Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lightnin' Hopkins - Somewhere In Munich, Germany - June 23rd, 1977 [AUDIO] - YouTube

Bernie Sanders Interview: Attacks From The Establishment | MSNBC - YouTube

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders joins Andrea Mitchell to talk about a new poll that shows he is closing the gap between his and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. | MSNBC - YouTube

V3Solar's Spinning Cone-Shaped Solar Cells Generate 20 Times More Electricity Than Flat Photovoltaics | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

V3Solar's Spinning Cone-Shaped Solar Cells Generate 20 Times More Electricity Than Flat Photovoltaics | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Chicago White Sox, Cubs, Virgin Suicides and Piss Factory

This morning I'm listening to the score by Air for the film “The Virgin Suicides”. The film is an excellent story about a suburban family with troubles underlying their seeming normality. It was directed by Sofia Coppola and stars James Woods. The music is for the most part Air's usual first rate modern loungey sound. There were also a few more uptempo pieces that didn't do much for me. I then started thinking about work which reminded me a Patti Smith's “PissFactory” which is a fitting ode to crappy jobs everywhere.

I went to the library yesterday and picked up a couple of books and the DVD of “Mildred Pierce”. One of the books I got was “The Good The Bad & The Ugly” which is not a western but a book about Chicago White Sox history. It's part of a series of books with the same name about different sports teams. This one was written by Tribune reporter Mark Gonzales. With the Sox not having much to show for themselves this year and (even worse) the Cubs doing well I haven't been indulging in much baseball. I saw this and thought what a great way to get my baseball fix without having to watch the current team.

It's not a formal linear history of the team but a collection of “Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping and Gut Wrenching Moments From Chicago White Sox History” Along with some mundane but interesting tidbits. Like the story of pitcher/broadcaster Steve Stone. He was traded from the Sox to the Cubs as part of the Ron Santo deal. Then came back to the Sox a few years later. For many years after baseball he was a Cubs broadcaster. Only to end up now a one of the voices of the Sox.

The book starts with a recap of the 2005 World Series season which was a pinnacle of achievement for the past century. It brought back some memories which got me going through my old pictures looking for the ones I took at the first game of the Series when we beat Roger Clements 5-3. I thought I'd post a couple here.

 Pre game pagentry

Jermaine Dye's homer!

And for the Cub fans that beginning to World Series dream here's a clip showing where the Cubs played when they were last a dynasty. It wasn't Wrigley field and they weren’t called the Cubs yet.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Music Reviews, Classic Jazz & Afro Blues

I worked at a record store for almost fifteen years as a result I spent a large part of my day listening to albums. In the years since then as music played a less central role in my life my choices became more passive. I still listened to music mainly when I'm working on the computer. And I listen to the radio or my Pandora stations.

A couple of months back a friend of mine gave me a stereo system with a CD player so I've begun spinning my own tunes once again. Most of what I listen comes from the local library which has a pretty good selection, for example they have the Stooges “Fun House”. Also stuff I pick up at the local record store where they have an extensive array of bargain discs for a couple of bucks.

So after taking a couple of months off of online activity I'm returning with a post of the discs I've been listening to.

First up “Talking Timbuktu” a east meets west collaboration between roots explorer Ry Cooder and Ali Farka Toure a guitarist from the the African country of Mali. When you add in Clarence Gate mouth Brown & Jim Keltner you end up with a musical stew of afroblues. It's twenty years old but well worth seeking. I couldn't find any video from this LP but did find this appearance of Toure performing one of the selections from it.

Next up were a pair of jazz albums. First the all star line up of; Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Hank Jones, Sam Jones and Art Blakey. All on the 1958 masterpiece “Somethin' Else” on the Blue Note label. The tunes are a mixture of originals as well as standards like “Love For Sale” and Autumn Leaves. This 1999 compact disc release contains a track not on the original lp “Bangoon”. Really good stuff here one of the albums that got me interested in jazz music.

In fact some people call it perfect like A.B. Spellman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Quoting from a story on the NPR site.

not a wrong note on it. Not a tune on it that's a throwaway. It is a marvelous record. We catch Cannonball Adderley here at his best, I believe, because Cannonball was such a fluid musician. He was a musician for whom playing was so easy, that sometimes it seemed that he wasn't even paying attention to what he was doing. He just played a lot of lovely little solos. But they don't stand out in the sense of the kind of permanence of great music that we look for in this collection.

To read the whole interview click here.

“Money Jungle” was the other excellent jazz disc I listened to today, listening to it now in fact. It's a 1962 release that features a trio consisting of; Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. There was a, not always, beneath the surface tension between drummer Roach and the sometimes difficult Mingus. This is an expanded edition featuring a number of alternate takes and unissued cuts.

There's more information on this pivitol recording on it's Wikipedia post. To see it click here.