Monday, May 25, 2009

Ain't no cure

Well, it's officially here. Not technically here, but officially. "Socially" officially. Like yes you can wear white clothes official. Last weekend I planted, mulched, fertilized, assembled, laddered, and at the end of each day I was so beat & my ground pads were in such misery that I never ended up doing what I really wanted to do over the weekend: plant myself in front of a mixer with two cd players with a pair of headphones, some smokes & a jockey of bourbon for a couple hours. I had the opportunity, but for some reason sleep seemed nicer, laying on my back with the breeze flowing overhead.

Ah, Summer.

My bike, which I've christened Mozella (aka Bloody Mama), was totally ignored. She sat there & looked at me as I repeatedly passed her, rakes and brooms and hoses and trash bags and plant food in hand and ... well, you get the idea.

But this coming weekend will be different. It's my birthday.

Something will happen which I will regret, I'm quite sure. My mouth's brain (and my brain's mouth) is too carefree - until it's too late, then responsibility hits. Hard.

F#%k it. It's been the same way since I've had a conscience and a memory. You can't teach an old dawg new tricks. Get your own birthday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Meeting The Devil At The Crossroads

I was reading an interview with Jarvis Cocker, and he thinks, as do I once I sit & capitulate, that it's odd how blues has become the middle class middle-aged guy's music of choice. Especially since it's the sound of black slaves dealing with their "situation".

White guys, like me, with an adequate job & some sort of normalcy in their lives - wife, kids, mortgage, multiple TVs & cars - digging - playing - de blooze. They remember with fondness their youth: Cream, Fleetwood Mac (UK version, not Cali cokehead version), Savoy Brown - wait, aren't these all from the UK, where the working class is truly lowdown & the caste system is still in full effect today? Wait, I'm not done: Canned Heat, Paul Butterfield, Johnny Winter (talk about white). All those guys got their data from those first- and second-generation American negroes. Today's blooze fan doesn't know Son House from Dr. Gregory House.

(OK - this is not really another one of my posts showing how people are root-ignorant; that's not what this post started out to be. People certainly don't have to be down on their luck to dig the blues. As always, it's nice when the originators get credit.)

Later this summer if all goes well with a foot surgery scheduled for July I'm supposed to go to an outdoor blues concert featuring blues giant B.B. King and Robert Cray - neither of whom I like. But here's something interesting: B. B. goes back 60 years. He's a contemporary of most of the blues cats I listen to, and normally that would be good enough for me, but B. B.'s so ... Jerry Lewis Telethon. He's up there singin' & playin' the blues (however not at the same time) in a sparkly tux that would make Marc Bolan envious. Shit, he's loaded, and I don't expect him to wear one-strapped overalls, but he's just too damn slick for my liking. His blues has morphed into the Vegas Blues. Not so strange then that I don't get any soul from him. The reality is he transcended all his down home funk & he's not gonna front. Normally I would consider that great. But his Quincy Jones-type shit just doesn't happen for me. And Robert Cray is truly an exceptional artist, but that experience for me is like listening to your college suitemate play a gig on the diag. As some bald-domed cat once said, it is puzzlement. Personally I don't wanna live a destitute life, bad luck & trouble followin' me wherever I go, but psychologically that's what I expect from my blues artists (if they're British, of course, then all I expect is delta influences & bad teeth). Different strokes, is all I'm sayin'. And as usual, my favorite strokers are dead.

If my demographic is blues's ideal audience, then so be it. My peers could have chosen young country over blues. Most black folk don't dig the blues because it reminds them of bad times. Me and my peeps can't relate, we just wanna look over yonder wall and dust our broom, bottles in hand: one cheap whisky, one Purell.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Waiting For The Man

Summer's comin' on like a pimple on my ass in May (go figure). And I know that in recent months my posts have been less than stellar, and not very interesting to say the least. But before I go any further, I must say that I warned you about that. I think it's in my blog heading. But these recent posts have even bored me. I'm phonin' it in, folks. I went back in the post archives, to last summer, for inspiration. All I had to do was read one of them & I could feel the difference between then & now.

Can I credit that to any of the crap that's happening to the world nowadays? I mean, gas is back up to 2.50 a gallon. No one has a job. Therefore, no one has any money. I have both, but not a lot of the latter. And I'm waitin' to be inspired.

I can get inspired by the writings of Michael Musto and Kinky Friedman, or the paintings of Miro and John Currin, and I used to think the diatribes of Lester Bangs. Recently I've been reading a collection of Bangs' articles, called Psychotic Reactions & Carburetor Dung, and now I consider him juvenile, stupid & just plain boring. Everyone in pop journalism pisses themselves over his stuff. Bangs this, Bangs that. He was just the first to write as if he didn't care about anything, as if Leave It To Beaver or bologna was more important than whatever he was supposed to write about. Just the first, like Presley in his field (I don't like him, either).

But he inspired people, I guess. Me included. And now there are smart-assed journalists the world over that make his writings wither on the vine.

