If you ain't ever been there, let Bobby Womack take you Across 110th Street.
Americana and Psychedelic Pill: Not bad for someone who didn't graduate from the Disney School of Pop Music.
Neil Young celebrates a birthday today and is still on the road kicking ass and taking names.
Unique is an overused word, however, Iris DeMent is a unique singer and songwriter. Her music is deep down country and folk music. She hasn't been in the recording studio in a long time and her new release is Singing The Delta.
Here is a link to a radio interview catching up with her life and music.
I’ll Follow the Sun
Two of Us
I’m Only Sleeping
Here,There and Everywhere
And Your Bird Can Sing
For No One
In My Life
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
I grabbed a handful of Beatles songs and made a short Playlist on my iPod, put headphones on, closed my eyes and listened.
The Beatles are ubiquitous on our radios. Even if you are not actively listening to music, chances are you will hear a Beatles song at some point throughout your day.
So I decided to really give these 8 songs my attention. I was surprised by how short most of them where. Paul has a great pop voice, but his songs are mostly silly love songs, were then and are now.
John had a great rock voice. I found the songs John was the lead singer on where more mature and he was thinking and telling me a story, not just about a girl, but about something that had happened to him, at that time and in that place and he was trying to communicate that through song.
Here is Stan Getz and John Coltrane with Oscar Peterson, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb from 1960.
America's unofficial Ambasssador to Anglo-Saxony. Willard Massengill Romney.
We need keep singing this song in the time of Romney.
Happy 4th of July, 2012... Man, rock & roll, just like America, is getting a little old, ennit? Here is a little 21st century Americana for you.
Bob Welch was a pretty awesome guitar player for Fleetwood Mac in the early 1970s. He left the band in 1974.
Some of his best work can be found on the albums, Mystery To Me, Heroes Are Hard To Find, Bare Trees and Future Games.
Here is Bob Welch performing Ebony Eyes, with some rock-chick.
They might look like a rival biker gang to the Sons of Anarchy, but they are single-handedly keeping rock and roll alive in America.
Earl Scruggs shows the youngins how it gets done.
A little folk music for this Sunday morning. Sandy Denny performing 3.10 To Yuma.
This is sad. The Monkees' music was happy music.
Sad, but the whole thing is a true American story, especially the parts we haven't heard about, yet.
Stan Kenton and His Orchestra circa 1972 - Artistry In Rhythm.
A live video of Linda Ronstadt performing I Keep It Hid. (shot from the audience.)
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
-- Henry Adams
men·tor: [men-tawr, -ter], noun
1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
2.an influential senior sponsor or supporter.
A friend of mine died this past week. She was 91 years old. She was a teacher, a filmmaker, a chemist and pharmacist, a dancer, a communist and atheist, a lousy cook and one hell of a person. They don’t make them like that in New York City anymore.
I met Eleanor Hamerow when I attended NYU’s Graduate Film Program back in the 1980s. She was my teacher and we were terrified of her gruff New York accent and attitude which was only a veneer for a caring and intelligent woman.
The heyday of the NYU Program was slipping fast, mostly due to the enormous popularity of film schools across the country. NYU was becoming a money-making corporate entity and some of the old timers like Ellie seemed to be in the way of a new image the school wanted to portray. Her last years at the school were a constant political battle for students and the art of film.
She hung in there as long as she could showing Orson Welles and John Ford movies and La Belle et la Bête and teaching film editing. She was a film editor and documentary filmmaker of some renowned.
(CBS News (She was fired for including President Eisenhower's "beware the military, industrial complex" speech in their televised documentary of his life.), Martha Graham: An American Original in Performance, A Dancer’s World, An American Family...)
Film Editing was her second profession after her early years as a chemist. Teaching was her Third Act.
She got a small auditorium named after her at NYU...but when she finally retired, the soul went out of the school along with all the increasingly antiquated film equipment, like hand-cranked sound synchronizers, moviolas and film splicing blocks...and the old projectors that chewed up old French new wave or Italian neo-realist film prints...
After I finished school, Ellie gave me a job working for her to help me pay off my student loans and I was able to work on her last documentary...appropriately about a teacher.
Somehow...and it is probably worth a novel in itself, I travelled to Moscow with her in 1989 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the VGIK Film School started by Eisenstein in 1919. One brief story I’ll share is we went in search of the Moscow Arts Theater...home of ‘The Method’ and Stanislavsky...the mythical directing and acting philosophy that breathed life into Marlon Brando, James Dean, Lazlo Benedict, and Elia Kazan...and the NYU Gradate Film Program under Ellie Hamerow.
