Archive for January 2013

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“Why the sudden change, Republicans?” Jon Stewart said. “Perhaps you looked into your hearts and realized that people who are willing to risk prison or worse just to do our least glamorous, most dangerous work deserve at least a basic level of humanity.”

Or, as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) put it recently, Republicans lost the Hispanic vote badly in 2012.

“Okay, or that,” Stewart said. “That’s another reason. Craven political calculation to squeeze out enough votes to make Nevada competitive again. Okay, that’s okay, too. Not sure that’s the reason you’re supposed to say out loud, but you’ve come a long way. Well, you’ve come a way. Yes, the arc of history is long, but it bends toward shamelessness.”

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John Fugelsang “Congress has an immigration reform plan that could become an idea that could become a bill that Congress could then kill”

Party in Max’s Basement Saturday January 26, 2013   4 comments

After a short night of sleep, Saturday was a long day at work. There were a couple of brief respites, but it was mostly call after call after call. I loved the quiet of the walk home, and was really not in the mood to go out or socialize.

When I got home Chris and Rich had stopped by. Mike was working on his podcast, so I popped on the new Elephants of Scotland CD. Rich had seen them once and had an idea of what to expect, but Chris was pretty blown away. We made it through most of the disc before they headed to Higher Ground to see Lotus Land, a Rush cover band. Just for the record, everyone that I know who went to the show, said they were fantastic.

The Board

The board

Nature's Gangsta

Life was quiet for a couple of moments after they left, but then Nathan called and we set up the plan. I met up with him and we grabbed some beer and headed for Max’s. There were lots of people around, so we dropped our coats and headed down to the basement. Nature’s Gangsta were on rapping to some beats, but finished right as we got there. I think I caught less than a third of a song.

Max had a chalkboard upstairs with all of the bands and their order, so I noticed that we had missed Night Slice and Max’s band, Torpedo Rodeo. I was slightly saddened by that, since Torpedo really bring the rock and roll.

Nuda Veritas

Nuda Veritas

Despite being a small basement, with some really cool rock formations, they had a main stage and a small side stage. Nuda Veritas set up on the side and began the loops to create her songs. She sang beautifully and lit up my heart. Hearing her voice and watching the intensity, you’d have thought she was singing at Carnegie Hall, and not a basement party. Her songs have a shimmering elegance and I was enthralled for her whole show. I knew I would have fun at the party, but I didn’t know the level of musicianship would be so magnificently high.

Black Rabbit set up the main stage as she played, so when she finished, they began with a fury. Their punk rock was loud and fast and fun. Their songs have a fun direction to them and it’s not always obvious where they are going. To really listen to them, you have to chase the songs a bit, which makes their name pretty perfect. I had tons of fun for every moment of their show. They got me rocking really hard for the first time in two days. Every time I have seen them, they’ve brought a smile to my face, and Saturday night’s show was more of the same. They played a good long set, and confirmed that the effort to go out that night was well rewarded.

During the break, we headed upstairs and hung out chatting on the porch. There were lots of people at the party and everyone was fun to talk with. After a bit the sounds from the basement were getting more organized, so it was time to head back.

Peach Pie Zealot

Peach Pie Zealot

Peach Pie Zealot are a three-piece (guitar, bass, drums) instrumental band. They call themselves a jam band, which is accurate, but I don’t know if that really nails their sound. It’s a bit jazz fusion, mixed with an almost metal desire to rock. They opened with the guitar player using a slide to play some of the most beautiful and delicate notes I’ve heard in a long time. From the moment they began, it was obvious that something special was happening. As the song progressed, and the drums and bass kicked in, they worked themselves into a monster jam. They rocked hard, blew the room away, and were absolutely tremendous. The drummer was a complete monster and found some of the most amazing beats. One song that had a theme that they kept varying and they let it slowly build into a freakish monster jam. Every moment of the show was a chance to try and keep up with them. The structures of the songs were an interesting intellectual stimulation, and the notes that they unleashed kept my emotions pounding through the set. If you ever get a chance to see them, run, don’t walk.

When Particles Collide

When Particles Collide

Again, we wandered upstairs to hang out, but it was not long until When Particles Collide took the stage. After the Peach Pie overload, it was fun to rock out to some straight up punk. With just a drummer and singer/guitar player, they let loose a set of hard rocking joy. Sasha’s growling vocals and low slung Les Paul had the look and sound of everything you could want in a punk band. They closed with a couple of Green Day covers, but their original songs were the highlight of the set. With such energy, it was impossible not to release every bit of enthusiasm in my body and soul.

Endless Jags

Endless Jags

After their set, it was back to the porch for a bit, but it was not long until Endless Jags began to play. With three guitar players, bass, drums and keys, they had a full sweeping sound. It’s kind of indie rock sensibility with a nice drive as the music blows through your mind and body. They rocked and all the songs were lovely to hear. They had me moving from first note to last.



