wwsp albums on bandcamp!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Everything All the Time!

Yes, "divine inspiration."  That's a worthy state of being.  Even if it's a chimera.  Or blast of imagination.  What if you believe in the divine? And what if you believe it's not "out there," but that it's "in here," and it's not some kind of egoistic state of bluff, but a grounded state of bliss? And it comes and goes and must be renewed daily, or maybe moment by moment?

Yeah, what if? And really let's say it's really just a humble state of communication with the world. This divinity is a small, plain, kind of homely thing, kind of like a rock, or a blade of grass, or a cup of coffee, or really anything. And it's not what you know, but how you look... how you look and see... you keep it simple and clean and neutral...

And you take it all in, everything, all the time...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Normal Person

The Other Person: "I want you to try to be a normal person today."

Me: "Normal?"

The Other Person: "Yes. And put on a nice shirt. And act... normal."

Me: "Hmmm... well... okay... I... I'll... try... I... guess..."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Control

So yes, you realize that you are not in control of your life.  Sometimes you can convince yourself that you are, but then events conspire to show you that this is just a fiction that you've created to try to make yourself feel better.

You then wonder if anyone or anything is in control of anything.  Probably not.  You like to pretend that there's some kind of plan, or agenda, or purpose, but it's probably lots more complicated than that. The world is stuffed with life, with beings of every kind, and every being has an interest, and these interests all connect and collide and compete and... whatever.

You think of fate, luck, destiny... but really these are just other names for "what happens."  And "what happens" is just "what happens."  After "what happens," we tell ourselves stories, and try to explain to ourselves what happened and what it "means."

We invent gods and mythologies, and grand conspiracy theories to try to explain it all...

This is all backward looking, a rear-guard action... and it's reliant on our imagination and creative ability to explain things to ourselves.  Takes lots of energy.  Maybe it's necessary, or maybe it's not.  It's part of our human thing for sure...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lessons...

So what did I learn? (See previous post). That's what you ask when shit happens right? There must be some lesson, some wisdom earned? Maybe. Maybe not.

Lesson #1: Cross at the intersection.  Wait for the light to change.  Look both ways. Yes, I know it's simple stuff.  Stuff for morons really. You may think you can cross the street, anywhere, anytime. You think you are alive and aware and can see.  But you know what? You don't see everything.  You can't anticipate everything.  There are surprises.  You need to try to minimize the unpleasant ones.

Lesson #2: Tiny decisions can lead to major calamities. You are doing one thing, and that can set off a chain of events that leads to something else entirely. So yes, you think it's time to change your guitar strings.  The next thing you know you're bringing your broken guitar to the repair shop. And things precious to you can be swiped away at a moment's notice.

Lesson #3: You are not in control.  You think you are, but you're not...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Silly Mishap

What can I say? Yesterday was eventful.  Nearly "bought the farm." And my "go-to" acoustic guitar broke.

Two silly mishaps.  "Almost dying," was interesting, but the broken headstock on my guitar really upsets me.  I wonder how Pete Townshend could live with himself after intentionally breaking all those  guitars?

Silly mishap number one nearly equaled death in the afternoon.  

I was "jay-walking", although in this case, I wasn't really being reckless.  But I also wasn't at an intersection.  I carefully looked both ways, saw an opening, and stepped into the street.  At that exact moment, a black Jeep with two teenagers decided to enter the roadway.  The driver "floored it," and I found myself face to face with my mortality.  There was no escaping.  I was helpless.  A bag of mail in one hand, a coffee cup in the other.  Couldn't move. I watched the vehicle bear down on me... that was it...

My last words.... "Oh... Fuck..."  

Thankfully, mercifully, miraculously, luckily, the Jeep swerved and missed me by inches.  I paused in the roadway and gave the Jeep the finger. That's how it happens. I guess.

The guitar, well, the guitar is so precious to me, like an arm or leg, or maybe my liver.  Can't even describe the mishap.  But there's now a major crack in the headstock.  Hope it can be repaired.  That guitar has been through so much, just like me.  It's beat and scarred, and they don't make them like that anymore... kind of irreplaceable... but of course there's always glue! Here's hoping.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Blood and Noodle X-Mas


Yes, we caught the early showing of "Django Unchained" on X-mas day.  It's quite the satisfying movie adventure.  Quentin Tarantino finds the perfect tone in this B-Movie Epic.  And Jaime Foxx proves once again that he is one of America's great actors.  Plus Christoph Waltz is Tarantino's secret weapon.

Yes, lots of blood, mayhem, profanity, and the N-Word... but it all works.  Tarantino is a great writer.  His dialogue, his cinematic eye and his use of music (Jim Croce, Richie Havens) elevates this B-Movie into high art.  High and Low meet in Tarantino's vision and it's great.

Plus it's hip and fun.  Really.

Then it was onto Tank Noodle for an Asian feast.  This has sort of become our X-Mas tradition.  Blood and noodles. Perfect.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"We are what we are, that's the way it's going to be..." B. Marley

Christmas Day 2012.  Might put you in the mind of Jacob Marley.  Me, I'm thinking of Bob Marley...  

"Tell the children the truth..." Sounds like a good policy... and just what is the truth?  Aye yes, there's the rub, my Friends...


Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunbeams are never made like me...

Funny.  For no particular reason, I woke up singing, "Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam, sunbeams are never made like me..."


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bright, Bold and Slightly Cocky!

A long weekend... that's good.  I'm thinking today's theme: FUN! I'm drinking a new blend of coffee beans called "Arriba!"  And there's a picture of a Rooster on the package.  Sort of looks like this guy. And the description: "Bright, Bold and Slightly Nutty." Sounds good.
And what's the theme song for the day? Well, of course, that would be "Little Red Rooster" from the early Brian Jones era Rolling Stones...

 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Now. Yes.

Well, I suggest you get your philosophical insights, your "wisdom," wherever you can.  For me, one of the great sages, a funky, charismatic fount of brilliance is Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. Yes. Really...

"All we have is now, all we've ever had is now..." - W. C.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mad Adventurers

As Joe Strummer once put it... "The Future is Unwritten." And as the historians remind us... the past is up for interpretation. We are sitting right in the middle of both... we call that the present.  And the present is for the taking and the making.

The one thing the Mayans tell us is that all Civilizations end.  I choose to believe that we are entering a new era of "cosmic consciousness." I mean, "why not?!" It would explain all the turmoil.  The old ways of thinking and living are coming to an end.  And endings are scary.

