Saturday, December 29, 2007

Michael Hedges

I will be scanning some photos from a Michael Hedges show that I took at the defunct "Be Here Now" in Asheville, NC. The show was in 1995 and Michael Manring was present as well.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Happy Birthday Adrian Belew !

Photo by Mark Colman

Well, being slow to post these days, a very Happy Belated Birthday to Adrian Belew who celebrated the big 50+8 as of yesterday, December 23rd.

In honor of the occasion my friends at Prog'Opolis did a special "Birthday" broadcast featuring Adrian music from a variety of involvement, several of which are from the new Side Four (live). You can stream the program and/or download the Podcast at The Dividing Line. The site also features the playlist from said program.

Another "Adrian" special ran today and I am sorry not to get the word out it time. Jonny Mambo over in North Carolina did a "Birthday" show featuring Adrian this a.m., I do not know if the show will be archived for future streaming or Podcasting.

"If you don't know about Adrian's music, tune in to WCOM, 103.5, FM, this Monday from 9-12:00 A.M. (or stream if you live outside of theCarrboro/Chapel Hill Kingdom) and get the "try it you'll like it treatment-or-double your money back guarantee"-per Mojo Ballroom Policy(please read extra fine print about guarantee with strong magnifying glass placed on top of powerful microscope-Latin dictionary may also come in handy).Stream for the program can be found here "

Give both of these shows a try sometime anyway.

Happy Birthday Adrian !

Happy Birthday Frank Zappa ! ( December 21st )

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and or whatever it is you might celebrate in your world.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Adrian Belew - Side Four (Live) HAS LANDED!!!

Side Four (live)
(Cover Painting by Adrian Belew )
I received this tasty slice of time in the ol' postal receptacle yesterday.
Recorded live at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, Ohio on
February 16th, 2007
If you have seen The Power Trio, or better yet, if you haven't,
you are going to be enthralled with this sonically thrilling roller coaster
ride that is anything but coasting.
As Adrian proclaims in the brief liner notes, "this is the raw unadorned account of
most of what happened next."
I actually like the fact that it's unpolished after the fact
and shows how cohesive and gifted this unit is.
On the other hand, it still has that edge to it that says
"this is live", warts be damned, of which there are few.
Julie Slick's bass comes through thunderously on this
recording and really shows her understanding of the
material, Julie is a Thonk Queen. Eric is capable of drumming with the best, and has.
I started listening, as I could, in my car and it sounded awesome. I decided to
move indoors to my HDCD decoding surround system and start
from the start. Wow !
This is as close to what it might sound like on the studio monitors
as a poor boy could get on a shoestring.
The disc clocks in at a tad over 67 minutes with a minimum
of stage banter and a focus on the music, as it should be.
John Sinks has settled nicely into the sound engineer seat
and this recording shows it. We all dearly miss Ken but I
think he would be tipping his hat to his friend for his
work at the helm.
Biff Blumfumgagne has taken over as stage tech and provided
those hither to mysterious backing vocals and harmonies.
The Crimson cuts, while having been recorded live in many
settings before this, take on a new life and are welcome additions
to the Trio cannon. Dinosaur seems fresh and driven with
a slightly quicker pace to my ears.
Young Lions, which has been one of the "solo" spotlights
in the past, is given the full three piece treatment here and
it is a rollicking rendition indeed.
The true "star" here though is the new material plus
"Of Bow & Drum". (Is it too late to tour the Op Zop album
proper ? )
The Grammy nominated "Beat Box Guitar" has some space in the middle
for Adrian, Eric and Julie to play around a bit and, they do.
"A Little Bit of Madness" is a barn burner and I'm surprised that the
venue is still standing at the end.
Adrian gives full voice to the Belewps concept in "Drive" with
the rhythm section on break. The sound of the car starting this
track off moves around in my speakers and drives right on by
as Adrian digs in.
"Writing on the Wall", "Ampersand", Matchless Man" all come across
as fresh and exciting, considering that Eric and Julie did not play
on the originals, they have had space to make these versions
their own. "Big Electric Cat", a favorite of college radio in
the way back when, is always fun and welcome, this rendition
is no exception with new life.
In the musical circles that I frequent, talk of the annual "best of 2007" lists
has already begun in earnest. I'm glad that Side Four has hit the ground
in time to be in mine.
As with the previous "sides", this one has cover art as painted by Adrian
with a great band photo by Mark Colman.
Mixed and Mastered by Saul Zonana.
Thanks to Rob Murphree, the official Webmunky, for keeping us
informed and providing a home for the Elephant Blog and download store
which has provided a whole new way for us to appreciate
and keep tabs on the world of all things Belew.
Thanks to Adrian for taking the time to share in the Blogosphere and
regale the loving public with so many fascinating tales.
Oh, and, thanks for the great music of which there has been an abundance,
in the past few years.
PS, Not to detract from the current Side Four news at hand but,
I have just uploaded various photos of The Bears and The Power Trio I.
Be sure and go order Side Four before you steer away.
( clicking on the cd cover above will get you to Adrian's site, see Store Belew )

Monday, December 3, 2007

Caption Potential ?


A new scan of an old favorite, this one begs for a caption and practically writes itself. I was driving toward home one day and just happened to have my Canon in the car when I spotted this blazing opportunity on the side of the road. If you are a NASCAR fan, you have probably seen this sign at some point, as it was located on the fringe of Bristol Motor Speedway grounds.

I have several captions in mind for this photo but, I thought it might be fun to solicit suggestions from passers-by as well as any regular visitors to this site. Please use the comment feature below, or, go to my flickr page and use the comment section there to suggest your caption. I will, after a time, post the suggestions here and then, figure out a way to let the public vote on their favorite.

A friend of mine discovered that my photo had found it's way to one one of those "joke" sites where they tend to collect these type things.

Be sure to click on the photo for a larger version.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My Photos

I have added a link at the right to my photographs at flickr.
I have only just begun to upload and arrange so, check back often.

block_dog's photosMore of block_dog's photos

Badges ( Part IV )

My final post on Badges.
In 2001 I traveled to Chicago to attend my first ever "House Concert".
I posted about this event back in September which can be
found Here.
David Wilcox , the one from Asheville, not Canada, came to entertain a
group of about 45 Internet "list" fans from all over the country and beyond.
We had a couple that came from The Netherlands and another from Berlin.
David performed at a nearby college on Friday night, which most
of us attended. Saturday evening was our turn and David had done his
homework and managed to engage the audience on a personal level, knowing
a little something about most of the people in the room, he would write
people into the lyrics or he would pretend to forget lyrics and bring
people up to sing. I, for obvious reasons, was called on to sing
the song Block Dog. I was very nervous but I think I got through it okay.
We were treated to a show that lasted around 4.5 hours and
you couldn't have asked for a greater experience.
Badges? We didn't need no stinkin' badges, but, we had them
for fun. Above is my badge, signed and the pick that
David used at both shows that weekend.
Yes but Block, why does that badge have a pair
of briefs in the center, you may wonder.
Well, our hostess with the mostest, Paula The Music Junkie,
came up with an idea to make the event a little *more* by
contacting a local shelter and asking them what they
most needed. Underwear was the reply so, we gathered new packs
of various styles of undies in a 55 gallon barrel for
to deliver to the shelter.
A grand time was had by all and I have become a fan
of house concerts with a desire to one day start my own.
Anyway, if you have a band or a festival or any event and
would like someone to design a "pass" for same...
Drop me a line and let's work something out. ;-)

Badges ( Part III )

2001 rolls around and it's back to 12th & Porter
for another round of warm up shows for
The Power to Believe.
I saw K.C. a few more times that year
and it was fun to watch the material morph
and come together.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sam's Gap

Badges (Part II)

So, also in 2000, after the positive outcome from
my King Crimson badge effort, I whipped up this one
for a show in Knoxville, TN for the same reasons.
I did not create these badges for to create chaos at these events.
A friend who went with, despite my protesting, decided to try
the badge out for it's power of confusion.
He got up and headed straight for the curtains leading to backstage,
with security in place, he breezed right through.
Next thing I know he strolls out on stage during the set change with
Tull's stage crew and tour manager all around him, he stands at Ian Anderson's
mic and stage position.
I have a picture of him up there but, I don't know if I should post it here
without asking him first.

10 Items Or Less

The Thanksgiving holiday allows for some "catch up" movie viewing.
One of my favorites from the selection, "10 Items Or Less".
The critics aren't kind to this Indy film for the most part.
They say it is about nothing which couldn't be farther from the truth.
Sure, it lacks side splitting slapstick for the most part, it doesn't have
a special effects budget that could have fed a small third world country
for a week, but, it represents a slice of life where two
people from different worlds take a moment in time to
experience some human contact, encourage a stranger and
examine the human condition.

If "Pieces of April" is in your list of Holiday viewing then I think
you will appreciate this movie as I did.
About an actor who hasn't worked in four years, gets an offer
to star in a low budget, Indy film and travels out of
his realm to scout and study for a part in a part of town that
isn't his regular level of stomping grounds.
The film company is shaky at best and when Morgan's character
is dropped at a grocery store to study for his part, he finds himself
stuck there as his ride never returns to collect him.
He befriends a young and pretty Spanish girl who
is in charge of the 10 items or less register.
This develops into a relationship by which both characters
find themselves helping the other in ways that each needed
at the time.
In one segment they discuss 10 items or less that
you would keep in your life if you could only keep 10.
This makes for a good discussion for Thanksgiving, no ?
If you require huge explosions and car chases in your entertainment, then,
this film may not be for you.
If you are open to inspiration towards helping others, then, by all means...


In the year 2000 a few internet friends, whom I had never met, were gathering in NashVegas, TN for to witness King Crimson "Warm Up" shows for their subsequent World Tour for The "Construction of Light". They were performing for three nights in a small club, which was a treat, indeed. (12th & Porter)

It was decided that we needed a way to spot one another and the Badge was born. I decided to try my hand at creating something for the occasion, having enough knowledge in Photoshop to be dangerous. Little did I know that my badge would be decent enough to confuse security.

It is rare to never that KC performs a "cover" but we were treated to this awesome version
of "Heroes" as an encore.
This is not the Nashville performance but, you get the idea. ( Video courtesy of Bootleg TV )
Robert Fripp played this lead guitar part on the original with Bowie. Adrian Belew became David's band director for the "Sound & Vision" tour so, he also had previous experience with this song.


Taken several years ago at Asheville Recyclers
when they were on Biltmore Ave. I don't think
they *are* at all these days.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Adrian Belew - Side Four Live ORDER NOW !!!

photo by Mark Colman
Click on Cover Art to place your order today
(available in Signed or Not So Signed )
here are the delicious treats awaiting you when
you sit down to feast on side four (live)
writing on the wall
young lions
beat box guitar
matchless man
a little madness
of bow and drum
big electric cat
three of a perfect pair
thela hun ginjeet
the pumpkin pie is optional.
happy thanksgiving everyone.
( From Adrian's Elephant Blog )

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Adrian Belew - Side Four Live Update Update !!!

Pre-orders for Side Four will be taken on Tuesday, November 20th !

You heard it here first folks...

Adrian Belew - Side Four Live Update

From Elephant Blog

the parts for side four (live) were sent to the pressing plant to begin the manufacture two weeks we will begin accepting orders.I'm told they will make lovely Christmas giftsfor unsuspecting, friends and relatives.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

a little madness...
looking over the color proof for the artwork for side four (live) eric commented on the name change I've made for the song madness from side one. on the live record the title is now a little madness. there are two reasons why: first, on the live version I say "a little madness" over eric's drum intro, but second and more importantly it's a money saving device. how so? you might ask. when I was writing madness I considered singing a lyric about a young musician who believes he is being "visited"in his dreams by aliens, who are teaching him ways to do incredible things with the healing sounds of music. he believes he is learning to cure certain diseases just by playing specific sounds which radically affectand alter the listener's molecular makeup. the problem is: it's driving him crazy! as part of the lyric I had written a speaking part as an intro before the massive blast of music begins. fittingly I remembered a scene in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey the music in the scene had a profound effect on me. it was a piece by Katchaturian. so for the intro with the spoken voiceI decided to play a small portion of the Katchaturian piece on guitar with a bed of synthesizer "space" sound beneath it. the whole bit was 50 seconds long. the song was nearly 7 minutes. eventually the vocal/lyric idea didn't pan out. I guess I'm not a good enough actor. but martha was convinced the music was my masterpiece. whether or not you agree with that assessment trust me, it is much better without my vocal idea. I dropped the vocal but I still liked the 17-second guitar intro so I left it that way. I didn't even think the Katchaturian music might not be public domain. just before side one was to be released we received a call from the dead Mr. Katchaturian's publishing company. it was too late just to leave off the 50 seconds of Katchaturian (the record was already mastered) so we had to bow to their demands for 50% of the publishing on my seven-minute masterpiecefor the privilege of 50-seconds of the dead Mr. Katchaturian's music. evidently the afterlife must be an expensive place. and that is why there is a new piece on side four (live) called a little madness.

-adrian belew from elephant blog

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


UPDATE: Zappa Plays Zappa Live DVD - Available NOW
Get your's here: Barfko Swill

Zappa Plays Zappa is back on the road, check the tour dates at Zappa Plays Zappa. Do not miss them if you can manage. They are off to the land down under after these U.S. dates...

Sunday, November 4, 2007



Our Torturing Ways...

Do you write to your congress personalities ? It's a good time to start. Especially to Senators Feinstein and Schumer, whether you're in their state or not.
What are they thinking ?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trying To Be Less Polite...

I went to see Tommy Womack and Will Kimbrough last night at my favorite little listening room, The Down Home in Johnson City, TN.
A great show by two very talented players and songwriters. It was obvious they were doing what they love and and having fun doing it.

Will's "Americanitis" from last year is full of catchy tunes with relevant lyrics and releases some angst and frustration over the current climate in our violent trend toward world domination. It was followed this year with "EP" which is an 8 song disc with a minimal approach as far as addtional instrumentation is concerned.

For those unfamiliar with Will's work, here's a brief bio from
This bio isn't current as it does not cover Will's work with Jimmy Buffett in the last few years.If your a Buffett fan, you have probably heard Jimmy cover Will's "Piece of Work", which is a marvelous song that deserves to be heard by the masses.

by Rev. Keith A. Gordon
Best-known as a name in the CD liner notes of some of the hippest country and rock artists of the '90s and 2000s, both Will Kimbrough's solo and his band work have been championed by critics on both sides of the ocean. Kimbrough first came to the attention of the industry as frontman for Will & the Bushmen, a popular college rock band formed in the unlikely locale of Mobile, AL. The Bushmen pounded out a reputation on the Southeastern frat-party circuit, releasing the self-produced Gawk in 1985. The band was signed to SBK Records on the strength of their popular live show, releasing the self-titled Will & the Bushmen album in 1989. The band moved to Nashville to record their third album, Blunderbuss, released in 1991. The album yielded a minor hit, but the band broke up in the aftermath of SBK's bankruptcy.Kimbrough formed the Bis-Quits with friends Tommy Womack (Government Cheese) and Mike Grimes (Bare Jr.), the band releasing a self-titled collection of whip-smart roots rock in 1993 for John Prine's indie Oh Boy Records. On the strength of his vastly underrated guitar skills, Kimbrough embarked on a career as an in-demand session player and touring musician, working with artists like Kim Richey, Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell, Steve Forbert, and Amy Rigby. Kimbrough recorded his first solo album in 2000, a collection of shimmering pop-flavored rock titled This, released on his own Waxy Silver Records. Later that year, Kimbrough reissued the Bushmen's Gawk on CD for the first time. In between the demands of session and road work, Kimbrough found time to record his second album, Home Away, released on Waxy Silver in 2002. Since that time, Kimbrough has kept busy releasing a handful of albums including among others Americanitis in 2006 and EP in 2007. A gifted songwriter and talented musician influenced by giants like John Lennon and Alex Chilton, Kimbrough would be a most valuable player on anyone's team.

Tommy's bio at AllMusic is criminally short and needs a good updating.

A onetime member of the post-punk unit Government Cheese, singer/songwriter Tommy Womack later resurfaced in the roots-rock band the Bis-quits, finally going solo in 1998 with the LP Positively Na-Na. Stubborn followed two years later. As an author, he also won acclaim for his memoir Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock & Roll Band You've Never Heard Of.

Tommy Womack has also done extensive recording and touring with Todd Snider.
Will and Tommy did a, so far, one off recording as a unit known as "Daddy" and the only
release is "Daddy, Live At The Woman's Club".

So, let me give you a taste of what the Will / Tommy experience is like, courtesy of YouTube.

"Trying To Be Less Polite"

A Nice Day With Tommy Womack

Will Kimbrough - "Piece of Work"

Jimmy Buffett's version with footage from "Lost"

Tommy Womack - Cockroach After The Bomb

Will - "Act Like Nothing's Wrong"

Tommy - "I Miss Ronald Reagan"

Will - "Everybody's In Love"

Tommy " Alpha Male & The Canine Mystery Blood"

Will "Life"

The quality of these recordings vary, hopefully it's enough to get you interested.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Showdown With Iran

As the United States and Iran are locked in a battle for power and influence across the Middle East -- with the fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon looming in the background -- FRONTLINE gains unprecedented access to Iranian hard-liners shaping government policy, including parliament leader Hamid Reza Hajibabaei, National Security Council member Mohammad Jafari and state newspaper editor Hossein Shariatmadari.

In this report, FRONTLINE examines how U.S. efforts to install democracy in Iraq have served to strengthen Iran's position as an emerging power in the Middle East.
"You will not find a single instance in which a country has inflicted harm on us and we have left it without a response. So if the United States makes such a mistake, they should know that we will definitely respond. And we don't make idle threats," Mohammad Jafari tells FRONTLINE in his first-ever television interview.

There are increasing signs that the Bush administration is considering military action before it leaves office if Tehran continues to defy U.N. demands that it cease enriching uranium for its nuclear program -- a program the Iranians insist is for peaceful purposes. "The president has said repeatedly that it is unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons," former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton tells FRONTLINE. "If action is not taken in terms of regime change or, if need be, the use of military force, the question of when Iran achieves nuclear weapons is entirely in Iran's own hands. And that is extraordinarily undesirable."

But Richard Armitage, President Bush's former deputy secretary of state, warns, "It would be the worst of worlds for an outgoing administration to start a conflict."

After 9/11, the Bush administration hoped to drive a wedge between Iran's people and their Islamic rulers by installing democracies on two of Iran's borders. "If things had gone better in Iraq," says Hillary Mann, the Iran expert at the National Security Council during the run-up to the war, "then yeah, I think Iran was next."

"I think Iran is more secure now, courtesy of the United States," Bolton says. "We have removed the Taliban regime from Afghanistan, which they viewed as a mortal threat. We have removed Saddam Hussein in Iraq, which they viewed as a mortal threat."

Before invading Iraq, the Bush administration rebuffed a series of overtures from Iran's reformist government -- among them offers to help the U.S. stabilize Iraq after the invasion.

After the invasion a strange fax arrived in Washington. It was a secret proposal for a grand bargain resolving all outstanding issues between the U.S. and Iran, including Iran's support for terrorism and its nuclear program. But opinions differed on how serious the offer was. The State Department thought the reformists were politically weak and promising more than they could deliver. And the White House, newly victorious in Iraq, saw no need to negotiate with Iran. The "grand bargain" fax never received a reply.

Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival, believes the Bush administration's confrontational approach discredited Iran's reformists and inadvertently helped bring the new hard-line government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. "The wars of 2001 and 2003 have fundamentally changed the Middle East to Iran's advantage," he says. "The dam that was containing Iran has been broken."

Watch the PBS program here.

Bush Asks Congress For $46 Billion More In War Funding

Appropriations Chairman Obey on President’s Iraq Request
October 22nd, 2007 by Jesse Lee

Chairman David Obey of the Appropriations Committee issued the following statement on the nearly $200 billion war funding request the President sent the Congress today:

“It’s amazing to me that the President expects to be taken seriously when he says we cannot afford $20 billion in investments in education, health, law enforcement and science, which will make this country stronger over the long term, but he doesn’t blink an eye at asking to borrow $200 billion for a policy in Iraq that leaves us six months from now exactly where we were six months ago.

“Only this White House would call this progress.

“The President needs to rethink his position on both fronts.”
For the last 5 days the Committee has been sending out press releases looking at the difference between the President and the Congress on appropriations bills. See the releases:

· Healthcare Access: $1.4 billion = 4 Days in Iraq (pdf)
· Education: $5.9 billion = 18 Days in Iraq (pdf)
· Transportation Infrastructure: $2.4 billion = 1 Week in Iraq (pdf)
· Medical Research: $1 billion = 3 Days in Iraq (pdf)
· Law Enforcement: $1.8 billion = 5 Days in Iraq (pdf)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Adrian Belew Autos on Ebay

From Adrian Belew's Elephant Blog:

for those of you interested in my car fixation I have recently listed two of my cars to be sold on eBay motors. they will be there for another 6 days. the first one (above top) is a custom-bodied CRX si, a quick agile little "pocket rocket" which I adore. I've had it since it was new in 1991 and still called a Honda CRX si. now it called a "Vitesse" by the customizers, a shop in Toronto. it took 3 months of labor to convert. such a fabulous car to drive, if you don't mind being constantly asked questions from twentysomething guys.the second car (above bottom) is anything but quick but it's a beautiful all-original "land yacht". a 1963 Chrysler Imperial Crown, a huge car with a square steering wheel and push-button transmission! what could be cooler! we have always called it "the imperial hammerhead" for its odd looking face. when I was a teenager I thought these were the ugliest things on the road. now I drive one! for anyone interested in seeing more about the cars go to eBay motors. the Vitesse is #170159897999. The Imperial is # 170160281888.
(Credit to original photographer for CRX si photo with Adrian Belew & Robert Fripp.)
(I can't remember who took that picture )

Frontline - Cheney's Law

For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial review.

Now, as the White House appears ready to ignore subpoenas in the investigations over wiretapping and U.S. attorney firings, FRONTLINE examines the battle over the power of the presidency and Cheney's way of looking at the Constitution.
"The vice president believes that Congress has very few powers to actually constrain the president and the executive branch," former Justice Department attorney Marty Lederman tells FRONTLINE. "He believes the president should have the final word -- indeed the only word -- on all matters within the executive branch."
After Sept. 11, Cheney and Addington were determined to implement their vision -- in secret. The vice president and his counsel found an ally in John Yoo, a lawyer at the Justice Department's extraordinarily powerful Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). In concert with Addington, Yoo wrote memoranda authorizing the president to act with unparalleled authority.
"Through interviews with key administration figures, Cheney's Law documents the bruising bureaucratic battles between a group of conservative Justice Department lawyers and the Office of the Vice President over the legal foundation for the most closely guarded programs in the war on terror," says FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk. This is Kirk's 10th documentary about the Bush administration's policies since 9/11.
In his most extensive television interview since leaving the Justice Department, former Assistant Attorney General Jack L. Goldsmith describes his initial days at the OLC in the fall of 2003 as he learned about the government's most secret and controversial covert operations. Goldsmith was shocked by the administration's secret assertion of unlimited power.
"There were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand," Goldsmith says. "I had a whole flurry of emotions. My first one was disbelief that programs of this importance could be supported by legal opinions that were this flawed. My second was the realization that I would have a very, very hard time standing by these opinions if pressed. My third was the sinking feeling, what was I going to do if I was pressed about reaffirming these opinions?"
As Goldsmith began to question his colleagues' claims that the administration could ignore domestic laws and international treaties, he began to clash with Cheney's office. According to Goldsmith, Addington warned him, "If you rule that way, the blood of the 100,000 people who die in the next attack will be on your hands."

Goldsmith's battles with Cheney culminated in a now-famous hospital-room confrontation at Attorney General John Ashcroft's bedside. Goldsmith watched as White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andy Card pleaded with Ashcroft to overrule the department's finding that a domestic surveillance program was illegal. Ashcroft rebuffed the White House, and as many as 30 department lawyers threatened to resign. The president relented.
But Goldsmith's victory was temporary, and Cheney's Law continues the story after the hospital-room standoff. At the Justice Department, White House Counsel Gonzales was named attorney general and tasked with reasserting White House control. On Capitol Hill, Cheney lobbied Congress for broad authorizations for the eavesdropping program and for approval of the administration's system for trying suspected terrorists by military tribunals.
As the White House and Congress continue to face off over executive privilege, the terrorist surveillance program, and the firing of U.S. attorneys, FRONTLINE tells the story of what's formed the views of the man behind what some view as the most ambitious project to reshape the power of the president in American history.

Watch the Program Here

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

BeleWings ( A Personal Note )

If you are lucky you probably have an item or two in your
possession that has been in existence in your world since you
arrived into it. Pictured above is one such treasure from my
family history that I cherish. I wish I had more detailed information for to
share this tale but it is a bit sketchy. I have been trying to research the story
with no positive result as of yet. I am going to have to visit some libraries with deep
newspaper archives and scour the microfilm.

My father had a deep interest in flight, he was a member
of a glider club in Johnson City, TN.

Eventually, he decided to go to Nashville and take the test to qualify for flight
school. Apparently, the highest test score was awarded flight training
with full tuition covered.

My mother decided to make the trip just so she could be there
with my father but, on a whim, she decided she might as well
take the test also since she was there.

Well, I can tell you're guessing ahead of me and you are
correct, it was my mother who had the highest test score.

I'm guessing this all transpired in 1936-37, for it was in
1938 that my mother brought home this lovely trophy

which reads:


WINNER 1938 Tri-City Flying Competition

presented by

Major Walter.M.Williams. Director

Tennessee Bureau of Aeronautics

As I understand it, the contest included a test for
bombing accuracy, which involved the dropping of
sacks of flour on designated targets.
I'm not sure what else was required of the contestants
but, I hope to learn more in my research.
I think that was the entire scope of my Mom's flying career.

My father went on to join the air corp in the army
in 1944. His three brothers all served as well and, the
family back home displayed a four star banner which, seems
to now be missing.
My father, as he entered his 80s, discovered that his
pilot's license was still valid and soon partnered up
with a friend who had a small twin engine plane
This led into an exciting, though brief, chapter
in my father's affair with the sky.
But... that's another story, for another time.

Close examination of the trophy reveals that half of the prop
is missing. I seem to recall, somewhere in the deep recess
of my memory, that I may have had something to do with this
at a very young age.
Anyway, I was thinking of my Mother and Father
and thought I would share this sketchy history, perhaps
I can update it later as I uncover further detail.
If you have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles
who are still around, take this opportunity to learn their
stories. Find out those details that go with your treasures.
You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Adrian Belew - Side Four

Still no news on a release date for the new "Side Four", Adrian Belew Power Trio Live.

In the mean time, while we anxiously wait, here for your pleasure, are some previous releases from the world's greatest stunt guitarist.
Please go out and purchase these if you enjoy them.

coming attractions

Inner Revolution

salad days

Please disable any "Pop Up" killers before clicking the links to listen, usually accomplished by holding the shift or control key while clicking the link. Hold until player appears.

Song of America (Update)

Song of America is still available for streaming at Free Napster.
I have updated my original post to include the link.
( See September 14th post "Song of America" )
Link to player is a "pop up" application, please disable any pop up stopper, usually accomplished by holding the shift or control key.

Enjoy the free preview but please, run out and purchase a copy, you'll be glad you did.

The rising tide is only lifting the yachts

The rising tide is only lifting the yachts
By: Steve Benen on Saturday, October 13th, 2007 at 5:30 PM - PDT

The very week that the Republican presidential field insisted that the economy is great, we need more tax cuts for the rich, and that Americans who feel left behind really have nothing to complain about, we see yet another report about the stunning gap in income inequality.

The richest Americans’ share of national income has hit a postwar record, surpassing the highs reached in the 1990s bull market, and underlining the divergence of economic fortunes blamed for fueling anxiety among American workers.

The IRS data go back only to 1986, but academic research suggests the rich last had this high a share of total income in the 1920s.

Asked about the growing gap between rich and poor, the president said, “Our society has had income inequality for a long time.” How insightful.

Note: The comments section on this article at Crooks and Liars contains language that may be considered offensive to some. The views in said comments section are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of this blogger.

Buying The War

I know it's a lot to ask, for over an hour of your time, to watch a documentary but this is "Must See TV". ( someone probably has a copyright on "Must See TV". )
In America we tend to prefer an easier watch such as "American Idol" or "Friends" but, take a chance, this film is informative and riveting. More importantly, it is full of information that America needs to know.

I also highly recommend "Buying The War" from Bill Moyer's Journal which can be seen

I have become a fan of the documentary format, in part, thanks to "Doc Day" on The Sundance Channel.

Iraq For Sale

Saturday, October 13, 2007

NSA Started Domestic Phone Record Program 7 Months Before 9/11 ???

Startling statements from former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio's defense documents alleging the National Security Agency began building a massive call records database seven months before 9/11 aren't the only accusations that the controversial program predated the attacks of 9/11.

All of the cases pending against the nation's telecoms for allegedly violating the nation's surveillance and privacy laws could be mooted if Congress gives immunity to the companies, as the Administration and the telcos powerful lobbyists are arguing for.

Read the entire article HERE

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dolly Varden

A Band that deserves more recognition...

This is a House Concert video of Dolly Varden performing "The Wheels Have Left The Road"
form their latest " The Panic Bell". I discovered this band with the "Forgiven Now" album after reading much great buzz about same. I picked up the vinyl edition and fell in love after one spin. I burned the LP to CD for the car until my official copy arrived.
I have since backtracked and purchased each release, including a duo disc by Steve and Diane ,
which I also highly recommend.
You can read more about them and hear some more music at their Myspace Page or visit the Official Site. This is a lovely song but doesn't represent the diverse directions and influences found in their catalog. Look into it, they are block dog approved.

Don't miss the video on their MySpace Page, you'll have to scroll down to find it. Fun !

Who has theater style seating in their house for concerts anyway ? How cool is that ?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Free Burma

On October 4th this blog will go silent as part of this world wide statement in support of the monks and people of Myanmar. (Burma)

The header of my post below links to one article while clicking on the picture links to another.

Free Burma!
International Bloggers' Day for Burma on the 4th of October
International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma.
We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons.
These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words "Free Burma!“.

Google Links

The World Is Watching

Or needs to be !
Please keep the monks of Myanmar in your thoughts.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


I have removed the "autoplay" feature on my "Playlist Project".
Hit the play button or select the track you wish and click on the title.
It is also helpful to use the "launch stand alone player" feature if you
are going to be browsing old posts and links, this way the playlist won't
start over every time.
Learning as I go...

Thanks for stopping by.
The Management

Seeds of Privatization

So, when did we, as a nation, become so bent on the privatization of, well, everything ?

To my mind, evidence suggests that, privatization means the squeezing out of the loyal
American worker, patriot, citizen, middle class man, woman and child.

I haven't been very politically aware for long and, I am still no expert by any means but, when did WE as the people decide that we wanted to contract our war waging to profit motivated enterprise ? Do you recall considering this issue, do you recall anyone asking ? I must have missed it and I'm sure someone can cite exactly when we made this hard turn.

I think we are beginning to see the fruits of just what this means to our nation.

This certainly is not just a "war" issue either, it is affecting so many aspects of our
lives as we see so many "no bid" contracts let out to companies by people who have
a personal interest in seeing that these companies get the work.

The conflict of interest status in Washington is staggering.

I'm all for free enterprise and capitalism but, it seems to me that when an enterprise loses
it's heart and soul and forgets how and why it got where it is, that something needs to be examined. How can we claim "family values" and yet, support a structure that no longer has any loyalty to families ? It seems to me to be in the bizzaro world.

I recall a time in this nation when a person devoted a lifetime of work for a given enterprise and that given enterprise appreciated and rewarded that loyalty into retirement. Today, you are likely to be given the golden boot in the arse award with a 20/20 hindsight issuance of "sorry, you really should have diversified your portfolio".

The recent "incident" in Iraq, which has brought the private security firms to the forefront
of the headlines, should really get Americans thinking and asking some hard questions.

The president is asking congress for almost 200 Billion more dollars to fund the war efforts but, do you know that the Department of Defense budget does not include all of these "privatized" services ? It is being paid for through the State Department rather then the D.O.D. so, if you include those figures with the budget being presented....Oh, I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.

Iraq Contractors To Make Billions on the Front Lines

A guest on Washington Journal last week stated that the Iraqi Government wanted to make these private security firms "look bad" because they want to use their own private security forces. Huh ?

And we don't want that to happen why ?
I thought the goal here was to have the Iraqi Government "Stand Up" ?
So, if they hired their own security forces, would it not fall to them to pay that bill ?
It would certainly help their extremely high unemployment rate, no ?

So, why is this not a good idea ? Oh yeah, I forgot, there's too much profit to be made hand over fist to hand that opportunity to someone else.

I know I seem to be bouncing back and forth between two different issues but, to me, they all seem to be tied together.

I can't understand how so many Americans are duped by the flag waving and fear campaigns
when they are the very folks being effected by the new heartless and soulless brand of free enterprise. Just like in my earlier "Wally World" posting I can't help but believe that We are bringing this upon ourselves. We want everything as cheap as we can get it without regards to the effect it will have on our own ability to remain ahead of the curve in manufacturing, development and research. Maybe it is the economic situation we find ourselves in that drives us into this mindset. It's a catch 22. You can't demand Wally World prices and complain about jobs going overseas too. We have become economic cattle.

So, why don't we want our war as cheap as we can get it ? Those purse strings seem to be out of our control and I suspect we really have no idea what the cost really is.
We need to Wally World this war. Wake up America !

What we need to do as individuals however, and this is going to sound insane but, we need
to spend more and get less. That's right, tighten our belts, insist on quality products ( preferably made locally ) and purchase them from little shops owned by your neighbors.
I know that's a tall order and there will always be exceptions when this just isn't possible / practical.

This isn't a party line issue either, if you aren't a wealthy, comfortable American, this should be a major concern to you and it seems like no one, on either side of the aisle in D.C. is going to step up and denounce the pocket stuffing power of big industry.

Can this nation afford to hire another group of "contractors" for yet another war ?
We are in a delicate balance as it stands. The drums are pounding for a grand entrance
into Iran. Diplomacy, we have none.

Thanks for allowing me to ramble on so...
I'm sure I am preaching to the choir here quite a bit but,
I am sure there are a few who see things differently.

Your thoughts ?


Bizzaro World

"Earlier this year, congressional leaders promised to show that they could be responsible with the people's money," Bush said. "Unfortunately, they seem to have chosen the path of higher spending."

He said while...

Bush also signed a measure to increase the U.S. borrowing authority to $9.815 trillion, a White House statement said.
The new debt limit is an $850 billion increase from the previous level and the fifth hike since Bush took office in January 2001. U.S. debt stood at about $5.6 trillion at the start of Bush's presidency.

Happy Birthday Leslie !

Leslie !

Happy Birthday Moon Zappa

Open Thread
By: bluegal @ 8:30 PM - PDT

We don’t usually do celebrity birthdays here at Crooks and Liars, but since “Zappa” has its own category at this blog, it’s only fitting that we should wish a happy birthday to Frank Zappa’s daughter, Moon Unit, who turns 40 this weekend.

From December 4 through 22, The Aristocrats will host, and a great many blogs will participate in, a celebration of the late Frank Zappa, in the annual blog event known as Zappadan.

Filed Under: Zappa, Open Thread

Friday, September 28, 2007

New and future releases of note...

CHUCK PROPHETSoap and WaterMuch like his work with seminal L.A. band Green on Red, Chuck Prophet's first new album in three years, Soap and Water, defies categorization. Soap and Water moves deftly from Americana and rock to R&B, molding styles at will. A true renaissance rocker, Prophet is a writer, producer and musician who helped define Los Angeles' Paisley Underground scene and open the door for's rise to prominence in the 1990s. Prophet's dark undercurrents and mythic persona have coupled with his seat-of-the-pants creative philosophy to make him one of the most sought-after songwriters in music today."His most satisfying album yet. The range of styles is impressive, from the pale hip hop of 'Something Stupid' to the title track's murky Southern funk and the swamp-blues of 'A Woman's Voice.' But he does the f---ed-up ballad thing expertly too, even drafting a children's choir for 'Would You LoveMe.'" - Uncut, 4 stars out of 4.(Yep Roc)MORE INFO + SOUND CLIPS CD $14.99

SHARON JONES DAP-KINGS100 Days 100 Nights LP"Sharon Jones not only earns her title of the "Queen of Funk" on her spunky new record 100 Day 100 Nights, she also burns, yearns, howls and growls for it. This is the kind of album that you dream about owning on vinyl - that practically begs to come wafting down from open windows on hot city nights. With a tone that is consistently upbeat and defiant, even when she's the woman left behind, Sharon Jones, with great support from the Dap-Kings (a.k.a Amy Winehouse's backing band), brings her own brand of funky fire to each and every song." -- Amy Wagner, (Daptone)MORE INFO + SOUND CLIPS

RESPECT YOURSELF: THE STAX RECORDS STORY VariousFilmmakers Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville present a breath-taking film that chronicles the story of the greatest soul label from its birth in Memphis through all its upheavals. Samuel L. Jackson narrates. Included are rare performances; interviews with Isaac Hayes, Mavis Staples, Carla Thomas, Sam Moore, Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Eddie Floyd, Jesse Jackson, Al Bell, Wayne Jackson, and more; lost performances by Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, and more; 1972 WattStax concert outtakes; interviews with Stax fans Elvis Costello, Bono, Angie Stone, Chuck D, and more; first interview with Jim Stewart in 15 years; and never-before-seen home movies. (Stax)MORE INFO DVD $19.98

STAX-VOLT REVUE: LIVE IN NORWAY 1967 VariousThis DVD is the first-ever official release of this historic concert, restored from original master tapes, with 20 minutes of recently discovered performances lost in the vaults for 40 years. Performers include Booker T. & the MGs, The Mar-Keys, Arthur Conley, Eddie Floyd, Sam & Dave, and Otis Redding. (Stax)MORE INFO DVD $14.98

Bettye Lavette and Drive-By Truckers collaborate on this one-of-a-kind record filled with mini-dramas about life, love and survival. The Scene Of The Crime is a blistering mix of anguished soul & greasy rock & roll, laced with the swampy guitars, Spooner Oldhams slippery Wurlitzer piano and Bettyes razor sharp voice in the forefront. Produced by Dave Barbe, Patterson Hood & Bettye LaVette, the disc was recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL. (Anti) Sound Clips:MP3: Take Me Like I Am (Still Want To Be Your Baby)MP3: JealousyMP3: You Don`t Know Me At All

Description:After an extremely rare three year break from recording, Steve Earle is back, with Washington Square Serenade, an album of new music his first for New West Records. The longtime Nashville (via Texas) resident, Earle has called New York City home for the past year and this will be his first release produced in the city. Recorded at New Yorks legendary Electric Lady Studios, the introspective album, inspired by NYC is Earles first produced by John King of The Dust Brothers (Beck, The Rolling Stones, Beastie Boys). The deluxe CD/DVD version includes bonus artwork, plus an exclusive documentary about the inspiration behind `Washington Square Serenade, including a walking tour of Greenwich Village with Steve and noted journalist Mark Jacobson (New York Magazine). Sound Clips:MP3: Tennessee BluesMP3: City of Immigrants (With Forro In The Dark)MP3: Oxycontin Blues

The album features Lovett`s versatile Large Band on 12 tracks that cover a broad musical spectrum -- from country to blues, to folk, to jazz, to gospel...Produced by longtime collaborator Billy Williams and Lovett, "It`s Not Big It`s Large" combines Lovett`s distinctive vocal style with his critically acclaimed, insightful and introspective songwriting skill...The deluxe version of the CD includes a DVD with footage taken in the studio during the recording of six songs from the album: "Ain`t No More Cane," "All Downhill," "Don`t Cry A Tear," "Up In Indiana," "The Alley Song," and "South Texas Girl."" -- (Lost Higway) Sound Clips:MP3: I Will Rise Up/Ain`t No More CaneMP3: All Downhill

ROBERT PLANT & ALISON KRAUSS Raising Sand (DUE 10.23.07)The musical collaboration of the decade, Raising Sand is the sound of two iconic figures stepping out of their respective comfort zones and letting their instincts lead them across a brave new sonic landscape. Despite hailing from distinctly different backgrounds, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant share a maverick spirit and willingness to extend the boundaries of their respective genres. This spirit, expertly honed by producer T Bone Burnett, has resulted in an album pitched three steps beyond some cosmic collision of early urban blues, spacious West Texas country, and the untapped potential of the folk-rock revolution. Supported by the unparalleled musicianship of Marc Ribot, Dennis Crouch, Mike Seeger, Jay Bellerose, Norman Blake, Greg Leisz, Patrick Warren, and Riley Baugus, Plant and Krauss - as both solo and harmony vocalists - tackle an intriguing selection of songs from such tunesmiths as Tom Waits, Gene Clark, Sam Phillips, Townes Van Zandt, The Everly Brothers, and Mel Tillis. Raising Sand finds Robert Plant and Alison Krauss exploring popular music's elemental roots while still sounding effortlessly, breath-takingly Contemporary.(Rounder)MORE INFO + SOUND CLIPS CD $14.99

Tour Releases
Tool Box (2007)

Too name but a few...