I used to wonder if I didn't like certain writers or painters or artists because I was too simple minded to understand what they're doing. Now I'm comfortable with the realization that they don't move me, man. I mean, I may still be simple minded, but I'm cool with that.

No sacred cows.

Someone told me don't be a hater. I say don't be a lover. There's a lot of shit, and I do mean shit, out there. There's a lot of great stuff out there, too, except you gotta hunt it down. Most people can't be bothered. They settle, or they decide it's not important. Books, films, music (especially music), et al. If you dig it, go for quality. My main man Tom was great for that. You'd try to hip him to something, & he'd just say "oh yeah? so?" I loved it, and it infuriated me. But it kept me real.

So what this boils down to is this: while the summer of my 11th & 12th year are quite memorable to me, and I find myself replaying those memories in my head every solstice, the reality is once you've shared that with someone, it becomes irrelevant. Do you wanna hear someone else's old stories over & over? No. So I won't bore you with mine. Because the vibe won't be the same.

Monday, May 18, 2009

T Shirts Cutoffs & A Pair Of Thongs

I can't wait for summer to get here. Psychologically it's already landed & set up shop in my head. Ice cream trucks, lawn sprinklers in the afternoons (which is bad, because mornings is the ideal time for that activity but who's up at those hours unless you haven't gone to bed yet), beach party and love boat flicks.

And of course a perfect soundtrack.

My iPod has undergone a summer makeover. Gone is most of the current pop & rock stuff. Also gone is most of the jazz stuff. We're promoting a light, breezy and very organic mood here. So we're left with a lot of sixties "AM Gold" stuff, but nothing too flaky. Mostly seldom-heard gems that evoke fun, sun and , y'know, kinda the whole beach vibe. The kind of music that once was, or should've been, all over the radio dial. Perfect for riding one's bike under a periwinkle sky.

However, there's still a LOT of soul, r&b, jump blues, rockabilly and of course The Fall and Zimmy on that thing. I mean, I'll be listening at night, too.

I'm looking forward to that point of the season where memories of my favorite summers take full flight - 1964, 1965. That'll probably come with pain killers in July. Or you could just check last summer's archive posts.

It's just like that Belle & Sebastian song: "get out of the office & into the sunshine". Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. Throw away your socks. Switch over to mojitos or VTs. Summer's such a gas.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Pal Foot-Foot

Sorry, I haven't been posting as frequently as usual. Blame it on facebook.

I get an email every time someone who is my "friend" makes a comment on ANYONE'S facebook page. Also whenever anyone makes a comment on MY page. Also whenever someone wants me to work on their farm. Or when they want to send me a gift for my farm.

It's exhausting.

And I know, I know, I said so many negative things about facebook in the past - see, I don't even capitalize it. I still feel negatively about it. But it gives me the opportunity to say a bunch of stupid fictitious stuff about anything at all. Like the lists of five. Five favorite toys from your childhood, five favorite beers, five cars you owned, stuff like that. And of course I always lie to make the outcome funny - or at least my idea of funny. Unless it's something that I want people to actually know that I dig. And how are they supposed to know which stuff is facetious and which stuff is true? I don't know; I don't care. BUT - my audience is much bigger than my blog audience. Hell, I may as well just write emails instead of do this stupid page.

But in about 8 weeks, I'll be off all of this for, well, about 8 weeks.

Foot surgery will have me laid up, totally off my feet. I always wanted to know what it would be like to take all my vacation in one piece in the summer. Guess I'll find out. My estimate is that I'll be out of work from mid-July to mid-September.

I'll be having triple arthrodesis surgery. They'll fuse the 3 major bones in my foot together, bone-on-bone, and screw them all in place. This is big stuff, according to my dr, my wife's dr, and much of what I read on the web.

I'm starting to think about my video consumption for that time frame. Also refining my iPod content. Also, I need to stock up on booze & cigars.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

El Porko Mal-something

It's finally here - Cinco de Mayo. Andale'! Arribba!

Cue the low groan.

So patient zero is a five-year-old boy. What would they do if he were an animal? Like Barney Fife would say, nip it in the bud.

And now some people are saying, "do you know how many people die from unswine flu? blah blah blah?" Don't they understand we need this kind of fear? It gives us something to hate.

No, but really, what do you do with this kid? Do you punish his parents? Is he just relegated to the pile of sad-newsworthy saps stinking in the corner like Octomom, Michael Phelps, Joe DePlummer and Vince Shamwow? I smell reality show!

I had Mexican food last friday. My throat hurts a little & I keep blowing my nose. Hopefully my boss is reading this; I won't be in tomorrow. Oink .. uh-oh, what was that?

You need to know: after one week, Bob Dylan is still on the stereo. He'll move to the iPod in a couple days. Whadda yarn spinner. Woody Guthrie mixed with Will Rogers filtered through Raymond Chandler marinated in Jack Kerouac. You gotta understand him. He's simple but always, as the kids say, right on.

Don't forget to call your mother this weekend. Unless your estranged. Then screw it.