Monday, April 30, 2007

Kula Shaker---"108 Battles (Of The Mind)"

by Hector Diego

There are actually more like 1,008 battles going on in my mind, but I'm working on it.

The Big Lebowski, Action Thriller and Action Figures

by Jay Allbritton
This is cute.

By the way, get yourself the Big Lebowski action figures here. Well, you can pre-oreder them, they don't come onto the market until October. These are so owned by me.

Indie Watch--Eleni Mandell

by Jay Allbritton
Eleni Mandell (MySpace here) recently played KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic radio show. John at The Smudge of Ashen Fluff has the MP3 from that show.

Her new album came out earlier this month (Billboard write-up). Buy it here. She's also on tour. Album review from The Late Greats.

Here's Mandell's video for Girls:

This a live clip from 2005. The song is "American Boy".

MP3: Eleni Mandell - My Twin (kcrw).

Appearance Day of Lord Narasingha

by Hector Diego

The avataras of Vishnu are unlimited, but ten forms are prominent. Vishnu (Krishna) manifests as a lion when necessary.

Today is the ritual celebration of this event.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bees dying off could mean really big trouble.

by Hector Diego

The question is, are we in really big trouble already? You tell me--please.

Have you heard about bees dying all over the nation? A friend told me about this last week, and I thought, oh well.

But last evening--April 29--I went to the local supermarket, and the entire parking lot was covered with dead bees, and bees on their backs, dying. Einstein said that if the bees were to die off, we're toast. They are essential to pollinization of all kinds of plants.

I don't like this. I don't like this at all.

Here's the Ventures with "Flight of the Bumblebee".

Beatles--"When I Get Home"

by Hector Diego

February 16, 1964, Miami.

Ezra Pound (1985--1972)

by Hector Diego

Pound in 1913.

There are certainly political problems with Pound--not least, antisemitism...regretted, recanted, but reaffirmed--although that did not bother Bob Dylan, an admirer influenced by him.

I don't know who are what Paquin is, but this is one humdinger of a poem. Or some verse from a canto of poetry...or whatever it is...

What thou lovest well remains,
the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee

The ant's a centaur in his dragon world.
Pull down thy vanity, it is not man
Made courage, or made order, or made grace,
Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.
Learn of the green world what can be thy place
In scaled invention or true artistry,
Pull down thy vanity,
Paquin pull down!
The green casque has outdone your elegance.

"Master thyself, then others shall thee beare"
Pull down thy vanity
Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail,
A swollen magpie in a fitful sun,
Half black half white
Nor knowst'ou wing from tail
Pull down thy vanity
How mean thy hates
Fostered in falsity,
Pull down thy vanity,
Rathe to destroy, niggard in charity,
Pull down thy vanity,
I say pull down.

But to have done instead of not doing
This is not vanity
To have, with decency, knocked
That a Blunt should open
To have gathered from the air a live tradition
or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
this is not vanity.
Here error is all in the not done,
all in the diffidence that faltered . . .

Delfonics--"Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)"

by Hector Diego

Good melody, great vocals, flawless arrangement...


Radiohead---"No Surprises"

by Hector Diego


The Godfather Theme

by Hector Diego

"Leave the gun, take the canoli."

Can I have a nice spaghet' to go with that?

Ronettes---Be My Baby

by Hector Diego

Ronnie Spector.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Rolling Stones---"Play With Fire"

by Hector Diego

Early Beatles----Besame Mucho

by Hector Diego

"Besame Mucho" was one of Paul's vocal standards with the Beatles before they hit it big. After that, I don't believe they performed it on stage anywhere--I could be wrong.

Blood Sweat And Tears, Live In Japan, 1970

by Hector Diego

Kington Trio, Andy Williams Show, 1966

by Hector Diego

The Walrus Speaks, Says Impeach

by Jay Allbritton
From Raw Story:
This week, the non-profit organization Justice Through Music, in conjunction with the musical group Op-Critical and the Harmonic Angels children's choir, released the song "Happy Springtime, Bush is Over," a plea for peace amidst the war in Iraq and the looming influence of the Bush administration.

Using the John Lennon song "Happy Xmas, War Is Over" as a starting point, the musicians composed new lyrics to fit present-day issues, but were careful to retain the music's original message. “Like Lennon more than 30 years ago, we are hoping for a quick end to an era of darkness,” said Storm, a member of the band Op-Critical. “So we are psyched that Justice Through Music worked with us to get this song out so quickly."


"And Death Shall Have No Dominion", Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

by Hector Diego

Here are images of the poet, reading his own work.


And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Tolkien's Trilogy

by Hector Diego

Don't tell me people no longer need religion, spirituality, whatever you call it...when films presenting universal spiritual values are so popular, we must presume that people are hungry to be more than they are...that just having "things" is not enough.

At the very least, what about the music?

Eminem---"Lose Yourself"

by Hector Diego

Dedicated to my beautiful wife.

A little nonsense for a Saturday afternoon...

by Hector Diego

...Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke... is 80 Beatle degrees here at KTWS Radio, broadcast twenty-four hours, every day, from America's Deep South...

on your cyber radio dial...

Tokyo Drift

by Hector Diego

This film was partly shot in the Japanese American enclave north of downtown Los Angeles. I've been to that 'hood...

Fan Video, Yoko Ono's "Kiss, Kiss, Kiss"

by Hector Diego

Video by Pangaea Pat. Good stuff from Yoko Ono, 1980.

Paul McCartney---"Fine Line"

by Hector Diego

"Fine Line" is from McCartney's 2005 album , Chaos And Creation In The Backyard.

Kiersten Holine Covers Elliot Smith's "Oh Well, OK"

by Hector Diego

Kiersten Holine.

In Hinduism we say "guru is one." This is a mysterious saying, and finding out what it means is an adventure.

The Station Agent has been my Elliott Smith and Rilo Kiley guru--and so my Jenny Lewis guru--and now, my Kiersten Holine guru. I didn't know about her wonderful voice and interpretations of various artists until yesterday's post by my blogging partner. I especially like the way she presents the beautiful music of Elliott Smith.

Station Agent, how can I repay you?

As for the very talented Ms. Holine, I can only say...she has already won our talent contest! Give her an A+ and close down the school.

Check out Kiersten at

And remember, you heard her first at The Walrus Speaks. That's
on your cyber radio dial.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Simon and Garfunkel, Scarborough Fair

by Hector Diego


KTWS Talent Competition--Rise Up with Fists and Across the Universe

by Jay Allbritton
The talent competition now has a clear frontrunner. This is kierstenmh (MySpace here) covering TWS favorite Jenny Lewis and the band this site is actually based on. Can't ask for better song selection and she nails these tunes.

Rise up with fists.

Across the Universe:

Pearl Jam - Forever Young

by Jay Allbritton
Eddie Vedder tries his hand at a little Bob Dylan.

Seventy Years After Guernica...

by Hector Diego

Pablo Picasso's "Guernica".

...and what have we learned? Yesterday marked the seventieth anniversary of the historic battle.

Perhaps massacre would be more apropos.

We dedicate this post to the spirit of John Lennon, 1940--1980.

Bee Gees, Holiday

by Hector Diego

Those of you who hang out regularly at The Walrus Speaks know about my philosophy on melody--it rules.

What can I say, I was raised on the Bee Gees.

Green Day, Holiday

by Hector Diego

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Beatles, I Feel Fine

by Hector Diego


Big Comfy Couch

by Hector Diego

Alyson Court, aka Lunette the Clown.

Too bad this video does not contain the full song...a classic of children's rock music.

Major you think the producers of this show knew a few things about so-called 60's counterculture? And some observers have claimed the counterculture was already dead by 1970...

Indie Watch--The Veils

by Jay Allbritton
New Zealand's The Veils (MySpace here) were covered by Stereogum yesterday. I've been listening to them ever since. Thank you Stereogum, I am smitten.

The Veils hit the States in June.

Their new album was released Tuesday, you can acquire it here.

Here's The Veils video for the captivating "Advice For Young Mothers To Be"

MP3 The Veils - Not Yet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Moody Blues, Tuesday Afternoon

by Hector Diego

Ringo Starr, Sentimental Journey

by Hector Diego

Velvet Underground And Nico, "Femme Fatale"

by Hector Diego

Indie Watch--The Blow

by Jay Allbritton
I don't have to range very far to find The Blow these days. Since Hector and I saw The Blow (just singer Khaela Marichich) open for Jenny Lewis, I have been unable to pry the album from my ears for more than a couple of days. Paper Television is an infectious album if you give it some time.

