'Best of TBH Politoons'
Baron Dave Romm
Live vs. Recorded
By Baron Dave Romm
Shockwave Radio Theater podcasts
Live Performance vs. Recorded Music
Live performance is a different art form than recorded music. The necessary skills overlap, but they are not the same and require different investments by the listener as well as different performance values by the artist.
Usually it's tricky to talk about CDs from people I know. In this case, it's a plus. I know all three of these midwestern artists, and have seen them off stage and on, and have heard their music on stage and off.
Wisconsinite Teresa Chandler has been floating around for a long time. Mostly, I've seen her play in music circles and in solo concerts. All fairly informal: Teresa and guitar. In person, she's a friendly act, playing big band torch standards with some of her original compositions. She has a powerful voice with a wide colorotura range, and the emotion she belts out can surprise you. She would occasionally talk about her album. I finally acquired her CD, and was never more surprised. Pleasantly.
Druthers is Teresa Chandler's CD from 1989. You immediately step back into a different era with the disclaimer, "Where's the long box? Watermelon, banasas and CDs don't need exessive packaging. Neither do our landfills." Remember that controversy? I hope you don't: The good guys won and CDs were sold just in crystal cases. Now, you can go even greener and download the songs as mp3s. No physical entity whatsoever. But I digress.
Druthers is listed as "Jazz", not "Folk", and the cuts range from Country Swing to Bluesy Torch songs. She has an excellent band which creates a lush sound with violin, piano, bass, percussion, sax and backing vocals. A lounge lizard without the smoke.
Dark Road is a smooth jazzy torch song, reminiscent of Peggy Lee's "Fever", about a lost love:
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night
I wake up in a cold sweat, I wake up in a fright
I wake up wondering what I'm living for
And it feels like old man death is scratchin' at my door
And there I go
Where nobody knows
Down that dark, dark road
Highway Song could have climbed the Country charts with its pedal steel guitar, banjo and "hit the road again" theme. She leaves the city for her home in the country because she's "rather be where eagles are still flying , where my neighbors are my friends" in the country rock title track Druthers. She gets into full blues swing mode with Crazy Blues, "When you're gone away this long I don'e get the blues. I get crazy."
In person, Teresa Chandler is shy and soft spoken. Alone with a guitar she's an experienced performer who knows how to use her voice. On the CD, she's a presence. Druthers is highly recommended. It's a bargain at CDBaby or through the iTunes store.
Untitled I & II
Almost the exact opposite of Teresa Chandler (soft spoken in person who gives gentle concerts with a terrific CD) is Art Paul Schlosser (an amazing guy to talk to and to watch in concert with CDs that are an acquired taste). Art Paul is a street musician in Madison Wisconsin. In person he is, as we say in the Midwest, "a hoot". Really, he has to be seen to be belived. Dr. Demento occasionally plays one of his cuts, and he's definitely within the Dementia Music fold, but that is no substitute for the real Art Paul. He's a solo act, weilding guitar and sometimes kazoo, who gets the audience involved. Hard, but not impossible, to do on CD.
Untitled I & II comprise 37 cuts from 2001 releases. As described by Art Paul"It's a cross between Spoken Word,Comedy,Punk & Folk" I'm not going to pretend to have listened to all of them, that's not how to enjoy an Art Paul CD. You dip in, sample from the expressive song titles, and if you don't like one you move on.
Let's start with the first cut, A Poet I Am
I am a clownThe second cut, Colors By Voice is even harder to describe. He introduces the song, "just imagine if you can't see what color looks like what it would be if I describe it as voices" and then sings
A mayor of a town
Or a deer.
I think yellow-yellow would sound like thisSimply reading the lyrics cannot do justice to the cut. You have to visualize from his vocals, which might help or might confuse, but will get you thinking, maybe.
