Funk to Wash Away That Trump FUNK

Is it cool? Is it cool? Yes. Yes it is.

Open thread!

Morning Music/Open Thread

Note that this video has trigger warnings for meat and cold rooms.

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Saturday Night Open Thread: “What It Means”


What’s on the agenda?

Excellent Long Read: “Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker”

Suspect there may be a few here who also admire this spiritual seeker / musician. David Remnick, in the New Yorker:

Leonard Cohen lives on the second floor of a modest house in Mid-Wilshire, a diverse, unglamorous precinct of Los Angeles. He is eighty-two. Between 2008 and 2013, he was on tour more or less continuously. It is highly unlikely that his health will permit such rigors ever again. Cohen has an album coming out in October—obsessed with mortality, God-infused, yet funny, called “You Want It Darker”—but friends and musical associates say they’d be surprised to see him onstage again except in a limited way: a single performance, perhaps, or a short residency at one venue. When I e-mailed ahead to ask Cohen out for dinner, he said that he was more or less “confined to barracks.”

Not long ago, one of Cohen’s most frequent visitors, and an old friend of mine—Robert Faggen, a professor of literature—brought me by the house. Faggen met Cohen twenty years ago in a grocery store, at the foot of Mt. Baldy, the highest of the San Gabriel Mountains, an hour and a half east of Los Angeles. They were both living near the top of the mountain: Bob in a cabin where he wrote about Frost and Melville and drove down the road to teach his classes at Claremont McKenna College; Cohen in a small Zen Buddhist monastery, where he was an ordained monk. As Faggen was shopping for cold cuts, he heard a familiar basso voice across the store; he looked down the aisle and saw a small, trim man, his head shaved, talking intently with a clerk about varieties of potato salad. Faggen’s musical expertise runs more to Mahler’s lieder than to popular song. But he is an admirer of Cohen’s work and introduced himself. They have been close friends ever since…

Marianne’s death was only a few weeks in the past, and Cohen was still amazed at the way his letter—an e-mail to a dying friend—had gone viral, at least in the Cohen-ardent universe. He hadn’t set out to be public about his feelings, but when one of Marianne’s closest friends, in Oslo, asked to release the note, he didn’t object. “And since there’s a song attached to it, and there’s a story . . .” he said. “It’s just a sweet story. So in that sense I’m not displeased.”

Like anyone of his age, Cohen counts the losses as a matter of routine. He seemed not so much devastated by Marianne’s death as overtaken by the memory of their time together. “There would be a gardenia on my desk perfuming the whole room,” he said. “There would be a little sandwich at noon. Sweetness, sweetness everywhere.”

Cohen’s songs are death-haunted, but then they have been since his earliest verses. A half century ago, a record executive said, “Turn around, kid. Aren’t you a little old for this?” But, despite his diminished health, Cohen remains as clear-minded and hardworking as ever, soldierly in his habits. He gets up well before dawn and writes. In the small, spare living room where we sat, there were a couple of acoustic guitars leaning against the wall, a keyboard synthesizer, two laptops, a sophisticated microphone for voice recording. Working with an old collaborator, Pat Leonard, and his son, Adam, who has the producer’s credit, Cohen did much of his work for “You Want It Darker” in the living room, e-mailing recorded files to his partners for additional refinements. Age and the end of age provide a useful, if not entirely desired, air of quiet.

“In a certain sense, this particular predicament is filled with many fewer distractions than other times in my life and actually enables me to work with a little more concentration and continuity than when I had duties of making a living, being a husband, being a father,” he said. “Those distractions are radically diminished at this point. The only thing that mitigates against full production is just the condition of my body.

“For some odd reason,” he went on, “I have all my marbles, so far. I have many resources, some cultivated on a personal level, but circumstantial, too: my daughter and her children live downstairs, and my son lives two blocks down the street. So I am extremely blessed. I have an assistant who is devoted and skillful. I have a friend like Bob and another friend or two who make my life very rich. So in a certain sense I’ve never had it better. . . . At a certain point, if you still have your marbles and are not faced with serious financial challenges, you have a chance to put your house in order. It’s a cliché, but it’s underestimated as an analgesic on all levels. Putting your house in order, if you can do it, is one of the most comforting activities, and the benefits of it are incalculable.”…

Morning Devotion Open Thread

1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.

3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.

5 There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.

6 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

ETA: Bugger. My YouTube embed is not working. Video to follow. Amuse yourself at my expense.

EATA: I think I broke the internets.

I may just be very drunk.

EOATA: Shorter: Drunk fictional old lady likes a piece of music and makes an ass of herself. Normal day really.

I can’t remember who pointed to this in the comments, but thank you, and pipe up if you’d like a hat tip.

Late Night Open Thread: Bad 1980s Movie Music Video Edition

One of the most interesting early 1980s movie music videos with fight scenes shot in Chicago’s Loop.





Not Getting Out Of The Boat

I’m not going to be watching tonight.  My wife and son will be, but me?  I’m around the corner to a bar with the ballgame on.

I’m a wimp. I’ll admit it. I can’t take the debates anymore.  I get too pissed off; I get scared; I get enraged…you get the idea.  I’d rather follow on my phone, switching between the Balloon Juice thread and Twitter, and maybe the Guardian liveblog.

My goal — to get to sleep tonight before two or three, having dodged the useless-replay that I’ve found myself pacing through for hours before I actually get to sleep.

So, this is just to create a thread for those who want to rage, rage against the dying of the light endless derp of modern media, and to offer a little distraction.

Which would be this.  I heard it on the radio today just before I headed off to the dentist to confirm the horrible suspicion that the howling pain in my molar meant (another) root canal (tomorrow at 4, thanks for asking).

I’ve always loved this song, but for some reason it seemed so on point to this election. It certainly put me in a better mood than I had any right (or inclination) to hope for — and maybe it’ll do the same for some of you, mes sembables, mes frères (et soeurs). 

It doesn’t make me feel like the media will ever do its job — I just heard a clip on the local Boston public broadcasting station in which New York Times reporter (of course) Farah Stockman rather giddily proclaimed that this election wasn’t about facts or policy or any of that stuff (in a segment seemingly decrying the calls for fact checking the debate) but about fear.

Well, if so, oh Main Stream Media stalwart, it is because you and your stunningly less clever than they think they are colleagues have allowed it to become so.

So yeah.  Bare Naked Ladies beat our elite political press any day and twice on Sundays.  Enjoy, and say what you will below.