Tuesday, July 31, 2007

review of television bio @ i94bar.com

i'm checking e-mail in the public library in princeton, n.j., a few blocks from the hospital where my ailing dad currently resides. just learned that a review i penned of a new book about the band television is live now on the i-94 bar. hooray.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

before i fly

my dad had a good day yesterday.
his memory seemed better and he was lucid most of the day.
today, the doc said it doesn't appear he can swallow anymore.

he told my sister and her husband to go home
("this might take awhile," he said)
and to take care of our mother.

which would seem to indicate that he knows what time it is,
and that it isn't necessarily the same time
i was hoping it was.

whatever disagreements we might have had over the years
(they were numerous and seemed significant in the moment),
i have to respect that.

shame on him for being such a hard man to love.

shame on me for not trying harder.

sandinista! 3

i can't even pick a favorite side.

1: gets docked a notch for "hitsville u.k." (featuring jones' then-g/f ellen foley, 'member her?) and the silly cold war boo-shee of "ivan meets g.i. joe," but still boasts opening hip-hop salvo "the magnificent seven" (which included the oft-quoted-by-me line "cold water in the face / brings us back to this dreadful place"); an off-kilter-sounding version of the nawlins pianner staple "junco partner" (previously covered by strummer with the 101'ers); and "something about england," an historical overview cut at the dawn of the thatcher era. read the lyrics and weep.

2: worthwhile for simonon's follow-up to "guns of brixton," "the crooked beat;" jones' "somebody got murdered" (the closest thing to a "classic" -- e.g., first album -- clash song here besides the cover of eddie grant's "police on my back"); and strummer's reggaefied "one more time" in its 'riginal and dubwise versions.

3: i consider thisun the _speerchul_ side, between "lightning strikes (not once but twice)," "up in heaven (not only here)," and especially the cod-gospel "the sound of the sinners" ("after all these years / to believe in jesus / after all these drugs / i thought i was him"). there's also the caribbean flavor of "let's go crazy" to get your mind dancing.

4: besides the aforementioned "police on my back," this side contains the alb's, um, _ideological centerpieces_, namely "the call up" and "washington bullets," making it the most enduringly topical '80s release this side of three-way tie for last.

5: leading off with "lose this skin," featuring timon dog in the role of johnny-rotten-as-angry-fiddling-leprechaun, there's the backward-tape experimentalismo of "mensforth hill," the harrowing "junkie slip," and "the street parade," which wouldn't have sounded out of place on strummer's elegiac, veledictory streetcore set.

6: this dub-heavy side was the one i listened to the least back in the day, but now it's one of my faves, particularly for late-night spins, especially mikey dread's reworkings of "washington bullets" (the beautifully titled "silicone on sapphire"), "junco partner" ("version pardner"), and "police and thieves" (the closing "shepherd's delight"). not to mention the kid-sung version of "career opportunities."

when sandinista! was new, in response to an interviewer's observation that "there's a lot of stuff on there" (or words to that effect), strummer replied, "it's supposed to take you a year to get through." i could easily spend a year listening to the needle dig into these grooves again.

merkin pics

my sweetie posted her pics of the band merkin (seven of 'em, from last night's wreck room show) here. check 'em out. (click on the pics to make 'em big.)

lost country review @ iloveftw.com

review i just penned of lost country's new ceedee scattered is up now at i love fort worth. release party at arts fifth avenue on sat'day, august 25th.

heading out again

things in jersey have taken a bad turn, so i'm heading out again tom'w a.m.

apologies to my brothers in ph7 -- i'll have to catch you on the other side.

odd job

this is kind of random, but my dad said he knew this guy (who played "odd job" in goldfinger) at farrington high school in honolulu back in the '30s. it's not something he would have made up.

sandinista! 2

the first time i owned this rekkid, i was living in an apartment up on las vegas trail, back when all of that shit was relatively new. i had three albums i listened to incessantly on a turntable i'd paid a guy five bucks for, that needed a nickel on the tone arm to make it track, which i ran through my tweed fender deluxe amp: besides sandinista!, there was captain beefheart's doc at the radar station and arthur blythe's illusions. my driver's license was suspended, and every day, my future ex-wife would come pick me up and drive me to the record store where we both worked. one day in december i woke myself up by spilling a glass of water on my head, just in time to hear over the radio that john lennon had been murdered. on the way out of the parking lot that day, we noticed that during the night, someone had torched the apartment office.

i never really thought of the clash as "a punk band." through no fault of their own, they were a _big rock band_ -- the last one with a major label contract that i gave a rat's ass about, in spite of columbia's deplorable "only band that matters" hype (which approached the same label's "the man can't bust our music" campaign of a decade earlier for pure, unadulterated crassness). london calling (which i rode down from aspen to denver with glen gutierrez to buy on the day it was released) had been their _big rock album_, their white album / electric ladyland / exile on main st., even though it showed the fissures beginning to appear between their roots (strummer) and pop (jones) impulses. i'd seen 'em twice the previous season, and they were undoubtedly one of the two most exciting bands i've ever seen in a big venue (other one: sproooce, _none_ of whose rekkids i can stand to listen to; go fig).

when it was new, sandinista! seemed like monumental self-indulgence; with hindsight, it seems like exactly the kind of grand, self-defeating gesture one makes if one is an artiste imbued with the d.i.y. aesthetic who's taken caesar's gold (others: playing a week at bond's casino in manhattan when they could have easily played to the same number of people for more money in a single night at madison square garden; busking in train stations after releasing an album called cut the crap). of course, husker du topped 'em a few years later by breaking up before releasing a third album for warner bros. the saddest moment came when the clash opened for the 'oo at shea stadium in a move that looked like someone's ill-conceived idea of a ceremonial passing o' the torch. ah, hubris. from where i sat at the time (an air force base in korea), i thought journey's escape was a better record than combat rock, and grandmaster flash's "the message," george clinton's computer games, and prince's 1999 all meant more in my own life than either of the aforementioned rock rekkids.

