Odds that an airport "book"-shop will contain actual reading matter that WON'T dissolve brain-cells? < 0
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
NB: the financial elites don't want to "cut" Social Security: they want to *privatize* it--just like Iraq reconstruction, US army, etc.
Posted by CJS at 11:42 AM
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Was recently reminded of this one, which I hadn't thought of in years. Used to play this tune, transcribed from this performance by the Night Music band, Bootsy Collins, composer/pianist Carla Bley, and the great bassist Steve Swallow.
Y'all hip to Healing Power, baby?
Posted by CJS at 4:02 PM
Greatest song that Curtis Mayfield ever wrote and, with Dan Penn's Dark End of the Street and Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come, a song that helped end segregation in this country.
And, this is the only band situation which Rod Stewart never postured: the mighty Jeff Beck, a true survivor.
And I keeps one in the chamber in case you pondering.
Posted by CJS at 3:13 PM
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
We believe it is time to shine light on the hypocrisy of politicians and pundits who expound on the freedom of religion for their chosen sects while seeking to tell our Muslim brothers and sisters where they can and cannot worship. Using a political podium to bully a religious community threatens one of our most fundamental freedoms.Not hatred.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
And the little girls in the Paris Hilton-wannabee sunglasses absorbedly texting while their parents carry their stuff into the dorms.
Posted by CJS at 12:21 PM
Watching fraternity pods in the grocery-store is funny, but it's also pitifully obvious that they're incapable of feeding themselves. Mom?!?
Posted by CJS at 12:14 PM
This is very possibly the greatest bass line in the history of popular music. In my "Jif & the Choosy Mothers" (horn band) days, I transcribed an entire set's worth of Motown horn parts and bass lines. It was a stone education.
Ladies & gentlemen, I give you the great, great Wilton Felder:
Selah (and a h/t to my great teacher, Larry "Guitar" Baeder).
Summer must be over: the parents have arrived: overdressed, overcoiffed, driving oversized gas-guzzling cars with out-of-zip-code plates the wrong way on campus roads, buying cheap university-brand knockoff hoodies and ball-caps for their offspring, who are hidden behind Paris Hilton sunglasses and tremulous posturing bravado. The parents look simultaneously possessive and petulant, simultaneously irked that they're not in control of their offspring's situation anymore and scared that they've done an inadequate job of preparing those offspring to take over their own lives.
In Texas, where privilege runs high and a sense of consequences is nil, the quicker the parents leave the better: because it means we can start doing the job of maturing their children which they themselves omitted to complete. Sheesh!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Bill Millin, who piped them ashore at Swords Beach, has died.
He went in with the Special Service Brigade near Caen on D-Day., and in the nightmare of that horrific kill-zone, Lord Lovat, the hereditary chieftain of the Frasers asked him to play. Millin was willing, but cited War Office regulations, which forbade thus exposing pipers as targets. The Fraser replied "Ah, but that’s the English War Office. You and I are both Scottish, and that doesn’t apply.”
He played "Highland Laddie," up and down the beach that day. Later, German gunners who had him their sights said they didn't shoot “because they thought I was crazy.”
No. He wasn't crazy. That's not what they call it, back where I--and the MacGregors and Orrs, the Roundheads and Tories, before me--come from.
I often wonder if the rich men in quiet offices, the demagogues screeching over loudspeakers or Twitter accounts, hundreds or thousands of miles from the firing line, ever consider how little they deserve the courage of the men and women who go into battle.
Aw haw hey, Private. Go well.
Of the seven Silver Star recipients in Afghanistan, four are Hispanic. Hope none of them want to walk down the street in Arizona!
Posted by CJS at 5:00 PM
Wheel of karma: turning in key of first office here, after 10 years' occupancy.
Posted by CJS at 10:53 AM
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Semester looms: newbies on campus driving as if whacked-out on Quaaludes.
Posted by CJS at 1:44 PM
From a post about exploiting social networking, the following a jackpot:
- Do good work. Create a good product, have great customer service, etc.
- Listen. What is being said about you is as important, if not more than, what you are saying about you.
- Care. In social media channels where conversations are more intimate, people can really tell if you are paying lip service or paying attention.
- Add value. What you bring to the conversations and communities better be relevant, thoughtful, and of real use to the community members (friends, fans, followers).
