July 2009 Archives

Friday Random Top 10

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From somewhere along the south shore of Lake Superior, a Random Top 10:

1. Drinkers Peace (live) - Guided By Voices
2. Kitchen Door - Buffalo Tom
3. Garageland - The Clash
4. Everyday Clothes - Jonathan Richman
5. Ballad of Donald White - Bob Dylan
6. Powderfinger - Neil Young
7. His Hand in Mine - Elvis Presley
8. When Yer Twenty-Two - Flaming Lips
9. Mother Mary - Foxboro Hottubs
10. Ghoul of Goodwill - The Suburbs

Bonus: Up around the Bend - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Some heavy hitters in this week's lineup. Nice to see some Suburbs crop up. What's your top 10?

Vacation Time

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I'm off on vacation. We are renting a 26 foot RV and heading toward the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and then Sleeping Bear National Park in northern part of Lower Michigan. I've never driven anything larger than a mini-van so it should be interesting. We'll get to hang with other RVers and do some hiking and relaxing.

Little blogging while I am gone but some of the place we are heading do have wi-fi so I may check in a couple of times. The comments are still a little screwy so I think I will have to approve them. If it's been a couple of days and your comment hasn't shown up, send me an e-mail. I have scheduled a random top 10 to drop on Friday, so make sure you send your random 10.

Looks like I won't have to worry about a Brett Favre decision when I am gone but it will be interesting to see if the Twins do anything at the trading deadline. Not a lot of other news looks to be coming down the pike so not a bad time to go dark.

Until next week.

Obama and the Birthers

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In the last few weeks, The Birthers, those folks who don't think Obama was born in the United States and thus ineligible to be President, have gotten their views in the traditional media like CNN and MSNBC. Even though the State of Hawaii has asserted that there is a valid birth certificate and the local newspaper had a birth announcement back in 1960, (see above) for some reason The Birthers are not convinced.

Let's get something straight. The only reason this is an issue is because we have a black president. The people pushing this "story" can't abide the fact that the President of the United States is a black man. Now of course they know they can't say that out loud in polite company so they glom on to wild conspiracies. It is similar to issues last year during the campaign when people insisted, in the face of evidence to the contrary, that Obama was Muslim. It's a way to point out that Obama is different, that he's not like us and worthy to govern without having to say the "I don't want a black person as president."

Unfortunately for the Republicans, the base of their support has dwindled down to the cranks, crazy, and racists. Their supporters actually believe this stuff. So even though most elected Republicans know the Birther issues are completely unfounded, they can't come out and say that or they will piss off half their supporters. So Republicans are caught between a rock and a hard place. They either look crazy to most of the electorate for not repudiating this easily debunked claim or they tell a large percentage of their hardcore supporters that they are crazy. The irony is delicious and a lot of fun to watch. Couldn't happen to a better bunch of guys.

You Were There

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Walter Cronkite's death reminded me of an old show he used to do called You Are There. The premise of the show was CBS news folks were able to "report" on events in history as if they were happening now. For instance reporters were "on the scene" interviewing combatants when the Greeks laid siege on Troy and delivered their Trojan Horse. It was a show definitely for history geeks. But it got me thinking, what are some events that you wish you had witnessed first hand? Sports and music events come easily to mind and I was lucky enough to be at games 6 and 7 of the 1991 World Series and when the Gophers beat then Michigan 16-0 in 1977. Both events which I have a feeling would be on some folks list.

Here are some events I wish I was at so that I was able to say that I Was There:

Guided By Voices last concert at Club Metro in Chicago.
It was announced previously that GBV was breaking up and this would be their last show (December 31, 2004). Of course it sold out immediately and fans from all across the country showed up. It was quite an emotional show and by all accounts one of their best as it was a 4 hour, 63 song Holy Grail for GBV freaks.

