kaffyr: (See the Sky)
Brown Eyed Handsome Man

He was rock and roll. 


Hail, hail, rock and roll. Heaven just got a lot cooler. 

Here's a raw and live version of his first hit. I could just erase everything I wrote about his performances and point you to this.




Here's a reminder that his genius wasn't just in ramped up rhythms. Much as I love almost everything of his that I've heard. This is probably my favorite Chuck Berry song.



And this? This is the Brown Eyed Handsome Man




kaffyr: Keep Calm & dive behind the sofa (Dive behind the sofa)
Thoughts, In No Particular Order

I have been thinking of Leonard Cohen's music today, having been reminded of it via an add on our local jazz radio station for a one-hour remembrance of him. I only got to hear the last 20 minutes or so of it, but it's made me want to listen to his albums, both the early and the later ones. I really want to hear his last one; "You Want It Darker." I heard the title song, and it's Cohen at his elliptical, emotionally unsparing and beautiful best. I don't know what I love about his music more, the words, the imagery, the love he bears for everything he views ... perhaps, too, the past week's events beyond his death have kept him in my head. 

Facebook and Livejournal share the creepy practice of telling you about upcoming birthdays of people who have died. I got one such notification today and was reminded that we all live on, on the internet.

I completed (I think) a conversation over on LJ, in my last post; because I didn't put the post under a lock, this person wandered in and launched into a strong attack on my progressive stance. I decided to try to engage; although the effort wasn't ultimately successful, I'm glad I didn't simply ignore the person. At the very least, he challenged me to think about the best way to respond to his claims. I do worry, from time to time, about living in my own liberal/progressive echo chamber, and requiring myself to step outside that chamber, even if it's just in the tiny way I did with this conversation, is probably a good thing.

BB and I are finally getting into the latest run of anime titles. I'm extremely impressed with one that has the rather unprepossessing English title of "Flip Flappers." I'm not even going to try to describe it, except to say that if you liked FLCL, chances are you'll like this one, too. 

Last night I got the chance to hear Father Michael Pfleger speak in person for the first time. He impressed the hell out of me. 


kaffyr: Two elegant dancers (Dance)
Nov. 8: Too Depressing Even For Him

Leonard Cohen has died. 









(All jokes aside, I adored Cohen's poetry, his music, his brilliance, his humor, his resilience - and, of course, his flawless abilities as a ladies' man. I'll miss the fedora and the quirked smile, the darkly glittering entirety of him.)



kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
Today is Sunday

Tonight there will be a presidential debate, one during which hundreds of thousands of viewers will sit, waiting for the moment when Donald Trump finally, completely, mesmerisingly, permanently, unforgettably loses his shit for real, and sends the GOP into a death spiral* so complete that one could get sick on the juicy, deliciously rich schadenfreude. 

But that's tonight. And perhaps I won't even watch, because I've already shouted myself almost hoarse this weekend, in the service of something far more joyous, which you'll see under the cut. 

So today, this very sunny afternoon, I'm going to share with you two things: 

Read more... )
Read more... )

* Actually, I hope it's not a death spiral. The two-party system may not be ideal, but it sure as hell beats the one-party system. I'd just like something a little less batshit crazy than the current version of the Grand Old Party.
 
kaffyr: (Joe Hill)
I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night

It doesn't matter that Labor Day is almost over. That's because every day is Labor Day. On this Labor Day
, I remember Joe Hill
YouTube heavy post under here )
kaffyr: Keep Calm and Carry on At Length poster (Carry On)
I Am Not - Repeat, Not - Going To Give Up On Posting. Or Responding To Posts

Because all of you out there are very important to me. 

I realize that the last few months have seen epic absence from me. Somehow, each day at work has been so much more stressful than it's been in the past, that getting off work in the evening doesn't leave me with enough energy to communicate. I haven't worked out why that seems to be the case - certainly, I've posted like mad during previous periods of extremely high stress - and perhaps it's counter-productive to wonder at the reasons. Poking a stick at a dead horse doesn't do anything for you or the horse. 

Exercise in writing something longer than a tweet )
What I've seen on YouTube )
Union work, huzzah! )
Jazz! )

Nova Scotia, television, gin and hernias )
Dear lord, I'm babbling like a brook. It's time for me to cease. But I can tell you that it's wonderful actually having the time and energy to post. I'm very happy about that. 
kaffyr: (See the Sky)
Do You Know What's Good? Ancient Music, That's What's Good.

Well, I didn't get everything done that I needed to do on Friday, but I still ended the day feeling remarkably decent about myself. Go, me, then. 

And today, I got a haircut, I did my exercises (thereby staving off an incipient back pain), and spent quality time with one of the three men in my life (the second flew out this morning to meet his beloved on the East Coast, and the third is up in Nova Scotia being retired.) 

All of those things are good. You know what else is good? Discovering a classical music station on Shoutcast Radio that plays nothing newer than Elizabethan galliards, as far as I can tell. And, as I told BB this morning, ancient music cools me out a great deal. I tend to like classical that's Haydn and older, so I suppose this isn't a surprise. 

Tonight, steak, potatoes and spinach. Then Game of Thrones and new anime. And a hana ichigo. Yes, I think it will be a good night. 

Dept. of Success

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 08:43 pm
kaffyr: (Hurrah!)
Huzzah!

First Born's band, wellthen, has made its Kickstarter goal; hurrah!!!!  (Hey, good news and happiness from Yours Truly!)
kaffyr: Dancing French cracked geniuses (Sometimes you need to dance)
Wellthen

That's not a misspelling; that's the name of the band that my beloved FB plays in, writes for, and enjoys a whole lot.

He and his bandmates have been working their tails off to put together a high quality debut album. And that takes money. So, like many a millennial  band before them, they've taken to Kickstarter to get the $5,000 necessary to put it out there. 

They created a very funny video explaining what they're doing.  I get a kick out of it, even after seeing it several times (possibly because Andy wrote much of it, and does the voiceover, I'm compelled to admit.) Why not take a look, and a listen? I'd tell you to look for the good looking man with the beard, but they all have beards in most of the video, so that's no help. But at the start of the video, in the still, he's the one without a beard, in the short-sleeved purple tee. (And there's a scene in the video where you see a man and a woman talking to each other in the foreground; that's him, and his beloved Emily.)

It may not be your kind of music. And there are certainly a lot more important things to put your money into these days. But if it tickles your fancy or your funny-bone, and if you'd like to help them out, I'd be delighted. And so would they. 
 


kaffyr: Animated rain falls on the bathhouse from Spirited Away (Bath house in the rain)
And the Work Isn't Even Started Yet!

The work starts tomorrow, and I'm not sure i'm up to it. I have a confusing mandate from my Exec Dir. I don't know the people I have to lobby. And I've been up since 3:45 a.m. I'll probably feel better after some sleep, right?

And there is no more Prince in the world. Jesus. 


Dept. of Passages

Monday, 11 January 2016 04:12 pm
kaffyr: Fantasia - night and the profile of a hill (Dark and lovely)
Waiting for the Gift of Sound and Vision

David Bowie's death was the first news story I saw when I awoke this morning. And, like millions around the world, my first thought was "No, he can't be dead - he's David Bowie!"

Of course, he could be dead, and he is, and there's a very big hole in our world.

There's also a little ragged hole in my own heart. Not because I grew up with his songs; I didn't - he came to North American attention after I graduated high school, and left university. I was peripherally aware of him as a young adult, but my first "Wow!" reaction about Bowie came when I watched "The Man Who Fell To Earth," rather than through listening to his music. 

That changed when I came to Chicago, after Bob opened so many musical doors for me. I finally got to listen to "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars"; I learned that you really need to turn up "Suffragette City" to 11 to get the full impact; I bopped to the funk of "Young Americans"; I was continually impressed by his persona changes, his refusal early on to adhere to gender expectations, his journey through different music styles, his blending of art, fashion, and music. 

When Bob and I were making a run at rock and roll stardom with our bassist Dr. Gonzo, we did a weird (but it worked musically and, oddly, thematically, I think) little medley of "Heroes" with the Beach Boys' "Do It Again." I had to learn the lyrics to Heroes, which led to listening to the entirety of both Low and Heroes.

And that's when Bowie got into my psyche. 

I'm a lyrics person. I'm also pretty linear, which meant that sometimes, Bowie's very non-linear lyrics left me off-kilter and, yes, very occasionally unimpressed. But when I heard "Heroes," when I heard "Sound and Vision" that all changed. In my eyes those two songs revealed glimpses of an extraordinarily opaque artist. Those glimpses left me incredibly impressed. 

As much as I loved "Heroes" - and listening to it this morning brought tears to my eyes - it really was "Sound and Vision" that made me into a Bowie fan.

