PHILLIP LEVINE

Well one good thing to come out of the Obama administration is the appointment of Phillip Levine to be the next United States Poet Laureate, I’ve spent my life collecting his poetry and any interviews and readings that I could find so I’me delighted with this news. He’s one of a dying breed, a poet of the people, his poems are mostly devoted to the common man doing hard physical work. Here’s a short piece honoring him from today’s radio plus here’s a nice video of him in New York city.


It’s nice to have the opportunity to honor an old timer without having to write an obituary.

THAT DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND KID…


A while ago I started posting some of the albums from the 70′s that I’d particularly enjoyed back then but hadn’t played in years, terminal apathy set in and I let the idea fizzle. I recall creating a mental list that was too long to include here but it included Traffic, Van Morrison, Floyd, CSN plus many more, that was a wonderful period for new releases by major groups. There was one very memorable album that I liked a lot but it doesn’t get any airplay or mention anymore, that was Tommy by The Who, I first heard it in Suffolk when it was released and I played it obsessively everyday that summer; I was teaching at a California university then and had delusions of including it into the curriculum on my return and teaching the course on Tommy, that’s how much impact it had. Does anyone else out there share my enthusiasm or had it faded into obscurity by the time most Spillers were up and about? Rather than go into detail about the album I’ll refer you to Wiki, they have a decent page on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_(album)

Plus there’s a piece here [Tommy text] from a 1968 Rolling Stone interview with Pete Townshend, [he basically wrote the whole thing] where he talks about how Tommy came into being and how it evolved. In 1975 it was produced as a film which was directed by Ken Russell, I can’t stomach anything made by him, I walked out after about 15 minutes. I did likewise for his film ‘Mahler’. I’m posting Tommy in 4 parts, one for each side of a double vinyl album, in total it runs 72 mins, if you’re a believer in earworms it’s worth it.

side 1.


side 2.


side 3.


side 4.


A SLIDESHOW TEST

Somewhere on another post this week there was some discussion about cars, new blokes I suspect since the last time I mentioned this subject there was mostly silence. So I’ll take the opportunity to try something I’ve been wondering about lately; how hard is it to do a slideshow on WordPress? Turns out to be very simple though I haven’t figured out yet how to vary the speed of the slides nor the size; of course I’d like ‘em to fill the screen and to stay on for a long time. My interest in cars goes back literally 60 odd years and you can see that the ones I favor mostly come from that era though there’s a lot more from the ’30′s. I’ve chosen just a few from my Italian file, I think that the Italians have produced the most beautifully designed and engineered cars in the world; if I were buying a car today I’d rather have any of these 60 year old relics than anything on today’s market. We don’t need music to distract us with these images but I thought this might be appropriate, it’s from a recording of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1958; I don’t follow Formula 1 any more but I do enjoy going to Laguna Seca for the vintage races, the cars that race there often look a lot like the ones in these photos. These are just a few of my car photos, I have many more in files for most European countries if anyone’s interested.

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SPOTTY!

It’s probably quite safe to reveal this now, there is amongst us a spiller who’s initials are TCM who has provided a most valuable service to several of us non-UK residents for quite a while. This will probably come as a surprise to most of you but he’s set up proxy accounts to Spotify for several spillers who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it, I was one of those. I’ve had access to Spotty since it’s inception and it’s been wonderful but not without fairly regular problems that TCM has had to deal with for each of us, So from me and all other non UK spotty/spillers, a huge round of applause and many many thanks.
I’ve used Spotty constantly to check artists that you guys have posted or have referred to and also as a source for songs I didn’t have but needed.
Well yesterday Spotify finally opened shop in the US and it was an identical opening to the UK one some time back, there was an invitation to apply for ‘membership’ to the free service so I acted fairly smartly and this morning was accepted; now I’m a fully fledged US member of Spotify and I can tell you that it’s quite different, before I was always a bit nervous that someone was always looking over my shoulder so I was cautious in my usage, today I logged on to my new account, did a search or two just to test it and everything seemed to be OK so I did a search for ‘Richard Wagner’ and Spotty came up with an endless page of various versions of everything he’d ever written; I spent the rest of the day on headphones with Spotty on a Wagner shuffle, a wonderful day and the first time I’ve ever sat in front of my computer for about 10 hours straight.
It prompted my to think about the possibilities of having that fed to my stereo system in the living room with is in turn piped into every room in the house so I did a bit of research and discovered that some modern stereo receivers come with the capability of receiving Spotify directly and feeding it to your speakers, one such is the Onkyo TX-NR 709 which is well within my price range so guess what, there’s another stereo re-wiring project in the offing. Here’s just a small taste of some of the Wagner I was enjoying so much.

QUICKSILVER


Given the enthusiastic response to Amylee’s Nicky appreciation society and the several mentions of Quicksilver this might be an appropriate spot to consolidate all the aging hippies hereabouts, to that end I’ve digitized one cut from QMS’s finest album. Unfortunately by the time Nicky joined the group they were in terminal decline, blame Dino for that, but their Happy Trails album from 1968 was QMS at their finest. The cut I’ve chosen is to me the highlight of the album, it’s ‘Calvary’, it closes side two. This is definitely headphone music, so put ‘em on, sit back for about 10 minutes and enjoy; it’s fabulous!


Here’s the album’s review from Spotty.
qms

SPRING IS HERE

This is just another test, though a bit more ambitious than my last efforts. Since I’d succeeded with Maki’s and Tin’s help in getting both an image and a tune up, I thought I’d try for a slide show. Irises are in full bloom right now and will be for another month, these are some from my garden and of course the vocal is by Ella, though she seems a bit slow to start. I was overcautious re. the image sizes, I could have made them larger so they’d fill the space.

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