And orange-orange would be kind of like this
And red-red would be like this
It would be kind like this you know
Other songs include, Kiss Me Darling (I've Got AIDS), Confessions of a Pinball Adict [sic], Ban the Klan, This Brain I've Got and ending with the spoken About Things:
Now because I have runned out of things to say
I'll say alot of things
And in speaking of things
I thought I'd speak about things
What kind of things will I talk about ?
That's a thing of a question And when you question things do they answer ?
What kind of answers to things give you ?
Talking about giving things
I gave this thing to my girlfriend and she hasn't spoken to me since
As with the other Art Paul Schlosser CDs I've talked about, I can't give Untitled I & II an unqualified recommendation. He's an acquired taste that, after seeing him live, I have acquired. He has zillions of CDs each with dozens of short bits. He even has a Tribute Album to which I contributed a cut. This collection of early works is a good introduction of Art Paul, if you've never heard him and want to sample. He has 24 CDs iTunes, if you just want to try a few downloads. Enjoy.
I Had To Suffer For My Art, Now It's Your Turn
Eric Coleman is in the middle. (Yes Eric, a Free Straight Line.) He says he's as much of a stand up comic as a musician, often using his songs as outlines on which to hang extraneous one-liners.
First, the downside: His songs aren't quite the pyrotechnic logorrhea of other Dementia Music artists; unfairly compare How Can I Miss You? with Worm Quartet's Great Idea For A Song. He's not trying to write novelty songs. He writes personal songs with strong hooks which don't quite resolve to the listener's experience; unfairly compare Woman I Want with... well, I can't quite think of a good parallel at the moment, so point to Eric. He hasn't quite worked up to being "a hoot" in person and his CDs reflect musicianship that is still growing. He hasn't written the definitive Eric Coleman song yet.
The upside: His world is full of wonder and lost innocence. When you get caught up in the ride, your journey pleasantly observes the obstructions while skirting around the rocky parts. As a computer geek by profession, he navigates the web and environs with ease. As someone who's lived a full life with more to come, he taps into his own well of hurt and strength. He's self-deprecating and fearless and is better every time I see him.
I Had To Suffer For My Art, Now It's Your Turn is his "second full length CD" and third one (at least) overall. It's the strongest of the three I have, both lyrically and musically. The latter is helped by having Andy Anda accompany thim on fiddle on a few tunes. Andy is a wonderful fiddle player and inveterate punster, so if you have a chance to see him with Eric, so much the better. My favorite cut is Perfect Moments, which has Andy playing a dark violin:
To my surprise, you slip off your clothesEric updates WYSIWYG, a slightly cockeyed take on what used to be called "computer dating" and is now called "the internet".
A splash of water as in you go
Full on your back, while the stars shine
A warm night, the water is fine
A warm night, the water is fine
Live for perfect moments
Breath for perfect moments
I Had To Suffer For My Art, Now It's Your Turn is recommended for those who like personal folk music with a perspective that's 21st Century without being so hip it'll be out of date by tomorrow. The CD doesn't capture the stand up comedy part, which should really be experienced live. If you're in the Iowa area, drop by one of his concerts/open mike/convention gigs and prepare to listen for a few songs to get into the rhythm of the evening. You'll find several iPw (iPod worthy) songs and spend a relaxing evening.
All pictures by Baron Dave
Baron Dave Romm is a conceptual artist and a noble of Ladonia who produces Shockwave Radio Theater, writes in a Live Journal demi-blog, plays with 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. Podcasts of Shockwave Radio Theater. Permanent archive. More radio programs, interviews and science fiction humor plays can be accessed on the Shockwave Radio audio page.
Thanks to everyone who has sent me music to play on the air.--////
Don't give up (guardian.co.uk)
Do you feel it's a waste of time trying to prevent climate change? That reducing your carbon footprint is pointless when someone else is happy to increase theirs? That changing lightbulbs is a futile gesture? Well don't, says Michael Pollan, because even small changes in your lifestyle - and your thinking - can help save the world.
