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570553 Posts in 18934 Topics by 3329 Members - Latest Member: amusementparksUSA88 May 02, 2016, 12:23:33 PM
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51  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The Electoral Process on: April 20, 2016, 02:54:18 PM
Would a) general satisfaction with the political system and/or b) the results of the political process itself be improved if a large majority of people, understanding that the two major parties are not some sort of constitutionally mandated public entities dedicated to pure democracy, but rather private organizations with a century-plus-old near-monopoly (to various degrees over the past 150 years or whatever) on our political system, (inevitably, in my opinion) broke those parties into more, smaller parties that better represented their ideologies and/or causes?

For example, the Dems split into some combination of a labor party, a socially progressive party, a social democrat party, and a centrist party; the Republicans split into an evangelical and socially conservative party, a chamber of commerce party, a libertarian party, a strict originalist party, and a nationalist party. (Just examples based on current stereotypes and/or real factions.)

Are the results--with maybe four, six, eight "major" parties--better? For whom?

(I'd ask whether it's even remotely feasible within our lifetimes, but a) this is a big question already, b) no doubt it'll end up being about Trump or Bernie anyway, and c) our lifetimes have widely varying end-dates. Stupid youngsters. Stupid Bubs.)
52  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 20, 2016, 10:46:45 AM
The almighty Woj says the Wolves are deep in negotiations to hire Thibs! YES!!
53  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 20, 2016, 05:15:08 AM
Everything I'd seen the past two weeks or so suggested exactly what happened for both parties would happen. No surprises here.

But I suppose fervent supporters are more hopeful and passionate.
54  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: With whom should Al record an album? on: April 19, 2016, 05:16:07 PM
The more I think about the folk / roots side of Al's music, the more I think there are a lot of modern bands that match that side. I don't necessarily mean true, authentic roots music (as if the Kingston Trio were some kind of authentic folk! They were dismissed even at the time by "true" folkies ... not that I am fond of that kind of elitist nonsense.). I mentioned Dawes earlier, who certainly have some kind of Americana SoCal vibe. But also Fleet Foxes (whom some here like a lot, though I'm not that big a fan), Mumford & Sons. I would have LOVED for him to be involved in The Basement Tapes project of Dylan lyrics a year or two ago, they really could have used his voice.
55  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 19, 2016, 04:36:45 PM
The Wolves' plan--regardless of my preferences--is being universally reported as based on the success SVG is having in Detroit. Same search firm that led to that pairing, same salary range in mind, same basic model: a coach with personnel control, and a day-to-day GM who does the legwork required.

As for my take on it? Well ... mixed feelings. Flip had it, so it's not that shocking to my system. Looking around the league, there are mixed results. I think SVG has been great. I think Doc Rivers has been pretty weak on the GM side. Pop has a kind of mixed model, where he has input but I don't know whether he has ultimate control, but obviously that's going well. The optimist in me says it can be really beneficial because it keeps a coach's eyes on the longer-term as well as "the win tonight." Thibs in particular has always been a win-right-the-hell-now head coach, and some argue it cost Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah parts of their careers. I can't say whether they'd have gotten hurt either way, but the Bulls did seem to get hurt a lot under him. Maybe if he has responsibility for long-term personnel and outcomes, he takes a more balanced approach. I don't know.

But in the end, I'm willing to go this route with both JVG and Thibs. They're both really great basketball minds and I trust their judgment. And again, this assumes there is a full-time GM carrying out their vision (so that job doesn't go undone).
56  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Lifetime ban on AGD on: April 19, 2016, 04:31:45 PM
While I'm sure it would just lead to cries of censorship or whatever, I'd consider locking the thread.

And what the heck, just in case that happens, I'll add a few cents. Maybe more than two.

