Tuesday, January 31, 2017

10 year impossible PUZZLE 10年以上知恵の輪謎

This is really worth watching, for several reasons.

First, it's always exciting to realize that the Japanese are capable of having fun at their own expense. Second, this puzzle is a seemingly unassailable challenge. And third, the dude that finally gets it makes it look so easy!

Constant readers will recall that my own long time relationship with Japanese culture includes episodes of strong approval, interspersed with episodes of strong disapproval, and littered with everything in between on a regular basis. On balance, though, I am a big fan of Japanese culture.

(Up two posts for the video. Or, they might take that one down too. Time will tell.)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Blind Faith Can't Find My Way Home 1969

At the time, I had no idea what to make of Blind Faith. I had been a wild-eyed Traffic fan, and a typically stunned, adorational Cream fan, but Blind Faith? It had a slight odor of manipulation, and before I could make some kind of judgment it was over, the moment had passed. I attended no concerts; I purchased no albums.

But if this video is any indication, some good work was done.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Arthur Conley-Sweet Soul Music

This is a nice video, and a great song, and it's a good lesson in fashion, too.

Arthur is wearing a suit that is a lot like the "fashion forward" suits of our own era. Very short and tight on the jacket, and narrow on the pants. That jacket is way above the tips of his thumbs; hell, it's above his thumbs all together!

And yet, on Arthur Conley, it works. He is a tall man. His shoulders are very wide, and his hips are very narrow, he doesn't need any help to enhance or diminish either dimension.

So hear this lesson now, and believe it: unless your shoulders are this wide, and your hips this narrow, never wear one of these new suits with the narrow, tight, short jackets and the tight, low cut pants. Men! The western business suit is your friend! It is designed to make the average man look slimmer and taller than he actually is. Don't misuse it to make yourself look narrower in the shoulders and wider in the hips, not to mention shorter altogether.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Monday, January 23, 2017

There's Something Happening Here

From my distant perch, I have watched the protests unfold over the last few days. It reminded me of the Sixties, but not in a good way. More like the echo of an old failing. In the old days, the protests hovered around a focus on the Vietnam War, but were often focused instead, and in scattershot fashion, on the draft, or war in general, or the military, or the government, or nuclear weapons, or something else. This weekend there were also numerous, semi-related demonstrations. There were protests by women’s groups, anti-capitalists, civil-society groups, anti-Trumpsters, anarchists, and no doubt many others.

A much higher level of focus and coordination will be required if any of these protests are going to amount to anything.

These protests were a natural and necessary response to the vicious, inhuman policies and rhetoric of the new administration and the new congress. It was all very admirable, generally. But there will need to be rather a lot more commitment shown, a lot more discipline learned, and a lot more sacrifices made, if anything is going to be accomplished.

Most importantly, or should I say, Most Importantly, please consider that Mr. Trump is not really important in any of this. He is only a distraction, and only for the next eighteen months or so. The real enemy is the Republican Party, at the Federal and the State level. It’s their agenda that threatens us, and their ecstatic glee at having arrived in the position from which they can actually accomplish their Satanic goals should provide all of the motivation that anyone would need to oppose them.

That’s worth repeating: Mr. I-Have-The-Best-Words is only a distraction. The Republicans will use him as a lightning rod for all of the outrage and contempt that they will be generating, he and they together, for the next year-and-change. In that time the Republicans will solidify their position as being totally in charge. Then they’ll dump Herr Drumpf like a hot potato. What, you doubt it? After a few years of this, you’d just love to enter an election cycle with President DJT at the top of the ticket? No, you wouldn’t. I didn’t think so. Believe me, they have no plans to do so. It’ll be President Pence for years by then, after four more years of Gerrymandering and anti-voting-rights legislation.

Need I remind you, again, that the Republican agenda is: 1) to unwind all of the social advances of the New Deal, including, but not limited to, Social Security, collective bargaining, and government regulation of capitalism; 2) to reduce the Federal Government to, in their own words, something so small that it could be drowned in a bathtub; 3) to further enhance the financial position of the growing billionaire class; and 4) to aid and abet the large corporations in their exploitation and despoliation of the county’s resources, not to mention the resources of the entire world.  We have known this for thirty-five years now, known it to an absolute certainty. They have said as much, out loud, and their every action has supported this agenda. So yes, I use the term “Satanic” advisedly.

And what, pray tell, is the Republican agenda for average Americans? The legendary “American People?”  Very clearly, that agenda is increased medical insecurity; increased income insecurity; increased retirement insecurity; severely restricted human, civil and constitutional rights; greater levels of debt-slavery; and ever increasing levels of incarceration. Republican voters! That sound that you hear is a combination of laughter, ice tinkling in cocktails, and a giant toilet flushing.

If it gets any worse, Americans will be retreating to the woods to live as hunter-gatherers, squatting and poaching, no doubt, on land owned by billionaires.

That Republicans can still get elected to anything at all is a testament to the reduced circumstances of common sense and independent thinking in our new digital world. Capturing and neutralizing minds is way too easy these days. It’s like the fucking Walking Dead out there, for crying out loud.

So please, I’m begging you, get organized with the protests, and get focused on the real enemy, the Republicans. Right now, they think that they are in the drivers’ seat. They think, in their twisted Ayn Randian way, that they are the meritorious winners in this social struggle of winners and losers. It’s a sad future for them as well though. They will also be thrown under the bus, in their turn, by their masters, the corporate/billionaire cabal.

Oh! How the real money laughs at mediocrities like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan! The real money still needs them to push their agenda, and those congressional fools settle for peanuts to help the real money get what they want! What a laugh riot! Those idiots in congress ask for only a couple of million dollars to pass legislation that puts hundreds of millions in the pockets of the real money! One percent or so, man, what an investment! What assholes. Myself, I wouldn't do it for a nickel less than 12.5%. Someday, and that day will come, the Mitch McConnells and the Paul Ryans of the world will retire to what seems, to them, like splendor, on their several tens of millions of dollars of ill-gotten gains. Maybe a hundred million! Oh! La-la! What a bunch of Rubes.

About those sacrifices that will be required, read on at your peril. Down in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, a couple of hundred people were arrested and charged with “felony rioting.” That one carries a fine of up to $250,000 and ten years in prison. That’s a “message,” right there. The message is: if you own a house that you do not want to lose, do not appear at demonstrations. You will lose that house to the fine. The ten years in prison part, I guess we all understand that.

It would be lovely if tens of thousands of people would go out and get themselves arrested and subjected to those charges. That would be embarrassing to the government, they might even back off. But only a few hundred people? A few times? No deterrent there. Those people are just going down, and millions more are staying right there at home from now on, not wanting to actually pay such a weirdly excessive price for their opinions.

The land of the free . . . Freedom of Speech! I said it before, back in the Sixties. When times are good, you have the right to have a gently expressed opinion; when times get rough, you have the right to get your head cracked open by a night-stick.

The brutal repression will work. That’s my firm opinion. Afghans would line up to do the ten years, but Americans are not made of such stern stuff. Yeah, I said it. And it’s true, too.  Americans are afraid of protest, because they’re afraid to lose what little advantage they have left. Shit, I’m often afraid to write so directly on this stupid little blog. Only my insignificance empowers me, and saves me from imposed indigence through fines.  

What about it, brothers and sisters? “. . . ([Y]ou’d better) stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.”

So what do I expect? Me? I expect things to drift along, more or less how they’ve been going since World War II. A continuing state of emergency, a constant acceleration of executive power, a constant expansion of the security state, the inexorable comeback of the billionaire class, the return of working people to penury, the continued erosion of our constitutional rights and the final destruction of the New Deal. No less!

And who’s going to stop it all? The Democratic Party? I think we can all put “paid” to that avenue of assistance. The Greens? Whatever other political parties exist by now out on the fringes of our politics? Give those ideas up right now. Ineffectual bloggers like me? Certainly not. Bloggers with much more talent and energy than me? Sorry, no. God? Oh, honey, no. I’m starting to believe in Satan, but the possibility of assistance from God holds no promise for me at all.

All we can do is hope that they leave us with some entertainment in our abasement. Can we please keep our YouTube, sir? And our wi-fi? Can we keep our air-conditioning if we live in Florida? The electric bill will be low in any case, because people will be out most of the day working multiple jobs to pay for health care. Upon retirement, the non-rich Americans of the future can expect to be driven out into the metaphoric snow, because you can be sure that the United States of Ayn Rand will have no place for useless eaters.  Did I say retirement? I’m afraid we’ll all be on the work-till-you-die program before long.

I remember a slightly better America, and that America would be worth trying to recreate and perfect. I’ve also read about several historical Americas that were not so great, several even quite horrible. Guess which direction we’ve decided to go in the future? The 1880s, with wi-fi. Good luck with that. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

That Certain Lack Of Control

Life could be so easy, if only we could exercise more control over it. Often this lack of control is blamed on the presence of others.

For instance, here’s a quote from Jean-Paul Sartre:

“In football, everything is complicated by the presence of the other team.”

I’m pretty sure that I’ve shared that one before, but it came to mind last week when I came across another quote expressing the same sentiment. This one was from Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki, who was Admiral Yamamoto’s chief-of-staff in the Imperial Japanese Navy:

“There is an opponent in a war, so one cannot progress just as one wishes.”

This phenomenon is true not only for sports and warfare, but also for life in general. We can never quite get our way, because the outside influences are so powerful.

Planning, industry and discipline are, of course, the remedies to this lack of control. They are always to be recommended. Employ them liberally if they are not intellectually or emotionally denied to you. The only thing that can be done about the actual lack of control is to accept it.

I’ll wager that neither Mr. Sartre nor Admiral Ugaki was happy about accepting that fact, but it does appear that both did accept it. 

Hank Ballard & The Midnighters - "The Twist" ORIGINAL VERSION (1959)

I love Hank Ballard, and all of that Twist money was his to lose. I don't know how it all went down, but the money flowed in another direction, not exactly an unusual result in the music business.

Maybe it was partly because Hank was, let's say, an abrasive personality. I mean, I love him, I don't give a shit if he leaned a little to the tough side. I had plenty of friends over there. But maybe some folks just didn't take to him.

He did a promo for a radio show that I loved one time. It was a show called "the Cool and the Crazy," on KCRW, "Corsair Radio West" from Santa Monica Community College in California. What a great show. Hank's promo went like this, "Listen to the Cool and the Crazy on KCRW, on Saturday night, or Hank Ballard will break your fingers." He sounded like he meant it, too.

Hank was a friend of James Brown's; James was a tough man, too. I'm pretty sure that Hank wrote the copy himself.

Now we live in a gentler age, for a few more years anyway. I'm wondering if by 2025 or so it won't be more like "The Book of Eli" out there in Bum-Fuck, America. You know, Old Rag, Kentucky; Kick-Stump, Missouri. And that's the optimist's version, I hate to tell you. In the pessimist's view, by 2035 it'll be like "The Road."

French Foreign Legion

Speaking of marching and the French Foreign Legion . . . wasn't I speaking about marching recently? Last week or something? Well, here's a nice video of some of the lads doing their slow-march around some town in Afghanistan (I believe).

These guys aren't worried about precision; they're just getting some exercise. Maybe showing some class for the locals. Doing their eighty-eight beat per minute march (Trademark).

There are many videos of the Legion marching up on YouTube. Usually they have the engineers out front (aka pioneers or sappers). The engineers all have beards. Sometimes they carry shovels; sometimes axes. Generally all Legionnaires appear to have bad attitudes.

The comments on YouTube are typically funny. There are big arguments about the relative toughness of U.S. Marines and the Legion, and major disparagements of European soldiers in general. Mostly from armchair-generals and game players, you know, real experts. My own opinion? There are a half-dozen or eight outfits around the world that I'd consider the last guys you'd want coming after you, and the Marines and the Legion are both on the list.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Miroslav Kefurt - Pauken Twist 1963

I heard this earlier today on a compilation of East German "Twist" songs from the early/mid 1960s. You find the strangest things on YouTube.

The collection was mostly horribly square, as one would expect from the Osties. This was the exception. This is a very accomplished piece with some real swing to it. Miroslav can really play.

The Germans are a hit-or-miss people when it comes to music. They seem to catch fire sometimes, but does it last? I'll leave that up to the real musicologists. There's Beethoven, of course, and Bach, and so many others, back in the day. They weren't only composers, either, they were players. Beethoven, in his youth, was like a combination of Frank Sinatra and Jimi Hendrix. The women swooned and the guys wondered, "how the fuck is he doing that?" Then there's the flash of wild inspiration that gave the world Krautrock in the 1970s. Guru Guru; Can; Amon Duul II; Kraftwerk; etc. They'll be back, that's my guess.

But this Miroslav character . . . boy, can he play, or what? And look at those fingers! It was either the guitar or become a surgeon.

Justin Hinds & the Dominoes - The Higher The Monkey Climbs

This is a great song to begin with, but particularly apt in our current circumstances.  "He that exalteth himself, shall be abased." Go ahead, guess who I'm talking about.

And note that the term "monkey" is used here in a socially responsible way. It's perfectly okay to call an white American a monkey if he spins around the room making noise and throwing his own shit at perceived antagonists. He's acting like a  monkey; go ahead and call him a monkey. White people take note: never refer to a black man as a monkey, that's never cool. Justin Hinds could get away with it, because, you know . . .

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - Tramp (1967)

This was a real power-couple, back in 1967. Carla Thomas was a beautiful woman, probably still is. Otis Redding was a handsome dude, and a real man-and-a-half. Big shame, him dying young.

Julie Driscoll - Tramp

I've got a cold, so I'm not feeling very witty or informative. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jimi Hendrix - Solo Little Wing

Well, within a couple of years, we all knew.

Jimi seemed so strong, so in-control. But that was an illusion. All of the tensions of the age didn't sit well on him; all of the racial bullshit hit him hard from all angles. I'm afraid that even the well-deserved praise was a mixed blessing for Jimi.

Whatever really happened, it was a tragedy. Jimi was unique. I am not the final arbiter of such things, but musicians such as Jimi are rare. They show up at long intervals. Some, like Beethoven, have long and varied careers. Others, like Jimi, appear and burn out quickly. At least Jimi was extensively recorded.

He'll be with us always. I'm grateful for that.

Jimi Hendrix 1965 Night Train Television Show

Buddy and Stacey on Night Train. Who knew?

Why, none of us! None of us knew!

In case you need the tip-off, that's Jimi in the back row, at the left, the left-handed guitar player who keeps throwing flash all around.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Raquel Welch I'm Ready to Groove

This could turn into a continuing series. It looks like there are a lot of them up on the 'Tube.

This number is from "A Swingin' Summer," a beach-party movie from 1965.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tell Me Again: Why Are We No Longer Friends With The Chinese?

Only the first three minutes is marching. What follows is about training. The marching is very good.

Very impressive that the Chinese show-troops can actually Goose-Step vigorously without bouncing like those awful North Koreans. Precision marching is meant to intimidate opponents, and bouncing is silly. You must always avoid looking silly if you want to intimidate opponents.

The precision is top-notch in this video. Large numbers of show-troops marching along with almost perfect precision. I'm impressed, but somehow I'm not quite intimidated.

My favorites are the French Foreign Legion. They've got that slow march beat, along with terrific precision. I love that the engineers march with shovels on their shoulders instead of rifles. They march to what Ray Charles called "the Death Beat," which was so slow that his band complained about it being hard to keep up with. Now that's intimidating. I should look up a video.

But the Chinese. Nothing wrong with their military. Look it up, World War II, Korea, they were good. Great march discipline; fire discipline; limitless courage. Those things are really intimidating. Now that they actually have modern weapons, you'd better believe that they are a force to be reckoned with. On the ground, anyway. (No disparagement intended, nor any taken, probably. The rest will follow, and the Chinese are patient people.)

It's a shame that we now have a (redacted) who is in the pocket of the current crop of despots in Russia. Those Russian puppet-masters want America to challenge the Chinese in the South China Sea (already in progress, check), and start to bother them about trade and other economic issues (yup, check). It's a shame. You know that the Russians will not bother using KY, and they will not even think about saying thank you after they fuck us silly. They'll just laugh behind our backs and not pay (redacted) what they promised.