the weirdest part of listening to sandinista! in 2007 is how timely the political bits sound ("something about england," "the call up," "washington bullets"), and how sad that makes me feel. that and the fact joe strummer, by all accounts a good cat who really meant it, is gone.

carey wolff, merkin, bill pohl, blood of the sun

fell by the wreck last night for the first time in awhile. tina pack said it was closed this past wednesday because an electrical switchbox blew up. looks like the no-shit final show there will be sub oslo on september 30th. on this particular night, carey wolff was sharing the small "wreck west" stage with amy royer, kinda like he does with scott copeland at 6th street live on wednesday nights. carey said he played the allgood cafe in dallas with spyche and reggie rueffer last week and got a good response. "the people there actually _listened_," he said. unfortunately, you couldn't say the same for some of the folks at the wreck, particularly the tool who kept yelling for hendrix and made annoying noises at the end of each line while carey was singing "19 years."

finally got to see a merkin show for the first time since fredfest. cameron and chris told me they were originally gonna give me an inflatable godzilla for my b-day before lee-boy said "let's get him an amp!" the boyzzz from river oaks, who've been gigging a lot lately at froggy bottoms near their home turf, played their asses off to a small crowd of "their peeps." chris said, "it felt like we were rehearsing; in fact, we _hadn't_ rehearsed," and there was lotsa onstage banter, including a request from cameron that the crowd _get up_ instead of perching on stools at the tables along the wall, which is a damn silly way to take in a rawk show, if you ask me. carey blackwell was there, sittin' on the monitor, his devil sign held high. my sweetie took some pics which will undoubtedly be posted later, either here or on her photo blog.

"bill pohl street patrol" was prolly a misnomer for citizen patrol, the name bill's been using for the trio consisting of his underground railroad compadre kurt rongey on drums and sequencing, rick read on bass and chapman stick, and bill his own self on gtr, of course. they played a mix of material from u.r. and the old bill pohl trio. bill started to call a mahavishnu orchestra number, but thought better of it; have to wait for the next incarnation of mad jack mcmaddd(d) (which is up to five d's now, i think) to hear thatun. ex-mad jack drummer dave gryder was in the house, too -- he's the ivory-tinkling evil genius behind headliners blood of the sun -- but he didn't share the stage with bill this time.

we cut out not long after blood of the sun's set started, since we were walking and i'd had too many tequila shots thanks to the generosity of cameron from merkin and carlos from tongue (who'd finished a set a froggy bottoms earlier). b.o.t.s. gtrist richard hurley sez that they're having in blood we rock remastered to correct its "squashed" sound, and that after their current run of shows is done, they're gonna concentrate on writing material for a planned session with ex-ted nugent vocalist derek st. holmes (whose name inspahrd one of the characters in spinal tap).

das ist alles.


we've been having incredibly good luck at half price lately. found a clean, british vinyl copy of the clash's sprawling triple album from 1980 the other day while perusing the stacks, hoping for another find like the 'riginal '60s cecil taylor rec i unearthed last week. sure, i have a burned cd copy of sandinista! already, and my sweetie owned the clash on broadway box before we met, but certain recs you just _have_ to hear on vinyl. i'd include funhouse, the who sell out, and electric ladyland in that category; curiously, with other favorites like astral weeks i'm indifferent to format -- prolly has to do with how i first heard 'em (which 'splains why i only own live at leeds on ceedee now, since my preferred version is the '95 remaster that finally included all the pre-tommy songs that nik cohn said were gonna be on it in the new york times before the original elpee's release).

in the fullness of time, sandinista! seems like less of an indulgence than it did when it was new, and more in keeping with the way people listen to music now -- e.g., as a _bath_, rather than a precious artifact. it's about as different as it can be from their first album, which was the biggest-selling item in the history of jem records (new joisey-based import specialists of yore) -- diffuse where the green-covered album was focused. (i'll admit i prefer the u.s. version of the clash, which i heard first; can't imagine it without "clash city rockers," "white man in hammersmith palais," "i fought the law," and "complete control.") it's hard to imagine a band as unashamedly eclectic the clash, who omniverously absorbed and reflected the entahr musical world they inhabited, from rockabilly to reggae to dub to hip-hop, _and_ had mass-ass appeal, emerging in today's marketplace. that's partly a reflection of how fragmented the mass audience has become as its scale 'n' scope have ballooned out of all proportion, but also an indication of how much homogeneity the various component parts of that audience demand from musos of the particular stripe they favor. for that reason, it's also difficult to imagine a band as bifurcated as the clash -- wherein strummer really was a rootsy populist, while jones really wanted to be in mott the hoople -- existing in today's modern, now-a-go-go, um, united states of generica.

Friday, July 27, 2007

a veritable reggie rueffer trifecta

former spot / current hochimen frontguy reggie rueffer writes:

Salutations to one and all!

You are cordially invited to join [brother] Chad [Rueffer] and I and the Insiders at Pearl’s Dancehall and Saloon in Fort Worth Saturday, July 28, at 9pm.

Sunday the 29th [gtrist] Ed [McMahon] and I will be joined by Tyla Taylor at Sambuca Uptown on McKinney Ave. from 7 to 11pm.

Monday the 30th I will be performing solo material old and new at the Wreck Room starting around 9:30 pm. Ryan Thomas Becker will also perform that evening.

