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Friday, December 30, 2005

music listening in 2005 & beyond...

I don't have 10 favorite albums released in 2005..i probably don't have any real stone cold classics i heard released this year...not more than a very few anyways..

but I doubt this is because there weren't any classics released this year!....

more than likely its that my listening tastes have evolved away from modern rock/alternative or what have you.... the arcade fire or bloc party releases are probably as great as pitchfork says they are (though i must submit i find their reviews and critical writing horribly annoying...its the tone/language they use to express themselves..that sarcastic holier than thou one) but i never heard them... the arcade fire may mean the same thing to today's young people as "sticky fingers" did to its generation and a few that came after it.... and while there are hundreds of rock and roll records i love and play once in a while (less frequently i admit) i look at modern rock as "kids music" lacking the complexities and intricacies of jazz...i just don't appreciate them in the same way....i can't appreciate the new franz ferdinand the same way as a record by art blakey...and when frank black or black francis or charles sumner sing or even bob dylan i can no longer deny it does not hit me in the same way as billie holiday twisting a phrase..

so in 2005 my tastes continued to drift towards jazz and away from rock/folk/country and pretty much anything else....the exception is international music... i've been getting more and more into the latin music and brazilian music and any other cool sounds from around the world...i think there is a lot of great international music to discover and get more into.... cuba's beny more.... or say nigeria's fela kuti...or that recent lp bamako dimanche i think its called which manu chao produced..

i thought seu jorge's "carolina" album from 2002 was one of the better things i heard and thats as brazilian as brazil... an argentine modern rock band, babasonicos, put out a record- "anoche"- which i heard a few weeks ago and i think is one of the few modern rock albums i actually enjoyed...

i've held for a long time that rock is de-evolving and has been turning on itself for a while now... the punk explosion of the late 1970s may go down as the last gasp of rock and roll....i still think the year 1994-1995 was a great one what with guided by voices, pavement, liz phair, jon spencer, and a million new acts breaking out with their best records...but the jury is still out on how great or lasting these records will prove to be... i was surprised recently on checking out the matador records bulletin board and seeing a post on how great the current crop of matador artists was compared to what had come before.. i had to laugh...but then upon thinking on it maybe i'm wrong.. maybe 1994 was a great year for a twenty something obsessed with his walkman who now prefers a bud powell record from 1954?

when the strokes "is this it?" was released to acclaim in 2001 i enjoyed it tremendously.. at the same time i emphasized its retrospect that may have been one of the last rock and roll records which i truly enjoyed, which i think holds up, and on which i and the rest of the society agreed...... if i really wanted to criticize modern rock i might point to the fact that its increasingly irrelevant to degrees never seen before...hip hop and overproduced kitsch pop dominate the airwaves and sales and even concert receipts with rock , save for a few stalwarts (the U2s or Rolling Stones), doomed to small clubs..

and this is not supposed to sound or read negative.. i'm excited about discovering artists like willie colon, barretto and the great fania records salsa roster from the 1970s... i'm looking forward to giving a listen to a bunch of new argentine rock releases... and i will continue to scour the earth and ebay for those elusive wunderjazz lps.....but i doubt i will stumble upon something new from rock that entrances me like say the pixies trompe le monde or belle and sebastian's "if you're feeling sinister".... and thats partly because i don't need it as much but also partly because i think its less likely to exist....

but if somehow..through miracle of christmas miracles a band like 1970s AC DC arose from the ashes i'm pretty sure i'd be loving it!...

Elvis Costello interview

ran across an interesting billy bragg interview of elvis costello (from 1995) here:

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

John Kerry calls it like it is..

Bush's defense of spying on americans is "lame" he sez...

check it here:

This Year's Model

set list for this year's holiday mix.. for next year i want a little more rock and roll.. and a little more channukah songs.. but i have to say this year's mix works quite well..

1. Mistletoe and Holly Frank Sinatra
2. That’s What I Want for Christmas Nancy Wilson
3. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Dean Martin
4. Soulful Christmas James Brown
5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus The Ronettes
6. Go Tell It On the Mountain Blind Boys of Alabama w/Tom Waits
7. Merry Christmas, I Love You James Brown
8. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town Ray Charles
9. Candy Cane Children the White Stripes
10. Santa Claus Blues Champion Jack Dupree
11. Feliz NaviDada El Vez
12. To Heck With Ole Santa Claus Loretta Lynn
13. Frosty the Snowman The Ronettes
14. Dig that Crazy Santa Claus Brian Setzer Orchestra
15. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm Billie Holiday
16. Christmas is Coming Vince Guaraldi Trio
17. Mele Kalikimaka Asylum Street Spankers
18. Gotta Be Good Chris Isaak
19. Here Comes Santa Claus Esquivel
20. Christmas Time is Here Vince Guaraldi Trio
21. What are you doing on New Year’s Eve? Brian Setzer Orchestra
22. Auld Lang Syne Chris Isaak

I think worth thinking about...(press release post)

Boxer Asks Presidential Scholars About Former White House Counsel's Statement that Bush Admitted to an 'Impeachable Offense'

December 19, 2005

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today asked four presidential scholars for their opinion on former White House Counsel John Dean's statement that President Bush admitted to an "impeachable offense" when he said he authorized the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without getting a warrant from a judge.
Boxer said, "I take very seriously Mr. Dean's comments, as I view him to be an expert on Presidential abuse of power. I am expecting a full airing of this matter by the Senate in the very near future."

Boxer's letter is as follows:
On December 16, along with the rest of America, I learned that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without getting a warrant from a judge. President Bush underscored his support for this action in his press conference today.
On Sunday, December 18, former White House Counsel John Dean and I participated in a public discussion that covered many issues, including this surveillance. Mr. Dean, who was President Nixon's counsel at the time of Watergate, said that President Bush is "the first President to admit to an impeachable offense." Today, Mr. Dean confirmed his statement.

This startling assertion by Mr. Dean is especially poignant because he experienced first hand the executive abuse of power and a presidential scandal arising from the surveillance of American citizens.

Given your constitutional expertise, particularly in the area of presidential impeachment, I am writing to ask for your comments and thoughts on Mr. Dean's statement.

Unchecked surveillance of American citizens is troubling to both me and many of my constituents. I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter as soon as possible.


Barbara Boxer United States Senator
# # #

Monday, December 19, 2005

My letter to DC Councilmember Jack Evans

I love baseball and had been hoping for years DC would obtain a major league franchise. I enjoyed the Nats this year and attended 8 games.

However, even a huge baseball fan such as myself is offended at Major League Baseball's approach. All they seem concerned about is obtaining the most money possible from the city of DC so as to sell the team for the largest possible amount and then divide up the "winnings" on their US$200 million investment (approximate amount they paid for Montreal Expos franchise).

I do not believe the council ought to approve any stadium deal and I urge you to keep a watch on the city's financial commitments with relation to the stadium.

