All Hallows Eve 2006

Lydia’s daycare is celebrating its “Fall Festival” today, no doubt in response to those who fear the infliction of religion; the Winter Festival’s in a couple months. History, origins, costume ideas and links, news, Christian perspective on Halloween “in response to email castigating for glorifying evil :-)”, and jokes such as:
Q. Why do demons and ghouls hang out together?
A. Because demons are a ghoul’s best friend!

Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter. – Carol Bishop Hipps (Stolen from a friend)

There must be 30 Ways To Eat a Pumpkin. Ah, a new Paul Simon song, no doubt. And speaking of which – Paul’s 65th birthday this month went unmentioned on this page.

So did Sting’s 55th birthday. Here’s a fun story about the FIRST time Sting met Edin Karamazov, the lute player from Sarajevo, 12 years ago at a circus. You fans of Studio 60 may recognize Karamazov from the episode featuring Sting (and Lauren Graham).

Facts for Halloween from the Census BOO-reau.


Picture above from NASA.

Enthroned In The Hearts Of Kings-Mixed CD

Here’s the thing about the disc I described yesterday. While I liked the songs, I didn’t like the flow terribly much. So I decided to scrap it and start over. But I needed a first song, and a feel. The feel became a bit of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.

QUALITY OF MERCY-Michelle Shocked. This is a song from the Dead Man Walking soundtrack. It’s the title song, as it were, for in the Billy Shakes play Merchant of Venice, Portia has an impressive speech, from which I took the title of this disc.
Johnny Cash connection: He also has a song on the soundtrack, In Your Mind.
WHO KILLED DAVEY MOORE? – Pete Seeger. From that 1963 live album I bought recently.
Bob Dylan connection: written by Bob.
DON’T TAKE YOUR GUNS TO TOWN- Charlie Robison. Love the feel.
Johnny Cash connection: from a JRC tribute album.
I HUNG MY HEAD – Sting. Great song.
Johnny Cash connection: covered by Johnny, and arguably done better.
FOLSOM PRISON BLUES-Keb’ Mo’. He changes a vital lyric! Still, I love the performance.
Johnny Cash connection: from a JRC tribute album.
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE-Beatles. “Rather see you dead, little girl.” Without looking it up, I seem to recall, John pretty much disavowing this song.
Bob Dylan connection: likely written after the Beatles and Dylan smoked dope together.
PRETTY POLLY – Judy Collins. Starts off softly, but packs a punch, featuring guitar by Steve Stills. Murder ballad. “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, indeed.
Bob Dylan connection: on the album Who Knows Where The Time Goes, which featurers this cut, Judy also sings Dylan’s Poor Immigrant.
DELIA’S GONE -Johnny Cash. From his first American Recordings album.
Johnny Cash connection: The very first song on that disc.
GOODBYE EARL – Dixie Chicks. Controversial because the protagonist gets away with murder. With a video that’s been heavily parodied.
Johnny Cash connection: their most recent album was produced by Rick Rubin, who produced Johnny’s American Recordings in the 1990s and beyond.
WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT – Nirvana – I knew this as a Leadbelly song.
Bob Dylan connection: performed by Bob in 1961 and in 1990.
‘TIL I DIE- Beach Boys. Someone once suggested that I ask my church choir to sing this. It’s too nihilist, and, as I suspected, about suicide. But it IS beautiful.
Bob Dylan connection: The Beach Boys and Dylan performed at the same festival in 2003. Both have a Top 5 album on the Rolling Stone: The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
SUICIDE ALLEY -Shawn Colvin. One DOES want a response to suicide, and this is it.
Bob Dylan connection: For Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Rosanne Cash and Shawn Colvin sang You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
DEATH IS NOT THE END- Nick Cave. Last song on the sometimes brutal “Murder Ballads” album.
Bob Dylan connection: written by Bob.

I think this album has a better flow to it, with men killing men, then men killing women, women killing men, and people threatening to kill themselves.

The problem I had was copying it, for I couldn’t get it not to do strange things during the playback at a certain point. Finally, I isolated the problem: the Nirvana track was somehow defective, although not audibly so, so the five-minute track kept going and going and going, messing up everything past it. I ended up buying the cut on iTunes (buying a song I already own, ironically, which SHOULD make up for something), and it seemed to work OK.

Please let me know if you’d like a copy.

