October 24, 2006

4 A.M. Relaxation And Thoughts On Israel

So I’m just sort of kicking back at 0400 hours, playing with my new Firefox download — I haven’t yet(after what, 10 months?) figured out how to adjust my blog clock to the east coast, so the time of this post will appear as a zillion hours or so earlier.

I have my MusicMatch library running some Bangles through my great Logitech speakers, stuff like September Gurls and my all time favorite song by that awesome group, Return Post.

I’m thinking about the present situation in Israel — the Hamas rejects and Fatah squaring off to blow each other away, both sides arming up. Okay, so this isn’t as unusual among Arab Muslims as it might be among normal, 21st Century human beings — we discuss, they destroy. Western diplomacy consists mostly of a bunch of over-educated assholes sitting around a table engaged in two-faced, multisyllabic dialogue, but at least they usually come to some sort of agreement that preserves the peace. Arabic diplomacy is just a bit different: It usually means a lot of explosions and hot lead flying in many directions, and lots of people “expiring”. The diplomats that most effectively get their points across are those that kill the most diplomats on the opposite side of whatever disagreement happens to be on the table are considered the best diplomats, even though they, personally, don’t have to wax anybody.

The flotsam that lives to butcher innocent women and children are the true warriors of Islam.

The very idea that the Bush Administration wants these people to have a sovereign state is beyond me, but GWB is the President, so I suppose he must know what he’s doing. Excuse me, I have to go to the head….

I think I’ll let a great blog I recently discovered and blogrolled called Morning Coffee give us an update.

Meanwhile, the combatively challenged Prime Minister Olmert has agreed to bring a “hardliner” onto his team in order to avoid a slide into ruin for his own ill conceived Kadima party, one Avigdor Lieberman, and thank G-d for him, and his Israel Beiteinu Party. Lieberman’s own point of view as to how to get things done is fractionally different than the politically correct Ehud Olmert’s, maybe a mere 180 degrees, at most. Not too much. Did I say “thank G-d for him”?

My own model scenario would be for Fatah and Hamas to kill each other off in the civil war that seems to be brewing between the two corrupt terrorist factions that are the sum total of the so-called “Palestinian” entity, leaving a few necessarily reasonable Arabs who might be willing to assimillate themselves into the Israeli population and allow the Jewish State to get on with living in peace and prosperity, but that’s probably too much to hope for….

October 18, 2006

Some Old Music I’m Listening To

So I’ve been sitting here at my Inspiron in the wee hours, doing a little work and doing a little blogging, and listening to a playlist I put together at MusicMatch beforehand to listen to as we speak.

1970s stuff.

Somewhere in the 1980s, I lost my “zeal” for contemporary music. I enjoyed a lot of the material of the early 1980s, when groups like Bow Wow Wow, Berlin, Depeche Mode, OMD, and folks like Martha Davis got going, but then things got boring, and progressed into the 1990s with what I think of as Birdbrain Pop and Loud, Obscene, Aimless Rock. Though, I did find diverse, semi-sane and enjoyable musicians like Malcolm McLaren a pleasure to listen to.

What I hear on the radio today keeps me from turning on the radio. I have a great collection of Classical music, which is my favorite, my top composers being Mozart, Handel, Vivaldi, Bach, Borodin, Smetana and Ives, my favorite operas Carmen (sung by the awesome Maria Ewing), Don Rodrigo and La Traviata. Needless to say, I listen to a lot of Classical music.

I also love good Zydeco, good Jazz(both acoustic and electronic), Dixieland, Folk {J. Collins, J. Baez, Leonard Cohen( majorly!), ancient Dylan, P, P & M, Woody and Arlo, Marmalade in their folk efforts, such as Fight Say The Mighty, Paul & Art, Al Stewart}; late 1960s/early 70s Soul/ R&B, 1960s Rock, Rat Pack era and instrumental music of those times, and my all-time favorite music, second to Classical, late 60s-all 70s progressive (techna) Rock, such as Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd, Renaissance, Focus, Triumvirat, early Genesis, Starcastle, Druid, etc.

Back on track, over the last few hours, I’ve been listening to my two all time favorite female vocalists, the late, great Maggie Reilly, doing solo tracks like Every Time We Touch and Moonlight Shadow and some of her collaborations with Mike Oldfield, and the fabulously breathtaking vocals of Annie Haslam, who’s alive and well and, despite her British origins, living in Pennsylvania. She was the singer in Renaissance, which ties with Focus and Yes as my favorite Rock music of all time. Among the Renaissance songs I’ve got in this playlist are Mother Russia, Ocean Gypsy, Northern Lights, Vultures Fly High, Can You Understand (Do You Understand), Trip To The Fair and the full album side track, Song Of Scheherazade. Annie sings easily in 5 octaves and, had she wished to go that route, could easily have been an opera superstar. Renaissance was more into a sort of Orchestral Folk than what most people perceive as Rock.

Yes tracks include Side 1 of Tales From Topographic Oceans (a double album prior to CDs), a 20ish minute track called The Revealing Science Of G-d: Dance Of The Dawn, To Be Over, Soon, Oh Soon The Light from The Gates Of Delirium, Survival, Parallels, Wonderous Stories and Awaken, the latter, about 16 minutes long, featuring some powerful church organ contributions by the mega-great keyboard genius Rick Wakeman.

I have on the playlist Triumvirat’s entire Illusions On A Double Dimple LP, at the moment Lucky Girl is playing from that, and from Focus, Eruption, Bennie Helder, Focus II, Focus III and Sylvia, a wonderful and mellow guitar work by Jan Ackerman(Focus was a Dutch group. They broke up when Ackerman left to pursue a career of lute recitals and recordings, which he is still doing well in to this day).

And the end of my playlist, when it arrives, will consist of the entire Moody Blues, Live At Red Rocks collection.

Breathe deep the gathering gloom,
watch lights fade from every room
Bedsitter people sit back and lament
Another day’s useless energy spent…

Cold hearted orb that rules the night
removes the colors from our sight
Red is grey, and yellow white
but we decide which is right

and which is an illusion… — the poetry you hear recited during Moody Blues songs is written and recited by their drummer, Graeme Edge.

The ProgRock thing appeared during the 1970s, basically, in between the Rock of the 1960s and the lesser Rock of the 1980s, and incorporated Classical structure with both Folk and Rock. The music was awesome. Young people of today who venture out of the BS being played now and go to, say, a Yes concert (Yes, they’re still around and they still sell out stadiums, etc, after 38 years in business, outlasting even Led Zeppelin) usually end up being enthralled by the music and becoming fans. I was at their Classic Yes concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre about 3 years ago and the place was packed. The concert was spectacular!

Oh, yes, also on the playlist is the original recording of Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman’s solo Journey To the Centre Of The Earth. And I have included some Asia, which consists of members of Yes, UK/ Buggles, ELP and King Crimson, another of my favorite groups.

This is all some seriously good listening. Anyone who hasn’t been exposed to this genre of Rock is missing some music worth hearing.

Even the most anti-Rock person on earth would love, for example Eruption by Focus — it’s more Classical/ chant/ ultra-mellow than anything one would expect from a Rock group, and is one of my favorite all-time musical compositions. It is 23 minutes and 30 seconds long, and beautiful.

Well, there’s my taste in music. I’m pretty much what they call eclectic, though I do have a couple of preferences, as mentioned above. I can also get right into John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, the Jefferson Airplane, Paul Butterfield, Hot Tuna, the Jethro Tull, the Allman Brothers, Cream, out-of-Cream Eric Clapton, CSNY, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, a whole passel of C & W, which I came to appreciate during my weeks on the beach when I was working offshore(oil rigs/ tug boats) out of Nawlins in the late 1970s — drinkin’, effin’ an’ fightin’, as it were, LOL.

Well, the only conclusion to a post like this would probably be,

“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, Ladies and Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake and Palmer!”

by @ 11:33 pm. Filed under Music

Another Institution Closing Its Doors….

…. this one in the Rock genre, CBGBs, the dingy, internationally reknowned club on Bowery that’s been around since the early 1970s and… well, read about it here.


by @ 5:05 pm. Filed under Music