Monday, June 30, 2014

nada modified by a random adjective

Nothing today, sorry.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Horace Silver - The Preacher

Heard this recently and it stuck in my mind, so let's have another post to mark the passing of Horace Silver.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Rolling Stones - It's All Over Now

RIP Bobby Womack. This is the first version of one of his songs that I ever heard.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cochran, African-Americans, and the Future of the Republican Party

Daniel Paul Franklin at Talking Points Memo explains.

Will this moment bring policy changes to benefit Mississippi’s blacks and their communities? Here is the key point: African American voters don’t have to change their politics to participate in Republican Party primaries, but the GOP candidates may need to adjust to attract black votes. Tellingly, Cochran spoke in favor of full voting rights and participation in the course of his last-minute appeal for votes in African American areas. At the very least, Cochran will now have to be cognizant of who kept him in office – and if he keeps the pivotal support of African American constituents in mind, he may well moderate his politics to inoculate himself against pressure from the far right. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Harry Nilsson - Turn Out the Light

There's a full version of this song on his next album, Duit on Mon Dei, but this demo included as a bonus track on the Pussy Cats CD has its charms. For one thing, the voice that comes in on the second verse is a nice example of Nilsson's sense of humor. There's a buzz on this particular clip, but it only gets in the way a little.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Keith Whitley - Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone

Performing the old Carter Family song when he was a member of Ralph Stanley's band.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ten Misconceptions About Science

Why not? Although I believe he's funnin' us with number ten. H/t MLB.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Horace Silver - Song for My Father

RIP to a great pianist, songwriter, and bandleader, who has died at the age of eighty-five. "Song for My Father" is his best-known tune. Big-time jazz fans Steely Dan acknowledged lifting the opening motif for their song "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." For more info, here's his Wikipedia entry.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Krugman on the Perception v. Reality of Obama's Achievements

It's not that the things that Krugman highlights are all that hard to see, but for some reason he doesn't have much company in the punditry.

Put it all together, and Mr. Obama is looking like a very consequential president indeed. There were huge missed opportunities early in his administration — inadequate stimulus, the failure to offer significant relief to distressed homeowners. Also, he wasted years in pursuit of a Grand Bargain on the budget that, aside from turning out to be impossible, would have moved America in the wrong direction. But in his second term he is making good on the promise of real change for the better. So why all the bad press?

Part of the answer may be Mr. Obama’s relatively low approval rating. But this mainly reflects political polarization — strong approval from Democrats but universal opposition from Republicans — which is more a sign of the times than a problem with the president. Anyway, you’re supposed to judge presidents by what they do, not by fickle public opinion.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Henry Purcell - Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary

I've posted parts of this recently, but this is the complete work. It's been much in my mind lately. The performers are alas not listed on the YouTube page for this clip.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Krugman on Movement Conservatism and its Discontents

Interesting that an economist has to do this bit of political analysis, that it seems to be beyond the ability of the average political pundit. Of course, when you're invested in the system, you can't really look at it too closely...

The combination of a successful electoral strategy and the safety net made being a conservative loyalist a seemingly low-risk professional path. The cause was radical, but the people it recruited tended increasingly to be apparatchiks, motivated more by careerism than by conviction.

That’s certainly the impression Mr. Cantor conveyed. I’ve never heard him described as inspiring. His political rhetoric was nasty but low-energy, and often amazingly tone-deaf. You may recall, for example, that in 2012 he chose to celebrate Labor Day with a Twitter post honoring business owners. But he was evidently very good at playing the inside game.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Harry Nilsson - Salmon Falls

Another one of the tracks from the Nilsson box set that's caught my attention. A slow and rather strange song, co-written by Nilsson and Klaus Voorman.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Krugman on the Meaning of Cantor's Loss

Krugman points out something I hadn't seen elsewhere.

Being a movement conservative in good standing meant considerable career safety: even if you or the politician you worked for lost an election, there were jobs to be had at think tanks (e.g. Rick Santorum heading up the “America’s enemies” program at a Scaife-backed think tank), media gigs (two Bush speechwriters writing columns for the Washington Post, not to mention the gaggle at the WSJ and Fox News), and so on.

In other words, being a hard line conservative, which to be fair involved some career risks back in the 60s and into the 70s, became a safe choice; you could count on powerful backing, and if not favored by fortune, you could fall back on wingnut welfare.

And Eric Cantor...came across very much as a movement conservative apparatchik. He took very hard line stances, but never seemed especially passionate; he was, arguably, basically a careerist, and as such was fairly typical.

Maybe that’s what the primary voters sensed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Digby on Democratic Presidential Politics

As the saying goes, what Digby said.

In essence, the result of that 2008 near tie vote was that Obama got to go first with the understanding that Clinton would automatically get the nomination 8 years later. What this means is that (barring unforeseen circumstances)there will have been no left wing challenge in presidential races for 16 years and I think that suits the Party and its rich donors just fine.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Harry Nilsson - Save The Last Dance For Me (Demo)

Not crazy about the fact that we get to see nothing but his tombstone while listening to this track, but there you go. There was a full-blown version of STLDFM on Pussy Cats, the John Lennon-produced 1974 album, but this more intimate version really appeals to me.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Johnny Rivers - Memphis Tennessee

JR's version of "Memphis" is good, but for me part of the value of this clip is the interview at the end. It's a real time capsule of the era.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

Krugman on the New Carbon Pollution Rules

I could say something cute, but hey, why not just say it's here.

For what it’s worth, however, the attacks on the new rules mainly involve the three C’s: conspiracy, cost and China. That is, right-wingers claim that there isn’t any global warming, that it’s all a hoax promulgated by thousands of scientists around the world; that taking action to limit greenhouse gas emissions would devastate the economy; and that, anyway, U.S. policy can’t accomplish anything because China will just go on spewing stuff into the atmosphere.

I don’t want to say much about the conspiracy theorizing, except to point out that any attempt to make sense of current American politics must take into account this particular indicator of the Republican Party’s descent into madness. There is, however, a lot to say about both the cost and China issues.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Vera Lynn - A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square

In 1940 Britain was already at war, and the young, who love love and are the ones who go to war, wanted to hear songs like this, understandably.