Thursday, November 22


The Plymouth colonists celebrate the first Thanksgiving with the Wampanoag people. Afterward, tribal chief Massasoit [seated left-center, with tallest & most abundant head-feathers] speaks highly of the turkey, maize, and mussels, but heaps highest praise on settler Josiah Bacardi [standing right, with hunting sword, lobstertail helmet & "Ye Olde Worlde's Greateste Grandpa" mug] and his "devilishly addictive, crisp as a New England breeze" rum & cranberry concoction.
The younger members of the Lancaster family share a good laugh at the expense of their dog-loving, Alzheimer's-suffering grandparents, Joseph & Irene. Suffice it to say, that's not a turkey ol' Joe's about to carve!

Today is the day we Americans get even fatter than we already are chasing our collective tryptophan fix sitting on our collective fat ass watching Cowboys conquer and Lions lie down. As for me, I'm gonna have a tuna-fish sandwich. Maybe some soup. Total Cranberry Crunch cereal for dessert. Then, I'll either take a nap or call 911 and commit Suicide-by-Cop. Whichever suits me at the time.

Since I'm sure more than half of this blog's usual visitors will be AWOL today, I'm going to risk doing something different. Which is to say: I'm going to deluge you with classical music until I've put you in a holiday mood (kinda sorta maybe).

Fact is, a little non-pop-rock-blah-blah-blah may make for a welcome respite, so here goes....

This is an American holiday (our Canadian friends celebrate Thanksgiving on an entirely different day, and do so by sacrificing mooses to the hockey gods), so it only seems sporting to exhume a couple of American composers' corpses & compositions & so forth:

[MP3] COPLAND, AARON (1900-1990)/"Fanfare for the Common Man" [3:04]
[MP3] COPLAND/"Hoe-Down" ["Beef, it's what's for dinner!"] [3:17]
[MP3] COPLAND/"Saturday Night Waltz" [4:22]

[MP3] BARBER, SAMUEL (1910-1981)/"Agnus Dei" aka "Adagio for Strings" [Wherefore art thou, Tom Berenger?] [6:14]

BACH, JOHANN SEBASTIAN (1685-1750) wasn't American and probably would have been fashioning intricate hymns to Hitler if he'd lived during the Third Reich, but he sure as hell knew his way around a hummable, uplifting tune....

[MP3] BACH/"Sleepers, Awake!" [4:03]

The same can be said for MENDELSSOHN, FELIX aka "Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" (1809-1847). The "same" as in "knew his way around a hummable, uplifting tune," not the same as in "fashioning hymns to Hitler," seeing as Mendelssohn was Jewish and all.) Fact is, I've been meaning to post the following overture for ages aka "eons" now. There's a secondary theme in there that more or less mirrors a fairly famous melody from a fairly famous favorite band of mine. Be the first to identify the band (and song), and I'll send you a right purty prize (providing you provide an e-mail address).

[MP3] MENDELSSOHN/"Hebrides Overture" aka "Fingal's Cave" [9:52]

WINSTON, GEORGE (1949- ) isn't a classical musician. "New age," more like. He is, however, American. And I have a soft spot for the subsequent little song-suite, which seems oh-so-apropos for the season....

[MP3] WINSTON/"Thanksgiving" [4:04]
[MP3] WINSTON/"Variations on the Kanon" [PACHELBEL, JOHANN (1653-1706)] [5:21]
[MP3] WINSTON/"Carol of the Bells" [3:56]

There. Now didn't that make you feel all tingly and "cultured"? This is MICHAEL aka "MOLOTOV" aka "FURLEY" aka "MAALOX" aka "JOE GILLIS" (1970- ), signing off from a PLAGUE of ANGELS (2005- ).

Until tomorrow....


Richard said...

Well, Michael, this is just fucking great! Seriously. I mean, you really got your existential shit together with this one ... Didn't realize you were gonna do the metaphysical mambo on us today, but it works out just fine, 'cuz this is some great music and yeah, now I'm all glutinous with self-approbation ... Have a great Thanksgiving, okay ... ?

Anonymous said...

Well, nice, this is real nice. The kids are all home, with clean shirts on, and we got a little Copland to play 'em.

Thanks for the post!

Beef, I understand; this is the commercial music. I confess I didn't get the Tom Berenger reference, though.

mjrc said...

oh, the berenger reference is from the film platoon, which is probably the main way many, many people know the music "agnus dei."

thank you so much for this, btw. the barber is one of my all-time favorite pieces of music.

The Butcher said...

You're kidding me!
You like Samuel Barber's "Adagio" too?! I thought I was the only person in the Mitten State who was aware of his existence.