John, Bobby, and John- Mixed CD

My CD for my Gordon mixed bag thing turned out to be a concept album, about the murders of icons of the 1960s.

I SHOT JOHN LENNON – Pretty direct tune by the Cranberries.
HERE TODAY- Macca’s response to the event.
ALL THOSE YEARS AGO – And George’s. I had it in my head that Ringo also had a response, but my Beatles expert wrote: “I don’t think there was one. George was going to give Ringo the song that turned into All Those Years Ago (new lyrics were written for it after the tragedy), and Ringo played on George’s version. Paul wrote Here Today for John, and Ringo wrote Never Without You for George on Ringo Rama.”
WHEN THE BEATLES HIT AMERICA – John Wesley Harding did a bit about the Beatles’ reunion of 1993.
THE LATE GREAT JOHNNY ACE – The transitional song. Ostensibly about the 1950’s singer, it namechecks JFK, and talks about John Lennon, ending with some Philip Glass moodiness.
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL (Full Phat Remix) – When I think about the Kennedy assassination, of course I think of this Rolling Stones song, not this version necessarily.
FAMILY SNAPSHOT – I’ve read that Peter Gabriel was inspired to write this song after the attempted assassination of George Wallace, but look at the lyrics.
GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT – Live Kinks, with almost cheerful reference to the JFK shooting.
CIVIL WAR – “And in my first memories, They shot Kennedy.” This Guns ‘N Roses fits into any civil war, including VietNam.
LEE HARVEY WAS A FRIEND OF MINE- Laura Cantrell’s character says, “They said he shot the President, but I don’t I don’t think he did.”
WHO SHOT MR. BURNS (Part 1) – The Simpsons end theme in the style of the JFK movie.
LONG TIME GONE- CPR is one of David Crosby’s groups, doing a song about Robert Kennedy, originally performed by one of his other groups.
WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS KNOW IS LOVE/ABRAHAM, MARTIN, AND JOHN- Read what it says in my Joel Whitburn Billboard book about this guy:
Born Thomas Clague on 8/20/29 in Binghamton, New York [my hometown!] Died of cancer on 11/22/95 (age 66). Was a DJ at KGBS in Los Angeles when he created this recording.” It debuted on the charts on 7/10/71, peaking at #8, and spent nine weeks on the chart. B-side: The Victors [spoken word]. Mowest 5002.
The Blackberries (vocal accompaniment); picture sleeve issued ‘compliments of KGBS radio’.

I tell all that to explain why this was the first song to be selected on the disc. When my family and I were visiting Fred Hembeck and his family this past summer, Fred and I started talking about this very song. We weren’t SURE we were talking about the same song; one of us remembered the Abraham part, while the other remembered the Love part, or maybe it was the kid section.

This is one of the weirdest damn songs ever to chart. You MUST check out the lyrics here. The first section, and the last, is an announcer, I assume Clay, talking to a kid, about bigotry, etc. There’s a little musical “sigh” at certain points, such as after Brinkley says, “Dallas, Texas.”

My sense, and it’s only that, is that Clay and his radio station, feeling awful about the death of Bobby Kennedy in their city of Los Angeles, plus the other turbulence of the time, were compelled to make a statement by taking the Dion hit of three years earlier and merged it with the tune written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, made famous by Dionne Warwick. The song, I’ve discovered, appears on Motown Salutes Bacharach, an import . (Mowest was a Motown subsidiary when the label moved to California.) I have it on 20 Hard-to-Find Motown Classics, Vol. 2, which itself is now hard to find.

If you would like a copy of the collection I put together, or just of this last song, please e-mail me.

Oh, and does anyone out there know if the Tom Clay who was an L.A. DJ in 1971 was also the Tom Clay who was a Detroit-area DJ in 1964 and put together this Beatles collectible?


Before I forget yet again, Paul McCartney: The Space Within UsĀ® on A&E
Saturday, October 28 @ 10pm/9C (TONIGHT!)
Sunday, October 29 @ 2am/1C (which is, in fact, 1 am EST, according to my DVR)
Saturday, November 04 @ 12pm/11C

Quote from Fred Hembeck: “Brief observation: I’ve never been much of a fan of Yoko Ono, but I can now state this unequivocally: Heather Mills McCartney–WORST BEATLES WIFE EVER!” Given that there have been eight Beatle wives, I’d put her as #8 as well.