Dylan Goes Electric. There's so much conflicting reports on this event. Was the crowd booing because Dylan was playing an electric guitar or was it too loud? Did Pete Seeger try to cut the electric power with an Axe? Was Dylan tearing up when he came out to do an acoustic set? Regardless it would be cool to say you were there and saw the whole thing in person.

Elvis playing That's All Right Mama at Sun Studios.
Elvis was at Sun Studios basically having an unproductive session when he and Scotty Moore were goofing around with an old Arthur Crudup guitar lick between songs. Sam Phillips was intrigued and had them record that song. The rest is history. To be in the sound booth when that happened! A new form of music being created right in front of your eyes.

Ginsburg reciting Howl at the Six Gallery. Allen Ginsburg had written Howl and had shared it with a bunch of his beat friends who loved it. A poetry reading was set up at the Gallery Six in North Beach San Francisco. By the time the event started the Gallery was bursting at the seams, Jack Kerouac had purchased a couple of jugs of wine which were being passed around. As Ginsburg was reciting, Kerouac was beating a drum yelling yea! The crowd was blown away by the poem.

U.S. Hockey team beating the Soviet Union 1980.
No need for explanation here. Oh to be in the arena when that happened. We saw it on T.V. of course but to shouting USA!! as the clock wound down would have been amazing.

Ali-Foreman fight in Zaire. This fight was immortalized in When We Were Kings but to see it in person would have been a blast. Ali was given no chance against Foreman who was considered unbeatable at the time. Not only did Ali best Foreman but he won over an entire continent.

Grassy Knoll during Kennedy Assassination. To be there and to see for yourself how many shots were fired and from where would have been a searing experience. The confusion of the event probably wouldn't answer any questions but an important piece of history nonetheless.

Obama Victory Speech -- Grant Park. While I was seeing Bob Dylan's triumphant return to the University Of Minnesota campus, others were at Grant Park to watch Barack Obama become the first black man elected president. I know some people who were there and the emotion was quite palpable. Definitely a once in a lifetime event.

I could come up with others, but those are the biggies. How about you? What event do you wish you could have said I Was There?

Friday Random Top 10

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I woke up this morning and heard there was a Crain wreck somewhere in Anaheim, CA. Here's a Random Top 10 in honor of the survivors.

1. Playin' to Win -- Magnolias
2. New York City -- The Neal Pollack Invasion
3. Mindless Child of Motherhood -- The Kinks
4. Rachel -- Buffalo Tom
5. I Saw the Light -- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
6. The Boy with the Arab Strap -- Belle & Sebestian
7. Eronel -- Thelonious Monk
8. In Love with You Thing -- Beat Happening
9. Tear Stained Letter -- Johnny Cash
10. The New Kid -- Old 97's

Bonus: Act of the Apostle -- Belle & Sebastian

Nice mix with the B&S double shot. I haven't listened to that Magnolias disc in a long long time. What's your top 10?

1100 Days

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I missed noting the three year anniversary of LFAD this past Sunday July 19th so consider this post a celebration of 1100 days of spot-on analysis, probing insight, and woeful laments of early 21st Century life. I am especially proud of my recent Erin Andrews essay w/accompanying photo links. Actually three years is a long time in the blogosphere and by some accounts 95 percent of all the blogs that were started since I put down a stake in this section of cyberspace are now abandoned. You know what else is interesting? Blogosphere was not noted as a mis-spelled word when I typed it.

So with 1100 days under my belt here are a couple of thoughts on what's going on.

Bike Riding. On my way home from work later today I will cross the 600 mark on bike miles ridden since mid-April. This Saturday, if the weather cooperates, I am going to ride along the Wisconsin side of Lake Pepin. The miles won't be the much but there are some killer hills on that route. A month from now I am still planning to ride 110 miles to Siren, Wisconsin.

Twins. Ack! When your big move is calling up Jesse Crain... The Twins have three superstars and still are a middling team. A starting pitcher, 2nd basemen, and 8th inning guy are desperately needed.