I also would tell you that myself and everyone else I talk to believes that RFK is a fine stadium for baseball. I understand that MLB wants their new stadium and thats part of the agreement but the agreement cannot be a stadium at any cost. I urge you to cap the city's commitment. If MLB cannot accept a cap or if a cap prevents a stadium being built on waterfront (which I agree would be a pity as revitalizing that area is important) then I suggest baseball relocate the Nationals to some other city -I doubt they have that many other serious options- or accept a stadium at RFK site.

thanks for your work for the community,

Voila! this is the original Xavier Cugat "Ole!" LP cover (subsequent issues changed a bit getting rid of the Cugat cartoon and orange triangle and altering the color scheme)...this lp is from January 1955.... this is one of the more classic LP covers and of course features Cugat in the background looking like he is directing his orchestra while all eyes focus on his wife the magnificent Abbe Lane who sings on three of the albums' tracks..."Ole!" is distinguished from a lot of Cugat's LPs on Columbia in that it features material specifically recorded for the album instead of simply compiling material or reissuing songs from old 78s or 10 inch lps... Abbe once said "Jayne Mansfield may turn boys into men, but I take them from there." Yowza! She was born Abigail Francine Lassman on December 14, 1932 in Brooklyn and is currently living. Good for you Abbe! Ms. Lane recorded her own succesful albums including "Be Mine Tonight" with none other than Tito Puente... Abbe Lane is currently viewed by some as a woman who allowed herself to be exploited and used as a sex object while at the time many viewed her attire and attitude as tramplike.... I say its a great album cover!

the Columbia black label present on issues GL 500 to GL 525 was replaced by this maroon label with gold lettering.... it is still unclear until what issue this maroon label runs .. my thoughts were always until mid 650s but it appears that the early 700s or late 1955 when Columbia changed to its classic six eye label ... Billie Holiday's "Lady Day" (CL 637) came out on maroon label... this label corresponds to one of the more classic LP covers of all time..

Evo Morales. The 10,000 peso question: will he able to govern?

Bolivia's native indians have put one of their own in the Presidency. This is a pretty picture, no?

Evo Morales triumphs in Bolivia elections!

if the goal of US foreign policy (if there is a foreign policy) vis a vis Latin America is to encourage the ascension of leftist anti-american anti-globalization governments then by all accounts US foreign policy must be judged a sucess...

to Uruguay (moderate left), Brazil (moderate left), Argentina (left), Venezuela (strongly left), Chile (moderate left/centrist) we now must add Bolivia (strongly left)....

this represents a large shift that seems to be ongoing and upcoming elections in Mexico will be very important.. will former Mexico City leftist mayor unseat Presidente Fox's party? Will Lula retain control in Brazil?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

lawbreaker flaunts it!

George W. Bush:
"This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power, under our laws and Constitution, to protect them and their civil liberties and that is exactly what I will continue to do as long as I am president of the United States,"

Wait a minute! Are you saying the American people expect you to break the law and "authorize" illegal spying on them?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

2005? Good riddance!!!!!!!!

2005 was not a good year... both on a personal but more importantly on a global level it was just not that good... the point of this blog has never been to belabor the ups and downs of my own life... but rather to share some thoughts on things I enjoy or at the very least enjoy thinking about (i.e., i may not enjoy the bush presidency but i do enjoy thinking about politics)..

on a national political level i think 2005 was a very bad year.. the worse since 2001.... it had to be that way when bush got reelected towards the end of 2004.. a year that begins with bush's second inaguration- an event organized in such a manner to discourage the citizens of DC who i remind the president own this town from attending- and continues with an inability or cowardice by large segments of the american public with respect to accepting the reality that this group of idiots or worse thugs is systematically destroying the things that make america great (yes, even freedom mr. president.. you talk a big game but all the while you preach its virtues you do your best to restrict our freedoms)

and people kept dying in iraq.. for what has never been less clear than now and yes i realize they are holding elections and am glad but would they have been any less able to hold elections with a drawn down US presence and exit strategy? me thinks not..

even my other love, argentina, let me down by embarking once again on the same journey of awarding unfettered power to a president who will no doubt abuse his authority to perpetuate himself in power until he wreaks enough havoc on argentines' lives that they remove him from power and probably put him in jail...... the same vicious boom bust econo-political cycle has been going on down there since 1819 with few exceptions..

but the real tragedy of 2005 was mother nature good ole earth...... its impact far and away greater that of this nincompoop... wether the tsunami, the earthquake in pakistan, the hurricane in new orleans or what have you according to a UN study 350,000 people were killed by natural disasters... 200,000 millionUS$ in losses........ that the pathetic pitiful response to hurricane katrina did not arouse ire with more staying power leads me to conclude that the person of the year in 2005 was the american coward...sad but true.. a people unwilling, unable to grasp to even understand that its government has become its enemy.. an ineffectual paranoid power grubbing money lusting torturing privacy invading oil guzzling civil right denying jingoistic behemoth..

one can only hope 2006 will be better!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sometimes it is trying to be an American

The US Government will not allow Cuba to participate in the World Baseball Classic which for the first time would pit professional players from the various baseball loving countries in a competition. Just one more in a long line of mistakes by the US government vis a vis Cuba.. US foreign policy towards our island neighbor stopped making sense around 1961 and it just keeps getting worse.. now we won't even allow sporting events between our two nations...;_ylt=AjFoab4HzFBALLOTFlZWV2gRvLYF?slug=ap-classic-cubadenied&prov=ap&type=lgns

Boca Juniors are once again where they should be: Argentine soccer champions. By defeating Olimpo of Bahia Blanca -a city I have great affection for- 2-1 they sealed the "Apertura" (i.e., first half of the year) championship. Look at Battaglia holding the cup!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

and the band fritters on...

from Uk newspaper The Independent:

$204.4 billion: The cost to the U.S of the war so far.

2,339: Allied troops killed

15,955: US troops wounded in action

98: U.K troops killed

30,000 : Estimated Iraqi civilian deaths

0: Number of WMDs found

66: Journalists killed in Iraq.

63: Journalists killed during Vietnam war

8: per cent of Iraqi children suffering acute malnutrition

53,470: Iraqi insurgents killed

67: per cent Iraqis who feel less secure because of occupation

$343: Average monthly salary for an Iraqi soldier. Average monthly salary for an American
soldier in Iraq: $4,160.75

5: foreign civilians kidnapped per month

47: per cent Iraqis who never have enough electricity

20: casualties per month from unexploded mines

25-40: per cent Estimated unemployment rate, Nov 2005

251: Foreigners kidnapped

70: per cent of Iraqi's whose sewage system rarely works

183,000: British and American troops are still in action in Iraq.

13,000: from other nations

90: Daily attacks by insurgents in Nov '05. In Jun '03: 8

60-80: per cent Iraqis who are "strongly opposed" to presence of coalition troops

Monday, December 12, 2005

Miles Davis in Person Friday Night at the Blackhawk, San Francisco Vol. 1 CL 1669.... this is a great LP cover.. unfortunately Miles had enlisted Hank Mobley for his Quintet which was in transition at this time (1961 I believe).... Anyways Miles it is my belief just did not appreciate Hank or give him the opportunity to play his type of jazz.. instead he wanted Mobley to do his type of jazz. ..fair enough when you're Miles Davis but I don't think Hank excelled in this envinronment....From Miles autobiography its pretty clear Miles did not dig Mobley.. Mobley around this time recorded some of my favorite records including Soul Station which I think blows Miles' contemporanous output away: Take that Miles!

the original Columbia label precedes the maroon which precedes the six eye which precedes the 360.. you get the picture.. there are only 25 issues with the black label many of which are junk easy listening compilations... this album was subsequently reissued as a CL 817 or some such

This is an interesting lp to me because it is one of the first.. this is Columbia GL 520 .. the GL prefix was utilized on the first 25 Columbia LPs before switching to the CL prefix... This LP is from 1952 and includes the first Columbia record label which was black...Bunk Johnson was an old New Orleans jazzman who supposedly had played with Buddy Bolden (the first great jazz musician- never recorded- and for whom there is not much evidence).... this may be a myth....the liner notes are by George Avakian who of course went on to bring Miles Davis to Columbia only three years later...

this may be one of the best David Stone Martin LP covers. MG C 679 by the Art Tatum Roy Eldridge Alvin Stoller John Simmons Quartet...

