Tuesday, February 24, 2009


People, don't get too excited about things lest ye get ye olde letdown. Take it from me, I know from whence I speak.

Prez (no, not Lester Young, but maybe this one holds his horn sideways too if ya know what I mean) sez this 'n' that, all the people cheer madly and stand after each paragraph, and I'm referring to the address to congress televised Mardi Gras nite. They should just chill, and as their leader he shoulda told them just that. "OK, OK, just be cool. Siddown, let's get this over with & we can all have a li'l taste before Lent kicks in tomorrow!" His speech writer should be Lord Buckley, 'cept he's dead.

Yeah, everyone's excited 'n happy 'n all expectant. I'm tellin' ya, just be cool. And I'm not even your leader.

This all fits in with my post-xmas boredom package. Sort of an Anti-stimulus package, if you will. Nothin' moves me. Not bourbon, not The Fall, not pizza.

I'm not being fatal, I just don't expect anything to happen. I'm sure I'll find solace and joy in stuff again. Probably when I take my bike down from the rafters. A visit from my grandson might do the trick. Maybe if I lost 20 or so pounds.

Hell, maybe this is just what they call cabin fever. Yeah, but I was in Hawaii the end of October; and Florida a month ago.

I know what: piano lessons.

Maybe I just need a night of smoking and drinking all night long at a sleazy bar. Without spending a cent.

And a pedicure.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fiyo On The Bayou

Mardi Gras. Greasy Tuesday. Krewes. Red Indian Tribes. Spy Boys & Flag Boys. King Cakes (yeah, I already know, they're bad). Dubloons. And all the rest. And then it's over, and here comes Lent.

I've been kinda preparing for a trip to Nawlins, after Easter. Go during Mardi Gras? Who am I, Carson Daly?

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival runs two weekends and is chock full of extraordinary international talent. That's kinda what I'm working around. But everything takes money. I've made it clear to my wife that I have some definite "do's" down there. I must go to Tipitina's. I must see Congo Square & Storyville. And I must visit the site of J&M Music Shop, behind which there was a little recording studio run by Cosimo Matassa where all of Little Richard's Specialty sides were created, along with so many other Nawlins legends that's another post in itself.

Oh, and I want a Gris-gris bag, complete with John The Conquerer Root (John The Conqueroo), Goofy Dust, and whatever else I need to cure all my ills.

I urge you to go online & read up on the Red Indians, and go to YouTube & check out the various second line videos.
GO !!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chairman Of The Bored

I just haven't been into "blogging" lately. I might even quit, because like I told you at the start of this blog adventure, there is nothing here that will interest anyone.

Maybe it's just the winter blahs. What makes them any different from spring summer or autumn blahs?

I've been listening to The Chess Records Story 1947-1975. So far, I've gotten to 1955. Hey, it's 10 cds, it takes awhile. As far as current stuff goes, I've been listening to "Get Guilty" by AC Newman from The New Pornographers. Quite disappointing, as was his last cd - but The New Porns are so great, I just don't get it. And then there's "The Crying Wall" by Antony & The Johnsons. My wife rather likes it, which is tres surprising. Me? Well, ... I may be over the soft quiet sensitive stuff, at least temporarily. Y'know, like Sigur Ros, Ray Lamontagne, Bjork ... just not interested right now. But make it some jumpin' r&b from Nawlins or down south or New York no later than 1956, and I'm gonna turn it up.

Leonard Cohen coming to my town in May. I might like to see that. Let's get past the 2009 Blowout & The Detroit Cobras first.

That might just bring me back.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Good Time Boy

I swear I'm gonna change the title of this blog to "Who's Dead This Time?"

Well, this time it's Dewey Martin, drummer and the least (in)famous member of Buffalo Springfield. BUT - here's something he did that stood out: he gave Stephen Stills the LSD on which he wrote "For What It's Worth". I guess when Stills wrote "Stop/Hey, what's that sound?" The next line could've been "It's just the pills in your mind/Stupid".

Dewey at least looked the straightest of the bunch, though. He frequently sported groovy mod-tailored suits in a lot of the promo shots I've seen, while the rest of the Springfield went for buckskin, panchos and jeans. You can't blame that on his Canadian background, because weird reclusive bassist Bruce Palmer and Neil Young were also from Canada.

Maybe it's because he held a number of big time professional jobs before Buffalo Springfield. He drummed for Carl Perkins, Patsy Cline, The Everlys & Roy Orbison, among others. Kinda weird, since his one vocal spotlight was on the Springfield's 2nd and best album "Again", a big brassy soul ditty called "Good Time Boy".

After the breakup of the Springfield, Martin toured with a group called "The New Buffalo Springfield" - for only a minute, because he was sued by Stephen Stills & Neil Young.

Really Big Shew

Spiritually I'm not old. Tick-tick-tick-wise one could argue otherwise. I wasn't aware I was old until my wife told me I was. Ha ha get her at 55 I'm the younger of the duo.

Now forty-five isn't old, age-wise, but what about when you're talking The Beatles first visit to America & their appearance on Ed Sullivan - 45 years ago. That's five less than fifty, which is half a hundred. The Beatles we're talking about here. Not Glenn Miller, not Elvis. Geez.

I remember the Friday they landed in New York, February 7, 1964. I had been home from school for a few days with some illness. One of my friends was trying to coax me to go back to school that Friday afternoon, but I stayed home by the radio (always hated school). They weren't touching down in Detroit, but local radio was all abuzz that day. When they came on the scene, suddenly there were all kinds of magazines with pictures, stories and interviews filled with Beatle stuff (this is where 16, Tiger Beat, Rolling Stone, Creem and a million others started). And there was all kindsa Beatle merchandise. And I wasted a lot of money on it, but I digress.

February 9, 1964. "The Big Bang". Before this, it was flaky crap like Dion and Neil Sedaka, or anonymous big city r&b from Atlantic, but haven't we been down this road before? Yeah, I thought so. What was it, last week we were commemorating their demise?

I don't remember actually watching that broadcast that night, except for during "Till There Was You" when they superimposed their names on the screen during their closeups, and Lennon's said "sorry girls he's married" - sounds lame now, but we were still in that steady date, high-school ring mentality.

On Monday, February 10, 1964, millions of kids started bands, or started guitar lessons, or started wearing their hair different, or just started paying attention.

Elvis lost it all. ALL of it. You can blame Uncle Sam, Tom Parker, or his dumbass hillbilly mindset. He had no choice but to step down, or get stepped on. And when did he do this? February 9, 1964.

Like I said last week, The Fabs ain't going anywhere. They've been here since 2/9/64, and we can't get rid of 'em. The music continues to evolve & technically it stopped 35 years ago. How's that grab ya?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sci-Fi Death In 3-D

On February 4, Lux Interior, vocalist for Psychobilly pioneers The Cramps, died from heart problems. They weren't necessarily my cup o' tea, but they were certainly original. And I guess I'd take them before a whole lot of others.

The Cramps were the first band that I can recall for which the term "Psychobilly" was used. Think Hasil Adkins, Gene Vincent, The Stooges, Surfin' Bird, Little Richard, Monsters, Louie Louie, Au-Go-Go, Ramones, Dolls, B-movies ... you get the idea. Unhinged and informed. Their biggest hits were "Bikini Girls With Machine Guns", "Can Your Pussy Do The Dog", "Goo Goo Muck" and Jack Scott's "The Way I Walk". Electric Psycho Rockabilly!

Formed in 1979, Lux sang while his wife of 37 years, Poison Ivy Rorschach, played guitar with a revolving door rhythm section that at one time included Norton Records founder Miriam Linna on drums. They did the CBGB "circuit" and never sold a lot of records, but were famous for intense shows. Their crowning moment probably came when they played Napa State Hospital to an audience of mental patients. There's a DVD, you can probably see some of it on YouTube, it's chilling yet brilliant.

I know I said they weren't necessarily my cup o' tea, but trying to define them here, they sound exactly like my cup o' tea! Not the only beverage in town, but I'll have an occasional sip.

Anyway, Lux was a true rock & roll maniac, which is a trait I like, and he had a long time wife, which I also like, and now he's dead, which means he's free of all the bullshit of the music business.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What are your likes/dislikes?

The subject of this post is a little shirt that I originally thought came from 1977, Punk Year One, but after doing some investigating I found it came from November 1974 - the year & month I was first married. But anyway, here's the story, with timeline somewhat skewed (I'm not rewriting it, this preface will have to do)...

Back in 1977 - year one for punk - specific touchstones explicitly defined that era IF you were young (or not so much) and in tune with whatever was poised to kill off the crap of the day. At the heart of it for a minute was Vivienne Westwood and her "boyfriend" Malcolm McLaren who was the manager of it-boys Sex Pistols. McLaren & Westwood had a shop in Chelsea initially called Let It Rock, then SEX, then Seditionaries. They sold stuff, mainly odball clothes that became early punk uniforms: rubber trousers, mohair sweaters, the dreaded Doc Martens or brothel creepers. They produced some iconic t-shirts that were exclusively associated with that little storefront: the "Vive Le Rock" one, the cheesecloth "Destroy" bondage shirt that looked as if it would fall apart any second, and the rarest one of the bunch: a shirt that attempted to define punk the very moment it was designed, and then render it obsolete in quick time. Across the top was the statement "You're gonna wake up one morning and know which side of the bed you've been lying on!" Then just below, two columns, the bad stuff on the left, the good on the right, compiled by McLaren, his mate Gary Goldstein and Bernie Rhodes, who two years later would become manager of The Clash. You could either thumb your nose at, alter your disposition for, or if you were a true punk simply ignore, all or any of the above. The last choice being the wisest - who wants some boring old fart to specify what's cool & what isn't? EXCEPT this boring old fart was The Pistols' daddy & he and The Clash's manager say THIS is what's cool & what's not. The thing is, neither column specified which was the cool or uncool side. Genius!

What if you slept in the middle of the mattress?

for the contents of the shirt, check it: