Saturday, June 13, 2015

Grace Potter's Done Gone Solo

From the moment I first heard "Tiny Light" until now, I have loved many of their live performances, marveled at the excellence of their studio productions, and delighted at their musician like brilliance. Matt Barr is a first class drummer, Scott Tournet likewise on guitar. These guys are the best of the best, and Grace Potter is never hard pressed to match them. Her career has been stunning, success after success. Her fans love her voice, her songwriting, her performances...not to mention her appearances with other musicians.

If the hallmark of a great musician is the ability to inspire, then The Nocturnals and Grace Potter are great.

One song particularly comes to mind, "Ah, Mary", from their album "This is Somewhere" (released August, 2007). I feel as if the band knows exactly how I feel, as if Grace Potter is singing about someone I love dearly..."she's the beat of my heart, she's the shot of a gun". The whole song, melody, instrumentation, and lyrics, is a lead up to a guitar solo that had this man dancing in joy the first time I heard it. Beautifully executed piece, one of their very best, the quintessential Grace Potter and the Nocturnals,  shining in their stunning talent. Potter's voice is versatile; her complete control of at least three octaves is stunning, to say the least. But, who is Mary?

I will be watching and listening. Either way, let us remember that it's all about the music. As for Grace Potter going solo, that's her choice. She's been compared in stature to Sarah McLachlan, called the best female lead singer in history, and "the Stevie Nicks of the 21st century". Wrong, on all counts. She is unique, and I am looking forward to more from her. And the Nocturnals.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Canadians Take the Midwest

A group of Saskatchewanese Canadians stormed down into the warmer US, occupying Wichita, KS. "We live here now", their spokesman said, "this is our home now."

No one is sure how these Canadians managed to get ten armored columns that far south, but one high ranking National Guard spokesman said, under the condition of anonymity:

"No one was quite sure what to do. No one wanted to offend the Canadians."

The Saskatchewanese fly the Rainbow Flag, and wear bright clothing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

On Hurricane Katrina

Lessons learned

Does anyone remember the lawsuits brought against the hurricane protection project back in the seventies? A project that had it been built, New Orleans would've been spared from the deluge that left her in moldy ruins.

The lawsuits halted the project, and since then, no equivalent project has taken its' place. Improvements have been made, especially in the
West Bank. There were lessons learned there in the aftermath of Katrina. Jurisdictions are everywhere raising and shoring up the flood control levees, working on water diversion projects, etc.

Have we learned any thing here? How about this: end the EPA. Don't put our desire to have nature preserved (so our kids can enjoy it, too), over public safety. Do build an effective hurricane protection system, one that will protect New Orleans from a Category 5 storm surge. No ideal is greater than human life.

So the 1,800 or so people who died during the Katrina holocaust could have been spared, had not those leftist loony environmentalists not successfully blocked the project back in the seventies. A stretch, maybe, because there no doubt were other factors in play.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Legalized Marijuana-What's the Problem?

I have absolutely no tolerance for the opinions of people who condemn the use of marijuana-medical or recreational-but have absolutely no problem with alcohol. Alcohol is a dangerous, addictive drug; marijuana may be addictive to some (isn't everything addictive when it's pleasant?), but it certainly isn't as dangerous as alcohol. Not by a long shot. The state of Wyoming is warning Coloradans about bringing their newly legalized pot into their state-an ironic situation, to say the least. What is legal and not criminal in one state could fetch you a hefty fine and jail sentence in another. And meanwhile, people are free to drink all the booze they can afford (and not afford) in Wyoming, killing innocent people when they get behind the wheel of a car, physically abusing spouses and children, losing their jobs and homes from abuse, developing hideous diseases like cirrhosis, and generally being a public nuisance. These are not the type of behaviors associated with pot use or even pot abuse-marijuana smokers mostly tend to be a peaceful lot. I will concede that my evidence for this assertion is mostly anecdotal and from personal experience. I am sure there are incidents out there were someone stoned on pot did something stupid and/or criminal-but I'm willing to bet that these cases are statistical anomalies, and not the norm. Being tolerant of alcohol but intolerant of marijuana is strange, a blatant moral contradiction and a largely emotional issue. Marijuana may not be as safe as mother's milk, but it is no way nearly as dangerous as opponents tend to claim. It produces a mild feeling of well-being-much like having one or two drinks of alcohol, and then stopping. It heightens sensory perceptions, increases creative activity, and has very significant medical benefits for glaucoma, nausea sufferers,  and chemotherapy patients. On the down side, excessive marijuana use makes the user slow and stupid ("stoned"), and can lead to the abuse of other drugs. But yet, this is true of alcohol, as well-in fact, drunk people infamously have a lowered sense of judgment and discernment, are prone to impulsive actions, and take foolish risks. For those afraid that legalizing pot is a slippery slope that will eventually lead to the legalization of the truly dangerous drugs like cocaine and opiates, I get it. But we need not fall down that slope if we are vigilant. Having marijuana legal and readily available is really just a matter of giving people a safe alternative to Demon Rum-and as such, I heartily approve and concur.