Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Battle Hymn of the Republic" 🇺🇸 vs "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory"🙏

I uploaded  a kludgy recording of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." I was doing some Spring cleaning and ran across a shoe box of old audio cassettes, one of which is of  an old LP record I taped many years ago. Unfortunately, I've lost all information about this record. I don't know the artist or the arranger, but I liked the performance, so I thought I'd share. If anybody recognizes the artist, I'd appreciate the feedback so I can update the video:

I noticed when recording that the hippy hymnal I own, Batastini, Robert J, and Michael A. Cymbala. Gather: Choir Book. Chicago: GIA Publications, 1988. Musical score.

listed the title as "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" under the category of the "Second Coming"

The same hippy hymnal listed "My Country Tis of Thee" under the category "Nation"

Conversely, the normal, non-hippy hymnal Alstott, Owen. The Choir Book. Portland, OR: OCP Publications, 1979. Musical score.

Properly lists the song as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" under "Patriotic" songs:

Lastly, a rendition from Classic Arts Showcase:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

For #MemorialDay J. D. Salinger & Julia Child in WWII

A couple of  PBS American Masters documentaries touch on the war time service of two famous Americans.

Novelist Salinger  perhaps, if he wangled his connections, could have obtained an OTS commission since he graduated from the Valley Forge Military Academy:


However, Salinger volunteered to join and fight in the US Army enlisted ranks in WWII

After first being rejected by the medical board, Salinger fought against the Army bureaucracy for the privilege of serving in the ranks:


Salinger's first introduction to combat was in the infantry during the D-Day Normandy landings. Salinger then joined the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) in France.

Watch Full Episodes Online of American Masters on PBS | S26: Salinger's Work in World War II Army Intelligence

J.D. Salinger was part of the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) on the ground in Europe during World War II. Salinger formed a strong bond with three other men in the CIC and they dubbed themselves the Four Musketeers. One of them took the only known photo of Salinger writing "The Catcher in the Rye" during his army service.

In case the above links breaks:


Salinger fought in Hurtgen Forest, Battle of Bastogne,  and liberated a sub camp of Dachau:


Salinger suffered a nervous breakdown/combat fatigue/PTSD and was stationed to a military hospital to recuperate. After being discharged,  he worked with the US Army de Nazification program:


Pfc J.D. (Jerome David) Salinger  - Military Timeline

In the Pacific Theater, TV cook Julia nee McWilliams Child and her soon to be husband, Paul Child, served in the OSS

"She found that chance in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. Like many Americans her age, she hurried to Washington to work for the war effort, finding a job at the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Eventually she volunteered to go to the Near East. In March 1944, she set sail for Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, to work for the OSS office in the ancient city of Kandy. Here, far from home, she finally had her chance for adventure – and for love."


And finally, for something completely different


Gordon Ramsay vs Julia Child. Epic Rap Battles of History 

(in case you're offended, Geoffrey Chaucer also used naughty words and discussed adult situations, but he did so in Middle English, so it's not as understandable)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Best Way to Kill Lobsters

There's a lobster killing scene in "Julie & Julia" that debates the merits of killing lobsters either through boiling in water or stabbing with knives:

and in case the link breaks:



FYI, the song in the background of the scene is the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" where the actors replace the word "psycho" w/ "lobster" 

There's also a lobster killing scene in "Annie Hall" where Woody Allen is as inept in killing lobsters as Amy Adams is: 

In case you wondered how Julia Child killed her lobster on her "The French Chef" show, she chose to boil them to death:

However, if you try to boil lobsters in water vs kill them with a knife, you could end up with the negative repercussions faced by the "The Muppet Show" Swedish chef

I guess to be fair, and to engage in plausible deniability wrt lobstercide, you could give knives to the lobsters, let them fight it out, and then eat the loser.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Spiders are evil 🕷️🕸️👿

I appreciate the academic exercise that spiders often keep down more harmful pests, but I give into the irrational and emotional conclusion that spiders are just creepy and gross.

I found a giant spider in my apartment which I thought was incredibly evil and gross:

Being that the giant spider was 1. still alive and 2. on the inside of my apartment, I didn't use a dollar bill to scale the size of the evil creature like I did with a cicada who was on the outside of my screen door:

Rather than try to determine its particular species and whether it was  friendly and helpful or not:

I just killed the spider:

So, being that it's universally established that everyone w/whom I communicate hates spiders as much as I do, it's perfectly logical that a film about an evil creepy doll, "The Great Gabbo" would include a scene where people dress up in creepy spider costumes in a weird sing and dance routine:

Clip from "Class Arts Showcase"

"Caught in a Web of Love" (1929) from the film "The Great Gabbo"
Donald Douglas and Betty Compson
Music and lyrics: Lynn Cowan and Paul Titsworth, Donald McNamee, King Zany
Directed by James Cruze
KINO on Video




Saturday, May 13, 2017

Elizabeth Taylor in an opera "Aida"🎭 w/in a movie "Young Toscanini"🎥

It's weird that the only fake Egyptian wearing black face in the "Aida" scene of the biopic film "Young Toscanini" is Elizabeth Taylor:

who didn't wear black face when she played "Cleopatra".

This biopic of Toscanini portrays Brazilian opera audience members as more poorly behaved than Philadelphia football fans, who booed Santa, but possibly because he might've been a wee bit under the weather, I by under the weather, I mean drunk:

The guy who played Santa, Frank Olivo, admits to being skinny (at the time), but doesn't admit to being drunk:

Any way, this Santa booing excuse sounds like it was plagiarized from "Miracle on 34th Street"

Philadelphians, purportedly the city of brotherly love, also attacked a poor, harmless robot, so I don't know what the excuse is for that:

The credits for the clips below:

"Young Toscanini" (based on the early years of conductor Arturo Toscanini, 1867-1957)
His unexpected debut in Verdi's "Aida" and an inspired Diva speaks out....
Elizabeth Taylor (as the Diva) and C. Thomas Howell (as Arturo Toscanini)
Carto Bergonzi (as the tenor)
(w/ John Rhys-Davies & Sophie Ward)
Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Petruzelli (Bari)
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
Distributed by Force Video





Here's a youtube clip of the same scene that stops before Elizabeth Taylor delivers her speech:

And in case you felt cheated and wondered what it would look like to see Elizabeth Taylor lip synch to opera:

I believe Elizabeth Taylor, herself, would admit it was odd for her to be cast as an opera diva since she self deprecatingly admitted in "That's Entertainment!" to not possessing a strong singing voice:


Thursday, May 11, 2017

George Gershwin "Rhapsody in Blue" played by Ilana Vered

A clip from the Classic Arts Showcase presents Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" as a pick up jam sessions vs an orchestra concert.

The opening scene:

could possibly be an homage to Rick's Cafe Americain in "Casablanca"

or possibly Hopper's painting of "Nighthawks" corner diner:

or maybe by kitschy Dogs Playing Pool painting

There's a marching band sequence:

that seems to be an homage to Drum and Bugle Corps International DCI:

A Big Band homage:

that's maybe on homage to "The Blues Brothers"

The fact they included what seems to be an elevator in their set indicates the Swiss might be confusing a motel with a hotel

The complete video:

And all the relevant credit details:

"Rhapsody in Blue" (Complete version)
Music by George Gershwin (1898-1937)
Ilana Vered, piano (1992)
Swiss Radio Symphony Orchestra
Matthias Bomert, conductor
"Classic Visions 5"
RCA Victor/BMG Classics

A kludgy phone videos in case above youtube link breaks:




And some of the comments from youtube, most of which are positive:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Isaiah 40:31 Quoted in #HacksawRidge

The Bible quote from my Bible cover:

 Isaiah 40:31 

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

is quoted in the beginning of the film "Hacksaw Ridge"


The film is a biopic of the life of  Cpl Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who who refused to carry a gun, but still enlisted as a medic in the US Army during World War II: 

The film explores the reasons for Doss's pacifism, part of which stems from his understanding of his religion's teaching (he's a Seventh Day Adventist), and part seems to stem from his family history of domestic violence.

Back to the Bible, Isaiah 40:31 was also adapted into a hymn by Father Jan Michael Joncas:

But the sheet music only credits Psalm 91 as the source material:

which seems true of the verses, but the title and refrain certainly look like they were inspired by Isaiah 40:31

Verse 1 = Psalm 91:1-2
You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord
"My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!"

And He will raise you up on eagles' wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand.

Verse 2 = Psalm 91:3-4
The snare of the fowler will never capture you
And famine will bring you no fear
Under His wings your refuge
His faithfulness your shield.

Verse3 = Psalm 91:5-7
You need not fear the terror of the night
Nor the arrow that flies by day
Though thousands fall about you
Near you it shall not come.

Verse 4 = Psalm 91:11-12
For to His angels He's given a command
To guard you in all of your ways
Upon their hands they will bear you up
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Compared to 

Psalm 91
1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.a
2I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14“Because heb loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

And to be completely ecumenical, here's Isaiah 40:31 sung in the original Hebrew, I'm guessing because I have no way of fact checking: