Monday, June 28, 2010


An homage to my favorite Tolkien character. Thanks to all of the artists whose visions of Gandalf were used for this piece, Leonard Rosenman for the music, and Professor Tolkien for cooking up the whole wonderful mythos that has enlightened our lives...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Do You Remember "Do You Remember These?"

I am in an odd position of having nostalgia for nostalgia. When I was a kid a huge wave of 50's nostalgia swept the country, most memorably via American Graffiti and Happy Days. But anyone watching TV at that time was inundated with countless K-Tel 50's record compilations- ("Remember those Saturday nights you wished would never end?") 50's style music on commercials, Sha Na Na, etc, etc. I always got a kick out of the Statler Brothers and their 50s nostalgia song came early in the wave, so I never held it against 'em. This is one of their fun songs that we listened to a fair amount from the old parental collection. This video was a homemade production off of Youtube that I thought did a great job of illustrating the song, and actually cleared up a couple of things I always wondered about in the references. I am sure some enterprising child of the 60s or 70s could make a killer version of this tuned to that time, er that is, if an enterprising person could be found among us!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Food For Thought

"My friend Alan Watts in a lecture once proposed...'The truth of the matter is that you didn't come into this world at all. You came out of it, in the same way that a leaf comes out of a tree or a baby from a womb...Just as Jesus said that one doesn't gather figs from thistles or grapes from thorns, so also you don't gather people from a world that isn't peopling. Our world is peopling, just as the apple tree apples, just as the vine grapes.' We are a product of this earth, that is to say; and, as Dr. Watts observed in that same talk, if we are intelligent beings, it must be that we are the fruits of an intelligent earth, symptomatic of an intelligent system; for 'one doesn't gather grapes from thorns.'

"We may think of ourselves, then, as the functioning ears and eyes and mind of this earth, exactly as our own ears and eyes and mind are of our bodies. Our bodies are one with this earth, this wonderful 'oasis in the desert of infinite space'; and the mathematics of that infinite space, which are the same as of Newton's mind-our mind, the earth's mind, the mind of the universe-come to flower and fruit in this beautiful oasis through ourselves."

-Joseph Campbell, Myths To Live By

Monday, June 14, 2010

Border Reiver

I thought I might put something current on lest I give the impression that I only listen to songs that are over 40 years old. (Only 95% of the time I do.)

Border Reiver is the first song on Mark Knopfler's new album Get Lucky and is a good representative of state of the art Knopfler...Celtic flavored, literate and fun. For my money Knopfler is the best living guitarist and one of the best songwriters of all time. The flutes unfurling under the drive of the main theme on this song never cease to move me profoundly. Any one who has ever had o job "on the road" can appreciate the spirit of this song. Simply amazing...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

And Now Something Colorful

I saw this on MTV's Liquid Television years ago and really liked the animation and great song. The song is by Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo. Reminds me of an old Sesame street bit.

The Naughty Lady

Another old single from Mom's collection, and having the distinction of being the only recording from a member of the Rat Pack in the collection, "The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane" by Dean Martin was much listened to as well. (I love the "puh-piyah's"). A jaunty tune with Dino's signature Italian flavor, "Naughty Lady" must be listened to all the way to the end for the cute surprise.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Project From the Past

If you happen be over 30 and grew up somewhere in the metropolitan area of San Antonio, Texas, the best time to view this clip is friday night at midnight. The rest of you won't get it. God bless YouTube!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Roll Muddy River

"Roll Muddy River" was on another one of those country anthology LP's of Pop's, maybe the same one that "What Are Those Things" was on, I can't recall. I always liked the folksy ramble of this song. It looks like there are many different versions of this song done by many artists, ranging from real bluegrassy to rockin' country. I am not 100% certain that this particular version, by the Wilburn Brothers, is the exact version we had, but if it is not, it is very close to it.Again, I know nothing about the Wilburn Brothers. I can't help but recall an alternate lyric coined by my oldest brother, "I've got a notion Kung Fu's in slow motion", every time I hear this.

They Ain't Robins, Brother

I hope it doesn't get too tiresome, but I am having fun finding these old songs we used to listen to. This one has been a challenge, too. It was on an anthology album of various country hits that Pop had from the 60's, and was a particular favorite. Charlie Louvin is the artist here, and I am sorry to say I am not familiar with his work. Looking over the albums and titles that are available on iTunes (this song is not BTW), he seems like an old school Johnny Cash type, just my kind o' guy. (He even duets with EmmyLou Harris!) So he is worth further investigation. The only version of this song that is available on iTunes is by Roger Miller, who I normally like all right, but his version is full of weird vocal mannerisms popular at the time that really grate on me when I have this great version to measure it by. I know the accompanying video is kind of weied, right? But it is evocative of the times in its own bizarre way, too...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The World Ain't Big Enough For Me

We had an old 79 of this that I believe was my Grandmothers' originally, and boy did we listen to the fire out of it. It was a thick, heavy disc with a red Columbia label and it had a lot of pops and crackles, but the voyaging spirit the music conveyed was infectious. The anarchronisms always cracked me up, too. I never paid any attention to the artist, Guy Mitchell, when listening to it then, which made it a little hard to find, but then the music was the thing to me then, not the artist. I see that it is available for 99 cents from iTunes, but I am a little hesistant to hear this song too cleanly...The "canned" effect of the LP really takes me back...