Saturday, February 28, 2015

3 Chords & the Truth: The electric 3C&T acid test


Y'ever watch Mad Men?

You remember the episode when button-down, Madison Avenue, gimme-a-bourbon-and-a-girl, 1960s ad exec Roger Sterling dropped some acid?

This ePisode of 3 CHORdS & THE tRuTh iS kiNd OF lIKe ThAt, maN!


It's a mInd-blowING exPeRIEnCe! It's OUTTA SIGhT! It's gettiNg farther OUT, Man!

GrOovY!

You know?

ANYWAY . . . this episode of the BIG SHOW is GUARANTEED to, lIkE, TOTALLY blow your mind, MaN!!!


So, take a piece of paper. Write your name and address on it. Say you've been listening to the Big Show. Then write "Please Help Me."

Now, pin the note to your shirt.

I say, now, pin the note to your shirt.
Now, pin the note to your shirt. Now, pin the note to your shirt. Now, pin the note to your shirt. To your shirt.To your shirt.To your shirt.To your shirt.To your shirt.To your shirt.To your shirt.To your shirt.To your shirt.

To your shirt.

NOW YOU are prepared to listen to the podcast this week. Sit down, tune in, turn on and enjoy, man. It will be a mind-expanding experience.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Is it kicking in? BeCAUse I'M rEAllY Not FeElInG aNYThing Yet. !!!



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Our psychic newspaper friends in Lincoln


Well, this actually hasn't happened, but the Lincoln Journal Star stands behind its ability to predict the future, we predict.

And here are some other clairyoyant headlines from today's Journal Star (motto: "It's gonna happen, you just wait and see"):

* Obama tells press 'Yes, I am a Muslim from Kenya'

* Hillary Clinton becomes first woman president, sends Bill to Gitmo

* Ricketts lures Simonize factory to Lincoln

* Unicameral OKs Beercade franchise for old Senate chamber
 
* Sandhills ranchers cut off beef to 'uppity' Omaha eateries


* Omaha cop shoots mayor, thought she had gun

* Judge upholds ban on opposite-sex marriage

* JS reporter Pilger held in slaying of online editor


HAT TIP: Romenesko.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bobby Jindal and the purity of essence


It's getting to be that time again.

The presidential election is a little more than a year and a half away, so that means it's time for us to stop worrying and learn to love the bomb-throwers.

In brief, we must take the following seriously. Here's the jist of the latest political news (and remember that you heard it here first):

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal can no longer sit back and allow Obama infiltration, Obama indoctrination, Obama subversion and the international Muslim conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

And, by God, he wants to do to the Islamic State terrorists what he's done to LSU.
Gov. Bobby Jindal continued his attacks on President Barack Obama, proclaiming just outside the White House Monday (Februrary 23) that Obama is "unfit to be commander in chief" based on his refusal to commit resources needed to defeat and kill radical Islamic terrorists.

"I take no joy in saying that," Jindal said after he and other governors met with the president for nearly 90 minutes. "I don't say so for partisan or ideological reasons."

But he said a president who cannot call the enemy "radical Islamic terrorists," or is willing to rule out ground troops, except for very limited missions, isn't leading the United States to victory over a brutal enemy that he says only can be stopped by killing them.

Jindal,who is expected to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, had expressed the same sentiments in a column that appeared Monday on www.foxnews.com.

Wrote Jindal: "Let's review some of what these radical Islamic terrorists have done recently in broad daylight: beheaded American captives and filmed it; beheaded 21 Christians in Libya and filmed it; burned a Jordanian pilot alive in a cage and filmed it; and attacked a school in Pakistan, killing over a hundred children and teachers."
LOUISIANA'S gallivanting governor also outlined in the Fox opinion piece what he expected the president to do when dealing with Islamic terrorists:
Radical Islamic terrorists are cutting off people’s heads, killing children, crucifying people, and burning people alive, and we need to find jobs for them? An international jobs program is not a strategy to defeat terrorists.