Beginnings are scary too.  But they are also exciting. And promising.  Let's start a new adventure.  Come on. Don't be afraid.  The water is nice and warm and there's room for more Mad Adventurers! Take the plunge!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Joe Strummer: "Without People You're Nothing."

The radio reminds me that Joe Strummer died on this day in 2002.  That seems like a long time ago now. Ancient history.  Strummer and The Clash always spoke to me. Renewed my faith in the rock and roll thing. And as they used to say, there was a time when it seemed The Clash were "the only band that mattered."  I am a big fan of "London Calling," and the sprawling sound of "Sandinista!" Really, really great records.

I'm also a fan of Strummer's work with The Mescaleros... this version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" is one of my favorite cuts of all time!  Miss you Joe! Miss you Bob!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What of It?

And just what is a "racket?"  A "fraudulent scheme or business." But what of the honest man or woman? What of the honest trade? What of the honest intention? What of it?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Critique of Capitalism

Watching Mad Men season 5 on Blu-Ray is very, very enjoyable.  I won't give anything away, but I like the idea that seems to permeate the show, that everything is a racket: Religion, Marriage, Advertising, Politics, Art, Corporate Culture, Theater. There are very few characters (I can only think of one or two) who don't seem to be working an angle.  No one is clean. Everyone is compromised.  It's all done quite seamlessly and fairly subtly and really works.  Yes, so the show is actually a critique of late 20th century capitalism - with lots of smoking, drinking, and promiscuous sex.  Great show...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Really, Really Complex!

We are always on an emotional roller-coaster.  It kind of comes as standard-issue equipment.  A cauldron of emotions is always churning around in our bodies.  You can sometimes still the waters, but not for long, and it's amazing what can trigger an emotional storm.  Up, down, sideways...

On top of the emotions, we have this brain sitting up in our craniums that conjures all kinds of thoughts - rational, irrational, logical, illogical, magical, ridiculous, grave, serious, stupid, you name it.  And sometimes one thought follows another, and sometimes it seems the thoughts have nothing to do with one another, and they pop up unbidden, like some weird jack in the box contraption.

And then we inhabit these bodies that have their own purpose and agenda.  And we lug these bodies around, and deal with whatever they decide we should deal with.  And this is just us. Our beings.  Now add billions of other beings on the planet that we need to contend with, and co-exist with, and well, it all starts getting really, really complex.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Blood Tax?

Still struggling with the latest "slaughter of the innocents."  Such a horrible crime.  Mind boggling.  Disturbing.  Kind of challenges what you think constitutes a society of human beings.  And as always, there are no "answers." Crazy person run amuck.  Armed to the teeth.  Randomly gunning down children.

It's like a confounding puzzle you want to solve.  Why are there so many guns in the land? Are the "gun obsessives" in need of therapy? Is there a way to balance one's freedom to own a gun with other people's freedom of not being gunned down?

We are at a political stalemate, seems the gun lobby has pretty much won the day.  300 million guns floating around.  Guns are easily obtained.  And not just handguns, major automatic and semi-automatic weapons of destruction.

Guns are built and designed for one thing.  To kill people.  Maybe we institute a "blood tax."  Make the manufacturers accountable for the results of the use of their products?  Maybe that money could be used for counseling and support for victims of gun violence?  

Maybe we have a nationwide gun buy-back program? Can we shame people into giving up their guns? And give them cash for turning their weapons in?  Seems weird that a substitute teacher would need to own two semi-automatic pistols and a rifle.  Gun Crazy!

Maybe some creative lawyers get gun victims and families to band together in some kind of massive class-action lawsuit to make the gun makers and the gun lobby pay for their destructive products.

There are crazy, disturbed people among us.  No doubt. Millions of them. Can't ban crazy people.  I believe the craziness is just part of being human.  Of course, most of us maintain, live our lives without hurting ourselves or others.

I'm with Anton Chekov.  If you put a gun on a mantelpiece, somewhere along the line that gun will be used.  The gun will go off, the trigger will be pulled.  Could be an accident, or an act of violence in a moment of madness or anger...

Maybe we just choose not to put that gun in the scenery?  Live out another kind of story...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Freaking Gun Crazy

Horrid, despicable, unimaginable crime.  Can't outlaw crazy people.  A smart, civil society should do all it can to make it really, really hard for anyone to get their hands on a gun. Especially "automatic" weapons.

America is gun crazy.  It is a sickness.  Driven by fear. And there are many unhappy, sick people in the world.  Over 300 million guns floating around in America.  

Crazy Folks + Easy Access to Guns = Unimaginable Pain and Suffering.

Total stupidity too.  Gun advocates and the Gun lobby and the Gun Manufacturers have blood on their hands.  They should be held to account. And the weasel Politicians who bow down to the Gun Lobby should be shamed. 

Maybe some creative lawyers can band together and hold Manufacturers to account? To say nothing can be done is craven... and despicable too...

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Nearly Invisible Speck

You get these reminders, little reminders that you can break apart in one moment.  One moment.  You can fall apart.  Disintegrate into tiny microscopic pieces. You can crash and burn.  Everything you call "you" can collapse in a moment.

I don't think this should be "discouraging," no, you can keep your courage up in the face of annihilation. Remember you are special, but so is everyone else. You are the narrator of your own private narrative, but your story is not the central story... not by a long shot.  You are important to you.  To the universe you look like vapor, a tiny cloud, a blip, a nearly invisible speck in the great all-seeing eye.

And that's OK!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Good Luck Pilgrim!

I've bought into that idea that it all comes down to intention.  And I think you must be disciplined, and a stickler, and hold yourself to a higher truth, to try to make sure that your intentions are pure.  And I suppose you can never be sure.  We are such a tangled ball of confusion. And our egos get in the way and cloud our thinking.

And then of course, you must remember that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."  And it's easy to be misunderstood, even if you tell yourself that your intentions are good.  And there are so many contingencies, and so many ramifications to any action.  And what you thought was good and pure can lead to lots of pain and heartache and misunderstanding.

Purity may be another one of those chimeras we base a life on.

So yes, even the easy, simple rule is fraught.  That's the way it works in this mad adventure.  You have a compass, but it's unreliable... and every time you turn, the needles spin... good luck Pilgrim!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A R&R Dynamo!


