Monday, November 1, 2010

Election 2010 - It's Happening!

Hi there! This post is a placeholder for celebratory chatting on Election eve if Twitter goes fail whale.

If you're here for that - welcome!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Not what you're thinking. Sgt. Pepper had long ago taught the band to play. No, it was twenty years ago today when my father passed away. He was 64 and that seemed "youngish" to me at age 38. Now that I'm 58, it seems positively early!

The photo is the 18 year old version at Great Lakes Naval base outside of Chicago. I'm assuming it is his "graduation" photo after completing boot camp.

Dan Fogelberg wrote a song for his father which I've always liked due to the theme. Fogelberg once said that, if he had only written one song in his life, this would have been it. So, in addition to prayers, I offer the song on this anniversary. I will also offer a toast later in the day. If you'd like to tip a glass to his memory, we'd both be appreciative. BTW, his favorite was Chivas Regal. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Foggy Bloggy Mountain Breakdown

I had a mental brainfart over on Theo Boehm's blog here.  We were talking about banjos and I mentioned a guy I'd seen playing recently.  The guy ID'd a song he played as "a chase scene from Bonnie and Clyde.  Heh
A little Internet research and I realized that it was Flatts and Scruggs playing Foggy Mountain Breakdown. Here's a video of Scruggs and some friends playing it:

Earl Scruggs. What a blessing he is to American music. He's getting up there in years now too.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

On the Road

First stop, San Antonio.

We'll make Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone.

We made it to Amarillo by morning, had a coffee and slept.  Now it's time to move on. This time to Laredo.  For a funeral....

We need to head west; we need to get to Phoenix.  by the time we get to Phoenix, she'll be waiting.

We're in LA.  Los Angeles, the city that doesn't give a damn about you.  The hard city, the fast city. Adrenaline surges harsh the mellow  that Isaac Hayes just gave us.  I see your hair is burnin' / The hills are filled with fire

We finally made it, at least to the end of this leg of our trip.  Bakersfield!  And we can get our mellow cowboy groove back again, thanks to Buck and Dwight.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sauce Hollandaise: Pour la Darcette

Darcy tweeted the other day that she was going to be cooking up some Julia Childs' recipes and thus also learning some French.
Here is a tried and true recipe for la sauce hollandaise, or as we call it chez moi, œuf sauce, or butter still: lardendaise sauce.  The recipe was taken from a book called Les Sauces, which is a compendium of nearly every sauce known to French cooking:

1 & 1/3 stick butter
3 egg yolks (throw the whites away or feed them to your dog)
2 Tbls water or dry white wine
1/4 tsp white pepper
ca. 2 Tbl lemon juice

Melt the butter in a pan then set aside (a microwave is fine too-just get it hot enough to melt).

Mix the egg yolks and the water or wine in a separate pan (I use a double boiler and this pan serves as a place to keep the sauce when finished). Whisk the yolks and the wine with one of those wire whips just until the yolks begin to thicken. This is why harsh direct heat should be avoided (they are worth having if you make lots of sauces). At this point, begin adding the melted butter little by little all while whisking. Add the lemon juice, pepper and a dash of salt according to taste.

If the sauce crashes (separates into oil and solids) remove from the heat immediately. It is sometimes possible to save the sauce by adding more white wine: the ethanol in the wine acts as an emulsifier, helping to mix the oil from the butter with the protein/water from the egg.

This recipe makes enough for 4 people on a diet. Scale accordingly.

bon appetit!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Roots Of Grunge (part 1)

Authentic garage band. Lurve it!

And there's these guys:

"A pretty face can hide an evil mind"

One more!

Is that MomDarcySport one of the "dancers" on the platform behind Johnny? ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When it's my turn, I turn...into a loon!

Watch Fred skunk some snotty kid...and entertain the hell out of us at the same time!

Some Aussie Surf for Chickelit!

