I’ve always noted that the world of rock and roll fans is divided into people who really like Captain Beefheart, and people who want to put their hands to their ears and howl in pain when the Magic Band hits that first, sometimes discordant, note. I’ve always been in the first group, and do recommend to the second that they try one of the Captain’s more mainstream efforts, particularly the album Clear Spot, which is mostly old-school blues with a bit of a deranged SoCal twist.

Here are some midday news/views treats direct from here in NorCal or CentCal, or whatever you want to call it:

* HRC advisers supposedly letting it be known they’d rather face Romney than Jebbie. Yeah, I’d trust that a lot.

* New poll indicates support for and opposition to Keystone XL Pipeline break down on regional as well as partisan lines. Very popular in South and Midwest.

* At TNR Claire Groden reports latest fad among Republicans at state level is attaching conditions to SNAP.

* At the Prospect, Harold Meyerson argues Seattle’s minimum wage fight may bear seeds of new strategy for labor movement.

* At Daily Kos, Joan McCarter looks at latest Social Security “reform” proposals from perspective of GOP’s 80-year war to kill or disable the program.

And in non-political news:

* Oscar nominations released; Birdman and Grand Budapest Hotel all the rage; Selma gets dissed.

As we break for lunch, here’s Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band with one of my favorites: “Moonlight On Vermont,” as performed at My Father’s Place in New York in 1978. Definitely an unusual use of the “Old Time Religion” hymn.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.