Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This Evening's Harvest

Things are getting into full swing 'bout now.  Some of the okra are a little big and tough, but they'll cook down fine.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meanwhile, down at the Mountains of Madness...

Link to a story about this year's winter solstice BBC broadcast to the British Antarctic Survey team, at the SWLing post.
Well, I tried to listen in too, via the Ascension Island transmitter on 7.350 MHz.  Pretty much though it was a hopeless cause here, with the beam pointed almost exactly away from my location.  Glad to get a copy of things via the interwebs anyway.

Old Crow Sneak Preview

Here we go!  A sneak preview of OCMS's next album (due out July 1st) "Remedy" courtesy of NPR's First Listen Series.
ps: Just finished listening.  It's a surprisingly upbeat affair, with a few somber tunes like the closing "The Warden" to balance things out.  Recommended!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Here, have some more Led Zeppelin

Yeah, over here at Slate.  Have we reached wretched excess yet?  No?  Ok, then we're not there.  From the article:
Led Zeppelin had a relationship to the blues (and black music generally) that could veer between brilliantly creative and stupidly abusive, sometimes within seconds.   ...    But Led Zeppelin weren’t a minstrel show—they were something so much weirder.  To suggest that all they did was steal from the blues is an insult to the band, but also to the blues. Zeppelin’s appropriations could be bereft of ethics, but they were more often just bereft of logic: Here was a band that wedded Robert Johnson-isms to plots borrowed from Tolkien novels with no sense of incongruity, or embarrassment.

Led Zeppelin had started as an idea, and was now despised as one. But why did people really hate Led Zeppelin? ...  They represented someone’s cynical fantasy of the masses, a coalition of louts and groupies and wasted youths who, come to think of it, probably weren’t even reading rock criticism in the first place. The revolution had failed, and Zeppelin was playing its wake, and cashing in...   Rock ’n’ roll had once been art for art’s sake, or the world’s sake: now it was just art for money’s sake, and Page & co. didn’t even have the decency to pretend otherwise.
In a foul mood this evening, partly 'cause I'm going to California.  And I don't even know why.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Not Exactly My Flavor of Punk Rock

Still, it's genuine 180 proof punk rock: an article on Parquet Courts at NPR.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day

Father's Day was an extended celebration around here, starting with the construction of a new grill late last week:
I'd had the thing since last August, but the top biologist got down to assembling it and having it ready to go.

Next up, there was a Saturday afternoon visit to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, guided by my favorite art historian.
Edith Prang herself could not have done a better job of guiding.  (Nor of driving.)  Followed by dinner at Borgne where I had:
Topped off with a gift of High West Double Rye:

Then Sunday it was back to the grill with the top biologist doing the honors (not wishing for my usual hockey puck results).  Texas cut sirloins, about a pound each!  Stunning, in more than one sense.

It was an all-round great Father's Day.  Thanks kids!

Monday, June 16, 2014

One More Time

I keep reading and hearing explanations of this.  It still doesn't make any sense – not that I should really expect it to – but the bare facts of the situation are enough.

explained (yet again!) over at NPR.

Worth your eight or so minutes, if only for the refresher.  And the fact that the U.S. seems about to jump headlong (yet again!) into that never-ending fray.

How good sense says, "Be the hell somewhere else."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Out from Under a Rock

Look what Messy Nessy found under a Rock!
A genuine UFO convention!  (it seems the convention is genuine, perhaps not so much the UFOs)  Goodness, we'd better all write that URL down!
Oh, here it is: http://www.messynessychic.com/2014/06/12/the-1950s-flying-saucer-conventions-at-an-underground-rock-house/  (Is that you Mrs. Wright?)
Well, click through and take a look at all of the goings-on.  When done, be sure to
Just not too soon, 'k.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Re-Issues of Led Zep I, II, & III

Yeah, these remasters are pretty good.  Really cleaned up a lot.  I'm most familiar with LZ II, having played it a lot back in high school, and even counting for the fuzzy memories, the remastered version is much improved.
Look, I was just starting first grade when LZ I was released.  By the time I got up through high school, the fresh was well worn off the band, and – at least in my peer group – this was just stoner music.  The fame and alcohol and drugs had blunted their initial blues-remade passion, and there was an air of fading big arena rocker cliche around them.  I probably won't go any farther into their catalogue than LZ IV – which I also picked up a fresh copy of, for about $7 from Amazon, and yes, I'll pop for the remaster if it ever comes out.  But after listening to Robert Johnson's stuff last winter, it's clear that there's something worthwhile here in Zepp's early stuff.  So, as the title of an Elvis Presley re-issue collection of his early good stuff put it, Reconsider Baby.  Like it or not, these are rock classics, and worth your money and listening time.

But don't take my word for it.  Here's a raft of reviews and commentary: Consequence of Sound on I, II, & III; American Songwriter on all three; and Mojo on the band in general.

Two more Led Zepp related notes: they probably won't be re-banding anytime soon, and it looks like the lawyer in the Spirit/Taurus/Stairway to Heaven lawsuit is a real piece of work.

Finally, that thing sticking up out of my back porch is not a lead Zeppelin.  It is in fact a copper slimJIM.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Intense is the best word to describe this movie.  It opens with a struggle-to-the-death scene with X-powers being used by a tightly coordinated team.  Then (no spoiler) we're snapped back to the 70's where we get more more more action.  Then it's back to the future with another struggle-to-the-death scene.  Interspersed there are more intense scenes of intense conversations where Very Important information and motivation gets passed from the future into the past, where hopefully it can do some good.  I came away with my money's worth from this movie, and exhausted.

About the plot, I'm not going to say much.  It's standard X-Men lore, it involves going back 50 years in time to re-align the headlights of history and re-make the present into a livable place.  Superpowers are used.  Antagonistic personalities clash.  Foes are vanquished.  If you're into all this, you're already along for the ride.  If you're not, there's probably another movie at the cinemaplex.  If you can't decide but some friends want to go, tag along and you'll have some fun.

A couple of other things bear mentioning, for their presence without being over-present.  Specifically, 3D and the 1970's.  Yes, you can tell things are going on in three dimensions, and it adds to the movie experience, but it's not over-done.  Perhaps 3D has finally grown up.  Then there's the 70's.  Sure, there's the obligatory 70's skew-view when Wolverine is first transported back (it's good for a quick bit of comic relief), and some of the hair and tech keeps reminding that it's not the 21st century.  However at no point did I feel swaddled in ironic polyester or subjected to disco music.  It was a relief to see both 3D and the 70's used to forward the plot, without being used as big clubs to bludgeon the audience.

If you're not into this kind of movie, that's OK, give it a pass.  If you've seen and liked any of the current crop of X-Men movies, this is worth a see.  3+ out of 4 stars.

Friday, June 6, 2014

70 Years Ago Today

Hard to believe it was that long ago.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Music

Meh, it's Monday.  Here, have some pirate radio, courtesy of the SWLing Post.Here's a very rough image from the SSTV eQSL at the end:

Also: Don't forget that the new Led Zep I–III remasters drop tomorrow.  Order soon, don't get caught in the arena rock mob scene stampede.