Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin Comparison

Palin's pick has reportedly "energized the base". I know one person who is a card-carrying member of the base who was down-hearted with Sen. McCain who was personally very energized by Ms. Palin's selection. We don't ever go toe-to-toe, because we are friendly and we don't want to ever release our nukes on each other. But it baffles me how he could have been poised to consider Obama, and when an ultra-conservative appears on the scene as the veep choice, then he is more excited about Mr. McCain's chances. I still don't get it.

Of course, the lack of experience here will not seem to matter to the Republicans--after all, this is just the vice president, not the president, and how could the Democrats put a person so unready at the top of the ticket? Putting aside that the experience of Mr. Obama's is superior to that of Ms. Palin, Mr. Obama went through the electoral process. People had a chance to make their case on his experience or lack thereof, and he won nonetheless, vanquishing the mighty Clinton machine. He earned it. While she might be smart, capable and bright (even if I disagree with her views), Ms. Palin has not. Plus, I've heard, and tend to believe, that some of the best "executive" experience is in fact running a campaign for president--which Obama did better, by all accounts, than Clinton, McCain, Giuliani, or any other candidate in the field this year.

But the bottom line for me is that John McCain simply did not pick the person he thought was best to take over should something happen to him. There is just no doubt about that. Again, she might well turn out to be a terrifically smart and capable person, but McCain could not have said to himself, 'this person is the best, or among the best, most capable people to lead the country if that becomes necessary.' She is someone who he thinks will help him politically, plain and simple. He met her once, six months ago, at a conference. She has not thought much about the Iraq war. She did not even know John McCain's Iraq policy yesterday. You can bet Biden knew Obama's backward and forward in late 2007 (and probably earlier), and has great ideas to help give it shape and make it work better. This is what we need.

Here's what gets me: even if you are a die-hard Republican and her views are in line with yours, you do not have any idea how she could perform the job of president--it might be okay (from your perspective), but you simply don't know and don't have any basis right now to credibly predict. Come on, Mr. McCain. You can and should have done better than this. We deserve it; you might be our next president, for crying out loud. Start doing the right thing!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Saturday Results

The Voodoo Blues Band unfortunately pulled in the silver medal at last Saturday's Blues Challenge in Springfield. The winning band was from Springfield, and our fellas who stayed to hear them were complimentary but thought that we compared favorably. In any event, we played pretty well and had a chance to strut our stuff, including a lot of originals by Raul, our fearless leader.

Well, maybe we'll end up at the Memphis finals one of these times!

We heard overheard Biden and Obama while in Springfield, but were not able to really attend the event--even though it was close by, there was a completely different entry (complete with top flight security) that made it near impossible to do both things. There were numerous sharpshooters on the roof--I felt equal parts chilled by their apparent necessity and good that they were there and taking it seriously.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Biden Time

I was a Biden man before I was a Baracknafile. I've been burned by David Brooks before (he has turned on my main man from Illinois and gone all conservative on me--I feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football). But he wrote a nice piece today on Biden's good qualities. We shall see:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More On Saturday

Well, this is very interesting. The Voodoo Blues is now apparently opening for Barack Obama (of sorts). The Old Capitol Blues Festival, where we'll be competing in the ICBC Blues competition on Saturday afternoon, will be one block from Sen. Obama's rally with his new veep choice.,CST-NWS-sweet20.article

The competition will pause momentarily for Sen. Obama and his speech. We are slated to hit the stage from 12:30 to 1:00. Obama speechifies at 2:00. The note we received from the ICBC President was that plans were to press ahead--e.g., he still thought we'd be able to park near the stage, they're just anticipating a short pause. I don't know--that's hard to imagine. But boy, will it be exciting!!

As of yesterday, it looked like Biden was rising fast. Joe was my actual favorite in the Presidential field until it became apparent he had no legs and had to drop out post-Iowa.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Goings On

A big weekend coming up:

First, a show on Friday night in Chicago with the Blue State Cowboys (see sidebar link for Matty Farmer's great BSC blog). We are playing at McKellin's Tavern in Rogers Park, as a warm-up for a Cleveland wedding gig in early September (strange, but true).

Saturday, an early start to get to Springfield for the Voodoo Blues Band, who will be competing in the Illinois Central Blues Club Blues Challenge. 25 minutes to wow the judges for a shot at going to the 25th International Blues Challenge in February 2009 in Memphis! We hit the stage at 12:30, hoping for blues history (or at least a fun chapter in our personal lives) to be written. Check it out:

Finally, back to St. Louis for a one-song performance of a cover of Cake's cover of "I Will Survive" with my buddy Chris Lawhorn's band, Rule 3, opening for More Cowbell at a charity benefit for Annie's Hope at the Old Rock House in St. Louis (performance at around the 7:45 to 7:50 mark on Saturday night).

Then, plain old jam session at Hammerstone's, 4-8, in Soulard, per the usual (see Voodoo Blues Band link at sidebar).

Did I mention we've started hitting Benton Park Studios for CD #2? Mostly originals. Sounding good so far....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More for your iPod

Check out some golden oldies from my own personal past (I was doing some basement cleaning and one thing led to another), in the classical realm:


1. L'Histoire du Soldat
2. Pulcinella Suite
3. Octet for Wind Instruments

If you check any of these out, check out Stravinsky conducting the Columbia Chamber Ensemble, in particular of L'Histoire. Charles Brady is on cornet, and Charles was one of Ray Sasaki's teachers (my trumpet prof at U of I). It is near flawless playing. Ray told me a story (that I hope is true!) worth repeating: Brady was practicing his triple and double tonguing on a famous phrase in "Marche Royale" that Stravinsky wrote as slurred. Stravinsky overheard him before the session and asked what he was doing. Brady responded sheepishly he was just practicing and not to worry, he'd slur it as written on the recording. Stravinsky said, no, he liked it better tongued. And that's the way it's done now (bedeviling all of us who then had to learn it that way).

Oh, and check out, on the jazz side, two more interesting covers from saxophonist Bob Berg: Michelle (Beatles) and Something in the Way She Moves (James Taylor). Not to mention Maynard Ferguson's 1972 big band cover of JT's "Country Road".

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Time To Pack It In and Jet off to Something New

Ok, after a long hiatus (I apparently haven't had much to say (I know, do I ever?)), I must say this: I am sick to death of hearing about Brett Favre and every little thing he does (look there he is with a clipboard on the sidelines!). Enough already.