They did 45 years ago...and they're still doin' it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Long (but Cool) Woman In A Black Dress Song

Always liked this song from my youth and I thought I'd riff on the title of Haz's last post. Here are the lyrics which tell a good story. The Hollies [added: they were inducted into R&R Hall of Fame this year] singer/guitarist Alan Clarke seems to garble some of the lyrics, so here they are for an easy sing along:

Saturday night I was downtown
Working for the FBI
Sitting in a nest of bad men
Whiskey bottles piling high
Bootlegging boozer on the west side
Full of people who are doing wrong
Just about to call up the DA man
When I heard this woman singing a song
A pair of 45's made me open my eyes
My temperature started to rise
She was a long cool woman in a black dress
Just a 5-9 beautiful tall
With just one look I was a bad mess
'Cause that long cool woman had it all
I saw her heading to the table
Well a tall walking big black cat
When Charlie said I hope that you're able, boy
Well I'm telling you she knows where it's at
Well then suddenly we heard the sirens
And everybody started to run
Jumping under doors and tables
Well I heard somebody shooting a gun
Well the DA was pumping my left hand
And she was holding my right
Well I told her, "Don't get scared
'Cause you're gonna be spared"
Well I'm gonna be forgiven
If I wanna spend my living
With a long cool woman in a black dress
Just a 5-9 beautiful tall
With just one look I was a bad mess
'Cause that long cool woman had it all
Had it all, had it all, had it all...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An Interesting (But Long) Story

I want to tell an interesting story; interesting to me, at least, since I heard it from a friend and it's about musicians.

My friend, and I'll call him Mr. B here, called Friday to ask if I'd like to meet at our favorite bar for a beer.  Of course I would; that's what friend are for, and I always enjoy spending time with Mr. B.

Mr. B is an interesting guy.  He's a high-powered lobbyist with offices in several of the fifty-seven states as well as in DC.  He's also an amateur musician with a garage band and is a fan of rock and roll.  We're the same age and like the same kinds of music.

We were talking about rock and I mentioned having received an email from my son telling me that Levon Helm is going to play near Chicago this summer and asking whether I'd like to go with him to the concert.  Mr. B's eyes lit up and he said "Let me tell you how I almost met Levon Helm."

Back fifteen years or so, Mr. B's student intern approached him at work and said "Boss, my girlfriend Amy and I are graduating from the U in a couple of weeks.  Amy is a music major and wants to sing for her family and friends, about thirty people, after the graduation ceremony.  She reserved a back room in a bar near campus, but they've canceled the reservation because they expect a large crowd that day.  Would it be okay if Amy sang in your sun room or on your patio instead?"

So Mr. B said "okay", and ordered some food, beer, wine and rented some extra chairs for the event.

On graduation day, after the ceremony, Mr. B's intern and his girlfriend Amy arrive at Mr. B's home.  The intern says "Mr. B, I'd like you to meet my girlfriend, Amy Helm."    Mr. B says "Very nice to meet you, Amy, and congratulations on your graduation."

The intern says "Mr. B, You probably didn't know this, but Amy is Levon Helm's daughter."

Whoa.  Mr. B. asked Amy if her parents were going to be at the party, and Amy explained that her parents had divorced many years ago.  Her mother remarried and would be at the party with her stepfather, but not her dad.

A few minutes later Amy walks up to Mr. B and says "Mr. B, I'd like to introduce you to my mother and my step father, Donald Fagen."  Mr. B damn near passes out.  He's a life-long Steely Dan fan, and here's Donald Fagen in his living room.  The exchange pleasantries and Amy begins to sing.  She sings and plays guitar for an hour and it's wonderful.

Donald Fagen hangs out at the rear of the crowd, shy, not really interacting.  He disappears for a while and goes upstairs where a babysitter is taking care of the B's young children.  Mr. B learns later that Donald Fagen sat on the floor with his kids and sang nursery rhymes.

The Amy Helm concert ends and the guests drift out.  When there are only a few people left, Donald Fagen asks Mr. B if it would be okay to play the B's piano.  Mr. B says okay, and Donald Fagen sits down and plays Steely Dan songs for thirty minutes.  At Mr. B's piano, in Mr. B's family room.

At the end of it, the extended Helm family offers their thanks and everyone leaves.

Two weeks later a FedEx parcel arrives.  It's from Donald Fagen and includes a lovely letter, an autographed picture of Donald Fagen with Mr. and Mrs. B, two tickets to a Steely Dan concert in NYC, several CDs and a photo of Donald Fagen playing piano in the B's family room.

How cool is that?

Here's a great vid of Levon Helm singing "The Weight", a song made popular when Levon was the drummer for The Band.  You'll see Amy Helm singing backup in this vid, right next to Sheryl Crow.  Sing along with the chorus.  You know the words.

You might notice a guitar player who's wearing a fedora.  That's Buddy Miller, one of the best studio musicians in Nashville, or the world for that matter. Buddy has several CDs of his own, some with his wife Julie.  Buy one.  They are exceptional.  Buddy writes and performs "roots" music; music that harkens back to the beginning of country, rock and blues music.  How good is Buddy Miller?  Well, Robert Plant picked him to tour with Plant and Alison Kraus when they toured for the Raising Sand CD (another CD you should own).

