Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Listening Now: Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath on stage at Schleyerhalle in Stu...Image via WikipediaPlaying right now is "Dirty Women" by Black Sabbath from their Greatest Hits 1970-1978. Black Sabbath was formed in England in 1968 with the original lineup of Ozzy Osborne, Tommy Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. Though Osborne is the more well known name the group started more as a vehicle for Iommi's musical vision. Black Sabbath has become one of the biggest and best known Heavy Metal Bands in the world. Osborne was fired from the band in 1978 and since than the lead singer position has changed hands mulitple times.

The band started out with the name Earth but another band claimed that name. Taking the name from a Vincent Price movie which inspired Butler to write a song with that title. The band wanted to create a sound that was the musical equivalent to horror movies. Their first album was self titled and released on Friday the 13th 1970.

Dirty Women | Music Codes

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Happy New Year



Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~Mark Twain

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. ~Thomas Mann

The only way to spend New Year's Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears. ~W.H. Auden




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Best of 2008: Theresa Andersson


One of the best for the year is a New Orleans native by way of Sweden. Her new album is entitled Hummingbird, Go! and is easily one of the best albums of the year. Theresa has been in New Orleans since 1990 and recorded a variety of styles. On her new album she is pretty much a one woman band, playing all the instruments herself. In concert, using a laptop and loop machine she has learned to play all the parts live. This album opens with a great song "Na na na" and continues from there. Her last album she was moving more into the Americana genre, this one she jumps back into pop, but wonderful listening pop music.

She posted a clip performing the first song in her kitchen live as a one woman band on You Tube and its garnered close to one million hits. She just performed the National Anthem at the last Saints game and appeared on Conan O'Brien this week. She's fast moving up in the world and leaving New Orleans behind.

The album is put out on local label Basin Street Records so I'm not sure how easy it is to get outside New Orleans, but it is worth seeking out. There's a joy to the music that makes you want to sing along.

Instead of posting a musical clip I'm going to post the You Tube video that everyone has been watching.


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Jazz Fest Line Up

Wow, I can't believe that I forgot to post this. Jazz Fest announced their line up a few weeks ago. I'm going to post the line up now and talk about some of what's got me excited later.

Weekend 1:

