Kids…no, scratch that… Teens.

Maggie and Ian are visiting this week, for the first time since the wedding in October.

In October, they looked like kids.


Maggie’s grown about 4 inches. She’s nearly 14, and she looks 17.

Ian’s grown at least 4 inches, and possibly as much as 6. He’s lanky and his voice is changing, cracking back and forth between the kid-voice I know and a deeper near-baritone. He’s 12, and is taller than his sister.

Only seeing them a couple of times a year really makes the changes stark.

Friday Music

and I watched Zodiac this week, and oddly enough, it turned into a very musical experience for me. It led to two of those experiences where you hear a song that you had completely forgetten about.

The first one is a bit strange. Hearing a snippet of music in the movie, I was struck that I knew it. But a quick bit of digging revealed that the song (a 70s pop-country smash – “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” by Lynn Anderson) wasn’t a song that I really knew. Puzzled, I kept digging. I found out that the lyrics that had struck me had been sampled in a late-80s dance track. The name wasn’t familiar, but I gave a listen…..and BANG! — I was transported to “Boys & Girls”, a dance club in Atlanta in 1988. I loved this song, and had completely forgotten it. Kon Kan – “I Beg Your Pardon.”

The second is a track from the 70s (playing in a diner scene in the film), which I loved when I was a kid. I used to sing along to it — completely oblivious to the racial-tension content of the lyrics: Stories – “Brother Louie.” (Or, as I used to call it as a kid – “Louie-Louie-Louie-LouEYE.”)

Lastly, the closing credits song from the film — nothing I’d forgotten, just something that I’ve always liked, for its unabashed psychedelia. Definitely has a creepier air to it, when used in a film about a serial killer. Context, I suppose, is everything. Donovan – “Hurdy Gurdy Man.”

I’m honored to have had the opportunity to meet William Burroughs briefly in the early 90s, as he lived out his final days here in Lawrence. A few years previous to our encounter (on a street outside a grocery store — I gave him a lift home), he collabortated with Material, who mixed in music surrounding his spoken-word recordings — Here’s my favorite of those tracks: Material (feat. William Burroughs) – “The Seven Souls.”

I was a big fan of the Dublin-based Hothouse Flowers, best known in the US for their “college radio” single of the late 80s/early 90s, “Don’t Go.” In 1993, they released this single, which didn’t do nearly as well for them here, but stands as my favorite song by the group. I’m not a big fan of pagan religious music — in my experience it’s almost all RenFest/Folk/NeoCeltic noodling with bad LOTR lyrics and awful drumming, or sub-standard singer/songwriter open-mic tripe — but occasionally, I find songs, never intended as “pagan”, which I consider to be religious epiphanies. This is one of them. Hothouse Flowers – “Thing of Beauty.”

In 2006, Róisín Murphy released Ruby Blue her debut solo album — which I posted tracks from extensively here on Friday Music. She’s now preparing to release her second album, Overpowered, this Fall. Here’s the first single from the album, and I’m loving it: Róisín Murphy – “Overpowered.”

Lastly, a nice bit of mash-up: Kanye West (with a bit of Jamie Foxx) mixed with Walter Murphy’s disco take on Ludwig Van – A plus D – “Beethoven’s Fifth Gold Digger.”

Git down, girl, go ‘head, git down.

Know Your History

Holy crap — even as well-versed in the 1930s as I am, I had never heard of this.

BBC Radio 4’s investigative series, Document uncovered details about a planned coup in America in 1933. Go to the website, and you can listen via streaming audio.

The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans — so that the US could beat the Great Depression by adopting fascist policies similar to Hitler and Mussolini’s.

The plotters were prominent right-wing businessmen….some of the famous families behind Heinz, Birds Eye, Maxwell House…..and George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott Bush.

So, apparently, it runs in the family.

Jesus Christ.