Time between the pop hits, part 1

A-C

Modern Love. David BowieWhen I was a kid, I became aware that I would not hear from a particular artist for a while, with time between the pop hits. Then they would make what appeared to be a commercial comeback. And, if it were an artist I enjoyed, this would make me exceedingly happy.

I’m limiting this to the pop hits on the Billboard charts. They may have had country, rhythm and blues, or adult contemporary charters. But ever since I was a library page in high school, I relied on the pop charts.

There won’t be much from the 1950s, since they came to my ears simultaneously as “oldies.” Probably nothing from the 21st century because I don’t listen to commercial radio much anymore.

And because it’d be too damn long, I’m doing it in four parts. you know, sort of like harmonies.

Lonely People – America. In 1971, my freshman year of college, America performed. I didn’t go because of them, even though the admission was only fifty cents. Only a few months later A Horse with No Name (#1), I Need You (#9), and Ventura Highway (#8) ruled the airways. After a bit of a lull, they returned with Tin Man and Lonely People (#5 in 1975). My love for the latter is so great, I wrote a whole post about it.

B

Rock and Roll Music – the Beach Boys. I don’t love this version. But after the group had been relegated to being an oldies act, they put out an album of new music called 15 Big Ones, which I bought. This (#5 in 1976) was the lead cut. It was their first Top 20 single since Do It Again ((#20 in 1968) and first Top 5 since the #1 Good Vibrations in 1966.

Got To Get You Into My Life – The Beatles. This is a bit of a cheat. A single six years after The Long and Winding Road hit #1 in 1970. But I love the song, which reached #7 in 1976. One could make the case for Free As A Bird, a “new” tune, #6 in 1996.

Jive Talkin’ – the Bee Gees. Probably the inspiration of this project, after seeing the documentary How Do You Mend a Broken Heart and reading J. Eric Smith’s post on the group. My FAVORITE song by the group, and their first #1 in four years.

Steppin’ Out – Tony Bennett. Another cheat. This garnered airplay on MTV, which lifted his album sales for the first time in two decades.

No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry. At #10 in 1964, his first Top 10 since Johnny B. Goode, #8 in 1958. BTW, I despise – and own on an LP, his only #1, My Ding-A-Ling in 1972.

Bo

Time Is Tight – Booker T. and the MG’s. At #6 in 1969, their highest single since their first hit, Green Onions, #3 in 1962. 

Modern Love – David Bowie. I’m surprised how poorly the singles after Golden Years (#10 in 1976) were because I know these songs so well. TVC 15 (#64), Ashes to Ashes (#101), Fashion (#70) Cat People (#67). Even Under Pressure, with Queen, only got to #29. Then the Let’s Dance album, which generated the title #1 single, his first since Fame (1975). But it wasn’t a one-off, with China Girl (#10) and Modern Love (#14) all charting in 1983.

Living In America – James Brown. The Godfather of Soul had over 100 songs on the pop charts. But his hit from Rocky IV (#4 in 1986) was his first Top 20 since Get On The Good Foot (#18 in 1972), and his first Top 10 since Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud (#10 in 1968). Only I Got You (#3 in 1965) charted higher. Long version.

C

A Boy Named Sue – Johnny Cash. Ring of Fire hit #17 in 1963, but this song, recorded in San Quentin prison got to #2 in 1969.

Crying Time – Ray Charles. #6 in ’66, and his first Top 10 since Busted, #4 in 1963.

Change The World – Eric Clapton. A Top 5 in 1996, it was his first hit since Tears in Heaven (#2 in 1992), which was his first Top 10 since I Can’t Stand It in 1981.

You Got What It Takes – Dave Clark Five. After three top 10 hits in 1965, including the #1 Over and Over, a brief return to form in 1967 at #7.

Ramblin’ Rose – Nat King Cole. the #2 hit in 1962 was the first Top 5 cut since Looking Back in 1958. I suppose I could have picked Unforgettable with Natalie Cole, #14 in 1991, 25 years after he had last charted, and 26 years after he died. But I didn’t.

Send In The Clowns – Judy Collins. She wasn’t a big singles star. But the reissue of this single, which had reached #36 in 1975, managed to hit #19 in 1977, her biggest record since Amazing Grace, #15 in 1971.

Nightshift – the Commodores. This tribute to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson reached #3 in 1985, a return to the Top 5 after Oh No, #4 in 1981.

Anger, a national disease

“Anything that gets in the way must be attacked as well.”

On May 17 at about 3 pm, I stopped by a liquor store at the corner of Quail Street and Elberon Place and bought a bottle of wine. This is almost exactly one mile from my home.

On May 30 at about 3 am near that very same intersection, Devin McGlothan, 29, was the ninth person murdered in the city of Albany, NY in 2021. It’s the sixth killing in the month of May, including two high school girls.

This is hardly just an Albany problem. It’s a national disease. In the Miami area on Memorial Day weekend, there were two mass causality events. One involved three men jumping out of a car, shooting two dozen people in six seconds, killing at least two, then driving off. See the mass shootings list for 2021. Workplaces, grocery stores – no place appears immune.

After spending 2020 worrying about getting COVID-19, I don’t want to spend 2021 worrying about violence. But living near a hotheaded neighbor who thinks we’re always calling the cops on her -I did once, because of the dog – unexplained noises at night are unsettling.

Rage

I wish I had some cogent solutions to offer the country, but I’m just nervous because it’s rooted in a fit of cultural anger that I don’t know how we fix. And they have lots of guns

Anger over COVID: its physical and economic effects, people “forced” to wear masks, people demanding others NOT to wear masks, the belief that the disease is a “fraud”, that the vaccine will empower Bill Gates.

And when they get out and about, they seem to have forgotten how to act like civil human beings. No wonder Southwest and American Airlines at least temporarily banned the sale of liquor on their planes. A female passenger punched a female flight attendant in the face. Unruly Passenger Reports have skyrocketed in 2021

Anger over race/religion/ethnicity: Japanese-Americans and Korean-Americans assaulted because their attackers discriminate but aren’t discriminating. Jewish-Americans and their places of worship threatened, as though they control the military policy of the Israeli government. Hispanics are harassed because they don’t “talk American.” Black Americans are still killed, because.

Anger fueled by social media. When I read my political feeds from all sides, they often use terms such as “destroys.” Such as, “Adam destroyed Bob with this tweet.” Zero-sum.

45, still

Anger stirred up over the Big Lie about the 2020 election. This begat the January 6 insurrection. And has brought forth laws in several states interfering with elections; in Georgia and Texas, it’s much easier to overturn the mandate of the populace. And some wuss members of Congress who have decided that 6 Jan was a tourist event.

Terry Moran on ABC News This Week for May 30 described it this way: “The Republican Party isn’t very Republican, and it’s not really a party, right? It’s a nationalist Trumpist movement right now.

“Parties are static. They operate within a received set of laws and traditions. They compete for voter support to enact policy preferences. Movements move.

“And nationalist movements move to attack the establishment in their own party first and then everywhere else. And anything that gets in the way must be attacked as well.”

Just Google “angry Americans.” Read how political rage helps campaigns but hurts democracy.

“So, when democratic laws and traditions and values get in the way and the basic arithmetic of democracy, if the other guy gets more votes, you lose, they attack that too. And that’s what’s happening.”

As I noted, I’m looking for suggestions, because I’m bereft of them.

July rambling: “Tell Us How We Did”

time to use the F-word

Misinformation
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

The U.S. could lose its top-level bond rating because of the Big Lie

Yes, this is fascism: The Atlantic’s conservative David Frum says it’s time to use the F-word; a dark warning

Military Chiefs Planned Joint Resignation To Thwart Trump’s ‘Gospel Of The Fuhrer’

Deadly Flooding Turns ‘Small’ German River Into a ‘Raging Monster’. Video by Roger Green (not me)

NBC News: Eighty years after a segregation wall rose in Detroit, America remains divided. That’s not an accident

Flight attendant harasses Muslim woman

DACA: One More Example of Broken Democracy

I lived in an airport for seven months

According to the EPA, clothes, and shoes account for more municipal solid waste than .plastic items

Now I Know:  Literally Nuts for Candy and The Problem with Lots of People Drinking Lots of Tea and  The Pink Hat of Fidelity and  The Biggest of Macs and  When It’s Better to Be in Fourth Place and The Problem With Stealing High-End Electronics and The Bugs That Make Danger Glow

Media

Inside Big Tech’s angry, geeky, often petty war for your privacy

Hank Green: Should You Abandon Social Media?

I’m Breaking Up with ZOOM

“Tell Us How We Did”. Irrefutably TRUE

An Exploration of James Baldwin’s Life and Works Through the Powerful Lens of His House Chez Baldwin in St. Paul de Vence, France

Voice actors

Emmy’s Big Problem

Ken Levine interviews author Mark Harris who wrote the book MIKE NICHOLS: A LIFE here and here.

The Marvel Sacred Timeline

At The Washington Post, Harry Rosenfeld found himself handling the most important political scandal of the 20th century – Watergate – before joining the Times Union in Albany, N.Y. “HIRSCH MORITZ ROSENFELD and his Polish immigrant parents fled the violence engulfing Nazi Germany in 1939, and found refuge in the Bronx. He never forgot the price his family paid for freedom, never took American citizenship for granted. He developed a keen eye for unaccountable power and nascent oppression and embraced his responsibility to fight for the freedoms that made America a beacon of hope.” The last time I saw him in person was in 2017.

Jackie Mason, R.I.P.

Summary: No Exit – Jean-Paul Sartre

Central Warehouse

Cartoons: Human time and 10 ways to befriend a misanthropic cat and  explaining confusing things

MUSIC

Harlem – Duke Ellington. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta.

Run Run Run – Kurt Vile,  from the album I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico; long version

Mighty River by Errollyn Wallen.

Dragon live album concert during two weeks in an Auckland hotel for quarantine clearance

Coverville 1365: The AC/DC Cover Story III

Just A Friend– Biz Markie, RIP

The Glamourous Life – Audra McDonald from A Little Night Music

Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue – Postmodern Jukebox

He’d Have to Get Under, Get out and Get Under  (to Fix Up His Automobile) – The Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra

A medley of ten Hanna-Barbera theme songs performed by Alex Duquette  in two minutes

Jim Croce

The Music of the Night/Monster Mash – Big Daddy

Where are you right now?

books, and more books

where are youAs I noted, I got a package from DFTBA. One item is a Prompt Book from Life’s Library. The first one:

Where are you right now? Describe it in detail.

The ironic aspect of this assignment is that, as soon as I agreed to write about the place, I knew I had to change it. It was a mess. Now, it’s hardly tidy – too much stuff in a small space – but much improved.

The room is the office. It’s about a nine-foot cube. The most obvious features are built-in books on at least part of every wall.

East Wall

Except for the end of the north wall bookcase, there’s a bare wall for about a meter. The one front window, which the girl cat likes to look out. Below that is the radiator. On top of the radiator frame are boxes of CDs I recently got from my late FIL’s collection. The bookcase starts next to the window, only three shelves, mostly unsorted books most recently at my in-laws’ house.

On top, indeed on the top of all the bookshelves throughout are Hess trucks, in chronological order.

Below those three shelves is a four-drawer file cabinet, painted blue, positioned at a 45-degree angle. The top two drawers are mine, the lower two are my wife’s. Part of the straightening involved making sure my wife could access her stuff.

South Wall

From left to right, books, and more books. The first shelves are likewise three rows, primarily my wife’s books. The next section goes to the floor, seven shelves. the top two and the fourth are miscellaneous, the third, my wife’s. The last three are for the tallest books, so music reference, some comics-related items, and books about Sondheim and the Beatles.

The next sections, more than twice as wide, are four shelves of pop culture; music, film, television. It’s where my Mozart Requiem and Handel Messiah scores reside.

Then the built-in desk – more a shelf – with the laptop, and a lamp. Pencils/pens in an Avengers: Age of Ultron cup from Subway. Below that is a shelf of photo albums from the previous century, which I haven’t looked at in years. The last section of five shelves has a number of Marvel Masterworks and more pop culture.

West Wall

The last of five long shelves are primarily my wife’s books. There’s also a section of anti-racism books. The shelf below holds the phone, the boom box, and pictures. Below that reams of paper. I used to have a printer on my desk, but recently it ceased to work; I suspect it was zapped by lightning.

Below that, some old, tall books I’ve read but still want to keep. In front of those books, the garbage can, the shredding bag, and the recycling bin – formerly filled with 17.5 pounds of cat litter.

Right of that is a little bit of wall with the light switch, then the door. My daughter recently fixed the knob, which was, alternately, too tight and too loose.

North Wall

It’s empty for the width of the door, except for a folded table. Then a separate bookcase from near the ceiling to floor. If you’ve been on ZoOM with me, it’s what you see in the background.

There are two sections of eight rows. Section one has, from top to bottom, trivia books, religious books including several hymnals, philosophy, and children’s books. Section two contains history, biographies, language, and pop culture paperbacks.

These book delineations are imperfect and are based on factors such as book/shelf heights, and recency of acquisition.

This room is where I almost always blog. It inspires me, AND it’s where I access my fact-checking resources. And all of this claustrophobic writing reminds me of this song.

Delta variant and other COVID news

Luciferian Globalists

By Harold Jessurun and Aníbal Quiñones, the prominent creators of the popular Pepito comic in Puerto Rico. Instagram had deleted the image on some sites, citing that it violated its Community Guidelines. https://www.latinorebels.com/2020/04/20/pepitocreatorsimage/

The Delta variant doesn’t give a flying #@$% if you’re tired of hearing about COVID-19.

From the  Boston Globe: “This is not the worry-free summer many envisioned as recently as Memorial Day, full of long-awaited travel, family reunions, and evenings in favorite restaurants.

“Since July Fourth, there’s been a steady drumbeat of discouraging COVID-19 news: Infections are climbing across the country. Hospitalizations in several Southern and Western states are spiking, too. Vaccination rates have dwindled. And communities from Cambridge to Los Angeles County are advising or mandating a return to mask-wearing, even for vaccinated people.”

An old friend of one of my sisters has been sending me stuff such as how some doctor says there is no Delta variant of COVID. But the “logic”, alas, fails me. Then she sent me something about the Luciferian Globalists Implementing the New World Order. Er, no.

Speaking of which: In southwest Missouri, the coronavirus Delta variant and “freedom” collide. Our guest pastor made a credible link between American individualism in this crisis and sin.

Right-Wing Vaccine Lies Are Tearing the Country Apart.

My daughter asked me if I’d ever heard of Eric Clapton. Er, yeah. Apparently, he was trending on Twitter because of some reportedly racist thing he said in 1978; IDK why it was notable decades later. But then I came across this article from 2021 noting that he says he won’t play venues that require COVID-19 vaccinations. I find that… disappointing.

Masking up

Someone asked me, “Are you going to watch the Olympics?” And I was surprised that I answered, “I don’t know.” The COVID surge in Japan has taken away some of the luster from the games in my mind. Ken Levine hit on it.

Except for a few restaurant visits, I tend to wear my mask indoors, even though I’m fully vaccinated. So it’s not onerous for me if it’s mandated.

Oh, and it IS required on the local CDTA buses, as it is on most mass transportation. At a bus stop where I was getting on, two potential passengers were arguing about whether masks were required. I butted in and agreed with the one who said yes. Then the bus driver refused to allow the unmasked person on, so the other one declined to get on too. The two were still squabbling as the bus pulled away.

The Department of Justice decided not to probe COVID deaths in state-run nursing homes in four states, including New York. I can’t speak about the other states, but I was hoping for such a probe in my state. It’ll be investigated at the state level, but federal juice has more impact.

Canada to Open to Fully Vaccinated Americans on August 9.

I read that the morally bankrupt Congressman Madison Cawthorn, who lied about a major aspect of his biography, is bloviating that if the GOP retakes the House, it’ll be prosecuting Dr. Fauci to the “full extent” of the law.