Showing posts with label New Wave. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Wave. Show all posts

Friday, June 07, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: You get what you get

By the time I got to Memphis, I was sinking.

You'll find the note I left hangin' on your phone. You'll laugh when you read the part that says I'm flailin.'
 'Cause I've flailed on here so many times before.
 
BY THE TIME I hit record, I was low energy. You
'll probably think the Big Show is nothin' at all.
 But you'll just have to go on thinkin' . . . mighty small. That's all.
 
By the time you figure it out, show'll be over. You'll turn and say "That's 3 Chords & the Truth!"
 And you'll cry just to think I'd really done it -- tho' time and time again I've pulled it off.
 You just didn't know . . . it's the Big Show.
 
It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.
 

Friday, May 17, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: What can I say?

What can I say?

Well, I don't know.

I've been in a contemplative mood but, unfortunately, that hasn't readily translated into something in particular to actually say on this week's 3 Chords & the Truth. Guess the music will have to do the talking.

Good thing the music, as usual, just says it all.

That's the Big Show for you.

And that is all I have to say.

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

Friday, May 10, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: Nudge dread

"These are the times that try men's souls."

Thomas Paine opened his essay "American Crisis" with that sentence in December 1776. The revolution against Great Britain wasn't going so well at that point.

Two hundred forty-eight years later, with a country riven as much as it's been since the Civil War, with a deranged authoritarian commanding the loyalty of a good 40 percent of Americans -- with American democracy itself teetering on the sharp edge of oblivion -- these are the times that try people's will to get out of bed in the morning.

SCRATCH MILLIONS of average Americans, and you're likely to bring forth a flood of existential dread. It's been that way for much of the past nine years.

And here I am doing a music podcast. You may have heard of it -- 3 Chords & the Truth. And the Truth is, we don't know how much more of this mess we, and the United States, can take. Think of the 3 Chords part as a pleasant refuge from the encroaching dread.

Ninety minutes' peace a week from existential dread ain't nothing. Well, that's one way to market the Big Show.

The quintessential 2024 way to market a music program.

Fortunately, that 90 minutes a week of musical refuge are 90 quality minutes of musical refuge. An absolute dread-free zone.

Thank God.

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

Saturday, April 27, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: Spiraling

This is where I'm supposed to be clever or funny -- or something -- as I say something that's vaguely about this week's episode of the Big Show.

And perhaps you've noticed that I'm rather late posting this week's 3 Chords & the Truth.

Truth is . . . clever, funny or saying much about this week's show isn't really in the cards this early Saturday morning. I'm posting the show because it's been in the can since early Friday morning, but hyping it would be, in my reckoning right now, kind of vulgar.

Maybe you've heard on the news that Omaha (a.k.a., Omaha, by God, Nebraska) was hit hard by tornadoes Friday afternoon. The biggest one, out in far western Omaha, was massive and powerful -- perhaps an EF-4 or EF-5. That has yet to be officially determined, but it was really big, really powerful . . . and there are many homes and a few neighborhoods that no longer exist.

ON THE OTHER side of town, just north of downtown Omaha, a tornado tore through our airport, heavily damaging the general aviation section. My wife and I saw that happen on live TV.

The monster tornado missed our house (a.k.a., the Culture War bunker) by about 9 miles or so. The other one missed us by about 7 miles and change. We were lucky.

Not so for folks in a ruined path through western Douglas County, the western suburbs of Omaha and up through Bennington and well into Washington County. Also down toward Lincoln, Neb. And across the river in Iowa, tornadoes leveled huge parts of a few small towns, as well as some areas in Council Bluffs.

This area hasn't seen anything like that since the Tornado of 1975, an EF-4 monster that ripped through the middle of Omaha and was the United States' first billion-dollar twister.

Yes, this week's Big Show is as fine as ever. It's just that that seems rather unimportant now. As is the self-serving social-media hype one is expected to do these days.

I mean, "Too bad about the devastation across town, but now let's get back to the bitchin' tunes!" just doesn't cut it.

The show's done, and I didn't want to junk it, and that's about all I feel like saying about it. So I suck at modern marketing. Whoopee.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Listen. Or don't.

In the grand scheme of things, it's not that important, actually.

Friday, April 19, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: Here comes the music

Sooner or later, the Big Show's gonna get ya.

Sooner or later, friend, you got to give in.

Sooner or later, the tunes are gonna let 'cha.

Sooner or later, the music's gonna win. Music's gonna win.

IT'S JUST a matter of time before you make up your mind.

To give all those grooves that you've been hiding.

Its just a question of when, I've told you time and again. You'll get all the tunes you've been denying.

Sooner or later, 3C&T is gonna get ya.

Sooner or later, friend, you got to give in.

Sooner or later, the tunes are gonna let 'cha.

Sooner or later, the music's gonna win. Music's gonna win!

So . . . here comes the Big Show. You betcha.

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

Friday, April 12, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: Nekkid truth

I sit here at the keyboard, naked before you, telling and playing the truth.

Well, not naked naked but figuratively naked. And certainly not nekkid. As any Southerner will tell you, there's a difference between naked and nekkid. Naked is clothesless. Nekkid is naked while up to something. There's a 3 Chords & the Truth naked truth for you.

I'll tell you the naked truth of why Linda Martell's debut country album was her last album. It is not an easy path for Black women in Nashville today. It was exponentially harder in 1970 and, indeed, it didn't work out -- for obvious reasons five years past the technical end of Jim Crow.

Back then, the miraculous apparently was all used up on the great Charley Pride's stardom.

HERE'S ANOTHER naked truth for this edition of the Big Show: Great music encompasses all genres, and they all can coexist on a single program. You know. like this one. And yet another one: Too many people are too parochial to embrace that fact.

Having grown up before the culture splintered into microcultures, it was pretty easy for an old guy like me to realize that at a relatively early age. It got even easier when I aged out of any concern for being "cool."

And the nakedest truth for me right now is that, in writing this, I'm just all over the place. Like, are people going to think I'm an idiot when I say The Who's "Naked Eye" is on Who's Next? Well, if you have a later CD re-release, it is.

Another version is on Odds and Sods (1974). The naked truth is that digital re-releases of classic albums make one's musical-geek life confusing. Bonus tracks good; bonus tracks kinda bad if you nerd out on who released what when.

Like I said, all over the place, I am. No, I am not Yoda. I just write like him.

Perhaps I'd better stop now. That's the naked truth, but not the nekkid truth. Nekkid truth, you would not want to see.

And there goes the thread, which I have lost.

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

Friday, March 08, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: Let's put on a show!

Perhaps you've rolled your eyes through a less-than-stellar production put on by not-so-good high school thespians.

Well, if you sat through U.S. Sen Katie Britt's response to the State of the Union address, you certainly have had that experience. Alabama's got some 'splainin' to do.

Well, this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is not that. If it ever is, I'm hangin' it up for the public good.

But the proof is in the listening, and I guaran-damn-tee that there's not a cringe in the entire 90 minutes. I play music on the Big Show; you decide.

That is all.

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

Friday, March 01, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: Reflections

Right now, my mind has drifted back 45 years, to the strictly analog age of radio.

I'm picturing the old control room at WBRH, the FM voice of Baton Rouge High School. When we'd do the rock show after school let out, student announcers like myself liked to turn off all the lights in the studio, save for one lamp right over the audio board -- just enough to see what we were doing and read what we had to read.

Then we'd crank it up. The music, that is.

WE WERE "setting the mood."  If I knew then what I know now, this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth would have been perfect.

Perfect.

I would have been sitting there at 2825 Government St., and my target listener would have been sitting in a bedroom, stereo cranked and the lights off . . . except for the dial light and one of those flickering bulbs mounted in an old 7-Up can.

If you're under 60-ish, you had to be there.

Man, it'd just be you, the music and your thoughts. Yeah, this week's Big Show would have been perfect for that. It would be the next best thing to hopping on a cross-country train to Somewhere Else.

I bet you might know the feeling. This show just might bring it back . . . even if the only escape lies in your thoughts and in your dreams. All aboard.

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

Friday, February 16, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: Make radio great again

In the past few decades, radio has become a real sh*thole medium.

It's real programming and Music Carnage out there, people. And I alone can fix it.

The fix is 3 Chords & the Truth. Bigly.

"Sir, I turn on the radio, and all I hear is crap. Where is this fixing you talk about?"

I am glad you asked that question. And I will answer it while my Enthusiastic Supporters beat the crap out of you for your insulating . . . insurance? Impotence?

I will tell you the suppressed truth while my Enthusiastic Supporters beat the crap out of you for being a Smart Ass.

THE TRUTH is that Deep Radio wants this program to fail. The big men at Big Companies are censoring the programming genius -- a very great genius -- that is the Big Show. They won't put it on the air . . . something about "formatics." And that shows you what kind of Bird Brains make up Deep Radio; the show has nothing to do with countertops.

They don't have a clue. They don't have a clue.

And I have very wonderful countertops. The best countertops. I also have the best Music Show on the Internets, but it's not a countertop. I guess you can put your computer or smartphone on the countertop -- maybe put some speakers up there, too.

It would look wonderful. It would, I think, work out very nicely. But 3 Chords & the Truth is not a countertop, but who knows? We have some Very Great Scientists . . . and I could have been a scientist, a Very Great Scientist, very much like Fat Albert Einstein . . . now that's a guy who could make the show also be a countertop, and we're working on that now . . . we're trying to get Einstein in on the project as I speak.

And we'll get there. We'll get there. Because I alone can fix it, and the fix is in; we're Fixing right now.

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

Friday, February 09, 2024

3 Chords & the Truth: Placement is everything

Placement is everything.

Placing the right players in the right positions on the right team? It's everything.

Hiring the right coaches? Everything.

Placing the right people in Congress, while placing the wrong people far, far away? As we have seen the past few years . . . everything.

Placing the right man in the White House? Everything.

Placing the man with 91 criminal counts pending before a jury -- and definitely not placing him in the presidency again? Everything.

Here at 3 Chords & the Truth, it's an undisputed canon of life that placement is everything. And that covers everything, including the music you hear. If the wrong song is in the wrong place, it will not be pleasant for anybody.

If a totally unexpected song is in just the right place, it can be magical. On this episode of the Big Show -- every episode, actually -- we go for the magic. Thank your lucky stars for good placement.

You see, as I've said previously, placement is everything.

Now, if you would be so kind as to place yourself in a comfy chair and place your favorite high-fidelity audio device on "loud," we can commence with some musical magic.

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

Friday, December 01, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: Don't fence me in

This is 3 Chords & the Truth. We don't do fences here.

There's not much to keep the easy listening out of rock 'n' roll's business. Nothing separating jazz from classical. Or country from the blues, punks from mods, the secular from the sacred.

On the Big Show, it's always a free-for-all. What you know you'll get next is not knowing what you'll hear next.

It's Christmastime now, so expect some musical surprises under the tree. And clichés embedded in program descriptions.

Hey, you come up with new, pithy things to say about 3 Chords & the Truth every week, why don't ya?

I've been under the weather. I'm tired of writing now. Listen to the show, OK? Peace out.

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

Saturday, October 28, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: It's not nothin'

World affairs have not improved in the last week. There was another spasm of mass murder via assault rifle in the United States. And MAGA Ned Flanders is the new speaker of the House.

It's still time to be desperately worried about . . . well, everything.

Good thing there's 3 Chords & the Truth to elevate the mood around here. Fine pieces of music, expertly crafted into an eclectic, yet coherent, whole can do that for you even in the darkest of times.

That's not nothin'. And that's the Big Show -- though I'm not sure "not nothin'" is the best slogan one could craft.

It's a good thing I'm not relying on myself to be the advertising guy. Oh, wait. . . .

Well, shit.

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

Friday, October 20, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: Can I even?

It's been a couple of weeks.

Last week, I couldn't even.

This week, I'll give it the ol' college try.

Welcome to 3 Chords & the Truth. Some weeks, I feel like I'm playing music in the darkness and hoping for the best. This week, I feel like I'm playing music in the darkness inside an insane asylum.

SUCH IS LIFE in the United States -- and inside a red state in the United States -- these days. And here I am doing a freeform radio show on the Internet. Congress is paralyzed, thanks to the Rabid Weasels Eating People's Faces Party . . . now engaged in eating one another's faces.

Normally, the sight of that would be highly gratifying. But we really could use a legislature right now, when Hamas terrorists are beheading Israeli babies, and the whole Middle East is a powder keg in the middle of a bonfire.

I can't even. But I'll try here on the Big Show.

For so many reasons, I can't even. For so many reasons, I have to try.

Shalom.

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

Friday, October 06, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: That's freeform for ya

I have a new minimum standard for the Big Show.

All I need to do is not f*** this thing up as badly as House Republicans f*** up everything. That should be easy enough.

And what am I not f***ing up? Basically, playing what the hell I want. All I have to do is make sure that makes some sort of sense.

Again . . . way ahead of the House GOP.

Freeform in the 21st century. That's exactly what 3 Chords & the Truth is, and this week's program is about as freeform as it gets. Minus the Tuvan throat singing or Bulgarian folk songs.

This time.

The Big Show. It's a little of the 1960s in the 2020s. It's a little vintage big-city, freewheeling FM radio behind red-state lines.

What it is, is 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all.  Be there. Aloha.

Friday, September 29, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: Love and hate

It's a thin line between love and hate.

Or is it a chasm?

Perhaps it depends on the context. In America today -- or is it Amerika? -- there's a chasm. And hate is all around. Fascism is on the rise.

This week on 3 Chords & the Truth, we take a musical look. The subject matter is harsh, but the music goes down easy.

I'm biased, but I recommend you give this edition of the Big Show a listen. The devil you try to ignore will kill you even faster than the one you acknowledge.

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

Friday, September 22, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: Further out, man

It was Friday, Sept. 22. It was gray and damp in Omaha, by God, Nebraska. I was working the night watch out of the 3 Chords & the Truth culture-war bunker.

My partner's Belle the Dog, the boss is Mrs. Favog. My name is Favog. A powerful new podcast capable of producing strange and mind-expanding auditory phenomena had found its way onto the Internets. It had fallen into the hands of listeners in several places. We had to try and keep the party going, man.

We had to get further out, man. We had to get further out.

MAN, IT WAS a blast having half your head in rock and half your head in the space-age bachelor pad. But, man, you have to get further out. You have to get further out.

We could give you something on a sugar cube or in a little capsule, man. But that requires some bread, you dig? But, man, this thing cats call the Big Show, that don't cost nothin'. It don't cost nothin', man. And it'll get you further out.

Way far out, man.

MAN, it's groovy. Trippy. You'll go into orbit, man.

Forget Coca-Cola, man. 3 Chords & the Truth is the real thing. It's a happening all by itself.

Man.

And it's real, so real, so real, so real, so real, so real.

Can you dig it?

I can dig it, he can dig it, she can dig it, we can dig it, they can dig it, you can dig it. Oh, let's dig it. Can you dig it, baby?

I thought that you could.

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

Friday, September 08, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: Just let the mystery be

We live in a country -- hell, a world -- of limited horizons.

Cynical people more accustomed to sitting in the front row of class, of sucking up to teacher and all the "right" people, make their money by foisting the mediocre off on those who sat in the back of class, more interested in spitballs than scholarship.

That assessment may strike you as cynical as all get out. You may be right. But I would argue there's more truth in it than any of us are comfortable with.

IF YOU DON'T believe me, turn on the radio. Hell, follow country music today.

Six words: "Try That in a Small Town."

3 Chords & the Truth ain't about that. Thus, our putting out a little Big Show from the cramped confines of a culture-war bunker, somewhere behind America's Ironic Curtain somewhere in Flyover Country.

But did you ever consider that the leavening in what's left of our culture just might be the work of the unknown and unheralded -- the presence of extraordinary anonymity in our midst? That's a big part of the program this week.

Extraordinary talent doesn't always, or even usually, lead to fame and fortune in our society. When you zoom out for a wide-angle look at things, extraordinary talent probably more often leads to a lifetime of being overlooked. Remaining relatively unknown . . . or completely unknown.

Consider the Unknown Dorm Singer, circa 1967. At the University of California, Santa Cruz during the fall following the Summer of Love, we had a guitar-toting hippie hitchhiker in need of a place to crash, a freshman-dormitory room, a young man with a decent tape recorder . . . and magic.

TO THIS DAY, no one can figure out who was that girl. So, for now, we have no choice but to let the mystery be.

But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the music -- the magic -- 56 years hence. On 3 Chords & the Truth, we will.

Today, that isn't something likely to be tried in a small town. So they say.

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

Friday, September 01, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: Fly, pigeon, fly

I shall share with you a scene from the week's hiatus of the Big Show. It starts with a stroll through City Hall Plaza in Chicago, a resumption -- after a 41-year delay -- of my Great Blues Brothers Tour.
 
Picture a walk-by of the site of Jake and Elwood’s last stand — along with its iconic Picasso sculpture.
 
A healthy (or perhaps, medically speaking, not) gathering of Big City Pigeons attracted my attention for a bit before I turned back to the Picasso. After a while, I was distracted by the sound of what only could be described as a pigeonado. This is similar to a sharknado, only oddly more impressive.
 
I entertained the possibility that this phenomenon might be even more impressive than what greets you weekly on 3 Chords & the Truth.
 
Likewise, I entertained the alternate possibility that this might be Armageddon, defying centuries of end-times Cassandras by starting in the Windy City. In fact, after witnessing this Avian Apocalypse, I considered this might be where Chicago got its nickname.
 
I will not pussyfoot around. There was a whole lot of flappin’ goin’ on.
 
IN THE CENTER of the maelstrom was not a cosmic cage match between the Son of God and the Prince of Darkness, but instead a little Asian lady tossing the last of a sack of rice into the whirlwind. Then, as suddenly as she appeared, she faded into the mists of time.
 
OK, that was hyperbole. 
 
Instead, she crossed the busy street and vanished into the evening hubbub.
 
Mrs. Favog and I struck up a conversation with a nonplussed bystander who explained what we had seen was, alas, not Beelzebub but instead the "Crazy Asian Pigeon Lady," a figure as determined as she is reviled by Chicagoans sick and tired of scraping pigeon crap off of sidewalks, downtown structures . . . and themselves.
 
ANGRY CITIZENS, exasperated property mangers and pissed-off members of Chicago’s Finest apparently are helpless against a determined woman and a bag of rice.
 
It's kind of similar to how radio and musical convention are helpless against the mind-blowing experience of this humble . . . ish . . . podcast, the Big Show.
 
Anyway, the fellow we talked to said the pigeon lady comes to feed the city’s flying rats every evening at 6 sharp. Also, pigeons can tell time. He noted, though, that she was a few minutes late that evening.
 
I blame climate change.
 
There is no word on whether the city of big shoulders will get serious about ending this crap — literally — once and for all with full deployment of the Chicago PD SWAT team, the Illinois National Guard, a sizable contingent of state police . . . and the fully strapped ghost of Carrie Fisher. (I told you this was a Blues Brothers tour.)
 
There also was no official confirmation that the dude who was way too happy to be considered of sound mind (or permanent address) as he danced amid — and perpetuated — the pigeonado, is, in fact, Da Screwtape.
 
Film at 11 on WBBM-TV, fortuitously positioned right across North Dearborn Street from the coming manifestation of the End of Days.
 
As you may be able to tell, Chicago is one of my favorite cities ever.
 
It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.
 

Friday, August 18, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: Uh . . . well . . . um. . . .

You know the old saying, "When you have nothing in particular to say, just shut up and play the music"?

You don't?

Well, you do now. See, there's a reason you listen to 3 Chords & the Truth.

Maybe it's because I'm preoccupied with taking a week off next week. Mrs. Favog and myself are celebrating our 40th anniversary (Yes. I am old. She, however, has not aged a day.), and we plan to revel in goofing off and doing fun stuff. For a whole week.

Listen, would you want to be stuck with me non-stop for four decades? The woman has earned at least a week of goofing off and doing fun stuff. At least.

So, I'm talking about pretty much nothing, and I'm letting the music do all the heavy lifting. (As if that weren't the case already.)

It's gonna be great.

Naturally, the lack of things to say extends to describing the episode of the Big Show where I have nothing much of importance to say. So . . . so . . . so . . . so. . . .

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

Friday, August 11, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: The knowing

You have to admit there's one thing about American life that's easier today. It's easier to be a depressive.

That, I think, is a sane reaction to . . . American life today. And all you have to do to get there is pay attention.

But that's not healthy, you might say. You likely are correct. But tell me this: How healthy is it to check out from the world around you, to no longer pay attention, to live in a world faux-sanitized for your peace of mind?

Does balance exist? Where might it be?

These are the questions confronting every episode of 3 Chords & the Truth. And to tell you the truth, they're not easy questions, and it's not easy to do a music program that aims neither to ignore our reality today nor to wallow in it with no respite in sight.

PERSONALLY, I think the root cause of this country's social and political brokenness is some sort of American civilizational collapse. Try "keeping it real" amid a nationwide nervous breakdown while also trying to be somewhat entertaining.

"Keeping it real" could make you a total depressive. Being tight and bright might tend toward delusion, with a certain head-in-the-sand je ne sais quoi. If you live on this side of America's Ironic Curtain, behind authoritarian lines somewhere in a red-state enclave, it helps to do your show from a culture-war bunker.

What does this have to do with a freeform music program, this Big Show, going out over the Internet during troubled, spite-infused times? I suppose both nothing and everything. Your guess is as good as mine.

I tell myself this weekly 90 minutes is a refuge, though not one for delusional thinking. Maybe the better analogy is a sanctuary for what beauty and sanity we can preserve. Maybe it's the audio version of a candle in a dark room.

Whatever it is, I'm certain that 3 Chords & the Truth is better than the prevailing social and political ethos -- at least in many quarters to the right of me -- of burning the motherf***er down, because one's grievances (justified or no) demand it. The nihilism of the "burn the motherf***er down" crowd has no Plan B and no plan for what comes next.

The only thing left, as one stands in the ashes following a conflagration of one's own making, is "Well, f***."

"Well, f***," indeed. Maybe the truth of the Big Show is that all we can do is remind folks of what they're putting the match to -- so much beauty, so little regard for it. I don't know . . . but I reckon that's not nothing.

All I do know is that a country full of mental toddlers really shouldn't be allowed to play with matches. Now here's something to listen to by the warm light of the flickering flames outside as you recall when we were better than this.

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