Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paul McCartney - Blackbird

by Hector Diego

Here's a young McCartney still working on the song, and in the end George Martin comes in the picture.

Old Mac's voice is breaking with age, but we do love this man.

Joan Baez - Blowin' In The Wind

by Hector Diego

Taken By Trees--My Boys

by Jay Allbritton
Taken by Trees's new album, East of Eden is now out. All the info is on their MySpace page.

John Lennon - Instant Karma

by Hector Diego

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tori Amos--Caught a Light Sneeze

by Jay Allbritton
I like this song a lot more now than I did when it came out.

Beatles LP Countdown - Flying

by Hector Diego


Monday, September 28, 2009

Sublime--What I Got

by Jay Allbritton
My friends, Lou Dog and Jenny, are engaged. So, who better to dedicate this next song to than them? Good fortune, my friends.

Rilo Kiley - The Absence Of God

by Hector Diego

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Los Campesinos--The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future

by Jay Allbritton
A new song from the brilliant Los Campesinos. Some Velvet Blog has the MP3.

Youngbloods - Get Together

by Hector Diego

Ever since the punk era people have delighted in making fun of "hippies" (whatever that is), pointing out that they were naive, misguided, or whatever. Nothing could be further from the truth. The real naivete in the hippie era was the belief that science, the United States, or someone's exclusive religion would solve all the world's problems. The hippies did not have these delusions. But, they intuitively knew where to start in solving the world's problems.

Obama has offered a phrase that is instructive: "Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good." So, the hippies weren't perfect. But on the goodness scale their ideas were far better than most, and still are.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Beatles LP Countdown - The Fool On The Hill

by Hector Diego

"Alistair Taylor, in the book Yesterday, reports a mysterious incident involving a man who inexplicably appeared near him and McCartney during a walk on Primrose Hill, and then disappeared again, soon after McCartney and Taylor had conversed about the existence of God; this allegedly prompted the writing of the song."

McCartney played the recorder in "The Fool On The Hill," which enjoyed a critical reception and has been covered by many artists. The Station Agent is quite fond of this song.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Birther-mercial Highlights

by Jay Allbritton
Finally, some high comedy. Via TPM here are highlights from an infomercial promoting the conspiracy theory that the President was born outside the United States. This program is only running in 11 mugwump towns, so luckily we have the highlights. Note to the person who made this montage: Thanks, but next time, please send the whole thing. It's just too good.

Kate Nash--Foundations

by Jay Allbritton
Kate Nash appeared on Jools Holland's show in May 2007.

Rolling Stones - Sing This All Together

by Hector Diego

This album is the Rolling Stones answer to Sgt. Pepper's. I think the Stones would be the first to admit that it is not on the same level; however, I think the critical reception is a bit jaded. Their Satanic Majesties Request is a fine album. But here is a review by Richie Unterberger of Allmusic.

"Without a doubt, no Rolling Stones album — and, indeed, very few rock albums from any era — split critical opinion as much as the Rolling Stones' psychedelic outing. Many dismiss the record as sub-Sgt. Pepper posturing; others confess, if only in private, to a fascination with the album's inventive arrangements, which incorporated some African rhythms, Mellotrons, and full orchestration. Never before or since did the Stones take so many chances in the studio. In 1968, the Stones would go back to the basics, and never wander down these paths again, making this all the more of a fascinating anomaly in the group's discography."

Their is rich texturing in Satanic Majesties, good lyrics, and above all, good melodies! So what's not to like? As for the "psychedelia", this--like "hippie", "cult", "radical", etc.--is meaningless, and I take sound effects not produced by standard musical instruments for granted these days. The famous sociologist Max Weber remarked that modern music was characterized by a full symphonic orchestra. So then what is Their Satanic Majesties Request?

Postmodern, baby, very postmodern.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beatles LP Countdown - Magical Mystery Tour

by Hector Diego

After Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, you would think the Beatles would take a breather. But Magical Mystery Tour continues in a similar vein, and contains many songs written during the Peppers era that didn't make it onto that album. Please note, I am departing from my usual practice of posting all the songs from the Beatles' British albums, because in England Magical Mystery Tour was an EP, a quaint way of making vinyl records larger than a single but smaller than an LP that Americans never experienced.

It is difficult to assess Magical Mystery Tour as an album after Sgt. Peppers. I mean, how do you do an encore after Sgt. Peppers? However, as a collection of individual songs Magical Mystery Tour holds up just as well as Sgt. Peppers. It begins in a similar manner to Sgt. Peppers, with Paul introducing a concept. Before it was a band that was going to put on a show--sit back and let the evening go--and now it's Paul taking us on a magical mystery tour. I'm not sure that the idea of the band hoping we will enjoy the show holds up any better than a tour, but it does for me. At any rate I never considered Magical Mystery Tour to be in the top tier of Beatles albums, but I just realized that it really is. Just look at the list of songs on the American release!

Damn! So get ready for the tour, sit back and let it all go. Some of the best Beatles music of all is on this album, which deserves more credit than it gets.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Headless Heroes--Just Like Honey

by Jay Allbritton
NYC band Headless Heroes was recently featured on NPR's All Songs Considered, and I was drawn in by their sound. Not bad at all.

Monsters of Folk--Say Please

by Jay Allbritton
The exciting new endeavor of Conor Oberst, Jimmy James, M. Ward and Mike Mogis--Monsters of Folk--brought a sweet new song, a monsterous guitar solo and a drummer to Conan's house.

Bob Dylan - See That My Grave Is Kept Clean

by Hector Diego

"See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" was written by Blind Lemon Jefferson. Dylan recorded this version in 1962.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Emmy The Great - The Hypnotist's Son

by Hector Diego

A Lilttle Healthcare Reform Levity

by Jay Allbritton
Will Ferrell and some of his friends put together this must-see spoof of those fighting for the insurance industry against the American people.

Thao Nguyen--Bag of Hammers

by Jay Allbritton
Stereogum has an MP3 of the first song from Thao Nguyen's next album. The song is the title track from the album called Know Better, Learn Faster, which will be out October 13.

Thao broke through last year with her mind blowing album We Brave Bee Stings. This is "Bag of Hammers" from that record.

Beatles LP Countdown - A Day In The Life

by Hector Diego

I found it! I found a streamable "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise" fading into "A Day In The Life". This is how it was meant to be heard.

So concludes Sgt. Peppers, the album many consider to be the Beatles' greatest. As for "A Day In The Life", perhaps no Beatles track has had more ink spilled over it. Why? You tell me why.

Obama Tries, Congress Stalls

by Hector Diego

Obama is trying, but he has an uphill battle when it comes to...just about everything. For instance, on environmental issues the Republicans have not really changed since their voting statistics for 1999, above.

Here is something on the current U.N. climate summit (remember, conservative radicals want to withdraw the U.S. from the U.N.!).

"Obama has announced a target of returning to 1990 levels of greenhouse emissions by 2020. Todd Stern, the top U.S. climate envoy, said the Obama administration is moving 'full speed ahead' toward helping craft a global climate deal...But with Congress moving slowly on a measure to curb emissions, the United States could soon find itself with little influence when 120 countries convene in Copenhagen...'The crisis today on climate change is the inability of the United States to put on the table credible emissions reduction targets for 2020,' said Jairam Ramesh, India's environment minister."

Read about it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Swimmers--Heaven

by Jay Allbritton
This is "Heaven," from The Swimmers' 2008 album Fighting Trees.

Lakshmi Arrives In Portland Oregon

by Hector Diego

Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune.

My eldest daughter's family recently received a settlement that vastly improves their financial situation. Many congratulations to her and her husband, whose hard work and determination, and considerable entrepreneurial talents, speak very highly of him.

They have been blessed by Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune. Jaya Sri Lakshmidevi!

In honor of daughter #1, here is one of her favorite songs.

George Harrison - Give Me Love

by Hector Diego

And here's Elliott Smith's version--so fitting.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sara Lov - A Thousand Bees

by Jay Allbritton
This song is from Sara Lov's debut album, which came out recently. She reminds me a little of Aimee Mann.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Three from Camera Obscura

by Jay Allbritton
Via Yellow Stereo, comes this nice, outdoorsy acoustic set from Camera Obscura. They also have a set from Marissa Nadler.

Beatles LP Countdown - Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Reprise

by Hector Diego

"We hope you have enjoyed the show." When I first heard these lyrics, it was the first time I was ever directly addressed by rock musicians. You must remember, this was the "first" concept album. Actually, it was the first concept album to be understood as such. Once again, the Beatles set the standard. Here's a studio demo of the reprise, with just Paul on vocals.

Here's the album version.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sifl & Olly--Laser Eyes

by Jay Allbritton
I used to love this silly sock puppet show. Maybe a movie is possible? Be better than some of the crap they're putting out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Grateful Dead - Brown Eyed Women

by Hector Diego

This is a very fine melody, and the bass riff is interesting. I like the part where Delilah Jones goes to meet her God...

Neil Young - Hurricane

by Hector Diego

Mountain Goats--This Year

by Jay Allbritton
"I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me."

American Artist Mary Travers (1936--2009)

by Hector Diego

Mary Travers passed away yesterday at the age of 72, and a part of my childhood is gone.

As one third of Peter, Paul, and Mary, Travers was one of the most important female vocalists of the 1960s, and belongs in the same league as Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. Read more about Mary Travers.

Goodbye Mary. You are loved by many.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

John Lennon - Love

by Hector Diego


Tori Amos--Cooling

by Jay Allbritton
From Los Angeles in 2007.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Video - The Grapes Of Wrath

by Hector Diego

This is one of my favorite films, based very closely on one of my favorite books, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Woody Guthrie was so inspired by the book and film that he wrote some of his best music on the same topic. After all, he was from Oklahoma.

After reading the book or seeing the film, you might feel that, in sense, you are also from Oklahoma. Unless you own a factory...

Here is the film in its entirety. Along with the Beatles and other influences, The Grapes of Wrath is the reason for the existence of The Walrus Speaks.

John Lennon - Mind Games

by Hector Diego

Love can change the world. It is all in our minds.


by Jay Allbritton
From Paris, 2005.

Joni Mitchell - Woodstock

by Hector Diego

I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going
And this he told me
I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm
I'm going to join in a rock n roll band
I'm going to camp out on the land
I'm going to try and get my soul free
We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Monday, September 14, 2009

Elf Power - Willowy Man

by Hector Diego

How about a little nature mysticism here, folks?

Yael Naim - New Soul

by Hector Diego

Damn this is a good song!

Flogging Molly--What's Left of the Flag

by Jay Allbritton
then the rosary beads/count them 1 2 3
fell apart as they hit the floor
in a garb of black/we must pay respect
to the color we were born to mourn
walk away me boys/walk away me boys
and by morning we'll be free
wipe that golden tear/from your mother dear
and raise what's left
of the flag
for me

Why Reagan Was A Jerk

by Hector Diego

They say you are not supposed to speak ill of the dead, and I try not to. But sometimes you have to get folks' attention. For all of you who think sentimentally about Ronald Reagan, read this--

"In 1961, Reagan was instrumental in stalling Medicare. In the record distributed to 3,000 doctors’ wives, he decried the 'foot in the door' approach to socialized medicine.' Unless 'big government' was stopped, “you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free,' he said."

When America was free--that is, without Medicare. Reagan was so fullashit it is pathetic. What is even more pathetic is the current groundswell of opposition to health care reform from insurance companies and their political cronies. As for the masses that believe their lies, well what can anyone say? They have willingly opened their mouths wide, and the insurance companies and the conservative politicians are shoveling it in.

Look, don't get me wrong--I love Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" as much as the next man. But that doesn't absolve Reagan from all of his crap.You could trace it way back beyond 1961, but that will do right there. The jerk opposed Medicare!

Still love him?

Teach Your Children

by Hector Diego

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not A Second Time

by Hector Diego

Roger Federer Hits Impossible Shot Between Legs

by Jay Allbritton
Roger Federer didn't become the greatest tennis player of his era by monkeying around, but this between the legs rocket was just unfair.

Herman Dune--My Home Is Nowhere Without You

by Jay Allbritton
The great band from France.

The Party Of No

by Hector Diego

How did the party of Lincoln become the party of No?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Both Sides Now

by Hector Diego

Judy Collins

The composer is Joni Mitchell. I really like Judy Collins' version.

Rilo Kiley - Wires And Waves

by Hector Diego

Some happy music.

Rilo Kiley--Paints Peeling

by Jay Allbritton
The paint’s peeling off the streets again
And I drive and I close my eyes in Michigan.
And I feel nothing, not brave.
It’s a hard day for breathing again...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bruce Springsteen - The Ghost Of Tom Joad

by Hector Diego

John Ford's 1940 classic film, The Grapes Of Wrath

Now Tom said, "Ma, wherever you seen a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Wherever there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Ma, I'll be there
Wherever somebody's strugglin' for a place to stand
For a decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes, Ma, you'll see me."

September 11, 2009

by Hector Diego

All of the issues born out of 911 are very complex. I am not a spontaneous flag waver. I do not even hate Osama Bin Laden. Rather, I would say that I really can't stand him. Now, can I stand Dick Cheney? No, I can't honestly say that I can.

So I don't really know what to say about all of that, as if I were Forrest Gump. So I'll just let Paul say it.

10,000 Maniacs--My Mother the War

by Jay Allbritton
Some more early 10,000 Maniacs.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two from 10,000 Maniacs

by Jay Allbritton
I've never heard a sound quite like early 10,000 Maniacs. Here's two from their 1985 debut.

"Tension makes a Tangle"


Good Morning, Good Morning

by Hector Diego

Cops Say Marijuana Growing On The Rise

by Hector Diego

Ever since I was twelve I have heard the government talking about "eradicating" marijuana by putting people in jail, and going all over the countryside looking for growing operations, and the like. Since I was twelve! That was forty-one years ago, and have they eradicated marijuana?

No, but they have employed millions of people and wasted billions of taxpayers' money, so credit where credit is due.

When will folks wake up and realize that drugs are here to stay? And just get over it? It would be a sensible policy to show people a better way to live, without drugs, and failing that, showing people how to use drugs in a more responsible way. After all, haven't you ever seen the message from Budweiser, "beeresponsible", on the back of their trucks? If alcohol, which has killed millions--perhaps billions--throughout history, can be taken responsibly, than why can't marijuana, which has a much better record, not be taken responsibly? Why must we waste precious resources trying to do something that is impossible--eradicating marijuana?

Well, it's like the Station Agent always says, follow the money. Follow the money and we will all know the answer. Now go on and think about this, and after that consider what you have thought about when it comes time to vote.

Or, stick your head in the sand.

Read about it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Documentary on Cradle Will Rock

by Jay Allbritton
This documentary, "When the Wind Blows, The Cradle Will Rock," describes the hard times of the great depression and the Marc Blitzstein's subversive Federal Theater play Cradle Will Rock. If you haven't seen Tim Robbin's brilliant movie, Cradle Will Rock, check it out. It's about the last time the history we're repeating happened.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Joan Baez - Diamonds And Rust

by Hector Diego

Ani Difranco--Gravel

by Jay Allbritton
One of the great live acts in music performing at Red Rock in 1998.

Hide Your Children!

by Hector Diego

Hide your children! Don't let them go to school! Today Barack HUSSEIN Obama is going to indoctrinate them with Obama care and...dare we even say it...socialism!

And get this--he is going to tell them that their efforts in school are important to the nation. When you put his national emphasis together with his socialistic agenda, what do you get? National Socialism! THIS PROVES THAT OBAMA IS A NAZI!

I knew it all along...

Monday, September 07, 2009

Elliott Smith--TV Interview & Waltz #2

by Jay Allbritton
In June of 1998, Elliott Smith stopped in Sweden to go on TV and play one of the finest shows of his career. Rawkblog has MP3s of the performance. The TV clip is below:

In The Pines

by Hector Diego

Sometimes the Station Agent inspires me so much with his posting of covers that I just go crazy with it! "In The Pines" is a true classic. And thank you, Cobain, for reminding me.

Joan Osborne - What If God Smoked Cannabis

by Hector Diego

Check out the Church of the Holy Smoke.

Nirvana--Where Did You Sleep Last Night

by Jay Allbritton
The chilling wails coming out of Kurt Cobain at the end of this performance makes it my favorite Nirvana recording. Incidentally, the name of the song is "In the Pines," but it seems the ship has sailed on that one.

It Won't Be Long

by Hector Diego

Good morning Beatles people. It is currently 72 Beatle degrees in the heart of America's Deep South, broadcasting 24/7 at KTWS, Walrus Radio. Check your local radio stations for Labor Day Beatles programs.

Or keep it tuned to KTWS--that's on your cyber radio dial.

Paul McCartney - Too Many People

by Hector Diego

Paul And Michael - Say, Say, Say

by Hector Diego

Well, I can't say I'm much into this combination, but here it is.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean, I'll Be There

by Hector Diego

My youngest daughter likes to dance to Michael Jackson, so this one is for her. Go Shoad!

And this one is for my dear wife Kim.

After You've Gone

by Hector Diego

Station Agent, you are so right about "After You've Gone" as an old school song. Bessy Smith's version is from 1927!

Fiona Apple--After You're Gone

by Jay Allbritton
Lovely old school cover by Fiona. Not sure where she's playing. Looks like the room to be in.

Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game

by Hector Diego

Dedicated to Alma and Sita.

The Weepies - This Is Not Your Year

by Hector Diego

I do not like the message of the lyrics-because I am into thinking positive these days--but there is a skillful use of images, a great melody, and uplifting instrumentation. Deb Talan's quaint northern voice is intriguing. I also think she is a very talented composer.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

It Must Have Been The Roses

by Hector Diego

Dedicated to my dear wife Kim.

Clip from Swingers

by Jay Allbritton
I've been thinking a lot about this film lately. This is a fun scene, in which Jon Favreau and Heather Graham cut a rug.

The Florida Gators

by Hector Diego

This is the last year for Florida Gator Tim Tebow, the extremely multi-talented, charismatic, and pious (that's right, I said pious) quarterback. The Gators play their first game of the regular season today against Charleston Southern at 7.00 pm Eastern.

God bless this young man. Now, for some very un-Christian music.


Antique walrus print courtesy of FineRarePrints.Com