Wednesday, July 31, 2013

nada's frantic antics distract no one

Very busy day, sorry.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Hurdy-Gurdy

More people have heard its name than the instrument itself, so an introduction is a good idea. Here an expert hurdy-gurdy player explains and then demonstrates the instrument.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Krugman on the Presidential Lean

When it comes to the economy, what is the president thinking? Krugman offers his take.

So, here we are with inflation at a long-term low, many economists arguing that we need higher inflation expectations, and unemployment the overwhelming problem we face. Yet Obama appears if anything to give more emphasis to inflation-fighting than to unemployment reduction, and throws in stuff about bubbles; basically, he has a definite tight-money lean. I don’t know who it’s coming from.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Van Dyke Parks - Missin' Mississippi

Still enjoying the new VDP album. Being politically engaged can be a positive, no?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The View From the Booster Rocket

Way cool. Cameras and microphones were mounted to the booster rockets on a couple of the space shuttle flights -- this film shows what happens in real time, from liftoff to the jettisoned boosters splashing down.  H/t JM @ TPM.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Van Dyke Parks - Hold Back Time

This song was on Orange Crate Art, Van Dyke Parks's album with Brian Wilson back in the mid-nineties, but this solo version is much newer. I guess you either love VDP's chord changes and intricate off-the-wall arrangements or you don't - I do.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pete Seeger - Twelve Gates to the City

The first time I heard this gospel song, it was in a version similar to this one, so this is how I usually remember it. Not deeply authentic in sound compared to its origin, but deeply heartfelt.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Don Drummond - Man In The Street

Classic ska from the classic ska era. The trombone player Don Drummond was considered by his peers to be perhaps the most talented of all Jamaican musicians of his time.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Dirty Mac- Yer Blues

John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Mitch Mitchell on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus from 1968. The clip starts with Lennon and Mick Jagger spoofing TV interviews.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chait on the Most Conservative of the House Republicans

Good stuff from New York magazine. H/t Huffington Post.

Republicans in 2009 made an intellectual breakthrough of sorts when they grasped that the conventional folk wisdom of Washington, which held that they risked public scorn if they refused to cooperate with a popular new president, had it backward. Americans don’t pay much attention to legislative details, Republicans realized. If some of them supported Obama’s proposals, they would only help the proposals seem more sensible. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Who - The Song Is Over

Watched the Who's Next episode of  "Classic Albums" and got reminded how good this song is.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Paul Robeson - Going Home

The news out of Florida is truly disheartening. There may be nuances in what the jury saw that aren't clear to us -- there often are -- but it's hard to escape the feeling that justice wasn't done. This is a song that came to mind.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Janis Joplin - Trust Me

I've posted this before, but I think the link to the music is broken, so it's fair game. This might be my favorite track off the Pearl album. The writer, Bobby Womack, who had a solid career as a singer himself, plays acoustic guitar.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pierce on House Republicans and the Washington Insiders' View of Them

Can't add much to this - just read it.

The problem with the [Politico article] is that it begins with the premise that the Republicans in Congress, and especially in the House, ever had any intention to help govern the country in any real fashion. This is a fundamental error in which you must be complicit, if you ever plan to Win The Morning again.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Greg Sargent on Republican Obstruction and Journalistic Awareness of It

Once again, a few respected journalists break ranks and state the obvious.

It goes well beyond Obamacare implementation and the relentless blockading of Obama nominees for the explicit purpose of preventing democratically-created agencies from functioning. We’ve slowly crossed over into something a bit different. It’s now become accepted as normal that Republicans will threaten explicitly to allow harm to the country to get what they want, and will allow untold numbers of Americans to be hurt rather than even enter into negotiations over the sort of compromises that lie at the heart of basic governing.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Josh Marshall on 21st Century Conspiracy Theories

This is fascinating. Basically some Egyptians have decided that American conspiracy theories that Obama is a secret radical Muslim are true.

I noticed what I have to say is one of the most fascinating and weirdest developments in Egypt’s now week long coup/revolution/uprising thing. There are a lot of people in Egypt who aren't just mad at Morsi and upset with the US for not more forcefully supporting his ouster. Many actually think the US is actively supporting a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the country. And just to be certain we’re crystal clear: I don’t mean supporting Morsi and the Brotherhood as the legitimate government because they won a fairly free national election. I mean a conspiracy to help the Brotherhood take over the country, even to the extent of rigging the election that brought him to power.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Neil Young - The Old Laughing Lady

From his first album. He later referred to this album as "overdub city," and the contrast in sound between this one and the electric-guitar-drenched second album couldn't be more pronounced.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Krugman on the Ideal and the Real USA

Been trying to rely on Krugman less as a source for this blog, just to vary things, but this column is too good to pass up.

It’s not just that we have maintained continuity of legal government, although that’s not a small thing. The current government of France is, strictly speaking, the Fifth Republic; we had our anti-monarchical revolution first, yet we’re still on Republic No. 1, which actually makes our government one of the oldest in the world.

More important, however, is the enduring hold on our nation of the democratic ideal, the notion that “all men are created equal” — all men, not just men from certain ethnic groups or from aristocratic families. And to this day — or so it seems to me, and I’ve done a lot of traveling in my time — America remains uniquely democratic in its mannerisms, in the way people from different classes interact.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lightnin' Slim - Bugger Bugger Boy

Still listening to Lightnin' Slim, as I have been for several weeks. What a voice.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Jonathan Bernstein on Republican Hypocrisy

This is an obvious but frequently overlooked point.

The Republican Party’s standard operating procedure is to invent talking points out of whole cloth, broadcast those talking points through the GOP-aligned press, and wind up with every conservative commentator out there adamantly and apparently sincerely hitting that point, over and over — to the point that people who pay attention to those outlets wind up passionately believing them.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Krugman on the Republican War on the Unemployed

This may be just as ugly, uninformed, and ultimately pointless as the invasion of Iraq. Krugman explains.

So what’s going on here? Is it just cruelty? Well, the G.O.P., which believes that 47 percent of Americans are “takers” mooching off the job creators, which in many states is denying health care to the poor simply to spite President Obama, isn’t exactly overflowing with compassion. But the war on the unemployed isn’t motivated solely by cruelty; rather, it’s a case of meanspiritedness converging with bad economic analysis.