Levon Helm has been in declining health of late.  He has suffered two bouts of throat cancer that silenced his voice for quite a few months.  He's touring again this summer, and I hope it doesn't become a "farewell" tour.  If you don't have a recent Levon Helm CD, I suggest "Electric Dirt", another paean to roots music.  The title song "Dirt Farmer" can be viewed on YouTube.

And since part of Mr. B's interesting story is about Donald Fagen, here's a vid of a song you'll no doubt remember.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

These Three Guys Are Related

We've all heard of musical families, right?  The Carter Family, The Nelsons, The Marsalis brothers, and many more.

This one may be a bit of a surprise, unless you're really into music (and I know you are, which makes this so fun).

three musicians, all cousins, all about the same age, all learned to play on a piano that their respective families mortgaged their homes to buy.  And all have a similar style.

First, Jerry Lee Lewis.  Who doesn't know ol' Jerry Lee, one of the founders of rock and roll?

Man, I need to cool off after that.  But not with this guy, Jerry Lee's cousin Mickey Gilley.

I was once in Mickey Gilley's saloon in Fort Worth.  I was in Dallas on business, had an evening free, and wanted to see where urban Cowboy had been filmed. It was the twenty scariest minutes of my life.  Fights, smashed bottles, mechanical bull riding, tobacco spitting, swearing; and that was just the cowgirls.  I vamoosed.

And now the third cousin.............Jimmy Swaggart, the evangelical preacher of some repute.  Try has ol' Jimmy may, there's some of the family boogie woogie in hiskeyboard, even at service.  Watch for the riffs beginning at about :25 into the vid.

Whoever taught them did a fine job.  Except for that thing about how to treat women.  that was a disaster for all three.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Smithereens

And now for a change back to pre-grunge, east coast, pounding 1980's basement rock, courtesy of The Smithereens, from Carteret, New Jersey.

The name Smithereens comes from a Yosemite Sam catchphrase, "Varmint, I'm a-gonna blow you to smithereens!"

The Smithereens were good.  They should have made it big, except for two things.

First, that damn grunge music.  Grunge wasn't actually a type of music, it was just a form of rock played by dweebs from Seattle who dressed like lumberjacks.  But it sucked the air out of the rock business for three years, until the weed in Seattle ran out.

Second, 1970s punk rockers, notable bands like The Ramones were morphing into mainstream quasi-legit rock bands.  Punk was real, not just rock re-done with stage and wardrobe special effects.  And punk hit the mainstream big just as The Smithereens were taking off. 

Or just as The Smithereens were expecting to take off.  Because they didn't, apart from some following from what were described as "underground" radio stations; mostly on university campuses.

They were good, they are still good, and they continue to play.  Older, wiser, balder and heavier, the group is still active and tours frequently. Their next studio album is scheduled to be released in Spring or Summer 2010.

We Only Get What We Give

I've always like this song and its uplifting message. I'm thinking about it lately in the context of my son who is entering puberty and will have a rough time of it as we all did. He's definitely got the "dreamer's disease".

Here are the lyrics:

Wake up kids
We've got the dreamer’s disease
Age fourteen, we got you down on your knees
So polite, we're busy still saying please

Frenemies, who when you're down ain't your friend
Every night they smash a Mercedes-Benz
First we run and then we laugh till we cry

But when the night is falling
You cannot find the light
If you feel your dreams are dying
Hold tight
You've got the music in you
Don't let go
You've got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don't give up
You've got a reason to live
Can't forget we only get what we give

I’m comin’ home baby
Your touch-give it to now

Four A. M. we ran a miracle mile
We’re flat broke but hey we do it in style
The bad rich
God's flying in for your trial

But when the night is falling
You cannot find a friend, a friend
You feel your tree is breaking, just bend

You've got the music in you
Don't let go
You've got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don't give up
You've got a reason to live
Can't forget we only get what we give


This whole damn world could fall apart
You'll be OK follow your heart
You're in harm’s way
I'm right behind
Now say you’re mine!

You've got the music in you
Don't let go
You've got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don't give up
You've got a reason to live
Can't forget we only get what we give
Don't let go
I feel the music in you

Fly high high!!
What's real can't die
You only get what you give
You're gonna get what you give
Just don't be afraid to live

Health insurance, rip-off lying
FDA, big bankers buying
Fake computer crashes dining
Cloning while they're multiplying
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson
You're all fakes, run to your mansions
Come around, we'll kick your ass in.

