Sunday, April 27, 2008


Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative. - John Stuart Mill

The country has become much more conservative, partly because it has been taken over by the religious right. - Bill Maher

The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that it is politics that can change a society and save it from itself. - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

A conservative is someone who believes in reform. But not now. - Mort Sahl

A conservative is a man who sits and thinks, mostly sits. - Woodrow Wilson

Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles and see that the world is moving. - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

If you're a conservative, why aren't you behind conserving the land. - Ken Kesey

A conservative is a man who will not look at a new moon out of respect for that "ancient institution" of the old one. - Douglas Jerrold

We've not had one Republican president in 34 years balance the budget. You can't trust right-wing Republicans with your money. You ought to hire someone who has balanced a budget. I'm much more conservative with money than George Bush is. - Howard Dean

A man with both feet planted firmly in the air can be safely called a liberal as opposed to the conservative, who has both feet planted firmly in his mouth. - Jacques Barzun

A conservative is a fellow who thinks a rich man should have a square deal. - Frank Dane

The biases the media has are much bigger than conservative or liberal. They're about getting ratings, about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover. - Al Franken

To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. - Al Franken

A conserative believes nothing should be done for the first time. - Thomas Fuller

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. - John Kenneth Galbraith

In the United States I have always believed that there was a big difference between Conservative and Stupid. Boy is it getting harder to prove that one by the minute. - Roy Mercer

Our "neoconservatives" are neither new nor conservative, but are as old as Bablyon and as evil as Hell. - Edward Abbey

A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they are dead. - Leo Rosten

It's an infinite creative universe to explore, so why chase conservative options? - Yahoo Serious

I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. - Adlai Stevenson

What is conservativism? Is it not the adherence to the old and tried against the new and untried? - Abraham Lincoln

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They're the kind of people who'd stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn't bother to stop because they'd want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club. - Dave Barry

When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? - Eleanor Roosevelt

A conservative is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run. - Elbert Hubbard

The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton

Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen. - Mort Sahl

The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then get elected and prove it. - P.J. O'Rourke

Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills. - Tom Delay [on causes of the Columbine High School massacre, 1999]

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. - Dwight D. Eisenhower [1953]

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Pardon my gushing here, but I have to gush about the new CD by M83. For my musical tastes, it gets a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

With "Saturdays = Youth" M83 attempts to evoke the fiery emotions of the adolescent heart throughout, from music to lyrics to packaging. They succeed in crafting a dusky, summer evening album that will provide me with perfect listening for when I contemplate what it was like to be 14 to 17 years old, thinking I was in love but still not knowing how to approach such feelings from any other perspective than that of a child.

This music causes me to think of times in the neighborhood or in the park, particularly those times when the summer evening games of childhood began their evolution into times at once magical, thrilling and terrifying. Something wondrous was happening, and it was all about learning of major changes along the route to adulthood. The subtle undercurrents of sexual tension and longing that permeate "Saturdays = Youth" remind of things I have not felt for years, therefore I find this CD invigorating.

If you like lush electronic musical textures with subtle guitars here and there, soft-edged vocals and some heady grooves you will probably enjoy the way this album sounds. There are few moments of panic here. It is for the most part pastoral and relaxing, but it is nonetheless full of adrenaline due to the inner tension created through the way the music has been written and played.

M83 leader Anthony Gonzalez likes to write about youth, and I believe this album represents not only the band's most musically focused work to date, but also its most focused work in terms of emotions; he and M83 help lost memories of youth come alive. When I was in my early-mid teens, popular music sounded a lot different than what I hear on this disc, but M83 captures some of those past emotions for me. After all, such feelings never really die. If you look far enough down inside, you will find such feelings still hiding, asking to be let out. "Saturdays = Youth" may help you bring some of these feelings up for air. Listen to this CD, contemplate it, and let your feelings breathe.

(Anthony Gonzalez of M83)



This disc is the sound of "I don't give a shit". A number of the song titles appear to have been designed to offend, and the quality of the music itself is offensive in places. Band leader Anton Newcombe sounds like he has gone on a few too many benders recently, as evidenced by this album of mostly long, repetitive drones recorded in various degrees of sound quality with occasionally-out-of-tune instruments (in fact, in one song we actually get to hear Newcombe or one of his band members stop playing and attempt to tune a guitar). I very much enjoy a fair amount of this band's previous work, and I believe Newcombe possesses a certain amount of genius, but after about six minutes through one of the drone tracks I asked myself "Why is he doing this?" I looked at the CD jacket, and noted that the title of the track is "Who Cares Why". If you are in a pissed-off mood and you like semi-grungy low-fi, you might like this CD. Listen to the disc, and you will hear drums that are (undoubtedly) purposefully buried in the mix on one track, vocals buried in a couple of others, and some songs almost sounding as if they were recorded on a boom-box. Other songs are well-recorded and reasonably well-played, but for the most part "My Bloody Underground" sounds like a soundtrack for lost souls.

