T'aanuu ll­na­gaay · On Fri­day Ju­ly 13th I was sit­ting un­der trees look­ing at the ocean and I thought “This is maybe the nicest place I’ve ev­er been.” The beach was at Tanu (T'aanuu ll­na­gaay in the Hai­da lan­guage), which is here. In front of me, the He­cate Strait, much hat­ed by West Coast mariner­s. Be­hind me, the old Hai­da vil­lage site, with in­ter­est­ing me­men­to mori: a mass grave of fifty or so small­pox vic­tim­s, and the beau­ti­ful mod­ern grave­stone of Bill Reid. Flow­ing over me, a breeze of what struck me as the fresh­est, cleanest, nicest air I have ev­er breathed. This was on the last day of our Hai­da Gwai­i, uh, let me see, I can hard­ly call it an ad­ven­ture af­ter all that. But it sort of was ...
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Jag Diary 3: What We Know · Between June 4th, when the first wave of re­views of the New Jag hit (off­i­cal­ly the I-PACE, what a dumb name) and the time the sales­man called me say­ing “Time to sign the or­der if you want to be in the first wave”, I had to de­cide whether to spend a lot of mon­ey on a car I’d nev­er seen or touched. So I paid damn close at­ten­tion to those re­views. I’m a crit­i­cal read­er, and sus­pi­cious about the mo­tives of prod­uct re­view­er­s, and I think the pic­ture that emerges is pret­ty clear. This post is to enu­mer­ate what I think it’s pos­si­ble to know for sure about the car with­out hav­ing owned or even driv­en one ...
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Jag Diary 2: “T-K” · Ap­par­ent­ly Jaguar com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing a se­ri­ous elec­tric car back in 2014, which was a brave move at that point. Ob­vi­ous­ly, this wouldn’t have hap­pened, nor would the up­com­ing Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes BEVs (Bat­tery Elec­tric Vehi­cles), if Tes­la hadn’t proved that these things can be built and peo­ple want to buy them. Now, sup­pose you had the job of mar­ket­ing this new thing to the world; how would you start? ...
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Jaguar Diary · On Wed­nes­day, I signed an or­der for a 2019 Jaguar I-PACE, to be de­liv­ered in the late au­tum­n. For those who don’t fol­low the electric-car scene, this is a brand-new no-petroleum prod­uct with range and per­for­mance in the same range as a Tes­la S or X. Since elec­tric cars in­ter­est geeks and greens  —  both over-represented in my read­er­ship  —  and since the Jag is a new thing and con­tains a lot of tech­nol­o­gy, I thought I’d do a diary-and-notes se­ries on the car and the ex­pe­ri­ence of get­ting in­to the electric-driving space ...
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SotD: What a Wonderful World · That’s al­l, folk­s. Wel­come to the last Song of the Day. I knew pret­ty ear­ly what I want­ed it to be, be­cause ev­ery ex­tend­ed en­deav­or should en­deav­or to end on a high note. And What a Won­der­ful World fit­s, al­beit in­di­rect­ly, in­to the ex­it the­me, wor­ship and rev­er­ence ...
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SotD: It’ll Shine When It Shines · At the end of the day, the pur­suit of the di­vine is sup­posed to of­fer up wis­dom and, prac­ti­cal­ly speak­ing, teach you how to live life bet­ter. But for me, the sa­cred scrip­tures are songs; not that I lis­ten to them look­ing for life lesson­s, but some­times they’re there any­way. It’ll Shine When It Shines is by the Ozark Moun­tain Dare­dev­ils, and it’s up-front about its mes­sage; one that I feel good about pass­ing along ...
 
SotD: The Return · I in­tro­duced Fer­ron to the Song of the Day a cou­ple weeks back with Belly­bowl, and I’d like to use her beau­ti­ful The Re­turn in this clos­ing focused-on-the-divine se­quence, to help talk about my own ex­pe­ri­ence of wor­ship ...
 
SotD: Graceland · In case it wasn’t ob­vi­ous from yesterday’s piece, Grace­land  —  the re­al one I mean, Elvis’ man­sion in Mem­phis  —  is a place of wor­ship. The vis­i­tors are serene, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing be­lief not faith; a lot of them saw Elvis on TV or even in the flesh. They know that, as Paul Si­mon sings, in his love­ly, love­ly song al­so called Grace­land, that there’s rea­son to be­lieve that they’ll all be re­ceived there. And al­so just the name “Graceland” is the pret­ti­est word imag­in­able ...
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SotD: So High · More mu­sic on the sub­ject of God (and Heav­en too); a tra­di­tion­al spir­i­tu­al ar­ranged by Elvis Pres­ley for his 1967 Gospel al­bum How Great Thou Art, which was a triple-platinum hit and won the 1967 Gram­my for Best Sa­cred Per­for­mance. So High is a fine, rous­ing tune with a good ar­range­men­t, and just ter­rif­ic singing ...
 
