You can’t go back to the Garden

You may not be able to get back to the garden, but you can buy your merch here!

It is difficult to get into the reasons why the 50th anniversary of Woodstock was cancelled this year, but it was set to go on the 16th of August. For that, you have to avoid the major networks and newspapers, and that means CBC, CTV, The Globe and Mail, CNN and the New York Times. The major media is not that much invested in the politicking and intrigue underlying the music business.

It is so much better to give a detailed read of the trade publications themselves, because, they can’t get it wrong, or be vague if a little more research or a few more interviews would give the story more flesh. What Billboard and Variety magazines provide is a much more sobering read about the ill-fated concert. I even got quite an education just from reading the comment section of Billboard, which is more than I could say for the journalists in the major media who are trying to make a living on stories like this.

It is a story of organizers getting screwed by promoters, venue changes when the old one couldn’t be secured, a lack of planning (apparently, very little thought to security or how to manage vehicle traffic into or out of a concert which had a target attendance of over 160,000).

Billboard is where I learned that, as a condition of performing at a large venue such as a theatre or stadium, many performers have a “radius clause” imposed on them, meaning that they could not have any concerts within a certain radius of the venue they signed up for. If these performers were performing, say in Virginia, or any place along the middle part of the American Eastern Seaboard, they had to cancel their Woodstock appearance when it was announced that Woodstock was being moved from Bethel, New York to Maryland.

Alas, it was not to be, and seven hours ago, the organizers cancelled Woodstock’s 50th anniversary altogether.

Woodstock 50 was to have among its lineup, original acts such as Santana, Canned Heat, David Crosbie, Melanie, John Sebastian, John Fogerty, Country Joe MacDonald and Hot Tuna (two members of Hot Tuna are from what used to be Jefferson Airplane); and a big name from “classic rock”: Robert Plant; and then a lot of “cool” modern performers, such as Pussy Riot, The Black Keys, and Brandi Carlile. It is not clear that Miley Cyrus fit the general theme of a concert like Woodstock 50, and many thought that by admitting her and some others, that organizers had diverged from the peace/love/positive vibe that they should have been conveying.

This is a parody by Christopher Guest for the National Lampoon in the early 1970s.

The indices of Harper’s Magazine

I have been a fan of Harper’s Magazine since the 1980s. In particular, I loved the Readings section, as well as the factoids list (with citations) known as Harper’s Index, near the front of each issue. Here are 100 factoids I’ve researched from over the years, dates not important, but they have been taken from issues since 2000. I have favoured factoids that are not dated, but that was difficult as many good ones with dates crept in. The URL for Harper’s magazine is http://harpers.org, and is available on some newsstands, but not as many these days as in days previous.

  • Cost to produce Safeguard, the only U.S. ground-based long-range missile shield ever deployed: $23,500,000,000
  • Number of days in the 1970s that the system was operational before it was abandoned as inadequate: 135
  • Pounds of fuel required to maintain this year’s 11,500 Olympic torches: 2,029
  • Ratio of the amount of energy generated by 1 gallon of ethanol to the amount of energy required to produce it : 1:0.9
  • Number of times Colin Powell said, “I don’t recall” or, “I can’t recall” during his 1987 Iran-Contra testimony: 56
  • Percentage of global economic activity accounted for by the world’s 200 largest corporations: 27.5
  • Percentage of the world’s population that these corporations employ: 0.8
  • Minimum number of mentally retarded Americans who have been executed by the justice system since 1976 : 35
  • Estimated chance that a U.S. prisoner is mentally retarded: 1 in 14
  • Days after Time named George W. Bush 2000’s man of the year that Russians named Vladimir Lenin man of the century: 4
  • Places by which Russia’s ranking in the U.N.’s Human Development Index of living standards has fallen since 1990 : 31
  • Rank of the United States and Britain among nations whose residents are most likely to be obese: 1,2
  • Rank of Hungary: 3
  • Ratio of the number of pardons George W. Bush has issued turkeys to those he has issued human beings: 2:1
  • Ratio of the average life span of a commercially bred turkey to that of a wild one: 1:7
  • Year in which Disney’s Mickey Mouse copyright will expire if the Supreme Court reverses a 1998 extension this winter (2002): 2003
  • Minutes that a Massachusetts surgeon left a patient with an open incision while he went to deposit a check: 35
  • Percentage change since 1990 (to 2003) in the number of U.S. schoolchildren labeled “disabled” : +37
  • Chances that a U.S. adult does not want to live to be 120 under any circumstances: 2 in 3
  • Chance that an American adult believes that “politics and government are too complicated to understand” : 1 in 3
  • Chance that an American who was home-schooled feels this way: 1 in 25
  • Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida (in 2004): 240
  • Percentage of the 13,129 varieties of dirt in the United States that are endangered: 4
  • Years in prison to which two ex-Pentagon officials were sentenced last year for taking bribes of money and prostitutes: 24
  • Number of years a North Carolina man has been in prison for stealing a television: 33
  • Rank, on the Turkish bestseller list in March (2005), of a thriller depicting a U.S. invasion of Turkey: 1
  • Rank of Mein Kampf: 2
  • Average percentage by which the power of the male heart declines between the ages of 18 and 75 : 20
  • Average percentage by which the female heart does: 0
  • Amount a Chinese online gamer made last year (in 2004) by selling a virtual sword he had borrowed from a friend: $850
  • Months later that the friend retaliated by stabbing him to death with a real knife: 6
  • Number of beetles that right-wing entomologists have named after Bush Administration officials: 3
  • Number of times that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is referenced by name in the Bible and the Koran, respectively: 19,34
  • Number of “Wal-ocaust” T-shirts sold by a Georgia man before Wal-Mart ordered him to cease and desist: 1
  • Ratio, in the United States, of the number of Wal-Mart employees to the number of high school teachers: 1:1
  • Portion of states where the projected climate in 2100 will not be able to sustain their official tree or flower: 3/5
  • Number of words spoken by Clarence Thomas during Supreme Court oral arguments since February 2006 (until Aug 2007): 132
  • Number by Samuel Alito, the Justice who spoke the second-fewest words: 14,404
  • Percentage of single U.S. women in their twenties who are “very” or “extremely” willing to marry for money: 61
  • Percentage of women in their thirties who are : 74
  • Percentage change since 1985 (to 2009) in the number of U.S. newspapers with reporters covering Congress : –72
  • Percentage of six- to nine-year-old American girls (in 2009) who wear lipstick or lip gloss : 46
  • Number of poppyseed bagels that could be made with Afghanistan’s annual poppy harvest : 357,000,00
  • Percentage of British elementary-school students who think Isaac Newton discovered fire : 60
  • Number of U.S. states that have more pigs than people : 3
  • Minimum number of birds that die from crashing into New York City windows each year : 100,000
  • Number of Bentleys purchased in Russia in 2000 and in 2010, respectively : 0, 113
  • Estimated portion of registered voters in Zimbabwe who are dead : 1/4
  • Average minutes more exercise per week that a heavy drinker gets than a non-drinker : 21
  • Portion of the total U.S. corn crop that goes to make ethanol : 2/5
  • Projected worldwide surplus of low-skill workers by 2020 : 93,000,000
  • Projected worldwide deficit of high- and medium-skill workers by that time : 85,000,000
  • Rank of China among global beer producers by volume : 1
  • Rank of the United States : 2
  • Percentage change since 1988 (to 2012) in U.S. teen-pregnancy rates : –36
  • In abstinence rates among white teens : +31
  • Among black teens : +56
  • Portion of Americans who don’t walk for at least ten continuous minutes at any point in an average week : 2/5
  • Percentage of American cats that are overweight : 58
  • Percentage of men in dual-income marriages who said they struggled with work-family conflict in 1977 : 35
  • Who say they do today (2013): 60.
  • Average annual cost of detaining an inmate at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay : $900,000
  • At a supermax prison in the United States : $65,000
  • Portion of all online advertising that is never seen by a human being : 1/2
  • Percentage of U.S. children in 1960 who lived in households headed by heterosexuals in their first marriage : 73
  • Who do today (2015) : 46
  • Estimated minimum gallons of water used annually to produce Coca-Cola products : 8,000,000,000,000
  • Ratio of money spent by Britons on prostitution to that spent on hairdressing : 1:1
  • Years in prison to which a New Mexico man was sentenced last year (in 2015) for shooting children with a semen-filled squirt gun : 18
  • Estimated number of people who will be driven into extreme poverty by 2030 because of climate change : 100,000,000
  • Percentage of the world’s civilian-owned firearms that are owned by Americans : 48
  • Number of Americans aged 60 and older who have outstanding student loans : 2,800,000
  • Portion of those borrowers who have taken on debt to pay for a child or grandchild’s education : 3/4
  • Percentage of children’s toys available in Sweden that contain banned chemicals : 15
  • Of sex toys available in Sweden : 2
  • Average number of people who die in avalanches in the United States each year : 27
  • Number of FBI confidential informants (in 2017) who worked for Best Buy’s Geek Squad between 2008 and 2012 : 8
  • Rank of Nebraska among states with the least liked state flags : 1
  • Number of days in January that the flag at the state capitol flew upside down before anyone noticed : 7
  • Number of US states in which fluorescent pink is a legal color for hunting apparel : 6
  • Chance an American has taken an “active shooter” preparedness class : 1 in 10
  • Percentage of US “active shooters” from 2000 to 2016 who were killed by police : 21
  • Who were killed by armed civilians : 1
  • Number of universities in which half of all the US tenured and tenure-track history professors are trained : 8
  • Number of the twenty largest German companies that are headquartered in the former East Germany : 0
  • Rank of Germany in consumption of nonalcoholic beer : 2
  • Of Iran : 1
  • Portion of Hawaii’s drinking water that comes from underground wells : 9/10
  • Gallons of raw sewage that leak into the ground from Hawaii cesspools each day : 53,000,000
  • Percentage change since 2009 in reports of human waste on San Francisco streets (in 2018): +391
  • Chance that a given day is a public holiday in Cambodia : 1 in 13
  • Rank of Disneyland among the happiest places on earth, according to Disneyland : 1
  • Percentage of Disneyland employees who worry about being evicted from their homes : 56
  • Number of dead people Americans have elected to Congress : 6
  • Factor by which a millennial is more likely than a baby boomer to claim they have a food allergy : 2
  • Number of states that allow roadkill to be salvaged for food : 31
  • Rank of Arabic among France’s most spoken languages : 2
  • Factor by which graduate students are more likely to experience depression or anxiety than the general population : 6
  • Percentage of Americans aged 18 to 34 who say they’d like to live forever : 24
  • Of Americans over 55 : 13

A list of state slogans

From the responses to Chris Cillizza’s request on Twitter (@CillizzaCNN) that people submit their own state motto. Fair use, since none of these were authored by Chris Cillizza, but submitted by the general public.

Alabama: first in football, but last in everything else.
Alaska: Worst deal in history. Give it back to Russia!
Arizona: Sunny, With Sucky Senators.
Arkansas: Come dig for diamonds and leave with Cotton.
California: the land of fruits and nuts
Colorado: So fricken high they voted for Hillary
Connecticut: Just a restroom between Boston and New York.
Delaware: Have you seen Delaware? It’s more like a Dela-won’t.
Florida: underwater shark bait
Georgia: Without Atlanta, It Would Be Another Alabama
Hawaii – when you only want to be “sort of” American
Idaho: “Where did you think Vodka came from?”
Illinois – Land of the only President I rank above me.
Indiana: Where Indiana Jones comes from
Iowa: Gateway to Nebraska
Kansas: “Great band! I am delivering on my promise to bring the U.S., the whole world actually, to the ‘Point of no return.'”
Kentucky: New Jersey Charm with Mississippi Sophistication
Louisiana: We’re Alabama with Better Food
Maine: Basically Canada — except Paul LePage
Maryland: The Wire was real, you know
Massachusetts: Vegans and Massholes
Michigan – The rusted-out can you buy viagra female over the counter gauntlet of the Great Lakes.
Minnesota: Always getting out over our skis.
Mississippi: more ‘I’s than teeth
Missouri: First in meth houses.
Montana: The cool stuff died 65 million years ago.
Nebraska: First in Friendship, Second in Cat and Dog Obesity
Nevada Home of High Rollers and Low Lifers
New Hampshire: A drug-infested den (Trump)
New Jersey: ‘I don’t own it, they’re just paying to use my name’
New Mexico: the only Mexico paying for my wall
New York: “At least we’re not New Jersey.”
North Carolina: Gateway to Virginia and its many great Trump properties!
North Dakota: For when you are bored of South Dakota.
Ohio…we put the O in opiates.
Oklahoma: 1st in earthquakes and tornadoes, 49th in everything else.
Oregon: The home of the witch trials.
Pennsylvania: They said I had no chance.
Rhode Island: Small state, small hands.
South Carolina, the rusty buckle of the Bible Belt.
South Dakota: Gateway to North Dakota
Tennessee. Above Kentucky in everthing but the map
Texas: Thank God for Mississippi.
Utah-needs casinos
Vermont: communists and cows.
Virginia: Make-Believe Southern State
Washington: Too much cyber.
West Virginia – Come for my Cousin, Stay for the Coal
Wisconsin – The Curdled Milk State!
Wyoming – Not sure where it is, but I think I won there.