Soon after they wrapped up, Rawsome took the stage. Max jammed hard on guitar as he traded saucy lyrics with the radiant Jessylou. Their set was raw as always and nothing but fun. At different points they had 3 drummers along for the ride, but played much of the set as a duo. They jammed hard, we rocked out, but soon it was time for goodbye.

Thanks to Black Rabbit for the pictures.

Nathan and I took off close to 3:30, and I was home writing a facebook entry by 4. There was a message for me from Diane Sullivan to check my mailbox. I walked down the stairs, and there was a package with The Dirty Blondes album in it. I wanted to put it in, but work on Sunday called, so I saved it for later that day.

Darkness on the Edge of Winooski Friday January 25, 2013 at the Monkey House   Leave a comment

Whoo hoo, I’m not a big Bruce Springsteen fan, but with Swale, Blue Button and Vedora playing his songs, I was very psyched to go. I got out of work at 6:30 and Rich was hanging out when I got home. He was heading somewhere else, but just after 9 he gave me a ride to Winooski.

I walked in and a woman was playing acoustic guitar and singing a song I did not know. I think it was Sarah Stickle. By the time I settled in, she had wrapped up her set. I found a place close to the stage in the crowded Monkey House and soon Joe Adler and Eric Segalstad took the stage. Joe played acoustic guitar and sang and Eric played some pretty aggressive lead guitarish mandolin. They jammed out Adam Raised a Cain and had the enthusiastic audience shout out each time they sang that line. Joe’s deep voice and rocking guitar made it pretty fun. Next up was a song I did not know from Nebraska, then they brought up Aya Inoue for Atlantic City. Her voice is beautiful and blended wonderfully with Joe’s. They did a great job and I was having lots of fun.

I did not catch the name of the next artist who played. It was a guy with acoustic guitar and harmonica. I did not know either of the two songs, but his playing was subtle and beautiful.

Lowell Thompson took the stage next and opened with Atlantic City. I was a bit put off at first, having just heard the song, but his version was different and his playing very intimate. He’s such a solid musician, that I really liked his version. He followed with two more that I did not know, but were fun to listen to.

Nest, Tooth Ache set up her keyboard and array of effects. She was joined by a guy on xylophone with tubes on the bottom of the rig, and a keyboard that he also hit with the mallets. They used an electronic beat and played ’80’s pop versions of I’m on Fire and Dancing in the Dark. They did not amaze me, but they sounded pretty nice, and I was happy to listen.

At some point I heard that Swale or Blue Button were not able to make the show. Later I heard it was both. Rats! At least I had seen Vedora, and knew that they were there. I heard later that one of the other bands had to cancel. I think it was Parmaga. At one point, I ran into Dan Bolles and chatted for a moment or two.

Following Tooth Ache, Paddy Reagan took the stage. He sang to pre-recorded music, a la Ryan Power, and did a sweet electronic version of Philadelphia. He followed with yet another version of Atlantic City. It was good, but not as good as the two previous ones.

Vedora took the stage next and opened with I’m on Fire. Despite it’s redundancy, it was the first time in a long time that I was lucky enough to hear Caroline play sax. She blew the room away. Matt’s deep voice sounded great singing Bruce’s song, and Jeff kept things propelled on drums. They followed with Caroline singing Dancing in the Dark. It sounded good, but the number of repeats was starting to get to me. In the second half of the song, she picked the sax back up, and drove the tune home.

With no Swale or Blue Button to follow, I settled up and headed out, for the long and quiet walk home. I had a long workday Saturday and more music to see that night. I really wish there had been a bit more coordination in the songs. It might have been cool to see Vedora jam out Rosalita or Jungleland, but it is what it was. Despite some disappointment, I’m really glad I went out. That’s the thing about live music. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes not, but you will never know unless you go. And, if the show as a whole was a bit of a letdown, there were parts of pure beauty.

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Bill Maher “I know why you’re happy this week, Obama got re-inaugurated.  That was a big thing for liberals.  But, I have to say, the Republicans were right.  He’s been in office less than a week now, in the second term, and already, the administration rocked by a scandal.  Beyonce lip synching.  You’ve heard about this.  At least we think she was lip synching, Manti Te’o said it sounded very real to him.  Lip synching?  Let that be a lesson.  If you are in Washington DC and you open your mouth and another voice comes out, it better be the NRA, an oil company, or a bank.”

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Stephen Colbert “Some advice for the French on Mali: it gets easier once your media starts ignoring it.”

Posted January 25, 2013 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Jan. 21, 2013

President Obama made history in his inaugural address today mentioning the word “gay” and the issue of gay rights for the first time in a speech at the presidential swearing in.

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said in his address on the Capitol steps after his swearing in.

Obama also mentioned the word Stonewall when citing milestones of the civil right struggle. It was a reference to a riot and subsequent protests over a police raid in June 1969 of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The president mentioned it along with the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1848 and the civil rights march in Selma, Ala., in 1965.

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth,” Obama said.

Brian Ellner who led the successful campaign to make same sex marriage legal in New York state called the speech “historic.”

“The president placed the fight for gay equality alongside the struggles for women’s equality and civil rights. He made it clear that he would continue to fight for marriage equality because all love is equal,” Ellner said.

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Conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Sunday warned Republicans that fringe elements were causing the party to shrink and it was “just gerrymandering” that allowed the GOP to keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2012 elections.

A Republican State Leadership Committee report released earlier this month acknowledged that a “Strategy of Targeting State Legislative Races in 2010 Led to a Republican U.S. House Majority in 2013.”

On Sunday, Scarborough pointed to this as evidence that the Republican Party needed to become more inclusive.

“William F. Buckley in the 1960s at some point had to start defining the boundaries of conservatism,” Scarborough explained to NBC’s David Gregory. “He went after the John Birch Society, Ayn Rand, George Wallace. That has to happen again with this party because it’s getting smaller and smaller.”

“In this debate, we actually have conservative thinkers, talking about Ronald Reagan being a RINO — a Republican in name only — because he supported an assault weapons ban. They keep pushing themselves closer and closer to the cliff.”

“But I just have to say one other really important point, because I made a mistake over the past month talking about how Republicans have also won a majority in the House,” he continued. “We actually got a minority of votes nationwide in House races.”

“It was just gerrymandering from 2010 that gave us the majority.”

A post-election analysis by Think Progress’ Ian Millhiser determined that House Democrats actually received almost 1.4 million more votes than House Republicans in 2012, but thanks to partisan gerrymandering, Democrats would have needed to win by 7.25 percentage points to take back control of Congress.

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John Fugelsang “Friends, here’s the bible lesson for the day, and it might come in handy for Christians, or atheists, or sane people of any faiths.  Because, right wing gun enthusiast Christians have new ammo in their fight to prove you can be a follower of Jesus while also enjoying weapons designed to kill lots of people in a short amount of time.  It’s Luke 22:36 and it’s become a mantra for fun loving, gun loving, father and the the son loving Christians.  And whatever you think of religion, you may well encounter this taking point.  It’s part of Luke’s account of what happened to Jesus right before the Roman soldiers came to arrest him, throw him in a Roman prison, and execute him with a Roman crucifix, or as Glen Beck puts it, killed by the Jews.  Now, in Luke 22:36 Jesus tells his apostles that he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.  Now, this might surprise some of you who don’t remember the part in the Bible when Jesus turned water into a vest (?).  But, go ahead and search Luke 22:36 on Twitter.  Tons of Christians are throwing this around like the last part of the second amendment, conveniently forgetting the well regulated militia part.  It suits their tastes just fine, as long as you don’t read the rest, and put it all into context.  And, they’re saying this means Jesus is pro gun, the modern day sword.  But, what Jesus is really doing is talking about prophecy and being a criminal.  Because, as soon as Jesus throws down his line about buying a sword, he adds that they only need swords because the prophecy says they’re meant to be criminals.  Quote ‘For I say unto you that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, and he was reckoned among the transgressors.’  See, he’s not talking about defending yourself, he’s talking about having a sword as a prop so he can get arrested and fulfill the prophecy.  And the very next line the apostles say, hey Jesus, we’ve already got two swords here with us, and Jesus says that’s enough.  Jesus never sends them out to buy swords, no one ever buys a sword, and in fact when the jack-sandaled government thugs swoop in to arrest him, also known as Alex Jones’ wet dream, it’s Peter who pulls a sword and cuts off some guy’s ear.  Does Jesus join the fight?  No, he heals the wounded guy and tells his friends those who live by the sword, shall die by the sword.  In other words, my Judeo-Christian friends, Jesus never comes out against owning swords, but he’s pretty seriously against using them.  Of course, if Jesus had an AK-47 he could have mowed down the Romans, never been crucified, never had a religion named for him, and none of us would have to know who Pat Robertson was.  So remember, the best weapon for refuting these Bible thumpers, tends to be the Bible itself.  Because, the only way you can cling to both the Bible and a gun, is if you totally agree to not read the Jesus parts.  Here endeth the lesson.”

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Bill Maher “There is a bad situation, there’s a hostage crisis in the Sahara.  If you have not been following this, the Algerians got mad at France for bombing Mali, don’t ask me about that.  So, they took hostages, including Americans.  Now they want to trade some of the Americans for the blind sheik who bombed the World Trade Center the first time.  Or, as they’re describing it on Fox, bleeping Obama does it again.”