David Stone Martin drew about 400 LP covers mainy in jazz.. not sure if this includes the numerous eps too....This is a classic drawing utilized for various Oscar Peterson "songbook" type LPs including this one Clef MG C 604...

Heidi Klum perhaps the highlight of the draw for Argentina!

excuse the poor picture quality but the point is made.. Pele is overjoyed to pull the holland ball sticking them in argentina's group. he admitted as much afterwards and even reportedly said "YES!" under his breath to the FIFA person behind him... later on he said something to the effect that if maradona had attended and drawn a ball everything could have been different.... pele once again not a friend of argentina's and honestly an attitude below his reputation... whoever thought this of pele? Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 09, 2005

Former Argentina coach Bilardo speaks:

"It's a tough group. It's the toughest," said Carlos Bilardo, who coached Argentina to the 1986 title. "The good thing is that it will be defined against the Netherlands, probably the team to beat."

Analysis of World Cup draw from Argentina's coaching staff

I have tranlated statements just made by Argentina's field assistant Hugo Tocalli (right hand man to Argentina head coach Jose Pekerman) who attended the world cup draw earlier today in Leipzig, Germany:

"Its a World Cup, its a draw and we have to win the games. No need to dramatize, just as we shold not celebrate if we had got weak rivals. Our World Cup is these three matches and then we will go little by little. "

"The matches have to be played with a positive mentality and thinking about our team. They (i.e., other teams in group) are now thinking they have to play Argentina."

Tocalli emphasized that the coaching staff "..has a lot of confidence in the group. Beckenbauer told me this is the toughest group. I would not say this is the group of 'death', but that it is difficult."

"We have to play with Holland that is in a generational change with young kids. Serbia and Montenegro for whom it is the first time they are in a World Cup and Ivory Coast that plays soccer well"

According to Tocalli "they are all tough teams but we are clear we are not below any of them."

The key according to Tocalli is "think first about ourselves and that all the boys arrive well. We have a team that plays well and players for eveyrone to have confidence in our chances."

Tocalli also referred to the team's place of concentration which Argentina will use during its stay in Germany, the site of the Adidas company in Nuremberg: "We are not going to change it even though we are in the Hamburg zone. We will move in charters and surely arrive at the hotels one day before each game."

Opponent#3- Holland

Opponent #1- Ivory Coast

Opponent #2 Serbia Montenegro

how did ivory coast , serbia and holland qualify?

it seems official now that we are in the toughest group... after all ivory coast is africa champion..

Holland: won its group undefeated (won 10 and had two draws with 27 goals in favor and only 3 against!) and picked up the most points in european qualifying (32)
Ivory Coast: won Africa's Group 2 with 7 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats.. 20 goals scored.. 7 goals against
Serbia Montenegro won 6 matches and tied four obtaining 22 points in winning its group (over Spain)

YIKES! this is worse than i thought...



was Serbia ranked 47 by FIFA if they only allowed 1 goal in 10 qualifying games??!?!?!

perhaps i underestimated them! the group all of a sudden seems tougher... a draw against serbia will not do for argentina

and its official: we are in the toughest group.. if the AP says it its got to be true (not!)

Argentina and Netherlands clash in toughest group
December 9, 2005
LEIPZIG, Germany (AFP) - Two-time champions Argentina and the Netherlands will clash in Group C at the World Cup with Cote d'Ivoire and the dangerous Serbia and Montenegro making the section one of the toughest.
Argentina, winners in 1978 and 1986, are second favourites behind Brazil but they won't thank the organisers for the draw made here on Friday.
The Argentines, coached by Jose Pekerman, have beaten the Dutch just once in five meetings but it was a satisfying result coming in the final of the 1978 tournament on home soil.
The Dutch, unseeded, were the team that everyone wanted to avoid but neutrals will look forward to the pair's June 21 clash in Frankfurt.
Coached by Marco van Basten, the Dutch have twice been runners-up in 1974 and 1978, and can call upon the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart.
Argentina too are blessed with talent throughout the squad, Hernan Crespo will be expected to supply the goals, Lionel Messi and Juan Roman Riquelme, the inspiration.
Cote D'Ivoire are first-time finalists and can boast Chelsea striker Didier Drogba while Serbia and Montenegro include star names Atletico Madrid's Mateja Kezman, Dejan Stankovic of Inter Milan, and experienced Osasuna forward Savo Milosevic.
But it's the defence which is hard to crack. Goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric and captain Mladen Krstajic allowed just one goal to pass them in their 10 qualifying matches.
World Cup records
- World Cup appearances: 13 (1930, 1934, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)
- World Cup winners: 2 (1978, 1986); Runners-up 2 (1930, 1990)
FIFA world ranking: 4
- World Cup appearances: 0
- African Nations Cup winners: 1 (1992)
FIFA world ranking: 41
- World Cup appearances: 7 (1930, 1950, 1958, 1962, 1974, 1990, 1998)
- World Cup best: Semi-finals (1930)
FIFA world ranking: 47
- World Cup appearances: 7 (1934, 1938, 1974, 1978, 1990, 1994, 1998)
- World Cup best: Runners-up (1974, 1978)
FIFA world ranking: 3

corrections galore!

the stupid diagram i printed from fifaworldcup site is messy:

i just realized: Argentina would have to play Brazil in semifinal if both do not win their groups...

ergo: all i wrote is correct up to the semifinal.. to get to semifinal argentina will have to fight it out with teams from group A B C and D.. once you hit the semis though you meet a team from groups E F G H

i think....

gosh this is a mess..

if argentina wins group c and germany wins group a: meet in quarterfinals
if argentina wins group c and germany is runner up in group a: meet in finals
if argentina finishes runner up in group c and germany wins group a: meet in final
if argentina finishes runner up in group c and germany is runner up in group a: meet in quarters

so i guess i was off .. oh well...

lets do some more:

if argentina wins group c and england wins group b: meet in finals
if argentina wins group c and england runner up in group b: potential meet in quarters
if argentina runner up in group c and england wins group b: potential meet in quarters
if argentian runner up in group c and england runner up in group b: meet in finals

if argentina wins group c and holland is runner up in group c: meet in finals for second game!
if argentina runner up in group c and holland is winner in group c: meet in finals for second time

argentina could face italy/france/brazil in semifinal

one more thing

it is important to emphasize that argentina got lucky in one respect: it will have to play holland last.. so if it wins its first two matches it should be through.... its hard to believe that argentina is not more than ivory coast or serbia... but things can happen and a draw in either of these games could prove fatal

one other thing: argentina national coach was the only coach from a world cup qualifier not to attend the draw.... argentina soccer federation chief grondona is incensed about the whole thing.... will pekerman be the argentina head coach at the world cup? all is apparently not peachy...

the argentine media reaction: "Argentina once again got the toughest group"... i think it may just be the toughest group but i see no reason to panic... holland is ranked number 3 in the lame-o FIFA rankings.. argentina is ranked number 4.. its tough to argue that getting holland in your group makes it a challenge...

World Cup Draw breakdown

What was I saying out loud over and over again as the third member of Group C , Argentina's Group, was to be selected? "Not Holland Not Holland!"

Holland it is!

First lets look at the bright side.... The Holland vs. Argentina match is the marquee match of the Group Phase this World Cup. It will be the final game for both teams which means it is highly likely the game will determine the Group outcome... Argentina must defeat both Ivory Coast and Serbia with a reasonably good goal differential and come into that match with 6 points.. anything less is suicide....

