Friday, September 11, 2015

Mozart - Lacrimosa (from the Requiem)

Claudio Abbado conducts the Lucerne Festival Orchestra with the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Swedish Radio Choir.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pachelbel - Canon in D Major

The Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Christopher Hogwood.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dee Dee Sharp - Mashed Potato Time

Monday, September 7, 2015

Krugman on Trump and Economics

At the usual place.

Mr. Bush has chosen to attack Mr. Trump as a false conservative, a proposition that is supposedly demonstrated by his deviations from current Republican economic orthodoxy: his willingness to raise taxes on the rich, his positive words about universal health care. And that tells you a lot about the dire state of the G.O.P. For the issues the Bush campaign is using to attack its unexpected nemesis are precisely the issues on which Mr. Trump happens to be right, and the Republican establishment has been proved utterly wrong.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Amy Beach - Hermit Thrush At Eve

The pianist's name is not given for some reason. It's not the composer, Amy Beach, who died in 1944. Beach is one of the woman composers whose work has been rediscovered in the last few decades. This is her Opus 92, Number 1.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Danny Gatton & Joey DeFrancesco - Well You Needn't

I've posted this before but the link is broken, so why not. Danny Gatton was a true Master of the Telecaster, while Joey DeFrancesco was one of the spearheads of the B3 revival in the nineties. Here they work out on a Thelonious Monk classic.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Doors - Aura Studio Demos

The Doors made their first studio recordings fifty years ago (h/t Glide magazine). Fame was still a couple of years away. Here Morrison sounds very young, the whole sound is unfinished, but the results are still fascinating.

The band here was Morrison,  Ray Manzarek, and John Densmore, plus Ray’s brothers Rick Manczarek on guitar and Jim Manczarek on harmonica, along with a woman playing bass whose name is lost in the mists of time. Manczarek's brothers and the bassist would fall away, Robby Krieger would join, and the world would open up to them.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Krugman on Katrina, Trump, and the Lessons of Recent History

The things that Krugman says seem pretty obvious, but very few people seem to be saying them.

What we should have learned from Katrina, in other words, was that political poseurs with nothing much to offer besides bluster can nonetheless fool many people into believing that they’re strong leaders. And that’s a lesson we’re learning all over again as the 2016 presidential race unfolds.

You probably think I’m talking about Donald Trump, and I am. But he’s not the only one.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

John Peel's Desert Island Discs

John Peel, longtime and deeply influential British DJ, plus the force behind all those Peel Session releases, was born on this date in 1939.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ravel - Pavane pour une infante défunte

The Orchestra UniMi with Alessandro Crudele conducting. Not familiar with them, but they seem to know what they're doing.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

nada is subject to the vagaries of circumstance

Terrible internet connection that I don't have the patience to struggle with, so nothing today, sorry.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Catherine Russell - Darktown Strutters' Ball

This song is now almost one hundred years old - this version was recorded last month.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

RIP Julian Bond

He was inadvertently responsible for one of the most surreal moments of my life. In the fall of 1996 I was on my way to an 8:00 class at the University of Virginia, wending my way completely alone through the paths behind the buildings on the Lawn, turning corners often, when I suddenly came across another lone figure, dressed in a nicely tailored overcoat and laughing at something said by an unseen person in the Mercedes into which he was leaning. He noticed me and looked a little perturbed. My brain was racing trying to figure out why his face seemed so familiar, when I realized I'd seen it many times before but only when mediated by a TV screen or printed page. I nodded, he relaxed and turned back to the car, and I went on to class. He taught at UVA, so it made sense for him to be there, but wow anyway.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Steely Dan - Your Gold Teeth

Later extensively reworked as "Your Gold Teeth II" a few albums later. There are so many things I like about this song I'll forego mentioning them. Just listen.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Science Fiction/Double Feature

Happy anniversary to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, released forty years ago today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Handel - Concerto Grosso Op. 6 no. 4 in A minor

Happy birthday to conductor Raymond Leppard, here with the English Chamber Orchestra.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Krugman on Talking Points vs. Reality

Dr K on the things that barely registered at the Republican candidates' debate.

Strange, isn’t it? The shared premise of everyone on the Republican side is that the Obama years have been a time of policy disaster on every front. Yet the candidates on that stage had almost nothing to say about any of the supposed disaster areas.

And there was a good reason they seemed so tongue-tied: Out there in the real world, none of the disasters their party predicted have actually come to pass. President Obama just keeps failing to fail.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dizzy Dishes

Happy birthday to Betty Boop, whose first appearance was in this cartoon; it was released on this date in 1930.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

RIP Billy Sherrill

Pitchfork has a good overview here. Here's an example of his work.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Johnny Rivers - Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu

Today would have been Larry Knechtel's seventy-fifth birthday. He was one of the most active of the Wrecking Crew, the great LA session musicians of the sixties. Here he plays the piano, one of his many instruments, on a song was originally recorded by Huey "Piano" Smith.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cilla Black - Step Inside Love

RIP Cilla Black, born Priscilla White but rechristened by her manager Brain Epstein. This song was written by Paul McCartney.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - East-West

Today would have been Mike Bloomfield's seventy-second birthday. He takes the final solo on this track, the one that raises everything to another level. Butterfield never played this song again after Bloomfield left the band.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Steely Dan - Babylon Sisters

I've posted this before, but a while ago, so it's ripe for the plucking.

Friday, July 17, 2015

G.F.Handel - Water Music

First performed two hundred and ninety-eight years ago today. John Eliot Gardiner conducts the English Baroque Soloists.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Main Title Theme (Billy) - Bob Dylan

From Dylan's soundtrack to Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The real Billy was shot to death by the real Pat on this date in 1881.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Juan del Encina - Levanta pascual

Music written about five hundred years ago. Jordi Savall and ensemble.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Greenhouse on the "Liberal" Supreme Court

Longtime Supreme Court journalist Linda Greenhouse has gradually become one of the sanest of the better-known inside-the-Beltway journalists, bucking the trend to hew to the center-right line and instead actually speaking sense. Here's an example.

The court typically takes cases in order to resolve a conflict among the lower courts, making a grant of review an essentially neutral act from which little can be concluded. Rather, it is cases like King v. Burwell and the Fair Housing Act case that tell the tale. On neither question was there a circuit conflict. Affirming the lower court decisions was a vote for the status quo at least as much as for a “liberal” result. That was especially true in the Fair Housing case. Not only the Fifth Circuit, one of the country’s most conservative courts, but every other circuit had ruled that the Fair Housing Act did not require proof of intentional discrimination. For the Supreme Court to have gone the other way, as most people expected (or else why did the court take the case?) would have manifested right-wing activism in the extreme.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Monday, July 6, 2015

Krugman on the Greek Referendum

The basics.

The truth is that Europe’s self-styled technocrats are like medieval doctors who insisted on bleeding their patients — and when their treatment made the patients sicker, demanded even more bleeding. A “yes” vote in Greece would have condemned the country to years more of suffering under policies that haven’t worked and in fact, given the arithmetic, can’t work: austerity probably shrinks the economy faster than it reduces debt, so that all the suffering serves no purpose. The landslide victory of the “no” side offers at least a chance for an escape from this trap.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Krugman on the Supremes and the ACA

Well, here you go.

Now, you might wonder why a law that works so well and does so much good is the object of so much political venom — venom that is, by the way, on full display in Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion, with its rants against “interpretive jiggery-pokery.” But what conservatives have always feared about health reform is the possibility that it might succeed, and in so doing remind voters that sometimes government action can improve ordinary Americans’ lives.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jimmy Charles - A Million To One

So maybe not a classic, but hey, still pretty good. Not easy to get out of your head once you've heard it.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Rocky and Bullwinkle Clips

In memory of Paul Frees, voice of Boris Badenov and many others, born this day in 1920.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Otis Redding - Try A Little Tenderness

Sure I posted some Otis just a few days ago, but it's hard to have too much. And this is a rare opportunity to actually see him perform.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Every Mother's Son - Come On Down To My Boat

Pop music circa 1967, after things started changing but before they got really weird.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Jackie Wilson - Lonely Teardrops

This is how music used to appear on TV all the time: as blatant an example of lip-syncing as you'll ever see. But what a singer, what a performance, so what the hell.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Krugman on Derp

It's rat cheer.

“Derp” is a term borrowed from the cartoon “South Park” that has achieved wide currency among people I talk to, because it’s useful shorthand for an all-too-obvious feature of the modern intellectual landscape: people who keep saying the same thing no matter how much evidence accumulates that it’s completely wrong.