OOC Recipients 08: Rushing to the top

For the most consecutive gold and platinum albums by a rock band, first place is The Beatles, second is The Rolling Stones, and third place is the Canadian group Rush (24 gold, 14 platinum). The members of Rush have worked hard to reproduce their album sound in their concerts, so Rush concerts have been known for having lots of instruments about each musician. They have also made use of digital sampling to fill out their sound.

All three members of the rock band Rush received membership in the OOC in 1996.

NeilPeart_lost_somewhere
Lost: A middle-aged male drummer named Neil Peart. Swallowed alive by his elaborate drum kit, he was never found again.

Neil Peart – Each member has over the years had made the most of their membership by making themselves into multi-instrumentalists. Apart from drums, Peart has in the past included tubular bells, a glockenspiel, and other obscure percussion instruments, both electronic and not. Peart has been voted the greatest performing drummer by fan-zines like Drummerworld, and many fans attend live Rush concerts to hear Neil Peart do a drum solo. He certainly ranks up there with the likes of Ginger Baker and John Bonham. Peart is also the primary lyricist of the trio.

LAS VEGAS - MAY 10: Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson performs at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 10, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The rock trio are touring in support of the album, "Snakes & Arrows." (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) Original Filename: 81050582.jpg
Alex Lifeson

Alex Lifeson – Alex is the sole remaining founding member of Rush, and possesses the ability to play several kinds of guitars, and on occasion some keyboards. According to Rolling Stone magazine, he ranks among the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, just below Eddie Van Halen and Queen’s Brian May. As for vocals, I could find no indication of  him doing more than backing vocals for the band.

Geddy_Lee
Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee – Bassist and the voice responsible for the band’s signature high-register vocal. He actually possesses three octaves, ranging from baritone, to tenor, and then to alto, reaching into mezzo-sporano. While his vocal styling may have received some criticism, his instrumentation rarely has. Besides bass, he also plays keyboards including synthesizers. He once did a cameo with Bob and Doug MacKenzie on their album Great White North, and the song Take Off was the largest-selling single of Geddy Lee’s career. While Geddy Lee cannot strictly be called a founding member, he joined when the band was 1 month old, and happens to be a high school chum of Lifeson.

Crappy Album Covers #147 — Blunders by Major Acts

Album_Cover_Crap_263_gigwise_com People old enough to remember Abbey Road when it came out engaged in speculation as to why Paul crossed the road barefoot for the album cover.So, I would like to continue the pointless speculation, and begin the discussion as to why Hillel Slovak (1962-1988) refuses to wear a hat.

However, it’s nice to know that the two guys in the middle like to share their socks among all four members and go barefoot for the good of the band.

Album_Cover_Crap_257_deskgratis_blogspot_com I think they mean “Scandanavian”. Either that or they were playing in “Sockholm”.A CD was released in 1988, but the subtitle can i buy viagra in ontario without a prescription “Live In Stockholm” was not added until a 2005 re-release, upon finding the master tapes.In fact, I would speculate that this cover was from 2005, since there is clear evidence of Photoshop at work. The light is coming from the wrong side, and is black and white (seepia, actually), while the light above the mike seems to have arisen from a lens flare effect in Photoshop. Photoshop wasn’t around in 1988.

The originating concert was broadcast in 1970 for Swedish National Radio.

