Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Eric Holder Misquoted

This is outrageous and I'm sure the former Attorney General is already demanding a correction!

According to an article from The Hill yesterday:
Former Attorney General Eric Holder says that Attorney General Jeff Sessions needs to “have the guts” to say no to President Trump.
Holder criticized Sessions at an event at Georgetown University on Monday, days after Sessions fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who had been a subject of frequent criticism from Trump.
However, as Attorney General, Holder proudly described himself as President Obama’s “wing-man, so I’m there for my boy.“, and we know a wing-man never lets the lead pilot down.

And Holder played the key role in facilitating the pardon of Marc Rich for President Clinton, described in left-wing Slate, as “the most unjust presidential pardon in American history”.

That's why I'm confident he was misquoted and actually said Sessions needs to “have the guts I  never had”.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Roman Snow

On February 26, Rome had its first measurable snow in six years which yielded some beautiful portraits of the city in white.

Via Twisted Sifter this is drone footage by Oliver Astrologo, much of which is over the Colosseum and Forum areas of the city.

Below a snowball fight between seminarians in St Peter's Square.

More pictures, from the NY Post, can be found here.  Some of the 18 photos lack good labeling.  I'll help:

8 - Equestrian statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius; 2nd century AD.  This is copy of statue; original is in the museum building to the right of the statue.

11 - On the Sacred Way between the Colosseum and the Forum.  Palatine Hill on left.  Temple of Mars and Venus on right.  Arch of Titus at top of street.

12 - Trevi Fountain

13 - Palatine Hill in distance

14 - Spanish Steps

17 - Open field beneath which ruins of the Circus Maximus are buried.  Sledge is being pulled up Aventine Hill.  In background is Palatine Hill with ruins of Imperial Palace.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Another Fine Mess

Donald Trump is a mess.  The passengers on the bus he's driving have no idea whether he'll eventually steer it off a cliff or just decide to drive into oncoming traffic.

But then our entire political system is a mess.

The rest of the GOP consists of an ineffective and inarticulate hodgepodge of folks focused on doing whatever it takes to get releected, some nuts, some scared of their own shadow, some willing to do whatever big business would like them to, some still seeking approval from the Washington and media establishment.  There is no agenda, just a bunch of freelancers.

While the Democratic Party and progressives sink further into an authoritarian mode as it seeks to suppress dissent and impose conformity in the name of diversity and tolerance.  And dreams of deliverance in the short-term through the jihad of Robert Mueller, sworn to protect the reputation of the FBI and Department of Justice, and supported by his henchmen, devoted supporters of the Democratic Party.  Have they finally found the Holy Grail - undisputed evidence of a quid pro quo between a presidential candidate and the Russians?  A promise to deliver on the Kremlin's wish list after the election?

Oh . . . wait, a minute.

Friday, March 16, 2018

George Songs 2

A continuation of yesterday's post with my favorite songs composed by George Harrison.  The last post covered songs George did with The Beatles.  Next up are the rest of my favorites, again in chronological order.

Badge (1968), written with Eric Clapton and released by Cream on its final album Goodbye.  It turns out the title came from Clapton misreading George's handwriting on the lyric sheet and thinking the word "Bridge" denoting the middle section of the song was actually "Badge" and the song title.

Beware of Darkness from Harrison's solo triple album All Things Must Pass (1970).  Strong lyric and beautiful melody.  Clapton, Ringo, Billy Preston, and a slew of other rockers contributed to the album.

What Is Life, also from All Things Must Pass.  I actually don't like the riff that introduces the song and the verse but the chorus is infectious.  As long as we're on All Things Must Pass, this is a terrific take on Isn't It A Pity from the Concert for George, with Clapton and Billy Preston on vocals.

Photograph (1973), written with Ringo Starr and released as a Ringo single which hit #1.  Here he is performing the song in 2009.  Sounds pretty good!

All Those Years Ago (1981), originally written by George for Ringo who didn't like the lyrics.  After John Lennon's murder in December 1980, George rewrote and recorded it.  Ringo is on drums and Paul sings harmony.  Here's the best sounding version but the one you want to watch is below:

Handle With Care (1988).  George wrote this as a single for himself and enlisted Jeff Lynne to produce. Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Bob Dylan got pulled into the production and the The Traveling Wilburys were born!

End Of The Line (1988).  Though all the Wilburys were credited with the composition, George composed most of it.  The video was made after the sudden death of Roy Orbison in December 1988; that's why you see an empty rocking chair when Roy's voice is heard.
Maybe somewhere down the road aways
You'll think of me, wonder where I am these days
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays
Purple haze

We'll let Ringo have the last word:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

George Songs

A couple of evenings ago I watched the Concert for George which was being broadcast by our local PBS station as part of its seemingly endless series of fundraisers.  The show, which took place on November 29, 2002 in memory of George Harrison who had died the previous year, was much better than most of its type.  George's longtime friend, Eric Clapton (such good friends they married the same woman!), was musical director and he evidently spent some time selecting songs and rehearsing the performers, who included Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Jeff Lynne, Bill Preston, and Gary Booker, among others.   George's son, Dhani, played guitar and sang harmony that night.

I'd forgotten how many good songs Harrison had written which prompted me to go back and compile my list of personal favorites for which I've done two posts.  This first one consists of favorites from his time with The Beatles.  There is, of course, one problem with embedding the songs, which is that The Beatles promptly take down from YouTube any posting of their songs unless they've done the posting so most of what is linked below are covers or live versions.

In chronological order:

If I Needed Someone from Rubber Soul (1965).  Outstanding guitar sound and soaring harmonies.  Which brings up an issue I had with George; his guitar playing.  I liked the early rockabilly flavored style he employed (see, for instance, this cover of What Goes On) as well as the chiming, Byrds influenced guitar from 1965-66, but I never liked his slide guitar.  Here's Harrison and Clapton playing it on a 1991 tour.  And if you want to learn how to sing the harmonies, this guy in Bologna, Italy is your go-to man for all Beatles harmony singing.

Taxman from Revolver (1966).  Cool and cynical lyric.  I like a guy who doesn't like taxes.  The guitar solo is by McCartney.  Unfortunately, I can't even find a decent cover on YouTube but I did find the isolated guitar solo!

While My Guitar Gently Weeps from The White Album (1968).  With Clapton on guitar.  This is a live version from the 1980s with George, Eric, Ringo, Phil Collins, and Elton John.  This is George's demo for the song (with the strings added in 2006 by George Martin), which gives the song a very different feel.  Oh, and here's the 2004 version from the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, with Prince's famous solo.

Long Long Long from The White Album.  Very underrated song.  Big booming drums from Ringo.  Here's the best cover I could find.

Old Brown Shoe from Let It Be (recorded April 1969).  This version from a cover band.

I want a love that's right
But right is only half of what's wrong
I want a short haired girl
Who sometimes wears it twice as long

Here Comes The Sun from Abbey Road (recorded July 1969).  My favorite of his Beatles tunes.  Another cover.

You may have noticed that many people's favorite George song, Something, is not on my list.  Sorry, not a big fan of it, but The Concert for George featured a lovely version of the song, led by Paul McCartney on the ukulele, which I could not find but here's a shortened version from McCartney's 2002 concert tour.

Well, as long as I'm going down this path, here is a 2014 version of Something featuring Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh, and Dhani Harrison (who looks and sounds strikingly like his dad).  Paul and Ringo are in the audience.  Joe Walsh's reference to being an extended member of The Beatles family is because he and Ringo are married to the Bach sisters.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Can't Find My Way Home

From 2012 comes 64 year old Steve Winwood with an acoustic version of his classic from the Blind Faith days of 1968, Can't Find My Way Home.  Steve is now a squire on a large country estate near the Welsh border.

And here he is with his daughter Lily performing a gorgeous version of his 80s hit Higher Love.

I got here via my friend Titus who posted this acoustic version of the English folksong John Barleycorn Must Die, originally done by Winwood as part of Traffic's 1970 album of the same title.