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Thursday, June 30, 2005


in case you have not noticed i'm having major issues with the font for my blog entries....hopefully i will resolve this before too long

my reply to richard cohen's column in today's washington post

link to richard cohen column titled "echoes of vietnam" here

my reply:

i enjoyed reading your column in today's washington post (onlineedition) except for the vox populi conventional "wisdom" conclusion you present as fact that leaving iraq would be a disaster..those words: "leaving iraq would be a disaster", "chaos would ensue" etc.. i think they should not be simply stated as mantra.. they should be substantiated..

no one is saying we should drop everything and run but we should eventually leave and we should announce we are going to start leaving because WE have become the problem! the insurgents and differentgroups are going to fight it out in iraq because there is no central core power with enough authority to call the addition, and very unfortunately, there are some serious differences -historical, cultural and religious, between different groups (sunnis and shiites) and nothing we can do is going to prevent a battle between these groups.. they have some old scores to settle.. you no doubt are familiar with the history of centuries of minority sunni control at the expense of the majority shiites etc.......

our remaining there just weakens the more moderate forces that become allied with us... and other groups can just utilize us as a whipping boy.. what exactly, mr cohen, are we accomplishing in iraq other than attracting problems and serving to weaken our friends there....

ultimately, the iraqui people are going to have to resolve these problems on their own.. we can help them with training and money (and we should .. we should fix everything we've helped break and we should offer some compensation to the innocent civilians killed, etc.) but who exactly are we going to beat in this so called war..? this is not a war! let us not allow the situation to be framed in those misleading terms.. once we accept we are in a war then we have to win.. but whoare we fighting? and why? are we really fighting to prevent terrorists from attacking us? or are we perhaps fighting simply for the the right to say we won a war??

again, loved your piece... usually enjoy your columns.. but a bit rattled by your conclusion which i do not believe flows from the rest of your column.. in fact, when we left vietnam, far too late by all interpretations, things did not fall apart... the communists who counted with far more popular support ended up winning...this was a foregone conclusion as by turning the vietnam war into an US against them we helped strengthen them.. lets not commit the same mistakes here....

i have to tell you i am extremely frustrated by the lack of any forefront politicians emerging to represent the view that it is time to look for an exit strategy.. let us begin to say that we won the war, that this is no war, and let us leave while remaining heavily involved in facilitating in as much as possible the construction of a modern and peaceful iraq

best regards,

sergio magnacca
washington dc

twas ten years ago!

After filing a memorandum with the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice a month prior, Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament testify before the House of Representatives, supporting their claim that Ticketmaster is a monopoly.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Brazil 4- Argentina 1

so i just got done watching the game.. what a fiasco for argentina.. might as well have been 8-0... argentina just did not have any midfield... no ability to win the ball in midfield.. the midfield, which traditionally has been its strength, was inexistent

i don't think this loss is a catastrophe.. but its very dissapointing coming against our main rival/foe....

i just think we had no midfield... the team seemed to come out flat against brazil.... no energy....

i can't remember ever seeing argentina get its butt handed to it as happened today...

i could question a few decisions argentina coach pekerman made such as not starting aimar to complement riquelme..but i think brazil was just better today.. at every key instance of the match where they needed to stamp their authority on the game they did so categorically.. the first goal at 10 minutes.. then argentina reacts and brazil almost immediately get its second.. then the second half starts and brazil puts it away 3-0.....

i'm a little shellshocked...

AC DC: kings of a good'n'rude rock'n'roll time

meat and potatoes rock

man i love that album title...its tough to start a rock album better than ac dc does with "for those about to rock we salute you".. or a live show for that matter!...i've never seen ac dc but i can just imagine the anticipation giving way to unbridled rock'n'roll joy as the crowd hears the opening guitar tapping angus strains of this song which served as concert opener for years....midway through the songs cannons would start shooting in the air.. can it get any better than that?!! oh, and its a cool thank you to the fans too!

ac dc in 1979 came out with highway to hell.. in 1980 after their awesome "died in my own booze" lead growler night prowler bon scott perished and was replaced by brian johnson they released back in black.. still perhaps the best juvenile hard rock album of all time..i would not call it heavy metal as its usually miscategorized.. anyhow with that album ac dc became one of the few bands in the world to replace a lead singer and retain nay increase their success (joy division/new order the only other i can think of)..