Thank you for your eyes and ears and understanding.


blood of the sun, bill pohl, merkin

ok, so the wreck room now has shows booked through the end of september, and tonight, there's a rawkin' card topped by '70s retro obsessives blood of the sun, with support from the intriguingly-named bill pohl street patrol (the solo vehicle of underground railroad progfather / gtr deity you-know-who) and river oaks grungemeisters merkin. so there.

rockabilly in the stockyards tonight!!!

a reminder from dixie fried entertainment:

Category: Music

Alright folks, we've got our first show coming up on Saturday, July 27th.
It's starting at 9:00 PM, and you must be 21 or older to enter, standard bar rules, y'know.
Here's the full info:

@ The Stockyard Saloon
2409 N Main St, Fort Worth, TX
JULY 27th @ 9:00 PM, 21+

the fort on the road

this weekend, the great tyrant heads north for shows in joplin and st. louis, missouri, and tahlequah, oklahoma, while top secret heads south and east (with wizard o' sound andre edmonson in tow) to play austin and nawlins. safe travels and good shows to all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

ftw 7.26.2007

just went down to the street with my sweetie
to look at a double, 180-degree rainbow.
the inner one was strong and brilliant,
while the outer one was working real hard.
my sweetie said that it looked as though
someone was giving our street a hug.

jimi's music

...was the water i grew up swimming in, even though i couldn't listen to it for 20 years or so after college because of all the folks i knew back then who ruined their lives trying to emulate his. plus, clear channel radio and srv took away my desire to hear are you experienced?, "little wing," and "voodoo chile (slight return)" ever ever ever again (altho i've quite enjoyed playing "manic depression" and "third stone from the sun" with jam-meister lee allen the past two years). still, what's good is good, in which category i'd include the monterey "like a rolling stone" and "wild thing;" side 3 of electric ladyland; the woodstock "star-spangled banner" and band of gypsys "machine gun." that said, the only hendrix i'd prolly go out of my way to listen to at home is the cry of love stuff, which i've owned at different times in its original, voodoo soup, and first rays of the new rising sun incarnations. and there's a recording i remember of j.h. with curtis knight & the squires taped in some new joisey dive, late '65, that hit like charlie christian at minton's in '41, or ornette at the hillcrest club in '57. i heard it once in the dorm room of a cat i usedta play chess with in college and haven't seen it anywhere since then, altho i understand there was a reish (as drivin' south) on jungle back in y2k -- now deleted, of course. there's a new bit in the 2001 revision of charles shaar murray's crosstown traffic: jimi hendrix and post-war pop wherein the author conducts a millennial "interview" with hendrix-if-he-hadn't-checked-out that brought tears to my eyes reading it on the plane home from jersey yesterday, but then again, it's been an emotional week.

Monday, July 23, 2007


so the fw symphony is performing three mahler symphonies (1, 9, and 5) on successive evenings, august 24-26. i asked head hochiman / mahler scholar reggie rueffer which one he'd recommend, and it looks like it's the 9. so there you go.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

heading out...

...for jersey tom'w with aimee to see my folks. was originally only going for three days, but i may decide to extend my visit, depending. taking a book about alzheimer's to read on the plane (not to get too heart of darkness, just to help me understand my father's condition better and hopefully be a more positive and beneficial input for evabody involved), along with charles shaar murray's hendrix book (which i fouund at half price today along with a clean 'riginal vinyl copy of cecil taylor's live at the cafe montmartre, who'd a thunk it) in case i need to get my mind off things in the evening time. just hoping to be as supportive as i can be for my dad, my mom, and my sis. have the nagging feeling that i ain't ready for this, but you don't get to pick and choose what time it is...

talk american

so latin magik was playing at the market last night
and this customer comes up and says,
"i have a complaint about the band.

"instrumentally, they're ok. but vocally...
we live in america, and you need to find somebody
who does what they do, but _in english_."

my coworker and i were stunned.
"guy seems real upset about the immigration issue,"
he said tactfully.

i said, "nah, it just goes to show
that winston churchill was right when he said,
'it doesn't _take_ all kinds, there just _are_ all kinds.'"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

rosie the electrician

last night i checked groceries for
a woman wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with
that "we can do it" poster
of rosie the riveter from ww2.

"i was one of those," she said.
"only i was an electrician."
i thanked her for winning the war for us.
she said, "i only wish."

"my birds were beautiful," she said,
"and they all flew. it gives me goosebumps
just thinking about it."
i told her, "me too."

Friday, July 20, 2007

goodwin, dark romantics

went to see goodwin at the market last night. the other band, the dark romantics from florida, were like a composite of every other band i've seen this year: singer (who sounded like bono) wore a little fedora like the cat from the panther city bandits; both gtrists (one of whom sounded like the edge) both played gretsches (which manufacturer apparently has a $150 model now, but i'm still sticking with my indonesian squier); chick bassplayer had a rickenbacker like stella rose's. am i sounding jaded yet? (doo-dah, doo-dah.)

bart rose from first street audio, who's mixing, sez that goodwin's long-anticipated sophomore ceedee is _this_ close to the mastering stage. honest: "it's only been two years." my excitement at the prospect is dimmed only slightly by the knowledge that they didn't get to record my fave post-"blue album" song: "arm and mouth." the set was noteworthy for the fact that evil dictator gomez broke almost enough strings to qualify to be in stoogeaphilia, and the presence in the setlist of a song ("reconstruction") i'd never heard before, which almost made up for the absence of old faves "airport" and "march." (i know; complaints, complaints.) and hearing hembree play a blooze shuffle during soundcheck, a possible hangover from sittin' in with some tennessee barband while visiting home for his high school reunion. and seeing all the little kids "playing drums" with chopsticks after marveling at sticky d's stick-spinnin' showmanship. music awards poll be damned; fw weekly biz manager bob neihoff said it in his intro: "fort worth's best live band."

