Saturday, January 21, 2017

Playlist for 1/21

History of Chicago (Band)  (Documentary)
Miles Ahead  (2016 Biopic)
Cody Jinks - I'm Not The Devil
Big Star - Complete Third
Nils Cline - Lovers
David Bromberg - Blues, Whole Blues
Dues Paid: Blues Time Story - Various
Buddy Greco - Modern Sounds of Hank Williams

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Barack Obama

No, the GOP didn't achieve their first goal:  make Barack Obama a one-term candidate.  But they made his life miserable.  And in a way, especially in his first term, so did Blue Dog Democrats, who by the 2010 mid-terms wanted nothing to do with him.   Obama is leaving with an approval rating above 55%.  But there was a time when members of his own party ran when he came to visit.  This is how politics work.  Ask Bill Clinton who was equally unpopular mid-way through his first term.  By 2001 he too had a 50+% approval.

I voted for Obama in the 2008 Primaries and in both elections.  In 2008, I remember telling people that Obama would be better for the Country as an Inspirational President, but Hillary Clinton would be able to get more policy passed with GOP support.  It turns out that most of what I was trying to get across was true.

Obama's biggest Presidential mistake was not believing that his 2008 landslide, and the last time the Democrats controlled all branches, would let his policies sail through Congress.  No, his biggest mistake was believing the GOP would work with him, all the while extending his hand across the aisle.  A fan of Team of Rivals, he envisioned a scenario where appointing GOP names to his cabinet (which he did), and scaling back his ambitions would result in an across-the-board victory.  None of it happened.  And, as I've said before, Blue Dog Democrats worried about their election chances in 2010, didn't help by not backing his bills.  The GOP Tea Party that rose in his victory had little to do with Liberal/Progressive policy and a lot to do with the color of his skin.  There's no denying that racism played a part in many Republican pols and voters in their opposition to Obama.

I can't say enough about Michelle Obama.  Who was as real and inspiring as any First Lady you can think of (Eleanor Roosevelt).   Like Barack, what she does post-Presidency will be a fascinating watch.

But now it's 2017 and Obama's policies and legacy are at risk.  Maybe.  I say this because it often takes years before we can assess a President.  I believe Barack Obama will be remembered as a very good President who managed to govern even when up against a hostile opposition.  That he was able to steer an economic recovery, drop unemployment below 5%, pass a popular, if flawed Health Care law,  hunted down Bin Laden,  saved the U.S. auto industry.  Then there was environmental victories on clean energy and land protection.  And no scandals in 8 years.

My initial reaction during the primary season of 2008 was somewhat astute.  Barack Obama was an inspirational figure.  It may be years before we see someone like him in the White House again.  Character.  That may be Obama's greatest achievement.  Staring down racists and obstructionists he never wavered or showed outward disgust.  Obama exuded dignity even while his most ardent opponents reveled in bigotry.  He's a young man (55) leaving office, which means I can't wait to see what his post-Presidency will be like.  Let's be lucky we had him as our President for the last 8 years.

Monday, January 16, 2017

ICYMI: 9 Genres & The Rock Hall

Below are 9 links to posts I wrote about what R&B, Blues, Country, Non-Performers, Hip Hop, New Wave, Indie, Alternative, Women, Music critics and other genres could be inductees of the Rock Hall.

All have been updated for the 2017 induction.

2018 prediction season may be a few months away, but Hall watchers never stop speculating on future inductees.  There's bound to be a name or two on these lists that might pique your interest.

I'm open to any suggestions of names that I might have missed.

Various Rock Genres & The Rock Hall

R&B Artists and the Rock Hall

Blues Artists and the Rock Hall

Country Artists and the Rock Hall

Non-Performers & The Rock Hall

Music Critics and the Rock Hall

Hip Hop and the Rock Hall

Women and the Rock Hall

New Wave/Alternative/Indie and the Rock Hall

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Playlist for 1/15

Levon Helm & Rick Danko - Starry Night: January 28, 1983  (YouTube Only)
Bob Dylan - Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert
George Michael - Songs From The Last Century
Isley, Jasper, Isley - Caravan Of Love
Janiva Magness - Love Wins Again
Catherine Russell - Harlem On My Mind
Courtney Marie Andrews - Honest Life

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rock Hall Wish List . (Updated 2017 Inductees Announcement)

For those of you on Spotify, here's a link  Rock Hall Wishlist
to my Rock Hall Playlist, which has a song or two by every act listed below.

