Baron Dave Romm
Cows With Guns
By Baron Dave Romm
Coming up to Earth Day, let me repeat a column from last year. Dana Lyons' new CD is Jane Goodall and Dana Lyons Circle the World, which I haven't heard yet but adds to his environment-related discography.
I first encountered Dana Lyons from an EP at the KFAI Record Sale. One of the many serendipities that come from working for a community radio station. The extended single was called I'd Go Anywhere To Fight For Oil To Lubricate the Red White & Blue. Two of the songs were fun political parody, and two were serious post-9/11 patriotic country rock. While I picked it up for the oil song, I wound up liking the two serious songs better. Lyons has a number of EPs that overlap the albums so let me get right to the more complete collections.
Guns: The Cow Pie Nation Compilation is the CD to start with.
Cows With Guns is a great song to spring on people unawares.
More cow puns than you can shake an udder at, done in very
hard-country Lorne Greene style. The song inspired the web site and
a flash animation of The Meatrix. The
lack of cow
tipping is the only notable omission. A cut above the rest.
(Sorry, couldn't resist.)
He hid in the forest, read books with great zeal
He loved Che Guevera, a revolutionary veal
Cow Tse Tongue
Lubricate the Red White and Blue is a nice parody of rah-rah military songs. Precisely what we're in Iraq for is very much in question. No WMD, no peace in the country, heck gas prices have gone up. But I digress. RV is a trucking song about, of course, recreational vehicles, and adaptable to SUV travel. Commentary on the state of broadcast media is always welcome, and TV God slices and dices. There are songs about citizens protesting power lines by dismantling towers, getting rich from free trade if you don't care about the consequences and one for River Pheonix. Twelve cuts are listed on the cover, and the rest are silent until track 38, with is a five and a half-minute song about Canadian geese. Cows With Guns is a really wonderful album and highly recommended.
Dana Lyons is a politically aware US patriot and John Seed is an ecologically aware Australian environmentalist. The combine to bring us At Night They Howl At the Moon: Environmental Songs for Kids. They have a large following, it seems. Recorded live at a couple of concerts, the audience really gets into it. Everyone knows the songs. I Am An Animal has the audience singing along. By the second song, Lay Down Your Whopper, the crowd is yelling out the chorus. Dead Ducks is darker song about oil spill disasters that has the crowd quacking loudly. The kids insist We Don't Want To Live In The Zoo. Dinosaurs lasted millions of years yet they are in the public consciousness because Their Brains Were Small and They Died. Let's hope our successors remember us better. Not exactly hip-hop, Recycle Wrap plays to the beat.Eric Idle's The Galaxy Song is mysteriously retitled Expanding Universe and made more kid-friendly. The album ends with a nice lullabye, Soft Eyes.
At Night They Howl At The Moon works better as an environmental album than a children's CD. The kids singing along sound fairly young, but I'd put the recommended age range as 5+, though it wouldn't hurt younger children to start off green. A fun concert album with a message.
Baron Dave Romm is a conceptual artist and a noble of Ladonia with a radio show, a very weird CD collection and an ever growing list of political links. Dave Romm reviews things at random for obscure web sites. You can read all his music recommendations from Bartcop-E , and you can hear the last two Shockwave broadcasts in Real Audio (scroll down to Shockwave). Thanks to everyone who has sent me music to play on the air.--////
Joe Solmonese: Reaching Out to the Middle (The Advocate)
With a visit to Kansas, the Human Rights Campaign's new president jump-starts the group's cross-country tour into rural and suburban America. The hope is to change hearts and minds about GLBT equality.
Letter from Michael Moore (lower right corner)
Friends, How's it going? Ready for the next step?
The Online Study Guide for Student Drivers
Driving Rules on the Net
Study Guides and Strategies
Young People's Novel Study Guides
Online Study Guides: Sparknotes
Online Study Guides: Pink Monkey
Free Book Notes
Professor Brians' Study Guides
You Call Yourself a Runner?
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Sunny spring day.
Keith Carradine as George W. Bush? Carradine, who appeared in such cult Robert Altman films as "Nashville" and "Thieves Like Us" as well as on Broadway in "The Will Rogers Follies," will portray the president in the American premiere of David Hare's play about the lead-up to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The drama, which will open June 5 at the Mark Taper Forum, also stars Julian Sands as British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Preview performances begin May 25.
"Stuff Happens" had its world premiere last September at London's National Theatre, where it opened to positive reviews. The American production, directed by Gordon Davidson, will also feature Dakin Matthews as Vice President Dick Cheney, John Michael Higgins as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Tyrees Allen as former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Lorraine Toussaint as Condoleezza Rice.
The title comes from a comment made in April 2003 by Rumsfeld in response to looting in Baghdad: "Stuff happens ... and it's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."
Hit Over Head With Chessboard
Garry Kasparov, the world's former No. 1 chess player who quit the professional game last month to focus on politics, said Saturday he had been hit over the head with a chessboard in a politically motivated attack.
Kasparov, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, was not injured Friday when he was hit with the chessboard after signing it for a young man at an event in Moscow.
A spokeswoman for Kasparov, Marina Litvinovich, said the assailant told the chess champion: "I admired you as a chess player, but you gave that up for politics."
The 41-year-old Kasparov retired last month, saying he planned to focus on politics and do "everything in my power to resist Putin's dictatorship." He plays a leading role in the Committee 2008: Free Choice, a group formed by liberal opposition leaders.
Rabble-Rousing Draft Dodger
With an assault weapon in each hand, rocker and gun rights advocate Ted Nugent urged National Rifle Association members to be "hardcore, radical extremists demanding the right to self defense."
Speaking at the NRA's annual convention Saturday, Nugent said each NRA member should try to enroll 10 new members over the next year and associate only with other members.
"Let's next year sit here and say, 'Holy smokes, the NRA has 40 million members now,'" he said. "No one is allowed at our barbecues unless they are an NRA member. Do that in your life."
"Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em!" he screamed to applause. "To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."
Nazi officers in smart uniforms. Photographs of Adolf Hitler in soft halo-like light. Waves of German fighters streaking off into the sunset. The images are from a retrospective of World War II-era propaganda movies being shown this month in Austria. The films include about 50 made in Vienna, which after the Nazis annexed the nation in 1938 was turned into a moviemaking machine the festival organizers have dubbed "Hitler's Hollywood."
The point of Film Archive Austria's "Cinema and National Socialism" - which also includes movies about the Nazis made by the Allied side - is not to glorify the Third Reich but to show audiences how the Nazis wove their ideals into films meant to entertain the masses.
The collection examines films that present Nazi officers as compassionate and just, their enemies as sinister and wicked. It is part of a yearlong study of Austria's history - and coincides with celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Most of the 50 films from the Hitler's Hollywood section were comedies but they were laced with messages designed to rouse support for the regime. "Wien 1910," for example, is filled with anti-Semitic humor.
Propaganda films have historically been a staple of any country at war, but the retrospective shows just how important mind control was for the Nazis - and how effectively they mastered the craft.
Missed Civics Class?
A seventh-grade class got a lesson in government from Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick on Friday, but they had better double-check a few of the details before their next quiz.
Craddick told Mendez Middle School students about his job and answered their questions about state government, but stumbled a bit when it came to the federal system.
"Up there they have 400 and some on the House side, 454, and they have fewer on the Senate side, 60," Craddick told the class of about 25.
There are 435 U.S. representatives and 100 senators.
A man accused of bursting into a convenience store demanding money was in the hospital Friday - shot, authorities said, by the great-great-grandmother working behind the counter.
Janet Grammer was filling in for the regular clerk Thursday afternoon when a man entered the store waving a gun and fired two shot at the back wall.
"I think he thought I was an old woman and would just give him the money," Grammer, 64, said Friday. "My life was at stake. I thought he was going to kill me."
So she pulled a pistol out from under the cash register and fired once, hitting the man in the chest. He fell to the ground, dropped his gun and then fled, leaving a trail of blood. Grammer fired two more shots as he was running away.
Grammer, who has 10 children, 32 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, said she worried she had killed the man. "All I could think about was his poor parents," Grammer said.
1906 San Francisco Quake
Herbert Hamrol has one enduring memory of the devastating 1906 earthquake that razed much of San Francisco - the feeling of his mother's arm.
"She carried me in her left arm and used her right hand to grab the stair rail," said the 102-year-old Hamrol, who was 3 when his family fled a shaking South of Market apartment that was eventually destroyed by fire. "That's all I remember."
Finding people who experienced the Great Quake of April 18, 1906, might seem like a formidable job. But organizers of Monday's 99th anniversary commemoration know of at least 60 remaining survivors and expect more to surface in time for next year's centennial.
"They are coming out of the woodwork," said Taren Sapienza, who for the last 29 years has arranged the annual observance that culminates with a dawn wreath-laying at Lotta's Fountain, a landmark that served as a meeting point for those trying to find families and friends after the disaster.
Zoo Wants Chimpanzee to Stop Smoking
A South African zoo is trying to persuade its star chimpanzee to kick a bad smoking habit.
Charlie, a grown male chimp and the Bloemfontein Zoo, has been picking up cigarettes thrown to him by visitors and smoking them -- a habit he probably picked up by observing humans, zoo officials told the SAPA news agency on Thursday.
"Charlie is not the only smoking chimpanzee. A zoo in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou reported last year that one of its chimps had taken up smoking and was desperately bumming cigarette butts off visitors.
George Molchan, who portrayed the Oscar Mayer spokesman Little Oscar for more than three decades and traveled from town to town in the company's Wienermobile, died Tuesday, friends said. He was 82.
Molchan was a bookkeeper for the Pepsi Cola Co. when "Wizard of Oz" munchkin actor Meinhardt Raabe convinced him to try out for the role of Little Oscar, said Molchan's brother, Elmer.
He played the character - created in the 1930s by company founder Oscar Mayer - at parades and supermarkets for 36 years. Bystanders said Molchan, who loved children, relished the role.
The 27-foot-long Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was parked near Molchan's grave during his memorial service Saturday. Attendees sang a chorus of the Oscar Mayer jingle and then blew short blasts on miniature, hot dog-shaped whistles.