Posted tagged ‘random thoughts’

A Hard Rain

December 12, 2016

I’m reading M Train right now — my way to push back on the news by diving into someone else’s struggle to live in the act of making work that cuts.  Just now, with the luck of the ‘net, my YouTube bot popped this into my recommend list:

I am much moved by Smith’s break on stage and more so by her return.

The song is obviously on point, the setting is surreal, and Smith herself is a walking, talking, ain’t-bragging-if-you-can-do-it lesson on turning a life into its own artform — as that same life spins its art into the world through all the moil and misery (and those flashes of joy!) that go into walking this earth.

It’s not all Trump and evil out there. I strain to remember that every day, and some days are harder than others. (Yesterday!  Worse than the chicken at Tresky’s.)

But it’s true, and I thank Patti Smith for the reminder.

Top of the evening to all here — with a thick layer of improbable acts with oxidized farm implements to our enemies!

Pantry Sniffing

July 4, 2014

With a h/t to a valuable science-Twitterer and all-round good guy/researcher, Jonathan Eisen, here’s something for the curious among us to aspire to when next you contemplate cleaning out your larder:

Kew mycologists Bryn Dentinger and Laura Martinez-Suz have discovered three species of mushrooms that are new to science in a commercial packet of dried Chinese porcini purchased from a shop in London.

Joannes_Fijt_-_Mushrooms_-_WGA08352

Who knows what species lurks in the bowels of cupboards?

The mushroom-hunters know!

With that, I’ll announce my very scattered return from my  off-grid mountain fastness. Here’s a taste of what I’ve been looking at to the exclusion of paying attention to anything any right wing asshole has to say:

Shasta from Inspiration Point June 29 2014 edited, small

That’s Mt. Shasta from Inspiration Point in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

You won’t, alas, see much difference from my total absence to my likely near-complete silence going forward:  I’m desperate to get a big project done before the next equinox and I find if I try to organize my thoughts around the midden that is our politics right now, I lose whole days to rage.  But I’ll try to show up, and even more, to offer the occasional chewy post.  For now, though — random bits of the delightful weirdness of the world are all my style.

Happy Fourth, all.

Image: Jan Flyt, Mushrooms, first half of the 17th century.

 

I Fired Dat Staff So I Could Hire Distaff

September 7, 2011

So — I have this great FDR/Eric Cantor post cooking, and another on some highly wonkish political science offering insight into the next election on the basis of analysis of 2008’s dinner dance, and much more good stuff besides, but…

….I’m sitting here contemplating (that’s a nice word) bourbon (descending steadily on the $/dram scale as I work through the evening) in response to the third-of-four-quadrants close encounter with my oral surgeon today.  Gingivitis! Dont’ try this at home kids!


(Wincing yet?  Good.  Misery loves company.)

So no actually useful blogging from this quarter.  Sorry.

Besides, there’s nothing on but crazy folk that some kind person should take back inside to the nice padded room.  Feed them their gruel with blunted spoons and no one will get hurt.  No Mitt — you can’t whack Rick with your Social Security Bear.

But, hey.  All this gives me an excuse to extend  the discussion from the other night, when I tagged Freddie Mercury as one of the top candidates for the title best male rock and roll vocalist ever.

Someone subsequently said, in essence, what about the women?

Well, what about them?

Linda Ronstadt appeared in the thread as the leading candidate, and while I concur that she’s a fabulous artist, I can’t bring myself to see her quite as a rock avatar.  If you extend to jazz there are some fabulous candidates, from Billie Holiday to Cassandra Wilson and so many more…or perhaps really Billie Holiday and you can probably stop there.  You want to go to blues and you get some more…for example I defy you to say Koko Taylor isn’t on your list.  And then there’s Aretha.

You want diva-tude? Well in the last thread we had Annie Lennox mentioned, and to keep the Freddie vibe going just one more minute, you can always listen to this remarkable duet…and you can’t tell me she doesn’t have the stage presence and the voice. (And that dress!)  The great country voices….and, and, and — you get it.  No one answer, lots of great music whilst we argue.

But talkin’ rock and roll, plain and simple?  I don’t know; I haven’t got a slam dunk candidate.  Janis Joplin would have been the obvious one in my youth, were it not for Grace Slick before she wandered off into I don’t know what (and actually, listening again, Janis, still wins)…and so  on.

So why not start a thread on this, and for an actual living, music making wonder who’s injecting herself into the debate, how about that Grace Potter?  I saw some comment on one youtube or another that called her the daughter Janis never knew she had, and that’s not far off.

Here she is with Joe Satriani and others, purely owning Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer.”

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So have at it:  open (musical) thread with which to wash all those Republicans out of your hair.

Image:  Jan Steen, The Dentist1651