Wynton Marsalis, Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, Earth Wind & Fire, Wilco, Spoon, Erykah Badu, Irma Thomas, Orishas, Third World, Robert Cray, Etta James & the Roots Band, Mavis Staples, Drive-By Truckers feat. Booker T. Jones, Johnny Winter, Pete Seeger, Hugh Masekela, Better Than Ezra, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Galactic, Roy Haynes, Pete Fountain, Avett Brothers, Kinky, Roy Rogers, Del McCoury Band, Terence Blanchard, Marc Broussard, DJ Jubilee with 5th Ward Weebie and Ms. Tee, Buckwheat Zydeco’s 30th Anniversary feat. The Hitchhikers, Tab Benoit, Locos por Juana, Trombone Shorty, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Yacub Addy and Odadaa of Ghana, Rebirth Brass Band Reunion with Kermit Ruffins, Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, Donald Harrison, The Anointed Jackson Sisters, Tribute to Mahalia Jackson featuring Irma Thomas, Mavis Staples, and Pamela Landrum, Chris Smither, Henry Butler, Papa Grows Funk, Robert Mirabal, Harlem Blues & Jazz Band, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Sonny Landreth, Benjy Davis Project, The Vettes, Mem Shannon & the Membership, Stephanie Jordan, Warren Storm, Willie Tee and Cypress feat. Tommy McLain and T K Hulin, Astral Project, Ladysmith Redlions of South Africa, Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders, Amammereso Agofomma of Ghana, The Dixie Cups, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Germaine Bazzle, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Marlon Jordan, Tabby Thomas, Spencer Bohren, Savoy Music Center of Eunice Saturday Cajun Jam, Dew Drop Inn Revisited hosted by Deacon John feat. Wanda Rouzan, Eddie Bo, Allen Toussaint, Robert Parker, and Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Leroy Jones presents the Fairview Brass Band Reunion Tribute to Danny Barker, Bruce Daigrepont, Vivaz!, Pfister Sisters’ 30th Anniversary, Gringo do Choro, Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band, Thais Clark, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians, Henry Gray & the Cats, Joe Krown, Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste, Jr., Lil’ Buck Sinegal Blues Band, EOE, Ebony Hillbillies, Crescent City Allstars feat. James Andrews, Hot 8 Brass Band, Schatzy, Jake Smith, 19th Street Red Blues Band, Brasilliance!, Mighty Chariots of Fire, Sharde Thomas & the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Chris Owens, Topsy Chapman, New Bumpers’ Revival Jazz Band of France, Zulu Male Ensemble, Jo “Cool” Davis, Leah Chase, Herlin Riley, Roderick Paulin, Mahogany Brass Band, Ingrid Lucia, MyNameisJohnMichael, Texas Johnny Brown & the Quality Blues Band, Rockie Charles & the Stax of Love, AsheSon, Jim McCormick, Lil’ Malcolm & the House Rockers, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Thomas “Big Hat” Fields & his Foot Stompin’ Zydeco Band, Guitar Slim, Jr., Storyville Stompers Brass Band, Willis Prudhomme & Zydeco Express, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Waterseed, Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians, DJ Hektik & the New Orleans Society of Dance with Freedia and Nobi, Tipsy Chicks, Jonno Frishberg & Bayou DeVille, Christian Serpas & Ghost Town, Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective, NewBirth Brass Band, High Ground Drifters Bluegrass Band, New Orleans Night Crawlers Brass Band, Hadley Castille & the Sharecropper Band, Carrollton Hunters and Cherokee Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Big Steppers, Furious Five, and Untouchables SAPCs, Patrice Fisher & Arpa feat. special guests from Brazil, Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders feat. Butch Thompson, Young Tuxedo Brass Band, Betty Winn & One A-Chord, McDonogh #35 High School Gospel Choir, Sophisticated Ladies feat. Barbara Shorts, Leslie Smith, Cindy Scott, and Judy Spellman, Golden Comanche and Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, N.O.C.C.A. Jazz Ensemble, Real Untouchables Brass Band, Olympia Aid, New Look & First Division SAPCs, New Orleans Jazz Vipers, Tommy Sancton, Society Brass Band, Connie Jones, St. Joseph the Worker Music Ministry, UNO Jazz Combo, June Gardner & the Fellas, New Orleans Spiritualettes, Smitty Dee’s Brass Band, Kid Simmons’ Local International Allstars, Semolian Warriors, Comanche Hunters, and Golden Star Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers, Loyola University Jazz Ensemble, Franklin Avenue B.C. Mass Choir, Small Souljas Brass Band, Val & the Love Alive Fellowship Choir, Single Ladies, Family Ties, Big Nine, and Keep N It Real SAPCs, Second Mount Carmel Gospel Choir, Xavier University Jazz Ensemble, Heritage School of Music Band, Gospel Soul Children, Nine Times Men, Single Men, Dumaine Gang, Divine Ladies, and Lady Jetsetters SAPCs, Red, White & Blue and Wild Mohican Mardi Gras Indians, Reverend Charles Jackson & the Jackson Travelers, Nineveh B.C. Mass Choir, Kid Simmon’s Local International Allstars, Voices of St. Peter Claver, David & Roselyn, Grayhawk, Washboard Leo, Red Hot Brass Band, Kayla Woodson & Louisiana Lightnin’….


Weekend 2:

