Jules’s Jukebox: “Getting Over the Flu” Music Medicine

I’ve spent the last two weeks holed up with a viral respiratory infection that just seems to enjoy hanging around and partying in my lungs. So in honor of my slowing beginning to feel human again, I’ve selected a few songs with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

“Bad Medicine” by Bon Jovi from 1988’s New Jersey. The first hit off of their fourth album starts tonight’s healing music. “And I got all the symptoms count ’em 1, 2,3…”

“Sick of You” by Lou Reed from his 1989 album New York. It’s just coincidence that the two selections today come from albums named for neighboring states, but this song just seems so fitting considering that a) I am sick and b) this next week’s political activities make me sick at heart, and c) Reed even mentions the PEOTUS by name in this song. How prescient, except the Mt. Sinai part… 😉  “They ordained the Trumps/ and then he got the mumps/ and died being treated at Mt. Sinai…”

Stand Up for Academic Freedom!

BY BETH L. LUECK This is a guest post by Beth L. Lueck, a professor of English in the department of languages and literature at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. When my younger son came home from a ten-month deployment to Afghanistan in February 2015, he discovered his mother at the center of a right-wing maelstrom […]

via Bullseye on my Back: On Being Targeted by the Right-Wing Media — ACADEME BLOG

*Jules’s Note: This kind of thing is exactly why tenure exists to begin with–all those right-wingers who hate the concept of tenure need to understand that as teachers we often ask students to pursue topics they might not agree with because they need to understand how to argue, what all the sides may argue, and why they really believe what they do. Without the ability to encourage students to question and think, a teacher isn’t really a teacher. And “tenure” (aka due process rights) was initially instituted to protect teachers from political pressure influencing the classroom. Academic freedom must be protected. Join us in supporting Professor Lueck and others like her by signing the open letter regarding Professor Watchlist and its chilling and violent effects.

Dump DeVos!

In March 2015, US secretary of education nominee gave this 30-page speech at the SxSW conference in Texas in 2015. The title of DeVos’ speech is “Competition, Creativity and Choice in the Classroom.” Below are some excerpts: As a kid I grew up middle class, but my father was a great innovator with an entrepreneurial spirit, and […]

via Betsy DeVos: “Government Sucks” and “We Don’t Fire Teachers Enough” — deutsch29

*Jules’s Note: Betsy DeVos has decimated Michigan schools. John Rosales, writing for NEA Today, calls DeVos dangerous for students. His opinion piece highlights her efforts to gut public education funding. Both the NEA and the AFT have “take action” calls out to members to contact their senators to oppose DeVos’s confirmation as SecEd. You don’t have to be a teacher to take that action either–if you care about education for all, providing adequacy and equity in education, then please contact your senator and tell them to oppose DeVos’s confirmation.

Being Sick Sucks! But I’m Ready to Rumble for Inauguration.

Today is the first time in two weeks that I’ve mustered the energy to sit at my computer rather than hack up a lung while lounging miserably on the couch ignoring the toxic DJT feed streaming from my flatscreen. It feels good to feel well enough to actually think about something other than when I can take my next dose of medication in the hopes of breathing without setting my chest on fire. I still have a thriving case of laryngitis, but I don’t have to talk to write, computer-compose, stretch the old fingers. Yay, me! So instead of being totally miserable, I’m starting to feel good enough to plan for next weekend’s inaugural festivities. I know I’ve written about my plans before, but now that I am counting down the days into literally hours, I can’t help but give these events another shout out.