Don’t let go
One dance left
Don’t give
Can’t forget…..

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Of The Cat Power Hour

The song "Metal Heart" originally appeared on Cat Power's 1998 "Moon Pix" album. Her Jukebox remake here can be considered a cover version I guess.

To me, the song speaks to growing up and growing a real heart. Some people are born with one (my daughter for example). Others, like the Tin Man, have to ask for them.  And some people never seem to find or grow one at all, or they harden or give out too early.

Here are the lyrics:
Losing the stars without a sky
Losing the reasons why
You're losing the calling that you've been faking
And I'm not kidding

It's damned if you don't and it's damned if you do
Be true 'cause they'll lock you up in a sad sad zoo
Oh hidy hidy hiding what cha tryin to prove
By hidy hidy hiding you're not worth a thing

Sew your fortunes on a string
And hold them up to light
Blue smoke will take
A very violent flight
And you will be changed
And everything
And you will be in a very sad sad zoo.

I once was lost but now I'm found was blind
But now I see you
How selfish of you to believe in all the meaning of all the bad dreaming
Metal heart you're not hiding
Metal heart you're not worth a thing
Metal heart you're not hiding
Metal heart you're not worth a thing
And here is the original version:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just Words

Did you ever wonder where the word "dickhead" came from?

It was the nickname given to noted swimmer Richard Wilson Head by his fellow team mates.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Costs Of This Debacle Will Be High

Amba tweeted a link to this very nice Op-Ed piece written by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin):

Costs Of This Debacle Will Be High
by Paul Ryan

The legislative victory among Washington's political class comes at a high cost for Wisconsinites forced to swallow this bitter pill.

This massive health care overhaul - a remake of one-sixth of our economy - will exacerbate the very problems this reform effort sought to address. It will dramatically alter our deteriorating economic and fiscal conditions for the worse and may irrevocably impair the American identity.

Sky-rocketing health care costs are drowning families, businesses and governments in red ink - leaving millions priced out of the market and without coverage. This legislation - with its maze of mandates, dictates, controls, tax hikes and subsidies - pushes costs further in the wrong direction.

Premiums in the individual market would rise from 10% to 13% for families. Our debt and deficit crisis - driven by $76 trillion in unfunded liabilities - would accelerate from the creation of a brand new entitlement and an increase in the federal deficit by $662 billion, when the true costs are factored in. National health expenditures will increase by an additional $222 billion over the next decade, according the president's own chief actuary, and $2.4 trillion in the decade after the new entitlement is up and running.

The passion against this intrusion goes beyond the mind-numbing numbers. Health care affects each of us in an intimate and personal way. The American people's engagement is driven by our deep aversion to the federal government's unprecedented reach into our lives. The entire architecture of this overhaul is designed, unapologetically, to give the government greater control over what kind of insurance is available, how much health care is enough and which treatments are worth paying for.

The massive expansion of the federal government into the personal health care decisions will drive providers out of business and force employers to dump their workers on to government-controlled exchanges. Because Washington doesn't approve, millions of Wisconsin seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plans and millions more will lose the consumer-friendly high-deductible health plans they enjoy.

There is another personal cost to this deluge of new government spending and control. Wisconsin remains in dire need of sustained job growth and robust economic recovery. This legislation will hit our economy with $569 billion in tax increases - tax hikes that will hit workers, families and job-creators alike.

The true shame of this debate is that there are real problems in health care that need to be fixed. Almost a year ago, I introduced the Patients' Choice Act to fix what's broken in health care, without breaking what's working. I've spoken with Wisconsinites for years about patient-centered reforms that would make possible universal access to quality, affordable health care with the patient and the doctor - not the government or insurance companies - as the nucleus of the health care market. These alternatives were ignored by Democratic leaders in Washington - and the concerns from Wisconsinites and an engaged American public were dismissed by Washington's political class.

The yearlong partisan crusade - right through its ugly conclusion - revealed that this debate was never about policy but rather a paternalistic ideology at odds with our historic commitment to individual liberty, limited government and entrepreneurial dynamism. The proponents of this legislation reject an opportunity society and instead assume you are stuck in your station in life and the role of government is to help you cope with it. Rather than promote equal opportunities for individuals to make the most of their lives, the cradle-to-grave welfare state seeks to equalize the results of people's lives.

