Dr. A and I wore prison stripes on Mardi Gras Day but were so bundled up against the cold that we haven't got any pictures. All I got was this Squeezy earworm:
The main reason that I've been blogging so little in the last week is that Dr. A and I live right off the Uptown pee-rade route and we entertain a lot during Carnival. Last night was our final open house of the season with mostly old friends dropping by.
Later today we'll be off to party and pee-rade with friends old and new in three different top secret locations. The thing I like most about Mardi Gras is that there are so many different ways to celebrate the day. I dislike people who insist that their way is the only way. Y'all can fuck off.
Some folks go Downtown, others stay Uptown. Some go to every parade and others go to none.I like to costume but don't always feel like throwing something together. It doesn't matter as long as you've got the Mardi Gras spirit. And booze. Booze helps.
Here are two of my favorite Mardi Gras songs with lyrics that defy logical analysis:
The album is just called Peter Gabriel but since PG did the same thing twice before it was confusing as hell. The fabulous cover by Hipgnosis, however, gave this great 1980 LP its lasting nickname: Melt.
PG3 is my favorite Gabriel solo album. It merged the somewhat poppier style from his first solo LP with his hardcore prog work with Genesis. And the merger/marriage was a great success artistically. PG's commercial break through took a bit longer, but this album contains some of his best songs including The Intruder, Not One Of Us, Family Snapshot, and I Don't Remember.Melt also brought the plight of Steve Biko to international attention. A great LP with great cover art. Jeez, I sound like Tony The Fucking Tiger.
Here's the cover for the first single from the album, Games Without Frontiers:
Here's the entire album via the YouTube:
I am a happy musical camper. There's a YouTuber called Voodoonola who has posted some astonishing Grateful Dead concert videos. They obviously come from the Jumbotron feed at various Dead shows. Fine sound and picture quality = Happy Adrastos.
This 1990 show is a keeper. The first set combination of Truckin' and Touch of Grey is an unusual one and it really lifts the show into the stratosphere. If you want to see the set list or track hop, watch it on YouTube. That is all.
I didn't like this album the first time heard it. I was meh about it until I saw them at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco. My friend Steve was in love with the band and insisted I check them out. When I saw them live, I got it. Early Devo combined a zany-n-madcap sense of humor with musical sophistication. They were more fun live than that barrel of crazy monkeys I'm always on about.
Devo's Lead Guitarist Bob Casale. died yesterday at 61. A Devo guy? 61? I am officially old as well as sad over his passing. Here's the cover of Devo's wonderfully quirky debut LP:
I have an uncontrollable urge to share the whole damn album:
I've deliberately steered clear from covers of the major hits during Beatles week. Today is an expectation to that rule. Did I say rule? There are no rules in Beatles Week and we can talk about it too.
Here's the lovely and talented Nick Cave singing one of Macca's finest songs. This is dedicated to my friends Mother Mary Hogan and Ian (The Mad Irishman) Molony who are helping out out today at the Krewe of Spank viewing party. Mary for obvious reasons, and Ian because he's been known to play this tune on the piano for hours.
I've been puny this week, so I've been trying to sleep the days away. Easier said than done. I've spent a bit too much time on the tweeter tube but I seem to be bouncing back a bit. I know I'm doing better than C Ray in any event.
Back to da twittah, one of the few "celebrities" I follow is @rosannecash. She's really more of an icon or is that avatar? Anyway, it's her time in the Beatles Week spotlight with this lovely rendition of a John Lennon song:
Two Of Us is a little gem of a song. Beatley folk rock sums it up. Here's lovely rendition of the song from the movie I Am Sam. It's not a very good movie but the Beatley (the word of the day) soundtrack is terrific.
It's couples day during Beatles week here are at First Draft. (I like sounding like a lounge lizard, showbizzy emcee. That's one of the reasons they call me Shecky.) Here's Aimee Mann and Michael Penn whose brother starred in the kinda crappy movie:
After posting two Lennon songs, it's Macca time. Woo. I must admit that I'm more of a Lennon person even if liked Linda more than Yoko. The sound of Yoko's voice scares the living shit out of me. Dwight Yoakam, on the other hand, is one of my favorite singers: cowboy hat, nut buster jeans and all.
This version of Macca's Things We Said Today comes from Dwight's 1997 Under The Covers album, which is one of the best albums of its type in my collection. His lounge/swing version of the Kinks Tired of Waiting for You is to die for, as is this:
Beatles week continues at First Draft with the cover for the Fab Four's first American LP for Capitol Records. An earlier release on VeeJay went nowhere. I prefer the British albums for their content and sequencing, but this was a monster hit and included a raft and/or slew of huge hit songs. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Here's the whole damn LP via the YouTube:
Now that I know how to embed tweets I cannot stop doing it. I mentioned yesterday tweeting during the Beatles 50 show about how I'd improve it. This is the one.
#Beatles50 is pretty good but miss 3 things: Tom Petty, Zak Starkey & Cheap Trick. A Gallagher brothers reunion woulda been fun too.— Adrastos (@Adrastosno) February 10, 2014
We didn't get the Oasis reunion, which is a pity since they're major Beatles disciples. Also, if it went wrong, it would be hilarious; sort of the Real Rock Stars of Manchester. Oasis, of course, did a great version of one of my favorite John Lennon songs, I Am The Walrus. I tried to find a good quality video of them performing it during Zak Starkey's time with the band (2004-2008) but could not. This one is from 2002 and it's bloody awesome:
We watched the #Beatles50 special last night. It was pretty good but I wish we could have seen Tom Petty, Zak Starkey, and Cheap Trick on the show. It struck me then how many good Beatles cover versions are out there. So, I hereby declare it to be Beatles week in my corner of First Draft and we'll celebrate it by posting some of my favorite interpretations of Beatles songs. We'll start with Cheap Trick:
It was 50 years ago today that the Beatles made their US teevee debut. This clip includes all of their appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. I know A has her weird thing about the Fab Four but she's someone else's mommy, not mine:
What do former Virginia Gov. Sponge Bob McDonnell and former New Orleans mayor C Ray (The Walking Id) Nagin have in common? They're both cheap bastards who have never picked up a check in their lives and feel that they're entitled to free shit including money, money, money. Don't give me that do good goody good bullshit.
The #nagintrial gets more interesting every day. It has kept me glued to the Twittah. The Feds case is looking more and more like a steamroller and C Ray and his attorney, Robert Jenkins are getting flattened like Wile E Coyote. The latter is an experienced and competent trail lawyer, so I'm sure that he urged C Ray to cop a plea but the latter was too cocky and/or stupid to cut his losses. Ray Ray thinks he's bullet proof. Nobody is.
The shit really hit the fan yesterday; so much so that Picayune refugee Gordon Russell wrote 2 stories for the Advocate on different aspects of the trial. One was about C Ray leeching off his friends, associates and anyone possible to "supplement" his income. Poor baby only made $150K, man. Too little, man.
The other story inspired this post title. It's about how C Ray used his office to coerce Home Depot into giving the ill-fated family firm, Stone Age Granite, a contract that they would have never gotten otherwise. It was a shakedown and it seems as if Nagin spent much of his tenure as Mayor living and working on Shakedown Street.
The trial has given many of us flashbacks. The merry band of NOLA bloggers, or blogpocheh in Liprap's phrase, were in the thick of things in those days. I'm not sure if it's giving me PTSD or a bad case of old fartism but our Mayor was milking every cash cow he could while his constituents were on their knees after Katrina and the Federal Flood. Selfish, greedy, heartless, stupid bastard.
Nagin seems on his way to being convicted and getting buried under the slammer. All I can say is that it's a good thing that he looks good in orange.
Last week I asked my Facebook friends to suggest winter themed LP covers. This one came from my old friend Peter Krakow. It's from an obscure 1980 Beach Boys studio album when Malaka Mike Love and Brian Wilson were in full-tilt family feud mode. I'm not sure if renown poster artist John Alvin's cover illustration is good or MST3K-style campy, but it's certainly more memorable than the LP itself:
Here's the title track, which was written by Carl Wilson and Randy Bachman of Guess Who/BTO fame. It features hall of fame party animal Joe Walsh on lead guitar. I wonder if he interacted with Bachman who is a Mormon:
Athenae is *always* a tough act to follow. But a baby? Impossible.But I do have a regular Wednesday feature so here we go.
I asked my Facebook friends to suggest winter themed LP covers. I got so many good ones that I'll be using another one next week. This week's cover comes from Stephen Stills' eponymous first solo album. This seriously goofy cover was suggested by my friend Mike Hogan of Egg Yolk Jubilee fame.
Stuffed critter? Short sleeves? Put a fucking coat on, Steve. Beyond the cover, it's a pretty darn good solo "debut."
