Friday, March 30, 2007

The Craven Conformity and Pseudo-Rebelliousness of the Left

That was interesting. While the coonosphere slept (or dreamt, to be precise), an agitated troll named Jonwo expressed outrage that I, Gagdad Bob, a "white social conservative," should be attempting "to claim some sort of lineage/responsibility for Black free-jazz from the Sixties."

First of all, I did not do this. Rather, I specifically stated that I adore the music produced by black culture -- of which I am only an honorary member, by decree of my half black cousin, Dupree, whose father is supposedly the musician Pinetop Perkins -- and regard its various musical idioms to be America's greatest contribution to world art. Frankly, I'm not sure what would be in second place. I suppose the films of the 1940's and the American musical theater. And perhaps the poems of Suzanne Sommers.

While angry, the troll is not surprised at my perfidy, as it seems that I am simply attempting to hide under cover of blackness due to "the recent total collapse of any possible defense of neo-conservative ideas and fundamentalist dogma." He does not enumerate the conservative (which is to say, classical liberal) ideas that can no longer be defended, nor does he outline how I fit the definition of a weird dogmatic fundamentalist -- the weirdness I will cop to -- but he seems to be suggesting yesterday's post was an exercise in flailing about and trying to find something for which I can blame the left, since my own fanatical Bush/Rove/Free Market/Fundamentalist Christian ideas have been so thoroughy discredited.

In other words, this fellow Jonwo is a bit of a psychologist. He's telling me that I don't really believe what I believe, but am engaged in some sort of paranoid defense mechanism whereby I lash out at the left as a way to ignore the reality of my crumbling world view. Could be.

Regarding black music, he writes, "It's certainly safe for you to claim [it] as your own now, isn't it? Now that the rough veneer of actual rebelliousness has been polished to a safe and genteel shine? Glad you and your golf buddies are so musically progressive out in the suburbs. Would you and your caddie [have] been so accepting hanging out with these same heroin-addicted, frequently crazy and passionate poor black folks when they were alive? Of course not. It would be Lawrence Welk all the way. Once dead you can gussy them up and try and make them belong to you. Coltrane's Christ is not your Christ and his Christianity is not your Christianity. Don't demean his work by attempting to lump him with your other half-baked generalizations. By the by, if you discover that you are unable to make a point without resorting to weak generalizations, you should sit down and think about what it is you believe."

Yes, this is a stupid and infantile rant, but it is important to analyze it, for it does reflect certain ruling ideas of the left. First, it is thoroughly racist, which almost goes without saying, for there is no leftism without racism. But even before that, there is another fanciful assumption, that religion equates to fundamentalism, which equates to dogma and absence of reason, for he writes,

"The sad fact for many modern conservatives is that they have allowed the faith-based voodoo talk of the fundamentalists to replace any vestige of the reason-based ideas and discourse of the old conservatives. We've ended up with a generation of Republicans unable to put simple ideas together."

First there is the ubiquitous conflation of Republicanism with conservatism. But more noteworthy is how the "new liberals" always claim to be in common cause with the "old conservatives." Witness Time magazine's recent cover story with the photoshopped tear on the face of Ronald Reagan. Leftists now supposedly pine for the old days of Reagan conservatism, when in reality, if you check out a Time magazine from the 1980s, you will see that they routinely mocked and excoriated Reagan as an addle-brained extremist, just as they mock Bush today.

Thus, the left does exactly what Jonwo accuses me of doing, that is, reinventing the past in order to make it serviceable for present ideological needs. You will find that they are doing the same with Goldwater, resurrecting him as a sensible conservative, nothing at all like these extremists running loose today. But if you read what liberals actually wrote at the time, it was just as full of hatred and bile as the present denunciations of imaginary "Jew-loving Christian fascist neo-cons."

Jonwo does something that one should always avoid, which is to confuse art and politics. He writes, "It sounds as though you have a nice collection of music created by people who would despise your politics, which is perhaps why you have such an odd tension between your musical tastes and your social conservatism. Interesting."

First of all, the feelings an artist has about my politics are completely irrelevant to both their production of the art and my enjoyment of it. I do not have to be a great admirer of Napoleon in order to enjoy the Eroica symphony, nor am I troubled by the fact that if Beethoven knew that I preferred a representative republic over a dictatorship, he'd probably thrash me about the head and shoulders with his baton. Nevertheless, I suppose it is "ironic," in a way, that Beethoven was inspired to produce this great work of art by political ideals I find objectionable. How about that?

Perhaps the most notorious example is Wagner, whom a fair number of people believe to be the greatest composer -- in fact, the greatest genius, bar none -- the world has ever known, despite his vicious anti-Semitism.

