Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Interview With A Guy Who's So Hardcore You Don't Even Know

From time to time I meet people whose behavior, for whatever reason, catches my attention. Such was the case recently in the locker room at my health club.

Memphis Evans: Hello Guy Who's So Hardcore You Don't Even Know, and welcome to Memphis Evans: The Blog.

Guy Who's So Hardcore You Don't Even Know: (Gasping for breath, indistinct verbalizations)

ME: I couldn't help but notice that brightly colored, custom fit cyclist outfit you're wearing. Pretty snazzy!

GWSHYDEK: (Sits down on bench, continues gasping)

ME: Really, though, what'd that set ya back?

GWSHYDEK: You...don't...even...(breathes only slightly less heavily, as time slowly eases the trauma of his monster workout)

ME: Do you find your current behavior in any way embarrassing or overplayed?

GWSHYDEK: (Lies down on his back on the bench, closing his eyes, rubbing his face and continuing, essentially, to pant)

ME: I guess not. How about a hint as to how long you were in there? I assume you were spinning or some such thing?

GWSHYDEK: I...so much more...than you...(abandoning conventional human speech, drops arms from bench to floor in horizontal version of crucifixion pose)

ME: Are you even from Minnesota? I would honestly be mortified to be as demonstrative as you are being right now. Even if I were that tired and worked myself that hard I would never lie down on the locker room bench, breathing like a sick animal. I don't even like using the locker room, if you really have to know. That's kind of why I use this out of the way room of it with no mirrors and usually no other people. Nevertheless, people like you fascinate me and I thank you for visiting ME:TB. Anyway, I hope you recover soon. I'm off to my 45 minutes of elliptical and 15 laps in the pool.

(ME exit)

GWSHYDEK: Pussy.

(GWSHYDEK expires)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just A Few Links

I have some really great blog ideas but I don't have them with me. The next month or so should be a great one here at Memphis Evans, Inc. but in the meantime here are some fun links.

The Good Father Who Is Just Like Me

The Heartwarming, Seemingly Extemporaneous Holiday Message From William Shatner

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Hate This

Obama suggests that having Rick Warren speak at his inauguration represents his embracing of a diversity of ideas. (See nonsense for yourself)

"I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans," Obama said. "It is something that I have been consistent on, and I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency."

This is true. Well, unless by equality one means the freedom to do the same things regardless of your sexual orientation. (See what I did there? Obama is actually lying.) Biden made very clear during the VP debates that neither he nor Obama is in favor of gay marriage. Equality means marriage. Full and total marriage, no different from straight people.

There is no true equality in "civil unions" only. It is the new segregation. Remember junior high history class? Remember Plessy vs. Ferguson? That U.S. Supreme Court decision preserved the segregation of White and Black public schools. Having civil unions for gays and marriage for straight people is exactly like that. The idea that schools can be separate but equal was struck down by Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. "Ways of being officially together" (for want of a better term) can not now be separate but equal any more than public schools could then. Until gays can get married just like straight people, in every state in the union, America and its president will continue to be dramatically in the wrong.

So fine. I knew this. I still liked Obama most. I voted for Obama. I learned my lesson about third party candidates in 2000 when I foolishly voted for Nader. I cried at Obama's acceptance speech. I hoped that he secretly wanted true equality, just kept it under wraps for political reasons. But after his choice of Rick Warren I must think that Obama really doesn't, in his heart, support gay marriage. His choice of Warren upsets me more than if he had chosen William Ayers or Jeremiah Wright.

Alright. Take a deep breath. Let's say it's 1960. Kennedy has just been elected. (That's John F., kids) Perhaps people are hoping that he will bring healing where there is hurt, for example, on the issue of civil rights, which at that time mostly meant the freedom for African Americans to do anything Whites could do. Then let's say Kennedy has an extreme segregationist, say Alabama governor George Wallace, come and speak at his inauguration. Is he representing a diversity of ideas? Is he just demonstrating "the magic of this country" which comes from the fact "that we are diverse and noisy and opinionated."? No, he is not. He is giving a national platform to a bigot.

No difference here. Disgusting. Hateful. Straightist.

Yes We Can. Unless you're gay. Then no, you can't.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Great Ideas From Fox News

I saw two things that made me sad. Then I moved to the elliptical machine at which a column blocks one's view of the tv showing Fox News. But here are the sad ideas that I must excoriate in this forum:

Drilling To Help Big Three?

The idea being that we destroy acres of American coastline and possibly bring a real life oil spill to, say, California or Florida, in order to add one ten-thousandth or so to the amount of oil produced, thereby lowering the price, causing people to rush out and buy big gas guzzling American cars like it was 2004 again. Wow. Do I even need to say anything about how dumb that is?

As I understand it, what we need are more American oil refineries. That would be fine. I am not particularly educated on this issue. Ultimately my question at the above suggestion was this: Does oil drilled from America only work in American cars? No? Okay then. We're done.

I am proud of the way America has reduced its dependence on foreign oil. Has anyone noticed the price drop by approximately two-thirds? $1.69 last time I checked. Drive less, get more fuel efficient vehicles, and the price goes down. Everybody wins. Oh, except for the sheiks in OPEC. I'm proud of us, America.

I forgot the other thing Fox News said that was dumb. I could go watch for ten seconds and get another one, but I don't let that filth in my home, which is where I am.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Coda to Culture Roundup

It's been a tough year for Barenaked Ladies. Some sort of problem with cocaine, cops, and fighting women or something like that on the eve of the tour promoting your first children's album is colossally bad timing. Then there was, I think, a plane crash. I'm not here for research, but anyway I think I remember some things like that. Not my business.

My point is that this morning we listened to Barenaked For The Holidays, the band's excellent seasonal CD. It is my second favorite Christmas album behind the super complete compilation of Elvis' Christmas recordings, If Every Day Was Like Christmas. Barenaked For The Holidays is great. I love that they took the time to really nail the Bono line of "Do They Know It's Christmas". (And tonight thank God it's them instead of you!) They do some funny, irreverent things, they do some poignant things, the music is varied and well thought out, and the sound is good. In other words, it's BNL at their best.

Movies? Yeah, I forgot about those. I don't see as many movies as I used to (a record of 55 in 1999 or one of those years like that) but Let The Right One In was quite good. It's in Swedish with subtitles if you can handle that. I loved the bleakness of the Stockholm suburb and the endless, relentless winter. I loved the basic decency of everyone in the film, trying their best to handle the tough situations they have been dealt. Plus, (Minor SPOILER ALERT! also perpetrated by the film's website) vampire!

And one more book. I finished the latest David Sedaris and started Jack Pendarvis' The Mysterious Secret of The Valuable Treasure. I've only read through the first story but I haven't laughed so hard since...well, since I just read David Sedaris, so that particular superlative phrase loses some power in this case. But I can heartily recommend the first ten pages of the Pendarvis.

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I'd hate to discourage anyone from officially "following" this blog if they are so inclined. At the same time, I have to ask a question. Hey, Save WCAL! Who are you really and why are you following me?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Culture Roundup

First and foremost, I want to recommend to anyone who is a parent or anyone who is not that you immediately listen to (and/or purchase) the song "You're Gonna Miss This" from Greatest Hits II by Trace Adkins. A pompous band like Rage Against The Machine may kid themselves that they are "making a difference" while they line their pockets and those of the corporations they work for. Trace Adkins affects no such pretensions, but with this song he accomplishes what a thousand Rages don't. He makes people feel something that is true at the core of their existence. This song influences my behavior and makes me love my kids more. This song makes me appreciate my life for what it actually is - precious and fleeting. Cheers. Song of the Decade, I think.

Books? Yeah, I read. Book of Lies was good if you like Superman and his creator or thriller conspiracy novels. If, like me, you like both, the novel is a home run. I wish the chapters (and maybe the whole book) had been a little longer, but then I'm a Stephen King fan, too.

Also, if you haven't read David Sedaris, you probably should at least try him out. Should you start with his latest effort, When You Are Engulfed In Flames? Maybe, although I might recommend starting with his first book Barrel Fever. Or just get all the info you need and decide yourself.

So I like that one song, but an entire album of music? Yeah, I do that now and again. I have reached some kind of critical mass with the album Tropical Brainstorm by the late and much missed Kirsty MacColl. I've heard it enough times that I am hearing deeper, other things happening in the words and the music but not yet so many times it's like only hearing a memory of the meaning of the thing. Some stuff I didn't necessarily like at first I now maybe get it a little more. Good Lord, in checking out amazon it would appear that that album has gone out of print! Maybe it will be reissued like the rest of her albums were recently. It's a good time for obsessive completists like myself to get interested in Kirsty MacColl. Anyway, you should check that out and everything else I say.

Coda:
Interesting thing that happens: Celebrities generally start young and make every effort to look young for a long, long time. Then they suddenly quit trying. For Bill Murray, it was his daring performance in the major motion picture Rushmore. For Kevin Costner it's Kevin Costner's celebrity playlist at iTunes and the accompanying publicity photo. Has he aged ten years since Swing Vote? Looks like it. (He also seems to think that Elvis wrote his own songs.) Interesting. Or not.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

And Another Show

A totally packed room of family, friends, and strangers watched a double bill of Doc's Kids and Great Uncle Helmer last night at St. Paul's Dunn Bros. Grand Avenue benefiting Toys For Tots. It was a really good show and by the end of the night there was a huge pile of donated toys. Chazz Vader gave me a big box with Star Wars lithographs, badges, and emblems for my birthday. I didn't open the individual boxes in the cramped confines of the Grand Ave. Dunn Bros. There are three and I think I'll open them gradually, savoring them over the course of the weekend.

