June rambling #2: composer James Horner, and coloring books

John Oliver: Helen Mirren Reads the Most Horrible Parts of the Torture Report and What the Internet Does to Women.

The Internet Age of Mean.

11 Ways White America Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism. “The pernicious impact of ‘white fragility.'” Slurs: Who Can Say Them, When, and Why. And Churches Are Burning Again in America.

President Obama’s extraordinary eulogy in Charleston, SC.

A black man and a white woman switch mics, and show us a thing or two about privilege.

Using music in political campaigns: what you should know.

SCOTUS_SpideyThis is actual content from the Supreme Court decision by Elena Kagan in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc., decided June 22, 2015.

Bobby Jindal’s bizarre hidden camera announcement to his kids that he’s running for President.

Meh, cisgender, jeggings, and other new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Arthur shares the Father’s Day message from Upworthy.

For Adults, Coloring Invites Creativity And Brings Comfort.

This School Was SHOCKED By What They Found Hidden Behind The Chalkboard. Might I say, though, that the phrase “my mind is blown” is highly overused.

Anti-Slavery Hamilton Gets Pushed Off The $10 Bill, While Genocidal Slaver Jackson Stays On The $20 and Here’s Why Andrew Jackson Stays and Alexander Hamilton Goes. I’m not happy about it, especially since I’m a member of the church Hamilton once attended. And I’m still pulling for Harriet Tubman to get on some bill, preferably on the larger denomination.

Serena Williams Is America’s Greatest Athlete. It was true last September when the article was written, and after her French Open win, still applicable.

Now I Know: It’s Not Pepto Bismol Lake and King Friday XIII.

Jaquandor loves waffles.

Meryl explains Beanworld.

Two Weeks of Status Updates from Your Vague Friend on Facebook.

Evanier points to the 27 shows have been announced for the coming season featuring Audra McDonald, Bruce Willis, and Al Pacino.

Comedy Central in the Post-TV Era: “What’s the difference between a segment on a TV show and the exact same segment on a YouTube channel? Tens of thousands of dollars.”

Comedy Central is running every Daily Show since the day Jon Stewart began, on January 11, 1999, in a 42-day marathon over on this site. It started on June 26.

Eddie rambles about his health & Emmylou Harris’ cool award, among other things.

Evanier’s Patrick MacNee stories.

Farewell, James Horner, who composed a lot of music for movies I’ve seen.

Jim Ed Brown of the Browns singing trio (“The Three Bells”) passed away at the age of 81.

From 2012: The making of Disraeli Gears, my favorite album by Cream.

SamuraiFrog ranks Weird Al: 50-41.

Tosy ranks the songs of U2’s Songs of Innocence.

Bohemian Rhapsody on a fairground “player” organ that is more than 100 years old.

Just for you, Dan: The Tremeloes, who covered Good Day Sunshine.

A Stevie Wonder cover: Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing – Jacob Collier.

Muppets: Thor, God of Thunder.


Bloggers ADD has met, including yours truly.

Arthur takes the ‘I Side With’ quiz.

SamuraiFrog’s dad and Carly Simon.


Roger Green lost both of his children, Amanda and Lance, in separate DUI crashes. “Green and his wife Anita raised their children in rural Oklahoma.”

Eric Clapton is 70

Despite the fact that it directly led to Clapton’s departure from the band, I’ve always liked this song.

Clapton2010CoverEven before singer-bassist Jack Bruce died in October 2014, guitarist Eric Clapton had nixed the idea of a Cream reunion with those two plus drummer Ginger Baker. In fact, he suggested that retiring from the road would be his 70th birthday present to himself, though he might record an occasional album.

No reunion was just as well. Over nine years ago, I received The Royal Albert Hall album, and while it was quite good, it could never measure up to my expectations.

Cream represented my first awareness of “Slowhand,” whose guitar prowess had generated “Clapton is God” messages all over England, even when organized religion there was on the wane.

Certainly, I knew of his Beatles connection, with him playing on While My Guitar Gently Weeps. And of course, there was the fact that, at different points, both George Harrison and his good friend Clapton, wrote songs about, and were married to, Pattie Boyd.

This is more about retailing than Clapton: I went to a store in the Binghamton area and bought 461 Ocean Boulevard, Clapton’s second album, from 1974, though I probably bought it the following year. As soon as the sale was completed, the sales clerk told me what a lousy album it was. I took it home, decided that I liked it, particularly Motherless Children, I Shot The Sheriff, and Let It Grow. Suffice to say, I never bought a record from that store ever again.

Here are some of my favorite songs featuring Clapton. The order, other than the top five, is rather fluid.

20. Why Does Love Got to be So Sad? – Derek and the Dominos. Clapton and Duane Allman licks, with a solid foundation from Jim Gordon on drums and Carl Radle on bass
19. Let It Rain. Written by Clapton, with Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett and Eric Clapton, it was the last song on his first solo album.
18. We’re Going Wrong – Cream. I loved Cream’s second album, Disraeli Gears, from its fanciful cover, to its reference to a 19th-century British prime minister. I created in my mind a harmony vocal for this chorus.
17. Politician (live) – Cream. Politician was recorded by the band for the Wheels of Fire album. But it’s the live version on Goodbye Cream which really shows its lyric cynicism.
16. Those were the Days – Cream. Those trippy lyrics, changing rhythms, and the bells. I owned three different songs with this title, and still do: this one (the B-side of White Room, one of the few singles I owned), the Mary Hopkin hit, and the opening theme to the television show All in the Family.

15. Little Wing – Derek and the Dominos. A cover of the Jimi Hendrix song, showing the greatness of Duane Allman.
14. Sea of Joy – Blind Faith. This was the group that rose from the ashes of Cream with Clapton and Baker, plus Ric Grech, bassist with a band called Family, and the distinctive vocals of Steve Winwood, formerly of the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic.
13. I Feel Free – Cream. LOVE the a cappella opening. From Fresh Cream. I recall that my 7th-grade history teacher referred to the group as The Cream, and one of my classmates sternly corrected him.
12. Cocaine. One of many J.J. Cale songs covered by Clapton, this one for the 1977 Slowhand album. I used to sing “this go better with Coca-Cola” in counterpoint to this song; it DOES fit.
11. I Ain’t Got You – the Yardbirds. I love the stops in this song.

10. Strange Brew – Cream. First song on Disraeli Gears.
9. Can’t Find My Way Back Home – Blind Faith. A song written by Winwood that speaks to a basic tenet of my 20s and 30s
8. White Room – Cream. This is one of my favorite Jack Bruce bass lines.
7. For Your Love – the Yardbirds. Despite the fact that it directly led to Clapton’s departure from the band, I’ve always liked this song. Clapton was upset that the band was moving from R&B to pop, and left to join John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.
6. Tales of Brave Ulysses-Cream. Naturally, from Disraeli Gears.
And you see a girl’s brown body dancing thru the turquoise
And her footprints make you follow where the sky loves the sea
And when your fingers find her, she drowns you in her body
Carving deep blue ripples in the tissue of your mind

5. To Tell The Truth (single)- Derek and the Dominos. This was, according to the Clapton box set I own, the first Derek and the Dominos’ single, but it was withdrawn as not in keeping with the band’s sound. I loved this more frantic version from the first listen, far more than the album version.
4. Badge – Cream. This sounded Beatlesque even before I knew George Harrison co-wrote this with Clapton and plays guitar under the pseudonym L’Angelo Misterioso.
3. Layla – Derek and the Dominos. When the Okie and I lived in Colonial Arms Apartment in New Paltz, NY, our neighbors Howie and Debi had a cat named Layla who was a sister to our cat Doris. Incidentally, this song was re-covered by Clapton in an unplugged version, which The Wife prefers.
2. Sunshine of Your Love – Cream. This was about a perfect pop song: great trading vocals, and harmonies; tremendous playing, especially that tom-tom beat. The Blue Moon guitar solo on the bridge. Of course, from Disraeli Gears.
1. I’m So Glad (live) – Cream. Still, my favorite Clapton performance is on the live version of a Skip James tune from Goodbye Cream. The studio version was on Fresh Cream.

Making Music, Literally

It’s just my pushback against W.W.C.T.G.Y.T.B.N.C.O.S.Y.A.O. – the World Wide Conspiracy To Get You To Buy New Copies Of Stuff You Already Own.

I used to occasionally buy music from Amazon. But since I canceled my Amazon credit card – because the issuing bank was going to slap on some minimum payment every month even if I had no balance – thus denying me access to some Amazon points I’d get from purchasing from them, I’ve been less inclined.

Still, I occasionally need new music. Or music that is new again to me. I have a bunch of LPs in the attic I cannot access because the area is under long-delayed refurbishing, including insulating.

