Showing posts with label Americana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Americana. Show all posts

Saturday, July 17, 2021

3 Chords & the Truth: As real as you can stand

It's a strange thing to try to talk -- via Facebook, alas -- someone through a horrible loss, telling him that what he could not control was not his fault. Me and more than a few others, actually. 

It's stranger yet -- sick-making, actually -- to learn the next week that this Facebook friend, someone who graduated from your high school a year or two after you did, was found dead in his house a few days ago. One's mind draws the logical conclusions.

And then you think, "Jesus, the abyss is so much nearer than we'd like to believe." 

And then you have to do another edition of 3 Chords & the Truth that night. I had figured the theme, such as it is, of the show would be all about "real." Little did I know. 

So, this edition of the Big Show is a strange agglomeration of "real" -- really real -- and fake it till you make it. You have to do what you do. One foot in front of the other and all that rot.

So there you go. Fittingly, it's pouring rain right now. How "real" of it. 

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

Saturday, March 13, 2021

3 Chords & the Truth: We got the beat

We got the beat.

We got all the colors of the rainbow. 

We got the music. 

We 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. And we still hangin' in there and holdin' out against the 'rona. While we're waiting on the miracle vaccine jab, we'll just play some really good music for you.

Truly, it's been a terrible year since the world stopped last March. The Big Show has done what we could to make it a little less intolerable, because what else can you do that doesn't involve curling up into a little ball under the covers?

Now there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and if we don't do stupid things and if we keep masking up for a bit longer, there's every chance that light won't just be the 'Rona Blossom Special. All you have to do is keep calm and listen to the music. Right here.

It'll take the edge off.

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

Saturday, March 06, 2021

3 Chords & the Truth: The point of it all

Somewhere, there's a point to this show.

Maybe the music is the point to 3 Chords & the Truth. (OK, obviously the music is the point to the show.) But beyond that, I mean, for this week's tunefest. 

You discuss. I'll wait. 













OK, THIS WEEK I guess the point to the Big Show is whatever you want it to be. I'm open-minded that way.

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

Saturday, February 27, 2021

3 Chords & the Truth: Stereo rock

I pity those who never  got the chance to be inspired by the radio -- at least inspired to do something other than storm the Capitol. 

I suppose this is yet another step down the road to old farthood, the compulsion to tell the young'uns how much better it was back when we were whippersnappers. Some of that is, undeniably, bullshit. The thing about how special radio once was -- especially that brief moment where freeform radio shined -- definitely is not.

This week, I find myself thinking of my first encounters with enlightenment, my early forays into subversion of the constipated world The Man desperately was trying to foist upon my young self all those years ago. And remembering lying in bed out at our camp in south Louisiana, which was within the range of the glorious FM signal of Rampart 102 in New Orleans, WWL-FM.

Rampart 102, named for the street where the good music lived, was a middle finger in the face of The Man. Kind of fittingly, it was owned by the Jesuits back then. And it played what my parents would call "hippie music," which was what they called it when they were in a good mood. What they called it when they weren't would make them, if they were still with us, MAGAs of the Year. 

I'D LIKE to think 3 Chords & the Truth carries the torch today for that lost moment in time -- the subversive moment, not the reactionary one. The reactionaries today have no problem carrying their own torches. Literally.

If you'd like to authentically relive the 1971 experience of kids like me, surreptitiously listening to The Music of Which Your Parents Would Not Approve, the music that would get your ass labeled an Enemy of Right Thinkin' (say this in your head with a Southern accent), you'll listen to the Big Show late at night, in bed, under the covers, with an earphone to hide your inner subversiveness from the agents of repression. 

For the full glory of the music, however, I recommend a good stereo system or listening through good headphones -- not crappy earbuds. 

And remember the days when listening to the radio -- listening to the FM radio -- could be an enlightening experience, a chance to connect with that late-night radio host, sitting with an audio board and a couple of turntables in a darkened studio somewhere in the ether, through the music. It was a supremely human thing.

