Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Unofficial John Roberts Photo And Some Songs

He's Fine

Monday, July 30, 2007


Tokyo Police Club are neither Japanese nor members of law enforcement. They are, in fact, Canadian. And they are a relatively new and promising young band on the rock scene, having release their first EP, A Lesson In Crime, in 2006. They followed that a year later with another EP, Smith, and a series of singles. They have since signed a deal with Saddle Creek to release their first LP (no date). Mixing the post-punk styling of bands like the Strokes and Pixies with tinges of classic bands like Television on speed.

TPC are on tour now and have secured a coveted Saturday Aug 4 spot on the bill for this year's incarnation of Lollapalooza which seems to have found a permanent home in Chicago as a three day music festival.

Enjoy the following samples and, as always, if you like what you hear, support the artist and buy they records.
Your English is Good (Non-Album Single)
Nature of the Experiment (A Lesson in Crime)
Box (Nature of the Experiment Single B-Side)
Cheer It On (A Lesson in Crime)
Citizens of Tomorrow (Space Ballad) (Cheer It On Singe B-Side)

Tokyo Police Club
| Tokyo Police Club |  Tokyo Police Club

Dou itashimashite!
Mata aimashou!

Grinderman at Madison Square Garden

Nick Cave
(Nick Cave, originally uploaded by LRobin).

Grinderman, from all accounts, played a blistering set opening for the White Stripes last week in at Madison Square Garden in New York. If you weren't there, like me, all you have are pictures like the one I found on flickr and audience recordings like the ones listed below. Download each file individually or the whole set in a .zip file (mp3 @ 256 kbps).

Madison Square Garden New York City July 24, 2007.

Get It On
Depth Charge Ethel
Electric Alice
(I Don't Need You To) Set Me Free
Honey Bee (Let's Fly To Mars)
Man In The Moon
When My Love Comes Down
No Pussy Blues
Love Bomb


Friday, July 27, 2007

Life On Mars?

MarsOk so there are a couple of reasons behind this post. First, there was the Mars proximity email which had been circulating the last few weeks, and which turned out to be a hoax. Then there was this weeks hilarious episode of Flight of the Conchords featuring several David Bowie dream sequences culminating in one of the most memorable musical segments of the season (embedded below for your viewing pleasure). So I give you my tribute to David Bowie and to Mars. Please note that the only reference to 30 Seconds to Mars is to say that I will not be including any songs authored or performed by said group whom I personally don't care for. See I've already devoted more time to them than I wanted!

And you get in your car and drive real far.
And you drive all night and then you see a light.
And it comes right down and it lands on the ground.
And out comes the man from Mars.
And you try to run but he's got a gun.
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head.
And then you're in the man from Mars.
You go out at night...eatin' cars.
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too.
Mercurys and Subaru.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The new Rilo Kiley album, Under the Blacklight, is set to drop on August 21. Moneymaker seems to be the first single, and an odd choice. I say that because the affecting and heartfelt Jenny Lewis of old appears to have been replaced by a new lurid version, just not a very believable one. It is reminiscent of the unfortunate transformation of Eskimo folkie Jewel, when what was supposed to be tongue in cheek became all to real. Fans, however, should take comfort in the second leaked track, Silver Lining, a return to their more earnest sound.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Porter Wagoner - Wagonmaster

Porter WagonerPorter Wagoner is slated to perform tonight on Late Night with David Letterman. Porter, in his recognizable rhinestone suit is a true standard bearer for traditional country music. The same music that left Johnny Cash to waste away into obscurity before his resurrection under the direction of producer Rick Rubin. The same music that was quick to embrace Cash and benefit from his resurgence.

