02 June 2010


WHITE RABBIT SWING. Those of a certain age will remember the acid rock song White Rabbit, performed by Jefferson Airplane in 1967. The song remains iconic, with its veiled references to psychedelics, its Bolero crescendo across the length of the performance, and the shading of Spanish influence. This morning I came across Music Machinery, a music technology website -- this post tweaks familiar music to a swing rhythm. I love swing, and while the site's version of White Rabbit is a sly rendering, it's a bit tepid. So I went YouTubing, and found a few more satisfying examples of swing - The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B, as performed by The Andrews Sisters and by Bette Midler.

Here is WR by the Jefferson Airplane, still the best version ever.
Here is WR in the Music Machinery version -- (scroll to the bottom).
Here is BWBB by The Andrews Sisters (1940).
Here is BWBB by Bette Midler, the Divine Miss M.

LOSING IT. Rarely do I watch non-PBS broadcast TV. Last night I chanced upon a scene from Losing It With Jillian, a weight loss reality show. The genre holds little appeal for me, aside from the original, Survivor. But the vignette arrested my attention. Rather than contrived melodrama or cornball scenarios, LITJ focuses on a real problem in our culture, obesity, one family at a time. Jillian Michaels is part workout trainer, part dietician, part counselor, and part in-your-face drill instructor (she's also a martial artist). She's not afraid to challenge weak excuses and self-indulgent habits with hard truth, even if it takes a confrontational tone to shake things up. Which is what our obesity epidemic needs, seems to me.

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