Archive for August 2012

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Thursday night on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert discussed one of the hottest political news topics of the 2012 Republican National Convention, the steaming pile of lies in vice presidential nominee  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s speech from Wednesday.  Ryan, known — like Newt Gingrich — as a Republican “ideas guy,” took the mic on Wednesday night to thunderous applause from the delegates in attendance.  It’s too bad that, as Colbert said, the biggest idea in Ryan’s speech was “Lying is handy.”

“But the real game changer was when Ryan brought the hurt-stick to Obama,” said Colbert, cueing up the part of the speech where Ryan talked about the now-infamous GM auto plant in Janesville, Wisconsin that closed before President Barack Obama took office, but which the GOP is currently trying to blame Obama for, in spite of the fact that the Janesville canard has been debunked again and again.

“It’s a shame that factory couldn’t have lasted another year,” Colbert said. “It would have still been open when Obama took office.”

The host blamed the “Lamestream nit-pick patrol” for casting a pall on Ryan’s brilliant crowd-pleaser of a speech.

“Here’s where they say he was lying,” said Colbert, re-starting the speech. “Right…there when he starts moving his lips!”

Posted August 31, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Published August 30, 2012

On the other hand, to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.

Posted August 30, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Mitt Romney is advancing a new — mostly ahistorical — reason voters should throw President Obama out of office: A Democratic Congress gave Obama everything he wanted and he still failed to turn the economy around.

“I do believe that people of this country are looking for someone who can get the country growing again with more jobs and more take-home pay, and I think they realize this president had four years to do that,” Romney told Politico in an interview published Monday. “He got every piece of legislation he wanted passed, and it didn’t work. I think they want someone who has a different record, and I do.”

The argument obscures the important policy-making role Republicans had in the first two years of Obama’s presidency, when they used a record number of filibusters in the Senate to weaken — and in some cases thwart — large pieces of his agenda.

The $787 billion stimulus package in 2009, which was ultimately too small to fully reverse the economic downturn, had to be scaled down because a GOP filibuster required Democrats to win over 60 Senate votes for final passage. Repeated filibusters on health care reform ate up nearly a year of the Democrats’ legislative time, and Obama’s subsequent efforts to boost the economy were met with the same wall of Republican opposition — one that became insurmountable after the GOP’s congressional victories in 2010.

Posted August 28, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Mitt Romney is standing by a joke about his birth certificate he made on Friday, despite complaints from President Obama’s campaign that the line was a nod to racially charged conspiracy theories regarding the president’s origins.

The Republican nominee told CBS Friday, after the campaign appearance where he made the remark, he saw nothing wrong with the comment, in part because it drew cheers from the crowd.

“Well we’re in Michigan and Ann I and I were both born in Detroit and of course a little humor always goes a long way” he said. “So it was great to be home, to be in a place where Ann and I had grown up, and the crowd loved it and got a good laugh.”

Romney, reminiscing about his childhood at an event earlier Friday, said that “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”

Posted August 26, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Bill Maher  “The grown-up answer to our massive national problems is “Identify them scientifically and prioritize.” The Republican answer is “There isn’t a problem, and anyone who tells you different is a liar who hates America. We don’t have to make hard choices. We just have to ignore science and math. That’s why God gave us values.”

Posted August 25, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Ezra Klein “When I talk to legislators from both parties, I tend to hear some variation of the following: “This is a choice election. The American people are getting two very different visions and they’re going to pick one of them.”

That’s fine as far as it goes. But in a political system with three branches of government, a bicameral legislature with a supermajority provision in the upper chamber, and staggered elections, it doesn’t go very far. In a parliamentary system of government, the fact of being chosen implies the power to govern. In our system of government, it doesn’t. President Obama could win reelection and find himself facing Speaker Eric Cantor.

Which is why my standard follow-up question is, “If you think this is a choice election, will you let the other side govern if they win?” No one has ever said yes.”

Posted August 24, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Roger Hodgson at Twin River Casino August 17, 2012   Leave a comment

Roger Hodgson Twin Rivers Casino Aug 17, 2012

Roger Hodgson Twin Rivers Casino Aug 17, 2012

Chris had been bugging me about going to see Roger Hodgson with a full band in Rhode Island. Wow, did I really want to travel that far? Wow, Fool’s Overture live with a band. He talked me into it. I took Friday and Saturday off. We were set to leave at 11am on Friday and were out the door at 11:10. The drive down was pretty smooth. We hit a bit of traffic on I-95 but once we made the turn towards Providence it was clear sailing. We found the hotel, grabbed a bit of food, then it was off to the Casino. An expensive cab ride brought us to the correct entrance to the massive compound. We went right in to the convention room that was to be used as a concert hall. We found our third row center seats, thanks Chris, and it was 10 minutes to showtime.

They started a few minutes late, as waiters brought drinks to some in the audience, but soon enough, Roger Hodgson and band took the stage. Roger had a keyboard set, a grand piano, and the acoustic 12 string guitar. Behind him, on the left was another keyboard player, on his right was a keyboard set up, but the guy mostly played percussion, sax, and other horns. The bass player hung towards the back and the drummer was encased behind what Roger called bullet proof glass, for our protection, on the right. They opened with a perfect version of Take the Long Way Home. His voice was right on and the band hit every note. It was obviously going to be a great evening. School followed and was magnificent. In Jeopardy had a great bounce to it, and was tons of fun. After the song he asked how many people knew it. He was very happy that most of us had. He stayed on the solo album track with a newish song called The More I Look. It sounded nice, but did not have the fun interplay that many of his songs have. Next up he had the audience wrapt with a double shot of Sister Moonshine, then Breakfast in America. Cest le Bon followed and was pretty cool, but the chorus just kept repeating forever. A Soapbox Opera kicked up the energy level and everyone stayed ecstatic for the Logical Song. Afterwards he made a comment about his girlfriend not liking that song. Another solo song, Death and A Zoo followed. It was good, and sounded nice, and the end section with the jungle sounds was nice, but overall it wasn’t as great as most of the songs played that night. Lord is it Mine had Roger pleading with beauty, and Child of Vision had fantastic keyboard interplay. They did a powerhouse verson of that great song. Next up was what I had been waiting for. Fool’s Overture was played perfectly and made my heart soar. That point, a ways in, where the song builds and builds and builds, then eases off for a second, before dropping in that crushing note, was brought to perfection by Roger and his band. It just exploded. As the song cruised through the end section, I was blissful. He followed with a fun version of Dreamer and said good night.

There was a couple in back of us who were having an anniversary and had a sign saying Two of Us. Roger and band played a beautiful version of it. Next up Give A Little Bit had everyone singing and set the stage for the perfect end to a wonderful show.

We caught the cab back to the hotel and both crashed pretty quickly. We were up early and hit the road by 9:30. We pulled into Burlington at 1:45. What can you say? A smooth trip both ways, and a wonderful show.

Posted August 23, 2012 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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David Letterman “But you know, the Republicans are going to be in Tampa next week for the big national nominating convention, and there’s going to be a hurricane, there’s word that a hurricane that might hit Tampa when the Republicans are in town.  They think it will be hurricane Issac and I said you know what, the Republicans have proven themselves to be pretty good at handling hurricanes.  So I wouldn’t worry a thing.  Heck of a job there Bucky, what was that guys name?  Bobby?  Heck of a job Brownie.  The Republican party has released this statement though, take a look at this statement.”

“A potential hurricane is heading for Florida.  Forecasters warn it could disrupt the Republican Convention in Tampa, however, there’s no cause for alarm.  According to Republican Todd Aiken Florida rarely suffers damage from a legitimate hurricane.  Representative Todd Aiken, science is fun.”

Clip is from 4:19 to 5:30

Sarah Blacker at Summervale August 9, 2012 and the Skinny Pancake August 10, 2012   Leave a comment

Woo hoo, Sarah Blacker was coming back to town. I read about all of her travels across the north-eastern US (and beyond), but love it most when she comes back to Burlington. She was set to play the Summervale weekly festival on Thursday August 9th in Burlington’s Intervale, then Red Square and the Skinny Pancake on Friday August 10th. My schedule for Friday made the Square show impossible, but made the other two pretty easy.

On Thursday afternoon, I wandered the familiar path to the Intervale. There were a few people milling about and a few food vendors. I patiently impatiently waited, and soon enough Sarah Blacker and Eran Shaysh headed into the barn to set up. They worked with Joe Adler for a bit to get the sound right, and off they went. She opened solo with a gorgeous version of Sandpiper then brought Shaysh up to play percussion for the rest of the set. Several people came into the barn to listen, and a few songs in, even the little kids were dancing. Sarah and Shaysh plowed through a beautiful set of songs highlighting the new Perfectly Imperfect ep, and her most recent album, Come What May. Knocked the Winds had a nice sweep to it, and really turned up the energy. I was really hoping for When I Was New, and she played it third. I just love how catchy that song is. Coyboy was lots of fun and Shoeshine had a lot more going on by the end than it seemed it might at the start. She played a Joni Mitchell song that I did not know, but loved hearing Sarah unleash her voice. Leo the ukelele came out for The Most Beautiful Thing and the wonderful Perfectly Imperfect. The guitar came back for a rousing Bad I Been then closed the night with a powerhouse These Summer Nights. What a great song. What a great set. All I had to do was walk down the street and see her play. I feel like I put in so little effort and was rewarded heavily. I love live music.

I did not stay long after the show. While I was looking at the stage, the Summervale Festival crowd arrived, and there were tons of families everywhere. I bought the new ep, chatted a bit, then headed home. Rich and Chris stopped by and we played lots of rock videos all night long. At the end, I was still thinking of Sarahs songs.

I worked Friday until 7, went home and ate a quick bite of dinner, then headed out to the show. I made it to the Skinny Pancake in good time, went in, got a beer, and soon enough they were set up and ready to play again. The room was full of diners, so the opener Knocked the Winds did not blow the place away, as it would have if everyone was paying close attention. She kept the set a bit slow and built it step by step until people just had to pay attention. Just when things were starting to pop, a rowdy bunch of festival goers came in. They talked a lot and soon she realized she needed to change the energy. She said something about Marshall Tucker then began playing Can’t You See. Soon the whole audience was singing along. As she moved back into her set, the rowdy crowd began to chat, and wonderful songs were talked over. At one point she asked the audience if they could quiet down a bit since her throat was sore, and she wanted to sing I’m Like A Train My Lord. They chatted through it anyway. I was pretty focused and did not let it bother me, but it would have been cooler if everyone was listening. She played most all of the songs she played in the barn, plus lots more. She played a couple of new songs. She played a version of Smitten that made me think she should try and cover the Genesis song Entangled sometime. We got to hear most of Come What May, including the elegant title song, and she was set to wrap the night with the two ukelele tunes from the new ep. The Most Beautiful Thing and Perfectly Imperfect were great to hear, but another group of Maritime festivalers came in and broke the spell. She switched gears and put the guitar on for an up tempo rocker, then closed the night, like she did the night before, with a blistering These Summer Nights. What a great set closer. The show was somewhat satisfyingly unsatisfying. She brilliantly played a whole bunch of great songs. The interplay between her and Shaysh was perfect both nights. She just did not have the audience that she deserved. That said, you’ve got to love the staggering effort she is putting into finding it. Maybe someday I’ll have to pay more money to see her in a sit down theater with a wrapt audience. Here’s hoping! Until then, I will go see her wherever I can.


Here’s a video of These Summer Nights.  It’s not from either show, but will give you an idea…




Posted August 22, 2012 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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