Hogan's Alley

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Passing of Mary Travers

Mary Travers of the 60's folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, died yesterday at my local hospital in Danbury, Connecticut.  She lived for years in a neighboring town to mine.

She was, of course, one of the major attractions of the folk boom, being as lovely and passionate,and well, hot, as she was.  Happily, the wonderful harmonies she participated in will continue to be available.

Here is a YouTube performance that is probably not the one most other bloggers will choose.  It leaves the contemporary protest songs they featured and reinterprets an older one from the Irish Troubles.

In this song you get, I think, a good sense of the power of the three voices together and a good sense of Mary's passion and power.  And it includes her signature flipping of her hair.  She was one of the great singers of our time.

Rest in Peace.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tired Of The Same Old Crap On The Radio?

If you are of "a certain age" and hate most of the streaming music that is available via the internet, here is a wondrous new resource. The venerable KCRW Public Radio station in LA is now streaming its Morning Becomes Eclectic-style programing 24/7 on the net. It is called Eclectic24. (Thanks to Mickey Kaus for the tip)

I just finished listening for about 45 minutes and it was astounding. I am really well versed in contemporary pop music (excluding rap and tweener stars of the week). But in this short sample I heard nothing that I had ever heard before, yet every piece played was very musical and demanded and caught my attention. Finally at the end of this listening sample they did play a Jimi Hendrix cut, but a very obscure one. No "Classic Rock" canned programming here with its six plays per day of Stairway to Heaven. As great as those songs are, Classic Rock radio stations play a small list absolutely to death.

A nice feature of the site is the constantly updated listing of what is playing, along with a short bio of the singer/bands and links to their websites and iTunes/Amazon to purchase things you love.

A really impressive site. I won't abandon my beloved WFUV, but this will make a nice alternative and a great resource for new music on my iPod.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

We Used To Play For Silver, Now We Play For Lives

A story in today's Times, by the inestimable John Burns, reports that current British Justice Minister, Jack Straw, gave an interview with The Telegraph:

Asked ... whether trade and oil were part of the cabinet decision to include Mr. Megrahi in a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya, Mr. Straw replied: “Yes, it was a very big part of that. I’m unapologetic about that. Libya was a rogue state. We wanted to bring it back into the fold and trade is an essential part of it — and subsequently there was the BP deal.”

Said with a frankness that will no doubt displease Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former PM Tony Blair. Both gentlemen swore up and down that there was no connection between the release of the 1998 Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and any sucking up for something so crass as an oil deal.

Straw has now told the truth, destroying any lies or spin coming from the Government. They needed the Lybian oil and wanted some influence over Qaddafi et fils, the hell with the mostly American passengers who died at his hand. Gone is the pretense that there was any notion of pity for his prostate condition, as fatuous as that was from the get go.

The renewed appearance of Jack Straw, former Foreign Minister under Blair, leads my mind back to the wonderful Greatful Dead song with that name, written by Robert Hunter and Bob Weir. The lines most appropriate to the present Jack Straw are:

Jack straw from wichita cut his buddy down,
And dug for him a shallow grave and laid his body down.
Half a mile from tucson, by the morning light,
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy youre moving much too slow.

For the full song, here they are doing it in Copenhagen in 1972. God, were we all once truly that young?

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