We found the old theater in the early afternoon and walked into the empty lobby. The doors were open, but the place seemed deserted. A man in a dark suit handed Ellie a rose and escorted us into the theater...on the stage was a casket with a large photo next to it of one of the actors from the theater troupe. They assumed Ellie had come to pay respects...she looked born and bred...her boots, her head popping out the top of a heavily-scarfed, long black coat...all 5' 1" of her...so we joined the line of mourners.
We had a young interpreter from the school with us and he found the administrator of the theater and told him that Martin Scorsese (me) and a famous American film producer (Ellie) were here. So he came to see us and though we didn’t fool him, we scored some tickets to the theater the next night, and Ihe gave me a poster for the 100th anniversary of The Seagull.
The next night, we got to see a play that was banned since the 1930s by Stalin himself. Ellie was in heaven. There we were sitting in the front row at the Moscow Arts Theater watching a play in Russian. Our translator was there, kind of filling us in on what was being said and of course there was Ellie's running commentary as though the performance was taking place back at NYU in one of her classes...
Again, a story for another time...but Ellie had written a speech for the VGIK Film School celebration in which she was going to scold the Russians for Stalin and ruining the promise of communism...
After Ellie retired and the years started piling up, some of her contemporary friends began to get ill or even pass away. I would get a phone call from her telling me that Mimi or Ruby couldn't make the performance tonight at Lincoln Center and would I like to go...I saw my first Shostakovich with her and my first Tudor ballet...and my first opera...(a four-hour Semiramede where I didn’t realize that Marilyn Horne was supposed to be playing a man).
She introduced me to the Manhattan cocktail...she couldn't drink anymore, but she wanted me to order one so it sat on the table through dinner so she could smell it...she ordered it the way she liked it: gin, dry vermouth, a dask of bitters and a twist lemon peel.
She was a teacher, but also, always a scholar. Into her eighties she was taking classes at Columbia University. In her late seventies she decided she needed to read the Bible and took a class. I would get a call from her. “What do you know about The First Nicene Council?” or “Have you read Aquinas? Let’s have a nosh and talk about it.” So I would wrap up in a scarf and coat and gloves and take a cab from my East 55th Street apartment to her West 89th Street penthouse and we’d get coffee and something to eat and discuss religion and inevitably movies.
I moved to Los Angeles over twelve years ago and only corresponded with Ellie at first by phone and letters and then dwindling to a few emails and a long Holiday card.
I wasn’t there for the dementia or the need to put her in a home, or for the end where I am told she simply refused food and shortly after, died.
To live such a life and to take it to age 91...Not bad Ellie, not bad at all. You are remembered and cherished...tonight over a Manhattan, Ellie-style.
Tom & Jerry join in the Lisztomania
Symphonic Poem - Tasso (Part One)
Symphonic Poem Tasso (Part Two)
Ken Russel's Lisztomania
This just about sums it all up. I am no longer a McCabe's Guitar Shop virgin. I went to see The Shelby Lynne and she was most impressive. Man, does this woman have her fists up, ready to fight.
Composed by Gareth Farr.
Well my daddy come on the Ohio works
When he come home from World War Two
Now the yard's just scrap and rubble
He said "Them big boys did what Hitler couldn't do."
Here is Barbara Lynn singing and playing the blues guitar, You'll Lose A Good Thing.
Yes... Rosemary Butler! The 1970's most valuable background vocalist performing her favorite songs. Here she is covering Jackson Browne's Rock Me On The Water. The venues have gotten smaller, the audience is easily distracted and the stage is cramped, but that girl can sing...
Damn. This woman was born to rock.
First-World Problems Rap
From the album, Harlem River Blues, Justin Townes Earle performs the title track.
The Big Man, Clarence Clemons, the saxaphone player form Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band has died. His horn was a big part of my youthful rock & roll listening. I saw him countless of times in concert and his sax was the mournful, rocking, burning soul of Springsteen greatest songs.
Here is a nice little gem from the mid-70's. The song Why comes from the pre-Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham Fleetwood Mac album Mystery To Me.
This concert footage is from 1975, so the new line-up is just getting started on their incredible roller coaster ride through the second half of the decade. Rumours and Tusk are still off in the future.
If you are a 1970's version of Fleetwood Mac fan, this track offers a great crossover with the Christine, Stevie and Lindsey signature harmonies taking over at the end of the song. Good stuff.
I remember seeing Linda Ronstadt a few times and he was such a large part of her show.
Here is a Linda Ronstadt performance of When Will I Be Loved from the Midnight Special that features Andrew Gold.
Damn! This concert takes place in 1966!! The Beatles were giving us Rubber Soul and Revolver and The Rolling Stones released Aftermath... but Little Richard had chicken in the barn.