I'm pretty conflicted about Pete Townshend's "Who I Am."  It's a book that is sometimes good, and other times not so good.  It's an easy read. Confounding too. Pete comes across as an intelligent, sensitive soul. But sometimes you think Pete is not the best guy to be telling his own story, or the story of the Who.

He lacks perspective. He's so conflicted.  And confused.  And there were all those years of alcoholism.  And those years of cocaine insanity. He's actually best on his early formative years as a child in London.  Clear-eyed.  He's a little less good on the Who years. One thinks he doesn't really understand his own accomplishments.

If you want to understand why The Who are a great and important band, listen to their string of masterful discs: Who's Next, Live at Leeds, Isle of Wight, Tommy, Quadrophrenia.  Plus don't forget the early singles: Happy Jack, My Generation, Substitute, The Kids are Alright, I Can See for Miles.  Pete channeled his angst, his anger and frustration into his music and his wind-milling stage persona.  That's the best of the man.  An artist.

And although Pete wrote most of the songs, The Who's greatness resided in the collective dynamic between Daltrey, Moon, Entwhistle and Townshend.

Townshend's self-portrait is messy and often unappealing. He's a guy pining for some kind of spiritual transcendence, so much of his work is about that topic, but you never really get a sense of what that transcendence actually means. And much of the book is wrapped up in the mind-numbingly mundane, in all kinds of trivial, empty things. Maybe that's a life, but it's not a compelling narrative, and not very interesting or enlightening for the reader.

My favorite sentence in Pete's book, is the last one: "If in doubt, just play."  That can pretty much serve as some kind of credo.  And when The Who were in their prime, they were a powerful, rock and roll dynamo!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

That's a Good One...

What does life teach us?  That's a good one... I think as you get older you get to decide what kind of relationship you want with life.  Everyone gets to decide on their own.  Of course, Life has a say in the matter too.  We call that fate, destiny, luck, accident...

Lately I've been in a very philosophical frame of mind.  A "love of wisdom," indeed.  Not sure if I actually possess wisdom.  Most of what I think of as wisdom has been borrowed from the sages and ages.

"Life is suffering."  That's the Buddha.  And if you love life, then you love suffering.  And if you really could love suffering, I guess you'd beat the game at it's own game.  Not sure if that's even possible.

But what if you could accept pain, suffering, depression, death, loneliness, etc. as conditions just as inevitable as joy, love, happiness, transcendence? All of these conditions are temporary.  Aye there's the rub...

"All things must pass."  (George Harrison by way of the Bhagavad Gita).

That could be liberating.  Really.  If you can really integrate that knowledge deep inside your being.  Everything is temporary.  So you could think: this pain is temporary; this suffering won't last, this joy will dissipate, this feeling of transcendence will disappear.  And something else will take it's place.  And that fine. That's life.  And we get to experience everything... enjoy the experience... enjoy the pain, enjoy the loneliness, enjoy the ability to feel suffering... don't cling, something else will come your way soon... guaranteed! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Leave-Taking

The spirit leaves.  Any time, in a moment.  Reminded of that fact two days ago.  One of our little feathered friends gave up the ghost.  It was unexpected, sudden.  Baffling. So sad.

It happens like this: something takes over. There is a "leave-taking," the wings spread, it appears as if the little being is preparing to soar, and then the body "drops." And then, it's over. You are left with the little perfect lifeless body.

No reason is given.  You can make up reasons, but they all seem so inadequate and beside the point. One moment life, one moment death.

What lesson? Not sure. Death happens. Spirit leaves. Those that are living need to pay attention to those still living. And remember those who have passed. Every moment is a moment of possibility. Every moment.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Sum it Up?

Yes, we did this Toys for Tots show last night at the Red Line Tap... how do I sum it up?  We raised a boat-load of toys for the kids. We packed the place with people.  By any measure it was a wildly successful show...

There were reindeer, monkeys, drunk people.  Short ones, tall ones.  We raffled off the lamest DVD's ever made by man. We had a ukulele raconteur walking around in his bathrobe.  The Uber-Critic was surly and rolled around on stage.  We had Marines, Go-Go dancers, and a few unmitigated train-wrecks too. I was drinking Guinness. There was sonic bliss, and total mayhem too. Lots of holiday cheer.  A good time had by all...

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Outward/Inward

When you are little you think everything is "out there."  And then somewhere along the line you think everything is "in here."  There's the outward journey and the inward journey...

And then somewhere along the line you realize that it's both, and it's a dance, and you must juggle your perspective, always, every moment.  You are dazzled and confounded with the things of the world, and you find strength and insight inside yourself.

You are not helpless.  You are not an idiot.  You have resources. And you can use them to deal with the world as you find it.  That's how you live a full life...

Friday, December 07, 2012

Faith in the Creative Project!


It's all about the work... I suppose I adopted that line from Andy Warhol.  I think if you are in the creative realm, if you are really committed to what you do, you end up putting it all in the work.  You can't help it. And everything in your life, in your background, in your foreground, comes through.  That's the beauty of it.  That's what makes art important.  And transcendent, and inspiring.  We put the best of ourselves into the work.  Maybe sometimes the worst too.  Makes it all more compelling and layered... etc.

Anyway, my favorite photographer, Michael Doubrava has just posted some new work.  I am just totally bowled over by this man's vision.  He creates another world.  Sometimes it's a lovely order, or maybe a lovely disorder.  And things that seem like they seem, aren't what they seem.  

Or they are... or... you know, there's the real, the surreal and the beyond the real too.  Michael's work is beautiful and mysterious and exquisite. And if you know his methods, and his madness, you can't help but be inspired.  And your faith in the creative project is renewed...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

What Does Elvis Have to do With It?

Kind of stumbled into the r&r business... I mean on a local club level.  I've worked with promoters, and I've also promoted shows on my own.  It can be very rewarding to put a line-up of acts together and put on a show.  And then sometimes you think a show is gonna be really special. For this one, I'm just part of team. Lots of really cool people helped on this one.  And it's all for a great cause.  Really looking forward to it. If you live in the Chicago area, you should check it out!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

David Briggs was the Secret Sauce!


Did you ever play a CD over and over until it finally just gives up the ghost?  I've done it a few times. Just replaced my copy of Neil Young and Crazy Horses' "Ragged Glory."  I have really played the be-jesus out of this disc ever since it came out in 1990.  And the new CD sounds great.  Blasted it out over and over yesterday afternoon...

