Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Of Montreal

Mark Twain once said that Wagner's music was really much better than it sounds...

Maybe our memories of the music of the 60s, 70s and 80s is faulty.  I swear what we were listening to back then was great, but when I go back and listen to the old stuff  in the present day I am woefully disappointed. I can put aside all the times that were defined by what I was listening to back then mostly because as I age my memories fade making the music stand on its own without the crutch of good times supporting it.

I came across the group "Of Montreal" and in particular their 2007 album called Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?  This collection immediately took me back to the pioneer days of Brian Eno and Bowie, 801 with a side of Zappa.  You might even detect a touch of Queen and They Might Be Giants.

Now be careful with this group, each of their other albums I've listened to are great, too, but great in a different way.  Each of them goes off in a totally different direction.  This is why I say you should start with this album and then if you choose to journey further with them you have been primed for that which is next.  They have eleven albums to pick through.

For me this group really plays off my short attention span with constant changes in direction which keeps it all very interesting.

The cool thing is that I found the entire album in one file on Youtube, click this link Of Montreal to hear it all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Taxing Issues

One of the thing that makes the United States stand out in the civilized world is our willingness to butt in where we don't belong fully funding questionable countries and situations at the same time doing little to help those dealing with domestic natural, health or housing disasters.  We allow mental illness to go untreated yet dump money into the eventual incarceration of the people with mental health issues.

It seems that America has lost it's way in regards to maintaining or rebuilding the infrastructure that once made us a great nation.  Our highways and bridges are a mess.  Our air traffic system is antiquated.  Our power grid is vulnerable to all sorts of sabotage and mishaps.

Presently our nation would never be able to get the support it took to build the interstate high-way system.   I doubt we would ever be able to have a project like one of the dam building projects.  I doubt we would ever be able to build  NASA from scratch.

I think the government is missing some great tax options that could restore this nation to what it once was when people were doing pretty well financially and they felt the US was a safe place to live and a land of opportunity.

We should legalize and tax marijuana. We should tax fire arm and ammunition purchases.  Finally we should tax the churches.

Legalizing marijuana is a no-brainer because the majority of the population thinks it should be legal and when it it legal it will cost less to produce and distribute and even adding a tax it will cost less than it presently costs to obtain it.

Before you NRA kooks pop a nut you need to realize there is a federal department dedicated to alcohol, tobacco and fire arms of which alcohol and tobacco are taxed, why fire arms and ammo not taxed?  The NRA wants gun laws to be enforced and they want to place armed guards in every school and they think mental health needs to be addressed... figures show that there were 16,808,538 gun applications in 2012 at the end of November.  If gun purchasing loopholes were closed so that every purchase was taxed and tax each bullet we could easily raise billions every year.  Instead of being annoyed by the constant sound of gun fire I hear while living out in the country, I could instead hear the the sound of tax money being made to support society.  If we have a government agency with the word "fire arms" in its name we should be taxing all things fire arms to protect the integrity of the fire arms and those who use them.

Finally, the churches.  The churches thrive in this country and they are protected under the constitution.  They are free to pick up rattle snakes.  They are free to sell flowers at the airports.  They are free to publish and distribute their tracts.  They are free to brainwash children and the weak minded.  They are free to ignore science and dictate or at least strongly lobby public policy.  They are free to picket funerals and create international incidents.  They are free to have TV and radio stations. They are free to solicit funds and worship openly.  All this freedom and they aren't paying a cent to the government that keep them free to behave like knuckleheads.  I think it's high time they tithe 10% to the United States.

If these three taxes were initiated we could have universal health care; no one would be going without food or shelter in this country and our personal tax rates could fall.  We could get the infrastructure back to where it should be and put people to work and provide social programs for those not wanting to have god shoved down their throats.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Other Lives

I haven’t done a musical post for quite some time now.  I’m not listening to much these days, but whenever I tune into KANM on iTunes radio I usually come away with something cool to search out.

My new musical love is a group called Other Lives.  Their eleven song album titled Tamer Animals is an eclectic collection of sounds that are reminiscent of John Lennon, Philip Glass, ELO, Steeleye Span, Sufjan Stevens and Bear McCreary. Yes,  you get extra points for knowing who Bear McCreary if and can understand why the song in the video clip reminds me of his writing style.
It’s a good collection, seek them out.

Here’s a video clip of the group performing Weather. Other Lives Video