Aretha Franklin, TBA, Sugarland, Ben Harper & Relentless7, Tony Bennett, Kings of Leon, The Neville Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Common, Emmylou Harris, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, The O'Jays, Toots & the Maytals, Allen Toussaint, John Mayall, Solomon Burke, Doc Watson, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, The Whispers, Jakob Dylan, Chuck Brown, Meter Men: Zig, George, and Leo, Kurt Elling, Rance Allen, Cowboy Mouth, Guy Clark, Radiators, Aaron Neville, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, Tab Benoit & the Wetland Allstars, Marcia Ball, Ellis Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Frankie Ford, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Mississippi Mass Choir, Walter "Wolfman" Washington & the Roadmasters, Anders Osborne, the subdudes, Esperanza Spalding, Patty Griffin, Deacon John, Chris Thomas King, Kind of Blue @ 50 Tribute to Miles Davis feat. Jimmy Cobb, Wallace Roney, Larry Willis, and Buster Williams, John Scofield & the Piety Street Band, George Wein & the Newport Allstars feat. Randy Brecker, VaShawn Mitchell & Friends, Nicholas Payton, Linda Tillery & the Cultural Heritage Choir, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Bonerama, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Genius of Sidney Bechet: A Tribute feat. Bob Wilber, Dr. Michael White, and Brian "Breeze" Cayolle, Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Theresa Andersson, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm, Bobby Lounge feat. Sarah Quintana, Chieck Hamala Diabate of Mali, The Iguanas, Treme Brass Band, Lars Edegran & the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, Lionel Ferbos & the Palm Court Jazz Band, Fredy Omar con su Banda, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Big Chief Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias, Soul Rebels, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Luther Kent & Trickbag, Banu Gibson's Hot Jazz with Bucky Pizzarelli, Mark Braud, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, Marva Wright & the BMWs, Kenny Bill Stinson & the Ark-LA-Mystics, Gregg Stafford's Jazz Hounds' Tribute to Danny Barker feat. Juanita Brooks, Eric Lindell, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Rumba Buena, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars, Charmaine Neville Band, Eddie Bo, Ori Danse Club of Benin, Crocodile Gumboot Dancers of South Africa, Rotary Downs, George French & the New Orleans Storyville Jazz Band, Walter Payton & Filé Gumbo, Dash Rip Rock, John Boutté, Sonny Bourg & the Bayou Blues Band, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, Sherman Robertson, Honey Island Swamp Band, The Revealers, I'Voire Spectacle feat. Seguenon Kone, Alex McMurray, 101 Runners, Midnite Disturbers, Paulin Brothers Brass Band, Big Chief Peppy & the Golden Arrows Mardi Gras Indians, D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces, James Rivers Movement, Otra, Tony Green's Gypsy Jazz, New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, John Rankin, Betsy McGovern & the Poor Clares, Kenny Neal, Lil' Brian & the Travelers, Jeremy Davenport, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Jamal Batiste & the Jam-Allstars, Red Stick Ramblers, Ensemble Fatien feat. Seguenon Kone, Dr. Michael White, and Jason Marsalis, Sharon Martin, St. Louis Slim, Bryan Lee & the Blues Power Band, TBC Brass Band, Lady Rollers, Original C.T.C., and Nine Times Ladies SAPCs, Feufollet, War Chief Juan & Young Fire and White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans Bingo! Show, David Egan, Kidd Jordan-Al Fielder & the IAQ, Drew Landry Band, Driskill Mountain Boys, Jumpin' Johnny Sansone, Washboard Chaz, Bamboula 2000, Danza, Marisa y Mariachi Agave, J. Monque'D Blues Band, Cedric Watson, Twangorama, Higher Heights, Tim Laughlin, Elysian Fieldz, Percussion Inc., Pinettes Brass Band, Scene Boosters, Old N Nu Fellas, Secondline Jammers, and Ladies of Unity SAPCs, Little Freddie King Blues Band, Glen David Andrews, Po' Henry & Tookie, Sherman Washington & the Zion Harmonizers, Culu Children's Traditional African Dance Ensemble, Paky Saavedra's Bandido, New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Rhythm Section, Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, Shamarr Allen, Free Agents Brass Band, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Benny Grunch & the Bunch, Javier Tobar & Elegant Gypsy, Creole Zydeco Farmers, Bonsoir Catin, Corey Ledet, Gina Brown, Reggie Hall & the Twilighters feat. Lady Bee, Forgotten Souls Brass Band, Young Magnolias, Golden Sioux, and Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indians, New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra, Westbank Steppers, Valley of Silent Men, and Pigeon Town Steppers SAPCs, Doreen's Jazz New Orleans, Truth Universal & Jimi Clever, Shades of Praise Gospel Singers, Brother Tyrone, Lazarus, Berard Family Band, New Orleans Jazz Ramblers, Courtney Bryan Trio, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, DJ Captain Charles, Blodie's Jazz Jam, New Orleans Helsinki Project, Original Last Straws, Chris Clifton, Panorama Jazz Band, Mario Abney, John Lee & the Heralds of Christ, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Hot Club of New Orleans, The Moonshiners, Clarinet Woodshed feat. Evan Christopher and Gregory Agid, SUBR Jazz Ensemble, Michael Ward, DJ Soul Sister, The Johnson Extension, Black Eagles, Geronimo Hunters, Wild Tchoupitoulas, and Wild Apaches Mardi Gras Indians, Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries, Tulane University Jazz Ensemble, First Emmanuel Baptist Church Choir, Louis Ford & his New Orleans Flairs, Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors, Red Hawk, and Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, Leviticus Gospel Choir, Dillard University Jazz Ensemble, Bester Singers and the Dynamic Smooth Family Gospel Singers, Bon Temps Roulez, New Generation, and Undefeated Divas SAPCs, The Electrifying Crownseekers, Pinstripe Brass Band, Ebenezer Baptist Church Radio Choir, Trouble Nation, Black Eagles, and Ninth Ward Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Famous Rocks of Harmony, Highsteppers Brass Band, McMain High School Gospel Choir, Voices of Distinction, Gal Holiday, Lyle Henderson & Emmanuel, Coolie Family Gospel Singers, Original Big 7 and Original 4 SAPCs, Tornado Brass Band, Eddie "Chops" Paris, Apache Hunters, Wild Red Flame, and Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Morning Star B.C. Mass Choir, New Wave Brass Band, Julio y Cesar Band, First Emmanuel Church Gospel Choir, Greater Antioch Full Gospel B.C. Mass Choir, Roderick Paulin, N'Kafu African Dance Ensemble, Original Prince of Wales and the Original Lady Buckjumpers SAPCs, Johnette Downing, Young Guardians of the Flame, Eric McAllister, N'Fungola Sibo West African Dance Company, Mt. Hermon B.C. Mass Choir...