bolt from the blue

i'd been anticipating a negative surprise
associated with the trip i'm taking next week
but i figured it'd wait till i was there,
rather than arriving this morning as it did.
that's what you get for thinking.
next week's going to be an interesting one.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

son house

when i saw corey harris open for taj mahal at caravan of dreams a decade or so ago, i was reminded that country blues started out as _social_ music: that's right, kids, ppl used to _dance_ to this stuff. dig son house's "death letter" (which captain beefheart plagiarized to create "ah feel like ahcid" on strictly personal). observe son's right hand. there are those who say son couldn't play after he was rediscovered in the early '60s. i beg to differ. in my opinion, his the original delta blues is one of the best rekkids you can buy, regardless of genre.


ray-boy sez he's gonna go see the pretenders in august. i saw 'em the first time they toured the states, at some tiny dump in dallas. chrissie hynde was one badass rockarolla, could really write 'em and sing 'em. when i came back to texas from colorado, spring of 1980, i owned two cassettes: the first albs by the pretenders and the specials. that first rec was a great one, and she always made interesting radio music after that. half the 'riginal band's dead now, which was surprising at the time, but now less so (cf. da ramones).

the president

they say that lester young
drank a bottle of whiskey every day
and when he decided he wanted to die
he just stopped eating.

my big sis wrote the other day
to tell me that our dad has pretty much given up food.
gotta respect that,
but i don't have to like it.


getting ready to trek up to new joisey to see my folks, i missed out on a jam with lee allen's bro lance last night. watched a lotta movies the last coupla wks, including topsy turvy (about, um, the trials 'n' tribs associated with the staging of the debut of gilbert & sullivan's the mikado -- a surprisingly arresting portrayal of the creative process and the different perspectives of the various participants, including the feuding composers, the impresario d'oyly carte, the players, and gilbert's supportive-but-neglected wife) and lou reed: rock and roll heart, a doco 'riginally produced for pbs' american masters series and recommended to me by mc5: a true testimonial filmmaker david thomas when it was new (back in '98, same year he told me "you need to quit your job and come to chicago to help us make this film," sigh).

watching the lou doc spurred several thoughts: 1) how my perception of lou, largely gleaned from st. lester's mid-'70s running verbal battle with the artiste, was prolly mistaken, and that it might indeed be possible for the relationship between an artist and his / her material to be something other than 1:1 (e.g., maybe it _was_ just reportage, imagine that); 2) how lou's instincts re: his own work have been pretty sound, contrary to what his collaborators might have thought (the gtr solo _is_ the most interesting and important part of "i heard her call my name;" legendary hearts _is_ a better record than the blue mask); 3) how his lyrics always scan better 'n those of other songwriters i dig (richard hell, paul westerberg), even when i don't particulary dig the songs they're from; and 4) how lou seemed to start taking his art more seriously and _doing the work_ (rather than just grinding out _product_) around the time his friends (andy warhol, sterling morrison, doc pomus) started checking out.

my ex-g/f was wrong: i never wanted to be iggy; i wanted to be ron asheton. but only because i knew i couldn't be lou reed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

wreck room is _not_ closed!

the wreck room's brian forella writes:

Rumors of our demise have been rampant. We still have at least 3-6 months if not longer. So I am booking August and September now...we have also taken over 6th Street Live less than a mile away and are currently redoing sound, stage, atmosphere so we are also booking shows down there.

me-thinks break the seal on big d

the mighty me-thinks' sir marlin von bungy reports on last week's stand at the lakewood bar & grill in dallas with their heroes loco gringos and support act dragma:

Couldn't have gone better. We had tons of people feeding us compliments all nite. My smoke machine really pissed off the club. Good.

one of justin jones' pics shows ex-dragworm mike bandy rawkin' out while gringos bassist pedro sanchez looks on. somewhere, perhaps, deceased gringo numero uno pepe lopez was lookin' down and smiling when he heard his name mentioned in "burnout timeline." (thanks to calvin from the asian media crew for sharing the pic.)

keith wingate

recently ran into jazz gtr monster keith wingate, who's resisting the urge to form a new electric trio in favor of daddyhood (a new baby girl in addition to the twins -- congrats, keith and stephanie!), occasional solo gigs (which now include classical and 12-string interludes as well as some gtr synth, "if the room can handle it") and weekend guest shots with jhon kahsen at sardines. sounds like a good life to me.

jazzfest update

this year's jazz by the boulevard fest will run september 21-23, with headliners joshua redman (dewey's kid, who just released a rollinseque new ceedee called back east -- the title's a play on sonny's way out west, yadig?), cuban expat arturo sandoval to fulfill the latin jazz requirement, ray charles alum david "fathead" newman in the local (actually dallas) giant role, james hinkle's ex-employer marcia ball, and the fort worth jazz orchestra. the festival folks are looking for volunteers, too -- which is how my dtr and i usedta get to see the plays for free back when the fort still had shakespeare in the park (deep sigh). locals we'd like to see in the lineup: dave williams' ornettology, denton hip-hop / improv outfit liquid bounce, fort worth-via-k.c. blues poet wes race (who's cut some ace but as-yet-unreleased spoken word 'n' jazz sides with ex-juke jumpers sumter bruton and jim colegrove, who'll be playing their own reunion shows at j&j's blues bar august 31-september 1). conspicuous by his absence (yet again): ronald shannon jackson.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

r.i.p. trane

and mick farren reminds us that john coltrane left the planet on this date 40 years ago. farewell ohnedaruth, and add a love supreme to the stack.