This is a message board. Just a message board. It doesn't matter much in real life. It's great fun, and as one of the people who was here from the start (and around its predecessors for a couple years--not as long as some, but longer than most), obviously I enjoy it here (sometimes? most of the time?). But it doesn't matter. People come, people go. Boards come, boards go. There is a ton of knowledge to be worked out, and there is a lot of fun to be had working it out. (I'm thinking of the great vocal thread, for example.) There are other topics being discussed, whether in the general music forum or the sandbox, by some really smart people. There is music being shared by talented board members.

A lot goes on, and will continue to go on, either on this board or--if the doom-and-gloomers are right--somewhere else. One ban won't break the internet. Banned people are still online elsewhere. Life goes on for them and us until it doesn't, but let's not over-dramatize. It just doesn't matter that much.

Mods do their jobs as well as they can: it's absurd to think there's some secret cabal in which they're trying to f*** some segment of us. Members mostly are cool, participating in discussions they want to and avoiding those they don't. A few pests pop up here and there and that's just the internet. Stop me if you've heard this before, but it just doesn't matter that much. It's tedious that a few people seem so wholly dedicated to worshiping or damning this or that band member or fellow board member, but that's life: there are pathetic assholes everywhere. But also let's not pretend the board was some haven until recently. There were always fights. Fights killed and birthed other boards. Whatever. (Insert "doesn't matter that much" phrase.)

But I agree with those above that an ongoing bitchfest about someone who can't weigh in himself is pretty pathetic. If you find it fun, you may want to mock my dead grandparents, too. Even easier targets, in that they're very unlikely to be posting pretty much everywhere else online other than here. (In fact I don't believe any of them were remotely competent on any computer, ever. So it would be REALLY easy.) Dancing on graves might seem fun and it's sure easy, but it's unseemly.

Can we grow up a little? If we're going to be nasty, at least have the courage to be nasty to people still around here. But maybe we can even avoid being nasty to each other quite so often.

Now if you'll excuse me, typing doesn't get me any drunker, so I've got work to do. 
57  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Would Al have had more lead vocals if he'd never quit in '62? on: April 19, 2016, 03:51:40 PM
Apologies if this is too much of a tangent, but it is relevant: were there many/any rock bands in the early '60s that had anything resembling the mid-60s and later BBs model of numerous lead singers? In those earliest years, did any rock band have more than a lead singer? And might that have played into how leads were handed out at all, possibly thinking that for purposes of publicity, recognition, a band needed a singer (not a band of singers)? The Beatles obviously split, probably in something like a 40-40 split between the primary writers and most of what's left going to George.

But otherwise? Like, pre-64, 63? I honestly have no idea, I don't listen to all that much pop from that era.
Yeah. That's what I said way at the beginning of the thread about Al; they may have wanted to limit the number of lead vocalists for the sake of a consistent marketable image.

Damnit, I copied? "I'm a genius, too, [Emily]!" Can we agree it's an inadvertent copy? We're both geniuses...  Grin
Nah - you made the point better.

Everything's comin' up Luther!
58  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Would Al have had more lead vocals if he'd never quit in '62? on: April 19, 2016, 03:46:26 PM
Apologies if this is too much of a tangent, but it is relevant: were there many/any rock bands in the early '60s that had anything resembling the mid-60s and later BBs model of numerous lead singers? In those earliest years, did any rock band have more than a lead singer? And might that have played into how leads were handed out at all, possibly thinking that for purposes of publicity, recognition, a band needed a singer (not a band of singers)? The Beatles obviously split, probably in something like a 40-40 split between the primary writers and most of what's left going to George.

But otherwise? Like, pre-64, 63? I honestly have no idea, I don't listen to all that much pop from that era.
Yeah. That's what I said way at the beginning of the thread about Al; they may have wanted to limit the number of lead vocalists for the sake of a consistent marketable image.