Ted Rall: "The E-Word: The U.S. Has Rivals and Competitors, Not Enemies" (commondreams.org)
"A Gallup poll," Libby Quaid wrote for the Associated Press on June 2nd, "found that two-thirds of [Americans] said they believe it would be a good idea for the president to meet with the leaders of enemy countries." Who are they referring to? An enemy is a country with whom a nation is at war. "Enemy countries"? We have enemies (hi, Osama). We have critics. We even have competitors. But the United States doesn't have enemy countries.
TOM DANEHY: The story of a champion horse who just wasn't interested (tucsonweekly.com)
A couple of weeks back, I wrote about the tragedy surrounding the breakdown of Eight Belles after the Kentucky Derby.
Associated Press: Oil from algae? Scientists seek green gold (msnbc.msn.com)
Microorganisms can be turned into biodiesel, and the cost is going down.
tjmHolden: When Bathing Suits None and All (popmatters.com)
But, above all, water is most prevalent in popular consciousness in something that is performed every day: bathing; which, in Japan, has been elevated to a form of religion.
The king of reggae (music.guardian.co.uk)
When he starred in the 1972 film "The Harder They Come," Jimmy Cliff turned reggae into a global phenomenon. He tells Laura Barton about Jamaica.
David Medsker: A Chat with Gavin Rossdale (bullz-eye.com)
It is one thing to be known as the leader of one of the biggest bands in the world, and another altogether to be known as the husband of an infinitely larger pop star, namely Gwen Stefani.
Is this it? (guardian.co.uk)
Before "Juno," Kimya Dawson's band - the Moldy Peaches - were destined for the schmindie history books, now they're Top 10 in the US charts...
Rob Trucks: Talking with Robert Plant (villagevoice.com)
Touring the South, the legend talks about Led Zep and Alison Krauss. Mostly Krauss.
Bo Diddley told me to quit smoking (music.guardian.co.uk)
Funny and eccentric, Bo Diddley was someone everyone wanted to talk to - but not to mess with. Musician John Moore recalls several happy encounters with the rhythm king.
Roger Ebert: YOU DON'T MESS WITH ZOHAN (PG-13; 3 stars)
The crowd I joined for "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" roared with laughter, and I understand why. Adam Sandler's new comedy is shameless in its eagerness to extract laughs from every possible breach of taste or decorum, and why am I even mentioning taste and decorum in this context?
Seether: Fake It (youtube.com)
Hubert's Poetry Corner
George in Black and White
There's strong, and then there's Army strong - and then there's THIS!
S. B. 2248
Hopefully this will be killed in the House of Representatives . . .
"Campaigning in Florida on Friday, McSame reiterated his support for a Senate-passed bill, ardently sought by the Bush administration, that would give telecommunications companies immunity for helping the government wiretap Americans without court warrants in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The tapping was done without warrants although the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires them. Bush claims he has constitutional authority to tap without warrants despite the statute.
In urging the House to accept the Senate bill, McCain said it would go along way to clear up ambiguity over whether Bush's actions were legal. "One court has said that he was legal in what he did; other courts have said that it's not," McCain said. "The whole issue can be resolved by passing the ... bill."
Commentary at: securityfocus.com
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Mostly sunny with a nice breeze.
Last week of school for the kid. Unless he has summer school.
Joins Fight For Radio Royalty
Continuing her father's legacy of fighting for musicians, Nancy Sinatra will urge lawmakers Wednesday to approve legislation giving performers a royalty for songs aired on traditional radio.
In 1988, Frank Sinatra pushed for legislation instituting a performance royalty, and his daughter is expected to do the same almost two decades later during a congressional hearing on the Fair Performance Right on Radio legislation, according to the MusicFirst Coalition.
In a letter to artists and musicians dated December 12, 1988, Frank Sinatra wrote: "We are of the opinion that legislation has not been enacted in part because recording artists have not been aware of the problem while others with vested interests have lobbied heavily for the defeat of such legislation. We believe that with a unified effort from fellow recording artists, we may be able to pass such legislation."
The MusicFirst coalition is comprised of the record labels, musicians and other music industry organizations. It is pushing for legislation sponsored by Reps. Howard Berman, D-Calif., and Darrell Issa, R-Car Alarm.
Duo Joins Foo Fighters
Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones from rock legends Led Zeppelin made a surprise appearance with Foo Fighters at London's Wembley Stadium, it was reported Sunday.
Guitarist Page and bassist Jones joined Dave Grohl and his hard-rocking band for the encore of their show Saturday and played classic Led Zep songs "Rock 'n' Roll" and "Ramble On" in front of a reported 86,000 ecstatic fans, music weekly NME said on its website.
It was the first time members of Led Zeppelin had performed together since the British group reformed for a mammoth comeback show at London's O2 Arena in December.
However, at Wembley they were without frontman Robert Plant, who is busy on a solo tour.
35th Annual Student Academy Awards
Eleven college students received cash prizes and trophies Saturday for short films competing in the 35th annual Student Academy Awards.
The gold medal prize for narrative films went to Rajeev Dassani of the University of Southern California for the film "A Day's Work."
The top prize for animation was presented to Nicole Mitchell of the California Institute of the Arts for "Zoologic"; the documentary winner was Laura Waters Hinson of American University for "As We Forgive."
The prizes are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars. Winners get $5,000 for gold medals, $3,000 for silver medals and $2,000 for bronze.
Networks, Organizers Clash
Television networks that will broadcast the Beijing Olympics to billions around the world are squaring off with local organizers over stringent security that threatens coverage of the games in two months.
Differences over a wide range of issues - from limits on live coverage in Tiananmen Square to allegations that freight shipments of TV broadcasting equipment are being held up in Chinese ports - surfaced in a contentious meeting late last month between Beijing organizers and high-ranking International Olympic Committee officials and TV executives - including those from NBC.
In response to the complaints from broadcasters, Sun Weijia, head of media operations for the Beijing organizers, asked them to put it in writing, only to draw protests about mounting paperwork.
With time running out before the games open on Aug. 8, the minutes hint that procedures broadcasters have used in other Olympics are conflicting with China's authoritarian government. Some plans are months behind schedule, which could force broadcasters to compromise coverage plans.
The New York City Opera commissioned Charles Wuorinen to compose an opera based on "Brokeback Mountain," the 1997 short story by Annie Proulx that became the basis for a 2005 movie that won three Academy Awards.
The opera is scheduled to premiere in spring 2013, City Opera said Sunday. It will be City Opera's second Wuorinen premiere, following "Haroun and the Sea of Stories," which was based on a Salman Rushdie novel and opened in October 2004.
"Ever since encountering Annie Proulx's extraordinary story I have wanted to make an opera on it, and it gives me great joy that Gerard Mortier and New York City Opera have given me the opportunity to do so," Wuorinen said in a statement.
One recent week, William Shatner did something he hadn't done for many years - watched the original "Star Trek." It was kind of an accident.
Now, you might think that a bit odd. But Shatner rarely watches himself work. When it comes to acting, he says, he lives in the moment and moves on. Same thing these days with his work as Denny Crane on ABC's "Boston Legal."
This particular night, though, he was recovering from hip surgery and couldn't sleep, so he was watching TV. An old episode came on - the one where the crew of the USS Enterprise visited a society that had modeled itself after Chicago gangsters of the 1920s. Kirk and Spock dressed up in pinstripe suits and held court as tough guys.
"I haven't seen myself playing Captain Kirk in a long, long time," he says. "And I watched it now, from my perspective of 40 years later, and I thought, `You know, that's rather good.' It's a starship captain trying to do the accent, the Noo Yawk accent, trying to play tough, trying to be one of the guys. It's not quite right, but it's what a starship captain would have done - a decent imitation, enough to fool those guys but not the audience."