Here's my favorite tune from the LP with Eric Clapton guesting on guitar:
I unfairly maligned by omission a notable Leon earlier today. Here's a classic tune from the great and very aptly (for today) named album, Leon Russell and the Shelter People:
Senator Aqua Buddha must be back at the bong, y'all. As a Kentucky Senator, he can always score some fictional weed from fictional drug lord Boyd Crowder. Now where was I? Oh yeah, Aqua Buddha's dredging up the Lewinsky mess. A literal mess at that. Splat.
Yo, Aqua Buddha, that's been litigated to death and it was a LOSING ISSUE FOR THE GOP. You're showing signs of being as batshit and clueless as your dear old Dad. Actually, if he moved to Kentucky, he'd be Old Grand Dad.
I seem to be easily distracted due to the #hunkergames and various substances that shall remain mysterious. What I mean to say is this: Monica will not be an issue in 2016 and cannot be used against Hillary. Stick to BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI. It's a losing issue but it happened in this century and not in the late 1990's. Aqua Buddha should chlliax, listen to some Prince and try to move past 1999:
All of this talk about Hoboken has put me in the mood for a tune from her favorite son, Francis Albert Sinatra:
We've all been talking about Jersey lately. I cannot imagine why. It's had me thinking of Bruce Springsteen who is one of New Jersey's claims to civilization, rock and roll style. Bruce's first LP Greetings From Asbury, N.J. wasn't a big hit when it came out in 1973, but the critics loved it and put the proto-Boss on the map.
The post card themed cover was designed by John Berg who was the art director at Columbia Records from 1961 to 1985.
The whole LP isn't available on YouTube so we'll have to make do with Spirit in the Night:
Nebraska is a road movie in glorious black and white. It's like Harry and Tonto without the cat, Sideways without the wine, or About Schmidt without the RV and the Dear Ndugu letters. The tell here is the last two films both of which were directed by Alexander Payne who has returned to his home state in his latest picture. Payne is usually what Hollywood insists on calling a hyphenate but this time the script is by Bob Nelson and it's squarely in Payne's wheelhouse and he knocks it out of the park.
Nebraska is a comic drama (I hate the term dramedy as much as hyphenate) that centers on Woody Grant, an elderly, forgetful alcoholic played by Bruce Dern. He is convinced, incorrectly, that he's won a million dollars so his son David (Will Forte) decides to humor him and go on a road trip to Lincoln, Nebraska from the family home in Billings, Montany.
The majority of the father-son misadventures occur in Woody's hometown of Hawthorne, Nebraska. It's a tired, worn out burg but it has two count em two taverns, which are infinitely livelier hanging out at Woody's brother's house. There are some amazing scenes wherein a group of flannel clad men watch football whilst barely speaking. Holy taciturn Midwesterners, Batman. The chattiest character in the movie is June Squibb as Kate Grant, Woody's cranky and long suffering wife. She steals every scene she's in and has some of the funniest lines in the picture.
My favorite scenes, however, involve Stacy Keach as Ed Pegram, Woody's former business partner. Keach is 73 years old and is still an intimidating presence. There's an amazing scene in a karaoke bar restroom where Keach tries to shake down Will Forte for money the latter's dad allegedly owed him. I'm glad to report that Stacy Keach is still a badass. It might be time for a Mike Hammer revival, y'all.
Nebraska is nipping at the heels of American Hustle as my favorite film of 2013. Payne's use of the black and white pallet is reminiscent of The Last Picture Show and that's high praise indeed. I give Nebraska an A. As a bonus, it reminded me of the Springsteen album and gave me this John Hiatt earworm:
Here's a 2013 BBC Wales documentary about Badfinger:
Governor Fat Fuck's supporters argue that because he's blunt and blustery, he's not a big fat liar. That's obviously wrong since he said at his epic presser that he'd had no contact with David (They're the children of Buono supporters) Wildstein "in a long time:"
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and the former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive who ordered the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September were together on the third day of the closures, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The former official, David Wildstein, was part of a delegation that welcomed the governor to the site of the the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 for a commemoration on the 12th anniversary of the attacks. The lane closures began on Sept. 9.
Also part of the delegation were Bill Baroni, another former executive at the Port Authority, and David Samson, the Port Authority chairman. Both Wildstein and Baroni announced their resignations from the Port Authority after Democrats in New Jersey began asking questions about possible political motives for the lane closures.
Photographs obtained by the Wall Street Journal show Christie standing next to Wildstein on Sept. 11.
