Saturday, May 26, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Bing bong bing-bing bong . . . hold on!

Government by tweet.

Elections brought to you by . . . Russia.

Four words: Conspiracy theorist-in-Chief.

Rampant, resurgent racism and xenophobia. A large part of the American population who'd ask "Zee-no-what???"

And our president was filmed saying "bing bong bing-bing bong" in public. With accompanying gestures.

If you, like we at 3 Chords & the Truth, find this state of affairs to be some weird sh*t . . . you probably have had your patriotism and morality questioned by someone who actually is allowed to vote in this country. Well, friend, this edition of the Big Show has a message for you amid this dumpster fire of a country (and decade): Hold on.

Just hold on.

GRIT YOUR teeth, steel your nerves, take one minute at a time . . . and hold on. You can get through this.

We can get through this. Crazy can't endure forever if the sane hold on -- stubbornly hold on. It's not you who's nuts.

Consider this edition of the program, and the music within, your daily affirmation this week -- I'm OK; you're OK; the rest of the world is cray-cray.

Got it? Good. You're gonna get through this. We're gonna get through this together.

That is all.

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

Saturday, May 19, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Whatever gets you through the news

Timeless chic, eh?

Well, throw in a liberal dash of jamming, dancing, groovin' and just plain bizarre flapdoodlery . . . and we may just have a recipe for getting ourselves through the news. Which we accidentally happened to read online and watch on the TV.

It's enough to tempt you to major depression and bedsheet cocoonery.

This week on 3 Chords & the Truth, drastic action was called for. Primarily by me.

After all, one has to look out for Numero Uno first.

AMID THE drastic action on this week's program, there is one unifying theme -- the Big Show will limit itself to a tasteful and satisfying mixture of only four kinds of music. Those tuneful types are as follows:

◼︎ Music on 7 inch.

◼︎ Music on 10 inch.

◼︎ Music on 12 inch.

◼︎ Music on silvery CD thingies.

Sounds timelessly chic to me, Skipper. Sanity preserving, too. I find it helpful, and I'm betting you will also.

If not, I'll see you in the Happy Hotel. Where life, no doubt, is beautiful all the time.

Hell, it's got to be better than the evening news.

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

Saturday, May 12, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Follow it, like it, share it

People think social media is in a computer somewhere.

As if folks are being social when their eyes are glued to a screen.

Social media is when you have some records, something to drink, something to snack on, a good sound system . . . and friends. In your house or apartment. Enjoying the media with you. In the manner of sociable people.

That's social media. Feel free to replace the records with 3 Chords & the Truth.

This week on the Big Show, we're engaging in social media of the proper sort. Feel free to join the party at the 3C&T studio via your streaming device. Please restrict usage of the streaming device to getting the show off of the Internet and into your hi-fi.

DO INVITE friends over for this exercise in actual social media. Reserve your attention for them . . . and for 3 Chords & the Truth. The screen on your smartphone or your computer gets plenty of attention from you already.

Don't forget the beer and snacks. Coffee is a good choice as well.

So you know what you have to do: Call your friends, invite them over, listen to the show, and pay attention to one another. Not your screen thingy.

A good time will be had by all.

You can bank on it, Cap.

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

Friday, May 04, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Tunes for a clown-car commute

Life is a three-ring circus. Now more than ever.

And what we all are is stuck in the slow lane of a clown-car traffic jam. Rogue elephants up ahead have just shucked Peter Peanut (may Chuckles the Clown rest in peace) and a Flying Wallenda has just done a bug impression . . . all over your teeny-tiny windshield.

That's right, ladies and germs, Ringling Bros. is no more because it no longer could compete with the United States of Big Top, which has the advantage of scale.

Oooooh, watch your step there, pally. Elephants eat a lot of peanuts.

But I have got a deal for you. Step right up, and I will show you the great deal 3 Chords & the Truth has got for you.

Right over here, I present to you the Big Show, a fine program of musical erudition -- one this week that features an excellent set of tip-top, Big Top music for the times in which we find ourselves this fine day.

IT'S A CIRCUS out there, gents . . . and ladies . . . and, boy, do I have the music for you.

Right here, and for an unlimited time only, I give you the best in musical programming -- three full rings of musical bliss -- for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. That's right! Absolutely nothing. And all I require from you is . . . your undying devotion.

That's it! No catches, no regrets . . . just the finest music on the Internets for the low price of zilch! Zip! Nada!


And if you stay tuned to this here episode of 3 Chords & the Truth, you will witness something too dangerous to ever hear on the regular, pedestrian radio airwaves! You will see -- somewhere in the middle of the show -- the death-defying segué that mere mortals dare not attempt at your crappy corporate radio station!

WILL your Mighty Favog live? Or will . . . he . . . die . . . in the flaming wreckage of a musical transition gone terribly . . . horribly . . . wrong?

You must stay glued to -- transfixed upon -- your high-fidelity listening device to find out the answer to that perilous question. Yes, indeed!

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, ladies and gentlemen! Be there. And let the show begin!

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Your precious-feet pin won't get you into heaven anymore

Here's what it means to be a "pro-life" Republican politician these days in a most Republican state like . . . say . . . Nebraska.

(And, yes, I'm looking at you, Gov. Pete Ricketts, and especially you, Attorney General Doug Peterson.)

First, you make a lot of noise about "the sanctity of life." Then you advocate laws you damn well know will be shot down about 3.2 seconds after they land before a federal judge. This is fine with you, because then you can keep flogging the same ol' same ol' and keep raking in knee-jerk votes from knee-jerk voters. (Secretly, though, you worry that folks might realize someday that you and yours have accomplished absolutely nothing substantive on abortion since it became law of the land in 1973.)
After talking a good pro-life game about mamas, babies and the evil lib'ruls, you gut all the social programs that might make it easier for women to have and raise their children. Because pro-life.


Forget it, they're rolling.

Then, you make sure Nebraska's gun laws are loose enough so folks can kill one another as easily as possible. After all, you're pro-life, and assault weapons are, too. Because God, constitutional rights and freedom.


After pro-life criminal elements commit pro-life homicides, pro-life law-enforcement officers catch the perpetrators. Then pro-life judges impose pro-life death sentences, all to demonstrate the sacredness of the sanctity of life. Because thou shalt not kill.
FINALLY, you have your corrections department try to buy lethal injection drugs on the black(ish) market because drug companies don't want your money -- or blood on their corporate hands. This is because they, no doubt, are anti-life pussies.

On your first foray into "Psst . . . you got the stuff?" you waste almost $28,000. Alas, the FDA was against you. So was UPS -- it sent your stash back to India for lack of proper paperwork.

Several years later, when you finally come up with the ingredients for a toxic cocktail, you find a legislative committee is wary enough to subpoena the corrections director to a hearing.

So, in the name of the rule of law and the sanctity of human life, you sue the legislative committee to keep the corrections director from appearing . . . or answering any questions about where he got the drugs. Or even what drugs the state bought.

Pro-life means never having to say you're sorry -- or anything at all, actually.

This all makes complete sense to me. Then again, I've been dropping a lot of the brown acid lately, man.

Pay no attention to the Mexican gorilla bench-pressing a cow. The socialist baby-killers sent them here to distract you. And the air tastes like Jesus. Squirrel!

God Bless America.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Hello! Hello? Hello?!


Is this thing on?

Hello! Hello! Hello???

Echo echo echo echooooooooo!

Hello! Hello! What's goin' on? This week's 3 Chords & the Truth is comin' on strong.

This one is 401, that's the number, it's true. And we just wanted to say hello . . . not to do so is wrong.

Hello! Hello! Can you hear me out there? Sometimes you just wonder. Sometimes, it's a bear.

This week's Big Show -- boy howdy, it's fun! The music's wonderful . . . there's joy in the air!

Hello! Hello! There's no more to say. So I'll just tell you "Ta-ta!"

The show's 3 Chords & the Truth. Be there. Aloha!

Friday, April 27, 2018

We dropped some brown acid, man

"To get back to the warning that I have received -- you may take it with however many grains of salt you wish -- that the brown acid that has been circulating around us is not, specifically, too good. It's suggested that you do stay away from that. Of course, it's your own trip, so be my guest. But please be advised that there is a warning on that one, OK?"
-- Chip Monck
Master of ceremonies,
Woodstock, 1969

Many odd and sometimes disturbing things about the 1960s and '70s, for those of us who came of age during those decades, can be explained or put into context merely by saying "It was the (fill in the blank)."

If that explanation does not suffice, blame the brown acid, man.

As we consider the person and "music" career of the late Tiny Tim -- seen here in a record-label ad from the June 8, 1968, edition of Billboard magazine -- I'm going straight to the brown-acid excuse.

Dude. Tiny Tim, born Herbert Buckingham Khaury in 1932, was the brown acid. Listening to Tiny Tim on your AM or FM radio . . . watching him on your 21-inch Magnavox . . . it was like being in the presence of an off-key castrato undergoing electroshock treatment.

