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    At the Tomb of Couperin – Thoughts on a Centenary

    Posted by on 11th November 2018 (All posts by )

    There is a lovely little classical piece by Maurice Ravel – , composed shortly after the end of the war, five of the six movements dedicated to the memory of an individual, and one for a pair of brothers, all close friends of the composer, every one of them fallen in a war of such ghastliness that it not only put paid to a century of optimistic progress, but barely twenty years later it birthed another and hardly less ghastly war. Maurice Ravel himself was over-age, under-tall and not in the most robust of health, but such was the sense of national emergency that he volunteered for the military anyway, eventually serving as a driver – frequently under fire and in danger. Not the usual place to find one of France’s contemporarily-famous composers, but they did things differently at the end of the 19th Century and heading all wide-eyed and optimistic into the 20th. Citizens of the intellectual and artistic ilk were not ashamed of their country, or feel obliged to apologize for a patriotic attachment, or make a show of sullen ingratitude for having been favored by the public in displaying their talents.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anglosphere, Arts & Letters, Britain, Europe, France, Germany, History, Military Affairs, Music | 20 Comments »

    Smashing Pumpkins in 2018 and 1991

    Posted by on 27th August 2018 (All posts by )

    The Smashing Pumpkins came to Portland on Saturday, August 25th at the Moda Center (the arena where the Portland Trail Blazers play). It was a good show and the sound was excellent (we recently saw a show at the Veterans Arena adjacent to the Moda Center and the sound was so terrible we walked out half-way through the show).

    They played the hits – most of the show was based on their first few albums – Gish, Siamese Dream, and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and a bit of their next two.  There wasn’t a lot of their most recent work – the local paper described the show as “Give the Gen X’ers What They Want”.

    The whole band was there except for original bassist D’Arcy.  Like (nearly) everyone else, I had my story of when I ran into the Smashing Pumpkins back in Chicago – James Iha and D’Arcy were behind me in line at Best Buy purchasing CD’s a long time ago.

    While I love the Smashing Pumpkins unconditionally, I can see how Billy Corgan’s “woe is me” routine would be grating.  He had a bad childhood and it was highlighted from the very first song “Disarm” where he had pictures of himself as a child with annotations and they weren’t happy, for sure.

    Posted in Music, Oregonia | 5 Comments »

    Crimesongs

    Posted by David Foster on 28th June 2018 (All posts by )

    There are a lot of good songs about the criminal way of life…

    Emmylou Harris,

    Tom Russell,

    Ian Tyson,

    Emmylou Harris,

    Roy Drusky,

    Jimmie Rodgers, another version of the above, called

    Johnny Cash,

    Sam Cooke,

    Mississippi John Hurt,

    Wilson Pickett, another version of

    Ramblin’ Jack Elliott (with Tom Russell),

    Two other great Tom Russell songs, Hong Kong Boy and He Wasn’t a Bad Kid When He Was Sober

    What else?

    Posted in Crime and Punishment, Music, USA | 28 Comments »

    A Most Unusual Protest Song

    Posted by David Foster on 5th June 2018 (All posts by )

    …from the 1960s.

    P F Sloan,

    Posted in Europe, History, Human Behavior, Music, Russia, USA, Video | 8 Comments »

    Rolling Stone Reviews Top 100 Metal Albums

    Posted by on 2nd July 2017 (All posts by )

    For whatever reason this is the music of my childhood and I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to take apart this ranking by Rolling Stone magazine, which was reasonably good (other lists have been terrible in the past). If you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are interested at all head over to our other site and . I would put it here beneath the fold but there are tables and the like and it takes a while to re-format from Blogger to Word Press.
    If not hope you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are having a good summer…

    Posted in Music | 7 Comments »

    Electric Six at Dante’s In Portland

    Posted by on 17th June 2017 (All posts by )

    Last night I went to see one of my favorite bands, , at Dante’s in Portland on Burnside Avenue. They played a fun show and the band sounded great (my ears are still ringing). Here is their iconic singer “Dick Valentine” on stage. The band delivers hilarious onstage banter and are highly recommended. The crowd at Dante’s was also great and everyone seemed to be in good spirits.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Music, Oregonia | 2 Comments »

    Yngwie F’ing Malmsteen

    Posted by on 27th May 2017 (All posts by )

    When I was in high school Yngwie Malmsteen hit the metal scene like a hurricane. That was back in the day when you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 would have long and furious arguments about who was the “best” guitarist (remember, we didn’t have the internet and had to fill our time with something other than social media). When Yngwie emerged the term “shredding” became the norm and Yngwie was the apex of that style of guitar playing – almost the photo that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 would put adjacent to that term in the dictionary.