...and uncle geezer, too

oh, wow. today is also geezer butler's 58th birthday. so listen to paranoid, too.

happy berfday, uncle ronnie

oh, yeah. it's ron asheton's 59th birthday today. do yourself a favor and listen to funhouse. if you don't already own it, buy it. thank me later.

no big guns at central market in fw

so it looks like the big guns show at central market is a non-starter. i talked to the responsible person today and she said she had another band booked. deep sigh. however, if you don't mind driving to dallas, you can see 'em this friday night at lee harvey's. they hit at 8pm.

Monday, July 16, 2007

bill pohl trio @ rockstar sports bar, 7.21.2007

underground railroad progfather / gtr virtuoso extraordinaire bill pohl writes:

Where: The Rockstar Sports Bar @ 7120 S. Freeway in Fort Worth
When: Saturday, July 21 at 10pm
What: Inside Out Records recording artist Michael Harris and myself, Bill Pohl, and our respective pop combos will present an evening of guitar-oriented rock music.

Check out Michael at www.michaelharrisguitar.com

We hope to see you there!


big one's b-day

today is my oldest dtr's 25th b-day,
which means i've been a father for half my life now
(more or less).

she showed up on a thursday
i was in korea and didn't find out about her arrival
until the following monday.

i ran all the way across the base
to get to the red cross office
and read the notice that mother 'n' baby were fine.

i came home on leave when she was six months old
and she slept 10 hrs a night for the 10 days i was home
(something she'd never done before and hasn't done since).

got home for good when just shy of her first b-day
and held her up so she could see the moon.
she walked three weeks later.

the great tyrant

does the fact that the great tyrant posted their cover of magma's "weidorje" on their myspace thingy indicate that the magma tribute alb it was gonna be on sleeps with the fishes? one wonders.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


so stumptone (a band including ex-sub oslo gtrist frank cervantez) gots a new 7-incher on two ohm hop, which comes with a ceedee just like the top secret rekkid did.

pete cosey

...was an ex-chess records session dude (played on muddy waters' much-maligned electric mud alb) who was also in miles davis' band between '73 and '75, when kind of blue-lovers reckoned the man musta lost his mind. first clip is pete at home playing freddie king's "hideaway." second is him hendrixing out in rehersal with a trio also including bassist melvin gibbs and drummer j.t. lewis. third is his 12-string (! -- shades of robert jr. lockwood) solo on "ife" with miles in vienna, '73. dig his total absorption of blues form, his mastery of weird tunings, his range, his ideas.

the 'mats

my sweetie told me that maybe i oughtta try and write (not for public consumption, of course) about the stuff that's bothering me of late, but i knew that wouldn't work. going to see my folks in new joisey next week. happy to have the chance to. regarding my kids, it's a mixed bag o' emotions, but what i always say (and really do believe) is that as long as all the parties in question are walking around, it's still a work in progress.

so i tried to find some mott the hoople on youtube, because they were the band we (david relethford, ronald rowe, john wilmshurst, peter mengler, myself) usedta pretend to be when i was in high school and we'd meet up at dave's house to play air gtr to (which was funny, because a couple of us could actually play at that point; we also watched nixon resign there in the middle of a met game and boy, were we pissed when they broke in and interrupted the ballgame). all of the mott clips i found had embedding disabled, tho, which means they weren't bloggable, and where's the fun in that? besides, most of 'em were from the '73 tour with, um, ariel bender on gtr that i caught with ronnie at the uris theatre on broadway (with the debut noo yawk performance of queen as the opening act). that show kinda blew, to the point where it put me off big rawk shows for awhile (such contrived theatrics, roger ruskin-spear's mechanical marionettes, etc.), and i remember looking at ian hunter through my buzz and thinking "that guy's _really old_" (which it turned out he actually was).

the replacements are a lot more fun than mott the hoople ever was and made more good rekkids (i draw the line at brain capers; to these feedback-scorched ears, glam just hasn't stood the test o' time very well). when i got back from spending the decade between '82 and '92 guarding freedom's frontier, i went to see uncle johnny bargas at what was then blockbuster music and asked him what i missed. he told me, "the minutemen, husker du, and the replacements." the 'mats albs he recommended were tim and pleased to meet me but in the fullness of time, i've come to appreciate their earlier output on twin/tone (when westerberg sounded more like joe strummer than ray davies) even more. altho i associate "can't hardly wait" with woodeye more 'n the 'mats (as does every fort worthian of a certain age/time), the 'riginal's still a stirring slab o' wax (or aluminum). katboy loves 'em (especially stink), which gave me my first inkling that a sophisto muso like he would be game for something as down 'n' dirty as the stoogeband. etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

anyway, here's a bunch of prime, sorry ma, forgot to take out the trash-era replacements, shot on their home turf in mpls. r.i.p. bob stinson.

500 impressions in 2 minutes?

sounds impossible, but this guy can do it...because he's asian.

nixon's staff @ granbury vfw 7.21.2007 - early show

ghostcar bassist chris perdue writes:

For those old enough to remember .....My old band Nixon’s staff
is going to be playing Saturday night July 21
So come out and relive those moments in your history you've been trying forget.
Granbury VFW
3670 hwy 377 west
Doors open 3:00pm
Show starts 4:00pm

Saturday, July 14, 2007

little feat

speaking of music i haven't thought of in forever, in the van with nathan brown a coupla yrs ago, i discovered that he 'n' i shared a fondness for the '70s band little feat. when i first got my '71 torino at age 19, i owned three cassettes: the beatles' revolver, a live herbie hancock thing, and another live one by little feat, which opened with this song. driving between long island and albany, i must have listened to those three tapes more than i listened to dark side of the moon in the summer of '73, even.

big yellow taxi

beau at work had this ancient joni mitchell song (which my sister usedta listen to incessantly back when i still hated "folk singers") stuck in his head today, and after he told me, so did i, especially the line that counting crows changed in their inferior cover version: "late last night, i heard a screen door slam / and a big yellow taxi took away my old man / don't it always seem to go / that you don't know what you've got till it's gone..."

mick farren

what a strange coincidence. just the other day, we were spinning mick farren's the deathray tapes at mi casa. now come to find out you can hear the thing online, too. if you dig spoken word with interesting rock music, it might be _just your meat_. if you prefer _the romance of the artifact_ to digital simulacra, you can still cop from alive records. so there.

drue webber

red-headed bluesman drue webber just got a write-up in the star-telegram about his new ceedee, the blues stay at home. i'm gonna review it for i love fort worth whenever he sends me one.

