Friday, February 29, 2008

Snow Fighter Sighting!

As promised, a look at Meredith's secret weapon, Snow Fighter.

This is just uphill from my driveway.

Photo Analysis 101

One of the RSS feeds I have at the bottom of the page here is for the Mt. Washington Observatory's outstanding Photo Gallery section. This one recently popped up, and has so much going on in the picture you wouldn't know where to start.

Scattered about are many CAIRNS.

The "small" building you see below is the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, which comfortably sleeps nearly 100 people a night from June thru September.

Towering above Lakes is Mt. Monroe, and then to the right, way off in the distance, you can see Mt. Lafayette and the Franconia Ridge.

And in the lower right side, Bretton Woods.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Snowstorm Part 27

Here's the flag I raised on the summit of Mt. Seufus about 12:41 AM this morning....

Latest storm report:
Tuesday-Weds. morning event: 14.5 inches
Blowback after-effect snow Wednesday afternoon and early evening: 3 inches
Now over 140 inches since December 1, 2007....
Are we having fun yet?

Life's a Beach?

TripAdvisor came out with their annual list of the 10 best beaches in the United States. Nice to see my old childhood beach at #3-

And here are the winners:

1. Fort De Soto Park's North Beach, Tierra Verde, Florida

2. St. Andrew's State Park, Panama City, Florida

3. Kailua Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii

4. Cumberland Island National Seashore, Cumberland Island,Georgia

5. South Beach, Miami, Florida

6. Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

7. Pensacola Beach, Pensacola, Florida

8. Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort, South Carolina

9. Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego, California

10. Waimea Bay Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii

commentary here:

Monday, February 25, 2008

More Global Warming

Things are getting extremely serious up here-the Town broke out the heavy snow removal artillery today.

This is the factory catalog photo of the Meredith HD's Volvo manure spreader, AKA "Snow Fighter". In addition to the blade shown here, Meredith's Snow Fighter also has an additional front angled blade.

They only use this puppy at the end of the winter to whittle down the snowbanks...I have a couple of pics of ours but they aren't handy. I will try and dig one or two out, but we have another 12 inches of stuff getting ready to fall...

Aloha, Aunty!

Aunty has been a semi-regular on my annual Christmas CDs

HONOLULU-Genoa Keawe, the foremost female Hawaiian falsetto singer of the second half of the 20th century died this morning at her home in Papakolea, according to her family. She was 89.

Keawe had been in failing health for several weeks.

Born Genoa Leilani Adolpho on Halloween, Oct. 31, 1918, she married Edward P. Keawe-Aiko in 1935. She performed as “Genoa Keawe” because her husband wasn’t sure at first that it was appropriate for his wife to be performing in bars and nightclubs, and she continued to use the shortened version of the name for the rest of her life.

Keawe made her first recordings for 49th State Hawaii Records in 1946. She subsequently recorded for Hula Records before she founded her own label, Genoa Keawe Records in the mid-1960s.

Keawe’s command of Hawaiian falsetto singing -- particularly her use of ha‘i (the technique of emphasizing the break between her upper and lower vocal registers) made her the inspiration for several generations of female falsetto singers. Her ability to simultaneously inhale and sing was the key to hold a single note seemingly forever when she sang “‘Alika,” the song that was known for decades as her musical signature.

Fly This!

A British pilot has been dismissed for “buzzing” a control tower in a Top Gun-style stunt during the maiden flight of a Boeing jumbo jet.

Captain Ian Wilkinson astonished passengers by taking the 230-tonne Cathay Pacific jet to within 28ft (8.5m) of the ground shortly after take-off from Boeing’s US manufacturing plant.

The 322mph fly-by was cheered by onlookers, and the pilot, who is said to be one of the most senior aviators with the airline, later toasted the flight with champagne.

Footage of the stunt on January 30 was leaked on to the internet, however, and Mr Wilkinson was suspended. Cathay Pacific executives took a dim view of his actions, which were carried out without authorisation, and he was dismissed after a disciplinary meeting last week.

Ray Middleton, his British co-pilot, who had been unaware that the fly-by was performed without official permission, was suspended from training duties for six months.

