Thursday, September 17, 2020

Nice 2 part discussion on deep spirituality and deep politics


Part one of a brilliant 2 part discussion. 
Jimmy Dore/Duncan Trussell
One of my faves. 
So glad I'm here for this. 
This is the dreamy spiritual part.

Part two of a brilliant 2 part discussion. 
Jimmy Dore/Duncan Trussell
One of my faves. 
So glad I'm here for this. 
This is the fiery political part.

Friday, September 4, 2020

"Kind of a Drag" versus "My Sweet Lord"

When I first heard George Harrison's solo big smash after breaking with the Beatles, 1970's "My Sweet Lord", I was knocked out. It was so cool and melodic and meaningful and rebelliously religious that I loved it. 

And then ten years later, I'm hearing bits of other songs in it, which makes me want to re-evaluate it.

For instance, right now, I'm hearing the Buckingham's song "Kind of Drag" (1966) in the Harrison's sweetly mournful refrain, "my sweet lord".

And when I think of how I have never heard of George referencing this song, I am ready to get angry and to be against this song. But then I play both songs back to back, and I see that one is a successful attempt to compete in the Beatles' era with trite romantic lyrics and a catchy melancholic groove.

While George re-appropriates the catchy mockery and turns it into an earnest gesture of longing for higher meaning and purpose and worth. It's a self-sacrificing song, pleading with the universe for mercy. With all of its pieces and debts, it's beautiful and strong, and energizing. Bravo, George!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Best Billy Joel song and possible best cover

I think this might be the best Billie Joel song. Haven't heard all the deep cuts of his body of work. But can't imagine one better than this. It's got a deep groovy rock riff throughout and yet it's got a melancholy that comes in with the horn section. Kind of hypnotizing.

And this rap song by the group Das Racist which features The Heatmakerz' "You Oughta Know" which samples Billie Joel's "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" might be the greatest cover. Turning Joel's rockin' Broadway musical meets Paul McCartney epic ballad into a dope upbeat hip hop jam with a calypso rap by Heems.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Today's crises: tragedy or opportunity?

Amazing times we're living in, no?

We're questioning our past, our present, and future. We're looking to morality, constantly debating whether a person place thing or event are good or bad, better or worse, which we prefer.

We are vigilant of our health. We are vigilant of our safety. We are vigilant of our freedom. We are vigilant of our equality and justice.

In a way, we are doing what we've always done. This is humanity.

But maybe one of the benefits of our closer connection to each other because of technological inventions like globe-hovering satellites, the internet, mobile phones, and such, 
will be the world acting as one to witness a dilemma, study, discuss, debate, argue, and fight over it,
and then, I think, eventually,
we will reach a consensus as a culture. 

So, in other words, these crises being faced by our technologically-advancing and increasingly-connected species, are the impetus for a widening culture, a re-connecting to each other and unifying as a cohesive group. We are in, and have been in for a long time, a re-species-ifying of humans again. 

Huh? We are species-ifying?
Yes. Think about it for a moment and it makes sense. 
We, all of us, every race, class, sex, interest, ability, and location of person, all- of- us-, started as a species on one spot on the globe. And whether that was thousands of years ago or hundreds of thousands, that's the last time that we were one group. 

Imagine that, the moment when we were one group and we first split off to go live yonder. It might have been for adventure. Or it could have been because of a dispute, or maybe for sustainability reasons. Imagine the waves goodbye, the tears, the pain, and the wishes for success for our brothers and sisters. And from there we started spreading out and conquering the planet until we had humans on every spot on the globe. And in that conquest, we even forgot each other and started wars on each other. We've become hemispheres, and regions, and nations, and parts of nations, and cities, and neighborhoods, and streets, and houses, and individuals, until we're even at war with ourselves.

But I see this as natural. We've come back around to where we started now. We've spread out and met on the other side, and now we've got to put the brakes on our Wild West conqueror attitude and put more fuel into the puzzle-solving, re-connecting, peace-making, society-making aspect of our brains and bodies.