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Best of 2008: Ryan Adams

Cover of Cover of CardinologyNext up is the newest from Ryan Adams and his group the Cardinals called Cardinology. Unlike Lucinda Williams who is known for releasing albums slowly and carefully Adams is known for the speed that he puts out new music. Just 34 he's already released 11 albums under his own names, plus a few with his former group Whiskeytown.

Ryan has been known to release three albums within the space of one year. Though lately he has slowed down and only released an album a year. Cardinology was his only release for 2008. Slated for 2009 is a long rumored 4 or 5 cd anthology of material.

This album rated high on most critics end of year lists. I enjoyed it and believe it belongs on such lists, but I liked the days when a new Adams album might be out every few months. He always got a lashing by the critics for not taking his time, but I was satisfied as long as we were getting that much more material.

Adams style is usually in the Americana genre, but he moves into rock, folk and country just as easily. The new one is more in the Americana style. This is an album when I first listened to I liked but didn't think that it was as good as everyone else seemed to. I've discovered that the more I listen to it the more I like it. It's always better that an album gets better on repeat listens than the opposite.


Born Into A Light | Music Codes



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Best of 2008: Lucinda Williams

Cover of Cover of Little HoneyI love reading the lists in all the magazines of the Best of the previous year. Sometimes I'll find something that I missed during the year. But I hate to make these lists. Mainly because I don't keep track of what came out during the year and when I sit down to do something like this I don't remember everything that appeared during the year. I just know I'll miss something that I really liked. So instead of a list over the next few days I thought I'd post some of what I liked from 2008.

The first post features Lucinda Williams' Little Honey. Any year that Williams releases an album will be a year with it on the Best of list. She's that good. And thankfully she's gotten a lot faster inbetween releasing albums. Known as a perfectionist Williams never releases an album on the original release date. She keeps working on it until it's ready, she's not concerned so much with what the record company wants.