Big shame. We have a not entirely bad history with the Chinese, and a great number of them have become really first class Americans. We should be friends! It's a shame.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Johnny Cash Hurt

I shouldn't listen to this song, but sometimes I do. I'm on the "million miles away" part myself, I suppose. I hope to fucking hell that it works out. ". . . [F]ind[ing] a way" has never been my specialty.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Goodnight Keith Moon

No glib commentary required.

The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army (Live At "Late Night With Conan O'...

I saw this when it first aired. Late 1990s? Give or take. Maybe 2000, because by then I had heard a couple of White Stripes songs on Napster. So yeah, 2000. I set the old VCR to tape Conan. I wonder, I was already in the habit of taping some Conans by then, so maybe it was an accident? Ask someone with a good memory, that's my advice. But really, the first time I watched this performance, I was just floored. Upon reflection, I'm going with the accident scenario. This song, this performance, was probably the first cut by them that I heard. Yeah, I'm pretty sure. One more bit of history hammered down! It's been a good day.

Keith Emerson's Final (Gozilla) Wars

I just watched this movie again. Not this dubbed crap, original Japanese for me (when I can get it). My copy is beautifully letterboxed too, no anamorphic shenanigans. Nice DVD . . . nice movie. With a good soundtrack, unusual for Toho having gone with a foreign composer for a change.

Keith Emerson, memorable for tons of stuff going way back; most famous, perhaps, for Emerson, Lake and Palmer. He never stopped working his ass off, right up till the end. At his own hand, sad story, gun shot to the head. It seems that he was one of the depressed, like myself and Robin Williams, and so many others, Carrie Fisher.

It was just last March, the 11th, in the now infamous 2016, infamous for seeing the deaths of so many of our big stars. It seems that he still had a lot of concerts lined up, but some kind of nerve damage was interfering with his playing. He didn't want to disappoint his fans! That's how depressed people think. Me being dead will be better for my fans somehow than me not playing up to my high standard. Poor baby. His fans seemed a stalwart bunch. I'm sure that they'd have stayed with him whatever happened. They'd probably have supported him in times of trouble, thanking him for the good times all the way.

 That's depression for you. Everyday is hard, and one day you just realize, I can't do this again tomorrow, not even once more. I hope that my turn never comes, I mean, not all depressed people kill themselves. It wouldn't surprise me, though. Not a bit. Better men than me have taken that road, and who's to say that they weren't right. We'll see how it plays. And fare well, Keith Emerson. You had a good run. Seventy-one years; made a good living; gave people happiness. That's a good record of achievement. RIP.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Terry Reid - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

Here's further proof. Terry Reid was one of the worthies. The votes have been counted! My father only had two or three positive things to say to me in his long lifetime, and one of them came one day when I was playing this album alone in my room. It was a rare weekend day when he was home; he was in the habit of spending twenty or twenty five days on the road at the time (most of my childhood). "You know," he said, sounding almost surprised, "the stuff that you play is a lot better than that crap I hear on the radio." I still cherish that moment.

Terry Reid - Without Expression

Wasn't I making an "underrated" list recently? Let's put Terry Reid right up near the top.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea are an entire genus of decorative plants that range from vines to bushes to trees. They can be very colorful. People like them!

The history of the bougainvillea is interesting, but not interesting enough to drag the reader through it willy-nilly. I will not address the socio-political history of the plant. I write because the subject came up recently and my resulting inquiry led me in a strange direction. Light was shed on the very methodology of nature itself, which is, let’s face it, endlessly fascinating.

I have always thought of bougainvillea as a flowering plant. That is true, but not in the way that immediately presents itself to the eye. I had never looked at one closely enough to see the actual flowers before last week. You can see them in the above photos; they are the tiny white things that are surrounded by red or purple “petals.” That’s the trick of it: what the casual observer takes for petals are actually leaves of the plant that have changed color to mimic large, more colorful flowers.

There is an obvious evolutionary purpose for them to have gained this power. The propagation cycle of the plant requires that bees visit the flowers, but the flowers are tiny and unobtrusive. Bees are drawn to displays of bright, vivid colors. That is the function of the flowers themselves on most plants. If you wear a bright yellow shirt to a picnic you may find out what I’m talking about. No bees, no propagation. Somehow, the bougainvillea began to change the color of certain of its leaves immediately surrounding the flowers to support the function of propagation. This is disturbing.