Doc's Kids were great, of course. I think Tom Adams was particularly on tonight with his drum. I always want his vocals a little higher in the mix, too, but they weren't tonight either. Brian was dressed in a black smoking jacket and sunglasses. He was great. Tough act to follow. In trying, GUH played:

Ring-A-Ling Ding Ding Ding (good - the capo on fret two is the way to go live.)

California (which got some attention, as it does, but felt a little tired to me. I've realized I have trouble holding the high "a" steady as I wind up through the final, somewhat complex chord pattern. Karl was really good on harmonica.)

Behind The Curtain (on which we encouraged people to sing along yet forgot the second verse momentarily ourselves. It actually seemed kind of synchronized. We forgot the same thing at the same moment.)

Isolation For Christmas (which I explained, to avoid some of the disdain that greeted the song last year, as being about staying home with the people who are really important to you.)

Xanadu-Yeah (slow version)-When Will I Be Alive?-Introducing The Door (good)

Kansas City, Nebraska (where my bass solo continued to improve)

Cub Cubota (Karl didn't sing any of the whoa-oh-oh for some reason.)

Ron Cey (which went great, but felt a little long and repetitive, like "Here's this guitar riff I'm playing. Next I'll sing that line about feelings...here it comes...now I sang that line and am playing this little fill around e minor 7" Which is another way of saying it went very smoothly. I was almost not there for the performance in a way.)

If You Can't Fall In Love At Christmas (I missed several chords on this challenging "hot jazz" number, but no one would know. Karl was great.)

POWERFUL STATEMENT (sadly became a train wreck as I forgot all the words for the last four choruses or so. Karl understandably gave up on the cue cards and I apologized.)

Overall I was having trouble hearing my guitar and my voice. Karl's guitar was quite loud in the monitor to my left. I was kind of growl-singing for much of the show. I was overplaying the guitar and worried about breaking a string. I used Brian's mike stand, which is straight up and down - not too good for playing guitar. If I had it to do over (and I imagine and hope I will next year) I would switch it out for a goose neck, even if we lost a minute or so. I realize we forgot Car Of Jonas even though Jonas was actually there. Crap. All of these factors did nothing to make the show less than good and really fun. We had some people hear us who wouldn't have heard us otherwise, and raised quite a pile of toys. Good enough!

If you are in St. Croix Falls, WI on Saturday you have your last chance to catch GUH this year.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Christmas Miracle

Last Saturday night Karl and I had a show scheduled for 7-9 p.m. at Eden Prairie Dunn Bros. in the historic Smith-Douglas-More House. We've had good shows there several times. When I arrived at 6 p.m. scads of teenagers were flocking in from their parents' minivans. Good so far. There were several of them with guitars, microphones, and speakers set up in the area where Karl and I have played before. Not so good. It looked to me as though music had been double-booked and GUH was SOL. I did not see Karl and thought perhaps I was losing my mind. While I sat in the parking lot I called everyone who I thought might be coming and told them to skip it unless they heard back from me. (I did not have Karl's cell number.)

Eventually Karl arrived and, still sitting in my car, I watched him walk in and scope out the situation and talk to the staff, which activity I had not felt up to, having gone in to a despair spiral upon seeing the raucous children. After he spoke to the staff he continued bringing in his instruments. (Ever the optimist, he had brought his guitar and ukelele in with him on his first trip in.) Seeing this, I warily brought in my guitar.

There was indeed a group of teenagers scheduled to play, but they were scheduled to be done at 7. When they did not stop near 7, the staff kid told us to tell them to stop. Not interested in this potentially unpleasant action, Karl asked him to tell them to stop, which he did. (He was significantly closer to their age.) With less time to set up than we anticipated and no one there to see us play except for the three family members Karl brought, it looked like a recipe for misery, or at least silliness. I asked whether Karl even wanted to bother setting up mikes. Wisely, he said he did.

We played a couple songs and Karl introduced us and said we were there as a benefit for Toys For Tots. He said he knew they could hear us in the other room. For this or some other unknown reason about ten teenagers filed in and sat looking at us expectantly. The show changed and I became nervous, but also excited that even at this marginally promoted show strangers were going to listen to and potentially enjoy our unique brand of music.

We played as one. Karl was really on and I felt good too. We did our Christmas songs from this year and next year (oh, yes, it is written! We are ahead of the game.) We played the Xanadu-Yeah (slow version)-When Will I Be Alive?-Introducing The Door "medley that nevertheless contains complete songs" to enthrall and delight. I was about to suggest POWERFUL STATEMENT when Karl suggested Car Of Jonas. I told them we would sing Car Of Jonas while I prepared to make a powerful statement. It seemed these teens really related to Karl's tale of difficulty maintaining a reliable vehicle (which was borrowed from a teen after all). That set them up for the sing-along (with cue cards) on POWERFUL STATEMENT, which all enjoyed immensely. The teens then filed past to shake our hands and left. It was exciting and fun.

Staying for the remainder of the duration were some old friends of ours from our old hometown of Northfield, the aforementioned family, and a couple that came in and seemed to enjoy what we were doing, or were at least too embarrassed by the idea of leaving to leave. It ended up being a really pretty great show and we raised a toy for the tots.

Just to see what miracle happens, you should probably go to tonight's show.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I Need Some Of That Time Back

Solve This Mystery!

Hey, remember when I added all those hours to your life? I need you to do some quick research for me now. It won't take you nearly as long as I've saved you, so it all adds up and we're even-steven. At least.

I've played the piano for a long time. Two of my favorite pieces to play are by composer Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978). Both are listed as being "from "Adventures of Ivan"." I was recently on the internet and thought I would get a CD of (or at least bug the library to get a CD of) the complete music from "Adventures of Ivan". No dice. Hennepin County Library? No help. Amazon? Nope. Wikipedia? Absent. A comprehensive list of Khachaturian's complete works? Missing. So, my question to you is this:

What is "Adventures of Ivan" and why are two pieces for piano students by Aram Khachaturian listed as being "from" it?

If you figure this out and I am satisfied with your answer, you can get a free 2008 Toys For Tots CD and I will give the ten bucks to the cause for you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quiz, Toys, Culture

This quiz seems to be all the rage. I read that the average score for most Americans was 49% and that the average score for elected officials was 33%. I scored 84%. Nyaah nyaah.

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The first show of Great Uncle Helmer participating in the Toys For Tots drive is THIS SATURDAY! You will want to go and bring $10 or a new toy (no gift wrap) and get the new CD, which I just listened to and which is quite good, maybe the best in the four years this program has been going on. Go! GO! GOOOO!

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I remember back before I was married and had children. I was talking to my parents and was asking them about culture in the 1970s. I happen to think that 1964-1973 was the single greatest ten year period in music history. (Joni, Marvin, Beatles, Zeppelin, Elton, Big Star, on and on) I remember them saying they were just married, had two small children, and did not necessarily follow closely what was going on in the culture. They have about 50 LPs from roughly that period of time, but don't have any real concrete memories of what the public perception of, say, Elvis was at that time. This seemed strange to me once. (Of course I've read about it in books. Duh. I just wondered what it was like to be there.)

Now I have the young children and I realize the same thing is happening to me. I stay a little more connected, perhaps, but mostly through new releases by people I already liked when I was younger and/or single. For example, I listened to Joni Mitchell's brilliant Shine three times today. The thing that really drove home my disassociation from popular culture is that I don't have time for Twilight.

Normally I would probably at least read the first book. But I heard that the author is maybe now refusing to release the seventh book because some of it leaked or something. And the stars of the movie are blah to me. I saw a picture of the girl with a serious, pouty look on her face, with the caption "Sometimes I think about being with you forever." That seemed like an extremely unappealing future.

An allegedly sexy pop culture phenomenon about vampires and I am just going to completely give it a miss? Yep. Sorry Twilight, you'll have to limp along without me. Now I'm going to go read my Angel: After The Fall and Buffy: Season Eight comic books.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reading This Will Add Hours To Your Life

I am going to free up several hours for you right here. Want to write that novel? Always wanted to play the guitar? Here is your opportunity. Ready?

Complete summary of DVD commentary and bonus featurettes (all films):

Everybody who worked on this project was so great. I was so lucky to get this opportunity. From the crew to the cast to the director everyone was really fantastic and it was magical and we are all so super fantastic we can hardly stand it. On some films it's just work but this cast and crew really bonded and became a family. Oh, and our special effects were revolutionary and yet you don't even notice them, since they're not special effects for their own sake. They're just part of the vision for the story, which was written, directed, acted, filmed, and edited by geniuses working very hard out of love for the work.

There! Now you never again need torture yourself with what is, essentially, a side effect of the technological advancement allowing studios to put a whole bunch of extra stuff with a movie when people watch it at home. Like Jeff Goldblum's Dr. Malcolm Something said so dramatically in Jurassic Park, "they only thought about whether they could and didn't stop to think about whether they should." These documentaries never existed when video stores walked the Earth, you don't see them in the theater, and now they needn't burden us any further at home. You're welcome. (I have to admit, though, that I like deleted scenes.)

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Also, of course, you can let your tv go dead next February. What will YOU do with the extra 2 hours a day, Average American?

