Thursday, February 14, 2019

Linda Ronstadt

Lisa Stevens (GRANITE GAZETTE) reports on Linda Ronstadt:

A few years later, when she was about 67, doctors confirmed she had Parkinson’s disease — more specifically, she says, . The brain cells disorder affects movement, which means walking and balance, speech, swallowing, vision, and controlling the muscles that let singers sing, can be compromised.
But she’s still involved in music. It’s just a bit different from the 1970s when, in 1978, , Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks and Carly Simon the “Queens of Rock.” A time when she sold so many records through No. 1 albums like “Heart Like a Wheel,” “Simple Dreams” and “Living in the USA,” her label, Asylum, practically came to rely on Ronstadt and her former backing band, the Eagles, to keep the company a mega corporation.
Linda Ronstadt in the mid-1970s when albums like “Heart Like a Wheel” in 1974 and “Simple Dreams” in 1977 made her one of the decade’s best-selling artists. Courtesy Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
“The record business has changed so much it’s really amazing. I’m involved with music now more as as a mentor,” she said of her work with the children.

It’s a mutual learning experience, says Ronstadt, who recorded two albums of Mexican music — “, the most commercially successful non-English language record in U.S. music history, according to the RIAA, and its 1991 sequel, “Mas canciones.”

The article is frustrating because it was poorly edited.  In the last paragraph, for example, where the "__" is, I believe that should say CANCIONES DE ME PADRE.

I don't know though.

At any rate, Linda has a live album due out Friday, LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD, which is an April 1980 concert album.

Linda really could sing. 

Ken Sharp (ROCK CELLAR) interviews her:

Rock Cellar: Have there been any songs you’ve heard that made you think, “If I could sing again, that’s a song I’d love to record”?

Linda Ronstadt: (Long pause) Yes. It’s an opera song that Caruso recorded called “Una furtiva lagrima” that I thought it would be funny to take a shot at it and sing it in my chest voice instead of singing it in my head voice. Singing it as a tenor would sing it. I like that song and wish I could have suing it, It’s beautiful. I don’t even know what opera it’s from. Did you ever see the movie Matchpoint by Woody Allen?

Rock Cellar: Yes.

Linda Ronstadt: It’s in there when he’s getting ready to murder the woman. You hear this Caruso song, whose title means “into the hidden tear.” Matchpoint was a redo of Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. I don’t know if Woody Allen would admit to it, but it’s true; I’ve never talked to him about it. When I was watching that movie it made me feel the same way I did about Crime and Punishment, how really creepy it is to murder somebody. We use it as entertainment, but it’s really creepy.
If you actually murdered somebody, especially somebody who was innocent, it would just creep you out. It would destroy your soul. So that song is dealing with the horror that he’s gonna kill somebody and that song has got such emotional intensity that it can stand up to that scene.

Rock Cellar: Brian Wilson guested on your Cry Like A Rainstorm album, supplying background vocals for the Jimmy Webb song “Adios.” I know you’re a big fan of Brian as a writer and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds.

Linda Ronstadt: I bought Pet Sounds in 1970 and listened to it unendingly, but those songs were very available on the radio. They say the record wasn’t successful at the time but I heard many of those songs on the radio when it came out, “God Only Knows, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Caroline No” and “Sloop John B.” I mean, all those songs were hits.
Today, right, if you get one hit from an album it’s considered a great success, and that had three or four hits. There was an innocence to that record, and an innocence to Brian, that was beautiful.

Before the singing starts on his songs, you’re grabbed by the emotion and wonder of his work. The way the chords were voiced gave it gravitas. There was an inner beauty to those songs; it’s very sophisticated music, and he made it accessible, and that’s a hard thing to do. From Pet Sounds, I really love “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” and I did “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)” on my Winter Light record.
“Don’t Talk” is one of the most exquisite and beautifully constructed songs I’ve ever sung; the range and the melody came right out of the faerie bowers. In Ireland they say the faerie’s music was the most beautiful of all. “Don’t Talk” is just such a beautiful melody and such a sophisticated song coming out of a young person, especially at a time when the culture didn’t support that approach to music particularly. It just came out of the sky somehow. The architecture of the song is so exquisitely formed.
If you can sing, it gives you something you can perform on because it goes to all of the beautiful places in your voice. I learned a tremendous amount about singing hearing Brian sing. I love Brian and I love his work. He’s a true genius as a musician and I love the way that he writes harmonies and the way the words fit them in that pure, straightforward way. He’s one of the few that were able to structure harmonies and vocals like the great classical masters. There’s something about Brian’s earnestness and brilliance and his “aw shucks” attitude combined that seeped into the music.

I like Linda belting "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" and, on a ballad, with "Love Me Tender" best.  Of the upcoming live album, "Willin'" is probably going to be my favorite track.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

This morning, XINHUA reports:

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Tuesday met with acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan in Baghdad and expressed the rejection to any permanent foreign military bases on the Iraqi territory.
Abdul Mahdi's comment came during a meeting with Shanahan in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, where the two sides discussed "the development of relations between the two countries, the war against terrorism and developments in the region," a statement by Abdul Mahdi's media office said after the meeting.

But there already are foreign bases on Iraqi soil.  And Adel Abdul Mahdi knows that.  i guess we're back to Nancy Pelosi's definition from a little over ten years ago -- nothing is permanent.  Bases may be in Iraq, Nancy agreed, US bases, but at some point, over years and years and years, things turn to dust so nothing is permanent.

From a ditz to Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM):

Shanahan insists that the US has a “limited role” the intend to stick to in Iraq, and that the US will remain in the country by invitation. How long will that invitation last?

That’s not clear at all, as several Iraqi political blocks are pushing Abdul-Mahdi for a formal timeline for the end of the US presence. With ISIS effectively defeated, Iraqi MPs see little reason for a large US military presence to remain.   

Which is a solid take; however, as we all to often forget, the continued US presence has always been allowed for one reason The US-installed government fears being overthrown.  Yes, that was most obvious when the deeply paranoid Nouri al-Maliki was prime minister due to his constant public statements that there were plots against him and that this group or that group was a terrorist and blah blah blah.  But it is fear of the Iraqi people that has always led the post-2003 leaders to allow US troops to stay in Iraq.  And any potential threat -- real or imagined -- results in panic on all sides.  (See Barack Obama's rush to send in US troops in the summer of 2014.)

Shanahan is now out of Iraq.

He's gone on to meet with NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

In Iraq, the Shi'ite militias linked to Iran are garnering some press attention.  Naib Bulos (LOS ANGELES TIMES) notes:

Last month, according to local media reports quoting key politicians and others, the Fatah party persuaded the government to give the Hashd control of the Mutassem Co., one of the largest state-owned construction contractors in Iraq. The Hashd intends to use its fighters to pour cement, pave roads and repair homes as part of the effort to rebuild the country after so many years of war.
Its growing influence has stirred fear in Washington that the Hashd could help Iran circumvent U.S. sanctions, which severely limit its ability to export its goods and do business with other countries.

The U.S. government also has reason to be concerned about its ability to maintain a military presence in Iraq.

John Davison (REUTERS) adds:

Shi’ite Muslim paramilitaries that helped Iraqi forces drive the Sunni IS out of its last strongholds in Iraq have taken control of the thriving trade in scrap metal retrieved from the battlefield, according to scrap dealers and others familiar with the trade.
Scrapyard owners, steel plant managers and legislators from around the city of Mosul, the de facto IS capital from 2014 to 2017, described to Reuters how the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) have made millions of dollars from the sale of anything from wrecked cars and damaged weapons to water tanks and window frames.
The PMF deny involvement. “The PMF does not have anything to do with any trade activities in Mosul, scrap or otherwise,” a PMF security official in Mosul said. 

Considering the abuses these militias have heaped on civilians, it's scary to think they'll now be over scrap metal, especially "wrecked cars."  I'd hate to be the Sunni family arguing with the militia that our car worked just fine and we weren't getting rid of it.


Meanwhile, THE CANADIAN PRESS reports researcher and University of Toronto PhD candidate Tracy L. Spurrier is being honored for her work in helping to discover Queen Hama, "a long-lost Mesopotamian queen."  They note:

Queen Hama's story began some 3,000 years ago in the lost city of Assyria and is closely tied to another royal, Queen Mullissu-mukannishat-Ninua, who placed a curse on the tomb she'd be buried in."Anyone later who removes my throne from before the shades of the dead, may his spirit receive no bread!" the inscription reads.
The tombs were lost until the late 1980s when researchers excavated a palace in Nimrud, near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Inside they found the bones of the queen who laid the curse along with those of several other unidentified queens.
The archeologists also discovered a treasure trove of gold, Spurrier said.
"It's amazing, it rivals King Tut in terms of detail and quality," she said.

We all need jewelry of us w/our personal goddess, lion spirit animal, & badass royal women symbol - the scorpion. Read all about Assyrian Queen Hama, her gold, & my research finding her.

Back in 2017, Traci Watson (USA TODAY) explained:

Hama died young, and perhaps suddenly, hinting at why she was interred in a bronze coffin rather than the usual stone sarcophagus. She was no more than 20, but the gold crowns and other riches in her grave signal her power and wealth.
“She was so young when she died, and we don’t know how,” says Tracy Spurrier of the University of Toronto in Canada, author of a recent study identifying Hama. But “she was clearly an important person, and she deserves to be remembered.”
Hama was queen of Assyria, an empire based in what is now Iraq and stretching as far as Egypt. Hama probably left politics to her husband, King Shalmaneser IV, who ruled during the mid 8th-century BC.
But Assyrian queens were “the holders of the wealth of the household,” controlling the royal residence and property, says Mark Altaweel of Britain’s University College London, who was not part of the study.

New content at THIRD:

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