Cancion de Otoño (1982) – Jose Luis Perales

Jose Luis Perales 1982

Jose Luis Perales 1982

One of the first songs I remember hearing upon arriving in Colombia was Cancion de Otoño (Autumn Song) and it was love at first listen. This is my ‘Desert Island’ Spanish song. I made a Family DVD for my son’s 3rd birthday and the first song I showcased was this song accompanied with family photos. Suffice to say I have a very strong emotional connection with this song. Cancion de Otoño was released on the Perales’ 1982 record Entre el agua y el fuego (Between the Water and Fire).

José Luis Perales Morillas (born 18 January 1945) is a Spanish singer-songwriter. He has performed some of his extensive work at Carnegie Hall, New York. Perales has recorded 27 albums with 50 million copies sold worldwide. One of the main reasons I started this music library project was it allowed me the opportunity to promote these classic contemporary songs otherwise unknown to English speaking audiences. In Latin countries or Spain where the song originated there are few people who haven’t heard of this masterpiece and frankly it deserves greater recognition worldwide.

Below is a loose translation of the first 2 verses:

As the wind blows today
As it rains today
How empty the street is
As the sun dies

These grey Autumn days
Make me sad
Draws me to the warmth of my fireplace
I remember you today

I remember you today
To you, who is my whole life…

I don’t know how many times I have heard this song and each time how much I enjoy it more. This is easily in my top 5 favourite songs of all time. There are artists who are very good and then there are geniuses and José Luis Perales is one of those. To my mind, if romance could be bottled in just one song then Cancion de Otoño would be it.

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23/06 – 29/06/20 incl. Science, Babies, Lighthouses and Cops

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

Blog article at JordanBPeterson.com :

The Canadian Psychologist Jordan Peterson left the public spotlight abruptly some time ago, but after a lengthy private spell to see to his health and his wife Tammy’s he has put finger to keyboard and written a lengthy, but scathing article about encroaches of the Social Justice and Post Modernist movement on the hard sciences in Universities. I wrote in a recent article ‘Once Evergreen college and now the Western World Part 2‘ how incensed Brett Weinstein and Heather Heying were about Science magazine publishing and enacting on ‘ShutDownSTEM’ in support of this movement. What Peterson demonstrates in his article is the transgressive threat posed on the hard sciences in Universities to become less rigorous in their scientific method and approach. As with most with what he has to say, it’s eye opening and hugely informative:

The George Floyd incident has emboldened those who are shamelessly using crooked faux-moral means to stake a moral claim in the so-called patriarchal structure that makes up the academic world. They are certainly able and willing to use the unfortunate death of an individual who had enough of the attributes of a systemically oppressed person to serve as poster boy for the self-serving political claims that are now being made on his behalf. This tendency, unchecked, poses a direct danger to the integrity of precisely those STEM fields that have so far remained essentially immune to the embarrassments and blandishments of the politically correct movement. But, make no mistake about it, scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians: your famous immunity to political concerns will not protect you against what is coming fast over the next five or so years: wake up, pay attention, or perish, along with your legacy….…(Read entire article).

Blog article by Mike Smith at SelfAwarePatterns:

Infant consciousness seems like a difficult question. It’s one people often react to with outrage that it’s even being asked. Of course they’re conscious, is the sentiment. Aren’t they human, and don’t we see them crying, showing facial expressions, and exhibiting other behaviors? Others conclude that there’s no real way to know since they can’t talk and reveal their experience to us.

For several decades in the 20th century, the medical profession largely assumed that babies were not in fact conscious. As a result, they were often subjected to medical procedures, including surgery, without anesthesia. Read entire article

Poem at Intellectual Shaman:

As beauty fades
and we no longer have the desire to repent
and the places we knew
close
and the people who smiled at us
die
and the shadows of ourselves
no longer show up
under the sun.(Read entire poem)

Audio podcast at Sam Harris:

There are simply no other news or community announcements I see as well-reasoned and factual based exploring every nook and cranny surrounding the explosive response to George Floyd’s senseless killing in Minneapolis than this one by Harris. This monumental podcast about Cop killings in the US (which is awash with facts and evidence) should be in my estimation – compulsory listening to those invested emotionally or otherwise in the matter..(Watch entire podcast)

news on the march the end

Posted in News, politics, Reflections, Science

Canadee-I-O (1992) – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan 28 June 1992

So she bargained with the sailor boy,
All for a piece of gold.
Straightaway then he led her
Down into the hold,
Sayin’, “I’ll dress you up in sailor’s clothes,
Your jacket shall be blue.
You’ll see that seaport town
Of Canadee-i-o.

Now, when the other sailors heard the news,
Well, they fell into a rage,
And with all the ship’s company
They were willing to engage.
Saying, “We’ll tie her hands and feet, my boys,
Overboard we’ll throw her.
She’ll never see that seaport town
Called Canadee-i-o.

(2nd and 3rd verse from Canadee-IO)

Canadee-I-O is the second song to feature here from Bob Dylan’s 1992 album Good as I Been To You. It’s my joint favourite song from the record along with Jim Jones. It’s another traditional English folk ballad believed to have been written before 1839. It’s an engrossing story and the melody is to die for. When I hear it I can’t help but sing it at the top of my lungs. I so admire Dylan for unearthing these old 19th century English ballads that would otherwise remain dust-ridden in some old folk collection and giving them his signature acoustic sound. He really does them enormous justice and his guitar playing is brash, but entirely unique and incapable of replication. It is is a rather straightforward (but skillful) melody-ish strumming, with hammer-ons and sus4-chords over a basically very simple three-chord skeleton. (Read more about the arrangement at Dylan chords).

According to Dylan’s friend Susan Ross, Good as I Been to You began life as a contractual filler. Dylan had scheduled two weeks at Chicago’s Acme Recording Studio sometime in 1992, hiring long-time associate David Bromberg as his producer. On the charts, Good as I Been to You reached No.  51 in the US and No.  18 in the UK, and helped to restore Dylan’s critical standing following the disappointing Under the Red Sky. Canadee-I-O by Dylan is lamentably unavailable for free public listening unless you have a You tube premium account.

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Mississippi Grind (2015) – Friday’s Finest

Mississipi Grind

Ben Mendelsohn was one of the first young Australian actors I admired growing up. He appeared in the little known Australian movie The Year my Voice Broke (1987) alongside Noah Taylor who I also liked. Both of these actors have gone on to play austere parts in Hollywood movies and American television. They don’t pull in the big mula like fellow Australian actors Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman, but they are hardly soft contenders in the acting department. Ben Mendelsohn I would go so far to describe as an actor’s actor and that is no better demonstrated in two movies – The Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom where he won the AFI’s award for best actor and today’s featured film – Mississippi Grind.

IMDB Storyline: Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry teams up with a younger, charismatic poker player named Curtis in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what has been lost.

Ben Mendelsohn is one of the true artistic professionals in how they approach the form. They encroach their character’s skin to such an extent, one can only conclude that what they do is hard work and the result of years of dedication. It is even a joy to watch them doing the mundane or rudimentary in film. In brief, from a voyeuristic perspective you are entranced by them despite however hideous, awkward or morally bankrupt the character is. And believe you me, Ben Mendelsohn ticks all those boxes in Mississippi Grind and Animal Kingdom.

Mendelsohn plays a gambling addict in Grind. I have known addicts of this sort and I have been down that gambling binge on occasions. Movies about Poker and gambling are a dime a dozen, but Grind sits for me well above most because Mendelsohn is just so fricken convincing and intriguing to watch.  I haven’t seen Mendelsohn’s co-star Ryan Reynolds in many movies, but he is impressive too as the shining light and lucky charm for the downtrodden Mendelsohn character. They go on a road trip together to see if they can formulate magic between them as a duo gambling pair.

Few recent movies from Hollywood have intrigued me as much as Mississipi Grind. It may not resonate with those who haven’t seen gambling addiction up close or been in situations like these characters find themselves, but I admire the peculiar acting of Mendelsohn and the sharp script which doesn’t dumb-down for a mainstream audience. If you enjoy road movies like ‘Crazy Heart’ or ‘Rain Man’ or just want to admire an actor in ‘beast mode’ see ‘Mississippi Grind. Mendelsohn grounds the character and the film to a perfect level.

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Posted in Movies and TV

Bye Bye Pride (1987) – The Go-Betweens

go betweens bye bye prideThe quintessential Australian rock group The Go-Betweens have made a strong showing so far in this music library project. Today’s song Bye Bye Pride was the fourth song released from their 1987 record Tallulah.  This song failed to chart in Australia or in the UK where the band resided, but Bye Bye Pride is now regarded by followers as one of the band’s most endearing songs. What really seems to resonate about The Go-Betweens is the aesthetic of their music and perhaps no better is that encapsulated than here.

Bye Bye Pride was written and sung by the band’s co-founder Grant McLennan. McLennan was a keen literature student and aspiring film-maker and had to be pressured by his teenage friend Robert Forster into forming a band with him. Forster was always the wanna be musician, but McLennan went on to become the band’s craftsman. Bye Bye Pride contains some of his finest lyrics:

 A white moon appears like a hole in the sky
The mangroves grow quiet
In the Parisi de la Palma a teenage Rasputin
Takes the sting from her gin
“When a woman learns to walk she’s not dependent any more”
A line from her letter, May 24
And out on the bay the current is strong
A boat can go lost

At his best (and indeed the same is true for Forster) McLennan could take his very simple building blocks, his basic chord changes and semi-spoken tunes, and make gold out of them. Bye Bye Pride is one such example. It also features stellar contributions by Amanda Brown on oboe and backing vocals. Brown and McLennan had been lovers and she was hurt that McLennan and Forster had taken the decision to end the band (their first band breakup  in December 1989) without warning her first. Amanda Brown left the group and many say the band never got back to the heights of where they were in her absence.

In 2015 Steve Kilbey (The Church) selected “Bye Bye Pride” as one of his top ten Australian songs, stating “This song is so full of longing and regret and naive hope. The lyrics are so Brisbane I can almost see it all happening right before me. I never could grow sick of this song. The Courier-Mail’s Noel Mengel called it, “One of the greatest rock songs of the ’80s’.

References:
1. Bye Bye Pride – The Go-Betweens – Songs From So Deep
2. Bye Bye Pride – The Go-Betweens – wikipedia

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Once Evergreen State College and now the Western World Part 2

Just 2 days after my previous post about how the microscopic events at Evergreen State College were forbearing about the macroscopic world we find ourselves, the original whistleblowers at Evergreen, Brett Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying (as a matter of hours ago) presented their 22nd Darkhorse podcast breaking down the connection between the dystopian events at Evergreen and what we see taking place in the world today.

As alluded to in other posts I was drawn to Brett and Heather’s quarantine podcasts as a form of sanctuary during this highly unstable period. This 22nd podcast I consider their most illuminating including the subsequent Q&A session. Some of the most engaging parts entailed:

1. Their realization (and Heather’s quotes from the literary classic ‘1984’) that we are seeing a Dystopian reality reminiscent of Orwell’s coming into fruition.
2. Brett’s mentioning how people have to stand up and be on the right side of history. The ones who begrudgingly appease this post modernist movement are just externalizing harm for those next in line who will feel compelled to join the ‘larger’ mob.
3. Brett takes aim at Ezra Kline for not doing this which I did in 2018 in my post titled – Ezra Kelin, a rational or irrational lefty?.  Someone wrote in their comments:
they don’t really mean all that, they’re really intent on something more moderate -Ezra Klein 2017/Neville Chamberlain 1938
4. Their repulsion about Science magazine publishing and enacting on ‘ShutDownSTEM’ in support of this movement. The attack on STEM seems to be in large part down to the postmodernist concept of Subjective Truth, but this is completely at odds with Enlightenment Science.
5. Brett and Heather’s personal experience relating to the fruitfulness of Jewish culture in the Q&A session, which I have also linked below is about as insightful as anything I’ve heard about culture in my adult life.
6. They expand on their views about the 1619 project which I also commented on in the Glenn Loury podcast.

There are many other aspects about the broader topic broached which I found tantalizing to the ear and I haven’t got time to outline here. But, if I had to count on one hand the most important podcasts I have ever heard since the inception of the internet, this one would most definitely be included. I hope you enjoy it if you haven’t already seen it and please don’t hesitate to tell me your take on it.

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Posted in politics, Science

Once Evergreen State College and now the Western World.

Really… Joe Biden can’t even say ‘that defunding the Police is bad’ without the press denouncing him?

As a white left leaning progressive I’ve been pushed to get my news from right-wing conservative programs for some utterance of what’s really going on. When I read the ABC Australian news, BBC or the NYT, I am constantly told I am part of a inherently guilty oppressive white regime majority.

I was a kid who grew up listening and admiring Bob Dylan but now I have no other place to turn for logic and truth than those expressed from conservative sources.  The Press, Multinationals are all telling me how to think and that I’m part of this systemic racist problem.

I wrote about it before here ad nauseam – the danger of post modernist and anti meta-narrative thinking and the event at Evergreen College which this post is attributed and appears microscopic is actually forbearing about the macroscopic world we find ourselves. In a nutshell, the excesses of Social Media has caused a vacuum of effective moderate Leadership.

Really, God help us all …from an agnostic Christian.

Posted in News, politics

What’s Your Greatest Comedic Moment? Larry and the Battered Women

Larry David goes to see some battered women (women who have suffered from domestic abuse)…You might recall the fabulous actress Ma’am’ here as Eddie’s wife Catherine in the 1983 Vacation movie – Miriam Flynn. She made this scene work as much as Larry.

This post may not be to everyone’s liking, but such is comedy. I received a response to a comment on You tube which I had written eon’s ago about this video and I noticed it received 454 likes! That’s nearly boy-band territory and I was gobsmacked. My very likeable comment was as follows:

I think this is my favourite scene from the show. The support cast are just brilliant and the awkwardness and lack of sincerity conveyed by everyone in their suppressed anger states is utterly engrossing.’

Even before many decided my comment was so likeable I felt this scene… as far as comedy served was the best I’d ever seen. So in celebration of my intuition and the many likes I was greeted (and big-head), I commit this legendary video to my blog…

What ingenious comedic moment rings true for you?

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Posted in Movies and TV

Burbujas de Amor (1990) – Juan Luis Guerra

Juan Luis guerra 1990

Burbujas de Amor (Bubbles of Love) is the second song to appear from the Dominican – Juan Luis Guerra in this music project. It appears on the same 1990 album as the title song Bachata Rosa (see image above) which featured here. That album was a huge hit, selling 5 million copies worldwide. Juan Luis Guerra is arguably the most popular music artist in all of Latin America and one of the most internationally recognized Latin artists of recent decades.

The ‘radio-play’ his songs get here in Colombia is obscene and for good reason – Juan is enormously talented and the high quality and plethora of music he has released makes the mind boggle. Also, he almost single-handedly populised bachata music on a global level. Bachata music originates from the Dominican Republic and features a more traditional bolero rhythm and aesthetic mixed with bossa-nova influenced melodies and harmony.

Today’s song Burbujas de Amor, like Juan Luis Guerra’s previous entry here Bachata Rosa follows on in that Bachata tradition. What I find so appealing about his interpretation of Bachata music is that it’s just wonderfully soothing to the ear and there is a ‘romantic’ element to it which is distinct from anything I’ve heard in contemporary Western music.  Since this music was so far removed from the music I was accustomed, it took me time to appreciate it. But upon subsequent listens I couldn’t help but feel truly immersed.

Burbujas de Amor caused quite a bit of controversy when it was first released. Apparently some people interpreted its poetry salaciously and it was banned from airwaves in some parts. Regardless, it’s now adored and laps the radio waves. Like with Bachata Rosa, I’m just so impressed by the lyrics-poetry in Burbujas de Amor. A translation can never be perfect… and in this case it’s almost impossible to capture the beauty of the poetry, but here goes with a loose translation of its first part:

I have a heart
Crippled by hope and reason
I have a heart
That awakens wherever
Ay, ay, ay, ay
This heart
Undresses itself impatiently at the sound of your voice
Poor heart
That struggles for its sanity

I would like to be a fish
So I could touch my nose in your aquarium
And make bubbles of love 
Wherever
Oh-oh-oh and spend the night in vigil
Soaked in you

 

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String Quartet No. 2 in D Major Notturno (1881) – Alexander Borodin

BDFTTY

I challenge long-term happily married couples to top this romantic gesture. According to Alexander Borodin’s biographer Serge Dianin, this quartet was composed as Borodin’s  20th Anniversary gift to his wife Ekaterina Protopova. Not only was he a Russian music composer (of Georgian heritage) but also a doctor and chemist. Romantic chemistry would appear to be one of his fortes but he regarded his musical composition as just a spare time pursuit although he is better known these days as a composer.

This chemist in his day was best known in his profession for his work concerning organic synthesis, and co-discoverer of the aldol reaction. Borodin was a promoter of education in Russia and founded the School of Medicine for Women in Saint Petersburg, where he taught until 1885. Borodin was born in Saint Petersburg as an illegitimate son of a 62-year-old Georgian nobleman and a married 25-year-old Russian woman. The nobleman had him registered as the son of one of his Russian serfs, Porfiry Borodin, hence the composer’s Russian last name. Thankfully Borodin was well provided for by his Georgian father.

The third movement below Notturno is the most popular of the 4 movements he wrote. According to wikipedia Borodin was one of the prominent 19th-century composers known as “The Mighty Handful”, a group dedicated to producing a uniquely Russian kind of classical music, rather than imitating earlier Western European models. The third movement also serves as the score to Disney’s 2006 short The Little Matchgirl and as an excerpt of the piece played in the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery. His music is noted for its strong lyricism and rich harmonies.

References:
1. Alexander Borodin – wikipedia

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