Tuesday, December 16, 2003


From Robert Fripp's Diary, the 11 December 2003 entry concludes with:

The Happy Gigsters' Guide To Live Performance has this comment: It's not worth much if you can't take it onstage.

Probably something about the font and the italics, but I misread that final line as "It's not worth much if you can't fake it onstage." Which causes a snort of mirth, considering that Fripp's insistence upon Courting The Muse rather than Playing The Rock Star Entertainer is a root disconnect between King Crimson's Fanatic Fanbase and the bespectacled object of its adulation...
Redneck Haiku

This has been around for a while, via e-mail and such (kinda like that "wear sunscreen" thing wrongly attributed to Kurt Vonnegut a few years ago), but the actual alleged author has surfaced and has a new blog he calls iowahawk...


Naked in repose
Silvery silhouette girls
Adorn my mudflaps

Wednesday, December 10, 2003


If you have any idea what that word means, drop me a line. It's possible that it means nothing, or that the meaning is known only to my friend saintsteven...

It would appear to be a noun of some sort, but further clues to its nature are scarce. I've seen him use it in various e-mail and chat applications with no real clue as to its meaning. I think I'll enjoy the mystery a while rather than ask him about tit.... (About it, I meant to type!) (Parenthetically, I also almost used apostrophes in the word "its" above, but I realized it's incorrect usage to do so!)

Oh yeah, I wanted to type "Orvalle Theodore Kirby III" on here to see if it shows up in a Google search someday. Hi, Ted!

Friday, December 05, 2003

Bleat From The Past...

Just out of curiousity, I googled "Thanksgiving Bleat" and yay! Mobius Street is top of the heap. A small heap, but what the heck. Third place (emlarson) had a link to the 2002 edition, which I reproduce here: Thanksgiving Bleat 2002.

(Second place only links to James Lilek's main page, and navigating to the Thanksgiving Bleat 2003 is not a piece of cake at the moment. Not that I don't recommend wasting a few hours browsing the site...)

I think I've used the phrase "Thanksgiving Bleat" enough times for one post...

Last Weekend's Viewing

I got the chance to see some Three Stooges on TV last weekend. WWII-era Moe, Larry & Curly... Sarah had it on Channel 41 when I came downstairs Saturday evening, slightly surprising me that she doesn't share her mom's dislike for the stuff. (Must be something to do with the fact that she doesn't have any big brothers!)

So, I caught the end of what was evidently "You Natzy Spy" (1940), with the guys running around in military dictator type uniforms, ending up getting eaten by some lions...

Next was "They Stooge to Conga" (1943). Some classic home repair bits, with the boys trying to fix the doorbell in a house of Axis spies, so lots of politically incorrect stereotyping occurs with the Jap dude and the Kraut couple. Apart from the Period Detail, it was good to see them doing some of the classic routines. Finding random wires and pulling them out through the plaster, up the wall and across the ceiling. Moe and Curly in an unwitting (is that redundant?) tug of war involving phone wires, with the loser getting yanked right through the wall... And the usual wrenches twisting noses, eye gouging, stepping on peoples' faces, and the ever-popular blunt object assault on the head and midsection . Ah ha ha ha.

Also watched the first part of Truly Madly Deeply. Probably still my favorite movie, certainly of the non-comedy non-space opera variety. A romantic comedy, I suppose, on some levels, but deeper than Sleepless In Seattle. A thinking person's Ghost is sort of an insulting if not completely inaccurate summary. Don't read the back of the box, that gives away too much of the plot - just take it home and watch it unfold.
Not Curious Enough

I can't quite get myself to download this mp3 from the 365 Days Project, but props to the curator for this paragraph:

In the unfortunate tradition of 'The Godfather', 'Alien', the original 'Star Wars' trilogy and the 'Look Who's Talking' franchise, Episode Three of 'My Show' is by far the weakest. It consists primarily of footage shot at a party where Sondra gave out 'thank you' presents to the people who had helped her make 'My Show' number two, including a twenty-five-dollar gift certificate for vitamins and a six-foot Blimpie submarine sandwich. (SPOILER ALERT: This is also essentially the plot of 'Godfather 3'.)

When I Am King

Murphy sent me a link to an unusual webcomic today. Click on the When I Am King graphic novel in 5 chapters picture. Nonverbal and R-rated with a unique and rather cool cartooning style. Recommended, as they say.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Don't Forget to Name Your Entries, Dave

Both Achewood and Penny Arcade are quite amusing today... Penny Arcade needs no particular setup, if you're a slightly twisted individual. As for Achewood, well, apparently Ray is in hell - he was issued a 1984 Subaru Brat upon arrival - and appears to be checking into a Best Western motel. The entertainer in the Lounge this evening is... Robert Johnson! Playing the blues, of course. Heh. Maybe Ray will be backing him up on piano, having achieved virtuosity on the instrument through bartering his soul in a previous strip.

"Can you play the piano?"
"I don't know, I've never tried!"

(This gag works equally well with many other questions, e.g. "Do you speak Spanish?")

Monday, December 01, 2003

As A Public Service...

The Thanksgiving Bleat, also the final Bleat of 2003 since James is taking a break from blogging to get some real work done in the month of December. Decent idea, that. But, keep clicking in to see his daily snapshot so he doesn't get himself worked up over declining page views or whatever. If all of us remember to do that, that makes one of us, right? (No hit counter on this page!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


Pretty amazing 2500 words on rabbit blog today! Not that any of it means anything to me or my life, but the quality (and quantity) of the writing is something else. Some folks lead interesting lives, no doubt about it.

