Music night. Happy Birthday, Elliott. R.I.P.

Elliott Smith, punk/folk singer/songwriter and local boy (for Gummitch), nearly a Portland native. I have to admit knowing nothing about him until his untimely death in 2003, when  he was suddenly big news here at home. The first video is his somewhat surreal appearance when one of his songs was nominated for an Oscar, a song he had written specifically for the film Good Will Hunting (directed by another local, Gus Van Sant). Second video is a cover of a Big Star song (and do not tell me you don’t know who Big Star was). Third video is an entirely different view of Elliott Smith.

As usual, this is a jumping off point for everyone. Happy Music Night!

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The Watering Hole: August 6 – Hiroshima

Sixty five years after an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, a representative of the US has joined the memorial service.

The site of the world’s worst atomic bomb attack echoed with choirs and Buddhist prayers, as Hiroshima marked its biggest memorial yet and the first to be attended by the US and other major nuclear powers.

Washington’s decision to send United States ambassador John Roos to the 65th anniversary was seen by many as potentially paving the way for President Barack Obama to visit Hiroshima – which would be unprecedented for a sitting US leader. Along with the US, Britain and France made their first official appearance at the memorial yesterday, along with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Altogether, 75 nations were represented.

Hiroshima strongly tries to ensure that the memorial – while honouring the 140,000 who died on or soon after the attack on August 6, 1945, by American B-29 Enola Gay – focuses on averting a future attack, not on whether the bombing was justified, a point which many Japanese dispute.

This is our Open Thread for the day.