Sunday, November 24, 2013

Roger Green Damn well ought to write this note so I can Burn what I have written.

Roger Green Damn well ought to write this note so I can Burn what I have written. Or why are the Beatles Important? by Walter Broome Spiro

I have a friend, born in 1973, who just wrote a number of reviews of Beatle records:


The popularity and importance of the Beatles, as opposed to any other mid-century performer, has always bewildered me. I've tried many of the albums, and come up short of an impression each time. This one caught my eye mainly because of it's unfamiliarity. I've also been meaning to try one of the remasters, to see if there's something in the sound that I'm not getting.

This is definitely one of the best sounding albums I've listened to lately. I'll chalk that up to the already deified George Martin. But really, I've never heard so much attention and work spent on something so mediocre.

There are a few great songs on here, all of them Lennon/McCartney originals. I Don't Want To Spoil The Party, in particular, surprised me. The vocals aren't even as bad as they would later become. The only really cringe-worthy moments come when the boys try to harmonize, which only accents their nasal tone. Also, I hear an out-of-tune guitar every now and then, but that may be an intentional attempt to play "bent" blues notes.

What brings this album down for me are all the covers. They just sound like a bunch of guys sitting around playing their favorite songs. Which is all right, but nothing I'd want to put on repeat. Covering other performers also highlights their position as vocal imitators more than singers. I can't imagine anyone picking these versions of Kansas City or Rock and Roll Music as improving on earlier versions.

As a final note, I was surprised to hear Every Little Thing, having become accustomed to the Yes version. It holds up as an original song, but it will forever sound weaker to me somehow in comparison to Yes' prog rock bombast.


All right, I liked this one, but Revolver and Magical Mystery Tour are both pretty godawful.

I'm finding that most of their albums have one or two really good songs, some filler and three or four travesties. "Doctor Robert" sounds to my ears as just lazy songwriting wrapped around a in-joke. "And Your Bird Can Sing," however has been one of the highlights of my trip to the library's B section.


I thought this would be the Beatles' album I would enjoy the most, instead it's turned out to be the biggest disappointment. Perhaps this is a part of becoming an older, more experienced listener. Songs like Strawberry Fields Forever, after becoming familiar, sound very adolescent. The mood this album exudes is that of a teen-ager who has just discovered "alternative" voices to those they have grown up with. Of course, the mistake that follows is the assumption that the rest of the world is ignorant of these points of view, rather than just disinterested. So, we end up with the standard rock'n'roll need to shout out bad poetry.

As always, the production on this album is stellar. Penny Lane's almost monotone melody is rescued by the outside musicians brought in to add layers to the song. All You Need Is Love moves up to a brilliant crescendo that makes up for any lack of content (and the mocking trumpets are a bit creepy.) And of course I Am the Walrus is a triumph of studio work; without the production crew this would be an embarrassing proto-rap chant.

The real surprise for me was Flying. What a wonderful instrumental! It expresses the theme of a "magical mystery tour" much better than the schmaltzy McCartney-isms or detached Lennon-esque lyrics elsewhere. And let's not get into Blue Jay Way. I never thought George Harrison would let me down.

I would add that Ringo is the real hero of this album. I keep going back to the great drum fills and interesting time changes.

MY RESPONSE IS BELOW, but I really wish Roger O. Green would write something about this topic so I could erase and delete and burn the travesty that I have written

R------------, I am going to give you my conclusion first and that might save you some time. You can decide I am a pompous windbag and not read any further.

Kim is right that you were born too late to really appreciate them, although I would place it at 20 years too late rather than 10.

I noticed that you appeared to be a classical music fan and that you were happy about RYM's new system so you could separate out the original tenor notations from the modern baritone thereby putting the music in context.

You have to place the Beatles within the context of the times to see why they and their music are so important.