Perhaps the most incredible statement yet from this administration came from our State Department, which said, “we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war.”

This is madness. Killing the enemy is exactly the way you win a war. More than any other statement, this one demonstrates in broad daylight that the president is not up to the job.
PERHAPS Obama should listen to Jindal, who knows a thing or two about killing -- killing his state's health-care system, killing his state's university system, killing his state's ethics-enforcement system. . . . 

Verily, LSU never knew what hit it. Neither did he rest of a state laid waste by its governor, who now stands ready to bomb the rubble.

ISIS militants, I suspect, are somewhat amused by the possibility Jindal might be president someday. American voters, meantime, ought to be underwear-soiling terrified by that same prospect.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The airwaves are alive with the sound of nitwits


Mein Gott, I haven't heard someone actually use the word "jigaboo" in, like, 25 years. But an anchor-blatherer at the Fox station in Cleveland just did this morning.

Like Kristi Capel on Fox 8, I was stunned at the vocal chops of Lady Gaga last night as I watched her Sound of Music medley on the Oscars. Like Kristi Capel, Mrs. Favog and I were thinking "Who the hell knew?"

We kind of had an inkling from her recent duet album with Tony Bennett. But apart from that and last night's TV performance, it's not like that phenomenal voice is evident from the music she usually performs.

But unlike Kristi Capel on the Cleveland airwaves, "jigaboo music" is not how we would choose to characterize Lady Gaga's normal fare. Then again, we're not perky, young TV blatherers . . . and we're old enough to know what the word means. We also are old enough to have sense enough not to use it.



IT'S LIKE Capel is the much younger, perkier reincarnation of the elderly Omaha neighbor who last used that word in my presence when describing folks who have more melanin in their skin than I do. Or he did. And I recall thinking at the time, more than two decades ago, "Who the hell uses that word anymore?"

It was almost more amusing than it was offensive, though offensive it was -- and is.

But wait, there's more. At least Mr. O'Hara didn't use the word when speaking to an African-American man, WJW co-anchor Wayne Dawson. Capel did. Behold the perils of TV-news "happy talk" as transcribed by Raw Story:
“It’s hard to really hear her voice with all the jigaboo music — whatever you want to call it — jigaboo!” Capel opined.

“She has a nice voice,” Dawson, who is black, said after a nervous laugh.

“She has a gorgeous voice,” Capel agreed. “I never knew. Very nice.”
I . . . I . . . I . . . uh . . . ummmmmmm . . . holy crap!

As God is my witness, I dearly wish Dawson had gone all Richard Pryor on her ass.


I REALLY, really do.

That said, I really cannot think of a better example of the "twit problem" American TV news has gotten itself into since the days of Ron Burgundy. Is it really too much to ask that the folks who purport of inform us on "TV news" actually, you know, know something?

This was Capel's response when viewers began to scream bloody murder. Really.


FURTHERMORE -- and this is a radical, radical thought, I know -- is it too much to ask that if television journalists have no idea what they're saying, they just say nothing at all?

We might all enjoy the peace and quiet.

Friday, February 20, 2015

3 Chords & the Truth: The music tour


Oh, the places we'll go! The things you'll hear!

I'm your captain, the Mighty Favog, and we're ready to take off on a journey of musical discovery, courtesy of 3 Chords & the Truth Tours.

We will be departing from the Group Vocal Lounge sometime in 1957, and we'll journey to the farthest reaches of jazz, with a  lounge-sound layover before returning to Jazz Junction, then embarking on a whirlwind journey through exotic places and exquisite enclaves of rock 'n' roll artistry.

YOU'LL HEAR fascinating rhythms and have an immersion experience in late 20th century pop music on the Big Show before stopping for an extended stay in 1965, where you may even encounter a cannibal and headhunters.

Please fasten your seat belt as we get under way, and have a most pleasant journey on 3 Chords & the Truth. And as the locals say . . .

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Your 'Cantore loses his s***' post du jour

 
It's official.


 
Thundersnow . . .
 

