Monday, October 31, 2011

Wedding Bell Blues

So Kim Kardashian filed for divorce today after 70 days of marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries. Irreconcilable differences. Seventy days. Hard to imagine things couldn't be worked out after such a lengthy effort at reconciliation.

Here's This Week's Discussion Question:
Tell us again how allowing gays to get hitched undermines marriage?
Please keep the discussion civil and feel perfectly free to wander off into "Why are you famous?" and "Can we never hear her name again, please?"


Sunday Random 10 (x2)

Been a couple of busy weeks, so let's get caught up on what's shaking with the little green Nano.


Rod Stewart - Seems Like a Long Time
The Kinks - Susannah's Still Alive
Jonathan Rundman - If I Ever Get There
The B-52's - Debbie
The Civil Wars - To Whom It May Concern
The Waterboys - Sweet Thing
R.E.M. - Romance
Los Lobos - Carabina .30-30 (live)
Dolorean - Beachcomber Blues
The Replacements - Achin' to Be

Try explaining to someone under the age of, oh, thirty-five, that Rod Stewart was once a vital and critically-acclaimed artist. Good luck.

Erik Brandt and The Urban Hillbilly Quartet - Helplessly
Ike Reilly - The Assassination of Sweet Lou Diablo
The Beatles - Get Back
Joe Henry - A Friend to You
Jonathan Rundman - No More Walls
Rosanne Cash with Johnny Cash - September When It Comes
Kaivama - Mosalarium
Ivy - Suspicious
The Rutles - Joe Public
Golden Smog - Easy to Be Hard

Just loaded UHQ's fine "Amelia's Boot" over the weekend. Also tunes from the new Kaivama and Ivy records, and Gary Louris's take on "Easy to Be Hard" is simply gorgeous.

We now return you to This Week's Discussion Question, already in progress.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Random 10

Sunday was a busy day at TWDQ HQ, so we fired up the little green Nano late that night for a few tunes and--especially since Derek and the Dominos' 20-minute live version of "Let it Rain" came up midway through--we decided to shut it off and go on shuffling along in the morning. When we plugged the iPod into the laptop at work, none of what played showed up under "Last Played" so we needed to do it all again.

Fortunately, it gives the Nano an opportunity to choose something from a couple of lunchtime acquisitions.


Marvin Gaye - Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
Lost Dogs - I'm a Loser
Jonathan Rundman - Oswiecim
Derek and the Dominos - Keep on Growing
The Ike Reilly Assassination - Good Work
The Baseball Project - The Ballad of Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson
Bruce Springsteen - Fire
Neil Young - Southern Man
Bob Dylan - Boots of Spanish Leather (demo)

Well, no 20-minute guitar epics and none of the recent acquisitions turned up, but it was worth redoing if only to link to Sal Nunziato's stupidly wonderful piece on a stupidly wonderful song.

We now return you to This Week's Discussion Question (Nick Punto in the World Series?), already in progress.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday Random 10

Today's shuffle played out on the flight to Houston. Was a beautiful day in MN, rainy in TX. We're glad we took the late flight out.


Rosanne Cash - Sleeping In Paris
The Beach Boys - Sloop John B. (live)
The Decemberists - January Hymn
Jackson Browne - Doctor My Eyes
Aaron Neville - Stand By Me
Los Straitjackets - Ana (Anna)
The Hold Steady - A Slight Discomfort
Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs - Couldn't I Just Tell You
Boiling Point - Long Way (All the Pretty Reasons)
The Twilight Hours - Yes

The King is Dead might be our favorite album of 2011. Los Straitjackets' Rock en Espanol is a terrific album of 50's and 60's rock 'n roll done in Spanish, of course. (Los Lobos' Louie Perez's liner notes are pretty terrific, too.) Mr. Sweet and Ms. Hoffs cover our favorite Todd Rundgren tune, and we close with a couple of local bands. Boiling Point is our worship leader's band and the Twilight Hours are half of Trip Shakespeare (John Munson & Matt Wilson) making really fine, tuneful pop.

We now return you to This Week's Discussion Question, already in progress.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Take Me Out to the Cathedral

At the Values Voter Summit, Bryan Fischer, of noted hate group the American Family Association, suggested that the United States hasn't been attacked by America-hatin' Muslims since Sept. 11, 2001 because we started singing "God Bless America" instead of the "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch.

Take it away, Brian:

"By God's blessing, we have not been hit by a Muslim attack since 9/11," Fischer said. "I suggest that in part, we have Major League Baseball to thank. You remember that the week after 9/11 Major League Baseball converted the seventh inning stretch from the singing of 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' to the singing of 'God Bless America.'"

"Now 'God Bless America' is not just a song, it is a prayer. When we sing that we are inviting God to bless America, to stand beside her and to guide her through the night with a light from above," Fischer said.

"So for one brief, shining moment every night, Major League Baseball has converted our stadiums into cathedrals in which tens of thousands of ordinary Americans lift their hearts and voices as one and ask God to watch over and protect the United States," Fischer said.

"Ladies and gentleman, I think that those prayers have been heard and they have been answered," Fischer said.

First, some clubs only sing GBA on Sundays (for which TWDQ thanks God). We believe the Yankees do it every game less out of patriotism than to use Ronan Tynan's 17 minute rendition to ice a visiting pitcher that's in a groove.

Second, nothing got "converted". We still sing 'em both on Sundays at Target Field. More people sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Way more.

Third, though it may be a prayer, GBA is a sentimental, mawkish, schlocky prayer. Woody Guthrie disliked it so much he wrote "This Land is Your Land"--originally titled "God Blessed America for Me"--in response.

Fourth, his last line reminds us of a great line in Barbara Brown Taylor's "An Altar in the World":

“I do not know any way to talk about answered prayer without sounding like a huckster or honeymooner. When someone wants to tell me how God has answered prayer, those are the first two possibilities that occur to me, anyway: 1) This person wants to sell me something, or 2) This person is not quite sober yet.”

And lastly, the last time we checked, Irving Berlin, who penned GBA, was Jewish, leading us to This Week's Discussion Question.

So wouldn't that be synagogues instead of cathedrals?

Please keep the discussion civil and please do not wander off into "Values? What values?" but do feel free to wander off into your Slim Pickens impression. (Quote #2, to be precise.)


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

She's Gone

We interrupt This Week's Discussion Question to bring you the news that former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin will not run for the presidency in 2012.

In other news, the sun rose in the east today.

Palin's decision means, of course, that TWDQ's CEO will not be consuming his headwear in front of City Hall at high noon on November 6, 2012, as promised had the FHTG been the GOP nominee.

The story we linked to is headlined, "Sarah Palin's Decision Not to Run Shocks Supporters", which brings us to This Week's Discussion Question:
Really? Who didn't see this coming?
Please keep the discussion civil and try to keep the guffaws down.


Monday, October 03, 2011

Idiot Wind

While we're waiting for country music stations all over Amurica to sponsor rallies to burn and smash Hank Williams Jr. records, here's This Week's Discussion Question:
Who gives a rat's behind what Hank Williams Junior thinks about anything?
Please keep the discussion civil and do not wander off into "That's a mighty generous use of 'thinks', bucko," or "Remember kids, don't drink before breakfast."


Sunday Random 10

Let's see what the little green Nano kicked out on this first Sunday in October!


Son Volt - Route
The Beatles - The Long and Winding Road (from Let it Be...Naked)
Badfinger - No Matter What
Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
Los Lobos - La Pistola Y El Corazon
Titus Andronicus - Four Score and Seven
Eurythmics - Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves
Everything But the Girl - Oxford Street
Fountains of Wayne - Acela
The Beatles - Only a Northern Song

Really nice mix this week. Son Volt's debut, Trace, is one of those albums we could sing along to from start to finish by heart but couldn't name the song titles at gunpoint. (Seriously, this album is so deeply engrained that on a family vacation, I pulled the family off the freeway to see St. Genevieve, Missouri. A co-worker told me he'd also done the same side trip.) We're always thrilled by the Phil Spector-free version of McCartney's ballad following the 28 year wait after hearing it for the first time in the film "Let it Be" in 1976. There's Donovan's guest shot with Alice, some excellent rootsy Los Lobos (The Best Band America Has Yet Produced, in our not so humble estimation), some Civil War-based (sort of) Jersey rock, Aretha & Annie, and the vastly underrated and underheard Tracey Thorn and EBtG.

And, boys and girls, right there at number three is the first full-flower of power pop, with a tune from the fine new album by our current favorite power pop purveyors checking in at number nine.

We now return you to This Week's Discussion Question, already in progress.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Odds and Sods

We've had a few little things we wanted to get off our chest lately, so let's unload:

Norquist to Buffett: Send Government Your Money - Here's the Envelope, You Pay for the Stamp
TWDQ to Grover: Here's the short pier, you take the hike.
Crazy Train Keeps A-Rollin':
Seriously, how can anyone take this lunatic seriously?
Montana GOP Fears School Lunch Fraud is Eating Taxpayer Money
Yeah, beating up poor kids for their lunch money is the way out of our economic malaise.
There, that feels better.

Back tomorrow with tunes...