Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Seven Days

Time for another of my occasional series of posts about the Civil War. Today is the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gaines' Mill - the largest, and most decisive battle of the Seven Days battles, itself the culmination of McClellan's peninsular campaign, and the biggest cumulative battle of the war so far. It is - the Seven Days - also Robert E. Lee's first fight as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia.

In some ways, this was really Lee's one good chance at winning the war. He had about as many men as he would ever have, against a Union position that was split across a river, under a commander who, shall we say, was quite beatable. Lee laid out a plan aimed at destroying the Union army - concentrate as many of his forces as possible north of the Chickahominy river, to attack the Federals there while most of the Union army was south of the river. It's a tactic Lee used over and over during the war - divide his force, to concentrate against a vulnerable point and thrash the enemy in detail - here, he had a pretty strong advantage in numbers, almost 2 to 1. And it worked, more or less - though in the end, Gaines' Mill turned out to be almost completely a frontal assault against an entrenched opponent. The Confederates carried the field - a relatively rare instance of such an attack winning during the Civil War - though 2:1 odds helps... the casualties were about the same ratio, before you factor in prisoners - 8,000 to 4,000, though the POW take came close to evening it out. The rebels carried the field, yes, but the Federals (Fitzjohn Porter's V corps) got away across the river, and the fight kept going. The rest of the Seven Days were something of a chase - McClellan, having had 1 of his 5 corps driven back from their somewhat exposed positions to join the rest of the army, decided to "change his base" to the James river, on the southern side of the peninsular, and pulled the army out of its lines and moved south; Lee tried to come to grips with them, trying to cut the retreat in half, to trap them, something, that would break the Union army. He failed - the Army of the Potomac made it out - a number of battles were fought along the way, but Lee never really caught them. At the end, on July 1st, Lee did catch up with them, at Malvern Hill - but here, as at Gaines' Mill, the northerners (mostly Porter, again) were dug in, on a hill, with most of the army's artillery in support. Lee attacked, and this time, was blown halfway to hell. That was the end - and a lesson in the killing power of massed artillery that neither side forgot. (Except in the heat of battle, more than once...)

All right. I want to go back to the point I made in my Seven Pines post - at this point in the war, no one, not even Robert E. Lee, seemed to know how to execute a battle. This campaign was masterfully planned - a bold strike that stood a fair chance of breaking his enemy, causing, at least, a headlong retreat - but the execution? First - even Lee seemed to think he could arrange complicated movements by multiple forces, under multiple leaders, over multiple roads, with sketchy maps and 19th century communication technologies - in such a way as to have everyone arrive at the same point at the same time and act in concert. No, it didn't work. Second - even given the inherent problems of coordinated movement, Lee's generals did not acquit themselves well. Later in the battle (at Savage Station and Glendale), lesser Confederates (Holmes and Huger and Magruder) made mistakes and let their commander down - but from the start, none other than Stonewall Jackson failed to carry out his part of the plan - and failed repeatedly. He didn't show up at Mechanicsville (the first big fight, the day before Gaines' Mill) - he was late at Gaines' Mill - he was passive at Savage Station and Glendale... Reading about it in detail, it sounds as if Jackson was suffering from something - a concussion? sleep deprivation? He had brought his men in from the Shenandoah Valley just as the battle started - they and he had had a busy stretch... The results - of his lethargy, the confusion on the battlefield, the shortcomings of other officers - were that Lee was never able to concentrate his forces for another effective strike at the Union after Gaines' Mill - all the subsequent battles were fought piecemeal, at even or less odds, and the Army of the Potomac got away.

On the other hand... there's George McClellan. Who, it probably has to be said, managed a fairly masterful retreat under pressure from the confederate army - which he outnumbered, something like 5:4 at this point (by the far the lowest odds the union had in the war, admittedly), and generally beat on the field of battle. Even Gaines' Mill, which the confederates won, fair and square and pretty unambiguously - didn't really do the Federals much harm. Porter got across the river, giving the northerners numerical advantages again - the army was hardly beaten. And while all this was happening, with Lee's 60,000 north of the river, the Union had at least 2:1, maybe 3:1 advantage south of the river in front of Richmond - not that they tried to do anything about it. Looking at this campaign - it's hard not to think that Lee was the luckiest general on either side of the war. Here - he attacked - every day - attacked, in the face of whatever odds were in front of him. His subordinates handled the battle poorly - breaking up his attacks, losing whatever advantages of numbers they might have had by moving fast; on the field, the union soldiers generally gave as good as they got - and McClellan kept going back, against the advice (and sometimes wrathful near insubordination) of his generals, who had won the field, and thought they could keep winning... But he kept retreating.

