Blood in the water

The sharks are circling:

Former CIA Director Stansfield Turner publicly calls Cheney “a VP for Torture.” — “We have crossed the line into dangerous territory. I think it is just reprehensible.”

The White House criticizes Rep. John Murtha, a decorated retired Marine Colonel who has called for troop withdrawal…. Yeah, chickenhawks who got deferments and never served can really make a good case by going after Bronze Star winners….

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel accuses the Administration of ‘dividing the country’ by attacking Iraq war critics. “To question your government is not unpatriotic — to not question your government is unpatriotic,” Hagel said, arguing that 58,000 troops died in Vietnam because of silence by political leaders. “America owes its men and women in uniform a policy worthy of their sacrifices.”

Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald calls for a new Grand Jury in the CIA leak case. More indictments could be forthcoming.

Colin Powell appears on Charlie Rose, and directly criticizes the White House’s planning and execution of the war. “Oops.”

Is it just me, or is there a distinctly Watergate-ian feel about all of this?

One can only hope.

Friday Music

Another week down, and the holidays rapidly approaching. Yeesh.

This week’s selections:

First up, a song that I hadn’t thought of in a while, until and I were singing it on her front porch last weekend. It’s the theme song from the late-80s TV miniseries “Shaka Zulu”: Margaret Singana – “We Are Growing (Theme from Shaka Zulu)” Bayete Inkosi!

While we’re on the subject of South African music, here’s a track by my favorite group from the region: Johnny Clegg & Savuka – “One (Hu)Man, One Vote.” Clegg is a white musician who performed with black musicians during Apartheid, in violation of the cultural separation laws of the time. This track is from his 1990 album, Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World.

Another track which has wormed its way into my ear and gets me moving on a regular basis is the new Madonna single. It appears that, like Cher, she (or her handlers) recognized that a huge portion of her remaining fanbase is in the die-hard club-going crowd (gay and straight)…so the new album, “Confessions on a Dance Floor” is straightforward thump-thump dance music. Given her roots, she’s essentially come full circle. The lead single: Madonna – “Hung Up (radio version)”

One of my favorite tracks from Kula Shaker (whom I’ve talked about before) — this is the lead-in track from their second (and final) album, Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts: Kula Shaker – “Great Hosannah.” The song takes a while to build (vocals don’t start until two minutes in), but with the organ, the soul choir backup vocals, and the revalatory lyrics, it plays like a hidden track from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Love it.

Here’s an odd mixture. Take chillout acid jazz mixed by a DJ, and blend it with hip-hop….in Japanese. DJ Mitsu The Beats – “Jazz” I have to admit that Japanese, being a language of discrete syllabic elements, heavy on the consonants, lends itself fairly well to the rythmic demands of hip-hop.

Staying on the Japanese stuff for a moment, here’s an interesting blending of future and past: Hifana – “Uchi-Nan-Champuru”…a blending of traditional Japanese music in the folk style with big-beat electronica and sampling.

Lastly….I picked up an album recently called Baadasss Cinema: The Sounds of Blaxploitation, which is a soundtrack to a documentary on the urban-crime-drama films of the early seventies. Lots of good stuff on it…Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, etc. This is a great track from the album, a lesser-known single by James Brown – “People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul.”

So, you heard the man: Get up and drive.

More next week.