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Jessie Baylin:

Albert Murray, from his book Stomping the Blues:

The element of frolicsome mockery in [Jordan’s] verbal delivery is as obvious as the downhome earthiness represented by the instrumental accompaniment. Incidentally, as should surprise no one, Jordan is completely at home with [Louis] Armstrong both as a vocalist and as a first-rate instrumentalist [alto sax] on “You Rascal, You” and “Life Is So Peculiar,” recorded for Decca in 1950.

This one’s almost as good as “Five Guys Named Moe.”

‘Almost Saturday Night’

Fogerty in good form, post-Creedence:

Turn that finger around

A new band I really like. Honeyhoney:

As I say

The rich, they are different.

Remember, it’s only class war when we fight back.

Deep thought

Sometimes, when you can’t see clearly, you simply need to clean your glasses.

Kill them, but don’t piss on them

It would take a Jonathan Swift to fully convey the contempt we should feel for obscene hypocrites such as Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta, but Sebastian Junger comes damn close without even seeming to try. More here.

The Music in Me

I saw this documentary on HBO this morning called “The Music in Me.” It’s a collection of stories about children playing music and it’s wonderful. It made me realize how much I missed the Sunday bluegrass circle where I used to play.

It also made me a little sad. See, I always wanted one of those musical families – but that never quite worked out. My Dead Ex played the banjo and guitar, my youngest is a kickass guitar player and my oldest plays keyboards, but we all learned and played independently of each other, and never once together. Parallel lives, and all that.

There’s something about playing music with other people that’s quite a rush, yet also soothes the soul. If you’ve ever played, you know what I mean – particularly when you layer vocal harmonies on top. No feeling quite like it, I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven.

Do you play an instrument?

NYT to readers: Do facts matter?


Daily newspapers subscribe to the notion of objective reporting, and newspaper editors are always eager to defend this foggy notion. Which makes it all the more curious that New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane recently asked readers whether “news reporters should challenge ‘facts’ that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.”

WTF! Brisbane, whether he knew it or not, was calling attention to the facade that the mainstream media constructed long ago to guard against the charge that their main function is to defend the status quo. In doing so, he chose a good example to illustrate what’s wrong with the mainstream mindset:

…On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney often says President Obama has made speeches “apologizing for America,” a phrase to which Paul Krugman objected in a December 23 column arguing that politics has advanced to the “post-truth” stage.

As an Op-Ed columnist, Mr. Krugman clearly has the freedom to call out what he thinks is a lie. My question for readers is: should news reporters do the same..?

Note that Brisbane quickly jumps back behind the facade, ignoring the question of whether Romney’s accusation against Obama is based on fact. He says reporters have been trained to not ask this question, even if evidence exists that could answer it. However, it’s OK for a columnist to ask and even answer the question, because columnists merely state opinions. As if opinions and facts necessarily dwell in different realms.

More here.

Heading for the light

Traveling Wilburys:

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