It kept happening, too. Lee got to fight McClellan, who had skill, but seemed paralyzed by the thought of actually fighting; John Pope - a nincompoop; then Ambrose Burnside - who could start things well, but froze up when circumstances changed (I assume I'll write more about this come Fredericksburg's anniversary in December); Joe Hooker - who is very hard to explain, because of the lot he seems by far the most competent - but who froze up like a jacked deer when the bullets started flying at Chancellorsville... all of them either incompetent or with a crack, that split wide open when faced with the ultimate test. All of them blew it - did stupid things - didn't do things that could have won decisive battles - all of them went to pieces in some sense, when Lee hit them. It didn't stop until Gettysburg, where Meade simply kept fighting until he was beaten - which is the real point of so many of these men. They gave up long before they were beaten. But not Meade. And when Grant came east, that stuff was done. It's one of the marks of the best generals of the war - certainly of Lee, Jackson, Longstreet, as well as Meade, Grant, Thomas, Sheridan and Sherman - that they did not stop until they were actually beaten, and even then, were loath to admit it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

I have seen Moonrise Kingdom three times already. It's not entirely because it is the best film of the year so far (a place it's likely to hold) - it's also because there haven't been a lot of options I'm dying to see. I mentioned that before - though lately, it's been an accumulation of things: indifference to other films that are out, some odd scheduling decisions (10:45 am starting times - what's that about?) - and the simple fact that Moonrise Kingdom is there to be seen, and its so much better than anything else... why fight it? Though I suppose even that is more of a rationalization than it should be - the biggest reason for seeing it three times is that it is a rapturous film, and I can't get enough of it.

Simple enough story: an orphan 12 year old boy runs away from the khaki scouts with a lonely 12 year old girl whose parents hate each other and who is far too smart for anyone around her. They cross the island they live on through the woods, while everyone else scrambles in their wake, the searchers spending as much time fighting among themselves as looking for the kids. But they are found, though not before they stab one of the other scouts and fall in love - they are hauled off, and Social Services called in to take him away - maybe to juvenile refuge; maybe for shock treatment; maybe to have a piece of his brain cut out. So - as usual in Wes Anderson films, the rest of the gang gets together and saves the heroes. They escape again, but there's a storm a-coming... All this is set in 1965, on an island off the coast of Maine (it seems) - there is just a hint of a times they are a changing' vibe going on, things like Sam's brooch (not meant for a male to wear, but he doesn't give a damn), though it's not the point. Though French films might be the point.

It's quietly movie mad, in Anderson's way - with Godard and Ozu prominent as usual (though hardly the only influences). Pierrot le Fou, with its lovers on the lam, and Floating Weeds, with its lighthouses and harbors and torrential downpours and lost and found fathers and sons seem particularly relevant here. But I suppose it's even more steeped in the types of books Suzzy reads - about near teens, usually girls, having adventures, on this or foreign worlds, usually with magic powers, always running away, forced to save themselves, on their own. The film itself plays like a daydream about a book like that, set in a real place, and acted out in this place. That's an underrated part of Anderson's style, the locations - aesthetically precise as they are (and they are usually as precise as the sets), they are always very real looking. This film looks more or less absolutely right - the woods, the jagged ledges, the little lakes and tidal pools, the houses docks and fields. Some of it, to be sure, seems a bit too inland - some of those streams seem like they'd be hard to muster in September in New England on an island - but that's a quibble. And a quibble that misses the point by a far piece - it's a daydream - the nature of which is to take the real enough world the kids are in and turn it into a wonderland, a setting for adventure.

