenings, we may never know the "truth".
So much for transparency.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yankee Crank?

Jacqueline Standley, the estranged mother of Joba Chamberlain, was jailed in Nebraska and faces a felony charge after being arrested on suspicion of selling methamphetamine to an undercover police officer
(via NY Post)

You may recall, Joba had some troubles of his own last October ( in addition to the Yankees not playing in the post-season).

The Other Palin

Today, Monty Python's Michael Palin celebrates his 66th birthday.

Now hailed as a national treasure for travelogues like "Around the World in 80 Days", however far he may journey Michael Palin will never escape his reputation as a brilliant writer/performer and the Python you could take home to meet the family.

Perhaps, my fondest recollection of Palin is his role of Dennis (The Constitutional Peasant) in Monty Python and the Holy Grail .

"Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
You can't expect to wield supreme power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

Here's the clip from that film described as "Another film completely different from some of the other films which aren't quite the same as this one is."

Below is a Brickfilm remake of the Camelot scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail by Spite Your Face Productions (in LEGO).

"Youre not goin' crazy, you're just a bit sad..."

Al has a related post--don't miss!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The King Of The Surf Guitar

... is 72 years old today!

Surf rock guitarist Dick Dale was born Richard Anthony Monsour on May 4, 1937, to a Lebanese father and a Polish mother in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dale and his family moved to Orange County, California in 1954. It was there that he learned to surf and became interested in music.He soon learned to play the drums, the ukulele, the trumpet and finally the guitar. Among his early musical influences was his uncle, an oud player performing belly dance music. Much of his early music shows a Middle Eastern influence and he is often credited as one of the first electric guitarists to employ non-Western scales in his playing.

Dale, an amateur surfer, wanted his music to reflect the sounds he heard in his mind while surfing.Being left-handed, he was initially forced to play a right-handed guitar, much like Jimi Hendrix would do a few years later. However, he did so without restringing the instrument, leading him to effectively play the guitar upside-down.

Dick Dale's desire to create a certain sound would lead him to push the limits of his equipment:

"Leo Fender kept giving Dale amps and Dale kept blowing them up! Till one night Leo and his right hand man Freddy T. (Freddy Tavares) went down to the Rendezvous Ballroom on the Balboa Peninsula in Balboa, California and stood in the middle of Four Thousand screaming dancing Dick Dale fans and said to Freddy, I now know what Dick Dale is trying to tell me. Back to the drawing board. A special 85 watt output transformer was made that peaked 100 watts when Dale would pump up the volume of his amp, this transformer would create the sounds along with Dale's style of playing, the kind of sounds that Dale dreamed of. But they now needed a speaker that would handle the power and not burn up from the volume that would come from Dale's guitar. Leo, Freddy and Dale went to the James B. Lansing speaker company, and they explained that they wanted a fifteen inch speaker built to their specifications. That speaker would soon be known as the 15" JBL -D130 speaker. It made the complete package for Dale to play through and was named the Single Showman Amp. When Dale plugged his Fender Stratocaster guitar into the new Showman Amp and speaker cabinet, Dale became the first creature on earth to jump from the volume scale of a modest quiet guitar player on a scale of 4 to blasting up through the volume scale to TEN! That is when Dale became the "Father of Heavy Metal" as quoted from Guitar Player Magazine. Dale broke through the electronic barrier limitations of that era!"
[quoted from the official Dick Dale Web site.]

Surf rock became nationally popular in the United States briefly, but then British Invasion began to overtake the American charts in 1964. Dale continued performing live, but was soon set back by rectal cancer. He recovered, and retired from music for a time. In 1979, he almost lost a leg after being injured while swimming; a pollution-related infection made the mild injury much worse. As a result, Dale became an environmental activist and soon began performing again.
Dick Dale is also an accomplished Horseman, Exotic Animal Trainer, Surfer, Martial Arts Expert, Archer, and Pilot.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hide In Plain Sight

Artist Sara Watson made an auto "disappear" by painting it to merge with the surrounding car park (via BBC news)

Unfortunately, it'll be more than an illusion when Obama causes American cars (and jobs) to "disappear".

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Obama Could (and probably will) Do Worse

Betty Boop: Judge For a Day (1935)

Betty is the cleaner a the local courthouse. On the bus ride to work one day, she grows tired of all the liberties her fellow citizens take. She falls asleep and dreams about what she'd do if she were the judge. Among her decrees: a thoughtless smoker learns about second-hand smoke the hard way, and an obnoxious celebrity impersonator is rewarded by having his ears blasted with imitations of Tarzan and the Shadow.