Monday, March 31, 2014

The Haden Triplets - Single Girl

This is a big part of what I've been listening to lately.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Randy Newman - Losing You

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Nick Lowe - Raining Raining

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Aram Khachaturian - Adagio from the Gayane Ballet Suite

The musicians aren't credited for this version, but they obviously know what they're doing. This piece was used very effectively in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

James Taylor - Fire And Rain

I've posted this before and may again. It's a song about loss and pain, but is so smooth that it's easy to miss that.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Walt Whitman - Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking / From Pent-Up Aching Rivers

As read by Alexander Scourby. I'm really only pushing "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" here; "From Pent-Up Aching Rivers" is good as well but not my focus. Unfortunately I don't know how to restrict the clip to play only part, so both are given.

"Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" is about as good an example as I can think of that shows what it means to begin to try to comprehend what it means that living things die. It's beautiful, sad, and uplifting simultaneously.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lila Downs - La Llorona

A traditional song done in a mostly traditional style, but this rendition is only a few years old.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mozart - Requiem

This is just the first two sections (Introitus and Kyrie) of the complete work. John Eliot Gardiner conducts the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir.

The English translation of the words:

Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them.
You are praised, God, in Zion,
and homage will be paid to You in Jerusalem.
Hear my prayer,
to You all flesh will come.
Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Harry Nilsson - Sister Marie

Another rarity from the Nilsson box set that really stands out for me. It was apparently released as a B-side, and is notable for being another of Nilsson's covers (like "Everybody's Talkin'"). Interesting that someone originally known as a songwriter would regularly perform other people's songs, but if you really love songs as songs, then it's not so surprising.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Harry Nilsson - Leggenda

A lost gem from the Harry Nilsson box set. This clip is actually ripped from an original vinyl release, where it was the B-side of the Italian single version of "Without You."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Krugman on Ryan's Dog Whistle

There's a fair amount that's already been said about Paul Ryan's comments on the roots of poverty, but Krugman as usual sums things up pretty well.

We are told, for example, that conservatives are against big government and high spending. Yet even as Republican governors and state legislatures block the expansion of Medicaid, the G.O.P. angrily denounces modest cost-saving measures for Medicare. How can this contradiction be explained? Well, what do many Medicaid recipients look like — and I’m talking about the color of their skin, not the content of their character — and how does that compare with the typical Medicare beneficiary? Mystery solved.

Or we’re told that conservatives, the Tea Party in particular, oppose handouts because they believe in personal responsibility, in a society in which people must bear the consequences of their actions. Yet it’s hard to find angry Tea Party denunciations of huge Wall Street bailouts, of huge bonuses paid to executives who were saved from disaster by government backing and guarantees. Instead, all the movement’s passion, starting with Rick Santelli’s famous rant on CNBC, has been directed against any hint of financial relief for low-income borrowers. And what is it about these borrowers that makes them such targets of ire? You know the answer.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Joni Mitchell - The Hissing of Summer Lawns

Title track from her first studio album after Court and Spark, her breakthrough, so expectations for this one were high. At the time I thought there were some good songs but was kind of disappointed. Now I think it's very good.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Terry Southern in eBook Form

I was talking last night about Terry Southern with someone. A little online searching turned up this clip about how his works are now available in eBook format.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jerry Garcia - Loser

Only a true loser would ever say, "I've got no chance of losing this time." You can always lose; the likelihood just depends on the odds in that particular situation. It's not always easy to know those odds. Still, you have to play the game.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ed Kilgore on the Conservative Crossroads

Ed Kilgore contributes regularly at Talking Points Memo. Here he discusses the conservative movement's present as it looks into its future.

Conservative self-confidence has regularly alternated or even coincided with defeatism and paranoia. There’s always been an undertone of cultural despair in the post-Moral Majority Christian Right, where the legalized-abortion “regime” that has prevailed since Roe v. Wade occasionally tempts conservatives to compare the U.S. to Nazi Germany or the antebellum South. And even in times of conservative political ascendancy, claims that the Judiciary or academic elites were thwarting the achievement of conservative policy goals have been very common. But at least since 2008, the question of whether conservatives are winning or losing in the battle for dominance of American culture and politics has been confused by internal conservative disagreement as to whether majoritarian or anti-majoritarian values are at stake.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pierce on Palin

Charles Pierce will never be taken seriously by the DC punditocracy because he lacerates them so regularly, but he's usually right. Here he is on Sarah Palin's appearance at CPAC.

In 2008, we should remember, she wasn't sure how many Koreas there were, thought Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks, and was unclear whether or not Africa was a country.  So, in an act of Christian charity, I will grant that some anonymous staffer, who very likely has only now recovered from the serious heroin habit he developed while working with Palin on foreign policy in 2008, was slightly clairvoyant about the intentions of the Putin government. Well done, unsung hero. If you respect her knowledge of anything beyond where her next speaking fee is coming from, you're an idiot and I feel sorry for you.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Band - The Unfaithful Servant

This is a song I always associate with sorrow. I've posted it before, but need to again.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bette Midler - The Rose

I've posted this before more than once, but need to post it again.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I've used this poem before when someone in my life unexpectedly died, but I can't think of anything better. It's by the English poet Thomas Gray, who lived from 1716 to 1771.

"On the Death of Richard West"

In vain to me the smiling Mornings shine,
    And reddening Phoebus lifts his golden fire;
The birds in vain their amorous descant join;
    Or cheerful fields resume their green attire;
These ears, alas! for other notes repine,
    A different object do these eyes require;
My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine;
    And in my breast the imperfect joys expire.
Yet Morning smiles the busy race to cheer,
    And new-born pleasure brings to happier men;
The fields to all their wonted tribute bear;
    To warm their little loves the birds complain;
I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hear,
    And weep the more because I weep in vain.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Three Dog Night - One

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