Music

Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Monte Montgomery Plays Little Wing

I do love this Jimi Hendrix song…

I think that guy has taken lessons.

Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Bonny Portmore

Loreena McKennitt sings “Bonny Portmore” at a Borders book store. (The song is about the destruction of Irish forests by English ship builders.)

Must be nice to have talent.

Music

Comments (1)

Permalink

Hold Your Head Up

This song from 1972 was going through my head today, for no apparent reason. Could this song be responsible for the famously unshakeable self-confidence of baby boomers like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? If so, should Rod Argent and the band hang their heads in shame?

Nah. Bush and Cheney didn’t need encouragement. Most of the rest of us do.

Hold your head high.

Music

Comments (2)

Permalink

Play, Magic Fingers

Jason Arimoto plays Bob Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate” on the ukulele, accompanying himself on rhythm guitar:

Don’t you think this video would be better with some wild costumes, lots of fast cutting and flashing lights, and maybe some flames and dancing girls and explosions and stuff in the background?

Yeah, me neither.

Music
Politics

Comments (0)

Permalink

I Think It’s When Somebody’s Sick

DJ Tom Clay created this audio mashup back in 1971. I hadn’t heard it for a long time, but I remembered it instantly.

Airy Persiflage
Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Because It Is Hard

There’s more than one Michael Collins.

There’s even more than one famous Michael Collins.

So, when I saw a song titled “For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me” on Jethro Tull’s Benefit album, I never seriously imagined the song was about the astronaut Michael Collins, who orbited the Moon in the Apollo 11 command module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin flew the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) down to the surface and walked on the Sea of Tranquility.

I played the record a number of times without ever paying much attention to that song. But I had it playing softly one night as I fell asleep, and in a lucid moment between sleep and waking, I heard this:

I’m with you, LEM,
Though it’s a shame
That it had to be you.

The mother ship
Is just a blip
On your trip made for two.

I’m with you, boys,
So please employ
Just a little extra care.

It’s on my mind,
I’m left behind
When I should have been there
Walking with you.

That was how I felt about the entire Apollo program: I wanted to be there. I wanted to experience zero gravity in orbit, and on the way to the moon. I wanted to glide in lunar one-sixth gravity over the rocks and craters of an alien world. I wanted to see the far side of the moon with my own eyes, and see the earth — the entire earth — as a blue marble floating in black space.

I think I missed the point. I think almost everyone misses the point.

One-sixth gravity is fun. Lunar rocks answered persistent questions about the origin of the earth and the entire solar system. The miniature on-board computers were technological breaththroughs. The earth, seen whole from a quarter million miles away, is poetry.

But I think the most important thing about Apollo was not the fun, the science, the technology, or even the mind-altering change of perspective it made possible. All those things are by-products.

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade,” said John F. Kennedy, and to confront other difficult challenges, “not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

Should we return to the Moon now? Should we set a goal of landing a man on Mars? I don’t know. How hard are they?

Is it possible to find a challenge here on earth that will demand the best we have to give? Can we find a challenge that we are willing to accept, unwilling to postpone, and which we truly intend to win? Can we do anything with the realization that this planet, our home, is a small jewel in a vast emptiness?

Happy Moon Day.

Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

That’s Dancing!

Via BoingBoing, a different kind of dance recital:

Funnies
Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Powerhouse

Via Cartoon Brew: If you’re a fan of Warner Bros. cartoons from the 40s, this musical number may sound familiar to you. It’s called Powerhouse, and it was written by Raymond Scott, and often borrowed by cartoon composer Carl Stalling.

If you’re as old as I am, you may even remember harmonica bands. Unless your memory is going.

Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Little Strings

If you’ve thought about learning to play the ukulele, but decided it just wasn’t cool enough for you, watch Jason Arimoto play Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing:

Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Happy Birthday, Kate Bush

Good heavens! Kate Bush turns 50!

Happy birthday, Kate!

Music
Politics

Comments (0)

Permalink

That Ain’t Oil, That’s Blood

A lot of Bruce Springsteen songs are about a kind of urban angst that I’ve never had to live with. I don’t fully understand this song, Lost in the Flood. But when I saw this 1975 concert on video, there were two lines that jumped out at me:

And I said, “Hey, gunner man, that’s quicksand, that’s quicksand, that ain’t mud.”

And later:

And he said, “Hey kid, you think that’s oil? Man, that ain’t oil, that’s blood.”

Somehow, those two lines, sung more than thirty years ago, seem to be about our present situation in Iraq.

Music
Politics

Comments (0)

Permalink

Seeger’s Banjo

I just saw a PBS American Masters program about Pete Seeger. I learned that Pete has this written around the face of his banjo:

This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.

Pete Seeger's Banjo

Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Hard Times Come Again No More

Stephen Foster wrote this song in 1854. This version is sung by Nanci Griffith.

Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.

There’s a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o’er:
Though her voice would be merry, ’tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.

Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Candles in the Rain

Melanie Safka and the Edwin Hawkins Singers:

Movies
Music

Comments (1)

Permalink

A Dream

On a DVD, playing on a big screen, with surround sound, this scene from Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams is just breathtaking. I don’t know how effectively it will come across in a YouTube video — it’s certainly no substitute for seeing the movie properly — but I hope you’ll be able to see why I think this is worth sharing.

In fact, it’s good to be alive. It’s exciting.