Sunday, July 23, 2017

Riz Ahmed Is One Of The Best Rappers AND Best Actors Around... Trailer For His New Film "UNA"

Playlist July 2017

Odetta My Eyes Have Seen/The Tin Angel/At The Gate Of Horn (2 CD)

Lead Belly American Epic

The Carter Family American Epic

Laura Nyro More Than A New Discovery and Eli And The Thirteenth Confession

Fairport Convention Heyday: The BBC Radio Sessions 1968-69 

Father John Misty Pure Comedy

Bonnie "Prince" Billy Best Troubador

Barbara Dane & The Chambers Brothers Barbara Dane & The Chambers Brothers

Henry Thomas Texas Worried Blues: Complete Recorded Works (1927 - 1929)


Odetta is awesome. I was lucky enough to see one of her last shows. Her music is eternal. This is a nice little collection.

The American Epic documentary on Early American Music on PBS is great. Check it out here... There is also a book and some CD's. The selections of Carter Family and Lead Belly classics are fantastic.

Listening to the first two Laura Nyro albums. No particular reason. I've liked her for a while and I guess it's time for a deep dive into her catalog.

Heyday is a gem - Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, and Iain Matthews of British folk rockers Fairport Convention record several cool covers for John Peel back in the day, including ones by Gene Clark and Richard FariƱa. Great!

Bonnie "Prince" Billy's tribute to the late Merle Haggard is very good, even if you don't know Haggard's material.

Barbara Dane, currently celebrating her 90th birthday with a series of concerts, is one of our finest singers and really shines here with The Chambers Brothers in this 1966 classic.

Henry Thomas: His music will make you happy. Wikipedia explains it so much better than I can... Henry Thomas (1874-19??) was an African-American (pre-World War II) country blues singer. His legacy has been sustained by four songs. "Fishin' Blues" was covered by Taj Mahal and The Lovin' Spoonful. "Bull Doze Blues" was recorded by Canned Heat with new lyrics, retitled "Goin' Up The Country" feat in the Woodstock movie/soundtrack and countless TV commercials. "Don't Ease Me In" (AKA "Don't Leave Me Here") was covered by the Grateful Dead on their album Go to Heaven; and "Honey Won't You Allow Me One More Chance" was covered by Bob Dylan (as "Honey Just Allow Me One More Chance") on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Thomas was born in Big Sandy, Texas. He began his musical career as an itinerant songster (minstrel), and recorded twenty-three sides for Vocalion Records between 1927 and 1929. Thomas accompanied himself on guitar and on quills, a folk instrument fabricated from cane reeds. The instrument is similar in sound to the zampona, used by musicians in Peru and Bolivia. His springy guitar-playing, probably inspired by banjo-picking styles, implies that he was used to performing for dances. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Jared Kushner & The Observer's Cheap Shot At Roger Waters

Photos and videos from Roger Water's current U.S. tour, where he brutally attacks the Trump administration.

Jared Kushner, you may have heard of him, publishes the newspaper/website The Observer, formerly The New York Observer. Yesterday they published a hit piece by Paul Miller.

You can read "The Observer" article here...

It's an unfair and biased piece. Mostly it's about an equally unfair and biased documentary by Ian Hailperin. The documentary attacks Roger Waters' activism on behalf of Palestinians and against the Israeli government, military, and fanatic settlers, who deny Palestinian rights in the present day, as well as blocking a long-term, two-state solution, which would bring peace and justice to both Palestinians and Israelis. 

Roger Waters, both with Pink Floyd and as a solo artist, has never backed off political and social commentary. In recent times, he's become one of the most prominent spokespeople for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement which seeks to change Israeli policy by pressuring Western artists like Radiohead to boycott concerts in Israel, the same way artists and athletes boycotted South Africa to isolate it and pressure it to change.

According to Hailperin, "To me, an attack on Israel is an attack against the Jewish people.” That's obviously wrong. One can easily criticize the Israeli government while loving the Israeli people and Jewish people in general, just as one can (and should) criticize the American and Russian governments, while still loving the American and Russian people.

It's understandable that Jewish people would have sentimental feelings about Israel. (Both Hailperin and Kushner are Jewish.) The Jewish people have been victims of many of the most horrible crimes ever committed and we all need to "never forget" those crimes. However, that does not mean that individual Jewish people are eternally immune from criticism, much less Jewish institutions like the Israeli government, military, and settler movement.

It is embarrassing and dishonest to immediately accuse any critic of Israel of being hateful and anti-Jewish. Many people have multiple loyalties in their lives and might have strong feelings about being Irish, being Gay, being a Democrat, but I think many people who have various loyalties are capable of being critical of the group or cause they identify with. Many Jews and Israelis support the peace process and a two-state solution. Other Jews and Israelis however, seem incapable of being critical of Israel and also cannot tolerate the criticism of others, immediately accusing Israeli critics of being bigots and practically of retroactively supporting the Holocaust.

Roger Waters not only has the right to criticize Israel, he is RIGHT to criticize Israel. The comparisons to Jim Crow and apartheid are valid. Artists should be encouraged to take stands, not punished for doing so.

Jared Kushner should stand trial for the crimes he committed against our country with Russia to benefit the Kushner and Trump family businesses. For him to launch such attacks at this time is just trying to divert attention from his and his family's crimes.

As for Roger Waters, is Kushner really upset about Israel?

Or is Jared just upset that Roger Waters has also taken on the Trump Crime Family on his current, successful U.S. tour?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cool New Video: Neil Young + Promise of the Real "Children of Destiny"

Playlist: Grateful Dead For The 21st Century - Long Strange Trip

Nice to hear Dead & Co. playing live from Chicago last night online.

I'm still not 100% on board for John Mayer (couldn't they get Warren Haynes or someone like that? Seems a closer fit...), but it sounded good.

I watched the new Amazon-produced four-hour Dead documentary Long Strange Trip and it's quite good (I watched in a three sessions - 4 hours straight seems a bit much). I had read the surviving members were nonplussed that there wasn't much in the film post-Jerry, and thought some changes would be made, but the story ends abruptly with Jerry's death. Even though I am not a super-fan, I enjoyed the film, as it provided lots of context for the 60's and San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, that gave birth to The Dead and so much more. I liked the frequent mentions and shots of The Beats, On The Road, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, and Neal Cassady... but thought it was unusual that there weren't more shout-outs to inspirations like Reverend Gary Davis, whose Samson and Delilah ("If I Had My Way, I Would Tear This Building Down!...") was a Dead concert staple, and whose Death Don't Have No Mercy is featured prominently in the film and the accompanying soundtrack. Bob Weir even took private lessons with the Rev. Plus there's a great new book out about The Rev called Say No To The Devil.

So, a playlist for this moment:

Long Strange Trip - 2 CD soundtrack + Bonus CD (2017)

Garcia Plays Dylan - 2 CD - Dylan seemed to bring out the best in The Dead, and in Jerry in particular. This collection proves Jerry Garcia to be one of the premier Dylan interpreters of all them.

Dylan & The Dead - from the 1987 Dylan/Dead tour

Day Of The Dead - 2016 Dead tribute by The National, Stephen Malkmus, Bonnie Prince Billy, Kurt Vile, Wilco, Jim James, etc.