April 30, 2016

Jazz, The Early Years, On International Jazz Day

Knee Drops Louis Armstrong

Ain't Misbehavin' Louis Armstrong

Jumping At The Woodstock Count Basie

Minor Swing Django Reinhardt

Ornithology Charlie Parker

Senor Blues Horace Silver

Take Five Dave Brubeck

Giant Steps John Coltrane

April 11, 2016

Lotta Shaking

Here are 40 remarkable photos of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire in San Francisco, curated by Alan Taylor at the Atlantic. As of April 18, 110 years have passed now since that day.

All of my grandparents were on the far end of the Mission District, a mile south of the furthest reach of the fire that levelled much of San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake. As for the earthquake, one grandmother never spoke of it, and the other always called it "The Fire," preferring, like so many who lived through it, to memorialize the enormity with that all-consuming word instead of the other.

April 06, 2016

Merle Haggard (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016)

I'll Fix Your Flat Tire, Merle

Merle's was a music of crushed lives, prison time and poverty, busted romance and drinking steady to smooth out the day's ragged failures. Always the music of that underclass of perpetually dispossessed Americans, generations of originally rural whites broken and uprooted, decade after decade spilling West, like Haggard's people, who found themselves discarded in Bakersfield, California by some rude gesture of history, with all the regret and resentment and determination to get by goddammit you might expect of their kind. He had a straightforward plain genius for making music of all that.

April 04, 2016

An Unsuccessful Bit of Camouflage

Dog View 2016

Noted in Passing

That night Matt Duffy of the San Francisco Giants dove for a ball headed down the third base line, snagged it while prone, and in righting himself rotated completely around to throw across on one bounce to Brandon Belt at first base beating the Oakland A's runner for the third out of the inning: just getting in some practice before the start of the season.

Today, in Milwaukee, opening day of the 2016 season for the San Francisco Giants, Duffy went 2 for 5 with 4 RBI. Kid just might make the team after all.