February Rambling about comic book issues, and music

The first Cajun song ever recorded

 

Local judge removes 5-year-old from grandparents to live with mom and known child abuser. “Local” being in Michigan, with the child being moved to Utah with a mother who had never been part of her life. This particular case involves Troy, the grandfather in question, who’s contributed to the ABC Wednesday team. He’s not thrilled with the way the actual story came out – I’ve seldom liked stories I’ve appeared in myself – but the “justice system” is SO wrongheaded in this case, which, as I’ve linked to before, is not an isolated incident.

KunstlerCast #215: Nicole Foss Interview. Economic contraction and the fate of the nation.

Mad props for Anita Hill.

Blogger Alvin McEwen has published a booklet called How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America, which deftly exposes the most common anti-gay propaganda. Also, conservatives file amicus brief in a case before the Supreme Court; they are supporting the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to California’s anti-gay marriage referendum.

How Joe E. Ross (of Car 54) is NOT like Donald Trump or Michele Bachmann.

I mentioned Melanie LAST month; I COULD mention her weekly. This month, she talks about 17 years of defying death and fulfilling longed-for dreams, and for futures that are better than what we have known.

Jaquandor: On Snark and his eleven years (!) in Blogistan. Not only that, he answered some of my questions!

Amy’s 600th post is about Frickin’ Frackers.

Euthanizing gay dogs for Jesus.

Arthur remembers C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General, “an unlikely ally in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

Shooting Parrots, on juries: “Has it come to the point where a group of citizens have failed to grasp the basics of the legal system or even a working understanding of the English language?”

Roger Ebert “took after” his aunt Martha.

Recovered suitcases from an insane asylum; this is a Kickstarter project I backed.

Why does bottled water have an expiration date? We HAVE some 2007 water in our emergency kit. Hmm.

I want THESE people to move my stuff; too bad they are in Japan.

One of many reasons why people hate Disney: Disney Refuses To Allow Epilogue To Appear In The Don Rosa Collection. You may not know the name, but if you ever read the Disney ducks, you’ve probably seen his work. The publisher Egmont has agreed to publish a link to career-end.donrosa.de in the final volume, which leads to the now unpublished text, a scathing indictment of compensation practices. (Mark Evanier clarifies this, but does not dispute, in Rosa’s case.)

A fine letter to DC Comics objecting to the hiring of hatemonger Orson Scott Card to write some Superman comics.

Eddie Campbell’s Rules of Comic Book Comprehension.

Colleen Doran, comic artist, says: Fandom, You Deserve Better Friends.

Library prof bops doc who K.O.’d comic book industry.

You can NOW hear my buddy, comic book artist Steve Bissette blather [his word] with Robin at Inkstuds: PART 1 and PART 2. Steve also noted on Facebook: “Note to self: NEVER FORGET this tweet from “Neil Gaiman @neilhimself My #gatewaycomic was Alan Moore & @SRBissette’s Swamp Thing in 1984. I had stopped reading comics. They hooked me back.” Sunday, Feb. 10, 12:23 PM.”

In 1896 William George Crush created the second-largest ‘city’ in Texas, only to deliberately demolish it overnight in a publicity stunt that went catastrophically wrong.

Internet Explorer usage and the US murder rate.

Sesame Street takes on Downton Abbey.

uJigsawArt Jigsaw Puzzle iPhone App & iPad App, designed by Deborah, my friend since 1977.

Must note that Tim O’Toole, my choir buddy, has two books in the Amazon.com pipeline, on Kindle. Two paperbacks are available at their Create Space subsidiary: THE AMERICAN POPE and SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS. Haven’t read them yet, but I will, probably the pope book first.

An archeological history of the Beatles?

A BUNCH O’ MUSIC

Dustbury remembers Shadow Morton.

Allons à Lafayette is the first Cajun song ever recorded.

I Heard The Voice Of A Pork Chop – JIM JACKSON (1927). Ragtime Blues Guitar.

Chuck Miller’s The Ease of Vocalese and musical references to chess.

George Gershwin plays a piano version of “Rhapsody in Blue”.

Young@Heart Chorus performs I Put a Spell on You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

The theme song to the Road Runner cartoon show, in Korean.

Adam Warrock songs. I especially like the Doctor Who song. The store I worked at for many years carried the novels, but I never read them and have only seen one entire episode.

