Eight hundred, fifty years ago, today…
The Leaning Tower of Pisa (torre pendente di Pisa…in Italian) is the campanile or freestanding bell tower of Pisa Cathedral. It is known for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The tower is one of three structures in the Pisa’s Cathedral Square, which includes the cathedral and Pisa Baptistry. The tower has 296 or 294 steps. [The] seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase.
The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground, which could not properly support the structure’s weight. It worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. By 1990, the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. The structure was stabilized by remedial work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees.
Construction of the tower occurred in three stages over 199 years. On January 5, 1172, Donna Berta di Bernardo, a widow and resident of the house of dell’Opera di Santa Maria, bequeathed sixty soldi to the Opera Campanilis petrarum Sancte Marie. The sum was then used toward the purchase of a few stones which still form the base of the bell tower. On August 9, 1173, the foundations of the tower were laid. Work on the ground floor of the white marble campanile began on August 14 of the same year, during a period of military success and prosperity.
The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-meter foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for the better part of a century, as the Republic of Pisa was almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca and Florence. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle […], [otherwise], the tower would almost certainly have toppled.
There has been controversy surrounding the identity of the architect […]. For many years, the design was attributed to Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano […]. A 2001 study seems to indicate Diotisalvi was the original architect, due to the time of construction and affinity with other Diotisalvi works, notably the bell tower of San Nicola and the Baptistery, both in Pisa.
Between 1589 and 1592, Galileo Galilei, who lived in Pisa at the time, is said to have dropped two cannonballs of different masses from the tower to demonstrate that their speed of descent was independent of their mass, in keeping with the law of free fall.
During World War II, the Allies suspected that the Germans were using the tower as an observation post. Leon Weckstein, a U.S. Army sergeant sent to confirm the presence of German troops in the tower, was impressed by the beauty of the cathedral, and its campanile and […] refrained from ordering an artillery strike, sparing it from destruction.
The tower has survived at least four strong earthquakes since 1280. A 2018 engineering investigation concluded that the tower withstood the tremors because of dynamic soil-structure interaction. [The] height and stiffness of the tower, combined with the softness of the foundation soil, influences the tower’s vibrational characteristics in such a way that it does not resonate with earthquake ground motion. The same soft soil, that caused the leaning and brought the tower to the verge of collapse, helped it survive.
***The ceremony, for the 850th anniversary of the foundation of the Tower of Pisa, was started, today and runs all year to August 9, 2024.
850th Anniversary (Turismo.Pisa.it)
The Leaning Tower Of Pisa Was Once Tilting Dangerously (CNN/Sharon Braithwaite/August 9, 2023)
One hundred years, ago, today, the black & white silent film [The] Forbidden Lover was released. Brackets around “THE” is a product of the differences of the title from data sources. This film is an edited version of The Power of Love, the very first 3-D movie, released on September 27, 1922 at the Ambassador Hotel Theater in Los Angeles. Both films are believed lost.
Yankee sea captain lands on the coast during the old Spanish days to trade with the ranch owners. He meets a girl who is betrothed to a man she loathes. After a series of adventures and narrow escapes, he shows up the unscrupulous ranch owner and wins the girl.
Because of his financial trouble, Don Almeda promises his daughter, Maria, to Don Alvarez but, Maria does not love [him]. In fact, she falls in love with Terry O’Neil, a stranger who has been wounded by robbers associated with Alvarez. O’Neil takes Alvarez’s place at a masked ball. Alvarez, in turn, robs the old Padre of some pearls and stabs him to death with O’Neil’s knife. He then accuses O’Neil of the murder and tries to shoot him but, wounds Maria instead, having thrown herself in front of him. Maria recovers and, after proving that Alvarez is a thief and a killer, weds O’Neil.
IMDb The Power of Love Storyline
Moving Picture World
Production Company: Perfect Pictures
Tagline: A pair of spectacles will be handed to you as you enter the theatre, through which you will view the new sterescopic pictures.
The Power of Love was screened in front of a live audience at the Ambassador Hotel Theater […]. It was projected dual-strip in the red/green anaglyph format, making it both the earliest known film that utilized dual strip projection and the earliest known film in which anaglyph glasses were used. The camera rig used to shoot the film was made by the producers themselves and as you can imagine, it was far from perfect. Simply put, the film was not a success. It was screened, again, for exhibitors, and press, in New York City and, then, almost immediately fell out of sight. It was not booked again by other exhibitors. Unfortunately, we may never see what this movie looked like.
