Monday, March 31, 2014

Wild Child Perform "Crazy Bird," "Stitches," & "This Place"






I heard these nice people recently on WRUR | Different Radio, can't remember which show.

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Immanuel Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision In a Nutshell

    In the 1940s, a curiously enigmatic figure haunted New York City’s great libraries, his mind afire with urgent questions whose resolution might reveal, once and for all, the most ancient secrets of the universe in their crystalline clarity. This scholar eschewed the traditional disciplinary boundaries that define the intellectual terrain of the specialist; instead, he read widely, skimming the surface of countless works of science, myth and history to craft an answer to an overwhelming question: Had our planet been altered repeatedly by cosmic catastrophes whose traces could be found in the earliest human records?

    A fantastic theory began to emerge, redolent of the efforts of an earlier age to unify knowledge, yet speaking to the preoccupations of a world contemplating the chaos of another gruesome European war. The solar system, it was revealed, did not operate according to Newton’s universal laws of gravitation, nor did life on Earth evolve gradually and continuously, as Darwin had written. Instead, the cosmos was like a giant atom, periodically discharging photons whose energy disrupted and redirected the movements of celestial bodies, even causing the reversal of Earth’s magnetic poles. A planet was a kind of super-electron.

    Venus became the spectacular demonstration of this principle. Formed from Jupiter’s debris around 1500 bc, it emerged as a comet whose wobbly path intersected with Earth’s orbit, repeatedly disrupting its electromagnetic field. The dramatic effects of this cosmic collision could be found in the records of all ancient societies: Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets, ancient Indian mythologies, Aztec codices and, above all, the Old Testament provided a concordance of mutually corroborating evidence. Manna from heaven, rains of blood and other seemingly inexplicable phenomena now found their explanation beyond miracle and mystery: they were, in fact, the effects of Venus losing its tail, discharging its effluvia as the comet became a young planet.

    Venus was not done wreaking its havoc on the cosmos yet. The namesake for the unrepentant goddess of love continued on its wayward path, disrupting Mars’s orbit. Thrown off course, Mars became the catalyst for a second cosmic collision between 747 and 697 bc, when it nearly smashed into Earth, permanently lengthening the terrestrial year from 360 to 365¼ days. Once again, the evidence lay in fragmentary records from a distant past, including the Iliad and the Book of Isaiah. Thus a new theory was born that entailed not only a wholesale rethinking of astronomy, physics, geology, paleontology, history and archaeology, but also a complete rejection of the commonly accepted foundations of modern science. Its author was not modest: he also claimed that his theory provided new insight into the Freudian and Jungian unconscious, offering an account of the formative events that had left a traumatic imprint on the primordial human psyche, and whose subsequent evisceration became the collective amnesia of future generations.
From this appreciation by The Nations's Paula Findlen, who, like me, "knew it probably wasn’t true, but found it "fascinating and mysterious" — From Visionary to the Fringe.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Prisma String Trio Perform Jean Cras's Lent, Jacob Obrecht's Hélas mon Bien, and Albert van Veenendaal's High Anxiety

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Spirit Family Reunion Perform "Climb Up the Corn," "Fill My Heart With Love," & "Nighttime In Nevada"






Spirit Family Reunion, when we saw them play up here, introduced themselves as being from "downstate, Brooklyn, in New York City."

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Against Libertarian Trotskyism

Which he defines as the ideology "that because the US is the living embodiment of the free society, it’s our moral obligation to spread liberty around the world," the heroic Justin Raimondo reminds us that "liberty is on the agenda exactly nowhere outside these United States, and even here it is on the defensive" — Libertarianism In One Country. He writes:
    Only two things can save [libertarians] from falling into the trap of "libertarian Trotskyism," and that is:

    1) Rejecting Paine’s Jacobin/Napoleonic slogan, and realizing that, no, my country isn’t the world – it’s the United States of America, homeland of the one libertarian revolution that has managed to survive, and, for a time, even thrive. A revolution, I remind you, that is in mortal danger of being reversed, and which it is our primary obligation to defend. I would go even further than that and venture to say that mounting such a defense is our sole task, given the crisis of liberty in this country. In short; if we are to have libertarianism, it is going to be libertarianism in one country – or not anywhere at all.

