Monday, December 30, 2013

Criswell predicts: Snowden's effort will diminish Big Data groundswell

Different characters vie in different circles for newsmaker of the year. My money for 2013 is on Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who systematically unmasked the great big eye growing out of central hub of the US Gov's Intelligence community more than 10 years after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. When Snowden's disclosures first appeared, there was more than a little amusement in the high tech newsrooms. After all, Google has been tracking us right along, haven’t they? But Snowden's well-placed dispatches - had an cumulative effect, to highlight major changes in the technology scape in the years since 2001.


Those scape shifts take the form of growth of the Internet and cell phone communications, distributed computing. Why wouldn't the powers that be take it as an opportunity for massive eavesdropping? The Patriot Act that resides behind all this activity was an antiterrorist act pure and simple – it is fair to say people don't feel the press of the terrorist they felt in the wake of 9-11. Nor did they feel the creeping vectors of digital lock-in. (The Patriot Act's most frightening aspect is the star chamber that decides who to lock on to.) At the heart of most every science fiction story it seems is a benevolent new technology (think of the World Wide Web) about to be usurped by familiar the old drive of the powerful to dominate (privacy incursion). Some defenders of the NSA activity make some good points. But the public knows this long-running antiterrorism project, coupled with escalating high-tech, invites intimidation of freedom. Snowden's release schedule has kept the cause in the news, but can that continue? Criswell predicts: "Big data" will begin to subside in Google Trends in 2014 in some part due Snowden's efforts. - By Jack Vaughan (Art: Jack Vaughan)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Final 2014 Moon Traveller Music Best of in Review


Every year, well most years, the blog does a musical rundown. This year I am pulling all the samples from YouTube. Which limits things on one level but is clearly more accessible to more Moon Travellers. Stay tuned for our chronicle of this year's storms of the century. This one is dedicated to Milwaukee's late great Dr Bop.

 
Number 1 - Her Tenere - The most inspiring music makes you wonder 'where this comes from.' it is such with Bombino. If jimi hendrix, john lee hooker and dick dale had travelled like 3 kings through north africa in the 1960s, and set up on a flatbed truck, and played off the truck generator, and broadcast a jam over some celestial coffee grinder apparatus, that music might become a legend in a nomad camp, and spawn the dessert blues music of Bombino. Her Tenere - The desert/ I am in the desert/Full of nostalgia/ In the desert/Without water I was sitting, meditating/On the problems facing the desert..





Number 2 - Crazy in Love - This is a highly advanced exercise in longing. Bryan Ferry and his colleagues reimagine the music of the long ago white European jazz era. That means oddball renderings of Love is the Drug, Virginia Plain and other Roxy music mainstays on the Jazz Age CD – it also means interesting combos of contemporary style with acoustic jazz recollected in the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby. This is high concept, and maybe less emotionally touching than Ferry's As Time Go By. Picking one number is hard .. I will go with this behind the scenes video that kind of shows the process. When I could imagine being on W.C. Field's great ocean liner  S.S. Gigantic – I was a lad I was a sucker for Your Mother Should Know, Grizzly Bear, Hello Hello, and I have never grown out of it. I am just pondering Lost Time. In a way the whole idea of time is illusory. As the physicists continue to make progress on time travel, this becomes more or less clear.



Number 3 - Woke Up This Morning With My Mind On Jesu - What becomes a legend most? How about a late career resurgence full voiced and emotionally directed? Gospel Soul songstress extraordinaire Mavis Staple advises, with stellar accompaniment, that you start your day on the good foot in Woke Up This Morning With My Mind On Jesus! I but it! Get right with God! Don’t forget to pray – and shake a hand everyday. Smack!




Number 4 – Ruby Baby. Fine singer Aaron "Tell it Like it Is" Neville took a look at doo wop this year, and Ruby Baby is a great piece off that record. It just glides. Glide is good. Cant always be thumpthump. It is street corner, like he knew it when it was the fount. And he combines the Drifters' original elements with feel of Dion's remake. Open mindedly. Reinvention is overrated. So, I like it like that. Aaron is certainly right about one thing: It is time to revisit doo wop. It has been a while. I think their could be less violence on our streets if t'were so. Another beauty on this BlueNote release: Money Honey. What if Lester Bangs came down to earth to write one review and it was this Aaron Neville cameo? The bog mindles.




Number 5 – Invitation to the Blues. Some day I might write about the blues songs of the C&W folk. If so will include this number by Ray Price/Roger Miller. It sprung upon the world anew this year via Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, who did a tour and a record. Honestly, I'd rather pick a number they did on a tribute compilation dedicated to slide great Buddy Emmmons, cause it in fact is one of the better records of year, and she sings it (That's All It Took) better here than when she was a yungin w Gram Parsons. However, I could not find that on YouTube, so we will go with their remake of Invitation to the Blues, Live at the Ryman and sounds like it, but which is good too, and includes Vince Gill who is also on the Buddy E tribute.

- Jack Vaughan



Here's an added treat…Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Mavis Staples and many others at the White House in April 2013. President Obama enters - not to the strains of Hail to the Chief - to the tune of Green Onions!

2012 list
2009 list
2007 list
2006 list

ISSXMAS2014

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

From the Vaults - Happy Christmas!


When I was a managing editor on a monthly in the 1980s I had folders for every month. I embellished this one for Christmas. It shows the advent month coming full speed from off stage and emblematic train going round the tree [or tries to show said]. That train is coming! Happy Christmas, happy world! - J.V.


Just a panthering train
cross the swells of the carpet
Through oriental valleys
and their piled paisley sockets
Through skyscraper wrappings
the apple spanked harlotty papers
and things
to returnto your feet.
- Christmas Locomotive, 1967


Note: Traveller visitors will notice a few broken links.  I thought the Web was forever. Have back up for those pics and stories, but good luck finding them, Jack.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Foleys on Dover


We met at the bar in the snow on the street that disappeared - friggin great foleys - foleys on dover - you showed me the plan - the eiffel tower exploded - pieces of mind scattered all in and all over - in the backroom the mayor was remembering - out in the front I passed you a dossier - and you had some papers on the poets of columbia - ah foleys - my old pipe wrench dozer - army-navy played on the magnavox box - one beer one shot one mint clover - the option game ran rampant - the army tackled not - we'd nod to the mayor and his chauffeur - xmas eve friggin xmas eve at foleys - foleys on dover - foleys on dover. -Jack Vaughan

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

In memory of Dr Bop 2013 music in review


Every year, well most years, the blog does a musical rundown. This year I am pulling all the samples from YouTube. Which limits things on one level but is clearly more accessible to more Moon Travellers. Stay tuned for our chronicle of this year's storms of the century. This one is dedicated to Milwaukee's late great Dr Bop.

 
Number 1 - Her Tenere - The most inspiring music makes you wonder 'where this comes from.' it is such with Bambolino. If jimi hendrix, john lee hooker and dick dale had travelled like 3 kings through north africa in the 1960s, and set up on a flatbed truck, and played off the truck generator, and broadcast a jam over some celestial coffee grinder apparatus, that music might become a legend in a nomad camp, and spawn the dessert blues music of Bambolino. Her Tenere - The desert/ I am in the desert/Full of nostalgia/ In the desert/Without water I was sitting, meditating/On the problems facing the desert..





Number 2 - Crazy in Love - This is a highly advanced exercise in longing. Bryan Ferry and his colleagues reimagine the music of the long ago white European jazz era. That means oddball renderings of Love is the Drug, Virginia Plain and other Roxy music mainstays on the Jazz Age CD – it also means interesting combos of contemporary style with acoustic jazz recollected in the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby. This is high concept, and maybe less emotionally touching than Ferry's As Time Go By. Picking one number is hard .. I will go with this behind the scenes video that kind of shows the process. When I could imagine being on W.C. Field's great ocean liner  S.S. Gigantic – I was a lad I was a sucker for Your Mother Should Know, Grizzly Bear, Hello Hello, and I have never grown out of it. I am just pondering Lost Time. In a way the whole idea of time is illusory. As the physicists continue to make progress on time travel, this becomes more or less clear.



Number 3 - Woke Up This Morning With My Mind On Jesu - What becomes a legend most? How about a late career resurgence full voiced and emotionally directed? Gospel Soul songstress extraordinaire Mavis Staple advises, with stellar accompaniment, that you start your day on the good foot in Woke Up This Morning With My Mind On Jesus! I but it! Get right with God! Don’t forget to pray – and shake a hand everyday. Smack!




Number 4 – Ruby Baby. Fine singer Aaron "Tell it Like it Is" Neville took a look at doo wop this year, and Ruby Baby is a great piece off that record. It just glides. Glide is good. Cant always be thumpthump. It is street corner, like he knew it when it was the fount. And he combines the Drifters' original elements with feel of Dion's remake. Open mindedly. Reinvention is overrated. So, I like it like that. Aaron is certainly right about one thing: It is time to revisit doo wop. It has been a while. I think their could be less violence on our streets if t'were so. Another beauty on this BlueNote release: Money Honey. What if Lester Bangs came down to earth to write one review and it was this Aaron Neville cameo? The bog mindles.




Number 5 – Invitation to the Blues. Some day I might write about the blues songs of the C&W folk. If so will include this number by Ray Price/Roger Miller. It sprung upon the world anew this year via Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, who did a tour and a record. Honestly, I'd rather pick a number they did on a tribute compilation dedicated to slide great Buddy Emmmons, cause it in fact is one of the better records of year, and she sings it (That's All It Took) better here than when she was a yungin w Gram Parsons. However, I could not find that on YouTube, so we will go with their remake of Invitation to the Blues, Live at the Ryman and sounds like it, but which is good too, and includes Vince Gill who is also on the Buddy E tribute.

- Jack Vaughan



Here's an added treat…Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Mavis Staples and many others at the White House in April 2013. President Obama enters - not to the strains of Hail to the Chief - to the tune of Green Onions!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela, at 95



Just went out and bought the Times. Stunning coverage on Mandela. Stayed up late last night watching that. I’d really come to take him for granted and it is interesting how the press serves the purpose of saying, wooah, this was history for the ages. When Mandela came to Boston, he appeared at Roxbury Crossing (the news outlets here seem to just remember the Esplanade appearance – well, with Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder, why not?). My wife and son (then two) went to the Roxbury Crossing speech, however. I missed it : being on plane to cover a trade show in Calif. I’d say “sigh” but I was glad to making a living, yknow, and glad my brood went there in my place. Very few miracles - but he was a big one.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

I dont know just where Im going

Touching late innings encounter
with Lou Reed. 


He talks about music, 
the sound of the wind, 
the sound of the heart beat heard in the womb ...
ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump.. and .. 
.. 3 chords..

Drips drippin

My two bits on Iggy and the blues

Thinking about punk as a blues bromide. This after e-chat with Don Fluckinger, who recently visited Chicago, and Record Mart and met Bob Koestler, with whom he discussed the Igg in Chicago.

My two bits: Iggy Pop Stooge started as a drummer. Claims actually to have played with Motown bands in Detroit area. He went on the road to do blues, as a drummer, I believe, before the Stooges. Got as far as Chicago.

Iggy played and travelled with a guy named Johnny Young, who was a rarity: an electric blues mandolin player. Johnny Young means a lot to me because he was the first actual blues player I ever saw.

Johnny Young came up from Chicago to my hometown of Racine Wisconsin a couple of times, playing with Lee Jackson (gtr., who hoboed with Robert Johnson), S.P Leary (drums., who played with Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters) and others, but those others didnt include Iggy. First impressions are lasting impressions.

Like the Kinks and Zep Ledlin, the Stooges recreated the blues so ineptly that they created whole new forms of music. I say the Kinks cause they started out in the living room trying to do Big Bill Bronzy. A frayed speaker black paper cone helped define the new sound. I mention the Zeps, but their main contribution was to up the Yardbirds another 11, and dose with reds and Romilar. Iggy in his own words took the whole history of Western Music and condensed it down to three chords that anyone could play. - Jack Vaughan

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