I have always been a football fan, but I just can’t handle the super bowl (although I’d love to see the lowly Cardinals actually win one!). It’s too much hype. It’s just too much everything. Yea, the commercials can be cool, but I just don’t really care. I watch up through the conference championships and then I find I just don’t care. on the other hand, I’ve never really been a big tennis fan, until last summer’s Wimbledon final that is. Now, I find I’m much more invested in the Nadal-Federer matchup in Australia than the Super Bowl. But the truth is, I’m most invested in The Puppy Bowl. Indeed, give me some guacamole, some double dog ale, a fire in the woodstove, and a few mindless hours watching puppies play with some good music as a soundtrack and I’m a pretty happy man. What can I say?
Archive for January, 2009
OK, it’s actually a post about old music, but new to me. MB got me a copy of Badfoot Brown and the Bunions Bradford Funeral Marching Band for Christmas and it’s becoming a regular in the playlist. Badfoot Brown is actually Bill Cosby and this is an instrumental album originally released in 1971. The album consists of two long instrumental fusion tracks in the vein of Bitches Brew. At times fusion, at times pure funk groove, at times dissonant jazz, at times psychedelic weirdness, and at times all of the above at the same time. It’s clearly got strains of Bitches Brew and some of the insistent repetition of In A Silent Way in it, and a bit of Sun Ra to boot, but this isn’t just to say it’s just derivative avant-jazz; it has its own wonderful funky sound altogether. Personnel are not listed and there are different reports of who plays on this album but the Village voice among other point to Charles Wright’s Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band (of “Express Yourself” fame) as the most likely band members beyond Cosby himself on piano. I have long enjoyed the Bill Cosby/Quincy Jones “Original Jam Sessions 1969” with the likes of Eddie Harris, Les McCann, Jimmy Smith, and Milt Jackson. It’s an album that shows the range of jazz that Cosby truly loved; but the Badfoot Brown opens a whole new dimension, Cosby at the helm of some true funk genius. The Jam Sessions album was clearly a compilation of diverse music; this is one solid groove. Yes, the Cosby of today may not appreciate the attention this album is receiving with its re-release (I think he’d rather forget that era in light of his current mindset and politics), but it’s one of my new favorite things and worth a good listen.
Sometimes this blog has felt like an advertisement for our favorite radio station KFAI. Well I’ll put another big plug in for the station here through a profile of MB that they recently did for their newsletter. MB is even more of a KFAI fanatic than I am. Read the profile then listen to KFAI! (Well, and feel free to support them while you”re at it).
|Meet Mary Beth Freeman: KFAI Listener-Member
KFAI Network reporter Rebecca Lane had this email conversation with Listener-Member Mary Beth Freeman:
Mary Beth with Glenn
Rebecca Lane: How long have you been listening to KFAI?
RL: What is your preferred format for listening – traditional radio, online, iPhone, Podcasts?
RL: What keeps you listening to the station and continuing your support?
RL: I think supporting KFAI is a strong form of community activism, do you agree? Why do you think it is important to support public airwaves?
RL: Can you share some examples of how you are able to apply what you hear on KFAI to your neighborhood, work, politics, lifestyle, worldview?
RL: Has KFAI ever prompted you to participate or attend an event, concert, rally, etc. Tell us about it.
RL: What would you tell non-listeners about KFAI to encourage them to listen?
RL: Our records show you listen all the way from Iowa! Why do you think the programming is still relevant to you in another state?
RL: Other thoughts?
If you would like to tell your story in the KFAI Network, contact Pam Hill Kroyer by email, or by calling 612-341-3144 × 22.
Well, I’m a bit behind the times on this, but I just learned that the great saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman passed away on the 20th. Fathead’s career was long and varied, but he was best known for his work with the Ray Charles band in the late 50’s and early 60’s. In 1959 he also started his own band which continued making music in multiple variations throughout the rest of his life. As a studio musician he worked with Herbie Mann, Aaron Neville, Aretha Franklin, Lee Morgan, and Stanely Turrentine among many others. He also played in Robert Altmann’s Kansas City and toured with the Kansas City Orchestra. The jazz world has lost a great one; in tribute I recommend 1959’s Fathead: Ray Charles Presents Fathead Newman on Atlantic.
David Fathead Newman
Feb. 24, 1933-Jan. 20, 2009
Sam Cooke sang it long ago: “It’s been a long time comin’, but I know a change gonna come.”
It’s a big burden for our new president, but I have faith he’s the start of the change we need. The hoopla’s over. Today, the work starts toward a new world.
(thanks to CBD for correcting the date here!!)
Well, winter hit us with a vengeance this week. Several clippers came through, dropping about 16 inches of snow on us and then a serious deep freeze settled in. Wednesday and Thursday night both got down to -29 (that’s actual, not wind chill). I do love weather like this at least for short bursts (I’m not sure, for instance, if I could actually live in Alaska even though the romantic winter-lover in me pretends he could). Everything is so crisp and the snows whip into marvelous sculptures. On the other hand, it does take it’s toll. And that’s where birding comes in. The more you learn bird songs, the more you can hear the shift in seasons before they actually arrive. Thursday morning I was walking in to work, bundled up in layer after layer of clothing, walking across the creaking snow in the deep quiet of our small town. The sun was brilliant but ineffectual. It was a crystalline cold world. And there, ringing sharp and brilliant through the cold, were the clear tones of a cardinal’s spring song. It’s the first spring song I’ve heard, and it seemed so out of place in that context, but the birds don’t lie: no matter how deep the winter, spring is in fact just around the corner.
So, give the dog his beer!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!