Wednesday, January 31, 2007

View From The Muddle

I've been searching my mind for some adventures to post; maybe about the night of the Thumposaurus people throwing chicken bones on the hood of a Pontiac Sunfire, or the time some punk in a Volkswagen Beetle tried to punch out DD's lights. How about the night where Ralston showed some dudes in Nashvegas that you shouldn't threaten him with a lead pipe. Maybe I could write about those days when Bruno and I used to sneak whiskey into the movies and be staggering by the time the credits rolled. I once got kicked out of E.T. for smoking and just generalized mischief like hollering at the people who told us to put out the cigarettes. I was all of 14 and now I can't even stand to be in the same room where a cigarette is being smoked. I stll jones for it, but the stank is too much. This then free associates into , "Hey didn't that E.T. Atari game really bite."

More adventures snippets: climbing the fire tower on Tiger Hill outside of Murfreesboro and watching the sunrise from its perch which would sway with a good wind, descending into Snail Shell Cave with one flashlight and a six pack of fruit coolers for provisions, journeying to Chapel Hill at midnight to try and catch a glimpse of the light - the only lights we ever saw were atop the county cops coming to run us off, and there was the time my cousin Freddy and I hitched a ride with the freak, as opposed to frat, who had caught his hand in a meat grinder when he was a kid; I had been terrified of the guy ever since I saw him sucker punch C.L. one afternoon on the Smyrna football field. C.L. was a football player who was fighting this freak named Pickel, over what I don't know. A huge crowd gathered to watch and C.L. was winning. He had Pickel on the ground when meat grinder hand leaped into the fray. The the high school teachers ran us off, but meat grinder and his cronies caught up with C.L. down the street and broke his ribs by repeatedly hitting him with a 2 x 4.

Luckily I've never been in a 2 x 4 fight. I did grab a bat and chase my cousins around the yard once. I had bumped my head on a swinset and they had laughed at me. I was disappointed when my parents took the bat away from me. These were the same cousins that liked to call me names, threaten to throw me out of the boat when we fished on a pond, and pummel with their fists everytime the adults weren't looking. I suspect now that they liked watching me go kamikaze on them, They'd push me to the edge where I would promptly drop off screaming and punching everything which made me look like the bully when the parents decided to investigate the yelling.

Now I'm yelling at myself that I've moved beyond adventure remembrance and landed straight into the psychological minefield that used to be my youth. I don't know if I want to delve back too far these days. I've entered a rationalistic era of thinking with the present on overwrite. Symbols and all the potent imagery I once considered the truth are falling away. For example: I was flipping through the few channels of television I watch when I caught some The History Of Rock And Roll last night. It was the "guitar hero" episode and while I dug the music as always I found myself gagging on the "guitar represents freedom" spiel of Steely Dan and session player "Skunk" Baxter. No, I thought, a guitar represents a guitar. Nothing more; it's just something that some people like James Burton play exceptionally well and others like me play very poorly. I'm sure I believed this "freedom" rhetoric when this documentary first aired around ten years ago. I also once thought the line "hold on to 16 as long as you can" was brilliant and look at what a goon Mellencamp has become. Which is the most scary thing. That I'm turning into some boring old goon who wouldn't think of having an adventure now. So, bare with my angst. It's just the view from the middle for me is all muddled.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Wow, I'm Really Posting To The Blog Today

While I may sometimes get wistful that my blog is not among those listed as "freshly rolled" at Nashville Is Talking it is just a temporary thing. I don't think they can pick up my feed anyways. Plus, as far as wistful goes, there is the concrete fact that I haven't posted much this year. Why is that? Are you done with this blogging thing? Was it all just some silly fade or phase?

I dunno. You tell me. I'll get back to you later. I just wish they'd take this cold weather and stuff it up a polar bear' your mouth! But I'm just talking about polar bears. If there are any left what with the Al Gore global warming bit and all. How's that for proof that I've just not got anything to post these days.

I did find out something new about the Soulfish wife after 10 years of marriage. She doesn't like funk music. That sound you hear might be James Brown rolling over in his grave if he's been buried yet. I've submitted the wife to liberal doses of Starchild's Bop Gun, but she's not responding yet. Perhaps a dose of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's mid-period thump can bring her around. It's sort of funky.

The main reason for blog absence is just that nothing's happening. Sure, Van Halen are reuniting as well as The Police and while this is news I'm not getting too excited about it. I saw Van Halen with Dave at their peak so I'd attend a reunion gig with a pair of the trepidatious high tops and with Wolfie in for Michael Anthony it won't be a true reunion anyways. The Police reunion does get me hyped up, but I doubt I'll get to see them. I might venture out to Bonnaroo for a single day, but I don't know if I could handle smelling that many hippies all day just for an hour's worth of music from Sting, Coupland, and Summers. The other thrill killer is that you know ticket prices will be through the roof.

