Friday, September 30, 2016

Music Friday: "Santa Fe" & "The Fourth Night of My Drinking"

I purchased two new releases this morning: American Band by Drive-By Truckers and Remember Us to Life by Regina Spektor. 

Since I haven't given American Band a few listens yet, I thought I'd share a couple of songs from one of the band's more recent albums, The Big To-Do.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Stay Positive: Death Wishes

Some might consider this post morbid, but it is a way to officially lodge how I want my funeral to happen. 

I remember back to when one of my friends, Roy, died. He knew he was going to go, and he obviously laid out how he wanted his funeral to happen ~ down to music that was played at the service. 

First off, I don't want a religious service when I die. No priest or reverend or other such stuff. Religion need not apply when I die. I'm not "in a better place now." 

I want to be cremated. So the place I'll be in is some kind of receptacle. 

For the service, just gather people together to have a good time, to celebrate that they're still alive. And you can talk about me if you like, but the point is that you're still alive, you lucky bastards. 

I don't know if a funeral parlor will allow this, so you may have to rent some kind of a hall for the proceedings. Have a potluck dinner where people bring what they like to eat or maybe dishes I liked to eat. Food is important. I like pie, so note that point. 

There needs to be libations. If possible, get a keg of Schlitz for the party. If Schlitz isn't available, Sam Adams Boston lager will work. Also, some manner of a good IPA is necessary. Bourbon is my favorite hard liquor, so have some of that on hand, but not any of the boring and rudimentary bourbon like Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam. Some good choices are Four Roses Single Barrel, Heaven Hill 100 proof 6 year old (you'll have to travel to Indiana or Kentucky to acquire that juice), Eagle Rare, Elijah Craig, Old Forester 100 proof, Evan Williams 100 proof, and Buffalo Trace. I also like gin, so I suggest Beefeater and Bombay regular. Gin and tonics would be a good choice if I croak in the summertime. 

But overall, you just need to get together and have a good time some night to celebrate life. 

Like my friend's funeral, I want to control the music choices. So what follows is the playlist that should happen. 

This is a long list, and it's done via alpha order (via iTunes) of the artists:

