Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bob Dylan, Knocking On Heaven's Door

by Hector Diego


Los Campesinos--Death to Los Campesinos

by Jay Allbritton
From Wales, the dynamic Los Campesinos.

Station Agent's Picks--Wonderfalls

by Jay Allbritton
One of my favorite TV shows is the late great "Wonderfalls", which was systematically butchered by Fox. Only a few of the episodes made for the first season ever aired. The show dealt with the tension between metaphysics and postmodernism better than any I've seen on TV. The main character, Jaye Tyler (played flawlessly by Caroline Dhavernas), is caught up in a cocoon of malaise when a malformed wax lion starts telling her what to do. This leads of an enchanted new world where grumpy Jaye is pushed around by an ensemble of inanimate animals that just don't seem to have her best interests at heart.

This is the pilot episode which never aired. The full series--all 13 episodes--is available here. I strongly recommend it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thao and The Get Down Stay Down - Swimming Pools

by Jay Allbritton
The Thao craze continues.

The Weepies, Riga Girls

by Hector Diego

Barack Obama--The Humanities President

by Hector Diego

Professors at Yale and Columbia think that in an era when interest in the humanities at the university level is waning due to bad economics, now more than ever we really need the humanities, which has always been underfunded. Time Magazine has an interesting article.

"Summing up the benefits of exploring what’s called 'a life worth living' in a consumable sound bite is not easy, Mr. Kronman [Professor from Yale] said."

"In his view this is the time to re-examine 'what we care about and what we value,' a problem the humanities 'are extremely well-equipped to address.'”

"To Mr. Delbanco of Columbia, the person who has done the best job of articulating the benefits is President Obama. 'He does something academic humanists have not been doing well in recent years,' he said of a president who invokes Shakespeare and Faulkner, Lincoln and W. E. B. Du Bois. 'He makes people feel there is some kind of a common enterprise, that history, with its tragedies and travesties, belongs to all of us, that we have something in common as Americans.' "

I'm getting my doctorate in religion this summer. If you want to hire me, send an email to The Walrus Speaks! You'll get a professor with good taste in music!

Modest Mouse, Float On

by Hector Diego

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Elvis Costello--Go Away

by Jay Allbritton
With Jenny Lewis.

George Harrison Was Born Today...

by Hector Diego

...February 25, 1943, in Liverpool, England.

And here he is speaking to us from the beyond.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

California Assemblyman Calls For Taxed, Legalized Marijuana To Ease Economic Woes

by Hector Diego

2008 Global Marijuana March

I went looking for an article about California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's proposal to legalize marijuana and tax it, and found one about San Francisco's Pot Pride Parade. The Walrus Speaks does not condone the use of any mind altering substance, but we do support fair and sensible laws. Ammiano's plan is the only one that makes sense. The country's economy is going down the tubes, but we should waste public money incarcerating marijuana "offenders" and forfeit the tax revenue from marijuana that should go to the public welfare? Come on now.

Read about it.

George Sings Acoustic "Something"

by Hector Diego

Ironically, this song was originally about the Hindu god Krishna instead of a woman.

American Artist Josh White 1914--1969

by Hector Diego

Here Comes The Sun

by Hector Diego

Harrison performing japa meditation

Thank God I went to bed last night down in a hole with Alice In Chains, but woke up with the Beatles and the sun at my east window.

Thank God.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Alice In Chains--Down In A Hole

by Hector Diego

Beatles LP Countdown--Act Naturally

by Hector Diego

In my opinion, Ringo's vocal forte is when he does country and western.

White Stripes - Cannon

by Hector Diego

Jenny Lewis--Carpetbaggers

by Jay Allbritton
Jenny and Jonathan Rice play a stripped down version of "Carpetbaggers" at the University of Washington last month.

Jenny Lewis--Carpetbaggers

by Jay Allbritton
Perhaps the definitive rendition. Nice to see Zooey Deschanel and Jenny Lewis on stage together. The two drummers bit is bold and well executed.

Jenny Lewis--Pretty Bird

by Jay Allbritton
From Elvis Costello's Spectacle.

Holly Brook, Wanted

by Hector Diego

Holly Brook is the female voice in Ft. Minor's "Where'd You Go".

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Styx - Come Sail Away

by Hector Diego

Jesca Hoop - Havoc In Heaven

by Hector Diego

Emmy The Great - MIA

by Hector Diego

The Walrus Speaks is now Emmy The Great Central.