    2) We must never forget that the political character of a state, whether it is democratic, theocratic, fascist, or communist, says nothing about the foreign policy it will pursue. A democracy can be and often is relentlessly aggressive, while a fascist dictatorship could just as readily be pacific and isolationist. Indeed, a democratic nation with a Messiah complex is far more dangerous to the world and to its own people than a relatively authoritarian state that just wants to reign over its little corner of the globe. A danger to the world because the special arrogance that infuses would-be messiahs allows them to commit the greatest crimes for the noblest of reasons. A danger to their own people because the very act of aggression and empire-building destroys the liberal character of democratic states, eating away their substance from within.
Michael Lind, no friend of liberty himself, nevertheless managed to write a succinct definition of our philosophy here in "The five worldviews that define American politics," here:
    Libertarian isolationism draws its adherents from both the left and the right. According to the libertarian isolationist interpretation of history, the U.S. changed from a decentralized republic into a militarized, authoritarian empire in the late 19th century, when the Spanish-American War made the U.S. a colonial power and trusts and cartels took over the economy. Every president since McKinley, they believe, has been a tool of a self-aggrandizing crony capitalist oligarchy, which exaggerated the threats of Imperial and Nazi Germany and Japan and the Soviet Union and communist China and now of Islamist terrorism in order to regiment American society and divert resources to the bloated 'military-industrial complex.' If the libertarian isolationists had their way, the U.S. would abandon foreign alliances, dismantle most of its military, and return to a 19th-century pattern of decentralized government and an economy based on small businesses and small farms.

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New Americans and Old

The New Beginning reminds of of those who in contrast to "the American Puritans who crossed the ocean in search of religious freedom, ... came for the land, for the jobs, for the prosperity and freedoms that would allow them to build a home, open a restaurant, and enjoy weekends off from work" — The Hard Truth about Orthodox (and Catholic) Immigrants.

I suppose, though, the same is true of those Anglicans who populated the Jamestown Settlement in 1607, a far happier lot than the Christian Taliban up in Massachusetts.

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Who Needs Women?

"Through HIV, gay men have discovered they can 'breed' without women," says a "queer psychoanalytic theorist” quoted by Christopher Hart in his review of a book published by my alma mater's university press — A New Breed of Breeder. Me? I can hardly do a thing without women.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Red Molly Perform "Sing To Me"


Red Molly's name, we learn "is NOT taken from a character in the Richard Thompson song '1952 Vincent Black Lightning.'"

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Del McCoury Band Perform "1952 Vincent Black Lightning"

    Said Red Molly to James that's a fine motorbike
    A girl could feel special on any such like
    Said James to Red Molly, well my hat's off to you
    It's a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952
    And I've seen you at the corners and cafes it seems
    Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme
    And he pulled her on behind
    And down to Box Hill they did ride

    Said James to Red Molly, here's a ring for your right hand
    But I'll tell you in earnest I'm a dangerous man
    I've fought with the law since I was seventeen
    I robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine
    Now I'm 21 years, I might make 22
    And I don't mind dying, but for the love of you
    And if fate should break my stride
    Then I'll give you my Vincent to ride

    Come down, come down, Red Molly, called Sergeant McRae
    For they've taken young James Adie for armed robbery
    Shotgun blast hit his chest, left nothing inside
    Oh, come down, Red Molly to his dying bedside
    When she came to the hospital, there wasn't much left
    He was running out of road, he was running out of breath
    But he smiled to see her cry
    And said I'll give you my Vincent to ride

    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a 52 Vincent and a red headed girl
    Now Nortons and Indians and Greeveses won't do
    They don't have a soul like a Vincent 52
    He reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys
    He said I've got no further use for these
    I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome
    Swooping down from heaven to carry me home
    And he gave her one last kiss and died
    And he gave her his Vincent to ride

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

JP Harris & The Tough Choices Perform "Home Is Where The Hurt Is"


JP Harris & The Tough Choices, according to their website, "play Country Music. Period. No 'pop-,' 'alt-,' 'rock-,' 'folk-,' etc. prefixes." More:
    Sick and tired of the modern Pop-Country filth broadcast shamelessly and persistently across our beautiful countrysides, The Tough Choices set out to right the wrongs done to a music so classically and quintessentially American. As we speak, Hank Williams, Buck Owens, Carl Smith, and countless other champions of Honky Tonk are rolling in their graves, groaning with disgust over the watered-down contemporary excuse that the “Country” music industry presents us for music. Save a few Randy Travis gems and Alan Jackson hits, this flim-flam is pathetic, at best.