That is, in the end, Wes Anderson's world - his films are about art, about transforming the world that is into an image of a world, that focuses and clarifies the world as it is. His characters are all artists, usually literally, sometimes figuratively (which usually makes them con artists, like Royal), but always there trying to make sense of the world by making art out of it. (And Sam is a painter; Suzzy is more ambiguous, less explicitly making art, but she is in a play when Sam meets her, and she is immersed in those books, and seems to be immersed in their imaginative world as well; she seems to be Margot Tenenbaum in the making.) They are all making themselves up as they go along, trying to make up the world as they go along - though the world never quite seems to stop being what it is. They shape and adapt and get along, however well they can.

Which does pull this back to the film references (the specific ones I mentioned.) That's Pierrot le Fou; it's also Floating Weeds. People who try to make the world into their own fiction, do it, but find the world just as determined to write itself - so they have to figure out what to do with it. Anderson is usually more optimistic than his models - this is a doomed romance that is saved; this is a story of a fatherless boy finding a father of sorts, the opposite of the father who has to deny his son in the Ozu film.

And so on. All of this, meanwhile, is put together with skill that is worthy of comparison to Godard or Ozu - Anderson is as good a filmmaker as anyone in the world now. Everything he does uses the art of film completely - his photography, the editing, the integration of music into the film, the performances, and how they are all put together. He gets plenty of attention for his set designs, compositions and so on, deservedly, but these things are always more than that - they flow; they create a world, they provide the material for the stories to take place. And they create deep pleasure (for me anyway) in the basic material of the film - cuts, camera movements, a camera angle, can make you laugh, or take your breath away. There is pure pleasure in something as simple as the perfect rhythm of the cuts in the voiceover reading of a note... And, as is characteristic of his films, he has created a whole suite of characters, the kids at the center, the adults surrounding them, and assembled a cast to do them justice. He gets a distinctive style from his cast - it's not a naturalistic style, but it still manages to make actors seem to be born into their roles. All right. A great film.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Normal Friday Service Resumes

Well - the old computer hard drive is still working, so I have my music back once more. The results - not exactly obscure, but digging into the recesses of all that music... here we go:

1. Sonic Youth - Anti-orgasm
2. John Cale - Taking it All Away
3. Son Volt - World Waits for You
4. The Soft Machine - Why Are We Sleeping?
5. Louvin Brothers - Is that You Myrtle?
6. Richard & Linda Thompson - Shame of Doing Wrong (live) - really one of the greatest songs ever...
7. Love - Doggone
8. Melt Banana - Dog Song
9. Flaming Lips - All We Have Now
10. Bob Marley and the Wailers - Get Up STand Up (live)

and video? Sonic Youth is a welcome sight this morning:

And - I suppose I could make some kind of comment on the theme of the end of great rock and roll marriages, as this comes from pretty close to the end, I think, for the Thompsons, as the above does for Gordon and Moore - but really, it's the song. That casually brilliant solo at the end... yes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Andrew Sarris

Andrew Sarris has died. I am not alone in considering this to be holy writ:

I read that devotedly, especially in the early days of my full scale cinephilia, generally taking Sarris' judgments as starting points for my own, though coming to an understanding of my own tastes and ideas about films quite often by way of arguing with him. He wrote in a way that invited argument, I think - stating a position, but in a way that left of room for counter positions, that were, themselves, easier to state because of the clarity with which he made his case. It felt that way to me. I always found his opinions generous and open, and grounded in curiosity and joy in watching films - he was a perfect guide. It helped that his tastes and mine ran together - but like I say, even when they didn't (and I doubted from the start his assessment of people like Frank Capra, John Huston, Billy Wilder - especially Capra, who I believed then and now was the greatest American filmmaker of them all), I found his case against them necessary to consider. And so it goes.

That's just me - but I know enough people who could probably say something close to the same (my long time internet friend Joseph B, for example...). Whether The American Cinema, or his reviews, or the sum total of his writing - he has been as influential as critics come.

And one more thing - that book: that is a cover for the ages. Everyone seems to be posting a scan or picture or something of their copy - that's what you see above. They all seem to be similar - a bit battered, discolored, a book likely to have spent a fair amount of time stuck in back pockets and such (it's the perfect size). Most of the pictures are straight on, like mine, which perhaps obscures the condition of the pages - downturned and stained and stuck through with bookmarks (there's a stub from Kenneth Brannagh's Hamlet, 10:00 AM show, 1/26/97, $4.75 (matinee price), marking the Preston Sturges entry, in mine)... It is a thing of beauty, and one as much used as any book I own.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Springtime Worth of New Films

It's been a long time since I have done this, even as basic a thing as a list of films seen - it's ridiculously long, really. The end of March. Time, I suppose, to get back into it. My excuse is gone - I could blame that WWII class - not now. The Euros? maybe, but still...

