Category Archives: Lefty Brown

Understanding the Bible QUIZ

About six months ago, Anthony posted about taking The Hermeneutics Quiz, originally posted on the webpage of noted author and biblical scholar Scot McKnight; don’t worry, Anthony actually has a link explaining what hermeneutics means, but briefly, it refers to the study of the interpretation of religious texts.

With a score of 65, Anthony was “a little surprised by the results, which on a spectrum from conservative to moderate to progressive” put him “right on the threshold between moderate and progressive.”

I, on the other hand, scored a 77; a score between 66 and 100, means I’m a progressive on The Hermeneutics Scale; no surprise there. It wasn’t as high as the score for Lefty Brown, who got an 85, since he is a proponent of the seamless garment, which I appreciate but have not yet fully embraced.

If you would, please take the test, let me know how you did and whether you think that is a fair representation of where you are in your faith journey.
ROG

Where Is Lefty Brown?


One of the first persons I “met” in the blogosphere was Chris “Lefty” Brown. I think his musings about comic books were linked to Fred Hembeck’s site. I enjoyed those, but I also appreciated his rants about music, politics and other topics. In fact, I’ve been listening to some of those mixed CDs he made over the years this past week.

Lately, though, he has a new love: the Married Gamers blog and podcast, which he does with his wife Kelly. I appreciate that people evolve, but most talk about gaming just makes MEGO.

So, on your birthday, Lefty, this is MY wish: give your non-gaming fans a couple pieces a week. Your three questions on Friday, and your Top 10. Heck, your Top 10 can be heavily game-oriented, but I can take that in bite-sized portions. In fact, I did listen to about 45 minutes of your last gaming podcast, and I thought that that bit about the Playstation War in the Congo and RAID would have an interest to your broader audience. And I should also note that you, and especially Kelly, are REALLY good at it, much improved over your initial attempts in the medium.

When you’re giving us non-gaming stuff, you might talk about the last CD exchange that I don’t think you’ve mentioned in a couple months, when you announced the participants I have been waiting here with a worm in my mouth ever since for your reaction to my and others’ contributions.

So, Lefty, I’m really happy you’ve found your niche in the gaming world, but anything else you’ve got to share that would remind me of “Left Handed. Left Coast. Liberally Lefty” would warm my heart.

Have a great natal day! (And be glad I didn’t use that OTHER picture of you.)
ROG

Interconnectedness

I got one of those invitations to be LinkedIn to a social networking page. I recognized the person, so I said yes. Later that morning, that same guy, who is a sales rep for a database service we use at work called to see how we were doing with the service. (I had previously spoken to him and complained about the interface of the database.) This led me to ask him, “what’s the benefit of the social network?” I can if he can just call me up, I don’t need to be “connected” to him. He explained that people that one of us is linked to is vetted, in a way. I scratched my head, knowing some people with hundreds of MySpace “friends”,e.g., are no more connected than people one night see at a bus stop.

I’ve gone to parties, and because I tend to be the one who tends more to Lydia than her mother on those occasions, I’ll not have a substantial conversation with anyone. I’ve gone to these father/child breakfast things at Lydia’s day care, and except for a couple dads I’d talk with previously, I didn’t really get to know any of them. We are in the same room, but there’s no real connection.

So how does one get to “know” people? I’m on a couple listservs at work, and just by people asking questions and answering them, I get a feel for the way their minds work. Certainly, I’ve got a sense for people via their blogs, but especially when I’ve exchanged music with them. I was reorganizing my music over the weekend – using drawers I bought at a library auction – and the mixed CDs of Green and Dymowski and Burgas and Brown (come back, Kelly!) and Brown and Bacardi all show up in the same drawer. I’ve never met any of them (well, except for Green), but I feel that I know them better than people I’ve seen face to face recently. That’s both kinda weird and kinda nice.
***
I’m enjoying listening to discs from Thom (two discs) and Tosy.
ROG

Inspired by Originalville #2

I had so many songs that I could have used but didn’t, such as the original version of Handy Man, done originally by Jimmy Jones, with James Taylor having the big hit. But I did have enough I decided to do a second disc of originals that became bigger hits later.