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On a different topic, my birthday is coming up and I have just seen the terrific movie Across The Universe. (Oh, wait, that's not totally unrelated is it?) Anyway, long story short there was only one version of the soundtrack released that actually had all the songs from the movie. I thought it was a Best Buy exclusive and so went to Best Buy, whose clueless clerks knew less about it than I. But eBay had it. But it's like $45 including shipping. But my birthday is coming up.

If you are a person who was considering getting me a birthday present yet have not already done so, this would be the crowning achievement of your history as a birthday present giver. Beware the 29 track edition! And don't worry. If I get two I will just sell one on eBay for even more than $45.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why Did No One Tell Us?

I recently had the opportunity to look deep in to the past and watch a decidedly blurry video of Urban Rust, my old band, playing at the Fine Line Music Cafe in January of 1999. It was okay. Here's the thing, though:

We played every song too fast. Every song. Too fast. And every song speeded up as it went along. I don't remember anyone ever mentioning this to us.

Also, maybe it's just the blurry video, but I appear to have some kind of small animal gnawing on the back of my head.

Now I understand that maybe we were sort of an aloof, cool rock band and maybe people put us up on a pedestal. (None of that is true.) Maybe people thought we were doing these things on purpose - speeding up already too-fast songs, wearing glorious, fluffy ponytails on our bassists, etc.

I understand that criticizing people's appearance can be a very dicey proposition, so the ponytail thing is fine. It's by far not the worst hair mistake I ever made. But someone (anyone!) could have at least confronted us gently on the runaway tempos issue.

Oh, well. I forgive you. Thanks for coming to the shows anyway. The crowd was very enthusiastic and those were some fun times.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Toys For Tots 2008, Sad Yet Intriguing Story

This blog serves as an announcer of New Stuff at memphisevans.com and all the information you need to see a free show and get a free CD is here.

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This was very sad, if captivating.

Sad Stealer Of Yard Signs

He was a college professor and he threw it away to steal McCain yard signs, changing no one's minds, in a state that was absolutely not in danger of going "red" anyway. Doesn't being a college professor give you some influence over people?

There's something else wrong here. People don't just do such stupid self-destructive things without some other incentive. There's more to this story. Therapy is a really good thing and could help him find out what it was that really made him do this. Was something wrong at St. Olaf? If I were his therapist I would say, "What was the benefit of stealing those yard signs, writing about it on your blog, and getting caught?" That would be a good start.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Viagra, I Do Not Need You

Remember how I don't have tv? Well, I'm watching The Office online and it has automatic ads between acts. It seems to be sponsored entirely by viagra, which is maybe not reaching its target audience sponsoring The Office unless I am the youngest person watching and I'm not. So anyway, my question is this:

Hey Viagra, motorcycle and train sounds? Really? Isn't that laying it on a little thick?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Follow Up To Something Else

I mentioned that I was playing the McDonald's Monopoly game. Well, I won. The total haul:

a free medium order of fries

a free breakfast value meal (any)

25 my coke rewards points (redeemable for actual cocaine at some locations)

1 hour of free wi-fi at participating McDonald's

Not exactly the cold hard cash I'd been hoping for, but not bad. And, since I was paying attention, now I know how many calories are in a big mac - 450 (may vary according to individual preparation) - which means about 40 minutes in fat burn mode on the elliptical machine. No sweat. Okay, a little bit of sweat. But it was worth it. Now it's over. See you next year, McDonald's!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Another Fun Exercise

Here's something you can do with your friend. Or more than one friend if you are so lucky. (Between this and the "singing O" exercise from Thursday I am really helping people explore themselves and their relationships. Must be my psychology degree.)

Who are you and your friend in these duos? Why? Answer separately, then compare.

10. Jay & Silent Bob
9. The Smothers Brothers
8. Lennon-McCartney
7. Simon & Garfunkel
6. Sonny & Cher
5. Batman & Robin
4. Thelma and Louise
3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
2. David Letterman and Paul Schaefer
1. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Follow Up, etc.

I heard from Rob Van Vliet and am now listening to him and his old bandmate Jason Hussa play their excellent, early '90s, largely acoustic version of the Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows. A 16 song sampler, including that cover song, is available free here:

Straw Dogs
LISTEN TO MY HAIR GROW, vol 3
Straw Dogs sampler 1991-1993

I recommend it.

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Here's a fun exercise. Clear your mind. Sing the vowel "O" and then whatever song that brings to your mind, sing that song. It can be indicative of your mental state. Examples at the end of this entry. It may take a while the first few times you do it, so let that O draw out as much as you want.

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Our third story comes to us tonight from the United States, where a new president has been elected. I am so happy.

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Lately I've been singing Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" when I do the above exercise. "Oh I...don't wanna fall in love." Other times it ends up being "O Tannenbam". I should write a song that starts with a big O.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Election Predictions

Well, seeing as how I am so good at predictions, I will now tell you who and what will win on election day.

President: Barack Obama
Senator from Minnesota: Norm Coleman
Local school 1.4 M operating levy: pass
Local school 11 M building maintenance bond: fail
Vote Yes for MN: fail

Not saying that's what I want to happen. I'll be disappointed in the Senatorial result. Dean Barkley is going to draw votes from Al Franken. Many people of conscience and intelligence who would normally vote Democrat will go independent because of how totally filthy that race was.

I would like to see both levies for our schools pass, but they've asked for too much during a time when most people just lost 20 percent of their savings or more. Plus our city is loaded with seniors. I would also like to see vote for MN pass, even though it seems procedurally shady. Unfortunately for Yes For MN, Minnesotans have seen too much procedural shadiness with The Great Twins' Stadium Rip-Off.

Now you know. So get out there and vote! Remember - it's Tuesday, November 4 for Democrats and Wednesday, November 5 for Republicans.

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Oh, also. Is this the stupidest product you've ever seen? It's like a joke, right? I guess I get it - it's a really, really hard puzzle. I guess there are people who do those. Okay. Not AS stupid as I thought. Still. Abbey Road would have worked better for me. Just sayin'.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Diet Coke and William Shatner

Is there anything more fun than a large, fountain Diet Coke from McDonald's with a big, long, environmentally devastating straw? Yes. Yes, I suppose there is. But the things that are more fun than a large Diet Coke are really, really SUPER fun! They have to be!

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I got the following in an update e-mail from my facebook friend, international celebrity, and great actor (and I really think that) William Shatner.

"In Shatner News this week we have a new video of Bill Shatner talking about George Takei. The background to this video is that with George's recent marriage; there was a lot of press on the fact George was not inviting William Shatner to his wedding. Since it was done in such a public way; we decided to ask Bill about his feelings on the situation and Bill did not hold back on his opinion."

A disturbing trend is emerging here. First Shatner or someone near him handling his business posted a video of Shatner talking to his daughter about J.J. Abrams leaving him out of the new Star Trek movie. Now this. Why? You're William Shatner for God's sake! You're above these things. George Takei. As George Will might say, Well. "Target that explosion and fire!" Pfft. So what!

You make great albums. You make great television. Every new autobiography is better than the last. Leave the bitterness for the lesser stars, Bill. (Also, Bill or whoever – one space after a period. A computer is not a typewriter. That's actually been my wife's religion as listed on facebook.)

Eager for the next music album and Kirk book, your friend on facebook at least,

Memphis

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ethics

I was listening today to The Moody Blues tape (yes, tape) The Other Side of Life and it just went all hay(ward)wire. (Get it? Ha ha. Nerd.) It barely played the whole thing. It was wobbly in pitch, mostly low and slow, and weird high-frequency warbles were happening as well. I need to get that album on a CD, but only the original, old "October 25, 1990" edition is available. (Frequent comparison shoppers at amazon know what I'm talking about.) The Moody Blues have remastered their first seven albums at least three times that I am aware of, but their later catalog gets no respect or attention - even, so it would seem, from the band themselves.

Anyway, the point being that I recently bought the marvelous new remixed/remastered CD/DVD set of Gensis' Invisible Touch album and sold my old tape of it to Half Price Books. The tape did not play very well (although it was not nearly as bad as my copy of The Other Side of Life), but I did not mention this to the buyer at HPB. It did not even occur to me at the time that this was somewhat unethical. Caveat emptor and all that, but did I do something wrong there? Well, just in case, I will make it right.

If you purchased a cassette of Genesis' Invisible Touch at Half Price Books and it does not work, I will purchase for you the wonderful 2006 CD/DVD version. (Note: receipt and fingerprint match to me required to complete offer.)

I feel better now.

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Speaking of ethics, I have been sucked in to playing in McDonald's's Monopoly game. I remember the first time I played the McDonald's's Monopoly game in 1995/96. Guess what? I won. A lot. Pretty much every day. Know why?

I worked for a newspaper. In the course of my job I handled many (which in this case means the low hundreds – that would be a great band name, btw) copies of that newspaper. In every copy of that newspaper were two tokens for McDonald's's Monopoly game. I would go through the papers until I found a winning game piece for a free order of fries. Then I would go get a free order of fries. I did this about once a week for a total of five or six free orders of fries. Was that unethical? The promotion did not specify that it was closed to employees of participating newspapers, but yes, it probably was. Unethical. So.

McDonald's's Monopoly game is going on again, and to make up for my semi-fraudulent participation over a decade ago, I will participate fully and honestly by purchasing McDonald's's "food" and promoting the contest here at my blog, which has a cumulative (six years) readership now measured in the low dozens.

Go here! It's fun! PlayAtMcD.com

It's so good to be getting these things off my conscience!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Toys For Tots, CD Burner, Trivia Contest

The Blog as New Stuff page for the website:

Toys For Tots 2008 is upon us. Great Uncle Helmer has recorded a new song composed by the band and an old song suggested by one of the bands' moms. Don't miss your chance to hear new material from and see shows by this relatively reclusive band! Check it all out here:

T4T 08

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Does anyone have or know someone who has a Mac compatible SCSI CD Burner, preferably with a Yamaha 400 at its core? Ask around. Thanks.

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Trivia question: What or who is the only band or artist that made and/or makes really, truly great music for the ages AND did their/his/her best work during the decade of the 1980s? (Hint: There is only one.)

The first submitter of the correct answer can have a free copy of any Memphis or Memphis related CD described on the website.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Look, a music store!

Okay, it's not as cool as, say, Down In The Valley. But it doesn't smell like patchouli and you can visit anytime.

The Music Store

That is it. You can go there now. This text included only as a barrier between the actual content and the footnotes built in to the format.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

What Am I Going To Do? This.

Here is the plan. There are these two or three or nine songs eating my brain constantly. Tonight, possibly late tonight, I will create drum machine tracks for them and possibly bass, electric guitar and (very quiet) guide vocals. (The kids will be asleep upstairs after all.) I am hopeful that my recording computer will not have problems, yet I am dreading that it will, which will be all I need after a day of near constant WPP. (White People's Problems - e.g. they wouldn't give me a free permanent locker at the health club even though the guy who signed us up for the platinum membership told us we would get them. Dammit! See what I mean?)

Anyway, I'll do that, hold me to it. If I don't do it the songs will continue to eat at my brain, causing unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Now for the bigger plan! In November, I will not use the internet. Let me say that again. (Ha, ha. See how I'm like Joe Biden? And just parroting whatever the candidates say with someone who looks like them? That's funny, right? No SNL, no it isn't.) In November, I will not use the internet.

Okay, I'll use it for a few, few essentials. But blogging? Not essential. E-mail? Probably not, no. YouTube? Wikipedia? Ha. Right. I just don't have time for you anymore, internet. Monday nights are now yoga class, not public library. That day at Grandma and Grandpa's (who have high speed wireless at home, unlike me) are probably better spent interacting with the two generations on either side of mine. I'll find out, anyway. I've got to finish "The Shapely Bottles" too. Shoot, Bride wrote an entire novel last November. Why can't I wrap up a few things that have been plaguing me?

I just drank a 20 oz. coffee so I'm full of ideas. And jittery. And inspired.

(Okay, I just spell checked for "plaguing" and found that the internet spellchecker feels that the word "internet" should always be capitalized. Kind of self-important and out of touch, internet based spellchecker.)

I Remember This Guy...

On the St. Olaf College music compilation cassette (yes, it was that long ago) Double Exposure II: Coffeehouse Revenge there was a guy named Rob VanVliet, who sang two songs. One was "If This Is Crazy" and it was super great. It was so great I learned it myself and played it live a few times. Now in the age of the internet I search for him and his song but do not find him. What gives, internet? Come on!

Can anyone help me find this guy and find out if he's made any more great music since 1994?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Goodnight, Sweet Twins

What a finish to the season! A sweep of Chicago at home to pull in to first place by half a game. Losing two to Kansas City while Chicago lost two to Cleveland. Winning 6-0 over KC to reduce the magic number to one in a thrilling Sunday game I was fortunate enough to attend. Chicago beating three teams in three days, a feat never before accomplished. With my daughter falling asleep on my chest, I just listened quietly to the excruciating 1-0 loss in Chicago that ended the Twins' season. Probably the saddest finish ever to a baseball season for me. In a way it's a good thing baseball doesn't have the same importance to me that it used to. At least Mauer won another batting title. And wait 'til next year! Thanks for a great season, Twins.

Go White Sox!! Represent the AL Central and kick all their asses. Tampa Bay. Pfff. Right.

Why I'm For Obama

I believe in America. I believe in the system. I work the system. I benefit from the system as much as I possibly can. I'm extremely fiscally conservative. I pay as little in taxes as I possibly can. I believe giving money to the government is worse than burying it in your backyard. I give to tax-deductible charities and you better believe I deduct it from my taxes. I hire a very sharp tax preparation guy and have done so for years.

I am not a "tax and spend liberal". We need rich people and we need for people to know they can build meaningful wealth for themselves and their children if they work hard in this country. Somehow people associate these ideals with Republican presidents, which baffles me. In my lifetime at least, Republican presidents have spent this great country in to massive debt every chance they've gotten.

To me, John "Bomb Iran" McCain represents more wasteful spending on totally unnecessary foreign wars. Bush, like both his father and Ronald Reagan, has failed to uphold any reasonable standard of fiscal conservatism. He has wasted billions of dollars and destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives. The repercussions of his foolish, selfish, illegitimate presidency will be felt for generations. Blah, blah, blah. That is self-evident and not news. How did I even get started on Bush? Ish.

Anyway, John McCain seems like he will continue Bush's policies. I'm not much of an Obama fan (well, I am on facebook, technically) but I think he will, at the very least, probably not continue the Republican pattern of egregious wasting of money and lives. If Obama raises taxes a bit, so be it. At least he won't bury it all in the distant sand.

Seriously, that is all. I promise. I've made up my mind. By now you probably have too. Politics out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

She Has My Old Job

While using the drive up ATM in the drive up service area of the bank where I used to be a teller, I overheard a young woman talking to a customer over the intercom. She was using the exact - and by exact I mean it was almost word for word what I would have said in the same situation three years ago - techniques that I used to help the customer improve and expand his relationship with the bank. I felt proud of her. I figured I probably taught the person who taught the person who taught the person who taught her. (Yes, there is a lot of turnover as the people who are not that good burn out and the people who are good get promoted rapidly.)

First she mentioned that the customer's money could be working harder for him - a good opening with a benefit stated right away. "Yeah, I keep most of that somehwere else," he replied. The next thing I didn't quite hear, but I assume it was some mention of the benefits of having at least some of your investment money and/or long term savings at the same place where you have your main checking account. (I, for example, might have mentioned that a savings account is the least expensive form of overdraft protection.) This is called "overcoming objections" and when it's done just right, a second benefit can be thrown out as well. (Features tell, but benefits sell!)

He said he would think about it, by which he meant he would forget all about it and take no further action. She mentioned that bankers were available inside and could make the changes right away in about five or ten minutes. "No, I've got to get going today." She said she could have a banker give him a call, to which he said "sure." She confirmed the best number and time at which to reach him, sent out his receipt for the transaction and thanked him. Perfect. She'll be on the beach in Hawaii (as I was, did I mention?) in no time if she keeps that up.

As much as I'm glad I'm out of retail banking, mainly because of rude customers who had no respect for anyone, I did like the element of helping the decent people better manage their money and avoid fees they didn't have to be paying and that's exactly what the woman I heard was doing. The fact that employees like her (and formerly me) are given incentive pay, regular reliable raises, free trips, encouragement, and promotions for doing so is a big part of the reason that bank's stock (with which I was also compensated, btw) split shortly after I left and continues to ascend even in the current crisis. Building deeper relationships with existing customers certainly works better as a guiding principle than buying a bunch of bad debt!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Saw An Amazing Band

Last night I went to the Fine Line Music Cafe to see the band of a former co-worker of my Bride. This is not something I automatically do. What my attendance meant is that I was expecting a good show, not just being social. (In fact, if you know me the idea of me doing something just for the sake of being social is somewhat laughable.) Plus, it was pouring rain and the Twins were playing a meaningful game against their only competitors for the last remaining American League playoff spot.

So why did I go? Well, a drums-bass-guitar power trio is probably my favorite format for live music. (Semisonic, for example, totally slayed the Basillica Block Party in July 1997. With anything beyond the power trio I think that at any one time at least one player gets lost in the noise and the mix.) I also liked Devil's Kettle's songs on their myspace page. Quite honestly, they reminded me of, uh, me. Sort of old school, country-tinged, but not in any way stupid or insipid. Even given these predispositions to enjoying the show, I enjoyed it way more than I had imagined I would. As my dad would say, they exceeded my considerable expectations.

Devil's Kettle is one of a very few bands I have ever seen that I just wanted to stand there and pay attention to every note pouring out of them while shouting, "EEEYYYYEEEAAAAAAHHHH!" (Incidentally, others include Trip Shakespeare, Ben Folds Five and Ululating Mummies, all of whom seem to be defunct, judging by the internets. Plus, in my imagination, John Coltrane.)

Most bands are either a) virtuosic with dull material or b) competent or poor musicians with great material. Devil's Kettle is that rare band that has meaningful original material and can actually play their high quality, good sounding instruments.

The songs of Devil's Kettle are sort of deceptively simple. The lyrics are like a guy is just chatting with you. But it's a guy that cracks you up and is often delightfully vulgar. "I Like ER", "You Are An Asshole", and one song about interacting with Country Boys - heck, pretty much every song had something memorable about it, even though I was hearing all but four of them for the first time. The music flies into unexpected, dark, knotty corners then blasts back to catchy hooks.

Drummer Chris "Buford" Audette is extremely versatile and flows between time signatures and grooves easily and naturally. Bassist/singer Pfoser is a slap-happy monster who claims he's "just trying to keep up" with the other guys in the band, but his modesty is betrayed the moment he whips into a groove. Guitarist/singer Chris Cron is one of the fastest guitarists I've ever seen in person, but what matters is that he is really saying something with the phrases pouring out of his soul. Together they stretch songs out like my old band Honigman used to do - seemingly with no preconceptions about what can happen, with plenty of space for creativity, interaction and individual statements.

