Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
From their wonderful album, The River in Reverse.
From a review at Amazon:
Tim Brough "author and music buff"
The most searing of musical indictments during 2006 didn't come from some young buck MC or a snorting enraged punk band. It came from a pair of wizened musical vets. Elvis Costello teamed up with Allen Toussaint and dropped this amazing 13 song collaboration that both celebrates the spirit of New Orleans' music makers at the same time it ravages those that willingly stood off and averted their eyes. "Ascension Day" is this album's centerpiece, mournfully delivering the lyric "40 days passed by, 40 alibis" with the clarity of his best work. "The River In Reverse" takes on this dichotomy and doesn't flinch. The angry young man of old finally gets to harness his vitriol to a new cause, and Toussaint gives Costello a whole new batch of colors to work with.
Oddly enough, it is the catalog numbers from Toussaint that really bring out the soul to "The River In Reverse." Versions of "Tears and More Tears," "Freedom for the Stallion" and "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further" (with the lead sung by Toussaint) make their emotional mark to the time, even despite their age. Toussaint's arrangements (often not varying much from their older recordings) also draw out some of Costello's better vocal skills. He sounds more soulful here than on his "My Flame Burns Blue" CD, released with the same year as "The River In Reverse."
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Rock ’n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino, 85, was honored Wednesday at his home by New Orleans Jazz Orchestra founder Irvin Mayfield and keyboardist Davell Crawford.My relationship with Fats goes back a long time, to the early 1950s, when we jitterbugged or slow danced to his music. Fats' recordings remain in my music collection today, and I listen fairly often. Congratulations, Fats. The gold records, No. 1 hits, and honors are well-earned and well-deserved.
Domino’s ascendancy began in 1949 with his million-selling recording of “The Fat Man.” By the early 1960s, he had racked up 35 Top 40 records including the No. 1 hits “Ain’t That a Shame,” “Blueberry Hill” and “Blue Monday.”
Here's Fats with "Blue Monday".
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The photo above, which I snapped around 6:35pm yesterday, is of the moon in the eastern sky in full daylight.
The photo below is of a not-very-spectacular sunset in the western sky, taken a few minutes after the moon picture.
I am moonstruck in the sense that I am infatuated with the moon, but it is Grandpère who is my true love. When I step outside at night, the first thing I do is look for the moon. I have to walk my old dog Diana at night so she doesn't wet her bed, and she and the moon are my favorite companions. When there's no visible moon, something seems missing. Last night, the moon was so bright when it was high in the sky that it cast dark shadows on the ground. Diana, me, and our shadows made for a comfortable walking group.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Only several months ago did I discover The Civil Wars on NPR and fall in love with them. After watching and listening to the video, I purchased their first album, "Barton Hollow," which I've listened to again and again. Their chemistry in performing, and the near perfect blend of their voices in harmony give the songs a magical quality that completely won me over. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album in 2012.
Joy Williams and John Paul White scheduled a tour of Europe, and in the middle of the schedule, they cancelled the rest of their appearances due to "irreconcilable differences." The two had also started production on a second album, which they completed despite their disagreements. Their excellent new album, titled "The Civil Wars", has been released and is now available.
The split greatly disappointed me and thousands of fans. I'm in mourning. Joy and John Paul performed alone for several years before getting together, and both have wonderful voices, but I doubt the magic will translate into their solo performances. I wish them well, but, more than anything, I wish they'd resolve their "irreconcilable differences" and get back together.
"Poison & Wine"
Friday, August 30, 2013
Read the story here:
A colossal sinkhole that opened up overnight in August 2012 in the rural Louisiana town of Assumption Parish has continued to expand at a staggering rate, devouring with it land and trees as documented in a new video that was uploaded on Tuesday.Does anyone know or, if so, will they say how much more the sinkhole will continue to expand?
The three-minute YouTube video was posted to an account run by the Assumption Parish Police Jury. The video shows about a dozen trees on the outside of a berm in the sinkhole suddenly swallowed in less than a minute. Six seconds into the video, the trees slowly begin to sink. At 41 seconds, their tops are no longer visible above the bubbling water.
The Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness has said that the sinkhole doesn't pose a danger to other homes in the area.I wonder. If I lived in one of the homes in the area, I doubt I'd be as confidant as the Assumption Parish official. Not that I mean to imply that the parish leaders are hiding information, for I think they do the best they can with what they know. Still, I worry about what they don't know.
UPDATE: An article in Mother Jones details the history of the sinkhole from the beginning to the situation in the area of the collapse in early August.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
This Is Probably The Funniest, Most Effective Way To Deal With People Who Ignore Science Facts Ever
There are members of Congress [and governors] who don't understand or accept basic science concepts. This hilarious video is dedicated to them.
Where's our boy Bobby Jindal? Surely his name is next on the list.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
When I listen to Sequentia's incredibly beautiful performance of Hildegard von Bingen's exquisite music, I imagine I'm hearing Hildegard herself singing. Their project to record all of her music, which began in 1982, is now complete.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Rick Perry: “Now there are many other states that embrace those conservative values, the approach that we’ve taken over the years. I’m in one today – in Florida. Look at South Carolina; you look at Florida.”Run, Rick, run. Oooh, I hope Perry runs. He will not be the candidate unless the death wish in the GOP is far stronger than even I can imagine, but it will be such fun if Perry runs. The video is priceless. Graceful recovery - NOT.
From the audience: “We’re in Louisiana!”
Rick Perry: "I know; I said that. I'm in one of those states that reflect those today - in Louisiana. Yes, I got that."
H/T to Daily Kos and a Facebook friend.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Ain't I A Woman?
Women's Convention, Akron, Ohio
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?Stolen shamelessly and with gratitude from my dear friend margaret who blogs at "leave it lay where Jesus flang it".
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.
Collect of the Day: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Ross Tubman, Liberators and Prophets, 1902, 1894, 1883, 1913
O God, whose Spirit guides us into all truth and makes us free: Strengthen and sustain us as you did your servants Elizabeth, Amelia, Sojourner, and Harriet. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Working at Archie Comics is the fulfillment of a dream for me. I grew up loving the Riverdale High characters, and followed my love of drawing to art school. For over 25 years I’ve been able to write and draw many of the characters in the Archie Comics world.I loved the Archie Comics as I grew up and into my teen years and after. Though I have not kept up with Archie lately, I have fond memories of all the characters. How lovely that Kevin Keller's introduction as a member of Archie's crowd went smoothly and well.
As a comic book artist and writer, I often use real life experiences in my work. Recently, I thought about the many conversations I’ve had with my kids and their friends about school, friends, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. In doing so I realized that something was missing in the Archie world. There were no LGBT characters.
Kevin is a new student at Riverdale leading life as an out, proud high school student. Despite the fact that Kevin comes from a supportive family, growing up is not easy.
We saw a huge response when we introduced Kevin to our Archie readers. Issues featuring Kevin are the first ones to sell out in Archie’s 70-year history and Kevin’s characters received many accolades, including a GLAAD Media Award.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The format on Netflix consisted of two three-hour videos, which I enjoyed very much. The first episode was a bit slow, but, after about half an hour, I was caught up in the story and fond of the characters. I must have ordered the videos upon the recommendation of someone or other, because I can't think how I would have chosen the set all on my own. Whoever it was, I thank you, for I spent a pleasurable six hours with the Caratis family. Though I loved all the characters, I especially loved la Mamma, Adriana.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Friday, June 28, 2013
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Out(sic) latest video will resonate with anyone who has ever worked in an operating room. It's well into the night, you've already done a boatload of cases and you just want to get done and go home. And then the surgeon tells you he's found another one...Never have I worked in an operating room, but I have been a patient in the operating room. For more reasons than one, I guess it's a good thing we patients are mostly knocked out during the procedures. :-)
Doctor, doctor, say it's not true
You've gotta, 'nother case you wanna do
Already worked halfway through the night
You've gotta, 'nother case you wanna do
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Ive become quite fond of the music of the Carolina Chocolate Drops since I bought their album "Leaving Eden". In the video, I especially like the recovery from the false start, which I'm pleased was not edited out.
Monday, May 27, 2013
For most of the day, I've put off noting the reason for the long holiday weekend - Memorial Day - when we remember the fallen in our wars. Each year it's more difficult for me to write something meaningful about the day, now especially, because members of our military are still dying and suffering injuries in Afghanistan. Though I have not lost anyone close to me in a war, I've lived through five wars in my lifetime, and that's not counting incursions or excursions, or whatever is the euphemism of the day for our interventions in countries with which we are not at war, including the drone attacks up to the present time. Five plus is enough.
We honor the fallen for their courage and dedication to duty. We extend our sympathy to their families and friends, whether the loss is recent or from long times past. We stand with you. We mourn with you. In return, it seems the least we can do is care for you, the families, as best we can and care for the sisters and brothers in arms who survived the wars, but returned home wounded in body, mind, and spirit. The fallen would have wanted it to be so, and our present efforts fall short, more's the pity. We must do better. It's only right.
I posted the video below on Facebook in honor of Memorial Day, and it seems fitting to post it here, too. Pete Seeger and a good many other musicians have sung fine versions of the song, but Marlène's powerful performance is the most moving I've ever seen or heard. Each time I listen, I get chills.
When will we ever learn?
Lord God, Almighty and Everlasting Father, we pray for all those who have died in wars. We pray the they may rest in peace in the perpetual light of your love. We pray for your blessing upon the families and friends of all those who have died in service to their country. Console them for their aching loss. Bring them healing of body, mind, and spirit. Give them strength and courage to go forward, and Lord God, above all else, give them your peace that passes understanding to keep their minds and hearts.