Assumably he'll perform the first single of his new Marty Stuart produced record, Wagonmaster. The single, Committed to Parkview, is a song written by Johnny Cash in the mid 70's. It first appeared on Cash's 1976 album, One Piece at a Time, and then later on the Highwaymen album as a duet with Willie Nelson. That's all background noise to the real story. Sometime in the mid 80's while Marty Stuart was touring as part Johnny Cash's band, Cash handed Stuart an envelope containing a cassette saying that he had a song for Porter Wagoner to record. The envelope was misplaced and not found until the summer of 2006 as

The song, written from the perspective of a ward in the old Nashville Parkview asylum, which both Cash and Wagoner were at one time, is as stark and bleak as the name suggests. The song derives its depth not only from the masterful lyrics of Johnny Cash, but also from Porter's seemingly detached narrative delivery. This album may very well do for Porter Wagoner, what the American series did for Johnny Cash; that is introduce an iconic star of country music to a new and younger audience. Whether it does or not, the song is haunting and should be appreciated by anyone with an affinity to any style of music.

Committed to Parkview (mp3)

Grinderman Electric Alice Video


I'm a little tired from a late night out last night so here's the video for Electric Alice of the Grinderman Record. Trust me, a great song & accompanying like this will more than suffice for the morning.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The The The The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Is Is New

Is IsThe Yeah Yeah Yeahs have released their new 5 track EP, Is Is. The songs, mostly written between the recording of Fever to Tell and Show Your Bones, are focused, tight, and intense. Karen O again reminds us why she is, one of if not, the most dynamic woman in rock. Below are three tracks and a live video for the song Isis.

Rockers To Swallow (mp3)
Down Boy (mp3)
10 X 10 (mp3)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Iron & Wine New Single

Boy With A CoinEven though Iron & Wine's new record, The Shepard's Dog, isn't due until September 25, Sam Bean has released the first single, Boy with a Coin. The single features an additional two songs that won't be available on the LP. Boy with a Coin has a much more ambitious sound and is by far the cleanest production of any previous release.
Buy the single directly from Sub Pop or from your local indie record store. Please support your independents.

And don't forget In The Reins, the collaboration with Calexico available at most retailers and at emusic.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Duck and Cover (Songs) Part Deux

My initial reaction was that I was holding out yesterday, but there are some damn good songs on yesterday's post. However, one plus for today, none of my blathering!

R.E.M. - Academy Fight Song (This is a Mission of Burma song that I have long thought the Foo Fighters could absolutely own)
Ryan Adams - Revelator (This Gillian Welch tune was recorded in 2000 with Gillian & David Rawlings just before the Heartbreaker sessions. Nowhere nearly as powerful as the original, but an interesting listen nevertheless)\
Scott Miller & the Commonwealth - Hawks and Doves (Scott and the boys really open it up on this fairly obscure Neil Young tune. This is one of my favorites)
Ben Folds - Golden Slumbers (A gorgeous rendition for the I Am Sam Soundtrack. As an aside, supposedly they wanted to use the original Beatles' tracks, but Tito Jackson's younger, crazier brother wanted $300,000 per song - greedy bastard)
The Twilight Singers - Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair (One of the highlights of the the Greg Dulli fronted band's 2004 She Loves You is this version of an old traditional)
Nick Cave - I'm Your Man (Nick Cave tackles the title track to 2006's Leonard Cohen tribute film with the cabaret debauchery you would expect)
Toots & The Maytals - Take Me Home Country Road (Just a fun reggae spin on a dusty old John Denver classic)
Dolly Parton - Stairway to Heaven (Unlikely and surprising good. She received the approval of both Robert Plan and Jimmy page after hearing her version)
Iron & Wine - Waiting on a Superman (Sam Bean creates a vulnerability to this song that the Flamings Lips just couldn't fully obtain)
Gillian Welch - Black Star (The raw emotion in this live version with David Rawlings has all the melancholy of the Radiohead original. I seriously think that Thom Yorke and Gillian Welch could team up to write and record the saddest song of all time)
Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah ( This song has been recorded by a number of artists, including Mr. Leonard Cohen himself, and none have come close to matching the sadness and devotion that Buckley committed to this track)
Johnny Cash - Hurt (I don't even consider this a cover tune anymore. If ever a song was unwittingly written by a artist for another artist to later record, it was this one. I can't even listen to the original NIN version anymore. Cash took a good song, and made it brilliant. By conjuring his own demons he took this song and made is his own. And I'll be damned if I don't get chills and teary eyed every time I see the video. Frankly, I believe the constitution should be amended to recognize this and only this version of the song, and that it should be a federal crime for anyone to deface it by recording another version)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Duck and Cover (Songs) Part 1

I've been neglecting you all the last few days, but here is my mea culpa: My covers post I've been planning for some time which will span two days.

