The rain, the Capitol and other things

1:51 PM, Jun 1, 2011   |    comments
  • Waiting for Zygi (not Stardust).
  • Hats are important.
  • History comes alive.
  • A sign of rain.
  • Pointing to history.
  • A wet day.
  • Getting wet for the cause.
  • Seeking shelter from the storm.
  • Another rally, no rain, but a waterproof sign.
  • Sometimes it is cold in the shade.
  • Marching to the People's House.
  • Using a tie to get your message out.
  • Statues, men and cars.
  • Going digital.
  • Passing bills and cars.
  • Orange Custom and Capitol.
  • Yellow car and State Office Building.
  • Civil War computer.
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The law making process at the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul is into the special session laps. Some bills have been apprehended in the gubernatorial veto speed trap while other legislation, same sex marriage is taking a detour straight to the November 2012 ballot.

Along the race track (some might say racino track) there have been overheated engines, flat tires and lots of exhaust.  Like the night before the exam, when the student realizes that they really should have been cracking the books previously, the meetings and post meeting spins went up to the deadline. To the surprise of no one, a compromise did not occur in the final sleep deprived hours at the Capitol. Now, engines are being tuned, tires changed, and oil checked for a special session.

This episode of Hartbeat will be a departure from its usual visual style. You can peruse this visual journey of images captured with a DVCAM video camera, iPhone and a professional still digital device.

Tend My Garden

Before Joe Walsh joined the Eagles he was in a successful band, The James Gang. On their second album, "James Gang Rides Again" the band produced several memorable songs, including the classic rock favorite, "Funk 49."  Another song, "Tend My Garden," provides a Hartbeat segway to a bill that had a short growing season in the fields of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

An interesting planting, HF467 sponsored by Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe (the name and location sounds like the start of a country song) directed the Minn. Corrections Department to establish gardening programs at state correctional facilities where unused land exists. According to proponents, prisoners would learn farming skills, establish a work ethic, lessen violent behavior caused by idleness and provide produce for consumption at the facility. In my view, there could even be some country songs about prisons and farming. If you follow Steve Goodman's rules, in penning the perfect country and western song, "You Never Even Called Me by My Name," you would have prisons, trucks, rain, Mama and failed crops. In the realm of misheard song titles James Brown's "Prisoner of Love" could become Prisoner of Grubs.

Without a Senate companion bill and the Capitol harvest season over, the bill was never harvested.

Rain, I don't mind. Shine, the world looks fine

An outdoor rally in the spring at the Capitol is not without risks.  One never knows if the weather will be on your side. Opponents of racinos and video gaming endured a particularly miserable weather event with a combination of cold, wind and rain. The speakers and most of the press had a tent to keep them somewhat dry, but the crowd, many of whom were wearing T-shirts with messages about their cause over their rain gear had a long hour and a half huddled under umbrellas, signs and any available shelter. The images convey some of the suffering.

April 12, 1957 is when Bill Haley and the Comets recorded "Rock Around the Clock."  April 12, 2011 was the day that the Minnesota Street Rod Association brought cars to the Capitol for their annual Day on the Hill. As with Zoo Day, documented in the last Hartbeat, people of all political persuasions enjoy classic cars. In contrast to the No Racino Rally, the sun was shining and the temperature was warm. Maybe the Beatles were on to something with their song, "Rain" when they sang about hiding when the rain arrives and slipping into the shade when the sun is shining. Of course, the lads also sang about here the coming of the sun.

What's cooking on the Hartbeat Grill?

Los Angeles Bureau Chief, Lloyd McCloud is constantly on the lookout for soul, gospel, jazz, funk and other genres of music. The artists he finds are all interesting and talented. Thanks to YouTube there is no shortage of video of live performances for Lloyd to sift through in his search for interesting music. Karen Briggs is one artist he has been writing the praises of and sending me videos about her music via Facebook.

Briggs plays a variety of genres on her violin: soul, jazz, symphonic, R & B and symphonic are part of her repitore. One can hear Latin, Eastern, pop, blues, Caribbean, and classical influences in her distinctive style. Karen toured with instrumental keyboard composer, Yanni (name the Twin Cities rock band he played in, and win the admiration of the Hartbeat staff) for 13 years and has released several recordings. Check her out by clicking here. 

The Musical Notes

I never thought that the Cowsills would provide a starting point for a Hartbeat, but musical free-falling takes one to unexpected places. The Cowsills started out as a band of four brothers in Newport, R.I. and added other family members to the group as they became successful. They enjoyed success in the late 60s and 70s and their mother, Barbara sang on their big 1967 hit, "The Rain, the Park and Other Things." The song was written by Arnie Kornfeld who also wrote, "Deadman's Curve" for Jan and Dean and was the musical promoter for the Woodstock festival in 1969. An interesting writer, producer and music industry figure, an entire Hartbeat could be written about him.

The James Gang got their big break as a band opening for Cream in Detroit in 1968. They had several successful albums and the classic line up of Joe Walsh, Dale Peters and Jim Fox still get together to tour. "Tend My Garden" was written by Joe Walsh.

"Rain" by the Beatles was first released in 1966 as the B-side of "Paperback Writer." Both songs were recorded for the album, "Revolver" but neither appears on that album. "Rain" joins other notable Beatles B-sides: "Day Tripper," "If I Fell," "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" proves that the lads paid attention to the other side of the record.

The Photo Notes

The images in this Hartbeat were taken with an iPhone and a Sony DVCAM.  Thanks to John Croman who captured the overdressed jackal and to Tim Nelson of MPR who captured a waiting jackal.  He used a professional still digital camera.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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