I wonder why it's so good?  Neil and the band are in peak form.  It is a raggedly glorious sound.  I suspect the X factor was the Producer David Briggs.  It's no accident that some of my favorite Neil Young music was produced by Briggs.  Whatever he brought to the sessions, whatever he did when collaborating with Neil worked out to the max.  He brought some kind of special hoodoo mojo factor.  Kind of mysterious... and his track record with Young is seriously great, some of the best music ever recorded...  David Briggs was the secret sauce!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

"When are things gonna get back to normal?" - Roger Sterling

We recently purchased the Blu-Ray DVD of Mad Men season 5 and have been really submerging ourselves in the show. It's really great, a period piece about America, and how during the sixties the ground shifted and everything changed. I love how music is used in the show.  Songs usually come at the end, kind of as an exclamation point. Last night we watched the "Tomorrow Never Knows" episode...

People remember "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart's Club Band" as the pinnacle of the Beatles musical achievement, but "Revolver" might actually be their best album.  And this is the song that kind of blew open the doors.  It opened minds, opened heads, this is when the Beatles got really "weird" and great...

And Lennon showed how a rock and roll song could be trippy, fun and deeply disorienting and profound too...


Monday, December 03, 2012

One's Man's Spiritual Epiphany is Much Like Another Man's Spiritual Epiphany

Another funny thing about Mike Scott's book (see previous post): the spiritual "epiphany" that he  describes when he was at Findhorn, a rural community in Scotland in the mid-nineties, is very similar to the spiritual epiphany I had on Clark Street in Chicago in the early two thousands...

It was funny to read in black and white someone describe the same basic experience.  Maybe it's characteristic of a deep meditative state.  It's also funny how language is so unable to convey the actual experience.  I mean the description is quite good, but it sounds sort of plain, mundane and blah.

Maybe that's also characteristic of the most profound experiences.  You can't really describe them.  Only truly experience them.  And when you do try to describe them you miss the target and fall into cliche.  Maybe the experience is sort of cliche.  But a spiritual epiphany is nothing to sneeze at!

And that feeling of "well-being and connectedness" is something special for sure... sort of earth-shaking and profound...

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Adventures of the Last Standing Waterboy!



Next up for me will be Pete Townshend's book, but first, just finished reading Mike Scott's book "Adventures of a Waterboy." Mike is the front-man, the leader, and sometimes the last and only Waterboy left standing. The book is a wonderful read.  It is beautifully written.  Scott is a heart-felt poet, and a man in love with, and driven by, music.

There are some haunting, beautiful and soul-stirring passages in this book.  Scott really is a r&r gypsy. And a great writer. He has followed his own muse and flitted from grandly different visions for the Waterboys, sometimes from one record to the next.  At times, he was striving for a Big Rock and Roll sound, and then  other times he was going for a rootsy, organic Celtic sound.  Probably his greatest achievement is "Fisherman's Blues," a dash back to that old Celtic sound, melding rock, folk and traditional music. Scott is a "Scot," who fell in love with Ireland, and the old music, and then put together an amazing band of traditional players to bring music alive.

There are also some other great albums by the Waterboys, especially the grandly rocking  "This is the Sea."  And I just discovered  "A Rock in the Weary Land." It's a a really powerful record, and another vision fully-realized. Influenced by Radio-Head's denser electronic sound!

Scott is sort of a baffling figure too.  He comes across as a very willful, intuitive person, with a grand spiritual vision.  He also comes across as "difficult" never settling on a single musical approach, never quite satisfied with the work, not comfortable playing the rock star role, unable to hold a band of musicians together.

You do think lots of things are left out of his version of his adventures.  But the Mike Scott you meet is a charismatic r&r poet.  And an amiable spiritual gypsy.  And his great poetic gift and his deep spiritualism drives some great, soul-full music. Recommended!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

I Can't Explain It!

I can't really explain it... I'm at the bookstore, in the r&r section... I'm torn between buying Pete Townshend's new book or Neil Young's.  I greatly admire both of these guys.  I love reading r&r memoirs, and some of them, like Keith Richard's book, seem like great literature too.  I'm obsessed with Pop Culture, and seeing Pop Culture through the eyes of some of the people who have been in the center of the hurricane is very cool.

So I'm torn.  Two big books, two expensive hard-covers.  Lots of words.  And for some reason I opt for the Townshend book.  And I actually think to myself, "I don't trust Neil." Is that right?! I love Neil Young.  I think he's an amazing artist, great singer/songwriter, unbelievable guitar player. What am I thinking?  Just looking at the cover, I think, "Neil's gonna bullshit me."

In fiction there's the "unreliable narrator."  Somehow Keith made it work, even though you think he's about as unreliable as you can get.  And yes, there's lots everyone leaves out.  That's what life and memory is... what you remember... what you forget.

Anyway, can't explain it.  I opt to go with Pete...  I wonder if I made the right choice .  Is Pete's book any good? Is he gonna bullshit me too? I guess I'll report back when I finish it!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Besides That...

Shadow-Dancing.  Yes, we are a funny species. We like to wrestle and dance with shadows.  Sometimes we get lost in the world of shadows. Sometimes we get so lost, we end up neglecting the things of the world that are sitting right before our noses.

I suppose we sometimes we do this as an intentional strategy. Some of those things of the world are "bad news," better left for another day.  But sometimes that other day is today.  Maybe we should move out of the shadows and seize the things of the day?  What's the worst that could happen? Oh, yeah... I mean... besides that...


Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Waning Day

At the lake front yesterday.  The sun was setting in the west, and I was looking east at the vast and dangerous body of water called Lake Michigan.  The water was still.  A small flock of Canadian Geese were floating in the water, looking like wooden decoys.

It was around 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon and already the sun was setting, and the setting sun tossed an array of colors across the water. There were pinks and blues and yellows too, glinting, sparkling, dancing in the still water.  I was wearing dark sunglasses which made the colors more vibrant and surreal.  It was one of those hushed moments.  I could hear myself breathing, breathing in the air, breathing in the essence of a waning day.

It was one of those nothing moments. It seems that nothing was really happening.  But everything was there before me.  Everything right there in that moment.  It sort of felt holy. A holy moment.  A feeling of peace and well-being flooded my body.  The moment was so vibrant and alive.  I was in the church of no church.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Catching My Breath!

