Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Lulus - The Lottery Song

A nice cover of one of my favorite Nilsson-penned songs. There's a bit of goofiness after the song ends.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Monkees - What Am I Doing Hangin' Round

One of my favorite songs by the Monkees. It was written by Michael Martin Murphey, later famous for "Wildfire" among others.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Krugman on "Rugged Individualists"

The Bundy effect.

At the heart of the standoff was a perversion of the concept of freedom, which for too much of the right has come to mean the freedom of the wealthy to do whatever they want, without regard to the consequences for others.

Start with the narrow issue of land use. For historical reasons, the federal government owns a lot of land in the West; some of that land is open to ranching, mining and so on. Like any landowner, the Bureau of Land Management charges fees for the use of its property. The only difference from private ownership is that by all accounts the government charges too little — that is, it doesn’t collect as much money as it could, and in many cases doesn’t even charge enough to cover the costs that these private activities impose. In effect, the government is using its ownership of land to subsidize ranchers and mining companies at taxpayers’ expense.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

nada is just around the corner

Damn. Second Saturday in a row I've forgotten to post. Can you forgive me? All three of you?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Krugman on the Conservative Response to Piketty

About what you'd expect.

 For the past couple of decades, the conservative response to attempts to make soaring incomes at the top into a political issue has involved two lines of defense: first, denial that the rich are actually doing as well and the rest as badly as they are, but when denial fails, claims that those soaring incomes at the top are a justified reward for services rendered. Don’t call them the 1 percent, or the wealthy; call them “job creators.”

But how do you make that defense if the rich derive much of their income not from the work they do but from the assets they own? And what if great wealth comes increasingly not from enterprise but from inheritance?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Harry Nilsson - This Could Be The Night

The clip starts with a snippet of another song, "Superman,"  by Nilsson, but then pivots into "This Could Be The Night." TCBTN is a curiosity because it was co-written with Phil Spector sometime in the early to mid sixties. It shows what a careful student of songwriting Nilsson was, both because he was willing to apprentice with an established figure like Spector, and because the style is so different from his better-known work. Might have been a hit for someone, but in the end wasn't.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prospero's Speech on Mortality in The Tempest Act 4 Scene 1

Happy four hundred and fiftieth birthday to WS. This is not the best version  of this speech available, but it's still pretty good.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The First Earth Day

I won't post all the parts - this is just part one - but it looks like YouTube has the complete program. Earth Day was a big day when it started; the energy companies hadn't yet declared war on it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Krugman on Sweden's Sadomoneratists

This is depressing, in more than one meaning of the word. Krugman lays it out.

At least as I define it, sadomonetarism is an attitude, common among monetary officials and commentators, that involves a visceral dislike for low interest rates and easy money, even when unemployment is high and inflation is low. You find many sadomonetarists at international organizations; in the United States they tend to dwell on Wall Street or in right-leaning economics departments. They don’t, I’m happy to say, exert much influence at the Federal Reserve — but they do constantly harass the Fed, demanding that it stop its efforts to boost employment.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lake Street Dive - Dedicated To The One I Love

Nice cover of a cover of a cover. One of my favorites of the new bands.


Got busy yesterday and totally blew off blog posting. I notice that the world is still turning, though, so apparently no harm done.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Harry Nilsson - I'll Never Leave You

One of my favorite Nilsson songs. The voice, the sentiment, a quirky but sweet arrangement by George Tipton, just...everything.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Petra Haden - Tattoo

Let's about some more of Petra Haden's multi-track a capella work? This is from her re-creation of The Who Sell Out.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Haden Triplets: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Still listening to the new Haden Triplets album. Recently they performed on NPR's Tiny Desk series, so here you go.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jesse Winchester - Black Dog

RIP James Ridout Winchester, better known as Jesse. I was one of the people who bought his first album when it came out. Produced by Robbie Robertson, it featured at least one other member of the Band, Levon Helm, among the backup musicians. This haunting and disturbing song was a standout.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Beethoven - Piano Sonata no. 31 opus 110

Igor Levit is making a name for himself among classical piano aficionados. Here he performs for Dutch television last December.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Doors - Alabama Song

How about another song from the sixties with a sort of circus-y background? Plus the second song from this album I've posted recently. Why? Not sure, really. Just because.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Leonard Cohen - Sisters of Mercy

From his first album, which he soon decided was over-produced. But I kind of like the circus-y backing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Krugman on Stupidity of the Right vs. Stupidity of the Left

It's not considered good form on a blog that's meant to have a relatively wide scope to have two posts in a row that are very similar (unless it's done deliberately as part of a series), but hey, Krugman is good.

People understand the world in ways that suit their tribal identities: in controlled experiments both conservatives and liberals systematically misread facts in a way that confirms their biases. And more information doesn’t help: people screen out or discount facts that don’t fit their worldview. Politics, as he says, makes us stupid.

But here’s the thing: the lived experience is that this effect is not, in fact, symmetric between liberals and conservatives.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Krugman on Economic Conventional Wisdom and Who Benefits From It

As per usual, Dr K clears out the underbrush.

So what makes the obvious unsayable? In a direct sense, what we’re seeing is the power of conventional wisdom. But conventional wisdom doesn’t come from nowhere, and I’m increasingly convinced that our failure to deal with high unemployment has a lot to do with class interests.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

RIP Peter Matthiessen

I've only read Far Tortuga, but thought it was very good. Guess I'll have to read the others now. Matthiessen was a writer of a particular type, erudite but never the least bit showy, deeply interested in human beings both as individuals and in the aggregate. His last book will be published on Tuesday. Here's the Guardian obit.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mavis Staples - Losing You

Another version of the Randy Newman song I posted a few days ago.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Charlie Parker - Ornithology

Finally got a decent Charlie Parker best-of compilation and have been listening to that lately. Here's one of his classic tunes, featuring a young Miles Davis on trumpet.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest

I think I've posted this before, but no matter. One of my favorite cultural artifacts ever. First saw it when I was a child, and am happy that thanks to modern technology it is now easily available. H/t Atrios for the link.