The context of the Beatles music is that they existed at a pivotal time in our modern culture and the evolution of popular music. Some say they directly led the way in both and others say that they merely became the face of the change. Whichever it is (or more likely a combination of the two) they are linked to changes in content (there is the story of how they met Dylan and asked him why he didn't use electric instruments and Dylan said why don't you actually say something in your music? So Dylan goes electric and the Beatles started saying something), recording techniques, fashion, hairstyles, introduction of different instruments (sitar) and cultural elements (meditation and more). AND the big thing is that this all happened incredibly quickly.

The Beatles 1st album (Please Please Me) is released on February 11. 1963 and their 6th album (Rubber Soul) is released on December 3, 1965. That's 6 albums in 35 months. In 1965 They had 5 #1 hits on the charts for 12 weeks. Rubber Soul is considered to be the big changeover from the earlier type of rock to what we consider the rock of the 60's. The were a big F---king deal. There were a couple of constants in the 60's: The Vietnam War at 7pm and 11pm every night listing the number of Vietcong killed and the number of Americans killed, The Ed Sullivan Show, Walter Cronkite and The Beatles.

Here is the chart for 1965.

By the way none of these songs are from Rubber Soul, but it does give you a glimpse of the beginning of the evolution of rock.

The Wikipedia article on them is not horrible a short explanation of the Beatles and is worth a look see.

I have a friend who is a humongous Springsteen fan. When Springsteen did the Seeger Project albums and showed his respect to Pete Seeger, Brian ran out and bought some Pete Seeger. He came in the next day and gave me the CDs and said "This stuff is crap. Here take these." Now Brian loved the Springsteen albums, but didn't like the music that inspired them. That's ok, but it doesn't make Seeger's work any less.

I dunno crap about whether the original tenor parts or the modern baritone ones are better. Chances are that some folks prefer one over the other and that some folks like both because they can appreciate them within the context of the whole.

I dunno if the Beatles did it best or even did it first, but what they did was memorable, at the time and even now, 50 years later.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

David Meerse

Dr. David E. Meerse of Albany joined the Church Triumphant on Thursday, September 26, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Clancy Cherry Meerse; two children, daughter, Katherine (David Woodard) of St.Paul Minn and son, John (Stephanie) and granddaughter, Lily Katherine of Simsbury CT. Dr. Meerse loved the Lord Jesus Christ, his family, and the Presbyterian Church in which he served faithfully. He was a thoughtful man with a wonderful laugh and a keen sense of humor. He was born and raised in Ogallala, Neb. His parents were Minnie Wehling Meerse and Adrian J. Meerse. He received his bachelor's degree from Doane College in 1961, master's degree at the University of Illinois in 1964, and his Ph.D. in 1969. His teaching and research were in the Civil War and Reconstruction era, specifically, the effort to make Kansas a slave state, 1854-1858. Dr. Meerse’s articles have appeared in Civil War History, and the Journals of the Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Kansas Historical Societies. He taught at the State University College at Fredonia, New York, from 1966 until 1986, serving as history department chairperson for six years. He was ordained an elder at First Presbyterian Church, Fredonia, New York, in 1968, served as a member of the Presbytery of Western New York’s Budget Committee, Presbytery Council, and was moderator of the Presbytery, 1983-84. David was a commissioner to the reunion General Assembly in Atlanta in 1983. He served as a member and chairperson of the Synod of the Northeast’s Finance Committee, and on its General Council. In 1986 he accepted the call to serve as the Stated Clerk of New York City Presbytery, the first elder to hold that position in the 250-year history of that Presbytery. He also served as the Stated Clerk of two Synods, Northeast and Trinity. At the General Assembly level, he served six years on the Advisory Committee on the Constitution and was Interim Manager of Judicial Process for the Office of the Stated Clerk in 2002. In 1987, he began service as an interim presbytery executive, and served in that capacity in four different presbyteries: Lake Erie, Muskingum Valley, John Calvin, and Missouri Union. David served as Stated Clerk of Heartland Presbytery (MO) in 2011 and 2012, before coming to serve as Stated Clerk of the Synod of the Northeast. David Meerse cherished his wife, his family, especially his granddaughter, Lily Katherine, and his two cats. Music was very important in his life. He enjoyed all forms of classical music--live performances, recordings, and radio productions. He worked in both college and community theater. He remained an active scholar in his research interest, and maintained membership in a number of professional historical associations. As a result of being selected as a Guthrie Fellow by Columbia Theological Seminary, he researched the transmission and utilization of Presbyterian polity to the American colonies in the late 17th-early 18th centuries. For relaxation he also did counted cross-stitch of Victorian painted ladies. David was a member at Central Presbyterian Church in Kansas City Missouri and an affiliate member at First Presbyterian in Albany. A Witness to the Resurrection Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 362 State Street, Albany NY on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 1 o’clock, the Rev. Glenn D. Leupold officiating. A private family funeral event will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Presbyterian Historical Society at 425 Lombard St., Philadelphia PA., 19147, or the First Presbyterian Church for music ministry.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