Music. Besides the previously discussed Charlie Pickett and Wilco discs, I have really been grooving on the new Dinosaur Jr. release Farm. It definitely rocks and feels like those guys never left the stage. I hope J. Mascus and Lou Barlow make music together for many many years.

Books. I've had a dreadful book reading spring and summer with two wretched boring books on the black plague and English-U.S. relations since 1640. I am back on the saddle, however, with the very funny Bill Bryson book about walking on the Appalachian Trail.


Finally this site has been getting hammered by the spambots and I am trying to keep ahead of them by deleting their comments. I may have to get stronger filters on the comments section so if your comment doesn't show up, it may have been trapped. Send me a private e-mail if you don't see your comments.

Erin Andrews Peep Show Video

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O.k. the title may be a shameless attempt to goose page views but it also leads to an interesting discussion.

Apparently some creep took a video of Erin Andrews -- the uber-hot sideline reporter for ESPN -- undressing in her hotel room. The video was taken through the door peep hole. Apparently (I have not seen the video nor will attempt to find it) one gets an unfiltered view of Andrew's unclad booty. Although if taken through a door peep hole, I can't image that the image quality is really worth the effort searching for it.

Obviously this is just downright creepy. Who would even think about doing something like this? I am not sure if they know the perpetrator but I hope that if they find him (and let's all acknowledge that this is undoubtedly a guy) he goes to prison and Andrews sues his ass for all it's worth.

But I am also worried that this will have a chilling effect on women, especially attractive women, becoming involved in the media. Let's face it Erin Andrews is easy on the eyes and I definitely stand up and take notice when she is at a television sporting event. I don't want her to go away or for others who have the same qualities to not purse this line of work because they are worried about the freaks and creeps. But at the same time I don't want to see her exploited without her permission. (However, if she chooses to do a Maxim spread on her own, that's o.k. in my book)

Unfortunately someone as gorgeous as Erin Andrews gets a lot of attention, much of it piggish, and some critics think that she is only on TV because of her looks. No doubt that plays a part but she is also a pretty competent sideline reporter who takes her job seriously. Let's hope the creeps keep away and the rest of us get to enjoy her attributes from the comfort of our sofa and flat screen LCD television.

Walter Cronkite and the Death of Journalism

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Walter Cronkite died last and the accolades are coming in from all quarters of the media. A lot of focus has been on three events: When he showed emotion announcing President Kennedy's assassination, his declaring that the Vietnam War was not winnable in 1968 and his reporting and anchoring of CBS's Watergate coverage when it was obvious that Cronkite was just as appalled at the Nixon Administration as most Americans.

His words about Vietnam are the most jarring, even 40 years later:

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his big gasp before negotiations. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.

Now this wasn't a novel concept. Many in the government and military agreed, as did a larger and larger percentage of the American public. But to have Walter Cronkite say it is considered a turning point in the war's popularity with the American public. Unbeknownst to most people, President Lyndon Johnson after seeing the news report lamented "if I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."

It's interesting that we are revisiting Walter Cronkite's career at the same time that we are learning more details about the media's behavior during South Carolina Governor's recent AWOL stint to meet his girlfriend in Argentina. The South Carolina Newspaper The State was able to obtain all the e-mails sent to the Governor's office, including those from the media requesting interviews of the governor. It isn't pretty.

Of course there are the e-mails from "friendly" media before everyone knew Sanford was in Argentina giving him support and assuring him that he will get a fair shake. These included a number of Fox News reporters. What is more troubling is that even after we knew the whole Appalachian Trail story was false, national media personalities such as Jake Tapper at ABC and David Gregory at NBC were sending Sanford's office e-mails asking for an interview and promising to allow Sanford to present his side of the story. Gregory's missive's are particularly galling:

"Left you a message. Wanted you to hear directly from me that I want to have the Gov on Sunday on Meet The Press. I think it's exactly the right forum to answer the questions about his trip as well as giving him a platform to discuss the economy/stimulus and the future of the party. You know he will get a fair shake from me and coming on MTP puts all of this to rest."

And later...