Is Group C the group of death again as it was in 2002 when it was made up Argentina, England, Sweden and Nigeria? I do not know enough about Ivory Coast or Serbia to really say but I will say that I did not want either team in my group! From Pot 2 I prefer Ivory Coast to Australia which I believe was the most difficult team but I would have wishes for anyone else (ghana, togo, angola or tunisia)... Why , because Ivory Coast has a phenomenal striker named Drogba who is keeping our main striker, Crespo, on the bench at Chelsea! I'm not too sure about the rest of the team.... As for Serbia I know they are ranked like 48 or something in the Fifa world rankings so I do not think it fair to fear them.... However, I would probably have prefered many of the teams from Pot 4 ....

Group B I think will be a tough one.... England will have to fight Sweden and Paraguay and if I'm not mistaken some of the players on Trinidad and Tobago play in the premier league so they might not be a walk in the park..

Germany in Group A: is it a coincidence they got one of the easiest groups... i doubt it... Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador?? Thats a gimme...

Group D: Mexico, Iran , Portugal and Angola....... I have to say this group is not too tough either...

(paragraph removed: for possibilities of argentina meeting brazil germany or holland see above)

and England... what to say about our other perennial pain in the you know what?! We avoided themin the group phase but once again they are on our side of the was the case in 1986, 1998 and 2002...If they finish second in the group they will almost surely have to play Germany in the round of 16! and then Argentina or Holland in the quarters

So Argentina is in the fun part of the draw... we have Argentina, Holland, England and hosts Germany as leading candidates...

How did my other country do? The United States! I have to say the US had very bad luck getting Italy and the Czechs.. both these nations are tough tough... As usual Brazil got a fairly easy ride.. and being in the bottom half the way is easierfor them to the semi-finals than the better teams in the top half of the draw....

My initial group assesment on difficulty on a scale of 1 (easiest) to 10 (most difficult)

A 1
B 7
C 8
D 5
E 7
F 4
G 3
H 3

Top half of draw: 21
Bottom half of draw: 17

these are my initial thoughts.. more to follow...

formatting issue solved

phew..dodged that bullet..

unbelievably the problem stemmed from a link that was so long it "pushed" the blog down to where there was more width (after sidebar) if that makes any sense..

world cup related web site

check out Dresdner Ball Street... a "game" run by Dresdner Bank.. basically you buy stock in different world cup participants .. people's purchases determine which stock has the most value.. the point of the game is to predict the world cup winner... not sure what the ultimate prize is but i think somethink like 100,000 german marks is to be divided.... in any case what i like about the site is that it tells you instantly who the favorites are... we see brazil barely in first followed by germany.. (116 to 115) with argentina coming in at 101.....i suppose you could buy and sell...

this problem with my blog's formatting is driving me batty...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

whats gone wrong with the formatting here?

i have no clue! i have done nothing! oh me o my

Now Playing: Bing Crosby's Merry Christmas LP on Decca 8128 (original black label)..the best selling collection of christmas music ever.. isn't it nice when quality and popularity go hand in hand? (think beatles).. this was released 50 christmases ago in 1955...much of this material had been previously released on 10 inch LPs and 78s.. I may even have a 10 inch LP with the identical cover (Decca DL 5019)... To me this may just be the greatest LP of Christmas music ever..

For some reason Bing Crosby's singing which can seem at times a bit homespun or hokum to those of us that grew up more on steady of diet of Frank, who replaced him as the popular favorite in the 1950s, after Bing dominated the previous two decades as the most popular singer entertainer of his time, well for some reason this traditional- to call it something- singing seems to me perfectly suited for Christmas... And there can be no dispute that Bing's version of "White Christmas" is still the undisputed Champion....

ps actually DL 5019 has a different cover.....
ps2 the link here to the site having all the info to merry christmas from bing has been deleted.. it was so long it messed up the formatting

Sven-Goran Eriksson feels the exact same as I do!

The England coach has selected three teams as making up his nightmare group and they are the same three that make up my Argentina nightmare group! Vindication!

LISBON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Sven-Goran Eriksson says England will have no fear of Brazil or Argentina at next year's World Cup but he does want to avoid Australia in Friday's draw.
Though he believes a seeded England are better-equipped to face the world's elite in 2006 than they were in 2002, Eriksson is bracing himself for a tricky draw in Leipzig.
"Holland, Australia and the United States would be the worst for us," the England coach told reporters.
"On paper, Holland are the best non-seeded team. Marco Van Basten is building a new team and has been very successful with it."

Torture and Terror(ism)

For some time I've been wanting to write a few words on the subject of torture.

I am apalled when I listen to callers on C-Span, NPR or what have you, or worse to talking heads and pundits justify torture (Krauthammer I'm talking to you!) in the following terms: if you knew someone had information on a terrorist attack that would kills thousands don't you think it would be justified to utilize torture to find out this information in order to save thousands?

First of all, often times the CIA or whatever government agency is participating may kidnap someone and torture them THINKING they are someone they are not! Since the person who is kidnapped has no legal recourse heck can't even contact his family there is simply no way for the person to defend himself from the charge that he is a terrorist.... this sets up a situation where a person can be kidnapped, denied all civil rights, be tortured even if the person is innocent! isn't this precisely what terrorists did on september 11: attack innocent people? state terrorism is still 100% terrorism!

Americans appear to believe torturing other Americans is a good idea.. how would these same Americans who call in to C-Span feel if they were kidnapped, stripped, drugged and tortured with no legal recourse?

In the mid 1970s the Argentine state apparatus decided to wage a "dirty war" against what it determined where terrorists trying to undermine the state... it kidnapped and tortured and killed thousands in the name of winning this dirty war.. often times people simply dissapeared and no one ever hear of them again.. i am reminded of a story my Uncle Mario told me once about how someone in his chess club had suddenly stopped coming..simply dissapeared....the argentine government utilized state terror against suspected terrorists or in some cases people not even suspected who may have for example been in the phone book some revolutionary carried with them.... In the early 1980s it emerged that over 10,000 people had been killed by the government: organized State terrorism (torture) it was argued was necessary to combat terrorists....

Now fast forward to the current US and we see largely the same thing.. sure the magnitude may be different but isn't the fundamental principle being violated the same? cases are emerging of people who were 100% innocent and where kidnapped and tortured.... this is an outrage and i am bitterly dissapointed in the American people who seem to be swallowing lock stock and key the fallacious argument that 1) the government knows who the terrorists are and 2) torture is helping save thousands of lives....not to mention the idea that 10 lives are worth more than 1.. this is inadmissible in ethics.. each life is precious.. precious is precious.... killing one person to save 1 is unacceptable as is killing 1 person to save 500 as is killing 1 person to save new york city... 1 life is 100% precious.. this is a basic principle of ethics that goes back thousands of years.... the same applies to torture..

Shame on the US government for this practice of torture- which of course Bush denies all the while we have conclusive proof it is happening!- and shame on us for buying the tall tales the government feeds us.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Recent history of Argentina's world cup draws

what i could not remember which is not much is taken from great site
i've awarded a measure to each draw based on what, albeit in retrospect, in consider the "toughness" of each draw.... 2002 will always be the toughest draw i think while 1998 the easiest.... in 1998 Argentina played two very weak teams in the first round: Japan and Jamaica.. thats unusual...... in 2002 Argentina played two very tough teams: England and Sweden & another team everyone thought was very tough but in retrospect turned out to be a paper tiger: Nigeria.. when Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0 in its opening match, believing Nigeria to be a very tough team, Argentines felt they were on the right track.. you could almost have predicted Argentina would fail to make second round simply by observing Nigeria's subsequent pitiful displays against England and Sweden..