This is going to be simple - there is one important point about this spring - there is a vast, vast gap between the best films I have seen and the rest. Most of the rest, that is - there are actually some first rate films in this list, that probably deserve more attention than this. But having not done this forever, I think it wise to just plow through it, and try to come back to the more recent films, especially the two that really floored me... off we go!

Chico And Rita - 9/15 - animated film about a pianist who meets a singer, romances her, writes her songs, and so on - they are a hit, they are lovers, but they keep breaking up, over miscellaneous nonsense and jealous Americans. Set in Cuba - features quite magnificent music, and neat looking animation, though the story seems a bit awkward and forced. Lovely to look at and listen to, though.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - 11/15 - half forgot I saw this - it's a good film though - fractured tale of a mother whose son has done something unthinkable (murdered a bunch of classmates - and his father and sister as well). Plays mostly as a nasty comedy about child-rearing as horror movie, like Erasorhead - though it gets more serious t the end (when it also abandons a lot of the jumping around in time...) Quite effective piece of filmmaking, to be honest.

Mirror Mirror - 9/15 - Tarsem does Snow White, with Julia Roberts as the evil stepmother. Starts from the stepmother's perspective, but mostly drops it, for better or worse. snow white - starts fromt he stepmopther's perspective, but Snow White takes over. Falls in with dwarves who teach her to fight so she becomes a rebel. AS one would expect from Tarsem, it is gorgeous looking, and rather witty as well, though some of the dialogue gets a bit forced. An amusing trifle in the end.

Kid With the Bike - 12/15 - Another very fine film I saw and haven't thought about since, really. The Dardennes brothers, doing their usual thing - here following a boy whose in a home after his father disappeared on him. The kid keeps running away - he meets a woman who helps him after a while, but he's still obsessed with his father and hanging out with a bad crowd - things go wrong. But then, they get a little better - or worse - or better... It is very much like their other films, same settings, same types of characters, same tendency to spend the whole film chasing someone who seems to be running for their life. It is a fine career the brothers have mapped out, rich and detailed and precise and always well worth seeing.

The Deep Blue Sea - 11/15 - Terrence Davies melodrama (though not a tragedy, not sophocles) about a married woman who meets a young man and falls hopelessly in love with him - though he only sort of likes her. Looping around through the end and beginning of their affair... An unknown woman story all the way down, with its inadaquate men. And - seeing in the middle of all those WWII films highlights the degree to which it is a post-war story - it's 1950, but Freddy lives in 1941 (in 1950) - and the film is shot through with hints of the lingering devastation of the war. A fantastic closing shot that just nails it - the heroine looks out her window, Davies cuts outside, see her in the window, the landlady bringing in the milk, and the camera tracks along the street and stops on a bombed out house where some kids are playing. The first we've seen of that ruin, but we can guess how much of the misery we have seen is a result of the war. All told, a lush and beautiful movie, anchored by Rachel Weisz' outstanding performance.

Five Year Engagement - 10/15 - nice rom com about a chef and student who get engaged, then she gets a job in Michigan - what will they do? He goes, he sinks, she rises, they break up, but get back together again in the end. It's an interesting story, some neat ideas, and well written and acted, but there is just nothing to look at! Why can't films like this hire fucking directors? The material is good enough if someone with any sense of style tried it, it would come out fine.

This is Not a Film - 12/15 - something made in Jafar Panahi's house while under house arrest, waiting to be sentenced. He calls a friend over, who shoots him, reading from a script he'd written, half acting bits of it out - the story of a girl who is accepted in university but her parents won't let her go. They lock her up - the drama takes place in her house - a grandmother who visits, a sister who can't come in because the door is locked, a boy outside she falls for, but he's not what he seems - he's an "agent" says Panahi. (This is based on Chekhov, he says.) He only gets so far in this - if you could tell a film, why would you make one? he says. So it turns to criticism - how the unpredictablity of actors gives you more than his direction could; how the location, for example, creates emotion as much as the acting or story. Eventually, he starts shooting the cameraman shooting him - when the cameraman leaves, he shoots the man collecting garbage in the apartment - and shoots the fireworks outside through the door... All this, for all its constraints, is a pretty typical Panahi film, does all the things he talks about. The set certainly directs for him; the world impinges on the film - here, the sound of fireworks all day long, though it takes a while for him to tell us what day it is - Iranians probably would understand, though it's not guaranteed. The way he takes off his cast - like the girl in Mirror - is to the point. He does it more than once - addressing the camera directly; giving up on retelling the script; then bringing the cameraman and the man in the elevator into the film. It's pretty close to a great film - or whatever it is, if not a film...