Chris Pratt, the chairman of Cathay Pacific, is said to have been among the VIP passengers who were on board the £100 million plane, a 777-300ER that had taken off from the plant in Everett, Washington, en route for Hong Kong, where the airline is based.

Mr Wilkinson, who is in his mid-fifties and has lived in Hong Kong for more than 15 years, earned more than £250,000 a year.

Video here:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

1258 Back Yard

I took this pic of our back yard at 1258 Ulupalakua Street in Kailua in 1964. On the right, you can see one of the numerous plumeria trees, which seems to be going dormant. This leads me to believe this pic was taken during the Hawaiian "winter" between December and March. In the background is our lemon tree. That lawn is Zoysia grass, the real spongy stuff.

Sad to say, over the following years, subsequent owners of 1258 expanded the house to cover almost the entire lot-no back yard no more. When I drove by the place 5 years ago, even the carport had been turned into living space.

At least the current owner is a guy named Craig! (Anderson). He paid $450,000 for the place in 2003.

You Know He's Not Insane

Now available, George Papoon for President Yard Signs, buttons and T-shirts

Fly This!

(World's leading expert in coconut based fuel working in his lab.)

LONDON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Virgin Atlantic says it has made air transport history in Britain by completing the first flight by a commercial airline to be powered partly by biofuel.

The Virgin Atlantic jumbo jet -- carrying no passengers -- departed from London's Heathrow Airport and touched down in Amsterdam using fuel created from a mixture of Brazilian babassu nuts and coconuts, the BBC reported Sunday.

Virgin Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Richard Branson said the flight marked a "vital breakthrough" for the airline industry.

"This pioneering flight will enable those of us who are serious about reducing our carbon emissions to go on developing the fuels of the future," he said.

Fully commercial biofuel flights are likely to use feedstocks such as algae rather than the mix used on the Virgin Atlantic flight, Branson said.

Craig comments: Only 1 engine was set up to use the fuel, out of 4 engines on the plane.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Snow Update

This is about all I can see from the street, AKA Edgerly School Road, of the front (north-facing) side of my house as of February 22.
That large pile of white stuff is about 8 feet tall.

"Oydessey And Oracle" Hits 40

"Ask any scholar of mid-to-late '60s British pop to list the three top releases from the Summer Of Love: They’ll undoubtedly give you Sgt Pepper and argue the toss between, say, Ogden's Nut Gone Flake and Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.

But nine out of ten will also include the Zombies' Odessey And Oracle. To this day it remains a word-of mouth obscurity. But by those who know it’s held in such regard that the remaining living members of the band are to perform it in its entirety this year, on the fortieth anniversary of its release."

rest of review:

Fly This!

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether go! airlines pilots fell asleep when a flight overshot the Hilo Airport by 15 miles.
Flight 1002 left Honolulu about 9:20 a.m. last Wednesday and was scheduled to land in Hilo at 10:05 a.m. However, a source close to the investigation said the plane drifted off course by 15 miles before turning back to Hilo Airport.

There was also a 25-minute period where ground crews in Hilo could not get a hold of the flight crew, the source said.

rest of the story:

Bird Songs!

"The so-called Quetzal records were a series of B-side instrumental throwaways created by Sonny Bono and his arranger Harold Battiste, in cooperation with Sonny & Cher's managers Brian Stone and Charlie Greene. Quickly recorded and musically skeletal, the records were designed (in the manner of Bono's mentor, Phil Spector) to compel radio attention to their respective A-sides.

Although the songwriting was invariably credited to Bono, Greene and Stone, the general concensus is that the Quetzal sides were written (to the extent they were written at all) by Battiste.

One further Quetzal, a 1966 Sonny Bono solo outing titled "Ride The Wild Quetzal" (under a topside of "Midnight Surf (Theme For Valora)"), was assigned a catalogue number (Vee Jay 710), but was apparently never released.

The name of a species of exotic Central American bird (aka Pharomacrus mocino), the word quetzal was an in-joke among Sonny and his friends, chosen most likely simply because they liked the sound of it."

Go to this link, then scroll down to "Session 191" from February 8, 2008, for the downloads!

Musical R.I.P.s

Teo Macero, a record producer, composer and saxophonist most famous for his role in producing a series of albums by Miles Davis in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including editing that almost amounted to creating compositions after the recordings, died on Tuesday in Riverhead, N.Y. He was 82.

And we also say goodbye to the co-writer of a tune written long ago, but made famous in the early 1970s by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen called "Hot Rod Lincoln"...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Latest Hit Record

From New Zealand-a hit song that only dogs can hear!

Yoko Sues...Lennon?

She denies it, of course...

In other Beatles news, some real estate is for sale:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

We Travel The Spaceways

DOUBLE FLYBY: If all goes according to plan, space shuttle Atlantis will undock from the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday morning, Feb. 18th, at approximately 4:30 am EST. This is good news for sky watchers across North America who will be able to witness a rare double flyby on Monday evening. Atlantis and the ISS will appear as a tight pair of lights, as bright as Jupiter or Venus, gliding in tandem across the twilight sky--an unforgettable sight.

Favored cities include Los Angeles, New Orleans, Dallas, Jackson (MS), Pensacola, Philadelphia, Reno, San Diego and others. Double flybys continue on Tuesday, Feb 19th, albeit not as tight because the shuttle will be moving away from the ISS as it prepares to land on Wednesday, Feb. 20th.

You can look for flyby timetables at Heavens Above

And should you miss the event, visit

for images and movies.

Grazin' In The Grass-Last Call

South African horn man Hugh Masekela is winding down his farewell tour of the US; he plays tonight (Sunday) at Berklee in Boston and this Friday at Town Hall in NY City. After that, he plays 3 dates in Hawaii, but after that will never play the US again. His excuse? "I'll be 70 next year, and I can't be on the road in my 70s."

I've met and chatted with Hugh many times over the past 15 years, and he's good people, he is. I had a free ticket to see him tonight but the weather (snow changing to ice!) prevented it, which I am not terribly bummed out about, as I wouldn't have gotten a chance to talk to him anyway due to the size of the venue.

My final memory of seeing Hughie perform live will be the big bear-hug he gave me as he left the Scullers stage after his 2004 show, followed by another bear-hug after the show when we talked about non-music things, especially growing veggies in our gardens!. He always remembered me because we both have Scottish first names, and also because I once asked him if he had ever eaten the great Scottish delicacy HAGGIS. He laughed and said "no way, man!" Happy trails, Bra Hugh!

Watch Hugh at work here:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

NRBQ on youtube

Pretty shaky production, but here's a look at NRBQ's 2007 reunion show (night 1) at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA.

Hawaiian Music Camp, Anyone?

Music camp with a Hawaiian twist! It's the Ohana Music Camp, March 16-21. Also details on this summer's music camp by Keola Beamer

Back Royalties Lawsuit

Some of the biggest names in American music or their estates are suing Universal Music Group Inc. for more than $6 million, claiming the company has been cheating them out of royalties for years.
The plaintiffs include Patti Page, and the estates of Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Benny Goodman and the Mills Brothers.

More here:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Battling Rock Stars Part 1

PARK CITY, Utah - With his two bandmates and their autocratic leader gathered around a dining table, David Crosby is telling a George Bush joke.

"Don't you think it'd be a good idea," he says, chuckling, "if we had a law that said you can't have control of nuclear weapons unless you can pronounce the word nuclear? I'm just asking."

Neil Young stares intensely at his jovial bandmate and - strangely for a guy who wrote a song called "Let's Impeach the President" - reprimands him.

"That comment is a polarizing comment," Young says harshly. "It doesn't have to do with the grass roots of the country in the Midwest. It takes people and separates them."

Later Neil adds this haymaker:

"A lot of people have problems pronouncing words and spelling things correctly. It doesn't mean that they're not intelligent"

Make some popcorn to read the rest

Craig checks in: It should be noted that Croz apparently doesn't know that former President Jimmy Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, pronounces "nuclear" the exact same way Dubyah does. And he was trained by the US Navy to serve on atomic subs. He never did, as he had to quit the Navy when his Dad died.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Haiku Stairs, The Sequel

Here is an archival pic of the "Haiku" portion of the Koolau Mountain Range on Oahu, which I featured in a couple of earlier posts.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Snow

Verizon phones out in Laconia, surrounding towns
Associated Press - February 14, 2008 8:05 PM ET

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) - Phone service disrupted in more than two dozen New Hampshire communities, but officials hope to have the problem fixed later tonight.