2013-14 NBC BROADCAST SCHEDULE for Figure Skating

From HERE 2013-14 NBC BROADCAST SCHEDULE - Schedule subject to change - All times Eastern - Check local listings - Does not include coverage of 2014 Olympic Winter Games - Source: (p. 7) 2013 ISU GRAND PRIX OF FIGURE SKATING SERIES - 2013 Hilton HHonors Skate America Oct. 20, 2013 4-6 p.m. NBC (LIVE) - Skate Canada Oct. 27, 2013 4-6 p.m. NBC - Cup of China Nov. 3, 2013 1:30-3:30 p.m. NBC - NHK Trophy (Japan) Nov. 10, 2013 1:30-3:30 p.m. NBC - Trophée Eric Bompard (France) Nov. 17, 2013 4:30-6 p.m. NBC - Rostelecom Cup (Russia) Nov. 24, 2013 2-4 p.m. NBC - Grand Prix Final (Fukuoka, Japan) Dec. 8, 2013 Noon-2 p.m. NBC 2014 PRUDENTIAL U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS - Jan. 11, 2014 3-6 p.m. NBC (LIVE) - Jan. 11, 2014 8-11 p.m. NBC (LIVE) [caveat: USFS announcement as of Jan 2013 had said 9-11 pm] - Jan. 12, 2014 4-6 p.m. NBC (LIVE) 2014 Smucker’s Skating Spectacular - Jan. 18, 2014 4–6 p.m. ET NBC 2014 European Championships - Jan. 19, 2014 4–6 p.m. ET NBC 2014 Four Continents Championships - Feb. 1, 2014 4:30–6 p.m. ET NBC 2014 World Championships - April 13, 2014 3–6 p.m. ET NBC Disson Skating Series on NBC (check local listings) All times are ET. - Sunday, Nov. 24, 4-6 p.m. Musselman's Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute - Sunday, Dec. 1, 4-6 p.m. Pandora Unforgettable Holiday Moments on Ice - Sunday, Jan. 5, 1-3 p.m. Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular - Saturday, Feb. 1, 2:30-4:30 p.m. P&G & Walmart Tribute to American Legends of the Ice Source: (Sep 13) See Disson Skating website for lists of cast members. ALSO: ESPN documentary on Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan - Tue, Nov 5, 2013, 8 pm ET

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Irene F. Jackson obituary

Jackson, Irene F. SLINGERLANDS Irene Fretz Jackson passed away on Wednesday, April 10, 2013. Born and raised in central New York (Morrisville), Irene and her husband Bob settled in Albany in 1950, and to their home in Loudonville in 1954. Irene was a resident of Loudonville for over 50 years and was remembered for her captivating smile and personality. She cared for her home and family, raised two boys, and was active in the First Presbyterian Church where she sang in the church choir for 57 years. Several of those years were as a soprano soloist as well as being lead in several local musical productions. Also associated with the church, she was active in social justice causes and spearheaded the development of a facility for women alcoholics in the Capital District. Irene is survived by her husband of 67 years, Bob Jackson; her son, Todd; daughter-in-law, Cindy and granddaughter, Nicole. She was predeceased by her son, Jay, age 57, in 2007. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, June 1, 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Albany. Irene's life passions included the church and music. In lieu of flowers, Irene would have appreciated memorial contributions to one's own church or music program, or to First Presbyterian Church located at 362 State St., Albany, NY 12210. To leave a special message online for the family, visit