The quintessential example is fear mongering over inflation. It was, perhaps, forgivable for economists, pundits, and politicians to warn about runaway inflation some years ago, when the Federal Reserve was just beginning its efforts to help a depressed economy. After all, everyone makes bad predictions now and then.

But making the same wrong prediction year after year, never acknowledging past errors or considering the possibility that you have the wrong model of how the economy works — well, that’s derp.

Oops again

Skipped yesterday's post. Losing it here, folks.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Friday, June 5, 2015

Krugman on Texas and the Economy

Pointing out the obvious shouldn't create so much controversy. Here's the link.

Belief that tax cuts are a universal elixir that cures all economic ills is the ultimate zombie idea — one that should have died long ago in the face of the facts, but just keeps shambling along. Nothing that has happened in the past quartercentury has supported tax-cut mania, yet the doctrine’s hold on the Republican Party is stronger than ever. It would be foolish to expect recent events to make much difference.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bismarck's Voice

Now this is a curiosity. The sound quality is terrible, but hey, this was recorded over a hundred and twenty-five years ago.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Skip James - I'm So Glad

First heard by many people in the electrified version by Cream, here is the original.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Old Crow Medicine Show - Wagon Wheel

A new classic, to be oxymoronish about it. Check Wikipedia for the fascinating story of its origin,

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Digby on the Mentally Ill and the Police


The Supreme Court ruled this week that police shooting an agitated schizophrenic woman is justified even if they could have stood outside in a hallway and left her alone in a room until more help arrived. The Justices felt that it was reasonable for them go bursting into the room and shoot her even though they had already been in there, had retreated and knew that she couldn't harm anyone but herself.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Mad Men Finale

Sonia Soraya of Salon has a good take.

There’s a part of me that hopes that Don was able to find some kind of self-acceptance and closure through his meditation and chanting and therapy—to take his adventure entirely at face-value, and see his adventure in Big Sur as Don learning that settling for being merely himself is not that bad. There’s also a part of me that doesn’t believe it could be that simple—surely “Mad Men” is not so naïve as to be wholly credulous of the hippie, New-Age spin on Eastern philosophy, even if Don Draper might be? And there’s a part of me that gets that one of the takeaways of the finale is showrunner Matthew Weiner reminding us that Don Draper isn’t real, but this era was (and in some ways, still is) very real.

Friday, May 15, 2015

B.B. King - 3 O'Clock Blues

We knew it was coming, but it's still a loss. RIP. Here's the song that started his career in 1950.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ken Boothe - Everything I Own

I've posted this before, but that video has been removed from YouTube, so it's fair game again. I found out recently that this love song by David Gates was actually written shortly after his father died. So it's a memorial, a song about irretrievable loss.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Steve Lawrence - Pretty Blue Eyes

A lost classic? Not really, but an interesting artifact from its era. I like it, but it's definitely the kind of song that proves the original burst of rock and roll was losing its steam by 1959.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Krugman on Vampires

Dr K sez:

The Republicans who came to power this year are...trying to kill Dodd-Frank, the financial reform enacted in 2010.

And why must Dodd-Frank die? Because it’s working.

This statement may surprise progressives who believe that nothing significant has been done to rein in runaway bankers. And it’s true both that reform fell well short of what we really should have done and that it hasn’t yielded obvious, measurable triumphs like the gains in insurance thanks to Obamacare.

But Wall Street hates reform for a reason, and a closer look shows why.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Henry "Red" Allen - Rosetta

From the "Sound of Jazz" on television in 1957, with Coleman Hawkins and PeeWee Russell.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Domenico Scarlatti - Sonata K.9

Dongsok Shin plays the oldest surviving piano, built in 1720. Thanks to Google for opening this door yesterday.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Drifters - Spanish Harlem

RIP Ben E. King, here in a performance before his solo career started.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Krugman on Presidential Politics and Integrity

Once again, simply stating the obvious that is rarely stated.

The point is that we’re not just talking about being wrong on specific policy questions. We’re talking about never admitting error, and never revising one’s views. Never being able to say that you were wrong is a serious character flaw even if the consequences of that refusal to admit error fall only on a few people. But moral cowardice should be outright disqualifying in anyone seeking high office.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How Corporate Lobbyists Got That Way

Best summary I've seen.