It is disturbing because it appears that conscious thought and effort would be required for that to be the case. “Conscious” is the operative word. How could such a mechanism come into being accidentally? This is why so many people are dubious about the entire concept of evolution. There was a perfectly good plant, but its flowers shrunk to nothing and were not serving well in their role. Something needed to be done, and voila! It was done. Something very unusual in the plant kingdom was done, or happened. Mother Nature is full of these little WTF moments.

We learn in general terms that evolution has been the driving force for the development of life on earth in its myriad forms over the eons. It works, we are told, chiefly through the mechanism of natural selection.

Consider the finches of the Galapagos Islands, often referred to as “Darwin’s finches.” The finches on different islands had different diets, and Darwin noticed that in a somewhat related event they also had very differently shaped beaks. If the food that presented itself on a certain island was quite light and insubstantial, like small insects or soft plant matter, the finches had smallish, equally insubstantial beaks. If, on the other hand, the food was made of sturdier stuff, like stout seeds or nuts, the beaks and the accompanying muscles of the finches were very sturdy and strong. Darwin realized that this was proof of the operation of evolution even in our own times.

The “consciousness” question applies here as well. It seems unlikely that something would just appear on its own. Mustn’t someone or something have gotten the idea and made the appropriate changes? Well, no, as it turns out. Natural selection works slowly, over time, and favors the natural variations that appear within a given species that would best serve the continuation of the species. So, if the food source of the island was moving in the direction of sturdier food stuffs, the finches that had sturdier beaks would get more nutrition and be in a better position to live longer and generate more offspring. The offspring would continue the trend with the stronger beaks, or at least the offspring with the stronger beaks would be more likely to thrive and propagate. Eventually, the finches on that island would all display the stronger beaks, which is just what Darwin observed.

Evolution is a murderously cold and efficient arbiter of life and death. The deaths just happen; there is no evil thought or act. It’s almost bureaucratic.

But how would that process play out with a flowering bush? As with the finches, genetic information would be passed along with the pollen and whatever of the plants. There would be the necessary opportunities for natural selection, for nature to line up the male and the female genes and chose one from column A and one from column B. Could there be a chromosome for leaves that were not green, but rather some other, brighter, more flamboyant color? Could the bees themselves have gotten involved in this process by gravitating to plants that had somehow come to display more colorful leaves in the vicinity of the flowers?

Very interesting, and even Mr. Spock would say, “fascinating.”

My friends, in these troubling times it would profit us greatly to become absorbed in problems like the one presented here, in order to prevent us from going mad contemplating the problems that are laying waste to our lives, our happiness, our political system, and the very earth upon which we live. Better by far to consider things in the realm of science, which are true and reasonable, rather than dashing our heads on the rocks of things like politics or religion, which are inherently unreasonable and not subject to the requirements of truth at all.

Perhaps mathematics would be suitably distracting!

Bonus Info: Evolution is working its magic on us right now, dear reader, on me and on you. In the entire modern human population, right now, our jaws are shrinking more rapidly than our teeth, and have been for a long time. Our diets, like the diets of the finches of Galapagos, are changing, and our food no longer requires the extensive grinding that was needed long ago. So our teeth have become a bit too big for our mouths. This means that our wisdom teeth have become a problematic bit of equipment. For some people, it’s a huge challenge to dental science. Look up “Celtic palette.” It seems like the Irish are the most evolutionarily advanced of all of the earth’s peoples! 

Mishawaka, Indiana Community Calendar With Adam Driver

I just love it when movie actors appear on TV and deliver performances in silly sketches that show us that yes, they are actually very talented and versatile actors. I remember watching Drew Barrymore on some show rather long ago and thinking, wow, she's for real. Adam Driver does the same thing in this clip. Most actors kind of sleep-walk through the sketch; they are often visibly reading from cue cards. Here, Adam really sells it, and he's very believable and funny in the bargain. Top marks! Perhaps it just goes to show. If you want something done right, hire a Marine. (N.B. No one who was honorably discharged from the Marines is an Ex-Marine. They remain Marines for life.)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Ngozi Family ‎– 45,000 Volts 70s Zambia Album Afro Beat Psychedelic Rock...

This guy Sunnyboy66 is providing a great service up on the YouTube. He must be retired or something; he posts too much to be a working man. Big time variety, with an ear to excitement and nutz beatz. This particular music might not be your cup of tea, but if you're starting to lose interest, be sure to zip down to cut number seven before you check out. Evidently this guy and this band were big deals in Zambia back in the late 1970s, but there's not a big web presence or an appreciable hit count by now. Rare, hip and amazing, if you ask me. Thanks, Sunnyboy66!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser Trailer

What color is the sky on the planet where David Bautista is one of our most talented actors? No, man, I don't think that "blue" is going to do it. His performance in Guardians: One was more than competent. In fact, it was highly entertaining. It was, dare I say, nuanced and sensitive. What the fuck? Does this prove that our so-called "Professional Wrestlers" are really talented actors? Could be. I guess after the second career of Jesse "The Body" Ventura we should have seen this coming. Some of those guys are more than just pretty faces who can absorb huge amounts of battle damage without suing or complaining. Whatever, really man, good luck David. I wish you long life, lots of work, and tons of happiness. And thank you for making these movies.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Stay with me baby - Terry Reid

Some guys make it in the music business, and some guys don't. And then there are the guys who hang around the edges for a few years embarrassing the guys that make it with their overwhelming talent. Terry Reid was one of those. The albums "Bang Bang, It's Terry Reid," and "Terry Reid," in 1968 and '69 were two of the best albums of all time, period, full-stop, Shuuuuuush! No argument. Bad contracts; bad timing; lack of public relations awareness; lifestyle issues; who knows? For one reason or another, Terry Reid is a footnote in music history. But he's a wonderful footnote.

Raquel Welch go-go dances to 'Suzie Q'

Off the beam here, maybe even taking a chance. Could be copyright infringement! Trademark! Maybe it's just my New Years' present to you. It is pretty cool, after all.

THE EQUALS - Baby Come Back [ 1968 Video In NEW STEREO ].mp4

Formed in 1965, with courage, by Eddy Grant and the rest. This song was released in 1966 in England to the sound of a dull thud. It was, however, appreciated in Germany to the tune of being a number one single, and not far behind in Holland. Re-released in England in 1968 it belatedly became a hit. Events overtook the band, and Eddy Grant returned to Guyana. Later on he had a big hit on his own with "Electric Avenue." Good cut. It's historic!

REWIND: Cool WiFi TV Opportunity: A SyFy Reject That Really Makes It

For your convenience, this post provides the whole link. You can just start here, I'm pretty sure.

This is the pilot for an un-produced SyFy TV series from 2013. It's better than 95% of the stuff that I've seen from SyFy.

It's a time travel, let's fix the past kind of story, with a Shaun played by a Shane, a black side-kick, a very cool chick scientist, and Jeff Fahey. Or should I say, Jeff Fahey !!! He's usually very good, and here is no exception. Dude brings the cool. Here, his nickname is "Jazz," because he constantly plays LP records by classic jazz artists and names his micro-robots "Miles," and "Trane," and "Chet." They should have produced the series just to take advantage of his participation.

All of the characters are good. The whole supporting staff are well drawn and engaging. The dialog is very crisp and the badinage is funny. The story is strong, with tons of possibilities for future episodes. If something went wrong with this project, it is not evident on screen this time around.

In this pilot, the team return to 1929 to change something and prevent New York being nuked in 2013. I was worried about the black agent being sent with the three person team back to 1929, but there was no need. They steal a car, and the black guy says, "I'm driving." When the alpha-male white agent says no, the black guy says, "1929, south of the Mason-Dixon line, I'm the driver." That's a level of sophistication that we don't always see in B Movies.

And there's a very nice trick ending! After the team has sorted everything out and avoided the destruction of New York, some pain-in-the-ass colonel strolls into the device and intentionally fucks everything up. How great is that! A pilot with call-backs! But no, it was not to be.

This is one pilot that went nowhere but which is worth watching on its own. Highly recommended.