Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tim Buckley - Dolphins

From the British TV show Old Grey Whistle Test in 1974.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Muppets - Bohemian Rhapsody

Having Beaker hit the high note = genius.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Frank Rich on the Koch Brothers and the Current Political Climate

Mr. Rich discusses the funding activities of the Rich.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nilsson - You're Breaking My Heart

As a companion piece to the Cee-Lo song posted here a few days ago, here's a golden oldie from Harry N.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ken Mehlman Announces that He is Gay

Here's the NYTimes story.

In equally surprising news, it was announced that very early tomorrow morning, throughout most of the world, a large extremely bright object will become visible on the eastern horizon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Aldus Roger - Bosco Stomp

The great Cajun accordion player with his band, the Lafayette Playboys.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Led Zeppelin - Black Dog

He doesn't sound like this anymore, but what the hell. Robert Plant rips it up.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cream - Blue Condition

Happy birthday to Ginger Baker. "Blue Condition" was one of his contributions as a composer to Cream.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Temptations - For Once in My Life

A Motown classic best-known in Stevie Wonder's version, but Paul Williams, one of the original members of the Temptations, shows here what he can do with it. Plenty, as it turns out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Steve Jordan - El Tremblor De San Francisco

The amazing Tejano accordionist Esteban "Steve" Jordan died on Friday. Unlike most of his colleagues (such as Flaco Jiménez), he played a piano accordion, not a button accordion, and was the first to start using electronic effects on the instrument, leading to his being called the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion. That's not quite accurate, but in "El Temblor de San Francisco" you can hear what people meant when they said so.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Coro de Câmara EMVL - Alguém Cantando

Homemade video, which is why the sound isn't perfect, but a wonderful arrangement and performance of one of my favorite Caetano Veloso songs. "Someone is singing."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Buck Owens and His Buckaroos - Together Again

The clip starts when the song is already in progress, but what the hell, it's Buck in his prime doing what is not only one of his best songs, but one of the great country songs, period. Singing harmony is his longtime collaborator Don Rich, who became something of a cult figure in his own right. Rich eventually recorded several songs with Phil Ochs, not exactly a C&W singer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Impressions - It's All Right

Curtis Mayfield, particularly early in his career, was one of those songwriters who seemed to delight in taking something that most people wouldn't much notice -- a simple phrase, for example -- and using it as the seed for a song. "It's All Right" is about as simple a phrase as there is, but in the hands of Mayfield it became the kind of song that sticks in your head a long, long time. His group at the time, the Impressions, knew how to do it right.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Krugman on Budget Cuts and Basic Services

Dr Krugman makes me sad, but then telling the sad truth is sometimes a doctor's job.

In effect, a large part of our political class is showing its priorities: given the choice between asking the richest 2 percent or so of Americans to go back to paying the tax rates they paid during the Clinton-era boom, or allowing the nation’s foundations to crumble — literally in the case of roads, figuratively in the case of education — they’re choosing the latter.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Santana - Aspirations

"Aspirations" is from 1974's Borboletta, which was when Carlos Santana was doing some of his most musically adventurous, and economically unrewarding, work. Such is life. Santana himself does not even appear on this track, instead letting it serve as a showcase for the remarkable bass playing of guest Stanley Clarke.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Memphis Minnie and Joe McCoy - When the Levee Breaks

Memphis Minnie departed the earthly plane on this date in 1973, which meant that she lived long enough to have heard Led Zeppelin's version of this song. Don't know if she ever did, though. Or if she did, what she thought of it. Maybe she would've thought, like the rest of us, that it had a kick-ass drum sound.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Krugman Explains Deflation

This post is from a few days ago. In it Krugman does something simple but useful: explains why, even though high inflation is bad, deflation is also bad.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning

There's a version on YouTube that is a clip from the 1967 Nancy Sinatra TV special, but it doesn't allow embedding, so here you go.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Paul Simon - The Late Great Johnny Ace

This song was first presented to the larger world as part of the HBO special of Simon and Garfunkel live in Central Park in 1981. When the home video version was released, it was not included. It was however included in Simon's album Hearts and Bones the following year, in a much more elaborate arrangement. That was good, and Philip Glass's coda was a wonderful addition, but I always felt that the impact of the lyrics had been muted by all the added stuff. Here is Simon's original demo version of "The Late Great Johnny Ace," from the bonus tracks on Hearts and Bones. It may be the best song I know that tells what it was like to live through the fifties, the sixties, and up to the immediate pre-Reagan era. After that, all bets are off.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Rascals - See

About the time that it seemed like the Rascals (originally the Young Rascals) might be running out of steam as a creative force in the late sixties, they put even more great songs. "See" was part of the album of the same name released in 1969.