3-D TV & Movies
The first stereoscopic image dates to 1844, which makes 3-D images as old as the art of photography. [No] less a personage than Queen Victoria was photographed in 1854 in stereoscopic 3-D. 3-D stereoscopic moving images date to the 1850s with what was called the Kinetamatoscope [sic]. The first public display of a 3-D movie came in 1922 with The Power of Love […]. The film received a decent review in Moving Pictures World, then promptly disappeared from history by changing its title to Forbidden Lover and touring the country in a 2-D version. It was too complex and costly at the time to take 3-D on the road.
Looking Up/My Daily Plant Blogspot (Blogger)
Cirque de 3-D
March 6, 2009
What Was The First 3D Movie? (3D TV & Movies/Web Archive/06-02-2011)
A Tour Through The History Of 3-D Movies (Reelz/Jeff Otto/01-22-2009/Web Archive/07-20-2012)
Forbidden Lover (Silent Era/06-08-2013)
The Power of Love (Silent Era/10-16-2011)
Forbidden Lover (TCM)
The Forbidden Lover (AFI Catalog)
The Power of Love (AFI Catalog)
The Shot Of The Year (The Dissolve/Calum Marsh/12-19-2014)
Fifty years ago, today…
Japan Air Lines Flight 404 was a passenger flight which was hijacked by Palestinian and Japanese terrorists on July 20, 1973. The flight departed Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport, Netherlands, […], en route to Tokyo International Airport […], Japan, via Anchorage International Airport, Alaska. The aircraft was a Boeing 747-246B, with 123 passengers and 22 crew members on board. The passenger complement included five terrorists, led by Osamu Maruoka, a member of the Japanese Red Army and the other four were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The flight was hijacked shortly after takeoff from Schiphol. In the course of the hijacking, a grenade carried by one of the skyjackers detonated, killing her and injuring the flight’s chief purser. The lead hijacker […] immediately announced himself to air traffic control as El Kassar, hijacking the aircraft in the name of the Palestinian Liberation movement. After several Middle Eastern governments refused to permit Flight 404 to land, the plane eventually touched down in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. After several days on the ground, the terrorists demanded the release of Kozo Okamoto, survivor of the JRA’s attack on Tel Aviv’s Lod Airport.
After the Israeli government refused to release Okamoto, the hijackers flew the aircraft first to Damascus, Syria, and then to Benghazi, in Libya. On July 23, 89 hours after the hijacking began, the passengers and crew were released. [The] hijackers then blew up the aircraft, making the incident the second hull loss of a Boeing 747. The first hull-loss was also the result of hijackers. Maruoka escaped and in 1977, led the hijacking of Japan Air Lines Flight 472. He remained a fugitive, until 1987, when he was arrested in Tokyo after entering Japan on a forged passport. Given a life sentence, he died in prison on May 29, 2011.
The Skyjackers Strike Again (Time Magazine/07-30-1973/Wayback Machine)
Skyjackers: Part II (Time Magazine/07-30-1973/Wayback Machine)
Chronology Of Aviation Terrorism: 1968-2004 (Skyjack Chronology/Dr. Hillel Avihai/Wayback Machine)
Aviation Safety Network Database (JL404/Aviation Letter 184/07-23-1973)
Ex-Red Army Member Maruoka Dies (The Japan Times/05-30-2011)
One-hundred, five years, ago, today…the silent black & white, comedy-drama To Hell With The Kaiser! was released. Written by June Mathis and directed by George Irving, it starred Lawrence Grant (as The Kaiser/actor Robert Graubel), Olive Tell, Betty Howe, John Sunderland, Earl Schenck (as the Crown Prince), Mabel Wright, Frank Currier, Karl Dane and Walter P. Lewis as Satan.
Following the death of his father, Frederick III of Germany, Wilhelm Hohenzollern becomes the German Kaiser and forms a pact with the devil that, he will conquer the globe in exchange for his soul. During the Kaiser’s invasion of Belgium, the Crown Prince enters a church and rapes Ruth Monroe, the daughter of an American inventor who has perfected a noiseless communications device. When the professor denounces the Crown Prince, he immediately is shot, whereupon his other daughter Alice vows to obtain revenge. While Alice’s sweetheart, Winslow Dodge, fights with the Americans as an aviator, she arranges to meet the Crown Prince through her friend Robert Graubel, an actor who impersonates the Kaiser at public functions. With her father’s wireless [device], Alice informs Winslow of the Kaiser’s whereabouts and, as he captures the German emperor, she kills the Crown Prince. Now a prisoner, the Kaiser drowns himself and wakes up in Hell, where Satan abdicates in his favor, saying that the Kaiser’s tortures are more fiendish than any he ever devised.