1. Hush by Billy Joe Royal.
A big hit (#4)for Deep Purple in 1968.
2. Wherever I Lay My Hat by Marvin Gaye.
I only knew the Paul Young (#70, 1983) version
3. I’m a Believer by Neil Diamond.
Neil provided lots of options: Solitary Man (Chris Isaac, Johnny Cash), Kentucky woman (Deep Purple), Red, Red wine (UB40). But I opted for the Monkees’ song (#1, 1966), who performed it first, before Neil (#51, 1971).
4. Mary Mary-the Monkees.
I recall the uproar in the musical purists who wondered why the pre-fab band band was doing a Butterfield Blues Band song. Then it was revealed that it was actually a Mike Nesmith song. The complaints went away.
5. Heaven Is In Your Mind by Traffic.
6. Eli’s Coming by Laura Nyro.
7. The Loner by Neil Young.
8. Lady Samantha by Elton John.
Now we’ve come to the Three Dog night portion of our disc. Brian Ibbott did a Three Dog Night Originalville back in February, but he didn’t use these songs, so I did. Laura Nyro wrote lots of songs you’ve heard of; unfortunately, she died at 49 of ovarian cancer. The 3DN version of Samantha was a friend’s favorite song; I’d never heard the EJ version until Mr. Hembeck turned me onto it.
9. You can Leave Your Hat On by Randy Newman.
I could have included a Randy Newman song, Mama Told Me Not To Come, as another 3DN tune, but since Brian had used it, I opted for the song that Joe Cocker covered.
10. War-The Temptations.
It was not unusual that multiple Motown artists would record the same song, but due to the nature of this song, this one was a bit complicated; see this Wikipedia link.
11. Strawberry Letter 23-Shuggie Otis.
When I came up with this concept, this was probably the first song that was definitely going to be included. Shuggie Otis is the son of Johnny Otis, who I wrote about earlier this year. Even Brian didn’t know about the original. The Brothers Johnson version went to #5 in 1977.
12, Giving Him Something He Can feel-Aretha Franklin.
The very last track on the QoS 4-CD box set, but, though it went to #28 in 1976, I was not familiar with it, and I didn’t really notice it until En Vogue had had a Top Six version in 1992.
13. Tell the Truth-Derek & the Dominoes.
This a total cheat. This is the original version done by the band, released as a single in 1970, but then withdrawn. The version that is on the Layla album is slower and bluesier; this version is more frenetic, and for me, favored.

I had stayed late at work last Friday night working on this on Roxio, but it practically made my computer explode. Seriously: Corrupted error report: Unfortunately, the error report you submitted is corrupted and cannot be analyzed. Corrupted error reports are rare. They can be caused by hardware or software problems, and they usually indicate a serious problem with your computer.

Then my old and good friend Uthaclena came up on Saturday, upgraded my computer, and installed Nero. Sunday, I was having the problem that the disc drive would hang up unless I closed in and out of Nero, which eventually corrected itself. Add to that the child thief. I mention all this as explanation/apology to those waiting. Since I finally got a groove going, I made 20 of each disc. Six are going to the other Mixed CD participants; seven are going to my work colleagues, some of which were helpful in creating the playlist; three to some helpful folks, such as Messrs. Hembeck and Uthaclena. One to my sister; oh, golly, one for ME. That leaves three for the first three people who ask.
ROG

Inspired by Originalville #1

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a big fan of the podcast Coverville, hosted by Brian Ibbott. It’s a show that generally features of cover songs of artists, sometimes as a theme and sometimes by listener request. (BTW, if you are curious what I sound like, go to this Bob Dylan edition, right before he plays the Joan Baez song.

Occasionally, Brian’ll play a song that’s the original of a song that people might think was done by a more popular artist. That is the inspiration of the mixed disc I did for Lefty Brown’s Mix Bag VI.