Friday, July 13, 2007

if joe strummer was here, he'd be turning in his grave

a joe strummer signature telecaster? puh-leeze. if you can't beat it to shit and cover it with stickers yourself, you shouldn't pay big buxxx to have fender do it for you.

bulletin from fred's

jennifer chandler writes:

Tastes & Tunes of Texas
915 Currie Street
Fort Worth, TX
(817) 332-0083

Terry Chandler will be teaching his next cooking class
at Central Market in Ft Worth.
The class will be at 6:30 p.m. on Mon, September 10.
The Menu: Butter Sauteed Mahi Mahi Filet with Fire Roasted Pineapple Chipotle Sauce; Central American Red Beans; Sesame Sauteed Aisian Long Beans; and Apple Enchiladas with Cinnamon Cream.
The price is $55 per person.
To reserve space, Central Market Cooking School at (817)989-4700.
It has not yet been announced in their magazine "Foodie."
Upon announcement, the class usually fills up.
So, if interested, reserve your spot ASAP!

Other News:
Fri Night Special (Fri the 13th): Sourdough Battered Steak Fingers with Chipotle Cream Gravy

Sat Night Special (07/14): Fred's has hired a new chef, Patric Bennett, about whom we are very excited. Patric and Terry have planned a superb special for Sat night. Come in and check it out!!

And last, but not least:
Save the Date!!! Wed Sept 5
Eric McFadden Trio !!

The Inside and the Patio are Open:
Current Hours: Monday Thru Saturday 10:30 a.m. - Midnight
Beer, Food and WINE til MIDNIGHT !!
Visa, Mastercard, Am/Ex and Cash Accepted!!
($10 minimum net of tip requested on credit card sales)

liquid bounce

i dunno that i'll ever make it there, but wizard o' sound andre edmonson sez that denton hip-hop / improv outfit liquid bounce will be playing every other wednesday night at embargo downtown. their bassplayer ruben usedta sit in with the wreck room jamcats, and the mp3's on their myspace thingy sound pert intriguing.

william gibson

of late, i've been fairly preoccupied with stuff that's happening with the older / younger generations of my family. perhaps that's why i've been motivated to start reading sci-fi again: it's a good mental distraction, and better than detective stories. in particular, i've been getting into the works of william gibson, the guy who invented "cyberpunk" with his first novel neuromancer. he also likes to use the names of songs i dig as book / chapter titles. (i'm currently reading his "bridge trilogy," the last volume of which is all tomorrow's parties.) crafty mofo, he: one device he'll use to keep you turning pages is to have two parallel plot threads with different p.o.v.'s and alternating chapters. it's been working on me so far.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

goodwin @ central market, 7.19.2007

it's another one of those "perfect storm" kinda gigs: goodwin playing at central market on my sweetie's b-day, which i was already planning to take off from work to cook for her. handclaps & harmonies at 6pm, then the dark romantics, then gomez and pals. then home for dessert. what could be fresher?

who sez musishuns r stoopid?

former minor threat gtrist lyle preslar just finished his law degree at rutgers school of law - newark. (chasing robert quine, perhaps?) not to be outdone, queen gtrist brian may just completed his ph.d thesis in astrophysics and will receive his degree from imperial college, london, next may if it didn't suck. he co-authored the book bang! the complete history of the universe, published last year. who'd a thunk it?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

paul unger @ tcu this friday

bassist extraordinaire paul unger writes:

If you're still in town and want to beat the heat, I would love to see you this Friday, 7:30 PM at TCU's Pepsico Hall. I will be performing the Rossini Duo for cello and bass at the last concert of the Mimir Chamber Music Festival. It is sure to change your entire view on the western musical canon. Viva la Bass!

and more congrats...

...to addnerim, voted "artist of the year" and "best rock band" in the fw weekly music award thingy. nice to see these young cats garner such hefty recognition on nothing more than pure musicianship 'n' hard work.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

the me-thinks do dallas

the mighty me-thinks go to dallas this friday the 13th for their first-evah show in big d, opening for their heroes the loco gringos at the lakewood bar & grill.

john holbrook, a local photog whose work captures the spiritual 'n' iconic elements in the visages of normal / somewhat marginal folks, saw ray liberio sing at fred's fest with both the me-thinks and the stoogeband, and when i met him the other day at the market (same day i helped bob ray sanders find his umbrella), john commented favorably on ray-boy's energy and his sonic similarity to lemmy.

then yesterday, my sweetie was listening to the replacements' first alb, sorry mom, forgot to take out the trash, and commenting that the early 'mats sounded more 'n a little like haltom city's pride. (after they went mainstream and signed to sire, of course, they sounded like ray davies fronting the faces.) simulacra abound!


now, here's a new model for music distribution that really works.

