Archive for June, 2008

Song of the day

This Friday is Independence Day, so I thought a week of songs for America was a good idea.  Since I probably wont be writing on Friday, I am going to have four songs.

My first pick is Born in the U.S.A by Bruce Springsteen.  Now, this is not, as the title might suggest, a big patriotic song (although Ronald Regan would have had you believe that it was).  Rather it is a song of protest about the struggles of the Vietnam Veterans when they came back to America.  I choose to put a protest song in this group of four because the ability to write, record and sell songs such as this is what makes America great.

Enjoy!

I cannot find a youtube of this that is embeddable, so here is a link to the video.

As and extra bonus, here is how the Boss is singing this song today!

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Song of the day

I am finally at the end of the list of my ten favorite songs from the White Album.  I ordered them in the order they appear on the album, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Blackbird.  The song is so beautiful and simple.  I know it is a favorite of Sir Paul as well.  So before I get to the end of the list, here is a clip of Blackbird from the Movie Across The Universe.  As covers go, this one is quite good.

OK

So once again, here is the list so far.

  1. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  4. Happiness is a Warm Gun
  5. Martha My Dear
  6. Blackbird
  7. Piggies
  8. I will

The final additions:

  1. Mother Nature’s Son
    This song probably ranks in my top 10 Beatles songs.  It is another of Paul’s and it is so simple yet so beautiful.  When I hear it I just imagine myself sitting in the country singing songs with my friends and just relaxing watching and listening to nature.
  2. Revolution
    There are actually two released versions of this song.  There have been different versions of other Beatles songs that have come from rehearsals or different takes, but this is the only song that was actually released twice.  You can read about it on Wikipedia, but the first one recorded is the one that appears on the White album and was titled Revolution 1 to distinguish it from the one that was released as the B side of Hey Jude which was just called Revolution.  Personally, I like the slower version from the album.  I have both versions below.

There are precious few films or videos of the Beatles performing.  The movie Let it Be has quite a bit, and the TV documentary The Beatles Anthology has a bit more.  Beyond that there are a few scenes from televsion appearances and such.  By the time of the White ablum, The Beatles made a few promotional fils of their songs.  This is some of the earliest examples of what we would call music videos.  Below you will see the promotional film for Revolution.

Enjoy!

Mother Nature’s Son

Revolution 1

Revolution Film


Song of the day

One sad note about the White Album which thankfully is not too well known today is its use by Charles Manson.  I wont go into this more here, but you can read the Wikipedia article about it.

We are winding down to the end of this list of the best ten songs on the White Album.  So far we have:

  1. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  4. Happiness is a Warm Gun
  5. Martha My Dear
  6. Blackbird

Now for today’s additions.

  1. Piggies
    This song that appeared in the song of the day a while back.  As I explained there, George wrote this song as a social commentary on class and corporate greed.  Unfortunately, Charles Manson took the song to be an anti-police song.  The song is one of my favorite (and one of the least remembered of George’s songs).  The use of the Harpsichord is wonderful.
  2. I Will
    Paul wrote a number of songs for his wife Linda.  Two of them were Beatles songs and this is the first.  It is a beautiful ballad that is a foreshadow of what was to come for Paul and his music.

Enjoy!

As an extra special addition, here is the first take of I Will from the Anthology Album.

Cooking Class

I have not posted any recipes in a while, and given that I am quite hungry right now, I thought I would post my recipe for Noddle Kugel.  To be fair, I got this recipe from my mother, so it is really not mine, but it is perhaps the best non-dairy kugel I have ever tasted.

The usual translation of a kugel in English is pudding. Not a pudding like a tapioca or a chocolate pudding, but like an English bread pudding. You mix your ingredients in your bowl, pour them into a casserole dish and then bake in the oven. What could be easier! Jews have been making Kugels for hundreds of years. No matter where you came from, there was always at least two or more kugel recipes. If you came from northeastern Europe you called them Kugels and if you came from southeastern Europe you called them kigels. No matter what you call them they are some of the best foods that Jewish cooking has ever created.

There are many different kinds of Kugels out there. The most well know of course is the lukshen kugel. Lukshen means noodles, so this is the ever famous noodle kugel or noodle pudding. If you have never had a sweet noodle kugel, I urge you to stop reading here and go directly to the recipe, make it and then eat! Those of you who have had noodle kugel know what we’re talking about.