There's an art to creating a great cover version of a song. At the same time, there are different ways of accomplishing the same task. Some choose to stay pretty true to the original (See Mindy Smith's version of Jolene featuring Dolly Parton singing backup - not included below). There are two ways of view this approach; the artist is simply paying homage to the song and/or original artist, or the artist is afraid/unable to take a leap of faith with their own vision and instead choses a tepid remake. Then there is the ironic cover. Despite the rare exception, these rarely stand the test of time and often become nothing more than novelties. Finally there are those who rework/reshape the song to lend their own interpretation while maintaining the proper respect one should give when tampering when someone else's work. Sometimes it works and other times it is a disaster, and still there are those moments when an artist is able to take over the song and claim it for themselves. The best examples of this are Johnny Cash's Hurt and Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah. In each case, these artists have recorded the seminal versions of their respective songs.

Here is the first installment of some of my favorite covers. Got a better versions or a suggestion? Leave a comment below.
Golden Smog - Love and Mercy (a beautiful rendition of a Brian Wilson classic)
Mudhoney - Revolution (Recorded for a split single with Spacemen 3)
Spacemen 3 - When Tomorrow Hits (The other side of afore mentioned split single)
Son House - John the Revelator (Blues master performing an old traditional)
The V-Roys - IOU ( I could dedicate an entire post to The 'Mats & I probably will one day)
Rufus Wainwright - Chelsea Hotel No. 2 (Only Leonard Cohen could make the line "...giving me head..." poetic)
Ani Difranco - Hurricane (A complete re-working of Bob Dylan's classic ode to Rubin Carter)
R.E.M. - Witchita Lineman (Glen Campbell or not, this is a great song)
Nick Cave - Disco 2000 (A slower moodier version of the Pulp hit)
Anthrax - London (Anthrax covers The Smiths - enough said)
Pearl Jam - Masters of War (Dylan's work is timeless and especially relevant given the current Chickenhawk Administration)
Uncle Tupelo - I Wanna Be Your Dog (An awesome take on the unforgettable Stooges' classic)
Supersuckers - Dead Homiez (Ironic yes, and it certainly diminishes the power behind the Ice Cube original, but I included it because they bring the RAWK)
John Mayer - Kid A (While I'm not a Mayer fan, he makes this great Radiohead track intelligible and singable so I've got to give him his propers)
Old Crow Medicine Show - Wagon Wheel (Ok I'm cheating a little hear. Per Wikipedia: The writing credits for this song are shared by Dylan, who wrote the chorus during the recording of the soundtrack Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and OCMS's Ketch Secor who finished the music and wrote the verses. Regardless, it is one killer song. This is a must download)
Tunng - Pioneers (This Bloc Party cover has a darker and more ethereal feel than the original. Personally I prefer this version)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

hip-hopopotamus vs. the rhymenocerous

More Flight of the Conchords (from episode 3)

Superdrag Reuniting

That's right, the original Superdrag lineup of John Davis, Brandon Fisher, Tom Pappas, and Don Coffey Jr. are reuniting for a 6-city tour beginning October 5 in Nashville. For those that missed them the first time around, this may be your last chance to catch a truly overlooked rock gem. They are the cynical bastard sons of Hüsker Dü and the Beatles, blending Davis' melodic vocals with enough fuzz and noise to concoct a sound that assaults your senses and leave you with a sweet aftertaste.

I arrived in Knoxville, TN in January 1994 with an ice storm in tow. As soon as I began to thaw, I started sniffing out the local music scene. One of the first names I heard was that of Superdrag. The buzz about this unknown group was rivaled only by the impending arrival of the son of QB great Archie Manning, an apparent quarterback prodigy. A few days later I won tickets from a local radio station to see Superdrag perform at the now defunct Mercury Theater in what was a label showcase. I was blown away immediately. Local bands weren’t supposed to be this polished. Just so I am clear, I don’t mean polished in an antiseptic way. They were loud and they were noisy, but their fury was tempered by incredible melodies. The songs were scornful and sardonic, but delivered with a vulnerability that few artists can convey.