  • Born Under a Bad Sign, Albert King
  • I Stay Away, Alice in Chains
  • Shake the Walls, Amanda Shires
  • Katherine Belle, American Aquarium
  • Burn. Flicker. Die, American Aquarium
  • Moanin', Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
  • Show Me How to Live, Audioslave
  • Shadow on the Sun, Audioslave
  • Down with the Shine, Avett Brothers
  • Talk on Indolence, Avett Brothers
  • I and Love and You, Avett Brothers
  • Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise, Avett Brothers
  • Never Stop, The Bad Plus
  • In 3s, Beastie Boys
  • Shake Your Rump, Beastie Boys
  • Selfless, Cold, and Composed, Ben Folds Five
  • Army, Ben Folds Five
  • Shimmer and Shine, Ben Harper
  • Ground on Down (Live from Mars version), Ben Harper
  • Till I Get My Way, Black Keys
  • Tones of Home, Blind Melon
  • Change, Blind Melon
  • No Rain, Blind Melon
  • Shine On, Blitzen Trapper
  • Street Fighting Sun, Blitzen Trapper
  • See a Little Light, Bob Mould
  • Black Sheets of Rain, Bob Mould
  • Disappointed, Bob Mould
  • Welfare Music, The Bottle Rockets
  • Perfect Far Away, The Bottle Rockets
  • Zoysia, The Bottle Rockets
  • Give Me Room, The Bottle Rockets
  • Shape of a Wheel, The Bottle Rockets
  • Keep Your Heart Young, Brandi Carlile
  • St. Thomas, Branford Marsalis Quartet
  • Lonesome Day, Bruce Springsteen
  • American Land, Bruce Springsteen
  • Waitin', Caitlin Rose
  • Everywhere I Go, Caitlin Rose
  • When I Win the Lottery, Camper Van Beethoven
  • One of These Days, Camper Van Beethoven
  • Life Is Grand, Camper Van Beethoven
  • Come On In My Kitchen, Cassandra Wilson
  • All the Talkers, Centro-matic
  • Salty Disciple, Centro-matic
  • Murderer of Blue Skies, Chris Cornell
  • A Murder of One, Counting Crows
  • Holiday in Spain, Counting Crows
  • Pedestrian at Best, Courtney Barnett
  • God Shuffled His Feet, Crash Test Dummies
  • Afternoons and Coffeespoons, Crash Test Dummies
  • From the Right Angle, Dawes
  • All Your Favourite Bands, Dawes
  • You Are a Tourist, Death Cab for Cutie
  • The New Year, Death Cab for Cutie
  • The Sound of Settling, Death Cab for Cutie
  • Little White Lies, Deer Tick
  • American Pie, Don McLean
  • The Day John Henry Died, Drive-By Truckers (John Henry is my favorite folktale)
  • Grand Canyon, Drive-By Truckers
  • Postcard from 1952, Explosions in the Sky
  • One Day, Fishbone
  • Everyday Sunshine, Fishbone
  • When My Train Pulls In, Gary Clark Jr. 
  • Shout It From the Rooftops, Glossary
  • Nothing Can Hurt You Now, Glossary
  • Poor Boy, Glossary
  • Headstones and Dead Leaves, Glossary
  • Hold Me Down, Glossary
  • Days Go By, Glossary
  • Save Your Money for the Weekend, Glossary
  • Trouble Won't Always Last, Glossary
  • A Shoulder to Cry On, Glossary
  • Some Eternal Spark, Glossary (I obviously like the band Glossary a lot. It's a band most people don't know about.)
  • Welcome to the Jungle, Guns-n-Roses (Delta Delta)
  • The Humorist, Ha Ha Tonka (a song about Mark Twain, one of my favorite writers)
  • Kiss You Down There, Hackensaw Boys
  • Hey Good Looking, Hank Williams (My mom used to sing this often.)
  • Long Gone Lonesome Blues, Hank Williams
  • There's a Tear in My Beer, Hank Williams
  • Stomp and Holler, Hayes Carll
  • Bad Liver and a Broken Heart, Hayes Carll
  • She Left Me for Jesus, Hayes Carll
  • Stuck Between Stations, The Hold Steady
  • Stay Positive, The Hold Steady
  • Sittin' on Top of the World, Howlin'Wolf
  • Used to Did, J Roddy Watson and the Business
  • I Don't Want to Hear It, J Roddy Watson and the Business
  • Gone, Jack Johnson 
  • Sleep Through the Static, Jack Johnson
  • We Can't Make It There, James McMurtry
  • Choctaw Bingo, James McMurtry
  • Something in the Way She Moves, James Taylor (for Mrs. Nasty, our wedding song)
  • Ocean Size, Jane's Addiction
  • Grown, Jason Isbell
  • The Blue, Jason Isbell
  • Streetlights, Jason Isbell
  • Alabama Pines, Jason Isbell
  • Songs That She Sang in the Shower, Jason Isbell
  • Relatively Easy, Jason Isbell
  • 24 Frames, Jason Isbell
  • Goddamn Lonely Love (Live in Alabama version), Jason Isbell
  • Waiting for the Sun, Jayhawks
  • When You're Hot, You're Hot, Jerry Reed
  • Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Jim Croce (one of my favorite songs when I was a kid)
  • Come On (Let the Good Times Roll), Jimi Hendrix
  • Beautiful World, JJ Grey and Mofro
  • On Fire, JJ Grey and Mofro
  • 99 Shades of Crazy, JJ Grey and Mofro
  • Harp and Drums, JJ Grey and Mofro
  • John Deere Green, Joe Diffie (I used lots of quarters for this song to play at The Flamingo)
  • Stay and Dance, Joe Pug
  • The Great Despiser, Joe Pug
  • Downbound Train, Joe Pug
  • Blue Train, John Coltrane
  • Satan and St. Paul, John Fulbright
  • Human Wheels, John Mellencamp
  • Longest Days, John Mellencamp
  • Stones in My Pasway, John Mellencamp
  • Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash
  • A Boy Named Sue (live), Johnny Cash
  • Man in Black, Johnny Cash (My daughter's favorite Johnny Cash song)
  • Wolves, Josh Ritter
  • Thin Blue Flame, Josh Ritter
  • Change of Time, Josh Ritter
  • Rattling Locks, Josh Ritter
  • Another New World, Josh Ritter
  • Getting Ready to Get Down, Josh Ritter
  • Where the Night Goes, Josh Ritter
  • Lone Pine Hill, Justin Townes Earle