Beatles Songs from Worst to First
If you have access to the Wall Street Journal of October 26, check out “This World Series Has Huge Following, 38 Years After Fact; ’68 Tigers-Cardinals Games To Get Fantasy Replay; Denny McLain Weighs In”, a front page article:

The Detroit Tigers this week made a crucial decision about the team’s player lineup… The team’s decision had nothing to do with the current World Series battle with the St. Louis Cardinals. Instead it harks back to the legendary 1968 World Series between the same teams. The lineup is for a reunion of sorts at a fantasy-baseball camp, where fans and former players will celebrate the 40th anniversary of that matchup. But for the event to succeed, the Tigers will have to sort out some complicated logistics, still-simmering personality clashes, and how to deal with the criminal record of its erstwhile superstar, Mr. McLain, who has served time in prison for extortion and embezzlement.

“We’ve decided that every living member of the ’68 team should be invited,” says Jerry Lewis, director of Detroit Tigers Fantasy Camp. He knows that will cause a stir.
The questions this week are straight-forward enough: Who would you choose for the major baseball awards? Probably my last baseball post this year. (But as the Mets are saying, “Wait until next year!”) Remember these are regular season awards, and the postseason doesn’t factor in.

They’ve already named the 2006 Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award, presented (naturally) by Viagra.

AL Most Valuable Player: If David Ortiz who led the league in homers and RBI hadn’t had some medical issues, the Red Sox would have at least contended for a wild card slot; he’ll get some consideration. I’m fond of the Twins’ Justin Morneau, although another Twins player, Joe Mauer, led the league in hitting. A catcher, no less. And Derek Jeter? Yes, he was second in batting average, and scored a bunch of runs, and plays a decent shortstop. I’m just not convinced that his “intangibles” should put him over the top.

NL Most Valuable Player: Who lead the major league in homers and RBI, batted over .300, and has a slugging percentage over .650? Ryan Howard. Who came in second in the league and third in the majors in homers and RBI, and had even a better slugging percentage? Albert Pujols. They should, and will finish 1-2.

AL Cy Young. Easily, Johan Santana, another Twins player – this will make my father-in-law happy. He lead the majors in ERA and strikeouts – an overvalued stat, the latter is, I think- and tied for the lead in wins with Chien-Ming Wang of the Yankees. No 20-game winners this season, which used to be a standard for excellence in pitching.

NL Cy Young. Six pitchers won 16 games. The one with the best ERA by far is Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a mediocre team. The only people with a better ERA both won 15 games: Roy Oswalt and Chris Carpenter of the NL-winning (BOO!) St. Louis Cardinals.

There are other awards, but I don’t know enough about any of them to comment, except that the Tigers’ Tom Verlander is likely to be the AL Rookie of the Year. But you can comment further with your vast knowledge.

Election of 2006

I have no expectations that things will be better from “Day One” on when Eliot Spitzer is elected governor, as his ads state. Note that I didn’t say if. It’s the damn polls.

Alan Hevesi had a walk in the park in his run for re-election as State Comptroller until the Driving Mrs. Hevesi scandal, which has led to Spitzer withdrawing his support. Suddenly, and I mean in the last three days, signs for Callaghan, the Republican opponent, have popped up everywhere, and Hevesi’s numbers are way down.

Here’s a paragraph I swiped from the October 12 Metroland about the Green Party candidate for Attorney General:
[Rachel] Treichler had petitioned weeks earlier to be included in the League of Women Voters’ proposed three attorney-general debates. In a letter, she argued her qualifications: ballot access, financial compliance with New York State Board of Elections, voter interest and serious media coverage. The league, in turn, commissioned a Zogby poll in which Treichler polled 17 percent of the vote among independent voters. It was decided that she was a viable candidate.
So, if you’re not a Democrat or Republican, you have to be proven debate-worthy, including showing up in the polls. It’s not enough to go through the machinations of getting on the ballot; if your candidacy isn’t already strong enough, you won’t be invited to the debates. The story continues:
At the last minute, however, Treichler learned that she wasn’t going to be included in any of the debates. [Democraticic candidate Andrew] Cuomo wasn’t interested, she says, in debating a third-party candidate, and his camp put the pressure on to not include her.

