Saturday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Today is the birthday of Ringo Starr, sliced bread and the Ziegfeld Follies.

It’s also the day in 1980 that Sharia law was instituted in Iran, in 1981 Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman on the Supreme Court, in 2003 Mars rover Opportunity was launched on its mission. Opportunity is still going strong and you can follow its doings on Twitter (it’s currently under siege from a Mars dust storm.) On a more somber note, it’s also the anniversary of the 2005 London bombings and the 2016 attack on Dallas police.

Steve Ditko, one of the creators of Spider-Man, has died.

In honor of his birthday, here’s Ringo singing the lead on With a little help from my friends and Octopus’s Garden because he wrote that one.

In Poland Hili is pondering important things.

Hili: Who is stung by nettles except people?
A: Probably anybody who wants to eat them.

In Polish:

Hili: Kogo oprócz ludzi parzą pokrzywy?
Ja: Pewnie tych, którzy chcą je zjeść.

From biological Twitter today:

If I were a deer mouse, I am not sure I would count this as a win.

A mola or sunfish

Penguins are not particularly elegant.

Not a fish

Wasp egg-laying

Snakes!

 

Less biology, more cats

Apparently it’s not just kids that do this

And some instructional videos (sound up)

Majestic mountains in Pakistan

Aha ha

And just because

Hat-tip: Barry, Matthew and Heather

46 Comments

  1. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I’d like to give a shout out to easily my favourite Ringo song, ‘Don’t Pass Me By’.

    From the white album, that ultra purple patch when every single member was producing their loveliest, most subtle and complex material. The fact that even Ringo wrote something as sweet and true as this is testament to the effect competition between creative minds can have.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 7, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Apologies for the embedding…happens every time I don’t know why.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 7, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        If, when posting your comment, you copy the URL but strip off the leading ‘http://’ then WP will reinstate it in the link but won’t imbed the video.

        If you leave the ‘http://’ in place then WP will imbed the video.

        cr

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 7, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          Cheers Infinite, that’s a lot simpler than I thought.

    • BJ
      Posted July 7, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      My favorite Beatles album. And my favorite band, Phish, played the entire album for their second of three sets for their 1994 Halloween show, which marked the beginning of their Halloween tradition. Phish has a tradition of playing three sets for every Halloween show, the second set being an entire album by another band, AKA their “costume” for the night.

      Other albums they’ve played:

      1995 — Quadrophenia, The Who

      1996 — Remain in Light, The Talking Heads

      1998 — Loaded, The Velvet Underground

      Two nights after Halloween 1998, the play the entirety of Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The show was far out of the way when it came to their tour route, and the show ended up being sparsely attended, so they basically rewarded the people who showed up and punished the ones who didn’t by playing an epic and unexpected show.

      2009 — Exile On Main Street, The Rolling Stones

      2010 — Waiting for Columbus, Little Feat

      2014 — The Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House, Walt Disney Records (it’s hard to explain)

      2016 — The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, David Bowie

      Oh boy, I made this all about Phish. I do that sometimes.

      • Posted July 7, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        Love Phish.

      • aljones909
        Posted July 7, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Never heard of Phish. Will give them a listen.

        • BJ
          Posted July 8, 2018 at 1:23 am | Permalink

          Be careful what you listen to. With over 1600 shows and nearly 1,000 different songs (including covers) played, there are plenty of stinkers.

          But here’s the entire second set from Halloween ’94, AKA the White Album:

        • BJ
          Posted July 8, 2018 at 1:23 am | Permalink

          Be careful what you listen to. With over 1600 shows and nearly 1,000 different songs (including covers) played, there are plenty of stinkers.

          But here’s the entire second set from Halloween ’94, AKA the White Album:

        • BJ
          Posted July 8, 2018 at 1:35 am | Permalink

          If you ever want me to point you in the direction of some beautiful original stuff, from complex compositions to great jams, just let me know.