Dusted review here.

MP3: The Blow - Pile of Gold.

The Making Of The Album Imagine, Part 5

by Hector Diego

That's the late Nicky Hopkins on joining Lennon on piano in "O My Love", and it's a very lovely piano, too.

Even Phil Spector is suitably (but in a subdued way) impressed with Lennon, though you will notice that Lennon and Harrison fit together like an old shoe. Apparently Harrison's annoyance with Yoko hanging around a Beatles' session did not extend to her presence at John's session.

As for Yoko, those of you who can't see what Lennon saw in her, might understand it a bit if you just view this informal documentary without malice. She was and is a fascinating woman and human.

Bob Dylan, "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" Live In A Hotel Room With Donovan

by Hector Diego

those stupid cigarettes.

Beach Boys, "Don't Worry Baby"

by Hector Diego

Elvis Presley---Surrender

by Hector Diego

For unto you is born this day in the city of Memphis a Presley, which is Elvis the King.

And Elvis saw them berating the poor recording artist, whose music was terrible and lyrics insipid, and Lo, the King said unto the mob:

"Let him who is without bad singles cast the first rhinestone."

And the mob turned down their eyes, each considering his own "Don't Worry Be Happy" or "Man in the Mirror", and shuffled off.

"Thank you," said Elvis. "Thank you very much."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sam Cooke, "A Change Is Gonna Come"

by Hector Diego

This guy set the pace for minority artists in the 60's--you could say he opened some doors--and died way too young. So much can be traced back to Sam Cooke.

Dusty Springfield, "Windmills Of Your Mind"

by Hector Diego

These days when I hear Dusty Springfield I am reminded of the dulcet voice of Jenny Lewis, and vice versa. What can I say--I'm geriatric.


Chad and Jeremy, "A Summer Song"

by Hector Diego

I just can't tell you how frustrated I am trying to find a postable radio version of Chad and Jeremy's "A Summer Song", the one with the beautiful string arrangement. You have to sit through four minutes of interview, but it's the best I could do.

What I like about this pretty song is its evocation of a sacred experience, young love. Most of us have been there.

I think its too valuable to forget. It's why we came to this world in the first place.

"You Can Have it All, My Empire of Dirt..."

by Jay Allbritton
Here's the latest entry in the KTWS talent search. It's KarenWow's version of Johnny Cash's version of NIN's "Hurt".

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Comedy Stylings of Mr. Stephen Wright

by Jay Allbritton
Need to lighten up? Try some of this:

Station Agent's Picks--The History Boys

by Jay Allbritton
George W. Bush once famously posed the question, "Is our children learning?" The grammatical screw-up in that question suggests the answer. The film, The History Boys, explores the territory anyway, and suggests that trying to look like a good candidate for a prestigious University can really cut into the time students' need to get educated.

Style clashes with substance throughout the film, but what we eventually learn is that all of these characters--educators and students alike--are made up of a lot of both. Unlike most films in this genre, it's not a clone of Dead Poet's Society. No tragic Knox Oversrteet character offs themself. No inspiring Robin Williams wannabe is shaking these kids up. If anything, the professors try to be inspiring, but the students are much too savy to be manipulated easily.

U-Entertainment has a review:

"The History Boys" is adapted from Alan Bennett's award-winning stage play. There are complaints from those who have seen both Nicholas Hytner's film, which imports the stage cast, and the play that things are missing in the adaptation.

Having not seen the play, I say, "Get over it." Hytner's trims may take something out of character development, but the play - set in a boys' school in Northern England in 1983 - is essentially a cogent while entertaining argument about the importance of arts in education.

Part one of the making of The History Boys.

Part two of the making of The History Boys.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

by Hector Diego

Bob Dylan---With God On Our Side

by Hector Diego

When I was a lad, I had a girlfriend. She was very square. Then she discovered Dylan's earliest work and loved it. This made her much less square.

And I loved her so much more.

