Thursday, December 31, 2009
Some of my relatives think I'm crazy. But I identify with the guy in this song, Mike, who thinks it might be the other way around.
"How do you know what MY best interest is? How can you say what MY best interest is? What are you trying to say? I'M crazy? When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities! So how can you say I'M crazy?”
Yeah. Happy New Year!
This decade has seen the democratization of music. Talented people could get reasonably priced recording equipment in their homes, so every band worth a crap, and many not worth anything nearly so valuable, launched a recording career. Keeping up with it all became impossible. No one has full command of the music scene, so, along with the massive flotilla of CDs came an avalanche of opinion. The only way to manage it all is to go meta. Find voices you trust and listen to them. Thankfully, musicologists at blogs like Largehearted Boy, I am Fuel You Are Friends, You Ain't No Picasso spent much of the deacade leaving a trail of gems from Rilo Kiley to the Blow to Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. Where FM radio failed miserably, these tastemakers have stepped in and saved the day.
So it is in that spirit that offer you my own list of the songs of the decade.
10. PJ Harvey – This Mess We're In (with Thom Yorke)
9. Wilco - Jesus, etc
8. Tegan & Sara – Living Room
7. Blow, the - True Affection
6. Mountain Goats - No Children
5. Smith, Elliott – Son of Sam
4. Rilo Kiley - The good that wont come out
3. Bright Eyes – The First Day of My Life
2. Postal Service, the - Such Great Heights
1. Rilo Kiley - Better Son/Daughter
I only wish I had time to write a longer list.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
9. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow (2003)
8. Kimya Dawson - Remember That I Love You (2006)
7. The Blow – Paper Television (2007)
6. Elliott Smith – Figure 8 (2000)
5. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning (2005)
4. Radiohead – Kid A (2000)
3. Postal Service - Give Up (2003)
2. Tool - Lateralus (2001)
1. Rilo Kiley – The Execution of all Things (2002)
Anywho, for those that stayed, or for those who came back, here's Thao and The Get Down Stay Down with "When We Swam".
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
From birth, livestock in the U.S. are being fed antibiotics that lower the effectiveness of antibiotics in humans who consume these animals. "This is a living breathing problem, it's the big bad wolf and it's knocking at our door," said Dr. Vance Fowler, an infectious disease specialist at Duke University. "It's here. It's arrived."
I don't eat animals, so at least I don't have to worry about this. I'm not saying so ha ha, I just thought you would want to know.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Marijuana will probably be legalized in California in 2010, or at least bring legalization much closer to reality, and other states are going to follow. But some people still tell outrageous lies about legalization, for instance, this gem:
" 'There's no upside to it in any manner other than for those people who want to smoke pot,' said Travis Kuykendall, head of the West Texas High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area office in El Paso, Texas. 'There's nothing for society in it, there's nothing good for the country in it, there's nothing for the good of the economy in it.' "
Well, let's just take one issue, the economy. The economy of the state of Washington, for instance:
"Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, a Seattle Democrat who is sponsoring the legalization bill in Washington state, said that she 'wanted to start a strong conversation about the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana.' Under her bill, marijuana would be sold in Washington state's 160 state-run liquor stores, and customers, 21 and older, would pay a tax of 15 percent per gram. The measure would dedicate most of the money raised for substance abuse prevention and treatment, which is facing potential cuts in the state budget. Dickerson said the measure could eventually bring in as much to state coffers as alcohol does, more than $300 million a year."
$300 million a year in just one state, and "there's nothing for the good of the economy in it?" Really? Where did Kuykendall get his degree from, a Cracker Jacks box?
The real opposition (beside criminals who make lots of money from marijuana being illegal) comes from a cultural divide. They just didn't smoke pot in the Bible, a literature in which taking a drink is perfectly fine. " 'In the South, for example, only Mississippi and North Carolina have decriminalization laws on the books...It's a social and cultural thing,' said Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based marijuana advocacy group. 'There are some parts of the country where social attitudes are just a little more cautious and conservative.' "
The conservative attitude of the South should not surprise us. Like I said, they didn't light up in the Bible. Or did they?
