Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Station Agent's Picks--Grosse Pointe Blank

by Jay Allbritton
So, the last couple of posts have been dedicated to celebrating the lives of two of the most talented filmmakers ever. So it's an awkward transition to go from that to celebrating the tenth anniversary of Grosse Pointe Blank. But that's just how I roll. Er, blog.

From Double Viking.Com:
It may not seem like it, but it’s been ten years since Grosse Pointe Blank, the comedy about a hit man who returns home to attend his ten-year high school reunion – and to kill one final mark – came out. One would think the obvious move would be to make the sequel now and set it at the twenty-year high school reunion. For better or worse, that doesn’t seem to be happening. Maybe they’re holding out for twenty-five.

(more)
I don't know about what "real men" like, that's a silly frame that Double Viking uses for whatever reason, but otherwise this article does an incredible job of pointing out why this is one of my favorite movies.

I think I might just watch it again tonight.

Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007)

by Jay Allbritton
Yesterday I posted on the death of the great Ingmar Bergman. I just heard news of another beloved European director in Bergman's elite class passing on the same day--Michaelangelo Antonioni.

Antonioni and Bergman both have been widely influential on generations of filmmakers, including myself and TWS contributor and director Seamus O'Rourke.

Antonioni had a larger than life personality and was a gift to the world of film.

Here's a clip from one of Seamus's favorites, L'avventura:

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007)

by Jay Allbritton
Film director Ingmar Bergman died today at the age of 89. In my opinion, Bergman was as fine a director as has ever lived. If you haven't at least seen The Seventh Seal, get yourself to a video store, or update your Netflix queue. Thanks for everything, masterful Ingmar Bergman.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rilo Kiley - A Better Son/Daughter

by Jay Allbritton
Could be the song of the generation.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Peter, Paul, And Mary--Blowin' In The Wind

by Hector Diego

Don't ask me why I'm illustrating this song
with a picture of Lincoln. Just felt like it.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The London Radha-Krishna Temple---Sri Gurvastakam (Produced By George Harrison)

by Hector Diego


George played bass on this album, while Paul offered suggestions.

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Andrea Bocceli---Con Te Partiro

by Hector Diego

The Bay of Napoli.

OK, I'll admit I just finished watching The Sopranos, but you have to admit this dude has a stellar voice, exquisite!

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Tegan and Sara - Back in Your Head

by Jay Allbritton
From the new T & S album.

Rilo Kiley---Silver Lining

by Hector Diego


Rilo Kiley's "Silver Lining", from their soon to be released album, Under The Blacklight.

Hooray, hooray, new music from Rilo Kiley. Jenny's voice is really strong.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Yoko Ono---Revelations

by Hector Diego


The lyrics sound like a reference to our innate Buddha nature, with some tantric influences. I think Yoko Ono is a genius.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Good Morning, Good Morning Demo

by Hector Diego


You know the bit about genius being composed of 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration? The Beatles' music did not come easy. They had to take simple ideas and refine them, a process that often took months. Many of their demos sound like almost nothing at all, until polished. Somehow, their genius turned almost nothings into great somethings. While everyone else was off dropping acid in the spring of 1967, the Beatles were working very hard at EMI's Abbey Road studios. Well, maybe Lennon took a little acid...

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Yayahoni - Being Cool

by Jay Allbritton

Anyone covering Kimya Dawson is cool by me. When it's the great David Ivar Herman Dune (performing under the name Yayahoni), it's special indeed.

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Herman Dune in Spain.


RELATED: Kimya Dawson at Primavera.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Melissa Etheridge And Joss Stone---Janis Joplin Tribute, Highly Recommended

by Hector Diego

You know you got it if it makes you feel good.

American Philosopher, Richard Rorty (1931--2007)

by Hector Diego


I never claim to be a philosopher. But I respect the efforts of those who wrestle with the most profound questions in life.