So, I do have hope because I'm looking at the trends. These are crazy times, yes, but this is also an amazing, historic, once-in-an-infinity-type time. Happy to be here, and with you!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Grim drone footage of Yemeni city of Taiz

The third-largest Yemen city, Taiz was defaced after enduring more than five years of war. 
Drone footage captured buildings destroyed by the strikes
RT reporting

So sad, so infuriating! Looks like it could be such a lovely little city, but greed and money and inhumanity destroys beauty.

The same creator made that city as made all the others. There is supposed to be natural beauty in all places. We just have to protect it, and to demand it, to enforce it to be allowed to be.

We have to take command.

National Anthem writer calls a whole group of Americans the greatest evil

Black people are the greatest evil that afflicts a community? I think Francis Scott Key just missed the truth that we can see now so clearly in 2020, stealing people from their homes and families and culture and treating them like punching bags, like mirrors to the hate every hating member of the superior class has for that one's self [thoneself], and living off of these people, profiting off of them, keeping them always down, for generations, That! is the greatest evil that afflicts a country. It creates an eternity of pain that takes centuries to heal.

Hypothetical experiment-

And what if everyone early on in our slave-holding time had known all the pain and strife slavery would cause on every side, to all Americans, and seeping even into our foreign policy? I wonder if we would undo it now. I cannot even entertain the question because I would be forced to imagine all my black friends, family, colleagues, aquaintances, passers-by, artists, athletes, and more, in an instant, just gone. I know our collective American heart would just stop at that moment, cardiac arrest, from the removal of such a large section of it. And most likely if such a thing like all black people never coming to the United States of America by slave-dealers were not an impossible thing to do and and it were done, America might end up being a poor, sad backwards colony that was never able to break free of England.

And imagining further still, if the black people in the United States of America all decided that was what they wanted to do, supposing it could be done, then I would support it, even if it would mean the death or erasure of America. I would support it because I would know that a whole population of people were happy and living freely, and they had made the response decision after an initial decision had been made to forcefully bring them here. I would be supporting freedom. And I think that's ultimately what the human soul needs to survive. So, I would support the decision for freedom even if it meant the death of the American dream. And I would just weep forever.

But since that is not a likely scenario, I think the clear solution is to do everything we can to reverse our national crime.

It takes educating the whole country, every citizen. It takes patience and loads of blood sweat tears words plans and excruciating pressure on the minds and bodies of every citizen so that we can have a chance at healing. 

It's the only option. And the end result will be a more homogenous, unified, and guilt-free populace, richer in spirit and potential than before. We will be the champions the world knows we are deep down.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Great Tiny Desk Concert: Hamilton Leithauser

Singer-songwriter Hamilton Leithauser, who first came to be known as singer of the Walkmen, here sings a coronavirus/covid 19 era performance with his family on Father's Day. And it sounds great!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Candidate for best song ever

Rest in peace, Little Richard!

This song just sends me!

Jimi Hendrix on guitar. Let it take you.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Possible best song ever recorded

Chico Che y la  Crisis - A quién no le gusta eso?
Chico Che and the Crisis - Who wouldn't like this?

So, I heard the title, and the music starts playing, and suddenly I feel good,
and I start reflecting on the title. And I realize he's really talking about the beat. "Who wouldn't like this?" He's just that sure. He's rockin' out to his own beat. And he's like, "Who wouldn't be all over this shit? This is killer!"

And then he adds some fat rhymes just to flesh it out a little more, dot his i's, cross his t's.

There is hope for humanity.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Covid-19-themed movies

Here are some movies I think address some of the issues we're going through and would be fun to watch in these Coronavirus times:

Apocalypto (2006)
The world is ending. Everyone is out to get you. Your whole family is under assault. All your plans for a relaxing weekend have vanished in a snap, and now your only mission is fighting for survival. There is no rest in sight. It's fight like hell, pray for miracles, and keep your family alive. Hope through nightmare.

The Painted Veil (2006)
What is beauty? What should we be attracted to? What is love? What makes a desirable person? Set in a region beset by an epidemic, this movie is on point for the times.

