Saturday, September 22, 2012

The House I Live In Trailer- the Racist, Expensive, and Ineffective "War on Drugs."

It is high time to end the war on drugs. It is a racist policy, that does not curb drug abuse, and it is a trillion-dollar failure. It feeds into the prison-industrial complex. Eugene Jarecki's film which won the documentary award at Sundance will be released October 5th. One of the judges interviewed in the film said "I have only seen 3 or 4 drug pins, we mostly send away poor, drug-addicted people." The drug war represents oppression with its systematic racism. It ultimately affects all of us and is one of the forces undermining our democracy. IT is simply bad policy. It destroys communities and families and is ineffective. - Lance

An investigative look at America’s war on drugs and its impact on the criminal justice system. Director Eugene Jarecki was Bill Maher’s first guest on Real Time tonight with a message that’s been obscured for decades: The so-called War on Drugs is effectively a War on Minorities, and the causalities of that war are predominantly young Black men, with a focus on the experiences of Nannie Jeter, a former employee of filmmaker Eugene ‘s family.
The House I Live In won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance 2012, and will open in limited release on October 5, 2012. 

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“The war on drugs is bullshit...The war on drugs really is a war on minorities...we had slavery, and then we had the Jim Crowe laws, and I really believe that the successor to those two ways of putting down minorities, the black man is the drug wars.” - Bill Maher

Eugene Jarecki appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday evening, September 21st, 2012. It is an excellent interview, powerfully prophetic about the war on drugs and its racist dimension. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Favorite Albums: Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water

The Favorite album I want to recognize in this post is Fish Out Of Water, a solo  Album by Yes bassist Chris Squire, released in 1975. I probably bought my copy a few years later, perhaps 1979. I had gotten into Yes later on, after they were well established. One of the first concerts I ever went to was a Yes Concert, I believe in 1979. It was the first concert in the then brand new Cedar Rapids Civic Center. The gimmick Yes had for that tour was a revolving stage. I had just purchased a fender jazz bass, and I got to see my bass hero Chris Squire perform live in the arena.

As a young bassist, one of my favorite bass players was, and still is, Chris Squire of Yes. His classical sounding melodic bass lines are unmistakable and have influenced a couple of generations of bassists, including Rush's Geddy Lee. Squire is especially associate with the Rickenbacker Bass.

He is one of the founding members of Yes, one of the progressive rock bands of the late sixties and early seventies. Squire will always be associated with such Yes songs as Round About and Owner of a Lonely Hearts, and the Fish.

Squire's nickname is the Fish, which comes from a incident where he flooded a hotel room by accident while he was in a shower. He was also known for spending a lot of time in the bathroom when he lived with fellow Yes band mate Bill Buford.

Fish out of Water has only five tracks but they are sublime. This is a case of a very creative and interesting album, which while, not a great commercial success (#25 in UK, #69 in US), has had some longevity. The structure of the music blends rock, jazz, and classical in one cohesive sound. The album features a full orchestra as well as rock instrumentation.

The bass is made to be prominent in the mix of the album, and rightfully so. It is melodic but holds down the bottom. Squire puts on a clinic for bass work.

Squire's vocal work does not sound much different from Yes band mate Jon Anderson, singing in the higher register with a lot of power and discipline.

The first track, Hold Out Your Hand, is a opens the album with the organ from the London Cathedral, and then a stunning stereo bass riff by Squire.

The song flows into the next track, You by My Side.

Side one concludes with Silently Falling, an 11 minute track with full orchestration.

Side 2 opens with the track, Lucky Seven, so named for its 7/8 time signature. It has a jazz feel to it with minor keys and saxophone.

The album closes with Safe, a fifteen minute track that reprises a theme from Yes's song, Close to the Edge.

Fortunately, Fish out of Water is still available for down load, a little more difficult to obtain on CD, although an enhanced import is available but is pricey.

Fish Out of Water is a personal favorite of mine, by one of my greatest bass influences.

Track Listing 
All songs written by Chris Squire.

