Don’t Panic

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

I’d like to remind you dear reader of one of the facts of life that are evergreen (as evidenced by the fact this post was started four months ago).

It doesn’t matter what the national or generic ballot polls show on 2018 (or any) midterms.  What is actually going to matter is the polling in the individual swing districts that Democrats have to win in order to take the House they in fact have absolutely no chance of taking the senate, you can quote me on that.

So it doesn’t matter if the GOP is very unpopular in Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco or if the entire Massachusetts delegation can’t stand the president what matters is how the various GOP/DEM candidates in swing districts think.  Are they getting more money in their paycheck? Did they get a bonus due to the Tax plan?  Are there new jobs and manufacturing plants opening up nearby?

These are the things that matter, more importantly they matter in the individual districts that the midterms will be won and lost in.

If you want to know what is going to happen in the fall I would suggest ignoring the national polls and start paying attention to the polls in any individual districts that aren’t considered a sure thing in 2018.

Granted it’s very possible that these polls might be garbage depending on how the questions are asked and the sample sizes and distributions so judge accordingly but let’s not give those national polls more attention than they deserve.

By John Ruberry

Synesthesia: “A sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain color,” so says Dictionary.com.

If there is a void in your musical life and you are a fan of the Kinks and the Beatles, or perhaps Oasis, then I suggest you explore the career of XTC, the most unappreciated band of its time.

And what a time it was. XTC was part of the Class of 1977, rock and roll’s last great year in my opinon, when the Clash, Blondie, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello and many more burst onto the musical scene. By 1999, after a seven year strike against its British label, when they released their penultimate album, Apple Venus Volume 1, only Costello and XTC remained as active acts.

Like the Beatles, XTC evolved musically into a much different group when it was all over.

Late last year in Great Britain and early this year in the United States, the documentary, yes, rockumentarty, XTC: This Is Pop was released. It’s available where I live on Showtime and Xfinity OnDemand.

What became XTC began in the southwestern English city of Swindon, the onetime home of the Swindon Works of the Great Western Railway, with a band started by its de facto leader, Andy Partridge. Bassist Colin Moulding and drummer Terry Chambers rounded out the nucleus of the group. London keyboardist Barry Andrews, the only XTCer who is not interviewed for This Is Pop, later joined; he appears on the band’s first two albums, White Music and GO2, which comprise the band’s punk period. After Andrews’ departure he was replaced by another Swindonian, guitarist Dave Gregory.

“I actually think we started pretty damn good and then got a lot better. And there’s not too many bands can say that’s their arc,” Partridge immodestly but correctly boasts about XTC.

Yet there is some humor in This Is Pop that offsets the braggadocio.

“Don’t you dare have-into this documentary,” Partridge waves off “that lugubrious keyboard player from that prog-rock group,” Rick Wakeman of Yes, who makes a hilarious cameo.

Partridge says of his troubled childhood, “I never thought I was good at anything until I got more and more into drawing and painting.”

Imagine if legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, who early in his life aspired to be a painter, formed a rock group instead. It just might have sounded like XTC.

The band’s breakthrough in 1979 came not from a Partridge-penned tune but one by Moulding, “We’re Only Making Plans For Nigel” from their third album, Drums and Wires, which Little Marathon Pundit said of the other day, “That’s one song I like.” If its sonorous drum patterns seem familiar, that’s because engineer Hugh Padham discovered that effect while recoding “Nigel” before bringing the technique to Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight.” Many other 1980s acts swiped that sound.

The next two albums, Black Sea and English Settlement, brought more–albeit modest–success and momentum to XTC as it rounded out its New Wave period. But as the Kinks often bungled their career, XTC’ sabotaged things too, although not intentionally as I’ve always suspected the Kinks did. The effects of Partridge’s Valium addiction, which went back to when he was 12, and the withdrawal effects, led to a nervous breakdown during a Paris concert–which is shown in This Is Pop. The lads from Swindon still traveled to the United States for their first tour as a headliner. But what should have been an American victory lap lasted just one show. Outside of a smattering of radio and television appearances, they never performed live again.

XTC’s pastoral era brought three albums, Mummer, The Big Express, and Skylarking. But within that period XTC’s psychedelic alter ego, the Dukes of Stratosphear, released two collections that outsold those last two in the UK.

Before recording Skylarking, Partridge tells us, their record label issued an ultimatum: You need to grow your American audience and hire an American producer. Presented with a list of unfamiliar names, Partridge chose the only one he had heard of: Todd Rundgren. The result was the band’s masterpiece, Skylarking. On it you find the conceptual orchestral greatness of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. But because Partridge and “Runt” butted heads–they probably had too much in common–the studio atmosphere mirrored the angst of the Beatles’ White Album recording sessions. XTC came close to blowing this moment too as the original pressings of Skylarking omitted the best song from the Rundgren sessions, the controversial atheist anthem “Dear God.” It was the B-side of the “Grass” single. American deejays elevated “Dear God” to prominence. Their record company was right, XTC needed a jump start from America.

Earlier I mentioned synesthesia. “How I write a lot of the songs, I will find a chord or a chord change on a guitar or on a keyboard,” Partridge describes his songwriting technique, “and I’m playing those but not I’m not hearing music–I’m seeing pictures. That’s how I write songs, it comes usually from the synesthesic level.”

And I wager you thought I was overreaching with the Akira Kurosawa comparison.

“Synesthesia is where you get stuff mixed up,” Partridge expands on his thoughts, “someone will say a number and you’ll hear a noise, or someone will show you a color and you’ll think of a number, or you’ll hear a peace of music or a chord and to me it makes a picture.”

And that is why XTC’s music is different.

The follow-up to Skylarking was 1989’s Oranges and Lemons, another success as XTC entered its proto-Britpop era.

Chambers left during the pastoral period and Gregory departed shortly after XTC’s recording strike ended. Their band’s final album, Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2), was released in 2000.

An eclectic group of commentators contribute context to This Is Pop, including Stewart Copeland of the Police, Blondie’s Clem Burke, and a veteran mockumentary performer, Harry Shearer, who, unlike Wakeman, plays it straight here.

Woven into This Is Pop is the countryside of southwestern England and a model train set winding through an intricately-reconstructed Swindon, because it doesn’t seem possible to separate XTC from their hometown.

XTC: This Is Pop is an essential film about an essential band, a group that belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The documentary can be streamed on Amazon.

John Ruberry, who has been an XTC fan since 1979 after hearing “We’re Only Making Plans for Nigel” on WXRT-FM in Chicago, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

No matter how “woke” you think you are, you are tolerating things right now that will make you cringe in 25 years. – Bill Maher

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. – inigo Montoya, “The Princess Bride”

While I disagree with some of the specific examples Bill Maher cited in the linked video above, I agree with his two main points. The first is that it is silly to judge people or actions out of the context of their time, and the second is that years from now we will be appalled at the things that are being done in our society today. I shudder to think that twenty-five years from now our society could possibly be more “woke” than it is today, mostly because I have to believe that we have reached peak silliness in the perceived intersectional injustices that are supposedly perpetrated by us normal Americans. When Starbucks can be accused of being racist simply because a store manager did not want to allow non-paying non-customers to squat in a store, thus keeping paying customers from using the space, then you know that the Left has truly crossed the Rubicon of Wokeness, and no one is safe.

Of course, the biggest problem is that real damage is being done right now, not only to our society, but to individuals who are caught up in all this intersectionality and wokeness.

When my son was going to college a few years ago, he filled out a survey and his college provided him with several other incoming freshmen to contact to see if they might be suitable roommates. He contacted one individual, but upon learning that this student was militantly homosexual, sexually active and expected his roommate to be OK with this, my son politely declined to room with this individual and selected another roommate. I wonder how long it will be until some student like my son is brought up on charges by the school for being “intolerant” of such a potential roommate – even though my son would have chosen not to room with a sexually active heterosexual as well – and perhaps being forced to live in this situation as a way to “expand his views” or some other such “woke” nonsense.

We are in the process of visiting schools with my daughter, and encountered a surprising trend among several “elite” colleges that we’ve visited. Gone are the days when dorms were segregated by male and female floors, or even wings, and the idea of male and female bathrooms has gone the way of the dodo. At several of these schools, males and females share the bathroom, including shower facilities. Apparently the showers are individual locked stalls, but that still means that my freshman daughter could step out of the shower in her robe, and be faced with a male senior who may only be wrapped in a towel shaving at the sink next to her. Now, given the #MeToo environment we are currently living in, I am fairly confident that any male in such a situation would be scrupulously careful not to give his female neighbors any pretext by which to accuse him of harassment, but that doesn’t really make the situation a good one. And if it were my son in this situation, I would tell him to shower at 2am and make sure there were no women in the bathroom to avoid just such a possibility. How is that possibly a good environment for either sex?

The only possible “solution” to this quandary at any of the non-Catholic schools we visited was the traditionally all-female dorm at one school. Of course, given the times we’re in, this has now been expanded to the all-female-and-gender-non-binary dorm. This means that my daughter could be sharing the bathroom with a man who claims to be a woman. I wonder if such a person would be nearly as scrupulous as the male in the co-ed bathroom about covering himself in the presence of my daughter. After all, if he’s a “woman” what’s the big deal? And I’m sure that my daughter – or your daughter – would be the one brought up on disciplinary charges for complaining about the situation.

It is my sincere hope that, when we look back on these times twenty-five years hence, our society is in a place where “wokeness” is the what-were-you-thinking absurdity. It has to be, because if it’s not, then that means that we’ve gone even further ‘round the bend and I can’t even imagine what that might be like.

I have said on more than one occasion that I think Pope Francis is a mixed bag.  He talks a lot about mercy and the reality of the Devil which is very good but tends to act like a local pastor ignoring that he is the head of the entire church which is very bad.  I think he, like most Popes, has been mediocre.

Since we had a canonized saint as Pope (John Paul II) for over a quarter of a century it’s natural that Francis would pale in comparison but there are real reasons to critique the way this Pope has handled things from China and the underground church to the Dubia which has still remained unanswered after over 550 days.  It is entirely proper to critique these failures, nevertheless he is still the Pope the head of the church until God wills that he is not.

There is always the danger that such a critique progresses to the point of considering the Holy Father our enemy ( which ironically would require us per the non-optional doctrine of the church, to love him and to pray for him) and causes us to embrace that first of the deadly sins, pride which Christ warned us of.

Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’

But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’

I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:10-14

And we can we can be sure that if our zeal takes us there our foe the Devil will be at our shoulder trying to tempt us in just that direction.

So what are we to do if we want to do something yet want to avoid crossing the line that our true enemy wants us to?  Fortunately as Catholics there is simple answer.

Prayer and Fasting.

I propose a three-day period of Prayer for the Pope, the Church and ourselves, where we implore God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit to bless, the entire Universal Church on earth.

For these three days I propose the following prayers:

Starting the day with an Our Father in the morning asking God the father to provide for the basic needs of the Church.

At midday A Divine Mercy Chaplet in the Afternoon to implore God mercy for the church through the sacrifice of God the Son.

Ending the Day with the Come Holy Spirit asking the God the Holy Spirit to envelop the entire church with the Spirit of discipleship.

For these three days I further propose a fast of varying degrees depending on one’s circumstances.

Abstaining from meat (full disclosure I already abstain on Wednesdays)

An Ash Wednesday like fast

A complete fast.

One could choose any of these or to progress from one to the next each day.

I further propose to begin this on May 8th the Feast of Apparition of St. Michael the defender of the church and end May 10th a feast day for Martyrs (Saints Gordian and Epimachus) High Churchmen ( St. Comgall, Abbot St. Cataldus Bishop, St. Antoninus, Archbishop) and ordinary people (St. Isidore) thus representing both the heavenly nature of such a prayer and the earthly span of the church from high to low.

If we want to banish the demons that plague the church and ourselves this is the way to do it, after all this is exactly what Christ suggested :

Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting“.

That’s good enough for me.

by baldilocks

I’m a little confused by this development.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an updated statement on Friday urging consumers not to buy or consume romaine lettuce “unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region.”

“Based on new information, CDC is expanding its warning to consumers to cover all types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region. This warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.”

The new warning comes after investigators discovered that inmates from a correctional facility in Alaska became ill after reportedly eating lettuce “from whole heads of romaine lettuce” from the affected region, the CDC said.(…)

There have been 53 reported cases in 16 states. Of those infected with the E. coli strain, 31 people have been hospitalized. Although there are not reported deaths, five people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a kind of kidney failure.

I consider myself a bit of a green salad aficionado, since one of my Mom-mandated chores was to make the salad. The basic ingredients were tomatoes, green bell peppers, scallions and mushrooms. Optional ingredients: marinated artichoke hearts. (In my adulthood, I tend to improvise. Example: I prefer red onions.)

Oh yes, and there was always lettuce: red leaf, butter leaf and/or romaine. We turned up our noses up at iceberg.

My mom was and is a stickler for the preparation. Wash each leaf individually and thoroughly; tear the leaves into fork sized piece; absolutely no freaking spine.

See that first item? Wash the lettuce and every other fresh produce.

I can see pulling pre-prepared romaine salads off the shelf and foregoing the same from restaurants, but wouldn’t simply thoroughly washing the lettuce you buy yourself – perhaps using some produce washer — fix the problem or reduce the chance of there being one?

Help me out here.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

Image from Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/democracychronicles/15933907480

I’m ecstatic to see that North Korea is not only talking about denuclearization, but is also willing to conduct direct negotiations with the U.S. and end the Korean War. In the past, it seemed all we ever got from North Korea was more demands with little promise of anything in return. Sure, it could all be a ruse, but I’m guessing that there is at least a little bit of genuine desire for peace.

Most people in the U.S. are probably thinking of a peace treaty and eventual reunified Korea, with the accompanying butterflies and rainbows. However, there are two darker aspects we should probably consider:
Continue reading “Some undesirable end states for Korea”

Michael Corleone: C’mon Frankie… my father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth.
Frank Pentangeli: Your father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth… but he never *trusted* Hyman Roth!

The Godfather part 2 1974

Trust but verity

Ronald Reagan

We are now seeing what happens when the US refuses to play the useful idiot for North Korea and China. War between North & South Korea may end before War between the MSM & Donald Trump

As long as the US could be counted on to pay every time China asked the North to rattle a saber the status quo was inevitable, but once the Trump administration made it clear that not only were they no longer paying but we were no longer going to be the chumps of China everything changed.

It’s now looking very possible that we will see an actual peace treaty between North and South Korea. If such a peace can be achieved then it should be done and if it IS done then Donald Trump will go down in history and the media and left will go absolutely insane.

All that being said I would be very careful about trusting the North Koreans about anything, particularly if I was the south. Yes it would be nice if the north recognized that they and the south were the same people of the same race and the same culture, but it’s also true that they were the same people, of the same race with the same culture when they first invaded the south in an attempt to impose communist rule.

Update: That’s gonna leave a mark

Happy Friday! Here are some oddball things I came across, submitted for your enjoyment…

It is “spring” here in New York’s Scenic Hudson Valley, but The Winter That Will Not Die rained ice chips on me while I walked the dogs yesterday and there are still mounds of unmelted snow along side driveways and parking lots in the neighborhood, but I don’t think I have much to complain about because at least we are not buried in tumbleweeds like they are in Victorville, California:

High winds have left a California desert town buried in tumbleweeds. Residents of Victorville, which is northeast of Los Angeles were shocked when hundreds of tumbleweeds blew into their town, burying everything in their wake, including 150 homes. There were so many weeds that they reached the second story of some of the houses.

Video captured and posted to YouTube showed massive piles of the weeds blowing through the town, completely covering some homes as clean-up crews worked to remove the tumbleweed.   MORE

H/T iOTWReport.com

When I saw a headline earlier this week about how some human beings have a genetic mutation that allows them to remain underwater for longer than most people, I expected I’d find out that they’d grown gills, but it turns out that they have special spleens. Via National Geographic:

If you hold your breath and plunge your face into a tub of water, your body automatically triggers what’s called the diving response. Your heart rate slows, your blood vessels constrict, and your spleen contracts, all reactions that help you save energy when you’re low on oxygen.

Most people can hold their breath underwater for a few seconds, some for a few minutes. But a group of people called the Bajau takes free diving to the extreme, staying underwater for as long as 13 minutes at depths of around 200 feet. These nomadic people live in waters winding through the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, where they dive to hunt for fish or search for natural elements that can be used in crafts.

Now, a study in the journal Cell offers the first clues that a DNA mutation for larger spleens gives the Bajau a genetic advantage for life in the deep.  READ MORE

H/T: Instapundit

Two cops were having a rough time trying to arrest a couple of miscreants who were violently resisting. One cop was knocked unconscious, when a female off duty medical assistant came to the rescue with a BODY SLAM to one of the thugs (also a female) who was attacking the cops. The bystander turned heroine then held the crook in place until the downed officer was back up and the cops could finish  the arrest. Via FoxNews:

Officer Brian Lowenhagen and Sgt. Eric Walters were attempting to arrest the suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Jacob R. Hellenbrand, outside of a convenience store on Sunday when a woman who was with him punched Loewenhagen “numerous times,” according to the police department.

As Sgt. Walters attempted to restrain the woman, identified as 21-year-old Olivia J. Boomsma, the “male was able to blade his body toward Sgt. Walters and forcefully kick Sgt. Walters on the right side of his face and head,” according to the police department.

Around that same time, an off-duty medical assistant who had stopped in the convenience store on her way home came to the rescue.

Divine Savior Hospital employee Vanessa Guerra ran toward the officers after she noticed Walters had fallen unconscious. As she was checking on him, the “female suspect was beginning to fight with Officer Loewenhagen again and was yelling about having a knife in her pocket,” police said.

That’s when Guerra “disregarded her own safety to help protect the officers,” the police department explained. She “body-slammed” Boomsma against a wall and “held her there until Sgt. Walters resumed consciousness and was able to handcuff the female,” the station added.

“I’m in the medical profession. When you get into that mode, you’re there for your patients, you’re there for the person that you see in need. And that’s what you do,” the medical assistant later told WKOW.

Portage Police Chief Manthey of the Portage Police Department thanked Guerra for her bravery, WKOW reported. RTWT

Dogs. They really do make everything better! Via SunnySkyz:

A group of Border Collies are having the time of their lives and they don’t even realize how much they are helping the planet.

Last year, wildfires in central Chile destroyed over a million acres of forest land.

Months later, a unique team was brought in to help restore the damaged ecosystem.

A border collie named Das and her two daughters,Olivia and Summer, have been fitted with special backpacks that allow them to distribute native plant seeds throughout burned forests.

Although the task is a serious one, it’s an excuse for the dogs to have fun.

“They reeeeeally love [it]!!” their owner, Francisca Torres, told Mother Nature Network. “It’s a country trip, where they can run as fast as they can and have a great time.”

Depending on the terrain, the four-legged trio can cover as many as 18 miles in a day and distribute more than 20 pounds of seeds.

Credit: Instagram / summerbordercollie via SunnySkyz

Dogs helping to reforest the forest. The longer I live, the longer I come to believe that there is little in this world that cannot be improved with dogs.

Have a nice weekend!

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

A friend of mine has a new book out, here is a bit from the press release about it.

When Islamic terror strikes,liberals insist that it has nothing to do with Islam. Author Michael Isenberg disagrees. His new book,The Thread of Reason,shows why. Not only is the ideology of terror deeply rooted in Muslim thought,going back to medieval times, but its sources may be found in the writings of one of the most revered figures in Islam.

The Thread of Reason tells the story of the assassination of Nizam al-Mulk, who ruled the Seljuq Empire,wielding more power than the sultans he served—until the fall night in 1092 when a terrorist’s blade struck him down on the road to Baghdad.

Determined to learn who was behind the murder of his chief minister, the sultan turns to the two smartest people he knows: the leading scholar of science,Omar Khayyam, and the leading scholar of shari’ah(Islamic Law), Abu Hamid Ghazali.

“The assassination of Nizam al-Mulk happened in real life,” Isenberg says. “In my fiction book I solve the mystery of who was behind it.
“Khayyam and Ghazali were real people. Khayyamwas quite a character. He’s the only figure I came across in my research who played practical jokes. In the west he’s known for a collection of poems he wrote called the Rubaiyat—Sheldon

If you like historical fiction you’ll like his book. You can buy his book here.

Of course even a fictional account of Islam can get you into trouble with the SPLC of course that was until someone decided to stand up to their Anti-Muslim extremist scam

As those of who you’ve perused my occasional scribblings here have doubtless noted, I’m something of a fan of classic Christian rock. And am occasionally prone to understatement, although it’s not my superpower. I don’t have one of those. But I digress.

Anyway, a longtime favorite band is The 77s. Hailing from Sacramento, thus making them about the only worthwhile thing to come from that political cesspool, The 77s, led by singer/guitarist extraordinaire/main songwriter Mike Roe, are one of those extremely rare bands that manages to carve two distinct yet not unconnected musical paths, one in earthy blues and one in shimmering guitar pop. And they’ve been doing so for decades.

Lately Roe has carried a heavy burden, taking care of his father as he has steadily drawn closer to the end of his days on this earth. Like most every other Christian rocker from back in the day, Roe is anything but independently wealthy, and needing to focus on his dad’s needs instead of making a living with his music has taken a toll. Thus the title of this post: you help him by buying some downloads and perhaps a CD or two, Roe blesses you with his musical and lyrical gift.

Ah, but where to begin — for that matter, where to find out what Roe and the 77s sound like? Glad you asked. (You did ask, didn’t you?) Your faithful scribe has assembled not one, not even two, but three playlists. So as not to overwhelm, I’ll list one a week plus a bonus track from one of the other playlists. The first two focus respectively on the gritty and graceful highlights from The 77s first two lineups, whereas the third covers the band’s third and current incarnation. Each song title links to the band’s Bandcamp page where you can listen and buy, with a few exceptions which shall be noted as they occur. Shall we?

Playlist One

This playlist focuses on the band’s heavier work from 1982 through 1994.

Perfect Blues (from Sticks and Stones; originally released in 1990) One of Roe’s greatest gifts is the ability to lyrically play devil’s advocate, or if you prefer illustrating those on the wrong side of the spiritual tracks. Driven by an irresistible rhythm and hook, Roe evidences his Clapton-level guitar skills — yes, he is instrumentally accomplished to where he is properly noted as being a legit six-string master — and weaves his magic.

What Was In That Letter (from Seventy Sevens; originally released in 1987) Roe has never shied away from discussing relationships, be they good or bad. This time through, along with co-writer Mark Tootle who played keyboards and guitar in the band’s first lineup, he ices a powerhouse tune with musings on just how powerful words are on both their intended recipient and those near to said recipient.

Make A Difference Tonight (from All Fall Down; originally released in 1984) Written by Roe, Tootle, and the band’s original drummer Mark Proctor, this mix of sparse verses and slamming chorus showcases a lyrical cry for deliverance. And may mark the only time you’ll hear the words thatches and tares in a song.

Woody (from Pray Naked; originally released in 1992) Written by Roe and bassist Mark Harmon, who joined the group in its second lineup. Laid atop a massive guitar riff, it’s another lyrical cry for deliverance, albeit this time through from a believer.

Snowblind (from Drowning With Land In Sight; originally released in 1994) Written by Roe and Harmon. What, every Christian band doesn’t do heavy blues to the point of near metal songs about cocaine addiction? Side note: currently unavailable for purchase along with the rest of the album from which it comes, but it will be re-released later this year.

Nuts For You (from Pray Naked) Don’t have the songwriter information in front of me for this one; sorry. This is Roe and company at their most playful. In keeping with the band’s pattern of lyrics you’ll never hear elsewhere in Christian music, this time through the line of choice is “bust my butt.”

Mercy Mercy (from All Fall Down) Written by Roe and Proctor. A near demented Bo Diddley rhythm drives this rock’n’roll revival. Don’t miss the video featuring Roe as a frenetic backwoods preacher.

Caught In An Unguarded Moment (from All Fall Down) Written by Tootle, Proctor, and Roe. Aaron Smith, who before he replaced Proctor after The 77s first album was in San Francisco new wave favorites Romeo Void, lays it down as Roe and company counterpart with a stark musical/lyrical observation of life’s fragility.

Descriptions coming for:

I Can’t Get Over It (from Seventy SevensWritten by Roe and Dave Leonhardt, who would become a member of The 77s second lineup.

MT (from Sticks And Stones)

Falling Down A Hole (from Ping Pong Over The Abyss; originally released in 1982)

Deep End (from Pray Naked)

Don’t, This Way (from Sticks And Stones)

Nobody’s Fault But Mine (from Drowning With Land In Sight)

Jesus (presently unavailable)

And the bonus track from the second, mellower playlist: The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes & The Pride Of Life