Amoeblog

It's 4/20: Rallying Call Continues To Be Legalize It, And Make Today A National Holiday

Posted by Billyjam, April 20, 2015 12:50pm | Post a Comment

On his past Friday night's HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, the long time outspoken supporter of pot legalization said that 4/20 (aka today's date April 20th) should be made an official national holiday. He says this because already it is the day set aside to fully celebrate the positive effects of weed and the advancements and recent strides towards marijuana legalization and its accepted use for medical uses - it just needs a Federal stamp of approval. In showing his sincerity for his proposal Bill Maher noted that he had alredy created a Change.org petition that calls on Congress to make every year's April 20 date a national weed-related holiday. He is serious and has consistently championed the legalization of pot, routinely calling out President Obama on his slowness to fully promote legalization on a national level.

You can sign the Change.Org petition here which has already reached about 80% of its desired petition signees. Despite the general lax attitude towards weed in California these days, thanks mostly to the efforts of those who fought for medical cannabis legalization which date back to Proposition 215 (AKA the Compassionate Use Act of 1996) the California law concerning the use of medical cannabis, it is important to remember that it is still not legal for recreation use in the Golden State. And hence why a couple of grassroots political groups have recent filed ballot initiatives to try and make weed (medical and recreational) more accessible to adults in the State.The California Craft Cannabis Initiative is for both full legalization and for initiating both a cannabis trademark and a state cannabis commission. Meanwhile the other recently filed ballot initiative is The Compassionate and Sensible Access Act which is more of a health-care (versus recreational) rooted initiative that is pushing for weed to be viewed and fully accepted as a “legitimate, alternative medicinal treatment.” Both of these (or just one or neither) could well end up next year (2016) for voters in California to make a decision on at the ballots.

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The Top Ten Merle Haggard Albums

Posted by Joe Goldmark, October 21, 2014 02:50pm | Post a Comment

It’s been said that during his heyday, 1966-1976, Merle Haggard wrote a good song every day.  I’ve only heard that said about one other artist: Stevie Wonder.  Indeed, Merle’s albums during this period showcase his talents as a songwriter and performer.  When he wasn’t recording his own tunes, his covers of mostly Bakersfield songwriters further displayed his unique ability to get to the heart of a song.

Merle started out playing bass in Wynn Stewart’s band and soon cut some singles for Tally, a small Bakersfield label.  After scoring a top 20 country hit with “Sing a Sad Song,” Merle got signed to Capitol and was teamed up with producer Ken Nelson.  Ken let Merle use his own band, supplemented with some L.A. studio guys like James Burton, to get his Bakersfield sound.  The key components were the hot but sparse sounds of guitarist Roy Nichols, steelers Ralph Mooney and Norm Hamlet, and the stark harmonies of Merle’s then wife, Bonnie Owens.  Merle had more hits when he moved on to MCA, Epic, Curb, Anti- and others, but the hard-biting brilliance of his early Capitol works defines Bakersfield C&W music.  There were also five excellent, mostly instrumental albums by Merle’s band, The Strangers, that are worth seeking out if you like slinky West Coast country pickin’.

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Merry Christmas!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 23, 2012 07:05pm | Post a Comment

Some Classic Working-Man/Working-Woman Songs For This Labor Day

Posted by Billyjam, September 5, 2011 11:14am | Post a Comment
         
"Working Man's Blues" by Merle Haggard

Beyond that first thought that typically pops into my head on this day every year ("Labor Day already? Damn where did the summer go?!") my mind turns to the endless lists of songs about working & laboring away in a job - of which these can be divided primarily into the "I hate my job and my boss" category (IE Johnny Paycheck's perennial "Take This Job And Shove It") and the "I work hard to make a living and support my family but don't necessarily want to quit or harm my boss." This Amoeblog focuses on the latter and on just classics from the 1960's to the 80's in the rock and pop categories. Disclaimer: obviously there's many not included so feel free to add your suggestion in comments below.

First up is the above classic "Working Man Blues" by Merle Haggard with lines like "It's a big job just gettin' by with nine kids and a wife. I been a workin' man dang near all my life I'll be working long as my two hands are fit to use." Hopefully Merle will play this song when he performs, along with Kris Kristofferson, at the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco in four weeks (Sept 30, Oct 1st & 2nd). Also included (below) is Glen Campbell's timeless tale of the hardworking "lineman for the county" - "Wichita Lineman." Note that there are still some tickets available for Campbell's Amoeba Hollywood instore signing tomorrow (Sept 6th) at 6pm which the artist, who was recently diagnosed with alzheimer's, is doing in support of his final album Ghost On The Canvas.

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Merle

Posted by Charles Reece, June 19, 2011 11:50pm | Post a Comment
I just got tickets to the Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson show in October at the Greek, which makes me a happy boy, so here's a brief look at some of the former's mostly good albums:

Swinging Doors and The Bottle Let Me Down (1966)

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