Monday, September 30, 2013

Elizabeth Cotten - Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie

"Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie" is not as famous as Cotten's "Freight Train," but it has been covered pretty often. Still, there's nothing like the original. This was recorded late in her life, so her voice is a little worn, but the spirit shines through, and the guitar playing is still exemplary.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

When an Element of the Zeitgeist Gets Predictable

This is spot-on and hilarious. H/t Ken Levine.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

James Fallows on the Budget Showdown

Some guidelines.

This isn't "gridlock." It is a ferocious struggle within one party, between its traditionalists and its radical factions, with results that unfortunately can harm all the rest of us -- and, should there be a debt default, could harm the rest of the world too.

H/t Digby.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Jefferson Airplane - Martha

Watched a JA documentary on Neflix and got reminded of this song.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ted Cruz as Political Operative

A nice summary of Ted Cruz's situation from Steve Benen.

Indeed, the far-right's senator's entire scheme is imploding in ways that he apparently didn't see coming. Cruz has lost House Republicans, who were furious when he predicted failure last week after they followed his lead. Cruz has lost Senate Republicans, who consider his hare-brained scheme ridiculous and are annoyed by his efforts to exacerbate intra-party tensions.

H/t Greg Dworkin @ dailykos.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cruz, Obamacare, and the Senate

Talking Points Memo has a good article that lays out what we can expect in the Senate in the next few days.

Now that the House has passed a bill to keep government open as long as Obamacare is defunded, [Senator Cruz] is pressuring his Republican colleagues to filibuster any continuing resolution unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) agrees to gut Obamacare. Reid has vowed not to do so. But he needs 60 votes to advance legislation, and Democrats have 54. That means six GOP members are required to help him move a bill to avert a shutdown. Cruz is working to slam that door shut for every Republican.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Birthday BB

September 22 is the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, of course, so we must mark the occasion.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Krugman on the Republicans, One More Time

Just go read it.

First came the southern strategy, in which the Republican elite cynically exploited racial backlash to promote economic goals, mainly low taxes for rich people and deregulation. Over time, this gradually morphed into what we might call the crazy strategy, in which the elite turned to exploiting the paranoia that has always been a factor in American politics — Hillary killed Vince Foster! Obama was born in Kenya! Death panels! — to promote the same goals.

But now we’re in a third stage, where the elite has lost control of the Frankenstein-like monster it created.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jackie Lomax - Is This What You Want?

RIP Jackie, another Beatles protege who never had much commercial success. "Apple pie and ice cream, do you treat your mama mean?"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Traffic - (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired

Well, it's true. Happens to everyone, right? The percussion sounds really nice, in any event.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Voyager Seen from Earth

That blurry blue dot is the radio-frequency image of Voyager 1 as it appeared to the  Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope in February of this year, approximately 11.5 billion miles from Earth. When we put our minds to it, we humans can do pretty cool things. Here's more from Discovery.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Brahms Trio op.8 - Edwin Fischer Trio

One nice thing about only knowing a certain amount about classical music is that I get to discover talents that are now long gone. Edwin Fischer was considered to be one of the great classical pianists of the middle of the twentieth century, but I just got some of his work recently. Here he performs in a trio setting, which means he must be accompanist as well as soloist. Needless to say, he acquits himself well.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Conservatives vs. Republicans in the Congressional Health Care Fight

Some interesting reporting/analysis from Talking Points Memo.

The conservative opposition to Obamacare has become unappeasable and it’s tearing the GOP apart. The base is anxious to make a stand now because implementation of the law is set to accelerate on Oct. 1 and its major components poised to take effect on Jan. 1. Advocates privately gloat about their chances of sticking it to GOP leaders as they mobilize in favor of a standoff. Stare down President Barack Obama until he blinks on his own signature achievement, they demand of the GOP, even if it means shutting down the government. But Republican leaders aren’t optimistic that he’ll blink, and worry that initiating this battle could damage their already weak brand and threaten their otherwise secure House majority.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Goodbye Solar System

So cool. From Discovery.

After a 35-year, 13-billion mile journey, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has become the first human-made object to reach interstellar space, new evidence from a team of scientists shows.

“It’s kind of like landing on the moon. It’s a milestone in history. Like all science, it’s exploration. It’s new knowledge,” long-time Voyager scientist Donald Gurnett, with the University of Iowa, told Discovery News.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Muddy Waters - I Can't Be Satisfied

One of his earliest Chess recordings, from 1948. Muddy himself handles the guitar part.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Van Dyke Parks - The Parting Hand

This has become one of my favorites on the new VDP album. It starts out as a straightforward rendition of an old shape-note hymn, but then the orchestra comes in, and, well, it becomes very Van Dyke Parks-ish.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops - The Hill Country Theme

Just found out today that this was written by the great country songwriter Cindy Walker.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine

I guess technically they're folk revivalists, but the term seems not quite right. Does it matter? The music's great.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Rose Royce - Car Wash

From the mind of the great Norman Whitfield. Work and work: happy Labor Day.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

RIP David Frost

Frost's career in journalism actually grew out of his earlier work in comedy. At first he was strictly a comedian, then a political satirist, then a political journalist. Here he reminisces with Ronnie Corbett about early years on the Frost Report and shows a clip from that era. Note a pre-Monty Python John Cleese as a policeman.