I am a fan of Newcombe's music, and despite giving "My Bloody Underground" a fairly negative write-up, I enjoy long, psychedelic drones such as these. I can forgive the band for being more experimental this time around, and if Newcombe is deliberately trying to piss people off, oh well. When it comes to The Brian Jonestown Massacre, I have learned after all to tell myself "who cares why" and to just go with the music. Despite this one's shortcomings I am enough of a fan that I give it 3 out of 5 stars, and I suppose that once I have listened to it enough times it will rise up to about a 4.

Maybe the Kooks herald the coming of a new British Invasion. If they do, I look forward to it... let the Invasion begin! I like their newest CD "Konk" and give it 4 out of 5 stars. When I listen to this disc I think of The Kinks in places, and almost of Herman's Hermits at times. The Kooks have a very Sixties-Seventies sound to the songwriting and singing, and while their style represents something of a throwback, they manage to sound fresh and new. The lyrics are a bit predictable, but the singing is excellent and the performance is flat-out fun. I would hope to see this band gain a lot of richly-deserved praise and popularity.

A friend played me a GREAT Kooks song called "She Moves In Her Own Way", and I loved it so much I dashed to the CD store to buy the disc I assumed the song was on ("Konk"). I was mildly disappointed to realize that I had not been paying attention, and the song I wanted is actually not from this disc but is from a different Kooks CD called "Inside In/Inside Out" (released February 2006)... but my disappointment faded after listening to "Konk" a couple of times. So... now I need to go out and buy the other Kooks disc!

SWITZERLAND by Electric Six

I have had a burned copy of this CD for the last six or eight months, but I decided it was time to get a real copy. I give this one a solid 4 out of 5. For anyone who has not heard this band, I can hear various bands in their music, from The Cars to The Tubes to who knows what. When at their best, Electric Six plays loud, powerful rock and roll that invites dancing. The lyrics are somewhat strange, often humorous, and sometimes a bit on the puerile or edgy side. Key tracks on this CD are "The Band In Hell", "I Buy the Drugs", "Mr. Woman", "Night Vision", "I Wish This Song Was Louder", and "There's Something Very Wrong With Us So Let's Go Out Tonight". All are muscular, power-guitar-driven tunes and most have hooky synth lines. This band has a BIG sound! Singer Dick Valentine hollers and sings in a strong baritone, and I would imagine he must be quite a showman on stage. The silliness of their lyrics causes them to veer toward "novelty" territory at times, but their style and musicianship demand that they be taken seriously. Check them out, see what you think!


BEAT THIS: THE BEST OF THE ENGLISH BEAT - 4.5 out of 5, great collection of tracks from this popular ska band of the early-mid 80s. If you like their stuff like "Save It For Later", "Twist and Crawl", "Mirror In The Bathroom"... it's all here.

CURE FOR PAIN by Morphine - 4.5 out of 5. Wonderful sax playing, great vocals and bass playing, solid drumming, good lyrics... hell, it's just all-around good. Smoky, sexy, driving, primal and human.

THEY ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT by The Edgar Winter Group - 4.5 out of 5. I had never paid attention to this band other than "Free Ride" and "Frankentstein". J.Marquis turned me on to their stuff recently, and I had to buy a couple of their CDs. This one is a classic. Great fun tunes, and impeccable musical craftsmanship! I had always liked their song "Round and Round" but I had never known until recently that it was theirs! Discovering this band has been like a kind of epiphany for me.

THE EDGAR WINTER GROUP WITH RICK DERRINGER - 4 out of 5. Not GREAT like "They Only Come Out at Night" but still VERY GOOD! A couple of the Dan Hartman songs ("Paradise/Sides" and "Cool Dance") really stand out.

VISION THING by The Sisters of Mercy - 3.5 out of 5, though lovers of Goth would probably give it a 5. I don't like this nearly as much as the Sisters' earlier album "Floodland", which for me is a 4.5 out of 5 and contains loud, hard-driving Gothic rock masterpieces such as "This Corrosion" and "Lucretia My Reflection". However, "Vision Thing" has the amazing title track, and it has "When You Don't See Me" and "More" (co-written and produced by Jim Steinman of Meatloaf fame).

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Spring is here, and summer will be here before we know it. It will soon be the time of year for outdoor live music! I have tickets for a couple of events already


I decided to make the trek again this spring. I don't know if it was three days last year or not,
but this year it will be! Three glorious days! I booked a good place to stay on Saturday and
Sunday nights, so I won't have to stay at the Gorge's faeces-riddled campground (after staying
there after a Tom Petty show in the late Nineties, I decided to never camp there again... incredibly stoned people screaming all night long, overflowing outhouses, horrendous stench, etc.)

is what the Sasquatch lineup looks like for this year. If a name appears in bold type, it is an artist I am familiar with. If any of you know anything about any of the others, please comment.


Saturday, May 24th:

R.E.M. (pictured above) / Modest Mouse / M.I.A. / The New Pornographers / The National / Ozomatli / Beirut / Dengue Fever / Fleet Foxes / The Breeders / Okkervil River / Crudo (featuring Mike Patton & Dan The Automator) / Destroyer / Kathleen Edwards / The Whigs / Dead Confederate / Newton Faulkner / Grand Archives / David Bazan / Joshua Morrison / Vince Mira with the Roy Kay Trio / Throw Me The Statue / The Shaky Hands / Grand Hallway / Rich Fulcher / Jerry Minor / Tim Meadows / Horatio Sanz / Matt Walsh / Matt Besser / Upright Citizens Brigade / Sean Conroy

Sunday, May 25th:

The Cure (pictured above) / Death Cab For Cutie / Michael Franti & Spearhead / The Presidents of the United States of America / Christmas On Mars (Flaming Lips Movie) / Cold War Kids / Blue Scholars / 65daysofstatic / Tegan & Sara / Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks / The Kooks / Mates of State / Rogue Wave / White Rabbits / The Heavenly States / What Made Milwaukee Famous / The Morning Benders / The Blakes / Sera Cahoone / Cancer Rising / The Cops / J. Tillman / "Awesome" / Truckasauras / Brian Posehn / Morgan Murphy / Reggie Watts / Andy Haynes / Kevin Hyder / Aziza Diaz / Derek Sheen / Andy Peters

(The Flaming Lips, photo by Jay Blakesburg)

Monday, May 26th:

The Flaming Lips
U.F.O. Show / The Mars Volta / Flight Of The Conchords / Rodrigo Y Gabriela / Built To Spill / The Hives / Matt Costa / Yeasayer / Dyme Def / Ghostland Observatory / Jamie Lidell / Battles / The Cave Singers / The Little Ones / Pela / Thao Nguyen with the Get Down Stay Down / Delta Spirit / Kinski / Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground / Say Hi / Siberian / Whalebones / The Choir Practice / The Moondoggies / Michael Ian Black / Michael Showalter / Eugene Mirman / Marc Maron / Seattle School / Mike Min / Korby Sears / Liza Keckler

I will then give myself a couple of months for my body and my pocketbook to recover before Mrs. Snave and I go with friends from La Grande to see:

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band

at the Edgefield Inn near Portland on July 20. This time around, his touring band includes Colin Hay (Men at Work), Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), Billy Squier, Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, and Greg Bissonette (well-known session drummer). Mrs. Snave and I saw Paul McCartney a couple of years ago, and I figured we had better see the other remaining living Beatle while we have the chance. It should be a fun evening. I have seen video of Ringo and his All-Starr outfits, and they not only do his solo stuff and some Beatles tunes, but they also do some of the tunes for which the band participants are known. That means (hopefully) we should be able to hear "Down Under", "Who Can it Be Now?", "Pick Up The Pieces", "Free Ride", "Frankenstein", and "Dream Weaver" (Mrs. Snave would like that one!) I don't care too much about Billy Squier, but that's o.k. He will probably get to do "Everybody Wants You", I guess.


Both the Gorge Amphitheater and the Edgefield Inn are about 4 hours drive from La Grande. Seattle is about 5 1/2 or 6 hours away. I'm hoping to get to Seattle this summer too, to visit J. Marquis and our mutual friend David. Who knows, maybe we can work some live music into that visit!

I figure there is too much good live music to hear and just not enough time to hear it all, so the plan should be to hear as much of it as possible!