We must begin anew on mitigating the disaster from this health care debacle. Let's repeal the costly missteps before they hit with full force. Let's make certain we do not simply retreat to an earlier point on the same path to decline. Let's chart a new direction that will restore the promise and prosperity of this exceptional nation - and let's do it together.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Even More City Government In Action

The City Government I talked about in that earlier post had a severe absentee problem, even though everyone (in a site that had thousands of people working there!) had to punch a time card. The time card measured things in terms of tenths of an hour, or 6 minutes. Management decided that since people had to punch in and out, even for lunch, and if they were late, they could dock their vacation in tenth of an hour increments.

This meant that people could take vacation in 6 minute increments. So they did. Several times a day.

Your boss wants you to do something at 11:15, and you've booked vacation from 11:12 to 11:18? You could look him in the eye and say, "No, I'm on vacation." And there wasn't much they could do about it. Imagine thousands doing this everyday, several times a day, at random times.

Management decided on living with the absenteeism.

This Happened To Me

While in my thirties, I was making a headlong, full-energy climb up the corporate ladder.  I was employed by a Fortune 1000 company, and by age 33 had become that company's youngest VP. 

My job required a high level of client contact. As a result, I flew more than 120,000 miles annually.  A typical week would include flying out on Sunday night or Monday morning, making several stops, then flying home Friday night.  It sucked, but I thought I was a Big Deal.  These trips were intense, and fatiguing.  I usually arrived home totally burned out.

I had a particularly rough week scheduled. I went to the airport Sunday night and flew to Atlanta for an early meeting Monday morning.   From there it was on to Chicago, and then on Wednesday to Philadelphia.  Wednesday night I flew to Denver, and on Thursday night to San Diego.  I flew home late Friday afternoon.

I collected my luggage and walked to the parking deck where I had left my car.  It wasn't there. I double and triple checked the location, and my car wasn't there.  I walked back and forth for an hour or so, and still couldn't find my car.

The county sheriff's department was in charge of airport law enforcement, so I reluctantly called them to report a missing car.  A deputy showed up and offered to drive me up and down the entire ramp to see if my car was in a different location.  We spent an hour driving and looking; didn't find my car.  The deputy said that the paper work to report a stolen car would take a few minutes to complete, so why didn't I call for a ride while we were completing the report.

I called my wife.  She drove to the airport to pick me up.  I was still sitting the the deputy's patrol car when my wife pulled my car.  I stammered  "hey...what are you doing with mycar?"

She replied "You drove my car to the airport so I could take your car in for service while you were away, remember?"  The sheriff looked and me and started grimacing, then laughing.  We returned to the place where I thought I had parked my car and there wife's car.  D'oh.

Post script:  I quit that job eighteen months later.  The income was great, the prestige was satisfying, but constant traveling had turned me into and absent parent and husband.  It wasn't worth it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

City Government In Action

I worked in a large City Government bureaucracy but in a technical role. Our group had a student intern who was pretty cool. Hard worker, liked working for the city -- no, really! -- and she wanted to work full time for the city when she finished school. She worked only 2o hours a week for us, but she did so for almost 3 years. Finally, she finishes and applies to take the City Entrance Exam which they used to give to amoebas who walked in off the street. But the City denied her the chance to take the exam! My boss and his boss were stunned; no one had ever been denied the right to merely take the exam. They sniffed around the personnel people to find out why. In a phone call to us we were told that not only should she not be allowed to take the exam, but she should have been fired for being an absentee employee, one who's not even on the clock half the time! We tried to say that she was a student intern, one who's in class for the other 2o hours a week....and were told that "we don't care WHY she's not on the clock. She should have been fired."

She got a private sector job that paid her more than my boss, just coming out of school. My boss and his boss got reprimands.

I Kid You Not...

True story.

A friend (no, it wasn't me, I'd admit it!) was waiting in the foyer of a fancy restaurant for her table with friends. She was wearing a pair of slacks that were dry clean only. Well, you know, you try to get a couple of wearings out of them, right? So she's standing there and one of the guys in her group says, "What's that sticking out of your pants?". She looks, and it's the foot of a pair of pantyhose left inside her pants. Embarrassed, she tugs really hard on the pantyhose, hoping to yank them out quickly and tuck them away.

Well, she does yank them out quickly. But so forcefully, the pantyhose fly up into the ceiling fan above her head and proceed to get all impossibly tangled there! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Believe In You

OK since Haz the enforcer is in Madison and unable to post over this today, I thought I would sneak in at least one more Cat Power video from her album "Jukebox".