Crappy Album Covers #146 — MS Paint Massacre

Album_Cover_Crap_253_blogspot_com Well, no, this wasn’t MS Paint. You can tell that a toddler was set loose on a piece of blank ruled paper with markers.Wikipedia makes no mention of whose toddler it was that did this, but does say that this 2004 album was critically well-received, and debuted at #7 in the US.

The Cure’s 12th album has been inflicted on over 2 million fans worldwide.

Album_Cover_Crap_251_blogspot_com Frank Black’s “The Cult of Ray”, was recorded in 1996, three years after The Pixies broke up. But this record is not mentioned on the Frank Black website. It is mentioned on the Black Francis website. Why there are two websites referring to the same person, I’ll never know.

Frank Black, who also goes by a third monacre, “Black Francis Black” — frig it, let’s keep it simple and call him Charles Thompson. Chuck, you see, released this third album to negative reviews, and had gone on releasing many more albums garnering only but a shadow of his former glory under The Pixies.

In fact, that was the state of affairs by the time this album came out. They were punishing him for overuse of the cut-and-paste tool on MS-Paint.

Allmusic.com has it that The Pixies have reunited as of 2003 and have started touring again. I don’t know of any new albums by them except for “best of” compilations released by 4AD. Chuck’s “Frank Black” website, however, has a list of tour dates.

Crappy Album Covers #145 — Cartoony Covers

Album_Cover_Crap_259_badalbumart_blogspot_com Milton Babbitt looks like he is trying to out-do Stephen Hawking for the tackiest cover. At least Hawking might have an excuse; but Babbitt here is trying to make this poster look avant-garde.

So here he is, like your most imposing physics teacher, making music about ends being a new beginning, and manifolds. As if there were not enough ended beginnings, he also plays “Swan Song #1” (as if there will be a #2…?).

Allmusic says that he is a leading avant-garde classical performer who taught both music and mathematics at Princeton, and taught music at Julliard. He was a leading music theorist, but you look at this and think that this 2001 CD just contains self-indulgent tomfoolery.

The 50-minute CD appears to be selling for $48 on Amazon.

Album_Cover_Crap_235_-_bizarrerecords_com Uhh, … Hi, yourself….This 1979 album appears to have been Barraclough’s last LP, and she had disappeared amid rumors of connections to Janis Joplin, and Bob Dylan. Some fans revere her as quite a talent, but you wouldn’t know it with that cartoony “Hi” on this album cover.This link to You Tube shows her potential talent.

Crappy Album Covers #142 — Diving for Crabs

Album_Cover_Crap_246_sebadohBy the time this record came out, Nirvana already took the idea of totally immersing the kid in water, so I guess they had to settle for this. Neverhteless, I hear that the Children’s Aid Society is looking for the guy who took this photo and allowed the infant depicted in this photo to play with the toilet water.

I have it on some authority that Sebadoh’s album doesn’t suck as much as the cover suggests. In fact, this 1996 album is considered their finest, and it put them at the forefront of the indie rock scene back then, helping to pioneer the so-called “lo-fi” buy cheap tramadol music genre.

Album_Cover_Crap_204_amright_comWat Tyler’s (circa) 1999 recording “The Fat of The Band” is actually a parody of Prodigy’s “The Fat of the Land”.

Tyler has a few humorous songs on this LP, but they have not garnered good reviews. A New Music Express reviewer said of this recording “If this is punk rock, my name is Rick Wakeman”. I could only guess that his name already wasn’t Rick Wakeman, since the article is uncredited.

And just to show you the difference, here is Prodigy’s 1997 million-seller (2 million, actually)  “Fat of the Land”, released on Warner and peaking at #1 on Billboard for 1 week.:

Album_Cover_Crap_273_amright_com

Crappy Album Covers #141 — Food On Vinyl VIII

Album_Cover_Crap_264_gigwise_comOK… I said that Jabberwocky was going to be the last Herb Alpert parody, didn’t I? Well, it seems as though poor Alpert must have a red-and-white target painted on his back, since even the Washington Symphonic Brass is now into it for this 2007 rendition of Carmina Burana.

Many famous musicians such as  Bizet, Puccini, Berlioz and Karl Orff have composed pieces for this collection of medieval Bavarian poems, written in Latin. It is thought by some to be the most famous operatic work after Handel’s Messiah.

