Saturday, January 31, 2009

Was Phelps Caught With Performance Debilitating Drug?

by Jay Allbritton
A UK rag produced a photograph of Olympic hero Michael Phelps smoking from a bong. The only thing more annoying than someone who swims well being anointed a celebrity worth millions of dollars is the condescending tone of this insipid article about how he's throwing it all away. Seriously, why should Phelps be penalized for taking the opposite of a performance enhancing drug?

Here's legendary comedian Eddie Izzard's take on what he calls performance debilitating drugs. Well he SHOULD be legendary.

In all seriousness, the prohibition on weed is ridiculous. Here's a submission for the 2009 NORML Ad Contest that sums up the painfully obvious:

Only Phelps himself could say it better. Next time, Michael, toke up before you dive in the pool and show the world how harmful weed is by winning the gold high as shit. You can do it, man!

Beatles LP Countdown - Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

by Hector Diego

This is the last track on the second side of the Beatles' fourth British album, Beatles For Sale. George Harrison, of course, on lead vocals, and a fine rendition of Carl Perkins style picking.


Pearl Jam--Alive

by Jay Allbritton
Guitar World has a list of the top 50 guitar solos of all time. Since there's no way to make a credible list of guitar solos, their list is very safe. I'm not sure what my favorite guitar solo of all time is, but there's a good chance that it was played by Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. I'm not trying to compare him to Hendrix or anything, but the guy plays the guitar the way I want to hear guitar played.

To GW's credit they didn't totally ignore McCready. They tossed him the #44 slot for "Alive". Here's Pearl Jam doing that song on Jools Holland's show:

Colonel Sanders' Nightmare

by Hector Diego

Watch PETA's hilarious new video series.

I do not support PETA without reservation, but I do support some of the things they do. A simple vegetarian instead of vegan focus would be more practical, but you don't control allies.

Rilo Kiley, Breakin' Up

by Hector Diego

The Station Agent and I love Rilo Kiley the way the harried Dad in A Christmas Story loved turkey.

Did you know Jenny Lewis is a vegeterranian?

Obama's Football

by Hector Diego

I don't do pro very much--I'm strictly into college (usually). I do think Obama's easy discussion of sports is refreshing in the White House. It's like the Station Agent told me some years back--sports is the only thing holding the country together.

Rilo Kiley - Spectacular Views

by Jay Allbritton
An acoustic reimagining of the epic "Spectacular Views" from the legendary Execution of All Things album. In this rendering guitarist and occasional lead vocalist Blake Sennett sings the lead.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Rachel Goodrich--Dope Song

by Jay Allbritton
Miami's own, Rachel Goodrich's first album Tinker Toys came out in October. Here she is playing "Dope Song" live in the Ft. Lauderdale area.

And here's a promotional widget:


Ben E. King, Stand By Me

by Hector Diego

If you have not seen Stand By Me,
you should

Notice in the Seeqpod thing below "Stand By Me" is attributed to the legendary blues artist B.B. King. I have seen John Lennon's "Imagine" attributed to Paul McCartney! That's what the internet does--it allows any fool to publish anything at all...

No wonder teachers caution their students about using the internet as a reference in their writing. I suppose there just is no substitute for personal responsibility. Is that right, Polythene Pam?

Gnarls Barkley - Reckoner

by Jay Allbritton
One of Hypeful's best covers of the year.

The Bush Shoe - Art Imitates Life

by Hector Diego

Whatever you think of the Bush shoe incident, this sculpture is a classic!

Ditty Bops - Sister Kate

by Hector Diego

Thursday, January 29, 2009

White Stripes - My Doorbell (KCRW)

by Jay Allbritton
I love these performances that KCRW makes availible to the public. Having said that, this smoking performance by rock royalty the White Stripes is just too big for some radio studio. These two epitomize the term rock star.

Norah Jones, Sunrise

by Hector Diego

Gang Bang, Inside

by Hector Diego

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beatles LP Countdown, What You're Doing

by Hector Diego

"What You're Doing" is the penultimate track on the second side of the Beatles fourth UK album, Beatles For Sale.

