Daily Archives: August 26, 2010

Thursday Night Music Byte

Lynnrockets recently watched the film Julie & Julia about a thirty year old New Yorker who decided to cook every dish in one of Julia Childs’ cookbooks and to blog about it. It was a novel idea so we decided to copy it. No, we will not be cooking in the usual sense (that could start a fire). Rather, we will adapt the recipe a day concept to our nightly music bytes. From now to infinity (didn’t somebody else coin that phrase?) we will post a music video and brief description of the artist or song in a sort of alphabetical order as culled from Tom Moon’s wonderful reference book, 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (A Listener’s Life List). The book describes both whole albums (remember those) and individual songs from all music genres that are essential listening. Do yourselves a favor and purchase this book. Where the book deals with an individual song, we will post that song, but when an entire album is the subject, we will exercise judicial discretion and post a single song therefrom. So what do you say, let’s get cooking…

G

Rory Gallagher          Irish Tour 1974

Those who think they’ve heard it all in the realm of the electric guitar are referred to the first two minutes of this album. Rory Gallagher comes onstage to roaring applause – he was already a star in his native Ireland, and one of the few brave souls willing to tour the country during the bitter civil strife of the 1970’s. He tunes his instrument quickly, sends out a few test signals, and then jumps into his original “Cradle Rock”. What follows is solo guitar machismo – ninety seconds of crow-bar like single note attacks and flamboyant lunging pitch-blends followed by a Delta blues taunt that lets the band know it’s time to go to work.

Even if you are immune to daredevil rock guitar tricks, this is jaw-dropping stuff. Gallagher (1948-1995) was one of the few virtuosos who kept his considerable technical mastery in his back pocket, for emergency use only. When he lets loose, it’s a real eruption, not stagecraft. On “Cradle Rock” , “As The Crow Flies”,  and other songs on Irish Tour 1974 – this uniformly thrilling collection drawn from concerts in Belfast, Dublin and elsewhere – Gallagher’s rhythm guitar has a strutting Aerosmith quality. Just when that seems to be his stock in trade, he’ll turn around and drop a stupendous melody line that sounds like it was beamed from rock and roll heaven. And then he’ll deliver another one until these phrases gather into an epic fable.

Gallagher built several originals on the blues, and was equally comfortable reaching back to a standard or two – this set features a steamrolling cover of Muddy Water’s “I Wonder Who” and a sorrowful reading of J.B. Hutto’s “Too Much Alcohol”. Where other rockers seize the blues as a chance to show off, Gallagher positively sings on the guitar, to the point where you wonder whether his fingers are even on the strings.

After Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix was asked what it felt like to be the greatest guitarist in the world and he answered, “I don’t know. Go ask Rory Gallagher”. “Nuff said.

“Cradle Rock”

“Walk On Hot Coals”

Tea Party Is Nothing More Than G.O.P. Fringe

We came across an insightful column in yesterday’s Boston Globe which analyzes the true makeup and possible impact of the Tea Party. Lynnrockets’ Blast-Off could say it no better, so here is that column. After reading it, please review Scott Lehigh’s other well written work by visiting The Boston Globe.

“AT TIMES, the Tea Party movement has seemed less an authentic expression of grass-roots outrage than a counterfeit crop seeded by well-connected conservatives and nurtured in the hospitable hothouse that is Fox News. And yet the movement, which doesn’t have particularly deep roots in New England, has turned out some impressive crowds, including a sizable gathering on Boston Common in mid-April.

Will the Tea Party will be a lasting force in mainstream American politics? Or, like most American protest movements, is it destined to fade away after an election cycle or two? That question has been difficult to answer, in part because it’s hard to bring the movement into sharp focus.

If you’ve looked for a unified field theory that explains it all, you’ve no doubt been frustrated. As New York Times reporter Kate Zernike writes in “Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America,’’ her new book about the movement, the phenomenon doesn’t lend itself to one simple explanation. Instead, the movement is the complex sum of many different parts and motivations.