  • Ain't Waitin', Justin Townes Earle
  • Hangover Heart, Kudzu Kings
  • What Are You Willing to Lose?, Lucero
  • Mercy Mercy Me (the Ecology), Marvin Gaye
  • One, Metallica (one of the best music videos of all time)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls, Metallica
  • Yea Alabama, Million Dollar Band (Alabama's fight song ~ please play this more than once)
  • Ho Cake, Mofro (mmmm, a song about Southern cooking)
  • Brighter Days, Mofro
  • Fireflies, Mofro
  • I Just Want to Make Love to You, Muddy Waters
  • Don't Let It Bring You Down, Neil Young
  • Heart of Gold, Neil Young
  • Walk On, Neil Young
  • Thrasher, Neil Young
  • Pocahontas, Neil Young
  • This Tornado Loves You, Neko Case
  • Zigaboogaloo, Nicholas Payton
  • Elephant in the Corn, Nickel Creek
  • Lithium, Nirvana
  • Shake Em On Down, North Mississippi All Stars
  • I Can't Turn You Loose, Otis Redding
  • Crazy Train, Ozzy Osbourne
  • Evenflow, Pearl Jam
  • Go, Pearl Jam
  • Blood, Pearl Jam
  • Love Boat Captain, Pearl Jam
  • Faithful, Pearl Jam
  • Do the Evolution, Pearl Jam 
  • Wishlist, Pearl Jam
  • Infallible, Pearl Jam
  • Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd
  • Everybody's Trying, Poi Dog Pondering
  • Fruitless, Poi Dog Pondering
  • Spirits in the Material World, Police
  • When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around, Police
  • To Defy the Laws of Tradition, Primus (one of the best shows I saw was a double-bill of Primus and Fishbone)
  • Harold of the Rocks, Primus
  • Tommy the Cat, Primus
  • Rye Whiskey, Punch Brothers
  • Who's Feeling Young Now?, Punch Brothers
  • Magnet, Punch Brothers
  • Little Lights, Punch Brothers
  • Find the River, R.E.M.
  • It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine), R.E.M.
  • Feeling Gravity's Pull, R.E.M.
  • Driver 8, R.E.M.
  • These Days, R.E.M.
  • Sad Professor, R.E.M
  • Wake Up. Rage Against the Machine
  • Two Birds, Regina Spektor
  • All the Rowboats, Regina Spektor
  • Unsatisfied, The Replacements
  • Left of the Dial, The Replacements
  • I Don't Know, The Replacements
  • Valentine, The Replacements ("You wish upon a star, and it turns into a plane." For whatever reason that sentence has haunted me for years.)
  • Can't Hardly Wait, The Replacements
  • Anywhere's Better than Here, The Replacements
  • Happy Town, The Replacements
  • 10,000 Chinese Walk into a Bar, Robert Earl Keen
  • Soul Refreshing, Robert Randolph and the Family Band
  • Blues Jam, Rollins Band
  • Of Kindred Souls, Roy Hargrove
  • Strasbourg/St. Denis, Roy Hargrove Quintet
  • Working Man, Rush
  • Ring Them Bells, Sarah Jarosz
  • Broussard's Lament, Sarah Jarosz
  • Sing a Simple Song, Sly and the Family Stone
  • Everyday People, Sly and the Family Stone
  • I Am One, Smashing Pumpkins
  • Out of the Picture, Son Volt
  • Driving the View, Son Volt
  • Bandages and Scars, Son Volt
  • Down to the Wire, Son Volt
  • When the Wheels Don't Move, Son Volt
  • Rusty Cage, Soundgarden (If I could have a "walk-up" song before I teach like baseball players before they hit, this would be it.)
  • Jesus Christ Pose, Soundgarden
  • 4th of July, Soundgarden
  • Superunknown, Soundgarden
  • Non-State Actor, Soundgarden
  • Rowing, Soundgarden
  • Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), Stevie Ray Vaughn
  • Testify, Stevie Ray Vaughn
  • Higher Ground, Stevie Wonder
  • Consider Me Gone (Bring on the Night live album), Sting
  • Another Day (Bring on the Night live album), Sting
  • Life Ain't Fair and the World Is Mean, Sturgill Simpson
  • Turtles All the Way Down, Sturgill Simpson
  • Come See about Me, Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Let Me Get By, Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Hunger Strike, Temple of the Dog (basis for our pledge class song)
  • Monk's Dream, Thelonious Monk Quartet
  • Birdhouse in Your Soul, They Might Be Giants
  • This Land Is Our Land, Todd Snider
  • Moon Dawg's Tavern, Todd Snider
  • Statistician's Blues, Todd Snider
  • D.B. Cooper, Todd Snider
  • Keep Off the Grass, Todd Snider
  • Ballad of Devil's Backbone Tavern, Todd Snider (great message)
  • Happy New Year, Todd Snider
  • In the Beginning, Todd Snider
  • Big Finish, Todd Snider
  • Runnin' Down a Dream, Tom Petty
  • Wildflowers, Tom Petty (For my daughter ~ I want it to be the song played for the dad-bride dance at her wedding.)
  • Even the Losers, Tom Petty 
  • Suburbia, Trombone Shorty
  • Hurricane Season, Trombone Shorty
  • Gin, Smoke, Lies, Turnpike Trobadours
  • Mooshiner, Uncle Tupelo
  • Chickamauga, Uncle Tupelo
  • Linus and Lucy, Vince Guaraldi
  • Thanksgiving Theme, Vince Guaraldi
  • Skating, Vince Guaraldi (Some of my favorite childhood memories are watching Charlie Brown specials with my parents. Reading Peanuts and then comic books primed my passion for reading.)
  • Thank God for Girls, Weezer
  • Hard Luck Story, Whiskeytown
  • Tennessee Square, Whiskeytown
  • Ain't Life Grand, Widespread Panic
  • Coconut, Widespread Panic ("Gone" by Jack Johnson and this one are songs I used to play in my daughter's room in St. Louis, and we'd dance.)
  • This Land Is Your Land, Woody Guthrie
  • Uptown Ruler, Wynton Marsalis (I listened to Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, particularly vol. 2, often when revising my dissertation.)

Sunday Hangover: Kent State

It's hard to complain about a shutout. 

I am concerned about how some of the Crimson Tide players are getting hurt. Damien Harris, the first-string running back, went out of the game with a hurt ankle. And a few other guys rested out this game. 

On the upside, Jacobs looks like a solid running back. 

Hurts looked good. 

Barnett played a good game. 

The offensive line played well. 

Cam Sims had a good game. 

The defense played well. 

They threw some passes O.J. Howard's way. 

We got to see Diggs play on offense some, which I'm excited about. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Music Friday: "Quitter"

The other week I got three new albums from St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Amanda Shires, and Dawes. 

Of the three, the new album by Dawes is probably my favorite of the bunch. 

Here's a song, in part, that about the sunk-cost fallacy

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

If you worry about our freedom of speech like I do, check out "The Newest Excuse for Shutting Down Campus Speech: 'Security.'"

If you've ever read any of the Stoics, you're going to appreciate "The Next Great Stoic Competition" from Existential Comics. 

The Telegraph has an article out that relates how eating cheese is actually good for you, which provides plenty of solace for a cheese lover like me: "High-fat Cheese: The Secret to a Healthy Life?" 

I've read articles over the years that claim that eating cheese is addictive. Recently The Huffington Post took up that claim in "We Found Out If Cheese is Really as Addictive as Cocaine." It's not, but eating cheese is certainly one of the pleasures in life. 

While I might be amenable to cutting the corporate taxes in some fashion in order for U.S. companies to stay in the States (but can we also stop the corporate welfare that currently exists?), Trump's new economic plan simply helps the rich with a tremendous dose of wishful thinking as is detailed in "Trump's Economic Plan Goes from Worse to Bad." 

The above article about corporate welfare from Forbes spurs me to provide these:

Monday, September 19, 2016

[Belated] Sunday Hangover: Ole Miss

What a crazy game that was. 

The Tide has played three games, and Eddie Jackson has scored a touchdown in each. The first two were pick-sixs, and Saturday's was a game-changing punt return. 

But just when you think a team has the other put away, the Rebels' onside kick was successful because of the ball talking a big hop over Ridley's head. Then Kelly threw yet another long, jump-ball throw, and the Ole Miss receiver came down with it in the end zone. 

As usual, my constant refrain when Alabama had the ball on offense was "Run the damn ball." They didn't early on. Kiffin kept running all kinds of short passes and end arounds that drove me crazy. Finally, later in the game they established the run with Harris and Jacobs, who surprisingly if I remember correctly, came in as the second back in the rotation. 

Stewart went out with what sounds to be a knee sprain, and I'm told that true freshman Diggs might get more playing time at wide receiver in the next few weeks because of Stewart's absence in upcoming games. 

Hurts was really the star of the game though. He didn't look that great early on but really manned the offense well in the second half. During the second half, they called a number of designed running plays for him, which I suspect was something Ole Miss didn't practice much on. He's a dual threat quarterback. Saturday he was the leading rusher with 146 net yards. Harris had 144 yards. 

Still in the future I'd like to see them run the ball in a more traditional manner by using the running backs inside or outside the tackles and using Hurts as a runner as a highly effective curveball. 

The defensive backs need to do a much better job going after contested balls. I'm sure that will be a strong point of emphasis in the coming weeks. When a quarterback hangs 421 passing yards on a defense mainly through big plays, something has to change for the better, especially with Saban coaching the defensive backfield. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Music Friday: "Slowly Going Deaf"

Last week I downloaded an album I used to have on cassette tape. 

That album is the eponymous first album by Mr. Bungle. 