Child Bullfighter Is Being Abused

by Hector Diego

Child bullfighting is bullshit

You read the title of this post correctly. I consider the training of a child to kill bulls in a bull"fight" to be a form of child abuse, just as I consider the use of police dogs to sniff out marijuana to be a form of animal abuse.

Why should this kid be considered a hero? I have sympathy for him because he is still a child. Otherwise, I would be on the bull's side.

Bullfighting is DEMONIC.

Little Joy - Unattainable

by Jay Allbritton
Live at KCRW.

Limbaugh Censored

by Hector Diego

Broadcasting excellence?

When the Republican leadership tells Rush Limbaugh to shut up, you gotta know that we have a popular Democrat President in the White House. Oh yeah.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Marianne Faithfull, Beware Of Darkness

by Hector Diego

Faithfull's rendition of George Harrison's classic song is worth listening to.

Station Agent's Picks--Bruce Springsteen's Working on a Dream

by Jay Allbritton
After recording his last album, Bruce Springsteen still had momentum so his longtime producer, the great Brendan O'Brien, encouraged him to keep right on going. The result, Working on a Dream, is a moving, often nostalgic record, every bit as strong, if not stronger than 2007's Magic.

On his website Springsteen says that he hopes "Working on a Dream has caught the energy of the band fresh off the road from some of the most exciting shows we've ever done." It does. The songs, for the most part, are straightforward, yet lush, rockers with just enough nuance and surprises to keep a seasoned group like the E-Street Band engaged.

The album opens with "Outlaw Pete," a gorgeous Western epic that serves notice from the beginning that this is going to be a different kind of Springsteen record. The song ends with the signature melodic E-street jam. The title track, "Working on a dream," is vintage Springsteen. If you don't get the album, you will hear this song anyway in a bar, on the radio, in a movie or on a TV show. The production works expressly for the purpose of framing Bruce's vocals in this song. The song, complete with a whistling solo and doo-wop-style background vocals, feels like it could be a b-side from "Born in the U.S.A." The album peaks with the scorching "Good Eye". The song's dirty harmonica darts in and out between Springsteen's distorted preacher blues vocals.

The last two songs, "The Last Carnival" and "The Wrestler" wind down the record with a couple of intense ballads. On "Carnival" Springsteen recreates his Nebraska sound briefly before turning the song over to a lush choir. Again both songs are packed with themes of mortality and endings.

In the pantheon of aging superstars, Bruce Springsteen still gets the highest resale value and this album is every bit the classic that Rolling Stone says it is. The tour starts in April, if the recession isn't hitting you too hard, you should get out to an arena near you and catch this tour.

Iceland's Economic Collapse Brings Down Government

by Jay Allbritton
In the wake of their economic meltdown and the dissolution of their government, Iceland likely has a new Prime Minister--Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. If she assumes office, she will be the first openly gay prime minister in the world. That accomplishment was buried in the seventh paragraph of the article linked above on Iceland Review Online. They have more important things to worry about.

So what happened to Iceland's economy? This should sound familiar:
[A] small group of aggressive businessmen whose high-risk investing bloated the island’s economy to 10 times its GDP, buying up chunks of the British and Continental European high streets in the process. French Connection, Debenhams, Karen Millen, Oasis, Warehouse, Mappin & Webb, Hamleys and many more fell into Icelandic ownership. So did West Ham United football club. When Icelanders visited Copenhagen, they would strut into its smartest department store to buy expensive fashions from “their” shop. Like many British chains, it too was owned by the “Viking” Jon Asgeir Johannesson’s Baugur group: one in the eye for the mother country. Few stopped to consider, let alone fret over, whether their swift financial ascent would end in an equally steep plunge into oblivion.
Since it wouldn't be a post about Iceland without mentioning Bjork--Bjork, has started a green venture capital firm that will help rebuild her country by investing in environmentally sustainable businesses. Ecorazzi has more.

Lila Downs, La Llorona

by Hector Diego

If you don't know about Lila Downs, you should.

Green Day, Extraordinary Girl

by Hector Diego

Degrassi Jr. High And Next Generation

by Hector Diego

You might be wondering why I am posting scenes from a Canadian show about kids growing up. Here's the deal--it is excellent. The series began in the 80's and when it was finished, they put a more adult spin on it with the same actors in a full length film.