Dark Shadows - 9/15 - somewhere along about the end of April, the world seemed to have run out of films. So since then, I have seen Damsels in Distress (which is going to get its own post) and Moonrise Kingdom (ditto) half a dozen times between them - while looking for other films to see as well. It's not easy - there hasn't been much to catch my eye. A new Tim Burton, though - all right - worth a shot, huh? maybe. Amusing enough, but kind of dopey, and what is there to say about it?

Bernie - 10/15 - Richard Linklater directs Jack Black - a part true-crime, part fake documentary, about a funeral director who murders an old woman. It's Jack Black's film (along with Matthew McConaughey, who steals his scenes) - singing, charming the old ladies, caring for the dead, directing plays... It's good - it's clever - but it's just a film.

The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists (or, in the USA, land of the god-bothering nitwits, Band of Misfits) - 9/15 - amusing claymation tale, a bit silly and somewhat less than it could have been. A Pirate captain wants to be pirate of the year, but he is a failure - but he has a dodo for a parrot, and Charles Darwin is impressed - so they go to London, win prizes, but he sells his soul - and has to save the day... Plenty of fun, for the jokes, especially the visual jokes (the end credits might be better than the whole film), but I don't think I can say much more for it...

And so? that brought us up to Memorial Day - a good place to stop for the moment...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Post Apocalyptic Friday Random Ten

That is, my own personal apocalypse. There area ways to get at the bulk of my music, but for now, I still just have the stuff I bought at iTunes on my laptop - so that is the pol for this random ten.

1. U2 - A Sort of Homecoming
2. Chambers Brothers - What the World Needs Now is Love
3. James Brown - Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
4. Van Halen - Jamie's Cryin'
5. Echo and the Bunnymen - Lips Like Sugar
6. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
7. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
8. David Thomas & Two Pale Boys - Nebraska Alcohol Abuse
9. Cat Stevens - Another Saturday Night
10. Superchunk - Slack Motherfucker

Not bad, I suppose. Video? Old U2 is not a bad idea, I think. This video the usual mix of bombast, sentimentality, documentary, Bono's ego blotting out the sun, and a fucking catchy tune...

And - it would be wrong not to add some James Brown - here he is live, in full flight, 1967:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quick Baseball Notes

The last couple weeks have turned into quite a run for the no-nos. First Johan Santana; then the Mariners, en masse. Now Matt Cain throws a perfect game, with 14 strikeouts tossed in for spice. And there's still a chance for another no hitter last night - R. A. Dickey and the Mets are appealing his 1 hitter, claiming the hit should have been ruled an error - long shot, but what the heck? Great fun.

All this on top of Philip Humber (also perfect) and Jared Weaver, in April and May- that makes five so far....

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Geek's Nightmare

I hate to trouble you, world, with tales of my computer woes, but - I have to write something about my computer woes. It has been a trial, this weekend - what you see above is the sight that greeted me when I came home Friday and booted up the old iMac: a black screen - and nothing could change it. It may be complicated - at first I thought it was just dead, but in the process of trying to resurrect the thing, I noticed it seemed to be booting: I hear the start up chime; I hear the disk spinning; all the USB stuff lights up.... There might be hope - I even went the trouble of buying an external monitor, in hopes I could get that to show me whats on the machine - didn't work, but who knows. If some video component is gone, I could still get the guts out of it.

