My Favorite Records:The Guess Who – Canned Wheat

This is the another installment in my series of favorite records.

In yesterday’s podcast I talked about the Guess Who, and how I believe they are greatly underappreciated, given the incredible amounts of great music (not to mention big hits) they generated in the 60s and 70s. And as luck would have it, we’re to the end of the G’s in my Top 50 Album series.

The Guess Who made 4 excellent records in a row between 1968 and 1970, starting with Wheatfield Soul (hard to find, except on an oddly paired double album CD) and ending with Share the Land. Any of them could be on this list, but I’m going to settle on just one- Canned Wheat from 1969.

cannedwheatCanned Wheat is the best place to start for those who remember the Guess Who only for their long string of radio hits. This is an excellent rock record that features some fine Guitar work from Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings’ great voice.

No Time, the first track, is a classic rock standard, that you’ve heard before. Minstel Boy is a beautiful and sad number inspired by a Thomas Moore poem. Laughing and Undun, two classic rock gems, follow.

Every other song on this record could easily have been a hit. In fact, this record could be a greatest hits record for a lot of popular bands. And it’s just one of 4 great records in a row by this under-appreciated band.

One of the things that impresses me the most about the Guess Who’s records is how well they have aged. These records sound like they could have been recorded yesterday. The true sign of musical genius is the ability to make music that still sounds fresh 20 years later. Bob Dylan does it. Springsteen does it.

And so did the Guess Who.

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RanchoCast – July 28, 2006 Edition

I did a new podcast last night.

The theme was great, but under-appreciated, guitarists. I played deep album cuts by Peter Green, Frank Marino, Brownsville Station, Derek & the Dominos, The Guess Who and more. The finale is a 12 minute blues jam by Boz Scaggs.

I also talked a little about HR 5319 (the MySpace Law) and the underground blogosphere.

More on the MySpace Law

Dwight Silverman thinks I’m wrong about HR 5319 being a good idea.

Maybe, but here’s my thinking- as succinctly as I can describe it.

Yes, in theory, it would be great to have these decisions made at the local level, as Dwight suggests. The thing is, though, that I simply don’t trust the local educators to make the right decision. Plus, I know that kids are very, very clever when it comes to getting around obstacles to their desires, and if the blocking was done on some ad hoc basis, kids would find a way around it within the first day.

Let’s say it was handled on the local level, and let’s say that the principal at my kids’ school decided that since her kids are so responsible and all, that she would trust them to police themselves. I know that’s not going to work. So what would my choices be? To gut it up and deal with it or yank my kids out of the school they love and move them somewhere else? What if the principal at the new school leaves in a year and the new one changes the policy?

What if changing schools is not financially or geographically feasible?

Again, I simply don’t trust local educators to make the right decision every time. Particular when it comes to technology. And I’m unwilling to cede control to them to that degree, regardless of whether they see things my way or not. If you accept the fact that kids shouldn’t be hanging out on MySpace at school, then there is no compelling argument against HR 5319.

Now, if I could conceive of one good reason why a kid should be on MySpace at school, then maybe I’d have second thoughts. But I can’t. Not for a second.

So while there is some paternalism going on here, on both my and the legislators’ part, the overriding good of protecting our kids far outweighs the mild fear that this is the fist step in some Orwellian plan to take away all of our rights.

Kids shouldn’t be on MySpace at school. Kids don’t always know what’s good for them.

The MySpace Law is a good thing that will make schools safer and more productive for our kids.

P.S. Although I suspect he will line up on Dwight’s side of the debate, I really want to hear Seth Finkelstein‘s thoughts on this.

Update: As he mentioned in a comment, Seth posted his thoughts and, as always, makes a lot of good points. I hadn’t thought of the Republicans vs Fox angle, but that might just prove to be a very interesting by-product of this debate. Having said that, if the vote was 410-15, a bunch of Democrats must have voted for it too.

Moore Wisdom

I really like this passage from Earl’s latest post:

“My ego hopes that the subjects I think are important or interesting are relevant to at least a few other people on this planet. When someone leaves me a comment or links to me I feel I’ve accomplished that. It may be part of my own sense of mortality. When posting I’m not concerned about popular opinion. People can love to read you even if they’re certain you’re dead wrong and bound to self-destruct. With different viewpoints comes opportunity for growth. I welcome this.”

When people talk back, or comment, or link it is evidence that we’re all in this together- and by this I mean the universe as well as the blogosphere.

It’s not about money, or fame. It’s about belonging.

That’s why I write, that’s why I read and that’s why I link.

The MySpace Law is a Good Thing

When I said the other day that “as soon as the parents of the world (and the legislators they vote for) come to understand the risk their kids are taking by putting their lives online, MySpace will come under increasing pressure to become safer,” I didn’t realize when would be now.

Marshall Kirkpatrick writes today about House Resolution 5319. If it becomes a law, HR 5319 will require schools and libraries to block social networking sites and chat rooms.

Marshall, not surprisingly, looks at the issue from the perspective of application developers.

Let me give you the parents’ perspective. Put very simply, is there anyone with two brain cells to rub together who thinks that kids should spend part of their time at school surfing around MySpace?

Of course not.

I will read the resolution and the portions of the Communications Act it seeks to amend tonight, but based on what I have read so far, this is a good thing.

Remember that Rule I Talked About

The other day.

You know, the one about being very, very good at one thing instead of trying to be all things to all people.

Well this is not that.

Some cat with skin in the game, which is reason number one why Variety should have pulled a comment from someone else, had this to say about Amazon’s new venture:

“This is all a gamble, but if you’re going to gamble, why not do something that nobody has done before?”

I bet that makes Amazon’s shareholders feel all giddy inside.

I seriously think this might be a joke. If so, Amazon, you got me.