          Here’s where I would start with an introduction, rather than the White Album clip I posted above:

          Reba, one of their best compositions, played live and flawlessly, and then with a brilliant jam. Notice how the section beginning at 4:53 starts with the piano and guitar in sync, but then is played again at 5:26 exactly the same, but with the guitar a step behind the piano.

          sweetness

          Sorry for embedding the previous videos.

        • BJ
          Posted July 8, 2018 at 1:59 am | Permalink

          Here’s a wild reimagining of the theme song to NPR’s All Things Considered:

          instrumental bliss

          Of course, many of their songs are just straight out hard rockin’:

          Rockin’ hard

          Oh yeah

          And sometimes, it’s just awe-inspiring beauty:

          Bliss

  2. George
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Makes you think – how bad a drummer was Pete Best if Ringo was considered an improvement.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 7, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Damn, dude, on his birthday? That’s coldblooded.

      • BJ
        Posted July 7, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        It’s true, though. I always call Ringo “the world’s luckiest man.”

        Though I made a joke about Octopus’s Garden the other day, I’ve never thought it was the terrible song many other people make it out to be. I find it rather delightful, if a bit cloying.

      • John Nunes
        Posted July 7, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Best thing Ringo ever did was “Cave Man’, the movie that resembles the current US government.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 7, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Pete Best was never “in” the Beatles – he wasn’t connected to the other lads socially etc. He turned up for gigs [missed a few in Hamburg], but didn’t ‘hang’ with them, didn’t do the drugs they needed to keep awake & energised, he didn’t adopt the Astrid/Voorman moptop [maybe because he had curly hair], when the lads in Hamburg dumped the suits & moved to leather jackets & jeans Best didn’t fall in line immediately, he was too popular with the girlies – more girl fans than the other three in the 60, 61, 62 era. Regarded by many as the best looking Beatle [not counting Stuart Sutcliffe].

      Drumming wise, he was fine for most bands of the era ie not that accurate on the beat & relied heavily on simplistic “4s”, but he wasn’t good enough for the Fab three

      Ringo Starr was great! Utterly reliable on & off the drums – some other Beatle said he was grown up at three & an anchor for the other three. Also not afraid of Lennon in bully mode. Not too ego driven. Hated doing drum solos. David Grohl – who should know – rates him as a great feel player + flair when needed. The Beatles would not have worked with a Ginger Baker, a Bonzo or a Keith!

      Also loved by octopuses everywhere – not just in the garden

      • BJ
        Posted July 7, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        I agree with all of that penultimate paragraph. He may not have been terribly talented, but he is exactly what the band needed. Ringo just sat in the background and kept the beat so the rest of the band could be the standouts. He was the black curtain behind the shining stars.

      • aljones909
        Posted July 7, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        I’d like to know from Ringo detractors:

        1) Where is Ringo’s drumming bad or sub-standard.

        2) Isn’t the drumming on “A Day in the Life” quite brilliant?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 7, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          Saw an interview once with Ringo where he said he thought his best drumming was on “Rain”.

        • BJ
          Posted July 8, 2018 at 2:05 am | Permalink

          I LOVE that song, and Ringo on it. I agree that people who simply think Ringo sucks don’t understand his style or how he fit into the band, but I don’t think it’s in dispute that he’s not a great drummer, and I guess people assume that someone from perhaps the greatest band ever would be among the best drummers of all time.

          Phish plays that song as an encore regularly. Always fun to end a show with it.

  3. John Dentinger
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    So, even if Ringo isn’t the world’s greatest drummer or singer or composer, he deserves a place in the pantheon for his touring with the All-Starr Band. That edition with Joe Walsh, Todd Rundgren, Burton Cummings, Nils Lofgren, Dave Edmunds & Timothy B. Schmitt was beyond amazing.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 7, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Is that the Dave Edmunds of ‘Take Me For A Little While’? That’s the only song of his I know, as it was on The Sopranos. It’s beautiful.

