Friday, April 29, 2016

America First!

Sometimes I think we just might be the greatest country on earth after all... certainly the greatest state... Go Summit High!

Manly health and training

Finally, a self-help manual for men that I can believe in...
To you, clerk, literary man, sedentary person, man of fortune, idler, the same advice: "Up!"
And when WW commands "up," you know he has every possible meaning of "up" in mind.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Partisan divergence on immigration

This is pretty amazing. The whole report, from Pew, is fascinating. Clearly Trump is tapping into a real phenomenon, but given the generational divide revealed in the report, the trends are not favorable for the xenophobic America First-ers. Hat tip to Tyler Cowen.

Well here we are, ladies and gentlemen...

... the dream we all dream of...
(Oh please!) ... Boy versus girl in the World Series of Love...

"U Got the Look" features some of my favorite Prince lyrics, not to mention Sheena Easton holding her own with His Purple Highness. A perfect pop song.

Love is not on Donald Trump's mind, but boy versus girl seems to be, and I say: Bring it on! I look forward to joining all my fellow wimpy-boys in voting for the girl come November.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Science reveals the secret to Freddie Mercury's voice...

... and it turns out to be... vibrato? Really? That's the best science has to offer? I can forgive Kelly McEvers for being a Queen fan. There's no shame in bad taste... many have it. But she really never noticed that ostentatious warble until now? Or are the "chills" she got from this revelation all part of the act, the feigned wonder and credulity that now seem to be a job requirement for NPR anchors, from David Greene to Ari Shapiro? And when I finally reach my limit and give up on them, where will I go?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince, RIP

Sigh. His music videos are quickly taken down from YouTube, so it's hardly worth the effort to post one of my many favorite songs. And there are many.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fred Frith

I've been listening to guitarist Fred Frith since the 1970s, when he was a principal in the British avant-revolutionary-art-rock band Henry Cow. He has been a mainstay of the Bay Area improvised music scene for many years now. There's something about his guitar tone that is... well... unmistakably Frithy. I like it. In trumpeter Darren Johnston he has found a like-minded metallic texturalist, although this track from their recent collaboration Everybody's Somebody's Nobody is all Fred.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

“I was dumb as a rock when I wrote ‘Okie From Muskogee’ ”

I sing with a different intention now.” OK, Merle, but in this the age of Cruz and Trump, Okie sounds almost progressive!

Have another...

Robert Christgau claims that Merle never understood "country's essential theme, monogamy," but he sure was awfully good at country's runner-up theme, artful self-pity. Not to mention prison and booze.

Merle Haggard, RIP

Pretty much the way country music should sound.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Emily's D+Evolution

I had not paid much attention to Esperanza Spalding before now. Talented, pleasant-sounding, but nothing to draw me in. Until now. The new album definitely has me listening. As others have noted, the influence of Joni c. 1980 is obvious. But it's the hippy prog-rock element, Gong or Hatfield, or Bowie of a certain period, that surprises and delights. A little noisy, a little funky, a little goofy. The video suggests she might be having us on, and loving every minute of it.