    His debut album “Rising Force” was a classic in that genre – mostly instrumental and filled with probably just about the recommended dose of Yngwie for most non die-hard fans. The hand raising his iconic guitar above the fire is the image of Yngwie that jumps into my mind first and foremost.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Music, Oregonia | 3 Comments »

    Freedom and the American Character

    Posted by David Foster on 3rd April 2017 (All posts by )

    I was thinking, for some reason, about the old Cole Porter song . It’s not all that good of a song, IMO–but it does express a chafing at restriction that most people would once have agreed was a core aspect of the American character.

    Now, however, I’m not so sure. Seems to me a lot of people–especially but not only on college campuses–are asking to be fenced in, and are looking at hobbles not negatively but with admiration.

    Questions for discussion:

    –Has individual freedom indeed become a less-important value to Americans (in general) over recent decades?

    –If so, what are the drivers of this change?…and what are the implications?

    –Was Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor right about human nature?

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Deep Thoughts, Music, USA | 30 Comments »

    Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

    Posted by Jonathan on 23rd March 2017 (All posts by )

    Posted in Music | 2 Comments »

    Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast” is 35 Years Old

    Posted by on 21st March 2017 (All posts by )

    I was listening to “Boneyard” the XM Radio station whose one-time motto was “the station of road-trippin’ and binge drinking” and they said that “The Number of the Beast” by Iron Maiden was turning 35 years old. In that moment, I felt old, too.

    “The Number of the Beast” is the first album by Iron Maiden featuring singer Bruce Dickinson with his soaring vocals. The prior singer, Paul Di’Anno, had a much lower, punk sort of voice range that was a bit less commercially successful. This was also the album that made them giant in the United States, with their videos such as “Run to the Hills” being played incessantly on MTV.

    I took a snapshot of the album cover from Apple Music on my iPhone – I’m sure that somewhere there is a cassette, album, and CD of this disc somewhere that I’ve purchased and lost over the years. This is one of their best covers, with the mascot “Eddie” pulling the strings on the devil (who has his own little Eddie on a string).
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Music | 8 Comments »

    Music Review: The Rose of Roscrae

    Posted by David Foster on 14th March 2017 (All posts by )

    This work by Tom Russell is a highly ambitious album: a song-cycle, practically an opera, whose storyline extends from Ireland to the American West to the island of Molokai, where the priest Father Damien cared for outcast lepers.

    In the title song, Johnny Dutton tells of being beaten up by the father of the beautiful 15-year-old Rose (after being caught in the hayloft with her) and making his way from Ireland to the United States, where he planned to live out the dreams he had absorbed from cheap novels of the West.

    Johnny works for the legendary rancher Charlie Goodnight, but eventually turns to a life of crime. He is caught and found guilty, but escapes. He is pursued by his nemesis Augie Blood, US Marshal and evangelist, who travels in a prairie schooner (drawn by mules named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) with a cross on the sail and a saloon piano in the back on which he plays gospel tunes.

    Will Johnny escape Augie Blood? Will he ever be reunited with the Rose of Roscrae? Will his longing for Ireland ever take him back to the Old Country?

    A few of the songs:

    . (Russell got a letter from “a rather well-known Western artist” who apparently wanted him to write a song based on “new information that Billy the Kid was a real hero of sorts. A true Irishman and a friend of the Mexican poor.” This song is Russell’s answer)

    There are a LOT of performers on this album, in addition to Tom R himself, they include Johnny Cash, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Maura O’Connell, Ian Tyson, and Gretchen Peters. There is even a Swiss Yodel Choir!