Thao Nguyen--Bag of Hammers

by Jay Allbritton
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down recently performed for the blog Daytrotter.

Here's the new video for the feel good song of 2008, "Bag of Hammers". One of the most infectious choruses I've ever heard.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Emmy The Great - Christmas In Prison

by Hector Diego

Elvis Costello, Jakob Dylan, Jenny Lewis and Zooey Deschanel--What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding?

by Jay Allbritton
The blog Cause=Time has a few tantalizing snippets from a recent episode of Elvis Costello's show Spectacle that featured Jenny Lewis, Zooey Deschanel, M. Ward and Jakob Dylan.

This is the segment featuring Jakob Dylan, which concludes with a raucous rendition of "What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding?" featuring Mr. Costello and all of his guests.

Suicidal Tendencies - Institutionalized

by Hector Diego

Comparing this post with the one below, you can gather that Hector Diego has a wide range of musical taste. Actually, I'm not that much into hard core. I treat it as a novelty or a source of amusement, but if something is going to be amusing, let's have a good example of that. Like this song by Suicidal Tendencies.

I'll admit I find the lyrics more than amusing. The parents think the kid is crazy--after he went to THEIR SCHOOLS and THEIR CHURCHES. The nerve! You would think his dorky parents owe this kid something for what they have put him through.

How about a Pepsi?

Why do I identify with this kid?

Moody Blues - The Voice

by Hector Diego

It's calling you back to face the music. I like that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Aldous Huxley - The Doors Of Perception

by Hector Diego
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell."
1894 - 1963

I hadn't realized the man dropped acid right before he died, according to his last request. That's the last thing I would want to do at that time. What about you?

Huxley was quite a brilliant fellow. Here he is discussing Brave New World.

It kills me the way they smoked cigarettes on the air on those days.

Otis Redding - Try A Little Tenderness

by Hector Diego

Pointer Sisters, Slow Hand

by Hector Diego

And we could throw in Otis Redding doing "Try A Little Tenderness". In fact, I think I will.

Pearl Jam--Masters of War

by Jay Allbritton
Head over to Bunny With Fangs to watch Eddie Vedder rip through a couple of songs on the Karayoke machine. I'm thinking he was a bit tipsy.

Here's Pearl Jam with "Masters of War".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The "Beatles" Do Stairway To Heaven

by Hector Diego

Liz Phair - Mother's Little Helper

by Hector Diego

Bruce Springsteen--Blinded by the Light

by Jay Allbritton
I had no idea that Bruce Springsteen wrote this song and that the version we know so well was a cover.

Shoe Thrower al-Zaedi Attains Cult Status

by Hector Diego

I love cults. For those of you who don't know, cults are great things. Without cults, all societies remain conservative and stagnate. Whatever the faults of cults, the establishment always has plenty of its own. No?

So I am heartened to hear that Iraqis have embraced a patriot for the patriot that he is. Does anyone think that shoe thrower al-Zaedi is insincere? Why should the establishment of Iraq control the social and political environment of that country? They are suspect, given their involvement with the Bush administration, anyway.

I realize I am using the term cult here in a loose and provocative manner, but since cults are my research specialty, I feel I have a license.

Read more about al-Zaedi and the honor he has attained with his countrymen.

Beatles LP Countdown - Ticket To Ride

by Hector Diego

Radiohead - Subterranean Homesick Alien

by Hector Diego

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nine Inch Nails - Piggy

by Hector Diego

Nothing can stop me now because I just don't care.

Sounds dangerous.

U2 - Get On Your Boots

by Hector Diego

Sorry U2 fans, don't count me in. But "Get On Your Boots" has to be posted on The Walrus Speaks at least once.

Aby Wolf--Keara

by Jay Allbritton
From January, at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. (h/t MFR)

Alan Dundes On Jesus

by Hector Diego

Get this. Folklorist Dundes got more death threats when he wrote about football as a homosexual rite...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Neil Young, Sugar Mountain

by Hector Diego

As much as I admire Neil Young, I have to say my admiration continues to grow. He is just way cool.

Anoushka Shankar, Raga Shuddha Sarang

by Hector Diego

Elliott Smith--Between the Bars

by Jay Allbritton
A batch of unfinished Elliott Smith recordings hit the internet over the last couple weeks, causing a variety of reactions. Tom at Radio Exile wrote about the profound effect rocker suicides have had on him. That's something I tend to share to with Tom, not just the suicides, the accidental deaths of talented musicians who went too far with abusing themselves I also find haunting. It makes it hard sometimes to listen to the great music they did leave behind.