Lennon didn't like this song, a typical example of what happens when McCartney goes off on a sugary sweet bender. McCartney had been listening to ska, and with Beatle ingenuity, came up with something different.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Tofu is made from soybeans, which don't scream
when you harvest them
Hear, hear, good people. It's now December 26th--you've had your roast beast, and now it's time to get real. Here's something from the June, 2009 issue of National Geographic.
"Eating meat is an incredibly inefficient way to feed oneself. It takes up to five times more grain to get the equivalent amount of calories from eating pork as from eating grain itself--ten times if we're talking about grain-fattened U.S. beef (Joel K. Bourne, Jr., p 41).
So why eat meat?
If someone has a physical problem with going vegetarian, I have sympathy for that. I am even partially sympathetic to psychological difficulties in adopting the innocent diet. However, if someone has a philosophical difficulty with vegetarianism, I take that as a direct challenge. I will fight this person syllable by syllable!
One guy wrote:
"To understand intellectually is one thing, to put it into practice quite another, a whole untraversable territory away. I still haven't been able to stop eating meat. In any restaurant, my eyes alight first, as if by an atavistic pull, on the meat dishes on the menu. In any dinner party I throw, I think of the non-vegetarian dish as central. I view this as a combination of weakness, greed and moral failure. Someone please help."
Help with adopting a vegetarian diet? That's what Hector Diego is here for. Here is a man who understands but doesn't have the support to do what he knows is right. If you need help in adopting the innocent diet, leave a comment and I will get back to you.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The place where John Lennon felt most at home was not Liverpool or London, but New York City, where he was assassinated. Merry Christmas to you John, wherever you are.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
10. Postal Service - Against all odds (Phil Collins Cover)
9. The Shins - We Will Become Silhouettes (Postal Service cover)
8. Calexico – Alone Again Or (Love cover)
7. Jenny Lewis – Handle With Care (Traveling Wilburys cover)
6. Tegan & Sara - Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)
5. Pearl Jam - Driven To Tears (live Police cover)
4. Gary Jules – Mad World (with Michael Andrews, Tears for Fears cover)
3. Belaire – Through the Wire (Kanye West cover)
2. Ted Leo - Since U Been Gone/Maps (cover medley—Kelly Clarkson, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs)
1. The White Stripes - Jolene (live Dolly Parton cover)
The Beatles recorded Christmas messages for their fan club. I believe this was their last Christmas recording, in which Lennon declares that what he wants for Christmas is a bowl of corn flakes blessed by the Hare Krishna mantra. Harrison then chants Happy Christmas, Happy Christmas, Christmas Christmas, Happy Happy.
They released, for the fan club, a compilation of previous Christmas recordings (see above), but I am fairly sure that it contained nothing new. Lennon released his own War Is Over album for Christmas 1971.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
10. David Bowie - I'm Afraid of Americans
9. Kimya Dawson - Fire
8. Ted Leo - Bomb Repeat Bomb
7. Steve Earle - Jerusalem
6. Ani DiFranco - Self Evident
5. System of a Down - Prison system
4. Bright Eyes – Road to Joy
3. Flogging Molly - What's Left of the Flag
2. Tool – Schism
1. Radiohead – Idioteque
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Good morning Beatles people. It is now 37 Beatle degrees outside our studio, local time 8.20 am. The question on my mind this morning is philosophical--does "Glass Onion" mean that other people can see through our layers of lies more easily than we can?
Broadcasting 24/7 from America's Deep South, this is KTWS Radio. That's www.thewalrusspeaks.blogspot.com on your cyber radio dial!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
I won't be listening to much of Susan Boyle. I don't even watch reality shows, because most of them strike me as unreal. Clay Aiken? Not impressed. And I had never paid attention to Susan Boyle.
But my male intuition told me to check her out, only to discover that there is no way she could not have won the contest. It is proof that if you are truly talented, and you can just get yourself to one of these shows, you will get the recognition you deserve.
So credit where credit is due-to Susan Boyle. Wow.