Regretfully YoursThey were soon signed to a major label and their debut album, Regretfully Yours, spawned the hit single “Sucked Out,” which became a staple of MTV (insert obligatory comment on MTV once playing music videos) and radio. Unfortunately, this was the peak of their commercial success. They released several more records before quietly disbanding after 2002's Last Call For Vitriol. While they certainly qualify as “One Hit Wonders” in the literal sense; that does not mean that they did not turn out quality work even after their 15 minutes were up. The same qualities that made them a rising name were just as evident on 1998’s Head Trip in Every Key and 2000’s In the Valley of Dying Stars.

The songs below are just a sample of the different periods of their career.

Bloody Hell (mp3) from a 1994 Knoxville local scene compilation
Señorita (mp3) from the 1999 EP by the same name
Nothing Good Is Real (mp3) from the Señorita EP
Sold You An Alibi (mp3) from 1998’s Head Trip in Every Key
Gimme Animosity (mp3) from 2000’s In the Valley of Dying Stars

The full tour itinerary is as follows:

October 5 - Nashville, TN @ City Hall (Tickets on sale Fri, Aug 3)
October 13 - Chicago, IL @ Metro (Tickets on sale Sat, July 28)
October 20 - Knoxville, TN @ Barley's Taproom (Tickets on sale NOW)
November 2 -New York, NY @ The Fillmore (Tickets on sale Fri, Aug 3)
November 3 - Boston, MA @ Paradise (Tickets on sale Fri, Aug 3)
November 8 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club (Tickets on sale Thur, July 26)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Protect Your Ipod

Protect your most precious of possessions, your ipod, using this ingenious device and disguising it as a Zune.

It's A Good Good Day Today

Today is the 9th anniversary of the luckiest day in my life. The day my extraordinary bride said "I do." I did too of course. Anyway, this post and these songs are for the sweetest, funniest, kindest, most beautiful and most patient woman I know. I Love You.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Faith No More

Chuck Mosley

Back from vacation and what better way to start off than with a dilemma that has haunted me for years. The debate between Chuck Mosley era Faith No More and that of Mike Patton. Personally, I was a huge FNM fan under Chuck Mosley. We Care a Lot and Introduce Yourself were both mainstays in my listening rotation and continue to be so today. Chuck, while certainly not the better singer of the two brought a roughness that served the band well in the recording of their initial two lo-fi albums. They mixed metal guitars and pounding beats with synthesizers and were fronted by a guy who really couldn't sing much. But I loved it. They had essences of funk/rap without ever losing their hard rock base. What Chuck lacked in melody, the band made up for in their songs and Chuck was simply often the narrator. It worked beautifully.

The Real ThingPrior to recording their major label debut, The Real Thing, Chuck was replaced with Mike Patton based on a demo from a side project, Mr. Bungle (who would later ink a deal with Warner Bros. no doubt due to the success of FNM under Patton). It was with tepid anticipation that I awaited the release of The Real Thing, and it was with shock and initial disgust that I first listened to each track. The new record was polished and much more slickly produced, and most shockingly, the nasal baritone of Chuck Mosley has been replaced by a new nasally higher pitched voice; one that I immediately rejected. The sound and vocals were such a significant departure from what I had been listening too. And suddenly, I began to see them on MTV (they used to play videos and even had live performances from time to time) and hear them on my local mainstream radio stations. After a number or listens, I finally realized that TRT is a tremendous record. Superior production didn't have to mean inferior songs.

Angel Dust
Next came Angel Dust. There was a lot of pressure to follow TRT, which had become a surprise success. By this time, I had become used to and completely accepting of Mike Patton. For me, Angel Dust is still my favorite FNM record. I find it darker and in some ways heavier than TRT and even though dissatisfaction with his use and the direction of the band would ultimately lead to the departure of, the always recognizable, Jim Martin, this remains their best work as far as I'm concerned. It is an odd album to say the least punctuated by some heavy hitters, pop influences, a white-trash ballad, and closing with a cover of the Theme from Midnight Cowboy.

FNM release several records after Angel Dust, but without Jim Martin's presence they often seemed more like Mr. Bungle releases under more branded name. For those unfamiliar with the music of FNM or for those needing a refresher course, I offer the following samples from both eras in chronological order.

Chuck MosleyMike Patton
Why Do You Bother (We Care A Lot)From Out of Nowhere (The Real Thing)
Greed (We Care A Lot)Zombie Eaters (The Real Thing)
As The Worm Turns (We Care A Lot)The Real Thing (The Real Thing
Faster Disco (Introduce Yourself)Caffeine (Angel Dust)
Chinese Arithmetic (Introduce Yourself)Midlife Crisis (Angel Dust)
RNR (Introduce Yourself)A Small Victory (Angel Dust)
Blood (Introduce Yourself)Ricochet (King For a Day...)
Spirit (Introduce Yourself)Last Cup of Sorry (Album of the Year

So this is the question I pose to you dear reader. Nobody can deny the success that FNM experienced under Mike Patton, but does their success outweigh the groundwork laid by the band fronted by Chuck Mosley. For me the answer is no. I still prefer the earlier looser sound of the first two records. Please vote in the poll located on the left sidebar just under the Legalese (Yeah I know if it currently impossible to read the choices, but I am working on it - in the meantime, Chuck Mosley is naturally listed first with Mike Patton under him) and as always feel free to leave a comment below.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday Re-Linking

Since I'm still enjoying the Redneck Riviera, I don't have any new tracks to post, but to keep you three readers out there busy, here's a couple of links to other blogs for your listening pleasure.

The National - The Daytrotter Sessions

Daytrotter has posted four tracks here from The National including live versions of Lucky You and Gospel, an "experimental" version of Slow Show, and finally a cover of Pretty In Pink.

Stereogum's OK Computer Tribute Album

Stereogum has assembled an OK Computer tribute album from their favorite covers of each song. Tracks include John Vanderslice's take on Karma Police, and Cold War Kids performing Electioneering.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Young and the Restless

or perhaps Rodents

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Well, while I wait for everyone else to wake up so I can get my beach on I thought I would scan elbo and post some of the hotter songs right now.

Okkervil River - Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe The latest offering, The Stage Names, doesn't drop until Aug 7, but take a sip and see what you think. If this first track if any indication, I think they are building on the momentum of Black Sheep Boy

Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races I'm still not sure where I stand on this track. Heavy on percussion with steel drums mixed in and vaguely reminicent of Flight of the Conchord's Boom song from a couple of episodes ago. It's a good summer track, but I don't think it is destined for greatness. Still it is worth a listen. I'd love to hear more comments on this one.

The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbor I'll be the first to admit that I just haven't been able to get behind past New Pornographers efforts, but I'm loving this new track. Call & response pop and catchy as hell.

Stars - The Night Starts Here Generally I'm a fan on the use of repition in songs and it certainly helps this innocuous pop track that screams for a pounding remix.

Tom Waits & Kronos Quartet - Way Down In The Hole What can I say? Waits customary gravely voice full of piss and fury backed by the hippest string quartet in the world. If you are a Waits can, you'll love it, if not well then... BTW I likey

Spoon - The Underdog I wasn't going to post because it has been covered by almost every other blog out there, but it is just too damn good to ignore. Great melody (think Billy Joel's Only the Good Die Young) complete with a horn section. This is one great song. And the new record is out July 10.

Savannah Smiles
(Okkervil River) Also from their forthcoming The Stage Names

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Your Playlist In My Absence

I'll be laying on the white sandy beaches or frolicking in the warm salty waters of Gulf Shores, Alabama for the next week. If I'm not on the beach you can find me at The Flora-Bama or The Pink Pony Pub or at Lu Lu's. Since it's unlikely I'll be posting anything in that time, I'm gonna load you up with a wide variety to chose from.

  • Monday, Superchunk will put you in the right Monday morning mindset with Slack Mother....
  • Tuesday, will be a good day to Mellow out with Wilco's What Light from their new record.
  • Thursday is a day to gear up for the weekend with a live version of The National's Squalor Victoria.
  • Finally Saturday will find us back on the road and since I am notorious for my competitive driving, perhaps Bloc Party can remind me that This is Not a Competition.
See you all (2 or 3 of you) next week.

Folk Is Not Dead!

So The Sopranos ended to the smooth croonings of Steve Perry and Journey, and so you still have a bit of a wait for the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and so Showtime is still a month away from gracing us with season 3 of Weeds. There's no need to watch reruns of shows that weren't that good in the first place or shows that had so little chance for success that they were relegated to the summer. Instead, tune into HBO Sunday nights at 10:30ET after Entourage to watch Flight of the Conchords the story of two struggling New Zealanders trying to resurrect folk singing in the Big Apple. Expect plenty of dry wit and spontaneous song and dance routines. Seriously, this is funny stuff. Check out What the Folk! a fan site with music, video, and much more. Here's a song they performed on the Letterman show that was featured in an episode a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day

No long winded posts today just some theme music to accompany The Pledge Of Allegiance in its original form as written by Baptist Minister Francis Bellamy in 1892.

'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'
Our thoughts are prayers are with our soldiers and families who can't be with their loved ones today.

For your listening pleasure: (right click to save)
Finally and most importantly I give you:

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Olbermann: Bush, Cheney should resign

This passionate, powerful summation is a must-read on the Eve of Independence Day. He spells out the horrific abuses of the Bush administration and their devastating impact on our nation. Please watch the video, too, as soon as it's posted to the Countdown Web site.

First a song:

Jarvis Cocker - Cunts Are Still Running the World
(Left click the links to download via YouSendIt)

By Keith Olbermann
Anchor, 'Countdown'
Updated: 7:13 p.m. CT July 3, 2007

“I didn’t vote for him,” an American once said, “But he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

That—on this eve of the 4th of July—is the essence of this democracy, in 17 words. And that is what President Bush threw away yesterday in commuting the sentence of Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

The man who said those 17 words—improbably enough—was the actor John Wayne. And Wayne, an ultra-conservative, said them, when he learned of the hair’s-breadth election of John F. Kennedy instead of his personal favorite, Richard Nixon in 1960.

“I didn’t vote for him but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

The sentiment was doubtlessly expressed earlier, but there is something especially appropriate about hearing it, now, in Wayne’s voice: The crisp matter-of-fact acknowledgement that we have survived, even though for nearly two centuries now, our Commander-in-Chief has also served, simultaneously, as the head of one political party and often the scourge of all others.

We as citizens must, at some point, ignore a president’s partisanship. Not that we may prosper as a nation, not that we may achieve, not that we may lead the world—but merely that we may function.

But just as essential to the seventeen words of John Wayne, is an implicit trust—a sacred trust: That the president for whom so many did not vote, can in turn suspend his political self long enough, and for matters imperative enough, to conduct himself solely for the benefit of the entire Republic.

Our generation’s willingness to state “we didn’t vote for him, but he’s our president, and we hope he does a good job,” was tested in the crucible of history, and earlier than most.

And in circumstances more tragic and threatening. And we did that with which history tasked us.

We enveloped our President in 2001.And those who did not believe he should have been elected—indeed those who did not believe he had been elected—willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship.

And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and shaped it to a razor-sharp point and stabbed this nation in the back with it.

Were there any remaining lingering doubt otherwise, or any remaining lingering hope, it ended yesterday when Mr. Bush commuted the prison sentence of one of his own staffers.

Did so even before the appeals process was complete; did so without as much as a courtesy consultation with the Department of Justice; did so despite what James Madison—at the Constitutional Convention—said about impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had committed crimes “advised by” that president; did so without the slightest concern that even the most detached of citizens must look at the chain of events and wonder: To what degree was Mr. Libby told: break the law however you wish—the President will keep you out of prison?

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you broke that fundamental com-pact between yourself and the majority of this nation’s citizens—the ones who did not cast votes for you. In that moment, Mr. Bush, you ceased to be the President of the United States. In that moment, Mr. Bush, you became merely the President of a rabid and irresponsible corner of the Republican Party. And this is too important a time, Sir, to have a commander-in-chief who puts party over nation.