Monday, July 09, 2007

the underground railroad on youtube...again

speaking of the underground railroad, here's kavin allenson's vid of a bill pohl gtr solo from a show back in june at the ridglea theater. kavin posted this on youtube before, but bill made him take it down and edit out the first 30 seconds because he thought his playing was sloppy. go fig.

ur wins fweakly awd

congrats to the underground railroad, who took top honors in the fw weekly music awards' "avant-garde / experimental" category.

the big guns @ central market

the big guns, the dallas-based, ennio morricone-meets-dick dale instrumental outfit led by ex-nervebreakers gtrist mike haskins (back in the '70s, they opened for the ramones, sex pistols, and clash, among others), will be playing a show at central market in the fort in a coupla wks. watch this space.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


here's an int with bernard stollman, cat whose esp-disk label released loads of ground-breaking free jazz, starting with albert ayler and including ornette, sun ra, marion brown, and pharaoh sanders, as well as early hipi (actually late beatnik) shite like the fugs, the godz (immortalized in creem by st. lester), and pearls before swine. inasmuch as ipods 'n' downloading have pretty much rendered rekkids, even cd's, obsolete, it's instructive to read the testimony of a recordman who, on a shoestring, without the intent of making millions, documented crucial music that wouldn't have otherwise been heard.

this ain't the summer of love

forty yrs ago, 100,000 hipi kids, inspahrd by life magazine and insipid pap like scott mckenzie's "if you're going to san francisco," descended en masse upon the haight-ashbury district of san fran without money to do drugs, have sex, experience stumblebum passivity 'n' squalor. this was what the media referred to as the summer of love, which was neither the first nor the last time mass communications would inspire large-scale foolishness 'n' self-defeating behavior. (for perspective on the event, read joan didion's essay "slouching towards babylon" from the collection of the same name, and/or listen to frank zappa's we're only in it for the money.) my sweetie sez the worthwhile part of the '60s was the early part (e.g., the civil rights movement), and i'm inclined to agree with her.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

a pretty good day off

spent the afternoon with two of my kids and one of my grandkids, who'll be a year old on tuesday. always good to see them.

then fell by malone's to talk to velton about a coupla things he wants me to write for i love fort worth. after that, headed over to fonky fred's to try hooking up with terry valderas and chuck rose from the gideons, but lee said he hadn't seen them and a cursory investigation of the patio revealed they weren't there, so we tried over at 6th street, where confusajohn was tending bar but still no folks.

finally wound up at the wreck room, where carl 'n' billy asked how i felt after my b-day and i replied "hung over but not bad" (i do better since i quit drinking whiskey last october, when i realized how much of the really stoopid shit i've done was precipitated by whiskey-drinking, and switched to tequila). billy told us 'bout the recent sleepytime gorilla museum show, the stan ridgway "20th-anniversary-of-'mexican-radio' tour" show that wound up going to club dada in deep ellum 'cos el wreck couldn't meet stan's guarantee on a sunday night, and the upcoming that 1 guy show that billy's gonna book, "probably at 6th street."

carl 'splained he had to get rid of the ice-devil icon on his myspace page so his youngest son could be his myspace friend, and was spinnin' the 'puter-programmed toons to include stooges "down on the street" and love "7 and 7 is" (which i didn't realize the gideons usedta cover). we were getting ready to walk when carl cued up television "marquee moon" (which i'd been explaining to tim burt that the stoogeband played at my b-day party, not the jamcats), which meant we _had_ to hang out for another 10 minutes (thanks for the beer, bro), and then he followed it with "see no evil" from the same alb, which meant we had to hang out for a few minutes more. we were rewarded for our time by getting to see me-thinks ray, whose dad was in the society pages that day, and his squeeze on their way in to check out the band.

my sweetie sez we should do that more often: go sit at the end of the bar in the "jesse hernandez seat" even if we donwanna see the band that's playing, since opportunities to do so are becoming fewer 'n' fewer. sounds like a good idea to me.

happy ending haiku

they loved each other
until the end of their days
and were unafraid

Friday, July 06, 2007

when john met paul

while i'm too much of an elitist wonk to be a beatle fan, i'll admit to a fondness for the mythology of teenage paul meeting teenage john and teaching him how to tune his gtr. while we don't have it on tape like we do elvis' "wait a minute, that don't _move_ me...let's get real, _real_ gone for a change," there's this imaginative reconstruction of what mighta gone down, 50 yrs ago today.

music lessons 2

further proof positive (as if any more were needed) that the riaa sucks farts out of dead seagulls.

sick of myself

speaking of richard lloyd, and as if to prove that the '90s-as-nostalgia have arrived, here's the mtv vid of matthew sweet's song "sick of myself," which features richard (the dude in the hospital bed) playing the greatest out-of-control-sounding solo ever heard on the radio.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

dinner tonight

tonight my sweetie made me a special dinner: a coupla chicken breasts pounded flat, breaded (after first being dipped in a milk 'n' egg mixture like i do for fish) and herbed (with herbs from our garden) and fried in olive oil; steamed green beans and thinly-sliced tomatoes (also from our garden) and purple onions, the latter combo drizzled with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, then chilled. life's good.

music lessons

ever wonder why the frets on yr gtr are where they are? just ask pythagoras...or, if he's not around, try ex-television axeman richard lloyd, who's got a column in guitar world and will tell you all about it. (thanks to sir steffin for pulling my coat to this clip.)

or, if it's something more practical you're wanting, let ex-dead boy / rocket from the tombsman cheetah chrome teach you how to play "sonic reducer."

top albs of 1967

again, i generally hate lists like this, but thisun from rolling stone shows that there sure was a buncha great music released 40 yrs ago. altho i find it hilarious that the serpent power elpee (which featured the interminable and appropriately-titled song "the endless tunnel" that deejays on wnew-fm in nyc always usedta put on when they had to take a crap or go up to the roof to smoke a number) made the cut.

chris goes rock

here, courtesy of the i-94 barman, is a link to an example of rock scholarship to make even the mighty ugly things' mike stax (to say nothing of yr humble chronicler o' events) look like a slack-ass. thanks, craig.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


(...to steal a page from matt hickey's book)

1) watching calvin's vid of stoogeaphilia, i'm digging the tortuously melodic beauty of sir steffin's solo on "marquee moon." cat can sure worry them notes nice -- puts me in mind of mike bloomfield on "east-west" (another sterling elektra release). great tone, too. he plays gtr the way beefheart says you oughtta -- "like a drowning man;" with every note he wrings out of his stratocaster, you get the sense that it's for keeps. and then there's ray, blowing bubbles and waving his arms in the air. and on "dog, i wanna be your," the focused power of jon teague's drumming. and matt in his trance.