well after selling like 10 million copies and providing the soundtrack for most teenagers first shackups ac dc returned the next year with "for those about to rock" and of course, as could have been expected the album proved dissapointing..... still its got a lot going for it....its no masterpiece but its solid.... some say the last solid ac dc album... its got the title cut with cannons and a few other kick booty tracks.. its got the great album cover..i love ac dc's meat an potatoes rock and this could be their most potatoey album of all.. few cuts standout but its a real solid hard rock work....

for some reason i associate this album with my friend dan wray.. and the jack black "school of rock" movie.... this may be one of those albums that people put on expecting another back in black/hells bells/you shook me and became disgruntled and put away when they did not hear it at first listen.. its a bit more subtle than back in black.. although subtlety not lyrically..."lets get it up".."inject the venom"..."snowballed"..."night of the long knives"..the embossed cannon on the cover.. you get the picture.. this is not subtle stuff. still the songs themselves aren't quite as catchy as the previous two albums.. and this precipitated ac dc's long fall.... apparently, they are still a great band live and there is talk they will tour next year.... de mas esta decir/no need to add that ac dc's brand or rock is chuck berry favorite...

i've said it before and i'll say it again.. rock'n'roll desperately needs an infusion of some ac dc like band.... something more primal and fun .. more back to the roots rock less deliberate mope...rock and roll is about a good time... half the time when you hear modern bands you fall asleep trying to make sense of the dirge like rhythms and metaphors..modern bands even go to great lengths to avoid giving you the joy that comes with a great guitar solo!..i say gimme some band that makes me wanna jam with my air guitah!....i have no idea what the radioheads and coldplays of the world are talking about and i just dont' care.. i got my own problems and i just want to have a good ole fun time! and what we don't need is a band like the darkness appropriating an old sound but delivers it laced with irony..a "we're doing this music but its tongue in cheek..we're just making fun of it and thats what makes us cool".. as the brits say BOLLOCKS.... give me the real deal... ah bon scott, in time i look foward to pounding a couple of fosters with you!...

Monday, June 27, 2005

Now Playing: Cal Tjader's 1965 release "Soul Sauce" on Verve V6-8614...this is a classic latin jazz/boogaloo/ salsa/lounge release which of course includes the classic "Soul Sauce (Guacha Guaro)" me you have heard this!.. but what i found astounding and what knocked me off my purple couch is when the first track on side 2 came on: "Tanya" which was completely ripped off by St Germain (remember them? everyone was listening to their album "tourist" in 2000.. the one with french house/jazz /electronica) for their track "latin note".. if you don't believe me dig this cd/lp out and check it out!.. the album cover art ain't so bad either..

Saturday, June 25, 2005

quote of the week

Earlier this morning former National Security Advisor Zbiegnew Brzezinski delivered the democrats response to President Bush's weekly radio address, which focused on how well things are going in Irak where as we remember he proclaimed the mission had been accomplished years ago, staying the course, an insurgency in its "last throes" per Vice President Cheney's words, and flying pigs (do these guys actually believe the stuff they are shoveling?), and astutely pointed out:

"Patriotism and love of country does not demand endless sacrifice on the part of our troops in a war justified by slogans"

Friday, June 24, 2005

Mario telling me "Ehhhhh come on Sergio why you taking my picture?!!" (Picture taken April 15, 2002)

Mario Smugevicius

I miss my Uncle Mario.
I miss having him around to talk to about Argentina.
I miss having him around to talk to about how Manu Ginobili wiped the floor with those nasty Detroit Pistons last night... I know he would have taken great pride... And he really liked the NBA...He was one of those Argentines that really became enraptured with the game because of Michael Jordan...A man in his 70s who I doubt ever set foot in a bastketball court and yet he loved the game... I can't imagine entirely how he would have felt to have seen Ginobili taking control of the deciding game in the NBA finals this year but I feel cheated knowing he got cheated of seeing that...
I miss having him around to talk to about the latest boneheaded actions by the Argentine government..
I think one of the things in my life that makes me the happiest is that during the time I spent in Argentina between May 2001 and his stroke in July 2002 we got to spend some real good time together..i remember all the great tango orchestra shows we went to with Director Carlitos Garcia...or even that one time we saw Amelita Baltar...i especially remember our regular Sunday lunches - sometimes I admit I wanted to stay at home and nurse a hangover but i the end I was always glad to meet him at Soraya or some all you can eat place on the Avenida Cabildo (with those great pancakes we used to crow about)...We would spend our lunches discussing the impending or realized collapse of the Argentine economy or talking about the Argentine national soccer team.....
I suppose if we were having lunch this Sunday we would be talking about Manu Ginobili...
Te extrano Mario.

Manu Ginobili in action in the 4th quarter of game 7(yah..thats a dunk jackie!)..........

What can i say? I couldn't be prouder!!!!!!!!!!!

of my main man Manu Ginobili who just helped the San Antonio Spurs win the NBA championship!!!!!!!!.....proud as a peacock!!!!!!

see the article here

Thursday, June 23, 2005

So what ever happened to Domingo Cavallo?

Published Saturday June 11, 2005 by Domingo F. Cavallo, former Argentine Minister of Economy on his blog at

(I found this post so fascinating, and not just because of the analysis of the past but more so because of the comments about what is happening currently in Argentina, that I simply had to take the liberty of translating into English and posting..)

All Copyright Domingo F. Cavallo

The Devaluation of Aspirations

The e-mail that a young argentine businessman, who is a very good friend and supported my role in government, obligated me to write about the devaluation of the aspirations of argentines, a subject that pains me since mid 2002. It is possible that other readers have the same concerns as my friend. This is why, without naming him, I transcribe his e-mail and my response (Translators note: I will translate Cavallo's response tomorrow..for today the questions!).

The e-mail I received says:

“Today I read your article on the performance of the IMF during those difficult years. Without a doubt shedding light and we are in agreement that the final result of this entire horrendous history has been disastrous for Argentina and that the so called reduction of the debt a joke….now we owe more than before although over a longer term and at a lower rate, but those “results” would not justify in any way the costs incurred. But there is also something that is a reality and I tell it to you from the daily life of an argentine businessman (now luckily expanded to the rest of Latin America).”

“During the last years of the convertibility regime pegged in the 1 to 1 (for me the only error, since after the successful and historic first years the parity of that conversion ought have been modified, so as to not allow the dissapearance of the local industry, without abandoning the system or breaking the rules), the costs in Argentina had gone through the clouds. I needed to sell hundreds of thousands of dollars per month and with high profit margins merely to cover salaries and expenses. We were completely removed from logic with costs higher than any other developed country while unable to compare ourselves even from afar with them.”

“Today, after this bitter and unjust process, the reality is that with this ultra-high parity, which without doubt savagely reduces the earlier purchasing power, industry functions, grows and exports like never before…trade prospers, thanks to the low dollar costs which are covered with far lower sales, and therefore with far less capital and general risk, and therefore without requiring going into bank debt.. and it is because of that that no one asks for credit. In addition, today everyone pays in full and therefore we are no longer forced to act as bankers.. a complete change.”

”Today we businessmen earn money selling much less than before and the people have not seen their purchasing power lowered so much in reality since the prices of what is consumed daily and the services have not increased as much. The surplus is unimaginable, both fiscal and trade. Of course, traveling is for few…”

“Therefore, I ask myself:
Isn’t it perhaps that the strong purchasing power that the convertibility plan gave our population was too high?
Isn’t it perhaps that the dream of converting Argentina rapidly into a power was a little exaggerated?
Isn’t it perhaps that no poor country or in development grew, if not at the cost of a devaluated currency and only after having truly strengthened itself, by exporting like crazy see growth in real wages and the value of its currency? If not see Korea, Taiwan, and even China..and also India..all countries with which I have been conducting business for 25 years and in which I have seen this process.”

“Today one no longer feels the terrible anguish of having to move large volumes or perish before the costs. Today one no longer feels doubts about “will I sell the same next month?... and if not?” Today we could create reserves to confront peaks and valleys, today we can work more comfortably and peacefully and see the market recover itself very rapidly. And we do it with our own capital reserves…without dreaming of indebting ourselves or having to take capitalist partners so as to not succumb to the pressures of a demand we could not satisfy that rapidly.”

“It is true that today’s poor are super-poor and that there is a large obligation with (debt to) them. My parents are retirees and without the help of me and my brothers they could not live, all that is true, but was it possible to maintain the earlier bubble while remaining the “developing” country we never ceased to be?”

“These are reflections I put to you with the best wishes, in a constructive critical spirit in order to take something positive from the negative of this whole process.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

blog on summer vacation

on hiatus until further notice.....

