Feb. rambling: Love Me Again

A Touch of Glee

Rebecca Jade.Elton JohnUnaccountable Accounting in the Pentagon.

Facial Recognition Technology and AI Are Tainted With Racial Bias.

Jared’s Plan for Mideast Peace.

Homelessness Czar Seeks to Further Criminalize the Homeless.

Politifact has looked into 42 of Limbaugh’s controversial statements, and found zero of them to be entirely true. Thirty-five were rated Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire.

BUT… Let’s Talk Each Other Down.

Sir Nicholas Winton, the hero who rescued 669 Jewish children on the eve of WWII.

Son rebukes his racist dad who asked immigrant, “Why didn’t you stay in Mexico?”

We can become more prosperous while taking better care of our planet.

Amy Biancolli on Daniel P. Richardson.

Lin-Manuel Miranda gives us a lesson in the slang of Broadway.

Science and technology

TED talk: “Bonk” author Mary Roach delves into obscure scientific research to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax.

What it’s like to live without a sense of smell.

Concussion risk in youth football.

The color of your clothing can impact wildlife.

Key challenges, collective insights, and possible futures for the music industry.

Verizon’s latest dirty trick. Planned obsolescence.

Teevee

James Corden: The late-night TV host sees his job as a chance to spread joy and he “comes clean” on the subject of whether he drives the car in his “Carpool Karoke” segments.

John Oliver: asks questions and is interviewed by Ali Velshi and Push Notifications.

In response to a Facebook meme about putting up pictures of sci-fi shows, I posted one from The Wild, Wild West, which we decided was steampunk. Just a couple days later, Robert Conrad had died at 84.

RIP Gene Reynolds.

Pushing Daisies – the great show that never got a fair shake.

Cookie Monster crashes The Washington Post.

One Second from Every Muppet Show Episode.

Mark Twain Award: Jonathan Winters (1999) and Bob Newhart (2002) and David Letterman (2017).

Actor and game show panelist Orson Bean, born Dallas Frederick Burrows, has died. He was the correct response that I got on my first JEOPARDY! appearance. Later, one of the competitors I did not play was happy for that fact, because he had no idea who Orson Bean was.

Now I Know

The Anti-Labor Origins of the Oscars and Why Are There Random Colored Squares on My Box of Almond Milk? and A Creative Way to Pay the Czechs and A Frank-ly Kind Act and The Drones With Brains of Their Own.

MUSIC

Rebecca Jade.Oscars
Rebecca Jade, the niece: (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again – Elton John at the Oscars, 9 Feb 2020. In the video, Rebecca Jade is screen left, in the middle. Also, listen to Miss You.

Overture to Hector Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini.

Coverville: 1294: Covering the 2020 Inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and 1295: The 40th Anniversary Tribute to London Calling.

Hoopla: A Touch of Glee by George Walker.

Everybody Wants To Be Sondheim – Alan Chapman.

Non nobis domine by Patrick Doyle from Henry V.

Hooked on a Feeling– Swedish Royal Guards.

That time Johnny Rotten called me a “stupid, filthy sod.”

Top photo: copyright Rebecca Jade, 2020

April rambling #2: Knowledge, Freedom, Democracy

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter


Do Not Lose Heart; We Were Made for These Times

On earth as it is in heaven: Why Jesus didn’t call his followers to be safe

The Gaslight Zone, Part 1 and Part 2

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Gerrymandering and Marijuana

Can We Get Real About Opioids? and Opioids, My Mom’s Death, and Why People Trust Science Less

How my daughter died from a simple case of flu

The Perception of Liberal Bias in the Newsroom Has Nothing Whatsoever to Do With Reality

Facebook use is a predictor of depression

The Internet Isn’t the Wild Wild West Anymore, It’s Westworld

Killing the Church with Sunday School

Girl, 2, defends her choice of doll to cashier

Carolyn Kelly, R.I.P.
Mark Evanier’s getting by, with the help of Henry Fonda

Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Everyone looked at me like I was a ghost’

Letterman’s mom was everyone’s mom: Dorothy Mengering dead at 95

A Tribute to Carrie Fisher

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter to Humanity’s Greatest Sanctuary of Knowledge, Freedom, and Democracy

Dianne Bentley saved receipts, helped take down her cheating governor husband

Arts in the Parks

Not me: Two longtime artists offer stunning works in ‘Traces’ exhibition

“Let me help” (Thoughts on “The City on the Edge of Forever”)

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the 1960s

Ken Levine interview: Voiceover artist Randy Thomas

I wrote about helicopter parenting four and a half years ago, and someone wanted to know if I wanted to read Abandon Helicopter Parenting, Embrace Negotiation Parenting; xooloo has developed an app for that.