If I were to go out for philosophy (or is it go in?) I wouldn't have many friends in today's world, for I am Platonic through and through--that is, I believe in Ideals, essences, absolutes, etc.

But, not sure that I could prove any of the above in a language and conceptual framework now universally accepted, I'll ratify the idea of Rorty that, inspite of the alleged non-existence of a First Principle's office to be taken to for a reprimand, our First Business (Rorty was known as a neo-pragmatist) is to abandon cruelty. Supposedly we all know what cruelty is when we feel it, see it, hear it, smell it, etc. That's why I'm a vegeterranian.

"In Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), Rorty abandons the attempt to explain his theories in analytic terms and creates an alternative conceptual schema to that of the "Platonists" he rejects. This schema is based on the belief that there is no intelligible truth (at least not in the sense in which it is conventionally conceptualized). Rorty proposes that philosophy (along with art, science, etc.) can and should be used to provide one with the ability to (re)create oneself, a view adapted from Nietzsche and which Rorty also identifies with the novels of Proust, Nabokov, and Henry James. This book also marks his first attempt to specifically articulate a political vision consonant with his philosophy, the vision of a diverse community bound together by opposition to cruelty, and not by abstract ideas such as 'justice' or 'common humanity' policed by the separation of the public and private realms of life.

"In Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America (1998), Rorty differentiates between what he sees as the two sides of the Left, a critical Left and a progressive Left. He criticizes the critical Left, which is exemplified by post-structuralists such as Michel Foucault and postmodernists such as Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard. Although these intellectuals make insightful claims about the ills of society, Rorty holds that they provide no alternatives and even present progress as problematic at times. On the other hand, the progressive Left, exemplified for Rorty by John Dewey, makes progress its priority in its goal of "achieving our country." Rorty sees the progressive Left as acting in the philosophical spirit of pragmatism."

We have discussed Rorty before here at TWS. The Station Agent also respects his work. Farewell, American philosopher.

"You know you are a liberal if you think that cruelty is the worst thing that humans do."--Richard Rorty, in Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

Note: I don't know Jack about classical (or is this baroque?) music either, but J.S. Bach's "Air on the G String from Orchestral Suite No.3 in D.m" sounds like a dirge to me, so here it is.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Eagles---Lyin' Eyes

by Hector Diego


Chad And Jeremy---A Summer Song

by Hector Diego


1964.

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Neil Diamond---Solitary Man

by Hector Diego


I'm not a big fan of Neil Diamond, but this one's a favorite.

Peter, Paul, and Mary---Gone The Rainbow

by Hector Diego


Johnny's gone for a soldier.

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Here's another version.

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John Lennon---India

by Hector Diego

Lennon at Hrishikesh, India, 1968

Here's an unreleased track from Lennon, composed, I believe, in India. It reveals the difference between Lennon and Harrison. Lennon felt that all he had to do was look within himself, while Harrison felt that looking within needed to be augmented with some guidance from experience.

Ironically, Harrison settled down to a life as a Hindu, while Lennon went off with one teacher after another. His biography is filled with fads that he could simply not resist. The only thing more or less consistent about Lennon's spirituality was his insistence that it must make sense in the here and now.

That part is ok with me.

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Henry Mancini---Baby Elephant Walk

by Hector Diego


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Here's another version.

Little Anthony---Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop

by Hector Diego


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Rilo Kiley - Salute Your Shorts

by Jay Allbritton
Well, that's not really the name of the song. It was a hidden track sung by Blake Sennett on the first album, Take Offs and Landings. Since hidden tracks don't have titles, no one ever really knew that the song was called "Spectacular Views". To make matters more confusing on their second album, RK named a completely different, though equally awesome, song "Spectacular Views".

Here's a couple of live versions of the first "Spectacular Views". One sung by Jenny.

MP3 - Rilo Kiley - Spectacular Views (aka Salute Your Shorts, sung by Jenny).

And one sung by Blake.

MP3 - Rilo Kiley - Spectacular Views (aka Salute Your Shorts sung by Blake).

