Monday, December 24, 2007

Super Wednesday

During this wondrous time, when all hold dear the spirit of Christmas, including such concepts as fairness, non-competitiveness and service to those less fortunate, I would like to suggest that we all follow Senator Hillary Clinton's lead and ask that those who are going to vote Democratic, vote on some date that is past the actual voting date. In the past, I have asked many of the Democrats I know to be sure to vote on Super Wednesday. This has actually been very effective on a few occasions, as those Democrats have told me that they were going to do just that and cancel out my Republican vote. These admissions were made with defiant and proud demeanors, meant to stifle any ridicule I might muster. Well, I can tell you they put me right in my place!

It appears that the good Senator from New York urged her supporters to be sure to vote for her on January 14, in Iowa. I second her motion, here, and hope that in each state her supporters react similarly according to her progressive agenda. I would suggest they stick to a date somewhat less than eleven days progressive to the actual date of the primary, but any progressive date would be helpful to the rest of us.

Just when the conservatives in the country were under the impression that Santa Hillary had nothing in her sack for them, she throws out this gem of an idea! I for one, would like to thank the honorable Senator from New York for doing such forward-thinking work. This behavior is such a marked difference from some of her other noted actions, that it makes many of us marvel at what the Christmas season can do to even the hardest of hearts.

"You show people what you're willing to fight for when you fight your friends."- Hillary Clinton

There, now. Doesn't that just about say it all?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Bonzo Mania!

One of my guilty pleasures is a fondness for the odd or the unpopular, especially if it has genuine quality in it. Well, I can't think of a more odd, unpopular or genuinely excellent musical group than the Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band. I've been a fan of these patently insane British "musicians" for many a year. Unfortunately, I was not a fan early enough to have actually seen the band, but a friend of mine claims he saw them at the Michigan State Fair in the late sixties. They disbanded in 1970 but did produce one more album in 1971. I became infatuated with their music in the early seventies. Their comic genius-typically British, typically subdued and typically sarcastic-puts one in mind of the Monty Python group. Actually, Eric Idle was a regular "member", as were Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and many many other famous musicians and comedians in Britain at the time.

The band began with a group of Art College students who loved traditional jazz and dixieland music and formed a band to play it. Their creativity moved them into comical revisions of the genres in which they were originally interested and some very interesting results were obtained. Over the course of their development they became the "house band" on a weekly children's television show called Do Not Adjust Your Set, which featured Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame. Later, they began writing and recording some more mainstream (Ha!) Rock music cuts, some of which actually made it on the "charts", in England. Even during this period, they kept tongue planted firmly in cheek, rest assured! If I could suggest one album to listen to it would be Gorrilla, from 1967, but, really, it is impossible to choose and there's no reason to do so. Take a few hours and listen to them all! They run the spectrum in genres from Dixieland Jazz, to Spike Jones, to British Blues, to Psychedelic Rock to Elvis and even some Country Western! Something for everyone, so to speak.

So what brings such a topic up for discussion some thirty-six years after the band's demise? They have re-united again and produced their first new album since 1971! Now, I have bored and amazed my friends for decades by making them listen to the fantastic works of this band at parties and during long travels in the car. Some actually listen and they get it, while others simply get bored because it doesn't match the latest musical trends and they lose interest quickly. They know me as the guy who likes weird music. If it's unusual, quirky or just plain weird, I probably know something about it. The thing is, though, this band is different! They're not only weird and comical (and they are freaking hilarious!) but they have true musical talent and songwriting abilities, as well. Think of them as Monty Python with instruments and much, much more. Supposedly, their stage presence was frenetic and wildly entertaining, often involving skits, costumes, acting and the lot. They were multi-media, then!

Of course no written article can impart the rich, comic and musical genius of the Bonzos to the public without benefit of actually hearing the music, itself. And that would violate many copyright laws and such, so it isn't possible, here. You'll have to search them out and listen to them on your own. They are certainly worth the trouble. One of my Christmas presents will be the new album available here both in downloadable format and for ready-made purchase. Of course, their other albums are still for sale as well.