Monday, June 20, 2005

i got the blues

found this on the net.. a 2002 new york times piece with the blues recordings inducted in the blues hall of fame...fabulous stuff...been digging the blues more rencetly.. time for some ben andrews maybe even tomorrow at madams organs...

check article here

Now Playing: a "space rock" classic from 1972. Klaus Schulze's "Irrlicht". This is the German LP on Brain 1077. Creepy would be soundtrack for space exploration.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dylan's last US record released in mono: John Wesley Harding. For a long time it was thought that this was not an original mono mix but simply a mixdown from the stereo mix. However, it is now believed an original mono mix was indeed used. This information came from Sundazed records when they reissued it in mono.. more info can be found at Sundazed and at the Searching for a Gem web site..

Friday, June 17, 2005

Whats wrong with this picture?!

10 years on still listening to alien lanes

... its been 10 years since "alien lanes" by guided by voices was released...hard to believe....

just purchased the LP (i have copies of the cd of course).. a few interesting things of note.. apparently the way to tell if its the original 1995 pressing is if it does not have the bar code.. in addition, my copy has a label on the second side which erroneously lists "auditorium" and "motor away" as tracks 14 and 15...this is an error as they are tracks 14 and 15 on the a side.. in this case they are listed as tracks 14 and 15 on both the a and b side!.. weird.. someone was drinking too much while typing up the labels or something...i would assume this has been corrected on the repressings...the LP really lets you dig the cover art..its such a different feeling to look and hold the lp.... you can actually understand a bit more what the cover was aiming for.. and the picture on the back is HUGE compared to the cd.. the lyrics are easily readable in the gatefold.....the record as is typical of many matador lps has a minor warp..

so thats the technical info...

"alien lanes" is just a slam dunk record.... released in april of 1995 it was released a mere 10 months after "bee thousand" made them the critics darlings they remained for their entire career..this album cemented their legend... "alien lanes" is quite different from "bee thousand" packs a wallop of 28 tracks in about 40 minutes.. i can't think of any other album that does that with good songs..all original.....the album is GBV's pop-rock masterpiece... i think "bee thousand" is a little more acoustic/folky.... "alien lanes" rocks harder... gbv ringleader robert pollard, at the time this was recorded, had a ton of material he had been accumulating- much of which did not make it on to "bee thousand"... this all ended up on "alien lanes".. the push to break gbv with this album into the popular mainstream did not work but they gave it the college try.. videos got limited airplay on mtv... tobin sprout was in the band at this time and contributed some great songs...classics such as "little whirl"... the album has a ton of pop masterpieces..and to my mind shows a strong kinks/badfinger influence.... greg demos' bass work is tremendous on this and you can tell how much he meant to the recording of this album because although he does not get much songwriting credit the bass really leads a number of this songs.. the music for them is often times built around the bass... of course, its lo-fi but as someone pointed out once the lo-fi nature of the album works well because the lo-fi recalls the 60s sound being channeled..

the album is a real grower... you have to listen to it a few times to get into it...but once you do boy.. i love every song.. but particularly "a salty salute" their tribute to drinking.. "game of pricks".. "my valuable hunting knife".."striped white jets" and the kicking closer "alright" which is guided by voices at their heaviest...

i think some day this album will overtake "bee thousand" as GBV's definitive work..its a pity they could not sustain the quality on this, the follow up "under the bushes under the stars", and a few other projects from this time (pollard's first solo lp the wonderful "not in my airfoce", GBV's outtakes compilation "tonics and twisted chasers") me the GBV period 1993-1996 is really special...

1994-1995 seems now like the last gasp of rock'n'roll.. a lot of great stuff, for some reason, came out around then, not the least of it "alien lanes"..much of it on matador records (jon spencer "orange", liz phair "exile", pavement "crooked rain", yo la tengo "electropura", chavez, etc.) i saw their tour in support of this record, at the black cat (even chatted it up with their then "manager for life" pete jamison), and at the time their live performances were still a bit too ragged for my taste.. eventually they ended up becoming one of the better rock'n'roll live bands.. but in 1995 they were still learning how to create a rock'n'roll show around oftentimes quite lo-fi songs (often sketches or demos of songs)...

Now Playing: Guided By Voices "Alien Lanes" Matador LP Ole-123

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

please see edits to "democratic disconnect" posting

made some important revisions and edits.. probably should not have posted in original form..

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ian Hunter Live "Welcome to the Club" on Chrysalis CH2 1269 (double LP) recorded November 5-11, 1979 at the Roxy in Los Angeles..includes kick booty "F.B.I.", "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", "All the Way from Memphis", "Cleveland Rocks", "All the Young Dudes", "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue", and "we Gotta get out of here".. plus many others..

Mick Ronson (left) with Ian Hunter on the back cover photograph of the Ian Hunter Live "Welcome to the Club" double LP.. Ronson shreds on some tracks...this concert has some great moment and some cheeze but its heart is in the right place..

Ian Hunter

ian hunter he formerly of mott the hoople is a real blue collar rock'n' fluff just the stuff.. he's been working the rock'n'roll for over three decades now... he's a guy i really have a lot of respect for and keep hoping he'll come to washington dc and play the 930 club.. check out this interview just published on popmatters...

a democratic disconnect

it is remarkable that no american political figure of weight has arisen to give voice/articulate/represent the large number of americans that do not share the view that our continued presence in irak serves much purpose... the latest polling numbers reflect a now majority opinion among americans that the time has come to exit irak.. yet even democrats such as hillary clinton are uncomfortable representing this view..asked in a recent CNN interview about an exit strategy for irak hillary looked like she had swallowed a frog... this lack of political representation for an alternative strategy to the present course in irak is a major "democratic disconnect"... it seems that for our elected representatives the benefits of being viewed as "tough on terror" or just plain "tough", regardless of the now vox populi reality that the war in irak and terror fighting have little in common and that the so called war is not going well, outweigh the benefits of defending our country and representing the citizenry....

our elected officials continue to misrepresent or dissemble on the truth..the bush administration seems to live in an imaginary universe where as cheney would have it we are witnessing the insurgency in its last throes.. but this is not surprising as the american people were lied to repeatedly in order to get them to acquiesce to a needless war, then the full force of banana patriotism was made to bear on any attempts to dissent (the day after invading irak various talking heads on the networks and CNN cautioned the american people: "well, before the decision was made to go to war in irak one could protest but NOW that we are actually going in we have to support the president"), and now even with a majority of the american people against this failing enterprise it seems the people are to be ignored...

it is odd that the bush administration's- and i would go so far as to say the establishment's- most succesfull rationale- articulated long after the invasion- for its foreign policy adventurism is the need to spread freedom and democracy while here at home our government remains bent on ignoring the wishes of its citizens... the government, of course, should not automatically follow poll results but its remarkable that not one frontline politician has the "guts" to represent a widely shared belief among large segments of voters! one would think some acute politician would want to be popular! instead the mantra is repeated: "oh, if we left now it would be a disaster" without much substantiation... sort of a "just believe us.. we know what we're doing..this is complicated business and you are just too stupid to understand".....perhaps no political figure wants to be the first to come out with the bad news (first mover disadvantage?).. but the reality is starting to resemble a big elephant in a room and at some not too distant tipping point someone is bound to see it..

have we not been here before? vietnam..most americans wanted to end that sordid affair by 1970 and yet the government kept insisting on pushing that rock up the hill with president nixon in the face of widespread domestic opposition going as far as arguing in his "silent majority" speech of november 1969 that good hardworking americans who in the main went about their business without causing trouble (a dig at anti-war demonstrators) backed his policy in vietnam.. it would take the US another five years and more blood and treasure to listen to reason and the will of the people and leave Vietnam...lets not make the same mistake again!!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Now Playing: Charles Mingus' "Mingus Dynasty" LP recorded in November 1959 and released as Columbia CL 1440

the real Pink Floyd will reunite for Live Aid!

thats right WITH roger waters!......check it here

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Argentina punches its ticket to Germany!

Juan Roman Riquelme celebrates Argentina's second goal against Brazil in their South American World Cup qualifier held in Buenos Aires earlier tonight. Argentina put on a superb first half performance and led 3-0 at the break in a game that ended 3-1. Hernan Crespo scored twice. We're not going to Disneyland we're going to the 2006 WORLD CUP!!!!!!! ARGENTINA is in and what better fashion than a clear victory over our rival the defending World Cup Champions!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Sleater Kinney!!!!!!!!

Very excited about the upcoming Sleater Kinney concert in Washington DC June 25 at the 9:30 Club.

Seen Sleater Kinney at least four times now going back to 1997 at the Black Cat and they are the best american live band at the moment. They have been getting better over the years. Meanwhile, their album releases have moved forward. I like pretty much all their LPs but am partial to "Dig Me Out" and "All Hands On the Bad One." I have the toughest time wrapping my arms around "Hot Rock" but thats not too say its not a great album. I think pretty much all their recorded output speaks for itself. I think its punk music but not your dad's punk music.. its a much needed breath of fresh air and step forward for punk...

