Monday, December 5, 2016

Margo Price Performs "All American Made," "Four Years Of Chances" & "About To Find Out"


Blurbist Bob Boilen writes:
    When I greeted Margo Price in the NPR garage before her Tiny Desk performance, tears were streaming down her face. It was Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, the day after the 2016 election.
No, as you might have suspected from the source, these were not the tears of joy you or I were shedding that glorious morn, The Golden Dawn of the Trump Era. More of Mr. Boilen's boilerplate:
    For her — as for many Americans — it was a stunning and bewildering moment in time, a day when life and the everyday took on new meaning. And so when she and her band began to play "All American Made," a song she's sung many times before, those words about America's changes and failures in the 21st century seemed even more powerful.

    [....]

    As this Tiny Desk progresses, even "Four Years Of Chances," her song of a love gone wrong, feels less about a lousy husband and more about presidential politics. She dedicates her third and final song, "About To Find Out," to Donald Trump; she says it was originally written about a "musician acquaintance of mine who's a complete sociopath." When the song ends, she rips open her red cowboy shirt to reveal a T-shirt with the words "Icky Trump"— a play on the title of The White Stripes' song "Icky Thump," which criticizes the U.S.'s immigration policies. She smiles, wipes a tear away: It seems cathartic, but temporary.
Miss Price's music has been featured on these pages before — Margo Price Performs "Tennessee Song," "Hands of Time," "This Town Gets Around," "Four Years of Chances," & "No Expectations".

You've got to hand it to libruls; they're good for some things, and one of them is sustaining musical culture, be it classical or classic country, and other cultural amenities like museums and coffee shops. I hope the god-emperor will deign to keep some of them around. Of course, it will be prudent to have them registered.

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Dana Rohrabacher for Secretary of State


Justin Raimondo locuta est, cause finita est, saying, "From a noninterventionist perspective, Rohrabacher is the best choice of those reportedly in the running" — Dana Rohrabacher for Secretary of State?

A few days ago, I was impressed to learn, as Mr. Raimondo, my pick for Secretary of State in my administration, reports, "that Rohrabacher was offered the deputy Secretary of State position, with the odious John Bolton in the top position, but that Dana refused on the grounds that Bolton’s foreign policy views are in many ways the exact opposite of Trump’s (and his own)."

To his credit, he received this liberast anti-endorsement back in July, whence comes the photo atop this post — Meet The Putin-Loving Congressman Who’s Worried About Fluoride In Our Drinking Water.

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The Genesee Brewing Company Keg Christmas Tree




"Several hundred people enjoyed the view from inside and outside the Brew House, some joking that this was Rochester's official Christmas tree" — 400 beer keg Christmas tree in Rochester (photos, video).

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Buffalo's Central Terminal, Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Guillaume Du Fay's Nuper Rosarum Flores, Performed by Sophia Brumfitt, Katherine Hawnt, Jennie Cassidy, Ann Allen, & David Hatcher


A motet, containing the line "hieme licet horrida" ("despite a terrible winter"), composed during the decade mentioned in this story — The coldest decade of the millennium? How the cold 1430s led to famine and disease.

[Original Climate of the Past article — The 1430s: a cold period of extraordinary internal climate variability during the early Spörer Minimum with social and economic impacts in north-western and central Europe.]

Paleoclimatology! Compare the "famine and disease" and "social and economic impacts" above to the flourishing Roman Warm Period and Medieval Warm Period.

Back to the music, Guillaume Du Fay's piece was commissioned for the 1436 completion of the Florence Cathedral, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, pictured below:

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Decemberists Perform "Down By The Water," "Rox In The Box" & "June Hymn"

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Black Linguist (and Confucian Scholar) on the Term "White Supremacy"

"Black Linguist (and Confucian Scholar) on the Term 'Racism'" was the title of a post-election post about self-described "anti-Trumpian" John McWhorter, who now rightly argues that "the term 'white supremacy' has become, of all things, a kind of hate speech" — The Difference Between Racial Bias and White Supremacy. Prof. McWhorter righty says, "It seems that any white person who disagrees with a non-white one’s opinion about race issues is given the label."

Again, Confucius’ Rectification of Names comes to mind:
    If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.

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Two Letters That Bring Liberalism Crashing Down

John Craig mentions them — IQ is Unmentionable. An excerpt:
    IQ never gets mentioned anymore. Because once you take it into account, the whole edifice of liberal thought comes tumbling down. Once a realistic look at IQ enters the picture, all the talk of how our schools and teachers are failing us looks misguided. All the talk of racism as the explanation for the differences in accomplishment, all the talk of white privilege, all the talk of disparate impact, just look sort of….silly.

    As silly as saying that the only reason the men’s weight-lifting records are better than the women’s is because of sexism.

    As silly as suggesting that the only reason 64 out of the last 64 finalists in the men’s 100 meter dash at the Olympics have been black is because they had better coaching.

    Ignore differences in natural ability, and you’re left with a lot of inexplicable patterns and correlations.

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Disraeli Wisdom

Brett and Kate McKay on a "maxim [that] well encapsulates the stiff-upper lipped-ness of the Victorian age, but the timeless wisdom it contains has made it a guiding mantra of powerful, confident, accountability-prizing men up through the modern day" — Never Complain; Never Explain.

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What I Learn From My Cat Each Morning

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry Perform "John Henry," "In The Pines," "Gentle On My Mind" & "Rock Island Line"


This is about as close as it gets these days to the "oldfashioned I.W.W. anarchism" that Jack Kerouac celebrated in The Dharma Bums in the character of Japhy Ryder (based on Gary Snyder, no blood relation that I know of).

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Which of Facebook's Fifty-Eight Genders Would This Deer Use?


"A Central New York hunter recently shot a 13-point buck, the deer of a life-time," writes local writer David Figura. "Make that a doe. No, actually make that a buck" — Was weird-looking deer shot by Upstate NY hunter a hermaphrodite? From the article:
    Is it a hermaphrodite?

    Paul Curtis, extension wildlife specialist in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, says he would have liked to examined the innards of the deer, but in his opinion it probably is not. He said he's looked at hundreds of deer in his research and has seen all sorts of odd things, but never a true hermaphrodite.

    He conceded, though, after examining a picture of Macera's deer that it's definitely an oddity.

    "It had a penis. It wasn't a female," he said. Most likely, he added, it's a deer that had a testicular (genetic) abnormality or an injury.

    "It could have injured itself jumping a fence and had bad luck. Its testes could have been hammered (by something like that)," he said.

    Curtis explained that bucks shed their antlers each year. He said an initial surge of testosterone from the animal's pituitary gland starts the antler regrowth process off each year, usually in the late spring, early summer. Those antlers end up being covered with velvet, which is tissue that covers the bone and cartilage that develop into antlers.

    He said a second surge of testicular testosterone comes in the late summer, early fall - resulting in the deer losing its velvet and the hardening of the antlers. The fact that the velvet remained on Macera's deer is indicative of some sort of testicular malfunction.

    He said Cornell did some research with injecting nearly a half dozen bucks with an experimental birth control hormone (anti-Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone) that resulted in all five developing 'spindly, malformed' antlers. The antlers never hardened and all retained their velvet, he said.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Robyn Hitchcock and Emma Swift Perform "Life Is A Change," "Love Is A Drag," "Glass Hotel," "Just Like A Woman," & "Ole! Tarantula"

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Win-Win in France?


"Marine Le Pen and niece Marion Marechal Le Pen--France is either voting for them, or another immigration skeptic," whom Pat Buchanan describes as "a socially conservative Catholic who supports family values, wants to confront Islamist extremism, control immigration, restore France’s historic identity and end sanctions on Russia" — Populist-Nationalist Tide Rolls On In Europe And The West.

Describing François Fillon as "a Rick Santorum-like Catholic conservative," Steve Sailer says this puts "the National Front to the left of the Republicans on traditional class economic issues and not all that far to the right on cultural / identity issues" — Is the National Front Still the "Far Right" in France?

Moi? Je suis avec elles. Especially Marion!

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His Excellency Rodrigo Duterte, Strongman and Statesman


Two headlines — Philippines President Duterte's advance security team bombed in volatile region & Only federalism will bring lasting peace, says Duterte. From the former article:
    The truck carrying the president's advance security detail was hit by an improvised explosive device,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, as cited by Reuters. “There was no firefight.”

    “The convoy was ambushed using an IED while traversing from Iligan City to Marawi City,” Armed Forces spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said.

    The injured men were immediately airlifted to safety. Members of the president's official media team were also in the convoy, but were unharmed.

    Lorenzana said that he advised Duterte to cancel his visit to Marawi, scheduled for Wednesday, as the situation is “still not under control.”

    The president chose to ignore the advice.

    “The advice was to postpone. I said no, I will go there. And if possible, take the same route,” Duterte said, as cited by Reuters. “Maybe we can have a little gunfight here, gunfight there.”

    Philstar newspaper cited Padilla as saying the attack might have been staged by Maute, an Islamist group which pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
From the latter:
    In his speech, the President maintained that only a federal system of government would be the answer to end the secessionist wars in southern Philippines.

    “Let me remind you again. Per my observation, we cannot have a peaceful country…if you do not agree to a federal setup,” he said.

    “For me, I don’t want to force the people. For me, it’s good if you don’t want it. I am just a Filipino. For as long as you do not bother me, fine. But the problem is in Mindanao and the Moro people will go for it at all costs,” he added.

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Veterans Stand for Standing Rock


Veterans, I have learned from the pow-wows I attend in the summer, are revered among Indians — Literally Too Many Veterans Have Signed Up To Join DAPL Protests.

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Catholic Charities and the Islamic State

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Johann Sebastian Bach's Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, Performed by Christine Schäfer, Ian Bostridge, Christopher Maltman, Arnold Schoenberg Choir, and Concentus Musicus Wien, Directed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt

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Donald Trump Celebrates Fidel Castro's Death With Cuban-Americans


The president-elect, seen above dancing with Cuban-Americans, speaketh — Trump Slams "Brutal Dictator" Castro's "Legacy Of Firing Squads, Theft, Suffering And Poverty". His full statement:
    Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.

    While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.

    Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.
Contrast that with the statement of the current occupant of the White House and those of these fellow travelers — World Leaders Respond To Fidel Castro's Death.

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Upstate Poutine


Where to find the Québécois delicacy consisting of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy south of the border — Poutine: 10 places in Upstate for beloved Canadian staple.


Topping the list is Rochester's own Le Petit Poutine, pictured above:
    For a little something different let's start our poutine journey with this funny looking, green food truck with the giant fork painted on the side. Le Petit Poutine lovers chase this little truck all over the Rochester area to sample delicious plates of several types of poutine including traditional, vegetarian, pulled pork and (a real winner) the breakfast poutine, which consists of French fries, eggs over easy, bacon, beef gravy and a dash of thyme!
Four more places in town to find the dish — Poutine in Rochester: 5 places that treat Canadian dish as culinary royalty.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

The Attacca Quartet Perform John Adams' "Toot Nipple" & "Alligator Escalator," Joseph Haydn's "String Quartet in D, Op. 76, No. 5 — I. Allegretto," and Michael Ippolito's "Smoke Rings"


Blurbist Tom Huizenga writes:
    Classical music observers say we're living in a golden age of string quartets. It's hard to disagree when you hear the vibrant young players in New York's Attacca Quartet.

    They revere the old school, having recently completed a performance cycle of all 68 string quartets by Joseph Haydn, the man who invented the genre. They also hunger for the new, exploring the music of three living composers each year in a project called Recently Added.

    One contemporary composer the group continues to champion is John Adams. The head-banging pulsations of "Toot Nipple" (titled after a character in an Annie Proulx story) contrast with the slippery and funky episodes in "Alligator Escalator." Adams has said he imagined such a creature waddling up and down the floors of Macy's department store. The two movements belong to John's Book of Alleged Dances from 1994.

    Next to Adams, Haydn sounds positively genteel, but you needn't look far to find the composer's own feisty side. Sunny skies suddenly turn threatening at the turn of a phrase — a trend in Haydn's time known as Sturm und Drang, or "Storm and Stress" — when moods can swing wildly with impunity.

    Measured by the cello's tick-tock pizzicato, the mood of Michael Ippolito's Smoke Rings is languid, even a little trippy. Inspired by a 14th-century French song about a smoking society, the composer employs long, slow strokes and light bow pressure for a hazy texture. The music heats up dramatically midway through, only to drift back into the smoke.

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The Largest Office Building in the World...


... when it was completed in 1896 — A Closer Look: Ellicott Square. My dad used to work here, and what was missing from this visual tour was the floor mosaics I remember from my visits as a kid:

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