February 2, 2014
“So let Germany brew your beer. Let Switzerland make your watch. Let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car.” — Bob Dylan
OK. Let me make sure I’m following this line of reasoning:
Germany is known for great beer, so we should let Germany brew our beer.
Switzerland is known for great watches, so we should let Switzerland make our watches.
Asia is known for great electronics, so we should let Asia assemble our phones.
And Bob Dylan is known for writing brilliant, incisive lyrics that are sharply critical of the Establishment, so we should let him …
…sell us a car?
And that heckler in Manchester thought it was bad when he went electric.
Either Bob Dylan has lost his damn mind, or he’s just trolling the hell out of us for giggles, like Johnny Rotten did a few years ago:
Or maybe this is just a sort of belated answer song to “Diamonds and Rust.” After all, on some recordings of her song about her failed relationship with Dylan, instead of ending with, “I’ve already paid,” Joan Baez ends with, “I’ll take the diamonds.”
Maybe advertising Chrysler products is just Dylan’s little way of saying, 40 years later, that he’s content with the rust. </snark>
February 2, 2014
Cut the crap and change the mascot. For the love of everything that’s holy, this is the 21st century, not the 19th. No one should have to be told, in 2014, that it’s not OK to use a racial slur as a team name. There is no legitimate argument in favor of keeping the name. NONE. Change it and move on.
And fans: If you’re more attached to the name than the players wearing it, I really have to question how serious you are about your love of either the team or the sport it plays.
While we’re on the subject, I’d like to have a word with Bud Selig about a couple of MLB teams. Chief Wahoo and the Tomahawk Chop need to go. If baseball fans in Cleveland and Atlanta are afraid games won’t be as much fun without offensive caricatures and obnoxious hand gestures that misrepresent people who have already endured way more than their fair share of bullshit for the last five or six centuries, perhaps they need to take a few field trips to find out how other fans manage to enjoy a ballgame without the help of condescending cultural appropriation. I’d recommend an evening screaming your head off at Coca-Cola Park with Noise Nation, an afternoon tossing back opponents’ home-run balls with the Bleacher Bums at Wrigley, and a few innings letting Cardinal Nation educate you on the finer points of the game at Busch Stadium.
Speaking of baseball: To hell with the groundhog. Spring training starts in 10 days.
January 30, 2014
A little more Pete, just for good measure.
Tomorrow’s Vegan Friday offering: A handful of quick vegan dip recipes you can throw together on the fly.
January 28, 2014
I don’t suppose life owed him anything after 94 years, but I doubt there’s a folkie out there who wasn’t a little sad today to learn that Pete Seeger had slipped away from us yesterday.
Worth noting: On her Facebook page today, Judy Collins reported that she had a gap in her ridiculously busy tour schedule that allowed her to be home in New York City for exactly one day — yesterday. So of course she went to visit her old friend in the hospital, held his hand, sang to him, gave him a kiss, and thanked him for the song above, which she recorded in 1963, and which she cites as the main reason she switched to 12-string guitar.
After Mary Travers died, I said something to the effect that you know you’re folk royalty when Judy Collins shows up to sing “Amazing Grace” at your funeral. When God arranges her itinerary so she can show up at your deathbed to hold your hand, kiss you goodbye, and sing one of your own songs to you as you’re dying? I’m gonna go ahead and read that as a big ol’ “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
If God is a folkie — and, really, why wouldn’t he be? — I’m betting as soon as Judy’s voice faded out, Mary’s faded in, segueing right into “If I Had a Hammer” to welcome him to a festival that makes Newport pale by comparison.
January 14, 2014
OK, so I wasn’t technically a munchkin when this technology came out in the mid-’90s, but my younger siblings were, and I’d forgotten all about it until my sister said something on Facebook that made me think of the Packard-Bell my mom bought somewhere around my sophomore year of college.
Skip to 9:30 to see the part I remembered and was trying to describe to my sister, who had also forgotten about it until just now.
It doesn’t make me feel quite as warm and fuzzy as the reassuring “PRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT! Chk-chk-chk-chk-chk” of an Apple IIe powering up, but it’s pretty good.
January 2, 2014
You can’t really go wrong with Odetta to kick off the new year. This was recorded at The Bitter End not long before she died. The contrast between her frail appearance and those defiant lyrics pretty much tears my heart out.
December 17, 2013
I’m convinced the number of bigoted a-holes in the world would be dramatically lower if everybody had seen this video as a child.
I’ve wanted sheet music for “My Name Is You” since the first time I heard it — sometime around 1983, if I remember correctly — but I’ve never been able to find it. In keeping with my new habit of simply stealing songs out of thin air if I can’t buy them, I sat down the other night and figured out the chords.
If you want ‘em, they’re up on Ultimate Guitar now. Click here.
July 18, 2013
I was working on a contemplative feminist essay about why street harassment irritates me so much when I’m jogging, but before I could finish writing it, I got sidetracked listening to Judy Collins 3, and then I got “Anathea” stuck in my head, and then I started wondering whether Joan Baez ever recorded it, because it would sound cool if she did, so I Googled it, and … well, I still don’t know whether Joan Baez ever sang “Anathea,” because I sort of lost interest in the question after I stumbled across this video.
This is from a concert at Governors Island in 2009. I didn’t even know Ms. Collins still included this in her setlists. It’s a ridiculously demanding piece of music — awkward jumps and weird cadenzas and high notes all over the place — but you’d never know it from this video. She doesn’t even look like she’s working.
I wish she’d do a book or a DVD series or something on vocal technique. I’d pay stupid money to learn that kind of control.
May 30, 2013
I heard this song for the first time a couple of weeks ago, after downloading Peter, Paul and Mary’s Lifelines album at the suggestion of a friend who shares my fondness for folk. I was listening to it as I was driving down Illinois 3 and honestly thought I was going to have to pull over and have a good cry when they got to that last verse.
The version on Lifelines is prettier than this live version, but you get the idea. If you enjoy folk at all, you should probably go download Lifelines when you get done here. It includes a bunch of other artists singing with them, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott on “Deportee” and Richie Havens on “The Great Mandala,” which might be the most awesome thing I’ve heard since Woodyfest.
May 2, 2013
Wow. Just … wow. If I still taught, this would totally go into my figurative language unit.