Lawrence Grant, who spent his lengthy career playing odious villains, appeared in the dual role of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his look-alike, German actor Robert Graubel. Terrified of being assassinated, the Kaiser hires Graubel to impersonate him at various political functions. In the film, the Kaiser achieves military success through an infernal pact with Satan. Once this is established, the film concentrates on the seemingly endless tally of misdeeds perpetrated by the Kaiser during his quarter-century reign over Germany. His “partner in crime” is the Crown Prince […], who thinks nothing of casually raping convent girls and gunning down protesting nuns. The Crown Prince’s latest conquest is Ruth Monroe […], the daughter of an American inventor. When Ruth’s father protests this outrage, he is brutally murdered, whereupon Ruth’s sister Alice […] vows revenge. Using her father’s newest invention, a wireless machine whose coded messages cannot be intercepted, Alice directs a battalion of planes to bomb the small German village where the Kaiser is hiding. Captured by the Allies, the Kaiser is ignominiously dumped in a POW camp but, not before enduring a well-aimed sock on the jaw from a pugnacious dough-boy. In despair, the Kaiser commits suicide and sends his soul to hell. In hell, the devil […] gives up his throne, confessing that the Kaiser is far more sinister than he could ever hope to be.
[On June 8, 1918], Motography ran a Screen Classics press release explaining that To Hell With The Kaiser “reveals the machinations of Europe’s military monster before and during the war, his contempt for Americans […], his elaborate plans to crush France, […] destroy Russia, […] partition the world, […] his [order] to employ deadly gases in the war, the true circumstances under which he ordered the sinking of the Lusitania, the raiding of hospitals […].” Years before the war, Mr. Grant’s physical likeness to the German ruler was noted by a high official of the Kaiser’s court and a proposition was made for Grant to play the Kaiser in a dramatization […]. The war broke out before discussions went any further.
Actor John Sunderland, playing American pilot Winslow Dodge, was himself “an aviator who has seen service in Belgium.”
[It] had been released in the press that Kaiser Wilhelm II had half a dozen doubles who were employed to pose for him in various parts of the country, where there might be danger of assassination, while the real Kaiser, himself, remained safe behind this cloak.
To Hell With The Kaiser opened in New York City at the Broadway Theatre on June 30, 1918, immediately after it had emerged from the cutting and editing rooms […].
The film turned out to be an effective propaganda tool […]. Not only has the picture been shown in munitions plants and training camps […] but, this power has now been demonstrated in a new way…to convert conscientious objectors.
The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included this film on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of February 2021.
I found the building of this post fascinating. What started out as a simple movie post, turned into a history lesson. It’s a shame that it is lost. There are photographs of still pictures on IMDb. ~Vic
One-hundred, ten years ago…
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling is a lighthearted song in tribute to Ireland and was very popular in June 1913. Its lyrics were written by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr., set to music composed by Ernest Ball, for Olcott’s production of The Isle O’ Dreams and, Olcott sang the song in the show. It was first published in 1912, at a time when songs in tribute to a romanticised Ireland were very numerous […], both in Britain and the United States. During the First World War, the famous tenor John McCormack recorded the song.
The song continued to be a familiar standard for generations. Decades later, it was used as the opening song on the radio show Duffy’s Tavern. The song has been recorded on over 200 singles and albums, by many famous singers, including Bing Crosby, Connie Francis and Roger Whittaker.
As I have stated in previous posts, Billboard’s charting abilities, in the early 20th Century, is difficult to navigate. My first stop, for these early pieces, is the Tsort site. Playback FM is very helpful, too. Digging around in the Wayback Machine can be a complete rat maze. The data is there but, how much time do you devote to searching for it.