"Credit Suisse Group AG (CS), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) each borrowed at least $30 billion in 2008 from a Federal Reserve emergency lending program whose details weren’t revealed to shareholders, members of Congress or the public."
This is awesome… The United States Congress didn’t know about these loans nor did the governments of the country where these banks are located…
So who controls the Fed? Where does the Fed’s money come from?
This is America; we don’t get to ask those questions.
But what we do get is a Democratic President that signs an extension on the Patriot Act from Europe… yes the Patriot Act, one of the those hopey, changey things the folks who voted for President Obama thought he was going to help us out of… like Banking De-regulation and Health Care Costs and ending the wars in the Middle East with his all powerful Nobel Peace Prize... the list is growing...
Oh well, what does he care, look what is running against him in 2012, the GOP is mounting the field with a pack of morally degenerate, financially spoiled, politically disingenuous , morally corruptible and intellectually devoid candidates.
What would John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin make of these mopes?
Speaking of morally degenerates, Pope Benedict the XOXO’s First Officer of The Pedophilia Inquisition… (I have to go for the link to this one.)
"Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues," he allegedly said. Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, had been working with Benedict to establish a tough new worldwide policy, released this week, on how bishops should handle accusations of priestly sex abuse."
Like shooting fish in a barrel… or like putting the fox in charge of the hen house… or like putting Barack Obama in charge of re-regulating Wall Street…
Oh, sorry, I’m not done with Barry O, yet… now on to Israel and the Second coming speech he made over there... this ‘1967 borders’ speech did not go over so well with our allies in Israel... Welfare Queen Bibi Netanyahu is not interested in anything America is selling right now... don’t get him wrong, America’s global socialism is always appreciated, but don’t try to dictate to dictators and keep your nose out of Jerusalem.
It seems to me Obama’s Israeli/Palestinian peace initiatives may be coming from Secretary of State Clinton and Obama is simply relaying the message. There is no love lost between a Clinton and a Netanyahu… what a mess. A lot of unfinished business there.
Madam Secretary Clinton is also over in Pakistan trying to sweep up some of the collateral damage done by her boss’ decisive move to kill Osama bin Laden, with no help from the previous President who cannot and will not speak ill of the dead…
If only Clinton had a stronger President, the work she is doing could be so much more focused on actively changing things for the better instead of trying to keep them from spinning out of control.
President Obama’s failure, and the single thing that will keep him from achieving anything except keeping the Oval Office chair warm for the next Republican President, was not taking control of the Financial Industry reform when they broke the world and were on their knees.
That was the moment... the once in a generation moment when Progressive politics could set the rules… it doesn’t last and the chance doesn’t come often, but our laissez-faire economy does have its cycle… the Great Depression brought on the New Deal, which enabled America to become the greatest nation on earth for a while, ending the Depression and fighting World War Two with a dedicated, united and determined middle class… the pendulum swung back, Republicans moved in and the world almost ended… and President Obama didn’t do the heavy lifting required for change…. Unless you count the bags of money he helped carry out of the United States Treasury…
Anyway… here we stand… heading into President Obama’s re-election… I’m more interested in what Hillary Clinton’s next move will be.
HBO’s Game of Thrones is getting better each week and stranger…. If you have not read the books by George R. R. Martin, you are in for some crazy television over the next month… winter is coming…
Books: I’m kind of trapped in the post-World War Two world of both fiction and non-fiction… I’ve been nostalgic for New York City lately and have been looking for books that take place or are about the city that never sleeps… two left of center novels, Gore Vidal’s In A Yellow Wood and James Baldwin’s Another Country offer a look at life in New York City, basically at the same time, but from two very different viewpoints.
Vidal’s book follows a waspish, white WW2 vet into his post war life on Wall Street … with an option for something else that he may have left behind in Europe…
The Baldwin novel follows a black man living in Greenwich Village and the civil rights movement is only beginning to stir in the public consciousness… he too has to choose between staying in America and making his life work, or heading off to Europe…
Music has drawn be back to these times as well… I got a hold of The Miles Davis Quintet’s’ four album cycle Workin’ Cookin’, Relaxin’ and Steamin’ that came out of the 1956 sessions with Rudy Van Gelder.
Also, Bob Dylan at 70…?! And still crazy after all these years… in fact, as I write this, Bringing It All Back Home is playing for the neighbors to hear.
So have a relaxing and thoughtful Memorial Day Weekend comrades, rest you weary feet, listen to some good music, smoke some smoke, drink some drink and eat unhealthy food… we have a long summer ahead of us… and Gingrich and Palin and our Republican Congress ain’t going nowhere…
Bob Dylan turned 70 this week...