Tyler at Naturalismo pulled back his posting of one of the songs because Smith's family doesn't want the song out. I've heard it, and it could have been great if had been finished. I'm glad I have the song, but I respect the notion that someone close to Elliott wouldn't want it out there.

The whole thing just makes me want to listen to the songs Elliott left. We may not get any more from the basement on a hill where Elliott left the last of his great work in various states of repose. But before that last record, he did leave more brilliant work than just about anyone else.

Here's "Between the Bars":

And here's a conversation Elliott had with Jeneane Garofalo:

Pittsburgh Pirates Signs Indians

by Hector Diego

Rinku Singh

Nope, this has nothing to do with the Cleveland Indians. The Pittsburgh Buccos have signed two players from India who knew absolutely nothing about baseball before coming to America, but have fast throwing arms. They are now simultaneously learning about and training for baseball. The Walrus Speaks offers congratulations and wishes them well.

Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh are the first Indian born players to ever be signed to an American team.

Read about it.

Portishead, Only You

by Hector Diego

Monday, February 16, 2009

Beatles LP Countdown - You're Going To Lose That Girl

by Hector Diego

"You're Going To Lose That Girl" is the penultimate track on the first side of the Beatles' fifth British album, Help!

PJ Harvey--Sheela Na Gig

by Jay Allbritton
Some pretty big names have been added to the South by Southwest festival (Schedule).

One of the acts is the great PJ Harvey. Here she is doing the classic "Sheela Na Gig".

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thao Nguyen--Big Kid Table

by Jay Allbritton
From the Henry Fonda Music Box in Los Angeles, CA.

Synthetic Trips Gone Natural

by Hector Diego

Opened in 1967, I discovered it in 1969

I decided to Google an image of my teen age head shop this morning, just for a trip down memory lane--only to learn the place closed a few years back, after 37 years of service to the stoner community. Well, well. Synthetic Trips was where I went to buy my rolling papers and Rolling Stone magazine, which was state of the art hippie literature with left wing politics thrown in, back in those days.

What can I say, I was smitten with the place from the very beginning. At 13 I was reading Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception and Timothy Leary's The Politics Of Ecstasy, and just aching to get my hands on any substance that would alter my consciousness.

Eventually I got my "sacramental" drugs--I stayed away from speed, opiates, anything derived from the coca plant, and for the most part, caffeine. I flirted with alcohol but have never given myself to it. It wasn't cool, it still isn't. I was a card carrying member of the Psychedelic Church of East San Diego.

Making the pilgrimage to Synthetic Trips was a pleasant rite of passage that also included incense and staring at the black light images of nude women. It seems the counterculture gave mere lip service to woman's liberation. Ultimately it was women who did for women, with only a tangential relationship to the ethos and mythos of the patrons of Synthetic Trips.

Like all phenomena, Synthetic Trips ran its course and is now rotting into society's soil only to be reincarnated into something else that will question the status quo. This questioning must be partly sincere and insightful, partly foolhardy and a load of hype. That's the way of most social innovation, is it not? Meanwhile, you can now get what you couldn't get in 1969 at any convenience store--ten kinds of rolling papers. And Rolling Stone sold out to Capitalist Records a long time ago.

So I'm bidding goodbye to the era of Synthetic Trips, which helped to bring me this far. I won't go looking for another one because I'm now more afraid of death than afraid of not understanding the meaning of death, and consequently, I do not find wisdom in any sort of trip that is not natural. Or as Merle Haggard sang, we don't take our trips on LSD.

But there is one song that seems most fitting for the requiem of Synthetic Trips, and here it is.

Aptera - Three Wheel Car

by Hector Diego

Coming in October.

See the video.

U2--Running to Stand Still

by Jay Allbritton
Captain Obvious recently posted another awesome covers mixtape. One of the songs covered is U2's "Running to Stand Still".

Here's the original.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rilo Kiley, Spectacular Views

by Hector Diego

Painting, Pacific Palisades

Whenever I hear this song, I see it--the Palisades north of Santa Monica, California. There are no bad words for it.

It is amazingly beautiful.


Antique walrus print courtesy of FineRarePrints.Com