SotD: O vis aeternitatis · Ladies, gen­tle­men, and oth­er­s, wel­come to the 2018 Song of the Day clos­ing se­quence. This has been a lot of work and I thought I should try to end it with more than just a set of ran­dom tunes, so I picked a the­me: Wor­ship, the sa­cred, and the di­vine. To start, from Hilde­gard von Bin­gen, the old­est song to ap­pear, first sung some­time in the years around 1150: O vis ae­ter­ni­tatis means “The Pow­er of Eternity” ...
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SotD: Live at Leeds · I love rock mu­sic, and I love live al­bum­s, and this might be the best live rock&roll record­ing ev­er. I’m not claim­ing the whole album’s a Song of the Day (and any­how, there’s been a baf­fling pa­rade of re-issues and re­mas­ters and so on). But I am go­ing to dou­ble up and rec­om­mend two songs: I Can’t Ex­plain and the My Gen­er­a­tion Med­ley. The first be­cause it’s a pure pop gem, the sec­ond, even though it’s way long, be­cause in­hab­its the joy­ful heart of the mu­sic I love ...
 
SotD: Subcode · By ap­pear­ing twice in this se­ries Jah Wob­ble joins lu­mi­nar­ies like Miles Davis and J.S. Bach. I’m not go­ing to claim that he looms as large on the mu­si­cal land­scape; just that he writes and plays nice tunes fea­tur­ing di­vine­ly great bass lines. And, well, I just can’t say no to that. Sub­code is a slith­ery, icy-cool riv­er of funk ...
 
SotD: One More Cup of Coffee · This is my fa­vorite Bob Dy­lan song, by a mile. Maybe it’s Scar­let Rivera’s vi­o­lin that grabs me. Maybe it’s Em­my­lou Harris’ har­monies. Maybe it’s the fear­some chord hook when he sings “To the val­ley below”. It’s just great ...
 
SotD: I’m Not Afraid · If this se­ries brings one or two of you one or two re­al­ly hot rock-n-roll tunes you nev­er know ex­ist­ed, then I can go home hap­py. Maybe this is one: I’m Not Afraid is by Flem­ing and John, a husband-and-wife tune who have nev­er been big stars or any­thing like that, but should go down in his­to­ry for this song ...
 
SotD: Steady, As She Goes · This is off Bro­ken Boy Soldiers by the The Ra­con­teurs, bet­ter known as “Back when Jack White did a cou­ple of records with Bren­dan Ben­son.” Steady, As She Goes (why that com­ma?) was the big sin­gle on that record, co-written by White & Ben­son, and is just an out­stand­ing pop tune, al­though Jack has his own ideas about where to take it ...
 
SotD: Bellybowl · At one point in my life, I found my­self mar­ried to a les­bian. It’s a long sto­ry, not ter­ri­bly hap­py. This ar­range­ment had im­por­tant dis­ad­van­tages, but a pret­ty big up­side: I dis­cov­ered women’s mu­sic. It’s not ac­tu­al­ly a gen­re, it’s just that the per­form­ers are most­ly les­bian and the au­di­ences are most­ly, wom­en (although men were per­fect­ly wel­come; I have yet to en­counter any class of mu­si­cian who ob­ject­ed to any class of per­son en­joy­ing their mu­sic, and (e­spe­cial­ly) pay­ing for it. If you’re won­der­ing what kind of mu­sic I’m talk­ing about, lis­ten to Belly­bowl by Fer­ron, and you’ll know; most­ly, ex­cel­len­t ...
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SotD: Crazy Fingers · I’m sad that I nev­er saw the Grate­ful Dead live; they’ve left marks on the col­lec­tive mu­si­cal con­scious­ness that will be there as long as such a thing ex­ist­s. But Blues For Al­lah is my fa­vorite of their stu­dio record­ings, and Crazy Fingers by a wide mar­gin the best song there ...
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SotD: High · High by Sir Sly (cool name) will be the last 2018 Song Of The Day in the current-hit cat­e­go­ry. The usu­al thing: I heard it on the car ra­dio and it sound­ed good and then kept sound­ing good even on heavy ro­ta­tion. While there’s a se­ri­ous prob­lem with this work, it’s still a mas­ter­ful piece of song­writ­ing ...
 
SotD: “Little” Fugue by Stokowski · What hap­pened was, in the time of J.S. Bach there were no big or­ches­tras, so most of his mu­sic em­pha­sizes that bor­ing stuff like in­ner de­tail and emo­tion­al ten­sion and shift­ing sound­scapes. When he want­ed to write Big Loud Mu­sic, he wrote or­gan mu­sic. Which left mod­ern or­ches­tra con­duc­tors who re­al­ly liked Bach with not much to play. So Leopold Stokows­ki (1882-1977) solved that prob­lem by ar­rang­ing lots of Bach com­po­si­tions  —  mostly or­gan pieces  —  for big mod­ern or­ches­tras. This hor­ri­fied a lot of Bach purist­s, but the ar­range­ments are most­ly pret­ty great, and that Fugue, prop­er­ly called BWV 578, is a fine ex­am­ple ...
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SotD: Somnambule · I’d ev­er heard of Cœur de pi­rate un­til she popped up on my ra­dio a few weeks ago. She’s from Québéc and I think the name best trans­lates as “Pirate’s Heart”, but she’s bilin­gual and at one point re­ferred to her­self as “Her Pi­rate Heart”, which is cool too. Any­how, the singing is in French and is very beau­ti­ful, and al­so an oa­sis of peace in among all the loud male mu­sic I’ve been host­ing here re­cent­ly ...
 
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