Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Velvet Underground - The Gift

One more from the pen of Lou Reed, here voiced by John Cale.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lou Reed - Perfect Day

Still not done with Lou.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Velvet Undergound & Nico - Femme Fatale

More Lou Reed. This is the Reed-penned Nico-sung classic from the first VU album.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Krugman on the Deficit Fear-Mongers One More Time

Because the deficit fear-mongers never seem to go away no matter what. Prof. K. explains.

It’s curious how readily people who normally revere the wisdom of markets declare the markets all wrong when they fail to panic the way they’re supposed to....Why, then, should we fear a debt apocalypse here? Surely, you may think, someone in the debt-apocalypse community has offered a clear explanation. But nobody has.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fox News Disinformation Channel

No real surprise, but worth noting anyway. Erik Wemple explains.

In his new book “Murdoch’s World,” NPR media reporter David Folkenflik documents one of the perils as part of a chapter on the sharp-elbowed ways of Fox News’s PR operation. These are the folks who take all incoming press inquiries on Fox News, ignore some, scoff at others and arrange access or statements on yet others. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Henry Thomas - Bull Doze Blues

Forty years after this recording was made Canned Heat turned it into "Going Up the Country" and had a hit single. They always acknowledged the source, but by then Mr. Thomas was long gone.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jimmie Driftwood - He Had A Long Chain On

I knew this from the Peter, Paul, and Mary version, but here's the songwriter's own rendition.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Journalism Today

H/t Atrios. From MediaMatters:

In a chapter focusing on how Fox utilized its notoriously ruthless public relations department in the mid-to-late 00's, Folkenflik reports that Fox's PR staffers would "post pro-Fox rants" in the comments sections of "negative and even neutral" blog posts written about the network. According to Folkenflik, the staffers used various tactics to cover their tracks, including setting up wireless broadband connections that "could not be traced back" to the network.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Police - Invisible Sun

Once again, just a song I've had in my head. There's an important political message about life under oppression, but the point is that you go on anyway.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Shutdown is Dead - Long Live the Shutdown!

So the shutdown is over, and conservative Republicans in the House didn't get what they wanted. What will they do next? Dylan Scott at Talking Points Memo offers some evidence about what to expect.

Polarized politics have become the norm in the United States, and the first government shutdown in 17 years is its most extreme manifestation. But long-time Congress watchers don't see the fever breaking any time soon, even after the debacle of the last few weeks. Rather, as these early responses from the House GOP's right flank indicate, we might instead see conservatives become even more entrenched in their positions when the same drama plays out in early 2014.

"I think we're going to see a drumbeat out there that our spineless leaders caved," Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told TPM. "If we had held on, we would of [sic] defaulted, but it wouldn't have made any difference. Obama would have caved, and we would have gotten what we wanted."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Last Budget Standoff and Lessons Learned

From David Atkins at Digby's blog:

Let's all stop pretending that the President was playing 11th dimensional chess in 2011. He wasn't. He wanted a grand bargain on the deficit (wrongly) and he thought the debt ceiling negotiations would be a good time to get it. That was an even bigger error that emboldened Republicans and put the nation at risk. Those of us who called it an error were right, his defenders were wrong, and the President is now admitting that and acting on it--much to his credit. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Shirelles - Soldier Boy

When Scott Carpenter made his Mercury mission into space in May 1962, this song was high on the charts. It was a different world, but the one thing the world never does is stay the same.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alice Munro Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

This is good news. Thirteenth woman, first Canadian, and a specialist in the short story instead of the novel or poetry, Munro is a genius with a heart, which is supposed to be what literature is about, one hopes. Here's more from the Toronto Globe & Mail:

Jane Smiley [has] noted that: “the surface of Alice Munro’s works, its simplicity and quiet appearance, is a deceptive thing, that beneath that surface is a store of insight, a body of observation, and a world of wisdom that is close to addictive.”....Fellow short story writer Cynthia Ozick has called Munro “our Chekhov.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Robots Are Coming

They're still not really robots in the sci-fi sense, because they have no real brain, but the strides (pun intended) that they're making in mobility are amazing. The Beeb tells us more.

Meet Atlas, a humanoid cyborg capable of crossing rough terrain and maintaining its balance on one leg even when hit from the side.
And WildCat, the four-legged robot that can gallop untethered at up to 16mph (26km/h).

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lucius - Goodbye

A Paul McCartney cover, done well, which is to be expected from Lucius.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

John Tavener - Fragments of a Prayer

A piece used extensively in the film Children of Men. The opening chords are reminiscent of the opening of Erik Satie's "Death of Socrates."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The (English) Beat - Save it For Later

Just another wonderful song that's slowly becoming lost in the mists of time, which is a shame.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Perry Como - It's Impossible

I guess I could be posting something about the government shutdown, but there's a lot of info available out there. The world is still turning (for now), so it won't hurt to talk about something else.
Such as the now-defunct genre of "easy listening" music. It used to be a huge commercial presence in the music world, and now is gone. Here is a perfect example from 1970.