Thursday, May 31, 2012

Doc Watson & Earl Scruggs Play At Doc's Home

Since we also lost Earl Scruggs recently, it's a good time for this clip.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Doc Watson - Your Long Journey

As he says in the remarks at the beginning, this song was written by his wife Rosa Lee. RIP Doc.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Billy Taylor, Duke Ellington, and Willie the Lion - Perdido

I love the way Willie puts his cigar in his mouth when it's time to play, like a football player putting on a helmet before taking the field. From 1969.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Band - King Harvest & Long Black Veil

"King Harvest" was apparently performed in their rehearsal space in Woodstock, New York, in 1969 or 1970, while "Long Black Veil" is from the Festival Express train tour of Canada in 1970. Don't know why they're linked, or why the second one is clipped, but that's life, no? H/t cousin Sis.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Is Grover Norquist Losing His Edge?

Interesting, although like most of the Post's political coverage it's more anecdotal than analytical. Still, worth keeping an eye on. Link here.

In GOP activist circles it is known simply as “the pledge,” and over the past generation it has become the essential conservative credential for Republicans seeking elective office. Of the 242 Republicans in the House today, all but six have signed the pledge.
But now, an increasing number of GOP candidates for Congress are declining to sign the promise to oppose any tax increase, a small sign that could signal a big shift in Republican politics on taxes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Krugman on Wealthy Whiners

Krugman does what he does so often: state the obvious that for some reason few others are saying.

It has, in a way, been funny to see how childish and thin-skinned the Masters of the Universe turn out to be. Remember when Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group compared a proposal to limit his tax breaks to Hitler’s invasion of Poland? Remember when Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase characterized any discussion of income inequality as an attack on the very notion of success?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Grateful Dead - Dancin' in the Street

Every year the Library of Congress announces a list of recordings to be added to the National Recording Registry. These are recordings of music, spoken words, newscasts - anything - that are deemed worthy of special recognition because of their quality. One of this year's twenty-five inductees is a Grateful Dead concert from May 8, 1977, at Cornell University's Barton Hall. Did our national librarians make a good choice? Here's one piece of evidence to help you decide.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Luther Ingram - If Loving You Is Wrong

A great soul song from the early seventies. Every so often on the radio those days, there'd be a gem that would just shine in the middle of all the ordinary music. Here's one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mike Bloomfield - Goofers

Bloomfield displays his careful touch with slide guitar on a brief blues tune.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mulatu Astatke - Yegelle Tezeta

Mulatu Astatke (or Astatqé) was the first African to attend Berklee, the great music school in Boston. After returning to his home in Ethiopia he created music combining the traditions with which he grew up and those in which he'd been trained in Europe and America. In this piece, the horn voicings in particular recall the work of people like Horace Silver.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Gil Evans Orchestra - Gypsy Eyes

One of Evans's arrangements of a Jimi Hendrix song. Very few arrangers other than Gil Evans will leave room for a tuba solo. Recorded in Europe in 1976.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree

Never heard of this song until last night. The video has some technical problems that are in the original, alas. One of Belafonte's calypso-ish songs.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Levon Helm and the R.C.O. All Stars - Washer Woman

From a live recording made in 1977, this features both Levon Helm and Duck Dunn, both of whom passed recently. Solid stuff, with the many parts fitting together as flawlessly as an old Swiss watch. Thanks to swac for the link.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blaze Foley - Clay Pigeons

Some people just know what sad means. Blaze has been gone a while now, but John Prine (among others) plays this song these days. When a well-known songwriter like Prine covers somebody else's song, you have to figure it's because it's good.

Monday, May 14, 2012

RIP Duck Dunn

The video is bogus, in that it is clearly not related to the music, but you get to hear Dunn's bass very clearly. This is from Albert King's 1970 album The King's Things, consisting of reworkings of songs associated with fellow Memphian Elvis Presley.
Duck Dunn was pretty much the epitome of the solid bottom, never flashy but apparently incapable of playing a false note. Goodbye, and thanks.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Roscoe Holcomb - John Hardy

A truly distinctive voice with a song best known in the version by the Carter Family.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are (as read by "Christopher Walken")

To honor the memory of Maurice Sendak, here's a very funny reading of Where the Wild Things Are by Chris Howard, impersonating Christopher Walken.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lugar Loses

The disappearance of the moderate Republican politician continues apace. From the WaPo:

Lugar’s loss — the first for a senator this year — appears to be another victory for the tea party conservatives who roiled the Republican Party in 2010 when they defeated two GOP senators in primaries and knocked off several more establishment favorites in open Senate primaries....In a statement Tuesday night, Lugar said: “If Mr. Mourdock is elected, I want him to be a good Senator.  But that will require him to revise his stated goal of bringing more partisanship to Washington. He and I share many positions, but his embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate.” 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Joni Mitchell - Amelia

A song that uses Amelia Earhart as a touchstone for issues about how to live life. "It was the hexagram of the heavens, it was the strings on my guitar..."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mozart Sonata: "Turkish" Rondo (K. 331) - Charles Rosen

Charles Rosen is a music scholar as well as musician, and part of his reputation is due to the fact that his playing is deeply informed by his scholarship. He takes this well-known piece at a slower tempo than most pianists, following Mozart's tempo markings.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Charles Mingus - Profile of Jackie

From the Pithecanthropus Erectus album, a brief piece written by Mingus as a showcase for its namesake, alto saxophonist Jackie McLean.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Root Boy Slim - Boogie Till You Puke

This is actually a clip from Mr. Mike's Mondo Video, Michael O'Donoghue's 1979 film. This song was, needless to say, never a big hit, but it made an impact nonetheless.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Krugman on Higher Education and Its Discontents

Will the elite change their dire economic policies? Dr. Krugman doesn't know, either, but he knows what the result will be if they don't.

You’ve probably heard lots about how workers with college degrees are faring better in this slump than those with only a high school education, which is true. But the story is far less encouraging if you focus not on middle-aged Americans with degrees but on recent graduates. Unemployment among recent graduates has soared; so has part-time work, presumably reflecting the inability of graduates to find full-time jobs. Perhaps most telling, earnings have plunged even among those graduates working full time — a sign that many have been forced to take jobs that make no use of their education.

College graduates, then, are taking it on the chin thanks to the weak economy. And research tells us that the price isn’t temporary: students who graduate into a bad economy never recover the lost ground. Instead, their earnings are depressed for life.