Boy howdy.

MY UNFORTUNATE double- and triple-knit sartorial choices from the end of 1969 until marrying into a wardrobe-control regimen in 1983? "It was the '70s."

That Tiny Tim sold records and was all over network television and the radio, too? "The brown acid that had been circulating around us was not, specifically, too good."

Seriously. It was some bad shit, man.

You bet your sweet bippy, it was.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: The Now Sound @ 400

It all started in a 5,000-watt radio station in Fresno, California -- a $65 paycheck and a crazy dream.

Now 3 Chords & the Truth has just released its 400th episode, and while the dream is still crazy, the paycheck is down to $5.32. Working in the media is not for sissies.

Or, actually, for people who like to eat.

So, what can I say on this occasion of the 400th program of the Big Show?

OK, I got something.

This 400th episode of 3 Chords & the Truth is one more than 399. And it's 399 more than episode No. 1 back in January 2008.

Thank you.

Oh . . . and the music's good. Real good.

Is this long  enough to turn in now, teacher?

Is anybody in here?


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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Louisiana swamp gas . . . or weapons of ass destruction

The Louisiana Legislature's latest round of budget negotiations has prompted the return of what is becoming an annual tug-of-war match between funding TOPS and funding state health care services.

The House Appropriations Committee on Monday advanced its version of a $27 billion state budget to begin July 1 featuring full funding for the popular Taylor Opportunity Program for Students scholarships and deep cuts to safety-net hospitals and other programs that serve the poor and disabled.

"This is a process," House Appropriations Vice Chair Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, said during the committee's hearing on House Bill 1. "There are other steps we'll be going through."

HB1 is scheduled to hit the House floor on Thursday, where it is certain to generate additional debate over where the brunt of nearly $650 million in cuts should land. Lawmakers haven't ruled out the idea of holding yet another special session to try to close all or part of the remaining "fiscal cliff" the state faces when temporary tax measures expire June 30, but they can't take up most revenue-raising measures during the regular session and current budgeting process. . . . 
"In rushing to pass amendments out, the House Appropriations Committee proved what we’ve been saying all along – there simply isn’t a way to fashion a budget that adequately funds our state’s pressing needs," Edwards said in a statement. "TOPS is absolutely a priority and should be fully funded, but so should higher education institutions, health care for our seniors and those with disabilities, funding for medical schools in Shreveport and New Orleans, and our partner hospitals. Now we can see that it’s not possible to do that without replacing more of the revenue that is expiring."

The move to prioritize funding for TOPS, which is wildly popular among middle class and more affluent families, mirrors recent actions from the Appropriations Committee, which gets the first bite at the state budget under state law.

Rep. Gary Carter, D-New Orleans, said he worried about the ripple effect cuts to the state's safety-net hospital partners would have. Several of those operators have already said they will walk away from the agreements, threatening the shuttering of hospitals across the state, if their funding is drastically reduced to the levels that have been proposed.

"We have health care providers in the state of Louisiana making tough decisions," Carter said. "I'm a big believer in both education and health care, but I certainly don't want to risk closing any hospital."

Several Democrats also questioned the plan to fund TOPS while cutting general funding for college and university campuses.

It didn't take jetliners flying into New York skyscrapers.

It certainly didn't take any declaration of war.

All it took was Bashar al-Assad dropping a chlorine (and perhaps sarin) gas bomb onto a Damascus neighborhood and killing 40-odd people in the latest outrageous act of Syria's long and bloody civil war. For that, the combined forces of the United States, France and Great Britain launched 100-something missiles into a country with which we weren't at war, at least not legally.

What, then, shall we do with Louisiana?

I doubt it could be argued that Louisiana politicians have not killed -- and will not kill -- any fewer than a Syrian gas attack every few weeks, if not days, by starving every social safety-net program on the books, all because their constituents have no more interest than Cain in being their brother's keeper. As we know from Genesis, Cain had no interest in being Abel's keeper because he had already killed him.

Artistic tradition pictures the jealous Cain slaying with the jawbone of an ass, as Samson later in scripture did away with the Philistines. In Louisiana, it's asses jawboning who mow down the poor, the disabled and the sick with their votes and their callous neglect. If the House committee's will becomes budgetary law, what little cash the state has on hand will fully fund a popular welfare program that overwhelmingly benefits the adult children of middle-class white people.

The poor and the ill, then, will be left to be their own damned keeper. Should be interesting to see how well Grandma shifts for herself when she's wheeled to the curb after the Medicaid money stops but her nursing-home tab doesn't.

The white children of white parents with ample green will have their tuition to crumbling state universities (which aren't being funded) paid in full with taxpayers' dollars.  The state Department of Health would be starved to the point where virtually every public-private "safety net" hospital closes its doors.

Meantime, medical education virtually would end in Louisiana.
“So of $346-million available, you want to spend $246-million of it for this, leaving $100-million for everything else?” [Rep. Walt] Leger [D-New Orleans] asked. “You believe $246-million is best spent in these ways?”
“I do,” [Rep. Franklin] Foil [R-Baton Rouge] replied. “We had a lot of ground to make up, since the executive budget had zero dollars spent on TOPS.”

“Isn’t this message giving students false hope, because the full body isn’t likely to maintain this in lieu of funding other programs?” Leger pressed. “You’re okay getting a positive news story today, even if it ultimately will prove to be fake news?”

“My commitment is to students,” Foil answered.

“What about the Department of Health?” Leger asked.

“What about it?” Foil fired back.

“You’re aware that department is taking biggest cuts? And you still believe it is more valuable to fund TOPS?” Leger asked, incredulously.
“Your district includes a substantial constituency that is on Medicaid, doesn’t it, Rep. Foil?” Rep. Pat Smith [D-Baton Rouge] asked. “But you’re willing to fully fund TOPS to benefit a different socio-economic group in your district, instead?”

“I think this helps everyone, in every district,” Foil replied. “We are clearly short on revenue, and even if we were to take all of the money available and give it to the Department of Health, they would still have a shortfall.”
“Yet your amendment fully funds TOPS to the detriment of all the other programs in the state: disabilities waivers, nursing homes, public-private partner hospitals, graduate medical education,” Leger said. “It’s a trap, forcing us Democrats to say we either support TOPS or we don’t. That’s a false choice, and it will really end up being nothing more than a comment about what we would like to do.”

“We are already on notice that the public-private partner hospitals will be closing,” Rep. Gary Carter (D-New Orleans) chimed in. “We say ‘we fund our priorities.’ Your amendment makes TOPS a greater priority than health care.”

“I believe we will find funding as we go through this process,” Foil insisted.

“That’s pie in the sky,” Pat Smith told him, bluntly. “You’re perfectly aware there is no guarantee to raise additional revenue. Some 20 members of this body won’t vote for any new revenue under any circumstances. What this ends up saying is that we only want to fund a program for kids doing well in school, but not the schools they go to, and not the hospitals.”
BREAKING NEWS . . . Louisiana to poor, sick and higher ed: Drop dead.

Breaking news? That's old news. It's also today's news, tomorrow's news, next year's news and your grandkids' news.

In this era of concussive enforcement of the Geneva Conventions and international human-rights charters, here's the news I eagerly await:

As a proportional and just response to unacceptable violations of civilized norms, I await news that sea- and air-launched cruise missiles from the combined armed forces of the United States and sundry NATO allies have sent a message to America's own pariah state. And that the Louisiana Capitol Complex now looks a lot like some of the sadder parts of north Baton Rouge.

Right is right, after all, and rogue regimes must be put on notice that certain red lines must not be crossed. Even in the reddest of states.

We're all in agreement on that, am I right? Am I right?


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Oh, the weather outside is frightful!

It's April 15, the wind chill is something like 10 degrees, it's snowing and just west of here, there was a hellacious blizzard.

In other words . . . oh, what the hell.

Enjoy this bit of yuletide the way it sounded in the 1960s -- Christmas Day programming on KFAB-FM in Omaha, circa 1969. Alas, this aircheck of "Cloud Nine Stereo" -- 99.9 on every FM dial -- was recorded on a dual-track mono tape recorder back in the day.

In transferring the recording to the digital realm, I did what I could to get the most out of the audio.
I'm a wizard that way.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

She had us at that patch

Molly the Dog
Dec. 21, 2000 - April 11, 2018
There never will be another Molly.
She was a star from the get-go, as evidenced by her photo shoot (above) for an Omaha World-Herald features article when she was just two months old, shortly after we adopted her from the Nebraska Humane Society.
Tom Cruise might have had Renée Zellweger at "hello," but Molly had Mrs. Favog and me when we saw that patch.
Almost a decade later, Molly had the opportunity to flex her doggie method-acting muscles for a spoof of that infamous Tiger Woods post-scandal Nike ad. (No actual canine pee was deployed for the video -- just tap water. But Mollster really sold it, didn't she?)
TRULY, our little Molly was one of a kind. Our hearts now are broken.