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.