- Be real. Authentic, transparent, honest — you know the drill, but are you doing it?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Hate to do it, but when a 16-year-old writes and says "all I really want to do in my life is compose and record music--what are my career options", if you're a responsible respondent, there ain't but about one kind of answer [lightly redacted]:
Sure, I remember you.Reading back, it's a big bummer, though not intended to be such. Just cain't lie to the young'uns about possible/impossible it might be.
The fact of the matter is that there are very, very few full-time jobs to be had playing and composing music for a living. This is why most people who DO make a living in music have one or more parallel streams: arranging, teaching, etc--and many others have full-time non-music jobs.
To be a full-time musician, you have to have (a) absolutely top-notch chops; (b) a good support network (to tide you over between jobs, or in the event of unforeseen problems--medical, financial, etc; (c) a relentless work ethic--12-14 hours per day; (d) a great deal of patience and fortitude, being prepared to put up with the possibility of years of poverty and/or frustration; and (e) a lot of luck. (a) through (d) are do-able--because they are (mostly) under your own control. (e) is a killer, because it is not. I've been a professor for 10 years. Before that I was in graduate school (Master's and a Doctorate) 12 years. Before that I lived on less than $20,000/year for about 6 years. All through those years I had straight jobs to help pay the rent.
I would encourage you by all means to keep writing, keep recording, keep working on your chops. But unless you are prepared to either be a music teacher, and get the necessary formal schooling that certifies you for that, or else to accept a great deal of uncertainty, unpredictability, and (probably) poverty), I would not advise that you try to make a full-time career in music.
Be advised that there are LOTS of very talented musicians who don't work full-time or exclusively in music: I know psychiatrists, doctors, lawyers, carpenters, auto mechanics, etc who are every bit as talented and make music every bit as good as that created by "full-time musicians." You can do the same.
Probably the most valuable things you can do right now are to (a) keep working on your chops; (b) diversify your skills: learn about marketing, computers, graphic design, contract law, copyright law, etc; (c) work with a lot of different collaborating musicians--expand your horizons and your network of contacts; (d) get out there and gig, in as many different types of circumstances as possible. My wife's nephew has had songs he's written pitched to Avril Lavigne--but he's not counting on that to make his fortune. He's also going to college for music education; also plays drums, guitar, and trumpet; also sight-reads like a whip and sings bass; is also an excellent beat-boxer. The competition is fierce and there are thousands upon thousands of excellent musicians out there.
Updated to add: he wrote back:
Thank you for some practical advice, instead of the "don't do it" I'm getting from everyone else. I will look into some other options, as I really don't want to be poor.Guess it was the right medicine. One doesn't always know.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Ground Zero, where the Towers fell on 9/11, is--ought to be treated as--as sacred site: a place where we are all to be reminded of the pointless loss and human suffering that hatred and political opportunism can create. It was thus particularly contemptible when Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, and a raft of hateful right-wing nutjob political and media hacks, campaigned against the building of a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero: as if no Muslim suffered and died in the Towers that day! What arrogance!
So I was really, really happy to get this note from the J Street folks who are working to create more effective interfaith dialogue [redacted].
The best part?
Dr Coyote --
Yesterday, J Street New York City supporters and I delivered over 10,000 of your signatures in support of the Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan to a critical hearing of New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The response by our community to our call to action on this issue was overwhelming and demonstrated that J Street supporters clearly understand that tolerance and religious freedom are not only essential values, but that sacrificing them weakens us in the fight against extremism.
And I've got great news -- despite the outcry against the project, the Commission voted 9-0 to allow it to proceed.
Yesterday, after the vote, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a stirring defense of the project and religious freedom on Governor's Island with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
Mayor Bloomberg was joined by a group of interfaith leaders as he gave his remarks in front of the Statue of Liberty:
Every local official I spoke with at the hearing truly appreciated our support for the project.
I also had an emotional moment with the Community Center's lead developer -- Sharif El-Gamal -- who couldn't help but give me a hug, even though we'd never met before!
For those of you that stood with us, thank you so much. Our voices are so needed in the national political debate and within the American Jewish community.
If you would like to support J Street financially, allowing us to keep standing up for our values, click here to make a gift.
Until next time,
V.P., Communications and New Media
August 4, 2010
Monday, August 02, 2010
A damned shame. Beryl Marriott was one of the greatest English-style ceilidh-band pianists. She gave Dave Swarbrick his first fiddle gigs, and she ruled on his great solo discs Swarbrick and Smiddyburn.
We owe her a lot.