Most of Williams love songs have not been happy ones, they usually tell the story of a broken relationship. On this album Williams is in a happy relationship and it shows. Time magazine called her the best American songwriter a few years ago and if anything she has just continued to grow into that role. Her gravely voice perfectly fits the mood of her songs.

The songs on this album rate with anything else she has written. It includes a duet with Elvis Costello and a cover of AC/DC's "It's A Long Way to the Top."


Well Well Well | Music Codes

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Listening Now: Big Bill Broonzy


Big Bill Broozny just finished "Willie Mae Blues" from his three-cd collection titled The Big Bill Broozny Story. This is a fascinating collection that collects songs that Broozny recorded on July 12, 1957 in Chicago. The producer Bill Randle wanted to get as much material from Broozny as possible and they recorded for 10 hours, with Broozny singing and playing guitar and talking about his life and songs inbetween the music. This collection highlights those songs and conversation.

Big Bill Broozny was born William Lee Conley Broozny in 1898. He was born in Mississippi but shortly after his birth his family moved to Arkansas. He started as a sharecropper than a preacher than a singer of country blues. He moved to Chicago where he became part of the urban blues scene.

In the 50s he moved back towards country blues and became part of the growing folk movement and found a certain amount of fame. He died August 15, 1958.


Willie Mae Blues | Music Codes


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A New Year Begins, An Old Year Ends

This has been a strange year. I can't say it's been the worst year. I've got a job, what with the coming economy is something that too many can't say or will not be able to say in the future. I've got my health, it was some tough going there when my gall bladder surgery didn't turn out exactly like it was supposed to. But even here I have to think I'm in the good, I had insurance that covered the majority of the bill and a job that enabled me to take three weeks off and get paid for it. Even though New Orleans is having its share of problems and still recovering from a Hurricane three years ago it is still a city filled with life and music.

So what's the problem? I feel like I've accomplished nothing this year. At work, writing, personal...it all seems to have been at something of a standstill this year. Sometimes I feel like I'm in some sort of fog.

If I haven't lost some friends this year I haven't done much to keep some. It seems to have been too much effort to keep up with friends that weren't right here in my face. Online there were some friends that I thought highly of and haven't talked to much, if at all, this entire year. Other friends that I've had for years, even decades I haven't talked to in who knows how long. It just seems to have been easier to do nothing.

I have promised myself that I was going to get back into my writing this year and that has went just about nowhere. I flirted with a few things, but never pushed anything. It frustrates me because when I used to be so aggressive in getting published. I had built up a network of editors and artists and other writers, no too many years have passed for any of that.

I like my job but sometimes I just feel like taking off and never coming back. Do I want to make the jump back to a store manager? If I do I have to take the incentive to push myself to those above me. It's easier to do my job and not worry about trying to take that extra step.

Even here in this city I love I've been absent. I've hardly went to any concerts or shows. The only ones I can remember is Jazz Fest, though I'm sure I went to a few others. But normally I go to a few every month.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, even though I am, because it's not that. It's just some sort of malaise that I seem to have experienced this past year. It's not I walked around in some sort of fog. From the outside everything seemed to be good. And most of the time I could make myself believe that.

So for myself I'll be glad for the end of this year. I hope this new one holds more promise. And I know that to fulfill that promise I just have to get off my butt and go after it.
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Ooops!

I've been sitting here for the past hour typing and downloading music and I was smelling something. It smelled like something was burning. You can guess where this is going. I put some eggs on the stove to boil about an hour ago. It doesn't take an hour to boil eggs. The pot was completely dry and the eggs were burnt. Well, I've never admitted to being a chef.

Listening To Now

Rosanne Cash at the South by Southwest Festiva...Image via WikipediaI've made a list of what songs I was listening to on my Ipod before but this time I thought I'd just take a moment now and than during the day to give a snapshot of what's on the Ipod at the moment.

Right now I'm listening to Rosanne Cash singing "Price of Temptation" from her album 10 Song Demo. Cash is of course the daughter of Johnny Cash and his first wife. She was born in Memphis Tennessee around the time Johnny was starting to make a name for himself. After the divorce of her parents Rosanne lived with her mother.

