Songs You May Have Missed #344


Jose Gonzalez and Banda Criolla: “Bomba Te Traigo Yo” (1994)


The song’s title translates as “I bring you Bomba” and it’s a celebration of the bomba style of party music, traditional in Puerto Rico and based on African rhythms. Acoustic guitar and cuatro (a native, guitar-like stringed instrument) create a buoyant blend in a song that speaks of the “delicious rhythm” of “the land where I was born”.

“Puerto Rico” means “rich port”. And the phrase certainly seems to apply to its music.

See also:

Video of the Week: The Capitol Steps–‘Take Ten Pills and You’re Fine’

The Capitol Steps have been putting the mock in Democracy for over thirty years now. As songs and albums with titles like Take the Money and Run for President, Liberal Shop of Horrors and “Embattled Hymn of the Republicans” suggest, no one on either side of the proverbial aisle is safe from their razor-sharp skewering.

Here they take aim at the pill-pushing pharmaceutical companies.

This is How Mr. Spock Would Propose Marriage

(Reprinted from Mail Online)

by Katie Davies

The nerdiest proposal ever? Scientist proposes to girlfriend with an  academic paper assessing their relationship

A physicist’s marriage proposal has gone viral after he asked his girlfriend to marry him by presenting her with a scientific paper on their relationship.

The proposal from Australian physicist Brendan McMonigal comes in the form of a heart-warming mock academic study entitled ‘Two Body Interactions: A Longitudinal Study’.

‘The summary of the findings of the study are presented in Figure 1 and that that the project happiness is upward with high confidence,’ it says.

‘Taking these results into account, the author proposes to Christie the indefinite continuation of the study. The subjects response to their proposal should be indicated below.’

The paper features a ‘happiness graph’ and is littered with somewhat unromantic scientific terms such as ‘optimal conditions’ and ‘high level of compatibility’.

The scientist explains the stages of the couple’s relationship from their initial meeting at the University of Sydney seven years ago to the section titled ‘Conclusions’ offering Christie Nelan a Yes/No box to tick.


‘The summary of the findings of the study are presented in Figure 1 and that that the project happiness is upward with high confidence,’ it says.

‘Taking these results into account, the author proposes to Christie the indefinite continuation of the study. The subjects response to their proposal should be indicated below.’

The paper features a ‘happiness graph’ and is littered with somewhat unromantic scientific terms such as ‘optimal conditions’ and ‘high level of compatibility’.

But luckily for Brendan his girlfriend, also a scientist, saw the funny side and loved his geeky proposal so decided to tick the ‘Yes’ box.

Brendan proposed back in March 2012 but the couple are due to marry in May this year.

Speaking to the University of Sydney website yesterday Brendan said: ‘I wanted to do it in a unique way that would be special to us.

‘I had asked her to read over ‘a paper I had been having trouble understanding’ a few days earlier, and after I lured her to the spot we were standing when we met, I got down on one knee to get the paper out of my bag and hand it to her, then I just stood up and waited.’


‘She didn’t notice what was happening at all, but, as a typical physics grad, she read the abstract then skipped straight to the conclusion and quickly realized!’

Christie posted the proposal to Reddit on Sunday and it has since spread like wildfire across the internet being read by thousands.

The paper talks through the couple’s relationship from their initial meeting.

As it explains: ‘This meeting would have been a fleeting interaction as so many two body interactions are, but a high level of compatibility coupled with a high rate of interaction due to similar timetables resulted in a local resonance and eventually a semi-bound state.’

‘Over the course of this phase of the study, the locational dependence of the results was tested across two main long term locations as well as a multitude of short term locations local, interstate, and international.’

‘Additional tests included a two week separation and a surprise (Project Valentine),’ it adds.

If at times the scientific proposal is hard to follow for the lay reader it made perfect sense to the two academics.

The pair met in University where they both studied physics, Brendan majoring in Maths, Physics, Linguistics and Philosophy and Christie in Physics and Ancient Greek.

Brendan is currently a PhD student working on ‘galactic evolution’ with a special interest in ‘General Relativity’ while Christie works with the Questacon Science Squad – a schools science program for children across Australia

Thousands have read the proposal online and more than one thousand joined in the fun, assessing the paper for its scientific merits.

Others urged writers of The Big Bang Theory to adopt the proposal technique for its central character Sheldon Cooper.

‘No control group, inadequate sample size, and unwarranted assumptions about future conditions … but yeah, congratulations,’ one Reddit user wrote.

‘While innovative and emotionally appealing, the submitted paper fails to cite any of its sources and skims over its methodology,” another added. ‘As such, I cannot in good conscience recommend it for publication.’

‘Has it been Peer-reviewed? If not, the results could be bogus. But seriously: congratulations :),’ said another, while one fellow scientist added her appreciation: ‘As a scientist and a lady, this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. ‘

nerds 2

Songs You Can’t Sing Today

Yes, our music is a little more politically correct today than in the past, despite people like Lil Wayne trying to set the cause back several decades. Here are a few songs that probably wouldn’t make it onto the radio if they were recorded today:


The Crystals: “He Hit Me (and it Felt Like a Kiss)”

“He hit me, and I knew he loved me…he hit me, I was glad”

(Co-written by Carole King!)


Ten Years After: “I’d Love to Change the World”

“Everywhere is freaks and hairys/Dykes and fairies/Tell me where is sanity?”


The Beatles: “Getting Better”

“I used to be cruel to my woman/I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved”


Mungo Jerry: “In the Summertime”

“Have a drink, have a drive/Go out and see what you can find”


Dire Straits: “Money For Nothing”

“See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup…that little faggot is a millionaire”

(Although this song was meant to be satirical it seems unlikely the language would be allowed on radio today)


Ringo Starr: “You’re Sixteen”

“You’re my baby, you’re my pet/We fell in love on the night we met…you’re sixteen, you’re beautiful, and you’re mine”


Dusty Springfield: “Wishin’ and Hopin'”

“Yeah, just do it/And after you do, you will be his”

Songs You May Have Missed #343


Robbie Fulks: “That Bangle Girl” (2000)

Everything about Robbie Fulks seems to be both earnest and a put-on at the same time. The title of this album, for example–it’s not a greatest hits compilation, nor is he likely to ever have one. It’s just another record of solidly crafted, slickly performed and lyrically pointed country-billy.

And “That Bangle Girl” neatly straddles straight homage and send-up too. He’s clearly a fan of the Littlest Bangle, while bragging that he even “sat through her movie”.

Fulks more recently made an album of all Michael Jackson covers, which is: a) a ridiculous thing for a rockabilly singer to do, and b) really, really good.

See also:

Songs You May Have Missed #580 | Every Moment Has A Song (

See also:

See also: Video of the Week: Robbie Fulks–Bluebirds are Singing for Me | Every Moment Has A Song (

See also: Video of the Week: Robbie Fulks–Cigarette State | Every Moment Has A Song (

Songs You May Have Missed #342

thorneSteve Thorne: “Crossfire” (2007)

England’s Steve Thorne makes the kind of crossover prog that would probably have broad appeal among fans of 70’s bands like Kansas and Genesis, if not for the fact that he’s almost unheard of in this country.

“Crossover” seems an appropriate term because he’s basically a singer-songwriter without grand ambition for epic-length composition or grandstanding, overly complex musical passages. But his albums are chock full of guest appearances by progressive rockers of high repute such as Nick D’Virgilio, John Mitchell, Pete Trewavas, Tony Levin and Geoff Downes (who plays piano on this track). Although his music appeals mainly to fans of prog, Thorne’s songs and themes are easily digestible, his lyrics coherent.

“Crossfire” is a lament for young life wasted in battle. In a sense, all soldiers are “caught in the crossfire” of the machinations of bloodthirsty empires; inherently good men are victims of inherently flawed mankind. It’s the type of humanistic theme that writers like Kerry Livgren and Peter Gabriel are known for. But such are the prevailing trends of popular music that Steve Thorne (and many others like him) will never be known on a comparable scale.

We’ll shine a light on him again soon, though.

See also:

Songs You May Have Missed #341


Sarah Harmer: “Open Windows” (2000)

Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer’s lilting “Open Windows” perfectly accompanies the mood of a simple, understated wedding. Just ask Chris and Lindsey:

Songs You May Have Missed #340

stand up

Jethro Tull: “We Used to Know” (1969)

As is the main thrust of this blog in a greater sense, I feel the need to evangelize a bit about those other Jethro Tull songs due to the fact that, to the casual rock fan, Tull tend to get pigeonholed based on the songs radio has always played. Thus there’s an exaggerated emphasis on the Aqualung album, for example, which was a monster in the U.S. and may even indeed be the band’s strongest overall album.

Or it may not. For my money it’s Songs From the Wood. In Germany, The Broadsword and the Beast was a huge seller. And their 1969 sophomore LP Stand Up is a relatively overlooked trove of great songs that many Tull fans consider their favorite.

After the departure of Mick Abrahams following the band’s first album, This Was, guitarist Martin Barre was brought aboard. And more significantly, Ian Anderson took the reins, beginning to move the band from blues-influenced rock to a more folk-inflected style. It was a good idea: there was a glut of blues-rock bands in ’69, but Tull’s blend of folk and progressive rock made them relatively unique.

Having said all that, Stand Up was a transitional album, and does contain a mix: bluesy and folksy sounds, as well as a song written by Bach.

Elsewhere on this blog we mention how this song inspired Don Henley to write “Hotel California” (see link below)

See also:

Songs You May Have Missed #339


The Northwoods: “Daydream” (2009)

An acoustic folk pop duo from St. Louis. As near as I can surmise they don’t exist anymore as such, and Elijah (pictured on the right) carries on as a solo artist.

Check out his awesome live-looped version of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”.

A Touching Speech, From the Bride’s Father to the Groom

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