South Austin Moonlighters – 29 Miles

South Austin Moonlighters – 29 Miles

Just heard this song from the South Austin Moonlighters on a local radio station this morning and really loved it. It was a great way to start the week. The performance took place at Austin’s legendary Threadgill’s in September of 2013. The band is comprised of Lonnie Trevino Jr, Phil Hurley, and Josh Zee of The Mother Truckers as well as Phil Bass. Enjoy . . ....

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U2 – Christmas – Baby Please Come Home

U2 – Christmas – Baby Please Come Home

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) is my all time favorite Christmas song. It was originally recorded by Darlene Love in 1963. It’s now become an annual tradition – she appears each Christmas season on Letterman and performs it. Here’s her first appearance in 1986. And here she is in 2013. It was U2’s 1987 cover that I first connected with, however. I like Darlene Love’s performances – and her vocals are amazing – but there’s something joyful, something triumphant about her renditions. You know her baby is going to come home, or if he isn’t she’s strong enough to manage without him. Plus she’s got an entire orchestral community as an emotional support system in case things don’t work out. It’s just hard to imagine her crying herself to sleep. The U2 version is much different. Sure, the boys have fun with the song, but there’s something much more plaintive in Bono’s vocals. You know he’s not going to get the girl, even though he’s desperate to have her. And it’s the one time of the year that it really matters. You can hear the longing and the heartbreak in his voice. He had a taste of what he wants more than anything else in the world (last year), but that’s all he’s going to get. There’s no return to innocence, no re-creating or re-experiencing the magic. It’s all just nostalgia and pain. Damn – no wonder I love this version so much . . . U2 Performing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)...

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Robert Earl Keen – Merry Christmas from the Family

Robert Earl Keen – Merry Christmas from the Family

Here’s one that’s always fun to listen to. Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas from the Family” has become a modern Christmas classic. What’s Christmas without a little family dysfunction? Or a lot? My favorite line: “Fred and Rita drove from Harlingen/I can’t remember how I’m kin to them.” Enjoy!   Merry Christmas from the Family!     Official Robert Earl Keen...

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Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby

Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby

The first time I saw Otis Redding was at the Monterey Pop Festival – well, the video of it anyway. He held nothing back at Monterey, from the high energy “Shake!” to his cover of the Stones’ “Satisfaction” to his soulful, electrifying performance of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” But in the spirit of Christmas, I’m posting a different Otis Redding song – his famous version of “Merry Christmas Baby.” Enjoy!  ...

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Baseball’s Lost Ballparks

Baseball’s Lost Ballparks

In this post, I’ve compiled a number of short videos honoring some of Major League Baseball’s old time stadiums and ballparks. There’s a definite mythology to baseball that’s unique in the sports world. Whereas most sports are thinly veiled re-enactments of war or the sex act (i.e. the coordinated and merciless spermatozoan assault on the egg in the form of a goal, an end zone, or a basket), baseball’s attraction is more philosophical and spiritual. Unlike the other sports, the objective in baseball is not to break through your enemy’s defenses and humiliate them by thrusting yourself into their territory. It’s to return from whence you started – home. Baseball lends itself to poetry and nostalgia in a way that other sports cannot. And lest I wax too nostalgic myself, it’s not all idealism and purity. There are ugly aspects to the game as well – the ban on black players until 1947, the psychopathy of Ty Cobb, the politics involved in keeping Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame, and above all, the over commercialization which has homogenized the game into practical irrelevancy. It’s little wonder that baseball’s nostalgia extends to the old parks where the game was once played – Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, Old Comiskey, Forbes Field, and now the old Yankee Stadium. The only uniformity in these parks were that the bases were 90 feet apart. What follows are a collection of short videos honoring and chronicling some of baseball’s great (and not so great) old time ballparks. Videos of Baseball’s Old Time Parks     Crosley Field   The Polo Grounds   Griffith Stadium   Yankee Stadium         Cleveland Municipal Stadium   Shibe...

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