After graduating high school she joined her Father's band and sang back up on his tour for the next three years. In 1978 she went to Germany to record her first album. During this time she met and married Rodney Crowell, another up and coming singer. Her first album was never released in the USA.

In the early eighties Crowell and Cash worked on her breakthrough album Seven Years Ache. The album was a hit, both with the public and the critics. Through the 80s Cash recorded more music that would go on to be hits, having 11 number ones hits.

In the 90s her public appeal seemed to fade and her records did not do as well. Her first album for that decade was Interiors and won her a Grammy. She still records today, her last album was Black Cadillac which was done as a memorial to her recently departed parents and her step mom June Carter Cash, who all died within months of each other.


Price of Temptation | Music Codes
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The Office: Before and After

I mentioned awhile back that I was re-doing my room that I use for an office. I've had one of those old metal office desks for over the last twenty years. I took the top off a wooden desk and used it on the metal desk. The way I had everything set up and the mess it gave me very little room. One day I was sitting at the desk and realized I wanted a new one and to clean up the mess I had accumulated over the years. So I went out and started buying things. The new desk was under seventy dollars so I think I got a good deal on it. This is the before pics:



The after pics. The shelf unit in the back I actually built. And anyone that knows my capability with a hammer and saw will realize how unusual that is. The new desk gets everything right there under the desk, I was even able to put my turntable there. The computer towers fit right alongside the left side. I didn't take a picture of them but I cleaned out the file cabinets and replaced them with two smaller hanging file folder carts. I couldn't believe the stuff I had kept in those old file cabinets. Tons of papers, almost literally I'm afraid. And one of the best things, which is still kind of hard to tell in these pictures is that I can actually walk around in the room now. I have space on both sides of the desk and Buffy can even come lay next to me while I type.

General Ramblings

Santa Claus hands out gifts during the America...Image via WikipediaWell Chrismas is over with. Of course the days right after Christmas were spent with returns, but things are slowing down. Inventory is coming up on the 12th of next month. It seemed like it was a long Christmas season. Yesterday and today I'm off and it has been the most relaxing days off I've had in awhile. I spent yesterday shopping across the lake. I had a $100 gift card from Barnes & Noble that was just burning a hole in my pocket. I only spent about half of it but managed to grab up a handful of books, buying them from their remainder tables. Now with these books and the ones I got at Christmas I don't know which book I want to read first.

Today I'm spending at home, trying to get a few things done around the house and devoting some time online. I have some cds that I need to download to the Ipod. I also want to spend some time on the blogs, while I haven't been completely ignoring them I feel like this last year I didn't spend as much time on them as normal. Today I plan to visit some blogs, make some posts and get back up to speed.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and look forward to the New Year.


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Sunday, December 28, 2008

More of the Same Old Same Old

Image via WikipediaThis is why the Republican Party just doesn't get it. Does the man that's vying for the job of Chairman of the Republican Party have the right to distribute such hateful material...sadly, yes. In defense of Free Speech you have to accept the speech that you find appalling as well as what you support. Should he distribute it is another matter. If I was a Republican I would find his behavior unacceptable. I would hope the Republican Party would not support something like this.
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Delaney Bramlett Dies

Delaney BramlettImage via WikipediaDelaney Bramlett of Bonnie & Delaney died Saturday . The duo toured and recorded with friends such as Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, JJ Cale and George Harrison. Eric Clapton credits Delaney with pushing him to step out front and sing. Delaney put a slide guitar in George Harrison's hands and taught him how to play. The duo never achieved superstar status but some of their songs have become very well known, such as "Groupie Superstar" "Never Ending Song of Love" and "Let It Rain."

Delaney died early Saturday morning at Los Angeles of complications from gallbladder surgery.

Here he is with Bonnie and Friends singing "Coming Home."


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Friday, December 26, 2008

Old School Fridays: I Can Drink to that...

Ok, since I don't drink this one gave me pause, but I've picked a song, not so much as regards a party atmosphere but in keeping with the title of the theme. Mary Gauthier singing "I Drink."



This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre
2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999
3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version
4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane
5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out
6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participants
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Music: Brian Setzer

Brian Setzer from the Stray Cats singing Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run."

Christmas Music: Aaron Neville

New Orleans' Aaron Neville singing "Silent Night."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mom's Here

My Mom just drove down from Tennessee today. She'll spend a few days at my place and than head over the lake to my brothers and we'll do Christmas there. My niece and nephew will be down the day after Christmas so it'll be nice, to have everyone together.

Christmas Music: Amanda Shaw

This is Amanda Shaw from 2005 so she would have been around 15, singing "Papa Noel."


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Friday, December 19, 2008

Old School Fridays: Christmas Songs

At first I was going to try and find some obscure Christmas song done by someone you wouldn't think of doing a Christmas song, but than I realized how much I love this version done by Bruce Springsteen and decided that it was the song to post. This is an early clip, I'm not sure of the year, but it's from an early Bruce. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!



This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre
2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999
3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version
4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane
5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out
6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participants

Ramones Christmas

Merry Christmas Baby by the Ramones.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Desert Island Meme


I've come up with a Meme. It started with a book. The book was "Stranded" and edited by Greil Marcus. The premise was simple: Twenty rock and roll writers pick the one album they would take with them if they were stranded on a Desert Island. So the purpose of this meme is also fairly simple: pick one album that you would take with you if you were stranded on a Desert Island.

I've given this a lot of thought. After I read the book twenty some years ago I tried to think of what one album I couldn't live without. What one album would I want to have with me and to be the only album I would be able to listen to.

Immediately I thought of the albums of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles. These three I always go back to. They are my Holy Trinity. Pretty much any of their albums I could listen to over and over. But which one of theirs do I pick?

Or do I decide to go with a newer choice? Newer musicians that have come to mean so much to me like Wilco or Lucinda Williams. Is there a way to pick just one to listen to for the rest of my life? Or do I chose something from a more obscure artist like Theresa Anderson or Shannon McNally.

In the end I went with my first love and something that I never grow tired of listening to.

When I was a kid the first music I remember listening to and making an impression on me was the Beatles. My cousin Debbie was about a decade older than me and was a teenager during the years of the Beatles' popularity and I always remember thinking how cool that would have been. I really didn't get into music until the end of their career. I was eleven when they broke up.

The first piece of music I ever owned was the 45 single of the Beatles' "Eight Days A Week" with the B-Side "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party." Later the first album I purchased was Beatles VI with those two songs on it. At first all I bought was Beatles music. I had a friend at the time that was a big fan of the Monkees and I remember how we'd call each other up whenever we'd buy a new album of our favorites. Of course I was buying older albums of the Beatles since they had already came out.

I remember finding out that there was a Beatles song that wasn't on any of their American albums and calling the radio station constantly asking for the song. They never played it. I also discovered that the American versions of their albums were different from the ones they released in England. It wasn't until the release of "Rubber Soul" that the two sides of the Atlantic started releasing the same versions. The American versions were stripped down affairs of what they originally released.

As a kid I championed the Beatles music while to most of the kids my age they were yesterday's news. I grew up out of step with my generation, they were listening to Grand Funk Railroad while I was listening to John, Paul, George and Ringo.

I can go months without listening to a Beatles song, but whenever I hear one I am entranced by their voices and their music. I'm not one that thinks their childhood as the best time of their life and want to hold onto and cherish their memories from that age, my love of the Beatles isn't nostalgia. I still think they created some of the greatest and freshest music of the last forty years. Their music still holds up today.