2) wearing a silly uncle sam hat at work at the market the last two days, it's occurred to me that the best way to make yourself invisible, even to ppl you know, is to wear a costume. besides scaring little kids (who don't understand the idea of costuming, they just see a big weird-looking person), it also causes the majority of adults to avert their gaze when a costume-wearer greets or approaches them. i observed this even with ppl who know me.

3) instead of going to see fireworks, my sweetie 'n' i passed the evening watching the good, the bad, and the ugly (since my middle dtr gifted me the complete "man with no name" trilogy for my b-day). while i still kinda dig a fistful of dollars the most (even with superior cinematography and the first ennio morricone soundtrack to a sergio leone film, the good, the bad etc. still has intervals of self-consciously "weird" or "arty" boo-shee like those that marred for a few dollars more (altho at least the heavy played by lee van cleef doesn't come across like a homicidal version of lorenzo st. dubois from the producers the way the one in for a few dollars more did). having viewed all three of these on successive evenings, i now guess it musta been hang 'em high that i saw in the theater, back in the day.

4) listening to death comes along (thanks to teague, i actually had this before julian cope wrote about it) and thinking about starting a messy, noisy, japanese style psych band. the stoogeaphiles having backed off our level of activity from playing out every month to just four times a year (with, hopefully, more rehearsals in between), and the jam winding down after two yrs (altho i'll still play with lee allen any time he tells me a time 'n' place), i'm thinking i need to find another outlet, and donwanna have to suboptimize (e.g., no more blues jams). the noise i dig to play most of all falls roughly within the territory delineated by punk, funk, psych, and free jazz (touchstones: stooges, early funkadelic, trane's meditations, sonny sharrock's ask the ages), and i'm putting together some scenarios in my head i might try pulling some ppl into once they've had a chance to germinate a while. as it happens, terry valderas is one of those ppl, and i ran into him at the market today. we're supposed to get together for drinks friday evening. film, as they say, at 11.

thomas paine

this independence day, remember thomas paine, the patriot who wrote that "tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered" and "my own mind is my own church."


here's a recent int (with accompanying vid) with lemmy of motorhead fame. "real rock 'n' roll is to piss your parents off, basically."

urizen, addnerim

two sterling proggy metal outfits, urizen and addnerim, be's opening for finnish metallers sonata arctica at the ridglea on 9.12.2007. tixxx are $20 in advance from frontgate tickets or the bands, or $25 at the door.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

bad brains

picture this: the bad brains, who have a new rekkid out, playing on a boat cruising around new york harbor. sounds like a big time to me.

"the immortals"

i'm not a big fan of rolling stone, but here's an interesting feature: muso-penned tribs to rs' take on the 100 greatest artistes of all ti-i-ime.

richard hell

for the richard hell fan that wrote in (and the rest of us who dig hell real much), here's vid of richard with the voidoids, playing "blank generation" (hey, ray, didn't you say you knew the words to thatun?) and "love comes in spurts." plus audience yammer. (was interested to read in sonic transmission that early cbgb's crowds numbered around 100 ppl.) dig robert quine (r.i.p., gtr stage right) playing the defiant ones with ivan julian (gtr stage left), and marc bell (ex-dust, future ramone) kicking the four-on-the-floor.

stoogeaphilia on youtube

courtesy of the asian media crew (and calvin's wife cary), here's vid of stoogeaphilia at the wreck room on my 50th b-day, playing "marquee moon" live for the first time. (note ray blowing bubbles in the beginning of the song.)

during the exciting conclusion, you can see wizard o' sound andre and my sweetie bringing out that cake with _all them candles_.

and here's "i wanna be your dog."

thanks, calvin 'n' carrie!

Monday, July 02, 2007

adventures in ampland

played with the hughes & kettner a bit this morning. the disparity in stage volumes with sir steffin i sensed on last thursday's stoogegig was prolly the result of my using too much gain in the lead channel (since a clean tone will cut through a saturated one every time). using the marshall footswitch i got between channels adds some saturation on the clean side and boosts the low end on the dirty side, which sounds excessive in the house but will prolly be just fine in a live sitch. the f/x loop requires two extra cords, and i only have one spare at home, so i'll just continue using my old analog stompboxes in-line the way i always have. all in all, a ballsy little amp. anyway, i've found the basic tone settings i like, and will spend more time tweaking it before i get to play out with it again.

ADDENDUM: found another cord and tried out the f/x loop. it makes the boxes sound muted. stick with the familiar, and have fewer cords to carry. not bad.


just penned a review of a book about television for the i-94 bar. (thanks, bungy!) here's a two-part vid of an early rehearsal featuring tom verlaine vs. richard hell.

here they are again, with fred smith replacing hell on bass, on brit tv from 1978, playing "foxhole" from adventure.

and here they are on father's day this year, playing "marquee moon" in nyc's central park with jimmy rip replacing richard lloyd on second gtr, in what appears to be their last hurrah. sounds like i gotta listen to them chords again.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

thai insurance ad

while i basically agree with d. boon about advertising (see "shit from an old notebook," double nickels on the dime), this thai insurance ad is one affecting li'l piece of vid. if you can watch it without shedding a tear...well, let's just say you're not my kind.