Saturday, December 07, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Power of tunes


The power of tunes is . . .

Three minutes of Christmas joy that makes you forget about a world of hurt for just a bit.

Songs that make you think, reminding you of the important things in life.

Music that lets you scream and rage at the insanity of this present darkness . . . without actually screaming and raging and getting carted off to the nearest psych ward.

THAT SOMETHING beyond words that touches you inside in a way beyond description.

The force multiplier of twist and shout.

Not caring whether "the force multiplier of twist and shout" actually makes any sense. You know what you mean.

"She loves you, yeah yeah yeah!"

Now, komm gib mir deine Hand, and I'll lead you to a magical place. We call it the Big Show.

We call it 3 Chords & the Truth.

Be there.

Aloha.


Saturday, November 23, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: A broken radio


There's a hole in Donald's head where all the crazy goes.
And America died for nothing, I suppose,
Little minds have big mouths.
Don't stop to count the cost,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.
(Apologies to John Prine)
THAT'S US. We're a broken radio, and the sweet songs -- our democratic heritage -- can't last too long. Not when we're going like this.

The Big Show will do what it can. We will play our sweet songs as long as we can. But if our national -- our cultural -- hatred of the truth, of the rule of law . . . of one another . . . doesn't end, the sweet songs will fade into static.

What cannot go on, won't.

That is the message of this week's episode of 3 Chords & the Truth. We're here in the 3C&T apocalypse bunker beneath Omaha, by God, Nebraska, and we're doing what we can.

Mainly, that's to play the best music we can, to remind you -- briefly -- of some basic, important things, and to keep alive the better angels of our cultural nature for as long as we can.

That's what the Big Show can do. You have to do the rest. Now to the music.

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


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

'Trump' ist Deutsch für 'no bottom'

There is not a single one of the Trumps fit to wash Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's skivvies. According to those who knew Donald Trump Jr., in college, the boy could have earned a minor in underwear-washing.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: It's all we got


Some years back, when LSU football was going through a meh stretch, and the Tigers had lost in agonizing fashion to one hated rival or another, a fellow native Louisianian was in despair.

My wife, trying to be encouraging, said something platitudinous on social media . . . you know, like "The sun will come up in the morning, and this, too, shall pass. So count your blessings, bucko."

Midwesterners. They're so frickin' earnest.

My fellow expat friend was having none of that bullshit.

"You don't understand," she said. "Football. It's all we got."

We Louisianians damn grew up in Trumpworld -- we just didn't know what to call it then. It's not like anyone was going to spend the money or give two shits enough to build a world-class university the Tigers could be proud of.

IT'S NOT LIKE, magically, government would generally work and voters would generally care.

It's not like the K-12 school system wouldn't always rank somewhere around dead last in the country.

It's not like the poor wouldn't always be with us, always be killing one another, always be hopeless and always have Bubba -- who had a union job at the chemical plant and would die of cancer in about 20 years -- blame the poor for their mean estate.

But goddammit, the LSU Tigers always had a shot. Except when they didn't.

It's all we got.

Folks in places like Nebraska don't get that. If the Nebraska Cornhuskers were magically transported to my home state, along with all their fans, in their present losing condition . . . well, "Nebraska" would supplant "Jonestown" in the Grim Reaper's thesaurus.

SO, YOU ASK. What's this have to do with the Big Show, with 3 Chords & the Truth?

Well, Cap, we all live in Trumpworld now. And we're all learning that, no, it's not darkest just before the dawn. It's darkest just before it gets even darker.

It's suckiest just before the president gets all jiggy with his Twitter account and commits witness harassment against one of his own ambassadors who -- at that very moment -- is testifying at his House impeachment hearing. And then things get even worse.

And then you learn to hang on to what you got. For as long as you can.

In the Gret Stet, that's football. And great food. And a rich culture. And a world-class musical tradition.

Being educated, having long lives and a minimally functioning government, with good roads and shit . . . not so much.

Louisiana will always have gumbo, Russia will always have great vodka, Catholics will always have the Sistine Chapel (I think), and America will always have what was the most amazing patrimony on earth -- until it all went to shit.

ME, I'M CLINGING to 3 Chords & the Truth. I look on the program as a flashlight in the darkness, a nod to musical truth, a tribute to what we had . . . and a hope that this present darkness just might be the precursor to dawn after all.

I guess that Pollyanna-ish Midwestern optimistic crap might be starting to rub off on me after 30-something years.

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


Friday, November 15, 2019

Dude's a #£¢§´#% miracle of modern medicine

I think our present state of affairs in these United (for now) States may lie somewhere between laughing to keep from crying . . . and dying laughing. That last thing isn't meant to be figurative.

God help us all, because we certainly haven't been able to help ourselves.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Music, music, music


We live in a world where people like to spoon feed you both kinds of music.

You know, country and western. Rap and hip-hop. Classic rock and classic hits. Classical and orchestral.

Here at 3 Chords & the Truth, we play one kind of music -- good. The bad, we don't mess with.

So, in the course of one show -- like this week's -- you're apt to hear The Young Rascals followed by Leonard Cohen. Mama Cass followed by Sarah Vaughan. Charlie Byrd followed by Squeeze.

ANDY WILLIAMS followed by Nazareth. I'm pretty proud of Andy Williams followed by Nazareth.

It all works. It all expands your mind and your horizons. It all makes up the rich musical gumbo you know as the Big Show.

Screw radio homogeneity, and screw the programmers and corporate suits who sell you short on an unending basis.

We don't roll like that. We're 3 Chords & the Truth, dammit.

Be there. Aloha.


Friday, November 08, 2019

ok gen z

This is from the year of my Boomer birth (note how I capitalize here -- try it sometime), 1961.  This exemplifies what some might call a "high-functioning culture."

When y'all look up from your TikTok videos long enough to consider how to write a piece of music in 7/4 time -- much less how to dance to a piece of music in 7/4 time -- come get me so I can see what you've come up with. I'll be having a cocktail . . . legally.

Friday, November 01, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: The smart choice


Style and substance -- the Big Show has both. Always has. Always will.

In radio today, I'm not sure what's the rarer thing, style or substance. Some stations and programs have some degree of style. Others -- not a bunch -- have substance. Few have both.

Actually, having both is a good way to not be on the radio. Having both, come to think of it, is a good way to be totally screwed in lots of ways in our culture today. Such are the times in which we live.

The blessing and the curse of 3 Chords & the Truth is that it's the program that doesn't give a damn.

Bad news: This sort of thing is a horrible way to make any money. Good news: We've no money to lose from not being dumb-ass enough, so you're gonna hear some wild sh . . . stuff on this here little podcast. (Gotta watch the language. "Style," don't you know.)

Style and substance. Boy is that happening on the Big Show this week.

And, boy, do you need to be listening to the Big Show this week.

Really, aren't we all tired of the dumb and the artless? Time for a change.

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


Saturday, October 26, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: It's late


It's late.

And I'm afraid we have no idea how late it is . . . says someone who is a member of a group of tens upon tens upon tens upon tens of millions of Americans just deemed "human scum" by the president of the United States of America. Just because we happen to oppose the mean-spirited, disastrous misgovernance of said president and his band of craven partisan enablers.

The words "human scum" made it possible to kill 6 million Jews. Made it possible for Hutus to slaughter between half a million and a million Tutsis in Rwanda. Allowed the Turks to butcher about 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I.

"HUMAN SCUM" on American lips gave permission for Southerners to enslave millions of blacks and egged them on as they declared war on their northern brethren in defense of the indefensible. Nearly 700,000 Americans were dead by the time the carnage played itself out in 1865.

This edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is predicated upon the lateness of the hour in these United States. This edition of the Big Show also harbors a musical prayer that it's not too late.

Sorry to get all serious on you but, alas, these are serious times. But at least we work plenty enough fun and tuneful enjoyment around the seriousness . . . in my humble opinion.

But don't take my word for it; I'm just "human scum." Why don't you just listen for yourself instead?

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


Friday, October 25, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Snapshots from Amerika . . . or Syria. One of the two

I'm told this is a snapshot sent home to Saint Petersburg by a Russian diplomat at a consulate somewhere in the United States.
The guy who mailed it to me said, "Sir, this is what the Russians think of us right now. We're in a bad way, and they're just yukking it up, sir!"
Believe me! True story!
I wonder whether the Kremlin still will be laughing when their asset in the Oval Office starts pulling the wallpaper off the walls to replace the lettuce on his Big Macs, then starts playing with the nuclear codes as he jumps up and down yelling "KILL! KILL! KILLLL!"

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Unfortunately, the judge believed in jail

Aug. 8, 1974: The front page of the Baton Rouge (La.) State-Times had the biggest headline I'd ever seen in my 13½ years on Earth: Nixon to Quit.
Inside, on Page 20-A, was this campaign ad for Gil Dozier, running for Public Service Commissioner that fall.

His campaign chairman, Dr. Billy Cannon -- local orthodontist and LSU's only Heisman Trophy winner -- paid for it. Dozier lost.
But the next year, Dozier got himself elected Louisiana agriculture commissioner. And in 1980, he got himself convicted on federal racketeering and extortion charges. After a failed appeal in 1982, he took up residence in the federal pen in Fort Worth, Texas.

In 1983, Cannon ended up in federal prison, too -- in Texarkana, Texas -- after being convicted of counterfeiting $6 million in $100 bills. Both got out of the pen in 1986.

I wonder how many folks ever think "Hey! Both of these guys went to federal pen -- funny how life works" when seeing an old newspaper political ad from their misspent youth. I'll bet a bunch . . . if they're from Louisiana.

Monday, October 14, 2019

What hath Farnsworth wrought?

We have discovered that PBS Kids is for kids of all sorts.

Like, for example, Belle the Dog who, as we say around here, "is very, very 1."

We think Elmo and the rest of the Muppets are her favorites, but she's also a big fan of Daniel Tiger. As you can see.

And if you get the headline . . . welcome to geekdom.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Hello in there


Fall just fell, the heat is running, the coffee's on . . . a great time for you to pop in and say "Hello in there!"

Or maybe the Big Show will just drop by your place to say hello. Either way is fine.

Well, while we're saying hello, we just as well have some pumpkin spice stuff -- coffee, treats, booze, air freshener, whatever. Apparently it's required.

And we at 3 Chords & the Truth do what's expected of us.

Uh . . . once we did. I think.

Anyway, say howdy, grab some kind of pumpkin stuff and settle in for a bunch of really good music. As is our custom.

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

Friday, October 04, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Watching the world go by


We're sittin' in the bunker, watching the world go by.

DUCK!

It's that kind of world these days, and 3 Chords & the Truth is here to help you cope with it. Good music helps with everything.

When you have a president who, in just one day, called on the Chinese communists to investigate the former vice president of the United States -- a potential electoral opponent of said president -- and then run a network television commercial accusing congressional Democrats of plotting a coup against him . . . well, we need all the help we can get.

AND THAT was just a couple of days after he quoted (in a tweet, of course) a right-wing preacher who said there'd be civil war to pay if the Democrats impeached him. Listen to the music, folks. Listen to the music.

Listen to the good music and soak in the good cheer -- we're not that far away from killing one another. Like I said, hold on to the good music . . . and the better angels of your nature. We need all the help we can get.

The Big Show is fun, yes. It's musically enlightening. It's, on its better days, informative without boring the crap out of you or sounding like a college lecture. (A not good one, that is.)