2002 (difficulty index: 8.5)

1998 (difficulty index: 1)

1994 (difficulty index: 5)

1990 (difficulty index: 7.5)
Soviet Union

1986 (difficulty index: 6.5)
South Korea

Argentina's 2006 World Cup Draw?

Now knowing the different pots I can deduce Argentina group possibilities:

2. Angola or Ivory Coast or Ghana or Togo or Tunisia or Australia
3. Croatia or Czech Republic or Holland or Poland or Portugal or Sweden or Switzerland or Ukraine
4. Iran or Japan or Saudi Arabia or South Korea or Costa Rica or US or Trinidad and Tobago

or an alternative possibility and it is unclear if this would come in pot 2 or 3 or 4: Serbia Montenegro which will go to a group headed by Argentina/Mexico or Brazil

so because of the alternative possibility I am a bit confused otherwise I would say that Argentina has a 5/6 chance of having a group with an African nation and only 1/6 of having a group with Australia

it has a 100% chance of having a nation from Europe

it has a 33% chance of having two nations from Europe

a worse case scenario (akin to 2002's group of death : argentina, nigeria, england, sweden)?



best case? maybe:

trinidad and tobago

you can bet coaches all over the world are making these calculations and assessing their chances.. the draw i think can have a big impact on what happens....

World Cup Draw coming up! Pots have been set

from the dark overlord FIFA:

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) -- Pots for Friday's World Cup draw. Teams can't beplaced into a group with a team from the same confederation, except for Europe,which can have up to two teams in a group):

Pot One (seeded teams)-- Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy,Mexico, Spain

Pot Two-- Angola, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Tunisia (Africa); Ecuador,Paraguay (South America); Australia (Oceania)

Pot Three-- Croatia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden,Switzerland, Ukraine (Europe)

Pot Four-- Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia South Korea (Asia); Costa Rica, UnitedStates, Trinidad and Tobago (North and Central America and Caribbean)

Special Pot-- Serbia-Montenegro (will be placed in group with Argentina,Brazil or Mexico)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Two tickets to paradise, I thought (continued from below)..when I saw the Jamaican come up on stage and start doing the jamaican thing I winced cause I thought "Don't tell me Dorfmeister is going to pull a Thievery Corporation" (Thievery will play a live set of about 45 minutes before letting a coupla of rastas take over and start doing their dancehall reggae thing which I'm very ambivalent about).... ALthough Dorf or the Doctor as he is known kept control of the show but the tempo kept jacking up and the bass kept going up until you were literally being hit by waves of bass vibration... the show devolved into drum and bass with the rasta guy.. by the time we left I was unhappy as the rasta was singing a reggae version of staying alive and yelling to the crowd "WASHINGTON DC ARE YOU ALIVE? SHOW ME YOU ARE A-LIIIIIIIIIVE!!"........I wondered as I left what had happened to the down tempo Tosca as I was there to hear? I realize down tempo is dependent on the sly and robbie and jamaican dub for its foundation but to me its so much more and this show which started out splendidly lost the thread and turned into a typical dance DJ fest.... towards the end I could see Huber ambling around the club with a drink in his hand -anonymous to the crowd most of whom had arrived after his organ play and many of whom had left already- and I began to have fond memories of his set and could not help but wonder why he was not up there... ultimately, on this evening, the Tosca duo never did actually perform together...and i would have gladly settled for the sounds of Suzuki blaring over the speaker system, with the light show, and Huber and Dorfmeister throwing the crowd the ocasional bone (ie, a smile, a flip through the cd binder, a few random notes tinkled on the organ, etc.)..

Last night's gig: TOSCA! mixed feelings on this.. background: Dorfmeister and his former sparrring mate Kruder may be the two most influential artists of the 1990s in developing the downtempo genre which became omnipresent by the early 00s....I've always enjoyed Tosca - Dorfmeister's partnership with Huber- the most.. particularly the "Suzuki" album which was eons ahead of the pack... the most important thing about these Austrian freaks is they sorta created or updated the Jamaican dub scene marrying those heavy bass beats with almost ambient (Wyatt's piano on Eno's late 70s ambient pioneering work Music for Airports is a touchstone to my ears) piano and modern drum loops... in any case Tosca's sound really did take over the world as I learned in 2003 on a trip to Maputo, Mozambique all places where their work Dehli 9 was playing in a small restaurant overlooking the Indian Ocean....So I had a lot of expectations going in to last nights show.. i mean A LOT! particularly as these guys never come to America and seem to avoid it like the plague.. at the same time their latest release J.A.C. seemed for the first time to indicate a lack of fresh ideas and for the first time I thought the sound- largely coopted and absorbed by the environment- seemed a bit of a retread.. Action cut to last night.....the set started with Huber playing the keys in a manner reminiscent of some serious german composer a la Wanger.....he played seemingly synchronized to the light show... he played for about 25 minutes slowly building up and up.... at the time i felt rather bored although towards the end the tempo picked up.... and there was something special about hearing something bordering on classical music at the 930 club....the crowd by the way was the international DC crowd... different languages and accents flew all around me throughout the evening.... then Dorfmeister made his entrance to wild raptures... he looked the european sophisticate part even sporting a scarf as he made his way to the turntables/dj set up on the middle of the stage.. he started with a classic Tosca song I think was from susuki and i loved it .. the first few songs seeemed like classic tosca tunes (huber left the stage by the way as dorfmeister entered) and i dug it....the tempo started to ease up... the guy who sings on wonderful (zinger i guess) came out and sang a song yelling the typical "WASHINGTON DC!!!!"s....I loved the first hour of things although Dorfmeister kept increasing the tempo and eventually left the down tempo behind or any pretense of it.. he was always true to the heavy bass...eventually some jamaican singer came out and i thought

Thursday, December 01, 2005

This LP, "The Consummate Artistry of Ben Webster", was released on Norgran MG N-1001 which makes it the second 12 inch LP released on that label... its my new favorite record since yesterday....I paid $1 for this gem.. its a bit beat up and has one skip towards the end of side 2 but I'll take it....I have not listened much to Ben Webster other than him playing on some 1950s Billie Holiday tracks.....According to the LP liner notes penned by Norman Granz himself "Countless sides by Ellington's band carry his stamp of identification.." and "This, to the best of my knowledge, is the first long playing album which features Ben both as the leader of the combination and as its feature soloist." My favorite track on this is the Ellington classic "Don't get around much anymore" which might as always be my theme song as I've been fighting a bad cold...and heck who am I kidding I have not been getting out as much lately.. why would i when i got these great jazz records? Ben who I am not familiar with is particularly striking- read smooth- on the slower ballads....

let the Verve empire begin... this is Stan Getz's "Interpretations by the Stan Getz Quintet #2" on Norgran Records MG N-1008.... "Interpretations by the Stan Getz Quintet" #1 was the first 12 " LP on Norgran, I believe and carried the catalog number MG N-1000..... This is classic Getz! My copy apparently was once owned by DC radio station WOOK one of the first DC black radio stations.. nice to see that either 1) Norgran got black radio stations samples or 2) WOOK was colorblind enough to give Getz a listen.... The cover speaks for itself and is one of the first I suppose in a long line of "cool jazz smokers" covers...

momentous record collecting decision!

i've decided to stop chasing the blue note lps.. its come a bit out of control.... when you're buying lps you don't even like all that much just cause they are on blue note.... the early lps are just too expensive and hard to come by.. the competition is too fierce... this decision was precipitated by coming into a few norgran/clef/verve's which are really tight... i think i'll focus on norman granz's empire for a bit.... some of the cover art on those labels - particularly the early grey and white photos and the davis stone martin lp covers rivals the great reid/miles work albeit in a different subtler manner...don't get me wrong i'd love to get a mobley "soul station" but its just too frustrating to keep following them on ebay.... change is good.. change is growth.. right? this all has somewhat to do with me wanting to listen more to 50s jazz than mid 60s jazz which are the blue notes that are affordable (4200 and up).. also i want to listen to some different be honest though from a chronological standpoint most of the Norgran Records Catalog and Clef Records Catalog (Norman Granz's two record labels before Verve which of course re-released a lot of this stuff in editions that are highly collectible too) is pre mid-1956 which if you were to compare to Blue Note is about Blue Note 1530 or so... basically Norgran/Clef's body of work precedes Blue Note's... you're going to a body of work that is more bebop/hot and less cool jazz... at least thats the way this simpleton understands it...

Argentina's Obelisco Monument in Buenos Aires observes World AIDS Day with a giant condom on it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


does anyone else think its pathetic to read a headline in yahoo that says "Bush maps out Irak War Strategy"? What, now he's mapping out a strategy?? Didn't we invade like in early 2003???

not to mention of course that he did not actually map out diddly jack!

ay ay ay

good news! pollard to tour!

i'm looking forward to seeing bob again... its been a year since i caught the DC GBV farewell gig... glad to see its a new band...from

Bob's touring band for his solo tour in support of From A Compound Eye is all set:Bob - vocalsTommy Keene - guitar/keyboardsDave Phillips - guitarJason Narducy - bassJon Wurster - drumsThe tour will start in late January. Look for tour date announcements in late December.

whoomp! there it is!

Johnny Cash: The Solitary Man Interview With Tim Robbins

Johnny Cash mania is gripping America.. why else? a movie! a biopic.. the biopic genre is dicey. .. still i've heard good things about this movie and may go see it....

however, bet you learn a lot more about the man in black by downloading and listening to this interview he gave to promote American Recordings III: The Solitary Man (the first few minutes of the mp3 are cash's cover of "i won't back down")... this must have been around year 2000.. tim robbins does the fawning..... there were 3000 of these promo cds distributed to independent record stores and i snagged one... follow this link for the download:

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Whats happened to Joe Liebermann? Is he senile? Brain aneurysms?

Time magazine Baghdad bureau chief Michael Ware on Morning Sedition this morning:

I and some other journalists had lunch with Senator Joe Lieberman the other day and we listened to him talking about Iraq. Either Senator Lieberman is so divorced from reality that he's completely lost the plot or he knows he's spinning a line. Because one of my colleagues turned to me in the middle of this lunch and said he's not talking about any country I've ever been to and yet he was talking about Iraq, the very country where we were sitting.

Is that Ziggy Stardust or Keith?!

I love this picture from the early 70s... yah..thats Chuck Berry! Keith on Mick: "The Crawdadday is where I realised that Mick could actually work a stage about the size of a rug better than anybody in the world- except for maybe James Brown."

Ahmet Ertegun with some of his boys... Look at Keith (left) and Ron Wood (right).. one of the things that emerges in the book is just how tight Keith and Ron were... Ron speculates that perhaps Keith found in him some of the things he missed in Gram Parsons who had been his closest friend..(this is the type of stuff you learn in this book.. i knew keith and gram were friends but tight like that?) all the naysayers who constantly say that the rolling stones should retire or they are too old or this or that i throw ahmets words at them: "The soul of the group has always been Mick, Keith and Charlie, and of course Bill Wyman was very important during his many years with them. The group today sounds to me as good as it ever has, maybe even better. They have kept on going because there has been no reason for them to stop. I don't know how long Mick wants to continue, but to me, when you're in the audience in a big hall, he looks just the same as he did when he was twenty-two. He's in great shape and he's very limber, and the whole band sounds fantastic. The Rollign Stones are the longest-standing circus of all time." (Quote dedicated to Armand Lione!)

this picture suffers in my photo but i think you get the gist.. late 70s john belushi with a bottle of whiskey and ron wood sitting on him backstage at SNL...god bless John Belushi....

Keith (undated but probably around 1977)... if this isn't what a rock star looks like I don't know...Keith quote, one of many classic, quotes in the book: Elvis was fantastic, but because Buddy had glasses and looked a bit like a bank clerk, you could say to yourself, "Well, it's not just for guys who look like Elvis", because otherwise it was sort of unattainable. What Buddy did was to level things out and say, "Hey, if you've got any good songs in you, you can do it", Of course later on I found out that Elvis was the real mama's boy backstage. It was Buddy who got the bitches over the fucking table; he never used to go on before he'd had a couple. It was totally the other way round from the images that people had of them.

Current reading: "According to the Rolling Stones" came out last year. .its sorta the official Rolling Stones bio and is told through a series of interviews largely by Ron Wood, Charlie Watts, Keith Richard(s), and Mick Jagger.. there are essay pieces by important players in the Rolling Stones story such as Atlantic Records empresario Ahmet Ertegun and Prince Lowenstein (who has handled their finances for 33 years and counting), and there are essays by some more tangential figures such as say Peter Wolf of J Geils.... but the photos and interviews are just spectacular.... the Charlie Watts and Keith Richards interviews are to me what makes this book crucial for any fan of rock and roll.... Its clear reading this that the Stones are telling their story in their own way.. they got things they want you to know and things they don't..but thats like anyone! and to hear Keith or Charlie talk about music is critical.. to me Mick comes off a bit like the jerk i always think he is but.... I've taken a few pictures from the book and will post here.... I'm too lazy to scan them and anyhow I've noticed when I scan them they tend to take up too much memory..its not really worth the tradeoff.. anyways I heavily recommend this book ..even if you're not a huge Rolling Stones fan (which if you're not you ought to be taking a good look in the mirror and asking yourself what is wrong) find a copy of this... if you look around you can probably score it for cheap as it came out last year and I've seen it as a remainder (without marks).. or get it from amazon for a song...get the hardcover...great stuff!

Monday, November 28, 2005

michael moore so on target

as far as i'm concerned this is on the money..check it

cameron crowe interview

check it at

its the type of converation i like having....

where do i come in on a few things:

coldplay: nay...clocks is a great song though...
new rolling stones: nay..wanted to like it but its just got too much tripe on it...i could probably find 6 good songs on it though which is saying something
self protrait: one of his best.. tremendously underrated...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Classic Christmas LP Cover by none other than Norman Rockwell! Cover says on bottom right corner "Illustration by Norman Rockwell created for Hallmark Cards".. lovely just delightful..... this is the original Decca black label DL 8171 "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians..... The music itself you ask? very tame 50s christmas stuff... nice if you're in the right mood.... choirish...first side has some upbeat fare such as jingle bells , rudolph, santa claus is coming..while the second side is to be listened to after you've had a pitcher of egg nog and are dozing on the couch: adeste fideles, beautiful saviour, silent night.. you get the idea..