State emergency management officials say the problem is affecting Verizon's landline and cell phone customers at least 25 communities, including Laconia, Plymouth and Conway. Most phones are working, but only within a limited calling area.

Officials say anyone facing an emergency should still try to dial 9-1-1 even if they don't hear a dial tone because the call may still go through. If that doesn't work, they should try using a cell phone or dialing local police or fire departments.

The calling areas are defined by the coverage area of Verizon's remote terminals, not by town lines. Verizon officials say the problem has been traced to two damaged cables.

LACONIA, N.H. -- A problem with Verizon disrupted landlines and cell phones in the Laconia area Thursday evening. State emergency officials said that the problem affected Laconia and 25 surrounding communities. Calls have been unable to go out. Full service isn’t expected to be restored until 10 p.m. or later on Thursday.

Verizon Spokeswoman Jill Wurm said that two cables that supply service were damaged at around the same time. One of the damaged cables was located between Sanbornville and Wolfeboro. The other was located between Belmont and Canterbury. Wurm believed that a fallen tree was partly responsible for damaging at least one of the cables.

As of 7 p.m., 911 service in the area was working. Emergency calls were being transferred to Concord and then to local fire or police departments. Customers could also call people within their same 3-digit calling exchange. Officials said that anyone with an emergency that could not reach 911 should then try the local number for their police or fire department. As a last resort, drive to one of the departments.

(original post)

The latest snowfall tallies are on Saddle Hill we have passed the 133 INCH mark for the snowfall season, which equals out to 11 feet of Global Warming. This is an alltime record.

The State Capitol of Concord, which is 30 miles as the crow flies to the south and about 700 feet lower in elevation than where my house is on Saddle Hill, has recorded 86.8 inches so far. This exceeds the most season snowfall ever recorded in Concord on March 1st of any previous year dating back to the 1870s. And we still have 2 more weeks to go.

Today we got 11 more inches, which was followed by a coating of ice. It's still freezing rain here as we speak, but it's actually 2 degrees cooler than what my Weather Underground bells and whistles show. They say it's 34 degrees, but that is at LCI, which is 500 feet lower than here. Right now I have 32.1

Luckily, we have not had many power outages locally. A lot of flat roofs have collapsed however. When the roads are this icy, the Meredith snowplow/sander trucks actually have to come to a stop just above my driveway, turn around in my neighbor's drive across the street, and then very slowly BACK down the hill-since the sanding unit is in the back, it sands the road in advance of the truck in reverse. The sand has a healthy dose of salt mixed in, of course, but a rare storm like this creates special icing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Don't Look Down Part 2

Again, I cannot take credit for this pic, but this shows the Haiku Staircase as it descends down the ridge from the top of the Koolau Ridge above Kaneohe on the Windward Shore of Oahu.

Definitely not for the faint of heart, this staircase was featured in an episode of "Magnum PI" in the 1980s, and the City of Honolulu and State of Hawaii have been trying to figure out a way to open it to public hiking without incurring major liability issues for years. So far, it's been endlessly tied up in litigation.

Don't Look Down!

If ever on Oahu (where Honolulu is) be sure to take a day trip to the Windward side of the island, where the Seuf family lived from 1963 til 1966. At the time we left that summer, the H-3 highway was already on the drawing boards, but ended up being delayed for decades due to court challenges by not only environmentalists but also native Hawaiians, as the planned route traveresed sacred sites. The solution was to of course build the highway on stilts.

I can't take credit for this picture, but it shows the H-3 as it reaches the Windward portals of the tunnel-on the other side it's an easy 5 minute ride downhill to Aloha Stadium, which is right next to Pearl Harbor. This shot was taken from the infamous Haiku Staircase, which is an extremely scary climb to the top of the ridge.

The military established a communications post atop the ridge in WW2 (the Big One) and this was later taken over by the US Coast Guard as a radio navigation transmitter site. In fact, my Dad, who took over CG Engineering in the Pacific in the 1960s, got to travel up to the Haiku transmitter shack before the stairway was built. Back then, they used a crude cable car!

Grammy Awards of Note

The 50th Grammy Awards were on Sunday night, and I managed to catch some of the shenanigans. Here are some of the overlooked awards (comments by yours truly in parentheses)

Pop Collaboration With Vocals: "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (this is the hot duo delaying the Led Zepp reunion tour)

Pop Instrumental Performance: "One Week Last Summer," Joni Mitchell

Rock Instrumental Performance: "Once Upon a Time in The West," Bruce Springsteen

Country Album: "These Days," Vince Gill (featuring writing and guitar playing by NRBQ guitar legend Al Anderson)

Country Collaboration With Vocals: "Lost Highway," Willie Nelson & Ray Price (the ONE tour I wish I had seen last year)

R&B Album: "Funk This," Chaka Khan

Contemporary Blues Album: "The Road to Escondido," JJ Cale & Eric Clapton (JJ lives!)

New Age Album: "Crestone," Paul Winter Consort

Contemporary Jazz Album: "River: The Joni Letters," Herbie Hancock

Jazz Vocal Album: "Avant Gershwin," Patti Austin

Jazz Instrumental Solo: "Anagram," Michael Brecker, soloist

Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group: "Pilgrimage," Michael Brecker

Large Jazz Ensemble Album: "A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina)," Terence Blanchard (a great album!)

Traditional Folk Album: "Dirt Farmer," Levon Helm (Levon also won a Lifetime Achievement Award as a member of The Band)

Contemporary Folk/Americana Album: "Washington Square Serenade," Steve Earle

Hawaiian Music Album: "Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar," Various Artists, Daniel Ho, George Kahumoku Jr., Paul Konwiser & Wayne Wong, producers (sad to say, these guys have won this category since the Hawaiian genre was added a few years ago. The Grammy voters are too lazy to try and understand any Hawaiian music with singing, as they can't understand the language. What a shame)

Zydeco or Cajun Music Album: "Live! Worldwide," Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience (as I noted last week, this is the first year for the zydeco genre. Since Terrance was the guy who got it added, he got the first award)

Reggae: "Mind Control," Stephen Marley (somewhere in Babylon, Bob is smiling)

Traditional World Music Album: "African Spirit," Soweto Gospel Choir

Contemporary World Music Album: "Djin Djin," Angelique Kidjo

Polka Album: "Come Share the Wine," Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra

Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: Love (The Beatles) George Martin & Giles Martin, producers (Apple Records/Capitol Records)

Musical Album for Children: "A Green and Red Christmas," The Muppets

Spoken Word: "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream," Barack Obama (Barry beat out both Bill Clinton and Al Gore for this one)

Comedy Album: "The Distant Future," Flight of the Conchords

Instrumental Arrangement: "In a Silent Way," Vince Mendoza, arranger (Joe Zawinul)-(good to see Joe get another RIP)

Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: "What It Is!: Funky Soul and Rare Grooves (1967-1977)," Masaki Koike, art director

Historical Album: "The Live Wire — Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949," Nora Guthrie & Jorge Arevalo Mateus, compilation producers; Jamie Howarth, Steve Rosenthal, Warren Russell-Smith & Dr. Kevin Short, mastering engineers (Woody Guthrie)

And The Hits Just Keep on Coming...

Or as the old 60s-era DJs would say, "hit after hit after hit!"

Latest "good" news from the National Weather Service...

Snow to develop this evening with 4 to 8 inches expected byWednesday morning and total snowfall of 6 to 10 inches expected by Wednesday afternoon.

The snow will mix with sleet and freezing rain in the morning and then change to rain and pockets of freezing rain in the afternoon before ending in the early evening.

Power outages can be expected as snow and ice accumulates across the region. Tree limbs will be downed and travel will become difficult. Anyone planning travel later tonight and Wednesday should be prepared for rapidly deteriorating Road conditions and allow extra time to reach their destinations.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fly This!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Larger Sidebar Pic

Main Street in Meredith-no parking allowed!

Fishing Derby Time!

We've got thousands of hard core ice fisher people here in town this weekend for the annual derby. This is always great entertainment for us locals, especially to see a small town spring up in a location that will be underwater 2 months from now...
Thanks to the online Derby sites, here are a couple of images of the fun! More at the links below

More re. the subdudes

Nice interview with head subdude Tommy Malone here:

And here's the setlist for the mp3 of the free download of the 2007 subdudes show I linked to the other night:

I put a number in parentheses after each song to tell you which album it's from (list of numbers and titles follows the setlist). This is a great representative subdudes set, as it includes a little bit of every phase of their career, and is basically identical to the set we saw them do in Boston from the same 2007 tour.

You'll Be Satisfied (#3)
Why Can't I Forget About You (#3)
The Light in Your Eyes (#1)
Poverty (#3)
Sarita (#4)
Oh Baby (#6)
If Wishin' Made it So (#6)
Need Somebody (#1)
Social Aid & Pleasure Club (#7)
Next to Me (#7)
Morning Glory (#6)
It's So Hard (#3). This live version is actually an earlier version of this song and not the version that appears on this album
One Word (Peace) (#7)
Papa Dukie and the Mud People (#7)
Tell Me What's Wrong (#1)
Push and Shove (#2)

#1-the subdudes 1989
#2 Lucky 1991
#3 Annunication 1994
#4 Primitive Streak 1996
#5 was a live album, then the band went "on hiatus" for a few years
#6 Miracle Mule 2004
#7 Behind the Levee 2006

The band has lyrics for many of the albums here:

Model Train Tycoon Gives Up on Music

Neil Young has decided music can NOT change the world...

Zydeco Gets Its Own Grammy Award

It's about time! The inimitable Louisiana music known as Zydeco has finally secured a Grammy niche. Speaking of Louisiana music, last night's subdudes/BeauSoleil show at Plymouth State just up the road was a hoot and a holler!

Christmas in Dwightland 2008

Here's a February 9, 2008 version of the same 1963 picture I posted earlier this week...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fly This!

Here's the first in a weekly entry on flying. A lot of these will be about out of the ordinary aircraft escapades, but some won't be quite that scary...

The Air Canada 767 known as the "Gimli Glider" was retired last week, some 25 years after it ran out of gas over Canada and had to descend some 41,000 feet before making a dead stick landing on a closed airport runway being used for car racing...

Wild pic of the plane right after it landed plus other info about the incident:

Doo-Wop Picture of the Week

"Pimples and pockmarks! Pimples and pockmarks!"

free live subdudes alert

Some of us are going to see legendary New Orleans/Colorado band the subdudes open up for Mike Doucet and Beausoleil here in New Hampshire tomorrow night. I've seen both bands 27 times at least, dating back to the late 1980s, but both bands are still as relevant and vital as ever.

Here's a bonus: free music!

"The Barns at Wolftrap Performed by the subdudes January 18, 2007 The Barns at Wolftrap (Vienna, Virginia)

For a limited time only, we are pleased to be able to offer fans a download of a nearly complete show. In mid-January, the band played two nights at The Barns at Wolftrap in Vienna, Virginia. Both shows were in front of sold out, enthusiastic audiences and Drew Holshouser (the band's soundman) made this recording on the second night (1/18). We won't leave this up for long, so be sure to grab it while you can.

NOTE: Please download the show rather than clicking on the link below to play. Your sound quality and overall performance will be much better this way. Right click to save as an mp3 file "

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A 3 Hour Tour Plus 18

Johnymac enhances coconut milk whilst watching maniacs crash their surfboards off the Lawai stretch of beach on Kauai, May 3 2003. Careful with that twang-bar, johny!
A huge swell had spawned thousands of miles to the south a few days earlier, and it managed to shut down even the child-safe beaches while we were there. Scary stuff!
I'll dig out a couple of wave pics over the next day or 2 to illustrate my point...

Meanwhile, click here and learn the local patois

A Three Hour Tour Photo of the Day

I took this shot of the harbor Gilligan, et al, sailed out of almost 40 years later, in April 2003. This is in fact in downtown Honolulu, about 1/2 a mile from the Pier 4 US Coast Guard Base, where Pop worked. I have a couple of classic photos of that which I will do some other time.
Strangely enough, this harbor was used for both the original pilot episode and then the real show which was filmed months later.

Reader's Digest Version

In between winter storms here...the Global Warming (TM) just keeps piling up higher and higher!

Some assorted musical nuts from the local squirrels follow:

Must be tough-Frankie Sinatra's estate still makes trillions and zillions of dollars even after he's gone:

Maha Yogi dies

Comedy Central will have a Celeb Toast for Willie:

And finally, hit me with your rhythm stick!

""Overall, 116 of the 279 unique songs (41.6 percent) had a substance use reference of any kind. Ninety-three songs (33.3 percent) contained explicit substance use references," wrote the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Christmas in Dwightland

Here's a nice shot Grampy Smith took of the Dwight Moody place right next door to the Smith homestead "Linnacre". This is from the early 1960s.

Today's 60th Birthday

from wiki:

Nigel Tufnel (1945-) is the lead guitarist of the rock band Spinal Tap featured in the 1984 mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap.

Nigel's hobbies include collecting guitars; particularly noteworthy is his un-played unlooked-at foam green six string Fender Bass VI. He also has Gibson Les Paul 1959 model, whose acoustic properties he praises. He also plays mandolin, piano, and does backing vocals. He is currently writing a classical piece in D minor which he claims is the 'saddest of all keys' and is provisionally entitled 'Lick My Love Pump'.

Nigel has a great love for Gumby, carrying a figurine in his shirt pocket and wearing Gumby shirts frequently. He is also a self-proclaimed 'fish nut', liking cod and canned tuna because it has 'no bones'. Nigel currently sits on the Editorial Board of his preferred in-flight periodical, Car and Driver.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Stupid Music Picture of the Day

Singer Leon Rausch leads the Texas Playboys thru a high octane set at Lowell Folk Fest 2000. Leon had the unenviable job of replacing legendary Texas Playboys vocalist Tommy Duncan, but managed to do it.

Paging Brian Eno

Music for airports, anyone?

"Wrong is right." - Thelonious Monk

Buffalo Philharmonic Does Lizard King

Donovan Remembers

Nice interview with Mr. Leitch here.

In other Donovan news, his recent concert video is now out on DVD; check out your usual suspects for retail info.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A Bid to Save an Elvis Movie Site

A new proposal is circulating to try and get Hawaiian government funds to help buy and re-hab the once-classic Coco Palms Resort in Kapa'a on the east side of Kaua'i. This of course is where the bulk of the last 20 minutes of the Elvis "Blue Hawaii" movie was filmed, and it's also located on a parcel of land that includes a palm tree grove owned by Hawaiian royalty..

The resort was totally trashed during Hurricane Iniki in the 1990s, and has never re-opened. As you can see from this photo I snapped when we toured the ruins with the Kaua'i Movie Tour in 2003, the setting is magical, but the property needs work. The "Elvis Cottage" in fact was almost totally blown down.

Belated Happy B-Day

Blogger Scott Johnson has these kind words for a great singing duo, whose elder brother turned 71 years young yesterday:

"If you love the Cosmic American Music, you know the Everly Brothers have a constellation all to themselves. They brought the close harmony singing of traditional country music into the mainstream of American popular music. More than a few great musicians learned harmony singing by listening to their records. Paul McCartney acknowledged his debt to the Everlys in "Let 'Em In" and wrote "On the Wings of a Nightingale" for their first post-reunion recording in 1984.

After tearing through a succession of great songs written for them by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant at the end of the 1950's, they struck out on their own with Warner Brothers in 1960. Some of their most brilliant work followed, including their monster 1960 Warner Brothers hit "Cathy's Clown." Even as their audience in the United States dwindled in the wake of the British Invasion, they continued deepening and updating their work on albums such as "The Everly Brothers Sing" and "Roots" with songs that stand with their best work. "

49 Years Ago Today...

The day the music died...

Many people forget the two guys who gave up their seats on the plane to the Big Bopper and Richie Valens. One was named Waylon Jennings, the other was Holly's guitar player Tommy Allsup, who would later go on to play with and produce Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.

Tommy in fact performed in Clear Lake at the Surf Ballroom last night, 49 years after he lost a coin toss to Valens for a seat on the plane:

Nick Danger Sighting

Firesign Theatre's Phil Austin, who promises that Shout! Factory will be coming out with a new 4 cd "Box of Danger" set this spring, will be at a booksigning event in Washington state tonight, followed by a radio interview. All times are Pacific, so us folks in the "Far East" will have to wait til 11:30 PM...

"I'll be on KSER 90.7 in Everett Wa. after the book signing
at Third Place Books Saturday night. The signing is at 6:30 PM
probably until around eight and I'll be on the air with Peter
Dervin probably around eight thirty."

The book signing is info is here:

You can listen to Phil on KSER over the internet here:

Speaking of Firesign and radio, FST founder Peter Bergman is now a weekend overnight news anchor on KFWB News 980 in Los Angeles. He's on during the overnight hours Sunday and Monday 1 AM-5 AM PST, or 4 AM-8 AM EST. You can listen live via their website...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Night Munchies

Poke, anyone? This is a classic Hawaiian appetizer made with raw fish, seaweed, two types of onions, and anything else you can think of. Best enjoyed with many bottles of cold beer.
My version shown here also includes sesame sauce.

Almost Mardi Gras Part 2

Speaking of James Brown...

Thanks to a friend who is a reporter at a great metropolitan newspaper, I got a sneak preview listen of the new double CD coming out next week by legendary funky sax man Maceo Parker.

Maceo of course was a major cog in the JB Horns, then moved on to the George Clinton flying gasbag, but after starting a very promising solo career in my opinion he made a big mistake by drifting into the rap/hip-hop genres.

He has wisely decided to go back to what he does best. HIGHLY recommended!

Here's an early review:

IT'S A NEW DAY: Although funk trailblazer Maceo Parker has played alto-sax with some of the greats, the question lingers: How great would he be today if he'd started out as a solo artist rather than backing up label favorites? His newest double-disc narrates his history while it celebrates the artistry of two musical giants, Ray Charles and James Brown.

Is this the same Mr. Parker who played on the original recording of "I Feel Good" with James Brown? And is this the same Mr. Parker who was a card-carrying member of George Clinton's Mothership in the 1970s? In a word, yes.

Full review here:

Almost Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday comes relatively early this year (it's on Tuesday of next week!) so I'll try and post some N'Awlins music stuff.

First up, a nice tribute to Tipitina's, one of the legendary New Orleans music clubs.

We Travel the Spaceways

That's the title of a great old Sun Ra tune, later covered by NRBQ, but here I'll use it to pass along some outer space news.

First up...

The Beatles are about to become radio stars in a whole new way.
NASA on Monday will broadcast the Beatles' song "Across the Universe" across the galaxy to Polaris, the North Star.

This first-ever beaming of a radio song by the space agency directly into deep space is nostalgia-driven. It celebrates the 40th anniversary of the song, the 45th anniversary of NASA's Deep Space Network, which communicates with its distant probes, and the 50th anniversary of NASA.

"Send my love to the aliens," Paul McCartney told NASA through a Beatles historian. "All the best, Paul."

The song, written by McCartney and John Lennon, may have a ticket to ride and will be flying at the speed of light. But it will take 431 years along a long and winding road to reach its final destination. That's because Polaris is 2.5 quadrillion miles away.

NASA loaded an MP3 of the song, just under four minutes in its original version, and will transmit it digitally at 7 p.m. EST Monday from its giant antenna in Madrid, Spain. But if you wanted to hear it on Polaris, you would need an antenna and a receiver to convert it back to music, the same way people receive satellite television.

James Brown's "Cape Man" Gets Some Help

From Augusta Georgia:

The last year hasn't been easy on Danny Ray.

Mr. Ray, known to millions as the voice behind James Brown's singular introductions and the man who, at the apex of Please Please Please would offer his employer comfort and a cape, found himself, after Brown's death in late December 2006, without the gig that had sustained him for nearly 50 years.

Living off a modest Social Security check, Mr. Ray soon was in financial difficulty. In December, with an $18,000 debt, it looked as though he might find himself without a roof over his head.

But Mr. Ray has friends. On Friday, alumni of James Brown's famously funky touring acts will reunite to perform a benefit concert for Mr. Ray at 209 Music Lounge, 4 Eighth St. Artists scheduled to appear include longtime Bittersweet and Brown protege Martha High; the powerhouse JBs horn duo Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley; Augusta-bred Soul Generals guitarist Keith Jenkins; and longtime Brown musical director Tyrone Jefferson.