But this here little music program is as serious as a heart attack, too. 3 Chords & the Truth also is, one hopes, a reminder that we're better than the worse of the headlines on the evening news. That we're better than our politics. That we're better than the dysfunctional man-child in Washington who keeps trying to drag us down into the muck -- to pit American brother against American brother, and American sister against American sister. To pit America against the rest of the world.

Call the show not just "music for the people," but also "music for we the people."

Love your brother and listen to the damn music. Please?

'Cause no one's listening to anything if we've all done one another in.

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


Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Didn't we all see this coming?


The most staggeringly unfit man ever to be president of the United States looks for all the world like he's trying to start the civil war he's been tweeting about this week.

I'm starting to think he might succeed. If you don't think that's enough of a possibility to be much afraid right now, you either are in denial or haven't been paying attention.

God help us.

I hate 2019. It's as bad as 2018 . . . and 2017 . . . and. . . .

Donald Trump's Amerika reminds me of the punch bowl where all the turds like to hang out.

Friday, September 27, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: The Now Sound?


The Now Sound?

This week, not so much. The newest selection is from 21 years ago. Old happens.

No, this edition of the Big Show is the "then sound," with music from wildly varying genres and several different "thens." Frankly, I like it that way. Increasingly, "now" is not something to which a sane man wishes to aspire.

"Now," we're at one another's throats. We as an American nation . . . aren't. We are as divided as we've been since Vietnam, and maybe since Fort Sumter. "Now," we are dry kindling, and we have a president splashing gasoline around and lighting matches.

TO "NOW" -- especially at the end of this particular Week of Pending Impeachment and Ongoing Denial and Excuse-Making -- 3 Chords & the Truth says "F*** that s***."

Pardon my pessimism and rejection of "now" this week. I came down with a nasty cold amid recording this week's edition of the Big Show, and I may have just had a toddy with orange juice, lemon juice, honey, Tabasco sauce . . . and three shots of grocery store bourbon.

If I can't get well soon, at least I won't care. But you have to endure my dark bluntness amid the damned fine music. Which definitely isn't "now."

It's from "then," when folks hated each other a bit less and hoped for the future a bit more. Good night and good luck.

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


Thursday, September 26, 2019

President Donald J. (for Jim Jones ) Trump


This is what the president of the United States posted on Twitter about two hours ago as I write this, after a day that saw compelling evidence surface that he engaged in a Mafia-style shakedown of a foreign leader to obtain dirt on Joe Biden.
It came a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened an impeachment inquiry against him over that same incident, which prompted a reportedly damning intelligence whistleblower report that one congresswoman termed "jaw dropping" when asked to characterize its contents.

"I describe it as explosive and jaw-dropping," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said Wednesday night on CNN's Don Lemon Tonight. "I could not believe what I was reading."

ON A NIGHT such as this, I couldn't believe what I was seeing on the president's Twitter feed. Given what we've already seen from the tweeter-in-chief on his Internet Id-fest, that's saying something.

It's clear that we have come to such ruin in America that we no longer have a president, but a cult leader instead. And like Jim Jones, I fear the only way we'll remove him from the White House (God forbid) is feet first -- rather like the way Jim Jones left Jonestown in 1978.

No doubt, the crazy will be turned up to 11 in Trumptown as the end -- one way or another -- draws near.
That leads us to another horrifying thought, one we dare not admit but which surely haunts us nevertheless: How many Americans will this particular cult leader take with him down that highway to hell.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Wafting across the aether


This week, 3 Chords & the Truth wafts across the aether, which has much more class and aesthetic value than the oh-so-pedestrian "ether," into your ears and your very soul.

We become one with the magic of the night . . . the wonder of the music.

The Big Show defies the insanity surrounding us with beauty, joy, eclecticism and some small measure of intelligence. This week, as every week, our humble little program stands as a sign of contradiction to the stupidity that seeks to engulf us.

There is a fungus among us. You know what I mean.

Screw that; listen to this.

The music of 3 Chords & the Truth surfs the aetherial waves. It inhabits the mystery beyond the last golden rays of sunshine. It defies conformity and convention.

Tune in for an eclectic happening, curated by your Mighty Favog. It's here, in the night . . . in the aether.

Or something.

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


Friday, September 20, 2019

Art imitates life imitates art imitates . . . oh, dear

March 19, 1956: I Love Lucy

The Ricardos and Mertzes are in gay Paris. Lucy wants an honest-to-goodness Parisian designer gown. Ricky doesn't want to spend that kind of money.

Lucy has an idea (Here is where everyone needs to run for their lives). She will go on a hunger strike until Ricky buys her an honest-to-goodness Parisian designer gown. Lucy has another idea (If you're still around, you deserve the Armageddon that's about to descend on you and all). She will have Ethel sneak her food, so that the hunger strike actually isn't. Lucy hides the food all over their hotel room.

Ricky feels guilty. Ricky gives in. But then Ricky finds a roast chicken in a camera bag. Ricky grabs the dress box and runs off. Ricky and Fred decide to "show" Lucy and Ethel. Ricky and Fred have Jacques Marcel "designer dresses" made out of potato sacks and put phony Jacques Marcel labels on them. And as a crowning touch, they give Lucy and Ethel a feed bag and a champagne bucket as "designer hats."

People stare at Ethel and Lucy. People laugh at Lucy and Ethel. Humiliation abounds. Ricky and Fred feel guilty. Ricky and Fred buy them real Jacques Marcel dresses (again).

Later . . . Ricky, Fred, Lucy and Ethel see the sack dresses and unique "hats" on models for Jacques Marcel. But Lucy and Ethel had burned their unwitting "designer originals."

Cue face palm from Ricky.


Sept. 20, 1967: D.H. Holmes ad, Baton Rouge, La.

Holy crap.
And that's why you come to this here little blog, folks. There's no absurdity that I won't notice.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Same thing, different particulars

Baton Rouge (La.) State-Times, Sept. 18, 1969

I like to look through old newspapers, which to me is a much cheaper way of revisiting my long-lost youth than combing my remaining hair over the bald spot, buying a flashy convertible and having an affair with a nearsighted woman much younger than myself.

Which brings us to the nearsighted, much-younger woman part.

I remember what a media sensation it was when arch pop-culture weirdo Tiny Tim married Miss Vicki . . . on The Tonight Show.


MISS VICKI, otherwise known as Victoria Budinger (or "the pretty New Jersey teenager"), was 17. Tiny Tim, otherwise known as Herbert Khaury, was 37, but everybody thought he was a decade older. In 1969, "Me Too" was more like "Me Can!"

As I said, it was a media sensation.

At this juncture, your woke-ass, under-50 self might be thinking "WHAT THE FUCK?!"

Exactly.

You see, we westerners -- particularly we Americans -- always have been all about the weird shit. 1969's "Isn't that cute? Kinda weird, but cute" has become 2019's "Lock him up and cut his nuts off! Then sue!"

On the other hand, we fail to bat an eyelid at believing there are something like 73 genders today, that "men" can have babies and that we all must state our preferred pronouns. (Mine is "My Lord and Master / My Lord and Master." If you don't think that's an actual pronoun, you are a hater, and you're making me feel threatened.)

AMID ALL the suckage of middle age and aging, the one benefit is having developed (at least one hopes) a finely tuned bullshit detector and an appreciation for the waves of bat-shit crazy that periodically roll through -- and roil -- what's left of our society. So, if you're just floating through postmodern America right now, and you think everything looks pretty normal to you, boy is your old self gonna be embarrassed by your young self in about 50 years.

Assuming, of course, we survive the absurdity that is President Donald Trump. That right there is a big-ass assumption, so we'll see.