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Bob Dylan Revisits Self Portrait

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Exit, Zimmerman
Exit, Zimmerman

Bob Dylan is releasing some more from his vast archives of unreleased material, this time focusing on 1969-1971 songs.

Critic Greil Marcus spoke for countless Bob Dylan fans when he began his Rolling Stone review of 1970’s Self Portrait with a now-famous question: “What is this shit?” The two-LP set was a bizarre mishmash of pop covers (Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer”), pre-rock hits (“Blue Moon”) and poorly recorded live cuts from Dylan’s 1969 set at the Isle of Wight festival. Nearly every tune was overloaded with weird backup choirs, strings and horns. “I knew that opening was provocative,” Marcus says today of his RS review. “But that’s what everybody in the country was saying, and I had to reflect that.”

Decades later, Self Portrait remains one of Dylan’s least-loved releases. So it came as a surprise when he announced the latest volume in his ongoing Bootleg Series: a four-disc set called Another Self Portrait, drawing on never-before-heard material from Dylan’s original acoustic recording sessions and outtakes from Self Portrait along with select cuts from 1968’s Nashville Skyline and 1970’s New Morning. A deluxe edition will feature a complete recording of Dylan and the Band’s 1969 set at the Isle of Wight Festival as well as a remastered version of the original Self Portrait. Both editions hit shelves on August 27th. 

The Self Portrait sessions began in New York at Columbia’s Studio A in April 1969, but after just a few days of messing around with covers like “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Blue Moon,” he abandoned the project for nearly a year. When they resumed in March 1970, Dylan had very little original material, and he again returned to covers, this time recording with a small band that included David Bromberg on guitar and bass and Al Kooper on organ.

“It was bizarre,” Kooper tells Rolling Stone. “He wasn’t writing any of the songs, which is an important part of a Bob Dylan album. He had a pile of Sing Out! magazines and he was taking the songs, as in the chords and lyrics, straight out of them. They were his main feed, then they pulled other things like ‘Mr. Bojanges’ and ‘The Boxer.’ I was like, ‘Yikes!’ At one point we recorded ‘Come a Little Bit Closer’ by Jay and the Americans. Hopefully nobody ever hears that.”

(click here to continue reading Bob Dylan Revisits ‘Self Portrait’ on Next Edition of the Bootleg Series | Music News | Rolling Stone.)

From Bob Dylan’s website:

In the Self Portrait sessions, Dylan played a selection of songs accompanied by a small ensemble of musicians, primarily David Bromberg (guitar) and Al Kooper (keyboards, guitar), with producer Bob Johnston later adding overdubs to the basic tracks in Nashville. Another Self Portrait presents these original session masters for the first time without overdubs.

Another Self Portrait reveals fresh aspects of Dylan’s vocal genius as he reimagines traditional and contemporary folk music as well as songs of his own. Across these unvarnished performances, Dylan is the country singer from Nashville Skyline (“Country Pie” and “I Threw It All Away”), an interpreter of traditional folk (“Little Sadie,” “Pretty Saro”) who’s right at home singing the songs of his contemporaries (Tom Paxton’s “Annie’s Gonna Sing Her Song” and Eric Andersen’s “Thirsty Boots”) before returning to writing and singing his own new music (“Went To See The Gypsy,” “Sign On The Window”).

While the original Self Portrait was a deliberate act of iconoclasm that shattered Dylan’s image as “generational spokesperson” while stretching the boundaries of pop music and his own, the album’s successor, New Morning, marked Dylan’s return to songwriting. Another Self Portrait gives fans a chance to reappraise the pivotal recordings that marked Dylan’s artistic transformation as the 1960s ended and the 1970s began.

Featured on Another Self Portrait are a previously unavailable version of “Only A Hobo” and the demo version of “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” a track that finds Dylan, who’d been signed as a recording artist not quite a decade earlier, looking to the future, promising that “Someday, everything’s gonna be smooth like a rhapsody, when I paint my masterpiece.”

(click here to continue reading “WHAT IS THIS SHIT?” BOB DYLAN’S THE BOOTLEG SERIES, VOL. 10 ANOTHER SELF PORTRAIT (1969 – 1971) SET FOR AUGUST 27 RELEASE | The Official Bob Dylan Site.)


For the (NSA) record, I listened to Dylan’s Self Portrait today, and there are some glimmers of interesting work hidden there. Maybe when the gloss, backup choirs and strings are removed, there will be some decent tunes left behind. One of my favorite albums of Willie Nelson is his “Stripped” album – his songs sound much better when it’s just guitar and vocal, and maybe an acoustic bass. Perhaps Another Self Portrait will be similar.

Or else, it will still just be shite. Everyone has fallow periods…

and this is good news:

Since launching the Bootleg Series in 1991, Dylan has released eight sets, but has withheld much of the material that fans are most eager to hear. “We’re trying to put this stuff out in an intelligent way,” says the source. “Sets for Blood on the Tracks and Blonde on Blonde will eventually come out. When fans hear the Blonde on Blonde set, they’ll realize that the real hero of the sessions was pianist Paul Griffin. . . There will also be a Basement Tapes box one day. We’re trying to get the best sources on all the Basement Tapes. That’ll happen one day, absolutely.” 

Written by Seth Anderson

July 18th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Music

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Photo Republished at Excellent bad advice

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Free Advice 

My photo was used to illustrate this post

“Here’s that bad advice you were hoping for” is a Tumblr that picks out letters to advice columns (as well as direct requests from readers) and writes scathing, hilarious responses:… (Image: Free Advice, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from swanksalot’s photostream)

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Written by eggplant

May 28th, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Posted in Links

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Where Are the Tears for The 260 School Children Killed in Chicago

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 Killing People Is Rude

The gun fever has not abated in our country, but we have to pay closer attention to it, for all of our sakes. 

David Muhammad writes:

It was a colleague in Chicago. I had emailed her the day before asking for research into one of the mentoring programs in the city’s schools for youth with the highest risk of being shot. 

She provided me with the information I was seeking. Then she included a P.S.: “What a devastating horrible day in CT. But frankly I wish people cared this much when it was children on the south and west sides of Chicago.”

I was snapped back into reality with the email. The tragedy in Newtown was truly horrific. But there is similar carnage carried out every day in the streets of America’s cities, especially in the President’s hometown of Chicago, where I work in Oakland, in Philadelphia, and many other cities across the nation. 

In 2010, nearly 700 Chicago school children were shot and 66 of them died. Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended a memorial for 260 school children who had been killed in just the previous three years. On several occasions in the past year, tens of people have been shot in a single weekend on the streets of the city. The worst three-day stretch saw 10 killed and 37 wounded in gun fire. But Google the term “Chicago weekend shootings” and the results are far too many deadly weekends to count. 

Oakland, Calif. has seen a huge increase in shootings. Last year, three small children were murdered in shootings. The youngest victim hadn’t yet turned 2. Oakland has become the first city in the country to have its police force taken over by a federal court. Because of a lack of resources, the city has one of the lowest police to resident ratios in the country. 

Gun violence in America is a pandemic, but there is no round-the-clock news coverage. No national address from the President with tears. No pledge for urgent change. 

(click here to continue reading 260 School Children Killed in Chicago in 3 Years — Where Are the Tears for Them? | Alternet.)

Just to continue the theme: today’s Tribune reports

An 18-year-old man was shot and killed and five other people were wounded, including an 11-year-old boy, across Chicago Christmas evening and early this morning.

About 7 p.m., an 11-year-old boy was grazed in the arm in the 6200 block of South Michigan Avenue and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, according to police. He was walking in a group when he heard shots and felt pain.

(click here to continue reading Chicago Tribune – Overnight shootings leave 1 dead, 5 wounded across Chicago.)

I am considering creating a Tumblr blog just to focus on Chicago gun violence, and related topics, but haven’t gotten around to doing it yet.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 26th, 2012 at 11:02 am

Posted in News-esque,politics

Tagged with , ,

Jimmy Page Digs Up Substantial Rarities for New Led Zeppelin Remasters

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Exciting news for a die hard Led Zeppelin fan like myself.

 “It will be coming out, bit by bit,” Jimmy Page says with a tantalizing lilt in his voice. The Led Zeppelin guitarist is referring to his current labors in the band’s archive, preparing new deluxe editions of each of Zeppelin’s studio albums, from 1969’s Led Zeppelin to 1979’s In Through the Out Door, plus the 1982 post-breakup collection, Coda. Page says the reissues will include “added sonic and visual thrills,” and he expects to begin issuing the first albums in the series sometime next year.

“The catalog was last remastered 20 years ago,” Page said, referring to the 1990 release of the four-CD box set, Led Zeppelin. “That’s a long time. Everything is being transferred from analog to a higher-resolution digital format. That’s one of the problems with the Zeppelin stuff. It sounds ridiculous on MP3. You can’t hear what’s there properly.”

Based on the unreleased studio tracks that have circulated on bootlegs since Led Zeppelin split in 1980, following the death of drummer John Bonham, the group did not record a lot of additional songs for each LP. “But there was an overage of material – different versions of things, different approaches to the mixes,” Page explained. He mentioned experiments with equipment and sound on early alternative takes at Headley Grange, the English manor where Zeppelin recorded some of their most iconic work, particularly their 1971 untitled fourth album.

“The classic there was ‘When the Levee Breaks,'” Page said, “where the drums were set up in the hallway. You know what it sounded like – immense – from the recorded version. But we used the drums in the hall for a number of things, like ‘Kashmir’ [on 1975’s Physical Graffiti] – some with closer miking. So there were a lot of different approaches. It will be fascinating for people to witness the work in progress.”

Page is also looking at relevant live recordings and film to accompany the reissues. “There are concerts that were recorded – some that might have appeared on bootleg in some shape or form – and a certain amount of footage, though not a lot,” he said.

(click here to continue reading Jimmy Page Digs Up ‘Substantial’ Rarities for New Led Zeppelin Remasters | David Fricke | Rolling Stone.)

For some of the Led Zeppelin albums, this will be the fourth time I’ve purchased them. I originally had the entire Zep catalog on cassette tape, then I upgraded to vinyl – some records were purchased used from Waterloo, or the Record Exchange on The Drag, and thus not sonically pristine, like In Through The Out Door and the live The Song Remains the Same. I think initially, I wanted to see what the crazy Physical Graffiti artwork was all about, or I’m just a consumer. I also remember spending $20 on a bootleg album that had such crappy sound, I could barely listen to it. New LPs were in the neighborhood for $7 at the time, so this bootleg was a lot of money, and used in addition, I was crushed when the album quality sucked so bad. I forget where it was recorded, but it was probably from the 1973 tour.

After I reluctantly started buying CDs, I picked up copies of all the albums again, plus the box set Led Zeppelin, and so on. That isn’t even counting converting CDs to MP3 files – and then re-ripping later at a higher bit rate, and even a third time, for some albums. 

I just finished reading Light and Shade, Jimmy Page’s new biography/autobiography, and there is discussion of the process of finding all the original analog tapes, and cataloging them. Page takes this archival work very seriously, which is a boon for fans. I can’t wait until these are released, again! If I was in charge, I’d release them one at a time, every week, in order from oldest to newest. Let them stand alone for a moment.


Written by Seth Anderson

November 27th, 2012 at 10:03 am

Posted in Music

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Let Detroit Go Bankrupt – By Mitt Romney

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Let Detroit Go Bankrupt – by Mitt Romney. Read it yourself and see if Smirky McSmirkenson actually can claim credit for GM, Ford, et al not being bankrupt. (Answer, he cannot, at least with a straight face).

Paul Krugman noted at the same time:

If the economy as a whole were in reasonably good shape and the credit markets were functioning, Chapter 11 would be the way to go. Under current circumstances, however, a default by GM would probably mean loss of ability to pay suppliers, which would mean liquidation — and that, in turn, would mean wiping out probably well over a million jobs at the worst possible moment.

and yet, Obama is having a hard-sell convincing folks in states impacted by the bailout to vote for him.

Ohio and Missouri are traditionally important swing states. But in St. Charles County, where Wentzville is, it’s not Mr. Obama but his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, who is predicted to win by a large margin. In heavily Democratic Lordstown, Mr. Obama is expected to prevail, but Mr. Romney is likely to carry two neighboring counties that also benefit from G.M.’s success.

“That’s surprising,” John Weaver, a political consultant and former John McCain adviser, told me this week. “I think especially with swing voters, they look at the auto industry and they see that government did work for them. It’s not just Wall Street that got help. It worked in a practical way in an industry that’s important to their state.” (Mr. Weaver isn’t working on the Romney campaign.)

I spoke this week with residents of both towns, and no one disputed that, from their perspective, the G.M. rescue has been a success.

“G.M. has been the catalyst for everything,” Wentzville’s mayor, Nick Guccione, told me. “They’ve already hired about 700 people, and they’re talking about bringing in over a thousand new jobs. And these are real jobs, with real wages. G.M. has brought in 1,300 construction workers for the new plant. We’re told that for every job they bring in, that creates five more jobs. It’s made Wentzville a more vibrant community. People can work, play, spend, shop.”

(click here to continue reading In Towns Helped by Obama’s GM Bail, Support for Romney)

Written by Seth Anderson

September 15th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Randomizer Friday – Straight To Your Heart Like a Cannon Ball edition

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iTunes artwork - Guess the Album!
iTunes artwork – Guess the Album!

Been a while since I played the Friday Randomizer game. Here are today’s results.

  1. Morrison, Van(Straight To Your Heart) Like A Cannon Ball
    Tupelo Honey
    Today is Van Morrison’s birthday, in 1945, so I started with this quite decent track from Tupelo Honey, which to be honest is not in my top shelf of Van the Man albums. Love the R&B chorus chants of “toodle-ooddle-oooh” though…
  2. Field, TheSilent
    From Here We Go Sublime
    instrumental, electronica track. Slightly repetitive. Wouldn’t be out of place as a soundtrack in a progressive sushi bar. I might have fallen asleep for a second there.
  3. Beastie BoysGratitude [Live At Budokan 9-16-92]
    Check Your Head [Disc 2]
    Good times gone but you missed them
    What’s gone wrong in your system
    (original version better)
  4. Jones, Rickie LeeTried To Be A Man
    The Sermon On Exposition Boulevard
    an interesting track on a weird and interesting album with an odd genesis.
  5. Amalia RodriguesAi Mouraria
    Amália Sings Traditional Fado
    Portuguese fado tune, circa 1951. Perfect for sitting alone, having a late afternoon cocktail in a smoky bar.
  6. Group DouehWazan Samat
    Guitar Music From the Western Sahara
    hypnotic desert blues song, you either love the genre – like me – or don’t.
  7. FeistSo Sorry
    The Reminder
    melancholic Canadian singer/songwriter. I wanted to like it, but am too jaded and cynical I suppose…
  8. Strummer, JoeTennessee Rain
    Soundtrack of “Walker”
    I  got this album recently, while on a Joe Strummer kick. I should see the movie based on how much I like the soundtrack. Apparently, Strummer’s conceit was to only use instruments that would be available during the period the film is set (1840s). Nothing at all like The Clash, but quite delicious.
  9. Jansch, BertNeedle Of Death
    It Don’t Bother Me
    The most beautiful song about heroin addiction and death, ever. I doubt you could play it on guitar as well as guitar wizard Bert Jansch did, I know I can’t.
  10. CANMushroom (Live)
    Lost Tapes Box Set
    From this stellar boxed set. Original on Tago Mago. By the way, there was a video made for it, available here.
  11. N.W.A.Express Yourself
    Straight Outta Compton
    Probably the best song on this album, imo.
  12. Frog EyesBushels
    Tears of the Valedictorian
    no idea about deeper meaning on this track, or album, but it’s still pretty good, in the right mood. The vocalist, Carey Mercer, is on the verge of being whiny, buyer beware…
    I was a singer and I sang in your home
  13. Dead KennedysCalifornia Über Alles
    No Thanks! The ’70s Punk Rebellion
    bonus track. The version with Jerry Brown as governor of California…

And that’s that…

Randomizer 2012 08 31
Randomizer 2012-08-31 in no particular order

Written by Seth Anderson

August 31st, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Music,Narcipost

Tagged with ,

Taylor Parkes On Can Boxed Set – The Lost Tapes

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CAN - The Lost Tapes
CAN – The Lost Tapes

I am just unwrapping my copy of this; I haven’t heard it yet, but I’m already in a better mood…

Fifteen, twenty years ago, it would have been natural to respond to The Lost Tapes not just with astounded applause but with a rather lofty prescription: any group could learn a lot from close, repeated listening. It’s still true, of course, but in 2012 it seems a bit out of touch. In many ways Can – whose name so clearly dates them to a time before the internet search – were not like us, sat here with conflicting histories of everything, isolated by choice and by the new demands of our miserable lives. Living and working together was the point; the strengths of five individuals merged to create something greater, something uncontainable.

Can’s spontaneous, co-operative creativity hasn’t been weakened by time or by anything else; the music here sounds somehow even more potent, having outlasted all the cultural currents which carried it in. It sounds almost revolutionary again. Something unburdened by the self, or by self-consciousness; free of the past and the present.

Holger Czukay, somewhat professorial at the age of 30, joined Inner Space (the original name of the group formed by keyboard player Irmin Schmidt) on the understanding it would be a kind of art collective, a rather academic fusion of rock with the teachings of Karlheinz Stockhausen, he and Schmidt’s old teacher and mentor. In fact, from the sound of ‘Millionenspiel’, the opening track on this collection, Inner Space progressed very quickly to what would become the early Can sound (‘Millionenspiel’ is a psychedelicised Chantays on a surfin’ safari through medieval Europe and Jamaica in the 50s, far beyond the fumblings of the Prehistoric Future tape). Still, it was only when grainy-voiced Malcolm Mooney joined on vocals that Czukay grasped what could really be achieved. As he describes it in the sleeve notes to The Lost Tapes, “Stockhausen with a hell of a drive!”

That drive was Can’s trademark, powered not just by Mooney’s aggression but by Michael Karoli’s tattoo-needle guitar style and (especially) the drumming of Jaki Liebezeit, in which the delicacy and invention of jazz was applied to a series of rigidly mechanised beats, a kind of percussive hypnosis driving the others forward without fear. In time, as Mooney was replaced by the ethereal Damo Suzuki, the drive became more of a glide, the sound spun out until it was almost translucent, but the band retained its eerie power: heavy when featherlight, direct when delirious. In the glow of Schloss Norvenich, their hidey-hole near Cologne (then later at Inner Space Studios, a refurbished cinema in nearby Weilerswist), Can spent hours and days and nights and sunrises and sunsets playing. Everything was recorded, although not everything survived, because of the cost of tape, and – according to Schmidt in the sleeve notes – because of Liebezeit’s insistence on constant forward movement: “Erase!” These three discs have been assembled from a pile of rediscovered masters, pulled from a cupboard after nearly forty years, and if they’d been recorded this morning they’d sound like they came from the future.

Occasionally, the centre fails to hold and Can are pitched off in different directions: such is the price of freedom. Still, on those rare occasions where the music is slightly ragged, it remains relentlessly inventive. The single most jaw-dropping thing about Can was this unstoppable originality – what stands out most clearly here is that even at the point of exhaustion, where anyone else would fall back on shopworn blues riffs and keyboard-demo drum fills, Can were utterly incapable of cliché. And when all five members coalesce – which they do more often than not, more often than pretty much any other group who ever relied on improvisation and daring – the results are incomparable, sometimes indescribable.

(click here to continue reading The Quietus | Features | Constant Forward Movement: Taylor Parkes On Can’s Lost Tapes.)

so what are you waiting for? Money is for spending, not hoarding…

and this is a good definition of the band’s aesthetic as any:

The music of Can was never explicitly political, but it was always radical. A synthesis of Stockhausen, Sly & The Family Stone, ‘Sister Ray’ and Ornette Coleman would be musically incendiary at any time, but in these times it was more than that. Can’s aesthetic choices may have been instinctive, but they weren’t coincidental: they were drawn to African rhythms, to the music of Eastern European gypsies, to non-hierarchical systems, personally and musically (crucial to their sound was the abuse of those strict tonal relationships enforced by the Third Reich’s cultural guardians). They were, in Nazi parlance, Entartete Musik – degenerate music – taken almost to its limit. This was not necessarily a deliberate choice on their part. But with that mindset, in that country, at that point in history, there was no choice.

Written by Seth Anderson

August 16th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Bob Dylan’s Tempest Album Has The Wheeze And Gargle Of An Old Man

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The Bob Dylan media onslaught has already begun…

Neil McCormick of The Telegraph writes:

The word is that Dylan is pleased with his latest effort, or, as someone at his record company told me, “he wants people to hear it.” I have had the privilege of being amongst a select few journalists around the world to be allowed a sneak preview. It would be absurd to attempt a definitive review based on such a cursory listen but I was blown away with the mad energy of the album.

At 71-years-old Dylan is still striking out into strange new places rather than revisiting his past. Although he no longer attempts to scale the heights of poetic imagery and dense metaphor that established him as popular music’s greatest lyricist, instead writing in bluesy couplets, the extreme collision of ideas and characters and the mysterious, ambivalent arcs of his narratives creates a pungent effect. Dylan still has the power to disturb and thrill. I emerged from this listening session feeling like I had been on a journey into the weird dream territory of Ballad Of A Thin Man, where nothing is quite what it seems.

His voice, often little more than a croak on stage these days, invests these ten tracks with the spirit of something ancient. Sure, he has the wheeze and gargle of an old man, but the words come through loud and clear, delivered with real relish. Los Lobos founder David Hidalgo’s fiddle weaves through the acoustic shuffle of Dylan’s touring band, guitarist Charlie Sexton, Stu Kimball and Donnie Heron, drummer George Receli and bassist Tony Garnier.

The sound is a continuation of the blues, country and folk styles that run through all his later work, but with less of the kind of Thirties pastiche he’s played with since 2001’s Love And Theft . There is a sense is that Dylan is still honing in on that wild, mercurial music he hears in his head.

(click here to continue reading Bob Dylan’s Tempest: first listen – Telegraph.)

I’m sort of sick of that 1930’s pastiche actually, will be glad to hear something different.

Written by Seth Anderson

August 9th, 2012 at 8:36 am

Posted in Music,Suggestions

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Tom Waits – Hell Broke Luce

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 A surreal yet intriguing music video of the Tom Waits song, Hell Broke Luce, from his 2011 album, Bad as Me.

Directed and photographed by Matt Mahurin, and only recently released, as far as I can tell…  ((as of right now, only 307 views, despite being linked from TomWaits.com ))

Written by Seth Anderson

August 7th, 2012 at 11:44 am

Posted in Film,Music,Suggestions

Tagged with ,

Links for February 17 – 2012

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Does Absinthe Make the Heart Grow Fonder? – Speakeasy – WSJ [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 10:15 PM PST

Does Absinthe Make the Heart Grow Fonder? http://t.co/v3kkAiel

Google Circumvents Safari Privacy Protections – This is Why We Need Do Not Track | Electronic Frontier Foundation [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 09:15 PM PST

Google Circumvents Safari Privacy Protections – This is Why We Need Do Not Track http://t.co/IRdWKniy

Swanksalot’s Tumblr and Solipsism [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 08:29 PM PST

Photo: Of the Moneygall O’Bamas… (via Your new lucky t-shirt — Blog — Barack Obama) http://t.co/sG38j7Fp

NARP: National Association of Railroad Passengers [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 08:14 PM PST

President Obama Continues Commitment to Passenger Trains in 2013 Budget Request http://t.co/fhVlPJm5 Good

Daily Kos: Energy Chairman Fred Upton’s dogging of White House over Solyndra may be about to bite him [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 06:17 PM PST

Energy Chairman Fred Upton’s dogging of White House over Solyndra may be about to bite him http://t.co/FyP7vm78

Redistribution and the Healthcare Law: Take from the Red and Give to the Blue – The Demos Blog – PolicyShop [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 05:16 PM PST

Redistribution and the Healthcare Law: Take from the Red and Give to the Blue http://t.co/MM4dNb7g

New York Times seems to fall from Apple’s favor | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 05:16 PM PST

someone else noticed: “New York Times seems to fall from Apple’s favor” http://t.co/tPU33FF4

An open letter to the worst human being to ever sit in a theater – HitFix.com [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 04:59 PM PST

An open letter to the worst human being to ever sit in a theater http://t.co/8N04Lxbt

Stephen Colbert taking care of ailing mother, may return to ‘Colbert Report’ Monday  – NY Daily News [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 04:59 PM PST

““Colbert Report abruptly suspends production and I fall into a deep depression. Related?” “Good Wife” Josh Charles” http://t.co/1SKAn48D

Virginia Republicans require women seeking abortions to be raped first | Backup Brain [del.icio.us]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 04:59 PM PST

“Virginia Republicans require women seeking abortions to be raped first” http://t.co/fZw1tLj0

Written by Seth Anderson

February 20th, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Links

Tagged with

Neil Young and the Sound of Music

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Neil Young

Neil Young has long fulminated against the sound of digital music…

You know what the biggest problem with music today is? Sound quality. That’s Neil Young’s take on the issue, anyway.

For years, the musician has been obsessed with improving the way modern music sounds, sonically speaking. In an interview with Walt Mossberg and Peter Kafka at our D: Dive Into Media conference, Young, the perennial music purist, said that while modern music formats like MP3 are convenient, they sound lousy.

“My goal is to try and rescue the art form that I’ve been practicing for the past 50 years,” Young said. “We live in the digital age and, unfortunately, it’s degrading our music, not improving it.” While modern digital encoding schemes might sound clear on our iPods and smartphones, they only feature a small percentage of the musical data present in a master recording, and Young is on a crusade to correct that.

“It’s not that digital is bad or inferior, it’s that the way it’s being used isn’t doing justice to the art,” Young said. “The MP3 only has 5 percent of the data present in the original recording. … The convenience of the digital age has forced people to choose between quality and convenience, but they shouldn’t have to make that choice.”

So what’s the solution? New hardware capable of playing audio files that preserve more of the data present in original recordings, said Young. Ah. But who’s going to produce that?

Said Young, “Some rich guy.” And evidently some rich guy was working on such a device. The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “Steve Jobs as a pioneer of digital music, and his legacy is tremendous,” Young said. “But when he went home, he listened to vinyl. And you’ve got to believe that if he’d lived long enough, he would have done what I’m trying to do.”

(click here to continue reading Neil Young and the Sound of Music (Dive into Media) – John Paczkowski – Dive Into Media – AllThingsD.)

Written by Seth Anderson

January 31st, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Posted in Apple,Music

Tagged with ,

Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker: 1945

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Sounds intriguing, especially since not much music was recorded during these years of the creation of bebop since the war effort curtailed the recording industry.

The historic live Town Hall sessions by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker from 1945 have been discovered on an acetate pressing, and are transferred with digital enhancement to CD. Why this concert was not issued initially is understandable, but Ira Gitler’s informative and insightful liner notes suggest they likely were misplaced. What Gitler’s essential writing also reveals is that these dates were approximate by only weeks to the original studio recordings of these classics, and there was no small amount of controversy surrounding this revolutionary bebop. Clearly bop was a vehicle for intricate melodic invention followed by lengthy soloing, aspects of which Parker with Gillespie were perfectly suited for.

Fact is, the situation surrounding the sonic capture and extended neglected shelf life of this performance was far from optimal. Symphony Sid Torin is the M.C., rambling as always, making repeated references to Dizzy “Jillespie” and misidentifying Max Roach as Sid Catlett on “Salt Peanuts.” (Catlett does sit in on “Hot House” in a more supportive than demonstrative role.)

The tracks with the brilliant Roach are on fire, particularly the super-hot “Salt Peanuts,” with pianist Al Haig flying beside him. Haig is perhaps the most impressive musician. The rhythm section, especially Haig, is more present in the mix and up front, while the trumpet and alto sax are buried.

As the concert progresses, it gets better, with Gillespie’s muted trumpet clearer. Parker lays back on the mike, but not in spirit or bravado for “Interlude,” which is now known as “A Night in Tunisia,” and better balanced during “Groovin’ High,” which was originally titled “Whispering.” There seems to be an unplanned slight key chance in the bridge of “Groovin’ High.” A late-arriving Parker was in part replaced by tenor saxophonist Don Byas, who sounds terrific on the opener, “Bebop,” until Parker steps on-stage and ups the ante. At under 41 minutes in length, this can be looked upon as a historical document, likely appealing only to completists. But the overriding factor of previously undiscovered Diz and Bird makes the CD something all bebop fans should readily embrace, despite its audio deficiencies.

(click here to continue reading iTunes – Music – Dizzy Gillespie: Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945 by Dizzy Gillespie.)

I’ve read that the reason Charlie Parker was late was because he was wandering the streets of New York looking to score some heroin, and then fixed before he started playing. This was the Bird’s typical routine apparently.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 17th, 2011 at 10:44 am

Posted in Music

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Strong Reaction To Rick Perry

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Strong, in the sense of revulsion…

Rick Perry is a hate filled maggot


Rick Perry is a hate filled maggot, but as of this morning, his video is the most hated YouTube ever (currently, with my “thumbs down” added, at 9859 idiots for vs. 413,640 against,- a ratio of 0.0238.) Not presidential material, in other words.

And what the hell is his rant even about? What war on Christians? Is Perry hearing voices in his hair again?

View if you want.


Written by Seth Anderson

December 9th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

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Jean Quan Is a Know-Nothing And Proud

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Sorry to hear of Mayor Jean Quan’s evasion of responsibility re: the horrific police riot in Oakland that left Scott Olsen, a 2-tour Iraq Veteran, in the hospital with brain swelling and skull injuries. If you haven’t seen the video, here’s a short version with commentary:

Oakland — Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who is being criticized from all sides for a police sweep of the Occupy Oakland encampment, said Wednesday that she was not involved in the planning and did not even know when the action was going to take place.

The decision to raid the camp outside City Hall was made by City Administrator Deanna Santana on Oct. 19 with consultation from interim Police Chief Howard Jordan after campers repeatedly blocked paramedics and police from entering the camp despite reports of violence and injuries.

News conference

Quan told a news conference at City Hall on Wednesday that her input on the raid was limited.

“I only asked the chief to do one thing: to do it when it was the safest for both the police and the demonstrators,” she said.

The mayor said “I don’t know everything” when asked by reporters if she was satisfied with how police conducted the sweep. She said she spent Wednesday meeting with community groups.

She also defended “99 percent” of police officers “who took a lot of abuse” and who “have really been trying to re-establish that connection with the community.”

(click here to continue reading Occupy Oakland: Jean Quan ‘I don’t know everything’.)

So basically, the Mayor is saying she isn’t that interested in what the police are doing in her city, and doesn’t think that is important for her to be involved, or even informed. Oh, and stop being so mean to the poor, poor police, they were just trying to pet kittens.

Keith Olbermann was disappointed as well, saying (on Current-TV)

Olbermann discussed Mayor Quan’s 20 year liberal career in Oakland and then said, “And in the last two nights Mayor Jean Quan has betrayed all of that. There is no excuse. There is no justification. There is no rationalization for being the mayor who may have begun the great march backward in this country to the days when mayors like Sam Yorty of Los Angeles and Hugh Addonizio of Newark and Richard Dailey of Chicago stood back and their police incited, bullied, overreacted, and brutally assaulted protesters at the height of the Civil Rights and Vietnam movements. Those protests began non-violently, positively with singing and marching and cooperation with authorities, but the police like the police in Oakland, California this week, they injected the violence. Then it escalated and echoed, and soon there wasn’t just one Iraq vet in a hospital with a fractured skull, but there were dead men and women on the streets in this country and no one in this country wants to see that again today.”

He continued, “The mayor of any city is not out on the front lines with cops, and not everything they do can be lain at the mayor’s feet, but if one night a group of peaceable protesters exercising the rights given to them under the Constitution and not rights made up for the cops by the cops like lawful command and imminent threat. If they are attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets and the mayor’s only comments are to commend the police chief for a, “generally peacefully resolution to a situation, “ and after that claim democracy is messy, after the unprovoked actions horrify a nation, she is endorsing and assuming for herself whatever havoc the out of control police officers wrought.”

Later Olbermann closed by pointing out that it was only 15 months ago that Mayor Jean Quan was bullied by the police department, “Fifteen months ago Mayor Jean Quan was bullied by the Oakland Police Department, and tonight she is the bully. Mayor Quan is left with two choices. She can dismiss the acting police chief Howard Jordan and use her mayoral powers to authorize Occupy Oakland to protest again without harassment, or having betrayed everything she supported and all those who supported her, she must resign.”

(click here to continue reading Keith Olbermann Calls Out The Police for Instigating Occupy Oakland Violence.)

Written by Seth Anderson

October 27th, 2011 at 8:52 am

Desert Blues, Recorded On-Site

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I just got my copy of Tinariwen’s Tassili today, as a matter of fact. I’ve listened to the CD once, so far, but like it a lot. If you have a chance, pick up a copy. There is no “Auto-Tune” in use on this desert blues…

In the language of the Tuareg nomads, who for centuries have roamed the most remote reaches of the southern Sahara, “tinariwen” means “deserts.” But ever since the musical group of that name released its first CD in 2001, its members have recorded not on their home turf but in much the same way that American and European bands do: in the artificial environment of a recording studio, in cities like Paris and Bamako, Mali.

With “Tassili,” released on Tuesday, Tinariwen, whose music is a hard-rocking hybrid of Berber, Arab, Western and black African styles, has sought to return to its beginnings. Named for a spectacular area of canyons and sandstone arches near Algeria’s border with Libya, the CD was rehearsed and recorded out of doors there, in tents and around campfires much like those where the group’s founding members, political exiles then living in refugee settlements, first came together to play.

“We wanted to go back to our origins, to the experience of ishumar,” a word in the Tamashek language referring to exile or being adrift, explained Eyadou ag Leche, the band’s bass player, speaking in French during an interview in New York in July. “Those were times when we would sit around a campfire, singing songs and passing around a guitar. Tinariwen was born in that movement, in that atmosphere, so what you hear on ‘Tassili’ is the feeling of ishumar.”

“Theirs is music that at the same time seems very familiar, starting with the guitars and the call and response element in the vocals, but also sounds exotic to the ear,” said the guitarist Nels Cline of Wilco, who supplies an eerily swirling guitar background on “Imidiwan Ma Tennam,” the new CD’s opening track. “You’re listening to stuff that really rocks, but is also very stripped down. There is an air of mystery and longing, and that creates a mood that is palpable, very compelling and attractive for all kinds of people. It’s wonderful music, and not just for guitarists.”
Tinariwen’s music has sometimes been called “desert blues,” and the group’s penchant for writing songs in minor key modes certainly creates a sound that has a blue feeling. But the band’s members prefer to talk about “asuf,” a sentiment from their own culture that describes both a sense of spiritual pain, yearning or nostalgia and the emptiness of the desert itself. That, they acknowledge, creates a certain kinship with the bluesmen of Mississippi and Chicago.

“We didn’t know about these people at first because we were in our own universe,” Mr. ag Leche explained. “But when we first started hearing Hendrix, just to name someone, we felt something immediately. It was almost as if I had known that music from the day I was born. I’m told that a lot of the Africans who went to North America came from West Africa, from our part of the world. So it’s all the same connection. I think that any people who have lived through something that is very hard, feel this asuf, this pain, this longing. That is what will make their music sound similar to each other.”

(click here to continue reading Tinariwen’s ‘Tassili’ – Desert Blues, Recorded On-Site – NYTimes.com.)


Written by Seth Anderson

August 31st, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Posted in Music,Suggestions

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