Damnit, I copied? "I'm a genius, too, [Emily]!" Can we agree it's an inadvertent copy? We're both geniuses...  Grin
59  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Covering Church Hymns on: April 19, 2016, 03:42:31 PM

Blackwood Brothers- When God's Chariot Comes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysJ-kqGy3j8



Blackwood Brothers- Beyond The Sunset   (you might wanna make sure you get this album as well!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw6E3SrW0U8


My dad was (and is) a huge Blackwood Brothers fan (and gospel fan, and vocal harmony fan in general). I still really like hearing them. Please don't take offense at the admitted stereotyping here, but to me, listening to "When God's Chariot Comes" is kind of funny in that the piano feels like legitimate black gospel piano, while the vocal sounds so, so white. But it's just a comment, not an insult. What a group of singers.

Comment on the topic overall: most hymns are pretty basic harmonically. I think if BW had gotten his hands on some, he'd be more adventurous arrangement-wise, similar to how he played with Sloop John B.
60  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Would Al have had more lead vocals if he'd never quit in '62? on: April 19, 2016, 03:37:08 PM
Apologies if this is too much of a tangent, but it is relevant: were there many/any rock bands in the early '60s that had anything resembling the mid-60s and later BBs model of numerous lead singers? In those earliest years, did any rock band have more than a lead singer? And might that have played into how leads were handed out at all, possibly thinking that for purposes of publicity, recognition, a band needed a singer (not a band of singers)? The Beatles obviously split, probably in something like a 40-40 split between the primary writers and most of what's left going to George.

But otherwise? Like, pre-64, 63? I honestly have no idea, I don't listen to all that much pop from that era.
61  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 19, 2016, 03:32:01 PM
I want to be careful not to be unfair here, but the way I see it, Kerr has been the opposite of Jackson in managing the staff and team. As a non-Golden Stater (reading a lot, watching a lot, but as an outsider, not a hometown guy ... so not more than any other team), it seemed to me that Jackson tried to rule by intimidation and fear. He reportedly hired weak assistants and staff (and/or undermined the good ones) because he didn't want anyone showing him up. He tried to circle the wagons with the team constantly, not in an inspirational way but in an almost cultish way. And he pushed his religion, his pastorship, onto the team. I know specifically A. Bogut spoke out about that, saying that for those less religious (or otherly religious) people, it was at best awkward.

Kerr, conversely, assembled an amazing staff right out of the gate, including former (and now current) head coach Alvin Gentry. He trusted in his assistants last year in the Finals, and again of course in Walton this year. He lets his players have a certain amount of autonomy. He just seems secure enough in himself to not project authority. Instead, he is given authority, which is the only way to do it. Leadership doesn't come from pushing the weak from behind, but from literally being in the front.
62  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 19, 2016, 03:21:19 PM
I have a hard time imagining Jackson hired over JVG, Thibs, Brooks, Blatt, Messina, Del Negro, McHale, to name just a few. Give me two minutes and I'd probably find another 5-10 available candidates I prefer.

Hopefully it's just a courtesy to an agent or something.

Honestly, his coaching was OK with me (not great, not awful), but by all accounts, he was a bizarre, neurotic leader for the G.S. organization. And I couldn't tolerate the incessant preaching. It was bad enough around here during the Cris Carter / Randall Cunningham Vikings era.
63  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Would Al have had more lead vocals if he'd never quit in '62? on: April 19, 2016, 10:35:41 AM
How many pictures can you find of another member singing in a hand-held mic ?

To be fair, Dennis in his injured-hand phase notwithstanding, everyone else was always playing an instrument.
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 19, 2016, 10:15:23 AM
I'd love him or JVG, but Jackson is odious.
65  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The Original Guns 'n' Roses: Reuniting (Coachella + Tour)? on: April 19, 2016, 10:14:46 AM
I'd be surprised if there's much, if any, new music. My guess is they capitalize on the huge $ they can draw from reunion shows for a while, and that's it. Maybe some ill-conceived attempt at studio work that blows up.
66  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 19, 2016, 10:12:25 AM
Worst news I've had in a long while, after interviewing JVG, Thibs and S Brooks, today the AP is reporting they'll interview Mark Jackson. Ugh.
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The Original Guns 'n' Roses: Reuniting (Coachella + Tour)? on: April 19, 2016, 05:29:09 AM


Steve Perry has come out of the woodwork recently.  He did a live appearance with The Eels, doing a couple of Journey songs. 

