Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween


Thursday, October 30, 2008

McCain's Base, One More TIme

The writer sometimes known as Glennzilla fleshes out the concept of "tire-swinging."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why Palin was Picked

I love old-fashioned journalism, the kind where a reporter goes out and does some actual research (i.e., the kind which someone like Tom Brokaw hasn't done in decades). Here is the best article I've read explaining how Sarah Palin got into the position she's in, and it relies on actual reporting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Digby on Noonan

Every so often I must stand up and utter the words that are spoken frequently by better bloggers than I:

What digby said

Note: this is a long post, but if like me you've been following the career of Peggy Noonan for the last few decades, it's worth it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Randy Newman - A Few Words in Defense of Our Country

So I know this is nearly two years old, but I heard it again last night and decided it was worth posting. Mr. Newman talks about what the Bush administration has done to America's standing in the world.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Steve Cropper

Happy birthday to Steve Cropper, one of the essential elements of the Stax Records hit factory in the sixties. Here he is in a relatively recent concert appearance.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Krugman on the Party of the Working Class

One of the things I admire about Krugman is that he's the kind of person who, after winning a Nobel Prize last week, got right back to work and produced this slightly wonky (as in policy wonk) column.

But policy wonks are the people who actually care if their numbers add up, which is why so many politicians don't like them. Policy wonks think reality is more important than rhetoric. Sort of like the old Robin Williams line: "Reality--what a concept." When making crucial decisions about the fate of millions of people, taking reality into account--wow. What a concept.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

McCain and Bush, Together Forever

Frank Rich again gathers up some key points and puts them together in a way that no one else quite has.
(And note the Brokeback Mountain allusion in the headline -- I didn't get it until after I'd read the article.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

RIP Levi Stubbs

There are a lot of tributes to Levi Stubbs out there now. All I can do is offer two things. The first is this, which burned itself into my brain at an early age. And I will be forever grateful for that. The second is this video, in which Billy Bragg, through the combination of his deep love of music and great songwriting ability (not to mention his very English accent), makes a heartfelt point about how human emotion crosses cultural boundaries in unexpected ways.

With the money from her accident
She bought herself a mobile home
So at least she could get some enjoyment
Out of being alone
No one could say that she was left up on the shelf
It's you and me against the world kid she mumbled to herself

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears run down his face

She ran away from home in her mother's best coat
She was married before she was even entitled to vote
And her husband was one of those blokes
The sort that only laughs at his own jokes
The sort a war takes away
And when there wasn't a war he left anyway

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears run down his face

Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong
Are here to make right everything that's wrong
Holland and Holland and Lamont Dozier too
Are here to make it all okay for you

One dark night he came home from the sea
And put a hole in her body where no hole should be
It hurt her more to see him walking out the door
And though they stitched her back together they left her heart in pieces on the floor

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
She takes off the Four Tops tape and puts it back in its case
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Freddie King - Hide Away

Recorded many times, but this is the original version. Ted Nugent even crafted a whole song out of one of the licks in the middle. And for people of a certain age, the Peter Gunn bass line (which is used as another one of the bits in the middle) was one of the first things to learn on guitar.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Edie Adams RIP

Jeez, dead people two days in a row. Sorry, but they both matter, at least in my world. Edie Adams was, among other things, the widow of the unique Ernie Kovacs, although her own career began before, and went on long after, her work with him. The fact that she appeared with both classic-era comics and Cheech and Chong tells you something about her -- she was always a little off-center, even for a comedienne. Here's more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Neal Hefti RIP

Dead at eighty-five.

All together now: Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!

Hat tip to the blog "If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats."

Monday, October 13, 2008


Congratulations to one of the frequent linkees from this blog, and someone I've admired for years. I was not expecting this but couldn't be happier:

Paul Krugman Wins Economics Nobel

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Matt Zoller Seitz on Bill Melendez

What I miss most about academia is good criticism. Everything else is easy to find in the rest of the world.

There are people who think that all critics are simply destructive. These people are idiots. There are people who think that criticism is the real thing, and that Emily Bronte was a moron compared to F.R. Leavis. These people are idiots.

Good critics, as has been pointed out many times, are the true amateurs, a word that comes from the Latin word for love. Good critics love what they write about, but are no more starry-eyed than someone in a long-term relationship: they see the flaws, but they're sticking around anyway. And they stick around because they know there's something worthwhile going on.

Here's the best example of good criticism I've come across recently. Matt Zoller Seitz blogs regularly at The House Next Door, where he posted this appreciation of Bill Melendez.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Uncle Dave Macon - Jordan Is A Hard Road To Travel

Happy birthday to Uncle Dave Macon, who is 137 138 years old today. Or would be if he hadn't died in 1952. Here he is with his band in 1927.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Right Lurches Rightward

More analysis of the Right, this time by Eve Fairbanks in the Washington Post. She looks at the current freshman House Republicans, and what they mean for the future.

What will the Republican Party's new guard look like? The answer lies in that most extreme and uncompromising of numbers: zero. The new guard is fiercely stubborn, gutsily insubordinate, drama-loving and -- compared with the 82-percent-for-compromise old guard -- unadulteratedly ideological. And it could take the GOP off an even higher cliff than the one the party lurched off two years ago.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

Krugman on the Economy, Again

Here's the money quote for me:

How bad is it? Normally sober people are sounding apocalyptic. On Thursday, the bond trader and blogger John Jansen declared that current conditions are “the financial equivalent of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution,” while Joel Prakken of Macroeconomic Advisers says that the economy seems to be on “the edge of the abyss.”

Read it here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mountain - Blood Of The Sun - NY 1970

Like the recent Blue Cheer post, this is an example of heavy metal before the term existed. The bassist, Felix Pappalardi, was a music biz heavyweight who had decided to become a working musician on the side. Among other things he had produced Cream's breakthrough album, Disraeli Gears. Here in some amateur footage, he's just a member of the band, while Leslie West claims early guitar god status.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Bailout and its Discontents

Following up on yesterday's post, here is Sirota again on how things look after the populist pushback of Monday.