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These poems, people,
lost ponies with
Dragging saddles --
and rocky sure-foot trails.

--Gary Snyder
from "Riprap"

Good rock 'n' roll... I don't know. I guess it's just something that makes you feel alive. It's just like, it's something that's human, and I think that most music today isn't. And it's like anything that I would want to listen to is made by human beings instead of computers and machines. To me, good rock 'n' roll also encompasses other things, like Hank Williams and Charlie Mingus and a lot of things that aren't strictly defined as rock �n' roll. Rock 'n' roll is like an attitude, it's not a musical form of a strict sort. It's a way of doing things, of approaching things. Like anything can be rock 'n' roll.

--Lester Bangs
from A Final Chat with Lester Bangs by Jim DeRogatis

souvenirs from every vacation

I wish this fella was my neighbor. He loves DBT and plays them on his show a lot. (If you look at his playlists and listen to his show, there's a cover of DBT doing "Like a Rolling Stone.") I love the idea of all the Londoners in traffic jams and DBT coming on the radio. (Not to mention Govt Mule.)

Also, Patterson Hood's new site with a smokin' new picture of him and a new song, "Pollyanna."

2005-07-27 - 7:42 p.m.

rocked dynamite hooks like a motherfucker

Robert Christgau on Gus Van Sant's new Kurt Cobain picture.

2005-07-21 - 12:35 p.m.

go on, toss that gum

Holy minutiae! Hotdog. I love the one with the horse. This via green bean Pete.

2005-05-11 - 12:32 p.m.

the pretty girl who played the cello, what was her name?

Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell get all duet-ty. There's one on here that particularly sounds like a Tammy & George duet, but I don't know the names of the songs too good yet. Just listen to it. I dig Caitlin Cary, especially that While You Weren't Looking album, plus I still love her Waltzie ep. Even though JB lumps her with Linda Thompson and Nico, I like them records too, man, those are good records. And Tres Chicas, love them too.

2005-05-05 - 3:54 p.m.

Bob Dylan's Inner Black Woman

This from Styledaddy. Y'all, if you love ole Bob, you gotta read his Chronicles, I swear.

2005-03-23 - 11:13 p.m.

Will you rise and meet your savior in the air?

Mankind, I just love this entry.

Also, JB sent me to this New York Times article on the foremost scholar of country music songs about the atom bomb. The only one I knew of is the Louvin Brothers' "Atomic Power" that Uncle Tupelo covers. And Styledaddy made me a collection of boogie woogie that has the song "Atomic Boogie" by Pete Johnson on it.

And then via JB via Metafilter -- holy crap, it's Atomic Radio. I love the world and the satellites.

2005-03-16 - 11:45 p.m.

It Does Make Me Laugh

This from Wil Wheaton Dot Net:

"I thought I looked a little chubby in my face (thank you, Stone Brewing company) but the real volatility that I was hoping for was definitely there."

It's the little things get me tickled. One time, for an entire year, my mom and me would say "wooo, do we dare?" -- an Alex P. Keaton line that cracked us up. Or how my brother Monty and me would always laugh so hard at my mom singing purty little love song instead of heard it in a love song when The Marshall Tucker Band came on the radio.

2005-03-12 - 12:34 p.m.

Back Home, Bunch of Stuff

Lotsa good stuff.

From JB this morning, Wil Wheaton discovers Wilco and says cool stuff and Jeff Tweedy's brother-in-law replies (scroll down to comments section, Danny Miller). Which then led me to Danny Miller's blog, which is excellent.

Also, check out Wil Wheaton in the NY Times.

And also from JB, also re: Wilco -- a Wilco treasure chest.

And still more also -- all of this got me here, hotdog.

I've been up north, in Ithaca, upstate New York, where it was 50 some degrees one day -- and my buddy Sarah and her baby girl Ilah and me walked to the old Ithaca Gun factory (that's haunted, they say) and this enormous gorge that made my knees weak from looking over the bridge -- and snowing and got down to eighteen below the next. How did that happen? I was stunned. I heard the next door neighbor shoveling before I got up and thought he was just shoveling leftover snow. Nope. Anyhow, we hung out a lot at this coffee shop that played a lot of Wilco and Neil Young, and The Clash and Dolly Parton. Good place, that one. Plus I saw Carl Sagan's house, looks like a mausoleum and sits on the side of a cliff, and some of the Sagan Planet Walk.

Before I left, I came across this article about this man named Mingering Mike who, in the late 60s and early 70s, made recordings complete with his own album covers out of his house. Now there's a show at SECCA in Winston-Salem. This is what annoys the hell outta me about SECCA -- it only focuses on the album art, as part of their fascination with outsider art, and not the music. There's just something that rubs me the wrong way about all these art critics and curators rubbin' their dadblamed goatees and eating cheese and drinking wine over Mingering Mike's hard work. The article also links to this, the "official online home of all things mingering" -- maybe I'm wrong but the whole thing stinks of collectors who got hold of this -- read the article in Go Triad, that'll explain it.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their victory over Taco Bell.