This has been, of course, the gathering legacy of this Administration. Few of its decisions have escaped the stain of politics. The extraordinary Karl Rove has spoken of “a permanent Republican majority,” as if such a thing—or a permanent Democratic majority—is not antithetical to that upon which rests: our country, our history, our revolution, our freedoms.

Yet our Democracy has survived shrewder men than Karl Rove. And it has survived the frequent stain of politics upon the fabric of government. But this administration, with ever-increasing insistence and almost theocratic zealotry, has turned that stain into a massive oil spill.

The protection of the environment is turned over to those of one political party, who will financially benefit from the rape of the environment. The protections of the Constitution are turned over to those of one political party, who believe those protections unnecessary and extravagant and quaint.

The enforcement of the laws is turned over to those of one political party, who will swear beforehand that they will not enforce those laws. The choice between war and peace is turned over to those of one political party, who stand to gain vast wealth by ensuring that there is never peace, but only war.

And now, when just one cooked book gets corrected by an honest auditor, when just one trampling of the inherent and inviolable fairness of government is rejected by an impartial judge, when just one wild-eyed partisan is stopped by the figure of blind justice, this President decides that he, and not the law, must prevail.

I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.

And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice.

When President Nixon ordered the firing of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” on October 20th, 1973, Cox initially responded tersely, and ominously.

“Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men, is now for Congress, and ultimately, the American people.”

President Nixon did not understand how he had crystallized the issue of Watergate for the American people.

It had been about the obscure meaning behind an attempt to break in to a rival party’s headquarters; and the labyrinthine effort to cover-up that break-in and the related crimes.

And in one night, Nixon transformed it.

Watergate—instantaneously—became a simpler issue: a President overruling the inexorable march of the law of insisting—in a way that resonated viscerally with millions who had not previously understood - that he was the law.

Not the Constitution. Not the Congress. Not the Courts. Just him.

Just - Mr. Bush - as you did, yesterday.

The twists and turns of Plame-Gate, of your precise and intricate lies that sent us into this bottomless pit of Iraq; your lies upon the lies to discredit Joe Wilson; your lies upon the lies upon the lies to throw the sand at the “referee” of Prosecutor Fitzgerald’s analogy. These are complex and often painful to follow, and too much, perhaps, for the average citizen.

But when other citizens render a verdict against your man, Mr. Bush—and then you spit in the faces of those jurors and that judge and the judges who were yet to hear the appeal—the average citizen understands that, Sir.

It’s the fixed ballgame and the rigged casino and the pre-arranged lottery all rolled into one—and it stinks. And they know it.

Nixon’s mistake, the last and most fatal of them, the firing of Archibald Cox, was enough to cost him the presidency. And in the end, even Richard Nixon could say he could not put this nation through an impeachment.

It was far too late for it to matter then, but as the decades unfold, that single final gesture of non-partisanship, of acknowledged responsibility not to self, not to party, not to “base,” but to country, echoes loudly into history. Even Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign

Would that you could say that, Mr. Bush. And that you could say it for Mr. Cheney. You both crossed the Rubicon yesterday. Which one of you chose the route, no longer matters. Which is the ventriloquist, and which the dummy, is irrelevant.

But that you have twisted the machinery of government into nothing more than a tawdry machine of politics, is the only fact that remains relevant.

It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.


And give us someone—anyone—about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”
© 2007 MSNBC Interactive

“Don’t think, just listen and believe”

I know this is old news by now, but I am obviously evolving at a slower rate. Blue Grass Roots was brave enough to visit and write a detailed account of their visit to the Creation Museum, a $27 million dollar contradiction to reason and science, in Petersburg, Kentucky, just across the border from Cincinnati. The museum features wild animal and dinosaur animatronics living peaceably with Adam and Eve, apparently in full on Cinemax late night eroticism. Apparently in the wingnut mindset, all animals & dinosaurs were docile and domesticated.

Here are a few tracks to blasphemy to lull you to sleep during your lobotomy.
(Left click the links to download via YouSendIt)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Will Ferrell Meets His New Landlord

Funny Stuff!

The Landlord