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The Carnivore's Dilemma?

Writing for The American Scholar, Prof James E. McWilliams pens what the first commnenter rightly calls "one of the most thought-provoking, well researched and enlightening articles I've ever read" even if its author is ultimately wrong — Loving Animals to Death. A summary:
    Simply put, when it comes to the Food Movement’s long-term viability, could it be that changing what we eat is more important than improving its source? Might the only way to reform our food system—rather than simply providing alternatives—be to stop raising animals for consumption? Pollan has addressed these questions by explaining, “what’s wrong with animal agriculture—with eating animals—is the practice, not the principle.” But what if he’s got that backward? What if, when it comes to eating animals, the Food Movement’s principles are out of whack?
I stick with Michael Pollan on this. While Prof. McWilliams is right that the "slaughter[ing of] sentient and emotionally sophisticated beings" should not be taken lightly, Gene Logsdon, a farmer-philosopher whom I've long admired, is right when he says, "Killing animals for food is nasty, sad work but we think someone has to do it" — Yes, I care for animals and then I eat them. Mr. Logsdon has the last word on this, identifying the real problem as the "severe disconnect between our society today and the realities of the food chain."

The rightness or wrongness of killing aninals for food depends on the answer to one question, posed to Catholic Answers here — Do animals have souls like human beings? The answer: "The soul is the principle of life. Since animals and plants are living things, they have souls, but not in the sense in which human beings have souls. Our souls are rational--theirs aren't--and ours are rational because they're spiritual, not material." Amen.

From the old blog, some thoughts of mine and others on the subject — Against Factory Farming, Pigs Are Pigs, Not Production Units, "Perhaps the Cruelest Industry".

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Localism in Greenville and Burlington

"The soil is fertile for a renaissance in local government," writes Townhall.com's Zachary Gappa — Big Little Governments. An exceprt:
    Burlington leans left in its styling (cleaning products company Seventh Generation, school programs, a snowboarding company) while Greenville leans more to the right (GE, BMW, downtown businesses), but in the substance of their initiatives they have much in common. This is because liberals and conservatives have fewer functional differences in local government than in national government. When you get close enough to the community, people start knowing each others' names, and the harsh divisions between government and business and family that exist on the national level become a bit blurry and muddled. In both of these cities, the rhetoric of "public/private partnerships" got everyone on board because it represented a reality that almost everyone wants: businesses, citizens, and government working cooperatively to improve their community.
Mr. Gappa's article references this one by The Atlantic's — Why Cities Work Even When Washington Doesn't.

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Antonio Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans Devicta Holofernis Barbarie Performed by the Venice Baroque Orchestra Directed by Andrea Marcon

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Viva la Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta!

LewRockwell.com reports this most serene news just in — Venice Votes to Split from Italy as 89% of the City's Residents Opt to Form a New Independent State. Viva!

Of course, this Most Serene Republic has a long and glorious place in the history of self-government. Some history: "The floating city has only been part of Italy for 150 years. The 1000 year–old democratic Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, was quashed by Napoleon and was subsumed into Italy in 1866."

Prof. Paolo Luca Bernardini:
    Although history never repeats itself, we are now experiencing a strong return of little nations, small and prosperous countries, able to interact among each other in the global world.

    The Venetian people realized that we are a nation (worthy of) self-rule and openly oppressed, and the entire world is moving towards fragmentation - a positive fragmentation - where local traditions mingle with global exchanges.
Viva!

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"The Constitution is Libertarian"

"The Constitution is based on two principles —you're entitled to live your life the way you want to, the only proviso being you do no harm to others," rightly said Mark E. Glogowski, a Hamlin, New York resident and candidate for the state's 139th Assembly District, at this local event today — Area Libertarians hold annual convention.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Eliades Ochoa and AfroCubism Perform "Al Vaivén de Mi Carreta"


AfroCubism was one of the first albums I bought upon my repatriation to the US almost three years ago, from the Borders Group going-out-of-business sale.

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Guantanamera Minutos


The sinister visage above [dis]graced the cigar shop in Niagara Falls, Ontario where I bought a pack of Guantanamera Minutos, the "petit size beauty rolled into a mellow even vitola with ample of woodiness and earthy flavors," "a perfect pick for beginners" from a "brand [that] was even brought into the market keeping in mind that this vitola must serve tastes for all as a universal stogie."

