Saturday, August 10, 2013

Music Pick: Randy Newman

Song writer, pianist and singer Randy Newman turns 70 this year but keeps pouring out amazing music, winning two academy awards for best movie song after 18 nominations, 3 Emmys, 6 Grammys, Governor's Award from the Recoding Academy and induction
into Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The featured tune is possibly the best 3 minute summary of colonialism extant in any medium. It comes to mind often when reading about our misadventures of empire building all around the world.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Music Pick: Wingy Manone

Look into the face of our featured jazz artist Joseph "Wingy" Manone and you can almost hear the joyous, infectious music that is about to invade your ears. Manone (1900-1982) was a New Orleans born trumpeter, singer, songwriter and all around entertainer. He may not have been the greatest jazz trumpeter, but he certainly was the greatest one armed jazz trumpeter, having ...lost his right arm in a streetcar accident in 1910; hence the nickname "Wingy". Look again at the photo and you'll note Wingy's prosthesis deftly tucked into his suit coat. Manone traveled the country and the world spreading his jazz magic from the early 20's almost up to his 1982 death, on records, radio, concerts, gin joints and movies. The attached song "Up the country blues" from 1930 provides a good sample of his boisterous style. The lyric is a tad sexist, but hey, that was 1930, when political correctness was still a half century off.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

$25,000 Roskam freebee trip OK during 41st vote to overturn Obamacare

Some folks in Illinois' 6th Congressional District have taken umbrage at reports of our Congressman Peter Roskam's $25,653 trip with his wife to visit their daughter in Taiwan courtesy of the Chinese Culture University (or was it, in violation of US law, the Government of Taiwan)? I, too, was a tad put out by this unpleasant revelation till last Friday's vote, the 40th, of the good Congressman's party, the Repealicants, to overturn Obamacare, voted into law by an infinitely more humane Democratic controlled House on March 21, 2010. As House Repealicant Chief Deputy Whip, Peter Roskam was successful in getting every House Repealicant to vote for repealing this quality of life, indeed, life saving measure, benefiting tens of millions of Americans shut out from the world's greatest health care system for rich people.

But before we judge our Repealicant champion and his House m...inions too harshly, we should consider their alternative. In Roskam's utterly insensitive and heartless moral universe, it's called Nothingcare. That's right. Congressman Roskam trumpets the Repealicant mantra of: "I've got're on your own, pal....all 40 million of you". Ouch! Another way of describing Nothingcare was offered on the House floor by Alan Grayson (Dem. FL) who offered this bit of truth telling during October 29, 2009, Obamacare debate:

The Repealicant Health Care Plan is simply this:
1. Don't get sick
2. If you do get sick
3. Die quickly

Upon reflection, Congressman Roskam's $25,653 overseas freebee trip is probably not a bad thing. Maybe he could score another one...preferably when Vote No. 41 to repeal Obamacare is scheduled. Even better would be if he could finagle all 232 fellow Repealicants to join him.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Happy Birthday, Pops

Louis "Pops" Armstrong, born August 4, 1901, not as he mythologized, July 4, 1900, achieved everlasting fame recording about 65 sides with his Hot Five and Hot Seven aggregations between 1925 and 1928. On June 28, 1928, he waxed this featured piece "West End Blues" featuring Earl "Fatha" Hines on Piano and Jimmy Strong on clarinet. Thirty-six years later he knocked the Beadles off the No. 1 pop chart position with "Hello Dolly" which every human has heard. But how many know what Louis sounded like at his apex?