It’s polling that will allow me to vote for a third-party candidate against Hillary Clinton and whoever her Republican opponent is this year It was polling that allowed me to vote for Ralph Nader for President in 2000, knowing that Al Gore would still win the state In fact, I could easily vote for third-party candidates for every position; Spitzer is cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party. New York is one of those peculiar states that actually allows that sort of thing.

I certainly would not be in favor of a ban on polling, but it has WAY too much influence on voter activity, including voter apathy, when a candidate is so far behind and a citizen says, “Why bother?”
WTEN-TV clips for the races in the local Congressional District in the Albany area.
In the 21st, the Democratic incumbent is a lock for re-election.
In the 22nd, incumbent Republican Sweeney, who, BTW, was one of those folks who ran down to Florida to get Bush 43 selected President, is in a suddenly competitive race with Gillabrand, who Bill Clinton came to town to endorse this week.
In the 23rd, Republican incumbent McHugh’s position on Iraq on the link above is particularly entertaining.

President Bush on Iraq: It’s Never Been “Stay The Course”. Goodness, why did I think otherwise?

A ten minute version of the DVD “Bought and Sold– Electronic Voting in New York” is now posted on YouTube.
The EBay link for purchase of the full version of “Bought and Sold”

CNN: Should e-voting machines be outlawed?

FOX News (of all people) Exposes Princeton / Diebold Vote-Reversal Story

The Princeton report of computer virus susceptibility of the DieboldAccuVote machine .

RFK Jr on Hardball on November Elections

Want to Vote on Paper on November, 2006? because you don’t trust the machines?

The Lydster, Part 31: Useful

These are some of the 30 month retrospective pics I was going to use last month, but the Blogger was acting up.

You DO realize the real reason I write these, don’t you? Because, while they are fresh in my mind NOW, they’ll be a point when I’ll say to the wife, “Wife, when did Lydia…?” and she won’t know, either.

Lydia has become very helpful. She finds glasses, keys, shoes, TV remotes and other items. The fact that she may have misplaced some of these items is irrelevant.

She helps with the laundry. I brought a bunch of bottles to the return section of the supermarket, and without being asked, she hands me bottles to put in the machine; interestingly, she never gave me the can that was also in the bag, and which went in another machine.

She’s very quick to let me know I should be brushing my teeth in the bathroom, or that certain socks just don’t go with her outfit.

Apparently, day care centers all over the country teach kids how to put on their coats by lying them on the ground then flipping the coats over their heads. Or something like that. She’s also figured out the left shoe on the left foot thing, which saves time in the morning.

She’s very good at taking her liquid medicine all by herself, after we put it in the vial. Alas, she’s not so crazy about her nose spray.

Sure she washes her hands, but she’s also figured out which faucet is hot and which is cold in the bathroom, and to turn on the cold one first, lest she burn herself, at least most of the time.

Oh, there’s other stuff to brag about, I’m sure, but it’ll keep.

Next month, new pics for sure. (Yes, Claire, I’m still having them DEVELOPED.)

Lovin’ the child.
Happy birthday, Becky, my eldest niece.

My #1 Favorite Sports Moment

It occurs to me that the Mets’ Endy Chavez’s catch in the NLCS this month might have made the Top 10 list had the Mets beaten the Cardinals in Game 7. Alas, they did not. Fred must be still in mourning, because he hasn’t posted since then.

So, OK, my #1 favorite sports moment is probably obvious. It happened 20 years ago tomorrow. It was Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. But it wasn’t just the game, it was the atmosphere.

My high school friend Cecily was having her annual Halloween party in Binghamton, so I took the bus from Albany that Saturday morning. At the party, Cecily was dressed as Gary Carter, the Mets catcher, a fairly good likeness, actually. So while we were partying, it was with one eye on the game until about the 9th inning, when we just stood and waited in vain for a Mets victory. Then the Boston Red Sox went up in the top of the 10th, but the Mets tied and then won. Except for Ralph Branca and Bobby Thompson, few opponents are so paired in the mind of the sports affectionado than Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner. Seldom have I been in a room with so much jumping up and down with excitement.

The next day, I took a bus home. It was a dark and stormy night. The bus drivers had been on strike for some months – I thought it was Greyhound, though research suggests they weren’t striking at the time. In any case, they had replacement drivers. We got out of Binghamton OK, but then the driver got off on Exit 13 of I-88, rather than Exit 15, which involved tooling around Oneonta until a group of passengers, including myself, directed him to the station, and importantly, back to the highway. There was further confusion at the college at Cobleskill when the driver took us to places on campus we had never seen before.