I defied the United States embargo against Cuba not out of support for that country's hideous régime, but from the opposite belief that free trade brings with it freedom and peace between nations.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jozef van Wissem Performs "Sola Gratia" & "Our Hearts Condemn Us"

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The Mill and the Cross (2011)


The Mill and the Cross (2011), watched last nigh through the magic of the Netflix, is a profound Lenten meditation, based on Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 1556 paining The Procession to Calvary, depicting Our Savior's crucifixion in contemporary Flanders under Spanish rule:


Nicolaes Jonghelinck, banker, patron, and humanist, was a particularly noble and compelling character in this film which had little dialogue. The film displays man's inhumanity to man juxtaposed against celebrations of the little joys of the common life, Bruegelian themes, with lush cinematography.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hurray For The Riff Raff Perform "Small Town Heroes," "Look Out Mama," "What's Wrong With Me" & "The St. Roch Blues"

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Monday, March 17, 2014

The Grey Wharf Perform "Fare Thee Well"


A fine rendition of the folk standard which I learned this past weekend from the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack. Also known as Dink's Song, it "tells the story of a woman deserted by her lover when she needs him the most" and was first recorded "by ethnomusicologist John Lomax in 1908, who recorded it as sung by an African American woman called Dink." The haunting lyrics:
    If I had Wings, like Noah's Dove
    I'd fly up the river, to the one I love
    Fare the well, my honey, fare thee well.

    Well I had a man, who was long and tall
    Moved his body like a cannonball
    Fare the well, my honey, Fare thee well

    I remember one evening, in the pouring rain
    In my heart was an aching pain
    Fare the well, my honey, fare thee well.

    Muddy river is muddy and wild
    Can't give a bloody for my unborn child
    Fare the well, my honey, fare the well.

    Show us a bird, flying high above
    Life ain't worth living without the one you love
    Fare the well, my honey, fare thee well.

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"America's Grim Prophet"

That is how CounterPunch's Carl E. Kandutsch, Ph.D., J.D. describes this novelist who "writes as if nothing in the literary world has happened since William Faulkner passed, or perhaps since Herman Melville completed Moby Dick" — Cormac McCarthy: the Latecomer.

Huzzah! Suffering from reader's block, I needed a good recommendation, and this is it. I confess to not having yer read this author first recommended to me in the '90s, but a month ago I watched The Road (2009), based on his novel, whose vision I found in line with my worldview.

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Reagan Administration Official on Crimea and the New Cold War

Former United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts writing for CounterPunch and LewRockwell.com respectively — 95.7 Precent of Crimeans Flip Off the White House and World War 1 All Over Again.

After exposing "Washington Evil" in the former, in the latter he observes, "The same fools play the same game."

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Family Band Perform "Ashokan Farewell," "The Blackest Crow" & "Dinah/Leather Britches/June Apple"

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"Republic of Suffering"


Above, the opening scene of Death and the Civil War (12 Sep. 2012), perhaps the saddest, bleakest, and most profoundly moving documentary I have ever seen. Based on Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Vintage Civil War Library), the documentary explores how the scale of death in the world's first modern war caught Americans totally unprepared (in 12 hours the First Battle of Bull Run claimed more American lives than did the 2-year Mexican–American War), both by overwhelming the capabilties of both sides to care to or even identify the dead and by shattering the cherished Christian/Victorian notion of the "good death," at home surrounded by loved ones. An undertaker-poet interviewed in the film calls this experience the beginning of unbelief in America.

The second half of the film is weak, little more than an apology for Statism, but if one watches between the lines it becomes clear that the deification of the American National State began with the Gettysburg Address. The highlight of the second half is the accounting of the Ladies' Hollywood Memorial Association, Richmond, and other such post-war associations of Southron white women who, responding to the fact that the centralized state had no interest in accounting for the conferderate war-dead, did so themselves without government assistance. They remembered that it was women who took Our Lord down from the cross and buried him.

This film serves as a profoundly American Lenten reflection.

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Millennial Paradoxes

Suzanne Fields ponders this generation described as "confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change," and rightly finds that "as soon as the words capture the imagination, contradictions and paradoxes emerge" — Millennials Playing the Confidence Game.

Their "sense of responsibility and generosity toward an aging parent who may want to come live with them," their desire "to marry and have children" and "rank[ing] such aspirations far above achievement in a career" are wonderful developments, and contradict the fact that "[a]lmost half of the millennial women have children out of wedlock." Their desire for "an active big government" is contradicted by the fact that "they don't much like Obamacare."

