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Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:34 AM PST

A Moment For Music: Zappa Plays Zappa

by teknohed

Frank Zappa's son Dweezil played last night at Stubb's in downtown Austin.  He plays his Dad's music and if you've seen ZPZ before, you know that it is very authentic.  In my opinion(and many others), Frank Zappa is a great American composer.  His music ranges from extremely complex arrangements with a fair amount of silliness to straightish(?) pop with a great amount of silliness.  The music is not for everyone because Frank Zappa made fun of everything.  Stubb's main stage is an outdoor venue but with the temperature hovering about 60 F, it was a very nice night for music.  The band had to keep their instruments tuned because of the cool, but I didn't hear any audience complaints.  Here’s a taste of ZPZ:

Dweezil opened with Zombie Woof and then went something like this:

Hungry Freaks, Daddy
Sheila dances for us like Molly Ringwald
Teenage Prostitute
Dirty Love
Pygmy Twilight with a Roxy Instrumental
Penguin in Bondage
I’m so Cute
Baby Snakes
Trying to Grow a Chin
Here Lies Love(Lowell George originally sang lead on this song back in the Day)
Let’s Make the Water Turn Black
Harder Than Your Husband
Wind Up Working in a Gas Station
Ride My Face to Chicago
Moggio (Gave Steve Vai performance nightmares)
ThingFish – The Evil Prince (Which was a poke of fun at Cats from Broadway)
Debra Kadabra
Who are the Brain Police
Willie the Pimp (originally sang by Captain BeefHeart, Eric Johnson joined Dweezil on stage for this!)
Muffin Man
Strictly Genteel

A bit more below the fold:

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Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:42 AM PST

A Moment for Music: Spyro Gyra

by teknohed

I got a chance to see Spyro Gyra Friday night at the One World Theater in Austin, Texas.  I can not say enough about this small venue, if you like jazz(or any music) and are close to Austin, this is a great place to see bands intimately.  

Spyro Gyra was fantastic,  I had not seen them since the '80s but they had all the energy and skill that first led me to loving the band and their music.  The current line up consists of Jay Beckenstein, Scott Ambush, Tom Schuman, Julio Fernandez and Lee Pearson. These guys have a lot of fun on stage and it's contagious.

Here's a recent video of them playing "Falling Walls" by Julio Fernandez, the guitarist.  The video begins with the last bit(I think) of "Expect Miracles" by drummer Lee Pearson.

An oldie, the classic "Morning Dance" by Jay Beckenstein, the saxophonist who is an original founder.

"The Deep End" by Scott Ambush, a truly amazing bass player.  He reminded me of Stanley Clark a bit but that is probably because they both make my jaw drop.

Lastly, another good song from the past, "Incognito" by keyboardist Tom Schuman, who is a great musician and performer.

I wound up getting all of their autographs and even got a pic with the band.  Go see them!

Jump over the orange sound burst for a bit on their latest member, drummer Lee Pearson.


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We're organizing, we're forming groups, we are not seceding, we are succeeding. We are demographically diverse, we are Americans, we are Democrats and we are Texans.  And we are growing.

This past cycle we registered new Democratic voters, but we need to register many more as we move towards 2014. We also need to get them all to go to the polls. This is where grass roots can help.  This is where we Kossacks can help.

I got a good letter from Gilberto Hinojosa, the Texas Democratic Party Chairman today discussing the giant Latino voting bloc, here's an excerpt:

After this month's election, everyone is talking about the importance of the Latino vote. It's as if, after Romney's loss, Republicans everywhere (aside from Romney, himself!) suddenly woke up and realized that treating the Hispanic community like criminals looking for "gifts" was a losing strategy. Amazing! But rather than alter their harmful policies on education, healthcare and immigration, Republicans think voters will be fooled if they run right wing candidates who happen to be Hispanic. Well, we all know better than that. A wolf in sheep's clothing is still a wolf!
He wrote an op-ed yesterday in the Austin American Statesman providing some insight into both the Republican and Democratic strategies.

Hinojosa: Why Texas Republicans won’t win over Hispanic voters.

Republicans are on record acknowledging this phenomenon. They are also on record as being scared of what it means. Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri has said, “The Republican Party is living on borrowed time. If every Latino were to vote today in Texas, the Republican Party would lose all of its statewide seats.”
Senator-elect Ted Cruz recently said, “In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat … the Republican Party would cease to exist.”
The republicans are resurrecting the Bush strategy, with the new Hispanic friendly George P Bush as detailed in the good diary by Pipsorcle, who knocked it out of the park earlier this week with Bush is Filing to Run for Office - No, not THAT Bush

ht to Chitown Kev for kicking off the new Bush discussion with :

Chachy from a July diary provides some great background of Texas voting demographics and trends. Projecting Texas: The coming Democratic plurality

The momentum is building.  We Texans here on DKos can help by being actively involved with the TX Democratic Party.  You other kossacks are welcome too, we are very friendly!  Please join a group and meet each other.  This is an invite to be part of a game changing trend, together as a community.  Some local groups beyond the divdoodle:

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The Austin Chronicle provides a Halloween mask yearly for those who don't have the time or or just wait to the last minute for costume ideas.  This year the mask is hideous.  It is so frightening that I beg that you please take care if you choose to view the link.  I would post the image directly on dkos but I fear we could lose good progressives who may not have the best health.  I do not recommend wearing this mask near small children as it might permanently damage them.  Just think about the effect this image could have on our national psyche before you go out in public wearing this mask.  You have been warned.  Please be careful.

The Prince of Lies

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A Moment For Music (AMFM) is just a quick break from politics that I hope you will find interesting.  Maybe you caught my review of Day One at the ACL Music Festival 2012.

Day Two of the 2012 ACL Music Festival was another great day of music.  We got a repreive from the heat with lots of clouds and even a bit of rain.  It seemed to be a little more laid back but maybe because Friday's heat was brutal.  In case your are wondering, the rain does nothing to slow down the music nor the crowd at ACL.  The crowd peaks daily with 75,000 people.  There were once again many great bands and the headliners were excellent.  

Jack White and Neil Young closed down the day with dueling shows at opposite ends of Zilker Park.  I heard none of Jack White since I'd seen him before and wanted to focus on Neil Young and Crazy Horse.  The reviews from people who went to Jack White were good though.  Many years ago during Mr. Young's 1982 Transformer Man Tour, I walked out on his show.  When he started playing music from a remote control for the second half of his show, well, it was too much.  Don't get me wrong, I loved electronic music at the time (Kraftwerk compelled me to build my first electronic drumset in 1975) but I didn't want to hear that from Neil Young.  Sorry, I digress.  At ACL this time, it was all Crazy Horse and exactly what I came to hear.  Neil Young only addressed the audience twice. Once to tell us that we had good air and again at the end to thank Austin.  As far as I am concerned, Neil Young redeemed himself from my prior experience. When he played Powderfinger, I was taken back to my college days when I sang that song in a cover band.  It was a great show, thank you Neil Young and Crazyhorse.

As I mentioned in the review of Day One, I like to focus on the smaller, less known bands. Day Two's highlight acts for me were The Wheeler Brothers, Sonámbulo, Andrew Bird and The Roots.

The Wheeler Brothers are a local Austin band that have a lot of that classic Texas blues and country familiarity but coupled with modern indie.  They put on a great show at the smaller Austin Ventures stage.  Btw, if you ever want to get some background of the roots of Texas music, listen online to Rod Moag's Country, Swing, and Rockabilly Jamboree Thursday mornings at or 91.7 locally on the FM dial.  I couldn't find a good video posted of The Wheeler Brother's ACL performance but this video is a good snapshot of their musical style.  I really enjoyed The Wheeler Brother's set.

Sonámbulo: Orgasmic, audio, visual, Carribean, Latin American, dance explosion.  There was lot's of audience interaction, love and energy.  These guys are a mix of Cuban, Costa Rican, Columbia and El Salvador performing in the vein of a street circus.  They were really a five senses experience.  I'm not sure where they tour but they are a real treat.

I found a decent youtube video recorded a couple weeks ago at ACL .  It captures a lot of the energy but the sound lacks a bit of the quality I prefer when trying to share music.  I was just a few feet forward from stage right for Sonámbulo performing "Chusma Funk".  Here's the video:

Andrew Bird is an artist that I was not familiar with but his music was very upbeat and enjoyable.  I left the show grateful for his talent and that I had the sense to go.  He was trained in the Susuki Method as a violinist and hails from Chicago, Illinois in the Indie rock/folk genre.  The song "Give It Away" is a bit about the energy that is given to audiences.  I know that energy is what I crave at ACL and Andrew Bird did not disappoint.  The video below is the ACL video of "Orpheo Looks Back ".  It was awesome.

Jump over the orange swirling feedback for my last submission for Day Two, an edgier band, The Roots.

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A Moment For Music is just a quick break from politics that I hope you will find interesting.

We try to go to the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas every year. The festival was held on October 10, 11 & 12.  We always have a few folks that come from out of town so we had 12 enthusiastic music lovers in our entourage this year.  It's been about two weeks since the festival but the music and fun are still with me so I wanted to share.

The headliners are always great but I tend to focus on the smaller, hungrier, energetic bands, especially bands that I've never seen.  There were over 120 bands spread out over three, 11 hour days on eight stages, so it's a marathon not a sprint.  We typically walk an average of 5-6 miles a day including walking in and out of the 46 acre venue.

This year my favorite bands from the first day were Esperanza Spalding, The Afghan Whigs, Trampled by Turtles and Umphrey's Mcgee.  Some of the bigger bands this day were also fantastic, namely Weezer, Florence and The Machine and The Black Keys.  I could mention many more just from Day One but I would probably never get this diary finished.

Esperanza Spalding from Portland, Oregon is a fantastic jazz bass player who I hadn't heard before.  I got up pretty close to the stage and was able to get several great shots.  However, this video from the festival beats my stills.  I watched her perform this song from about 30 feet away.  Where's Waldo?

The Afghan Whigs are a band from Cinncinati, Ohio.  I had never seen these guys before and they have a good, edgy, rock sound and played a great set.  I bought the Gentlemen album at the festival which, while researching this diary turns out to have been recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis TN.  My birth town and a studio with which I am familiar.  Small world.

Trampled By Turtles is a folksy bluegrass band out of Duluth, Minnesota that was very enjoyable.  They played on one of the smaller stages at the festival which makes it a bit more intimate.  There are several videos uploaded to youtube from that day but none where the audio is acceptable.  They played Wait So Long in their set which is a decent representation of their style.  I've included the band's video of that song below.

Jump over the orange sound wave for my last musical submission from Day One.  

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I agree that most everyone in Texas was watching High School football or mourning Big Tex, but last night's debate was good and worth watching. It can be viewed on CSPAN's site.

There were some very good moments for Paul Sadler.  He clearly understands what it takes to be a legislator and has a practical approach to solving problems.  There was a beautiful moment when Paul Sadler and a moderator explained to Cruz that his tax loophole changes would be raising taxes on someone. It reminded me of another debate where a Republican candidate was helped by a moderator when he couldn't grasp the facts.

From The Texas Tribune's liveblog:

7:38 p.m. by Aman Batheja
 Does Cruz want to raise taxes?
Sadler thinks so.
Cruz spoke about his interest in closing loopholes in tax law in order to raise more government revenue without raising the tax rates.
 Sadler said people like anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist considers closing loopholes the same thing as raising taxes and that Cruz would be vilified by his Republican base if he successfully closed tax loopholes.
 “I’ve lived through this before. If you close those deductions, you’re raising taxes,” Sadler said.
 Cruz’s response: “I think Mr. Sadler and I have different definitions of raising taxes.” He said eliminating loopholes while lowering rates is not raising taxes.
 Ramsey pointed out that closing a loophole but reducing a rate will raise taxes on some people. Kofler moved the debate to another topic before Cruz could respond.
Deja Vu?  I felt a bit.

The Teabaggers had their moments of joy:

Not sure why Cruz doesn't propose building some submarines to troll the Rio Grande.  Swim across the swirling orange rapids for a bit more.

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You might remember that the State of Texas was fighting in Federal Court to be able to ban subsidies for any organization associated with abortion providers.  A Federal judge in Austin, placed an injunction requiring funding to continue until the pending lawsuit was settled.   The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturned this in August, ruling that the lawsuit was not likely to be successful.  Rick Perry was thrilled!  This of course hit low income women directly for any Health Services provided in Texas by…Planned Parenthood.  

Well, the effects are now measurable and described in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, September 27, 2012  Vol. 367 No. 13.

From the Texas Tribune: Family Planning Cuts Caused 53 Clinics to Close

As a result of the funding cuts, 53 out of 240 clinics that have received public funding to provide family planning have closed, and 38 have reduced service hours, according to the report. In addition, the report states, many clinics are now charging for services that were previously free, raising prices for other services and restricting access to more effective methods of contraception that are more expensive.
The report, which was produced by sociologists at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin as part of a three-year study of the impact of budget cuts to family planning services in Texas.
From the New England Journal of Medicine:
Ostensibly, the purpose of the law was to defund Planned Parenthood in an attempt to limit access to abortion, even though federal and state funding cannot be used for abortion care anyway. Instead, these policies are limiting women's access to a range of preventive reproductive health services and screenings.
We are witnessing the dismantling of a safety net that took decades to build and could not easily be recreated even if funding were restored soon.
We have a long way to go down here in Texas and unfortunately we have taken a few steps backwards.

You can donate to PP here

A few more requests beyond the fold

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Do you ever get that sinking feeling?  Like some disaster is going to occur?  No? Not so much this year?  Me neither, but there might still be an end of the world event this year, but not for all of us.  Welcome to Karmageddon 2012!  Where voting poorly might fuck up your rapture.

I was having a conversation with a Repuplican friend who said that no matter the outcome of this election, no one would be happy.  Though stunned, I stopped my retort because the conversation would quickly degrade and we have agreed to avoid political discussions to remain friends.  But that comment puzzled me and his tone was very defeatist.  I knew he didn't care if Democrats were unhappy.  Why would he be unhappy if Romney won?   But then it hit me, he doesn't like Romney.  There's alot of unhappy conservatives who are simply holding their nose.  Duh.  I just hadn't met one here in the red state of Texas yet .  I'm more used to eyes closed tightly than clinched noses here.  It must be hard for conservatives to breathe lately (I know...mouth breathers!)  He was very gloomy about voting.

What you do and say in your life matters and Willard has acummulated significant negative energy.  It shows, Republicans are already unhappy and the vibe coming from some of them is very telling.  People(a plurality) don't like Mitt Romney, but it's his fault.  I compliled a list of Romney's attributes:  

He's a jerk
He's sadistic
He's a bully
He's cruel to animals
He's a bigot
He lies
He cheats
He's selfish
He doesn't care
He is a misogynist
He's a hypocrite
He breaks the law
He doesn't care about the sick
He's dangerous

I've a couple more analogies beyond the orange Maelstrom.

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Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 11:58 AM PDT

All Good Texans Go to Hell?

by teknohed

This has been building for a few months and for better or worse, I’m getting it off my chest.  The frequent lumping of all Texans as clueless Red Staters would seem to me to be counterproductive to helping Texas progressives with our voices.  The comments and diaries here range from Texas as having a primary export of Stupid (FPer) to untimely satire gleefully cheering West Nile on Red Staters.   I don’t mind good satire, it is fine, but what is the message from the comments?  F*** off and die, because you live in a red state?  We wouldn’t be on Dkos if we weren’t like minded.  There are many, many good people in red states who vote exactly as advocated on this site.  The people who don’t vote like us are (for the most part) not reading any of this.  So who is the target audience for the jokes, are people in comfortable blue majorities actually laughing?  Bully much?  

If you’re not totally pissed off, hop over the orange eye of Satan.  Perhaps I can make a point.

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In Austin Texas, Iraq and Kosovo veteran, teacher and reported Ron Paul activist Antonio Buehler was arrested early New Years Day after taking pictures of local police throwing a detained female to the ground and man-handling her.  (Forgive me for the link, I just stumbled upon it and thought it interesting)

Mr Buehler eloquently gives his side of the story in the attached video from KVUE news, but we are waiting patiently for the police dash cam video to supported the alternate version where spittle was allegedly involved.  Frankly though, anybody who gets close enough to kiss you, might be attempting entrapment.  

This reminded me of the veteran at OWS who chewed out police for treating citizens much harsher than he witnessed Iraqis being treated by our military in similar situations.  Hearts and minds and all.  Don't get me wrong, the DWI stop was likely warranted but it sure appears that some rights were colaterally violated.  

I mean if you are not in the wrong, why the fuss over being photographed and if you are wrong, well f... you.  (Cue the trolls re public filming of police)

Be sure and tell me how you really feel in the comments.

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