"Look, you guys have a lot of pitches .. I get it and I know this is a tough situation ... Let me just say this is the place to have a wider conversation with some context about not just the personal but also the future for him and the party ... This situation only exacerbates the issue of how the GOP recovers when another national leader suffers a setback like this. So coming on Meet The Press allows you to frame the conversation how you really want to...and then move on. You can see (sic) you have done your interview and then move on. Consider it."

So even though David Gregory knew that Sanford lied about his whereabouts for five days, and his family, staff, and security detail didn't know where he was, Gregory was willing to suck up to Governor Sanford allow him to tell his side of the story and "frame the conversation on how you really want to."

Wow! We've come a long way from Walter Cronkite in 40 years. From wanting to report the truth -- even if that meant questioning what officials were saying to actively courting public officials to change the subject and frame the issues to their advantage. Just think of our media had acted like Walter Cronkite in the lead up to the Iraq War? or took on Global Warming skeptics? Or exposed how our tax policies favor the rich over everyone else? The death of Walter Cronkite turns the final chapter on the media being the public watchdog to the media courting access and not ruffling feathers. Unfortunately our democracy flourishes on the former.

UPDATE Here is a very funny Comedy Central bit about the "journalist" e-mails:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
To Sir, With Love
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Friday Random Top 10

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Nice September day today. Does this mean the pennant races are heating up? We need a Random Top 10:

1. She's Just a Girl -- Devo
2. Blatant Doom Trip -- Guided By Voices
3. Jagged -- Old 97's
4. Growing into You -- Soul Asylum
5. Gangsters -- The Specials
6. Arkansas Traveler -- Jerry Garcia
7. Not Good for the Mechanism -- Guided Be Voices
8. Bad Seeds (live) -- The Beat Happening
9. Most Likely You Go Your Way -- Bob Dylan
10. It was a Very Good Year -- The Sounds Like Us

Bonus: Sons of Apollo -- Guided By Voices.

Wow, the elusive triple play! No doubt it would be Guided by Voices as they cover over 5 percent of the songs on my I-pod. What's your Top 10?

The Brickhouse

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Everyone is all excited that after 27 years, college football is coming back to the University of Minnesota campus with the opening less than 2 months away. The new stadium looks quite handsome and I can't wait to see a game there.

But let's not forget that the University of Minnesota had a classic football stadium for nearly 60 years right across the street where the new stadium is set to open. Fortunately University Libraries haven't forgotten and they have created a lovely archival website that looks back at "The Brickhouse" -- how it was built, who played there, as well as what a nice description of other activities that happened at Memorial Stadium (did you know there were labs in stadium?)

Since the site was created by archivists, there are tons of old pictures of the stadium, players, crowds, etc. Want to see the classic picture of Bronko Nagurski? Here it is. Want to see 1941 Heisman Trophy Winner Bruce Smith? Check out this video. Like to see stadium plans? How about the decision to move to the Metrodome and tear down the stadium? It's all there.

What I especially like is that this site is taking a web 2.0 approach allowing visitors to give their own stories and upload pictures. My family had season tickets in the 1970's and I know my parents have some pictures of the tailgating. I will definitely be adding those pictures to the site.

As with most Gopher fans I can't wait for TCF Bank Stadium to open, however with this new site, I can also go back to see what we've missed since 1981.

Charlie Pickett and the Eggs -- (Re)Discovered At Last

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If you were in the cool crowd in mid-eighties Minneapolis you were all over a band called Charlie Pickett and the Eggs. Charlie Pickett was this dude from Florida who had a hell-rockin' band that played hopped up greasy bar rock about drug addicts, whores, and love gone wrong. Think Rolling Stones circa 1969-72 but filtered through late 70's and early 80's punk.

He signed to the Minneapolis label Twin-Tone (home of the Replacements, Soul Asylum, etc), got a little radio play up here and played a bunch of shows. In fact I got to sing one of his songs at the Uptown Bar show. I was up front at the stage and Pickett saw me singing the words to American Travel Lust and he thrust a mic into my face and I got to sing the last two verses! One of my rock highlights for sure. He released an album on Twin Tone to middling reviews. I moved to Washington D.C. and I lost track of him.

It always gnawed on me that I didn't have any digital versions of Pickett's songs, especially his cool e.p. Cowboy Junkie Au Go Go. Every so often I would google or check e-bay for anything Charlie Pickett related but to no avail. It seemed like he dropped off the musical map. He obviously wasn't making any music or releasing anything under the Charlie Pickett name.

Finally in early mid-June I was rummaging through the Bloodshot Records web site, clicked their artist line-up and saw Charlie Pickett! Apparently Bloodshot was able to get the rights to Pickett's music from the various labels he recorded from and put together a 19-song greatest hits package. It arrived a couple of days ago and boy the memories came flooding back.

Of course I latched on to the songs I knew from 25 years ago: Marlboro Country, But I Didn't, Overton, American Travel Lust. But there really isn't a bad song in bunch. As I said above, 1969-72 Rolling Stones was a huge influence and Pickett even sounds like Jagger in a couple of songs.

Reading the liner notes, it appears that Pickett stopped making music in the early 90's. Too much turmoil for too little payback. There was the sad lament, that if he had just held on a little longer, popular culture would have caught on to what Picket was trying to do. Certainly the Alt.Country movement of the 90's would have swept up Charlie Pickett and who knows maybe we'd be putting Charlie Pickett in the same category as the Drive By Truckers or the Old 97's. It doesn't really matter, I finally have my Charlie Pickett on my I-Pod and can sing along with American Travel Lust (a hey hey hey) anytime I want.

Monday Music Movie Review -- The Filth and the Fury

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When Julien Temple set out to make a documentary of the Sex Pistols, he unfortunately gave final artistic control to former Sex Pistol manager Malcolm McLuran who turned the film -- The Great Rock and Roll Swindle -- into a self-aggrandizing mess, putting himself into the center of the entire Sex Pistol story. Fortunately Temple rectified the situation by taking some of the same footage, including interviews of the band, taped new interviews, and created one of the best rock and roll documentaries ever made - The Filth and the Fury.

The movie is a pretty straight forward look at the Sex Pistols, their creation, and the immediate impact they had on English popular culture from 1976-78. It also includes great footage of their (un)forgettable U.S. tour which ended with the band breaking up in after a one song concert in San Francisco. Temple however, practically creates an art film as the concert and news footage and interviews are also inter-cut with scenes from typical British television of the day, footage of dotty old Brits, and Laurence Olivier playing Richard III on stage (signifying perhaps King Richard III's quick rise and fall from power to that of the Sex Pistols?)

You get the basics here, how the band was formed, life in mid-70's London, and lots of news footage of how outrageous the hype around the band was. We forget but it was the Sex Pistols that literally created the ripped-up, safety pin look that became known as "punk." It is interesting to see some early concert footage and most of the people at the show have long feathered hair, flannel or western shirts and clean jeans. The punk look came later as the crowd responded to what the Sex Pistols were creating. We also learn that Sid Vicious invited pogoing.

Johnny Rotton's love for Sid lives to this day and you really feel for Rotten as he couldn't do anything to save Sid Vicious after he (Vicious) started shooting heroin. Rotten says in the movie, I could take on all of England but I couldn't take on a heroin addict. Rotten was truly hurt by Sid's death because he had been a live long friend. "he was one of the Johns."

The U.S. tour was a disaster and by the time they got to San Francisco, the band was done. They went on stage and played a long, rambling version of the song No Fun. Temple plays the concert footage but then uses this song as the backing while Johnny Rotten and the rest of the band explain the last days and the death of Vicious. It's quite an effective device to drive home the point that the band had reached the end. After the one song Rotten yells out to the crowd "ah ha ha ha ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" And walks off the stage. One understands immediately that the remark is directed to both the crowd and to himself.

If you are at all interested in the Sex Pistols, you should check out this movie. It moves quickly and is an interesting take on an interesting band which resonates still today.

Friday Random Top 10

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So everyone agrees we hate the Yankees right? Man the Twins have a long way to go before they are going to be able to compete with a team like that. Let's have a random top 10:

1. French Film Blurred -- Wire
2. Wild Flower -- The Cult
3. Big Star -- The Jayhawks
4. Vengeance -- Germana
5. Sun Burn Brighter -- Hank and Ruth
6. My Little Red Book -- Love
7. Little Boxes -- Malvina Reynolds
8. King of the World -- Old 97's
9. Cedar Time -- Indigo Girls
10. Air Near My Fingers -- White Stripes

Bonus: Spinnin' -- Soul Asylum

A little obscure this week but a couple of keepers. What's your top10?

Sarah Palin in 2012?

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Recent events surrounding (former) Governor Sarah Palin reminded me of this old Far Side Cartoon.

The Dog is the Democrats
The Cat is the Republicans
Cat Fud is Sarah Palin for President in 2012 (or 2016, 2020...)

Mr. Franken Goes to Washington

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It's official. Al Franken is your junior Senator from Minnesota. Worried about what kind of Senator Franken will be? Here's a nice article.

Wilco Loves You (baby)

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Are you under the impression,
This isn't your life,
Do you dabble in depression,
Is someone twisting a knife in your back,
Are you being attacked,
Oh, this is a fact,
That you need to know,
Oh, oh, oh, oh Wilco, Wilco, Wilco will love you Baby

Ever since Summerteeth was released in 1999 and through 2006's Sky Blue Sky, I think Wilco has consistently been one of the most musically ambitious acts out there and actually rival the Beatles in their Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Preston's, White Album, Abbey Road hey day (musically, not culturally of course). For me, Sky Blue Sky was particularly stellar and grows on me to this day with it's jazzy mellow vibe and Nels Cline's amazing guitar work. Aside: If you want to see Nels really take on the songs of Sky Blue Sky, check out American Ashes, the DVD Wilco released this past Spring.

After a couple of years of touring in support of Sky Blue Sky, Wilco's reputation really grew as they put on concerts that were flat out wonderful. So it was with great anticipation when it became known that Wilco was coming out with a new album. As has been the case with the last few Wilco albums, the band streamed the album on their web site months before it was available commercially and reviews were mixed. It was mellower than previous albums and didn't hang together coherently like a typically Wilco album does.

After listening to the album a bunch of times over the past week I am not going to disagree with the initial buzz. Wilco (the album) is mellower. Sky Blue Sky was essentially a showcase for Nels Cline guitar freak outs and the new album lacks that (although if you want to get your Nels Cline on, don't skip over Bull Black Nova, which at times feels like an outtake from A Ghost is Born). But to say that this is meddling Wilco album means that it is still better than 80 percent of what is out there musically today.

Wilco (the song) is a nice kick off with it's Velvet Undeground-tinged guitars and soothing lyrics (see above). We may live in scary times but don't worry, Wilco loves us. I could see President Obama incorporating this song into campaign stops, substituting his name with Wilco's. Deeper Down is probably a song that is mentioned when critics claim this album is mellower and not so strong. As I mentioned above, Bull Black Nova is a hard rocker with some wicked Cline guitar work

You Never Know
, the first single and album highlight is a classic Wilco song and is related to the first song on the album in that Jeff Tweedy is basically telling us don't worry about the bad times, we've always had bad times. This may be the end -- we don't know, but you don't need to care. Also there is a nice homage to George Harrison's My Sweet Lord toward the end of the song.

While none of the songs in the later half of the album reach the heights of You Never Know, Wilco is still there by our sides as we navigate these troubled times. In I'll Fight, they assure us that not only do they love us (baby), they will fight and even kill for us. Can you name another band that will do that for it's fans?