The austere but gorgeous Zen acceptance of "I will sit right down, waiting for the gift of sound and vision" told me so much about Bowie, about his love of music, his love of observation, his love of the world, his growth as a human. It made me want to be a better human myself, although it's hard to connect the dots between the words and my reaction to them (a little like Bowie's lyrics, perhaps.) I wish we could all sit down and wait for that gift - and appreciate it when it's granted, because sound and vision help connect us with the world.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Bowie. 

Here's "Sound and Vision."



Here's "Heroes": This is a live version of Heroes because, damn, he looked so happy to be singing it, and damn, he did such a good job on it. 



And here's his last release, "Lazarus" - the video and music go together so well, and seem to anticipate his death; it's marvelous, and chilling.

Dept. of Awesome

Thursday, 3 December 2015 11:25 am
kaffyr: (Lead laughing)
Kneel Before the Mighty Pocket Protector

If you know A Capella Science, you might already have seen this. If not, enjoy. After all, as this guy, and my BB says - we won. 


kaffyr: (Bored in Porco Rosso)
It's Friday!!!!

So, first off? The Best Friday Song EVARRRR. Which I will probably intermittently re-post because it always makes the end of the work week particularly wonderful. 




Second: I hope everyone is doing well, as November gets ready to start its slide toward December. I'd love to hear what folks are doing.

Third: Much to my own surprise, I actually was able to buy two little Christmas gifts for two friends, and that pleases me inordinately. I bought them from a small independent store, and that pleased me even more. Most of my gifts this year will be donations in peoples' names to various charities, but it's always great to find a little something personal. 

Fourth: I was, for the firs time this season, truly disappointed with a Doctor Who episode. "Sleep No More" was, for me, boring, despite a lot of sound and fury; both gormless and formless (something that I've found to be the case with most other Mark Gatiss scripts) and a waste of a lot of nice background world-building. To take an intrinsically interesting idea (lack of sleep and what that does for individuals and their society) and squander it so completely ... it would be a shame in any Dr. Who season, but this season has been, for me, so uniformly good that "Sleep No More" is particularly unsatisfying. Mediocrity, thy name appears upon too many occasions to be Gatiss. I still like "The Unquiet Dead" and "Robots of Sherwood" though. 

I am fighting a slightly upset stomach, and gearing up to do my exercises; the stomach might not be a good thing for the exercises - we shall see. 

Onward, to Big Ass Martini time!
kaffyr: (Mel's on Fire)
Hump Day Survival Aids

On a day when I expect to be pretty frakkin' busy (and to be going to the podiatrist where, god willing and the creek don't rise, I'll get the word to jettison the damned walking boot), I need a little extra emotional fuel to keep me going. So here's a song from a few years ago, with Mary J. Blige and U2. It's a beautiful song, and Blige and Bono duetting make it even more beautiful. The video is elegant and, although it might not seem to be, I think it's also surprisingly understated. In a way that I don't often see in professional music vids - and more often see in fanvids, frankly - the images fit and compliment the music and words, and there are some images of Blige that still raise the hairs on the back of my neck. 



And once you're done being blown over by this song (yeah, I'm that convinced of its power), here's another more recent Blige offering. I keep forgetting how much I really like this woman and her music. What a shame for me. 
kaffyr: Dancing French cracked geniuses (Sometimes you need to dance)
This Has Made My Face Hurt 

I've watched it far too many times now, and every time I do, I'm afflicted with a huge grin, one so big that I understand what they mean when they say "a grin split my face."

Everyone may have seen it before, but perhaps you'll enjoy it one more time with me. And [livejournal.com profile] eaweek? There be some Hiddles dancing in there; as soon as I saw it, I thought of you. Heh. 



Saving bandwidth since 2006 )

Dept. of Memes

Saturday, 11 July 2015 04:16 pm
kaffyr: (See the Sky)
Five Things That Make Me Happy

[livejournal.com profile] mack_the_spoon tagged me with this meme, and though I'm not normally very good at memes, or indeed all that interested in them, this one attracted me because it's simple - I am a simple creature - and it was a very positive sort of thing. I do love many things, so let's see if I can tell you about five things that make me happy. 

1. BB. He is, quite simply, the best thing in my life. It may seem disrespectful to call him the best thing, but what I mean by that is that he does so much for me, and has taught me so much, and has been there so often for me ... he is my best friend; he's my voice of reason when I need one, and that's oh, so often; he's the one who kills the cockroaches, he's the one who tells me I look good when I know I'm looking seedy, he's the one who knows I need a hug. He's the one who tells me, who convinces me, that things are going to be alright. He's the one who introduced me to jazz (and truly nurtured my inherent love of music in general), and Firesign Theater, and martinis. He knows my sense of humor, and puts up with my lack of humor when I'm in particularly dour moods. He is the best.

2. Personal letters that come by mail. Whether they're handwritten or typed up, getting a real letter in the mail takes me back to the days when getting news from friends who lived far away was a special treat. The days you'd wait between the time you mailed your own letter - which you'd carefully written with as much news, thoughts, meanderings, worries and joys as you could possibly do before your fingers tired or your typewriter jammed - and the time you got an answer, with any luck as jammed packed in answer, were interminable. And the day the letter arrived, oh, it was wonderful!

3. Music. I grew up with music; my Nana and my mother sang, and sang beautifully. I had piano lessons for years, and have always regretted giving them up. I love almost every kind of music, although rock and roll gets my blood flowing the most, and jazz talks to my head and heart almost as much as I've grown older. Even music I thought I didn't like, like various iterations of country, or were bored by, like whatever folk is, I learned to appreciate. Music is language I can share with everyone, and it's a language BB helped me get better at. Without music, my inner life would be an echoing, empty chamber. 

4. Cooking and writing. Yes, definitely cheating here by putting both things in the same boat, but they are both ways I can create, and I love that. Cooking is a way I can carry on my Nana's traditions in the kitchen, and those of my mother's too, so that's one reason. It's creation with short term gratification, but with challenges (as anyone who has ever wrestled with making a good pie crust can tell you.) It's also tied in with the joy of feeding family and friends, which of course is also tied in to ego gratification, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Writing is far more difficult for me, whether it's news and feature writing, or fiction writing. But I could no more stop writing, as slow as I am, than I could stop walking or talking. This happiness comes from my fiction writing, and it comes at least in part from knowing that I'm good at it, and that I can create stories that people love. I doubt that I will ever return to writing original fiction, but writing fan fiction makes me more happy than I've ever been when writing other things. 

5. Fandom. By that, I mean many things. I mean the traditional science fiction fandom that I discovered in 1977 when I went to my first World Science Fiction Convention, and which led me to a circle of music-oriented fans in Minneapolis in the 1980s and early 1990s. Traditional fandom was my first real intellectual and emotional home apart from my family. It was the place where I discovered that other people really loved the books I loved, and who didn't think I was weird, mockable, or bullyable, because of it. (Even my family, who indulged my reading, looked at it askance). Bless traditional fandom forever. And now, I am a part of online fandom, which is a child of traditional fandom, but who, like all children, has grown into a creature all its own. I have friends, and friendly acquaintances, all across this globe, people who helped me hang on to happiness, who encouraged my writing, who challenged my mind, who have been wonderful to read and to interact with for the past nine-plus years. You are all part of my life, and you enrich it so much. Thank you!

And let's see, I
 should tag people, although it's definitely a voluntary thing, especially if you've done this before. So ... [personal profile] a_phoenixdragon , [personal profile] penlessej , [personal profile] elisi , [personal profile] jjpor , and [personal profile] ljgeoff  - tag, you're it!

Honorable mentions: Doctor Who, especially Nine, Eleven, and River; Japanese curry and croquettes; Chicago; anime.
kaffyr: A picture of the Eighth Doctor (Eight in time)
Listening to Radio

Well, not quite; listening with BB to Pandora ... big band music, early jazz, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, occasional Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, even some Scott Joplin. 

It was simply lovely. An evening just listening to music and chatting, while I put a few more words together on Chapter 25. How lovely. 


Dept. of Memory Lane

Sunday, 28 June 2015 08:02 pm
kaffyr: Dancing French cracked geniuses (Sometimes you need to dance)
I Knew The Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll

You know that part in my profile bio where it says "I used to be a chick singer in an unsuccessful rock and roll band."? 

Proof, courtesy of friend and fannish historian 
[personal profile] gerisullivan , who unearthed pictures of one of the times the band was successful; when we were guests of honor at the 1985 Minicon, in Minneapolis (and thanks to her for letting me link to her post.)

As I say in the comment I made over there, the picture of me singing with my eyes open was a rare and anomalous moment in entertainment history. I normally could not open my eyes and look at the audience. I have no idea, since I certainly was able to keep my eyes open when I acted onstage. 

Jesus Harold Christ, I was young. 

Also? I married the handsomest man in the world. Also also, we had the best lawyer-bassist anywhere; Dr. Gonzo.  




kaffyr: Clyde of SJA puts a finger to his nose (Clyde's got it!)
It Made Me Smile

BB and I have a remarkably non-toxic relationship, and have had one for the past 34 years.

However, I have had, in the past, at least one unbelievably toxic romantic relationship and, throughout my life, remarkably toxic non-romantic relationships. 

I ran into this on one of my occasional forays onto Facebook, courtesy of my friend Shirley T. I love it for so many reasons, not least of which are the shiny, shiny clothes on people who Do. Not. Give. A. Fuck. What. You. Think. 

Yes, this made today a lot better. 


kaffyr: A light-limned portrait of Donna Noble (Luminous Donna)
 When One is Feeling A Little (Just a Little) Down ...

... why, then, one finds something to make one feel better. 



Thank you, 
[personal profile] such_heights ,  for this. It never fails to make my heart ache, swell, break and soar, or raise the hair at the back of my neck - always in a good way, always making the day a little better!

Dept. of Birthdays

Monday, 30 March 2015 08:29 am
kaffyr: Sarah Jane Smith and her young team at the computer (Team Sarah Jane)
Birthdays And More

It's Monday, and I'm going to try something novel; getting things done before the absolute last minute. It's crazy, but it just ... might ... work. 

And before I do that I will allow myself one last piece of procrastination, to wish a bunch of folks past, current, or near-future birthdays. 

Happy Birthday, 
[personal profile] robling_t !  That would be today, or perhaps on the 26th, one or the other, depending on whether I believe your bio, or the extremely odd livejournal algorithm - but it doesn't matter, since I hope you have a wonderful birthday, no matter what. May you finish the blanket when you want it to be finished, and may Jason and Trevor continue to live in your works!

Hello and best wishes (as of April 1st) to [livejournal.com profile] sarah531; may this year be productive, filled with joy and lots of fannish things to mull over and squee about!

And I'm not going to forget 
[personal profile] purplefringe , who puts out some of the loveliest fanvids it's been my pleasure to watch - I hope your birthday, also on the 1st of April, will be wonderful!



And finally, I really think one should start one's week off with something educational. And musical. And if you can mix them up, so much the better.

 


Dept. of Friday!

Friday, 20 March 2015 08:30 pm
kaffyr: A happy smiling superintelligent Corgi (Ein is happy)
 Enjoy!


Dept. of Positivity

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:16 pm
kaffyr: (Porco Rosso friends)
Good Thing for Tuesday

The Girl Standing in the Light of the Dawn, aka Akatsuki No Yona.

The anime is pure, unadulterated pop melodrama history, with a mystical kingdom standing in for, as far as I can see, Korea. That in itself amuses and/or impresses me, given that it's a Japanese anime. The story is so full of anime tropes that I should be bored out of my gourd, but I'm not. I love the slow (oh, so slow) unveiling of the real story, which is Yona's growth as a person and a leader, with the added fun of unexpected chibiness when it's least expected or, probably, appropriate. The art style isn't even one that I normally go for. In fact, everything about this signals that it's the kind of anime I should just yawn and avoid. 

And yet, it's the one I wait for every week. Tuesday is a big day chez Casa KaffBB, because it's Agents of SHIELD Day.  And it's Yona day.

Someday, I should examine why I love this thing so much. But for now, I'm just going to love it. 

(Well, one reason I love it, is some of its music. Its first opening musical theme, and its second closing musical theme, are so very unlike most anime themes, and kind of glorious. At least, I think they're glorious. Here - have cheesy, glorious anime music!

Oh, so wonderfully cheesy .... )
kaffyr: A typical day in the BSG!verse (Frakkin' Watchtower)
For Your Monday Morning Listening Pleasure

For various skewed powers of pleasure, I suppose, but I found it an excellent way to start the week.



Dept. of Beautiful

Sunday, 25 May 2014 03:41 pm
kaffyr: A still from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (Kiki dreams)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Ethel Waters

I was feeling a little down yesterday, and BB put on some Ethel Waters, one of the greatest of America's blues and jazz singers.

She was definitely one of the queens, even though it's very hard to shove her into any musical cubbyhole. Jazz? Yeah, but more ... blues? Yeah, but more ... show tunes? Yeah, but ...more. 

So I listened to Ethel Waters. And I felt a lot better. Today, I've been listening to her, and to Brazilian music, and looking through my window at the sun shining through the new green leaves of the trees on our street. I thought it only polite of me to pass some of my cheer on.

The final song, by the way, was (to my surprise) just a bit apropos to Memorial Day weekend here in the States. And I found myself tearing up because I'm an old fool, and happy to be one.
Saving bandwidth )

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kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
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