Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mosaic Records

Mosaic Records, purveyor of fantastic CD box sets and collector vinyl, has a YouTube channel, loaded with interviews and clips for ever-obsessed music geeks. Great stuff!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Saxxy Stuff With Ben Webster

Ben digs into the ballad Old Folks, with the impeccable Teddy Wilson on piano, in a 1970 Copenhagen performance that took place the day after the passing of the incredible Ellington orchestra saxophonist Johnny Hodges. It was no doubt an emotional and sad time for all involved, yet they transformed sadness into music that is moving, heartfelt and beautiful.

Hey, if any jazz fans read this blog, tell me where I can buy a DVD of this!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Coleman Hawkins Swings

I've thinking a lot about jazz today. If I could find a clip of iconic saxophonist Coleman Hawkins playing with The Bud Powell Trio, that would be my pick for today. Alas, I can't find such a clip, so here's something almost as good: the bluesy and ever-innovative Hawk performing Ellington's Caravan with the Jo Jones Band. Jones demonstrates his amazing abilities as a percussionist yet again here: he exudes taste, flair, originality, creativity and panache - while clearly having fun with his work.

Since one Coleman Hawkins clip simply isn't enough, here's the swingin' saxophonist's rendition of a great ballad, Indian Summer.

And now I must find that recording with Hawkins, Coltrane and Thelonious Monk playing together. Otherwise known as healing music, baby.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Indecision '08 Drinking Games

In the countdown to the election, there needs to be a new drinking game among national TV media. It would be a variant on 'Hi Bob', the game where you down a belt every time that phrase is spoken in the first Bob Newhart sitcom. Any moderator or on-air talking head who utters the words 'Bill Ayers' or 'Rev. Jeremiah Wright' must immediately down a shot. Charlie Keating? Not as high a score, but definitely worth a beer, chugged. If a pundit mentions any of these words again, then it's two shots. Any mention of ACORN not accompanied by a reference to purges of voters from Colorado and other swing states merits a boilermaker, with three shots going down fast.

If a TV pundit says, as David Wright of ABC-Nightline did, "but the real question now is what white voters think", make 'em guzzle a whole goddamn pint of the 100 proof stuff, right then and there!

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Marty Feldman Covers Of Tom Lehrer Tunes

Marty and Derek Griffiths perform Tom Lehrer's hilarious National Brotherhood Week on the 1974 BBC series Marty Back Together Again. While the quality of this clip isn't great (appears to have been mastered from a VHS tape that's going-going-going and soon to be gone), I can't complain, having never seen any excerpts from this series before a few days ago.

flashbackcaruso, for posting this on YouTube!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Poisoning Pigeons In The Park

From "An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer", taped in 1967.

And click here for more Tom Lehrer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Marty Feldman Covers Tom Lehrer

Marty covers "The Vatican Rag" as a high-stepping production number and sings "Pollution" with guitarist Derek Griffiths.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Palin For President - Michael, That Is

This Palin is all right by me: has been for a long time.

The other Palin? The recent incident involving
bigots in the Alaska governor's rally audiences yelling "TERRORIST!", "OFF WITH HIS HEAD" and "KILL HIM!" about Senator Obama was an ugly and appalling blast from the past, a most unwelcome throwback to the bad old days of 1965 George Wallace and 1948 Strom Thurmond.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Moron Indecision '08

Must make a concerted effort to avoid clips from the presidential campaign trail from here on. The latest drivel infuriated me; wrote a blog entry so scathing that I subsequently yanked it. I am no less pissed-off today, but more venom isn't going to help matters. There's plenty of venom, as well as negligible substance, in the stump speeches.

I don't care if this kind of campaign works. It's a fetid, putrid and disgusting stench, as well as an insult to every American.

Here's hoping that what I wrote yesterday, "news flash: the presidential campaign has gotten so negative that sleaze, slime, pond scum, douchebags, fecal matter, miscellaneous rot and the stinking corpse of Lee Atwater are loudly demanding official apologies" will not characterize the next four weeks. I'm not holding my breath, but I'll probably end up holding my nose.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Your Best Investment For 2007-2008

Jonathan Clemens of Hawaii provided this great informative tidbit for today's "we can't stuff money under the mattress - we sold the mattress" times:

  • If you had purchased $1,000 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago you would have $49 left.

  • With Fannie Mae, you would have $2.50 left of the original $1,000.

  • With AIG, you would have less than $15 left.

  • If you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, guzzled all of the suds, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214 cash!

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle. Forget those 401-Ks, my friends, and go for the 401-KEG!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Who Let Banks Incur Mountains Of New Debt? The Freakin' S.E.C.

"If anything goes wrong it's gonna be an awfully big mess." Harvey J. Goldschmid, Securities And Exchange Commission, April 28, 2004

"Beware of geeks bearing formulas", Warren Buffett, October 1, 2008

In the reams of copy written about the financial crisis of 2008, one piece that stands out is Stephen Labaton's
article from the New York Times business section about a major change in economic policy, instituted at an SEC meeting on
April 28, 2004, that eliminated The Net Capital Rule, thus enabling banks to assume much more debt than they could previously.

Silly me, I had no idea that the Securities And Exchange Commission actually had the power to institute such major de-regulations of investment banks. Well, they did - and how!

Secretary Paulson was then head of Goldman Sachs, one of the investment banks that pushed hard for the change in policy, so many of us would be very interested to hear his comments regarding the events of April 28, 2004.

While hindsight is invariably 20/20, the
Securities And Exchange Commission's decision to remove the Net Capital Rule, giving banks the green light to delve farther into highly leveraged investments, ranks among the top 20 "smoking guns" in the panic of '08.