None of this is quite as bad as it could be. I bought a new laptop last year, and was thinking, even then, that I might want to hedge against the age of the iMac. It's 4 years old, and getting close to where things stop working - usually because software stops working - I bought the laptop because my old laptop (vintage 2004) wouldn't run any of the Intel chip software for the mac - or flash - or... On the other hand, I was thinking about similar incompatibilities with the iMac, not a hardware failure. And it is a bitter blow, as one of the things I thought I could do with it, if I stopped using it as an everyday computer was treat it like an region-2 DVD player - that nice screen and all... Looks like that hope's out the window. But - because I had the laptop, I have been able to get back running without too much trouble, and with an upgraded computer to boot.

No - it's the frustration and the panic of it that gets me. And some missing data. That to could be worse - fortunately, I am reasonably careful about backups, doing a couple big ones every year, and enough intermediate ones to keep me from losing to much. Having a laptop helps - I move things back and forth between the machines quite a bit, so again, I have almost everything almost up to date. Even pictures, which could be a worry - I have taken to loading most pictures and video onto both machines, so even though the desktop had the main iPhoto library, it was backed up, and the recent stuff was on the laptop. Lost a lot of cat pictures, but that's about it. The one big exception - and big is the right word - is music. I don't think I have backed up iTunes since 2009 - I guess the Friday 10s could get a lot less varied in the coming weeks. On the other hand, it's probably a good thing that I haven't been buying all that much music in the last few years - if I restored my music from 2009 I'd have 90% of it, I suspect. Still.... I am not sure I am going to do that, though - at least not until I know whether I can get the data off the other one.

Partly because I have all of it loaded on my iPod - which, 5 years after I bought it, is still going strong. (No - that's a lie, though a strange lie. The iPod referred to in that post did not last a day - all that whining about windows? turned out, the problem was the iPod. I took it back, got a different one, and that is the machine that is working as well today as it did then, and that very well indeed. It plays fine, it holds a charge, whether I use it 6 hours at a stretch or leave it alone for a month, and I still have half the capacity to go. I should have loaded my jazz records in there, though that would have been that much more to lose...) And since I don't buy all that many records these days, and when I do, it can take me months to get around to the simple task of loading them in to iTunes - well - I could pretty much continue my current musical existence without missing a beat. So there's that.

Still. Still. That iMac was a nice machine. It is convenient having a desktop and a laptop with separate functions. Laptops, used as laptops, are always vulnerable - much more likely to be lost or broken or something - and that would be a disaster. I have been loose with my backing up (partly because I was moving enough stuff between the two machines) - that has to stop. And - the new laptop being fairly new, and running Lion - well, looks like I will have to upgrade a bunch of software to keep things running. And some of the connections are different. And - whatever. It is a pain. I live on these things, and am quite lost without them.

Oh - and to add insult (and injury) to this injury - this happened to my favorite softball bat! what a terrible week for machinery!

Friday, June 08, 2012

Cosey & Welch

I was going to make this Friday music post in honor of Pete Cosey - one of the really great guitarists. And I still will - though now I learn, that Bob Welch, one of Fleetwood Mac's many guitar players, has also died. That's a lot of obituary to deal with....

I'll start with Welch - Fleetwood Mac on Midnight Special, with Welch and Bob Weston on guitars:

And Welch singing Ebony Eyes with Stevie Nicks...

And as for Cosey - he is one of my favorites - I love his style - dense and distorted, a bit inhuman - just a fantastic guitar player. Here, playing with Miles:

Here, more recently:

And for the obligatory Friday list - how about my five favorite Miles Davis collaborators?

1. John Coltrane

2. Pete Cosey (if you have 27 minutes to spare...)

3. John McLaughlin (here, with most of Miles' band, without Miles)

4. Tony Williams
5. Wayne Shorter

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Monday, June 04, 2012

Friday, June 01, 2012

Friday Random Ten

Let's get straight to it...

1. Yo La Tengo - The Lie and How We Told It
2. Doctor Nerve - Three Curiously Insubstantial Duets: II
3. Roxy Music - The Strand
4. Gogol Bordello - Start Wearing Purple
5. Throwing Muses - Dragonhead
6. Nina Simone - Trouble in Mind
7. Grateful Dead - St. Stephen
8. Grateful Dead - Truckin' - ah, iTunes...
9. Wilco - Heavy Metal Drummer (live)
10. Focus Three - 10,000 Years Behind My Mind

Video - Do the Strand!

And then - here are the Throwing Muses, live:

And finally, just music, but Nina Simone, live: