Archive for the ‘Music that doesn’t suck’ Category

‘Make a joke and I will sigh. …’

September 18, 2020

By Cthulhu’s slimy tentacles! Can Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” really be 50 years old today?

This was one of the albums I used to drive my parents insane, along with Iron Butterfly’s “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” and Led Zeppelin’s and Steppenwolf’s respective self-titled debuts. I’m surprised the family Telefunken stereo hi-fi console survived the prolonged and vicious beating I gave it.

Later, of course, I mellowed into the quiet flower child you’ve all come to know and love.

’Round about midnight

September 9, 2020

The dread Crusty County Snow Spiral of Doom. Photo by Hal Walter

A wind-driven rain blew us right out of bed last night about three hours after lights out.

I say “last night” because it was still dark. But it was just after midnight. And it sounded as though Poseidon was power-washing the house, or maybe shot-peening it, which probably doesn’t do much to harden stucco against the elements.

As I will never be smart, this was about the time it occurred to me that I probably should’ve taken down the various bird feeders hanging around and about El Rancho Pendejo, maybe cinched down the cover over the gas grill, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

But this morning, all the feeders and the grill cover remained in place. The only damage was to the plastic footlocker we use to store the cushions for our patio furniture; that sucker got blown over and one of the gas struts FUBARed.

The cushions, as you might deduce, got wet.

I estimate that we got a foot or two of rain, but since it was coming in sideways at warp 5 it only amounted to a quarter inch or so. We can expect more of the same later today, it seems. And with the weather widget showing 43° at 8:48 in the ayem it’s about as warm as it’s going to get.

About 12,000 Burqueños lost power last night, and the problem persists this morning. Khal S. reports that he and a few thousand of his fellow Santa Feos were back to kerosene lanterns, wood heat, and carrier pigeons too. Up north my man Hal Walter was likewise back to a traditional mountain lifestyle (freezing to death in the dark), and woke up to snow; the icing on the cake, as it were.

All in all, it seems a good day to stay indoors and listen to Miles Davis. Even if it’s not ’round about midnight.

Dump the bosses off your back

September 7, 2020

 

And a happy Labor Day to you and yours, comrades.

• One Big Union: The Industrial Workers of the World.

• Fascist v. centrist: A new “people’s party?”

• Utah Phillips: The Long Memory.

• New Mexicans on the dole: A Labor Day like no other.

• Lost wages: Income shrinks along with unions.

‘I Remember Everything’

June 12, 2020

Said to be the last song John Prine recorded. He wrote it with longtime collaborator Pat McLaughlin.

Me, I don’t remember much. And a lot of what I do remember I’d like to forget.

But I don’t ever want to forget John Prine.

R.I.P., Little Richard

May 9, 2020

“A wop bop alu bop, a wop bam boom!”

Rolling Stone called it “what has to be considered the most inspired rock lyric ever recorded.” Some may disagree; it is a high bar to hop. But Little Richard was most definitely inspired, and one of a kind, a true trailblazer.

As Jim Dodge noted in “Not Fade Away”:

“Little Richard had returned to the Church, but because he was wearing lipstick and eye shadow the Church wasn’t sure what to do with him.”

Now he’s gone on ahead. That Big Band Beyond best have its game on. Wooooooo!

Stay away

April 25, 2020

R.I.P., John Prine

April 7, 2020

That Next World Orchestra just keeps getting bigger and better.

I met John Prine once, at the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 20th-anniversary show at Denver McNichols Arena in 1986, and don’t I wish I could have a do-over for those few moments.

My guitar and I were butchering a few choice selections from his first, self-titled album and “Sweet Revenge” just this afternoon.

Well, mostly it was me. Wasn’t the guitar’s fault. Sure as shit wasn’t John Prine’s fault. Plenty of people — poets, musicians, authors, and journalists — would call it a career after writing a line as good as “There’s a hole in Daddy’s arm where all the money goes.” He wrote whole albums that good and just kept on writing them.

Condolences and peace to all who loved him. This ol’ man has finally gone to town. Here’s The New York Times obit. And here’s a note from John’s wife, Fiona.

Getting some ZZs

March 20, 2020

Just a lil’ ol’ band from Texas that’s been around for a half-century.

When I was allegedly attending college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greality we enjoyed a weekly bit of low-key debauchery called the Friday Afternoon Club (or FAC).

A Netflix documentary — “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas” — brought this weekly skull-flush to mind. And this morning I dashed right on over to the Apple Music store and scored a digital copy of a 1973 album I already own in vinyl, “Tres Hombres.”

There. Global economy rescued by Your Humble Narrator. You’re welcome.

If you’ve shut yourself away and need something to do, why not try tapping your toes? Join the club!

Year of the Plague

March 13, 2020

Everyone’s world is getting just a little bit smaller.

Has everyone settled in to The New Normal yet?

Herself had to make a supply run to Herself the Elder’s assisted-living home yesterday, but since she forgot her biohazard gear and breathing apparatus, she had to leave the goodies on the porch. The joint is on lockdown, with the drawbridge up and the moat full of gators, piranha fish, and plugged-in toasters.

She managed to snap a selfie at mom’s bedroom window, though. And of course, when you can’t get actual facetime, there’s FaceTime.

Elsewhere, the noobs are trying to figure out how to work from home. Lucky for me, I have a black belt in social distancing, which I have been practicing since 1991, when after 15 years in the Petri dish of daily journalism it was suddenly just me, my Mac SE, and a Hayes modem, in a spare bedroom.

Also, as a geezer with a broken ankle and the Socialist Insecurity due to start rolling in next month, I don’t have much to do or a pressing need to go somewhere to do it.

So I got that going for me, which is nice.

The hard part, for me and for thee, is the temptation to go all COVID-19, all the time. Don’t do it. Send a daily hate mail to the White House and then call it a day.

Watching this lame reboot of “A Day at the Races” ain’t doing it for me. There are more horses’ asses than horses in this one, and I don’t think the fat fuck playing Dr. Hackenbush is even a vet, much less an MD.

And now, today’s musical selection:

 

R.I.P., Neil Innes

December 30, 2019

The Urban Spaceman has blasted off. He was 75.

Neil Innes worked with The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Rutles, a.k.a. “The Prefab Four,” and of course, Monty Python.

His abrupt departure via heart attack is both surprising and unwelcome. God keeps repo’ing the comics and leaving us with the jokes.

The NYT has an obit here. Here’s Neil performing three of his greatest hits in an NPR Tiny Desk Concert back in 2011. And here’s an extensive BBC obit that includes a few video clips.

“I’ve suffered for my music, and now it’s your turn.” How sweet, this idiot.