Monday, November 30, 2009

John Lennon - Working Class Hero

by Hector Diego


The Swell Season--Falling Slowly

by Jay Allbritton
The band from the independent film Once perform their Oscar winning song in the Discover studios.

John Lennon - Starting Over

by Hector Diego

Let's flip out and post a bunch of John Lennon songs! Yeah!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beatles LP Countdown - All You Need Is Love

by Hector Diego

Magical Mystery Tour
has not been rated very highly as a Beatles album, but for sheer content this is a mistake. It has so many great songs! Here is a list of what I consider to be some of the best work of the Beatles, from this album.

"The Fool On The Hill"

"I Am The Walrus"

"Hello Goodbye"

"Strawberry Fields"

"Penny Lane"

"All You Need Is Love"

It should be noted that much of the stuff on Magical Mystery Tour could have been released on Sgt. Peppers--that's how much great material the Beatles had at the time. Likewise, the Beatles double "White Album" (The Beatles) could have added another year to the life of the band, but alas, that was not to be. Anyway, "All You Need Is Love" is a fitting conclusion to a great album, and the song is one of my favorites.

"All You Need Is Love" is often lampooned by punkers and conservatives alike for being overly sentimental and not realistic. Well, this is bullshit! What Lennon is saying is that love is essential to any enterprise. There can be no courage, for instance, where there is no love.

Where else should we begin?

PS: We departed from our policy of using the British albums as the standard for the Beatles LP Countdown, because Magical Mystery Tour was an extended playing vinyl record in the UK, not an LP--sort of like a large 45 rpm disc, or something, I don't know. I never saw one.

Guns N Roses--Patience

by Jay Allbritton
The whole Axl Rose thing doesn't work for everybody, but this is a pretty classic tune:

Tebow - The Beatles Of College Football

by Hector Diego

That's coach Urban Meyer as God, and Tim Tebow
Adam. I would compare Meyer to Moses, 2006
Championship Gator quarterback Chris
Leak to John the Baptist,
and Tebow to...well, you
know Who...

Not a sports person? Or, you don't like football? No matter, you should know about University of Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow anyway. When anyone deserves to be called the Beatles of anything, we are talking about GOAT status--Greatest Of All Time. Such people tend to transcend whatever it is they specialize in. "He's way more than a football player," said teammate cornerback Joe Haden. For all the records that Tebow has broken, but most of all, for all the love he gives and receives from fans, Tebow deserves to be called the Beatles of college football. And that is saying quite a lot.

Interestingly, Tebow beat the Beatles in one category of love. When the Beatles played their last public performance at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966, no one except the Beatles knew it. But everyone knew that Tebow was playing his last game of a regular college season and therefore, the last game at Florida's home field, of his career. Tim and his teammates wept, the entire stadium wept, and my wife, watching at home, wept. So I believe that Tim Tebow inspired more tears than the Beatles on this occasion, folks. That's amazing. The Walrus Speaks is very proud of Florida Gator Tim Tebow.

Read the article.

Norah Jones--Chasing Pirates

by Jay Allbritton
Norah Jones and her band performed recently on Jools Holland's show.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant

by Hector Diego

There is only one day-after-Thanksgiving song that I know of, and this is it. We had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat, and didn't wake up until the following morning...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mel Blanc on Letterman

by Jay Allbritton
How do you interview a guy with Looney Tunes personalities oozing from every pore of his body? Letterman tried it back in the day.

Jimi Hendrix--Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

by Jay Allbritton

According to, Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" is the best guitar riff of all time. Sure. Why not?

Pink Floyd--Breathe

by Jay Allbritton
From 2005. Happy Thanksgiving, people. Thanks for coming to see the Walrus.

Hector Diego Defeats Barack Obama...

by Hector Diego

...when it comes to compassion for animals, for I have pardoned every turkey in the world (except a certain professor I once had). But no one listens to me.

I have not eaten a turkey since February, 1974. Instead, I eat The Mama's Tofu Turkey, the recipe for which I posted yesterday...when the sorrow of turkeys all across America was so far away! Or so they thought.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Paul Sings Yesterday Live, 1965

by Hector Diego

I love that intro by George.

Gil Scott Heron--Where Did the Night Go

by Jay Allbritton
Just when we need him, Gil Scott Heron is set to make a comeback.

Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone

by Hector Diego

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pearl Jam Plays Austin City Limits

by Jay Allbritton
Hellafied at The Gospel According to Gates has a great review of Pearl Jam's Backspacer album. She talks about the process that truly great music requires of its listener--how multiple listens will yield great rewards when you're in the hands of masterful musicians.

Pearl Jam's performance on PBS's Austin City Limits over the weekend seemed designed to lure the casual Pearl Jam fan who, if left to their own devices, would just repeatedly satiate themselves with the band's massive amount easy material. Songs like "Alive," "Black," "Rearview Mirror," "Release," and dozens of other songs that are easily recognizable as classics from the first verse. Pearl Jam, however, has a multitude of songs that sound great, but require a few listens before the true greatness of them becomes abundantly clear. Watching the band play those songs with their signature zeal in a perfect sonic space like ACL provides made song after song in their setlist make more sense.

Head over to PBS's Austin City Limits site to watch the whole show.

Old Canes--Both Falling Bright

by Jay Allbritton
One of the guys from Kansas band Old Canes plays in an intimate setting.

"Fifth Beatle" George Martin - In My Life

by Hector Diego

Listen to abbreviated selections from Beatles producer George Martin's swan song, In My Life. The man has lived a lot of life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thao Nguyen--Tallymarks

by Jay Allbritton
A little over a year ago Thao played this song at Salt Lake City's KRCL.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

John Denver - Rocky Mountain High

by Hector Diego


Gore Agitates for Toy Gun Wielding Tree Army to Seek Revenge on Non-Green Politicians

by Jay Allbritton
The time for crazy has come.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Has Putrefied

by Hector Diego

I had never heard "That Ain't My America" until yesterday, and it is totally decrepit. The guy in the song wants to smoke a cigarette beneath a No Smoking sign, because "that ain't my America!" And the griping about praying in school is bogus. If you want to pray, pray. Just keep it to yourself. How would you like it if the Station Agent got all up in your grill with Noam Chomsky?

The line about a gun in one hand and a Bible in the other says it all. I think the Bible has more going for it than that.

Please Please Me

by Hector Diego

"Please Please Me" flopped in America in 1963

Good morning Beatles people. I just felt inspired to post the very first music ever posted on The Walrus Speaks, by the Station Agent, back in August, 2006. This was a wise choice. "Please, Please Me" is one of the Beatles' most joyous recordings. In 1964 it was considered unusually sophisticated for a rock and roll song. The harmonies are imperfect, but at the same time, they are absolutely perfect. The Beatles pull it off, and that is what we love them for (among other things).

Vee Jay records, you will notice, did not spell Beatles correctly. It was left to Capitalist Records to get that part right.

Local time is 9.13 AM, with the local weather at 66 Beatle degrees and rainy. Broadcasting 24/7 from America's Deep South, stay tuned to KTWS Radio. That's on your cyber radio dial!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Neko Case--Red Tide

by Jay Allbritton
New Pornographers singer Neko Case took her solo act to Jimmy Fallon's show last week.

Kid Guitarist Covers Come Together

by Hector Diego

Sungha Jung has the chops, and the spirit. Who is this kid?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thao With The Get Down Stay Down--Beat

by Jay Allbritton
Thao and her band stopped by New, Improved Recording studio in Oakland, California to record a set. Here's a taste. Get the rest here.

New, Improved, LIVE: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down - "Beat" from The Bay Bridged on Vimeo.

Band Of Horses - The Funeral

by Hector Diego


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Paul McCartney Live - Eleanor Rigby

by Hector Diego

A great performance from 2002.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

by Hector Diego

It's crude, and the Beatles had nothing to do with it except make the music, but the film Yellow Submarine is still a classic.

Beatles LP Countdown - Baby You're A Rich Man

by Hector Diego

Jenny Lewis' lyrics in "Jenny, You're Barely Alive" remind me of this song. "It's all the treasures in the street as we drive right over them."

In humanistic psychology, the self already possesses everything he/she/it needs. Maybe so.

Aerosmith--Dream On

by Jay Allbritton
"All the things come back to you..."

Serena Ryder - Sweeping The Ashes

by Hector Diego

What do you think of this one, Station Agent? It's the studio version.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


by Hector Diego

If you haven't seen Fargo, you have to! It's one of my favorite films, a low-budget classic. Right after this clip ends comes the best scene of all, for me. The cop says to the guy she has in the back of her patrol car, "There is more to life than money. Doncha know that?"

The northern accent with Scandinavian inflections left over from pioneering days, the cold, white weather, and the cop played by Frances Louise McDormand--who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in Fargo--make this a must see film.


Texas Professor On The Politics Of Vegetarianism--Eating Is Not Personal

by Hector Diego

James E. McWilliams is a professor of history at Texas State University, San Marcos. Here is a incisive article he wrote for The Washington Post, in which he explains why eating is not a personal decision.
Imagine that!

I gave a talk in South Texas recently on the environmental virtues of a vegetarian diet. As you might imagine, the reception was chilly. In fact, the only applause came during the Q&A period when a member of the audience said that my lecture made him want to go out and eat even more meat. "Plus," he added, "what I eat is my business -- it's personal."

I've been writing about food and agriculture for more than a decade. Until that evening, however, I'd never actively thought about this most basic culinary question: Is eating personal?

We know more than we've ever known about the innards of the global food system. We understand that food can both nourish and kill. We know that its production can both destroy and enhance our environment. We know that farming touches every aspect of our lives -- the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil we need.

So it's hard to avoid concluding that eating cannot be personal. What I eat influences you. What you eat influences me. Our diets are deeply, intimately and necessarily political.

This realization changes everything for those who avoid meat. As a vegetarian I've always felt the perverse need to apologize for my dietary choice. It inconveniences people. It smacks of self-righteousness. It makes us pariahs at dinner parties. But the more I learn about the negative impact of meat production, the more I feel that it's the consumers of meat who should be making apologies.

Read the rest of the article.

I know my vegetarianism is inconvenient in society, but so was abolitionism in the 19th century.

Jason Schwartzman--Bored to Death

by Jay Allbritton
I just watched the first three episodes of HBO's new series Bored to Death. I was worried that Jason Schwartzman's comedic style, which works very well in movies, wouldn't translate to a TV show, but the show far exceeded my expectations. As long as the quality doesn't suddenly plunge, this show could carve out quite a cult following.

This is the theme, co-written and performed by Schwartzman:

MC Hammer - Be The Change

by Hector Diego

Gandhi's support for the Partition of 1947 turns my stomach. On the other hand, his personal example of love and nonviolence is stellar. So let's follow his example and be the change.

Door To Door Marijuana Business Busted

by Hector Diego

This really kills me. A kid in Texas got the bright idea to sell marijuana door to door. So the last door he knocked on, naturally, belonged to a cop. Anyway, that's not what really kills me. What really kills me is that he faces "major charges" because he was selling pot "near a university." !!!

Here is the not so interesting video.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly

by Hector Diego

"The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes."--Marcel Proust

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ben Lee--Kids

by Jay Allbritton
Nice acoustic cover of "Kids" by MGMT.

Oregon Cannabis Cafe

by Hector Diego

This is a no-brainer. Read the article and watch the video.

Jackie DeShannon - What The World Needs Now

by Hector Diego

I love these lyrics. Jackie DeShannon hauls off and tells God what is needed.

Just in case God wanted to know.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lesley Gore On Relationships

by Hector Diego

When someone lays a trip on us, shame on them. When we go along with it, shame on us. These two songs by Lesley Gore exemplify opposite attitudes toward dysfunctional relationships, one healthy, one sick. It is up to us to choose.

Thanks to my new friend Nori for a deep discussion on this.


Antique walrus print courtesy of FineRarePrints.Com