I will be among the #Resistors (yes, the spelling is intentional) on Thursday, January 19th, for National Resist Day (to learn more click here).

join_the_resistance_rectangle_magnet

Later that evening, I will travel to Las Vegas, NV, to stay in a hotel/casino run by non-DJT supporters. Plus, I just really like staying on the south end of the Strip in MGM Resort Properties.

mgm-resorts-logo

Inauguration Day will be an official #Blackout (for more info click here). I will be wearing my black. I will not be watching any televised coverage of the Inauguration or news coverage of it. Any social media in which I feel compelled to engage will be showing resistance…but frankly, I’ll probably be drinking myself stupid–if I feel well enough to do anything other than stare aimlessly at the crowds around me.

bacon-bloody-mary-940x626

I will cap off the weekend’s #RESISTANCE activities by participating in the Women’s March on Washington at the Las Vegas affiliated march on Fremont Street. Of all of the Resistance Activities, this is the one that I am most excited to be a part of–standing side by side with people who also believe that women’s rights are human rights. This organic event that quickly organized into a nationwide force has been amazing to watch the past few weeks.

womens-march-2

Ultimately, I want DJT to be successful–with the caveat that his policies serve ALL Americans, not just his few billionaire friends and supporters. Everything that I have witnessed to date leaves me with more than reservations about his willingness or ability to do so. Everything from his cabinet choices to his unwillingness to divest from his businesses to his openly hostile chilling of the free press is beyond worrisome. He leaves me no alternative but to stand with the 68 million others who did not vote for him to work at ensuring his hears our voices.

This week the #RESISTANCE gets real.

In the meantime, here’s my medicinal regimen:

damitol

fukitol

imbicillin_meds_1

Mike Klonsky: BREAKING NEWS: Rich Schools Get High Grades, Poor School Districts Fail — Diane Ravitch’s blog

Mike Klonsky is a nervy guy. In this post, he explains why some schools and states get high marks while others are “failing.” Let Edweek know.

via Mike Klonsky: BREAKING NEWS: Rich Schools Get High Grades, Poor School Districts Fail — Diane Ravitch’s blog

 

*Jules’s Note: Teachers have known this for a long time. That is why corporate interests have outspent us 15:1 in their attempts to destroy teachers unions who work so diligently to protect our students and our profession.

Jules’s Jukebox: The Promise of 2017

The year that was 2016 created a void in the pantheon of pop culture, but that does not mean that 2017 is devoid of hope for some fantastic artistic expression.

Last year was a year of transition in my household. The first half of the year was filled with excitement for my family. My only son graduated high school, we traveled the UK and France over the summer, and he settled into college life this autumn. Songs like “Wings” by Birdy, “Make It Happen” by Gareth Emery featuring Lawson, and “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo cycled through my playlists and provided a backdrop for our European travels and my 2016. Now I’m looking for a new year’s soundtrack.

In November, my son voted in his first presidential election. And since November, the politics of our nation has seemed like a really bad dream playing out in slow motion to close out an otherwise fantastic year. While we were overseas this summer, people kept asking us if we thought DJT could really win. We acknowledged that the chance was there, but we hoped (and worked on campaigns throughout the fall) for a different outcome. Since early November, we have felt a little besieged with bad headlines in both the world of politics and pop culture. So the good headlines we’ve grabbed onto with a whole lot of hope for a fantastic 2017 soundtrack. Familiar names like Brian Eno, Dropkick Murphys, The Flaming Lips, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Depeche Mode, Gorillaz, and many others announced new works to be released in 2017. But two names really stood out to me on the list of upcoming releases.

Today’s jukebox picks reflect those two names and what I consider the good headlines from December: both Noel and Liam Gallagher will have solo projects out in 2017–hopefully by mid-year. Since Oasis is apparently not going to regroup anytime soon, hearing from the feuding brothers separately is still good news. So in honor of their upcoming solo efforts, I’m selecting a solo Noel song and a Liam-penned Oasis song for today’s jukebox duo.

Noel hopes to have his third solo project wrapped by June. He is working with the same producer (David Holmes) that he worked with on his second project, Chasing Yesterday. He claims that he is using a different method than he usually does in writing and completing his songs. I’m excited to hear what this new direction in his creative process brings about. In a recent interview highlighted in NME, he said:

“All the songs that I was writing towards making a record have not been used because when we decided to make a record with David Holmes the way he works is that all the writing gets done in the studio.

“So I started this record at his house in Belfast. The process is the complete opposite to the way that I’ve always worked. With this, you have no idea what you’ve got until it’s there, and the end results are great because they’re constantly evolving.”

Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/music/noel-gallagher-sets-deadline-third-solo-lp-1910652#7yp5hHE7gopKKVTD.99

“If I Had a Gun…” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds from their eponymous first album. What a great video…

 

In early December, news regarding Liam Gallagher’s previously announced solo album hit the internet: “His solo album has been described as sounding like The Velvet Underground.” After the demise of Beady Eye, Liam’s post-Oasis band, in October 2014, fans have been waiting patiently to hear more from the frontman.

Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/music/liam-gallagher-making-progress-solo-album-1886372#SXyFsjQ3oUkBm4dl.99

In a recent Mirror online piece, journalist Claire Rutter wrote, “But while Liam has vented about the past and how he’s been portrayed in the media, he has admitted that he’s reluctantly doing a solo album and is prepared for people to ‘hate it’.

He said: ‘I’m doing a solo record, with gritted teeth because I’d rather be in a band, but I’m doing that and that’s going to be recorded and should be ready for the summer.'”

So in honor of Liam’s upcoming solo effort:

“Born on a Different Cloud” by Oasis (written by Liam Gallagher) from the 2002 album Heathen Chemistry. (This is among my favorite songs written by Liam.)

 

I hope that songs from these two will make the soundtrack of my 2017!

Dems Target DeVos for D.C. Grilling — Diane Ravitch’s blog

The Washington Post reports that Senate Democrats will aggressively question 8 of Trump’s cabinet picks. One is the totally unqualified Betsy DeVos. “Democratic senators plan to aggressively target eight of Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees in the coming weeks and are pushing to stretch their confirmation votes into March — an unprecedented break with […]

via Dems Target DeVos for D.C. Grilling — Diane Ravitch’s blog

*Jules’s Note: So glad to see the Dems priming for resistance to a number of DJT’s nominees. Democratic leaders will most assuredly have to pick and choose who to block and who to use for a public lashing out for the lack of qualifications in DJT’s picks. I may want Betsy De Vos to not make the cut, but in the end, I’d rather have her than Jeff Sessions as AG. Such horrible choices…

 

Mixon Story Travels With Sooners To New Orleans — KFOR.com

Oklahoma and Auburn will meet Monday night in the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome and the head coaches for both the Tigers and the Sooners met the media in this very room on Sunday morning, a day before the game. For Oklahoma, not all of the talk is about the Sugar Bowl matchup against Auburn.…

via Mixon Story Travels With Sooners To New Orleans — KFOR.com

*Jules’s Note: I do not approve of Mixon’s actions, but I do approve of second chances for young men and women. Both Molitor and Mixon hopefully learned something of value from this unfortunate and avoidable incident. Hopefully, both have worked to make their lives better and make the lives of those around them better.  

Jules’s Jukebox: Year in Review, Pt. 2 –The Fabric of My Childhood Unraveling

Tonight’s Jukebox will look and sound a little different. Tonight, rather than songs we will have a combination of words, video, and symphonic music as we celebrate the lives of some of the pop culture icons who left us this year. Most of these people have been part of my pop culture consciousness since I was old enough to remember. With a heavy heart, I look to a future world that has progressed beyond my memories. My generation, the X’ers, are quickly coming to the days where we will attend more funerals than weddings. And this year was a stark reminder of that fact of aging.

  1. Gene Wilder–Wilder died on August 29th at age 83 from complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. Wilder was a mainstay of my childhood. I was lucky enough to have a mother who loved movies. When my brother and I were 4 and 5 years old respectively, my parents went on a date night to the drive-in theater with us in tow in the back seat. We sat in our pajamas eating popcorn and M&M’s and playing with our toys as Blazing Saddles started projecting across the screen. We didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the film other than the bean fart scene and the Waco Kid’s lightning fast hands. We fell asleep, but always remembered laughing at the movie. So when we had opportunities in junior high to watch the film we did. It became a favorite just as much as Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. For my birthday this year, my brother took me to see the stage musical of Young Frankenstein–partly for us to pay honor to my mother (whose birthday was four days after mine) and her love of theater/movies/the arts and partly to pay honor to the late Wilder.

from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

from Blazing Saddles

from Young Frankenstein

2. Sports heroes Arnold Palmer and Muhammad Ali: Both men were constants in my childhood in very different ways. Both were from sports that were not commonly watched in my household–golf and boxing– but both were trailblazers with loyal followings. Whether being “The Greatest” & “stinging like a bee” and protesting against injustice or being everyman’s hero while having a drink named after him and meeting presidents, these icons top the heap in bringing their sports to the mainstream. Muhammad Ali died at the age of 74 on June 3rd after suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for three decades. Arnold Palmer died on September 25th at the age of 87.