Live they put on a great show with searing interlocking guitar melodies, contrasting vocals by Corrine Tucker, who tends to shriek-sing, and Carrie Brownstein, who speak-sings (and plays the guitar a la Pete Townsend), anchored by a ferocious backbeat courtesy of Janet "Keith Moon" Weiss..... I've heard a few songs from the latest LP "The Woods", like what I've heard, and will be listening to the entire thing soon... The first single "Entertain" seems a reaction to the scourge of recent flavor of the month bands making their careers copping from 80s post punk bands (Interpol I'm talking to you!) and teases the classic chords of Joy Division/New Order's "Ceremony" before moving on to business...

I can't end this blurb without mentioning that the lyrics to "Combat Rock"- a great nod to the Clash- from the One Beat Lp - are one of the more mature intelligent lyrics yet penned on our nation's reaction to 9-11.

One of my more prized LPs: Sleater Kinney's LP "All Hands On the Bad One"- KRS 360- autographed by all three band members! This by the way is my favorite Sleater Kinney record (I also have a soft spot for "Dig Me Out")

A great shot of Sleater Kinney's dueling guitars (from my own archives)

Corinne Tucker (from my own archives)

Sleater Kinney playing the 9:30 Club a few years back... from left to right: Carrie Brownstein, Corrine Tucker and Janet Weiss (photograph from my own archives)

USA Today money quotes

Under Monday's ruling, growing marijuana at home for medicinal purposes, with no money changing hands, is somehow now a form of interstate commerce. It makes you wonder what the majority was smoking.

....surely federal prosecutors and drug-control agents have better things to do than to swoop down on critically ill people who are abiding by state law and haul them off to court.

Monday, June 06, 2005

do something about it!

want to help change our backwards and costly laws with respect to marijuana..give this link a whirl here and get involved

retrograde supreme court strikes again

apparently if you are ill or dying and want some marijuana to ease the pain you'll have to now worry about contending with jail too.. thats the door the supreme court has opened by in effect ruling against the use of medical marijuana in a 6-3 decision delivered this morning.... check out the sad story here

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Grand Suites BABY!

Concert Review: Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove

Please excuse the belated nature of this review but I just found my notes from the concert here in Washington DC on February 18, 2005!

I had been looking forward to seeing Herbie Hancock for a long time (I missed him with the Headhunters at the HFS Festival a few years back as I was busy watching world cup games)... Of course, since 1998 I've listened to a lot more jazz and really fell in love with Herbie Hancock's blue note recordings, his playing on Grant Green's "feelin the spirit", his role in the great Miles Davis Quintet etc... lets just put it this way: I doubt I would miss the Headhunters today...

In any case Herbie came to the Warner Theatre which is a pretty stellar place to catch a show... On the ticket stub the performers were billed as Hancock, Brecker, Hargrove...while the program billed it as "Directions in Music: Our Times".. the main trio were complemented by Scott Colley on bass and Terri Lynne Carrington... Unfortunately from our loge suite seats we had an obstructed view of the drummer.. insane... I will try and reproduce my notes from the concert although they are hard to read of course..the show was wonderful.. very challenging stuff.. you could tell herbie was challenging himself.. the bassist was a monster..:

1st song
computer effects... herbie began with some modeal jazz a la maiden voyage...trumpet (Hargrove) - agressive improv NOT your muted Miles Davis
trio jam- herbie went crazy with drummer and bass
drummer can't see
(obstructed view as far as drummer)
Brecker by mistake came out before drum solo? Hargrove came out and moved to side.
2nd song
Herbie Hancock reading sheet music. Brecker for my taste has a bit too smooth jazz a sound..for this..Brecker unhappy with his solo..after it shook his head and seemed to say "damn"..
3rd song
67-68 Blue Note..Wayne Shorter? Sam Rivers? A little Tina Brooks? not too smooth on this one (Brecker)! Herbie Hancock playing avant garde.. Andrew Hill... Wonderful trio interplay
4th song
Hargrove with Flugelhorn gives him a bit more of a Miles Davis sound..ballad very maiden voyage-ish

gum chewing annoying

Walter Brecker did intros of songs and plays an electronic wind instrument resembling something from the Star Wars cantina seen

Herbie Hancock composition dolphin dance/deconstructed (I'll say!)
Roy Hargrove composition Brown
Brecker composition loose threads
Roy Hargrove composition Poet (Massey Hall 2001)

Brecker says electronic wind instrument "allows me to layer sounds in a way that is unimaginable"

song 5. Brecker solo with crazy instrument! Yodeling to digeridoo..african sounds to ?.. he's loving it! he's a one man band!

song 6. Band comes in- very modern and experimental and still grounded in jazz.. headhunters?
mike computerizes Hargrove's trumpet gives way to trio.. very modal

song 7
begins with drum solo.. she is unbelievable! too bad i can't see her! brecker attacks sax with drum/bass me repetitive..10 minute solo? back to herbie who plays same bass

song 8.
begins with brecker solo..hargrove very miles very miles davis quintet..brecker trying to follow what herbie is playing by looking at his sheet music..brecker all smiles at end looking at drum breaks.. is it his composition being improvised on??

song 9. last song got biggest reaction... headhunters definetly.. you know the one..bass plays theeme.. herbie solos over it..

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Argentine Economy: Eduardo Conesa

Eduardo Conesa is an argentine economist (PhD Professor at the University of Buenos Aires) who in 2002 published an economic textbook titled "Macroeconomia y Politica Economica" (Macroeconomics and Political Economy).. His idea was to create an economic textbook that explained economics for Argentines utilizing the example of Argentina (no more having to learn from textbooks utilizing US or european experiences)... I have found the book extremely useful and as a service to Eduardo Conesa and general learning am going to translate some snippets...The book was published by Ediciones Macchi and has the ISBN 950 537 580 8 and it is currently available on amazon here...i think its particularly essential that President Kirchner learn from argentina's economic history if the nation is to avoid repeating the same that growth has returned to the economy there is talk in argentina of raising salaries but i am concerned about the inflationary pressure this could exert..though things have improved since the time of the book's writing i believe the lessons from the past must be learned for once and for all.. argentina has a dangerous habit of reinventing the wheel of economic debacle!..

the Prologue (most of it at least) by Eduardo Conesa reads..

Argentina lived in 2001, and still lives in 2002, the greatest macroeconomic crisis in its history. In the decade of the 90s the citizens were promised quick access to the first world owing to convertibility, privatization, and the partial dollarization of the economy. The promises proved to be a big macroeconomic scam of gigantic proportions like none any other country on the earth's globe had ever lived.

Instead of entering development and the first world we landed in something like the fifth, with unemployment and underemployment around 40%, by far the highest in the world. 49% of the population is below the poverty line. We count with the highest foreign debt in relation to exports of the planet. This debt is seven times that of exports. But at the same time, paradoxically, capital flight, at 6 times exports, is the highest in the world.

In addition, upon reading this book the reader will be able to observe that the argentine economy obeys all the same macroeconomic laws as the rest of the world's countries. There is nothing strange in the argentine macroeconomy. Our "macro" complies with the consumption function, and that of investment, with the elasticity of fiscal receipts with respect to GNP, with the function of monetary demand, with the PHILIPS curve, with the FISHER, with the law of OKUN, and our high unemployment can be very well explained by the appropriate use of the function of production of constant elasticity of SOLOW, CHENERY and others.

The great anomaly that our nation presents consists in that we have a clientelist and, therefore corrupt, State that begs reforming. Other nations that today make up the so called first world in their moment went through the same problem and resolved it. Nothing impedes that we do it. We simply need mental clarity and courage from the top of the political power. Society would welcome these reforms with pleasure.

This book is written from the point of view of the open economy in the era of globalization. Here it is held that there is nothing prejudicial in globalization if the nation counts with its own currency and follows a policy of free and floating exchange rates and low domestic interest rates and fiscal sanity. But we hold that globalization is mortal for developing nations with low fixed exchange rates, a dollarized or semi-dollarized economy with high domestic interest rates and fiscal deficits. In other words, the argentine prescription of the 90s and up to the year 2001 is the surefire path to disaster. This is demonstrated scientifically in this book.

If nations as powerful as the United States or Germany had exposed themselves to the macroeconomic experiments that we Argentines suffered they would have already dissapeared from the map. If Argentina still exists it is because we are without a doubt a great country. In the present book it is explained why these experiments brought us ruin and what we must do in the macroeconomic environment if we are to grow once again and recuperate the status we once held as a great nation.

copyright Eduardo Conesa

buddy guy on the wolf

chicago electric blues guitarist buddy guy wrote a nice piece on howlin wolf for the april 21, 2005 issue of rolling stone... check it here

This is one of my sweeter LP scores...Howlin' Wolf's first LP from 1958 "Moanin' in the Moonlight" Chess LP 1434.. I saw this was pretty banged up but for 50 cents decided what the heck... well, it plays just fine with surface noise here or there but with the blues being banged up seems to detract a lot less than say with jazz.. in fact its almost the way it should sound!.. in any case this record has really turned me on to the blues again...

