Home / Robert Farley / Thursday Night Link Mongering

Thursday Night Link Mongering


From beautiful Kansas City.  For your enjoyment:

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  • Bill Murray

    did you hit the Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame and/or Jazz and Blues Museum

    • howard

      bill, amazingly enough, that’s exactly what i was going to say, so perhaps it’s time to note that i led the development of the jazz museum, including the insistence that a club – the “blue room” – be built in, which i would also recommend.

      remind me some time to describe how the museum came to own the plastic sax that kansas city native charlie parker played – among other locales – at the famous “jazz at massey hall” show.

      • Bill Murray

        sweet, I quite like that museum.

        There’s always time for a good sax story

        • bill, i’m on a deadline now but check back later today.

        • so we’re in the early ’90s now, and i’m in charge of exhibit development for the jazz museum, and among other things, we organize a consultant panel of 3 musicians who also taught at universities (max roach, jackie mclean, and richard davis), one musician/critic/teacher (gunther schuller), and one critic/writer (albert murray, whose “stomping the blues” is well worth reading).

          i was in my office in boston one day and was planning on flying down to new york the next day for a meeting with max roach when i got a call from a friend of mine who knew that i was working on the project who told me that, iirc, sotheby’s was going to be conducting an auction of charlie parker memorabilia (owned by parker’s last wife, chan), in a couple of weeks.

          so after i left max’s place, i went over to sotheby’s to see what was on display, and in addition to lots of fantastic memorabilia (special note for erik: including parker’s musician’s union card!) there it was: the famous white plastic saxophone! (interestingly, i had read years earlier that phil woods said that he had parker’s white saxophone, and that was because…woods had taken up with chan after parker’s death!).

          so i walked out of sotheby’s and looked for the nearest working pay phone (those were the days!) and immediately called the city’s project manager (the city of kansas city was the sponsor, so to speak, of the project) and said “we’ve got to get the saxophone.”

          so he told me to prepare a memo recommending the saxophone and any other items (there was, for example, a contract for performance in kansas city) and he would ferry it to mayor cleaver (the city’s first african-american mayor), and to make a long story short: cleaver bought the concept and got city council approval to go up to, iirc, $80K in the auction.

          so the morning of the auction itself i had to go to a meeting outside my office when it was going on and i could barely concentrate while waiting to find out what had happened. when i got to my office, i called the project manager, and he sounded really down and morose.

          “geez, what happend?” i asked him, and it turned out that there had been two other significant bidders, and the bidding went up over $80k, and i said “well, we tried, what can i say.”

          and then his whole tone changed and he said that as the bidding continued, mayor cleaver couldn’t stand the thought of the saxophone not coming to kansas city, and so he jumped back into the bidding even without city council authorization and won the bid (at something like, again, iirc, $150K or so)!

          and that’s how the saxophone comes to be there.

          p.s. when the saxophone was brought to kansas city, i arranged for jackie, max, and richard to come and do a little press event and play, and it turned out, unsurprisingly, that the saxophone wasn’t in good shape, some of the pads were completely worn off and some of the keys weren’t working.

          so jackie – who remembered having played the sax as a parker acolyte in his late teens – was more than a little concerned about how it was going to sound and how he was going to do full honor to parker.

          and then, an hour later, when they performed, he was great. “how’d you do that?” i asked him.

          “the spirit of charlie parker took over.”

          • Bill Murray

            great story thanks

  • anthrofred

    “Can a Christian Watch ‘Game Of Thrones’?”

    I don’t know, HuffPo. Can a True Scotsman?

  • fka AWS

    Oh, FFS, why do Christians have to make it all about them? FSM, I saw this shit all through my time in fundamentalism. “Should Christians do X (where X is something that isn’t a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Jesus)?” It’s not surprisingly good, it’s the same shit, different day. Here’s a thought: Let the Christian decide for him/herself whether to watch it. Disclaimer: I don’t watch or give a rat’s ass for GoT.

    And damn you for making me click on a HuffPo link.

    • Malaclypse

      If it helps, you can assume that the self-absorbed wanker authoring the post did not get paid for his work.

      And yes, dear Christ, I remember the long lists of things Real True Christians should not be doing. I’m old enough that I can remember that Bewitched was bad, because witches.

  • Major Kong

    So who’s the “they” who gets to decide what a Christian can watch?

    The Pope?
    Pat Robertson?
    Pastor Bob down at First Baptist?

    Just curious.

    • Bill Murray

      Angels, specifically TV Angles. Which I guess are the angels Farrah, Kate and Jaclyn.

  • Dirk Gently

    You know, I thought Clapton sounded pretty sloppy in his “non-solo” sections for almost the entire first half of the song. Am I just not hearing with an expert’s ear?

    • I listened to some of it, and can’t figure out what the point of it is.

      • I’m wondering if he didn’t play it that way as an homage to Harrison.

        If you listen to a lot of The Beatles songs, particularly in “Run For Your Life” from “The Rubber Soul” album, you can hear Harrison kind of scratching at his guitar strings, starting up and stopping, and cutting off nascent chords.


        I don’t think this youtube doesn’t do his guitar licks, any justice, but I think you can make out what I’m talking about.

        And a lot of times, when you listen to a single instrument’s track off a song, it doesn’t make sense – until you listen to it as part of the whole song.
        Imo – the guitar solo Clapton played was picture perfect for that song, in its entirety.

        Again, in imo – Harrison was a truly great guitarist. But, maybe he felt too close to the song, and he decided to call in the cavalry, because, after all, as the saying went back in those days, “Clapton is God.”
        And who do you call when you need something, but God?*

        *Ok, not me, I’m an Agnostic.
        But Harrison was a truly spiritual person, so he might have.

        • rea

          It’s fitting that Harrison’s most famous solo was played by Clapton, because Clapton’s most famous solo was played by Duane Allman.


            • rea

              It was a song about Harrison’s wife, so it comes full circle . . .

        • Dirk Gently

          The solo sections are epic, and I agree they’re perfect for the song. But there are places where he clearly has to settle back into playing accompaniment/rhythm, and it’s sloppy as hell. I never noticed that before, and I must have heard this song more than a thousand times.

          • James E. Powell

            Is sloppy bad?

  • wjts

    “That, in turn, has prompted intense debates about whether Christians should watch ‘Games of Thrones’ at all, or whether the show’s only possible virtue is depicting how the world would look if Christ had never been born – or what it could look like if Christianity disappeared tomorrow.”

    Just this afternoon I was reading about the 80 Years War, a protracted political struggle that involved shifting alliances, atrocities, and betrayals. I thought I read somewhere that there were several Christians involved in the war, but plainly I was mistaken.

    • Rarely Posts

      This. When the author suggested that GoT depicted the world without Christianity, I almost snorted coffee up my nose. GoT is a fantasy world inspired, in large part, by Christian Medieval Europe. If history teaches us anything, it’s that a world filled with “Christians” can be filled with brutality, murder, and political machinations.

      Indeed, both the Faith of the Seven and the R’hllor faith strike me as being meant to stand in for certain strains of Christianity and their place in society at certain historical points. Both the conduct of their institutions and aspects of their faith can be pretty easily analogized to Christianity (i.e., the Seven/the Trinity, and R’hllor’s black-and-white monotheism).

      The reason Christians may not want to watch GoT is that they might realize that the Old Gods seem to do a (slightly) better job at inspiring just conduct and also capture a certain ineffable beauty that the Seven/R’hllor don’t.

      • wjts

        I always thought the R’hollor cult (R’hollorism? R’hollorianity?) – with its dualism and fire worship – was inspired by Zoroastrianism. As to whether or not the Old Gods do a better job of inspiring what we tend to think of as goodness or justice, I don’t know that that’s really true. The Starks are generally presented as being honorable, decent and good, but Roose Bolton (presumably) worships the Old Gods and Davos (arguably the most consistently moral character in the series) worships the Seven.

        • Rarely Posts

          I meant the last sentence as 1/2 snark, but I’m not going to believe that Bolton worships the Old Gods until I see some evidence to that effect. I’m going to keep reading the series to end for a variety of reasons, but in no small part to see Bolton killed. And, if that doesn’t happen, I’m going to write my first “slash” fiction featuring the mass death of the Boltons, the Freys, and (most of) the Lannisters.

          • wjts

            Yeah, I figured it was mostly meant as a joke. And though I don’t think there’s any hard evidence one way or another about the Boltons’ religious preferences, given that they’re Northerners, I’d say that it’s more likely than not that they worship the Old Gods.

            • Rarely Posts

              True, but one thing I like about GoT, it’s pretty clear that some people actually do worship their gods, and others don’t/only pretend. Very true to life in that respect. My guess, Roose Bolton couldn’t kneel before a tree.

    • Bill Murray

      I once had a fundamentalist Christian tell me that (and I paraphrase) that Christians had never gone to war with each other.

      • DrS

        Well, obviously. Cause True Christians would never go to war with each other, therefore at least some of the warring parties were not True Christians.

        Fundamentalist Protestants would of course think that way about the Church at that time in history, pre-Reformation.

        Of course, none of them seem, to this observer, to pay much attention to the Gospels anyway. And I don’t much care what they claim to be.

        I’ll judge them by their actions.

      • ChrisTS

        I once had a Christian tell me that no true Christian ever suffered under martyrdom.

        Me: “They did not feel any pain?”

        He: “None.”

        Me: “Doesn’t that sort of undercut the martyred part?”

        He: “smirk”

        Me: “Well, what about Christ. I thought he suffered and died for our sins?”

        He: “No, Christ did not suffer.”

        All the other Christians in the room: “WHAT?”

  • Josh

    Off-topic, but I really wish someone high up in the US military were capable of addressing issues of sexual harassment and mistreatment of women soldiers half as forthrightly as Australia’s Chief of Army.

    • fka AWS

      Wow. Thanks for that link.

  • Jordan

    Wait, New Zealand *isn’t* an “allied status” (or whatever) country for the US?

  • jkay

    Any thoughts on our fine new totally not war atall in Syria?

    (though, seriously, I think it isn’t war yet because so far we aren’t shooting, but are only stepping up our help to add military help).

    • Major Kong

      Then it’ll be “advisers” and then, well you know.

      • Bill Murray

        a secret plan to end the war?

  • Marek

    First link worth it just for the twitter joke.

  • Clueless

    On US-New Zealand relations: anyone who thinks New Zealand is going to relax the nuclear ban doesn’t understand anything about New Zealand politics. That position is incredibly popular, 90%++ favorability. It’s a significant part of national pride. It would be political suicide for any government to even contemplate.

    • rea

      Not completely clear why we would care about sending nukes to New Zealand.

      • They wouldn’t allow nuke-equipped carriers or subs to enter their ports, as I understand it. Principled Kiwis: good on ya!

        • Njorl

          Is it just nuclear weapons, or do they also keep out ships with nuclear propulsion?

          • Malaclypse

            Both. Also, the US won’t confirm or deny which ships have nukes, so as I understand it our entire fleet is barred from NZ.

            • Dirk Gently

              This is correct, as is the assessment of domestic politics there. For actual alliance to make any sense at all, it would have to be cooperative operations outside of NZ waters (which doesn’t strike me as a workable aspect of an official alliance).

            • SV

              Don’t forget that for Kiwis, this issue is strongly associated with the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, not just a nuclear policy.

          • rw970

            What about microwaves? How do they warm up their breakfast burritos?

  • sheldon vogt

    don’t know how long you’ll be here robert, but if you’re here through wed., 6/19 and you like music, you should catch the KC symphony performing Saint-Saens 3d symphony at the Kauffman Center.

    world class venue

    don’t leave town without trying oklahoma joes

  • J R in WV

    One of my favorite songs. Very interesting to hear a single track like that. I would have enjoyed hearing the rest of the tracks as released in the background, so as to see the Clapton track in the perspective of the whole song.

    Interesting that Jake’s version isn’t about George Harrison’s solo at all, but Eric’s. I wonder if Jake knew when he did that cut…

    Eric’s track seems well-realized to me.

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