Zernike (full disclosure: she’s a former colleague and a friend) persuades me that it shouldn’t be written off as just a synthetic creation, despite the energetic involvement of FreedomWorks, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s corporate-cozy conservative nonprofit, which includes Astroturfing tricks among its organizing tactics.

In part that’s because of the everyday American faces “Boiling Mad’’ puts on some of the Tea Party activists. For example, there’s Tom Grimes, a jovial 65-year-old laid-off stockbroker who adopts the satirical title of “bus czar’’ as he arranges transportation for Tea Party protests. And Diana Reimer, a gregarious 66-year-old who got involved as a way “to get your frustrations out’’ after her husband, a former Navy man, lost his job and she had to take a low-wage post at Macy’s.

Zernike’s reporting gives you a good sense of the camaraderie the Tea Partiers enjoy, as well as the anger, fear, and frustration they feel. I found myself impressed by their energy, commitment, and passion.

And yet, “Boiling Mad’’ also reinforced something I’ve experienced in my own exchanges with Tea Party types. Their views often betray a gut-level emotional element or a lack of policy knowledge or inconsistencies or contradictions that would hinder any easy or long-term translation into a governing philosophy. (Unity, as any political tactician can tell you, is far easier in opposition than in support of something.)

Grimes, for example, rebuts the pro-Obama arguments of friends this way: “The problem is, you guys are trying to sell this on facts. You can have all the facts, but if you don’t trust the mind-set or the value system of the people involved, you can’t even look at the facts anymore.’’

Reimer, meanwhile, wants smaller government, but not cuts to Medicare or TRICARE (the military health care program), on which she and her husband rely.

There, she’s hardly alone. Despite their anti-government bent, half of those who considered themselves Tea Party supporters either benefit from programs like Social Security or Medicare or have someone in their immediate family who does, according to New York Times polling.

Further, one can’t help but be struck by the solipsism that marks the movement. Eighty-four percent of Tea Party supporters think their views reflect those of most Americans, according to that same polling. (Perhaps they’ve watched too much of Glenn Beck’s coverage of their events.) That’s just silly. Among a larger sample of US adults, only 25 percent thought Tea Party sentiments typified the majority’s thinking, while only 18 percent actually called themselves Tea Party supporters.

In sum, Zernike’s book leaves me more confident in the idea that the real effect of the Tea Party won’t be in the middle of American politics. Rather, it will be within the Republican ranks, where the newly minted activists are engaged in a power struggle with the establishment.

It’s a struggle that may well drag the GOP even further out of the mainstream. If so, some who celebrated the protests as the start of an anti-Obama backlash may find the movement has boomeranged on them in ways they never imagined.”

Please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with today’s topical song parody.

Garden Party song link:  http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x89fev_ricky-nelson-garden-party_music

TEA BAG PARTY

(sung to the Ricky Nelson song “Garden Party”)

I went to a Tea Bag party hoping to make some brand new friends
But they became my enemies, those right wing racist men
When I got to the Tea Bag party, they all looked the same
That really surprised me, and no one had a brain

But its all right now, I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

Crazies there from miles around, mostly with white hair
Locals brought their shotguns, there was hatred in the air
‘n’ over in the corner, not to my surprise
Sarah Palin sportin’ F-me pumps while just winking her eyes

But its all right now, I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so they can go to hell

Lot-in-dah-dah-dah, lot-in-dah-dah-dah

Told them they were so wrong, Glenn Beck is insane
Drill Baby, Drill’s stupid,  and Palin is to blame
I said Rand Paul is crazy too, best not drink his tea
Then I told them things about Michele Bachmann they would not believe

But its all right now, I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so they can go to hell

Lot-dah-dah-dah (lot-dah-dah-dah)
Lot-in-dah-dah-dah

Someone opened up a closet door and donned a white pointy hood
Punching his railroad ticket to Hell and just the way he should
If you’re goin’ to a Tea Bag party, I wish you a lotta luck
Bring a misspelled sign, use racist slang and drive a pick-up truck

But its all right now, I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

Lot-dah-dah-dah (lot-dah-dah-dah)
Lot-in-dah-dah-dah

But its all right now, I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself