Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts

Sunday, December 20, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: A socially distant Christmas

Well . . . it's been a year. 

And this year, it'll be a Christmas -- just not the one we'd all hoped for. 

There's nothing we can do about the year 2020 has been, but there's lots we can do about the kind of Christmas this one will be. No, it's not the one we'd dreamed of -- but we certainly can make the best of the one we've got. 

Maybe -- just maybe -- it will be special in its own pandemic-y manner. We at 3 Chords & the Truth are doing our best in the effort. And this is our Christmas gift to you, wherever you might be and however you plan to muddle through somehow. 

AFTER ALL, the Savior whose birthday we celebrate now in the bleak midwinter was born in a manger, surrounded by livestock, had nothing but swaddling clothes  . . . and soon had to flee into exile with his parents. Despite social distancing, incompetent and pernicious political leaders, and the 'rona stalking us all, we will muddle through. 

Somehow. 

Perhaps, we'll even triumph. Just like Jesus -- despite everything.

That's our Christmas wish for you here at the Big Show

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

Saturday, December 12, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Listen to the Big Show. It's good.

It's coming up on Christmas, and all I want Papa Noël to bring me is . . . something to say.

Of all the things 2020 has taken from us, something useful to say that hasn't already been said over and over again is the latest loss for me. In this age of COVID and Trump, you do what you can -- try to keep spirits up -- but sooner or later, you start running out of gas.

Obviously, 3 Chords & the Truth is still going, but my words are. . . are . . . are . . . are. . . .

I got nothin'. Just listen to the Big Show. It's good.

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

Saturday, December 05, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: The Late Show

Now that America has completed the Thanksgiving national 'rona superspreading event, we eagerly careen toward the Christmas national 'rona superspreading event. 

So, just in time for the most festive time of the year, it will not be festive at all for millions of our American countrymen. Some of the darkest days of our history will coincide with the darkness of winter. 

This is enough to cause many an otherwise sane and confident person to curl up beneath a mountain of blankets in the dark of night, afraid for the future and despairing for the present. Amid the dark, cold night, we seek a little light -- even if it's the dial light of your old radio . . . or, as the case may be, the light of your smartphone's screen. 

3 Chords & the Truth can't do much to fix what ails us during this dark December, but it can keep you company in the night. We can play music that might, for a moment or three, make you forget and bring a little joy.

And starting with this week's edition of the Big Show, we can bring you a little Christmas, right this very minute. Really, don't we need all the Christmas we can safely get right now? 

That, friend, pretty much sums up this week's program -- a little comfort and light in the cold, dark night. It's something we all need to grab a hold of as often as we can, especially when it comes in the form of really good music.

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, October 24, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Shine

Winter is here. Darkness is upon the land.

There is only one thing left to do.

Shine.

You shine your light as we rage against the darkness. And 3 Chords & the Truth will supply the soundtrack.

Now is the time to rise . . . and shine

That said, this week's show is going to blow your mind, man. Shine? Oh, about a megawatt's worth, I'm reckoning.

That is all.

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


Saturday, October 17, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: The Warm Sound

Welcome to the Big Show, coming to you from a time and place somewhere near the end of the world.

We don't call the studios of 3 Chords & the Truth the Apocalypse Bunker for nothing, pally.

This week finds the 'rona raging more than ever, the president of the United States rage-retweeting a post from a satirical website, thinking it's real, and these Disunited States of America as disunited as ever with an election coming up in November. Stock up on the toilet paper and canned goods now, folks. It's gonna be a rough ride.

Too, stock up on the best music on the Internet, here on the Big Show. We all need all the consolation and distraction we can get, and this here program is just the ticket.

In other words, send lawyers, guns and music -- the shit has hit the fan. I kid. I think.

AS USUAL, we have a great playlist of music here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska, and there is the usual compliment of twists, turns and eclecticism scattered through it for your ears' listening pleasure. There's a reason it's called the Big Show, and this is it. Not many places feature this diverse a selection of music, and even fewer are on the radio . . . and probably not anywhere near you.

But here on the Internet, here we are. 

