I Caved In And Bought It


So there I was, in a rotten mood and walking through a department store when something caught my eye. That was “Chinese Democracy”, the latest album from Guns ‘N’ Roses, a band I’m particularly fond of. So I bit the bullet and bought it.

Having now listened to it, it’s pretty bloody good. It’s definitely different from their old stuff, but it’s really, really good.

Hands down the best song on the album is Shackler’s Revenge, below.

The entire album gets an 8 out of 10 from me.

Lyle Republished


This has been going through my head all freakin’ day for absolutely no reason, so I’ll share that joy with you all. It’s one of Lyle’s greatest, a rather competitive title considering the genius of the man, but expressed in just the right sing-song voice gets completely stuck in your head.

I give you “A Squirrel Poem For Children”, originally published at the Lair of Blair:

A Squirrel Poem for Children

My squirrel plays the bagpipes;
He keeps them in my car.
He plays those nasty bagpipes
Wherever squirrels are.
Colt forty-five, meet bagpipes
And blast them all to hell.
Though squirrel plays the bagpipes
He does not play them well.

If anyone knows how to get it out of my head, I’d really appreciate it. I think I may have to gnaw my arm off to distract.

Classic Song Jazzed Up


I present to you a jazzed up version of an old classic, “That’s Amore”.

Here’s a version by Patrizio Buanne, a very successful Italian.

A Gift For The Mole


Songs From Squirreldom (NSFW).

Enjoy!

No comment necessary.


Okay, just one comment – this brought tears to my eyes.

And to think, I have to teach these kids


Iraq National Orchestra: And the Band Played On


Massive Hat Tip to Spot-the-Dog, who emailed me this article: I didn’t even know Iraq had an orchestra!

This is a difficult article to excerpt, so you should read the whole thing, but here are a few money quotes to give you a rough idea.

“Karim Wasfi, age 36, arrives driving a white Range Rover and dressed in a blazer, vest and ascot. Sporting aviator shades, his ample form topped by lush black hair, he could be one of the Three Tenors — or a staunchly civilized orchestra director, which is, in fact, what he is. When orchestra directors go around the streets of Baghdad looking exactly as they should, you know that things are bucking up. Except that Mr. Wasfi has held that post at the Iraq National Symphony Orchestra since 2004, through the darkest of times, and he has always looked like this. We set off at speed out of Mansour toward downtown Baghdad listening to Wagner. “The Ride of the Valkyries” to be precise.”

I can’t listen to Ride of the Valkyries anymore without thinking of Apocalypse Now, I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” but it does seem apropos, non?

“In the car, I also listen to the Saint-Saëns requiem and the Mozart requiem — that’s usually the right mood for Baghdad,” says Mr. Wasfi, in his cultivated English…”

OK, that I get.

“At one point, I had to tactfully get a formal religious proclamation from a top cleric that music was not profane.”

Is any more proof required that Islam is evil?

“Mr. Wasfi launches into a bewildering tale. The symphony performed at the Al Rashid theater downtown for years, but soon after the invasion the place was looted and burned. So the orchestra moved to Al Ribat Hall, which was merely vandalized. But it was officially given Al Shaab Hall, which was attacked in ’06 and has been ineffectively repaired twice, while the Convention Center popped open briefly before that deal was rescinded.”

And I think booking my own gigs is a drag.

“”Any of us could find a job abroad,” Mr. Wasfi says. “In fact, I moved my sisters to Sweden — they think I’m crazy to stay. So why stay? To fight back against the malevolent and the ignorant. I like to think that we inspire people — they see us and they see the barbarism everywhere. It gives them a choice: It could be like this, or like this.””

I fucking love this guy!

“The symphony gets a bare minimum of funding. Its parent body is the Culture Ministry, which pays the salaries and little else. Hence the orchestra often survives on single concerts funded by the U.N. or the foreign community.”

Good God, I never thought I’d offer props to the United Nations!

“These days, Mr. Wasfi struggles not merely to keep going but to make gains against adversity. He has organized a quartet to perform all around the city, and he plays the cello wherever he can, sometimes solo, as he did at the Ibn Rushd mental asylum. “I had one chair, and everyone sat on the floor. I played Bach suites, and I improvised. You can imagine what it was like. They were intensely delighted, absolutely grateful. They asked for an extra hour. Of course I sometimes wonder why I do this, until something like that comes along. Then you know that you have to. Most of the time, that’s how I feel about Baghdad.””

Emphasis mine: I really, really love this guy.

In my estimation, there is no greater cultural ambassador that the West has at its disposal than classical music, because everybody with a brain relates to it. Music is both an art and a science: It is the most scientific of the arts, and the most artistic of the sciences – in fact, music was considered a science in the ancient quadrivium – so, naturally, I find this to be outrageously good news.

I’m wondering, though, why the article is only in the conservative WSJ? ~ahem~

Like I said, read the whole thing.

Austrian monks win recording contract with YouTube clip


‘We’re not Robbie Williams or Michael Jackson, we’re just a group of monks who sing every day.’—Rev. Karl Wallner

excerpt from CBCnews:

A group of Austrian monks have signed a major recording contract after submitting a YouTube clip of their Gregorian chanting. Universal Music put out a call in religious publications for “monks, men of the cloth and sacred singers” in February. Recording executives were inundated with hundreds of demos but said the monks from the Heiligenkreuz monastery stood head and shoulders above the competition. Tom Lewis said he was “blown away” by the quality of the monks’ singing.

“It was beautiful, beautiful music, and they’re using the very latest in terms of communication devices available to them to get their music heard,” Lewis told BBC News.

“They’re lovely people, they’re very passionate about their music and they’re very excited about this opportunity.”

There are 80 monks at Heiligenkreuz, a Cistercian monastery located in the Vienna woods that dates back to 1133.

An album, set for global release later this year, will be recorded next month.

The monastery’s Rev. Karl Wallner said the album would include about a dozen singers.

“It’s a fun experience because I didn’t think they would choose us — it was just for fun that we [contacted] them. It’s a good thing because Gregorian chant is part of spirituality and our life.”

Wallner also said he didn’t think his monks were on the level of music superstars.

“We’re not Robbie Williams or Michael Jackson, we’re just a group of monks who sing every day.”

H/T Clara

Some Gigs ARE Better than Others


No, really…

truck_02.jpg

My favorite “local” gig is at Cibolo Creek Ranch, a high-zoot resort for the rich and famous, as well as people who just have a lot of money (It’s a 130 mile round trip, which is nothing out here). I only get out there a couple of times a year, mostly because a few other local musicians who have been around here longer than I have ins to the place. So…

I had a blowout on the Ranch on the way in to the gig. Fortunately, the photographer was five minutes behind me, and she gave me a ride to the office. Unfortunately, her Honda Element was too small and packed with camera gear for me to put my stuff in. Fortunately, the hotel and events manager had a ranch truck handy, and so we went out and got my stuff.

I had been wanting to get some face time with this guy, and since it was a five mile ride back to my truck, I had my chance. This guy, it turns out, has managed hotels on Saipan, Guam, and three Hawaiian Islands… I’ve been to all of those places, and we hit it off great.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to change the tire before the gig, so we left my truck out on the ranch, and went back to do the shindig. I played really well… considering my stress level: “Am I going to have any light left to change that tire in?!” Fortunately, the gig was short.

Unfortunately, the HM had to schmooze with the guests; fortunately, the General Manager was available. Nobody ever gets face time with this guy! He was kind of distant at first – typical white person typical hard-ass cowboy – but then he asked… about my vehicle. Cowboys. like. trucks. We hit it off too, and both of them made sure they had my contact info before I left. Yesssssss!

Unfortunately, I had to change the tire wearing my suit (Well, the pants anyway), and it’s a disaster. ARG!

And I need new tires… at $450.00 a pop (Pun intended). Fuck. More beer.

Weird Beef of God Connections #1: A-Ha


Back in ’83 when I was a roadie/assistant tour manager/driver/gofer/object of abuse for Johnny Thunders on a tour of Europe, we spent the summer -”midsommarkransen” – in Stockholm, Sweden. I needed a place to stay until I found a sublet, and the company that was promoting Johnny introduced me to a Norwegian keyboard player named Magnus (Or Magne) who had a flat… and a girlfriend he could stay with.

I liked the kid, he was energetic, enthusiastic, and outgoing, and he basically packed a bag, lit out for his girlfriend’s place, and gave me his flat. Kind of amazing. Anyway, he told me he was with a Norwegian group called A-Ha, and I didn’t think anything more of it… until 1985, when I saw this.

After all these years, I still think it’s in the top three best all time music videos along with Sledge Hammer by Peter Gabriel…

…and something I must be forgetting. Anyone else know of a music video that can compare with these two?

my turn to sing

Posted in Temp. Tags: . Leave a Comment »

Who is The Beef of God?


No, that’s not the answer to a Jeopardy question, Alex.

The Beef of God is a Musician and Natural Philosopher.

The term natural philosopher is not used much anymore, but it basically amounts to being half way between an artist and a scientist, and having as one’s main goal to see the hand of God working in all natural phenomena. The greatest natural philosopher of all time is without a doubt Sir Isaac Newton, and “natural philosopher” is, in fact, what he called himself. Though primarily remembered today as the co-inventor of calculus and the discoverer of the basic laws of physics – Newton is the founder of modern mathematics and physical science – his primary viewpoint from which he made these discoveries was the notion that God’s logic must be supreme and perfect. So, the libtard notion that religion is hostile to science is quite ironic – not to mention wrong – since one of the greatest “scientists” of all time was a supremely devout Christian and used his religious stance and understanding as a springboard to make his greatest discoveries. The problem has been – and always will be – that dim-witted and ignorant “Christians” are hostile to science, because much of science disagrees with proves wrong their utterly stupid and two-dimensional interpretation of Biblical texts.

The more I learn about Newton, the more like him I discover that I am… except for the fact that I can’t do high math. Fortunately, I can do arithmetic and geometry, which is all I need to compose music. Basically, my mind works in visual and aural terms: I can see and manipulate objects in my mind, and I can hear and manipulate sounds in my head, but numbers don’t look or sound like anything to me, so I can’t process them. Seriously, I score below the fiftieth percentile in numerical ability: The average Joe six-pack can do math better than I can. However, I place in the top one percent in all of the abstract reasoning categories, so The Beef of God is a bit of an Idiot Savant as well (The new PC term is “Autistic Savant” but The Beef of God hates leftard intellectual fascism – which is what PC codes are – and so I will continue to use the un-PC term). The Beef of God also has shitty verbal skills and can’t spell his way out of a wet paper sack. Thank God for spelling checkers, but you’ll no doubt note that my grammar sucks ass. I’m also a hunt-and-peck typist, which makes composing posts very laborious (Hey, you try typing with colven hooves!).

Newton was also an alchemist. We know today that alchemy was a dead end and tend to view alchemy with sneering derision, but in his time, it seemed to hold promise. So, don’t dis my main man Isaac for being an alchemist: It was simply a trend of that early time in scientific inquiry.

Additionally, Newton was an interpreter of Biblical prophesy, and without doubt the best one of his time. During Newton’s life – as in every preceding and following era – many ignorant Chicken Little types arose saying, “The sky is falling! The end is near!” Newton, being a supremely gifted logical genius, knew these idiots were full of horse-shit (The Beef of God does not use the term “bullshit”!). In response to this constant idiocy, Sir Isaac came up with his famous prognostication that the world could not possibly “end” – a silly notion, as the end of this current chaos will only be the beginning of something far better – before 2060. It is important to note that Newton was not setting a date, because he was a voracious reader of the Bible, and knew full well that not even the Christened Son of The Living God would know the date and time, but only Father God Himself. What he was saying was, basically and in the current vernacular, “These fuck-tards are completely full of shit, and I have proven that logically. The Millennial Kingdom cannot possibly arrive before 2060. It could happen long after that date, but certainly not before.”

The Beef of God has read almost every English translation of the Bible. The only one I’m aware of that I haven’t read is The Tyndale New Testament, and most of that ended up in the King James anyway, which I have read cover to cover several times. The Beef of God has also read all of the Apocrypha available in English, The Book of Mormon, The Bhagavadgita, and really weird stuff like the complete works of Carlos Castaneda: I’ve been on a spiritual quest all of my life.

Though baptized and confirmed a Missouri Synod Lutheran, The Beef of God would certainly be considered a heretic by any main-stream Christian Denomination.

The Beef of God believes:

1] The Bible contains the essential truth about the nature of God, His Christened Son, and the future course of human events, but there is also tons of allegory and even pure horse-shit in there to muck through.

If you remember the X-Files credo (The Beef of God is a sci-fi geek), “The Truth is Out There,” then the inverse of this would be my view of Biblical texts: The Truth is In There, but there is also a lot of unmitigated crap. The “Evangelical” view that every word in the Bible is the “Inspired Word of God” ~bovine eye-roll~ is simply infantile fantasy. Men have always been men, and they have always had their own individual agendas – not all of them “holy” by any stretch – and to contend that any document written by thousands of men over thousands of years is inerrant is, simply, stupid. However, this position does allow Evangelicals to weasel out of any debate on the subject – or even give the subject any deep and penetrating thought – and given the obviously low levels of intelligence The Beef of God has encountered among evangelical sects, this is probably the only strategy they could possibly employ successfully.

God has a Beef with Evangelicals.

2] Mary was no virgin: Joseph sired The Christened Son of The Living God in the natural (and fun!) way.

God promised David that one of his descendants would sit on the throne forever. All of that “Holy Spirit impregnates Mary” stuff is a lie, because that would mean God broke His promise to David: Joseph was of the house of David; Mary was not. If you read the oldest Gospel, that of Mark, there’s none of that “Virgin Mary” garbage in it: It starts out with the ministry of John The Baptist. The oldest text of it extant is also in a common form of Greek, while the other three are in a very polished form of high Greek, meaning that the later ones underwent more levels of transcription by more highly educated scribes. The Beef of God is 100% convinced that these later stages of translation are where the Virgin Mary Myth was created: The Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John originally started out – after the greetings and salutations – with the ministry of John the Baptist, just like Mark does. Additionally, Paul never mentions anything about “The Virgin Mary” or even says that Mary should be of any particular importance: The Christened Son of The Living God is the sole center of Christian belief, and before John the Baptist Christened Him, nothing in His life matters one iota. “Mary Worship” is actually errant and inimical to the true understanding of what it means to be a Christian. The Beef of God calls himself “A Follower of The Way” – what the earliest followers of The Christened Son of The Living God called themselves – to separate his bovine majesty from the Christian main-stream for this very reason.

God has a Beef with Catholics and the Protestant spin-offs.

3] The invitation of The Christened Son of The Living God to join Him is, “The Mother Of All ‘Come-As-You-Are’ Parties.”

Though God has a Beef with the main-stream denominations, nobody is perfect, so you might as well just go ahead and love ‘em anyway. The important thing is to have a saving faith, and then the rest of it will all pan out (That would be “The Pan-Millennialist View” ~bull snort~).

God Has a Beef with The Beef of God.

Yeah yeah: To an infinitude, I’m sure.

HT: Ash for the idea.

New Years Greetings from Kae!


I’ve always had a hankering for some BAD COMPANY, so I would FEEL LIKE MAKIN’ LOVE, but knowing my luck, I’d end up caught up in HOTEL CALIFORNIA. It’s been like that In my life…

New Years!


Alright, here’s the deal. Every year for the past eight years, I’ve listened to this song as the clock has past midnight.

Clearly, it hasn’t worked for me.

Any suggestions what to try?

Amazing! One Word, WOW!


This Artist IS Truly Amazing

Michael Israel

A Most Fantastic Work of Art…Performed Live. God Bless, Men and Women Serving. Past. Present. Future.


Courtesy of a friend…:)

Caroles in ASL- for missredi….From Wonderful Commenter J.M.Heinrichs

In the spirit of the season…


I want to adopt these kids…


Posted in Holidays. Tags: , . 4 Comments »

Christmas Carols in ASL – American Sign Language


Philharmonic Agrees to Play in North Korea


They just can’t bring their instruments… :). Think those teeny cameras found in the cymbals, did it.

Seriously though…

Adding a cultural wrinkle to the diplomatic engagement between the United States and North Korea, the New York Philharmonic plans to visit Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, in February, taking the legacy of Beethoven, Bach and Bernstein to one of the world’s most isolated nations.

The trip, at the invitation of North Korea, will be the first significant cultural visit by Americans to that country, and it comes as the United States is offering the possibility of warmer ties with a country that President Bush once consigned to the “axis of evil.”

“We haven’t even had Ping-Pong diplomacy with these people,” said Ambassador Christopher R. Hill, the Bush administration’s main diplomat for negotiations with North Korea and the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

NYT

Gosh, hope they can come back.

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