Saturday Odds & Sods: Silent House

House By The Railroad by Edward Hopper.

Since the recent death of a family member, I’ve had mortality on my mind. Hence this week’s theme song and an appropriately somber featured image by Edward Hopper.

Silent House is a song about grief and loss. It was a collaboration between Neil Finn and Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, and Emily Robison of The Dixie Chicks. For more information about the song, click here.

The Dixie Chicks recorded Silent House first on their 2006 album Taking The Long Way. Crowded House cut their version for 2007’s Time Of Earth. Since I’m more of a Crowdie fan and prefer their version, we’ll start with it. Sorry, Chicks.

I hope everyone remembers the whole The Dixie Chicks controversy involving their opposition to the Bush-Cheney administration’s War in Iraq. In this Rodney Crowell song, the Yuppie neo-con narrator calls them out.

Now that we’ve heard Rodney sing “give it to me” repeatedly, let’s jump to the break.

Before moving on, here are two more house songs; neither by Crowded House.

We begin our second act with a statuesque piece about statues. Did that make sense? Beats the hell outta me.

Fallen Idols: There’s a great piece in the Guardian about the Saddam Hussein statute toppling in Baghdad. It was a made for teevee event as it happened across the street from the hotel where the international press was staying. It was not a spontaneous action taken by outraged Iraqi citizens. It was designed for Fox News. Anyone surprised? No wonder Natalie Maines was ashamed that George W Bush was from her home state of Texas.

Alex von Tunzelman takes a deep dive into the Saddam statue toppling in the context of more recent topplings. It’s toppling notch article. Click here for the details.

Saddam was clearly no angel, but the fallen part of this song applies. What’s not to love about John Wetton’s vocal?

Our next segment links to an excerpt from a book about presidential besties. You know how much I love book excerpts.

Clinton/Jordan: One of the most interesting presidential friendships was that between Bill Clinton and Vernon Jordan. For many years, Jordan was the president of the Urban League thereby one of the nation’s leading Civil Rights leaders. He was a large and charismatic man who died earlier this year at the age of 86.

The Clinton/Jordan friendship was forged in the aftermath of Clinton’s devastating loss in his 1980 gubernatorial reelection campaign. Jordan was one of the few who encouraged him to make a comeback. We know how that turned out.

Until reading the Vanity Fair except from Gary Ginsburg’s First Friends I did not know this:

… Jordan offered one more piece of advice—to his friend Hillary Rodham: she needed to start using “Clinton” as her last name. If Bill was going to make a political comeback, and do it in Arkansas, Hillary had to accede to the conventions of the time. As Bill Clinton recounted, “Vernon said to her, ‘I’m older than you are. I think keeping [the] last name is bothering a lot of older Black people and we need them all.’ And Hillary thought: if Vernon believed she could do it and maintain her integrity and be who she was, it made her think she could do it.” Hillary agreed: “It was important to have his voice in that decision. I respected his intelligence and political experience, and really paid attention.”

My first wife kept her name, which was fine by me even if it bothered my father. Dr. A took my family name in order to take advantage of what she calls the Greek connection. We are everywhere.

The last word of the segment goes to James Taylor:

Close Call: I’ve been meaning to share this hair-raising account of the night Jill McCabe Johnson met a man who turned out to be Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer. She’s still haunted by the fact that he let her live. For the details, get thee to Slate.

The last word of our second act goes to CCR.

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I’ve been in a presidential casting mode of late. Here’s another one of Bill Clinton with Dennis Quaid who played him in The Special Relationship.

The Special Relationship was written by Peter Morgan who’s best known for The Crown. It’s about the friendship between Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the former’s second term and the latter’s first.

It’s time for some lagniappe with Blair and Michael Sheen who played him several other times:

Movie List: I should have done this list for Halloween, but I have houses, silent, crowded, and otherwise, on my mind.

My Top Ten Favorite Haunted House Movies

  1.  Poltergeist (1982)
  2.  The Haunting Of Hill House (Netflix mini-series)
  3.  The Conjuring
  4.  House On Haunted Hill
  5.  The Haunting
  6.  The Innocents
  7.  The Uninvited (1944)
  8.  The Old Dark House (1932)
  9.  Insidious
  10.  Winchester

I loved going to the Winchester Mystery House when I was a kid. We always took out of town visitors there until I became a teenager and sold my soul to rock and roll. Oh well, what the hell.

Speaking of things that go bump in the night, the last word of the segment goes to Crowded House:

Saturday GIF Horse: It’s a duel between Stephen Colbert and Padma Lakshmi. He’s lucky she let him live. She’s one tough broad.

Now that we’ve packed our knives and gone, let’s check in on Michael Imperioli and Steve Schrippa.

Talking Sopranos Moment:  The podcast is full of non sequiturs. Here’s a ghostly one.

Steve does not believe in ghosts. Michael does. Steve mocks him relentlessly.

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Classic: I’m on the record as a big Joni Mitchell fan. This is one of her most underrated efforts.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Crowded House 3.0: Liam Finn, Mitchell Froom, Neil Finn, Elroy Finn, and Nick Seymour.

3 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Silent House

  1. Understand, kind of like picking your favorite lesser known
    Beatles song.
    I’m lucky too have been a poor, under opportunities, Art History

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