Finally, things are happening over at the Charlotte Hawkins Brown memorial in Sedalia. The good ole Center for Documentary Studies has a traveling exhibition at the site. Some folks may think memorials are hokey, but I think some are necessary. Ain't hokey at all. So the stuff doesn't get lost.

2005-03-11 - 1:02 a.m.

Complacency Kills

The new Joe Sacco comic about his recent assignment in Iraq. (Long load but it's so dadblamed good.) From JB.

And this from salon.

2005-03-03 - 11:50 p.m.

Bambi said "I wanna leave it again!"

Oh my, absolutely you hafta go see this. Man, it still don't make a lick a sense. (I do love the holy heck outta that song though, I don't care if folks make fun of Eddie Vedder.) From Backwards City.

2005-03-03 - 11:10 p.m.

Johnny Carson

This is a couple weeks old but I'm just getting around to it. I reckon folks who are Letterman fans call it "Letterman," Jay Leno fans "Jay Leno" and Conan fans "Conan" but there was something about when Johnny Carson was on about calling it "Johnny Carson" -- watching "Johnny Carson" -- I don't know, maybe it's a lost point but the difference is real for me. Even before he died, when I read the following by Larry Brown -- and this was something like nine years ago that I read this -- I remember it striking me, watching Johnny Carson, back when folks did that.

From "Waiting for the Ladies" by Larry Brown:

"When I got to where he lived, the truck was behind the house and there wasn't a light on. I coasted by twice with the headlights off. Then I killed it by the side of the road and listened for a while. It was quiet. Some light wires were humming. That was it... I got out with the shotgun and a beer and closed the door. The law wasn't there, and I was the law. Vigilante Justice. Patrick Swayze and somebody else. Dirty Dancing. But he never flashed his trash.

The yard was mud, the house almost dark. I could just see that one little light inside that was Johnny Carson saying goodnight. I knew he might have a gun, and might be scared enough to use it. In my state I though I could holler self-defense in his front yard.

I hope I didn't ruin their lives.

The door was open, and the knob turned under my hand. The barrel of the gun slanted down from under my arm, and I tracked their mud on their floor. He didn't have his cap on, and his hair wasn't like what I'd imagined. It was gray, but neatly combed, and his mother was sobbing silently on the couch and feeding a pillow into her mouth.

He said one thing, quietly: 'Are you fixing to kill us?'

Their eyes got me.

I sat down, asking first if I could. That's when I started telling both of them what my life then was like."

When I read this, I like to think he changed his mind about shooting them on account of them watching Johnny Carson, cause everybody did, like watching Johnny Carson made them just regular folks to him, like himself.

2005-03-03 - 3:07 p.m.

You gotta see the one with the box...

All of these are excellent. This from Backwards City.

2005-03-03 - 12:03 p.m.

The Bowery

Ah hell, this makes me sad and furious. I mean, not the article itself, but the goings-on. Talking about the face-lift the Bowery's getting, penthouses moving in, multi-million dollar penthouses. How The Bowery has become this huge mythic symbol for where you might end up if you can't get by in the world of moneymaking.

"The Bowery is more than just a physical place. For centuries, it has also been an imaginary zone onto which the world projected its most lurid fantasies and anxieties. This was capitalism's wasteland, a refuge for failures and fuckups. And the Bowery bum was a living, breathing cautionary tale for the burgeoning American middle class: Look what happens when you stumble in the rat race."

Some of the folks are talking about historic preservation but see that eventually does the same mess -- relegates everything to some godawful museum status and the whole point is lost. Trolley tours of flophouses and old theaters hosting minstrel shows, how quaint. Historic preservation just moves everything to the past when the whole idea is that we're supposed to keep something alive, and keep affordable housing, and businesses that start-up without a whole hell of a lot of capital. I hate the historic preservation people just as much as the rampant capitalists -- at least the rampant capitalists are honest about their intentions. Like in this neighborhood, they want the look of yore without all the nasty real history of a constantly changing place, that for the most part was home to lower-to-middle class working folks and college students. All that they want gone cause poor folks keep shit in their yards and sofas on their porches and all that really distracts from that authentic-as-hell Victorian detailing in their housepaint job.

Also, this by Robert Christgau about The Bowery's music history.

2005-03-03 - 9:51 a.m.

Iron Man Comics

This, from JB. The Comics Iron Man Challenge, hotdog.

And, again, if you ain't been here yet, I urge ye.

2005-03-02 - 5:43 p.m.

Sit Up to the Table

Man, I've been looking for this story for years. I managed to track it down in the periodical index at Jackson Library but the 1945 bound book of Esquires was missing. I found out about it a couple of years ago after Louis Menand wrote a Salinger piece in The New Yorker and somebody wrote a letter in response, and it was in that letter that they talked about this other appearance of Holden, and quoted it.

"Where are you Holden?... Stop kidding around. Stop letting people think you�re Missing. Stop wearing my robe to the beach. Stop taking the shots on my side of the court. Stop whistling. Sit up to the table�"

from This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise by J. D. Salinger, Esquire, October 1945.