And Christmas season is finally here... we can and will -wether we want to or not- listen to christmas music! Personally I love christmas records so I'm looking forward to it.. Blue Note does not have much in the way of Christmas records but I did find this one... Duke Pearson's Merry Ole Soul BST 84323...from 1969.... Duke produced this himself... the cover I'm not too sure about..... I want to say it works but I dunno... It was in charge of Frank Gauna who I think is a disgrace as a Blue Note art director....Seeing the great work Reid Miles had done I'm not sure how he could sleep at night coming up with stuff like this.. still.. it might work .... I love Duke Pearson (see my comments on his work on Idle Moments)... I also empathize with the man as he had multiple sclerosis which took him out young and must have caused him a lot of pain....Bob Cranshaw plays bass on this.. same guy that did so in Idle Moments too.... The songs are traditional but the arrangements are Pearson...I dug this one but i'm going to have to listen to it more before putting down a review....

Worse Blue Note LP cover of all time? This could be it....Jimmy McGriff's "Black Pearl" LP BST- 84373 from 1971.. one of the last Blue Notes on the series that had started way back when with Sonny Rollins....I like this record... down and dirty organ recorded at some shit dive - the Golden Slipper- in Newark New Jersey...McGriff's "Ode to Billie Joe" is kinda cool... but the LP cover??!?! what in the name of God happened? Who came up with this? It says on the back "Cartoon Covers: John Van Hamersveld"..its called "Johnny Mouth".... Art Director by this point was no longer the disgrace Frank Gauan (see Turrentine cover below) but a Norman Seeff...I have to emphasize though this is a cool jazz organ LP worthy of that great Blue Note organ stable which goes from the inventor Jimmy Smith, through Baby Face Willette, John Patton, Larry Young, Lonnie Smith, Reuben Wilson to

I always wonder what the heck happened to Blue Note after Alfred Lion's sale of the Label to Liberty. I mean look at this "brown" cover! Can you believe this picture was taken by the same guy that took all those classic shots? Francis Wolff (my namesake!).... I guess it comes down to the fact that design meister Reid Miles had left and was replaced by a chump named Frank Gauna... It just boggles the mind that this is a Blue Note LP cover... Stanley Turrentine's Common Touch BST 84315 from 1968.... What I like about this record is that its got Leo Morris (aka Idris Muhammad) on drums.. Jimmy Ponder's not too shabby on guitar and Turrentine does a nice job handling a very varies set list including Blowin' in the Wind..... I wonder if they will ever release a CD called "Blue Note does Dylan"?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Planet Xtabay has mp3d this hard to find record... This Esquivel record, although to my understanding recorded for US RCA in 1968 (in the midst of Esquivel's Las Vegas period where he recorded very sporadically), was only released in Latin America... I'm digging his version of "Guantanamera" right now...the piano on this which I assume is Esquivel is pretty cubopy

go to spaceagepop site for a good bio on the man

another great space age pop/exotica/lounge site

check out planet xtabay at

under the exotica tab you'll even find an esquivel album never released on cd (Esquivel!! 1968)...some interesting stuff also under the space bachelor tab...

happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


check out Pinocchio's great site at
some great lounge music being posted there including lounge maestro esquivel, the aforementioned abbe lane, les baxter etc.... getting in a loungey mood here.. maybe its the winter... just need something different to perk me UP....

time for a martini...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

this is the LP i've been digging the most this month!.... its a bit of an old friend i had not listened to much for a long while... mainly because i had not managed to procure a vinyl copy and since i have a vinyl copy reissue at the other end of the world i did not want to buy another reissue (and i just find it hard to get into the cd copy) i found this original new york pressing of grant green's idle moments (BLP 84154).. its got a lot of scratches and the jacket even has some red paint which almost makes it look like blood is coming out of grant green's hands (but i did not have to leave an arm and a leg behind in exchange)... not to mention the rucker fellow who owned it before felt compelled to write his name just about everywhere (THANKS guy!).... but its the real mcoy original first pressing of one of the greatest blue note sessions ever!....a stone cold classic!....AND most importantly it sounds pretty good...a little snap crackle here an and there but no real pop!...while grant green shines on this album as usual, duke pearson who wrote two of the tracks including the title tune which is a wonderful hynotic doze you to sleep classic, produced the album, and plays piano all over it, and bobby hutcherson who shines on the vibes (which i usually hate) are what make this album so special...pearson provides the framework, hutcherson the ambiance and grant green weaves in an out a few times here and there doing more than enough to justify this album's place as the best of his magnificent body of work... joe henderson who i usually find a bit strident is great on the sax here..oh one last thing: this is is one of the best reid miles (design)/francis wolff (photo) blue note album covers!

"Get too close to Mama Zuma and you will get burned. This woman is determined to scorch everyone in her path. Mama Zuma's weapons are the hottest jalapeno and habanero peppers this side of the Rio Grande. Since she lost the love of her life in a bizzare and tragic potato peeler accident, Mama Zuma has been hell bent on burning every mouth she kisses with her special brand of passion."

also in heavy rotation: Pink Martini's 2004 release "hang on little tomato"..what a great cover by the way! this agglomeration of musicians and artists from the northwest is of course well known for that french song that goes something like "je ne veux pas travailer je ne.." ("i dont' want to work...") which made it to just about every lounge compilation about three years ago... anyways this release is just as stylistically diverse as the first album - "sympathique"- this one has songs in french, portuguese, and even japanese!.... quality music for adults....

once the embargo around these parts on xmas music is lifted following thanksgiving this is the first thing thats going into the stereo.... i'm excited to hear this....other xmas records i really want this year include the asylum street spankers christmas spanking and the chris isaak christmas record from last year.. have to procure those somehow soon... obviously we will be working on our annual christmas mix cd....planning is already under way!

i was excited to score this for $3... not that its probably worth much more but what is special about this record is that its only the 23rd release ever on blue note.. came out as a 12" 78 in about 1943...thats right: the 23rd in the series....for more info on the first releases on blue note or any check out and then click on blue note....notice the company had not even moved to 767 lexington yet!.. my favorite version of careless love remains the dylan-cash romp from their session in 1969..

i finally got this on double lp! seu jorge's 2002 "Carolina" album....this is hot stuff... definetly kicks it over the latest release "cru" which is so so slow.... highly recommended stuff....

Tiffiny in front of the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory in Middletown Virginia which is located near the Shenandoah Valley....i got to see them making the chips... their Mama Zuma's Revenge Habanero Potato Chips are the spiciest thing i have ever put in my hot i can't eat more than six at a time... thats HOT!

heavy rotation this week: i had not heard this asylum street spankers album- mercurial- released in 2004.. this is their last album.. they are currently recording a children's album me thinks.. anyhow.. i had been dissapointed in 2002's "my favorite record" and even "spanker madness" but this record is just fabulous.. real strong..includes some choice covers including the beastie boys "paul revere" and b-52s "dance this mess around"... this is one band that deserves to be better known.....

i thought this album cover pretty cool..i guess its a reference to blue oyster cult's "don't fear the reaper" - grim reaper- on this live album....this live album blows by the way.... what did people ever see in that godzilla song anyways.. i read a review on all all music guide that pretty much sums it up as an unecessary album from a period- mid to late 70s- where rock'n'rollers inthe wake of the megasucess of frampton comes alive where all putting out live albums....but the cover is all..would have made a great grateful dead cover, no?!

Finished! This book took me about 8 years to finish reading...its a good book but for some reason i could not get through it....I still say Rushdie's "Moor's last sigh" is his best..i love the way rushdie writes but its a tough slog getting through his books....satanic verses is great reading me thinks in this day an age of east vs west christian vs muslim crusade rehash...

