Monday Afternoon Music (Open Thread)

Ever heard of Eilen Jewell? I’m a fan. Here’s a tune Jewell released a several years back:

My sister and I caught a show a few years ago at a local venue. We had the opportunity to chat with Jewell briefly while she signed our CDs. She was super nice.

When I was a teenager, I lived for going to live music events, despite the fact that weird, shitty things invariably happened. Examples, in no particular order: someone barfed in my purse, my friends and I got separated from our ride and had to hitchhike from Orlando to Tampa, I was assaulted by a goon when I threw a drink in his face to prevent him from punching my friend in the mouth, etc.

After the latter incident, I vowed to give up live music events (except for very small venues) forever. But in 2012, my then-13-year-old just HAD to go to see Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” tour. Recalling my own misadventures, I sure as hell wasn’t going to let her go with a pack of unsupervised adolescents, and none of the other parents wanted to go, so I went. I didn’t expect to have fun, but it was fabulous!

My kid is old enough to attend concerts without me these days, and I can’t think of any performance that would lure me to a huge venue. But I do like a small-venue concert. Got any favorite bands to recommend? Odd/memorable concert experiences to share? If not, open thread!

Monday Morning Open Thread: Welcome to the Future


When I was ten years old, I was legitimately afraid that a nuclear war would end human life on earth. We joke about what the current Oval Office occupant might do, but the difference is that we can joke, which some of you can attest was not at all the case during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The revanchists are always with us — and always dangerous — perhaps we can set up a closed virtual reality “resort” where all the windows show time-delayed Fox News ‘casts and 1950s sitcoms 24/7?


Apart from daring to dream about the future, what’s on the agenda for the start of the new week?

Props to the 13th Doctor, but this made me grin…

Saturday Morning Open Thread, No Politics (Except by Implication) Edition

Blair Braverman is a dogsled racer; that peculiar vehicle in the background is how you transport a whole team of extremely hyper, very fit dogs to Their Happiest Place on Earth (and believe me I’ve known flyball competitors and even some AKC conformation handlers who’d at least consider using a similar trailer).

I could do seventeen Trump-Crime-Family posts every day, except (a) I have a life, believe it or not; and (b) I do not wish to be responsible for any readers throwing themselves or even their devices out the nearest window.

Political or not, what’s on the agenda for the day?


Especially for beloved commentor SiubhanDuinne…

A Non Treasonous Post About Music

As many of you know, I have been importing music for quite a few weeks, and while I am doing it, I am correcting the metadata, updating the artwork, etc. It’s a tedious process, made more difficult by the fact that I have A LOT of live Dead that doesn’t come with album art so I have to search fan databases or look for ticket stubs and the fact that itunes uses the Gracenote ACR which allows any semi-literate lead paint eating fuckboy to upload incorrect bullshit to the database.

At any rate, one nice thing about it is that I am listening to a lot of music again. When I quit drinking a few years ago, I lost interest in music to a large degree. It didn’t feel as good. So I spent several years just driving with no music or radio at all. I liked the silence. Since I started cataloguing the library, though, I have music playing almost nonstop. While importing, it give me a chance to listen to a lot of stuff. Sometimes I listen to a couple songs, sometimes just one, other times it is just get it in and pretend I don’t own that.

One thing I have noticed is that a lot of the stuff I listen to when importing is simple stuff- stuff like, well, embarrassingly enough, Huey Lewis and the News (which I guess is relevant because of American Psycho releasing his emails today). It’s not that I love it to death, but it brings back memories, they are short songs with singable verses that you can listen to while working, and it is just very accessible. That’s very underrated. I think one of the main reasons the Beatles were so popular is the reasons listed above.

Music snobs (I’m not really one, I think “good” music is like any art- if you like it, it’s good. If you don’t, don’t buy it or use it) don’t get that or don’t care. For varying reasons, almost every single music snob I have ever known just fucking LOVE the Velvet Underground and Captain Beefheart. When Lou Reed died a few years ago more people publicly professed their love for him than the VU or he combined ever sold albums. And Beefheart. Don’t get me started on that hot mess. Some of the early blues stuff was good, but that’s almost unavoidable when you have Ry Cooder around. And I really like Zappa, so some of the later years are pretty interesting every once in a while.