There was a Shamrock Summit in March 1985, apparently, in Canada (which I don’t remember). Starting on St. Patrick’s Day, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and President Ronald Reagan met & talked for two days. Remember the Acid Rain Scare back then? It was seen as a Turning Point in U.S.-Canada Relations (both Trudeaus don’t play well with others?) and the closing ceremonies were televised, with the men & their wives singing the song (Mulroney & Reagan are Irish surnames). I find the meeting in Quebec City and the singing of an Irish song, ironic and amusing. ~ Vic
♦ Irish Eyes Are Smiling (The Account of Composer Ernest R. Ball’s Life/IMDb/1944)
♦ Still Something To Smile About (Pocono Record/Marta Gouger/Wayback Machine/03-06-2007)
♦ When Irish Eyes Are Smiling (Irish Music Daily/Pat/No Date Given)
♦ List Of Movies Using The Song
I certainly like her name! ~Vic
One-hundred, thirty years, ago, today…
[The] HMS Victoria was the lead ship in her class of two battleships of the Royal Navy. On June 22, 1893, she collided with [the] HMS Camperdown near Tripoli […] during maneuvers and quickly sank, killing 358 crew members, including the commander of the British Mediterranean Fleet, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon. One of the survivors was executive officer John Jellicoe, later commander-in-chief of the British Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland.
Victoria was constructed at a time of innovation and rapid development in ship design. Her name was originally to be Renown but, this was changed to Victoria while still under construction to celebrate Queen Victoria‘s Golden Jubilee, which took place the year the ship was launched. Her arrival was accompanied by considerable publicity. She was the largest, fastest and most powerful ironclad afloat, with the heaviest guns. Despite the ship’s many impressive features, compromises in the design meant that she proved less than successful in service.
A detailed model of the ship was exhibited at the Royal Navy exhibition in 1892 and another in silver was given to Queen Victoria by the officers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines as a Jubilee gift.
The ship was nicknamed The Slipper (or when with her sister ship, [the] HMS Sans Pareil […] The Pair of Slippers) because of a tendency for her low fore-deck to disappear from view, in even slight seas, especially as a result of the low forward deck and raised aft superstructure…the two ships [had a] humorously perceived resemblance to the indoor footwear.
In clear, sunny weather, off the coast of Syria…
The officer in command, Vice Admiral Sir George Tryon, was a fearsome martinet with a reputation as a master of complicated ship handling. He had an elaborate plan for bringing his fleet to anchor, providing onlookers a spectacle of precision maneuvering. [Ten] battleships of the Mediterranean fleet were drawn up in two parallel columns, 1200 yards apart, heading directly away from port out to sea. Tryon then ordered a crash 180-degree turn in succession. The intention, apparently, was for each pair of ships…in order…to turn inwards and create a breathtaking view of the ships’ wakes fanning out, while the ships came about, only 400 yards from each other, [then proceeding] in the opposite direction from their original course, heading towards the land. Then, the ships were to turn 90 degrees to form one column and anchor in unison.
[The] Victoria capsized just 13 minutes after the collision, rotating to starboard with a terrible crash, as her boats and anything, free fell to the side and, as water, entering the funnels, caused explosions when it reached the boilers. With her keel uppermost, she slipped down into the water, bow first, propellers still rotating and threatening anyone near them. Most of the crew managed to abandon ship, although those in the engine room never received orders to leave their posts and were drowned. Those who escaped had to contend with the suction from the sinking ship. A circular wave spread out from it which repeatedly drew down those in the water. All manner of items broke loose from the ship as it sank and came shooting up among the men. Onlookers watched as the number of live men in the water steadily reduced.
[On August 22, 2004], the wreck of the Victoria was discovered by Lebanese-Austrian diver Christian Francis, aided by British diver Mark Ellyatt. She was found in [460 feet] of water off the coast near Tripoli […] and was located using sonar. The most amazing aspect of the wreck is that, unlike all others, she sits vertically with about two thirds of her above the sea bed. The upright position is assumed to have been caused by the huge weight of her fore guns, which would have dragged her down, bow first. The wreck has already been declared a war grave and an exclusion zone has been imposed around her, while the English and Lebanese authorities determine her legal status.
Christian Francis Finding HMS Victoria
International Weblogger’s Day, also known as InWeDay, is celebrated on June 14 every year. This unofficial holiday was created to bring together bloggers from around the world and, to promote blogging as a way to express yourself and engage in dialogue with people from different countries and backgrounds.
A blog (short for “weblog“) is an online diary consisting of discrete, often informal entries called posts. Most blogs are primarily textual but, they may include other types of content such as images, videos, music and audio.
The term “weblog” was coined [by Jorn Barger] in 1997 [December 17] and its short form, “blog“, was first used [by Peter Merholz when he playfully broke the word into “we blog“] in 1999. That same year, Pyra Labs launched Blogger, one of the first blog-publishing platforms that allow users to create and run blogs for free without any programming background.
In 2004, around 500 bloggers from over 40 countries supported the idea of creating a holiday that would unite blogging enthusiasts from around the world. The inaugural International Weblogger’s Day was held on June 14, 2004. On the occasion of the holiday, bloggers write special posts for their online diaries. In some cities, special meetings are organized where bloggers can meet “offline”.
Unfortunately, the popularity of International Weblogger’s Day has decreased considerably over the recent years.
♦ Peter Merholz (Blog)
♦ Blogs Turn 10 ~ Who’s The Father (CNET News/Declan McCullagh/Anne Broache/March 20, 2007/ Web Archive Version)
♦ It’s The Links, Stupid (The Economist/Special Report/April 22, 2006)
♦ Robot Wisdom Weblog (Jorn Barger/Wayback Machine/August 15, 2000)
♦ Carolyn’s Diary (Early Online Diary/Carolyn Burke/April 1997)
♦ Scripting News (Longest Running Weblog/Dave Winer/September 1997)
♦ Blogger (Created By Three Friends/San Francisco Pyra Labs/August 1999)
♦ Weblog Awards (Bloggies/2001)
♦ WordPress Available Now (First Official Version/Matt Mullenweg/May 27, 2003)
♦ Steve Garfield (Early Video Blog/January 2004)
♦ AOL Snaps Up Weblogs (CNET/Dawn Kawamoto/October 7, 2005)
♦ Full Time Blogger Kottke Throws In The Towel (CNET/Graeme Wearden/February 23, 2006)
…an old man with a walrus moustache [sic], dressed in a black suit or raincoat and with a trademark bowler hat. [T]he the bumbling old man would have adventures, partly slapstick, partly comic dance, with two young friends. Jon Pertwee also starred in the show in a variety of roles. The Mr. Pastry character had originated in the 1936 stage show Big Boy in which Hearne had appeared with Fred Emney.
Hearne first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in March 1954, with many subsequent visits. Buster Keaton was a fan. He was interviewed by producer Barry Letts for the role of Doctor Who when Pertwee departed but, wished to play The Doctor as Mr. Pastry. Letts, in turn, offered the role to Tom Baker.
I couldn’t find any clips for this movie but, I did find Hearne/Mr. Pastry on Ed Sullivan. ~Vic
Sixty-five years ago, [today] on November 12, 1954, a Norwegian merchant seaman named Arne Peterssen became the last immigrant to pass through Ellis Island. Later that month, the ferry Ellis Island made its final stop at the island in New York Harbor and the immigration facility closed for good, ending its run as a gateway to the United States for generations of immigrants.
These days Ellis Island is a national symbol remembered in sepia tones but, while it was in active service, the station reflected the country’s complicated relationship with immigration, one that evolved from casual openness to rigid restriction. “It was not a great welcoming place for immigrants but, it was not a place of horrors either,” says Vincent Cannato, author of American Passage: The History of Ellis Island.
Until the end of the 19th century, individual states handled immigration with rules varying by jurisdiction. [T]hen, immigration soared. In light of the influx, the federal government decided in 1891 that it had to take charge.
New York was immigration’s epicenter. Some 75 percent of the country’s steamship traffic came through New York Harbor and so did 75 percent of the nation’s immigrants, according to Cannato. New York state ran an immigration facility called Castle Gardens at the tip of Manhattan but, the new federal Office of Immigration wanted an intake and inspection station in a more controlled location. It selected Ellis Island, a three-acre spot of land in the harbor between New York and New Jersey […].
The immigrants who eventually passed through Ellis Island started their journey by buying passage on a steamship, usually sailing from Europe. Between 1892 and 1924, 12 million people successfully traversed this highly efficient conveyor-belt immigration system. Most immigrants were processed through Ellis Island in a few hours and only 2 percent that arrived on the island were prevented from entering the United States.
[T]his era of mass immigration came to an end with the passage in 1921 and 1924 of new laws that severely limited immigration by establishing quotas for individual countries and requiring immigrants to obtain visas from American consulates. Since most official immigration screening now happened at U.S. consulates abroad, Ellis Island became increasingly irrelevant. The facility, which had once teemed with thousands of hopeful immigrants, transformed into “a major center for deportation and for holding enemy alien spies,” says [Barry] Moreno. “It was like night and day.” President Eisenhower quietly closed Ellis Island in 1954.
How Ellis Island Shepherded Millions of Immigrants Into America
November 13, 2019
“Your world is falling down, you may as well crash with me…”
Returning to my Samsung playlist for this Sunday evening submission, I present Natural One by The Folk Implosion. Written by Lou Barlow and bassist Wally Gagel of Orbit, it was the seventh song on the soundtrack album from the 1995 movie Kids, though it wasn’t actually played in the film. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #54 on December 9, 1995 and peaked at #29 on February 3, 1996. It peaked at #4 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart on December 16, 1995 and peaked at #21 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart on February 17, 1996. I hope you enjoy. ~Vic
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Nine pick.
This, and my last pick, will feature two women that are a little less known in the music world. I skipped right over the 2000s (only so many choices) and hopped into the next decade. I happened to catch this song while listening to the University of Texas @ Austin’s radio station (a station involved with SXSW). I was hooked and I went looking for it…and her. Elisabeth Corrin Maurus or Lissie is a singer-songwriter out of Rock Island, Illinois.
“I always sang, since I was little and wrote poems in high school. I sort of taught myself to play guitar lines to the poems and stuff. In high school, it seems like everyone has more drama than any other time in their life, [so] that was the time in my life where I really leaned on music as a way to stay sane…”
Interview With Lissie
Scott the Intern
Pop Culture Madness [Web Archive]
February 11, 2008
In her senior year, she was kicked out of high school (she spit in a teacher’s face) and had to get a GED, elsewhere. Then, she hit the road, troubadour-style. She attended Colorado State in Fort Collins and liked to open for other traveling acts. After a short time in Paris, she moved to Los Angeles, met Betsy Hammer and scored an introduction to Brooks Arthur. Hammer & Arthur took her to talent manager Guy Oseary and he got her to producer Glen Ballard. She can be heard singing in the movie Have Dreams, Will Travel (Dream It Out Loud) and performed at the wedding of Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher in 2005 (Oseary’s referral). In January 2008, she opened for Lenny Kravitz (via a hook-up on MySpace).
The third track from the album Catching A Tiger, In Sleep was released in April of 2010 and the only chart it showed up on was the UK iTunes Single of the Week. The album did manage to make it to #5 on the Billboard Folk Albums & Top Heatseekers charts and, #34 on the Independent Albums chart. The album’s first release was in the UK and hit the US two months later.
“Not to be mistaken for Lissy Trullie, […] Lissie Maurus deals in sun-kissed pop-blues straight from Laurel Canyon.
Her 12-track debut conjures images of highways and horses, with Lissie’s smoky tones echoing Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks.”
CDs of the Week: Eminem and Lissie
London Evening Standard [Web Archive]
June 18, 2010
Give her a listen. I think she is fantastic and her two band members are outstanding, as well. They are all over YouTube and, in live recordings, her bassist is sitting down, keeping the drum/cymbal beat. Talk about multitasking. I’ve included the studio version of this that has more drum work on it and a possible synthesizer. I’m also including her version of Go Your Own Way. which actually charted in the UK in 2012. The studio version sounds like it has a cello in it and is part of the soundtrack from the movie Safe Haven. She has been very busy.
Happy Halloween, Y’all! ~Vic
Interview: Lissie (Stereofox/06-12-2013)
Lissie (CTN Music Interview/12-22-2008/Web Archive)
Lissie and Her Connections (The Uncarved Blog/Ken Chawkin/05-11-2019)
Lissie Catching A Tiger Review (BBC Review/Mike Diver/2010)
Local Q&A: Lissie (Chicago Tribune Metromix/Matt Pais/11-09-2009/Web Archive)
Rock Island Native Lissie Hits Billboard’s Charts (Quad-City Times/David Burke/05-09-2008/Web Archive)
Live Recording On ARD
From Discovery of Witches
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Eight pick.
I remember when I heard Possession on the radio the first time. I was driving home from work and I was immediately in love. The music was stunning, her voice was stunning and I was captivated. Who is she, I thought to myself (I had no idea that Sarah McLachlan had two previous albums). I found the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy CD as fast as I could. It is a fantastic album. There is not a bad song on it.
When Surfacing came out in July 1997, I snatched it, too. It was released to coincide with the Lilith Fair. Though Fumbling Towards Ecstasy remains my favorite of her albums, Witness is my favorite single. The sixth track, it was never released as a single, has no chart information what-so-ever and it remains in the shadow of Building A Mystery, Sweet Surrender, Adia and, in particular, Angel. The album is one of two that reached #2 on the Billboard 200. It was the #1 album on Billboard’s Canadian Albums chart on August 2, 1997 and on Canada’s RPM Top Albums/CDs chart on July 28, 1997.
As an odd bit of trivia, this album is mentioned in the Starr Report, Ken Starr‘s investigation of the Monica Lewinsky Scandal, as was Altoid Mints, the movie Titanic, Billie Holliday, Elvis, Spinach Dip, Starbucks and Leaves of Grass. Monica apparently liked track #5.
This song speaks to me on so many levels. It’s a beautiful piece with beautiful lyrics… ~Vic
Make me a witness
Take me out
Out of darkness
Out of doubt
I won’t weigh you down
With good intention
Won’t make fire out of clay
Or other inventions
Will we burn in heaven
Like we do down here
Will the change come
While we’re waiting
Everyone is waiting
And, when we’re done
As we carried the weight
And died for the cause
Is misery made beautiful
Right before our eyes
Will mercy be revealed
Or blind us where we stand
Lilith Fair @ 20 (Billboard Article/Gil Kaufman/07-05-2017)
Sarah McLachlan Named In Starr Report (MTV News/09-16-1998)
Starr Report Unearths New Bedfellows (The Hartford Courant/Rock Critic Roger Catlin/09-17-1998)
The Pop Life: Musical Damage In Starr Report (The New York Times/Neil Strauss/09-24-1998/Web Archive)
No Official Video
Live From Mirrorball
Sarah Discussing The Surfacing CD
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Six pick.
Moving into 1986… My first introduction to R.E.M. wasn’t the radio or MTV. It was an odd video channel on Cablevision in the early 80s in my NC hometown (my mom only had basic cable…no MTV). I’ve talked at great length with Max (Powerpop Blogger) about this obscure video channel. I remember two VJs, one named “Dr. John” (not the musician) that wore blue scrubs and one named “Carrot Top” (not the comedian), that, of course, was a red-headed dude. I have no idea where this channel broadcast from but, it was a seriously stripped down operation. It was just rotating VJs, sitting at a desk, talking into a camera…and playing music videos. The first video I recall seeing was Radio Free Europe, the Murmur version, not the Hib-Tone single (I later found out). I was immediately hooked but, totally missed who the band was. (Interestingly, the Hib-Tone version was recorded at Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, NC and the Murmur version was recorded at Reflection Studios in Charlotte, NC.) Fast forward to the end of my senior year of high school and I see some of So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry) on MTV. I had no idea that this was the same band. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college, when Driver 8 came out (another one I like), that a buddy of mine told me who R.E.M. was…a college band out of the University of Georgia (Bulldogs). Every piece of music of theirs that I was lucky enough to catch, I loved. Finally, in 1987, The One I Love broke thru to #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and they seemed to be everywhere. Their highest charting hit was Losing My Religion, getting to #4 in 1991. Out of their entire catalog, which is gi-hugic, Fall On Me wound up being my favorite, with my introductory piece, Radio Free Europe, coming in second. I wish I had seen them live.
Bit of odd trivia…five strange degrees of separation. R.E.M. had a manager by the name of Jefferson Holt. He was with them until 1996 when they got rid of him for sexual harassment. Jefferson Holt is from Chapel Hill and his mother is named Bertha “B” Holt. She was an NC State Rep. from 1975 to 1994, representing my home county (and another one). She was quite the pioneer, advocating for the ERA and married rape victims (which is ironic as hell considering her son’s behavior). My paternal grandmother was in Democratic politics in the 60s, 70s & 80s, running for local office, herself (and on first-names basis with several governors). She campaigned heavily for her favorites and “Bee” Holt was one of them. I met Bee Holt several times as a kid and remember all of her “Bee” 🐝 paraphernalia all over my grandmother’s house.
I guess this makes me closer to R.E.M. than Kevin Bacon! 😉 😊 ~Vic
Released 0n August 11, 1986, it was the third track from the album Lifes Rich Pageant. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #96 the weekend of October 4, peaking at #94 on October 11 before finally disappearing from the chart on October 25. It did better on the Album Rock Tracks, making it to #5 for one week on September 6.
“Of the genuinely new songs, Peter Buck’s basic music track for Fall On Me dated back to July of 1985, when Stipe had written a lyric about acid rain [but], the song had been virtually re-written, melody and lyrics, by the time it came to be recorded. Stipe, who declared in 1991 that “…this may be my favourite song in the R.E.M. catalogue…”, has described the final version as “…pretty much a song about oppression.” Trainspotters might like to know that the counter-melody used in the second verse is actually the song’s original tune.
Johnny Black (2004)
Reveal: The Story of R.E.M.
His Favorite Song
Three hundred, twenty years ago, yesterday, Scottish Sea Captain William Kidd was hanged at Execution Dock in London at low tide:
[P]roceedings against [Kidd] had been long and notorious. The actions for which he was tried had been still more notorious, one involving murder and five [involving] piracy. His career had been brief, brilliant in the beginning [but], catastrophic at the end. The general excitement at the time of his execution and, all during his imprisonment in London, had been at [a] fever pitch. Gossip went to work and, the wildest of tales of Kidd’s wickedness and wealth were believed. […] Upon his death, numerous accounts, both factual and fictitious, appeared.
William Hallam Bonner
University of Buffalo
American Literature, Vol. 15, No. 4, Jan. 1944
Kidd was commissioned by King William III (William of Orange) as a Privateer and carried a license to hunt pirates, reserving 10% of any bounty acquired for the Crown. His murder charge was the result of the killing of crew member William Moore, his gunner, during a near mutiny.
Of all the things written and expressed, the ballad Captain Kid’s Farewel to the Seas (or the Famous Pirate’s Lament) was the only thing to survive. It was quite popular in the Colonies where the Captain had a home and may be considered America’s first folk legend. There is a British version and an American version, which changed the Captain’s first name to Robert for some strange reason and, several contemporary covers. The last website, below, has his name as John. He had to be hanged, twice, as the rope broke the first time. ~Vic
Captain Kidd Lyrics (David Kidd Website/Wayback Machine)
Captain Kidd Song (Wikipedia)
The Ballad of Captain Kidd (Chivalry Website Archive)
Wizard of the Seas (Ex-Classics Website)
Launched on September 5, 1843, the very first USS Princeton was a steam-driven propeller warship of the U.S. Navy, commanded by Captain Robert Stockton. It was the first screw-sloop in the fleet. During a cruise down the Potomac River with President John Tyler, federal officials, politicians, attorneys, a former First Lady and several hundred guests, there was a terrible long gun explosion, due, possibly to old forging technology.
President Tyler hosted a public reception for Stockton in the White House on February 27, 1844. On February 28, [the] USS Princeton departed Alexandria, Virginia, on a demonstration cruise down the Potomac with Tyler, members of his cabinet, former First Lady Dolley Madison, Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri and about 400 guests. Captain Stockton decided to fire the larger of her two long guns, Peacemaker, to impress his guests. Peacemaker was fired three times on the trip downriver and was loaded to fire a salute to George Washington as the ship passed Mount Vernon on the return trip. The guests aboard viewed the first set of firings, [then] retired below decks for lunch and refreshments.
Secretary [of the Navy] [Thomas Walker] Gilmer urged those aboard to view a final shot with the Peacemaker. When Captain Stockton pulled the firing lanyard, the gun burst. Its left side had failed, spraying hot metal across the deck and shrapnel into the crowd. Instantly killed were Gilmer, Secretary of State [Abel P.] Upshur, Captain Beverley Kennon, who was Chief of the Bureau of Construction [Equipment] and Repairs, Virgil Maxcy (a Maryland attorney with decades of experience as a state and federal officeholder), David Gardiner (a New York lawyer and politician) and the President’s valet, a black slave named Armistead. Another 16 to 20 people were injured, including several members of the ship’s crew, Senator Benton and Captain Stockton. The president was below decks and not injured.
The disaster on board the Princeton killed more top U.S. government officials in a single day than any other tragedy in American history.
Additional Reading & Sources
Fatal Cruise of the Princeton (Naval History/military.com/Wayback Machine)
USS Princeton (ibiblio.org)
Princeton I (Naval History and Heritage Command site)
Accident on a Steam Ship (Google Books)
Tyler Narrowly Escapes Death (The History Channel site)
How the USS Princeton explosion changed U.S. history.