One of the great disappointments was that I’d be missing Game 7 of the Series. But, wait – I discovered the next morning that I hadn’t. The rain that pounded the area from Binghamton to Albany also caused the game in Queens to be postponed until the next day, when the Mets took the title. Game 7 was televised opposite a Monday Night Football game between Washington… and the New York Giants at the Meadowlands. NBC received a national Nielsen rating of 38.9 for Game 7 versus an 8.8 for ABC’s football telecast.
Watched no football this weekend, though I’m thrilled the Giants beat the Cowboys. Still haven’t watched a single out of the World Series. I’ll probably catch part of Game 5 on Thursday after choir.
I’m missing the endorphin rush of playing racquetball 4 or 5 times a week. My wrist and my knee are healing VERY slowly, and it makes me cranky.
That sporting event participatory activity known as the Wave started 25 years ago this month. Maybe.

My favorite sports moments

A post nearly guaranteed to confound this fellow from across the pond.

Greg did his Top 10 Sports Moments last month. I thought to do the same. Of course, there are moments I loved at the time but have faded into memory, including many of the exciting NCAA men’s basketball finals.

I was flicking through the channels last month and came onto women’s volleyball. The game is to 30, win by two, and in the second game of the match Siena (a college near Albany) beat Binghamton (my hometown) 40-38. It was exciting, but the memory will fade.

The rules Greg laid out is that I have had to actually witness it, not seen it on ESPN Sportscenter later.

10. I know how Greg hates Brett Favre, but even he must admit that the game Favre played on December 22, 2003, right after his father died was magnificent.

9. Mark McGwire’s 62nd home run on September 8, 1998. Yeah, the steroid controversy taints this record. But I still think that the home run race between McGwire and Sammy Sosa that season energized the fans in the way they hadn’t been since the 1994 strike. In fact, this was Labor Day weekend, and I saw three Cardinals games in a row on FOX, who were looking to capture the historic moment. I loved all of it, Sosa running in from right field, McGwire’s graciousness to the family of Roger Maris.

8. Magic Johnson plays center during the NBA Finals. The rookie point guard replaces an injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the middle, scores 42 points, and creates a legend.

7. “Villanova beats Georgetown 66-64 to win the 1985 NCAA Basketball Championship … on April Fools’ Day.” It seems like most of the finals were thrilling games during that period. I was watching the game with mixed emotions. On one hand, I liked Georgetown coach John Thompson. On the other hand, ‘Nova was SUCH an underdog. This is on Greg’s list (item 3), so you can read his description.

6. I was never a big Reggie Jackson fan, but I was rooting for the Yankees against the Dodgers in the 1977 World Series. The Yankees had made it to the Series the year before, but were swept by the Big Red Machine. Before that, they hadn’t been in the World Series since 1964 and hadn’t won since 1962. When Reggie hit a homer in Game 6 on the first pitch, I nodded approvingly. When he hit a second home run, also on the first pitch, I was very happy. But when he hit a third home run, again on the first pitch, I involuntarily jumped out of my seat.

5. August 27, 1991, The U.S. Open. Like Andre Agassi this year, Jimmy Connors in 1991 was in the twilight of his career. I watched most of this match, including the very end. Described in a NY Times article entitled “TENNIS; Not Too Late for Connors” By ROBIN FINN:
“As the twilight melted into the witching hour and beyond, the crowd dwindled to 4,000 of the faithful, but those who stayed last night got to watch a resurgent legend outdistance another legend’s younger brother in the first round of the United States Open. On the buggy and humid stadium court, the legend played with the persistence of a gnat, a bionic gnat. Jimmy Connors, making his case for the eternal reprise and perpetual histrionics, swatted, stung, and swore his way past a quavery Patrick McEnroe, 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, to move into the second round of his 21st Open. The marathon took 4 hours 20 minutes and marked the seventh career comeback from a two-set deficit for Connors, who erased a 0-40 deficit and ended things at 1:35 this morning with a service winner on his third match point.”

4. Sarah Hughes winning Olympic gold in figure skating in 2002. Mostly, it was because I didn’t think she had a chance after finishing fourth in the short program. In the stupid ordinal scoring system they had until fairly recently, if any of the top three leaders (Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, and I think Sasha Cohen) won the free skate, they would have won the medal. But Hughes skated flawlessly, Michelle Kwan (my wife’s favorite skater) slipped to third, and the upset was complete.

3. The January 3, 1993 NFL playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers. I must admit that I didn’t see the first half; I was grocery shopping with my then-wife, who slipped on the black ice on the way home. We turned on the game in time for the second half kickoff, and almost turned off the TV when Buffalo’s Frank Reich threw the interception early in the third quarter to make it 35-3, Houston. But we’re talking about the only team in the NFL that actually plays in New York State, so I stuck with it and was richly rewarded with an unprecedented Bills win. Sometimes, when I’m watching a sporting event and am getting excited by the events, I stand up. I stood up a LOT in that game.

2. For a few years in the 1990s, Central Park in Schenectady, NY, was home to a recognized tennis tournament. In 1991, Michael Stich won Wimbledon singles championship. He then went to Schenectady, and won. The next year, Michael Stich returned to defend his title in Schenectady, but lost in the second round to a tournament wild card named Andrei Olhovskiy, in straight sets, no less. I was in the stands, and I was as shocked as anyone. This ranks so high because it’s the only one I saw in person.

I’m saving my #1 for tomorrow.

I should also make mention of Tiger Woods winning the 2006 British Open. I wasn’t even watching it, but 60 Minutes (or something) was supposed to be on, so I saw the ending. And he cried because his dad had died. For some reason, so did I.
A new study, Immigrants, Baseball and the Contributions of Foreign-Born Players to America’s Pastime from The National Foundation for American Policy.

Music I am listening to

Now that I’ve finally gotten out my larcenous CDs per Gordon’s exchange – apologies to all, but it was technology plus stubbornness, described next week when I describe what I did musically – I’ll note briefly that I enjoyed all the mixes I’ve received to one degree or another.

Gordon started with a song that, for whatever reason, didn’t grab me, but much of the rest was quite enjoyable, even though he stole my Clash song. For some reason I was particulatrly fond of how
Der Komissar by After the Fire worked with Cheap Trick’s Dream Police. And Slip Away was an inspired choice, which never would have occurred to me.

Curiously, I didn’t much like the first cut on the contribution by Lefty either, which surprised me, because it often means that I won’t like what follows, but this is not the case. Fiona Apple’s Criminal was on my briefly considered list for my own mix. I loved the flow from Condi, Condi (Steve Earle) to another song about her and her ilk, Sweet Neo Con (The Rolling Stones), to a Rolling Stones cover, Street Fighting Man (Rod Stewart). The Hey Joe/Down by the River pairing was going to be on my disc; I may STILL do a requested “murder ballads” disc for someone, and they most assuredly would be included. Heroes and Villains by the Beach Boys – an inspired choice for the finale. The only other song I didn’t enjoy was the RATM, which after the fifth or sixth curse in a row, I had to just hit fast forward. Oh, and Lydia described the White Stripes cut as noise; I wouldn’t csll it that.

Tosy puts together a much more theatrical mix, with mostly unfamiliar (to me) pieces. I must say, the second listen was better than the first, and the third better than the second. It requires a bit of active listening. I did like The Vampires/Mack the Knife/Strange Fruit grouping, which were the only familiar tunes besides Miss Otis Regrets and the songs from West Side Story. Worth another listen.

I didn’t find a list of Eddie’s songs for this exchange, but I should note the Chieftains/Mick Jagger version of Long Black Veil was on my list. I do find descriptions of the previous mix or two, but I do like them all, even though they’re all mostly a slice of Americana, as he’s described them. BTW, Eddie, both the Del McCoury Band and Emmylou Harris played here in October. Unfortunately, I saw neither, but I’ve provided reviews. Ms. Harris was sold out, and we couldn’t get a sitter to see your man Del.

Also got a disc from this guy, which I liked in parts – my daughter was dancing to some of it – but not yet from this guy, who’s going to Egypt soon.
The World Series started on Saturday, and seriously, I forgot. The Mets are gone, and the WS has receded in my mind.
The mother of Princess, Bud, Kitten and Mr. Spock died this week.
Things more difficult to do with a strained right wrist:
-Change a bottle of water
-Use a plunger to unclog the toilet
-Lift anything much heavier than a daily newspaper
-Pour milk or juice from a container larger than a half pint
-Turn a door lock
-Turn on the stove
-Ride a bicycle

W.W.C.T.G.Y.T.B.N.C.O.S.Y.A.O. vs. Copyright

I went to an interesting workshop on copyright last week. I was reminded that it was only a 5-4 decision that allowed one to timeshift television watching. This is a good thing, because timeshifted TV is about the only TV I watch, Game 7 of the NLCS notwithstanding.