It's Rampart 102 . . . er . . . 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

3 Chords & the Truth: Thaw is not a four-letter word

The sun is shining (for now), the temperature is above freezing, and life could be worse here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska. 

Like, you could be Ted Cruz right now.

Or . . . you could be totally ignorant of the best music on the Internets. That would be 3 Chords & the Truth.

Well, we have another stellar program for you this week, and your Mighty Favog is going to take you on a couple of musical journeys. You're gonna want to stick around for those.

And that's about all you need to know about this week's edition of the Big Show. Yep, c'est tout.

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

Saturday, February 13, 2021

3 Chords & the Truth: The deep freeze

The weather here in the upper Midwest is fitting, I think.

It's a meteorological manifestation of the times in which we live. Frigid. Harsh. Bleak. Potentially deadly.

The difference between America's sociopolitical weather and that chronicled by the weather forecaster is this -- meteorologically, we know that spring will come in a matter of weeks. Yes, baby, it's cold outside, but it's as warm as we can make it in here -- on 3 Chords & the Truth.

So, put on your warm sweatpants, your fuzzy slippers and maybe a wool cap, too, and wrap up in a toasty blanket after getting a warm cup of something. Then put on this here episode of the Big Show and enjoy the music as we wait on spring.

Whenever it may come.

Oh . . . and you really want to hear how we get from Ray Conniff to The Clash. Sometimes, you just have to do something difficult just to see whether it can be done.

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

Saturday, November 21, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Turkey for two


'Twas the week before Thanksgiving and all through the land,
Creatures were gathering, the ‘rona be damned,
The Trumpers fanned their lies and wild theories with care,
They still thought that from Biden they’d be spared.


The president was in the crapper, fuming on Twitter,
While visions of a prison cell made him quite bitter.
And in our houses that we dare not leave,
Came visions of Rudy that we couldn’t believe.

Hair dye streaking down his face with the sweat,
Surely, we thought, they’d fetch the net.
But, no, the clown car ran into a post,
And democracy started to look quite like a ghost.


I THOUGHT of the demons hijacking elections could muster,
And wondered how grievous might be this cluster.
History tells me these things cause wars to be fought,
That countries, for some, can be sold and bought.

Dead men’s ghosts warn nobility is sparse,
That tragedy is repeated often as farce.
And the dye’s still running down old Rudy’s face,
While Mad King Donald’s still riling his base.

Whom COVID won’t kill, cult leaders still can,
The life of a nation slips through fingers like sand.
Then I swear I heard a federal judge laugh,
Pondering clown-car filings that were one big gaffe.

Said he, “Farce is not sparse, and clusters pass muster,
“But God, these jerks are a nuclear disaster!”
In Trump’s head, it’s quite bad that fever dreams dance,
“But must he send me a lawyer with his hand down his pants?”

Then the wife yelled at me, “Turn the damn TV off!
“Thanksgiving’s coming up, and is that a cough?
“It’s a shred of normality of which I’m desirous,
“I can’t deal with nuts when the air’s filled with virus.”

So I’ll do my best to send warm wishes to you,
That and one question: Can you buy a turkey for two?

 

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

Saturday, October 31, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Save America


I’m guessing you might have expected a Halloween show on 3 Chords & the Truth this week, being this is Halloween day as we record the program. Sorry about that . . . frankly, I find life is scary enough without adding ghouls, ghosts, goblins and zombies to the mix.

I mean, c’mon, Tuesday is Election Day here in these Disunited States of America, and if the outside chance of four more years of Donald Trump doesn’t scare the hell out of you, you’re probably still shivering after the president’s freezing-cold superspreader event here a few days ago and are being told by medical authorities to quarantine yourself for 14 days.

Halloween, hell. Don’t know about you, but I’m scared you-know-whatless as we wait to see whether Uncle Joe wins and we earn an outside shot at putting America back together . . . or everything goes horribly-er wrong, and the country as we knew it ceases to exist, and democracy here dies the most deranged death the world has ever seen.



Come Tuesday, life will go on — maybe — in a fashion close to what used to be normal, or life as we knew it will end, and the untenable will be the new normal. And we who love the idea of the United States — who love the idea that is the United States — will have some awful choices to make.



The untenable — the unacceptable — is just that.

STILL, even if everything goes as right as rain this coming week — and would you really count on that, this being 2020 and all — those of us who love the messy, idealistic, not-yet-lived-up-to idea of the United States still have to internalize the reality that 40 percent or so of our fellow Americans have no idea about the American idea — our national creed. That all men — all people — were created equal, “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”



We still must grapple with the reality that 40 percent of Americans are OK with fascism. With ripping refugee children from the arms of refugee parents.

With putting refugees in cages. With putting children in cages.

 

We must wrap our minds around 40 percent of Americans being OK with the president’s blatant racism and bigotry. With his cuddling up to despots and sanctioning their interference in American public life.

With a shambolic and corrupt administration of our national affairs. With a thoroughly corrupt administration which subverts and corrupts everything that comes too close to it.

 

We have gone to war with countries over less. Now we are what we had professed to abhor. After all, we elected what we once professed to abhor . . . and we conceivably might do it again. 



And — conceivably — our present cold civil war well might turn hot in the coming days, weeks or months. As if our criminal mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t killed enough Americans — roughly 230,000 as I speak. And we’re not half done with the dying at this rate, with the pandemic going into a wintertime frenzy.

 

Some 40 percent of our fellow citizens are fine with that. Fine enough with it to vote for it. Don’t ask me why; I have no good answer.

 

MAYBE we who try to live — imperfectly, as it turns out — our American creed . . . and remember, America is a creed, not blood and soil . . . maybe someday we will be able to forgive our brothers and sisters. But we won’t — we can’t — forget.



Assuming we have the chance. 



If you can vote but haven’t voted yet . . . do it. Vote. The world as we know it depends on it.

Now that I’ve had my say, I’ll let the music have its say as we seek to save America.

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

Saturday, May 02, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Calming numbers


It's a fine mess we find ourselves in, this coronavirus thing, and the folks one usually looks to when extrication is called for . . . well. they're pretty much useless.

If not outright existentially threatening.

So. Well. Um . . . what are we supposed to do, then?

Well, there has to be a better answer than one I've taken to in recent months -- sitting on the front stoop with a drink and a Lieutenant Dan cigar, muttering the F-word a lot. Let's brainstorm this, shall we?

FIRST, keep calm and carry on intelligently. Do what your doctor would tell you to do. I'm reasonably sure that doesn't involve a Lieutenant Dan cigar. Hey . . . do as I say, etcetera and so on.

Second . . . chill.

3 Chords & the Truth can help you with that second thing, and we'll do it by the numbers -- 33⅓, 45 and 78. And at whatever speed a compact disc spins.


If music can soothe the savage breast . . . beast . . . both? . . . whatever, music can get us through this epidemiological cluster-you-know-what. Music can mellow us out and calm us the you-know-what down.

Lucky for you, the Big Show is just a click (two at the most) away.

So, let us all center ourselves for the long slog -- by the numbers.

33⅓. 45. 78.

And at whatever speed a compact disc spins.

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

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Saturday, April 18, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Déjà vu all over again


These are the times that try men's immune systems.

And their faith in mankind . . . political leaders . . . the "American way of life" (snort) . . . human intelligence, God and the universe.

Americans, most of us, are not in a good place right now. We're cooped up, the president's brain obviously is f***ed up, people are all head-up, and right-wing politicians and pundits look at the mounting coronavirus death toll, then agitate for the economy to "open up."

It's late 1918 and the Spanish flu all over again. That didn't end well.

 
ON TOP of it all, John Prine died on April 7. Of the coronavirus.

It's all enough to make you give up hope. That's exactly why you can't. And that's more or less what this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is all about -- that, paying tribute to the great John Prine, a Woodstock jam and other good stuff.

To be frank (because I'm sick of people calling me Shirley), I'm kind of at a loss for what else to say about this go 'round of the Big Show.

So I won't. Just listen; you'll figure it out.

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


Friday, March 06, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Watch your step


The covid-19 thing, the "novel coronavirus," is getting real here in the United States. So far, 15 are dead. Total confirmed American infections are north of 300.

One case was confirmed at the Omaha hospital a block from where I write.

And this is what the president of the United States said -- amid health officials praising him in Dear Leader terms -- during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta today: "People are really surprised I understand this stuff,” he said. “Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.”

Believe me, Donald John Trump's only "natural ability" is for being a liar, an ignoramus, a buffoon and a flim-flam man.

SO . . . what does this have to do with this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth? Well, this week's edition of the Big Show is all about WATCH YOUR STEP. That's what we all have to do now, because we're pretty much on our own -- watch your step.

Part of watching your step, besides washing your hands -- a lot -- and substituting a wave for a handshake, and staying out of large crowds, and making sure you have enough provisions to hole up at home for a while if need be . . . is keeping a level head and keeping your spirits up.

The aim of 3 Chords & the Truth is that last thing. The aim is to play some good music, make you think a little bit . . . and to keep spirits up. We're going to need that. A lot.

Besides, this here program would serve as excellent entertainment if you're homebound and eating lots of beans, soup and tuna fish.

That . . . is all.

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


Saturday, February 29, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Hard times


Hard times are us.

Really, it's just one damned thing after another. Now it's a looming pandemic and a crashing stock market because of the looming pandemic, which has pretty much shuttered China and threatens to do the same to the rest of the world.

Investors also weren't exactly comforted by the realization that the president of the United States is a mentally unwell half-wit who thinks the whole coronavirus (or"caronavirus" if you're reading Donald Trump's tweets) thing is just being exaggerated by the evil liberal media and the Democrats to crash the economy and cost him re-election.

To summarize: We are f*cked.

THIS EDITION of 3 Chords & the Truth is an attempt to internalize that . . . and be as much a musical balm as we can. It may not be much, but it isn't nothing.

The Big Show also is a fine way to pass the time once we're all too afraid to venture out of our homes for fear of infection. Or are quarantined -- one or the other.

Who knew that the 3C&T Apocalypse Bunker might end up being something other than a metaphor, a mere semi-witty saying? But that's where we are in the Land of One Damned Thing After Another.

Good night, and good luck. And may all your infections be mild.

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


Friday, February 14, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Looking back to our better selves


Let me be direct: I often find myself looking backward, embracing the anachronism, because the present is too much to take straight up.

Sometimes, anachronistic ain't such a bad thing to be -- like less vitriolic, more accepting of grace and redemption . . . having a longer attention span.

For example, 3 Chords & the Truth is a big time throwback to another age, totally out of step with postmodernity. First off, this is a freeform music program. Where the hell do you even find such a thing anymore?

Not many places, that's for certain.

ANOTHER THING . . . the only computer that puts together any playlist for any episode of the Big Show resides inside the head of your Mighty Favog. It's somewhat larger than your smartphone, and I'm pretty sure it's hand-wired and runs on vacuum tubes.

Too, this here podcast embraces the quirky, the eccentric and holding more than one thought in one's head at one time. Talk about anachronistic.

3 Chords & the Truth has a soft spot for old music, old electronic equipment, old politics and old notions of what we used to know as "radio." We have no damn clue what the hell folks think they're doing on several fronts today.

And we feel sorrow and sympathy for those too young to remember the good things we do, too young to remember, and be wary of, the old bad stuff we've seen and lived -- and which keeps coming back around every so often.

That pretty much sums up the aesthetic of Revolution 21 and the Big Show.

That also helps to make this, in my humble opinion, a damn good radio program. Even if it's not actually on what passes for radio these days.

Try it. You'll like it, this anachronistic thing here.

YEAH, call us an anachronism. We like it like that.

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


Saturday, February 08, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Easy, right?


It's been a week, hasn't it?

Seems like we've had a lot of those, right? A week. A month. Three years. We've had a three years.