Most bands, even if I like them, I think, "They could use such and such. The drummer shouldn't blah blah blah. If I was in this group, replacing so and so by playing x instrument myself, they'd be so much better." The joke about four musicians changing a lightbulb with one of them actually doing it while three stand around saying, "I could do that better" totally convicts me, I'm afraid.

Nothing like that at this show. With Devil's Kettle it was more like, "If I practiced by myself, several hours a day, for a year or so, I might be able to contribute something to this group." They lack for nothing. Writing, interaction, improvisation, virtuosity, and musicianship. I am eager to see their next show, October 1 at the Uptown Bar. You might be too.

Links:
Devil's Kettle at myspace Hear their songs, be their friend, and see when they play.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Eeeeeyyyyessssss!

Because I have faith and tend to believe this is a just world, I knew it would happen eventually. Though they have won five straight games in an effort to keep their fading hopes alive, the Yankees are essentially out of playoff contention. They would have to win six (more) games in a row while the Red Sox lose six in order for the Yankees to get in as the wild card. As much as I have savored the last seven years worth of photos of them sitting sadly in their dugout after they lose a playoff series, I will enjoy this year's results even more.

Why? Because I saw them beat the Twins in the playoffs at the Metrodome in 2003 and 2004. Because they've won 26 World Serieses already. Because they represent the idea that one dizzyingly wealthy man can buy a World Series championship. (Which idea may be true but disgusts me nevertheless.) Because they have at least one person on their team who has admitted to using steroids. For so many reasons, I just want to say,

Ha ha ha ha ha! Yankees suck! YANKEES SUCK!!!

Aaah. It feels so right, doesn't it?

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Incidentally, here is a prediction I got absolutely and completely wrong:

Quick Prediction

How many bloggers will admit to their failures? At least one. You're welcome.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Culture Roundup

Here are some things I have really been loving lately:

A) The Man in The Blizzard, a novel by Bart Schneider, offers one man's story of the events surrounding the recent Convention in our fair Cities. A tough private eye gets more than he baragined for when trouble in the form of a beautiful dame walks into his office. But it's much more than that, of course.

I love it when the characters drive down Lyndale towards Lake, stop by Vera's, etc. and I can picture it exactly. It was a little taste of what it must be like for residents of New York City when they read, oh I don't know...every other freaking novel that's ever existed.

B) I heard the song "Copacabana" somewhere the other day. That is an outsanding, perfectly composed marriage of words and music. I love the tumbling, fricative lines. I love the mysterious, suggestive mood. I love that it's an entire story that spans decades. The song has everything a person could want in a song. I bought Ultimate Manilow very inexpensively, used at amazon.

C) It wasn't lately, but I also love the book Infinite Jest so much I have read it twice. Some parts of it I just pick up and read once in a while, especially the filmography of James O. Incandenza, a brilliant piece of faux archivism that shines a satirical light on my actual archivism of my artistic works.

Good Lord, but the suicide of David Foster Wallace makes me sad! Is there something about genius level artistic accomplishment that creates or is generally accompanied by crushing depression? Yes, I'm afraid there is, yes.

D) Neil Diamond's 3 CD box set In My Lifetime was at Half Price Books recently for about 13 bucks. Even though I already had The Essential, which has much of the same material, it is worth having. The original studio versions of the live stuff on Essential are so fascinating. I espeically like disc two. He is so genuine and sincere. I am learning to play "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother".

E) A free video at amazon for Bob Dylan's new old song "Dreamin' Of You" is really cool. Harry Dean Stanton is a character who is obsessed with Dylan as many are.

F) Two of my favorite albums of all time have just been reissued with Bonus Tracks: Billy Joel's The Stranger, which in the deluxe edition I will acquire shortly also includes a DVD of a 1977 television appearance.

Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville only includes three bonus tracks and since we are in a whatever-the-opposite-of-golden-is age of rematering (a.k.a. super-compressing) I may just have to check the Bonus Tracks at iTunes by themselves. Ah, I just checked and guess what? They are only available if you buy the whole album. Typical iTunes screw job.

G) Also started the 17 book Dave Robicheaux series from author James Lee Burke at the recommendation of one of my most trusted advisors. Private eye, tough life, beautiful woman, bad guys, etc. Yet with something more - literary, if I can use that word as praise.

This has been Culture Roundup with Memphis Evans.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Open Letter To God

God
The Human Heart
(according to STV:TFF)

Dear Sir or Madam,

First of all, I want to thank You for the (nearly) nine years we had with our beloved cat Bootsie and for accepting her from our loving arms into Yours yesterday morning. She was the most people-oriented cat I've ever known or likely ever will know and we will always be greatful for our time with her (which was much longer than we expected it would be when we got her in poor health at ten years of age in 1999, btw, so thanks again.)

However, I'm also writing to request a policy clarification from You. To be honest, it has been a while since I've reviewed Your Word. But I thought I remembered something about a Good Samaritan helping their neighbor, or a behavior-based rather than geographical definition of neighbor, or obedience rather than sacrifice, or something like that. Here's the situation:

Bootsie was suffering a great deal, beginning around 8 a.m. Her unseeing eyes were wide and dilated. She was vomiting, seizing, and crying. She could not stand up. Our children were asleep in their rooms and Bride and I wanted to take Bootsie to the vet together to end her suffering. We needed someone to come and stay at the house with our children. Our family members were all at least 20 minutes away.

We called our first choice neighbors. They were not answering their phone. We called our second choice neighbors. Bride told them of our emergency. We were told in return that because the husband had a Sunday School class to teach, they could not help us. Although I have since calmed down and become more contemplative and compassionate, I must admit this made me very angry.

Granted we are not particularly close to them, and if they had given almost any other excuse I would have probably been okay. But to say that teaching a Sunday School class was more important than caring briefly for your neighbor's children while they take their dying cat to the vet to end her suffering strikes me as wrong somehow.

Now it did end up being one of those things where, to quote You, "All things work together for good" because as it happened, it was just as well they did not help us. We took Bootsie outside and she probably enjoyed her final ten minutes or so much more than if we had taken her to the only open clinic (which clinic was going to charge us a $108 "exam" fee, btw God.) She even seemed to rally a little bit in the fresh air and after the final big vomit and seizures she was actually purring and at peace for a solid minute or so before leaving her body for good.

I guess my question, Lord, is this: What would you have had them do? Teach the class or miss the class to help their neighbor? Is there a scriptural basis on which this decision could be examined? I await insight.

A Timetable For Withdrawal

September 2008: Out of cars
October 2008: Not while awake
November 2008: Not during daytime naps
December 2008: Not during night time (completely gone)

Our children, Child, almost 3, and Toddler, 1, use pacifiers. Pacifiers help them control their emotions during the day and help them get to sleep at night. However, we recently learned from the dentist that the pacifiers are also damaging their teeth. Therefore, our children must learn to live without them.

It wouldn't be fair to completely take away the pacifiers immediately because our children are not ready for that. But we can't let their pacifier use drag on indefinitely with no end in sight because of the damage the pacifiers are doing to their teeth. What if they were five years old and still using pacifiers? How embarassing! I would be a terrible parent if I allowed such a situation! So I have set up a timetable for the complete withdrawal of the pacifiers and, subsequently, the children's freedom and independence from them.

By the end of September 2008 we will have no pacifier use in cars. This is a pretty ingrained habit, but I have already taken them out of my car without too much complaining. I've even found the children more talkative, articulate and enjoyable during car rides. So the first phase of the withdrawal is actually having unforeseen positive effects.

By the end of October, 2008 there will be no pacifier use during waking hours. I'm sure that Child is ready for this, but it might be tough on Toddler. However, the ongiong damage to Toddler's teeth is unacceptable and so Toddler must find a way to get along without pacifiers. Both children will still get a pacifier at naptime and night time.

By the end of November, 2008 there will be no pacifier use during naptime. This, strangely enough, might be tough on me, the provider of the pacifiers. I have come to rely on these quiet, restful hours to either nap myself or get things done (like writing this, for example). I think the children will be okay, although they will probably demand their pacifiers vociferously at first. Then they will get used to napping without them and be better for it.

By the end of December 2008, the end of the year, pacifiers will be completely out of our house. The last step will be no pacifier use at night. This will be tough for everone to accept and I imagine there will be a fair amount of screaming while the children adjust to their newfound freedom and independence from pacifiers.

Still, because of the damage being done, we must end the use of pacifiers. We can not do it all at once or everyone's emotional health would be in jeopardy. However, we must do it in a timely fashion with a definite end in sight. Therefore, with love for all and in everyone's best interests, I have created a concrete timetable for the withdrawal of pacifiers that will be strictly enforced. It's simple, it's logical, and it's the right thing to do for everyone involved.

Yes, I'm talking about children and pacifiers, why do you ask? What else would I be talking about?

Monday Musings

Ah, so much to talk about. First off, since this blog now functions as "New Stuff" for memphisevans.com I will note the new charity added to the list of charities to which I donate ALL gross money received from my musical career. See "Church World Service" at this page.

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Had a wicked cold the last few weeks so have done no new recording. Transferred some old cassette stuff to digital though, including some Pete Rivard demos that he may have forgotten about but that I think MS7 could do well with. Also a bizarre c.1996 cover of Lennon-McCartney's "Goodbye" that I recorded because they never recorded it and Mary Hopkins' hit single of it seems to be out of print. I have never heard a recording of the song (except mine) but have the sheet music in one of my three Complete Beatles books, all of which have slightly different criteria for completeness and thus different songs.

