Category Archives: music

Gil Scott-Heron: Cooooool

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Listen to this:

Okay, I admit it—I grew up isolated from reality; in my whitebread SoCal suburb, the outside world may as well have been the moon. Not surprisingly, then, musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron didn’t find his way onto my record player. I hadn’t even heard of him until recently. Makes me wonder: What else have I missed?

Obviously a precursor to rap, which I’ve never gotten into, but this—this—is awesome:

Wow.

What was I hearkening to in high school? Whitebread teenage music of the day: Led Zeppelin, Boston, Heart, Queen (we don’t want no education . . . hmmm, that’s good cuz we didn’t get one [oops, that was Pink Floyd]). Oh, and I went through a serious Beatles obsession when I was 17/18. Black artists? Not in my whitey-white world. Stevie Wonder was the one exception, but I didn’t get into his music until later.

I’m gonna have to buy me some Scott-Heron, get me some soul, man. And yeah, I get it that he was protesting exactly the world I grew up in—what can I say? We can’t help where we come from, only where we’re going.

And speaking of the seventies and insular white folk, I wonder how many conservative whites, other than my dad, loved Archie Bunker and All in the Family, not getting that it was a farce? That it was making fun of them? Or did they not care, reveling in the audacity of a fellow bigot?

If you have time, watch this, and stick with it, cuz the end is priceless:

And reading some of the comments at this video, it’s clear that some people still don’t get that AITF was a farce.

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A Pearl

In a recent gartenfische post about art and the true self, I said that music has to feel real to be meaningful for me. Anyway, to further underscore the point, here is a glorious video e-mailed to me by a family member. The following commentary accompanied the link:

“A real gem!!! Absolutely amazing. For those of you who do not like the finer arts of operatic singing you must listen to the following – it will change your appreciation. And to think this recording could have been lost to us. . . .”

Okay, so my question for you is (this is a trick to make sure you watched—I mean listened): Does this touch you like it touches me? Does it give you goosebumps? Are we on the same page?

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Christmas Things x 3 Meme

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Tagged by Jan!

What are your three favorite Christmas songs and who sings them?

Of course, I have to start right out cheating. There are so many great Christmas songs that I decided instead to list favorite Christmas albums.

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Christmas Portrait by the Carpenters (The Carpenters may have been 70s corny, but she had the most gorgeous voice and this is a classic Christmas album—if only they didn’t overplay it in stores at Christmas time)
Songs for Christmas by Sufjan Stevens (Cranky turned me on to this one; I’m lovin’ it)
A Marian Christmas (especially Biebl’s Ave Maria—heavenly!) by the Choir of Trinity College

What are your three favorite Christmas foods?

Fudge with nuts
Grandma’s popcorn balls (which I have never managed to make without them falling to pieces, even with her recipe)
Candy cane cookies (my mother’s recipe, almond flavor—yum!)
Can I also say pumpkin pie, please? (it’s not like we get to eat it all year ’round)

What are three Christmas Secrets?

I’m afraid I can’t think of three. This one is probably similar to everybody else’s. When I was around ten years old, my mother remarried and they went out and spent what must have been oodles and oodles of money on gifts for my sister and I.  Well, Mom “hid” them under a sheet in her room and told us not to look.  Yeah right. My favorite was “Charlie,” a ventriloquist doll. Honestly, I can’t remember what the other gifts were, just that there were a lot of them (shows that spending a lot doesn’t necessarily make it memorable).

What are your three favorite Christmas movies?

The Bishop’s Wife (Cary Grant plays an angel—it’s great)
It’s a Wonderful Life (Jimmy Stewart)
A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)
Little Women (Susan Sarandon, Winona Rider)—cheating again; I have to add one more, though it’s schmaltzy, it’s still a lovely holiday movie.

Now, taggees, if you’re game, are:

Heather, Charlotte, Moonmaid (and YogaMum, if you’re not too bogged down—I hesitate to do this, in case it’s like the straw on the camel’s back, so feel free to say no). I’ve picked people with a lot going on (why did I do that? I dunno. Maybe you need to take a break and think about silly little things for a bit.)

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