Jonwo asks if I and my caddie, Dupree, would enjoy hanging out with "poor, crazy, heroin-addicted, black folks" today. That is a good question. I know that Dupree would in a heartbeat, which indeed is one of his "issues." As for me, I wouldn't want to go on an amphetamine binge with Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings and stay up for a week (not today, anyway -- bad for diabetes), but it doesn't mean I can't enjoy their music.

I myself used to be an artist of sorts. Not really, but I was in a band, and we didn't want to not be artists. Yeah, that's me:



Mostly we wanted to extend our adolescence and forestall adulthood for as long as possible. In fact, one of the things that impeded my career was that I had other options available to me. I could avoid the horror of a conventional "day gig" by becoming a psychologist, of all things. It seems that many popular artists are alienated *losers* of sorts, without other options in life, which gives them a certain desperate ambitiousness that I never possessed. Someone like John Lennon would have been in prison or on the dole had he not been Elvis Beatle. Outside that context, he was a completely dysfunctional person. One could cite hundreds of other examples. As the Mother expressed it, artists often

"live in the vital plane, and the vital part of them is extremely sensitive to the forces of that world and receives from it all kinds of impressions and impulsions over which they have no controlling power. And often too they are very free in their minds and do not believe in the petty social conventions and moralities that govern the life of ordinary people. They do not feel bound by the customary rules of conduct and have not yet found an inner law that would replace them."

Amen to that, Mother!

Speaking of my days in the band, it is something of a truism that artists and artistic wannabooze down through the centuries have taken advantage of whatever was available at the time in order to facilitate "non-ordinary" experiences, whether it was religion, herbal remedies, absinthe, morning glory, belladonna, heroin, amphetamine, psychedelics, what have you. But it is not as if anyone can simply take a drug and become an artist. Supposedly, this is the reason so many jazz musicians were hooked on heroin during the 1940s and '50s. They were so in awe of Charlie Parker's talent, that they thought perhaps his secret lay (or is it lie? -- help me out here, Martin) in the substance he was injecting. Thus, if you look at my profile, you will see that many of my favorite musicians were heroin addicts at one time or another: Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Jackie McLean, and Bill Evans, not to mention Lee Morgan, Phil Woods, Ray Charles, Grant Green, and so many others.

Does this mean that I have to be a rebellious heroin addict to enjoy their musical accomplishments? Of course not. First of all, Kenny G. or Wynton Marsalis could take heroin all day, but it would not elevate their art. And most of the above musicians produced better music once they stopped using heroin.

When I began exploring jazz in the early '90s, it was simply because I had hit a certain wall with other musical forms and was in search of something deeper. I began in the middle, with people like John Coltrane, but found it too daunting, so I returned to the beginning and educated myself in the same order that the music organically developed, from New Orleans "trad jazz," through big band and small group swing, and on to bop, cool, third stream, hard bop, post bop, avant-garde and fusion.

Eventually I settled on a particular period between around 1959 and 1967 (with many notable outliers in both directions), during which time the genre of "freebop" or avant-garde small group jazz reached its artistic apex. And if you want to know why I love this music, it is because it combines a maximum of order and spontaneity, which, as a matter of fact, is an exact mirror of my classical liberal political philosophy and the basic pattern of spiritual and psychological evolution. It takes incredible discipline and sensitivity to play this music, and yet, it is always right on the verge of chaos. It's not just the music I like -- i.e., the order -- but the chaos. But if the chaos goes any further, it ventures into "free jazz" -- AKA, musical anarchy -- which I do not like.

And as a matter of fact, the development of free jazz was completely tied up with the afrocentric political movement of radical black liberation. Chord progressions and structure are for slaves! That's the white man's music! As always, when art explicitly merges with a political program, it generally becomes time-bound didacticism and not art. Bob Dylan's most forgettable songs are from his early days as part of the leftist movement -- "Masters of War," and the like. His art took a quantum leap forward when he left the tediously earnest left behind, and began playing with the possibilities of language to explore the interior landscape.

Now, it is a mildly interesting question to ask: who's "cooler," modern liberals (i.e., leftists) or traditional liberals (i.e., conservatives)? Who's more hip, more free-thinking, more open to experience, more "rebellious" and non-conforming? Not that any of these things are worthwhile on their own in the absence of real intellectual or spiritual substance, but one of the biggest surprises of my life has been how startlingly conformist and parochial my baby-boomer generational cohort became. These people were supposed to be the great questioners of authority, but most of these craven conformists haven't taken a new cognitive imprint since the 1960s or early-'70s -- which we see every day in the MSM. Who could possibly be more predictable and vacuously conformist than Katie Couric, Maureen Dowd, Wolf Blitzer, Chris Matthews, or Keith Olbermann? Have they ever had a creative thought in their lives -- not counting paranoid creativity? Doubtful.

Clearly, leftism represents the entrenched interests of the day, as they have taken over virtually every influential institution. They have control of television, Hollywood, academia, the arts, labor unions, the major daily newspapers, the biggest websites (dailykos and huffpo) and virtually all of the major professional organizations, including my own pathetic pressure group, the American Psychological Association.

Conservatives have, what, the Washington Times, the editorial pages of the WSJ, talk radio, and Fox (which is really more populist than conservative).

I believe my philosophy is much closer to the aesthetic ideals of my musical heroes because, like them, my posts, for better or worse, are a combination of discipline and spontaneity. I had to spend half my life disciplining and preparing myself, and now I am spending the second half improvising and riffing on what I internalized along the way. Mind jazz, baby! It's not for leftist squares and moldy figs. What they don't know -- cannot know -- is that genuine religion is by far the greatest form of adult entertainment, emphasis on the word adult, for it is so much more musically and harmonically deep than the screechy and repetitive horizontal ditties of the left.

Classical liberalism, like the greatest art and the great religious revelations, will still be around in 10,000 years, whereas bonehead leftism will have been long forgotten, if only because the world will not survive another 10,000 years should leftism prevail in our current three-party civil war between Islamism, leftism and liberalism. "Integrating" them in the manner of Ken Wilber (TW: Alan) is a non-starter.

There is nothing to prevent a Yogi from being an artist or an artist from being a Yogi. But when you are in Yoga, there is a profound change in the values of things, of art, as of everything else; you begin to look at art from a very different standpoint. It is no longer the one supreme all-engrossing thing for you, no longer an end in itself. Art is a means, not an end...

If you want art to be the true and highest art, it must be the expression of a divine world brought down into this material world.... If you consider it in this light, art is not very different from Yoga.... In both, the aim is to become more and more conscious; in both you have to learn to see and feel something that is beyond the ordinary vision and feeling, to go within and bring out from there deeper things.
--The Mother, Conversations on Yoga

*****

The fellows I played with, Dave and Eddie, went on to form the group Sun 60.

68 Comments:

Anonymous soldier said...

I think what jonwo was expressing was his frustration at the lack of detailed conservative leadership.

I too am tired of living from generalities. Bob says "affirmitive action is bad for blacks." I believe.

I don't question Bob, but I say well, where do we begin to repeal it? What state is ripe for action?
What do we do next?

What are the specific ordinances that need to be overturned, and how can it be done?

I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed; I'm not going to be able to figure out what to do. I need leadership, detailed and specific leadership.

My only power is my loyalty and energy, but I have no place to put it because the conservative leadership is too distant and out of touch with me.

Some of us are natural followers, and we suffer when we are not paid attention to and specific and detailed action plans are not provided.

That is what jonwo is all puffed up about. And me too.

3/30/2007 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Soldier:

First become a model of that which you would have others become, otherwise you can help no one.

3/30/2007 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Bob,
I just wanted to say what I should have said yesterday, when I let my inner brat handle the keys instead. Let me first clarify my mistake, since it seemed to derail the musical conversation somewhat. In seeking out instances of exceptions from your generalizations, I missed the point entirely, since of course your generalizations were absolutely correct. Had they been wrong (for example if you were saying that in general, today's hip hop is an example of how black culture in America is improving), it would have been an obvious fallacy. So, my apologies - as I said yesterday, I'm usually smarter than that.

3/30/2007 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger MizzE said...

..."craven conformists haven't taken a new cognitive imprint since the 1960s or early-'70s. . ."

One of the most memorable cartoons I found in the New Yorker a few years back was by one of my favorites, George Booth. His subjects often deal with domestic and family life - you know the ones - a frumpy couple with a cat in a permanent state of electrocution and an ornery-looking mutt - anyhoot, in this particular one, Hippydude is strumming his guitar and croaking out lyrics to "Love me, I'm a Liberal" (or sooMeing' like that) and Hippychick is standing in the doorway under a bare light bulb saying in disgust: "For Petey's sake, the 60's are over, the 70's and 80's and the 90's are over Give It a Rest!"

3/30/2007 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Anyway, thanks for these two posts. I come from a family of mixed race, where my grandmother (with good intentions) tried to pass for white (she honestly believed they would have better lives. Didn't work). She didn't tell her kids where they came from, especially tragic because in our family there were some real heroes they could have looked up to. She also made sure that they didn't have any black culture (this was in the 50s, so yes that was a true shame); what this means to me is that I'm still playing catch up. It's only as I get older that I am gaining a better appreciation of what I've been missing.

"And if you want to know why I love this music, it is because it combines a maximum of order and spontaneity, which, as a matter of fact, is an exact mirror of my classical liberal political philosophy and the basic pattern of spiritual and psychological evolution. It takes incredible discipline and sensitivity to play this music, and yet, it is always right on the verge of chaos."

Order and spontaneity - vertical and horizontal - the structure that grants freedom. Get those in the right balance, and you have the keys to the Kingdom.

3/30/2007 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Mizze - LOL, if only more of the old hippychicks would say that! The world would have to be a better place.

3/30/2007 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Brilliant response post Dr.

You said:
“if you check out a Time magazine from the 1980s, you will see that they routinely mocked and excoriated Reagan as an addle-brained extremist, just as they mock Bush today”

Yes. They forget we were actually present while this happened. I don’t need to refer to that magazine issue to remember. So they can burn that mag – but I was there. Same for 9/11 till the present.
I saw with my own eyes how we got to this very point in this war. How did they think they could get away with rewriting it?

3/30/2007 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous John B said...

Bob

Love that rockin’ guitar pic from your band days. So I'm not a musical trivia-ist by any means. Who do you think pioneered this jump and jam move?

3/30/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“they live in the vital plane, and the vital part of them is extremely sensitive to the forces of that world and receives from it all kinds of impressions and impulsions over which they have no controlling power”

Yep. This is what happens when your dials ‘go to 11’.

3/30/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Ah yes, where’s an old conservative like Jesse Helms when we need him?

And Bob,
Jonwo forgot to mention in his angry screed the important point that if that son of yours isn’t wearing digital camo BDUs and isn’t over in Iraq with an M16, you’re not allowed to talk about the war either.
I guess these leftists think that shame and guilt are supposed to stifle the speech of people who have no reason to be ashamed or guilty.

“Down with the establishment” has become the establishment and they are too stooped to realize it.

Join us jonwo, in the new revolution, DOWN WITH THE MATRIARCHY! Viva la Revolucion! ;) (or something like that)

3/30/2007 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Julie--

Now, now, you are a Coon in good standing and therefore allowed to disagree with Dear Leader, even when you don't. I think you'll find that 7th degree Coons such as Will, Dilys and Van do so all the time, or at least have their own particular angle on Coonsville. For "the divergences of the sages is a blessing," or something like that.

3/30/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

And Dr Bob said:

“…genuine religion is by far the greatest form of adult entertainment”

Yes! I have recently (re)discovered that it is also that. Not just that – but also that. It is truly an adventure.

You lefties don’t know what you’re missing – literally.

3/30/2007 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous joan of argghh! said...

I love this music, it is because it combines a maximum of order and spontaneity, which, as a matter of fact, is an exact mirror of my classical liberal political philosophy and the basic pattern of spiritual and psychological evolution.

So, the Whole Existentialada is actually a Black Thing that we would understand?

3/30/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

John B--

Who pioneered the ecstatic Gagdad leap? I can't think of anyone prior to Pete Towshend, but that crazy Collins kid was pretty damn wild.

3/30/2007 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger MizzE said...

"Who pioneered the ecstatic Gagdad leap?"

I don't know, but I bet Jerry Lee could tell us.

3/30/2007 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Fausta said...

Bob, when you're inspired, you inspire.
Thank you.

3/30/2007 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Jeez. Speaking of drug addled - I hung out with those guys in high school. I basically lived on the lowest rung of the 'white suburbia' social ladder. And its plenty ugly. The school I went to back then got the name 'Heroin High'. So... there you have it, jonwo. No 'life of privilege' for me, really. But I don't talk about it-- or make myself a victim. You pick yourself up and you make something of yourself. If you start listening to God and not putting words in His mouth, he'll tell you the same thing.

Leftism is death - it is a denial of discretion - which is one of the four civic virtues. Without discretion, Justice is impossible, and so courage becomes foolishness and temperance a mad and destructive penance.

Thus you have - 'social justice' - which is not Just nor Merciful - to either party;

- 'speaking truth to power' which is not courage really but cowardice, that is, to do something that isn't courageous but not having the guts to admit it. Cowards.

- 'political correctness' - supposedly a form of temperance, but really a totalitarianism of subtleties.

PS- I'm not actually as angry as I might sound to you, I'm actually smiling as I write this now; I am however a bit on edge since I saw Evan Sayet.

3/30/2007 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Hot Tuna! Awesome post today, Bob.

Perhaps Jonwo is a frustrated jazz musician riffing on familiar structures, unable to break out any inspired solos.

I can relate to that actually. As a piano man proficient with most pop/blues/folk styles, I still 'battle' jazz. I can approximate it (and fool most people) but I don't inhabit it. But I'm learning, or unlearning, and one of these days I'll get it before I keel.

The problem is muscle memory inertia. I am so rooted and grounded in my familiar forms that thinking is no longer required to pull off some good things. However, jazz requires full attention to the rules before I can let go. Not there yet.

Pretty much the same principles I find I must apply to One Cosmos. The unlearning is tough most of the time, but immensely rewarding as some of the notes start to resonate from inside.

So Jonwo, suspend some disbelief for awhile and take the ride.


Love the picture of Dr. Bob in full elevation. I'm jealous - piano guys don't get to do that, with the exception of Jerry Lee. :-)

Hey big thanks to Dupree for calling out my man Leon Russell! Leon and Dr. John took up a large portion of the poster art on my walls way back when.

One of the links off of a Sun 60 site says they toured with Material Issue. One of my all-time favorite rock songs of all time is MI's Kim the Waitress. Did I mention it is an all-time favorite?

Rock on, Dr. Bob!

3/30/2007 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Mizze - wow! you know where to find all the coolest stuff. I'd never even heard of the Collins Kids before

3/30/2007 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

juliec,

You are right about Bob's being right about the general decline of popular music. It could hardly be otherwise given the general social decline of the West. My point--and I too was off-topic, but hey, it's a blog, not the bar exam--my point was that there are many decent musicians out there today amidst the garbage.

Just as One Cosmos is a shining gem among mountains of confused rubbish, one can seek out and find good music being made today. That was my only real point, and I think that it is valid since Bob has chosen to pretty much all modern music.

Bob made the point that nobody would remember, say, Outkast in 100 years versus, say Coltrane. I have no doubt this is true. However I don't see it as a contest, but that's when I got somewhat sidetracked, as Bob observed.

Bob is the Dear Leader for a good reason. He has changed a lot of lives for the better, including mine. But I learn a lot from the other contributors to this blog too, and inevitably there will be disagreements over aesthetics. Actually I don't disagree with a single one of Bob's musical selections--not the Carpenters, not Scott Walker, certainly not 1960s jazz. I do however range afield a bit more in my listening habits when it comes to post-1980 or so music.

Anyhow I would't apologize for expressing an opinion. I think all of us here respect and admire Bob, and we are all sold 99% on his vision, simply because it is self-evidently based on the Truth. All Bob is doing is serving as a conduit for Truth. He massages raw truth in a way that makes it available to people like us. But we're still individuals with our own lives to live. With that, I'm going to pop on "Hey Ya" with a clear conscience.

3/30/2007 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Hubris.

That's all I can mark it up to, plain Hubris. I keep thinking I can do it, get away with it, no matter how many times I've failed before.

At least this time I was alone in my cube. I thought I was tougher than the One Cosmos.

And then it happened:

"And perhaps the poems of Suzanne Sommers."

I've managed to get most of the salad chunks out of the seams in my monitor. There's still a stubborn oily sheen in the left corner of the screen though. A fitting reminder.

Plain Hubris.

3/30/2007 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Mind jazz, baby! It's not for leftist squares and moldy figs. What they don't know -- cannot know -- is that genuine religion is by far the greatest form of adult entertainment, emphasis on the word adult, for it is so much more musically and harmonically deep than their screechy and repetitive horizontal melodies."

Nothing to add, just wanted to see it again.

3/30/2007 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Smoov,
actually, what you just said was what I meant. I don't have a problem disagreeing, I just hate to miss the point entirely. As musical tastes go, I tend to listen to more post 80s music (I wanted to be gothy when I was a teenager, but there was no Hot Topic to provide the right clothes for me back then, and my Mom wouldn't let me dress like that anyway...), and I must admit that not only do I enjoy "shaking like a polaroid picture" with "Hey Ya," I also have a tender place in my ear for the Black-Eyed Peas (come on, admit it, My Humps is kinda funny and if you've ever been to a dance club also very true)...

3/30/2007 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Van - I agree, that line has forever changed my mental pic of Dear Leader

3/30/2007 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Geez, you just love rocking the boat, don't ya Bob? Now Kenny G & Winton M are gonna be pissed at you. Their legions of trolls will be hitting the site soon! Just wait and see...


Julie-You may have noticed I kept quiet yesterday. I have already tried to enlighten Bob on some new bands such as White Stripes, Wolfmother, etc. and I happen to enjoy Rap (very pelvic chakra stimulating)! The horrors!! Funny you brought up OutKast because that has been a fav lately. It's a generational coon thing, those old ones just don't quite get it even when they think they do. He is right about Jazz though, that is ethereal and special. Just look out for the younger coons coming up on our tails! Soon enough we'll be the old farts!;)

3/30/2007 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Bob - I'm a little disappointed that you referenced Suzanne Somers' poetry but didn't provide the customary link so we could run out and buy...so here it is:

www.amazon.com/Touch-Me-Poems-Suzanne-Somers/dp/0894801414

;0)))

You're welcome.

3/30/2007 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Touch Me Poems? Oh, the horror (my imagination is on overload!)

Lisa, I did notice you were quiet yesterday. I'd still like to see your poppies...

As for being an old fart, truth is I really dislike a lot new music these days (these kids and their whiny guy music, all sounds the same to me, etc.), but I'm pretty sure most of my nieces and nephews feel the same way about my music :)

3/30/2007 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nomo:

A reviewer writes:

"I thoughtthe books was good, but I have read beter."

I wonder what it was?

3/30/2007 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Lisa,

The White Stripes are an awesome band. Stripped down, primal re-wired blues. Especially like their covers of Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee" and Blind Willie Johnson's "John the Revelator".

There is a generational aspect to this, however I also fully support Bob's point that overall the quality of practically all popular entertainment is declining.

3/30/2007 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I'm still shuddering...and not in a good way.

Oh, jeez. Now I can't get the theme song from 3's Company out of my head!

3/30/2007 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Van,
You can get rid of this ol’ contraption now:
http://www.saladshooter.com/

3/30/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

juliec,

I'm pretty sure most of my nieces and nephews feel the same way about my music

I dunno. Much of the music they listen to IS your music--even out parents music. It's just been "re-mixed" since virtually nobody could write the stuff themselves any more. Last week I came upon my 10 year old niece grooving to "Somebody To Love" (re-mixed), which is big with the teenie-bopper set now. When I told her that the song had been written and produced 8 years before her mother was born, in 1967 by Jefferson Airplane--well she was sure I was playing a joke.

3/30/2007 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Anyone here a fan of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole? (aka "Bruddah Iz")

3/30/2007 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Smoov - I want Iz's "Over the Rainbow" sung at my funeral.

3/30/2007 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Hey the latest coonalog was just released full of official summer kit wear: Bean.

3/30/2007 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

NoMo,

I hear you. The big man with the voice of an angel. When he passed away the entire state had flags at half-mast, yet few know him outside Hawaii.

3/30/2007 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Smoov,

Bruddah IZ ees beeg on ne Ilans.

3/30/2007 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Julie- you didn't get the poppies? hmm. do me a favor and email me so I can just reply! ;)

Here's some strangeness: My new favorite pastime is playing my ipod on shuffle mode. Sometimes a song will move me in a special way and I will stop what I am doing to see who it is. Lately most of the time it is a Taj Mahal song. There are a few songs that just show up with a title, one such being Queen Bee. I googled it and of course, big suprise, it was Taj. So I looked at his biography and it turns out he was born on the same day I was but 29 years earlier! Weird, huh?

Anyway, I love all genres of music as long as it doesn't hurt my ears. Sure 90% of the music in most genres is shit but there's still that 10% of absolute truth, beauty and goodness out there to be discovered and devoured at all times in history. True art is timeless!

wv: klyks

3/30/2007 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

lisa:

True art is timeless!

On that we can all agree.

3/30/2007 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Lisa said "I love all genres of music as long as it doesn't hurt my ears". Thank you, my sentiments exactly.

Another version of "Over the Rainbow" that would work at my funeral would be Eve Cassidy's -- or her "Fields of Gold". I get shivers (the good kind) just thinkin' about it (the music, not my funeral.)

TGIF!

3/30/2007 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Funny you guys should mention that IZ song - I've heard it several times this week, out of the blue, and none of those was a commercial.

I'll have to look for more of their stuff.

wv: vhfmylam
part of a children's story?
"Mommy, how did you record movies before tivo?"

3/30/2007 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Lisa, I sent an email to your walknroll address.

wv: nnugnh
Makes me laugh just to think what that could be!

3/30/2007 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Got it! Did you?

3/30/2007 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous walt said...

So - is LL Bean going to be selling Bob's book? After all, the book was what started the Raccoon Craze....

3/30/2007 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

hrm. not yet. I'll give it a few minutes.

3/30/2007 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

juliec said...
"Touch Me Poems? Oh, the horror (my imagination is on overload!)"

Hmmm... speaking of overload, Lisa said "I happen to enjoy Rap (very pelvic chakra stimulating)!"

Smoov said "True art is timeless! On that we can all agree."

Exactly... "Rock Lobster! Down... Down... Dooooowwwwwnnnnnnn!"

wv:lgwge large wedgee? yeah, rock lobstah! Down.....

3/30/2007 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous ibn hafiz said...

I renounce my previous faith: I now want to be a raccoon. I would like Van or Dilys to explain to me what to do.

I am ready to do anything required to be a raccoon.

3/30/2007 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Bob - Some diabetes news that may be of interest...

http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=31&art_id=nw20070330124106660C803648

Excellent post today. I particularly love the title - it should piss off any self-disrepecting leftist - since they pride themselves on being the opposite.

3/30/2007 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

You know, I spent the entire decade of the '80's leaping about the stage (I'd perfected the Townsend leap with a 360' spin - usually without knocking anyone else off the stage), often performed amazing feats of Chin Foo Do on jealous bikers while never missing a beat, and I don't have a single action shot, let alone one as cool as Gagdad's.

wv:ypukht I'm not even going to say it.

3/30/2007 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Juliec & Smoov,
I thought my kids would shun my favorite bands, but I was raised to a new status of respect when I showed them the right way to play 'Smoke on the water', some AC/DC & Def Leopard songs.

3/30/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

ibn hafiz said...
"I renounce my previous faith: I now want to be a raccoon. I would like Van or Dilys to explain to me what to do."

Grasp your nose between the left thumb & forefinger, leap up & down while keeping roughly the posture of a hormone crazed salmon, and shriek loudly at the top of your lungs "Rock Lobster! Down! Down! Dooooowwwwnnnnnnn!"

That'll pretty much set you apart from he pack no matter where you go.

3/30/2007 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

ibn hafiz - I know you didn't ask me, but...there are different views...here's my short version biblical one in terms of condition and consequence:

Believing in Christ is the "coondition"...eternal life is the "coonsequence". (John 6:47)

Simplicity by design.

3/30/2007 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

ibn: Here's a good place to start...

Also:
'I happen to enjoy Rap (very pelvic chakra stimulating)!'

Better keep the temperature down here for us bucks, here! Whew! Though, I agree. If they could eschew the stupid/vicious lyrics and just do the beats and cool vocal styles, it would be incredible! And yes, a mans got ta drop some beats once in a while.

One take!

3/30/2007 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

ibn hafiz,
Course if you're looking for a slightly more dignified (looking) method, I'd suggest rattling Petey's sad little tin cup of Amazon links on the main page, particularly the Coonifesto.

I've got several useful links to free online texts on my site in the side bar, and four particularly good ones in my previous post The I Doctor.

3/30/2007 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh Van,I was wondering how long it would take you coon boys to notice my silly vulgarity? How can you not when the topic is Rap? (That is not an insult to Rap, quite the compliment!)

3/30/2007 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Any thoughts on Willy DeVille? I've been getting into that vibe lately too.

wv: tstxxy (can't make things like this up!)

3/30/2007 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Also, you may want to Keep your Lamps Trimmed and Burning.

O->(k)!

3/30/2007 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

You guys are killing me! I've go stuff to do this afternoon, and sitting here laughing my arse off :)

Lisa's poppies finally came in the mail, by the way, and can now be viewed by all here.

They are just gorgeous!

3/30/2007 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

OK. Affirmative action. The Ward Connerly operation is The American Civil Rights Institute. Join, get informed, give money until you know what to do next.

Detailed conservative leadership. There is something known as "chunk size." Too small chunks, too-focused on detail, too early in a process, aborts it. One thing OC points toward is letting the personal/Vertical foundation rebuild, for clarity, courage, vision. No magic formulas, except being willing to wake up astonishingly sharp one day when the situation requires. No magic leaders, just intelligent cooperation. Boils down to faith, hope, and love.

I like Byron Katie's "Be the person you've been looking for." I for one could always be kinder&calmer -- Don't slow me down in traffic, you bastard!; more disciplined -- tax time anyone?; more prepared -- learn one more friendly sentence of Spanish, renew my passport.

Incidentally, for those of us cowed into Ninja invisibility because we're not on board with tinkling piano-bar manic despair, nostalgic howling (Kim the Waitress??!!) and general pitch-assisted headbanging, the hegemony of rock, hiphop, and jazz might, just might, be oozing away here on the rainy Third Coast. This week's alternative weekly Chronicle cover headline (the Chronicle sponsors SXSW, big Austin player) features Big Banjos: "Is 'Old-Time Music' Austin's New Punk Rock?"

So, just my thoughts. It could be worse than this little prosy-advice exercise. I almost spent the allotted comment-pixel-ink on  lotsa those trimmed-lamp hymns, a background score for the River link, [to handle the water music, I suppose...].

3/30/2007 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hey Smoov,

One more cup of coffee just came on the shuffle.....It is good...He seems to be the best and brightest out there right now. I saw them live before really ever listening to an album and they rocked my world in a big way. You can go multiple nights because every show is different and has a distinct vibe. One night will be really psychedelic hard rock and the next will night will be country bluesy rock. Different set list each night too. Then all this huge sound coming from only two people. It's earth-shaking.

3/30/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

eeyeah eeyeaaha, eeyeah eeyeaaha, eeyeahe eeyeaaha...oh sorry, just rockin' out to Sun 60. I dig 'em.

Interestingly, I "discovered" and introduced my 3 sons to a lot of the music they and their friends ended up listening to in high school and college - just had a knack for it. Live, Counting Crows, Dave Matthews, TMBG, U2, REM, Barenaked Ladies, Bob Schneider, etc. etc. Good 80's and 90's fare.

I was ahead of the curve. Now, I'm not sure I would even recognize the curve if I saw it...and its OK.

3/30/2007 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nomo--

I assume you're familiar with this fantastic box set of ''80s & '90s groups that slipped under the commercial radar, Children of Nuggets?

3/30/2007 07:50:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Bob said:
"Who could possibly be more predictable and vacuously conformist than Katie Couric, Maureen Dowd, Wolf Blitzer, Chris Matthews, or Keith Olbermann? Have they ever had a creative thought in their lives -- not counting paranoid creativity? Doubtful."

Craven conformity indeed.
The first thing I notice about leftists is how incredibly ignorant they are.

They loathe any research and simply accept their marxin orders without question.

Leftists accuse men and women in the military of never questioning orders, which is a projection on their part, because the vast majority of Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and Airmen (don't forget the puddle puppies, the Coasties),
certainly will question stupid or unlawful orders.

Leftists don't have the courage to question their leaders or their own unreal beliefs, which is why they repeat crap that has already been debunked, usually many times (plastic turkey anyone?).

3/30/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Soldier said:
"Some of us are natural followers, and we suffer when we are not paid attention to and specific and detailed action plans are not provided."

You don't have to be a leader to have initiative and a can do spirit.
Anyone who has been in the military, fire, police, (among other jobs) knows that if they paid any attention at all to what was going on.

You don't have to be sharp as a tack to know that.

Apply that can do spirit to finding the truth (and Truth) and you wouldn't be deceived by people like jonwo.

In other words: you need to learn the self evident truths before you start asking Bob questions (even though you don't question Bob).

3/30/2007 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Bob - I recognize a lot of the bands, but I missed the collection. I will definitely check it out. Thanks.

I may have to hold a service for my trusty 35 year old Pioneer solid walnut case turntable - finally gave up the ghost. They don't make 'em like they used to. The Sony replacement I picked up is all plastic and a lot smaller and works fine - but without the same "spirit". Ah, the way of all things.

3/30/2007 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Geckofeeder said...

Hi Infidelicoons, what a garden it is here and always so much thanks goes to Dear Leader for creating this city that is set on this cyber hill and continuing to shine that light and showing everyone how he does it - preparation really is everything.

Smoove, how can one not love the voice of Iz- it causes chakras to open. In Makaha where he lived on Oahu all traffic stopped as his music blasted out of all the speakers and honked their horns to honor him as lei laden canoes and surfboards went out to sea to scatter his ashes in the Pacific. He, like so many others, it seems did have the artistic vital man's hunger for certain illegal substances .

3/31/2007 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nomo:

Don't forget, a good cartridge is critical.

Gecko:

You're so right about Iz causing chakras to open. What a gift. It shows you without a doubt that musical complexity does not equate to musical sophistication or perfection. There are just certain voices that prove the divine by making it present.

3/31/2007 03:54:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

eQuite a valuable post, despite its rather generic headline. Yes, artists - not limited to music - often convey deep beauty and truth despite the flaws of the person. Sometimes it looks like whatever force magnifies the art also magnifies the flaws. I have a good friend who cannot enjoy art if he knows that the artist is obnoxious or hold despicable opinions. He is deprived of much beauty that way, is how I see it.

3/31/2007 07:34:00 AM  

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