Finally in Everlasting Love, Wilco assures us once again. "Everything alive must die, every building built to the sky will fall" but don't try to tell them that Everlasting Love is a lie. So not only does Wilco love us (baby) it's everlasting and that's no lie. The song and album fades out with a classic Nels Cline guitar work.

So maybe not as satisfying as the last few Wilco albums but a nice album nonetheless. Maybe the first post-economic meltdown, post-Obama election album, assuring us that the world isn't coming to an end. Sure we have problems, but with love we'll get through it and heck, if we don't, at least we have Wilco to bring provide us with music at the end.

Friday Random Top 10

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I'm off on a 72 mile bike trip on this glorious sunny day. I am training for a two-day 160 mile trip later this month and a one day 110 mile trip in August. Here's a Top 10 to get me going.

1. So High -- Elvis Presley
2. Video Killed the Radio Star -- Presidents of the Uniteds States of America
3. Jamaica Sky -- The Specials
4. Down by the Highway -- Bob Dylan
5. John Henry -- Bruce Springsteen
6. Cheap Reward -- Elvis Costello
7. The Imposter (live) -- Elvis Costello
8. Sin City -- Uncle Tupelo
9. Hero -- Ministry
10. Heartbeat -- Wire

Bonus: One Tree Hill -- U2

You don't see Elvis singing gospel and Ministry on the same list very often. What's your top 10?

June 2009 Recap

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Photo via of MN Daily

For some reason June just blows by. It seems like the month just starts and boom, its gone and we are making plans for the 4th. This year was a particularly memorable June, here are the highlights:

Mr. Franken goes to Washington. It took over eight months but we finally have our Senator. The writing's been on the wall with this one for a couple of months now but the slow as molasses pace and then all of a sudden it's over was breathtaking. Sure Franken is a goof but he is taking the job seriously and has some bona fide political chops. I think Republicans will be sorely mistaken if they underestimate Franken's ability to do a credible job and connect with ordinary Minnesotans.

Michael Jackson dead (and Farrah, and Ed, and Karl Malden, and Billy May, and Jay Bennett...) Wow bad month for celebrities. I can appreciate Michael's obvious musical talent with the Jackson 5 and his early solo stuff but the guy was a confirmed child molester. The crushing weight of celebrity and his own demons turned him into a freak at the end so he gained some sympathy there but don't forget: the man slept with little boys.

Timberwolves and Wild changing gears. Man I wanted Ricky Rubio and Stephen Curry together in the backcourt and was that >< close to seeing it happen. I am not sure if Rubio will play for the Wolves this year, but I think he will play eventually. This team still has a lot of holes but the excitement over Rubio should demonstrate to the Wolves "braintrust" that this is a real NBA market. Give us a team that is exciting, shows us some promise for the future, and we will come out and be there with you. Wild lose Gaborik which is no surprise. Now lets rebuild this team and get a goal scorer or two.

Twins. Aaron Gleeman has a good article describing the Twins first half of the season. Essentially Young, Tolbert, Punter, Buscher, and Gomez are a negative balance to the nice seasons Mauer, Morneau, Kubel, and Cuddyer are having. The starting pitching are slightly coming around as are the relievers. A nice right handed reliever is still needed but the Twins are blessed by playing in a flawed division. However can they compete in the playoffs?

New Wilco album. I really wanted to have a review ready today but just haven't been able to give Wilco (the album) a good listen or two. Reviews are mixed and the first couple of songs haven't exactly grabbed me. I love however the first single, You Never Know. If the whole album is like that, I will be raving. Look for a review next week.

No Beer at TCF Bank Stadium. The state legislature says everyone gets to buy booze or no one does. The Regents decided no one. I don't have a problem with this as virtually no college football stadium sells alcohol to the general population. Legislators get on their high horse and say they are looking out for the "common folks" who can't afford a fancy stadium suite. Too bad they don't worry about the common folks when they pass legislation that favors corporate interests over working families so spare me your faux populism.

So 2009 is halfway in the books what else happened in June that I missed?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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