(Jump to the 3:20 mark) 
 
is better . . .
 

than sex.  

And better than winning 
the Powerball jackpot, too.

Stupid me. I just think "Well, crap. 
I'm gonna have to shovel more than I thought."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

3 Chords & the Truth: Pro DJ. Do not attempt.


Don't try this at home. Even if you're in a mood.

Yes, I'm in another one of my musical moods here in the 3 Chords & the Truth studios in central Omaha, by God, Neb. But I also am a trained professional, more than qualified to act upon those musical moods and share the results with you.

In other words, leave this thing to me and nobody gets hurt. More importantly, nobody's gonna be transitioning from the Backstreet Boys to Metallica. Eww.

And blecch!

AS FAR as this week's edition of the Big Show goes, you'll be hearing lots of classic soul and lots of classic pop, jazz and easy listening, too.

Mood. Mine.

Fortunately, my little musical moods lead to good stuff on 3 Chords & the Truth pretty much every time. I would say "positively all the time," but everybody hates a braggart.

Oh . . . before I forget, we also have some excellent -- and absolutely free -- advice for you at the end of the program this week. Stay tuned for that.

AND THAT about covers it. Stream it or download it, it doesn't matter. The Big Show will be the same Big Treat for your ears.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there.  Aloha.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Polly want a divorce lawyer!


Forget your Smart TV, watch what you say in front of your cockatoo.

The adoptive owners of this cockatoo now get to hear all about her previous owners' acrimonious breakup a couple of times a day.
According to Elaine Sigmon of North Carolina, her Moluccan cockatoo Peaches once belonged to a couple who has since broken up. Today, the bird often breaks into loud (and possibly expletive-laden) tirades, dramatically moving her head from side to side as she screeches and "argues."

Sigmon told The Huffington Post that she thinks Peaches probably picked up her penchant for bickering from her previous owners.

"We had Peaches for several days when one afternoon she began ranting and raving as if blessing someone out," she said. "My husband, Don, was sitting in the chair near her perch and she began to aggressively point her head toward him just like someone pointing their finger while arguing ... We're not sure what she is saying, but she is really giving her opinion."
ON THE one hand, I can't stop laughing at this. On the other . . . that poor, traumatized bird!

I hope the Bickersons feel really good about their legacy -- the breakup that never, ever ends. No, we're not laughing with you, toxic original pet parents, we're laughing at you.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Farewell, Radio Shack


If I had a dollar for all the stuff I've bought at Radio Shack over the last four decades or so . . . I'd still be so far in the hole on the deal, it wouldn't be funny.

I loved Radio Shack, especially when Radio Shack was still the Radio Shack I knew when I was young. And now it's going to be gone, with the "surviving" locations being Sprint stores with a "Radio Shack section" in them.

Sure, I can get everything I got at the Shack online now, but it's not the same. And it's not as convenient -- no more making a quick trip down the road for that part or connector I need right now.



ON HBO'S Last Week Tonight, John Oliver takes aim at the snarksters laughing at the demise of a 94-year-old company. Good for him. Double good for him in producing the farewell commercial he -- and I -- would like to see run on TV.

Take that, you hipster, Millennial scum!

For old farts like me, Radio Shack was where you went to drool over cool stereo and communications gear. It's where you went to get a new needle for your phonograph. It's where you, as a kid, bought cool Science Fair electronics kits. It's where, like the corner drug store, you could test the vacuum tubes from your radio or TV.

It's where you bought batteries and Supertape. Remember audio tape?

Radio Shack is where I bought those boxes that let you put several inputs into a single "AUX" imput on your stereo. Several VCRs or DVDs on the "video in" input on your television set.

If you needed it, Radio Shack had it.

AND IF YOU wanted to spend some quality time pining for all the cool stuff that you didn't have but wished you did, you pulled out your Radio Shack catalog. That's all gone now, relegated to blessed memory like all those other lost things from the lost youth of middle-aged Americans.


If you want to snark about that, go ahead. I hope one of the soon-to-be-unemployed employees of the fallen electronics giant knocks you into next week.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Portrait poses prob for Piyush


Somehow, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has found time to stumble into a huge controversy over his official (above) and unofficial portraits hanging in the state capitol. 

You'd think destroying an entire state wouldn't leave time for extracurriculars. Go figure.

Friday, February 06, 2015

3 Chords & the Truth: What we got


We got New Wave.

We got Latin jazz.

We got classic jazz.

We got Cugat.

We got Green Day.


We got Basie.

We got pop.

We got rock.

We got soul.

WE GOT IT ALL, and you won't believe how we get from there to here.

We are the Big Show.

We are 3 Chords & the Truth, the podcast for people who love music.

It's a journey -- yes, it is -- and it happens every week at this same Bat Time on this same Bat Channel.


Be there. Aloha.


Monday, February 02, 2015

The Great Leap Nowhere


If a corporation is too crooked and too big a polluter for China, and if it's likely that an African government won't put up with its guff . . . where do you open shop next?

Duh.

Obviously, you go to Louisiana, where the governor is more than happy to throw tax incentives at you to pollute Cancer Alley just a little bit more -- or maybe a lot more -- and not create that many jobs in the process.

Ah, Louisiana. If it looks like a Third World country, and it smells like a Third World country, and it does business like a Third World country . . . it just may be a Third World country. Unfortunately, this one happens to be an American state whose governor aspires to be president.

Of the United States.

AL JAZEERA AMERICA tells us all about China's latest industrial investment in the Third World, right here in the United States. Here's how the series of three articles begins:
A prominent Chinese tycoon and politician — whose natural gas company's environmental and labor rights record recently started coming under fire in the Chinese press — is parking assets in a multibillion dollar methanol plant in a Louisiana town. And he appears to be doing it with help from the administration of likely GOP 2016 presidential ticket contender Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Not many locals in a predominantly black neighborhood of St. James Parish — halfway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge — know that Wang Jinshu, the Communist Party Secretary for the northeastern Chinese village of Yuhuang and a delegate to the National People’s Congress, is the man at the helm of a $1.85 billion methanol plant to be built in their town over the next two years with a $9.5 million incentive package from the state. The details of the project are unclear, residents say, largely because they were not told about the project until local officials, amid discussions with state officials and Chinese diplomats, decided to move forward with the project in July 2014.

“We never had a town hall meeting pretending to get our opinion prior to them doing it,” said Lawrence “Palo” Ambrose, a 74-year-old black Vietnam War veteran who works at a nearby church. “They didn’t make us part of the discussion.”

The Chinese company has filed for expedited permits to construct and operate a plant on a sprawling 1,100 acres — situated between a high school, two churches and an assisted living facility for senior citizens — from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, which is set to study the impact on the local environment and deliver its decision on March 6, 2015.

The plant is part of a recent push by New Orleans–area officials to reach out to Asia’s growing economic powerhouse to redevelop communities still devastated by the effects of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Some of those projects, it appears, have since gone sour. In one instance, which Al Jazeera will explore in the third installment of this series, a company contracted by the city government stands accused of stealing millions of dollars from Chinese investors seeking U.S. citizenship in exchange for building businesses in an underserved neighborhood.

Local economic development authorities told Al Jazeera that St. James Parish is an ideal location for the methanol plant because of readily accessible deep water and cheap fuel from the shale oil boom that will help cut production costs. But it remains unclear what the impetus is behind a methanol plant that plans to send the lion’s share of its product back to China, which is struggling to find a market for the methanol already being produced.

What is clear is that there are links between Wang’s U.S. subsidiary — Houston-headquartered Yuhuang Chemical Inc. — and the Chinese government and the Jindal administration.


READ the whole three-part series -- here, here and here.

Apart from urging you to read the whole series -- which obviously is a non-assimilationist Islamic plot against Bobby the Truth Teller -- I have little to say about this thing. I'm talked out, written out and outraged out when it comes to my home state. To quote the Steve Taylor song from 1987, "Since I gave up hope, I feel a lot better."

The reality of Louisiana is that Louisianians are basically incapable of effective self-government. The reality of Louisiana political life is that it's probably not too much worse than that of Guatemala, Honduras or some state in northern Mexico. The reality of the Louisiana economy and workforce is one where officials throw money at foreign companies to build plants that despoil the state's environment and poison adjacent communities (mostly poor and black ones, by the way) while state regulators look the other way and promises of many jobs become realities of not so much.

The reality of Louisiana is none of this is likely to change anytime soon. In fact, it's likely to get worse.

The reality is that Bobby Jindal's Louisiana -- just like Kathleen Blanco's Louisiana, Mike Foster's Louisiana and Edwin Edwards' Louisiana -- is that state government is likely to put up with a lot of Chinese corporate misbehavior that officials in . . . wait for it . . .  Zambia brought to a swift and dramatic end:

Last year [2013], Zambia's government seized control of a Chinese-run coal mine, saying Chinese managers had failed to address safety, health and environmental concerns.

In 2010, two Chinese managers at the mine were accused of shooting miners during a labour dispute, and clashes in August reportedly saw one Chinese worker killed and two others injured.
I THINK it is safe to say Louisiana will not be seizing control (or even much sanctioning) any industrial facility for failing to address pretty much anything. State government is much more accustomed to letting vested interests seize control of it. Billion dolla . . . cheap!

I can't change that. You can't change that. Short of a military invasion, street-corner firing squads and scores of re-education camps, the United States government can't change that.

Worst of all, Louisianians cannot -- or, more accurately, will not -- change that. I guess Third World is as Third World doesn't.

Friday, January 30, 2015

3 Chords & the Truth: Musical youth


Pass the New Wave from the left-hand side.

Pass the 30-something-year-old inside jokes from the top.

Ugh. At least this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth gets off to a better start than this week's post about this week's edition of the Big Show.

Now . . . where was I again?

I think I was going to mention just a couple of things about this week's podcast, which you can hear by clicking any of the BOLD RED LINKS. Or by pressing the little arrow on the PodOmatic player below. Or by clicking on the first episode on the 3 Chords & the Truth player over yonder on the right hand side of the page.


ANYWAY, one thing that you need to know about this week's Big Show is what you hear for about the first third of the show, give or take, is what your Mighty Favog was listening to a lot of in high school and college, back during his musical youth.  And I still love me some New Wave to this day -- my musical Not Youth.

Another thing you need to know about this week's 3 Chords & the Truth is that you may be witnessing the first-ever segué from Bob Dylan to Jeri Southern. Which totally works, by the by.

You also need to know that Garth Brooks' 1990 cover of The Fleetwoods' "Mr. Blue" kick the original's musical butt. And the original was pretty dadgum good.

And finally, you need to know that if the Big Show were a band, it would have played The Bayou (peace be upon it) on Chimes Street in Baton Rouge, just outside the north gates of Louisiana State University (peace be upon it once Gov. Bobby Jindal gets done killing it). The Bayou was the best bar ever, and all the best up-and-coming bands played there back in the day.

Ever heard of R.E.M.? Used to play The Bayou when I was in college.

SO YOU listen to this while I go grab me some cheap beer, put a quarter in the jukebox, grab me a pool cue and a table and hang out at my favorite hangout of my misspent youth. Even if it's only in my dreams.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bigfoot lives, and he does social media!


Finally, a news organization not named The Star, the Enquirer or The Globe takes notice of Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch, whatever you want to call him.

It's about time, CBS News!
In the midst of the potent wind and heavy snow, a yeti was spotted roaming around the streets of Boston Monday night.

As the blizzard of 2015 howled in, Bostonians were told to stay off the roads. But as tall figure dressed in a white, fluffy costume with grey gloves embraced the storm, documenting its trip and calling itself the @BostonYeti2015 on Twitter.

The mythical abdominal snowman started its journey in Somerville at 10:48 pm.
HOWEVER, I strongly object to the use of the word "mythical."