Basic Noodle Kugel

1.   8 oz. wide egg noodles (the wider the better!)
2.   1/2 C Margarine, melted
3.   4 eggs beaten
4.   1/2 C Sugar
5.   1 t Vanilla
6.   8 oz. can of crushed pineapple with juice
7.   1/4 C raisins
8.   cinnamon/sugar

  1. Cook noodles so they are just a little bit under done.
  2. Drain noodles and rinse with water.  This will get rid of the extra starch and make them easier to work with.
  3. Put the noodles in a large bowl.  Add the melted margarine and mix well
  4. Add the eggs and mix well and then add the rest of the ingredients except the cinnamon/sugar.  When adding the pineapple, make sure to add the juice as well.
  5. Prepare 8″x8″ glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
  6. Pour mixture into dish.
  7. Generously sprinkle top with cinnamon/sugar.  Make sure to cover the entire surface.
  8. Place in pre-heated 350° oven for about 45 minutes.  The top should be nicely caramelized and brown.
  9. Let stand 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

We always double this recipe and you can also cut down by 1 egg and use only 2/3 of the margarine if you like.  I rarely do this though.

That is it!  You can take out the pineapple if you like but increase the suge by 1/4 C.  You can also make a savory kugel by taking out the sugar and fruit and adding a tsp of salt and pepper.  We also love to add sauted onions and chopped fresh spinach to our savory kugel.

Enjoy!

Song of the day

We interrupt One Hit Wonder Wednesday to continue the top ten songs from The Beatles White Album.  The list so far:

1.  Back in the U.S.S.R.
2.  Dear Prudence
3.  While My Guitar Gently Weeps
4.  Happiness is a Warm Gun

And today’s additions:

5.  Martha My Dear
I just like this song.  It was written by Paul, perhaps about Jane Asher (a longtime love interest of Paul’s) It has a great piano opening which appears throughout the song and a brass band as backup.

6.  Blackbird
Blackbird, also by Paul McCartney is probably my favorite song on the album.  Nuff said!

Enjoy!

Song of the day

Today is day two of my tour of the White album.  As I stated yesterday I am presenting my top ten list from the white album, in the order the songs are heard on the album.  Perhaps on Friday I will rank them in some way.

So far we have:

1.  Back in the U.S.S.R.
2. Dear Prudence

and today’s picks…….

3.  While My Guitar Gently Weeps
This song is one of four songs by George Harrison that appear on the White Album.  Beginning with the Album HELP!, there would always be at least one Harrison song on each album.  This song is one of Harrison’s best known Beatles song (perhaps second only to Something).  The interesting thing about this song is that George decided to open up a book and write a song based on the first words he would see in the book.  Those were gently weeps.  This song is also the first time another artist is featured on a Beatles song (although uncredited).  Eric Clapton played lead guitar on this recording.  His being in the studio also brought a respite from the band’s bickering.

4.  Happiness is a Warm Gun
This is a John Lennon song and is a song about getting high.  The song is very complex in that it changes time signature at least 6 times during the song including 4/4, 3/4, 6/8, and 6/4.

Enjoy!

Song of the Day

Its Beatles week at My Kids Family again!  Yay!  This week I am going to pick some favorites from the album The Beatles which is more commonly known as “The While Album.”  This album is very significant in history of The Beatles.  First off, it is the best selling Beatles album and the 10th best selling album in the US.  It is during the White Album sessions that the group begins to fracture leading to the breakup of the group in 1970.

The Beatles did some of their best work on this album, but most of it was very individual.  Lennon and McCartney were not working together anymore, and although each song they wrote had both names on it, there was no collaboration.  Past albums were much more cohesive as a whole, and this album has many different musical genres on it.

I am going to present my top ten list from this album, in order that they appear on the album.  So today’s picks are:

Back in the U.S.S.R. and Dear Prudence.  Back in the U.S.S.R. is a parody of the Chuck Berry Song Back in the U.S.A. and the Beach Boy’s California Dreaming.  It was written by Paul.  The song segues into the next song Dear Prudence which was written by John.  Prudence refers to actress Mia Farrows sister who came with The Beatles (and her sister) to India to study Transcendental Meditation.  She stayed in her room for much of the time meditating.  John, fearing she was depressed, wrote this song for her.  It is perhaps the most beautiful of Johns songs.

Videos of The Beatles performing are rare (especially later songs).  These are audio only.

Enjoy!