Why are you listening to THAT kind of music?

A narrow mindset had folks criticizing such disparate artists such as Dionne Warwick, Jimi Hendrix and Charley Pride for performing music that wasn’t “black enough,” whatever that meant.

 

National Public Radio aired a very interesting story last month that hit me where I live.

“Music writer Laina Dawes is a die-hard Judas Priest fan. She’s all about the band’s loud and fast guitars, the piercing vocals — and she loves to see the group perform live.

“Now, a fact that shouldn’t matter: Dawes is a black woman. This, she says, can make things uncomfortable on the metal scene. She says she’s been verbally harassed and told she’s not welcome…

“Dawes writes about the issue in her new book, What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal.”

I so relate to this.

Though I’m not particularly a heavy metal fan – though I do have a country version of AC/DC songs – I have been chastised for my eclectic taste in music, particularly when I was growing up. Usually, the critic was black.

One overbearing example was my sister’s boyfriend at the time, who I will call George since that was his name. I listened to Motown, but I had the audacity to also listen to music by white artists, such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Cream, each of whom was indebted to black music, not so incidentally. To me, the strands of country, gospel, pop, and rhythm and blues were all, more or less, the same.

But, I was told, there was music I was “supposed” to be listening to, to the exclusion of other music. Blues, jazz, black gospel were OK. Conversely, as Dawes puts it: “So when black people listen to quote/unquote ‘white-centric’ music – which is rock ‘n’ roll, or country, or heavy metal, punk, hardcore – it’s seen that they are somehow not proud of who they are, they would prefer to be somebody else outside of being black. And it’s seen as a slap in the face.” I got THAT a LOT, and it rather ticked me off.

George might, begrudgingly, suggest that SOME songs by white artists were OK – Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel and One by Three Dog Night made the cut.

He seemed to think, though, that most white music was the same, for he gave me a live, double album by Grand Funk Railroad, a group I previously had no interest in, for my birthday. (Still have it, BTW.)

There was legitimate concern over white artists covering black artists. But I suppose it depended on how it was done. My father hated Elvis Presley, for instance, in part for him “stealing”, among other songs, Big Mama Thornton’s Hound Dog, but I thought Elvis infused his own style into the song. Whereas I disliked the Pat Boone covers songs such as Little Richard’s Tutti Fruiti as washed-out mush.

This same narrow mindset had folks criticizing such disparate artists such as Dionne Warwick (pop), Jimi Hendrix (rock), and Charley Pride (country) for performing music that wasn’t “black enough,” whatever that meant.

Most of my music is organized alphabetically, by the artist. No categories. No “is that jazz or funk? Is that country or blues?” Music is music if the feeling’s right.
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The poster is from someone’s Facebook page. Had to be from 1963 or later, since a ZIP Code is cited.

The Lydster, Part 107: The Twizzle

We have the complete box set of the Dick van Dyke Show, and we’ve watched all of Season 1 and about 40% of Season 2.

Interesting to hear what others say about whether the Daughter looks more like your mother or me. It seems that if you knew my wife better, like mother, like daughter; if you knew me better, she favors me.

Personality-wise, she is likewise similar to whichever parent is most familiar to the observer.

My wife can explain in her (non-existent) blog how much they do together, besides watching Dancing with the Stars.

Conversely, I am pleased that she has taken to liking two of my favorite cultural phenomena, listening to the music of the Beatles and watching the classic television program, The Dick Van Dyke Show. Re: the latter, we have the complete box set, and we’ve watched all of Season 1 and about 40% of Season 2. Her favorite episode is What’s in a Name, the show in which Ritchie, Rob and Laura’s son, discovers that his middle name is ROSEBUD; she can recite his full middle name, Richard Oscar Sam Edward Benjamin Ulysses David. She also likes the one about the walnuts.

My least favorite show was about a dance craze called the Twizzle, a blatant ripoff of the Twist fad. The Daughter likes it a bit more than I.

In fact, she invented a drink she calls the Twizzle:
1 cup kefir (or flavored yogurt)
1 banana
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen fruit
1 ice cube
love

Blend together.

It’s GOOD!

George Harrison would have been 70

Here are a dozen Harrison songs. Only the Top 2 are for sure on the list. It seems to change a lot, depending on what I’ve been listening to most recently.