By the way, the band didn't name the hidden track "Salute Your Shorts", the fans did. It's a reference to the popular Nickelodeon TV show that Blake used to act on when he was a kid.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Beattells Cover Nowhere Man

by Hector Diego


They really are direct from Hamburg.

"Hello, Jenny Lewis? This is Elvis Costello."

by Hector Diego


Read the recent Filter article "Stepping Out With Rilo Kiley".

Now, "Go Ahead" and click on this song.

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Alison Krauss---Down In The River To Pray

by Hector Diego


Another thanks to Subhadra for sending this in.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Neil Young---Philadelphia

by Hector Diego


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Peter, Paul, and Mary---500 Miles

by Hector Diego


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Tom Paxton---The Last Thing On My Mind

by Hector Diego


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DAD - Son of Sam

by Jay Allbritton
DAD doing Elliott Smith. Put him in the competition!

Elliott Smith - Biggest Lie

by Jay Allbritton

George Harrison---Living In The Material World

by Hector Diego


Click here to hear "Living In The Material World".

I'm living in the material world
Living in the material world

Can't say what I'm doing here
But I hope to see much clearer,
After living in the material world

I got born into the material world
Getting worn out in the material world
Use my body like a car,
Taking me both near and far
Met my friends all in the material world

Met them all there in the material world
John and Paul here in the material world
Though we started out quite poor
We got 'Richie' on a tour
Got caught up in the material world

From the Spiritual Sky,
Such sweet memories have I
To the Spiritual Sky
How I pray
Yes I pray
That I won't get lost
Or go astray

As I'm fated for the material world
Get frustrated in the material world
Senses never gratified
Only swelling like a tide
That could drown me in the
material world

From the Spiritual Sky,
Such sweet memories have I
To the Spiritual Sky
How I pray
Yes I pray
That I won't get lost
Or go astray

While I'm living in the material world
Not much 'giving' in the material world
Got a lot of work to do
Try to get a message through
And get back out of this material world

I'm living in the material world
Living in the material world
I hope to get out of this place
By the LORD SRI KRSNA'S GRACE
My salvation from the material world

Click here to hear "Living In The Material World".

Note: Use of caps in LORD SI KRSNA'S GRACE specified by George Harrison.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Siva Siva Mahadeva

by Hector Diego


Hello Goodbye

by Hector Diego


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Peter, Paul, and Mary---Early Morning Rain

by Hector Diego


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More Than Meets the Eye

by Jay Allbritton

M.A.S.H. Suicide Is Painless

by Hector Diego


I saw the 1970 film MASH, but due to a lost decade in my life (I wasn't lost, the decade was) I didn't become aware of the television version until the 1980's. And I did not miss the last episode of one of the greatest shows ever.

"The series premiered on September 17, 1972 and ended February 28, 1983, with the finale becoming the most-watched television episode in U.S. television history."

American Artist, James Brown (1933-2006)

by Hector Diego


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Creedence Clearwater Revival---Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

by Hector Diego


Judy Garland---Over The Rainbow

by Hector Diego


Not the film version.

Leonard Cohen---Joan of Ark, Live

by Hector Diego


The Cowsills---Hair

by Hector Diego


The rock opera Hair produced a great song by the same name, "Hair". I've heard the opera version and it is ok, but to tell you the truth the Cowsills did it better. They were a family of singers who had a few hits and then disappeared. Barry Cowsill's remains were discovered in New Orleans after the Katrina disaster.

To tell you another truth, I can't find the Cowsills' greatest hit, but here is one listed as a cover. It sounds like someone singing over the original, faux karaoke style. At first I thought perhaps it was the Cowsills live.

Credit where credit is due. The Cowsills, like the Monkees, were fine vocalists.