This is a Bob Dylan song called "I Believe In You" that originally appeared on his "Slow Train Coming" album. The entire album was controversial for Dylan as it marked his apparent conversion from nominal Judaism to evangelical Christianity. Make of it what you will:

Here are the lyrics in case you feel like following along [I just realized that she changed things up slightly-these are the original Dylan lyrics]:
They ask me how I feel
And if my love is real
And how I know I'll make it through.
And they, they look at me and frown,
They'd like to drive me from this town,
They don't want me around
'Cause I believe in you.

They show me to the door,
They say don't come back no more
'Cause I don't be like they'd like me to,
And I walk out on my own
A thousand miles from home
But I don't feel alone
'Cause I believe in you.

I believe in you even through the tears and the laughter,
I believe in you even though we be apart.
I believe in you even on the morning after.
Oh, when the dawn is nearing
Oh, when the night is disappearing
Oh, this feeling is still here in my heart.

Don't let me drift too far,
Keep me where you are
Where I will always be renewed.
And that which you've given me today
Is worth more than I could pay
And no matter what they say
I believe in you.

I believe in you when winter turn to summer,
I believe in you when white turn to black,
I believe in you even though I be outnumbered.
Oh, though the earth may shake me
Oh, though my friends forsake me
Oh, even that couldn't make me go back.

Don't let me change my heart,
Keep me set apart
From all the plans they do pursue.
And I, I don't mind the pain
Don't mind the driving rain
I know I will sustain
'Cause I believe in you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chad Vader - Darth Vader's Underachieving Brother

You probably didn't know that Darth Vader even had a brother, did you?  Well, he does.  Darth's brother is Chad Vader, who is something of and underachiever in the Vader family.

Chad isn't much of a hero.  In fact, his career is pretty much a downer.  He's the day-shift manager at the Williams Street Co-op in Madison, Wisconsin.  He works in ground zero of the paleo-hippie world.

Chad Vader's work life has been serialized by some UW film students.

Here's the first chapter.  The other chapters can be found on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And I Am Breathless Without You

Another Cat Power video. This is one that I tweeted earlier and is called "Breathless". It's song originally written by Nick Cave. She normally did original work, but released a CD of all covers in 2008 called "Jukebox".  Highly recommend.
At one level, the song is about inspiration of the musical sort, or more generally of the "muse" sort (have all the adjectives connoting inspiration by a muse been taken?  Do they all have music music connotations?).

Here are the lyrics:

It's up in the morning
And on the downs
Little white clouds
Like gambling lambs
And I am breathless over you
And the red-breasted robin beats his wings
His throat it trembles when he sings
For he is helpless before you
The happy hooded bluebells bow
And bend their heads all a-down
Heavied by the early morning dew
At the whispering stream
At the bubbling brook
The fishes leap up to take a look
For they are breathless over you
Still your hands
And still your heart
For still your face
Comes shining through
And all the morning glows anew
Still your mind
Still your soul
For still the fare of love is true
And I am breathless without you
The wind circles among the trees
And it bangs about the new-made leaves
For it is breathless without you
The fox chases the rabbit round
Little rabbit hides beneath the ground
For he, he's defenceless without you
The sky of daytime dies away
And all the earthly things they stop to play
For we are all breathless without you
I listen to my juddering bones
And the blood in my veins
And the wind in my lungs
And I am breathless without you
Still your hands
And still your heart
For still your face
Comes shining through
And all the morning glows anew
Still your mind
Still your soul
For still the fire of your love is true
And I am breathless without you
And I am breathless without you
And I am breathless without you

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I know...

...I've posted this elsewhere...but, sure, I'm still willing to make a fool of myself! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New York, New York

Since we're into posting videos of famous songs done by other people, and because I was just listening to this on my iPod and mostly because I saw Cat Power (w/Chan Marshall) perform this nearly 2 years ago at San Diego Street Scenes, but also because it has cool trippy visuals that Michael "Purple" Haz can appreciate--here we go with: New York, New York:

This also goes out to amba and also to Jason (the commenter) who both used to live in New York City.

Johnny Cash Sings A Nine Inch Nails Song - Hurt

This is one of the last songs Johnny Cash recorded.  It is a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song Hurt.

Cash recorded it shortly before he died, shortly after he was told that he had mere days left to live.  He was dying of diabetes, blind, and so weak that he couldn't make it to his studio.  His performance was recorded in his home, in his living room.  Only a few trusted friends were with him, plus his closest child, daughter Roseanne Cash.

Hurt was written by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, who said this about the Johnny Cash version:

I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. I felt like I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn't mine anymore… It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. Somehow that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning — different, but every bit as pure.

The cover was given the Country Music Award for "Single of the Year" in 2003. It ranked as CMT's top video for 2003, #1 on CMT's 100 Greatest Country Music Videos the following year, and #1 on the Top 40 Most Memorable Music Videos on MuchMoreMusic's Listed in October 2007. As of January 2010, the single occupies the number one spot on Rate Your Music's Top Singles of the 2000s. The song is also Cash's sole chart entry on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, where it hit #33 in 2003  . In June 2009, the song was voted #1 in UpVenue's Top 10 Best Music Covers.

The house where Cash's music video for "Hurt" was shot, which was Cash's home for nearly 30 years, was destroyed in a fire on April 10, 2007.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not a Crossover but a Different Treatment

I always liked how a simple change of tempo makes this version by the late Dan Fogelberg so different from the other versions. To me, this actually conveys the emotion and intention of the lyrics. Fogelberg was divorced twice and I wouldn't be surprised if he worked on this shortly after one of the divorces. Also, it's before he became a "super-environmentalist".


Monday, March 8, 2010

Crossovers For Ruth Anne

I really dug the video of Toby Keith singing "Should Have Been a Cowboy" in reggae style. 

I saw this a few years ago and thought Ruth Anne might like it. It's Ziggy Marley and The Chieftains.

And this one, I've not been able to forget.  It's Ladysmith Black mambazo and Dolly Parton singing "Knocking on Heaven's Door".

And even more improbably, Dolly Parton singing, no, killing, Stairway to Heaven. She owned it, as did her bluegrass band in the background.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Reggae Toby Keith, for Michael Haz

Way down in the archives, Michael Haz embedded a mullet-wearing bleach-blond Toby Keith and the 'official' video of one of his first hits, 'I Shoulda Been a Cowboy.'

This reggae version is how I heard it when he came to town a few years ago for a concert. I believe I prefer it. And, curiously enough, the video was made in Cadot, Wisconsin.


Your Spot In The Sun...

Find it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Unsolved Song Meanings

Ann Althouse recently blogged about the "mystery solved" with reference to Carly Simon's song You're So Vain: Link.

There are two other songs that I'm curious about:. The first is Fleetwood Mac's Sara:

According to a GQ interview with The Eagles's Don Henley, "Sara" refers to an aborted child belonging to Stevie Nicks and Henley:
I believe to the best of my knowledge [Nicks] became pregnant by me. And she named the [unborn] kid Sara, and she had an abortion and then wrote the song of the same name to the spirit of the aborted baby. I was building my house at the time, and there's a line in the song that says ‘And when you build your house, call me.

To me, the really heartbreaking line in the song with this knowledge in mind has always been the first line:
Wait a minute baby, stay with me a while,
Said you'd give me light [life?] but you never told me about the fire...
Now I admit that I had always heard the word "life" where the word "light" could be. But still, the entire meaning of the song changes somewhat doesn't it?  And Don Henley comes off as a callous cad.

The second song is Talk Of The Town by the Pretenders:

The Pretenders - Talk Of The Town


MySpace Video
Chrissie Hynde has said in interviews that the song was just about some punk kid who was hanging around their recording studio.  But I listen to it and I'm convinced that she wrote the song for/about Ray Davies of The Kinks with whom she had a relationship (and a kid).
What do you think?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sing Out Loud Thursday

The sun's out.  Open the windows and sing, just like you would if you were driving that red convertible with the top down.

Rod Stewart (with an intro by Jack Bauer!)

Build Me Up Buttercup.  You know the lyrics, so jump in.

Awright, you're getting into it.  Ladies, shout this one out.

Where are the coladas?  Grab one and sing.

Tap those boots, cowpokes, and sing along.

There ya go.  Keep the party in your heart and life will always be good.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Please feel free..

to do posts linking your blogs here! I know speaking for myself, I would love to give more traffic to those of you who blog. I get in a routine and forget. Seeing them here will remind me!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Why I Still Hate Yanni

Years ago my wife and I went camping on Catalina Island. Now this was shortly after returning from living abroad. We were both in pretty good shape and liked hiking and outdoor stuff plus we didn't have any kids yet. We took a boat over to the island from the mainland to Two Harbors and then took a bus to the campsite. What a bust that place was. The water tasted like chlorine (it was treated rainwater). The sun was so intense that whole week that we had to build a shelter next to our tiny pup tent. Now the brochure had promised that every campsite had a palm tree-they just didn’t tell us that ours was only about 2 feet tall and useless for shade. We ended up actually building shade out of spare wooden pallets.

Things were going along OK  The diet was pretty lean, consisting many of rehydrated foods and good coffee (we brought along one of this little espresso makers). We actually ended up hiking back into town and bringing some decent water back, lugging it on our backs. So things were going just great (well OK) until Yanni and his love interest rolled into camp. I mean literally rolled because they came by bicycle (motor vehicles are prohibited on the island). I immediately nicknamed him Yanni because he had that doofus-looking long girly hair and was also all buffed-out like a rock star. He liked to strut around topless too, flexing his muscles.

Yanni and the Mrs both had those sidesaddle panniers on their bikes just packed with gear and goodies. We watched them set up from a safe distance. Yanni had a much bigger tree-enough to shade his walk-in tent. Yanni’s love interest soon disappeared inside the tent (no doubt primping herself for a romantic evening) while he set about preparing a fine meal.

“WTF did he just pull out of those panniers? Was that a steak?” my wife remarked. It was. That Yanni had thought of everything. Fresh vegetables even. Then out came a bottle of wine, and a corkscrew! After he prepared the meal, Yanni disappeared into the tent for the night. No doubt for a major seduction scene.

The next morning Yanni re-emerged topless from the tent to cook his lover breakfast (we never did see her until they packed up and left later on that day).  Once again he dipped his hands into the bottomless panniers "Are those eggs? is that bacon?" soon came the laments. Oh well, at least we had our good coffee. And reconstituted refried beans and rice.

It's Friday...

...pour yourself a scotch (or two), find that Main Squeeze and....Sex It Up. Here's some mood setting for ya...

Zippety Doo Dah!

I had this album! I love, love, love this song:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Your Eminence.

This is very troubling to me. I work in this field of law and I'm probably especially sensitive to it, though.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Pretty much says it all. GO USA!!!!

Whoa Dude!

It's still winter.  It's dreary here.  Bah.

I thought that what I needed to cheer me up was a YouTube trip to the beach so I could dig some surfer music. I'm hep with the chicks and surfer dudes, ya know daddio. 

I didn't want some of that sappy Beach Boy music this morning; I wanted something with an edge.  I wanted Dick Dale.  You know Dick Dale, don't you?  No?  Huh? What are you, a commie?  Or worse, from Illinois?

Dick Dale is the inventor of surfing music.  He is called the King of Surf music by other musicians.  He is also known as having the fastest fingers in music because of the way he plays guitar.  It isn't unusual for his fingers to bleed during a concert. He plays the skin off of them.

Where wuz  I?  Oh yeah, the music.  I hunted around my house and couldn't find any Dick Dale CDs, so I sniffed around YouTube for a while. Found some good stuff.  This one I especially like because not only does it have Dick Dale, but also Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Plus, and get this, appearances by Gilligan, The Skipper, The Beaver, Wally Cleaver, David Hasselhoff, and my fave Mousketeer Annette Funicello.  *Drifts off to boyhood fantasyland at mention of Annette Funicello*

Pipeline! Get your Frug on!

Here's Dick Dale and a drummer. No one else.  I sounds like two, maybe three guitars.  There is only one.

You wish you played that well. So do I. 

Now get back to work.  America is counting on you.  I'm at the beach.

Is There a Mafia Behind the Mafia?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Imagine this: There is a higher layer of mafia than the mafia we are familiar with.  The Genoveses, Gottis, Lanskys and other dons and families are actually controlled by a very secret small group of Sicilianos who are never in the picture.  These guys settle disputes, arrange for "leaders" to be taken down or framed when they stop taking orders.  They set strategy, call the shots, without ever being traced.

And they are so secret that even the FBI has never been able to bust any of them, nor even capture a photo for its agents to use.

Maybe they exist; maybe they don't.  But the author of this book believes that he has the evidence that they are real.  Sucker that I am, I ordered the book. And the DVD so I can hear the author's voice.

Real or not, what do you think?  Sounds like a "judge the boobs" question, doesn't it?  We'll find out if I am a boob for buying the book.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Some of us thought we could use a gathering place to converse beyond the 140 character limits in other places.

So...welcome friends.