He's prone to joblessness and self-inflicted existential pain. He's a big ole Do Not Enter sign on the turnpike of partnership.

Addendum to Christmas List

The New Pearls Before Swine Tribute - For The Dead In Space Volume II & III. If your budget is larger, I'd actually appreciate the 4 CD box set Jewels Were The Stars even more, Santa.

I really should have managed to find the $55 to buy that myself by now, but... Hey, I bet I blogged on about that a year ago. Whatever. Familiar Songs is due to be released December 30, 2003, and the 4 albums from he box set are supposed to be individually available sometime soon, as well. Having all these rereleases on more or less pristine vinyl makes them less than critical CD acquisitions, considering budgetary constraints. What's your excuse? When Joe Phillips and Wildcat Recordings manage to get some archival Tom Rapp live recordings released, there will be no such hesitation, he glibly predicted.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Warren Spahn

A boyhood hero, Warren Spahn died yesterday. The winningest left-handed pitcher, ever. Fought in WW2 three years and started his major league career at age 25. Won 20+ games in 13 seasons. Played for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves for years and years, and got shuttled around a little in the twilight of his career, ending up as a pitching coach for Casey Stengel with the Mets, I believe. Died at home in Oklahoma, age 82. A good life.

He had a memorable multiple inning conversation with Bob Uecker on the radio broadcast of the Brewers' home opener in 1999. WTMJ rebroadcast the conversation sans the play calling a few days later, and I captured it on tape and eventually burned a 20 minute CD-R. Funny and insightful baseball talk from a couple Hall Of Famer ex-teammates. (Uecker, of course is in the broadcasters wing at Cooperstown!) If you were a Braves fan in the 60's like I was, you oughta hear it.

Monday, November 24, 2003

King Crimson Fractalizes Again

A little King Crimson news for interested parties... The Double Duo has entered the History of King Crimson. Hints as to what The Next Stage might be for Robert Fripp are between sketchy and nonexistent. I know he's considered Tony Levin and Bill Bruford to be members of KC in good standing despite pursuing other opportunities the past several years. But Fripp himself has expressed a declining interest in being a Traveling Musician. Who knows, maybe he'll buy a theater in Branson.

November 21, 2003

All things must pass. And now, for me, life with King Crimson fulfills itself.

I am sending out this letter of thanks to all the people who have made the experience of being part of King Crimson such a powerful and vital one. I am grateful to all the musicians who have I been able to share the stage, the creative process and the long bus rides with: Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin and Bill Bruford. To be able to call these modular, glowing, rock solid, earth shaking and nimble characters my friends and allies has been a constant source of amazement to me...

But most importantly, I am grateful to all the audiences who have supported the work of this band while I have been part of it. People have come to us with open ears and enthusiasm to hear something new. And they have done so even when we were still testing the waters with untried material and ideas. A musician couldn’t ask for anything more.

Earlier this year, at the inevitability of the closing of this phase of my musical life, I spent some time looking back. I thought back to the original aims I had as a young musician. And much to my surprise, I discovered that I have realized them. They were simply and elegantly stated to myself at the time: I want to play with the best musicians on the planet and make the most powerful and unusual music possible. I have done that. And done it with this band: King Crimson. And… I don’t need to just keep on doing it over and over again.

This path has taken ten years (not to mention the previous eight working with Robert Fripp in many other projects.) During my time with the band we have put out 17 CDs, 2 DVDs, and brought to the stage hundreds of performances. Here again, a musician couldn’t ask for more.

Musicians, in general, follow their instincts. Following my own, I have found myself constantly on the move. I have played so many different instruments, and even when I finally found my home on the touch-style string instruments, I still kept moving. From different string configurations to different tunings to different roles as a player. Rarely have I stayed anywhere longer then a year or two. It seems that once I have done something, then I have done it. And all that is left, then, is to drop it and move on to something else...

Trey Gunn

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I see there are "scattered clouds" in North Bend, Oregon this morning. Presumably the clouds are better organized and aligned in geometric ranks at other times...

So, I threw together a CD-R just before bed last night, mostly to get some movies off the hard drive (Doors, Ralph Stanley, some movie trailers), with a bunch of music to fill up the disc. I wish Nero didn't make the data subdirectory look like a silent 10 minute Audio Track on the silly disc. Maybe there's another Mixed Mode I can try that will handle it better. This one is ISO something or other and requires two seconds between audio tracks, too. Anyway, since I'm typing up the track listing anyway, here it is. Questions are welcome.

Several of the tracks are courtesy Otis Fodder's amazing 365 Days Project, some are completely unavailable on CD, LP or 8-track, and a few are probably available for 99 cents on an internet near you.

The name of this disc might be I Don't Know If I Believe In Nihilism. (That's something Wigu's big sister, Paisley Tinkle, said in today's comic.)