7 Tips for Donating Old Books Without Being A Jerk

Now I Know: The Slave Who Spied on the Traitor and The Campaign for the Other Gary and Taking “One Person, One Vote” Literally — and Accidentally

Queen Elizabeth has someone break in her shoes before she wears them

Dawn Wells: Forever Mary Ann

I keep seeing references to crushed Doritos in recipes, e.g. replacing bread crumbs on fried chicken, or as the crust for mac and cheese. Have YOU used them?

Chopped liver

Music

Just a clown singing Pinball Wizard to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues

The Beatles – Home Recordings, May 1968 (white album)

Coverville: Elton John cover story

Back in June 1980, the legendary Chuck Berry performed in the little village of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

K-Chuck Radio: Music to help pretty plants grow

5 truly explosive performances of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

Appreciating an Unusual Beach Boys Album

Who has opened for the J. Geils Band?

Linda Hopkins; blues singer won Tony for best actress

The Neuroscience of Singing

There is a reason to have a B# and an E#

John Coltrane Draws a Picture Illustrating the Mathematics of Music

Monkees Star Mike Nesmith Reveals All on Drugs, a Near-Crippling Illness, and Jack Nicholson ‘Bromance’ in New Memoir

Where Have All The Bob Seger Albums Gone?

Genesis Tour Manager Recalls His Role in One of Rock’s Most Embarrassing Moments

Rock’n’roll shrimp named after Pink Floyd because of its deafening vocal ability

Elton John turns 70

“Sugar bear” reminded me of pre-sweetened cereal.

I saw Elton John in concert on 15 September 1998 with my coworkers Mary and Anne at what was then the Pepsi Arena, ne the Knickerbocker Arena, now the Times Union Center. We had what I had thought were not very good seats, in a balcony, practically stage left. But actually they turned out to be great; we could see him making entrances and exits, and what we couldn’t see, we could catch on nearby monitors.

It was a wonderful show. I don’t specifically remember the set list, though I doubt it was much different than what he played a month later at Madison Square Garden. What I do recall is that, even then, he had others sing the highest parts of what he managed to do on his own a quarter century earlier, which is no big deal.

Some years ago, my online buddy Johnny BacardiDavid Jones put together reviews of the Elton John songs that saw release on the 11 albums between 1969 and 1977, plus select singles. I was a big fan of this project. I’m not similarly motivated to replicate it, but I do notice that most of the songs I picked as my favorites primarily cover the same territory.

The Elton John (EJ) album, which I had thought at the time was his first album, I played a LOT. Tumbleweed Connection (TC), with this Wild West motif, is even more poignant now, since my father died. Madman Across the Water (MATW) was probably my favorite, though Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (GYBR) challenged it.

If memory serves, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy opened on the Billboard charts at #1 in 1975, and it wasn’t my favorite collection. The single, Someone Saved My Life Tonight I did not like. “Sugar bear” reminded me of pre-sweetened cereal. So my prime EJ period may be shorter, though I probably have more tolerance of the later Disney songs that David has.

Elton John made minor news recently when he walked into Vancouver record store and asked for gangster rap.

Here are 20 songs, my favorites roughly last. I could have picked 20 different ones.

Crocodile Rock (GYBR)
Come Down in Time (TC)
Honky Cat (Honky Chateau)
I’m Still Standing (Too Low for Zero)
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (GYBR)

Border Song (EJ) – this, and Your Song, probably suffered from too many covers that wore on me
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (GYBR)
Don’t Let the Sun (Caribou)
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (HC)
Your Song (EJ)

Where To Now St Peter (TC)
Tiny Dancer (MATW) – undoubtedly enhanced by its appearance in the movie Almost Famous
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (GYBR)
Take Me To the Pilot (EJ)
Madman Across the Water (MATW)

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word (Blue Moves) – this seemed to have risen from a recent listening to his 2004 duet with Ray Charles
My Father’s Gun (TC)
Rocket Man (HC)
Daniel (GYBR)
Levon (MATW)

The Late Great Johnny Ace, and other songs

I have always loved the backstory regarding Lennon’s Whatever Gets You Through the Night.

john-lennon-colorI’ve written often enough about John Lennon, especially on his birthday (October 9), and on this date, that I was musing on what to write on this 35th anniversary of his death. You’ll see I’ve mentioned SOMETHING about John EVERY December 8 since this blog started in 2005, except in 2007, although it was more oblique in some years than others.

In any case, I found this link to Top 5 songs written in tribute to John Lennon. Four of them I had actually put on a compilation disc together some years ago, along with:

songs written by one or more Beatles but performed by others, e.g., It’s For You by Three Dog Night; Goodbye by Mary Hopkin; Fame by David Bowie
songs about the Beatles: Beatles, Please Come Back by Gigi Parker And The Lonelies; I Dig Rock And Roll Music by Peter, Paul & Mary
*even songs by AND about the Beatles or their members: Glass Onion from Anthology 3; Early 1970 – Ringo Starr; When We Was Fab- George Harrison.

The one tribute song from the above list I was unfamiliar with was Queen’s Life is Real (Song for Lennon).

The others:
Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) by Elton John
I have always loved the backstory regarding Lennon’s Whatever Gets You Through the Night; its success meant John had to play at Elton’s MSG concert in 1974, which eventually meant a reconciliation between John and Yoko.
Here’s a 1999 live version of Empty Garden.

Here Today by Paul McCartney
When I first heard it, I thought it was a bit treacly; I’ve quite changed my mind. Certainly, by the time I watched the live 2009 NYC version, I was in a totally different head.
I wish that John and Paul had shown up at the Saturday Night Live studio back in 1975.

All Those Years Ago by George Harrison
George modified the lyrics of a song he had written for Ringo because the drummer thought the song was too high in his range. It made a lot of people happy that the song featured vocal contributions from Paul and Linda McCartney, as well as Ringo’s original drum part because it was a big hit.

The Late Great Johnny Ace by Paul Simon
This song segues from a tale about a singer in the 1950s to Beatlemania to a final verse about how he first heard the news that John had been killed. From Paul Simon’s worst-selling album up to that point. The Phillip Glass ending instrumental for strings, clarinet, and flute is painful mournful.
Here’s the original acoustic demo

C is for Candles

The Princess Diana version of Candle in the Wind is listed as the second best-selling single of all time,

candleWhen you are not very good at crafts, it’s nice to actually find a small niche in which you are not horrible. What I liked about candle making, which I did a few times when I was eight to ten years old, is that it was so relatively easy, even I couldn’t screw it up. Thank you, paraffin.

When I briefly attended a Unitarian church in a city near Albany, I left in part because they actually had a meeting/debate about whether or not to use candles. The argument against was that they were “papist”, too much in the Roman Catholic tradition, though I was a long-standing Protestant had lit plenty of church candles over the years.

One of the traditions of a lot of churches, including the last two, is to light candles and sing Silent Night by candlelight, before blowing them out, and singing Joy to the World as the lights come on. My previous church used to save all the used candles, and melt them down, to add to what became one massive candle. Last I saw it, it was well over a meter tall and weighed dozens of kilograms.

The Daughter loves lighting a candle when we have dinner, for no occasion at all.

Elton John performed a song called Candle in the Wind [LISTEN] in 1973, in honor of the late Marilyn Monroe, who had died a decade earlier. The tune appeared on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. The song was reworked in 1997 to honor Diana, Princess of Wales.; that single reached No. 1 in many countries, listed as the second best-selling single of all time, after White Christmas. LISTEN to the performance at the funeral, a recording of which I own.

Finally, from the musical-turned-movie Rent, Light my candle [LISTEN]

abc15

ABC Wednesday, Round 15
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