Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Oh my god, this is good. I'd just read about this one the other day in Mojo, and here it is, seemingly the signature track given away by the wonderful, wonderful people at Light in the Attic Records. It's an amazing story -- surprise success in South Africa (read more). You've got to listen to this one. Donovan meets Gil Scot-Heron. Alien transmissions, Zombies vocal timbres. Is that an oboe!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dolphins and Donkeys

Mid-August is working its peculiar barometric razzle dazzle everywhere, as Frankie Lee says. Pollen. Pods. Mud. Storms. Runny noses. Flashes of doom. So much impending. Gearing up for the metabolic blow-out of September, the time of back-to-it. Pulling out the pea coats from the closets – preparatory nostalgia, whatever that would be. Getting ready to look back. I’ve been stewing a little on the forthcoming disc by this band, the Donkeys. Beasts of burden, they’re carrying the tradition of Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty steadily on their solid shoulders. No stooping. One other commendation for these fellas: they have a song with a lovely and hard-to-understand chorus that goes “I might end up in a dolphin center,” which strikes me as new territory for the cosmic American song.

“Walk Through A Cloud” – The Donkeys

Friday, August 15, 2008

@ Loose Ends

     It's a funny time of year.   Another epic journey to VT has come and gone.  (Lots of rain, some canoeing & kayaking, softball, croquet & badminton, walking in the woods, grilling of grass-fed beef, swilling of Long Trail IPA, etc).  The girls are back in school (way too early, if  you ask me).  Our okra plants keep churning out the pods, and we have to be vigilant about harvesting 'em or they become woody and inedible.  The Reds are languishing in the basement of the National League Central, having gotten rid of two of their stars (Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn).  (Luckily, preseason football has started, so I can start shifting my attention to the Titans, who made the playoffs last year). 
        Today I finally got rid of my '87 Pontiac Grand Am.  I bought it soon after moving to N-ville, and it served me well--until around March of last year, when I finally gave up on it.  It had been sitting in the driveway accumulating tree detritus and staring gloomily at the street.  The time had come, we decided.  On my way home from work one day I noticed a small sign attached to a telephone pole: "Cash For Junk Cars" w/ a telephone number.  I punched it into my cell phone memory, and today I finally called.  "We'll give you $150 for it," the guy said after I told him what I had.  I was surprised and pleased.  Eventually a guy named Bobby showed up, and he successfully wrangled the Pontiac onto his trailer.  "Who's the Bettie Page fan?" he asked, after noting one of the stickers on the dash.  I told him I used to be, before I got married.  (What a lame response, I thought to myself.  Is this what it's come to?)  Anyway, the guy was nice enough, and after peeling a bunch of bills from his cash wad and handing them to me, I bid farewell to the ol' Grand Am and he drove off down the street.

Friday, August 01, 2008


I'll admit it, I usually don't read the real estate section of The New York Observer - not that I'm better than that: I'm worse than that. I get made sick by what I can't have, which is a lot. Anyway, I saw this item with Phil Lesh's name and a big price tag and something caught my eye. I made an exception. I don't know Max Abelson, perhaps Lefty can pass along props, because this opening graph about a sort of mundane condo sale deserves recognition:

"Years of appreciating the Grateful Dead’s music leaves one with the impression that the band’s surviving members all maintain a certain kind of house. Surely, rhythm guitarist Bob Weir lives in a moss-covered mansion where little pixie servants tend to his benevolent whims, and drummer Bill Kreutzmann resides below the oceanic photic zone with kindly umbrella mouth gulper eels, or, at the very least, bassist Phil Lesh makes his home with dancing bears in a rainbow-colored cave."

That bit about residing "below the photic zone with kindly umbrella mouth gulper eels" is just massive. I'm tapping my rolled-up paper program on my knee, now clapping, now standing to my feet and cheering, nodding in approval and looking with a knowing grin at my neighbors.