The biggest motivational problem I've got is the season. I hate winter. I hate being cold. I want it to be warm so I can go for a 30 mile bicycle ride. I want to mow the grass. I want to shoot basketball with Emmy. Teach Harper how to ride a bike. Watch Liam on his battery powered monster truck. Which leads me right back to global warming - can I get some for February

Thursday, January 11, 2007


In case you hadn't heard; the first 12 issues of Thrasher are now online. Last Days Of Man On Earth also recently had a shredding post on some Thrasher skate punk compilations. I was inspired by such things that I got my old Santa Cruz Tom Knox model board out of mothballs and popped some ollies in the garage.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

CD Review: Radio Moscow

The wah-wah pedal looks like a gas pedal and like a gas pedal there's a perilous line between giving it too much too fast and being too timid with it. Too much and you flood the car. Too little and it'll take you several hours to go around the block. Radio Moscow's self titled debut could have been called flooded carburetor. That's right; Parker Griggs has a wah-wah pedal and he's not afraid to use it.

Psychedelic blues rock from Ames, Iowa is better than your usual average heartland rock, and while principal player Griggs is young and ambitious - Radio Moscow came about after he slipped a demo tape to Black Keys guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach - he tends toward an older person's pace with little hint of the danger and excitement truly great rock and roll produces. Radio Moscow's music is a lukewarm bath of bashing blues rock bathed in Bloodrock and Blue Cheer. It aspires for head shop greatness with an appropriately ramshackle sound captured well by Auebach in his studio in Akron, Ohio, but it's just missing a spark. It's like Michael Jackson's "Beat It" without Eddie Van Halen's bitching guitar solo.

My bet is that this bunch, Griggs, bass player Luke Duff, and drummer Mayuko (Gore Gore Girls, Cyril Lords), might just kick out the jams live in a way that would make the studio cuts mere reference points. And reference points are okay. Medical desk references are generally boring until you actually catch a disease and then you're glad you had some background so the doctor couldn't completely fleece you. So pick up Radio Moscow on Alive Records. It might not blow your mind, but if Radio Moscow can bring the noise in concert you'll be just a little more prepared than the person you take to the show.

CD Review: Leopold And His Fiction

What will come to mind after hearing Leopold And His Fiction -
Picture this: two dudes are walking toward a street corner, one is carrying a guitar and the other one a snare drum, and they walk right into each other bumping guitar and drums together producing a sound that, while not new, still sounds fresh. "Hey you got my Strokes in your White Stripes!" "No, you got my White Stripes in your Strokes!" Daniel Toccalino evokes both bands with his vocals, but it’s his guitar sound that I really like. He plays with a mellow harshness that's Detroit meets Cali meets Muddy Waters. Ben Cook provides a perfectly sparse backbeat which is complimentary and evocative. Musical duo instrumentalists often over play to make up for the traditional instruments they lack, but Leopold And His Fiction avoid this trap managing an austere heated blues rock blend which aims to please and often does.

She Ain't Got Time

Shakey Mama

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

email from the bunker

2007 is upon me like some sweaty professional wrestler babyface ready to pile drive me into the mat; just another typical night for me in the role of jobber heel while the boos from the rednecks, freaks, and blue haired ladies in the front row make my head hurt much worse. It is customary for me to pause for genuflection, reflection, and future projection and this is just what I will do after a beer or two or more, after I get properly funked up with the P-Funk (the BOMB), after I take out the trash, and maybe before my next bath. Last year I decided I would lost the gut and I misplaced it by summer's end so this year I need to decide something big, but all I can think of right now is that I'd really like a king sized bed and a G-Shock watch. Big dreams I admit.


Spirituality. That's been on my mind heading into this New Year. I read Anansi Boys over the holidays. You'd think that would be enough, but something tells me it isn't. I need to get back in touch with some reverence, cultivate an appreciation for creation, and if it this sounds a little bit hippy dippy and you make fun of me I might just have to dig my smiting shoes out of the closet. Truly; I'm looking forward to spring and summer and to long Saturday and Sunday early morning bicycle rides just me and my cadence. I can meditate and flow and maybe I'll see the elusive fox again.


Total control. That's what I've also after. Nothing much. Just a Zen master approach to body and mind. Combine all of the fragments and produce one shining whole middle aged dude - myself. Get in real shape. Go roller skate. Often. Record some rock and roll which means I need to get off my asterisk and write some songs. Write some realy bad fiction with lots of poor diction which means staying away from television and yes, dear reader, this blog. This doesn't mean I won't be kicking the k-nowledge here; it just means I won't always be on this street corner right when you need me, but if you keep stopping by I'l eventually show up with a story to tell or a band to review.