Also recently contacted a professional violinist about recording the parts for "Play", "Tap Dancer", and "Eddie Gee" that have been in my mind (and on paper) for literally years. Will mail her a CD and written music by the end of the week, assuming the CD burner I bought on eBay deftly replaces my old one, which seems to have totally failed.

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David Foster Wallace. In case you haven't heard, this masterful, genius writer seems to have hung himself last Friday. Why? Why do all the good ones do it? Why not the purveyors of raw sewage who dominate our culture? Why hasn't every member of Nickelback and/or Creed hung themselves? Why did Kurt Cobain choose suicide and not Gavin Rossdale or Rob Thomas? Come ON! Here we go. I'm angry now.

Top Ten People Who Should Have Hung Themselves Before David Foster Wallace:

10. Rush Limbaugh
9. the singer from Creed
8. Rob Thomas
7. Carson Daly
6. George W. Bush

Okay, that's probably enough. You get the idea. I'm not saying these people SHOULD hang themselves. They definitively SHOULD NOT. However, If the suicide bug had to bite DFW it should have bitten them first, and satisfied itself without hurting someone who could very well have produced more good work down the road.

Quite honestly TPWK wrote about this somewhat better than I.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Make The Transition - To Liberation!

So the powers that decide such things are going to change the way television is broadcast. I urge you to join me in rejecting it. Not because I don't like digital television, but because I don't like broadcast television at all. Do you? Really? Or are you just lazy?

What hooks you? Sports? Soaps? That half hour or hour (or two hours?) after work when you just want to relax with a "Raymond" or "Seinfeld"? For me it was sports, especially baseball, and NBC's Thursday night comedy. But was that all I watched? Well, no. Once I have the option, TV becomes sort of a default leisure activity. I'm watching "Family Guy", "Hawaii-5-O", etc. Why? Am I glad I watched those shows? No. Was it worth it? No. Would doing almost anything else have been more meaningful? Yes.

Do you really like "Law And Order"? No, you don't. You just think you do. I used to think I liked "Just Shoot Me" and "Will And Grace". If I see those shows now it's like seeing an old girlfriend you're embarassed about having even given the time of day. Why did they seem so appealing? No clue, but these feelings cause me to not currently watch "30 Rock" and other shows that currently seem appealing but will probably make me feel eventually that I had wasted my time.

If you still need some television, as I admit I do, I can heartily recommend netflix, which is cheaper than most cable plans and a thousand times more user friendly. And you won't find yourself up at two in the morning watching useless, moronic junk for no reason. Unless of course you intentionally put Roadhouse or Judge Dredd in your queue, at which point you are beyond my help.

So join me in making February 17, 2009 Liberation Day instead of Conversion Day. Tell THE MAN exactly where he can hook his digital cable. Just say no. Trust me, you'll be happier. If nothing else, it'll all be on the internet soon anyway if it isn't already.

Appendix A: Technology I currently don't have:

Watchable broadcast television (extremely poor reception w/o cable or antenna)
CD/Cassette/mp3 player in car (AM/FM only)
Lawnmower
High Speed internet at home
Appendix

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Message From A Friend

I hand over the keys to A. Hon, who recently sent this message to his friends and family. I second that emotion:

Dear friends and family,

I put a lot of thought and energy (probably too much) into politics and the state of the world, but I generally don't like to inflict unsolicited opinions on people I care about. But the last couple of days have left me really disturbed.

On Friday morning, John McCain introduced Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. It was a jaw-droppingly irresponsible move.

McCain is 72 years old and has a history of cancer, among other health problems. There is reasonable concern he may not survive a first term if elected.

Palin is 44 and has been governor of Alaska for a year and a half. Before that, she was city council member and mayor of a village of about 6,500 people. Before that, she was a TV sportscaster. She has a BA degree in journalism from the University of Idaho. Palin has no record of accomplishment, engagement, or even interest in any of the very serious national and international issues that we are facing.

The thing that is really terrifying about this is what it says about McCain's judgement. He met Palin only twice before offering her the job on Thursday morning. His staff claims that she has been fully vetted, but Republican leaders in Alaska say no one from McCain's campaign ever met with them to get their views.

Palin is currently under investigation for abusing her power as governor in a personnel matter. She was chosen to be McCain's running mate ahead of numerous qualified and scandal-free candidates mainly because she is enthusiastically supported by the religious right.

Here's a quote from a New York Times article published today http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/us/politics/31reconstruct.html?scp=4&sq=&st=nyt:

"The selection…offers a glimpse into how Mr. McCain might make high-stakes decisions as president.

"At the very least, the process reflects Mr. McCain’s history of making fast, instinctive and sometimes risky decisions. 'I make them as quickly as I can, quicker than the other fellow, if I can,' Mr. McCain wrote, with his top adviser Mark Salter, in his 2002 book, 'Worth the Fighting For.' 'Often my haste is a mistake, but I live with the consequences without complaint.'"

If McCain becomes president we will all have to live with the consequences of his impulsive mistakes. Imagine him in a position to make hasty, instinctive decisions about going to war with Iran, or Russia. It chills my blood.

If you've been thinking about voting for McCain, I am urging you to please reconsider. Even if you agree with him on issues, please do some research and reflection on his judgement and temperament.

I support Barack Obama because I am impressed with his skills, judgement, and vision. All the same, I've been reasonably secure that John McCain would do more good than harm if elected. I don't feel that way any more. This isn't about politics but making sure our families have a future.

Thanks for hearing me out. Please feel free to forward if you feel so moved.

Andy

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ladiemens And Gentlemens, My Endorsement Goes To…

Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Why? Well you might ask, as I have been critical of Obama in the past here at Memphis Evans: The Blog. Here's the deal.

A person I know who is decidedly not a Republican got invited to a Republican fundraising event starring John Can'tthinkoflastnameanditdoesn'tmatter from Five For Fighting. Ultimately, my friend decided she could not go because the Republicans are ramping up the anti-gay-marriage and anti-choice rhetoric.

There are issues that are more important to me (school funding for one) but somehow gay marriage really just seems perfectly fine to me. And people who are against it seem fundamentally misguided at best. It seems like people who are against gay marriage are the same people who would have been against the abolition of slavery. I simply can find no reasonable argument against gay marriage. And I have personally known gay people who were sad because they couldn't get married.

So as far as I know neither candidate actually fully endorses gay marriage (which would probably be political death) but my understanding is that a McCain administration will try to amend the constitution to prohibit it for all time. That's such a bad idea for so many reasons, both conservative and liberal, that I now half-heartedly announce my complete endorsement of:

Barack Obama and Joe Biden for President and Vice-President of the United States.

There. Now we can all be done with it. I won't read or watch or blog any more about it if you won't. Deal?

(Incidentally, I tried to visit Obama's web site to research his position on gay marriage. A visit to www.barackobama.com yielded no meaningful content, only a way to sign up with my e-mail address, zip code, watch a video, and make a donation. Sigh. We're going to lose again, aren't we? Dammit.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Asyntactical Glory, Books, Etc.

I love the person and/or computer who/that writes the descriptions of shows and movies that appear on the Netflix DVD sleeves. If you have Netflix and you don't read the DVD sleeves you are depriving yourself. If you don't have Netflix then you probably accomplish a lot more with your life than I. Anyway, here it is, a description of the Showtime show Queer As Folk. (Which my wife puts in the queue, by the way. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

"This hit series tackles issues other shows avoid with refreshing honesty."

In case you didn't laugh at that, what I like about it is the idea that the phrase "with refreshing honesty" modifies the way in which other shows avoid certain issues. It suggests that actually dealing with certain issues, like say by putting a hardcore gay sex dance club in Pittsburgh, is somehow dishonest. But you knew that. Why am I writing down to you today, blog? Here's how simple this entry could have been:

I love the person and/or computer who/that writes the descriptions of shows and movies that appear on the Netflix DVD sleeves. This is only the latest example.

"This hit series tackles issues other shows avoid with refreshing honesty."

Simple. Awesome.

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Here are (should that be here is?) some books I've really enjoyed lately:

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Here's a tip: If, like me, you've never read the book before or by some miracle never had it analyzed to death in some class, DON'T READ the introduction, analysis, etc. I never do this anyway and thank God. E.M. Forster's introduction (which I read only after the book itself) completely gives away all the major plot points. Duh! More like E.M. FARTster.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I guess they will serve at least until I get Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Genesis Wave: Book One by John Vornholdt in the mail. Would you believe my local library did not have that? I recommended they purchase it, seeing as how they have the other three Genesis Wave books. I wish there had been a subtitle for each book in this series so they would have had four colons in the titles instead of only three. Oh well.

The scourge of the original cast (soon to be original original cast as of Memorial Day 2009) in the second movie meets the crew of the second TV show. How can it not be magical?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Reader Participation

I usually find riddles colossally irritating, but the following occurred to me so I have created a riddle for you:

The more of me you take away
The more space I occupy
And if you take all that I am
I never then can die
What am I?

Send in your answers.

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Absolutes: Episode 3

Begin debate on the following list:

Top Ten Fictional Characters of All Time

1. Data
2. Spock
3. Kirk
4. Mulder
5. Scully
6. Picard
7. Jack
8. Piggy
9. Osama Bin Laden
10. Ralph

Honorable mention:
The North-Going Zax
Sylvester McMonkey McBean
The Unnamed Protagonist of Green Eggs and Ham

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rockthrow

Hey, let me tell you about a great band I saw! Is that an appealing sentence to you? Are you reading on? Are you looking for a band to like? Well Rockthrow is that band.

I got their (apparently self-released) two-albums-in-one package with Songs From Big Lever and Brought To You By Bosso. I've only listened to the first disc but it is great. The well written songs are catchy and meaningful with arrangements that don't all sound the same but are not totally overblown either. Great backup vocals that sound influenced by the Beatles chime in every so often.

The music and indeed the band itself is shrouded in a self-made, blue-collar mythology built around the town of Big Lever in Wyoming's Mud Flap County, a map of which is the cover of the album. All lyrics are included, as is a description of the highs and lows available to a person in Mud Flap County. Bosso Enterprises controls it all and more or less represents "The Man". The album has very professional looking photos, artwork, and text, not always a guarantee with the bands I have personally met or, uh, been in.

When I saw them live they were really good. My friends and I were singing along with their catchy hooks by the end of the first times we'd ever heard their songs, by which I mean right then. So hey, check it out here and get "Big Hits of Big Lever" at iTunes or from the group:

http://www.bossoenterprises.com/rockthrow2.html

If you only buy one song, here are my recommendations:
Ruby of The West (country)
Heavy Load (story song country)
Cry For Your Milk (sentimental over parenting, '50s rock waltz)
Kome Kaya (faux authentic folk comedy)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Schrodinger's Data CD

Downstairs in my studio is a data CD that either completely finished being written and verified or was interrupted in the middle by some error message. I have an ancient (c. 1997) computer that has a stand-alone CD burner on a SCSI chain. I have many, many gigabytes of recording session and audio data I am making a real effort to back up all of. I try reinstalling Toast, the program I use to burn data CDs. I try updating the firmware of the burner. I pore over the extensions set I use when creating data CDs to make sure nothing is competing with the CD burner. (Sometimes the burner has caused the whole thing to freeze if I leave the native Mac CD-ROM drive extension on.) Are you as bored of all this technobabble as I am?

Anyway, the point is that downstairs is the result of today's naptime efforts at the mundane gruntwork of musical endeavor. Sadly, it will determine my mood for the evening to some extent. It will determine how affectionate and playful I have the energy and patience to be with the kids when they get up from their naps. Shall I go check it? Yes, I shall. How could I leave you all hanging?

The drive reported an error:
Sense Key = HARDWARE ERROR
Sense Code = 0x09, 0x02
FOCUS SERVO FAILURE

But it was "finishing" when it reported this error, so it's possible the disc will work. I restarted the computer after changing my extensions so I can put the disc in question in the native Mac CD-ROM drive (which doesn't have a burning capability, btw) and check it with Norton Utilities Disk Doctor. (It's starting up and I'm also helping toddler go potty, so I had a moment to type here. Hang on.)

Disc lead out failed to be written, so the computer freezes when it gets the CD all up in its drive. It tries and fails to read it and can not do anything until I press the manual eject button. Perhaps unwisely, I am going to try inserting it into this rather more modern computer I'm using right this second. I'll post this first and log off the internet just in case. Stay tuned if you care.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dream I Had Last Night

I dreamed I lived in a stone fortress but with modern windows. I had the kids. We were under ground assault by the helmeted TIE fighter pilots from Star Wars. I got the girls away from the windows. All I had was a muzzle-loading mid-size rifle. I also had very high walls. I started shooting and felt tremendous joy as I realized the attackers were dying from my perfect, single, head shots.

On a railingless precipice, I faced an attacker who had scaled a wall and turned into Steve Martin. I shot him once in the forehead with one of the steel marbles at my precision command and, laughing, he fell several stories to his death. My family was safe. I woke up and took care of them for real.

Screw The Fan

Hey, Bob Dylan has a new collection of previously unreleased material coming out. This happens every couple of years and what it means that I get all excited until I see how Sony has screwed it up. How have they screwed this one up?

There's a 2 disc version for $18.99. Good so far. Now, if you want the third disc with 12 more previously unreleased tracks (which of course I do) the price shoots up to 129.99. Come on! I love Bob and his music has meant more to me than I can even explain, but I'm seriously thinking of not buying this at all.

How about a 3 disc version without all the extra junk for around $40? I'd buy that. Shoot, I would have pre-ordered that sensible, imaginary product as soon as I got the e-mail about it!

The Holy Grail: Iced Tea at McDonald's

Twice in the last three days I have tried to order "Iced Tea" at McDonald's only to receive "Hi-C". The second time I enunciated as clearly as possible with a large separation between words. Can YOU get Iced Tea at McDonald's without sounding like a jerk by specifying that you want "Ah-iy-ss-d.......T-eeee", not "Hhhh-iiiii......SSSeeeeee"? I bet not.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Musings on Saturn

Here are the statistics on "Lord of the Flies" at my local library:

Reservable copies: 41 Current Requests: 0

I have never read it either, which is why I was going to get it. That made me sad. Wanna be sadder? Read on:

Statistics for "The Secret":

Reservable copies: 49 Current Requests: 7

Oh, okay. That's not quite the epic contrast between a never-read classic and an in-demand popular wisp of nothing that I was going for. That reminds me.

Does anyone remember a live beer commercial with a man dressed as an NFL referee "officiating" at a taste test in which the beer sponsoring the commercial was soundly beaten by the challenger and the man had to somehow control his embarassment as the commercial ended? I do, but I don't know if that really happened or not. Anyway,

Heart of darkness / Joseph Conrad:

Reservable copies: 24 Current Requests: 0

It would seem I am not alone in never having read certain classics I am now getting to.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ten Things I Have Learned Recently

For the very special 100th blog post here at Memphis Evans: The Blog, I have compiled a special list of things I have learned recently. I was thinking about how the human race stumbles through time, barely able to pass its knowledge along to the next generation. I hope that the information contained in this special centennial post will be part of the solution.

10. The coffee at the Burger King in Woodbury, MN is served far, far too hot and will leave a burn on your mouth that will last a week or so.

9. If you must eat a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich in the morning, the muffin has a lot less cholesterol, fat, saturated fat, and sodium than the biscuit.

8. In my neighborhood, there are a lot more people running at 7 a.m. than at 8 a.m.

7. Also in my neighborhood, if you leave a pile of logs out by the street with a piece of paper with FREE written on it, the whole thing will disappear in less than a day – paper and wood both.

6. A new 24" monitor receiving a video card signal from a 1997 PowerMac 9600 as adapted through a Unimac 82D with A on 3,4,5 and B on 8 results in a 640 x 480 pixel, giant, sharp cartoon that looks like Mac OS 8.6 For Babies in which, paradoxically and counterintuitively, nothing quite fits on your screen.

5. Monlight Majhong for the iPhone, combined with a caffeinated drink after dinnertime, results in a situation in which I must force myself, using all available willpower, to go to bed at 2:43 a.m. instead of staying up even later.

4. There are not really any good, meaningful anagrams of my name.

3. Eating several pieces of fruit-shaped candy, nachos with jalapeno slices, salsa and refried beans, then a one-and-a-half-pound turkey leg will create some problems I won't go in to here. (Experiments to determine exactly which element caused the problems are a low priority and thank God I didn't have the gin & tonic I considered ordering.)

2. The bright little blood colored red dots that appear on people's skin are there because of "excessive vasculature" - a term that sounds cool. Vasculature. (I also just this second learned that blogger.com's automatic spellchecker does not know the cool term "vasculature.")

1. If you have someone in your band who plays the saxophone and the flute, you need to have either more than one microphone or a dedicated soundperson to change the volume of the signal of your woodwind specialist.

Isaac Hayes 1942-2008

Sometimes people ask me, "Why are you named Memphis?" Short answer: The music. And I feel sad that one of Memphis' best has died. Isaac Hayes helped make Memphis, Tennessee what it is: the greatest music town ever, anywhere. Big Star, Alex Chilton, Elvis Presley, American Studios, Stax Records, Ardent Studios, Sun Studios, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Reverend Al Green, Gibson Guitars...

And of course, a big, old, honest-to-God, leatherbound, bible-lookin' BOOK for marriage registration. No computers in downtown Meffis for something that is, after all, sacred. The guy wrote our names in it with a pen, friends. That's after he asked the geography questions kind of fast - our "sobriety test" he called it. Love it. R.I.P. I.H. You were a bad motha...

(Shut 'cho mouth!)

Friday, August 08, 2008

An Interview With Hume Cronyn

Memphis Evans: Hello and welcome to "Memphis Evans: The Blog". Thank you for coming today.

Hume Cronyn: You're welcome. Glad to be here, Sneaky! That's what I'm gonna call ya, 'cuz you look sneaky to me, okay?

ME: Sure. Let's talk about the partnership for which you are best known. Your work with Jessica Tandy, both on and offscreen, was graceful, intelligent, sensual, and, although she preceeded you in death by almost nine years, eternal.

HC: Uh...I'm not sure what you're talkin' about, Sneaks.

ME: According to imdb.com you made a whopping 37 films together. Strangely enough, while I could easily find information on the films, I could not find the story of how the two of you met. Will you share that with me?

HC: Made films? I mean, met who? You're goin' over my head here, Sneaky. Heh, heh.

ME: That is delightful. Hume, what was your favorite role?

HC: Are you makin' fun of me? I don't have to sit here and listen to this. Dick? Dick? Karl? Somebody? Where'd Dick go?

ME: I can see why that would appeal to you and I thought your performance was spectacular - a bellwether of restrained emotion and hard-won dignity. Any projects currently on the burner?

HC: Projects? I don't have to sit here and listen to this. I'm the President of the United States. When you mess with Texas, you get the horns! Fuck you, Sneaky Memphis, and the horse you wrote in on.

ME: Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Cronyn. I've enjoyed getting to know you better.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Onion: News Before It Happens

I remember when the current doofus-in-charge was put in to the white house. The Onion ran a story saying Bush would all but ruin the United States. This was not a terribly remarkable feat of prognostication, but I find it notable in light of its perhaps less obvious yet equally predictive fake companions. And as I'm re-reading it I realize that the way they got the details right is kind of remarkable.

Later The Onion created a fake story about how the rest of U2 was embarassed by Bono. About six months later a real story came out about how U2 had almost broken up because of Bono's extra-curricular activities. You can look all that up yourself if you want or just believe me and read on.

They did it again recently and this time I'm here with both links.

Onion story (July 24, 2008)

Yahoo! News story (August 4, 2008)

Truly, The Onion is America's Finest News Source.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Great Band Played

On Saturday July 26 I went to go see a band called Stella For Star at Eden Prarie Dunn Bros. in (or actually just outside on the porch of) the historic Smith-More House on Eden Prarie Road. This band features two key members of my old band Jubilant Dogs, Sally McGraw and Andy Honigman. I've been listening to the songs on their myspace page and thought they were really great. I was very pleased to find their live show is equally great.

The band was missing the drummer and percussionist/backup vocalist, who are married and tending to their brand new baby. Luke (we're gonna have company!) Taylor was playing acoustic guitar and sang lead vocals on the two or three songs he wrote. That his lead vocals were a little low (what I think of as the Jody Stephens effect) was my only problem with the sound of the show. His songs were catchy and unpredictable. A. Hon was playing bass and was his usual solid self.

Sally has written another big group of catchy, meaningful, literate songs and her voice is as strong and clear as ever. Even if the rest of the show hadn't proved it, the encore of Patti Griffin's "Every Little Bit" certainly did. The electric guitar player, Toni Karlsson, was extremely tasteful and laid back. A more egotistical electric guitar player at a coffeeshop (or anywhere really) could have easily destroyed the delicate sonic balance of the show, but Karlsson added shimmer, polish, and countermelodies, contributing to the songs perfectly.

I was surprised to hear only one J. Dogs song, "The Game Is Up". I wish two things for this group; One, that they maybe throw some of those great old J. Dogs songs in there at the next show because, hey, they are essential Sally McGraw songs. Two, that they make a CD as great or better than the two created by Jubilant Dogs. God bless. See you at the next show (or maybe the one after that what with the kids and my own bands and all.)

Links:
Stella For Star
Jubilant Dogs
Eden Prarie Dunn Bros.

(Jody Stephens is the drummer for Big Star and generally sings lead on two or three songs over the course of their show. On all their live albums the first few lines of his lead vocals are low because his microphone is still set at a volume appropriate for his backing vocals on all the other songs.)

An Interview With The Guy Who Just Walked Near Me From The Parking Lot In To The Library

ME: Hello, The Guy Who Just Walked Near Me From The Parking Lot In To The Library. Welcome to Memphisevans.com. Can I call you Guy?

TGWJWNMFTPLITTL: Ohhhh. Unghhhhh.

ME: How do you like this library? Great reservation system, beautiful scenic windows, and a really fun kids area. Do you have any kids?

TGWJWNMFTPLITTL: Hummmmmm. Hm hm hm. Nngh. Ahhh.

ME: I mean parking gets a little hairy now and then, but they did a nice revamp of that last summer.

TGWJWNMFTPLITTL: Nnnnguuuuuhhhhaaaaigh. Mmooomf.

ME: Are you laughing? Or...?

TGWJWNMFTPLITTL: Nnnngh. Aaaaaaigh. Mmmf.

ME: Are you singing right now? Is that what that is?

TGWJWNMFTPLITTL: (Grabs lower back) Nnghhhh.

ME: What's sad is that you don't seem that much older than I.

TGWJWNMFTPLITTL: Hunnnnnghhhhh. Mmmmnghhh.

ME: Well, here we are at the library! I'm a-goin' this-a-way. Catch ya later!

TGWJWNMFTPLITTL: Guhhhhhhh. Aighhhh.

ME: Thanks for the interview, Guy. See you next time.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Now That IS A Sellout

You may recall my concern over whether I had sold out my music. Well, you may also remember I decided I was fine. Now this article begs the question: Is it selling out to compromise your artistic vision for a work, or even just its title, to increase your sales? Yes. Yes, it is.

Which begs the bigger question: What if you call your album by a name that you KNOW is not going to work for the Wal-Marts and Targets of the world, then change it to "no title" just to get controversy and publicity? What are you then? Hmph. It's all a game. A dumb game. Where smart people make money from stupid people.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's The Shooting, Stupid!

Here's what interested me about this article:
(Read the whole article)

Yahoo! News: "A Palestinian rammed a construction truck into three cars and a bus near the Jerusalem hotel where Barack Obama is supposed to stay Tuesday, injuring five people before an Israeli civilian shot and killed the attacker, police and witnesses said.

"The attack was a chilling copycat of a similar incident earlier this month when another Palestinian plowed his front loader into a string of vehicles and pedestrians on a busy Jerusalem street about three miles away. Three people were killed in that attack and dozens were wounded before an off-duty soldier shot and killed the assailant."

First of all, it was that rare story on yahoo! news that featured almost no fatuous "celebrities". I say "almost" because they do mention Barack Obama early on.

Second of all, the immediate negative impact on the perpetrators of the crimes strikes me as useful and correct. No expensive arrest, trial, incarceration, release, probation, second crime, repeat. Just a nice, simple "an Israeli civilian shot and killed the attacker." Wouldn't it be nice to read about a guy who had, oh, I don't know, tried to fondle a 12 year old girl and beat up her dad then "was shot and killed by an American civilian". Followed by, maybe, "American Civilian Earns Heroism Award". No, no, no. That wouldn't happen here unfortunately. Maybe I should move to Texas. This blogger is really affecting my mind.

Did I mention that when I was in Romania a man who LIVES IN ISRAEL asked my wife and I how we cold stand to live in the United States with all that violence? I was like "You live in Israel!! Israel! You could be sitting at a cafe and the whole place could blow up!" He was like "You could be sleeping in your bed at night and your whole family could get shot and robbed!" He had a point. I guess it all depends on what you can get used to forgetting about so you can get on with your life.

Monday, July 21, 2008

MS7 Studio Session A Success

I hear from my friend Karl that the tracks recorded at his house sound really good. I think we got the definitive "Farmer Song" at the very least. Did I already write about how successful and fun those sessions were to play at? Hang on, let me check. No?! How could this have happened? Okay, short version:

Shotgun Johnson and the Mississippi Seven convened in its entirety in Karl's garage with the goal of recording four songs. We ended up making our stretch goal of eight songs. They were:

Prayer Breakfast
Theme From Honigman
Total Peace
Illusions of Banjeur

then, missing Scuffy, who had to leave and will probably overdub his banjo and/or accordion later:

Ghost Train
Kansas City, Nebraska
Don't Be Dumb
Farmer Song

Evan was out to engineer and Karl had his garage very clean and well set up for the recording. Both did a lot of hard work and I appreciate it. Showing up and playing drums, singing backup, and making a few small arrangement suggestions was really fun. I am working on scheduling the next session, at which I hope to have similar success with these songs:

Gone To Stay
Boxcar
Run Come See
California
C'mon Lizzie
Into The West

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On a completely different note, can anyone tell me why on Earth the original Al Jarreau version of the Theme From Moonlighting is not at iTunes? There are 385 songs there by the man but not the one song I've heard him sing hundreds of times and wanted to hear him sing whenever I wanted. Seriously. 385 songs and no "Moonlighting" from Al Jarreau? WTF?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Three Things I Did For The First Time Ever At Age 36

Yes, there are three things I did for the first time ever at age 36. They became a little too unwieldly for a blog so I made them an essay. Enjoy. Be encouraged.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Stuff at the Main Site, Etc.

I have posted a poem called To Dress A Child.

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I am considering writing essays about two different things. One is "so-called predatory lending" and two is "(I can't think of it right now because I am sleep deprived)". Is anyone interested in predatory lending or (that other thing)?

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So twitter. Here's the thing. If I'm doing something outside the house, I don't want potentially predatory people on the internet to know I'm away from the house. If I'm doing something in my house, well, that's not interesting, is it? And finally, if I AM doing something interesting why would I stop to twitter about it? From this time on, all my twitters will be on a time delay.

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I am going to compile an iTunes CD of mellow, catchy stuff like "Precious and Few" and "Longer". I am pretty sure I will love it.

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Just saw this on yahoo news. Think of how much time has been wasted because of these guys. How many hours? How many hours make up a life? Figure 75 years x 365 days x 24 hours = (trying to find the calculator on my computer...) 65,700 hours in a typical life.

So have 65,700 people been made to wait an hour (or more) as they ridiculously discarded their toothpaste, shampoo, water, etc.? How about all the wasted products (like my toothpaste once was before a flight) and the hours spent creating and disposing of them? Yeah, I think we're up to every single hour of all three of these punks' lives. So. Send them to the mines. With no pay. Until they die. They owe the world that much.

(Are there still mines that are worked by humans? I suppose there are. Diamond mines? Coal mines? I don't even know.)