Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, my first as a vegetarian, and I don't know what I am going to eat. Tofurky? The box makes it look pretty good, at least to me:

Nevertheless, I am excited to spend time with my family. I'm also glad that all of America gets the weekend off from school and work.

That being said, the Thanksgiving that we all celebrate is a bloated, skewed version of the actual event the holiday represents.

Again I find myself too selfish, lazy, and engulfed to rebel.

Here is some information I found on this website:

from a book called:
"The Hidden History of Massachusetts: A Guide for Black Folks"
by Tingba Apidta

I have paraphrased some of the information for convenience.

It is your right to know what really happened

1621 - The first "Thanksgiving"
by 1675 - The Massachusetts Englishmen were in a full-scale war with the great Indian chief of the Wampanoags, Metacomet.
1863 - Abraham Lincoln declares Thanksgiving a holiday

1970 - Frank B. James, president of the Federated Eastern Indian League, prepares a speech for a Plymouth banquet exposing the Pilgrims of crimes, but is told he can't deliver it. He then declines to speak, and on Thanksgiving Day hundreds of Indians from around the country come to protest.

According to a single-paragraph account in the writings of one Pilgrim, a harvest feast did take place in Plymouth in 1621, but amidst the imagery of a picnic of interracial harmony is some of the most terrifying bloodshed in New World history.

Though it later became known as "Thanksgiving," the Pilgrims never called it that. The Pilgrim crop had failed miserably that year, but the agricultural expertise of the Indians had produced twenty acres of corn, without which the Pilgrims would have surely perished.

Contrary to popular mythology the Pilgrims were no friends to the local Indians. They were engaged in a ruthless war of extermination against their hosts, even as they falsely posed as friends. Just days before the alleged Thanksgiving love-fest, a company of Pilgrims actively sought to chop off the head of a local chief.

The Pilgrims invited the Indian sachem Massasoit to their feast, and it was Massasoit, engaging in the tribal tradition of equal sharing, who then invited ninety or more of his Indian brothers and sisters-to the annoyance of the 50 or so ungrateful Europeans. No turkey, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie was served; they likely ate duck or geese and the venison from the 5 deer brought by Massasoit.

The Pilgrims wore no black hats or buckled shoes-these were inventions of artists hundreds of years since that time.

After writing this, what I am going to eat for Thanksgiving seems like less of an issue.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Paul McCartney - Las Vegas - April 19, 2009

I just saw Paul McCartney for the first time last night on opening night for "The Joint", the new venue in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. He was better than I could have ever imagined. It was just what I needed.

1. Drive My Car - The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Wow. What a start. The first song on my favorite Beatles album. I knew he wasn’t going to start with Jet.

2. Jet - Paul Mccartney And Wings – Band On The Run

3. Only Mama Knows - Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full

4. Flaming Pie - Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie
Great album. This is the title track. In my opinion, this is his third best “just Paul” album.

5. Got To Get You Into My Life – The Beatles - Revolver
YES! I love Revolver! Cool clips from the new Beatles Rock Band game playing in the background. This is one of those songs you don’t necessarily expect him to play.

6. Let Me Roll It - Paul Mccartney And Wings – Band On The Run
I really need to get more familiar with Wings. This song led into..

6a. Foxy Lady (teaser)
At 66, still a bad ass.

7. Highway – The Fireman – Electric Arguments
A little something from his newest project. Imagine U2 with Paul singing.

7-8 transition. Babyface (teaser)
Paul on his piano messing around with his drummer covering an old show tune.

8. The Long And Winding Road - The Beatles - Let It Be
At least to me, this was another surprise. This was also the last Beatles song to top the Billboard Hot 100. It was released as a double single with “For You Blue.

9. My Love - Paul Mccartney And Wings - Red Rose Speedway
Written, in Paul’s words, “When I first met Linda”

10. Blackbird - The Beatles - White Album 1
He had to play it, but it was better than I could have ever imagined. I mean, I like Blackbird less than the next guy, but this was so good. Maybe it’s just because it was live, but this is honestly the best I have ever heard this song sound; original, remake, or cover. Just Paul on his acoustic. Amazing.

11. Here Today - Paul McCartney - Tug of War
An emotional tribute to the late John Lennon. Paul said it is what he might have said to John, but never quite got the chance.

12. Dance Tonight - Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full
Another song from his most recent solo album, and probably my favorite track. Nice transition out of the more emotional four songs preceding, complete with the only appearance of Paul’s mandolin.

13. Calico Skies - Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie
Two songs from Flaming Pie? Alright! I would have guessed “The Song We Were Singing,” but I was just as pleased with the novelty of this one.

14. Mrs. Vanderbilt - Paul Mccartney And Wings - Band On The Run

15. Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles – Revolver
Along with Blackbird, another one of my least favorite Paul-as-a-Beatle songs, and along with Blackbird, another opportunity for Paul to make me feel embarrassed for having “least favorite Paul-as-a-Beatle songs”.

16. Sing The Changes - The Fireman – Electronic Arguments
My favorite song that I’ve heard by them so far, featuring a mind blowing visual presentation on the screen behind them. All white screen, Obama’s face made out of water-drops. Trust me.

17. Band On The Run - Paul Mccartney And Wings - Band On The Run
Since I don’t know much Wings, this is still my favorite one. It’s so catchy, and Paul’s voice just sounds so 70s, in a good way. There was a really cool visual presentation featuring pictures of The Beatles through the years, which leads me to believe this song is about them. Maybe that’s obvious, but I just connected the dots.

18. Back In The U.S.S.R - The Beatles - White Album 1
I’m just going to say, I wouldn’t have been disappointed if all he played were Beatles songs. Is “Back in the U.S.S.R. too poppy for the White Album? “Wild Life” may have been the first Wings album, but “Back in the U.S.S.R.” was the first Wings song.

19. Something - The Beatles - Abbey Road
Ok. I had heard about this, but it was SOOOOOO awesome. Paul is my favorite Beatle, obviously, but not so obviously is that “Something” is my favorite George song. Therefore, not only was it amazing to hear Paul singing “Something,” but it started out with as a ukulele version with Paul on a ukulele that, apparently, George gave him! Wow.

20. I've Got A Feeling - The Beatles - Let It Be
Paul’s voice can’t quite handle this song the way it used to, but the idea that he did it for us anyway, in the middle of his set, right out flattens me. It was beautiful, a surprise inclusion, and one of the songs I would have most liked to hear.

21. Paperback Writer – The Beatles - Past Masters, Volume Two
Whoa. Thank you.

22. A Day In The Life - The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Starting at 20, the songs Paul played got increasingly more surprising. A Day In The Life? By most accounts, The Beatles best song? This song is just as much John’s as it was Paul’s, one of the last to fall into that category. No way I would have guessed he would play this. I’m Speechless.

22a. Give Peace A Chance - John Lennon – The John Lennon Collection
After the first orchestra crescendo, Paul went right into this song by John. Witnessing Paul lead a peace chant created by John just says something about about what John, Paul, George and Ringo were really about, aside from internal differences.

23. Let It Be - The Beatles - Let It Be
Paul transitioned from surprising us to inspiring us with this timeless song of hope, reassurance, and faith.

24. Live And Let Die - Paul Mccartney And Wings - Live And Let Die Soundtrack
More inspiration. And WHOA! Pyrotechnics. I’ve actually never seen pyrotechnics at a concert, but they’re awesome! Flame explosions three times, throughout, each followed by fireworks. What an awesome experience.

25. Hey Jude - The Beatles - Past Masters, Volume Two
I’m not alone when I say this, but I feel like Paul wrote this song for me. He was spot on, and during the “Na-na-na” part, he led the first the whole crowd, then just the guys, then just the “gals”, then just the “gals” again, because he “liked that”, then the whole crowd again, through a phrase of “na-na-nas”. This was also the “end” of the show.

26. Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night
What a way to start your encore! Energetic, fun, Paul McCartney doing what he does best.

27. Lady Madonna - The Beatles - Past Masters, Volume Two
One of the songs I MOST wanted to hear. I can’t put it into words.

28. I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles - Please Please Me
My only complaint was that I didn’t have someone to dance with. What a great end to an encore.

29. Yesterday - The Beatles - Help!
Due to an article about Paul’s Coachella performance April 17th, I expected two encores, and when he went off stage for the second time having not played “Yesterday,” it confirmed it. What a way to open a second encore.


30. Helter Skelter - The Beatles - White Album 2
No way I thought he was going to play this, especially after he gave us “I’ve Got a Feeling” earlier. Frankly, I didn’t think his voice could handle it. But it did. This was #2 on my wish list, second only to “Rocky Raccoon”. “Lady Madonna” was #3

31. Get Back - The Beatles - Let It Be
“Helter Skelter” AND “Get Back?”. Wow. Wishlist #4.

32. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) - The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Having already played “Hey Jude,” this was an obvious finale. My only question was “Reprise” or original? “Reprise.”

33. The End - The Beatles - Abbey Road
I would have been satisfied with “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” as a closer, but he squeezed in just one more song. “The End” is one of those songs that I forget how much I like until I hear it. Drum solo. Extended alternating one-bar guitar solos by Paul and the other two guitarists. What a great way to end a simply phenomenal show. “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.”

If I gave this show a rating or stars, it would get an A+ or "5", but it was above all that. I simply cannot explain how awesome it was. All I can say is I want to see him again worse than I wanted to see him the first time.