Side One
"Hold Out Your Hand" – 4:13
"You By My Side" – 5:00
"Silently Falling" – 11:27

Side Two
"Lucky Seven" – 6:54
"Safe (Canon Song)" – 14:56






Purchase Fish Out Of Water:
MP3 Download

Chris Squire Web Sites

Chris Squire 
Chris Squire My Space
Chris Squire Facebook

Video for Hold Out Your Hand and You by My Side:



Personnel 
Chris Squire – basses, lead and backing vocals, additional drum fills on "You By My Side", 12-string electric guitar on "Silently Falling" and "Safe"
Andrew Jackman – acoustic and electric pianos, conductor, orchestration
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Patrick Moraz – bass synthesizer and organ on "Silently Falling"
Jimmy Hastings – flute
Mel Collins – alto saxophone on "Lucky Seven", tenor saxophone on "Silently Falling"
Barry Rose – pipe organ on "Hold Out Your Hand"
Adrian Bett – woodwinds leader
Jim Buck – horns leader
Julian Gaillard – strings leader
John Wilbraham – brass leader
Nikki Squire – backing vocals on "Hold Out Your Hand"

Production
Chris Squire: Producer
Greg Jackman: Engineer
Nigel Luby: Assistant Engineer
Phil Carson: Overdubs, Mastering
Trevor Spencer: Mastering
Graham Preskett: Mastering



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Upcoming Documentary: Free Angela

I am very excited to see a new documentary on Angela Davis coming soon. It will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this month, and is being produced by Jay-Z and Will and Jada Smith.

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Jay-Z joins Will Smith to exec produce Shola Lynch’s ‘Free Angela & All Political Prisoners’
Posted by Wilson Morales via blackfilm.com read

Source: Deadline

Overbrook Entertainment and Roc Nation will lend their clout to the Realside Productions/De Films Aiguille-produced documentary Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, which was directed by Shola Lynch. They will become executive producers on a film that premieres at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival and marks the 40th anniversary of the acquittal of Angela Davis on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. The docu was produced by Carole Lambert, Shola Lynch, Carine Ruszniewski, and Sidra Smith.

The documentary chronicles Angela Davis’ activism that implicated her in charges of attempted kidnapping and murder. It features interviews with Davis, her lawyers, FBI agents assigned to the case, and journalists who covered one of the most volatile trials of the ’60s. Davis’ imprisonment sparked a worldwide movement for her freedom as a political prisoner, while she was simultaneously being labeled a terrorist. The film wrestles with the meaning of political freedom in a democracy negotiated between the people and its government.

“We at Overbrook Entertainment are very proud to support this intriguing documentary about the life of Angela Davis. Filmmaker, Shola Lynch has done an incredible job in revealing a piece of American history we thought we all knew,” said Jada Pinkett Smith.

Roc Nation founder Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, added: “Shola Lynch has crafted an intricate and compelling film about Angela Davis. Roc Nation is honored to be a part of a creative collective that can present such a riveting story.”


According to Indiewire & Deadline

In this essential new feature documentary, legendary radical activist Angela Davis speaks for the first time about her 1970s imprisonment as a terrorist and conspirator, which became a flashpoint in the black liberation struggle and turned her into a revolutionary icon. Angela Davis, an associate of the Black Panthers and UCLA philosophy professor who was charged in 1970 with conspiracy in kidnapping and murdering Judge Harold Haley from the Marin County courthouse. The film will premiere at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival and marks the 40th anniversary of the acquittal of Angela Davis on charges or murder, kidnapping and conspiracy.

Jada Pinkett Smith said “We at Overbrook Entertainment are very proud to support this intriguing documentary about the life of Angela Davis. Filmmaker, Shola Lynch has done an incredible job in revealing a piece of American history we thought we all knew.”

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, added: “Shola Lynch has crafted an intricate and compelling film about Angela Davis. Roc Nation is honored to be a part of a creative collective that can present such a riveting story.”

Sunday, September 2, 2012

John Lennon Introduces ELO's Showdown

John Lennon introducing the ELO single, Showdown on the Radio. John gives ELO high praises, saying that they picked up where the Beatles left off. I am a huge Beatle fan, and I have always like ELO too. Enjoy!