Yes, just like "Piggy" in "Lord of the Flies," I have "ass-mar."  I've had it since about 13 years old or so.  I remember collapsing into a snowbank, gasping for air, and my little brother lugging me home.  That was when I realized that breathing doesn't always come easy.

Over the years, I've tried lots of remedies.  Lately I've been using my Tibetan Sea Salt inhaler and it seems to help.  I also take hot baths and soak my body in aromatic spices like peppermint and eucalyptus.  I take vitamins. I take a special mushroom concoction. I do breathing exercises.  I treat myself like a Pharaoh or something.  And it's all for just the simple pleasure of catching my  breath.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stunning Brilliance!

Recently watched "Cross-Fire Hurricane," an HBO documentary about the Stones.  It's kind of a visual snapshot of some of the events much more fully explored in Keith's great book.  You get a little visual whiff of  the Stone's glory years from the mid sixties to the mid seventies.  Pretty amazing story.

The band was born into a maelstrom of sex, drugs & violence.  And they embraced their bad boy image with enthusiasm.  There was a time when rock & roll really was the sound-track of our lives, and those Stone's songs resonated with great social & cultural significance.  There was a true "counter-culture" and the Stones were at the forefront of it, whether they wanted to be or not.

There are flashes too of the Stones from the 80's onward.  The shows got bigger, the audiences got broader, the great bounty of money flowed in,  the band traversed the world like a great r&r dinosaur and they were embraced by the mainstream culture. The music sort of shrunk, got smaller, nearly got swallowed in all the flash and thunder of the 24 hr. media monster.  Still those r&r gems from the early years have never really been tarnished. Stunning brilliance...


Monday, November 26, 2012

R&R Party Time!

I love doing this Holiday show.  We've participated 5 or 6 years in a row.  It's always lots of fun.  And it's for a good cause: raising toys for needy children.  There is no down-side to this one.  It's just a cool r&r party.  We have a killer line-up this year. It's not to be missed!  And hell, maybe even Elvis will make an appearance...?!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In His Bones and Blood

Although my last name has a distinctly "Germanic" flavor, the German influence in my blood-line was always discounted in my family.  The German guy was a one-off, he fled the family, leaving his wife to raise two young boys on her own.  Lots of pain, humiliation and guilt tied up in that little act of cowardice.  He may have had his reasons, but no one knew what they were, or at least the people who might have had an inkling, weren't talking. And that act turned out to be a life-long betrayal with reverberations for a couple generations of the clan.

So it was left to the Irish side of the family to pick up the pieces, to pull together, and to try to make it in the world, to raise a family, to get up and face the day, and to carry on. So it's the Irish side of the blood-line that was always revered and celebrated.  I always thought of myself as Irish.  And that Irish-ness meant a little craziness mixed in with a resilient toughness, and the ability to laugh and to carry on.  

And I can pass as Irish. I see it in the mirror every morning. Although to be fair to my mother's side of the family there is a healthy dose of Polish in my genetic make-up and there was always talk of a dollop of French blood in the line too.  And god knows what else?  Truly I am a white-bread 3rd generation mongrel of the first degree.

Still, when we made the trip to Dublin it felt like a real homecoming. I easily tear up when I hear Danny Boy.  I'm a big fan of Van Morrison, U2, the Pogues and Sinead O'Connor, and Samuel Beckett and James Joyce and blah, blah, blah.  Erin Go Braugh!


And the list of famous Irish people is quite impressive, you can review the list yourself.  Anyway, listening to Shane McGowan this morning stirs the blood for sure.  Anyone for a Guinness this early in the AM?  This is a great Christmas song.  We're thinking of trying it with our band for our next show. 

Shane is one of those great, sodden, tragic, Irish poets.  He always sounds half-crocked, or no, maybe fully crocked... and maybe he always really is, but he's a great songwriter, and he sings with a gravity, authority, and raging, ragged beauty that seems grounded in his bones and blood... 
  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Master Filmmaker - Ben Affleck?!

Yesterday we saw "Argo" the latest movie from master filmmaker... Ben Affleck.  Yes, really, I just put "master filmmaker," and Ben Affleck in the same sentence.  Hard to believe?  Yes, but really...

Seems there is life after "Bennifer" the "super-couple" years spent with Jennifer Lopez. Anway, "Argo" is a great movie.  Entertaining, thrilling.  Based on true events. It's a period piece, Jimmy Carter is President, there's the hostage crisis in Iran.  The story is all so true, it's seems completely implausible. Well done Mr. Affleck!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sweet Thing...

Thinking of bringing this song to our band... one of the great tracks from Van Morrison's 1968 album "Astral Weeks", which is absolutely one of the all-time greatest records to ever see the light of day.  It never fails to enchant.

The Waterboys did an amazing cover version of this song on their blazingly wonderful album "Fisherman's Blues." Just a beautiful, incandescent song. For some reason, I think our band could really bring it... I'm gonna bring it to our next kitchen session and try it on for size!

 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It all comes down to the hugs...

Lots to be thankful for today.  It's kind of cool to have a day dedicated to thankfulness.  There are very few traditions I follow.  But getting together with family and breaking bread, or in this case having a feast with all the fixings, is a good one. It's good to see everyone that is still around, and to think of the ones that are no longer around.  And yes, there's the food, the talk, the football, the singing of songs, but really it all comes down to the hugs.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Kitchen

The kitchen.  Great acoustics.  Good lighting.  Many, many sessions spent in the kitchen with my acoustic guitar and a little digital recorder. Yes, that's where the majority of our songs start.  Little riffs and melodies just sort of appear... in the kitchen...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Does Time Reveal?

Yesterday I wrote about Gillian Welch and David Rawlings here...  there are the good times, the bad times, and then just time...

This song has been resonating with me the last few days.  Time is the great revelator for sure.  And Gillian Welch is an amazing singer/songwriter, and her partner in crime, David Rawlings is just the best.  This take was supposedly a "mic test," and it sounds so real, so genuine, so casually perfect, and in the moment... you can see why this was "the one."

And what does time reveal?  Everything...


Monday, November 19, 2012

Holy Motors... Yes!

We went to the Music Box Theatre in Chicago yesterday afternoon.  We saw Leos Carax's new movie "Holy Motors."  Don't want to review it. Don't want to try to sum it up.  Don't want to critique or explain.  Don't want to diminish it in anyway. It's a great, beautifully visualized mystery.  Definitely worth seeing.

