Monday, February 28, 2011

Ghostly Apparition

John Lennon appeared to me in a dream. He talked about things he'd been watching on earth since he died. He said that he really liked compact discs for their sound quality and size, but that he hated bonus tracks on classic LPs, because they ruined the structure of the album. He may be dead, but he still knows a lot about music.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Orlons - South Street

Truthfully I could have linked to Frank Rich's column, but I've done that something like three Sundays in a row. So go read him, then come back and enjoy the Orlons.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Doc Watson - Black Mountain Rag

Happy birthday to Doc. Here's a recording made when he was a stripling of sixty-eight.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gail Collins on Texas and Education

Criminy, this is depressing. Just read Gail Collins.

Nobody wants to see underperforming, overcrowded schools being deprived of more resources anywhere. But when it happens in Texas, it’s a national crisis. The birth rate there is the highest in the country, and if it continues that way, Texas will be educating about a tenth of the future population. It ranks third in teen pregnancies — always the children most likely to be in need of extra help. And it is No. 1 in repeat teen pregnancies.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Krugman on Consuming the Future

Dr K, as he so often does these days, tells me something that makes me unhappy. Which is why I like him.

Why cut a billion dollars from a highly successful program that provides supplemental nutrition to pregnant mothers, infants, and young children? Why cut $648 million from nuclear nonproliferation activities? (One terrorist nuke, assembled from stray ex-Soviet fissile material, can ruin your whole day.) Why cut $578 million from the I.R.S. enforcement budget? (Letting tax cheats run wild doesn’t exactly serve the cause of deficit reduction.)
Once you understand the imperatives Republicans face, however, it all makes sense.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Frank Rich on the One Who Didn't Get Away and the Many Who Did

Bernie Madoff is in jail for the rest of his life, but Frank Rich points out that those with more power (and more sense, hence less blatant) are still doing the same things as ever.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sergio Mendes + Brasil 66 - Mais Que Nada

Not the original Brazilian version, but the version that most people in the US heard first. Adapted about forty years later by the Black-Eyed Peas, with Sergio Mendes guesting.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Drifters - On Broadway

Happy birthday to Barry Mann, who wrote this song with his partner Cynthia Weil. His list of hit songs, with both Weil and other collaborators, is long in at least two ways: there are a lot of them, and they were written over a long period of time. "On Broadway" was one of the earliest, and has been covered by many artists. But the original version by the Drifters may catch the mood of hope mixed with uncertainty the best.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues

I've actually posted this clip before, but that was a while ago, and it's worth posting again, since Gary Moore died on Saturday. RIP and thanks for the memories.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Frank Rich on Egypt, Twitter, and American Media

How do we know what's going on in Egypt? Frank Rich discusses American coverage of the events there.

The talking-head invocations of Twitter and Facebook instead take the form of implicit, simplistic Western chauvinism. How fabulous that two great American digital innovations can rescue the downtrodden, unwashed masses. That is indeed impressive if no one points out that, even in the case of the young and relatively wired populace of Egypt, only some 20 percent of those masses have Internet access.

That we often don’t know as much about the people in these countries as we do about their Tweets is a testament to the cutbacks in foreign coverage at many news organizations — and perhaps also to our own desire to escape a war zone that has for so long sapped American energy, resources and patience.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Band - We Can Talk

I'd rather be burned in Canada
Than to freeze here in the South.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Joan Baez - Love Minus Zero/No Limit

This song is originally from Baez's double LP of Dylan covers, Any Day Now, recorded in Nashville in 1968. The blend of a) the musical backing of Nashville's finest, b) the ethereal soprano of La Baez, and c) Dylan's poetry being put to the service of love rather than politics or existential angst, all together make for a potent mix. And dig the electric sitar.