I honestly think that the other guys in Journey wouldn't have him back.  They are very profitable without Perry. 

I believe that was here in the twin cities too--yet I missed it! (I've seen Eels probably 4-5 times and just got burned out.) very cool.
68  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 18, 2016, 04:42:54 PM
The Wolves (and in fact the Target Center as a whole, I believe) went to an entirely online ticketing system. To go to a Wolves game, you need to set up an account on this (one) third-party app. To sell or even give them away, you need to do it through the app. While it's fine much of the time, one can see where it's a pain in the ass. (A company owning tickets and doling them out to various employees on various days; a guy giving tickets to his nephew, or the neighbor kid for mowing the lawn; etc.) They've been sued over it, but it isn't yet resolved.
69  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 18, 2016, 04:29:51 PM
In 1997 or so--I have a flyer somewhere to clarify if necessary--I went with an uber-geek friend of mine to a high school all-star game in Minneapolis. (We, college sophomores or so, were living in a small college town about an hour away that summer, and while I moved to Mpls the next year, neither of us had lived here or even in the metro before.) It was called the "Inner City All Star Classic," and featured the best players from the two cities proper, Minneapolis and St. Paul. (There were a couple suburban-school kids mixed in, but not many. It was mostly the actual city leagues.)

First of all, but besides the point, it was eye-opening for me. We were literally the only white people in the gym. Coming from rural hometowns, we were used to being in very, very white environments. Even my first couple years of college, meeting and befriending black people was some kind of exotic novelty. It's embarrassing to admit now, but befriending a guy who went to Peoria Manual (Ill.) HS, where Sergio McClain or Howard Nathan or Frankie Williams played? To me, this was amazing. So anyway, being in this gym, where they kicked it off with not only the national anthem but the then-unknown-to-me "black national anthem?" I had no idea.

BUT... (now I'll get to the point) at that game, an all-star game, they played music throughout the game. It was an all-star game, mind you. But even so, they had two huge speakers blaring hip hop beats (but not songs) throughout. Khalid El-Amin (still the greatest HS player in MN HS history in my opinion) would play to the beat. He did amazing things, often to the music. I, a music (jazz theory and composition) major, was just enamored with the whole idea. He was linking in my mind the ideas of musical improvisation and athletic improvisation.

Sadly, what was remarkable to me in a hot, sweaty gym packed with far more people than fire codes would allow is wholly repulsive to me in a sanitized, corporate-sponsored arena.

(Oh, also, there were gunshots as the game ended. The bulk of the crowd ran toward them to see what happened. We, uh, didn't.)
70  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Would Al have had more lead vocals if he'd never quit in '62? on: April 18, 2016, 04:21:41 PM
I don't think Al would have had many more leads had he never quit. Unknowable, but that's my guess. I agree with Autotune and some others that it appears Brian and Mike were the alphas in the band, the latter for his personality and the former for his obvious musical leadership. In those earliest days, Al was certainly more credible as a lead vocalist than Carl (who sounded tentative early on to me) and Dennis (just--ducking from tomatoes and such being thrown--not much of a lead singer, especially then), he wasn't a necessary one: Mike had his range, Brian had, well, everyone's range.

I love Al's voice and would have loved for him to take some of Mike's leads, frankly. But I don't think it would have happened.
71  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: With whom should Al record an album? on: April 18, 2016, 04:17:47 PM
By the way, I would have said Kacey Musgraves but I mention her too much as it is. I don't want to seem creepy. But I just gave myself up by admitting it. Damnit. Foiled again.
72  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 18, 2016, 04:14:04 PM
Oh, it's an absolute fact, and not just for Lebron, but for any star player. That's how it works. I remember growing up in the Jordan era and just being flabbergasted (as a fan of 'Nique individually, and then Magic's Lakers, Larry's Celtics, and those Price/Daugherty Cavs, believe it or not) that they never called a foul on him, traveling on him, etc. Well, guess what? I'm not flabbergasted anymore. That's the NBA. And let's get serious: does anyone want to be those obscene ticket prices, or do networks want to pay billions of dollars to broadcast games, that don't include the stars? Of course not! SVG has been on the other side of it when he coached Shaq and Dwight, too. He knows what's going on.

As for the coverage, that's the unfortunate reality of the 24/7 multichannel media. We talk about it with respect to politics all the time, but the same goes for sports. Instead of events happening and being reported, we get networks that do both roles, and then cover their own coverage. X happens. Y reports it. Z tweets that Y reported it. On and on and on it gets repackaged, repromoted, so that the story is the coverage of the coverage of the story. This is a total non-issue. Total non-issue.

I don't blame the reporters, who (like the coaches) are doing their jobs. I blame the suits who think it's necessary--just like I blame them for the dancing, the music, the fireworks, the smoke machines, the on-floor games, the contests, the suites, the in-arena promotions, and on and on. I like basketball, and so I hate going to basketball games. Figure that one out...
73  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: With whom should Al record an album? on: April 18, 2016, 04:02:06 PM
Al's main shortcomings (no pun intended...) are a) songwriting and b) pace. He can write songs, but apparently not a whole lot of them. And he just takes forever to do anything.

My main choice--and apologies because this fits solidly in the "uninspired" category you mentioned--is Brian Wilson. Periodic bouts of writers' block aside, Wilson is still writing (or at least digging up) material--and we know he has a ton of yet-unreleased music that could be properly done. They work well together, they sound great together, and it isn't an awkward marriage of the old guy trying to work with the up-and-comer.

Others? Maybe Richard Barone, with whom he sang "If I Had A Hammer" not so long ago (and sounded great)? Maybe Okkervill River, whose bandleader Will Sheff is capable of some good songs; they also worked with Roky Erickson, so they've got some further-out experience with an oldster than Al! Maybe Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather/Future Clouds and Radar, though he's been awfully quiet in the past couple years. But his melodies are right up there with anyone's. What about a band like Dawes?
74  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: April 18, 2016, 03:41:15 PM
At long last--nine months or so (?) of on-and-off reading--I have finished Robert Eisenman's "James the Brother of Jesus." Absolutely fascinating book, and absolutely HORRIBLY written. It's something of a scholarly book, but that's not the problem. The problem is Eisenman's writing. He is the king of unnecessarily complicated (and confusing) phrases that make reading tedious. Whether double negatives, unnecessary repetition of certain phrases and ideas, the "overuse" of "quotation marks" as one might see "on this very board" making it confusing considering the number of actual quotes throughout the book ... on and on. Just terribly written.

That said, for those into this kind of thing (i.e., EoL and probably nobody else!), it's fascinating. (And EoL, I'm quite certain you'd dismiss it.) Basically, Eisenman is saying that James or someone like him / of his community is the leader of the Qumran community, which practiced the Jerusalem brand of pre-Christianity/Judaism described in the Bible. He claims James to be Jesus' natural, full brother, and says in short that he and the other named brothers Jude and Simon are then multiplied into numerous characters to flesh out the list of the 12 and others. He also has Paul as "the Liar" found in various Dead Sea Scrolls, painting him as a very anti-Jamesian force (which isn't hard to imagine considering canonical text) who is aligned with (and possibly related to) corrupt Herodian/Roman establishment. Obviously there's a lot more going on, but those are some of the keys.

My recently purchased DSS book was purchased so I would have a reference I could read on my own. (Haven't yet.)

But that's 1,000 content-rich, poorly written pages DONE. Finally. Now it can sit on my bookshelf and make me look smart  Grin
75  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: April 18, 2016, 12:39:10 PM
I know you two didn't get along and he was as rude to you as you to him, but that's still a shitty thing to say.
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