Friday, August 31, 2012

Leonard Cohen - Winter Lady

From LC's first album.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jefferson Airplane - Comin' Back To Me

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Beatles - A Day in the Life

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bobby Hebb - Sunny

I've posted this before, but sometimes there's a reason to post something again.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Krugman on Perception of Paul Ryan

Professor K explains why there are people who want to take Paul Ryan seriously, even if they don't qualify as hard-core supporters.

So what the VSPs were doing was relying on a character judgment to dismiss hard evidence about the reality of Ryan’s proposals. That is, I’ve often argued, something you should never do — the truth is that we’re not that good at the character-sniffing thing (remember how Bush was a bluff, honest guy?), and in any case policy proposals should be evaluated on the merits or lack thereof. But since this is the way people work, it becomes very relevant to point out that the serious, reasonable guy is in fact in thrall to the ideas of a very unserious, unreasonable novelist.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Coasters - What About Us

The voice of the 99%, more or less, though it's not exactly Rage Against the Machine.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mary Gauthier - Mercy Now

Been following the Akin controversy, but can't think of anything remotely original to add to the conversation, such as it is. So something else instead...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Donald Fagen Talks About "Chain Lightning"

Ever wonder how songwriters do what they do? There are truthfully as many ways as there are songwriters, maybe even as many as there are songs, but here's one songwriter talking about how it worked for one song.  His partner (Walter Becker) must have figured in the final result as well, but Fagen in this clip is explaining the basic foundation of the song.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Krugman on Ryan's Budget Plan

About what you'd expect, I'm afraid. We're doomed. Dr K explains.

So if we look at the actual policy proposals, they look like this:

Spending cuts: $1.7 trillion
Tax cuts: $4.3 trillion
This is, then, a plan that would increase the deficit by around $2.6 trillion.

How, then, does Ryan get to call himself a fiscal hawk?... 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Battle of Culloden (1964) Part 1 of 7

This docudrama first shown by the BBC was apparently something of a turning point in how such films could be made, with actors in period costumes being interviewed by a TV reporter. The obvious anachronism is quietly ignored, which works in the end, and the focus on the poorest characters is often moving. If you have time, watch the whole thing.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Washington Phillips - Paul and Silas in Jail

An early gospel performer whose reputation has grown greatly in the last few years. He doesn't sound quite like anyone else.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The End of Macbeth

Nine hundred fifty-five years ago today, the battle of Lumphanan in Scotland marked the end of the reign of Macbeth as king of Scotland. He would be little remembered today, were it not for the fact that Shakespeare wrote a play about him over five hundred years later. Macbeth's final soliloquy is considered to be one of the most memorable and emotionally resonant pieces of blank verse in the English language. What does it signify? Nothing -- just like the man says.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

RIP Brent Grulke

One of the mainstays (behind the scenes) of the Austin music scene for decades, Brent Grulke died unexpectedly yesterday. Here's an appreciation from an old friend of his, Michael Corcoran, who moved in many of the same circles. Hat tip to HLN.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hedy West - Barbara Allen

A leading voice of the folk revival performing one of the best-known of traditional folk ballads.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gabby Pahinui & Atta Isaacs - I'm A Livin' on a Easy

Some true traditional Hawaiian music, although the English lyrics are (deliberately) a little goofy.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Terry Reid - Superlungs My Supergirl

From 1969, but not one you're likely to hear on your classic rock station. Terry Reid was Jimmy Page's first choice to be Led Zeppelin's vocalist, but he turned it down and recommended Robert Plant instead. Reid's solo career earned him a lot of respect but not much commercial success. Here he nails a Donovan song.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

RIP Robert Hughes

I honestly haven't read much Hughes, but he's always stood out for me as an example of what any sort of critic should be: tough without descending into knee-jerk bitchiness, appreciative without being fawning, and always performing the seemingly essential but distressingly rare feat of knowing enough about the subject matter to know what he was talking about. Here's the Guardian obit and an appreciation.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Joan Baez - A Stranger In My Place

Co-written by none other than Kenny Rogers in his First Edition days, this song became a country standard. This version was the first I ever heard. Love never really dies, and sometimes that causes problems.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

NASA: Curiosity's Seven Minutes Of Terror

NASA's website is understandably overworked, so this is a link to someone's YouTube copy of the video. Cross your fingers.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mark Twain in 1909

It just blows me away that stuff like this exists. This was film shot by Thomas Edison the year before Mark Twain died. It's available on the Internet Archive.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

RIP Gore Vidal

I came to prefer his essays to his fiction, even though the fiction was often quite good. But the wit and erudition in his nonfiction, the breadth of his areas of interest, and the fact that he seemed to be personally acquainted with nearly every person of interest in the Anglophone world of the twentieth century, made his essays a rich feast. His book of collected essays, United States, is about nine hundred pages, and I devoured it as fast as I could.
Among the people he knew personally: John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Carson, Italo Calvino, Amelia Earhart. And that's just a bit of the tip of the iceberg. Plus he had something interesting to say about each of them. Vale, scriptor. Not sure if that's proper Latin, but what the hell.
Here's the Guardian obit.