Rolling Stones---The Last Time

by Hector Diego


Saturday, April 21, 2007

National Lampoon's Vacation

by Hector Diego

My wife has seen this movie hundreds of times, she claims. And her Mom--rest her soul--at least five hundred.

This movie stands the comedic test of time, along with Caddy Shack, Car Wash, Stripes, and National Lampoon's Animal House. Perhaps etc.

The making of the Imagine album, part 4.

by Hector Diego

Well, I don't want to be a soldier, Mama, I don't wanna die.

Bill Clinton Sings Imagine

by Hector Diego

John Lennon And Bob Dylan Share A Cab

by Hector Diego

I drove cab for nearly six years and never had a fare like this...

Palestinian Rap

by Hector Diego

There are two sides to every dispute. I hope that I will see peaceful compromise between Jews and Muslims before I die.


by Hector Diego

This dude will not perform on the Sabbath.

Norman Greenbaum---Spirit In The Sky

by Hector Diego

Here he is, wondering how he is going to save all of us fools...

Believe It Or Not---Instant Karma

by Hector Diego

I don't know how many Vietnamese Buddhist monks immolated themselves in the cause of fair treatment for Buddhists, in the 1960's. By all accounts, these remarkable men sat still, without flinching or crying out.

One may not believe in any religion, but it is difficult not to believe in the incredible powers of self-control attained, throughout history, by adepts in all religious traditions. How are they able to do these things?

Believe it, or not.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Nine Inch Nails Surprise Show

by Jay Allbritton
Nine Inch Nails has a new record out and they played a surprise show recently in Los Angeles.
The quality is decent, not great, but the band sounds fantastic.

The rest of the show is linked from the YouTube clip.

Peter, Paul, And Mary, "Puff The Magic Dragon"

by Hector Diego

Peter Yarrow wrote this song while at Cornell. Peter, Paul, and Mary vehemently deny that the lyrics refer to marijuana, and I believe their story.

Kingston Trio, "Greenback Dollar"

by Hector Diego

Dylan sang, "Money doesn't talk, it swears." Does everyone agree?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Beatles---"Baby You're A Rich Man"

by Hector Diego

Does this song have something to do with treasures in heaven?

The Beatles---"And I Love Her"

by Hector Diego

The Beatles---"A Hard Day's Night"

by Hector Diego

Richie Valens---"Oh Donna", Live, 1958

by Hector Diego

He died way too young.

Joan Baez---"We Shall Overcome"

by Hector Diego

This woman's voice just gives me the chills.

Paul McCartney---Band On The Run

by Hector Diego

Sarah Kelly -- Hold On Love

by Jay Allbritton
Here's me, big bad atheist posting some Christian rock! Well, it's good stuff. Sarah Kelly maybe a bit slick for my sensibilities, but she brings it harder and better than most of the big underground bands.

Bobby Darin---Beyond The Sea

by Hector Diego

This guy's success was quite improbable, the timing was way off. But he did his thing in the midst of much rockin' and rollin', married Sandra Dee, and the rest is's fairly amazing...

I Don't Want To Live On The Moon---Aaron Neville And Ernie

by Hector Diego

Cover Of Brent Mydland's I Will Take You Home

by Hector Diego

Brent Mydland's classic has been honored nicely by this dude, a big old bear.

I Need You, From Help!

by Hector Diego

George wrote this one.

Eva Cassidy---Cheek To Cheek

by Hector Diego

Ramones---I Wanna Be Sedated

by Hector Diego

Squirrel Nut Zippers---Put A Lid On It

by Hector Diego

Kinks---You Really Got Me

by Hector Diego

Elliott Smith---Isn't It A Pity

by Hector Diego

Smith honors George Harrison, and we're honoring both of them.

Nina Simone---Here Comes The Sun

by Hector Diego

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Beatles, Manchester, 1963.

by Hector Diego

This was the true height of Britain's fame unfolding. Forget all else, our Mother Country.

Rilo Kiley---Capturing Moods

by Hector Diego

Here's another great KTWS RADIO backfile extravaganza. Oh yeah.

Beatles---Kansas City, Long Tall Sally

by Hector Diego

Paul McCartney's vocals on these standards are great. These are studio outtakes.