Then when the original actors were all grown up, they came back to be the parents of a new generation of kids. My daughters are addicted to it.

It's now showing on American TV, the CW. Check it out. Even an adult might like it.

After all, we are all just kids trying to grow up, right?

Meiko - Saddest Song in the World

by Jay Allbritton
Nice trumpet work in this song.

Obama And Arnold See Eye To Eye

by Hector Diego

Los Angeles smog

The Obama Administration on Monday moved the country in the direction of cleaner air by rolling back Bush era restrictions on the rights of states to govern their own environments. This especially makes sense because air does not stay in one place--the air in California today becomes the air in New York tomorrow.

You could count on the Rocky Mountains to contain all of that smog in California, but I wouldn't. What about acid rain? The Obama Administration is reversing eight years of Bush nonsense.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Biblical Case For Vegetarianism

by Hector Diego

From what I can tell (Bible scholars please correct me) everyone in the Garden was a vegetarian--Adam and Eve, all the animals, even the snake--before the Fall. So what does that tell us?

Obviously, a vegetarian diet is superior to a non-vegetarian diet. A rabbi and a Catholic priest agree with me.

Death Cab for Cutie - Grapevine Fires

by Jay Allbritton
Death Cab has a new song coming out on a Starbucks cover compilation, doing "Love Song" by The Cure. Gibbard's fiance Zooey Deschanel's band She and Him will also be on it doing "I Put a Spell on You".

This is "Grapevine Fires" from DCFC's appearance at KCRW last summer.

Paul McCartney, Two Magpies

by Hector Diego

This one is rather amusing. It's from McCartney's new album Electric Arguments.

George Harrison, I've Got My Mind Set On You

by Hector Diego

John Lennon, Imagine

by Hector Diego

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Krishna Das, Om Namah Shivaya

by Hector Diego

Celine Dion, My Heart Will Go On

by Hector Diego

RMS Titanic in dock, 1912

My daughter is in the next room gagging for this one, but I like it. And no, I am not a Celine Dion fan! Don't even think that!

Ludwig Van Beethoven, Fur Elise

by Hector Diego

My fourteen year old daughter has developed a taste for classical music, which I encourage. This piece is an eternal classic, don't you think?

Jenny Lewis, Godspeed

by Hector Diego

I think this one is a little gem. I'll have it unpolished, thank you.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Lenny Kravitz - Fields Of Joy

by Jay Allbritton
Not every great songwriter maintains their quality beyond the first album or two. Lenny Kravitz fits into that category. This is a good one from his second album, "Mama Said".

Authentic Superstar Jeff Kent retires from MLB

by Jay Allbritton
It's nice to see a star of the steroids era in baseball retire without the taint of performance enhancing drugs overshadowing his accomplishments. The star I'm referring to is former Giants and Dodgers second baseman, Jeff Kent.

Kent called out all the inflated fakers who ruined the game for a generation by willfully cheating and then acting like they deserved the accolades and the bloated contracts that followed. Kent leaves the game with more home runs than any second baseman in Major League Baseball history. See you in the hall, Mr. Kent.

Vas, At Siva's Feet

by Hector Diego

Hardwar, India

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Beatles Worst To Best Countdown

by Hector Diego

That's the late Neil Aspinall next to John

Playing The Beatles Backwards?

A guy--admittedly not a bad reviewer--has made a list of all the Beatles' songs from worst to best, just his opinion. I do not consider him a real Beatles person because a real Beatles person would not trash any Beatles song in public. But you might find some of his insights interesting.

I read the first five or so at the beginning and quickly burnt out on his observations, but when I skipped forward to the best song and went backwards it worked a lot better for me. I wonder why. I guess I'm just a real Beatles person.

Here's the article.

The Clash, I'm So Bored With You

by Hector Diego

Johnny Cash, Ghost Riders In The Sky

by Hector Diego

I wish this one too, had different lyrics, although I love Johnny Cash's voice and I respect him as a person and a great American artist. I just do not respect, however, cowboy culture--eating cows.

Radiohead, Subterranean Homesick Alien

by Hector Diego

White Stripes, Effect And Cause

by Hector Diego

Paul McCartney, No More Lonely Nights

by Hector Diego

I wish he had kept the tune and put different lyrics, something socially conscious...