I had given up on the music of the first decade of the 21st century, when the Station Agent introduced me to Rilo Kiley, who have made it into my top ten of all time, maybe even my top five. Maybe even my top two! (I'll let you guess who is my #1.) Yael Naim's "New Soul", from a television commercial, is quite excellent. I stumbled upon some songs by the Weepies. All of my top ten for the decade, you will notice, feature female lead vocalists. If I compiled a top twenty list for the decade--and I might do this--there would still be only one or two male vocalists. What has happened to me? Have I become a devotee of the Great Mother?
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Prudence in India, 1968
A girl who doesn't care to hang out with the Beatles, and prefers to meditate? Wow! I was really impressed with this, when I was 14. I'm still impressed with it! But I'm here to tell you, Lennon got it wrong--Prudence was not depressed, she simply was enjoying her meditation. I know this because I know Prudence. I studied with her at U.C. Berkeley. Together we chewed thousands of sticks of gum while deciphering Sanskrit verb conjugations and noun declensions. So ha ha!
Prudence Farrow Bruns is now a professor married to a super intellectual, and she has three grown children...and she still does her meditation, last I heard. She experimented with consciousness altering substances and all that like everyone else, but get this-she concluded that part of her life by 1962! So she was more interested, by 1968, in spiritual pursuits than anything else.
A most remarkable woman, wouldn't you say? I have encouraged her to write her memoirs. I wish she would.
She's my big sister.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I'm not much into music videos made by fans, but this one is cute. And yes, the line that goes "ooh, ah, feels good to be free" does sound like a shampoo commercial! Nevertheless, this song is great and shows off Rilo Kiley's great variety of styles. Is that correct, Station Agent?
It's commercial. I don't care. Such a distinction never made any difference to John Lennon either, and he said so. So I'm in good company.
I mainly go by the strength of melody anyway, and Lennon, regardless of his facility with lyrics, had the same standard, I believe.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Sorry, Old Mac--I agree with John, George, and Ringo that Phil Spector did a fine job producing "The Long And Winding Road." And it is one of your most beautiful compositions by any measure. Here's the album version.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I have read that although the Soviet government condemned "Back In The USSR" it became very popular with the Russian people, especially those of the Beatles generation. The Soviet government tried to prohibit the Beatles' influence, but like the influence of religion, this was impossible. Lennon could have said, "We are more popular than Lenin now."
More popular than Lenin indeed.
No one before had ever produced a double album (or at least, no one that anyone would remember) or had a plain white cover with the name slightly off center. So what you say?
The what is that the Beatles were not only innovative in large matters, but in small matters as well. If you still say so what, you must be a fanatic for...the Rolling Stones.
Friday, December 11, 2009
"She's A Rainbow" is the first song on the second side of the Stone's Their Satanic Majesties Request. Doesn't it sound like someone says, "The Beatles are stoned. Are you ready?"
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I have tried/My hopes have blossomed
And my hopes have fried
I tried to cut them all down
But I found hopes were still living deep inside
Like a team of renegade lovers
Working long hours sneaking around
With a belief in the life of our love
Like a light at the end of a long tunnel, a struggle
For all their faith in what they’ve seen in your face,
They really do believe that if
they hang on long enough
That you’ll come around
And finally let it show
And all their hopes will be rewarded
For their impetus to grow,
Well Utopian peace would fall across the land
You’ll reach over for my hand,
You’ll really want to hold my hand
And I don’t want to come to the point of this song
Because the point of this song
Would have to be so long
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
there's a lot of things i'm doing i never thought i would do
there's a lot of places in the world that i would never go to without you
but right now i need to stay home and i don't need your company
right now i need to alone and i need you to stay away from me
(come on brother)
and then in the white of the snow and the quite of nature
i will ask you to stay with me no matter the temperature
i hope you'll say: "yes" and won't try to escape
when the water gets cold and freezes on the lake
Monday, December 07, 2009
Well, they were lost in the mist
and they didn't have time
to see what I could see
and it hurt me.
And they were driving around with the stereo on,
and there was nothing on the air to relieve me.