    When I first heard this album, I liked it but didn’t think it quite measured up to TR’s earlier song-cycle, The Man from God Knows Where (link goes to my review) But The Rose of Roscrae grows on you500vip彩票安卓下载官网. An exceptional piece of work, well-worth buying and listening to many times.

    The album can be purchased at . Also available is a which includes the program guide / libretto as well as the album itself.

     

    Posted in History, Ireland, Music, USA | Comments Off on Music Review: The Rose of Roscrae

    Ethan Russell and Iconic Rock Photos

    Posted by on 26th February 2017 (All posts by )

    Growing up I was a big fan of The Who. Since I didn’t always have a lot of money for records I tried to “stretch” my budget often times by buying “greatest hits” albums. Initially I thought that “Who’s Next” by The Who with the iconic photo of them pissing on some sort of concrete slab WAS a “best of” album simply because almost every track had been played to death on the radio with the exception of “My Wife” by Entwistle (which was a song I liked a lot) and “Love Ain’t for Keeping”.

    Recently I saw a presentation by the photographer Ethan Russell who took that classic cover photo along with an amazing amount of other images you500vip彩票安卓下载官网’d recognize instantly, from the pictures of the Beatles on the “Let It Be” album to some great Rolling Stones’ photos from their classic late 1960’s – early 1970’s era. If he comes to you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r town I would highly recommend that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 go out and hear him talk.

    I bought a signed print of that Who’s Next cover and sent it on to a friend of mine who also was a big fan of The Who growing up. I’m sure he’ll like it.

    Cross posted at

    Posted in Music, Photos | 5 Comments »

    A Great Concert – SRV at Champaign IL 1987

    Posted by on 7th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Dan is much smarter than me and he holds on to all the ticket stubs for concerts and sporting events that he’s attended over the years.  He recently sent me a rug and a coffee mug that he created based on the ticket stub for a special concert we attended almost 30 years ago when we were at the University of Illinois.  The show was Stevie Ray Vaughan at .

    At the time I was in college and had almost no money.  I saw that Stevie Ray Vaughan was coming to campus and thought I would get up early and stand in line to purchase tickets before class (I rarely got up early in those days when I could avoid it).  Alas, the line was already long and I pretty much gave up right away.  There was a guy who was scalping tickets, however, so I went up to him and bought two tickets for what I remember was about $50.

    The tickets were up front in the first couple of rows as it turned out but way, way on the left side of the stage.  Dan and I got rip roaring drunk before the show (which was the custom, back in the day) and we headed to Foellinger.  Note that Foellinger was a lecture hall and I had many classes in that room – the room had bolted-down desks with the fold out panels that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 could write on, so it was kind of odd that they had concerts at that same room (I also saw the punk band Husker Du in that same lecture hall, which seemed even odder).

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Music | 4 Comments »

    Regina Spektor, Older and Taller (2016)

    Posted by Lexington Green on 6th January 2017 (All posts by )

    This is beautiful.

    Pop music of the older sort, which reached a peak in the 1960s, is about beauty and joy, and their usual antecedents, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网th and love. As these things have faded out of our civilization, pop music turned to the shit we have now. But occasionally some of the old vintage shows up and surprises us and reminds how it can be. And Regina’s lyrics are clever and funny and sweet.

    Here it is live:

    Lyrics below the fold.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Music | 7 Comments »

    Nobels & Dylan

    Posted by Ginny on 15th October 2016 (All posts by )

    In the mid-sixties, Bob Dylan’s music was the soundtrack to our lives. Now, in 2016, he’ll receive a Nobel. In that half century he’s become central to later generations and in other ways. But between the years when “everyone” quoted Childs numbers and when the Beatles took America by storm, Dylan’s voice was important. The folk singer who lived upstairs in ’65 patterned his style – music, clothes, harmonicas – after Dylan, placing roses on the stage at Pershing when Dylan played Lincoln; another friend wrote poems filled with Dylan allusions, murmuring . Dylan did Nashville Skyline; in Chicago, watching him on , I began to love country: a less surreal, more seductive Dylan singing . In 1975 Austin, newly married, we bought Blood on the Tracks, with “Shelter from the Storm”

    And in 2016, he will stand another stage. His is workmanlike; in his mid seventies, his tours continue. The “News” section doesn’t (tonight) have the Nobel listed. It’s hard to put my memories of a man who seemed to speak for and to lost boys in the context of his (and our) maturity, of all those years and all his work between then and now. For me, he remains fixed in the past, mine is ambivalence and nostalgia, but that larger, longer public context: ; ; .