Bet you're glad you shelled out for that broadband connection, aren't you? Actually what you'll find here is worth the long, long download even if all you have is dial-up. Is that still a thing? 

The show is freeform. It's also a twist on freeform programming.

It's . . . the Warm Sound. Or something. 

AND JUST about now, I'm flashing back to high school all those decades ago and wondering whether I've hit 500 words yet. And, no, I'm not going to count them.

So, in conclusion ("in conclusion" gets me two more free words), I'll just say the following: 

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


Saturday, October 03, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: BOOM!

If you think 2020 can't get any worse, you're underestimating this most putrid of years.

Chaos surrounds us. The 'rona is still raging. The president has it, and the White House seems to be one big superspreader event. Worse, it all was entirely predictable, despite how "shocking" everyone says this is.

The presidential debate was a disaster -- because Donald Trump. Again . . . entirely predictable.

Election shenanigans are in the air. White supremacists are riding high -- again, thanks to the president of the United States, which threaten to become entirely disunited.

And I know I'm missing something here.

THIS IS ALL the more reason we need refuge. Part of that is 3 Chords & the Truth. Part of it also might be your favorite adult beverage, and lots of it. (See: Debate. Presidential.)

I can't even, and I'll bet you can't either.

And we all know we won't catch a break from 2020.

What more is there to say? Probably not much, and probably nothing that the Big Show doesn't cover this week with another fine hour and a half or so of excellent tunes. And even if you don't like music much, you always can listen to hear your Mighty Favog tap dance to the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Because, once again, I can't even.

Because . . . BOOM!

By the way, if you like the show, you always can show your appreciation in . . . Jim Beam.

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


Saturday, September 19, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Winter is coming

Winter is coming.

I mean that in every sense of the phrase.

As if 2020 weren't awful enough -- as if the mortal threats facing the United States weren't piling up to the extreme -- now there's just one more thing. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died, God rest her soul, and now we face perhaps the bloodiest (perhaps literally) Supreme Court confirmation battle we've ever seen.

This latest "one more damn thing" comes amid a catastrophic pandemic, an intractable culture war, a cold civil war that already was threatening to go hot . . . and a brutal presidential election in which one of the candidates is a budding authoritarian dictator. To tell you the truth, this is looking like one thing too many for our divided and traumatized country to take.

I am not an optimist by nature. Usually, I count on expecting the worst, then being pleasantly surprised.

I fear the glass half empty is about to catch up with me . . . and with us all.

YET,  the Big Show must go on. I hope, as fine a country as Canada is, the future address won't end up being (fill in the blank), by God, Ontario. Or Manitoba. Whichever.

That assumes, however, that Canada would let Americans in. That's a big assumption, because it won't let us in now.

Because the 'rona . . . and because Typhoid Yankee.

Still, we do what we can do for as long as we can do it. In this case, that would be 3 Chords & the Truth and playing great, eclectic music while trying not to make you as depressed as I am right now.

By the way, this week's edition of the show is particularly tasty. It will either take your mind off things, or perhaps you can be depressed to a bitchin' beat.

Don't think twice, it's all right. On the other hand, you can't be too strong as the city drops into the night.

C'est tout.

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


Saturday, September 12, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: The picture is better in here


Do you ever think that living in the United States is like watching a TV with really bad reception?

The picture keeps going to random pixels , the sound keeps going out, and you know that pretty soon everything will just go to black, waiting for the "NO SIGNAL" thingy to pop up on the screen.

Yeah, that.

I mean . . . I meeeeeeeean, do you ever feel the need to watch the network news with a fifth of bourbon? Do you ever think that this crap's too ugly to stand?

Well, Bucky, we have something here that might help what ails you -- a magic elixir called 3 Chords & the Truth.

BEST OF ALL, it's absolutely free, you don't have to brave a virus-threatening trip to the store, and it contains absolutely no alcohol. (It's excellent as a mixer, however.)

And it's right here, just a click away.

The pictures it will summon in your head are amazingly better than the ones on your television screen. It's not only the Big Show, it's the much better show. The music dancing in your ears ain't half bad, either.

That's all there is to say about that. So. . . .

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


Saturday, September 05, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: The Big Show @ 500 (episodes)

It all started at a 10-watt radio station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- a young man behind the microphone with little ambition and less talent. . . .

And 43 years later, well . . . it is what it is, 3 Chords & the Truth.

I kid. Sort of.

But what did start four decades ago at WBRH radio at Baton Rouge Magnet High School does live on today, on the Internet, in the form of the Big Show. Unsurprisingly, you'll hear a lot of what I was playing then on the program now -- because my generation did have the best music.

The occasion for all this ruminating is a landmark edition of the podcast. This is No. 500.

Five. Hundred. Shows.

FOR A YEAR or so, Revolution 21 was the home of the brilliantly named Revolution 21 Podcast. On Jan. 11, 2008, that became 3 Chords & the Truth, and we've been plowing ahead ever since -- always eclectic, always adventurous and always trying to surprise you.

Well, at least a little now and again.

Being this is the 500th episode of the Big Show,  we'll celebrate by giving you bonus podcast this week. You'll get a half hour more of the best music you'll find online -- lagniappe for just being here and sharing in No. 500.

Did I mention this is the 500th program? It is, you know.

I'll shut up now so you can enjoy in just a second.

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


Saturday, August 29, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Shots in the dark


This edition of the Big Show comes at the end of a week that began with seven shots in the back.

Then it saw two protesters shot dead in the middle of the night by a teenage vigilante, then had a hurricane and Nuremberg for Dummies -- because the other mayhem wasn't enough to satisfy fate.
I need a drink, and you need the music. Because the crazy never, ever ends.

Otis! Take us away! (And if you want to know what that's all about, listen to the show.)

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


Saturday, August 22, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Carry on


The stupid, it burns!

So consider 3 Chords & the Truth as your personal fire extinguisher and burn cream. Extinguish flames before applying to skin.

I mean, really. Some days, it's just hard to roll out of bed, because the stupid -- and the ugly and mean -- is so strong in this country. And then there's the virus, so you're smart if you don't venture too far beyond your bed. Y'know?
 
WELL, you just have to keep on keeping on, keeping the ugly reality in mind but also hoping for the best. The Big Show is a big part of my keeping at it . . . despite everything. (Don't make me think I shoulda stayed in bed! I do like to sleep.)

That said, the music is typically great, your host is typically somewhat adequate, etc., and so on.

And I spend one set of music pretty much showing off. If you're a music geek, you'll appreciate it.

If not, you'll probably still appreciate it.

That's pretty much it. Brevity is the soul of wit -- or something.

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


Saturday, August 15, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Mostly sanitary


The Big Show, we are proud to announce, is sanitary. Sanitation has been achieved.

Being sanitary is important these days -- there's the 'rona goin' round. And we have a very sanitary lineup of music on 3 Chords & the Truth this week.

Except for that one thing. And maybe that other one. We do the best we can; it's a filthy world out there. Ask the president . . . but don't get too close. He's not sanitary.

Is this enough for you, Skipper? Sometimes, it gets hard to think of new ways to describe the Big Show. Still, I must write something -- and this is it.

So, is this enough for you, bucko?

Well, it better be. After all, the proof is in the listening, not in my blathering.

And remember to stay away from Donald Trump. Not sanitary . . . or anything else that fittin'.

That is all.

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


Saturday, August 08, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Somewhere to run


Where do you run to when there's nowhere to run?

Excellent question, if I do say so myself.

Well, this week on 3 Chords & the Truth, we're escaping somewhere deep into the music. When you feel like you can't take another damn thing, it's good to have a bunch of rockabilly queued up and then go from there.

WHICH IS exactly what we're doing this week on the Big Show.

It's the next thing to having a time machine and heading back to a world that was COVID-free, where Trumpism sounded like something having to do with bridge . . . and where you (meaning me) sported fewer pounds and more hair.

I guess that sort of sums up this week's show. Alas.

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


Saturday, August 01, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Yet, we persist


This edition of 3 Chords & the Truth starts out by cleaning up -- or fervently hoping we'll have the opportunity to pick up, sweep up, mop up and wash up after this fine mess we've made for ourselves in these Benighted States of America.

This comes after your Mighty Favog was forced into a week away from the turntables and the microphone, because the doctor was afraid he'd contracted COVID-19 despite his paranoia about catching the Trump virus. The test was negative, but because the test ain't the greatest, there was a week confined to the bedroom and away from the studio.

Here's hoping to make up for lost time here on the Big Show.

And despite everything . . . we persist.

Our backs are against the wall. Yet, we persist.


We will persist. And we'll persist to a hell of a soundtrack, right here on this here program.

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



Saturday, July 18, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Push back

“Push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you."

-- Flannery O'Connor

That goes double in these times of fascists, cranks, the plague and a radically deviant conception of "freedom" and "liberty."

If 3 Chords & the Truth has to turn into some sort of Resistance podcast, so be it. This thing -- meaning America -- has gotten out of hand, and we'll be lucky to live through it.

We'll have to hope and pray that we get lucky. While we're waiting to see, the Big Show will have some great music to salve your soul just a bit.

Push back like hell, my friends.

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


Saturday, July 11, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Same old song


It's the same old song. Second verse, same as the first.

And here we are in Coronavirusland -- right back where we started in March.

In March.

Apart from "We live in f***ed-up times in a f***ed-up country," I really don't know what to say. Rather, I don't know what to say that's any different from what other rational believers in science are saying right now.

We here at 3 Chords & the Truth got nothin' . . . except the music. And the music is exceptionally good.

One hopes it's so good that it'll make you feel a little bit better for a while. I would say "make you forget," but that's a bit of a stretch -- even for the Big Show.


But that's just the same old song, isn't it?

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



Saturday, June 27, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Whatever works


How are you getting by this week in this time of disease and woe?

Me, I've found that the best method for coping is . . . whatever works.

A big part of "whatever works," we at the Big Show hope, is the Big Show itself. A weekly dose of good music helps a lot when you're afraid to turn on the news for fear of what fresh hell awaits.

But while you're listening to the program -- listening to the finest in recorded music from the vast 3 Chords & the Truth library -- might I suggest sitting in a comfy chair with a refreshing libation. It might just be the shot in the liver you need.

PERHAPS A Skyball would do the tri . . . tri . . . hic . . . trick.

This classic 1960s bit of alcoholic nostalgia is sort of like a spruced-up highball, only made with vodka, lemon juice and lemonade. And I'm sure it's healthier than sitting on the stoop with a Lieutenant Dan cigar and muttering the F-word a lot.

Like I said, whatever works.

Of course, if you happen to be under 21 -- or if you just don't like booze -- I'm sure a nice refreshing glass of no-octane lemonade would work just fine, too.

Listen to me, I was pre-med in college. Wait, I was a journalism major.

Hell, what's the difference?

Good music and good libations -- that will help you get through this time of pandemic and pan-idiots. And helping you get through it all is our special mission on 3 Chords & the Truth.

S'alright? S'alright.

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


Saturday, June 20, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Doing what we can


First, the pandemic. Then, the reckoning.

Hell of a spring you're having, America.

Amid a double-barreled storm -- a double-barreled world of hurt -- what then are we to do? The answer is both complicated and really simple. Being a simple sort, I'll stick to the latter with this episode of 3 Chords & the Truth.

Now, the envelope, please. And the answer is . . . what we can.

We do what we can. That's certainly what we're doing here on the Big Show -- what we can. It involves (one hopes) not being dumb, not saying dumb things (at least not extraordinarily dumb, which seems the fashion for American society today) and playing the best music available here in the Apocalypse Bunker.

MANY MIGHT know that better as "the studio."

That pretty much sums up this week's show -- playing good music to soothe your soul and not saying or doing anything extraordinarily dumb. Don't worry, we'll still have plenty of the ordinarily dumb.

Just ask my wife.

I suppose that's all there is to be said -- he says as the smartphone and iPad keep dinging and lighting up with the latest Fresh Hell Alerts. (Would it be appropriate to change the alert tone to something more appropriate to these times . . . like an air-raid siren?)

Ponder that after you rebalance yourself by listening to the show.

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