We were sitting in the back,
and in the mirror I could see
that you were pointing your guns towards me.
And I knew from the start
that your heart was mine,
but you were too sick a person to marry me.
Sheer wonder, baby.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
- ► 2013 (193)
- ► 2012 (1234)
- ► 2011 (1028)
- ► 2010 (1000)
- Suicidal Tendencies - Institutionalized
- Songs of the decade (2000-2009)
- Mountain Goats--This Year
- Rilo Kiley - Go Ahead
- Rilo Kiley - Wires And Waves
- Albums of the Decade (2000-2009)
- Beatles LP Countdown - Wild Honey Pie
- Thao Nguyen--When We Swam
- Lisa Hannigan--Lille
- Antibiotics In Livestock May Kill You
- Moby--Pale Horses
- Fraternity Of Man - Don't Bogart That Joint
- Marijuana Legalization Is Coming
- The Decemberists--The Rake's Song
- Beatles LP Countdown - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
- Charlyne Yi--Farther Away
- Jenny Lewis - See Fernando
- Tofu - The Other White Meat
- Natalie Merchant--Jealousy
- First Aid Kit--Tiger Mountain Peasant Song
- Rilo Kiley--Xmas Cake
- Garfunkel and Oates--Present Face
- John Lennon - Happy Christmas (War Is Over If You ...
- Cover songs of the Decade (2000-2009)
- Beatles Christmas 1969
- Patrick Ball - Si Beag, Si Mor
- Meditation, Anyone?
- Political Songs of the Decade (2000-2009)
- Patrick Ball - Celtic Harp
- Cat Power--Lived in Bars
- Fields--If You Fail We All Fail
- Beatles LP Countdown - Glass Onion
- Marc Maron Defends America
- Tegan and Sara--Living Room (Acoustic)
- Susan Boyle - I Dreamed A Dream
- Decembrists--Crazy On You
- Bat for Lashes--Daniel
- Hector Diego's Top Ten 2000-2009
- Rilo Kiley--Portions for Foxes
- The Elected--Don't Get Your Hopes Up
- Beatles LP Countdown - Dear Prudence
- Levon Helm And Ringo Starr
- The Postmarks--My Lucky Charm
- Jenny Lewis - Rise Up With Fists
- Rilo Kiley - Breakin' Up
- Tori Amos--Silent All These Years
- Liz Phair - Everything To Me
- Tegan and Sara--Living Room
- The Postal Service--Against All Odds
- Love Is All You Need
- Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall
- Tori Amos--Sugar
- Red Hot Chili Peppers--I Could Have Lied
- Tegan and Sara--Dancing in the Dark
- The Long And Winding Road
- The Corrs - The Long And Winding Road
- Beatles LP Countdown - Back In The USSR
- Blakroc --Ain't Nothing Like You
- Rilo Kiley--It's A Hit, Portions For Foxes
- Rivers Cuomo--Butterfly
- Rolling Stones - She's A Rainbow
- Slow Club--When I Go
- New Portishead Track Available in Support of Inter...
- The Blow--Fists Up
- Neil Young - Sugar Mountain
- Beatles In The Year 3000
- Herman Dune--When the Water Gets Cold and Freezes ...
- Kimya Dawson--France
- John Lennon - Gimme Some Truth
- She and Him--Black Hole
- George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
- Rilo Kiley - Silver Lining
- Long Live Tim Tebow
- John Lennon Last Interview
- Lennon Last Interview
- Serena Ryder - Brand New Love
- John Lennon - Real Love
- Rilo Kiley - Emotional
- John Lennon - I Saw Her Standing There
- John Lennon - Well Well Well
- Seminole Goes Catatonic
- Marvin Gaye--National Anthem
- Flogging Molly--If I Ever Leave This World Alive
- Bring Back Zanac
- John Lennon - Mother
- John Lennon Official Website
- Violent Femmes--I Held Her in My Arms
- John Lennon - Real Love
- ▼ December 2009 (90)
- ► 2008 (1992)
- ► 2007 (2122)
Antique walrus print courtesy of FineRarePrints.Com