Friday, February 28, 2014

The Monkees - Cuddly Toy

Let's listen to a Nilsson song that he wrote but someone else recorded.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Harry Nilsson - Don't Leave Me

Yet more Nilsson, as I'm still working my way through the 17-disc box set. This one is off his very first album.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Paco de Lucia - Entre dos aguas

RIP. I only saw him once, with Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin when they toured as a trio.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Krugman on Obamacare Horror Stories

About what you'd expect in terms of the right's reporting. Krugman explains.

Even supporters of health reform are somewhat surprised by the right’s apparent inability to come up with real cases of hardship. Surely there must be some people somewhere actually being hurt by a reform that affects millions of Americans. Why can’t the right find these people and exploit them?

The most likely answer is that the true losers from Obamacare generally aren’t very sympathetic. For the most part, they’re either very affluent people affected by the special taxes that help finance reform, or at least moderately well-off young men in very good health who can no longer buy cheap, minimalist plans. Neither group would play well in tear-jerker ads.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stevie Wonder - My Cherie Amour

Stevie before he took full control of his music was still really good.

Friday, February 21, 2014

They Might Be Giants -- Birdhouse In Your Soul (Live At Music Feeds Studio)

One of my favorite songs. I've posted it before, but this stripped-down version is kind of cool. H/t Atrios.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sid Caesar - "This is Your Story" with Carl Reiner and Howard Morris (Full Sketch)

One more to mark the passing of Sid Caesar. This is often said to be the most memorable of the pieces done for Your Show of Shows in the early fifties.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jimmie Dale Gilmore - Just A Wave, Not The Water

Jimmie Dale performs a song by his fellow Flatlander Buch Hancock. For this TV appearance he's backed by an all-star band: Bill Frisell on guitar, Jerry Douglas on dobro, and Viktor Krauss on bass.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Krugman on Comcast/Time Warner and Monopoly

Dr K explains.

The point is that Comcast perfectly fits the old notion of monopolists as robber barons, so-called by analogy with medieval warlords who perched in their castles overlooking the Rhine, extracting tolls from all who passed. The Time Warner deal would in effect let Comcast strengthen its fortifications, which has to be a bad idea....And there are good reasons to believe that this isn’t a story about just telecommunications, that monopoly power has become a significant drag on the U.S. economy as a whole.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Clara Smith - Clearing House Blues

Another of the great African-American singers of the 1920s-1930s. H/t Dog Ears Music.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Now the Day Is Over (performed by the Hastings College Choir)

This hymn is about a hundred fifty years old. The harmonies in this rendition are nice, but perhaps a tad too prominent, because the simplicity of the melody is part of what makes the song. Still, the overall effect is excellent.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Henry Purcell - Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary - March

I posted a version of this less than six months ago, but the link is already dead. Like a lot of people, I was first introduced to this piece of music through Wendy Carlos's version for the soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange. But the original version, for horns and drums, is full of a strange power, and it's clear why Stanley Kubrick was drawn to it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Grateful Dead - Candyman

I've posted this song before, but the link is broken, so it's fair game. "Candyman" is notable among other things for featuring a Jerry Garcia pedal steel guitar solo. The Dead didn't do it all that often live, I think partly because it's hard to pull off the atmosphere of melancholy menace that pervades the song.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Who - Heaven And Hell

For years this was the Who's usual concert opener. It's written and sung by their bassist, John Entwistle, and the lyrics reflect his sense of humor.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Scrapper Blackwell - Whiskey Man Blues

One of my ongoing informal life projects is to listen more to musicians I've heard are good but just haven't spent much time with yet. So recently I bought some Scrapper Blackwell, one of the blues guitarists of the 1920s-1930s. Here's a taste.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bob Wills - Right Or Wrong

A pop song from the 1920s that became a country music standard. George Strait, among others, has recorded it. On this recording Bob Wills is the bandleader, Tommy Duncan the singer.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Grateful Dead: Althea

The Dead played a lot of kinds of music. This is one of their deceptively laid-back songs.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Last Unicorn - Opening

Arthur Rankin of Rankin-Bass productions has died at eighty-nine. They produced many of the best-known animated TV shows and holiday specials of the sixties and seventies. Here's the beginning of one of their lesser-known efforts, an adaptation of Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Edith Piaf - Comme Moi

I've actually posted this song before, but the link is broken, so hey, it's time to do it again. Piaf was one of the great popular music singers of the twentieth century. She's heard here in a live performance from 1958. What a voice, what a heart.

Monday, February 3, 2014

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman

So sad, such a waste of so much talent. Can't even find a pic I want to post. I just remember in the nineties going to movies and thinking, who is that guy? The blond guy in the supporting role (in Twister, Boogie Nights, etc.) who just takes over the screen whenever he speaks? Then the big roles (Capote and others) came and we knew who he was. I was looking forward to many more years of watching him. So sad, such a waste.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fred Frith - No Birds

Had a chance to see Frith and got reminded of why he has the reputation he does. Here's one reason: the piece here, which has multiple parts going simultaneously, was recorded without any overdubbing. One person, one guitar, live, and it sounds like a small orchestra.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pete Seeger - Waist Deep In The Big Muddy

This is probably the last song written by Pete Seeger that I'll be posting, at least for now. There's a list circulating of his best five songs, and that's what I've been using as a guide. "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" was written at the height of America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Seeger recorded it for an appearance on the Smothers Brothers' show. The song was cut by the network executives, a stink was raised, and a few weeks later the song was aired. This is that performance.