3. Sir George Martin: The Fifth Beatle died in his sleep on March 8th at the age of 90. Ringo Starr announced his death via Twitter. John Lennon expressed that they worked and learned together. From Sir George’s Rolling Stone’s obituary: “George Martin made us what we were in the studio,” John Lennon said in 1971. “He helped us develop a language to talk to other musicians.” Memorably, Martin played the Bach-esque piano solo on the Beatles’ hit “In My Life.” The solo showed how the producer and the band innovated in the studio–the instrument was a piano recorded at half-speed and then played back at normal speed sounding rather Baroque, like a harpsichord. The song was also one of the first of Lennon’s songs to focus on his personal experiences. “In My Life” is one of the more renowned Beatle’s hits. My brother, who is a huge Beatles fan, selected this song as his first dance with his bride at his wedding reception. Saying good night to the fifth Beatle is like losing our past inch by inch.

4. Alan Rickman: I have loved the man with the most distinctive voice ever since his break-out role as a terrorist falling from Nakatomi Plaza on Christmas Eve in 1988. Learning of his passing on January 14th from cancer at age 69 was an unexpected blow–especially on the heels of David Bowie’s death a few day earlier. Rickman’s versatility and exceptional talent allowed him to play the most dastardly of villains and the softest of lovers. Whether he was terrorist Hans Gruber or loving suitor Colonel Brandon or magical double agent Severus Snape, Rickman chewed up and owned every scene in which he appeared. And even better, he’s one of the British Men Reading Poetry with his interpretation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130. So we will not belie with false compare…

from British Men Reading Poetry/Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130”

from Sense and Sensibility

from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2

5. Carrie Fisher: Fisher’s death, so fresh in my heart and mind, is so hard to take. Carrie Fisher was the first damsel in distress that really wasn’t a damsel in distress. She created the role of Princess Leia as a strong “soldier” (her word) setting an example for me and my generation as young girls. I still have my original Princess Leia action figures, which she hilariously speaks of in her one-woman show Wishful Drinking (based on her memoir of the same name). I fell in love with Carrie Fisher the author in my college years when I bought her first novel, Postcards from the Edge. Her sarcasm, her wit, her frank and open capturing of life in all of its glory and gory conflict spoke to her exquisite talent as a wordsmith and opened up a whole new career path for her as a novelist, screenwriter, and nonfiction memoir writer. I own three of her books and plan to read the remaining. When I heard of her heart attack on December 23rd as she returned on a flight from London, I feared the worst. Having lost a friend a year and a half ago to similar circumstances, I feared that she would not recover. Despite my fears, I hoped. But when the news came this morning, that she passed away at 8:55 a.m. at the age of 60, though I was not surprised, I was still immensely saddened. My first heroine inspired me to find confidence, to write, to not be afraid of people who may suffer from addiction or mental illness. She was the complete package–someone who grew up in the glare of the spotlight (as the daughter of Hollywood royalty Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds) but was always giving back to the world around her. Rest in peace, Princess.

from The Blues Brothers

from Wishful Drinking

from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back

“Princess Leia’s Theme” from the Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope OMPS

Jules’s Jukebox: Year in Review, pt. 1–The Lost Artists

The year that was 2016 will long be remembered for the music artists that we lost. With so much talent taken by the hands of time, tonight’s Jukebox will celebrate a small handful of the superstars whose lights were dimmed in 2016.

  1. David Bowie: Bowie died on January 10th after a long battle with cancer. He did gift the world one last album in the days preceding his death. Blackstar was released on his 69th birthday on January 8th to overwhelmingly positive reviews (Rolling Stone called it an anti-pop masterpiece; Pitchfork ironically opened their review with “David Bowie has died many deaths yet he is still with us. He is popular music’s ultimate Lazarus: Just as that Biblical figure was beckoned by Jesus to emerge from his tomb after four days of nothingness, Bowie has put many of his selves to rest over the last half-century, only to rise again with a different guise.”) But rather than focus on Mr. Bowie’s final opus, I’m going to go back in time to the 80’s–the playground of my adolescence–and pick the song of his that I loved forever and a day: “China Girl.”

“China Girl” by David Bowie, from the album Let’s Dance.

2. Glenn Frey: Frey, one of the founding members of The Eagles who went on to have a robust solo career as well, succumbed at the age of 67 to a combination of rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and pneumonia on January 18th. While the Dude Lebowski wasn’t an Eagles fan, I grew up loving songs like “Hotel California,” “Desperado,” and “Lyin’ Eyes.” Frey and Henley were the face of The Eagles for me, and they both peppered my high school years with great solo songs, including this jukebox pick.

“You Belong to the City” by Glenn Frey, written specifically for Miami Vice.

3. Keith Emerson and Greg Lake: Keith Emerson, age 71,  died on March 11th (self-inflicted gunshot wound, depression, nerve degenerative disease) and Greg Lake, age 69, (cancer) followed his long-time band mate on December 7th. In less than nine months, two-thirds of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer was gone. And while I wasn’t a huge ELP fan, I find their music influential–and I do like their ballads. So here’s my favorite ELP song.

“C’est La Vie” by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer from Works, Volume 1.

4. Merle Haggard: Growing up in central Oklahoma with a country music-loving father, the “Okie from Muskogee” was a mainstay on rides in the truck with my dad. My dad considered Haggard one of the greats. He died on his 79th birthday on April 6th from complications with pneumonia, but this member of the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame made a lasting impact on the genre. Toby Keith even played with the Country Legend in one of his last concerts in Las Vegas, NV.

“Today I Started Loving You Again” by Merle Haggard from his album The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde.

5. Prince: Prince Rogers Nelson featured regularly on the soundtrack of my high school years. My cousin loved Prince so much that he bought all his music on vinyl, cassette, and CD, as well as going to see him multiple times in concert. My friends loved Purple Rain (for which he won an Academy Award for Best Song Score) and 1999 so much that we the words to the songs by heart. I liked some of Prince’s songs, but I was never the fanatic that my friends and cousin were. I still appreciated his talent, his influence, and his energy. I honored how he would always push the envelope innovating along the way. And I was utterly shocked when he died at age 57 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs on April 21st. “When Doves Cry” and “Kiss” are among my favorites, but my first favorite song of his was this one.

“Little Red Corvette” by Prince from 1999. (Not the original sexy video…sry.)

6. Leonard Cohen: Leonard Cohen has been featured on my jukebox before. His influence reaches far and wide, and his lyrics are incomparable in their beauty and complexity. The folk legend died in his sleep after a fall in the middle of the night on November 7th. He was 82 years old. For tonight’s jukebox, I’ve selected a song from 1967 that was originally published as a poem and has been covered by many artists like Judy Collins and Nina Simone.

“Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen from Songs of Leonard Cohen.

 

7. George Michael: Another icon from the soundtrack of my high school years has fallen too soon. At only age 53, George Michael died in his sleep from heart failure on Christmas Day. I vividly remember “Careless Whisper” from my sophomore year of high school–it was the first Wham! song I liked. And then my sophomore year of college, he blazed new trails with his solo efforts “I Want Your Sex” and “Faith,” not letting controversy stand in his way. Despite his trouble with drugs and the law over the years, his music transcended conflict and strife. For tonight’s final jukebox selection, I’ve selected his song that spoke most to me (and no, it’s not “Teacher” even though that’s what I am).

“Freedom! ’90” by George Michael from Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1.

 

We lost many, many more artists through the year, but the few represented here show just how devastating the losses have been to the world of music. May they all rest in peace, and may 2017 be kinder to our icons.