It's about dreams, movies, life.  Some absolutely stunning images.  And it's a really strange, baffling, wonderful film. Very French.  Loved, loved, loved it.  It kind of opened me up and cleansed my brain.  Sort of deepened the mystery of my own life too.  Really. Highly recommended.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Status Quo

There are those who benefit from the "status quo." And those who suffer. And that's where the conflict,  and the trouble begins.  There are those holding the apple cart up, feasting on apples, and there are those trying to upset the apple cart, those hungry for apples. That's the human thing in spades.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gloriously Implausible!

BTW - the quote "We all fall down," comes from Tony Scott's movie "Domino," a film loosely based on Domino Harvey's real-life story.  And Domino's story is actually more layered, and complex, and interesting and tragic than the actual film.  The real-life Domino died of an overdose before the film came out.

I recently saw Scott's movie after reading this amazing tribute by Kim Morgan.  "Domino" the movie seems to me to be an instance of "style over substance," and Keira Knightly is sort of implausible in the lead role, but at the same time the style is so lush and over the top and flashy and cool, and Knightly is so charismatic and gloriously implausible, I think the movie works.  Yes it works, even though it's sort of hyper and ridiculous too.  And maybe Tony Scott really didn't get his due as a filmmaker and maybe Kim Morgan helps make the case.

And what a great closing line for the film. And yes, we do all fall down...

Friday, November 16, 2012

We all Fall Down!

People have sex.  They have sex with other people.  People not their husbands or wives.  It happens.  All the time.  So sometimes "the scandal" isn't really all that scandalous or shocking.  But it is sort of an intriguing story when you see intelligent, successful people doing really stupid and silly things.

You see Generals with lots of medals on their chests acting like besotted teenagers.  You see accomplished, married women competing for the attention of these over-decorated men.  There's jealousy and lust and people acting like hormone-addled kids.

It's kind of funny.  And I guess in a way it's satisfying to know that those folks aren't any different than other folks.  It's kind of the human story splashed across media landscape.  It's ridiculous too.  And pointless.  And these very accomplished people have no one to blame except themselves.

One moment a figure of respect and honor.  The next a figure of foolishness and disgrace.  And we all fall down!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One Snap!


My photography teacher many years ago said: "The camera always lies."  I think this is true.  One snap tries to capture a moment.  A still from life.  But life is not still.  It's an on-going process.  A stream that cannot be corralled or contained.

Still, people take photos.  Some are art-less and some are art-full. For me an art-full photo adds to the mystery, it reveals and conceals at the same time.  It's not documenting a moment, it's a poetic evocation of a moment. 

This is a long way to saying that our friend Nancy Chambers took a bunch of photos at our recent show at the Underground Wonder Bar.  They all looked so good, so mysterious, so poetic and art-full, I decided to add a photo page to our band website.  

Nancy focused the lens on the Lovely Carla and I, the rest of the band didn't make it in the frame.  So yes, these photos lie, they don't fully capture the reality of that night.  But they do capture something sort of mysterious and beautiful...  they sort of capture the spirit of our little sonic experiment. Thanks Nancy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Refrigerator


We signed a new lease on our apartment.  We asked for a new refrigerator.  And it arrived yesterday.  Big, shiny, white, roomy.  It just gleams.  Everyone is very happy. Freezer on the bottom, lots of shelves and compartments.  It's amazing how a new refrigerator can just change the energy of our little household.  We are all glowing positivity this morning...

The refrigerator made me think of Ellyn Burstyn and her role in "Requiem for a Dream." "Requiem" is a great, and powerful film about people in addiction and survival.  It's beautiful, brutal and surreal.  I've seen it a couple of times, and certain scenes are just seared into my consciousness.

I longed to hear the wonderful and amazing soundtrack to the movie. Original music by Clint Mansell. I'm playing it now.  It is haunting, breath-taking, really one of the greatest movie soundtracks ever recorded.  Yes, it's that good.  So glad we got the refrigerator, so glad it made me think of Ellen Burstyn, so glad I remembered the soundtrack, so glad I'm playing the CD now.  It's a very good morning.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It Was Lost

I was reading about The Stone Roses and their original manager Gareth Evans.  Evans is kind of a larger than life character in the mold of Andrew Loog Oldman, Brian Epstein, Malcolm Maclaren.

Here is Evans talking about the Roses downfall and it definitely resonates across the human spectrum.  Think Big Time Coaches, Church Elders, Boy Scout Leaders, Wall Street Financiers, Politicians, Four Star Generals... etc.

"They definitely began to believe in themselves to such an extent that, to them, they seemed indestructible. That is very dangerous and foolish.  But it's a classic situation, isn't it? Not just in rock and roll, but in all business, in all life. Outrageous fortune arrives, either by luck or skill, it's doesn't matter which and it brings with it something incredibly destructive. The belief that whatever you do, it will all be for the best because you are so special.  I'm telling you. Nobody is special. Nobody. The Roses had a lot going for them but they also lacked a lot. As soon as they lost sight of that fact... it was lost." - Gareth Evans

Monday, November 12, 2012

Processing

You have to be able to process the good news.  Just like you need to process the bad news.  And there's always good news and bad news to process.  So you need to be "processing" all the time.  It can be a challenge.  And it takes energy. And sometimes the news is either so big, or so little, you are always being challenged not to miss it and to digest it.  It is all part of the picture.  It's all part of the game.  And the game never ever stops.

Of course this dividing up of information or reality into good and bad is pretty arbitrary.  And it can kind of float and morph.  The challenge is always to see clearly.  

And it seems we have different and sometimes contradictory "systems" for processing sensory info.  It's all such a complicated thing.  Life.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Superlatives!

Our band whitewolfsonicprincess played at the Underground Wonder Bar last night.  It was an amazingly transcendent experience.  We played downstairs and it was packed.  A nice intimate room filled with people there to hear music.  The band just fed off the energy of the room.  One of our best shows for sure.  I guess I can try to drag out all the superlatives: exciting, inspiring, soul-stirring, soul-enriching.  It was all that and more.  Still riding the vibe this morning...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Neil Young's Psychedelic Pill

The last week or so my soundtrack has been Neil Young and Crazy Horse's "Psychedelic Pill." I  heard Jim Derogatis totally trash it on the radio.  Luckily I didn't listen to him.  He insisted he's a big fan but he was quite dismissive of the new record.  I have learned to be skeptical of critics, I tend to listen when they are advocating an artist or record, it's helped me discover stuff I might not have necessarily found on my own, and I tune them out when they knock or trash a record.  Too often I have found that a bad review does not mean that the work is "bad."

A good friend had texted me that Neil's new record was "incredible."  I pretty much agree with that description.  Lots of great music, two discs worth.  The music is superb and Neil's lyrics are simple and straightforward.  Of course, in my book Crazy Horse is one of the all-time great "garage" bands.  Big thundering, majestic.  And that's the case with the new record.  And Neil's guitar playing is superb.  Lots of long jams on this record.

There are a couple clunky lyrics.  I wish Neil would have turned the microphone off during parts of "Drifting Back."  The lyrical clunkiness kinds of mars some of the track, but it's really a minor quibble, not a major flaw.  Neil is Neil.  And on this disc Neil is being Neil to the max.  It's exquisite and fun and powerful and great.

Some of these tracks have already embedded themselves into my consciousness.  Neil has a way of writing a haunting, line, a haunting melody. And I love "Walk Like a Giant." Towards the end of the song you hear Neil's Black Beauty Les Paul Guitar provide the sonic testimony of a Giant, maybe a wooly mammoth, dying a violent, and brutal, feedback-laced death.  It's grungy and noisy and great. Breath-takingly good! Highly recommended! Derogatis can go suck a lemon!

BTW - I heard that Derogatis likes to collect little army men. A major collector of little army men.  Goes to conventions and stuff. That's says something about the guy... not sure what... but something...

Friday, November 09, 2012

People Won!

It is important to be FOR something, but it's also important to be AGAINST something.

So not only was I for Obama, but I was really, really against someone like Karl Rove.  Rove ended up fleecing a bunch of Billionaires of over $300 million for the conservative cause.  It's funny.  Every candidate that Rove's organization supported ended up losing.

Rove is a truly contemptible reptile of a being.  So happy to see him spinning like a top trying to explain why all those dollars went for naught.  People power vs. the money.  People won!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Good Days

This euphoria kind of carried me along yesterday.  Had an extra spring in my step.  I was riding a sunny vibe.  It's funny.  All I did was vote.  But I did feel like a small piece in a grand puzzle.  My vision of the country, my vision of reality, had sort of been validated.  And the good feeling just flooded through me.

We are living in the Obama Era.  That's how the history books will record it.  It's been rocky.  It's been frustrating.  But it's also been inspiring, and yes, hopeful.  I'm sure that euphoric feeling will fade.  But it will be remembered. We have to celebrate the good days.  Yesterday was a good day.  A very, very good day.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Pure Unadulterated Joy!

Obama wins.  And the win is sweet.  And I love the coalition: women, young people, african-americans, hispanics, gays and progressives of all ages, races and persuasions.  A beautiful coalition.  The best of the country.

It's all so validating.  The result confirms my vision of the country.  Lots of problems.  Great divisions.  No easy solutions.  But there is pure unadulterated joy in the result. Obama is the right man for the time.  And he is the voice for an inspiring, and wonderful coalition.

I could not imagine the alternative.  And in my gut I never believed that the GOP vision would prevail.  Too backward.  Too retro.  Too small-minded.  Too selfish and unkind. Too unhinged.  Too blind to reality.

Still, Obama is not Gandalf.  And there is no magical elixir to fix things.  Just lots of hard work and focus ahead.  But so pleased with this exhilarating step forward!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Little Blue, Progressive Bubble

I must admit, I do live in a little bubble.  It's a little blue, progressive bubble.  I've lived in it pretty much all my life.  In this bubble things that are valued include: love, creativity, collaboration, kindness, grace.  There is a dedication to progressive politics.  Human rights.  Our motto: Human Beings First.  We are all the same.  And we all deserve to live fulfilling lives of happiness and responsibility.  We value rationality, logic, the scientific method.  We believe in "progress" and evolution.

So yes, we live in a Blue State.  And we live in a little town on the lakefront.  It is one of the bluest of the blue places in the country. It's a bubble of Blue-ness for sure.  So it's always surprising, and jolting, and eye-opening, when we bump up against conservatives.  In our little bubble, things like homophobia, racism, sexism, religious fundamentalism and bigotry are so old world, so passe, so uncool.  So conservative.  So Republican.  Yes, in our little bubble Republican is such a clunky old retro thing.  

But in this little bubble, we are not fools.  We know that lots of the country, lots of the world, does not live in this bubble of blue. And does not share our vision. It's a little baffling.  The blue bubble is so life-affirming and cool.  And we are so generous and positive on  social issues. Our blue bubble is so rock and roll.  But we know that life and politics is tough, and messy, and all progress takes work.  And struggle is just so human.

So yes, a bubble.  It's just a bubble.  And bubbles can be popped.  But today is not that day.  Today our little bubble world will not be popped, no, I'm quite sure it will be validated. And I am so happy... OBAMA!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Quest

The quest.  It's good to be on a quest.  It can be your guiding light.  It's best to pick one that goes on for a long time.  Maybe a life-time.  You will use it to focus your energies.  You will use it to gauge your progress.  It can give all you do, depth and meaning.  Even in those times when the quest seems for naught, or those times you wandered into a thicket of trouble, you know those episodes are just side-stories.  The true path is the quest.  And when you see the glimmers of what you imagine to be the fruits of the quest, well, you just validate all your effort.  Every moment of your life can be folded into the effort.  And hopefully the effort can almost become a zen-like effortless-ness. That's when things are going good.  That's acceptable on your quest too.  But the good and the bad and the ugly.  All are part of the questing business.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Probably Crazier

Yes, more politics.  It's very "top of mind" at the moment.  Can't wait until Tuesday, and then hopefully Obama can go back to doing his job...

What's weird is "conservative" used to mean level-headed, sober, practical.  But it has totally morphed in the Age of Obama into: hysterical, paranoid, illogical, anti-intellectual, anti-rational, anti-scientific.  Conservative Ideology has devolved into a strange, self-absorbed cult.  You can't debate it or argue with it.  And it is at war with myths and straw men.  

It's strange, and not healthy for our country.  You do hope that there is some kind of "eye-opener" that will change the dynamic.  But it looks like it will take more than just another Obama term to turn the tide.  Demographics seem to favor the progressive movement: empowerment of women, hispanics, gays, african americans.  The more our social agenda pushes forward, the more out of step conservatives become.  Do they get crazier, or maybe do they have a re-think? Probably in the short-term crazier...

Friday, November 02, 2012

Political Civil War!

I do think we are in the middle of a political civil war.  My theory is that the Bush years radically split the country.  His two terms in office were so devastating to the country and to the GOP.  He lied us into Iraq.  Condoned torture.  Opened our own little Gulags. Hyped the terror.  The Bush years are a real stain on the country.  And was a black mark for all of us who live here.

And the GOP just has to pretend it never happened.  

And then Obama has had to try to pick up the pieces.  He's pretty much been an Eisenhower moderate, but the GOP has to pretend that he's some crazy Kenyan, Muslim, Marxist.  Very, very weird.  And now Romney is just trying to lie his way into office.  The GOP is desperate to believe.  They are now a totally demented political party.

So yes, the political civil war rages.  We are planning an election eve party.  It will only be a party if Obama emerges the victor.  He must. He will...

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Confident and Scared!

I'm very confident.  Which is sort of scary.  The number-crunchers Nate Silver and Sam Wang tell us that Mr. Obama is the favorite to win on Tuesday.  I find myself checking their sites for updates multiple times each day.

I am not comfortable being with the favorite.  Usually I like to go with the underdog. My life has been a long series of scenes of rooting for underdogs. But in this case, it is essential that the favorite win.  The alternative is just absolutely not acceptable.  Totally gruesome.

So yes, I'm confident. But I will cast my vote for sure.  I always vote.  My feeling is if I don't vote, I have no right to complain.  And then I will watch and wait.  There's a million variables.  At least.  When it comes down to it, no one really knows what will happen until it happens.

My prediction.  Obama is re-elected.  And the margin of the win will be pretty impressive.  And then a big, big, big sigh of relief!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rebuild, Remake!

The storm is one thing.  Dealing with the aftermath is another.  You just hope people will pull together and get it done.  That has always been the idea of America to me.  We are kind of a "can do," country. And a curious and enterprising species.

Sometimes this gets us into major mischief, especially when we decide that we can dictate to other countries how they should act.  When it goes wrong, this attitude can go very, very wrong.  Think: Iraq, Vietnam.

But when it goes right it can be amazingly great.  I am a life-long Chicagoan, but I am a big fan of the great social experiment we call New York City.  An amazing place.  It's fast-paced, it's a monster of a city with people of all kinds who have learned to live together. New Yorkers are a special kind.  Maybe living in such a tightly packed place just creates a special energy and synergy.  What a vibe! The best and sometimes the worst too. But always more. Always surprising and vital.

You just know that New Yorkers will make it happen.  They will pull themselves out of the jaws of disaster.  They will recover.  This would be a great time for a massive stimulus program to remake the infrastructure.  That's the kind of thing America used to do just as a matter of course.  That was before our cripplingly stupid politics (I blame the small-minded, right-wing madness of the GOP).

We should be throwing money at the problem.  We should rebuild, remake!  We should look forward to all we can be.  Damn the torpedoes.  New York!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mother Trumps All!

Sometimes the Mother trumps all.  And sometimes Mother Nature is a Mother.  And we all just have to endure.  We must experience the rage, the wind, the rain.  And buck up as best we can.

And sometimes it is an awful and awe-inspiring display.  And you realize that this Mother may have birthed us, but she is working on a higher plain and sometimes we are just little beings who happen to be in the way.  Be safe little ones!


Monday, October 29, 2012

No Bond Like the Old Bond

Okay, on the political and social front I'm pretty progressive, but in pop culture I find I'm sometimes a traditionalist.  For instance, in terms of r&r, the Rolling Stones albums "Beggars Banquet," "Let it Bleed," "Stick Fingers" and "Exile on Main Street" pretty much stand as the pinnacle and template for the form.  Nobody's done it better.

And when it comes to listening to music, I still like my big old clunky stereo system with the over-sized speakers, ancient turn-table and CD player.  I love spinning the vinyl and silver discs.  And there's not a better way to listen to music.  And when it comes to guitar amps, give me the old tube technology.  No fancy modeling amps for me.

And when it comes to James Bond.  No contest.  Sean Connery.  End of conversation.  It's the first three Sean Connery Bond films that define the genre: "Dr. No, "From Russia to Love," and "Goldfinger." They are top of the pops. Everything else, all the other attempts, just don't get there.  Sorry.

This is a long way around to mentioning that we saw "Casino Royale" with Daniel Craig over the weekend.  The big old movie machine is furiously trying to get us to buy Craig as the new Bond.  And they are trying to update the old form with lots of splash, glitter, explosions and boom, boom...

Not buying it.  Basically the movie is: See Bond. See Bond run. Run Bond run.  And Craig is a wet noodle, a cold fish.  We were reluctant to see this movie.  But friends had told us it was "not bad."  "Not bad," does not mean good.  And this one is not good.  There's another one coming down the pike.  Adele will be singing the theme song.  I'm sure lots of hype and promotion coming to your neighborhood.  But really, Connery was the man.  Bond is missing in this new incarnation of Bond. And Craig can run but he can't run fast enough for me.  Just saying.

UPDATE: And if I was calling the shots, I'd have the Stones record an album of old, hard-hitting blues songs, with maybe a few classic country tunes thrown in, and maybe a Gospel song or two.   Ditch the originals and go back to some classics. Retro.  That would be an album worth hearing.

And if I was casting Bond now, I'd consider Clive Owen, Daniel Day-Lewis, or maybe the best choice of all Nick Cave.  Perfect debauched gentleman.  I know he's Australian, he's dark, edgy and sort of desiccated around the edges.  And you just know as Bond he'd never, ever, run anywhere. And I would keep the Bond films as "period pieces."  Early sixties.  That's where Bond belongs.  I'd have a series of retro Bonds...  that might be cool.  Certainly cooler than what they are doing now.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Get Your Head Out of Your Ass!

Yes, I'm progressive in my politics.  And in my views of social justice.  I heartily endorse Barack Obama for a second term.  I can't imagine a Romney presidency.  I think it would be a total debacle, a re-run of Bush II which was a total train wreck.

It's no surprise that the New York Times is endorsing Obama.  But they lay out the case very logically and coherently.  If you have any doubts, if you are wavering, if you are thinking of not voting this time around, you should read it.  And if you can't make up your mind... well, gee, get your head out of your ass!

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