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Monday, July 16, 2007

Joshua Greene--Here Comes The Sun

by Hector Diego


I just finished reading Here Comes The Sun. I would like to thoroughly review it for TWS but for now just let me say...it is very good. If you want to know about the spiritual side of George Harrison, this is the book for you. I personally know many of the people interviewed for this book, so I didn't learn much of anything new. But hearing George's story told by Greene was delightful, and now, when I glance at the picture of George I keep on the wall by my computer, I sometimes have the feeling that George is here with us.

Om Tat Sat.

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Cat Stevens---How Can I Tell You

by Hector Diego


Thanks to Subhadra for sending this one in.

Missyoshi - Butterfly

by Jay Allbritton
Surprise! Another fabulous acoustic cover song by a young lady makes the talent competition.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rilo Kiley - It's a Hit

by Jay Allbritton

The Smartass Agenda--Atheists trade Porn for Bibles

by Jay Allbritton
Not sure if smartass is the right approach for atheists, but what are you gonna do, they're atheists. They know not what they do. So we're told.

From Xbiz News:
A group of atheists at the University of Texas at San Antonio is putting a novel twist on the toys-for-guns programs run by many urban police departments. But instead of toys, they are handing out porn in exchange for bibles.

“We consider the bible to be a very negative force in the history of the world,” student Ryan Walker said. Walker is part of a student group that calls itself the Atheist Agenda.

(More)
It's not like the Democratic presidential candidate wasn't going to hear all kinds of bullshit about how he or she wants to take away Christians' bibles, it's a staple of any presidential campaign, but this will provide a lot of ammunition for that meme.

That doesn't matter though. Atheists have been intimidated for a long time in America and if these college kids feel like poking the bear, that's just fine with me.

By the way something, atheists get conversions too.

Crossposted at IST.

American Artist, Dino Valente (1937--1994)

by Hector Diego



I remember arguing with someone about compositional credit for the Youngbloods' "Get Together". I claimed it was Dino Valente (or Valenti) and the other dude said no, it was Chet Powers. It turns out they are the same guy.

It's bittersweet growing old. I remember Valente so distinctly as the lead singer of Quicksilver Messenger Service, with his mop of black curls and woman-directed lyrics and antics on stage. I saw Quicksilver at a ballroom in the San Diego community of Pacific Beach in 1971 or '72. He sounded like Johnny Rivers sometimes, like Johnny Rivers on LSD. As a teenager I would listen to Quicksilver Messenger Service for many hours on end, provoking my father to wonder exactly what was going on in my bedroom. He didn't really want to know. But, at least I never got into trouble with the likes of Quicksilver...you can't really get in much trouble by just staring at your blacklight posters...

Just a minute ago I discovered that Valente had passed away. And so will we all.

Peace, brothers and sisters, as Valente would say.

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The Beatles---Helter Skelter

by Hector Diego


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Moody Blues---Twilight Time

by Hector Diego

Twilight on Mercury. No kidding.

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Cat Stevens---Peace Train

by Hector Diego


Such a wonderful song. You write a song like this and the whole world sings along with you...all the nice people, at least...

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Christian Fanatics Disrupt Hindu Chaplain In US Senate

by Hector Diego


The hecklers claimed Thomas Jefferson would be on their side. No way--not my Thomas Jefferson.

John Lennon--Watching The Wheels

by Hector Diego


Sometimes you just have to kick back and watch the river flow...

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Sly And The Family Stone---Everyday People

by Hector Diego

Norman Rockwell's "Freedom of Worship"

The shameful display of religious bigotry witnessed yesterday on the floor of the United States Senate, of all places, has got me riled. Isn't the Bill of Rights something we all revere?

Let's hear Sly on this issue.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Grateful Dead---Truckin'

by Hector Diego


George Harrison---When We Was Fab

by Hector Diego


I had never seen this video until today, and I'm sharing it with you. 1987.

Here Comes The Sun

by Hector Diego


After more than 37 years, I still haven't gotten tired of this song.

Archive

Antique walrus print courtesy of FineRarePrints.Com