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

Monday, January 07, 2013

Carolyn Garvin obit

DELMAR - Carolyn H. Garvin, beloved mother, grandmother and sister, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center. Born in Arlington Heights, Mass., she was the fourth of six children of the late E. Weston Hulse and Jessie Shumaker Hulse of Binghamton. She is predeceased by her sister, Dorothy E. Parr (John) of Camp Hill, Pa.; her brother-in-law, Eugene Meyer of Maple Park, Ill., and her daughter, Michele Jean Garvin of Selkirk. She is survived by her husband, the Rev. Robert Merrill Garvin, Ph.D., of Albany; her daughter, Christine Marie Flandera of Delmar; her son, Paul Stewart Garvin (Karen) of Springfield, Va.; her grandchildren, Marie Elaine Flandera of Cleveland, Heather Jean Flandera of Schenectady, Shawn Lamont Blue of Delmar and Mason Stewart Garvin, Taylor Glenn Gibson and Katerine Evan Gibson of Springfield; her sisters, Mary L. Drewry (Granger) of San Marcos, Calif., and Charlotte W. Meyer of Maple Park; her brothers, Weston E. Hulse (Barbara) of Roseville, Calif., and Frank R. Hulse (Nancy) of East Wenatchee, Wash.; her close family friends, J. Melvin Bostic and James N. Blue of Delmar; four great-grandsons, and numerous cousins, nephews, nieces and friends in the Capital Region. Carolyn was raised and educated in Binghamton, where she was best known as a tomboy, chasing the neighborhood boys with snakes and outplaying them in baseball, while graduating as valedictorian of Binghamton Central High School in 1947. She received her BS degree in education at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., where she met her husband, Robert M. Garvin. While he pursued a divinity degree, Carolyn taught fourth grade in Tenafly, N.J. After leaving New York City, she filled the role of co-director of a migrant labor camp in King Ferry, N.Y. They moved to Albany when Robert was given an associate pastor role at the First Presbyterian Church and she filled the role as a minister's wife, being especially active with the youth ministry. In the turbulent 60s, she was very active in the Civil Rights movement. At this time, she also helped start the Montessori School of Albany and filled the role of executive director of Planned Parenthood of Albany, where she provided counseling and support to young women and their families. After spending many years raising a family, she yearned to get back to her passion of helping the underprivileged, so she got her master's degree in social work at SUNY Albany and re-entered the workforce. After rewarding internships at the Berkshire Center for Families and Children in Pittsfield, Mass. and the psychiatric in-patient unit at Albany Medical Center, Carolyn spent several years as the director of the Kairos Center for Care and Counseling in Albany, where she provided counseling services for individuals, couples and families. She ended her professional career as a social worker with the Eleanor Roosevelt Developmental Services in Albany, where she provided exhaustive care and support to the mentally challenged and their families. Concurrently, she provided supervision for case managers at the O.D. Heck Developmental Center in Albany. She has been a member of First Presbyterian Church of Albany for many years and has acted both as elder and deacon several times over the years, where she was able to provide community outreach and act as ombudsman for the elderly. She loved gardening, raised several cats and their litters over the decades and could be seen walking her dog, Frodo, throughout the streets of Delmar in the 90s. She was a frequent visitor of the trails at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center. Carolyn also traveled extensively, spending a year in Asia in 1970, summers at Lake George and Cape Cod and participating in several elder-hostel adventures. Relatives and friends are invited to her funeral service at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon, January 5, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church, corner of Willett and State streets in Albany. Friends are invited to her calling hours Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be in Bethlehem Cemetery in the spring. The family has requested that those who wish to make memorial contributions in her name do so to either the Alzheimer's Association ( or Habitat for Humanity ( See website.