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V.23 No.16 | 4/17/2014

Odds & Ends

From Singapore to Oregon, it’s funny because it happened to someone else.

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news

The Daily Word in Obama's year-end conference, a potted puppy and "the object"

It's time for President Obama's year-end news conference!

Who will save Blackberry?

Could our recent economic growth and rise in stocks lead toward a prosperous 2014?

It looks like Bertha found “the object.”

In case you're unemployed, Eclipse Aerospace might have a job for you.

Animals shelters around Albuquerque have asked people to stop bringing in animals because there's no room left.

A parent went into a classroom and threatened a student at Colinas Del Norte Elementary School in Rio Rancho.

A portland pup ate too many weed brownies and had to be taken to the vet. Poor guy couldn't handle the high.

Music

Story of Her Life: Waxing nostalgic about Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose

It's been almost a decade since Loretta Lynn's last record, Van Lear Rose, hit the shelves. A lot has gone down in those nine years. We've seen some of the worst natural disasters in history (BP anyone?), and we've also seen a further-magnified shift from music being played on LP devices to almost exclusively digital formats. Yet that's one of the great things about a record—it has the power to take you back. Back to where? That depends on the person, but the whole premise of a good album rests on the fact it doesn't lose its touch as the casing weathers or when the charts don't signify its importance, as it once did.

So, why is Loretta Lynn's latest record so important? Take for instance the fact that she released the album when she was 72. And, instead of having country music aficionados take the reins in the production booth, she enlisted the help of contemporary garage-rocker Jack White (most famous then for his work in The White Stripes). Seeing these two walk down the red carpet at the Grammys together might seem odd out of context, but having listened to the album, it makes perfect sense. The bond created during the recording of these 13 tracks isn't something that disappears once the lights go out and the track is deemed fit for airplay. Because if you listen to this record, you can hear the molding of this friendship manifest in the way Lynn sings—with the same vibrant twang that made her a household country name—and the way White offers a rock and roll background, letting Loretta shine amidst electric guitars, booming drums and the quieter, softer moments; see “Miss Being Mrs.”

Van Lear Rose is one of those albums that are meant to be played all the way through—no skipping. It tells a story: from the time Lynn was a girl, sitting with her coal miner father, listening to him tell the story of how he met her mother (“Van Lear Rose”) to reflecting on what made her life so joyous, but at the same time wondering where it all leads (“Story of My Life”). Looking back, I'm not surprised it won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album or ended up in the top 10 of so many year-end “best of” lists. It's a gem. Simple as that.

Part of the reason the album hit so hard is that Loretta Lynn is still that hard-talking, freewheeling, lovable woman she started out as—with her classic hit “Coal Miner's Daughter” and other notable songs like “You Ain't Woman Enough” and “Rated 'X.'” Even in her golden years, she is the same person, and she covers the same emotional ground that made her famous in the first place, ie. cheating husbands, childbirth and motherhood and struggling to make ends meet. Just listen to tracks like “Mrs. Leroy Brown” or “Family Tree,” where she takes her kids to the home of the woman their dad is cheating with and asks the husband to come out and see what he's doing to their family. That's real talk.

But it’s an album that couldn't exist without the confluence of measure. What I mean by that is the importance of knowing your limits and knowing when to let someone help out. I’m not saying Lynn has limits; maybe she does, but they're not shown on this record, and she wrote all the songs. But she knows when to let White work in his expertise, particularly on lead single “Portland, Oregon.” A drunken love song in every sense of the word, the lead guitar moves through the track like a forceful river yet calms down enough for the duo to shine—while asking the bartender for one more sloe gin fizz and “a pitcher to go.”

But don't take my word for it. I'm not even that into country music, but I’ve had a soft spot for Loretta Lynn since I watched Coal Miner's Daughter as a toddler. She was just one of those singer/songwriters who always had a presence in my childhood. This is not only one of the best albums of 2004. This is one of the best albums ever recorded, and I’ll stand by that like a man whose britches are in sync with love for all kinds of music. It’s a masterpiece. Enough said.

Loretta Lynn & Jack White - “Portland, Oregon”

More Videos

news

The Daily Word in Amanda Bynes' twitter rant, Navajos saying no to uranium and Buffalo man screwing the IRS

Okay ... would not have wanted to be on Flight 132 this morning ...

Shootings in Chicago over the weekend leave six people dead.

Amanda Bynes wants to sue NYPD, and hopefully get a new hair stylist.

RIP Karleen Zetina ...

Is that uranium? Sorry, we can't do it ...

So, I know you've passed, but do you still need someone to file your taxes for you? The IRS won't know what's up.

"Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul got married this weekend.

sports

Auburn defeats Oregon in the BCS National Championship

Setting aside all the drama of Cam Newton and his possible, or alleged, violations of NCAA rules, the stage has been set for quite a while for an excellent championship game. Two nights ago, that game unfolded in almost every great way it could have. After a scoreless first quarter, the action finally got started with Oregon chipping in a field goal. Replays quickly after those three points showed that Oregon's quarterback, Darron Thomas, missed LaMichael James for what could have been a touchdown. By the end of the game, Oregon would regret missing out on those four points.

Things continued as Auburn marched quickly down the field and scored a touchdown to put the Tigers up on the Ducks seven to three.

Oregon threw a gutsy play from their own five-yard line and ultimately netted a touchdown from the resulting plays and then made it even better with Oregon coach Chip Kelly calling for a two-point conversion and sealing it.

Auburn, again, came down the field with Newton doing the lion's share of the work. However, this time Auburn was the team that should have settled for the field goal. Newton threw the ball just a bit low, missed his target, and turned the ball over, and Oregon took over on their own two yard line.

The Auburn defense saw their chance, though, and forced a safety, the craziest play in football. (Seriously, it is the craziest play. You score and then you get the ball back? That doesn't happen with any other play in any other sport, right?) Auburn tacked on two points and got the ball back. The Tigers continued down the field and Newton threw for an easy touchdown.

On the ensuing Auburn kick, there was a penalty for 15 yards and Oregon capitalized to begin their drive. (Replays later showed it was a particularly dirty play by Eric Smith and it was good to see Auburn coach GeneChizik get all over Smith in reaction to the play.) Oregon, however, couldn't get the job done and settled for the punt on fourth and 10, giving the ball back to Auburn for the final couple plays of the first half, where the Tigers had a chance to set up for a field goal and ultimately settled for a Hail Mary just to see if they could grab some points. The game broke for halftime with Auburn up 16-11. (Another weird aspect for this game, that score seems suspiciously un-football-like.)

Auburn started the second half with the ball and quickly got down to business. After making it to the 11-yard line, Auburn came up short on third and five and settled for a field goal.

When Oregon received the ball, another Auburn personal foul (or dirty play, depending on your read of the situation) resulted in a 15-yard penalty and the Ducks moving quickly onto the other side of the field. Oregon stalled out midfield, though, and punted from the 41 yard line.

After Auburn had a four and out, Oregon took control of the ball and had a poor series followed by a faked punt for a first down. The next play was a long pass, setting up a goal line stand where Oregon simply could not force its way into the end zone. Auburn's defensive line held strong and received the ball on their own one yard line.

After a series of back and forths between the two teams, the fourth quarter was riddled with subpar offense from both teams, until Oregon forced a turnover around the five-minute mark. They advanced the ball, finally converting in the red zone and securing a two-point conversion on a risky play.

After Auburn was conspicuously not tackled on the biggest play of the game, Michael Dyer broke free for what could have (and, perhaps on Oregon's part, should have) been a touchdown. However, Wes Byrum got the opportunity to kick the game-winning field goal. With two seconds left, the ball was snapped, set, held and kicked good.

Oregon had their chance, and the game was a great one, but, ultimately, Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers rolled to the SEC's fifth-consecutive championship games.

news

The Daily Word 1.11.11: alien green blob, Chicago fish die-off, heart-damaging television

The family of shooter Jared Loughner have barricaded themselves into their home.

A man’s severed head is found behind a New Jersey church.

Watching too much TV can damage your heart.

A mysterious green blob is photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope.

South Korean director Park Chan-Wook shoots a movie in its entirety on an iPhone.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to increase efforts and release more documents.

Chicago joins the creepy world’s-end deal with a massive fish die-off of their own.

Apparently, this newly released document proves OJ Simpson’s innocence?

Real life Terminator; an Italian man is shot in the head, sneezes out the bullet, and lives.

Auburn defeats Oregon 22-19 to win the BCS National Championship.

news

The Daily Word 9.06.10: ELO hay bale, puppy killer and Jerry Lewis’ fantasy life.

It’s Slaybor Day.

ELO’s Mike Edwards was killed by a giant bale of hay. What a terrible thing to lose.

There were six earthquakes in Oklahoma.

Van der Sloot. Travolta. Extortion.

There was a Guatemalan mudslide.

A horrible girl threw puppies in the river (like in Blood Meridian!)

Craigslist has censored their adult ads.

There’s some kind of weird Joaquin Phoenix movie.

Jerry Lewis wants to hit Lindsay Lohan. And then he woud spank her… And then… And then…

A time-travelling hipster was caught in this 1905 photo.

Here’s a hipster dinosaur coloring book.

A woman ate 181 chicken wings.

Another severed foot was found in Vancouver.

See the new Sasquatch footage from Oregon.

Sad Albuquerque drunk endangers child.

A violent rapist remains at large in the Q.

An Albuquerque Goodwill store got some explosives and weed.

Happy birthday, Rhett Miller.

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