While the fact that "millennials are on track to become the most educated (or most 'schooled') generation in American history" says little, that "they're the only group that takes no pride in the 'work ethic'" is, in this blogger's opinion, a good thing.

"A majority says the older generations are superior to them in both moral values and work discipline," but this Gen Xer finds this young crop, at least the ones I have the pleasure of working with, delightfully sweet. They give me hope.

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When TV Was Local

"Back when TV stations produced more local shows, one program in particular stood out — Bowling for Dollars," begins Alan Morrell's story from today's local paper, about a show I remember growing up in Buffalo (and never realizing it was from Rochester) — Whatever Happened To ... Bowling for Dollars?

We even had our own local kids' show, the Commander Tom Show. I guess those days are over.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Dieterich Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri, Performed by La Venexiana, Directed by Claudio Cavina


Dieterich Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri, "the first Lutheran oratorio," which "is divided into seven parts, each addressed to a different part of Christ's crucified body: feet, knees, hands, side, chest, heart, and head," will be performed by the local Pegasus Early Music ensemble this Sunday at 4:00 PM Downtown United Presbyterian Church. The Rochester City Newspaper blurb:
    Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707) may not be a household name, but he was a decisive influence on a composer who certainly is: J.S. Bach, who according to legend once walked 250 miles to hear Buxtehude play the organ. Buxtehude's music is not performed as frequently as Bach's, but when it came to writing religious music combining Italianate vocal lyricism with contrapuntal instrumental writing, he got there first. This Sunday afternoon, Pegasus Early Music marshals some outstanding singers and string players, along with organist Michael Beattie and lutenist Deborah Fox, for a rare complete performance of Buxtehude's choral work "Membra Jesu Nostri." The words are Lenten meditations on parts of the crucified body of Jesus, from His feet to His face; the music is intricate, intimate, and moving.
I first heard the name Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707), and that of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1524-1594) for that matter, in a most unlikely source: John Steinbeck's non-fiction classic, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, in which bohemian marine biologist Ed Ricketts, the model for the character "Doc" in Cannery Row, cites both composers, along with Johann Sebastian Bach, as exemplars of his philosophy of "Breaking Through."

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Classical Music Put to Good Use in Downtown Rochester

"Brahms and Beethoven seem to be doing for the Sibley building what mounted police patrols and pepper spray couldn't: keeping crowds of bored teens from loitering and causing trouble," we read in today's local paper — Near Sibley building, a harmonious solution. From the artcile:
    Since last fall, owners of the East Main Street building have been pumping classical music through speakers inside and outside the building. They say their main goal is to set a comfortable mood at the building for students and shoppers — and there is evidence that's happening.

    But WinnDevelopment officers also know that concertos, sonatas and minuets have a mysterious way of moving teenagers feet — if not their souls — and have been used to clear sidewalks, convenience stores, shopping malls and transit stations across the world for decades.

    "We've read all the studies and I'm not sure if that's the major deterrent or it's part of it but the officers tell us that they think it is helpful," said Joe Eddy, vice president of Winn, who stressed that the music is just one small part of the company's efforts to change the "feel" around the Sibley building.

    [....]

    Using Handel and Hayden to shoo away young people is not new.

    Some reports say it started in Montreal in the 1990s to clear supermarket parking lots. It's now used by the New York Port Authority and at libraries in London. The regional transit department in Portland, Ore. plays the music in light-rail stations to prevent vandalism. Fast food restaurants such as McDonald's have used it, as have 7-11 convenience stores.

    "The first time I actually heard of anyone doing that it was probably 20 years ago in downtown Cleveland and it actually repelled homeless folks also," said Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of the Rochester Downtown Development Corp. "It was in an interior mall and they played a lot of classical music fairly loud and youth and homeless folks were repelled by it. It's an odd sort of a thing."

    One theory about its effectiveness as a crowd and crime deterrent is this: That the soothing music puts people in a relaxed mood and less likely to fight, steal or vandalize.