Cardinal Forbids Visit
Bishop Geoffrey Robinson
Four of California's leading Roman Catholic bishops, including Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, have taken the extraordinary step of urging an Australian bishop to cancel a monthlong tour of the United States to promote his controversial new book about clergy sexual abuse.
Following direction from the Vatican, the California religious leaders and eight other prominent bishops around the country have asked former auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Sydney to steer clear of their dioceses because of his "problematic positions" on priestly celibacy and other issues.
In his book, "Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus," Robinson argues that the church's celibacy requirement has contributed to the sex abuse crisis. He openly criticizes the papacy for failing to provide leadership. And he wonders whether the Catholic Church has been more concerned with managing the scandal than confronting it.
"I hereby deny you permission to speak in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles," Mahony wrote to Robinson last month, citing a bishop's authority under canon law that was repeated in separate letters from Bishop Tod Brown in Orange County and Archbishop George H. Niederauer in San Francisco.
Bishop Geoffrey Robinson
What would prompt a young family to abandon a comfortable life and move to a poor country where running water is still a luxury for many, politics are messy and the threat of war looms large?
Lured by the economic opportunities in a fast changing country and the lure of home, some people from Armenia's vast diaspora are moving to the land that their ancestors had long kept alive as little more than an idea. Longtime residents, meanwhile, are no longer fleeing the country in large numbers.
While 3.2 million people live in this landlocked Caucasus mountain nation - the smallest of the ex-Soviet republics - an estimated 5.7 million Armenians reside abroad. The largest disappears are in Russia (2 million), the United States (1.4 million), Georgia (460,000) and France (450,000), according to government data.
Augusto R. Berns Got There First
The jungle-shrouded Inca citadel of Machu Picchu may have been rediscovered - and looted - decades before the Yale scholar credited with the find first got there, a researcher said Thursday.
Most academics say Yale University's Hiram Bingham III rediscovered the site in Peru's verdant southeastern Andes during a 1911 expedition.
But Paolo Greer, a retired Alaska oil pipeline foreman, says otherwise. Thirty years of digging through files in the United States and Peru led him to maps and documents showing that a German businessman named Augusto R. Berns got there first.
Peruvian historian Mariana Mould de Pease backs Greer's claim. She said she found in Yale University archives a letter of understanding between Berns and Peru's then-president to pillage the site, as long as the Peruvian government received 10 percent of the profits.
Told To Trash Notes
The Pentagon urged interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to destroy handwritten notes in case they were called to testify about potentially harsh treatment of detainees, a military defense lawyer said Sunday.
The lawyer for Toronto-born Omar Khadr, Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, said the instructions were included in an operations manual shown to him by prosecutors and suggest the U.S. deliberately thwarted evidence that could help terror suspects defend themselves at trial.
Kuebler said the apparent destruction of evidence prevents him from challenging the reliability of any alleged confessions. He said he will use the document to seek a dismissal of charges against Khadr.
The document could support challenges by other detainees to suppress confessions at Guantanamo, where the U.S. military says it plans to prosecute as many as 80 of roughly 270 detainees before the first U.S. war-crimes tribunals since World War II.
Weekend Box Office
'Kung Fu Panda'
Jack Black's Po the panda outgunned Adam Sandler's Zo the hairdresser. Black's cartoon comedy "Kung Fu Panda" pulled in $60 million in ticket sales to debut as the weekend's No. 1 movie, while Sandler's salon romp "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" opened in second place with $40 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The movies combined to carry Hollywood to a big weekend. The top 12 films took in $172.4 million, up 32 percent from the same weekend last year when "Ocean's Thirteen" led with a $36.1 million opening.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "Kung Fu Panda," $60 million.
2. "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," $40 million.
3. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," $22.8 million.
4. "Sex and the City," $21.3 million.
5. "The Strangers," $9.3 million.
6. "Iron Man," $7.5 million.
7. "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," $5.5 million.
8. "What Happens in Vegas," $3.4 million.
9. "Baby Mama," $780,000
10. "Made Of Honor," $775,000.
'Kung Fu Panda'