Here are the songs on Disc 1:
1. Who’s Sorry Now by the Rhythmakers.
Truth is that I don’t know if it IS the original. I do know it came out in the 1930s, long before the 1958 Connie Francis version, which went to #4 on the Billboard charts.
2. Walking Blues by Robert Johnson.
I’m pretty sure this IS the original. There were lots of songs to choose from (Sweet Home Chicago, Crossroads, e.g.) but I picked this tune because it was covered in the 1960s by the Butterfield Blues Band, who show up later in this story. It’s a blues standard.
3. Hey Bartender by Floyd Dixon.
4. I Don’t Know by Willie Mabon.
Brian did a Coverville involving the Blues Brothers recently; these are the originals of songs that Jake and Elwood performed on that first Blues brothers album.
5. Bring On Home by Sonny Boy Williamson.
6. Killing Floor by Howlin’ Wolf.
Two songs purloined by Led Zeppelin without attribution, the latter forming the basis of the Lemon Song.
7. Louie Louie by Richard Berry.
Before the Kingsmen or Paul Revere & the Raiders came this classic version. From the Hembeck collection.
8. Hello Mary Lou by Gene Pitney.
Is this really an Originalville? I believe Gene Pitneey recorded this AFTER Rick Nelson had a Top 10 hit in 1961.
9. Oh Lonesome Me by Don Gibson.
Actually a big hit for Gibson in 1958, but I know it better as the much slower song recorded by Neil Young for After the Gold Rush.
10. Blue Bayou by Roy Orbison.
Went to #29 for Orbison in 1963. Might not have even included it except for baseball announcer Tim McCarver. After Linda Rondstadt had a Top 3 hit in 1977, McCarver would refer to a fastball as a “Linda Ronstadt – you know, blew by you.” Feh. If he had called it a Roy Orbison, I wouldn’t have complained.
11. Money by Barrett Strong.
The first Motown hit. On Coverville, there was some confusion about whether the Beatles were the originators of this song. Actually, Strong wrote many Motown hits, although not Money.
12. Devil in His Heart by the Donays.
I had lots of songs that the Beatles covered to choose from, but I picked this one from the Hembeck collection as it was among the most obscure.
* Now here’s the point I would have added the Rolling Stones’ version of I Wanna Be Your Man, which they performed before the Beatles, had I owned it.

13. Stop Your Sobbing by the Kinks.
The Pretenders had a minor hit (#65) with this song. Oh, I suppose I should mention the later Ray Davies-Chrissie Hynde romance.
14. Go Now by Bessie Banks.
The last three songs are from the Hembeck collection. This one was Top 10 for the Moody Blues in 1965.
15. Good Lovin’ by the Olympics.
The Olympics actually went to #81 in 1965, but the Young Rascals hit #1 in 1966.
16. My Girl Sloopy by the Vibrations.
The Vibrations got to #26 in 1964, but the McCoys, with a title changed to Hang On Sloopy, went to the top of the charts in 1965, with the Ramsey Lewis Trio also having a hit (#11) in ’65.

Oh, and this is what Gordon said about his own disc, and what Tosy said about Lefty’s.
***
Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” becomes an opera.
***
Harvey Korman interview: Part One; Part Two; Part Three. One of the funniest lines ever was delivered by Harvey to Carol Burnett at about 3:30 here: “Scarlett, that gown is GORGEOUS.” RIP, Harvey.
***
I’ve learned that not only did Earle Hagan write all those TV themes I mentioned yesterday, he also wrote the classic jazz tune “Harlem Nocturne” covered by the Viscounts, Brian Setzer and many others.

ROG

Buying New Music

It’s been a while since I went out and bought new music, but the Barnes & Noble had sent me a coupon worth 40% off on all CDs, after whatever sale prices applied. Sunday, I took the bus to the ever-expanding Colonie Center. B&N used to be in a free-standing building on Wolf Road in Colonie across from the mall. But at some point in the past few months, it has moved to its new location across the street.

I went in figuring I’d buy some new music, the new k.d. lang, the new Herbie Hancock that won a Grammy for best album(!) or maybe its predecessor which featured Paul Simon and Sting. I was also looking for the soundtrack of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, either the Julie Andrews or the Lesley Ann Warren version. NONE of them were there. O.K., now what?

So, I just systematically started looking through the albums. I was trying not to buy on CD the exact same albums I already own on vinyl, because a friend of mine told me about her recent experience converting vinyl to CD. That eliminated greatest hits by Bob Dylan, Queen, the Guess Who, Hall & Oates (yes, shut up), The Association (YES, shut up), and a couple others.

First album picked, much to my surprise: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy by Elton John. I have all of the other “classic” period EJ albums on vinyl, save for the early Empty Sky, but never got this one. At some level, the garish cover, and the fact that the album went to #1 in its first week, turned me off at the time. But it was Elton’s 61st birthday recently, and the only CDs I had to play were various greatest hits collections, plus the later Made in England. I’m sure I was affected also by Johnny B.’s recent discussions of all things early Elton. What sealed the deal was one of the additional tracks. Along with Lucy in the Sky and Philly Freedom was One Day at a Time, which I assumed was not the theme song of the Bonnie Franklin TV show that debuted in 1975, but rather the John Lennon cut, and it was.

Second album: The Ramones Greatest Hits. I have a couple LPs, but have massive holes in the collection. Probably influenced by Gordon.

The third album: The Very Best of Todd Rundgren. I have various Nazz, Utopia and solo LPs, but still wanted this.

The fourth album: OK, no recent Herbie Hancock? How about some classic Herbie Hancock, Head Hunters, featuring the classic cut Watermelon Man? All right then.

These were all $12.99 each list price, so $7.80 after the coupon, and I might have quit there, but I discovered The Millennium rack. If you’ve been in a record store lately, you’d recognize these. Black and white picture, gray top. And there were several to choose from: the Platters, Tom Jones, the Allman Brothers were all considered. The cool thing about these is that they were $9.99 each, but three for $20 if I used my MasterCard. I ended up picking Joan Baez, who my father admired as far back as 1959, when he brought home the oddly-named The Best of Joan Baez; and John Mellencamp, probably in part because of the love Tosy had given him after his recent induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The final album was also on the Millennium rack, but was not a Millennium album. It was Lucinda Williams’ 2003 album World Without Tears. $16.99 list, but still with the 3 for $20 sticker. I might have gotten this one anyway, but Lefty Brown’s affection for her did not hurt. Also the fact that, because I had the 40% off coupon, 3 for $20 became 3 for $12, or $4 apiece. (BTW, there’s a second version of World Without Tears with three extra songs available out there. Oh, and the three for $20 continues through May 5.)

Total price, less than $47, under my $50 mental budget. So thanks, guys, for going shopping with me.
***
Elton Joe Performs “Dogs in the Kitchen” , the never-completed song, the lyrics of which appear in Captain Fantastic.

ROG

Movie Quote Meme

In as much as it’s Oscar weekend, I thought I’d cop this from Gordon. However, I didn’t looked at his responses before writing this because I didn’t want to be influenced by my near-twin’s choices:

1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Fill in the film title once it’s guessed.
5. NO Googling/using IMDb search functions.
(Feel free to stick your guesses in the comments section)
I THINK half of them may be easy, the other half not so much, but none of these films are obscure.

1. There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.”
“Annie Hall” = Tom the Dog

2. It’s got a long rock wall with a big oak tree at the north end. It’s like something out of a Robert Frost poem. It’s where I asked my wife to marry me. We went there for a picnic and made love under that oak and I asked and she said yes.
“Shawshank Redemption” – Scott

3. You’re a sucker for French poetry and rhinestones. You’re very generous. You’re kind to strangers and children, and when you stand in the snow you look like an angel.
“Groundhog Day” – Tom the Dog

4. If I don’t get a little law and order around here, I get busted down to a traffic corner. And your friend don’t like traffic corners.
“West Side Story” – Gordon

5. We’ve become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions. We are tired of pyrotechnics and special effects.
The Truman Show

6. They have to paint me red before they chop me. It’s a different religion from ours. I think.
“Help!” – Gordon!

7. Uh, well, if anyone from the, uh, from the IRS is watching, I… forgot to file my, my, my 1040 return. Um, I meant to do it today, but, uh…
“Apollo 13” –Jaquandor

8. My story begins in London, not so very long ago. And yet so much has happened since then, that it seems more like an eternity.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians

9. I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves. I want my privacy.
“Field of Dreams” – Scott

10. Do you have a special grudge against me? Do you feel a particularly strong resentment? Is there something I’ve said that’s caused this contempt, or is it just things I stand for that you despise?
The Graduate
***
For Gordon and Lefty, other Doctor Who fans, and linguists: Darleks vs Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

ROG

Music by the Decade QUESTION

Groundhog’s Day is for recollecting: It’s not THAT neat and tidy, but it seems that each decade of my music collecting life was dominated by a few groups or solo artists.
1960s: The Beatles, the Supremes. Sure, I could add the Rascals, the Rolling Stones, the Temptations, Simon & Garfunkel, and undoubtedly others.
1970s: Clearly Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon. I have every album each one put out (yes, even Stevie’s Secret Life of Plants). Other contenders: Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, Beach Boys, Elton John, Neil Young.
1980s: Talking Heads, the Police. I also considered Bruce Springsteen, Prince, REM, Neil Young.
1990s: Johnny Cash and Nirvana. Also Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lyle Lovett, U2, Beatles.
2000s: There hasn’t been an overriding group, but I’ll suggest that compilations by Fred Hembeck and Lefty Brown (along with Lefty’s fellow travelers) has definitely shaped my music the most this century.

So what music has dominated your life at various points? You don’t have to break it down in 10-year periods, as I did, but whatever bite-sized time frame you wish. ROG

Johnny Otis


Dear Near Twin:

I was listening to your 2007 in review podcast. Enjoyable as usual. But I was surprised to find that *I* cast the the deciding vote in the the naming of Cast THIS, Pal! Cool.

You played a Christmas cut by Johnny Otis, who you said you weren’t familiar with. Since you are THE #1 music guru of the inestimable Lefty Brown, I thought I’d share this with you.

Johnny Otis is a guy born in 1921 of Greek heritage (given last name: Veliotes) who immersed himself in rhythm and blues. He rather reminds me a little of Ahmet Ertegun, another person of eastern Mediterranean heritage, in his case Turkish, who co-founded Atlantic Records.

Johnny Otis was a band leader, producer and A&R man who “discovered” Etta James, Jackie Wilson and Hank Ballard (who wrote “The Twist”). He produced Etta’s first hit, Roll With Me, Henry (The Wallflower), oft-covered since, as well as Big Mama Thornton’s original recording of Hound Dog three years before Elvis Presley’s version.

Otis had his own recording success doing Willie and the Hand Jive, which went to #9 on the pop charts in 1958. Eric Clapton covered it in 1974, and it went to #26. You might remember the song from the movie Grease.
Here’s Johnny performing it with Marti Adams and the Three Tons of Joy:

Though Hand Jive was his only pop hit, the Johnny Otis Orchestra had several R&B hits, usually with other vocalists such as Little Esther and Mel Walker.

He was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer in 1994. Here’s something from the Wikipedia post on him:
Frank Zappa has cited Otis as the inspiration for his distinctive trademark facial hair, stating in an interview conducted by Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Guitar Player magazine editor Don Menn that “it looked good on Johnny Otis, so I grew it.”

Otis maintains a popular radio show on KPFA, called The Johnny Otis Show.

There’s a singer named Shuggie Otis, who was/is a psychedelic soul/funk guy – I have one of his albums – who wrote and performed Strawberry Letter #23, later a hit for the Brothers Johnson. I did not know that Shuggie is Johnny Otis’ son.

Anyway, Gordon, thanks for the inspiration for the post.

All the best,
ROG

Writers Guild Strike QUESTIONS

Much to my surprise, I have found myself utterly fascinated by the WGA strike. I freely admit my sympathy for the writers, who are getting ripped off on DVD sales and streaming video broadcasts. I’ve watched the WGA videos on YouTube; while The Office Is Closed is the most entertaining, Why We Fight is the most useful in understanding the situation. Oh, and here’s info about an episode of The Office you may not see for a while, scheduled for only a couple weeks out.

I’ve added to my webroll the United Hollywood website, where I found out about an online petition, which I signed (#1018); I never know the efficacy of online petitions, but what the heck. I’ve been also following Writers Strike, Ken Levine and Mark Evanier’s posts. In fact, Mark answered my strike-related questions; how did he know I was specifically interested in JEOPARDY!?

1. What do you think of the strike? Do you side with the writers, with management, a pox on both of their houses, or you just don’t care? (Gordon cares.)

2. Has the strike already affected your viewing? (Maybe Lefty can finally catch up with The Daily Show and Colbert.)

3. If it is a prolonged strike, what will the networks use to fill up the time? Reality shows and repeats, sure. Old movies? Unaired episodes of Viva Laughlin?

4. What will you do with all that found time? (After I catch up with MY backlog of programs, I’ll read more.)
ROG