    The more accepted theory among experts, though, is that classical music is intellectual music, more challenging than other genres and that teens just don't like it.
This suggestion was included in an article linked to here a few weeks ago by Robert Weissberg offering practical suggestions for avoiding the "underclass black teenagers (of both sexes) waging a violent war on whites" — Escaping America’s Youf. He wrote:
    Consider one of those rare publicly admitted successful “Teen-Be-Gone” campaigns. An Australian McDonald’s open 24/7 attracted groups of late-night young loiterers, hardly a situation conducive to business. The manager solved the problem by loudly playing classical music, including opera. Sure enough, most of the youngsters fled elsewhere.... On the other hand, if you want to attract a middle-class female clientele to a restaurant, pipe in softly audible Vivaldi, Telemann, or Corelli. Middle-class women love this ambience, but teens can’t stand it.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hurray for the Riff Raff Perform "End of the Line" & "Ramblin' Gal"




Led by my new crush, Alynda Lee Segarra, a Nuyorican transplant who cut her buckteeth on hardcore punk. In this cute clip she "answers rapid fire questions about Southern culture:"

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¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre!

John Derbyshire rightly argues that "the USA should get rid of this millstone" — How Can We Get Rid of Puerto Rico?. One "approach would be to get Puerto Ricans thinking that independence might be a good idea. Perhaps we could try oppressing the place: Make them tenant farmers under absentee landlords, proscribe use of their native tongue, and shut down their churches. Hey, it worked for Ireland."

"El país que nunca se fue," my Spanish professor lamented of his homeland: "the country that never was." An independista, he was ashamed that only 4% of his countrymen were with him, the rest evenly divided between supporters of statehood and of continued "commonwealth" status.

Bill Kauffman's Bye Bye, Miss American Empire: Neighborhood Patriots, Backcountry Rebels, and their Underdog Crusades to Redraw America's Political Map has an enlightening and inspiring chapter on the culturally conservative Catholics like Pedro Albizu Campos and the founding of the Puerto Rican Independence Party.

iViva!

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Really Local Radio

"With a legal ceiling of 100 watts, low-power FM radio stations have a limited reach — roughly a 3.5-mile radius — but can be used to offer communities a broader range of niche content," writes Rebecca Rafferty of "Rochester's emergent community-radio stations" — New waves.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Old Crow Medicine Show Perform "I Hear Them All"


I heard this for the first time on WRUR | Different Radio today; neat to hear Wovoka referenced:
    I hear the crying of the hungry in the deserts where they're wandering.
    Hear them crying out for heaven's own benevolence upon them.
    Hear destructive power prevailing, I hear fools falsely hailing.
    To the crooked wits of tyrants when they call.

    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all

    I hear the sounds of tearing pages and the roar of burning paper.
    All the crimes in acquisitions turn to air and ash and vapor.
    And the rattle of the shackle far beyond emancipators.
    And the loneliest who gather in their stalls.

    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all

    So while you sit and whistle Dixie with your money and your power.
    I can hear the flowers a-growin' in the rubble of the towers.
    I hear leaders quit their lying, I hear babies quit their crying.
    I hear soldiers quit their dying, one and all.

    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all

    I hear the tender words from Zion, I hear Noah's waterfall.
    Hear the gentle lamb of Judah sleeping at the feet of Buddha.
    And the prophets from Elijah to the old Paiute Wovoka.
    Take their places at the table when they're called.

    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all
    I hear them all

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lowland Hum Performs "War Is Over," "Pocket Knife," & "Four Sisters, Pt. One"


"It's hard to convey the sound of two people in love, but Lowland Hum does that effortlessly," reads the National(ist) Public Radio, introducing "Daniel Levi Goans and Lauren Plank," who "are now Daniel and Lauren Goans; they met a few years ago and spent much of their first married year on the road, singing together on small stages and at house concerts across the country."

It's not so much that these two "convey the sound of two people in love" but that she conveys the look of a woman in love. No surprise she took his name. Scrawny and rather funny-looking, he's still a total alpha male.

Not so the male half of this duo, who, as far as I can tall, is less ugly than Mr. Goans above, but a beta male if there ever was one; his non-attractive wife clearly wears the pants — Shovels & Rope Perform "Birmingham," "O' Be Joyful," "Boxcar," "Keeper," "All Those Words," "Kitchen Hallway," & "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding".

Now, two married people — though not to each other — whose on-stage chemistry is undeniable and notorious — The Civil Wars Perform "Barton Hollow," "Twenty Years," and "Poison & Wine".

