Thursday, February 28, 2013


I didn't die, my Internet did. Back to regular posting soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mississippi Fred McDowell - You Got To Move

Better-known to most people via the Rolling Stones' remake, which is pretty much a note-for-note copy. Hope Mr. McDowell got all his royalties.

Friday, February 22, 2013

David Bowie - Changes

Going through some changes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paul Revere and the Raiders - Hungry

They were just too nice a bunch of guys to really sound like the Rolling Stones, which seemed to be their aim in 1965. But not bad.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Krugman on Why Nine Dollars an Hour Isn't a Bad Idea

In a nutshell, when you adjust for inflation the minimum wage in the US is lower than it was forty-five years ago. So raising it shouldn't be that big a deal, yet there's a lot of opposition from the usual suspects. Dr K explains.

Now, you might argue that even if the current minimum wage seems low, raising it would cost jobs. But there’s evidence on that question — lots and lots of evidence, because the minimum wage is one of the most studied issues in all of economics. U.S. experience, it turns out, offers many “natural experiments” here, in which one state raises its minimum wage while others do not. And while there are dissenters, as there always are, the great preponderance of the evidence from these natural experiments points to little if any negative effect of minimum wage increases on employment.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Josh Marshall on Republican Opposition to Hagel

From Talking Points Memo, a take I haven't seen anywhere else.

To understand what’s going on here you have to go back at least a decade. What happened in 2001 had roots in what happened in the 1990s and back even into the 1980s. But it was still a big departure, one that began before 9/11 but was heavily accelerated by it.
This is why the idea that Obama has continued Bush’s policies is so wrongheaded and frankly inane. Basically everything Barack Obama has done since coming into office has been to unwind the thicket of commitments, practices and open wars begun under George W. Bush. People who don’t know the policies and the agendas in detail can miss this....Hagel in himself is no singular figure. But he’s part of the Scowcroft/Brezinzski et al. running critique of Bush era foreign policy. It’s not just that he didn’t vote for this or that declaration about the Iranian government or doesn’t toe the Likud line on the Israel/Palestine front. He’s one of those people who just don’t think these issues should be the be all and end all of our role in the world at all. And that’s extremely threatening to some people.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Sky is Falling

Here's a decent roundup of video showing the Russian meteors, from TalkingPointsMemo. This is one of the clips:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sargent on Republican Strategies

Greg Sargent has an interesting point to make.

The priorities laid out in both the Inaugural Address and in yesterday’s SOTU speech are very explicitly about intensifying the bond between the core constituencies that reelected Obama — minorities; young voters; college educated whites, especially women; and to some degree non-college white women — and the Democratic Party. The second term agenda Obama laid out in both those speeches is also explicitly designed to deepen GOP estrangement from these constituencies — which also happen to be growing as a share of the national vote. Is the GOP response to this really to do … nothing?
There are two pieces of evidence that suggest the answer is Yes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Corries - The Wild Mountain Thyme

This "traditional Scottish folk song," while based on earlier material, in fact is first attested in Northern Ireland in 1957. It was recorded by the McPeake Family then, and Francis McPeake probably wrote it mostly sometime in the 1930s. It was very popular in the folk revival of the 1960s, with people such as Joan Baez, the Byrds, and Judy Collins recording it, but the Scots (and Irish) seem to sing it best.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Rolling Stones - Jigsaw Puzzle

From the era when Mick Jagger wrote interesting lyrics.

"The gangster looks so frightening
With his Luger in his hand,
But when he gets home to his children
He's a family man."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Donovan - Widow With Shawl (A Portrait)

The kind of new-minted "traditional" song that Donovan could pull off better than just about anyone else. The rolling finger-picked arpeggios carry the song from beginning to end.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Republican Civil War Moves Into New Phase

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has a good take on establishment Republicans fighting back against tea partiers.

What’s interesting about this development to me is that the establishment counter-attack is so unabashedly establishment in nature. Before American Crossroads, [it's president Steven J.] Law was the Chief Counsel for the US Chamber of Commerce. So extremely establishment money Republicans, the folks who are animated by low upper income taxes and minimal regulation of the private economy don’t really care or generally want to talk about birth control or rape or Muslims or a lot of the other things that really animate the base of the Republican party. And the message is open and direct: we’re going to stop you from nominating these crazy people.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sergei Rachmaninoff - Vocalise

Anna Moffo sings, Leopold Stokowski conducts. Music's better than the video, but that's usually the case.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

So Begins The Task (Stephen Stills Cover)

Another amateur video from YouTube. The root of "amateur" is the Latin "amo" - love. This guy obviously loves this song.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hank Williams - Lost Highway

Hank Williams is best remembered as a songwriter, so it's interesting to note that one of his signature songs was actually written by someone else. Leon Payne was a blind Texas musician who wrote a number of songs  that became popular for C&W performers in the 1950s. Doug Sahm, on one of his records, has a brief reminiscence of meeting Payne. 

The song captures a feeling that, since the interstate highway system spread in the US, is little-known: the feeling that all  roads connect, but some are way far away from anywhere you want to be.