Saturday, July 26, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Hot day, cool tunes



Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the A/C inside's delightful.

But the summer heat's bad enough for us to go . . . let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

OK, your Mighty Favog has many powers but -- unfortunately -- the ability to make it snow at the end of July is not among them. So we'll do the next best thing on this week's 3 Chords & the Truth.

We'll play an extra cool, extra long set of music designed to conjure up the cooling power of December in the middle of meteorological Hades. It's sort of like Prof. Harold Hill's "think system" of music education, only we're thinking winter in hopes of taking the edge off of summer.

APART FROM that, you could say the show has its highs and lows this go around. Of course, even the lows -- and the Lo's -- are high points. As we strike a mortal blow against Yankee imperialism.

What? Hell, yeah!


Huh? You bet!

Confused? Relax. We got this covered.

All you have to do is listen to the Big Show, and all will become clear. Your confusion will turn into a profusion of musical enlightenment. And a cooling trend on a hot summer's day. 

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dial 'N' for 'Now You Can Dial'


Before bored teenagers were calling 867-5309 in the 1980s, no doubt they were asking Sarah to connect them to Pennsylvania 6-5000 back in 1940.

In Tommy Tutone's day, it was no big deal to randomly dial up folks unfortunate enough to share Jenny's phone number and annoy the crap out of them with your crank calls. But in the heyday of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, you likely would need the assistance of your local telephone operator to prank New York's Hotel Pennsylvania.

Seventy-something years in the past, direct-dialing your desired number largely still belonged to the future. 

Confused by a telephone with this round dial thingy? What would you make of a telephone with nothing but a handset and a switchhook atop a blank, black box?

Switchhook! Switchhook! It's a thing that. . . .


Aw, forget it.


THE PATH from "Operator, can you connect me to UNion 7-5309" to teenagers self-dialing annoyance upon a small, unsuspecting subset of phone customers started for most sometime in the 1950s as Ma Bell -- Remember Ma Bell?" -- converted one manual telephone exchange after another to automatic. And "automatic" equaled "direct-dial."

And as crazy as that sounds today, the phone company -- Yes, THE phone company -- had to teach folks how to do that, how to dial up a phone number. Judging by the lengths to which Now You Can Dial went to make sure the worst imbecile could work a rotary phone, it seems the world of 1954 must have had no shortage of dopes.

How damned complicated could it be to dial Pennsylvania six five oh oh oh?



HOW damned complicated could it be to send a text message on your new smartphone?

Good point, well taken.

And that said, I'm guessing you'll know exactly what to get the kids for Christmas. An old rotary-dial phone -- without spokesmodel assistance by Susann Shaw.

I wonder whether you can still get a party line with that. Maybe I could ask Sarah.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Expect the unexpected


Did you know that, back in 1956, you could get Elvis Presley on 78 RPM records?

You could, and my folks did . . . and we have just that on 3 Chords & the Truth this week.

That's just one of the unexpected things you'll hear on this, and every, episode of the Big Show. Because we're all about surprises. And good music.

Let's see -- what else would you like to hear about this venture into the world of 3 Chords & the Truth and the stupendous music we play?

WELL, there's all the good doo-wop and R&B this time on the program. And there's all the good jazz. And then there's some tasty tunes from the world of rock.

And, of course, then there's the. . . .

Hey! You don't think I'm going to give away all the intimate details of how this week's 3 Chords & the Truth excels, do you? C'mon, sit still for an hour and a half and find out for yourself.

It might be the most satisfying 90 minutes you'll spend this week. And we do it all over again almost every week on the Big Show. You just might learn something -- or hear something you have laid ears on in years -- and you'll have a ball doing it.

Really.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all.  Be there.  Aloha.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cue Don Henley . . . one more time



"You're a dumbass, aren't you?"

"Yes. Yes, I am. And the only side of an interview I really listen to is mine.

 "So . . . could you tell whether the missile came from Russia or Ukrainia?"

IT'LL BE just our luck that the last thing we'll hear before the Apocalypse is some Howard Stern fan pranking some cable-news doofus about the shock jock farting H-bombs.

TV news is infamous for babbling idiots and their epic fails, but this has to be one of the epic-est of them all.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The car fell off the concrete blocks


This episode of a long-lost local Baton Rouge game show may or may not tell you all you need to know about my Louisiana hometown.

I was a student at LSU when this episode of We Play Baton Rouge ran on Channel 2 in 1982. Though I am loathe to endorse the consumption of illegal narcotics, it is my understanding that this vehicle for WBRZ weatherman Pat Shingleton (who's still there) was best experienced stoned out of your ever-lovin' gourd.
 

I mean, at the beginning of the show, Contestant No. 1 bumps into his "car" on the set -- and it falls off the concrete blocks. Then, after the first commercial break, the contestants have managed to switch places. And coming back from a break toward the end of the show, Pat thanks announcer Gary King . . . who hasn't said a word.

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT:
Imagine how funny that stuff might've been back in the day if you'd been ingesting substances known to cause normal people to laugh at a bag of Doritos.

Now, the object of the game was to "navigate" local streets to arrive -- wait for it -- at the Highland Road studios of Channel 2. Unfortunately, Baton Rouge isn't known for its efficient street-grid layout . . . or much of a street grid at all.

This ultimately led to the demise of We Play Baton Rouge, which apparently was canceled by WBRZ because most of the contestants kept getting caught in traffic on Perkins Road. Which happens a lot to cars in Baton Rouge when you add tires and subtract concrete blocks.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Your musical answer


This week, we answer a simple yet crucial question in putting together yet another fine edition of 3 Chords & the Truth -- did Steven Tyler always look this bad?

So we got out the vintage 1975 vinyl of Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic. And then we looked at the group shot on the back cover.

And your answer is this: Yes. Yes he did.

How Liv Tyler emerged from that gene pool, I don't know.

That's the kind of burning question we're happy to answer on the Big Show . . . and, uh, we also like to play lots of good music, too. As far as telling you anything else about this week's show, I can only shamelessly repeat what was said about the last episode of 3 Chords & the Truth.

Here you go:

THIS TIME, like every time on the Big Show, we play a little bit of this, a lot of that and some of the other thing. All of it comes with our iron-clad guaran-damn-tee that you'll love it or your money back.

Of course, the program costs you absolutely nothing, so there's that.

Then there's this: You're likely to say at least once, "My God, I haven't heard that in years!" Try that listening to the radio. You see, this little venture, hosted by your Mighty Favog, is like radio back when radio was actually radio.

Call it, if you will, freeform radio with a bigger playlist and a lot less reefer and patchouli oil. OK, maybe a little patchouli oil when the spirit moves us.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Tag the Bridge. Tag It Nice.


In Nebraska, even the taggers are Nice. Maybe this Nice graffiti on Omaha's Keystone Trail can be part of the next "Visit Nebraska. Visit Nice" television commercial.

Or not.


Whatever.

Visit Favog. Visit Apathy.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Preach the gospel always.
If necessary, use an eggplant.


Watch the Channel 9 video. Just do it.
 
On what we now call Palm Sunday, the Savior of the world rode into Jerusalem on an ass.

Not a majestic stallion. An ass. And not just any old ass, a colt.

An adolescent ass.

This God of ours, the one who washed His disciples' feet, the one who first revealed Himself to a Samaritan woman with a checkered past -- and present -- has no need to prove anything. He is secure enough to humble Himself -- thus the Cross.

Consider . . . the second person of the Holy Trinity allowed Himself to be executed like a common criminal to save His people. To become the ultimate spotless Lamb of God, sacrificed in the eternal Passover.
 


SO, YEAH, it makes perfect sense to me that a cook at Gino's Italian restaurant in Baton Rouge, La., would cut into an eggplant only to find that the seeds spelled "GOD."

An amazing coincidence? Of course. But ours is a God of amazing coincidences, which we call "miracles."


Ours is a society that worships things, celebrities and power, all of which are fleeting. We tell ourselves that we are as gods, and that we are in control of all things.

Then a line cook in a God-haunted Southern state capital cuts into yet another eggplant destined for the sauté pan. . . .

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: "

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Monday, July 07, 2014

Saturday in the Old Market, Omaha


Give me a camera and Omaha's Old Market downtown . . . and I'll go shutterbug nuts.


Which I did Saturday evening.


You see, the Old Market is photogenic. This scene is
just east of the Jackson Street Tavern, where
we had a tasty supper and drinks.


In this instance, the Market also is quite blue.
I guess you could call this scene outside
J's on Jackson something of a Blue Light Special.


This photo is best enjoyed with a cold cerveza.


And we leave you with some of the Omaha skyline

They're livin' it up at the Hotel Cop-a-fornia


When a cop car slams his breaks on 50 feet down the street when you're getting gas, it gets your attention. Omaha's finest almost missed the turn to slide past the Village Inn and into the Econo Lodge parking lot Saturday evening.

Then there was another black and white going to the same place. And another. And another. Something like nine Omaha police cruisers all told.

Then the fire truck arrived on scene, followed by an Omaha Fire Department rescue squad. To tell you the truth, my first thought was that we had an armed standoff going at the budget motel.

The wife and I figured we should go see what was up. After all, she does work for the newspaper, and I had a digital SLR camera.

SHE WAS in the front office finding out the particulars while, outside, someone who appeared to be one of the proprietors was asking me "Why you take pictures here?"

Looking, I'm sure, completely incredulously at her, I pointed toward the ambulance, the fire truck, the nine cop cars and a small army of Omaha cops and asked a question of my own.

"Why do you think?"


As it turned out, the folks in the motel office said a long-term guest had had some sort of psychotic break, trashed her room and wouldn't come out. This got her out . . . and presumably a trip to the hospital for a psych evaluation.


IN OTHER WORDS, nothing to see here -- except for the fire truck, the rescue squad, the nine cop cars and a small inland sea of blue. Move along.

Judging by the top picture, though, the dude in Room 214 got his entertainment for the day.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

So much better without the Hellfire missiles


So . . . what does one see after flying a drone tricked out with a GoPro camera into a fireworks display?

This.

"This" would be pure awesomeness, as captured by videographer Jos Stiglingh in West Palm Beach, Fla., some time back. Watch in high definition and full screen; you won't be sorry you did.

And, for the record, how did he not get his drone blowed up good? That would have been bad.


HAT TIP: New York Daily News.

July 3, Omaha, Nebraska










Friday, July 04, 2014

Huh?


Well, this is something you don't see every day.

Wait, it gets better. 

The Spiro Agnew Room, in honor of the disgraced Richard Nixon's disgraced first vice president, is at the Omaha Press Club. Which, in 1972, named a private room in honor of Agnew, who famously called the nation's press "nattering nabobs of negativism."

APPARENTLY, the naming was done while the press club's board put its collective tongue firmly in its collective cheek, but it nevertheless honored the then-vice president by putting his face on the barroom floor -- a longtime honor at the club -- with Agnew himself attending the dedication.

"I don't get press rooms dedicated to me too often," he said at the June 10 event. "In some places, I'm not even allowed in."

A year and a half later, after Agnew was forced to resign right before pleading no contest to tax-evasion charges stemming from an alleged bribery scheme in 1967, when he was governor of Maryland. The press club, though, decided it would keep the room's name just as it was. According to Bob Considine's newspaper column of Nov. 11, 1973:

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Goodness knows, Clear Channel blows


I don't care who ya are, this is funny!

Well, it's probably not too funny if you're Bob Pittman, but who cares? It's guys like him who have been ruining radio and throwing away the kind of talent who can produce one screamingly funny parody . . . while standing in line at the unemployment office, no doubt.

Folks are just dying to go to New Orleans


This young Australian woman, her face ripped up by a bullet from a handgun, was one of the lucky ones after yet another gunfight at the OK Corral, otherwise known as New Orleans' Bourbon Street.

A young woman from much closer -- Hammond, La. --  will be going home in a coffin. She died today. Here's the breaking news from the New Orleans Advocate:
A 21-year-old woman who had been in critical condition since being struck during Sunday night’s mass shooting on Bourbon Street has died, the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office said.

Brittany Thomas, 21, was pronounced dead at 2:44 p.m., said John Gagliano, the coroner’s chief investigator.

Thomas was among 10 people hit when two gunmen who remain at-large opened fire on each other about 2:45 a.m. Sunday at Bourbon and Orleans streets.

Only three victims remain hospitalized at Interim LSU Hospital. They were in stable condition Wednesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Police have not yet identified the gunmen but said they are looking for Justin Odom, 20, as a person of interest in the case. He has not been named a suspect.

UNSURPRISINGLY, local officials are in major freak-out mode. Even a Louisiana politician -- or police chief -- easily can envision the city's tourism-based economy dying in the street, riddled with slugs from a young thug's handgun. The publicity has been particularly great in Australia.

Not.


But don't worry, be gun happy. The Second Amendment will save us, if only we turn it into a Wyatt Earp free-for-all. Perhaps if more people on Bourbon had been packing . . . the death toll could be a lot higher.

The United States has gone mad -- gun mad . . . gun-violence mad -- and New Orleans is one of the biggest nut wagons in the loony bin. I'm used to telling friends traveling to New Orleans what parts of town they're least likely to get killed in, but after three major shootings on Bourbon Street in three years, the French Quarter might be dropped from the list.

And if you drop the French Quarter from the list . . . I understand New England is quite lovely this time of year.

Because The City That Care Forgot is, more accurately, The City That Forgot to Get Its S*** Together.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Pay for this. Why? None of your business


Planned Parenthood is absolutely right. Generally speaking, whether you're on The Pill or whatever is none of my business.

I really don't want to know.


If you're expecting me to pay for your contraception, however -- particularly if doing so causes me to bankroll what my religion defines as explicitly sinful -- that makes it my business, and the sex-obsessed cultural left cannot accept that it can't have it both ways. The Constitution may give you the right to ostensibly consequence-free screwing, but it doesn't give the state the right to put a gun to some others' heads and force them to violate their sacred conscience to bankroll what they believe is morally -- and mortally -- wrong.


When that freedom of conscience is eradicated, every other freedom we possess will go with it -- including, eventually, your freedom to have sex to your heart's desire, whether you want it to end in a child or not. If your enthusiasm for contraception isn't your boss' business, it's not the state's either. If you have the state making it your boss' business -- at least as far as funding it is concerned -- it has just become Big Brother's business in spades, and that violation of "privacy" won't end well for you or for anyone else,

HEALTH CARE in general is another matter. That's everyone's business, and society has a vested interest in not having people drop dead for lack of it. Thus, we try to provide maximum access to medical care while attempting to construct firewalls between the state and your human rights -- and dignity.

That is the morally correct, and practically smart, thing to do.

It's a trade-off that we fervently hope doesn't blow up in our liberty loving faces. On the other hand, forcing some individuals to violate their conscience to protect other individuals from the logical consequences of unfettered intercourse is neither fair nor sustainable from a human-rights perspective.

Again, you can't have it both ways. I'd suggest that Planned Parenthood declare victory and stop emoting patently illogical claptrap.

No one is going to croak because Hobby Lobby -- or the Catholic Church, for that matter -- doesn't pay for her birth-control pills. But if the perpetually alarmed folks at Planned Parenthood (or those folks who love them) want to provide that stuff for free, knock yourselves out.

It's a free country. For now.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bobby Womack, RIP


This, in your Mighty Favog's humble opinion, is damned near a perfect song.

Friday, we lost the great soul singer/songwriter who gave it to us, Bobby Womack. Dammit, we're losing way too many great artists these days, and Bobby Womack is near the top of the list.

Again . . . dammit.

From the obituary in The New York Times:
Bobby Womack, who spanned the American soul music era, touring as a gospel singer in the 1950s, playing guitar in Sam Cooke’s backup band in the early ’60s, writing hit songs recorded by Wilson Pickett and the Rolling Stones and composing music that broke onto the pop charts, has died, a spokeswoman for his record label said on Friday night. He was 70.

Sonya Kolowrat, Mr. Womack’s publicist at XL Recordings, said further details about the death were not immediately available.

Mr. Womack, nicknamed the Preacher for his authoritative, church-trained voice and the way he introduced songs with long discourses on life, never had the million-record success of contemporaries like Pickett, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Otis Redding. His sandpaper vocal style made him more popular in England, where audiences revere what they consider authentic traditional American music, than in the United States.
 


But the pop stars of his time considered Mr. Womack royalty. His admirers included Keith Richards, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder, all of whom acknowledged their debt with guest performances on albums he made in his later years.

3 Chords & the Truth: A little of this, some of that



We ask a simple yet crucial question to start this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth -- is there anything The Ventures couldn't cover?

This time, it's the guitar gods doing a hipper version of Lawrence Welk's No. 1 smash from 1961, "Calcutta." If this is the kind of thing you like, this is the kind of cover you'll love.

And if this is the sort of thing you wish were still on the radio, you'll love this edition of the Big Show. It's kind of mellow, kind of lounge-o-licious, kind of pop, loaded with classic folk and lots of other tasty eclecticism for which our little podcast is almost famous.

And with a little help from your downloads . . . well, 3 Chords & the Truth could become famously famous, just by doing our thing, which is the sort of thing radio doesn't much do at all. And that would be playing just one kind of music -- good -- the Format Nazis be damned.


THIS TIME, like every time on the Big Show, we play a little bit of this, a lot of that and some of the other thing. All of it comes with our iron-clad guaran-damn-tee that you'll love it or your money back.

Of course, the program costs you absolutely nothing, so there's that.

Then there's this: You're likely to say at least once, "My God, I haven't heard that in years!" Try that listening to the radio. You see, this little venture, hosted by your Mighty Favog, is like radio back when radio was actually radio.

Call it, if you will, freeform radio with a bigger playlist and a lot less reefer and patchouli oil. OK, maybe a little patchouli oil when the spirit moves us.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.