Listed in alphabetical order:

Afrika Bambaataa
Ashford & Simpson
Bad Company/Free
Barry White
Ben E. King
Big Star
Billy Preston
Billy Ward & The Dominoes
Bon Jovi
Brook Benton
Captain Beefheart
Carly Simon
Chaka Khan
Charley Patton
Chubby Checker
Chuck Willis
Conway Twitty
Cyndi Lauper
De La Soul
Def Leppard
Depeche Mode
Dionne Warwick
Dire Straits
Doobie Brothers
Doug Sahm/Sir Douglas Quintet
Duran Duran
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emmylou Harris
Eric B. & Rakim
Gap Band
Gary "U.S." Bonds
George Michael
Gil Scott-Heron
Glen Campbell
Gram Parsons/Flying Burrito Brothers
Harry Nillson
J. Geils Band
J.J. Cale
Janet Jackson
Jerry Butler
Jim Croce
Jimmy Buffett
Joe Cocker
Joe Tex
Johnny Burnette & The Rock & Roll Trio
Johnny Winter
Judas Priest
Junior Wells
Kate Bush
Kool & The Gang
Kris Kristofferson
LL Cool J
Link Wray
Little Feat
Los Lobos
Lou Rawls
Luther Vandross
Mary Wells
Mitch Ryder
Moody Blues
Mott The Hoople
Neil Sedaka
Neville Brothers/Meters
New Order/Joy Division
New York Dolls
Ohio Players
Pat Benatar
Patsy Cline
Patti LaBelle
Paul Revere & The Raiders
Pet Shop Boys
Peter Frampton
Peter Tosh
PJ Harvey
Procol Harum
Richard Thompson/Fairport Convention
Rick James
Roxy Music
Sinead O'Connor
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Sonic Youth
Sonny & Cher
Sonny Boy Williamson II
Steve Earle
Teddy Pendergrass/Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
Thin Lizzy
Three Dog Night
Todd Rundgren
Tommy James & The Shondells
Toots & The Maytals
Tribe Called Quest
Warren Zevon
Whitney Houston
Willie Nelson
Wynonie Harris

Monday, January 09, 2017

Playlist for 1/9

Margaret Glaspy - Emotions and Math
Jesse Dayton - Revealer
Paul Burch - Meridian Rising
Clint Morgan - Scofflaw
Roy Harper - Stormcock
Mary Halvorson Octet - Away With You
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes - s/t

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Elvis Presley Eras Ranked

Born on this day 82 years ago.
For my annual Elvis birthday post, I've decided to rank the Elvis eras.  This was actually a friend's Twitter post last August.

1.  Pre-Army RCA Years   (That sweet spot after Sun and before he entered the Army.  The defining era that made him King).

2.  Sun Records   (He wasn't there long but what he, Scotty Moore, Bill Black  and Sam Phillips came up with was a thrilling mix of Rockabilly, Country and that new thing called Rock and Roll.)

3.  Late 60's Comeback  (Thanks to Chips Moman, Elvis' 1969 recordings show him more committed to his music since his post-Army years.  All started with the '68 Comeback special).

4.  70's  -  The most underrated era.  Elvis' critics look at the jump-suit years as the ones where Elvis was just going though the motions.  True, some of the material wasn't up to par, but there is some great stuff throughout the 70-76 years in which Elvis laid down a ton of tracks).

5.  RCA Post Army -  Right after he got out of the Army, Elvis' very early RCA sides show him out to prove he still had it.  And early on he did.  Then the movies took over.

6.  60's Movies -  Look, Elvis wasn't trying to win any awards for those movies.  And taken as light entertainment, some hold up pretty good.  Scattered throughout those 60's soundtracks are good songs.  Tough to find, though.
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