01 Data Track - Do Not Play
02 Tornadoes - Telstar
03 Spooner - Feeling Good Is Gonna Come Easy
04 Toys - A Lover's Concerto
05 People - I Love You
06 Justin Hayward - The Actor
07 Wild Man Fischer & Mark Mothersbaugh - The Way We Were
08 Spooner - Wild Winds
09 Graham Parker & Rumour - Pouring It All Out
10 Blues Image - Ride Captain Ride
11 Bloodrock - DOA
12 Nick Cave - Time Jesum Transuentum Et Non Revertentum
13 Spooner - Fugitive Dance Mix
14 Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
15 Dondero High School Choir - Fox On The Run
16 Eddie & Edie & Reggaebots - Some Velvet Morning
17 Van Morrison - Ringworm / You Say France And I Whistle / Have A Danish
18 Jorma Kaukonen - Song For The High Mountain

Friday, November 07, 2003

Marking Time

For my own personal edification, I'd like to discover any (relatively non-obscure) rock or pop songs with time signatures other than 4/4. I'm not necessarily talking prog rock pond scum stuff that changes meter every couple bars just because it can, but tunes with an actual melody that moves along for a significant period in 7/8 or whatever. I have a hard time "feeling" anything besides 4/4 or 3/4 (e.g. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Mr. Bojangles") and wonder if I'm too old to improve my rhythm, so to speak. I know Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Take Five" and Jethro Tull's "Living In The Past" are supposed to be in 5/4, but untrained musician that I am, I get lost whenever I try to count the beats. One, two, many...

This may be a job for Blogcritics. Buffalo Springfield's "Down To The Wire" is an odd one; I know there's a 3/4 section, but the main verse has an unusual stop and start rhythm. IIRC, Fairport Convention's "Tam Lin" is supposed to have a variable number of beats per measure as Swarbrick, Mattacks and Thompson adjust their riffage to match the irregular traditional lyrics. Weirdnessabounds says the Toadies do a lot of stuff in weird time signatures, but I've never heard anything by them. I think Kenneth Newman used to claim he naturally falls into fives and/or sevens when he plays at the guitar, so maybe he can point me to some Gentle Giant or ELP or Genesis or something with an identifiable meter... King Crimson or Rush or somebody playing 13's over alternating sixes and sevens ain't quite what I'm looking for. At worst, I suppose I can study Brubeck's "Time Out" and "Time Further Out"...

All this comes out of the fact that we played a Tanzanian tune in 7/8 at church last week and none of us really internalized the rhythm very well. I'm not sure why, but the songs in 3/4 seem to come to me more easily than the others. It's not that I know how to waltz, it's just comfortable to strum. Perhaps there tend to be fewer chords per measure! (For some reason, the tang never did any new wave hard pop beat rock songs in anything but 4/4 back there in 1979-1981...)

UPDATE: Pink Floyd "Money" and Steeleye Span "Dark Eyed Sailor" have been mentioned as odd time signature tunes.

Also, while I'm making lists, I oughta recompile the old "Sunday Morning", "Monday Monday" "Tuesday Afternoon"... days-of-the-week song list, since I have no idea which floppy disc that's stored on anymore.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

A Quick One

I've been working on slicing and dicing the Buckingham Nicks album into clean wav files so I can burn myself a CD of the damn thing. Unfortunately, I recorded it too hot and have about a hundred clipped peaks that I'm going through and editing by hand. Pain in the butt, but I'm too lazy to disconnect the stereo system and haul it over to the computer again. (That's only part of the story since I sold the source cassette to somebody on eBay already and would have to record my LP instead, which perhaps I will do someday, as well.) Nonetheless, it's time consuming, but I've always spent time tweaking aspects of music compilations that nobody but my own self will ever notice.

Also planning a CD-R for the sheepshead game Saturday. This is what I have so far:

Impressions: "People Get Ready"
Aliotta Haines Jeremiah: "Lake Shore Drive"
Cinerama: "Sly Curl"
Henry Mancini: "Theme From Romeo & Juliet"
Magic Lanterns: "One Night Stand"
Moody Blues: "Go Now"
Hombres: "Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)"
Brooklyn Bridge: "Worst That Could Happen"
Brand X: "Nuclear Burn"
Spooner: "Photographs"
Kenny Rogers & First Edition: "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)"

I haven't quite determined what the theme of the compilation is, yet. Sequencing will be key to getting this load of nonsense to hang together. Who am I kidding, someone will be crying for a Springsteen disc before three songs are done... Okay, then, a defensive substitution:

David Bowie: "Growin' Up"
Easybeats: "Friday On My Mind"

...and so on.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Nothing Important Happened Last Month

I posted a Halloween Music article at Blogcritics and discovered that posting a List Of Things is a hot button for getting people to comment. Have to remember that.

Still playing Telecaster through my new Roland Cube 30 amp a couple times a week. (I guess buying that is one thing that happened last month.) I sold the Twin Reverb and spent some of the proceeds. I really like it. Much lighter than the Fender, plenty loud for my needs, a very nice selection of tones and effects easily accessible, and it looks good, too.

Hmm, not a lot to say today. This ain't much of a diary. A "crapblog" according to noted bass player weirdnessabounds. :-) Sheepshead game at BZ's bachelor pad this Saturday, and Sarah is Lady Macbeth the following weekend. Outside, the rain has stopped, but it's overcast, foggy, cool, and getting dark. I better post this now, and try to remember how to update the archive.

Now Playing: "Shadrack Chameleon", a Gear Fab CD release of a DIY indie recording from Iowa, 1973. It's not very good, but of historical interest, especially if you claim to enjoy both kinds of music!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

"Famous Blue Raincoat" by Leonard Cohen
It's four in the morning
the end of December
I'm writing you now
to see if you're better
New York was cold
but I like where I'm living
there's music on Clinton Street
all through the evening

I hear that you're building
your little house
deep in the desert
you're living for nothing now
I hope you're keeping
some kind of record

Yes and
Jane came by with a lock of your hair
she said that you gave it to her
that night that you planned to go clear
did you ever go clear?