Elliot Smith, Alameda

by Hector Diego

Jenny Lewis - Paradise

by Jay Allbritton
Some great songs just never make it onto a proper album, but it's nice when musicians pull one of those gems that only their most loyal fans know about.

Jenny Lewis - Better Son/Daughter, Happy

by Jay Allbritton
Once an old friend of mine found my facebook profile and "friended" me. We caught up a little bit in a somewhat guarded exchange of messages. Then at the end of one of those messages I asked her if she was happy. It's been three months and I haven't heard from her since.

From "A Better Son/Daughter":
You'll be better and You'll be smarter
And More grown up and a better daughter or son
And a real good friend
And you'll be awake you'll be alert
You'll be positive though it hurts
And you'll laugh and embrace all your friends
And you'll be a real good listener
You'll be honest, You'll be brave
You'll be handsome and you'll be beautiful
You'll be happy...
These two are for her. I hope she is happy, but I doubt it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Paul McCartney, Traveling Light

by Hector Diego

It's from Paul McCartney's new album Electric Arguments. It sounds to me that old Mac is making an electronic argument with/for his failing voice, and making it rather well.

The dude is in a groove again.

Healing The Soul Through Rock And Roll

by Hector Diego

TWS visitor Laura S. Faeth has authored I Found All The Parts: Healing The Soul Through Rock And Roll. Haven't you ever heard God speaking to you through your speakers or headphones? It happens to me almost every day.

I haven't read Faeth's book yet, but I will publish a review for any visitor who has. Meanwhile, there's this.

“Have Faeth in the process! The Magical Mystery Tour of life is real and is brought to the surface in this fascinating glimpse into one person's determination to put the pieces together from the universal river of flow.”—M. Joyce McMenamin, author, The Integrity Channel and editor of NoNiche and Network Abundance magazines

Paul McCartney, Electronic Arguments

by Hector Diego

Paul McCartney's new album Electronic Arguments has some really good stuff on it. For people who have given up on Paul because his work in recent years has not impressed them, they owe it to themselves to hear Electronic Arguments. Really!

Check it out.

For some strange reason, Paul is now calling himself The Fireman.

Beatles LP Countdown, I Don't Want To Spoil The Party

by Hector Diego

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Woody Guthrie, Tom Joad Part II

by Hector Diego

Henry Fonda as Tom Joad

Tom Joad, of course, is the main character in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Certainly one of the greatest films ever made.

The Reincarnation Of Honest Abe?

by Hector Diego

I had this wacky idea the other day and I can't get it out of my head...what if President Barack Obama was the reincarnation of President Abraham Lincoln? Call me crazy and I will admit to that, but it is an intriguing idea.

Check out some Lincoln and Obama facts on Blue Oregon.

Jimmy Rodgers, Hobo's Last Ride

by Hector Diego

Rodgers' "railroad bum" songs inspired the great Woody Guthrie and his songs of social conscience during the Great Depression.

Heat Star Alonzo Morning Retires From Basketball

by Jay Allbritton
My favorite basketball player, Alonzo Morning, retired today from the Miami Heat. Beyond being one of the finest defensive centers ever to play the game, Morning is also one of the nation's most generous professional athletes.

After playing at an All-Star level for many years in search of an elusive NBA title, frustration had clearly set in for Morning and his seemingly cursed teammates. Then Morning was diagnosed with a life-threatening kidney ailment that knocked him out of the game twice. After a kidney transplant, Mourning eventually returned to the Heat where he played an integral part in the team's 2006 NBA championship. His offensive skills were diminished, but he was still the greatest shot blocker of his generation, despite being an inch or two shorter than most elite centers.

In the middle of the 2007-2008 season, Mourning sustained a devastating knee injury and has been in rehab until today when he announced he would not return to the league. The sport will miss him, but Miami will not, because there is no doubt that Morning will continue to play a big part in the life of the city to which he has given so much. Congrats, Zo. If there's any justice, we'll see you in the Hall of Fame.

Hank Williams, Honky Tonk Blues

by Hector Diego

Johnny Cash, God's Gonna Cut You Down

by Hector Diego

The Man in Black was The Man.


Antique walrus print courtesy of FineRarePrints.Com