The evolution of business lobbying from a sparse reactive force into a ubiquitous and increasingly proactive one is among the most important transformations in American politics over the last 40 years.  Probing the history of this transformation reveals that there is no “normal” level of business lobbying in American democracy. Rather, business lobbying has built itself up over time, and the self-reinforcing quality of corporate lobbying has increasingly come to overwhelm every other potentially countervailing force. It has also fundamentally changed how corporations interact with government—rather than trying to keep government out of its business (as they did for a long time), companies are now increasingly bringing government in as a partner, looking to see what the country can do for them.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Johnny Tillotson - Poetry In Motion

I actually like this song, but it's a good example of what rock and roll had devolved into by 1962, and why the advent of acts like the Beatles about the same time pretty much rescued R&R as a musical form.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Krugman on Polarization and the Next Eighteen Months

When it comes to his straightforward political analysis, Krugman is very good at stating what seems to be obvious but that no one else seems to have said quite so clearly.

How did the parties get this far apart? Political scientists suggest that it has a lot to do with income inequality. As the wealthy grow richer compared with everyone else, their policy preferences have moved to the right — and they have pulled the Republican Party ever further in their direction. Meanwhile, the influence of big money on Democrats has at least eroded a bit, now that Wall Street, furious over regulations and modest tax hikes, has deserted the party en masse. The result is a level of political polarization not seen since the Civil War.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Paul McCartney - Every Night

On this date in 1970 Paul McCartney announced that he was leaving the Beatles. This was one of the songs off his first solo album, released at the same time.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Youngbloods - Grizzly Bear

Obviously from American Bandstand, and according to the YouTube page from 1967.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bach - Saint Matthew's Passion

Philippe Herreweghe conducting Cantate Domino Schola Cantorum, Collegium Vocale Gent, Collegium Vocale Orchestra, and soloists.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tynan Interviews Olivier

Kenneth Tynan was born on this date in 1927. Here he speaks with Laurence Olivier in 1966 about a life in acting.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Harry Carney - It Had to Be You

Baritone saxophone by a master. The strings are of the kind of icky variety, but you can't have everything.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thad Jones & Mel Lewis - The Groove Merchant

Another one of the amazing Jones brothers, here functioning as a co-bandleader. From 1968.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Third Movement

The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra filmed at Toronto's Trinity-St. Paul's Centre on May 15, 2009.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Gary Burton Quartet - I Want You

Young jazzers in the sixties doing Dylan. Bassist Steve Swallow is featured.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jan And Dean - Sidewalk Surfin'

The date on the label is a re-release -- this song dates to the first era of skateboarding in the mid-sixties. It's the Beach Boys' song "Catch a Wave" with new lyrics, as apparently Brian Wilson was happy to adapt his song.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Ballad of Mack the Knife

From the original English-language version performed off-Broadway in New York in 1954. Much more straightforward in its phrasing than most better-known subsequent versions.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ned Kendall's Hornpipe

Nineteenth-century American music as played in the twenty-first century.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sam Myers - Ninety-Nine

Old school blues, but recorded fairly recently. The authentic practitioners of this style, like Sam Myers, are slowly leaving us. Fortunately we have this.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Goodbye Jon

What Digby said.

I'm sure I'll be writing more about the end of the Stewart-Colbert era which I think has been hugely important to liberal politics. But I have always had some reservations about Stewart's "serious" commentary which I'm seeing a whole lot of liberal pundits applaud today as if that's what made him important.  What made him important was that he took the piss out of pundits.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Buddy Guy ~ Feels Like Rain

Not sure what year this is, and it's not technically blues, but what the hell, it's nice.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lonnie Johnson - Woke Up With the Blues In My Fingers

Not a lot of people these days have heard of Lonnie Johnson, but he was a very good and extremely influential guitarist.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Krugman on Greece and the EU


Like all too many crises, the new Greek crisis stems, ultimately, from political pandering. It’s the kind of thing that happens when politicians tell voters what they want to hear, make promises that can’t be fulfilled, and then can’t bring themselves to face reality and make the hard choices they’ve been pretending can be avoided.

I am, of course, talking about Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and her colleagues.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Ole Bull - Sæterjentens Søndag

Nineteenth-century Norwegian violinist and composer. Not sure who the performers are.