Those Wacky Yugoslavians

Apparently their talent for album art rivaled that of their auto industry. There are far more online than I have time to pass along, but here are a few of the best (?).

Pure Evil

Dimitri Shostakovich wrote this (2nd movement, Symphony #10) as a musical portrait of Stalin, who had harrassed him directly and indirectly throughout his career.  This is pure malevolence, published after Stalin was safely dead.  While Uncle Joe was alive, DS was mostly confined to putting out government approved, “socalist realist” garbage, while keeping much of his “real” work private.  Occasionally he could put one over on the Soviets and follow the letter of their requirements while mocking them.  One cool thing is that in the finale of this same symphony, he has a theme based on his initials, DSCH, vie for dominance against the Stalin theme from this movement.  DSCH wins.  Artistic revenge at its finest.  “He who laughs last, laughs longest.”

The conductor seems a little too into his hair, and I’m not sure why he appears to be grinning during this grim business.    But you’ve gotta give him credit, his musicians are playing the hell out of this.  He made his reputation whipping these young Venezuelans into a respectable unit.  He’s since gone on to greener pastures in LA.

Another Podcast You Won’t Listen To

Jaw-dropping deception. This podcast is especially recommended to the medically inclined among us.

Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? How did the woman once heralded as “the next Steve Jobs” find herself facing criminal charges — to which she pleaded not guilty — and up to 20 years in jail? How did her technology, meant to revolutionize healthcare, potentially put millions of patients at risk? And how did so many smart people get it so wrong along the way? ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, along with producers Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson, take listeners on a journey that includes a three-year-long investigation. You’ll hear exclusive interviews with former employees, investors, and patients, and for the first-time, the never-before-aired deposition testimony of Elizabeth Holmes, and those at the center of this story. New episodes post Wednesdays.

Check it out here. By the way, the title is a double entendre I just got.

Sociopaths Are Creepy

And this looks amazing.

Although I always feel a little icky about getting excited for these types of documentaries, like I’m a fan of Bundy’s or something. I’m not. This heap of shit killed at least 30 women. But the way he did it – and how he got away with it as long as he did – is fascinating.

Anyway, January 24th.

Holiday Traditions

For what it’s worth, all of Jim Gaffigan’s albums are on Spotify. Recently, I listened to a couple while I was working. Big mistake. This clip is from 2009’s Beyond the Pale.