This monk seems to have the easy job of drinking beer and dipping his pastry where can i buy viagra online with a online doctor consultation into himself before he eats it. That’s probably why he’s smiling.

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Album_Cover_Crap_243_-_bizarrerecords_comI keep saying that I am a newbie with respect to all things classical. So, thus, the use of pan-fried bacon and eggs as the choice of a cover photograph for the “Best of Brahms” is a mystery to me.

Was there ever a “Brahm’s Breakfast Concerto”? Or a “Brahm’s Bacon Bolero”? Or, “Eggs over Easy in E-Flat?”

Whatever it is, I found out through my trusty reasearch that Johannes Brahms has been hawking breakfast cereal. I’ve seen it on You Tube, so therefore it must be true! Just look:

Crappy Album Covers #140 — Bad Hair III

Album_Cover_Crap_207_bad_hair_-_wikipedia_org Enough with bad hair on women, Guys are equally capable of falling out of the wrong side of the bed and combing their hair with a mixmaster.

Many may like the music inside this 1998 double CD by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but clearly, their hair is wearing them, not the other way around.

The album was recorded over two separate years, all but 5 tracks were done in 1967 and the rest in 1969.

Album_Cover_Crap_230_-_chris_lee-cool-rock_pitchfork_com Chris Lee clearly has a case of bed-head. Photo was likely cut off at the top to hide the “cow-lick”.

This 2003 album “Cool Rock” has been mildly recieved by reviewers, and has not charted, that I am aware of.

Crappy Album Covers #136 — Food on Vinyl V

Album_Cover_Crap_224_-_amright_com While I can’t say whether the alternative group Soul Asylum qualifies as Aplert “wannabees” exactly, having bassist Karl Mueller sit half-naked in a mountain of clam dip and other unintelligible seafood was actually something that made Alpert very un-amused. And since he is the owner of A&M Records, who in turn own Twin Tone (where Soul Asylum was signed under), this 1989 album was something that almost marked the beginning of the end of the group.

This album is still in print (according to Wikipedia) under Rykodisk.

Album_Cover_Crap_226_-_amright_com Is it a parody of Alpert’s record? *Is* it?

Take a good look at the woman’s “dress”: yes, kiddies, it is made of bubblegum. This is “Right to Chews: Bubblegum Classics Revisited”. Features groups with quasi-familiar names (at least to me) like “The Mitch Easter Sound!”, “Jim Laspesia With Michael Quercio”, “The Rubinoos”. This website has verified that this 2002 album does not suck. It’s currently selling on many websites for around $15.

Crappy Album Covers #135 — Food on Vinyl IV

Album_Cover_Crap_221_-_ebay_com Yes, Herb Alpert was at it again, back in 2006, when this CD got released. Re-Whipped appears to have some of the same standards on there, with some new stuff thrown in.

In this age of “Hoochie Mamas” and Paris Hilton getting laid in front of the whole Internet, the whipped cream idea doesn’t have the same impact it used to have.

Having discovered many of these covers, I now have a plethora of Herb Alpert wannabees which have now engendered an extension to my “Food On Vinyl” tramadol legal to buy online subseries over the next few days.

Album_Cover_Crap_223_-_amright_com At least Peter Nero isn’t flogging food but he certainly is a Herb Alpert wannabe, having stolen his typeface design for his own album. This was released in 1967, about the same year as Alpert’s “Whipped Cream and Other Delights”.

Having won two Grammies, and having many honorary degrees, you would think that he wouldn’t need to play a “salute” to anyone.

Nero has been playing Jazz and Pop music since 1958. He still conducts and plays piano for the Philly Pops.

Brothers In Arms: A belated review of the versions

Not really having heard the original Dire Straits version of “Brothers in Arms” when it came out (it was one of these things I was planning on “getting around to”), my first experience with the song was through protest singer Joan Baez in 1988, with a radio-only compilation back when I was a university DJ. I feel that it was at least her best since “Love Song To a Stranger”, another song that grabs my emotions in a similar way.

Brothers in Arms is about a quintessential Baez theme: anti-war. It is hard to listen to lyrics like “There’s  a million different worlds/and a million different suns/we have just one world/and live in different ones” and not get choked up.

I have heard some remarks in recent blogs regarding the appropriateness of a woman singing this song. Well, I think that war is not just a “man’s issue”. It is an issue for all mankind. I feel no conflict with Baez singing this song. Women have sons, brothers, and husbands that are lost in war, too.  And when you hear Baez sing, believe me, any questions of appropriateness quickly fly out the window. She definitely makes this song her own.

[youtube zJeNPS2tLdA]

She does a better job of the vocals than anyone I have heard, including Mark Knopfler, the writer of the tune. But there is an element missing.The music in the background serves as a vehicle for her voice. It is maudlin, and its mediocrity doesn’t become obvious until the song’s ending where the musicians no longer have the power of Baez’s voice to carry the ending.

Finally, after all these years, I sat down and had an un-interrupted, quiet, sustained listen to Dire Straits doing the original song.

[youtube k5JkHBC5lDs]

Its strength is its weakness: Knopfler’s Gibson guitar. When most people talk to me about Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms being a “good song”, they are referring to the guitar work. The words of the song, which Knopfler nearly mumbles his way through, takes a back seat to the the guitar playing. In a real sense, the problem is the reverse of the Baez problem: while the voice is just “kind of there”, it is just a vehicle for the guitar. And as Baez shows us in no uncertain terms, the lyrics of the song have their own power in the hands of the right vocalist, making the most of what are powerful, poetic lyrics.

If only we had Knopfler’s guitar, and Baez’s voice doing that tune … we can only dream.

Crappy Album Covers #125 — More Accordions!

Album_Cover_Crap_179_Flickr Yes, the accordion is, apart from bagpipes, the instrument everyone loves to hate. Today we have a double bill. First, the duo Doug Setterberg and Stan Sorenson have this album called “Yust Try to Sing Along In Swedish”.

Sorenson and Setterberg might be Swedish by ethnicity, but all sources I have place these two in Seattle, Washington some time in the 1960s.  Otherwise, I suspect the title wouldn’t be in english.

Album_Cover_Crap_172_Flickr After Setterberg and Sorenson left the stage, this 400-pound gorilla came on stage, picked up the accordion, and started playing.

The members of the audience either didn’t notice, or noticed an improvement. “Hey, keep the Gorilla on stage! He sounds like Brian Eno, ” exclaimed one audience member.

“They Said It Couldn’t be Done”, if played at low volume, will likely qualify as the first ambient record, and certainly the first non-electric one. A sort of “PDQ Bach” for the polka crowd.

This was a 1959 release by Dominic Frontiere and his Mighty Accordion Band. Frontiere has gone on to compose well-known television themes, such as The Flying Nun, starring Sally Field; and the 70s crime show Vega$, starring Robert Urich.

Crappy Album Covers #124 — Classical Music for People who Hate Classical Music

Album_Cover_Crap_181_Flickr It’s sad. It really is, that classical musicians must feel that they have to have low-brow record covers in order to sell records.

And to top it off, we have three Daisy Duke imitators holding their fiddles seductively against their bodies. That’s violins against women!

Not much is known about “Festival Strings”.

Album_Cover_Crap_184_Flickr Hmm… this is another classical album, an opera by Gioacchino Rossini, and the title is in Italian, so in case you can’t read Italian, the album designer left a couple of clues for you in the photograph, which needs little translation.

And for those who are not only unable to figure out Italian, but are too impatient to listen to all of “The Barber of Seville”, this album only has the “Highlights” of this opera, according to the cover.

Crappy Album Covers #121 — Phallic Symbols III

Album_Cover_Crap_178_Flickr Whirlwind Heat formed 12 years ago in Grand Rapids, Michgan, and continue to make recordings of their own unique brand of alternative music.

For their 2006 offering, their second full-length album, they find that this young lady closes her eyes when she licks her wood. Or maybe she was told to. You never know with these photographers.

Album_Cover_Crap_175_Flickr This is another woman who likes to close her eyes. There is also something that appears to be smoke rising from the banana. Or steam.

I have no information on the group Bananas or their recording “Get it & Come” “Come & Get It”. It’s probably a rock album. Most rock albums have something to do with the sex act or with getting laid in general, don’t they?