The thing to do: go to the library, take out albums I already have on vinyl, copy them, then listen to them. Understand that I have absolutely no guilt about doing this.

I have purchased the music; I still have the music in my possession. It’s just my pushback against W.W.C.T.G.Y.T.B.N.C.O.S.Y.A.O. – the World Wide Conspiracy To Get You To Buy New Copies Of Stuff You Already Own.

These are some of the albums I’ve checked out, and copied, recently:

Pinups – David Bowie. This is an album of covers of songs made noteworthy by the Who, the Yardbirds, the Pretty Things and more. LISTEN to Friday On My Mind, originally done by the Easybeats.

Diver Down – Van Halen. The only VH I ever owned, it shares a common song with Pinups: Where Have All the Good Times Gone? , a Kinks song. It also features Dancing in the Street and the Roy Rogers theme, Happy Trails. LISTEN to Big Bad Bill (is Sweet William Now), a song from 1924.

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – Neil Young. Two very long songs dominate this album. But LISTEN to the minor hit single Cinnamon Girl.

Fresh Cream – Cream. The debut album from the group featuring Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. LISTEN to I’m So Glad, a Skip James blues tune from the 1930s; they would perform this live to greater effect on the Goodbye album.

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. – Bruce Springsteen. Oddly, I couldn’t find any studio recordings on YouTube from this album except a couple that were lousy recordings. I was planning on using Blinded by the Light, which was covered successfully by Manfred Mann.

Led Zeppelin III. Always liked this largely acoustic album with songs such as Friends and Tangerine. LISTEN to Gallows Pole, a cover of a Leadbelly song.

Q: Are we not men? A: We Are Devo!-Devo. This is the premiere album of the group, which featured Mongoloid, Uncontrollable Urge, and functionally, the title song, Jocko Homo. LISTEN to (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, a cover of the big Rolling Stones hit.

Legalize It – Peter Tosh. LISTEN to the title track of the 1975 reggae album by one of the seminal figures in the genre.

Songs for Beginners – Graham Nash. Nash’s first solo albums, after his time with the Hollies and while he was still with Crosby, Stills, and (sometimes) Young. LISTEN to Chicago/We Can Change the World, which has hints of sounding quite current.

A D&D Cleric

A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society.

SamuraiFrog and Jaquandor did this. But I’m not sure why I did this, because I never once played Dungeons & Dragons, though it was very popular among my circle of friends in college. And the reason was that I thought it was too…dorky. Given the fact that I was collecting comic books at the time, this is a bold, and probably unwise, assertion.

And the questions for What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be? were quite numerous, over 100 of them.

Yet I’m glad I did it. It reminded me of the fact that, particularly at certain points in my life, I either wanted to be a cleric, or found myself in the sometimes uncomfortable position of being a father-confessor figure. As long as I can remember, people have told me LOTS of stuff in confidence. I know (or have forgotten) more secrets about other people’s lives than you could imagine.

I Am A: Chaotic Good Human Cleric (6th Level)

Ability Scores:







Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment because it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron’s vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity’s domains. These domains grant the cleric special powers and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric’s Wisdom score should be high since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Detailed Results:

Lawful Neutral — XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
True Neutral —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)
Chaotic Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (17)
Lawful Evil —– XXXXXXX (7)
Neutral Evil —- XXXXXXXXX (9)
Chaotic Evil —- XXXXXXXXXX (10)

Law & Chaos:
Law —– XXXXXX (6)
Neutral – XXXXXXXX (8)
Chaos — XXXXXXXXX (9)

Good & Evil:
Neutral – XXXXXXXX (8)
Evil —- X (1)

Dwarf —- XXXXXX (6)
Elf —— XXXXXXXX (8)
Gnome —- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Halfling – XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Half-Elf – XXXXXXXX (8)
Half-Orc – XXXX (4)

Barbarian – (-4)
Bard —— (0)
Cleric —- XXXXXX (6)
Druid —– (-25)
Fighter — (0)
Monk —— (-23)
Paladin — (-19)
Ranger —- (-2)
Rogue —– (-2)
Sorcerer — XX (2)
Wizard —- XXXX (4)

Tales of Brave Ulysses – Cream, live c. 1968 (thanks to Paul Rapp)

by Eric Clapton and Martin Sharp

You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever,
But you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the sun.

And the colors of the sea blind your eyes with trembling mermaids,
And you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave Ulysses:
How his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing,
For the sparkling waves are calling you to kiss their white laced lips.

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