But what album would I bring? That's when I realized the album was "1" the greatest hits that was released in 2000. The track list is:


  1. "Love Me Do" – 2:20
  2. "From Me to You" – 1:56
    • Released on April 11, 1963 in the UK and reached #1 on May 2, where it stayed for 7 weeks.
  3. "She Loves You" – 2:21
  4. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" – 2:24
  5. "Can't Buy Me Love" – 2:11
  6. "A Hard Day's Night" – 2:33
  7. "I Feel Fine" – 2:18
  8. "Eight Days a Week" – 2:44
  9. "Ticket to Ride" – 3:10
  10. "Help!" – 2:18
  11. "Yesterday" – 2:05
  12. "Day Tripper" – 2:48
    • Released on December 3 in the UK, reaching #1 for 5 weeks on December 16, 1965. A tape drop-out that appears in previous stereo releases of this song has been corrected here.
  13. "We Can Work It Out" – 2:15
  14. "Paperback Writer" – 2:18
  15. "Yellow Submarine" – 2:38
  16. "Eleanor Rigby" – 2:06
  17. "Penny Lane" – 2:59
  18. "All You Need Is Love" – 3:47
  19. "Hello, Goodbye" – 3:27
  20. "Lady Madonna" – 2:16
  21. "Hey Jude" – 7:04
  22. "Get Back" – 3:12
  23. "The Ballad of John and Yoko" – 2:59
  24. "Something" (George Harrison) – 3:01
  25. "Come Together" – 4:18
  26. "Let It Be" – 3:50
  27. "The Long and Winding Road" – 3:37
It covers their entire career and has songs I could listen to over and over. It has the pop songs of their beginning like "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and than their more adventurous music such as "Hey Jude" and "Revolution." To me it's like a brief history of pop music on one album.

I know the tradition of a meme is to tag someone but I never know who to tag, so I'll tag anyone reading this that would like to take their try at picking one album. I'm hoping Travis, Bond, Malcom and Starrlight give it a go because I am very curious to see what their pick would be.

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A New Orleans Christmas Song

Now a local Christmas song from Benny Grunch and the Bunch "The 12 Yats of Christmas."

Christmas Music

Little more than a week and Christmas will be here. Being in retail I can't stress how much I look forward to that day. I thought I'd try and post some Christmas music over the next week. Today is Faith Hill doing "O Holy Night" from her Christmas album.


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Duck The Flying Shoes



By now pretty much everyone in the world that has a television or internet connection has seen the video of the Iraqi journalist throwing his shoe at President Bush. Now anyone that has read this blog for any length of time knows how I feel about Mr. Bush. Quite simply put I am not a fan.

I consider him responsible for curtailing our freedoms in this country, diminishing the image of the United States in the eyes of the world community and worse I consider him responsible for the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and Iraqis because of a war he started due to ego or oil or whatever but definitely not for the reasons he tried to give to the citizens of this country. I truly believed he should have been impeached for his actions as President.

But watching this video I was troubled. I know in the Arab world throwing you shoe at someone is considered the ultimate insult. I am an absolute supporter of Free Speech and realize that to have Free Speech you have to be willing to defend those words you deem insulting or racist or whatever objections you might have to them, but I can't place throwing shoes in the same category of Free Speech.

It the Iraqi journalist had stood up and verbally insulted President Bush I would have no problems, but the throwing of his shoes bothers me. I know most people have made light of the whole affair and even the President joked about it. But how could someone have time to throw his shoe at the President of the United States. What if it had been a rock? Or something even worse, like a knife. As much as I detest the President I would not want to see him killed. Where was the Secret Service when this was going on?

I consider the Dixie Chicks patriotic when they said they were ashamed that the President came from the same state as they did. So what is it about this that bothers me so much?

I really can't put my finger on it, but to me the throwing of the shoes at President Bush was not just an insult at the man but an insult at the Presidency itself. Insult the man, but not the institution is I guess my thought. The whole event has become nothing more than fodder for the late night comedians and a throwaway joke in the internet and I guess I just see more into it.
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

At work Christmas music is playing 24/7. You don't realize you're humming along to old favorites until you're in the middle of the song. One thing I noticed after listening to constant Christmas music is all the versions there are of John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)". This is probably one of my favorite Christmas songs. I've rarely heard the original version of the song by John Lennon at work, but I hear a lot of versions by other singers. I thought I'd highlight a few here:

Melissa Etheridge


Tom Jones


U2


Neil Diamond (This one gets a lot of play)


David Cook (This one is for Starrlight)


The Corrs


Damien Rice


The Alarm


And the Original John Lennon

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