But most of it is just unlistenable jibberish (and again, if you like it, good on you). in 1969, the Beatles followed up the White Album with released Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and a year later delivered Let it Be. Captain Beefheart released Trout Mask Replica. It’s 120 minutes of aural clusterfuck:

It’s horrible by any metric. But the music snobs, who will crap all over more accessible music, will tell you that it was an important contribution, a criticism of current trends, etc., ad nauseum. Rolling Stone magazine has it as the 60th greatest album of all time:

On first listen, Trout Mask Replica sounds like a wild, incomprehensible rampage through the blues. Don Van Vliet (a.k.a. Captain Beefheart) growls, rants and recites poetry over chaotic guitar licks. But every note was precisely planned in advance – to construct the songs, the Magic Band rehearsed 12 hours a day for months on end in a house with the windows blacked out. (Producer and longtime friend Frank Zappa was then able to record most of the album in less than five hours.) The avant-garde howl of tracks such as “Ella Guru” and “My Human Gets Me Blues” have inspired modern primitives from Tom Waits to PJ Harvey.

Oh shut the fuck up.

And again, I love Zappa. I love Tom Waits. But this is shit. It wouldn’t even make for a good acid trip. I forget the point of this post, that’s how god damned disorienting that shit is.


As Independence Day (USA) 2017 Comes To An End: Let Freedom Ring

Earlier Doug! asked about patriotic songs. My favorite has always been My Country Tis of Thee. Many patriotic songs, regardless of nation-state, are often rewritten during troubled times. For instance, Naomi Shemer’s Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold) released just three weeks before the Six Day War was rewritten after the war by Meir Ariel. Ariel was one of the paratroopers that fought in the battle to take East Jerusalem from the Jordanians in 1967. His rewrite, Yerushalayim Shel Barzel (Jerusalem of Iron) was intended to emphasize the horrors of the war and became a protest song as the Israeli occupation of the West Bank continued year after year.

During the years prior to the Great Rebellion, America abolitionists rewrote the lyrics to My Country Tis of Thee. This abolitionist variant, done in a minor key, becomes a haunting spiritual begging the divine providence cited by the Founders in the Declaration, Constitution, and their other writings to finally bring liberty to all. This variant is below followed by The United States Army Field Band’s performance of the traditional version.

Let freedom ring!



Happy July 4th

I’m not that big on patriotic songs. I think the wingers do protest too much when they go on about them. I mean, maybe if I supported a president who was selling us out to Vladimir Putin, then I’d have to crank up the Lee Greenwood to try to convince people I wasn’t a traitor. But I don’t so I don’t have to.

I love this version of the Star-Spangled Banner and I try to remember to post it every year. What’s your favorite rendition?

Started humming a song from 1962

I thought I’d do a follow-up to the oldies thread I did before. First, the good: what are your top 5 Motown songs from all time? I’ll go with

1. You’re All I Need To Get By
2. Band of Gold
3. Nowhere To Hide
4. Papa Was A Rolling Stone
5. Tears Of A Clown

And now for the ugly. I was thinking the other day about what one thing from routine would I like to be different in order for my life to be better. And I realized it would probably be not having to hear so much Michael Bubble Buble when I go grocery shopping. It got me thinking: why is is there so much bad Canadian music? Although Canada has one-tenth the population of the US, I’d say that close to half of the truly awful things on the radio are Canadian. One theory is that production of awful music in a country is proportional to the land mass of the country, not to the population.

So what are the worst Canadian songs of all time?

1. The Bryan Adams song from Don Juan of de DeMarco
2. I Just Haven’t Met You Yet — Michael Bubble Buble
3. My Heart Will Go On — Celine Dion
4. Freewill — Rush
5. The Bryan Adams song from Robin Hood

What are yours?