When John Lennon died in 1980, I was devastated. When George Harrison died in November 2001, I was melancholy, but I knew he was sick, so I wasn’t surprised. But as time passed, I realized I missed him more and more. Incidentally, All Things Must Pass was my high school prom theme.

I felt sorry for George in the Beatles. He’d write songs and they wouldn’t make the album, because those two other songwriters in the group dominated. That explained why the All Things Must Pass album had three LPs, including an instrumental experiment.

Unique among the Beatles, George’s first greatest hits album included Beatles songs, even though there were arguably enough of his solo works to make their inclusion unnecessary; this was an insult to the artist by his soon-to-be-former record label, in my view.

Here are a dozen Harrison songs. Only the Top 2 are for sure on the list. It seems to change a lot, depending on what I’ve been listening to most recently. I have all the Harrison solo studio albums, excluding some compilations.

Links to songs.

12. Blow Away (from George Harrison – GH) – Always liked the guitar line.
11. Love Comes to Everyone (GH) – guitar intro by Eric Clapton is quite nice.
10. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) (Living in the Material World- LITMW) – In one of the later verses, I like how the chorus is sung off the beat. And more than occasionally, I relate to its message.
9. All Those Years Ago (Somewhere in England -SIE) – Harrison’s tribute to John Lennon, featuring Ringo Starr on drums, as well as Wings members Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine on backing vocals
8. Let It Down (All Things Must Pass -ATMP) – Lovely song. Can’t find the album version, unfortunately, but this is nice, too.
7. Devil’s Radio (Cloud Nine – CN) – Like the somewhat nasal quality of the vocal.
6. Living in the Material World (LITMW) – Story of the Beatles, in part. And when he sings, “We got Ritchie on a tour,” and Ringo plays a little drum solo, it always cracks me up.
5. What Is Life (ATMP). On the extended CD of ATMP, there’s an instrumental version of this song that I like nearly as much.
4. Got My Mind Set on You (CN) – I think I like this as much for the surprise element at the time. George hadn’t had an album in five years, let alone a hit single. This muscular Rudy Clark cover seemed to come out of left field.
3. Not Guilty (GH) – At the time, some people thought this was in response to the My Sweet Lord/He’s So Fine lawsuit. (No, but This Song, from Thirty-Three and 1/3 was.) Not Guilty was actually recorded with The Beatles in 1968 for The White Album; like many of his songs, it was not included. However, you can find a louder version on the Beatles’ Anthology 3.
2. Wah Wah (ATMP) – Love the volume, the guitar line, the choir of vocalists, pretty much everything.
1. When We Was Fab (CN) – This telling of the Beatles’ story, though, is the best of the songs in that specific genre.

A couple of Traveling Wilburys songs in the mix.
The last time I wrote about George, which was the 10th anniversary of his death.

Friend Uthaclena is 60

I’ll just wish my OLD friend a happy birthday.

We met the first day of college. He was an odd sort who tended to hang off the edge of his desk like Snoopy on his doghouse roof. He was even more socially inept than I was at the time, which is saying a lot. He turned me onto comic books at a point that I thought I had outgrown them, at a point when this was not particularly cool.

We fought against wars together, as recently as 2003.

I was in one of his weddings and he was in one of mine.

He’s actually a lot better now socially, thanks in no small part to a stint as a bartender. Most of his work, though, has been in social services. I follow his comments on Facebook but find them incredibly cryptic; one example: “Here we go…”

I usually see him at an annual event that’s been going on, in one form or other for decades, and for which he has been a primary moving force. He wasn’t there this year, though, and I got suckered into doing his part, as though I knew what I was doing.

A couple of years ago, around my birthday, I was in a particular funk about something or other. My wife had conspired with him, his wife, and his daughter to come to visit our house, which brightened my mood considerably. One of the few times I’ve been able to take off on a weekend afternoon was last spring, with him.

He’s currently dealing with some work issues that sound too familiar to me, as both my wife and one of my sisters have experienced it: you have a workload, then management increases it by 70%. They complain that you can’t meet the new goals. But you just can’t, unless you work about 20 unpaid overtime hours per week. Good luck with the forces of evil.

Rather than blathering on, I’ll just wish my OLD friend a happy birthday. Glad we got to talk, effendi.