    If Dylan didn’t touch you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r life, take on one who did might be worth comment. Seven years has produced a world a less smug and ahistorical vision would have foreseen.

    Discuss?

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Music, Personal Narrative, Poetry | 12 Comments »

    Seth Barrett Tillman: Some Late Thoughts on the American Civil War and Southern Identity

    Posted by Jonathan on 26th June 2016 (All posts by )

    What I learned was that these gentlemen were entirely comfortable with their U.S. identity. They did not pine for the Confederacy to rise again. They did not blame the U.S. military for Confederate wartime deaths. There was no anger in connection with Sherman’s march, and the destruction of southern cities, farms, infrastructure, and other public & private property. So what exactly did bother them–what precisely was their beef? It was The Battle Hymn of the Republic. It upset them to no end. I was you500vip彩票安卓下载官网ng then. Perhaps, I should have understood why it upset them so much. In my defence, I can say, after some years (decades) of reflection, I figured it out.

    Interesting thoughts. More .

    Posted in Anglosphere, Civil Society, Culture, Deep Thoughts, History, Music, Religion, USA, War and Peace | 8 Comments »

    The State of American Politics in May, 2016

    Posted by David Foster on 5th May 2016 (All posts by )

    …my feelings right now as expressed in song, prose, and poetry.

    For I’, substitute ‘we’:

    Once I had mountains in the palm of my hand
    And rivers that ran through every day
    I must have been mad
    I never knew what I had
    Until I threw it all away

    Now gather up sea shells
    And write down brave words
    Your prayers are unanswered
    Your idols absurd
    The seaweed and the cobweb
    Have rotted you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r sword
    Your barricades broken
    Your enemies Lord

    , describing his feelings in the aftermath of Munich:

    Like most people, I have had my private sorrows, but there is no loss that can compare with the agony of losing one’s country, and that is what some of us felt when England accepted Munich. All we believed in seemed to have lost substance.

    The life of each of us has roots without which it must wither; these derive sustenance from the soil of our native land, its thoughts, its way of life, its magnificent history; the lineage of the British race is our inspiration. The past tells us what the future should be. When we threw the Czechs to the Nazi wolves, it seemed to me as if the beacon lit centuries ago, and ever since lighting our way, had suddenly gone out, and I could not see ahead.

    Yet it was only two years after Munich that Britain demonstrated its magnificent resistance to Nazi conquest.

    I am a little wounded but am not slain
    I will lie me down for to bleed a while
    Then I’ll rise and fight with you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 again

    Lie down to bleed a while, if you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 need to–but not for too long–but do not give up. The stakes are way too high.

    Posted in Britain, Deep Thoughts, History, Music, USA | 5 Comments »

    The Art of the Remake, XVIII

    Posted by on 7th April 2016 (All posts by )

    Remember the standard:
    “If you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are going to cover a song, rip it apart a bit and make it you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r own.”
    Changes, by David Bowie:

    And a remake by Lewis and Clarke:

    I saw this one while perusing Jeff Carter’s excellent blog, , which you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 should take a look at every day. It particularly struck me today as I am going through some big changes in my life right now. Some good, some bad, but in the end, as my daughter keeps telling me, “everything will be just fine”.

    Posted in Music, Video | 3 Comments »

    Merle Haggard, American Musician, 1937-2016

    Posted by Lexington Green on 6th April 2016 (All posts by )

    Merle

    Merle Haggard is dead.
    God rest his soul.
    The last and greatest of the musical titans finally falls.
    Possibly the greatest of them all, in our national history, at capturing in music the hard, Jacksonian core of America.
    Merle Haggard riding his bicycle as a kid, too you500vip彩票安卓下载官网ng to get in, hanging around by the back door, to hear Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, part of a continuity that stretches back to the peopling of the American backcountry, and beyond that to the bloody world of the English border, and poor and proud people who made their own music.
    Merle lived hard. Nine lives at least.
    If you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are not yet a Merle Haggard fan, get that way.
    Merle Haggard, we will never forget you500vip彩票安卓下载官网.
    We will never stop loving you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r music.

    Posted in Music | 7 Comments »

    Bei Mir Bistu Shein Though Time

    Posted by Michael Hiteshew on 3rd April 2016 (All posts by )

    From Wiki:

    “Bei Mir Bistu Shein” (Yiddish: , “To Me You’re Beautiful”) is a popular Yiddish song composed by Jacob Jacobs (lyricist) and Sholom Secunda (composer) for a 1932 Yiddish comedy musical, I Would If I Could (in Yiddish, Men Ken Lebn Nor Men Lost Nisht, “You could live, but they don’t let you500vip彩票安卓下载官网”), which closed after one season at the Parkway Theatre in Brooklyn, New York City. The score for the song transcribed the Yiddish title as “Bay mir bistu sheyn”. The original Yiddish version of the song (in C minor) is a dialogue between two lovers.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Music, Video | 9 Comments »

    Gypsy Jazz

    Posted by Michael Hiteshew on 2nd March 2016 (All posts by )

    Time for a break with ‘Gypsy Jazz’ creator Django Reinhardt and sometimes collaborator Stephane Grappelli.

    (Minor Swing)

    (Dark Eyes)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Culture, Music | 18 Comments »

    Joni Mitchell, 1965

    Posted by Michael Hiteshew on 30th December 2015 (All posts by )

    Joni wrote this. She’s 22 years old here.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Music, Video | 2 Comments »

    Christmas 2015

    Posted by David Foster on 24th December 2015 (All posts by )

    is an ancient structure in Ireland so constructed that the sun, at the exact time of the winter solstice, shines directly down a long corridor and illuminates the inner chamber. More about Newgrange and .

    has an Arthurian passage about the Solstice.

    Don Sensing has thoughts astronomical, historical, and theological about .

    , from Maggie’s Farm

    …link came from the great and much-mourned Neptunus Lex

    , from Cal Tech. Lots of great photos

    , from The Assistant Village Idiot

    , from King’s College Cambridge

    has some thoughts on the season. More .

    A Christmas reading from .

    The first radio broadcast of voice and music took place on Christmas Eve, 1906. (although there is debate about the historical veracity of this story)

    An air traffic control version of

    from the St Paul winter carnival

    O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, sung by

    on a winter garden

    Mona Charen, who is Jewish, wonders

    Posted in Christianity, Holidays, Music, Religion | 2 Comments »

    Songs of 2015

    Posted by David Foster on 19th December 2015 (All posts by )

    I’ve heard quite a few good new songs this year…not all “new” in the sense of being just-released, but at least new to me. Some of them…

    Della Mae is an all-female bluegrass-oriented group. Their songs include (inspired by Francis Thompson’s poem ‘The Hound of Heaven’), , , and .

    Reflections from the beyond of an Irish immigrant who fought in both the American Civil War and at Little Big Horn: , sung here by John Sheahan, Jane, & Shane.

    From Tom Russell’s new album: and . (I’ve written about some of Tom’s earlier work here)

    Laura Orshaw:

    I heard this sequence of songs on the radio while driving 500vip彩票安卓下载官网 one foggy night:

    John Prine,

    Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams,

    Jason Isbell,

    Nanci Griffith, (can’t find Nanci’s version online, the link goes to one by Kevin Welch)

     

    Posted in Music | 3 Comments »

    USAF Band – Museum ‘Flash Mobs’

    Posted by Michael Hiteshew on 16th December 2015 (All posts by )

    Posted in Holidays, Music, Video | 14 Comments »

     

    500vip彩票安卓下载官网

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