Album cover of the week. The magnificent Abbe Lane gracing her husband Xavier Cugat's Columbia CL 718. Her best known LP cover is probably Cugat's OLE! Abbe Lane of course made her very own records including one with Tito Puente.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Now playing: Reuben Wilson's "A Groovy Situation" on original Blue Note 84365 (Promo indentation on upper right corner)... recorded September 1970 and released in 1971... so this was the Blue Note stuff being released when I came into the world!..... I suppose Blue Note was just about to go off the cliff -I think when the 4300 series ends about 15 titles later that is it.. and i'm being kind.. some would say the label just sunk into oblivion after alfred lion went around 4250- but they still had the ocassional funky jazz up their sleeve.... this is pretty straight ahead soul jazz...I can't help but wish it was Lou Donaldson on sax and Grant Green on guitar but Earl Turbinton and Eddie Diehl acquit themselves real cool while Harold White bangs the drums.... So far I like Reuben's own composition "Sweet Tooth" and his cover of Stevie Wonder's "Signed Sealed and Delivered" as well as the title track.... The Turtles "Happy Together"? jury still out... still this is overall great music if you're into that late 60s soul jazz period that was mined in the mid 90s by the London acid jazz scene.....A friend said he saw Reuben Wilson in San Francisco this past weekend (november 13) with Grant Green Jr. on guitar and Clyde Stubblefield on drums at the Elbo Room and it was great.. so remember, seek out these cats and support them while supporting live jazz! now i wish he'd come to DC..reuben wilson's last release bythe way looks real cool: beastie boys tunes done bogaloo... sort of like the lonnie smith cd of beck stuff (bogaloo to beck) the way you can check out a live set from reuben wilson and grant green jr (with purdie on drums i think) they played at a free show at the kennedy center millenium stage february 3, 2002

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The cover for Willie Colon's CD "El Juicio" ("The Trial") one of a whole host of classic recordings released on Fania Records. "El Juicio" came out in 1972 and features Hector Lavoe on stellar vocals.Includes a great version of "Sonhando Despierto" ("Dreaming Awake") which I'd heard previously through a version by Mimi Maura. "El Juicio was co-produced by Fania label impresario Jerry Masucci (who I believe wrote/produced and directed the Salsa movie) while the proceedings were overseen by the great Johnny Pacheco. I need to get my hands on the LP (Fania 424).. this cover I think loses lot on the CD (Fania LPCD-00424). Willie Colon would of course go on to make other great albums with Ruben Blades including "Siembra".

Salsa at the Library of Congress Mary Pickford Theatre

Salsa (Salsa, Inc./Fania Records, 1976). Dir Jerry Masucci & Leon Gast. (80 min, 35mm)Documentary and performance film centering around the historic 1973 Yankee Stadium concert by the Fania All Stars featuring Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Willie Colon, Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Mongo Santamaria, Ricardo Ray, Bobby Cruz, Billy Cobham, Manu Dibango, and various stars of the Latin music scene in New York and Puerto Rico.

Luckily Armand tipped me off about this movie being on the schedule..

First of all the movie was introduced by Larry Appelbaum who in the past year unearthed the Thelonious Monk featuring John Coltrane recordings made at Carnegie Hall back in 1957. Before playing the main event, Salsa, he played a short jam featuring Tito Puente with Hilton Ruiz on piano, a conga player who kicked out the jams, and other supreme backing. The performance was stellar. Larry told us that this was the last recorded performance of Tito Puente's life as he passed on two months later...

Then Salsa began....I'd heard about this movie.... Salsa was in its heyday in New York in the early - mid 1970s... in particular the FANIA record label had been putting out phenomenal stuff.. ... in 1976 FANIA organized a concert at Yankee Stadium.. they sold it out... and filmed the live show which featured Fania's stable of stars with some notable additions such as Celia Cruz, Jorge Santana (Carlos' brother who is a deadringer for his brothers' guitar tone/style), master conguero Mongo Santamaria and Manu Dibango who reprised his Soul Makossa hit at length.... interspersed with the performanced by Fania All Stars such as Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Ray Barretto, el Gran Combo, Cheo Feliciano was dialogue featuring a then just starting out Geraldo Rivera (yes, his style was already formed back then) describing the history of salsa music from the african drum, enslavement, arrival in the New World and hybridzation with Portuguese/Spanish/English culture...vintage clips from the golden age of Hollywood where also utilized to illustrate how salsa or latin music became slowly incorporated into the American mainstream... these clips couldn't help but make one laugh as they suffered from terrible stereotyping of the worse kind and placed side to side with the booty shaking salsa jams at Yankee Stadium proved striking.... feature clips including Al Jolson, a Carmen Miranda skit featuring Groucho Marx (who could shake quite well) and of course the venerable Desi Arnaz doing his Babalu schtick....

I found the movie extremely enjoyable and the performances inspiring.... if anything though I think Masucci's Salsa could have been a bit longer and perhaps explored more the genesis of the nuyorican salsa from the more traditional Cuban Son rhythmns.... however, the focus was on the performances and seeing how good they were I'd be quibbling to take issue with the film...

highly enjoyable and highly recommended... now to scour the planet for some vintage Willie Colon , El Gran Combo and Ray Barretto records... that shit is tight!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

In Memoriam

Io Lara you will be missed.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Manu Chao on the cover of Argentina's Rolling Stone edition August 2001...(and yes.. I am missing the lower bottom left!)

Manu Chao Radio Popolare Genoa Radio Session

this is publicly available manu chao with friends performance at a radio station in Genoa in 1999 as manu chao and anti-globalization friends gathered to protest a G7 summit. they got together at a radio station in an informal jam session and if the recording is any indication had a blast playing tunes (i think they had a party.. you can tell they are high) from manu chao's repertoire, a song from buena vista social club and classics in all sorts of languages... tonino carotone performed his tune "me cago en el amor" ("i shit on love") which became a hit two years later on an album manu performed on.. on some songs you can tell manu is trying to lead his friends in a certain direction but not being familiar with the song they get stuck (ie, mentira)..anyways this is my favorite live recording of all time!.. ..the sound quality should be perfect but somewhere along the line some ticks have appeared particularly on the first few songs... i dont' remember them being there originally so i'm not sure what happened...i belive manu chao's brother is the one playing the trumpet and helping keep things together... even though manu chao and his friends take an anti-globalization stance their music and spirit could not be any more global..its just a different type of globalization..a human one.... at one point you hear one person at the "party" start singing a few words from a song by argentine band "los autenticos decadentes"... there were clearly french , spanish, italian, argentines and latin americans participating...the segue from "mambo colombiano" to "everybody needs someone to love" is classic.. as is the "lagrima de oro" into "el cuarto de tula"...irresistible stuff on every level!

part 1:
part 2:

rapidshare enters blog

Manu Chao's appearance in Mar del Plata took me back to our drive through the northern parts of patagonia from buenos aires to san martin de los andes in neuquen.. manu chao's "proxima estacion esperanza" ("next station hope") was the perfect soundtrack from the impoverished outskirts of the greater buenos aires through the province itself -as we searched for gas stations- through bahia blanca, entering patagonia etc and back.. i'm experimenting with rapidshare and for purposes of sampling the great manu chao (run to your record store to buy the full cd) i've uploaded the first two tracks... you'll need a special program probably to open up the rar file (IZarc for example)..

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Manu Chao in Mar del Plata, Argentina!!!!!!

Manu Chao at a free concert in Mar del Plata as part of the anti-Bush activities November 3. Other participants in a large gathering tomorrow will include former Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona, Bolivia's Presidential Candidate Evo Morales.. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is also expected

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