Casablanca (1942)
Life under lock-down. No one can go anywhere. Curfews are being enforced. The world is in chaos, and at war. How do people act? How do people love? What is the right move? Who is the hero? Who is the villain? Very pertinent concepts for the times.

The Great McGinty (1940)
Politics is not always what it seems. Working for the people is a lot harder than just waving a wand. It's a whole system that need scrutinization. Eye-opening how clear-eyed this movie was 80 years ago.

La Vita e Bella (1997)
Overnight your plans are erased, your family imprisoned. Justice is laughably unreachable. Survival and maintaining sanity and dignity takes all your effort. It's a horror movie couched in a family comedy. Real and thankfully relatable. Titled in the USA as "Life is Beautiful".

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Kathleen Emery: 4 Song Wonder from 1970

Only four known tracks, only two somewhat available to hear, and they're both peerless! Makes the mind and heart go crazy with piny wondering if there is any more recordings of her.

And yet, Kathleen Emery does not have the thickest, deepest, or sweetest tone. In fact, her voice has a strange dischordant monotone stiffness to it at times. Like an Anita O'Day who doesn't pitter and patter hither and thither but rather huffs and puffs, flops and plops. But when that unique sound is complimented with great playfulness in the song choices, the phrasing which usually starts slow and lazy but quickens to emphatic squeaks or growls, you get an uncanily obsessive listening session. You move your hips to the beat. And you marvel at the tempo which straddles its own lane of lounge jazz and funk.

It sounds so carefree and unassuming, you can even tell it would be mocked in its time, and yet it somehow has grown greater with age, and is now essential.

Kathleen Emery: Sometimes I feel like a motherless child (1970)

This is usually a mournful bluesy tune, but somehow this record transforms it into a fun sexy confidence-building jazzy anthem. It can never be listened to enough.

Kathleen Emery: Evil Ways (1970)

This one can be played proudly at as you get ready for a fun night, or at an after hours night-club, a dinner party during appetizers and mingling, or after dinner during games and jokes. It can be played during casual dancing and even during deeper more intense listening.

I haven't yet been able to track down her other 45-speed disc or any recording of it being played. But I'm on the hunt NOW! :-D

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Deep widely-watched conversation about current events

I'm totally getting down with this complex, free-thinking conversation that showcases warm jabbing, top-notch humor, and a constant striving to find bliss for all. MUCH LOVE!!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Today's song of hope

Thanks, RTJ! And thank goodness for you! This is rap with real lyrical and pertinent substance. Can't wait to  bump the whole album while driving. :-D

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Making sense of Mingus: 1955-1963

Late 1940s
Charles Mingus was playing bass in Lionel Hampton's band in the late 1940s, writing songs on the side, some even good enough for the band to play in their sets. 

In 1950, Mingus started his own band, wrote tons of deep trippy hard bop songs, and played gigs, live and studio, with most of the jazz community in New York City, including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, and Max Roach. 

Formed Debut Records with Max Roach

Performed at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada as a dream team/all star group with Max Roach, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. It was released on Debut Records, billed as "The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever".


In 1955, Charlie Parker was the brightest star of jazz at the moment. Charlie "Bird" Parker 
Bird had been a friend and colleague of Mingus', playing live sets around town, as well as some further out, like the historic Massey Hall concert in 1953. Some of their work together was recorded and is acclaimed, and some of Mingus' frustration with Parker has been documented. Eventually, Parker's financial, physical, and spiritual issues came to be known. His death was a shocking loss to the Jazz musicians had a reckoning moment, to decide what Bird had contributed to jazz, and whether they would follow down that line or to ignore it.  
In December, Charles Mingus played a recorded live set at Café Bohemia in New York City.
The music





Sunday, April 5, 2020

Song of the Year: Girl Ray "Girl"

What is this introductory instrument? Why is it so captivating? This rhythm is too much. I'm too happy. I want to move in odd geometric communion with these sounds. An indie girl group releasing their second album might get a little poppy, maybe even hip-hop, or electronic dance, but introducing a new sound, and have that sound be amazing, and have that sound twirl around the lead singer's vocals in sublime counterpoint?!?!?! This could be the best record of the year. Maybe should be.