      Incidentally, Nils Lofgren had a lovely song on The Sopranos too. The Sopranos introduced me to a lot of new artists.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 7, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Ringo wasn’t the virtuoso some of his contemporaries were — Ginger Baker, Charlie Watts, Keith Moon, for instance — but unlike them, he wasn’t a converted jazz drummer either. I’ve heard the case made Ring was the first pure rock’n’roll drummer. Nobody kept a steadier backbeat, and he’s justly influential for some of his fills and rolls. Plus, dude was a lefthander playin’ a righthanded drum set.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 7, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        I’d agree.

        Just listen to his drumming on ‘A Day in the Life’, for example. Or ‘Hey Jude’. Rock steady when it needs to be, and precisely on the beat (or the half-beat, or whatever the term is).

        I’ll admit to a personal preference for drumming that keeps the beat and flows along with the pace of the song – quite often flashy demonstrations of drumming proficiency just interrupt the rhythm of the track. What is most showy as an exhibition of virtuoso drumming may not be the best for the song as a whole.

        cr

        • BJ
          Posted July 7, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          “I’ll admit to a personal preference for drumming that keeps the beat and flows along with the pace of the song – quite often flashy demonstrations of drumming proficiency just interrupt the rhythm of the track.”

          This is why Neil Peart is the greatest drummer of all time. He kept a perfect beat at all times and a different but flawless flow tailored to each song, while still creating many of the most remarkable fills and techniques in rock n’ roll history. The combination of proficiency, reliability, and dumbfounding innovation is unrivaled.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted July 7, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

            “This is why Neil Peart is the greatest drummer of all time.”

            Especially if you meant to include jazz drummers like Max Roach and Kenny Clarke and Philly Jo Jones and Art Blakey.

            Hell, even if you meant to limit it to rock drummers, that’s still a pretty bold statement.

            • BJ
              Posted July 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

              I did mean to limit it to rock drummers, and it might be bold, but I believe it.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted July 7, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

                Peart uses an extreme number of percussion surfaces – nearly 50 I counted in one video. Why that? It looks like a security blanket – surrounded by skins & metal.

                Sheila E is worth a look – a princeling who crosses genres & doesn’t need much kit to do her thing [heavy on the 80s perm my only criticism].

                Here is Billy Cobham driving the Stratus vehicle around the bends with killer precision & feelies.

                Also good with a side of Miles or the McLaughlin Yorkshire sauce.

              • BJ
                Posted July 8, 2018 at 1:38 am | Permalink

                “Peart uses an extreme number of percussion surfaces – nearly 50 I counted in one video. Why that? It looks like a security blanket – surrounded by skins & metal.”

                Because they’re only three people in the band, and their songs often have synths and weird sounds. He keeps a bunch of pads around to put in the various sounds so nobody else ever has to be on stage but the three of them. For example, in the song YYZ, there is a moment where a breaking glass sound is used, so he has a pad that initiates the sound when struck. He also has many bells, which are used as the beginnings of some songs.

                For songs with synths, the bassist generally plays them with his feet while playing the bass at the same time.

              • barn owl
                Posted July 8, 2018 at 6:08 am | Permalink

                Ummm … I’ll just leave these here:

                John Bonham
                Bill Bruford*

                *Anyone who can work with Fripp deserves some sort of recognition.

            • BJ
              Posted July 9, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

              Barn Owl: Sorry, but John Bonham ain’t nothin’ compared to Peart. Bonham could bang, but Peart and many others (like Bruford) had more creativity and technique in their pinky fingers than Bonham had in his entire repertoire.

              Bruford, on the other had, is in my top five, but he’s more jazz-infused than straight rock. I have no doubt that Peart could have done what he did if that’s the kind of drummer he ended up being, but Bruford with Crimson and Yes, HOOOO BOY. Love it. And definitely on the same level in a different category.

          • Vaal
            Posted July 8, 2018 at 12:18 am | Permalink

            BJ,

            I don’t think the type of drumming Peart did is anything like the type infiniteimprobabilit was indicating as a preference. Peart was just the opposite.

            Peart was the ultimate “never play a bar the same as the last one” drummer and the pinnacle of flashy drumming in rock.

            That’s not a critique of Peart – I’m a long time Rush fanatic and have got back in to them heavily recently (with all the new vinyl remasters – can’t resist!).

            It’s just to say I think Peart is the last example I’d think makes sense as linked to what infiniteimprobabilit was saying.

            Anyway, in terms of sheer technical proficiency, Peart has been well surpassed by many drummers. Hell, you can find some very young prodigy drummers on youtube who have insane technique.

            But IMO what Peart had was, beyond a great technical proficiency for his time, a truly unique style. A combination of thunderous drum power, machine-like technique, and astounding creativity. It’s not just that he could come up with wild beats and fast fills – any number of drummers can do that. It’s that his choices were so hooky, interesting and memorable. It reminds of of when I used to hang out with jazz guys who poo-poo’d Madonna or other pop artists because “that stuff is easy, it’s like 4 chords.” All you had to do is listen to when these guys even tried to write a good pop song and the utter failure showed what talent it actually took to come up with hooks, not just chord movement.

            It’s the same with Peart. No drummer ever has come close to the sheer amount of “drum hooks” because you listen and think “damn, that was interesting and awesome.” As he’s said, for much of his life he was a “compositional drummer.” It’s why every Rush fan has virtually every Peart drum part memorized.

            When Rush was new to me as a teenager in the 70’s/80’s I thought Peart was a God in terms of technical proficiency. I then went on to more Jazz and Jazz fusion where the skill level was generally quite a bit higher than in Rock, and Peart no longer seemed like a technical God to me. But now looking back, yes he is incredible technically, but for me it’s more about his feel and creativity. Nobody sounds like Peart. It’s intellectual drumming, with power, the musical equivalent of a philosopher writing with sledgehammers. He’s the drummer version of Spock.

            Them’s my thoughts on the subject, anyway…

            • BJ
              Posted July 9, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

              “Nobody sounds like Peart. It’s intellectual drumming, with power, the musical equivalent of a philosopher writing with sledgehammers. He’s the drummer version of Spock.”

              Well said. That’s why they call him a “Vulcan.”

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    “It’s also the day [7th July] in 1980 that Sharia law was instituted in Iran”

    Is this right? The pre-revolution legal system was mostly replaced by an Islamic legal system – the Shi’ite version of Sharia law. That was the early 1980s in bits & pieces – can’t find anything significant for today though.

  5. Simon Hayward
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Also, it’s World Chocolate Day

    • Pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted July 7, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Really? Here in Switzerland nobody knows about it.

  6. Posted July 7, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    What those penguins lack in elegance, they make up for in padding and persistence!

  7. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Penguins – have obviously evolved layers of shock-absorbing fat for precisely the reason shown in the video. Impact resistance.

    🙂

    cr

  8. Pierluigi Ballabeni
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Plenty of animal species, including humans, lack elegance.

  9. Posted July 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Had Francis Collins seen that turtle on his hike, he’d have converted on the spot.

  10. aljones909
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Ringo’s greatest trick. getting better looking as he got older.

    • BJ
      Posted July 8, 2018 at 3:52 am | Permalink

      Every girl is in love with Ringo!

      LinkText

    • BJ
      Posted July 8, 2018 at 3:54 am | Permalink

      Sorry, meant to post this one:

      LinkText

  11. aljones909
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Sir Richard Starkey’s best self penned song, co-written with George Harrison, “Photograph”.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6CMSuT98-E

  12. BJ
    Posted July 8, 2018 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    Hilarious video: Rigno writes a song!

    hooray!

  13. Posted July 13, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    That turtle would make a great illustration for Terry Pratchett’s “Small Gods”, where one of the two protagonists is a monotheistic god currently locked in the body of a turtle.


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