November rambling 2: Walmart returnables, and Blotto musicology

A Writer Gets Grilled By His 18-Year-Old Self

Dan said: “Perhaps someone absquatulated with an important part.”
ladder

Meanwhile, in America…, the succinctly brilliant viral meme from Andy McClure.

Trying to follow what is going on in Syria and why? This comic will get you there in 5 minutes.

9 questions about Daesh you were too embarrassed to ask.

Jeff Sharlet: The Darkness Show: On Jokes and Terror in Paris.

Gate A-4.

Walmart employee fired for redeeming a few dollars of cans and bottles. Local story goes national. And international. And becomes a cause.

It’s a tawdry catfight… between bourgeois actors who desperately seek to inherit the imprimatur of the Civil Rights struggle.

Being frugal with outrage.

High Cheekbones and Straight Black Hair? “100 Amazing Facts About the Negro: Why most black people aren’t ‘part Indian,’ despite family lore.”

The Original Conscious Uncouplers.

Texas Women Are Inducing Their Own Abortions.

If you enjoyed a good book and you’re a woman, the critics think you’re wrong.

The Internet Is Freaking Out Over This ‘Jeopardy’ Contestant’s Voice. “It’s time to stop policing the way women sound.”

A Writer Gets Grilled By His 18-Year-Old Self In ‘Later That Same Life’.

Dustbury has a birthday.

the death of comedy.

The oldest known video footage of New York City.

Now I Know: Not Safe, But Fired and Prisoner of Honor and Comma Chameleon Law.

Explaining Einstein. We have a winner!

How to count coins.

Miss Rose Marie, The Longest Active Career In Entertainment, Honored with Shirley Temple Award.

Justin Bieber Just Beat The Beatles’ 51-Year-Old Billboard Record.

It’s time to have a Blotto musicology conference.

The New Yorker Editor Who Became a Comic Book Hero. (Françoise Mouly).

Smilin’ Ed Comics Kickstarter Only Hardcover Editions!

Muppets: From the mouth of frogs and Bert is sick and commercials and Little Muppet Monsters (1985) and miscellaneous stuff.

GOOGLE ALERT

Arthur’s Internet wading. And it’s all my fault!

SamuraiFrog: I Spend Thanksgiving Alone Every Year. I’ve done so, and at a very basic level, I understand his position.

Music Meme

Pete Seeger, Justin Bieber, Bobby Goldsboro, John Sebastian, Joe Jackson, Seals & Crofts, Boz Scaggs, Bobby McFerrin, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Droge, Randy Newman and Blotto are all mentioned in this post, at least one of them for no good reason.

An odd series of circumstances has gotten me writing about music far more than usual. I’d picked this meme for Monday, then needed a Q for Tuesday. I realized that I wanted to do birthday things for Billy Joel, Bono/U2, and tomorrow’s topic. I once said that sometimes the blog pieces write themselves; well, occasionally, the blog ORDER does likewise.

Here’s a meme from SamuraiFrog, also done by Scott and Jaquandor.

1. What are you listening to right now?
The Beatles Mono Box. Specifically the Past Masters, the singles, B-sides, etc.

2. What song(s) make(s) you sad?
Goodness, LOTS of songs make me sad. There are whole categories: requiems (requia?) from Mozart to Faure; certain romantic songs – such as Stay With Me by Lorraine Ellison or Gone Away by Roberta Flack. Sometimes, songs that I love that I hadn’t heard lately make me cry, such as the Blue Moon solo on Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love.

3. What is the most annoying song in the world?
Honey by Bobby Goldsboro. Wait, it’s Dominick the Donkey.

4. Your all-time favorite band?
Beatles (all time)

5. Your newly discovered band is?
I don’t know that there is one. The new music I get tends to be the same artists I’ve been buying. For instance, Levon Helm from the Band. indeed, anyone I DO discover tends to be a solo artist, such as Corrinne Bailey Rae, whose album The Sea I recommend.

6. Best female voice?
Julie Andrews. Or maybe Judy Collins.

7. Best male voice?
Nat King Cole.

8. Music type you find yourself listening to most?
Fairly eclectic, but rock mostly.

9. What do you listen to, to hype you up?
Anything with an insistent baseline, such as The Spencer Davis Group’s Keep On Running.

10. What do you listen to when you want to calm down?
Classical music, probably Bach.

11. Last gig/concert you went to?
Springsteen, last year.

12. Band you find yourself listening to the most right now?
Well, RIGHT now, I tend to listen to people whose birthday is in this week in May: Bono (U2), Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, David Byrne (Talking Heads).

13. Most hated band?
I don’t think about bands I dislike. They tend to slip out of my mind.

14. Song that makes you think?
LOTS of songs make me think. Lenten songs, for one group.

15. Band that you think the world should love as much as you do?
I don’t care what other people like; they can do what they want.

16. Coolest music video?
Ever? “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel. But I haven’t watched them in forever.

17. Music video with the most babe watch?
Robert Palmer’s? Have no idea.

18. What do you play/would you play in the bedroom to spice things up?
Mozart.

19. Can you play a musical instrument?
Kazoo.

20. Ever been in a mosh pit?
No.

21. Are you in a band?
No, but I’m in a choir. But in junior high, we tried to form a band called Ralphie’s Moonies. Had a hit song called “Pool Shark” that I still remember?

23. Ever dated a musician?
Yes. My wife played the clarinet in high school. Also, I went out with a singer for a time.

28. Do you wish yourself that you were a musician?
Some days. Or maybe I am.

29. Best chick band you know of?
The Dixie Chicks, I guess.

31. Last song that you heard on the radio/cd…etc…?
When Love Comes to Town by U2 and B.B. King

32. What do you think of Classical music?
I love it. Back in the brief period I was collecting cassettes, it was 90% classical. I don’t understand people who don’t like it, to be honest.

33. What do you think of Country music?
I like most of it. I used to listen to it as a kid. It seems, though, that more of the current commercial stuff is lite pop, and thus a bit boring.

34. What do you think of Death metal?
I don’t know what that is.

35. Last BIG band that you saw live?
Springsteen. Or does this mean Big Band, in which case it a Count Basie band. Or was it Duke Ellington’s?

36. Are you a groupie?
No.

37. Do you listen to music in foreign languages?
Sure.

38. What famous musician would you like to f***!?
Well, none, if only because the reality would never match the fantasy.

39. Worst concert moment?
Thu, 27 July 1989 Albany, NY, Palace Theatre
Joe Jackson, who I like, was performing on his BLAZE OF GLORY TOUR. After playing one, maybe two familiar songs, he played the entire first half of Blaze of Glory. Then after a couple more songs we knew, the entire second half. He felt they were complete suites with the songs segued together, but they were unfamiliar, and him playing six unknown songs in a row, especially a second time, ticked off people enough that they just got up and went to the concession stand, or, worse, just talked through the performance. They did not give the new music a chance, but I blame that largely on Jackson. At the end, more familiar tunes, but a better mix of the very same songs would have created a much better experience, for the audience, and I expect, for him.

40. Funny concert moment?
As recently mentioned, Bobby McFerrin leading an orchestra in SINGING the Lone Ranger portion of the William Tell Overture in 1999.

41. Sad concert moment?
Besides the WORST story: I saw Seals & Crofts Philharmonic (Avery Fisher) Hall, in NYC on November 12, 1971. The opening band, Boz Scaggs, was quite good, but the audience was impatient for the Baha’i duo. Being an opening act must not be a great gig sometimes.

42. Best local act you can think of?
Last local band I actually saw was probably Blotto. No that’s not true; I’ve seen local cover bands such as the Refrigerators. saw Hair of the Dog a few years back.

43. If you were a musical instrument what would you be?
A bass guitar. I feel the bass line.

44. Do you listen to the radio?
Generally wake up to a classical station.

45. Do you watch music TV?
I did from about 1982 to 1986.

46. Do you follow the music charts, like the top 40?
I did religiously until the early 1990s. Even had a subscription to Billboard, and it wasn’t cheap. But now I don’t even know most of it. When I read that Justin Bieber was the youngest solo male artist in 40 years to reach #1, I KNEW instantly that the previous artist HAD to be Donny Osmond doing Go away Little Girl, even younger than Michael Jackson when he sang Ben. I mean, I KNEW this, without looking it up. Scary.

47. Have you met any famous musicians?
Define famous. Talked a bit with Pete Seeger at an anti-apartheid demonstration. Spoke with John Sebastian very briefly. I’ve eaten at an Italian restaurant with Pete Droge and his band a couple times. I was introduced to Anita Baker. Knew the guys in Blotto.
Then there’s the Randy Newman story.

48. Are any of your friends/family/etc. musicians?
Why yes. My niece is in a singer in a band called Siren’s Crush that sings around San Diego, CA. My sister Leslie performed in Puerto Rico as a singer for six years. And my late father was well-known locally (Binghamton, NY) as a singer of folk songs.

49. Song that best describes your feelings right now?
“Daydream” by the Lovin’ Spoonful.

50. Song that describes your life?
“I’m Lucky” by Joan Armatrading.

51. Do you know the names of all the band members that you listen to?
No, but I listen to a LOT of different groups.

52. Does a musician’s physical attractiveness play a role in the music that you listen to?
Not consciously.

53. What famous musician do you want to marry?
Assuming I wasn’t married, Chaka Khan was the first name to come to mind.

53. Favourite movie soundtrack?
West Side Story. Or a Hard Day’s Night. Or Rain Man.

55. Any musician pet hates?
Vocalists who caterwaul.

56. What do your parents listen to?
My mom liked Nat Cole, and musicals such as Carousel, South Pacific, and West Side Story. My father was a fan of folk music (Harry Belafonte, Odetta, Pete Seeger), and gospel.

57. What are you listening to right NOW?
Good Night by the Beatles.

58. Do you wear band etc T-shirts?
I have a Beatles T-shirt someone gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago.

59. Do you cook to music?
I don’t cook as much as I should, but if I’m going to be a while, I’ll put on some music.

60. Do you sing in the toilet?
In the shower, yes. All the time. On the toilet, not usually.

My No Doubt story.