The last time I saw you
you looked so much older
your famous blue raincoat
was torn at the shoulder
you'd been to the station
to meet every train
you came home alone
without Lili Marlene

You treated my woman
to a flake of your life
and when she came back
she was nobody's wife

well I see you
there with a rose in your teeth
just one more thin gypsy thief
I see Jane's awake now
she sends her regards

what can I tell you
my brother my killer
what can I possibly say
I guess that I miss you
I guess I forgive you
I'm glad you stood in my way

If you ever come by here
for Jane or for me
your enemy is sleeping now
and his woman is free

thanks for the trouble you took
from her eyes
I thought it was there for good
so I never tried

Jane came by with a lock of your hair
she said that you gave it to her
on the night that you planned to go clear

Sincerely, L Cohen

This was coming out of the speakers in Ray's Liquor the other day.

They have Satellite Radio there for some reason. It's hard to believe it helps them sell more wine and beer and stuff, but at least there aren't commercials for competing businesses getting broadcast in their own store every couple minutes. To say nothing of the weather reports and traffic reports and "news" and other things their customers either already know or don't care about. So, every now and then I have to walk to the back of the store, behind the aisles with the plastic grapes overhead, and stand in front of a speaker between the security cameras and marvel at a song I haven't heard on the radio in 20 or 30 years.

Jennifer Warnes also did a fine version of this song, and named her album of Leonard Cohen covers after it. Jenny Sings Lenny was apparently the second choice.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Feels Like The First Time - or -
Today's Topic at the eBay Music Chat Board

The first CD's I bought were Zappa's Cruising With Ruben & the Jets and Renaissance In The Beginning, their first two albums with Annie Haslam on a single disc. I was keen to hear the new remix of the Zappa album, but I was most impressed by the bass content (both electric bass guitar and the piano) on the Renaissance.

The first two LP's I bought were Snoopy and His Friends the Royal Guardsmen and some time later, Alice's Restaurant. But, it was getting Deja Vu, Crosby Stills & Nash and Buffalo Springfield's Retrospective in one swell foop (from Record Club of America, York, PA) a year or so later that opened the floodgates.

I can't remember the first 45 I bought, but it might have been either "Sloop John B" or "Red Rubber Ball". The first 8-track I bought was Days Of Future Passed, but that occurred in the early 90's, so I suppose it has more in common with collecting Glass Insulators than assembling a Music Collection.


Man, the people at GEPR just don't get McKendree Spring. Writing about that group without having heard McKS 3 is truly lamentable. I wanted to say ignorant, but I'm being kind. Some groups only have one great album in them, and yes, if you have an aversion to folk/country you're probably better off sticking with obscure Italian neo-prog outfits.
Big eBay Score For Somebody

This LP sold for over $900 on eBay this week:

Mellow Candle [UK] Swaddling Songs (Deram 1972)

From the Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock:

Very nice female vocalist, she'll remind you of Annie Haslam of Renaissance or Sonja Kristina of Curved Air. The album falls squarely into a vague folk-prog category, with the vocals sounding very folksy, while the music varies over folk, psych, and progressive. Some nice piano is featured on many of the songs. Very nice if you like female vocals... lots of vocals. For me, sameness starts to creep in about half-way through.

I like folk-rock quite a bit but I've never heard any quite this busy! Something of a mix between Steeleye Span and Reniassance, this early 70's British band has really caught my attention. At first I didn't ever realize the traditional strains...I was so caught up in the keyboard/guitar work playing very *active* melodies across the vocals. And I must say that the vocalist (don't know her name) has one of the most lovely voices I've heard in quite some time. Her control is evident when she modulates pitch half an octave or more between words so smoothly. If there isn't a progressive-folk subdivision, maybe there should be. This is a truly virtuistic performance.

Looks like reissue LP's and Japanese CD's can be had for considerably less. Sounds like an interesting record. But I don't think I'll add it to my Wish List since I suspect it'd have to be well down on the Priority List of CD's I'd Order Off The Internet If I Had $100 A Week To Dispose Of In Such Manner.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003



Of course, Johnny Cash died this week too, so we weren't left hanging long wondering who would complete the "things happen in threes" trifecta. He sure does look like an American Icon on the cover of Time Magazine. Suitable For Framing. Glad to see Kris (I saw it spelled Chris somewhere) Kristofferson was at the funeral since I thought he was dead already. Guess I was thinking of Waylon. And if I go this week, Emmylou can sing at my funeral, too.


Today's Lileks quote (link to the left if you don't have it bookmarked):

To some left-wing green progressive do-gooder fundraisers: "I’m curious how you matched a phone number, a specific name, an address, and referenced a particular conversation. Because if the Justice Department did to you what you’ve done to us, your breakfast would be running down your pants leg."


