Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Album: Greg Allman Tour

Picked at random from my vinyl collection.

Gregg Allman with a 24 piece orchestra, 3 voice chorus, wind section, &c.

An extremely ambitious effort from 1974. A CD digital release exists but is out of print. Amazon reviewers liked "Queen of Hearts" which I found saappy and over the top. I really appreciate Chuck Leavell's piano on this disk. Love the use of near-silence just before the turnaround in the blues number Feel So Bad, which is a kind of hallmark of the Allman/Southern rock thread. Tommy Talton's guitar riffs are a clone of Duane Allman's (deceased 1971 at age 25), that certain tangy squeak: ta-da-dada-SQUEAK-da.

There's a kind of blues-brothers-ensemble feel that keeps coming and going behind what would normally be a cowboy-fringe five-piece sound, but for me it works. One Amazon reviewer says this was the birth of jazz-rock fusion, but I don't buy that. It's not really an important recording because nobody really went in this direction later, but it's probably the rockinest orchestra ever and definitely worthy of note on that score. If anyone ever wants to do large ensemble rock and roll again, this ought to be primary source material.

My copy is a bit scratchy (and was a cutout to begin with) but still quite listenable. I'm moving this one to the front burner and will consider picking up a used CD if I get the chance.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Obama on science

More grownup talk:

Whether it’s the science to slow global warming; the technology to protect our troops and confront bioterror and weapons of mass destruction; the research to find life-saving cures; or the innovations to remake our industries and create twenty-first century jobs—today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation. It is time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology.


Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources—it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient—especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us

Like my friend J says, he better not f'ing blow it. Don't you want to hear Palin's take on this issue?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Overheard on Twitter

Courtesy twitter ID caseywright:

Watching the Blagojevich conference, and all I can think is "Don't any of these reporters have shoes?"

Monday, December 15, 2008

New 24" iMac

This screen is so gorgeous I don't think I will ever want to look at anything else ever again.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Canada Who?

The BQ (Quebec separatists) are in a governing coalition! The liberal and socialist parties find them less offensive than the conservatives.

You'd think the most eventful day in Canadian politics in forty years would make NPR news, or the front page of the Times or something.

At least it gets a terse mention on the front page of BBC News. See, right at the bottom there?

Afghanistan is not Iraq

When a former Afghanistan interior minister compares the two by saying "Afghanistan is not Iraq", he is implying that Iraq was a cakewalk by comparison.

I am no military expert, but I doubt it in principle. It seems that had the Bushies not been in such a hurry to engage Iraq, the campaign for Afghanistan would have turned out better. And of course, if Charlie Wilson's version of events (a v ery interesting movie except for the as-always insufferable Julia Roberts, by the way) holds any water, even that should never have been necessary; blame for that falls to both parties and typical congressional shortsightedness.

In practice, though, the volunteer military is tapped out and so is the world's tolerance for American military adventures. This needs to be a NATO campaign or it will be NOT A campaign.