If you've never listened to it, the songs are a fun mix of ska, heavy metal, and circus music. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Hangover: Western Kentucky

38 to 10 ~ Coach Saban was not impressed. 

Except for the Tide's play on D, I also was not impressed. 

The offense struggled to run the ball. Sure, the Hilltoppers were playing an eight-man front, but still, the line wasn't blocking as well as it should have been. When your team's second leading rusher is your quarterback, that's a problem. I'm worried about the offensive line. 

The passing game had its flashes, but Hurts seemed to hold onto the ball too long at times. His receivers bailed him out on some throws. Regardless, he went 23 for 36 for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Unless something dramatic happens, I think Hurts will be the Tide's starting quarterback this season. 

The Tide's second-team defense giving up a touchdown late will be shown repeatedly in the film room I imagine.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

Music Friday: "Smooth Sailin'"

I'm a little late to the party on learning about this guy, but I saw his performance on Austin City Limits recently. 

His music is straight-up old fashioned R&B. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sunday Hangover: USC

Last night was the first time a freshman (albeit redshirt) quarterback started for the Crimson Tide under Saban, but the real story was that a true freshman directed the offense for most of the night. 

I had been reading notes on TiderInsider for weeks that Jalen Hurts would possibly get playing time this season, so I was more than a little curious when Coach Saban announced that the starters would either be Cooper Bateman or Blake Barnett. Barnett started the game, but Hurts came in on the third offensive series. After a major gaffe (fumbling on his first snap), he directed the offense well, accounting for two long strikes (39 and 71 yards) for touchdowns to Stewart and two running touchdowns. 

After the game Coach Saban was no longer coy with the media related to their surprise about Hurts playing. He said, “It was the plan all along to figure out which one of those guys (Bateman or Barnett) was going to start and manage this game the best, and Jalen Hurts was going to have a role in the game. We had a special plan for him. And he practiced his plays all week long and he was going to go in the third series of the game in my mind, no matter what. And that’s what we did. Y’all never asked. I wouldn’t have told you if you would have asked, but you didn’t ask.”

The focus on quarterback partially obscures the outstanding job the defense did last night. They held a really good offense to 194 yards of total offense and held one of the best receivers in college football to 1 reception for 9 yards. Except for a couple of runs later in the game, the D shut down the running game. They were stifling. 

After some sluggishness on offense, the Crimson Tide got its offense going, and Damien Harris had the best game of the running backs with two long runs. He amassed 140 yards on 9 measly carries. All four backs got playing time. Here are their yards gained and yards per carry:

  • Damien Harris, 140 yards, 15.3 ypc
  • Bo Scarbrough, 36 yards, 3.3 ypc
  • Joshua Jacobs, 20 yards, 5.0 ypc
  • B.J. Emmons, 18 yards, 3.0 ypc

I thought Scarbrough would have a better game, but I suspect they'll use all four of these backs. We sort of know what we have in the first two, but I was impressed by Jacobs' runs in his limited playing time. I hope they get back to having a three-man rotation of backs like they had in the '09 season. 

And getting back to the quarterbacks, even when Barnett came back in the game, he looked much better, more composed. Even if Hurts falters as a starter (if he indeed is a starter), Barnett looks very capable. 

Next Saturday is a home game against Western Kentucky. But the following game, a road game versus Ole Miss, looms large in the the minds of Crimson Tide fans. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Music Friday: "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

Metallica has a new album coming out in November

I'm looking forward to it. 

Here's an vintage Metallica tune, one of my favorites. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

"The Perfect Boob Throughout History, From Big Ol' Things to Bee Stings" is a fascinating read if you're interested in cultural mores, societal attitudes, groupthink, and, well, boobs. 

Trump went to Mexico to talk with the country's President. Mexico's president clearly stated he told Trump that Mexico will not pay for his stupid wall. Trump lied and said they didn't discuss the matter. You can call Clinton a liar if you like, but this dude is a liar and classic bullshit artist. Just check out the Washington Post's fact check on his immigration speech: "Fact-Checking Trump's Immigration Speech." 

The Clinton ad below is now airing in Arizona. I'd be really surprised if Clinton wins Arizona. That would be a serious kick in the short and curlies for the GOP if it does happen.  

It looks like I'm going to be an assistant coach for my son's flag football team. The first practice is Friday. 

For years, I've calculated my dog's "human age" by the traditional 1-to-7-year ratio. Come to find out that ratio is inaccurate. The first year of a medium dog's life compares to 15 years. The second year compares to 9 years. The years thereafter compare to 4 years. So my dog is not 70. She's 56. Check it out from the AKC: "How to Calculate Dog Years to Human Years."