All Hallows Eve 2006

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

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

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

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

Facts for Halloween from the Census BOO-reau.


Picture above from NASA.

Enthroned In The Hearts Of Kings-Mixed CD

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

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

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

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

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

John, Bobby, and John- Mixed CD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Election of 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CNN: Should e-voting machines be outlawed?

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

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

RFK Jr on Hardball on November Elections

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

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