P.J. O'Rourke interviewed in the Onion last week:

"I buy a tractor two years ago, and four-fifths of the tractor manual is about not tipping over, not raising the bucket high enough to hit high-tension wires... not killing yourself, basically. The tractor itself is covered with stickers: Don't put your hand in here. Don't put your dick in there. And in that manual, I found out - and it cost me a thousand dollars - that when the tractor is new, 10 hours into use of the tractor, you have to re-torque the lug nuts. If you don't, you will oval the holes. This is buried between the moron warnings. I never found it. I take the tractor in for its regular servicing, and they say my wheels are gone. A thousand dollars worth of wheels have to be replaced because I didn't re-torque after 10 hours. How am I supposed to know that? 'It's in the manual.' You fucking read that manual! You go through 40 pages of how not to tip over! Anyway, that's the world that we seem to be moving into."
Eight Simple Rules For Dating My Widow

ABC is apparently going to go ahead and continue the late John Ritter's sitcom without him. Well, of course, without him, the only other option is to cancel it. It won't be the first show to continue afer the central character leaves, of course. The Andy Griffith Show morphing into Mayberry RFD comes to mind, which is probably a clue as to when my peak TV watching years were. I suppose another option would be to use computer graphics to insert old footage of John into new scripts. Presumably this can now be executed more smoothly than Ed Wood's direction of the late Bela Lugosi in Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Anyway, this particular change will not affect my life in the slightest. No disrespect, but I never had any interest in Three's Company or anything else John Ritter did. The only thing that stops me from complete sneering disgust at people who get all excited talking about stupid 70's shows like The Brady Bunch is the memory of watching stupid 60's shows like My Favorite Martian, My Mother The Car, My Three Sons, et cetera, a few years previously. But get over it, people.

Ritter's death was evidently the result of "aorta dissection", which seems to be similar to, if not a synonym for, an "aortic aneurysm", which was my mother's cause of death back in 1964. I had an MRI a few years ago to make sure that my own ticker and major vessels showed no signs of any problem. None were found, and I have no reason to suspect any (besides family history), but I have my doubts that the high tech equipment and highly paid professionals involved in the procedure would have seen anything if a problem existed. Time will tell. At least I got to lie in a plastic tube in a flimsy gown for 20 minutes. And the insurance paid for most of it...

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I'm A Bad Blogger

I never make note of the trail of links that lead me to stuff like this article in Esquire about the Photograph of the Falling Man.

And this one is the story of a guy who saved a lot of lives by starting to get people out of the south tower immediately after the north tower got hit, contrary to the Port Authority's official "stay put everything is under control" directive.

Saw some of that PBS WTC special the other day, too. I must be more accustomed to ignoring the editorial bias in Public Broadcasting reporting than this blogger. - "Take a drink every time you hear the word 'hubris'." Heh.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Warren Zevon 1947-2003

Since I don't subscribe to the New Ork Times, I'm happy to point you to a nice Warren Zevon article by someone who evidently does. Lots of death notices around the web today, but this January article has an interesting angle from a Dylan concert last October...

Friday, September 05, 2003

Wax Minute
written by Richard Stekol

From the album Tantamount To Treason Volume One
by Michael Nesmith and the Second National Band

As you complicate things greatly
Since you came into my life
Old veneers and stately postures
Wax minute within your sigh

And the taxing way of adjusting
To all the thoughts which you reveal
Only incites me to motion
While that's the crux of your appeal

Just the thought of how
It's always been concealed,
Where's my heart, love?
As only you can heal

And his humble plans just don't seem
To inspire me to heights
As they did or as seeing you,
Or as touching you might

And the card that I should have sent days ago
Falls short of reaching you
Memories speak kindly now
But what can I do?

Just be thankful
For an insight granted to few,
And don't linger
On what it might have meant to you

The distance which I keep
Has entered into play,
Miles which make me say
I won't be seeing you...

Autoclaving turns this line brown.

From the official Michael Nesmith Lyric site !
Feeling Old This Morning?

I was looking for the Beloit College New Freshman Mindset List the other day after hearing a little bit about it on the radio, but I couldn't find it until Acidman bloggged it this morning. I think I Googled 2008 instead of 2007. Doing college on the Five Year Plan does that to ya, I guess.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Van Morrison Signs to Blue Note Records

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Jazz label Blue Note Records, home of Grammy-winner Norah Jones, will announce Thursday that it has signed Van Morrison to a multi-album global deal.

His self-produced album "What's Wrong With This Picture?" is due Oct. 21. The jazz- and blues-infused set includes 11 new Morrison originals, a cover of Lightnin' Hopkins' "Stop Drinking" and an arrangement of traditional tune "Saint James Infirmary."

Morrison's last album, "Down the Road" (Exile/Universal), debuted at No. 25 on the Billboard 200 chart in May 2002. Prior to that, he recorded for Virgin's Pointblank imprint. Morrison was also affiliated with jazz label Verve for two sets in the mid-1990s, including an album of Mose Allison songs.


To say nothing of his years recording for the Brothers Warner. But, the main excuse for posting this is linking to some recordings he made in a bid to get out of his contract with Bang Records after he determined that attempting followup singles to "Brown Eyed Girl" for Bert Berns wasn't what he wanted to do with his life:

Van Morrison getting out of his Bang Records contract: "I can see by the look on your face, that you've got ringworm..."

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Advice From A Cartoon Cat

Gotta add Achewood to my comix linx at left... Ray's got some fine advice and observations again this Wednesday:

...There are a lot of duds out there. Just look at how many people genuinely cared about the outcome of “American Idol” this year. I heard some reports that people actually bought CDs by people who were on that show! I mean, come on! Who cares if some overgrown meat-bug re-sings an already famous song with a generic band behind him, taking all the cojones out of the music? What a waste of various types of resources.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Happy Canada Day, Eh?

So I did the Archive thing again, and I figured I oughta get something from the current month on the front page.

Shaw Island is about to split into two strips, one for the humans and one for the hamsters, so keep reading. In WIGU, the Tinkle family got amnesia after a confrontation between Topato and Space Mummy...

Here at work, things are busy and I think I need to work late again to get some stuph accomplished. Holiday weekend approaching that I hope to enjoy, considering I had to forego any possibility of going to see the Moody Blues at Summerfest last night. Oh well...

Friday, June 20, 2003

Maybe I Should Make Headlines For These Posts

Eric Olsen wrote a pretty nice article about Warren Zevon and his new album, The Wind. Besides reviewing the disc, he conveys the difficulty of not coming off like a jerk when meeting a celebrity, particularly one you admire. Or whose work you admire. If you're not a fawning fanboy, you're asking presumptuous questions, speaking with unearned authority from nonexistent expertise or giving (what's the word Fripp uses) dopey advice. Basement commentary. Ideally, one is able to speak to the object of one's desire without annoying them. But, fan interaction is heavily weighted in favor of the fan. "Sorry (NOT) to interrupt your quiet meal with your friends, butt I have a hunger to tell you how great you are, and if you don't appreciate my attention I'm prepared to insult you. Sign this. Get ready for a bright flash in your eyes." Eric didn't really do all this, understand, when he met Warren Zevon at a party, I'm just rambling.

Besides Butch Vig and Duke Erikson, I've met very few celebrities. After a Summerfest show in the 80's (with Al Perkins on a tiny stage), I shook Chris Hillman's hand and thanked him for coming to Milwaukee. Shook Gene Clark's hand between sets at a little Bay View bar once, also. That was right around the time Hillman was having some Mainstream Country success with the Desert Rose Band, and I think Gene didn't appreciate my suggestion that he consider the Country Music market. Mind, this was when guys like Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Lyle Lovett and Randy Travis were new on the scene, and it seemed like there was a market for honest thoughtful singer songwriters on the Radio of all freakin' places. Before all the empty cowboy hats took over. Oh well. I didn't ask for his autograph since I don't believe in the dumb things.

Mmm, to be honest, I've gotten a couple over the years. It's an excuse to get close to a celebrity, I guess. (Why anyone would buy an autograph is a mystery to me.) I got Flo & Eddie to autograph a 200 Motels booklet after a Turtles show some years back, and back in college I got Sneeky Pete to autograph a breathalyzer result card I happened to have in my wallet. Both of those are longer stories than I have time to relate at the moment...

Someday I should also write about seeing Roger McGuinn & Band, David Crosby's CPR and Michael Clarke (and Gene) in a "Byrd Tribute" band. That 's all Five Byrds I've seen in Concert at various times. I've gone to few enough concerts that I should make an effort to list 'em. Can probably remember most if I try. I've started this project before, I wonder what floppy disc that file might be on...

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Okay, I republished the Archives.* My deathless prose will live on until the sun grows cold and dark. Or until all the terrible things everybody says about Blogger come to pass. Or until Blogspot start charging for this space.

* "It's supposed to be automatic, but you actually have to push this button."
Here's my latest Blogcritics post. I perform a little record company math and scientifically estimate that the Artist will probably receive 3 cents out of each 99 cents the Consumer spends on a downloaded mp3 or whatever that new Apple iTunes format is...

Check in again next month for more up-to-the-minute reporting.

Oh, today's the last day of school, and I get to sit in the bleachers for several hours observing a Middle School promotion exercise this evening. Lucky me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Okay, I'm not some kind of Nick Hornby (or Hugh Grant) fanboy, I'm just rearranging some bookmarks...

"The Hornby Top Ten" - If you've seen or read and enjoyed "High Fidelity", you'll have an idea of what this is about. If you've ever made Mix Tapes or CD's or just find yourself Making Lists sometimes, you'll relate even if your tastes don't agree.

"POP QUIZ" - Nick Hornby listens to the Billboard Top 10 and realizes the stuff he listens to isn't really POPULAR music anymore... Heh, me too.

"31 Songs That Changed My Life" Nick Hornby's 31 and one each from thirty-one other people, including Vicki Blue from the Runaways -> Suzi Quatro -> Gene Pitney...

And this article references a Canadian musician rather than a British writer with decent taste in music...

"The Ecstasy of Glenn Gould" - I never liked classical piano music until I heard Gould's recording of Bach's "Goldberg Variations", so if you don't like the florid Romantic style piano, don't overlook this guy. Kind of a cross between Professor Longhair, Yo Yo Ma and Robert Fripp, if I may be allowed a very inexact analogy.

On an unrelated note, Disc Two of Scooped was spinning on my CD drive when I read that Pete Townshend was cleared of child porn charges. Good for him, though the criminal justice system, such as it is, is requiring him to Register as an Offender despite not being Charged or Convicted of anything. Well, as long as it's For The Children and not part of the Amerikkkan Resident's Homeland Security Dismantling of the Bill of Rights, I guess it's all good.
I haven't read McSweeney's much lately, but this article saved its place in my Bookmarks list for another month or two...

Monday, May 05, 2003

If meat is murder,
then chicken is manslaughter,
eggs are kidnapping,
and milk is sexual harassment.

More Deep Thoughts later in the week, perhaps...

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Murphy pointed me to HyperScore, a graphical MIDI generator. Considering the fun I had with Musinum (which had a peculiar set of limitations and some awkward features - well, it's a MIDI generating, not a MIDI composing program after all), this should be a good download. It's designed for kids, so I'll let them have a turn, too!

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Ooh, an e-mail from Dave Benton today! The Spooner Fan Site should soon have a couple new mp3's, both from a 1980 gig at Bunky's in Madison. A great Spooner original called "Shut Up" and a cover of an old 60's garage number called "Run Run Run". You're drooling all over the seat, kid...

Friday, March 14, 2003

Well, I finally made a Blogcritics post. Most of the "inside information" is from a personal e-mail from Tom Rapp, who is now practicing Law in Florida. (Until he gets it right!) I'm still on the fence about spending $60 for no music I don't already have on vinyl, indeed, only 21 songs I don't already have on CD. I've paid three bucks a song for 45's, I guess, when a b-side didn't appear on the LP, but this is a wee bit different. Still, a 60 page booklet with rare photos, interviews and notes by Lenny Kaye is additional value. I'm trying to be upbeat about this, you see, since Tom is nothing if not a deserving artist, and long overdue for some recognition if not renumeration. Hopefully a bit of the latter will accrue for each box set sold!

Last Saturday I passed on an $11 CD containing a Spooner song that I only have in mp3 format at present. (As well as a bunch of other random "Madison Music Legends" that I had little interest in...) Tough work being a Fan, I guess. Expensive, anyway. There's still $200+ of King Crimson CD's standing between me and True Fanaticism over at Robert Fripp's website. And the 21st Century Schizoid Band has an official bootleg for sale, too...

Monday, March 03, 2003

Hmm, looks like that Tempest gig is taking place the week the kids are on Spring Break (the holiday formerly known as Easter Vacation), so I may be out of town visiting relatives instead of swilling beer and listening to live and loud Celtic Rock.

Fans of Doug "Duke" Erikson, Butch Vig, Dave Benton, et al, must check out the new Spooner Fan website put together by Bob Bartel, the Madison band's manager in the late 70's and early 80's. Many pictures, lotsa good information and some full-length mp3's of Spooner rarities for your pleasure. It would take me paragraphs to describe my reaction to seeing this stuff. Nostalgia just scratches the surface. Those shots of Doug and the boys playing (the outdoor gigs especially) made me ache to be twenty again. In 1976, of course. Yeah, could happen. Well, I guess I'll have to settle for cranking "Johnny Stood Up" one more time...

The "Further Clues" link to the left will indirectly connect you to the Spooner and Fire Town page I slapped up on Angelfire a while ago. (Pity they don't permit remote linking of images since it looks like ranchoweb is going the way of boomspeed. That is, they're going out of the free webspace business. Gee, you'd think there'd be all kinds of money to be made providing free services on the internet...)

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Phrase Of The Day: "Pheasant Plucking Music"

Yow, I've been added to the roster of Blogcritics, so I guess I oughta write up some stuff instead of just commenting on other peoples' posts... Passing along the news of the upcoming Pearls Before Swine Box Set on Water Records should be first. An Amazon link is even available. Then into the Useless Information archive...

Murphy & I decided to spring for King Crimson tickets, back at the Modjeska again, same as Y2K. Since the 21st Century Schizoid Band hasn't added the USA to its tour itinerary as yet...

And Tempest is coming to some bar in Racine, of all places. The previous time we saw them, it was at Alverno College - a local Catholic women's school - in the basement of a dorm. A fun, interesting and weird evening that was, something like 20 years since I'd last hung out in the basement of a dorm. Really good music, though, very hot electric Celtic folk stuff, electric mandolin, fiddle with a rock and roll spirit that reminded me of the Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span of the early 70's. With a little Tull as well.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

I'm trying to decide whether to spend the bucks to go see King Crimson when they visit Milwaukee again next month. Murphy and I went to see them last time they were at the Modjeska, and it was a fine concert. (We previously saw KC at the PAC with Mark-Almond opening in 1974...) But they have so many CD's available at their website that I'd like to order! Such is life.

I need to save up for the four CD Pearls Before Swine box set, too... Called Jewels Were The Stars after a line in "Rocket Man", it's said to contain the albums These Things Too, The Use of Ashes, City of Gold and Beautiful Lies You Could Live In. I'm a tremendous fan of Tom Rapp's music, but if these discs don't overflow with bonus tracks, I'm going to have real problems parting with $60 for that amount of music. Maybe I should try selling some of my spare vinyl copies of these on eBay...

UPDATE There's a total of 21 songs on those four albums not already included on Constructive Melancholy. Awaiting information as to the set's contents...

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

To clarify, I like Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Lefty Frizell, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kinky Friedman, Buffalo Springfield, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Grateful Dead, Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros, Poco, Pure Prairie League, Manassas, Eagles, Randy Travis, Hal Ketchum, Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Iris Dement, Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss, Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, Derailers... This is not a complete or exhaustive list, obviously. (Not everything by all these people is of uniformly high quality, but the same would be true of my list of Rock Heroes.)

But I wouldn't know Travis Tritt or Faith Hill if they got stuck between my toes. About once a year I tune in a Country radio staion for about 30 seconds. And I saw too much Hee-Haw as a kid to be able to stomach Buck Owens or Roy Clark, as much admirable music as they may have recorded somewhere along the way. The fact that Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen do appreciate the Bakersfield Sound is good enough for me.
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'
--Bob Newhart

(Thanks to Snargle!)

Myself, I do like country music, but I certainly understand why other folks don't. Early exposure to Johnny Cash and Lefty Frizell gave me a frame of reference when I discovered Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, the Flying Burrito Brothers, etc... The country-rock of the seventies led indirectly to the alt-country of the nineties, and for a brief time there in the eighties, it seemed like mainstream Nashville might embrace some quality singer-songwriters. Turns out to be not quite the case, but guys like Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam and Steve Earle still manage to make a living and get new music released on a regular basis. Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson probably have more credibility with the alternative rock crowd than Nashville these days. The folk and bluegrass branches seem pretty vibrant lately, too. Country radio sucks, but so does Pop and Rock radio. And ninety per cent of everything is trash, so discovering hidden gems can be challenging if you don't have a map. Heck, there might be some hip-hop or electronica I'd like if I heard it, but I don't have any interest in the search. (OTOH, it may be that I'm too far outside the target demographic for those styles for this to be true...)

Friday, February 14, 2003

Close to a month with no blogging... Life goes on. Wednesday woulda been Aunt Margaret's 95th birthday. Abe Lincoln and one of my nephews (Terry, I think) share the date. And today, yes, Saint Valentine's Day, so I think I'll leave work early and pick up a bouquet of Krispy Kreme doughjobs on the way home...

Thursday, January 23, 2003

There is much to say, but little time to say it in. Busy at work, but customer orders are still slow in coming...

The last of my dad's siblings died last Friday. Aunt Margaret was less than a month shy of her 95th birthday.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

"A major problem with cooking a golden goose, repeatedly over many years, is that one day it might no longer lay golden eggs. But perhaps this is not a prime concern for battery farmers." - Robert Fripp - Wednesday 8th January 2003

Battery Farmers? Sounds like a great name for my new math-rock / ambient-drone / spazz-jazz / jam-band / psychedelic-folk / new-wave / sew-age / roots-rock / drip-hop combo...

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

For no good reason, apart from the fact that I've been trimming and arranging this playlist over the last few days, here's 4 hours, 3 minutes and 29 seconds of the music I've been marinating in over the last month or so... Not as schizo as ever, but it does cover a few bases...

Moody Blues - Never Comes The Day
The Rolling Stones - She Smiled Sweetly
Pearls Before Swine - Uncle John
Serge Gainsbourg - L'abominable Strip-tease
John Cale - Dead Or Alive
Nick Cave - By The Time I Get To Phoenix
R.L. Burnside - Hard Time Killing Floor
Professor Longhair - Ball The Wall
Armegeddon - Buzzard
Abba - Ring Ring Swedish Version
Jeff Lynne & Roy Wood - Me And You
Ace Kefford Stand - Gravy Booby Jamm
Acid Gallery - Dance Around The Maypole
Roy Wood - Polythene Pam
Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour - Flying
Nice - Get To You
Beatles - Across The Universe
Arthur Prysock - EbbTide
Dr Hook - Who If Not You
Captain Sensible - Wot
Sharks - Doctor Love
Clash - Police and Thieves
Go-Betweens - By Chance
Go-Betweens - Part Company
Matching Mole - Beer As In Braindeer
Matching Mole - Instant Pussy
Roto Rooter Good Time Christmas Band - 21st Century Schizoid Man & Bubbles In The Wine
Giles Giles & Fripp - Tremelo Study in A major
Sharks - Snakes And Swallowtails
Steamhammer - Junior's Wailing
Surfaris - Hey Joe Where Are You Going
Tee Set - She Likes Weeds
Suzanne Vega & John Cale - So Long Marianne
White Willow - Anamnesis
Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts - Queen & Soldier
Armageddon - Silver Tightrope
Toto - Africa
Buffalo Springfield - Sad Memory
Chris Hillman - Tomorrow Is A Long Time
Sam Bush - Big Mon
Shane MacGowan - Mama Lou
Kate Rusby - Our Town
Chris Hillman - Morning Sky
Lucinda Williams - Still I Long For Your Kiss
Flatlanders - Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go D
Kate Rusby - Dark Eyed Sailor
White Willow - Elvenking
Jimmie Dale Gilmore - One Endless Night
Sharks - World Park Junkies
Spooner - Cruel School
Abba - What About Livingstone
Hot Tuna - Hit Single # 1
Sharks - Driving Sideways
This Mortal Coil - Kanga Roo
Spooner - Eyes Of The World
Standells - Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go
Human Beinz - Pied Piper
Spooner - Tomorrow Never Comes
Tom Rapp - After The Gold Rush
White Willow - Snowfall
Spooner - Wildest Dreams
Tom Rapp - Blind

Monday, January 06, 2003

Happy New Year!

Been mostly offline for the last two weeks, so I'm just catching up on a few blogs and comics before getting into the Seriously Productive part of my day...

Finally nabbed Harold And Maude from the library last week. A classic cult movie. Perhaps not as great as it may have seemed in memory, but I was watching it by myself (snoozing Lora by my side) and the state of the art in black humor has advanced somewhat in the last 32 years... I did enjoy it though, especially the Cat Stevens songs on the soundtrack. I may have to CD-R Tea For The Tillerman and Mona Bone Jakon soon. Probably Teaser And The Firecat to complete the triptych, as well... "How Can I Tell You?" indeed...

Had a lot of time off work and rested up pretty good over the holidays. Quite busy, though, lotsa parties, multitudes of Gluckstein relatives in town, lots of good food and drink. Won another darn radio contest (Forgotten Oldie = "Concrete And Clay" by Unit Four Plus Two), but the prize was a pair of New Years Eve tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters, so we never went to pick them up and went to see The Two (not "Twin"!) Towers instead. Then back home to watch Red Green and Fawlty Towers. Lit some sparklers and bottle rockets with the boyz, woke up Lora at midnight and we all went to our beds, saving the champagne for the next day.

I should make entries here more often if I'm going to type so many irrelevant details. So it goes. And now there's several hot projects which should command my attention...