Crappy album Covers #120 — Plastic Surgery Disasters

Album_Cover_Crap_177_Flickr Just before work ended, there was this explosion at the Red Rubber Coating factory, and this poor fella couldn’t escape in time.  This is Tripping Daisy’s 1995 offering, called “I Am An Elastic Firecracker.”

What seems a little more worrisome is the skin tone of the fellow underneath the read paint.

Album_Cover_Crap_176_Flickr This is the 1991 single from Aphex Twin, called Window Licker. Aphex Twin is the brainchild of Richard James, a Welsh artist who has been making records since 1991.

My experience with AT is that there is not much about them that is danceable, but this one has its moments. The video generally centers around the theme of picking up whores in some undisclosed location.

I couldn’t understand the first part of the video. It seems that for about the first 2-3 minutes the dilogue is it safe to buy viagra online yahoo answers cosnsisted of two coloured guys in a car repeating the word motherf***er over and over with a few extra words thrown in to make it sound like they were speaking English to each other. When the prostitutes were encountered, the words varied a little more, but the hoes saw through them, and didn’t believe that they had any money.

The tranny groove on this single comes from something that happens part way thru the video where the second customer, who is of the sort that drives a stretch limo with a bazillion windows (namely, our hero Richard), gets out of the car and starts some kind of a mating dance requiring a suggestive use of an umbrella. That’s when the prostitutes start growing beards, and looking like Richard. Creepy.

Crappy Album Covers #119 — From Here To Paternity

Album_Cover_Crap_197_Flickr Not much is known about Fontanna and His Orchestra. But the guy on the cover of “Music for Expectant Fathers” seems a little presumtive. He seems to be all geared up to have a boy, but how does he know that? I am guessing that this LP came out before the days of ultrasound.
Album_Cover_Crap_196_Flickr

Germans Ralf Bendix and the voice of a little baby girl named Elizabeth made a worldwide smash hit in 1961 with Babysitter Boogie.

When the single viagra best buy review came to North America it was played without any translation. It didn’t need any. It was a delightfully funny novelty song. Bendix made me laugh when I first heard it, and I don’t understand a word of German, or for that matter German baby-talk (which I would suppose is the same in all languages).

Here is Babysitter Boogie, with a much older Ralf Bendix (and, uh, the baby looks older too) from 1979:

Crappy Album Covers #118 — More Chix With Guns

Album_Cover_Crap_189_Flickr They have seemed to have Cha Cha Cha albums for every occasion. Now they have one based on westerns.

For this remake of High Noon, it’s not Will and Harv in a shooting match, but Will against a topless woman in high heels. I guess it’s the only way to go, if you have to die.

Simon (“Si”) Zentner and his Dance Band makes this their second out of a string of 34 albums released over his career, which started in 1959. His last known non-compilation album was a Frank Sinatra tribute released in 1998. A compilation was released in 2007.

Album_Cover_Crap_188_Flickr Liz Anderson, with her 1970 LP “Husband Hunting”, shows that she knows how to land her man. The single that bears the same title as the album, peaked at #5 on the Top 40 country and western songs that year.

Crappy Album Covers #117 — Scantily-Clad Ladies Reclining On Top Of Things

Album_Cover_Crap_191_Flickr I chose these records because both women have similar poses, except this one is more clothing-challenged.

What this lady doesn’t seem to know is that Cerrone keeps more ladies in the freezer she’s reclining on. Cerrone has used nudity on several of his records. When being marketed to his more uptight American audience, the nudity had to be greatly subdued, or covered up.

French musician, talent scout, and stud with the ladies, Jean-Marc Cerrone, marks this as his fifth album out of 26 he has made in total since 1972, the latest one, “Cerrone XXIII”, being released in 2009.

Album_Cover_Crap_190_Flickr The lady may not be nude in this buy viagra cvs second album, but it has every other element needed for proper seduction: a piano, a waiter to keep up the flow of booze to reduce the inhibitions, a smoky bar. I have to admit, however, the lights are a tad bright.

While I can’t think of any women who would be interested in listening to ragtime, Eddie “Pianola” Barnes proves with this 1957 release that, by playing ragtime tunes on his piano, he can play ragtime on his piano and still be a hit with the women.

Honky Tonk Piano is listed on some websites as a jazz album.