The issue of music is more complicated, and I’m not going to get into the law, except to say that I have (probably) violated it recently, and yet I’m all right with that. Mostly.

When music CDs first came out, I had lots of LPs, in excess of 1000, so I was rather disinclined to replicate digitally what I already had in vinyl. So most of my early CD purchases were new product, with an occasional acquisition of a Greatest Hits package. Eventually, though, as I found myself not listening as much to the records, I would buy certain albums I already owned on LP as CDs: Purple Rain by Prince; Who’s Next by The Who, Graceland by Paul Simon; The Beatles’ oeuvre – I own the British LP box set; the Police CD box set, which covers all of their albums; early 1970s Stevie Wonder, just to name a few. Well, no more.

I am hereby declaring war on the W.W.C.T.G.Y.T.B.N.C.O.S.Y.A.O., which, as described by Mark Evanier is the World Wide Conspiracy To Get You To Buy New Copies Of Stuff You Already Own. Tom the Dog and others have also touched on this topic.

I know people go the library and burn music all of the time; I just reflect endlessly on it. Someone asked, in reference to my (near-obsessive) desire to get the new Dylan album, if I might get it at the library. Well, yeah, I could, but it would be wrong. For me.

Whereas I feel no such compunction about going to the library and buying digitized versions of music I already own. Call it rationalization if you want. I call it fighting back against the W.W.C.T.G.Y.T.B.N.C.O.S.Y.A.O.

So what did I copy this week? I didn’t really look for anything specific, just flipped through the racks until I found a half dozen discs, which is the maximum.
Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen (1982). My Bruce collection was neatly divided into the mid-’80s boxed set and before, which was vinyl, and the post-boxed set, which was all CD. Then I ended up getting Born in the USA on CD, even though I had it on LP. For Christmas one year, my (now late) brother-in-law John asked me what I wanted, and I put together a list of Bruce LPs I owned that I might want on CD (plus The River, which I had, strangely, never gotten). He gave me ALL of them: Asbury Park, Born in the USA, Darkness, and The River. I had forgotten to ask for Nebraska and The Wild, the Innocent… Well, now I have all but the latter.

Breakfast in America – Supertramp (1982). Scowl if you wish, but tell me: isn’t The Logical song still relevant?
Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical,
Liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won’t you sign up your name, wed like to feel you’re
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

Those two were morally easy, compared to the other two.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen – Joe Cocker. I found the two-disc, 35th anniversary edition of the classic 1970 album. I had forgotten the story how an exhausted Cocker wanted some rest but was contracted to do this extra tour, lest he never play in America again, how Leon Russell helped put together a bunch of musicians, and how everything was sweetness and light in the beginning between Cocker and Russell, only to sour over the time of the tour.
This special edition has songs that were not the original LP, including the singles versions. Did I pass on those songs? I did not. Not a purist, I reckon.

Aladdin Sane – David Bowie. Another double album, this one the 30th anniversary of the 1973 follow-up to Ziggy Stardust. The second disc has alternate and live versions. It would have been easy not to copy it, logistically. Alas, I succumbed to the ease of the electronic download.
Now, one of the things I STILL won’t have are the extensive liner notes, some 30 pages, including a Bowie timetable for 1972 and 1973. Bowie was an early hit on the coasts, but sold only 180 tickets out of 11,000 seats in St. Louis.
I’ll miss out on David’s musings on many things, including Detroit, where he is quoted as saying that he can’t believe there’s really such a raw city. He meant this in a GOOD way. Panic in Detroit is my favorite song on the album, BTW.
There was a record company ploy to make a star out of David by having him act the part, with expensive accoutrements; Bowie was ambivalent at best about the plan, which, arguably, worked.
The writer, noting that this tour was less elaborate than the later Diamond Dogs tour, reflected that middle America found that the “lead singer [Bowie] mock-felating his lead guitarist [Mick Ronson] was a little hard to swallow.”
A Lad Insane was one of the possible album titles.

Anyway, there are my blows against the empire.