Can you imagine being a ratfucking hack and not telling your big boss about your latest triumph? I certainly cannot, especially since Wildstein was a nerd in high school whereas Christie was a self described VBMOC. And they want us to believe that Wildstein resisted the temptation of taking a trip to sycophant city? Governor Pufferfish better hope they don't give Wildstein immunity or he'll be singing like Pat Dinizio.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love this scandal. It gives internet smart asses like me a chance to nip at the ankles of Roger Ailes' fantasy league Presidential candidate. And that's one reason I'm all over this like a cheap suit stolen by Patsy Parisi.
Finally, Bruce Springsteen chimed in on the GW Bridge Too Far scandal with Jimmy Fallon in this zany Born To Run parody:
Tramps like us, baby, we were born to sit.
This week's entry is the cover of Hell, a 1974 James Brown LP I'd never heard of. Good gawd, y'al. I love the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, but he was known more for his brilliant, frenetic live performances and his stellar singles than for his elpees. In short, I've died and gone to Godfather of Soul hell or something like that. Good gawd, y'all. The album art was done by Joe Belt who is known for his Native American and Western images. Here's what the artist had to say about going to Hell:
This is an album cover I did for James Brown back in the mid-70's. The album has recently been re-released as a double-CD set, and has been deemed as the most artistic and creative work of his long career. He was a professional to work with, and extremely nice. I don't know where the original art is, but I sent it to Polydor Records, in New York City, at the time.
Here's the front cover:
Here's the back cover:
Here's JB on Soul Train sending the audience straight to Hell. Good gawd, y'all:
All this talk about Jersey, has me thinking about the Boss. Governor Fat Fuck is allegedly a Springsteen fan, I guess he doesn't listen to the lyrics. Here's a bite-sized set from the Glastonbury Festival:
The cold has relented for now in New Orleans after we spent two nights shivering and dripping the faucets. It's still cloudy and gray, which is a classic January thing here. Here's some wintry music from the Decemberists:
Things I learned from the epic Governor Fat Fat Fuck presser and pity party:
He's not a bully.
He's sad over being betrayed and lied to by a Bridget Too Far Kelly.
He claims to work out.
He was blindsided by the lying liars on his staff.
The presser inspired all sorts of song title twists: Born to Run On, Borne to be Wildstein and, of course, the title of this post.
I'm exhausted by all the second hand hot air that I inhaled so I'm closing now. My twitter feed was humming so if you're feeling masochistic check it out.
I'll give the Boss the last word:
We passed a frigid Twelfth Night this week. We stayed home instead of seeing the minor parades and freezing our asses off. Since it's Carnival, I thought I'd post this 1976 LP cover from an Uptown Mardi Gras Indian Tribe, the Wild Tchoupitoulas. George Landry aka Big Chief Jolly was the Neville Brothers' Uncle, so his nephews helped out with vocals and some of the instrumentation.
Here's the back cover:
The album even produced a minor hit:
Has David Brooks finally jumped the shark with his deeply silly anti-weed legalization column? Internet smart asses like Athenae, mother of Little Kick, have been all over Bobo's shit for years. Charlie Pierce has had a lot of fun at Bobo's expense, but he also has one foot in the MSM camp. Yesterday on Twitter, the ponderous and pompous Brooks was mocked relentlessly by his MSM colleagues. I'm too lazy to hunt down the quotes about the reformed stoner, man, but they're there, man.
I realized this morning that David Brooks has something in common with the Grateful Dead. It's an Adrastostian convergence, y'all. The Dead nicknamed the late great concert producer and promoter Bill Graham, Uncle Bobo. The NYT's Bobo isn't particularly avuncular but I like the coincidence. It's cosmic, man. Once again, I'm too lazy to hunt down the root of the Brooksian nickname, man, but there could be a connection, man.