It's easy to lose hope. It's easy -- and probably correct -- to think things are just going to get worse. It's even easier to not know what the hell to do.

It's really hard to see the bottom, mainly because there may not be one. The president is a deranged cult leader, and cruelty is is specialty -- which is what many, including the allegedly religious, see as a feature and not a bug.

TORMENT WHOM you will and despoil what you will, Mr. President. Just give us some right-thinking judges, and save the faith we've mocked from them what hate us. Whom we likewise hate, for Jesus said we ought.

It's in the Bible -- somewhere in the back. No? But they said on Fox News.

Three years ago, we knew this present darkness would be hard. But we thought it'd be easier.

Right.

WHAT DOES this have to do with 3 Chords & the Truth? I don't know. Nothing? Everything?

What will we do on the Big Show? The answer is . . . what we can.

We'll play great music. We'll endeavor not to be dumb. We won't insult your intelligence, and we'll try to be a light, however small, in the darkness that has overtaken this land.

It started in 2008, and it continues right now. Vive la résistance! Long live "What we can"!

And this week particularly, you're gonna love "What we can."

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


Saturday, January 25, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Can we be America again?


Hi there! Remember me?

We're back with this little thing called 3 Chords & the Truth after a month off . . . about three weeks of that due to the viral crud that's been going around these parts and your Mighty Favog's not having enough voice to do the show. At least not enough until right now, and that's a generous assessment of the state of my vocal cords.

Winter stinks.

But not as badly as the last three years, which have been rather like attending the world's longest, saddest funeral. 

For your country.

AND NOW, as the president is on trial in the Senate, and the outcome is just as foreordained as the trials of white supremacists who killed black folk in 1963 Mississippi. . . .

Yeah, it kind of puts the viral crud in perspective as we head to the graveyard to shovel dirt onto the casket of the United States of America.

I'm guessing right now that you kind of wish I still had the crud. On the other hand . . . it is what it is, and we're well past the point of being measured or polite.

Down here in the 3C&T apocalypse bunker, bluntness is standard operating procedure. The music is pretty sweet, though.

In dark times, we need all the cold comfort we can muster.

Subversion is just about all that we have left in our political and cultural arsenal, and good music, smartly presented, is the Big Show's way of subverting the bad hand -- the dysfunctional culture, politics and government -- we've been dealt. Turn the music up . . . loud . . . as you find your way to throw a spanner into the gears of fascist Amerika.

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


Saturday, December 21, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: We need a lot of Christmas


The bigger the show, the less I'll write about it. And the Christmas edition of the Big Show is a big, big show, indeed.

In fact, it's the biggest Big Show we've done in more than 11 years of doing the program. There isn't a little Christmas in this week's 3 Chords & the Truth; there's a lot of Christmas.

There's a simple reason for that, pally.

These days, we need  a lot of Christmas. Every single minute. We need a lot of Christmastime.

In this case, 3 hours and 13 minutes of Christmastime. You're welcome. Actually, thank our sponsor, What? Do a Shot . . . the drink America drinks when it needs to black out.

So there you have it, big Big Show, small post about the holiday music marathon.

It's A 3 Chords & the Truth Christmas, y'all. Be there. Alo-ho-ho-ho-ha.


Saturday, December 14, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Resistance is futile


There are a lot of entities and ideologies, nay, powers and principalities, out there waiting to assimilate your ass.

The vast majority represent bad, nay, weird ass, stuff. Feel free to substitute a more colorful noun than "stuff."

If you wonder what I speak of, you haven't been paying attention to our sorry and strife-filled times. But this isn't about that.

This is about being assimilated by something good and interesting and, nay, something good for your brain and your soul.

THIS . . . is about 3 Chords & the Truth. We're like the good Borg, and we only require to assimilate a modest and reasonable portion of your mind to the hive.

And maybe your feet, with which we will guide you to use for dancing and tapping.

Apart from that, there's just another exceptional edition of the Big Show to alert you to this week. Good music and a few great Christmas songs as we lead up to the giant Ho Ho Ho Extravaganza next week.

That . . . is all.

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


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.