Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jimmy Bryant - The Night Rider

With his sometime musical partner Speedy West on steel guitar.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Pogues - Dirty Old Town

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chick Webb - Liza

An iconic jazz drum performance from 1938. H/t Dale.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Joe Tex - Hold What You've Got

Once again, just a song that's been in my head. Some of the sentiments expressed are clearly pre-feminist, but the message that says you should show respect for your partner is timeless. And the musical backing is the Muscle Shoals rhythm section in its prime.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Seth Rogen & James Franco: Bound 3

If you haven't seen it yet, first go watch the original. Then come back to watch this.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Flying Jellyfish

I'm still enough of a science nerd that innovations like this fascinate me. Aerial propulsion is something that birds, bats, and insects make look easy, but coming up with a new concept for a machine that can do it is always difficult. It's true that airplanes today are technologically far beyond the Wright brothers' flyer, but the basic design in terms of what keeps them up is essentially the same. Helicopters are different, but helicopters also all use the same basic design. Having a machine emulate a bird is harder than it looks, because birds (and bats and insects) are basically constantly adjusting their flight, unlike an airplane which is much less flexible.

In any event, someone coming up with a new idea of how to fly is interesting in itself. Here's a link to the story from NewScientist and a video.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why the Oldest Music Posts on This Blog Don't Work

When I started this blog, I would post music tracks on an online service called Vox, then write a blog post here that would link to that entry on Vox. To make a long story short, over the years Vox has changed so much that the links now fail completely. A while back I asked in a post if there was any interest in my making an effort to fix those links. No one responded, so I never did it. Since Vox was a free service, there was no room for complaint when it stopped working.

Some day if I have a lot of time I may try to edit those posts and get them to work again, but until then anyone interested in exploring the archives will have to deal with a certain amount of frustration. If you come across an old link that you're really interested in, put a comment on that post and I'll try to fix things. I get an e-mail telling me about any comment that's added to any blog post, no matter how old, so just comment on that specific item and I'll be alerted.

Zoot Sims - Embraceable You

Joe Pass performs the beautiful guitar intro. With Oscar Peterson on piano, Grady Tate on drums, and George Mraz on bass.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Frenk & Roy - President Kennedy

I can't find on YouTube a version of Sleepy John Estes's song about the death of President Kennedy that has decent sound (Estes's own version and Ry Cooder's cover have been pulled for copyright violations). So this one, covering Cooder's cover of Estes, will have to do. It's well-done, just hard to hear, so here are the lyrics.

Late one Friday evening everybody was sad
We lost the best president we ever had
But he's gone home, gone back home
He's staying away too long

Rode from town to town holdin' up for our rights
Some low down rascal took the President's life
But he's gone home, gone back home
He's staying away too long

Mrs. Kennedy got a mansion on the Island, stayed 9 months, all she'd be
She have another mansion, soon as she reach Washington, D.C.
But he's gone home, gone back home
He's staying away too long

Everybody votes, they don't know what's goin' on
If Goldwater get it, we won't have no home
But he's gone home, gone back home
He's staying away too long

While horses and cars all in a row
I think Mr. Kennedy have a right to this long white robe
But he's gone home, gone back home
He's staying away too long

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tom Waits - Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)

Often called "Waltzing Matilda," for obvious reasons, but the title above is correct. Sad, sweet, just...I don't know. Cathartic?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

James Taylor - Captain Jim's Drunken Dream

Just 'cause I love the part where the voices come in singing "Welcome home."

Monday, November 18, 2013

RIP Doris Lessing

Deeply influential, a true original, like Simone de Beauvoir an outspoken feminist when that was extremely rare. Her fellow novelist Margaret Atwood has an appreciation in the Guardian.

She was political in the most basic sense, recognising the manifestations of power in its many forms. She was spiritual as well, exploring the limits and pitfalls that came with being human, especially after she became an adherent of Sufism. As a writer she was inventive and brave, branching out into science fiction in her Canopus In Argos series at a time when it was a dodgy thing for a "mainline" novelist to do. She was also very down-to-earth, having famously remarked "Oh Christ!" when informed in 2007 that she had won the Nobel prize. She was only the eleventh woman to do so, and never expected it; a lack of expectation that was in itself a kind of artistic freedom, for if you don't think of yourself as an august personage, you don't have to behave yourself. You can still kick up your heels and push the limits, and that was what interested Doris Lessing, always.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Breaking Bad - Alternate Series Ending

It's admittedly a takeoff on the Newhart series ending, but it's well-done. H/t HuffPo.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Freddie King - Hideaway

I've posted this before, but it looks like the link is broken, so it won't hurt to do it again. This song is one of the classics of guitar blues, and generations of young guitarists, including Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, have learned it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Band - Ferdinand the Imposter

Apparently this is one of the most widely bootlegged of rare songs by the Band, but I'd never heard it until it was released as a bonus track on the remastered Music From Big Pink in 2000. It's been in my head ever since. "Claimed he was a Doukhobor, but they never heard of that in Baltimore."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Before and After in the Philippines

The Washington Post has a page with some of Digital Globe and Google's before-and-after pictures of some of the areas devastated by the storm. Be sure to click and drag the bar across each image to get the full effect.

To contribute to relief efforts, here's more information.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gerry Mulligan - Line For Lyons

There are many treasures of jazz waiting out there for your discovery. Like this, for example.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

James Taylor - You Can Close Your Eyes

I've posted a version of this JT song by Sting, so it's only right to let the composer have a go. This is a relatively recent live version.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Chieftains - March of the King of Laois / Paddy's Jig /O'Keefe's / The Chattering Magpie

I have no idea who the person in the image is, where this was recorded, anything like that. But doesn't it sound good?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fairport Convention - I'll Keep It With Mine

I just learned that this is based very closely on the arrangement used on Judy Collins's much more obscure recording. So it goes. Nevertheless, this is the version that's burned into my brain. Sandy Denny nails the vocal, Richard Thompson contributes his usual tasteful guitar.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Duran Duran - Perfect Day

Thought I was done with the Lou Reed tributes, but a friend told me about this version of "Perfect Day." Who knew?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Velvet Underground - Sunday Morning

One more from Lou Reed. This is the first song on the first Velvet Underground album, and since I'm posting this on Sunday morning, and Mr. Reed died a week ago today, well, I guess everything is aligned.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lou Reed & John Cale - Nobody But You

One more Lou Reed song. This is from the Reed/Cale Songs for Drella, their tribute to their late mentor and friend Andy Warhol.