Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sting - All This Time (Unplugged)

As so often nowadays, I'm posting a song I've had in my head lately. Hadn't heard this version before.

Friday, August 30, 2013

RIP Seamus Heaney

Reading his poem "Digging" at various times over the years.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Elvis Costello - I'm Not Angry

Always liked the harpsichord-ish part in the bridges.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pink Floyd - One of These Days

This live version isn't really as good as the original studio version, but all the studio Pink Floyd has been removed from YouTube. So this'll have to do.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Simon & Garfunkel - Slip Slidin' Away

From the concert in Central Park in 1981, the guys do a song Simon had recorded solo a few years before. One of Paul's sweet but gloomy meditations.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why is There Music?

Since I post a lot of music, a link about music instead seems like a good idea. This article is about research done on why people like music in the first place.

"This hypothesis centers on music's unique ability to influence the mood and behavior of many people at once," [the researchers] write, "helping to mold individual beings into a coordinated group." They cite the power of military music, music played at sports games, and "ritualized drumming" as examples.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Krugman on the Prevalence of Bubbles

Doctor K really is like the Cassandra of classical myth: he tells the truth and is ignored. Read the article to find the answer to the question below.

This latest financial turmoil raises a broader question: Why have we been having so many bubbles?

For it’s now clear that the flood of money into emerging markets — which briefly drove Brazil’s currency up by almost 40 percent, a rise that has now been completely reversed — was yet another in the long list of financial bubbles over the past generation. There was the housing bubble, of course. But before that there was the dot-com bubble; before that the Asian bubble of the mid-1990s; before that the commercial real estate bubble of the 1980s. That last bubble, by the way, imposed a huge cost on taxpayers, who had to bail out failed savings-and-loan institutions.

The thing is, it wasn’t always thus. The ’50s, the ’60s, even the troubled ’70s, weren’t nearly as bubble-prone. So what changed?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kris Kristofferson - Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends

A friend of mine loaned me a copy of Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends: The Publishing Demos 1968-72. This is the song that stood out for me.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

RIP Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton was one of those highly respected jazz musicians who never really becomes famous to the  larger world in the way that someone like Duke Ellington does. With his death two days ago, one more link to the great flowering of jazz in the middle of the twentieth century is gone. Here he performs Ellington's "Satin Doll" in a trio setting.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Marty Robbins - El Paso

How have I missed posting this until now? One of my favorites for many years, it's an old-fashioned cowboy movie rendered in song. In fact, it's said to be based on an old silent movie. Grady Martin plays the classical guitar fills, Tompall Glaser and his brothers do the backing vocals.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Krugman on ACA Implementation and the Republican Dilemma

Professor K lays it out.

I guess that after all the years of vilification it was predictable that Republican leaders would still fail to understand the principles behind health reform and that this would hamper their ability to craft an effective political response as the reform’s implementation draws near. But their rudest shock is yet to come. You see, this thing isn’t going to be the often-predicted “train wreck.” On the contrary, it’s going to work.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bruce Springsteen - Devil's Arcade

The beat of your heart
The beat of your heart
The beat of your heart
The beat of your heart

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lee Dorsey - Do Re Mi

Lee Dorsey was one of the great New Orleans artists of the 50s-60s associated with Allen Tousaint. This song is from 1962.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Elton John - Harmony

One of my favorite EJ songs. Just a pop song, but sometimes that's all you need.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ewan McColl - I Loved a Lass

To continue in the twentieth century Brit folk vein, here's a song I've loved for many years.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Swan Arcade - Black Seam

I've posted a different version of this song in the past, but sadly its message of callous greed and the toll such greed takes is almost always relevant. This a capella version was recorded by a British band shortly after Sting's original came out.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

RIP Jody Payne

Willie Nelson's longtime guitarist dies at 77. Here he gets a solo spot in 1995.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Robyn Hitchcock - Open The Door Homer

If the tradition of English eccentrics was completely dead, Robyn Hitchcock would not exist. Here he sings a Bob Dylan song, with a touch of Beatles thrown in at the end.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Blind Faith - Well Alright

Saw Santana do a nice version of this once, using this arrangement. Interesting that guitar god Clapton doesn't take a true solo.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Anticipating Congressional Budget Follies

Looks like some realistic and sober analysis, which makes it all the more disturbing. H/t PK @ NYT.

When it comes to the budget there's so left much to do, so many moving pieces and so little time that the overall situation -- let alone the fate of a particular bill -- is virtually impossible to predict with any degree of certainty.
And when you add the somehow-still-increasingly-intractable budget politics to the mix, the odds of being right about what's going to happen get even longer unless you're suggesting something close to fiscal chaos.
That's what I'm predicting: budget bedlam this fall and beyond.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pareene on Cruz vs. the GOP Old Guard

Hat tip to Digby. I think this nails it:

This week, all the respectable, professional Republicans told Ted Cruz not to try to shut down the government over Obamacare. Karl Rove said it, in a Fox News editorial....Jennifer Rubin — who has clearly detested Cruz for a while now — has been relentless in her attacks on Cruz and his shutdown caucus....Charles Krauthammer called the Lee and Cruz plan “nuts” and “yet another cliff dive as a show of principle and manliness.” Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, who has an opinion column in the Washington Post for some utterly unfathomable reason, is similarly opposed.

To all these critics, the only reasonable response is, hope you enjoy this bed you made for yourselves.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Nirvana - Something In The Way

Watched the Classic Albums episode about Nevermind and got reminded of this song. Never had really thought much about the vocal, but Butch Vig talks about how hard Cobain worked to get it right. And in the end it's battered-but-not-hopeless quality gives the song real strength.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sir Douglas Quintet - Mendocino

It's August, so let's listen to a little August "Augie" Meyers, longtime musical partner of Doug Sahm. Here he's the keyboardist for the Sir Douglas Quintet, in an appearance on Playboy After Dark from 1969, complete with chatter between Doug and Hugh Hefner.