Beatles---No Reply

by Hector Diego

I do not understand the purpose of this video. But Lennon's song is excellent.

The Making Of Lennon's Imagine Album, Part 3

by Hector Diego

KTWS RADIO continues with our seven part series.

Not Covered in Bees--Decline in Bee Population May Threaten Humans

by Jay Allbritton
There's not a damn thing funny about the sharp decline in honeybees. The problem may or may not be linked to cell phones.

The BBC reports on efforts to bolster the number of bees and on the mystery disease killing them.

The widespread death of bees is an apocalyptic threat that could have shocking and horrific ramifications in a matter of a few short years.

If we're all screwed because of honeybees, then we may as well go out laughing. I recommend Eddie Izzard.

Crossposted from IST.

Station Agent's Picks--Donnie Darko

by Jay Allbritton
Two Gyllenhaals in one movie!!! No way! That would distort the space-time continuum.

Okay, so what if Jake was a bit erratic in this one and Maggie is barely on screen? This is a fine movie for plenty of other reasons. A creative script (with a horrible ending) keeps you guessing until you give up and just enjoy the music. Hey, what do you want from a time travel movie? Just have fun with the good stuff. Plus you get Noah Wylie, Katherine Ross, Drew Barrymore and Patrick Swayze (how eighties are Barrymore and Swayze?).

The soundtrack is spectacular. Because the movie is arbitrarily set in the eighties, it's a great excuse to revisit that decade's music. The result: one of this century's most soulful songs, Gary Jules' cover of Tears for Fears "Mad World", which originally clunked its way from new wave speakers in the eighties. Now it's on a blog. This one.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Back In The USSR

by Hector Diego

KTWS RADIO backfiles are brought to you free of commercial interruptions, 24/7, every day of the year. That's
on your cyber radio dial.

Now, you geriatrics know the drill--here's the Beatles doing the Beach Boys, only more rockin' and more rollin'.

Young comrades, for those of you who think that McCartney only wrote sentimental ballads, think again.


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky---Swan Lake

by Hector Diego

Tchaikovsky was no ordinary man.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

by Hector Diego

Dr. Liviu Librescu

The Biblical passage, John 15.13, describes a real friend. Liviu Librescu, Professor at Virginia Tech, sacrificed his life for his students. The following has been copied from Yahoo news.

Librescu, an Israeli engineering and math lecturer, was known for his research, but his son said he will be remembered as a hero for protecting students as the gunman tried to enter his classroom.

Librescu taught at Virginia Tech for 20 years and had an international reputation for his work in aeronautical engineering.

"His research has enabled better aircraft, superior composite materials, and more robust aerospace structures," said Ishwar K. Puri, the head of the engineering science and mechanics department.

Librescu's son, Joe, said his father's students sent e-mails detailing how the professor saved their lives by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman before he was fatally shot.

"My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Librescu's son, Joe Librescu, said Tuesday in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. "Students started opening windows and jumping out."

Librescu was a survivor of Nazi oppression during World War II. Here was a man who knew what life was worth.

It is not likely that Librescu's family will ever see this post, but we might all take a moment to reflect that they have a right to be quite proud of their relative. It will be difficult to honor a person so great, but they will try.

Old Mac And His Little Lamb

by Hector Diego

My good friend Leo blew a gasket over this one. We were used to some good old rock and roll from Paul, and then he comes out with Mary Had A Little Lamb.

Now, I can understand the consternation Beatles people might feel in relation to this music. But what about his message?

When a Beatle requests folks to consider what they are putting into their stomaches--what sort of pain was dished out to animals or even humans (God bless you, Cesar Chavez) to produce the food--why shouldn't we consider it?

Am I missing something here?

Living Graves

We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
We never pause to wonder at our feasts,
If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread.
We're sick of war, we do not want to fight -
The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread,
And yet - we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
Like carrion crows we live and feed on meat,
Regardless of the suffering and the pain
we cause by doing so, if thus we treat
defenceless animals for sport or gain,
how can we hope in this world to attain,
the PEACE we say we are so anxious for.
We pray for it o'er hecatombs of slain,
to God, while outraging the moral law,
thus cruelty begets its offspring - WAR.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


Antique walrus print courtesy of FineRarePrints.Com