Sunday, 18 January 2004

Some Jonny Lang (always feels good)


Thank you Jonny it was worth the wait and then some; congrats on one FINE album!

(a big fan LL (tommi) T

Monday, 12 January 2004

Friday, 9 January 2004

Thinking of Woody Guthrie (and here's a Leadbelly playlist Woody would have loved)


When i absorb enough Ledbelly ... (and that's a lot of listening time for me); i'll tell a true story about Woody that might interest some.

I came across a rare book up for auction by Bauman's Rare Books. It was a copy of "American Folksong" (1947) with a hand-written inscription by Woody: "for Margo and Eddie / Woody Guthrie / Aug. 1949". Quoting from the Bauman's auction listing the book at 7,500$; "In the 1930's, actor Eddie Albert shared rooms with singer Burl Ives -- who one evening invited home an undernourished family of four who had been living in a boxcar, and fried some chicken for them. "The man can really play a guitar and sing," Albert was told, and he really could: he was Woody Guthrie. Guthrie and Albert remained close for many years. In addition to Woody's autobiography and his essay on Leadbelly, "American Folksong" includes the texts of some of his greatest songs.

I wonder how many realise that Woody wrote and sang "This Land Is Your Land" as a strident protest song against the "love or leave it" message the recent (1930's) release of "God Bless America" had engendered for the lucky few who then or today are able to share in the bounty that is America. All was not well then and it is very little better today. Bruce Springsteen recorded his rendition of Woody's most famous song along with a biting vocal commentary in solid agreement with it's true meaning. The only recording I can find of that live recording by "The Boss" or of Woody's original are to be found on the Rhaposdy music service. It may sound like I work for Rhapsody or get paid by them; I want to state here and now that I have never received any payment from anybody (like my voice is worth money...NOT!); by Rhapsody or by anybody else. In fact I pay 100$ a year for it like anyone else. That said, I pay the sum gladly. It's one of the few inet services (besides Blogging), that are worth probably more than they cost. Anyway my Leadbelly playlist linked above was a big influence to Mr. Guthrie and is well worth a listen or four.

Sunday, 4 January 2004

ETHNIC CLEANSING (Andrew Jackson Style)


"A little night music" (sorry Amadeus); my compilation of Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls"; was just the bit of emotional escape I needed THIS SAT night in particular. I was born in the tiny scrap (a few counties) of NE Oklahoma left to Cherokee after U.S. President Andrew Jackson's inglorious statement that "The only good Indian is a dead Indian"; and his order of the forced march in the harsh mid-winter of 1838 of the only N.A. indigenous tribe with a written constitution and extremely literate population. My ancestors there (in a good fraction of what now makes up the U.S. states of Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee); had the misfortune of being in a position to embarrass the US image of the "savage" and worse to stand in the path of some vainglorious notion they call "manifest destiny". The truth of that 19th century "ethnic cleansing" is as shamefull as it is "whitewashed" in the historical record. Men, women and children were forced by the might of the US Army to abandon their homeland of thousands of years standing and hearded into pens like cattle or sheep for preparation for their forced march to the section of Indian Territory assigned them. More than 30% of those that walked the "The Trail Where They Cried" died on the way. As accorded by Cherokee tradition, those who died on the path could not be buried in an unknown and unmarked place so their bodies were carried in the arms of their mother, fathers, brothers, and sisters. It is tradition that nobody can take from you what you do not allow them access to. The Cherokee along that path refused to look the armed soldiers in the eye and thus allow them to take anything of their immortal spirit. Also inconvenient to historical US record is the fact that within 20 years of that monstrous and criminal "ethnic cleansing"; the Cherokee were generally agreed to be among the most literate of peoples on earth and regained some affluence in what many considered worthless land. Taking nothing away from the sensible claim of multi-ethnic origins of modern Quebec; Cherokee government and all public periodicals were published in both Cherokee and English simultaneously and a large fraction of the people were literate in both.

Saturday, 3 January 2004

Blur's Parklife Playlist [My current playlist] Linked [directly (if you subscribe)] to the excellent and massive Rhapsody Music Service



You just can't do 'cheery' better than Blur did in 1994 with Parklife (Album) so i'm listening yet once more to the realease that made me fall in love with Blur. I've a huge admiration for the patient, artistically honest and endlessly creative Damon, Alex and Graham (

The socially progressive causes this band and these great guys do like lobby'in the Brit MP's over human rights and humanity in general is unhappily not very well recognised. They don't get paid for this work; from my own advocacy work; i know they're doing it from the heart. Cheers Guys!
(may you have the freedom to work so long as you feel like the "magic is there"!

LL (tommi) T