this is a hard to come by record and a foundational piece for any decent music collection... 12 early Howlin Wolf classics originally out in the 1950s on 78rpm discs are compiled here for the first time on an LP... every song is a classic of sorts....."smokestack lightnin" was described by the doors ray manzarek as: "this is voodoo. this is africa brought to the new world. this is the music of 10,000 years. feel it!".indeed!....while wolf himself described the origins of the song as "we used to sit out in the country and see the trains go by, watch the sparks come out of the smokestack. that was smokestack lightning."

since purchasing this record i've been listening to it pretty much nonstop..its very strong stuff..there's a lot of power or PO-WAH in it...howlin wolf's vocals are just the real rough and tough unvarnished truth... the sound of some point way back when i had bought a 3 cd box set of howlin wolf's chess stuff and barely listened to it demonstrating once again that sometimes you're ready for the music and sometimes you ain't.... my first exposure to the wolf was probably through one of his followers, lucinda williams, who covered "i asked for water (she gave me gasoline", found on this lp, on her eponymous 1987 lucinda concerts sometimes the PA system cranks out wolf before she goes on stage...the "moanin' in the moonlight" album also includes one of the scariest vocal performances i have yet to hear on "evil".. and "how many more years" which to me sounds a lot like zep's "how many more times" but the word on the street is its wolf's "no place to go", also on this LP, that is the source for "how many more times" with the bass line copped from the animals cover of "smokestack lightnin"... you follow that?... anyways search this one out or do yourself a favor and just get the Chess Box..

the original chess black label release from 1958

bob woodward's story on deep throat (mark felt)

fascinating stuff! here

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

retraction of sorts

after reading the vanity fair story on mark felt i think in my excitement i jumped the gun in impugning bob woodward and carl bernstein earlier..the story really is quite weak with barely any input from felt.. its basically more his daughter and grandson's story than mr. felt... check out this richard bradley entry at the huffington post blog for more info.. here

the vanity fair story is at vanity fair dot com wherever that is.. you can figure it out..

the bob woodward story in the post- the response piece to the revelation- will be out in tomorrows post.. stay tuned

Mark Felt! looking good and chipper in his 91 years young!

Mark Felt

and so washington dc's great journalistic secret is no more!... we now know mark felt was "deep throat", the well connected government official in the executive branch that leaked information and added suggestions and ideas to washington post reporters bob woodward and carl bernstein.... without him its hard to believe that watergate would have progressed to the point that nixon was forced to resign...

to my mind we owe mr. felt a debt of gratitude....were it not for him the serially corrupt and law abusing nixon administration would have remained in power... some, largely the same revolting right wing political self annointed punditocracy of cable tv, question the means claiming felt broke government regulations by divulging national secrets but i believe that at some points in life one has to weight the costs and benefits...its not always as simple as good or bad..perhaps sometimes you have to break a rule to make sure far bigger rules and more importantly constitutional principles are not compromised.. for convicted felons- yes JAILBIRDS- formerly in the nixon administration..yes g gordon liddy, cosloy etc i'm talking to you among others.. to speak about felt having breached ethics really demonstrates the meaning of the word "gall" fact for anyone, in the nixon administration to take such intense issue with leaks , as say pat buchanan who calls felt a traitor, is ridiculous knowing how much leaking was orchestrated from the very oval office during nixon's presidency..

still others impugn his motives claiming he leaked to avenge being passed up for head honcho at the FBI... i don't believe this but can't guarantee 100% that he took the steps he took- putting himself at great personal risk i might add- in order to bring down an administration bringing down the United States itself for purely egalitarian motives... for sure he may have had a personal aversion to richard nixon which may have colored his views...... however, for whatever reasons and in whatever manner i am grateful to mr. felt and glad to see pictures of him looking as jovial as he is..

one last word: i question the wisdom of woodward and bernstein's claims that mr. felt's mind is not there enough for him to make the decision to go public.. sounds to me they are a bit annoyed about all the attention being lavished on mr. felt and not their journalism..woodward and bernstein i have always tended to think enjoy making news too much for journalists who ought to stick to reporting woodward and bernstein seem to be saying that the role of "deep throat" is being magnified at the all consumming expense of other less well known sources, etc... if this is the case woodward and bernstein had 30 years to set the record straight! why now? perhaps they hoped felt would take his secret to the grave allowing them one more moment of glory announcing deep throat's identity?

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