15 May, 2011

I am a genius, while you could hardly pass the entrance examination to kindergarten.

Time has been slipping by. I'm still going to work, still doing what I do. This week I jumped out of a plane.

The War Powers Act is ready to kick in with regards to our "days, not weeks" adventure in Libya, now that weeks have become months. The administration is pretty clear that they're going to ignore it, or else they've already complied with it so Congress can shut its big yap. Is anybody surprised by this?

There's a huge war brewing against Israel. Its very existence is so offensive to the world that they're uniting to change that fact. This is going to get worse before it gets better. Egyptians mobs torched Israeli flags recently. I guess the assault of Lara Logan is forgotten, hmmmm?

Democrats and the administration still don't seem to be all that interested in producing a budget for the government. They're all about raising the debt ceiling or else catastrophe will strike, but choose to ignore any catastrophe that could strike if the US so blithely keeps spending money it doesn't have.

Besides inflation and the risk to the food supply - what I call Cows, Crops and Orchards, as in 'if you don't have all three of these in your backyard, you're going to get very hungry very fast once the supply chain falls apart' - it's finally sinking in how unneccesary most of society's jobs really are. They can only exist because so many others have the leisure time and money to pay for frivolities. Businesses aren't hiring and, domestically as well as internationally, it's going to get worse.

Here's an excerpt from a WSJ editorial explaining if supermarkets were run like public schools.

Here's Sammy Hagar and Journey guitarist Neal Schon in their mid-80's supergroup HSAS. They only did a few concerts, but recorded those for their one and only album. This is the cover of "Whiter Shade of Pale". I don't think this is the one used on the album, but whatever they used was treated in the studio - removing crowd noise, etc - so it may have been. Love the fan who ran on the stage and was grabbed by security at 2:50.

And here's a more recent concert performance, of his acoustic reworking of "Dreams", the early hit he had with Van Halen. I like the way he dropped the vocal register and turned it in into a jaunty singalong.

For another cover, here is Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and their version of "Uptown Girl". Notice the guitar stays virtually the same all the way through, but they put a lot of work into the vocals. Further covers by this band include "I'll Be There", "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and more.

I seem to be in a mood for cover songs, so here's Big Daddy, a cover band, doing their version of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds". Mostly Big Daddy remade (then) current songs in the style of earlier songs or eras. "Ice Ice Baby" sounded like a Chuck Berry song right down to the bassline, "Money For Nothing" sounded like "Sixteen Tons" (both similar laments of the working man), "The Living Years" sounded like "Leader of the Pack" (both about people who died in a motorcycle crash). But for their final album (I think) they remade Sgt Pepper, track for track. The best song was "A Day in the Life" as if it were done by Buddy Holly ("I read the news today uh-oh boy!" but this Jerry Lee Lewis pastiche is great too.

This is "Smoke on the Water", covered by Rock Aids Armenia. From Youtube: In 1989, artists from Pink Floyd, Queen, Rush, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Yes, Iron Maiden and others joined forces to raise funds for people affected by the Armenian earthquake. Kerrang called it "the greatest array of hard rock talent ever assembled". That's David "Pink Floyd" Gilmour walking into the building at the beginning, followed by Roger "Queen" Taylor as the drummer. The guitarist with long curly black hair and the mustache is Tony "Black Sabbath" Iommi, and the guitarist with long curly black and no mustache is Brian "Queen" May.

"Smoke On The Water", by the way, was written about a fire that broke out in a building in Montreaux, Switzerland, during a performance by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. You see, all these bands knew each other anyway. Everything's connected.

I guess this qualifies as a cover, here's Bugs and Elmer singing Wagner. It just occured to me that the cartoon's opening possibly inspired the opening of "Rocky and Bullwinkle" segments of their own show, with the dramatic music, heavy use of black and stilted separation of clouds.

I just keep linking, don't I? Here's "Duck Amok", a classic cartoon. I don't think it's all that ha-ha funny - although not having seen it in years, I got more than a couple giggles out of it - but what makes it so strong is the consistency of Daffy's character, and how well he reacts (all things considered) to every whim of his unseen maker. He's able to fill whatever role he's placed in, from musketeer to ski picture, while every aspect of his existance is shaped at random, from the background to the color and sound to the frame-by-frame movement, with "The End" even appearing earlier than it's supposed to.

I'll post this last one before I'm here all day. This is the Coyote/Roadrunner cartoon with the kids and the talking. You've seen it, we've all seen it. From the late WB era, this is probably the cartoonists giving their own interpretation of the cartoons, and the audience who has now graduated to watching them on television shows sponsored by ACME.

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