Finally, an off-stage couple who make nothing of their relationship in public but just stick to making beautiful music together — Gillian Welch & David Rawlings Perform "Tear My Stillhouse Down," "Acony Bell," "Caleb Meyer," "Paper Wings" & "Orphan Girl".

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sturgill Simpson Performs "I Never Go Around Mirrors," "Poor Rambler," "Railroad of Sin," & "Listening to the Rain"


Country music ain't dead yet, it seems.

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The LEGO® Movie (2014)


Anarcho-Capitalism is the philosophy behind The Lego Movie (2014), in which "[a]n ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together," which I just saw with the boy. The movie's villain, President Business, is the embodiment of crony capitalism, ruling over a dystopia that was as Huxleyan as it was Orwellian. And that's just scratching the surface of this entertaining movie's many layers.

The American Conservative's Noah Kristula-Green calls this "powerful commercial for a toy that links generations" a "paean to domestic stability [that] really does transcend political ideologies" — Why ‘The Lego Movie’ Resonates.

Think Progress's Alyssa Rosenberg not that the President Business has "homogenized culture to the point that there’s only one television show, an idiotic sitcom called Where Are My Pants, and a single hit song, the admittedly amazing 'Everything Is Awesome,' made conformity the norm, and reduced his citizens’ identities to their interests, be it in cats, surfing, or sausage" — ‘The LEGO Movie’ Is An Amazing Critique Of American Mass Culture.

""There might not be a more classically liberal film in the history of film-making," says The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway, rightly noting that the film "isn’t just pro-business" but "also about the importance of hard work, creativity, ownership, innovation and human dignity" — Is The LEGO Movie The Most Subversive Pro-Liberty Film Ever?

"But references to Aristophanes? Ibsen? Orwell? To an architect who died more than 2,000 years ago?" says Religion News Service's Jeffrey Weiss of some of the film's unexpected parts, and noting the "echoes of Jesus and Guru Nanak, the father of Sikhism," as well as reminding us that "the broad popularity of Pope Francis is exactly about the way he is redefining the balance of conformity versus creativity for the Roman Catholic Church" — The Lego Movie’s got religion.

"This is it. This is the one. This is the film that our entire shared experience of pop culture has been building towards," thought this reviewer while watching this "kids’ movie that matches shameless fun with razor-sharp wit, that offers up a spectacle of pure, freewheeling joy even as it tackles the thorniest of issues" — Ebiri on The Lego Movie: A Spectacle of Pure, Freewheeling Joy.

Along with my son, José Ortega y Gasset, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Pope Francis would all find something in this film.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hurray For The Riff Raff Perform "Look Out Mama"

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Hurray for the Riff Raff Perform "St. Roch Blues"

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The Hard Left Falls Flat

CounterPunch is a site I have no problems linking to, but Douglas Valentine's moronic piece condemning "Glenn Greenwald and his sidekick Jeremy Scahill [for] see[ing] nothing wrong with Pierre Omidyar having $8 billion, and not using it to house, feed, clothe and heal the poor" is too much to bear— Glenn Greenwald and the Myth of Income Inequality.

"For the poor you have always with you," we read in John 12:8. While the author is rightly "always glad to give Greenwald and Scahill a free pass, simply because they risk their lives daily while exposing the assassination tactics of the NSA," he cannot seem to stomach the facts that "Greenwald, quire properly, portrays his big time benefactor as 'altruistic,' while Scahill characterizes Omidyar as a 'visionary'" and that "eminent capitalist economist Ralph Nader [who earned this blogger's vote in '08] has also appealed to 'moderately enlightened' billionaires like Omidyar to save the American political system itself."

Is Pierre Omidyar to be condemned simply because he is successful? Is Jeremy Scahill's work, like Dirty Wars (2013), watched this past weekend through the magic of Netflix, to be condemned just because a successful Persian supported it?

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spirit Family Reunion Perform "Put Your Hands Together When You Spin the Wheel," "Climb Up The Corn," & "The Gazebo Song"






Spirit Family Reunion, when we saw them play up here, introduced themselves, as being from "downstate, Brooklyn, in New York City."

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"A man curses..."

"... because he doesn't have the words to say what's on his mind" is a favorite quote of mine from Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992), which serves as an epigram to this story — Spike Lee's 7-Minute Rant About The 'Motherf*cking Hipsters' Gentrifying Brooklyn.

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J.S. Bach's Jesu, Meine Freude Performed by Vocalconsort Berlin, Directed by Daniel Reuss

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