My mood is being affected by the relentless, endless bad crap I've been reading lately.
The little wiffer suggests that maybe my mental health would improve were I to just spend a couple hours on the couch with her, watching Little House on the Prairie and Waltons reruns.
I dunno ....... maybe if she were naked.
So anyway, as you won't see below, on this day in history the Chernobyl nuclear tragedy began.
I've had this post hanging around for over a year as last year I forgot I had it until about July and it subsequently was never posted.
So anyway, this morning I pulled it out again and started reading through it having been notified that today was the day by my trusty little tickler program.
"Damn, this is some bleak stuff."
I deleted the whole thing.
Here's Charlie Chaplin from Gold Rush.
Infinitely better than Chernobyl, The Waltons, or Little House on the Prairie.
Levon Helm passed away today at the age of 71.
I never got to see The Band despite having tried hard three different times.
It just wasn't meant to be ... sigh.
I had a couple good friends, ten or so years older than I am who got to see them perform a bunch of times all over Ontario, first backing Ronnie Hawkins and then later as Levon and the Hawks.
I was and am incredibly envious.
Still, I've watched Last Waltz or portions of it at least a couple hundred times as it sits comfortably somewhere at or near the top of my "current pile" of music cds, books and video's, right there next to my headphone amp, just about 2 feet from where I always sit, here in my office.
As it has since I've had this office.
From Last Waltz and their last ever performance together, this is Garth Hudson on the organ, The Band's other great voice, Richard Manuel on the piano, Rick Danko on bass guitar and vocals, Robbie Robertson on guitar, and the great Levon Helm on drums and lead vocals.
Levon and the Hawks.
A.K.A. The Band.
Up on Cripple Creek.
Up until the Pogues there has never been anything that even remotely resembles the Pogues, who offered up an electric mix of Punk crossed on Irish folk music.
Tonight, depending where you happen to be, you can hear any number of bands that sound a lot like the Pogues including most notably Black 47, The Dropkick Murpheys and hopefully the Pogues themselves whom I believe still soldier on.
Here they are at the absolute top of their game in 1988, live in Japan.
This is Shane MacGowan on Vocals, a seemingly bored Spider Stacey on backup vocals, Penny Whistle and cigarette, James Fearnley on the Accordian, Phil Chevron on Guitar, Andrew Rankin playing Drums, and Darryl Hunt on the Bass. Jem Finer who you never really get to see is somewhere playing the Banjo and Terry Woods who you also never really see is on the Mandola (think big Mandolin), the headstock of which you do get to see.
If I Should Fall from Grace With God ... which I'm sure will never happen.
And because Jem Finer has moved to the saxaphone and catches a little face time on this one and even more because there are times when it's only a little Irish Punk that truly satisfies.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah ... not Year, Year, Year as some would have you believe.
The fan at the front of the stage is there to keep Shane from falling on his face.
We received this one three times this morning including one from the wiffer.
I'm figuring it'll be viral by Friday morning.
Chris H. had never heard of the "Slowly I Turned" bit which doesn't even seem possible to me, but then I suppose you have to be of a certain age to have had this one pounded into your cultural frame of reference.
He asked if we knew of any other "old comedy bits".
Well, I guess if your gonna post "Slowly I Turned", might as well bring in the Dead Parrott.
I should have gone through my email yesterday as I would have known to go check out the sky for a fairly rare conjunction of the three brightest lights in the evening sky, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon.
No matter, the show is back on tonight although configured somewhat differently.
Thanks to Judy M. for the heads up.
Look to the west tonight at dusk.
We're back to practicing avoidance around here for a while as the stuff we've been grinding on is just too depressing to work at posting.
Besides, as we are in the midst of almost nightly arguments over just what exactly it is that's going on out there and just what exactly do it mean, we have no thinking worth posting right now anyway.
Besides again, I just took on a second project which is beating the crap out of my not nearly as spry as it used to be body, the result being that I've been coming home, pounding the Advil and sucking on a bottle of Merlo in front of the fire rather than sitting in my office and reading crap that makes me crabby.
I'm starting to think that this may well be a superior approach to life.
The first two vids were shot from the International Space Station, the third from the ground.
Earth can be a beautiful place when the idiots aren't busy screwing things up.
Here are two performances of the famed Joey Faye or Harry Steppe (take your pick) Vaudville bit "Slowly I Turned".
The first by The Three Stooges was filmed in 1943 for their movie short Good Luck Mr. Yates and was subsequently cut from the film.
Columbia liked the bit well enough to save the footage and wrote Gents Without Cents around it.
Here are Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard.
Next from their 1944 film, Lost in a Harem, here are Abbott and Costello along with Murray Leonard performing their version of the same bit.
Of the versions available, I took the entire scene including Lou Costello's 30 second exit as it includes one of my all time favorite Lou Costello moments.
Featuring John Michael Whitby on the keyboard, Jim Murphey (I think) and Cindy Cashdollar on steel, Jason Roberts also singing backup and some youngster I can't get figured on fiddles, I believe that's David Miller playing the upright bass and I'm guessing David Sangor on the drums.
This is one of the 1,387 versions of a band that has enjoyed a 40 year run as one of America's favorite working bands, having won 9 or so Grammys and numerous other awards from Rolling Stone's Country and Western Band of the Year to the Acadamy of Country Music's Touring Band of the Year, all the while featuring it's one enduring presence, the great Ray Benson on guitar and vocals.
It's Asleep at the Wheel.
After 40 years on the road it seems like Ray might be losing it a little as they're starting to have to stamp his name on his stuff.
Two of the greatest professionals in the history of show business.
Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra singing the Isham Jones and Gus Kahn classic The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else.
Thanks to the little wiffer for this one.
Way high on my list of all time favorite albums is Absolute Torch and Twang by k.d. lang and the Reclines.
Featuring long time Canadian sideman and producer of Absolute Torch and Twang, Ben Mink playing lead guitar, famed steel and slide guitarist Greg Leiz along with a way tight and accomplished group of musicians none of whom I've been able to identify, this is the band lang took out on the road in the early 90's to promote that record.
Everytime I play it, I regret having missed this group.
It's pretty nice to have video.
One of the great voices in the history of popular music, this is k.d. lang and the Reclines.
Big Boned Gal.
And because I couldn't choose between them.
Sorry about the hiss.
Anybody else ever noticed that you never see k.d.lang and Wayne Newton together?
The following are photographs of water drops taken by Markus Reugels with his high speed camera.
I'm pretty sure I'd be buying some of this stuff if I had an empty wall somewhere.
Click any of the photos below to link up to more of Markus' beautiful work along with a photo essay on how he does it.
You don't have to worry, we'll probably be pulling out the soapbox soon enough.
One of our favorite sites, Space.com or "Dobb's Folly" as it is known around here, offers up a nice photo essay of this years Quadrantid Meteor Shower along with a little science about meteor showers in general and the yearly Quadrantid Meteor Shower in particular.
The following photo by Robert Porto taken in the Canary Islands will link you to the entire piece.
Pretty hard to argue.