I may have been too lazy to search for hack mockery of Bobo, but I did hunt down an Uncle Bobo moment from the closing of Winterland DVD. Unfortunately, it doesn't exist in short clip form but you can find it here at 32:30 if you're a completist, stoner, or Deadhead. Below is an avuncular tune from the Dead's 1980 Halloween show at Radio City Music Hall, which was MC'eed by Al Franken. I recall Al being asked as a candidate if he'd ever smoked pot and he said something like "I worked on SNL and hung out with the Grateful Dead. What do you think?" Once again, I'm too lazy to hunt down the quote, man. Hmm, maybe Tina Brown was right, man. Nah, she and Bobo can drink bong juice, man, and invite Peggy Noonan while they're at it, man:
I've had this Beatles oldie in my head all day. It's from the LP Earworms Beatles For Sale:
Phil Robertson the cranky bigoted teevee quacker is back. A&E has issued a statement claiming to explain why, but I think this Randy Newman song sums it up quite nicely:
I've decided to do a malaka of the year post next week, which gave me an earworm. Any guesses? Leave a comment here:
I hope everyone had a good Christmas day including my fellow heathens and all the other non-Christians out there. Call me crazy but I've long associated the holidays with the music of the Grateful Dead including other artists' versions of their songs. Here's a stellar cover of a Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter tune by Los Lobos:
Today's earworm is not very seasonal but what can I tell ya?
The great country crooner Ray Price died the other day at the age of 87. There's a great primer about his career over at Slate that y'all should check out. Here's his biggest hit, which features a countrypolitan arrangement of a Kris Kristofferson song:
I hadn't contemplated the cover of Mandrill's eponymous debut LP for many years until, that is, I saw Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It has a very exciting action sequence featuring baboons, which put Mandrill on my radar screen for the first time in years. Mandrill was/is a funk-jazz-latin-rock fusion outfit named for a very colorful baboon relative. This LP is one of the few I ever bought based on the cover art:
The music is *almost* as striking as the cover. Here's the title track:
Here are the boys doing that voodoo that do so well in Noo Yawk:
I've been invited to join the regular rotation of characters in the Wednesday slot, which I of course then promptly missed this week. I'm popping in out of turn to share this lovely little bit of winter geekery with you all:
Cheers, and stay warm out there!
Nelson Mandela was a mythic figure when he was a political prisoner. Most mythic figures disappoint when they come out of whatever cocoon they were in. That was not the case with Mandela. When he was released from prison in 1990, I was wowed by his magnanimous spirit and utter lack of bitterness towards his oppressors. He was a remarkable man who will be greatly missed by his country and the rest of the civilized world.
I'll let the wonderful and courageous South African singer-songwriter, Johnny Clegg, have the last word with this song he wrote for Madiba who joined Clegg onstage during this 1999 performance:
It's the holidays (yes, Bill-O, I said holidays) so I thought I'd post a series of Xmassy LP covers the next few weeks. Dr. A is the Christmas music fan in our family but there *are* a few holiday albums that I'm fond of and Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas is one of them. I, of course, never met an Ella Fitzgerald album that I didn't like. I'm not sure, however, what the hell a unicorn has to do with anything:
Here's Ella singing the tune that songwriter Mel Torme called his retirement account:
I saw a documentary about Dark Side Of The Moon on BBC America the other day and, quite naturally, it gave me an earworm. Us and Them is a drop dead gorgeous song and it has long been one of my favorite Pink Floyd numbahs:
Happy Thanksgivukkah. Oy, such a holiday. Time to play a song by some goyim from Great Britain:
Pulp Fiction Thursday will return next week. I have one last holiday request, please don't cut the toikey without me:
This morning's post gave me a Smokeylicious earworm:
This is a traditional folk song that Roger McGuinn wrote JFK-related lyrics to after the assassination. The first version comes from the Byrds' album Turn, Turn, Turn. The second version comes from the Monterrey Pop Festival and features David Crosby's legendary conspiracy buff introduction:
Here's one of my favorite tracks from Pops and Oscar's classic album, which was the first CD that I ever bought. It sounds pretty bloody good on vinyl as well:
The Andy Warhol designed LP cover for Sticky Fingers loses something in the translation to CD re-releases and in photographs. The glory of the package was the functioning zipper. I was with my mother when I bought the LP and at first she thought it was clever until she put 2 + 2 together and got the double entendre of the title/zipper combination. I was rewarded with the same stern look I got when she realized that the Who were peeing on the obelisk on the cover of Who's Next.
Sticky Fingers is my favorite Stones album, featuring some of their best playing and songs. The countrypolitan numbers are heavily influenced by Gram Parsons and Ry Cooder who played slide guitar on Sister Morphine:
The Stones tongue logo made it's debut on this LP as you can see from this snap of Side One:
Here's the whole consarn album. Note that it features the alternative title lettering, fit for either boxing day or boxer shorts:
Speaking of commemorative red poppies, the picture above comes from the Hull Daily Mail deep in the heart of Yorkshire. The tune below is another one from the great Richard Thompson who's positively transatlantic these days but still bleeds Poppy Red: