Little Big Town: (l to r) Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, & Kimberly Schlapman.
The last few weeks have been astonishing: Minnesota in the news for all the wrong reasons (but change may be coming); the covid19 thing ongoing; our strange politics ever stranger; we’re all going a little nuts. On the other hand, summer is here, so at least the weather has been cool and lovely (though there have been some hot and steamy evenings).
This past week or so, I’ve been mostly basking in my tree trying to figure it all out. Luckily, I’ve had some good music helping me along, and today I thought I’d share (once again) my love for the band Little Big Town.
It was eight years ago that I wrote about how I stumbled over them; they have been favorites of mine ever since.
There are, firstly, the unique sort of jaw-droppers I usually have in mind for Wednesday Wow. Secondly, there are the little, almost hidden, daily wonders with so much behind them. But it occurred to me there is yet another category, one that is both daily and also jaw-dropping.
It has to do with the human mind and the kind of art it can create. It also has to do with how we respond to that art. What is it that an artist puts into their best work, and what is it that we take from it? Whatever it is, profound or mundane, it can touch us deeply.
As with the greatest guitar solo, ever:
Last week I discovered The Highwomen, a musical supergroup comprised of singer-songwriters Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires. They are, for the moment, my new favorites, and today I’m going to just turn the stage over to them:
In the last quarter of the 19th century — USA-centrically, call it 139 years ago — we began to experience having the sound of strangers’ voices in our lives, even in our homes. Not just voices, but music from concert halls and clubs. And other sounds, too: the clip-clop of horse feet, the slam of a door, a gun-shot. Less than 100 years go, those sounds went electric, and we never looked back.
At the beginning of the 20th century, we started another love affair — this one with moving images on rectangular screens, a dance of light and shadow, windows to imaginary worlds. Or windows to recorded memories or news of distant places. When sound went electric, those moving images took voice and spoke and sang. No one alive in our society today remembers a time when moving images weren’t woven into our lives.
Here, now, into the 21st century, in an age of streaming video and music, from cloud to your pocket device (with its high-resolution display and built-in video camera), I can’t help but be impressed by how far we’ve come.
A long way, indeed.
Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills
and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Major Tom
(Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six)
Commencing countdown, engines on
(Five, Four, Three)
and may God’s love be with you…
(Two, One, Liftoff)
This blog is nearly four years old (I started on July 4th, 2011). This post makes it exactly 500 posts here on Logos Con Carne. To commemorate it, I’m giving myself the 500 Odometer Award (which I built myself from various electrons I had laying around).
As part of the party, this post consists of miscellaneous odds and ends that have intrigued me lately. I’ll leave it to you to decide which are the odds and which are the ends.
Countdown reaches zero; engines start; the duodecad comes to life. We have Christmas Lift Off! (“The partridge is in the tree.” Repeat: “The partridge is in the tree.”) Christmas has launched! Today is the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas. On your mark, get set, go!
Two years ago at this time I was reeling from being Freshly Pressed. To this day no other post has so many readers or comments. (Just another irony in a life where they’re as common as Tribbles.) The final Way-Back links are to Christmas Thoughts and Christmas Afterthoughts (the latter of which has the poem I wrote about being FP — the former is about lefse and lutefisk).
Now here’s some music for Chillaxmas Day…
It’s Christmas Eve Day! When I was growing up the evening consisted of the special family dinner and dessert, a Christmas lesson, opening the presents under the tree, all capped off with a midnight church service. Christmas morning brought stuffed stockings of trinkets and candy, but the Eve was the Big Night.
The Way-Back link is to the 2012 Christmas Eve post when I’d just learned that my Santa: Man or Woman post had been Freshly Pressed. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the poem I wrote to commemorate the discovery.
Now the Christmas Eve musical selections…
The Countdown continues; Christmas is getting closer! Today I have, not one, but two poems — both “politically correct” parodies of familiar seasonal icons.
The first Way-Back link is a new look at the The Night Before Christmas and Santa’s woes in a consumer-aware world (worse than his woes with physics). The second picks up the next day with The (Politically Correct) Twelve Days of Christmas. (Both are neolithic email “shares” from the ghost of Christmas Past.)
And now fun — and funny — Christmas tunes…
Some of you are back to work today; some of you took the week off to relax or get ready. Time is short, so get any last minute requests to Santa before it’s too late! (For the record, I have never written a letter to Santa. My parents never played the Santa Trick on me or my sister.)
The theme is Dear Santa (I Want), and the Way-Back link is to another neolithic share. This one containing two missives for Mr. Claus, one from a Ms. Barbara “Lawyer Barbie” Mattel (of the South Beach Mattels), and one from a Mr. Kenneth “Doll” Mattel (of the less well-to-do Redondo Beach branch).
And now, a set of secular seasonal selections…