2005-02-25 - 6:56 p.m.

Oz and The Jayhawks Teaser

There's this fella over in Orange County who holds house concerts -- I've seen The Silos and Mary Gauthier (as she say, say go-shay) there. Anyhow the guy who runs them, Tim Kimrey, he's super cool. Jason Ringenberg (of Jason & the Scorchers) was set to play two nights at his house this weekend but this happened. It's from an e-mail Tim Kimrey sent out with the subject line "Jason Ringenberg Saves Pony":

In an heroic "Farmer Jason" lunge-move to keep a heavy pole from falling on the pony in the barn, Jason Ringenberg severely injured his back yesterday and is, at the moment, laid up in a lot of pain at his family farm outside of Nashville.

From Styledaddy -- Tom Waits interview on American Routes.

Speaking of interviews, check out the excellent Seth Green interview. He talks about his new stop-motion animation show Robot Chicken, playing the sorta young Woody Allen in Radio Days, a little bit about Buffy, and a lot about being weird. Even if you don't give a hoot about Seth-Green-as-Oz, this is one of the best interviews I've heard in a long time. (Besides the Lyn Cheney interview but that was for the sheer discomfort of the thing.)

New Chatham County Line album -- and now they're on Yep Roc, with Chris Stamey producing. I like what they say here about Greg Readling being like Garth Hudson.

Last night, as I was falling asleep listening to the CBC, Barbara Budd announced The Jayhawks are breaking up. Evidently, Gary Louris said something about it at a Madison, Wisconsin show. And I was sad, they played all of "Blue" from Tomorrow the Green Grass. (As It Happens must be Jayhawks fans.) But now this.

I hope it ain't true. I just wised up about them. If you're interested, you can listen to the excellent Rainy Day Music here.

2005-02-24 - 10:53 p.m.

Preshrunk? Fire fi de man

JB showed me this one. JB's on the ball with the t-shirt bloggers. Who knew there was this whole thing out there? And so much to say about t-shirts. This is cool.

Have you read that Nick Hornby book Songbook? It's a collection of short essays about songs, not whole albums. Excellent fun. This from Tita.

My niece did her school project on this subject. "Here in New York City, gays in clubs win' up to wildly popular reggae dancehall lyrics like 'Fire fi de man dem weh go ride man behind,' much as older gays pray in churches that condemn homosexuality."

2005-02-18 - 11:43 p.m.

I Heart DBT

Man, I love Robert Christgau and this. Feels like Christmas this coming out.

Came across this article last fall in Asheville's Mountain Xpress. It appeared right before the Drive-By Truckers played their town. It was the next night DBT played Winston-Salem but I got the dates mixed up and ended up dragging us across a couple counties for a show that had already happened. It was only when we were standing in line that I could hear the 80's cover band inside and then it dawned on me I'd got the wrong night.

If you've never been to the DBT website, you oughta check it out. It's full of treats and stories and goodies. Plus there's links to Patterson Hood's website and his dad, David Hood's website. David Hood was the bass player for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and appeared on all kinds of records -- Aretha, Percy Sledge, The Staple Singers.

2005-02-17 - 1:25 p.m.

Beat Roots

JB's most excellent idea.

This from some local MFAers. It's cool, man. And their blog. Some good stuff there, man.

2005-02-05 - 2:29 p.m.

Mister Retro

Oh-my-my-oh-hell-yeah, you can now listen to The Music 103 online. I've loved this station since I was little but this year, it's gotten tons better. There's this fella Jack who has a red Abe Lincoln beard and he's the station manager, and he's doing it right. (You can listen to MISTER RETRO on Sunday nights, wherever you are.) This is reason to shake booty everywhere.

2004-05-13 - 4:22 p.m.

Low-Powered FM/Dead Birds

This from Wired about a low-power FM community radio station in Salida, Colorado. And I love the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, mankind, I wanna work for them. Check out their low-power FM project. Ah hell, I wanna live in a little radio station in the middle of nowhere, that's what I wanna do, live and work at the itty bitty radio station and drink black coffee all day.

A couple years ago I got all freaked out about the West Nile Virus, reading in Wildlife in North Carolina all the updates about dead birds being found around Jordan Lake. They had this hotline and they were urging folks to report any dead birds they found so somebody could come out and test them. I was over at some of Jeff's art buddies' house, helping them move, and I found a dead crow and got all freaked out and said we oughta call the Wildlife folks and report it. They were sorta hesistant. But I'd never seen a dead crow -- I've seen other dead birds, but not a crow, it's big, man. Anyhow, the last few hours, blitz of news: Here's some. And the AP article that's popping up everywhere. And here and the health department -- I don't mean this like I'm fascinated by the drama of epidemics -- I mean, West Nile and birds, they fascinate me, yep.

2004-04-26 - 4:52 p.m.

Old Records

This is a site outta Raleigh, North Carolina where you can order vintage 78s, or compilations from old 78s, like old-time fiddle music played by black folks from the early 20th century, not blues, not gospel, but old-time. White folks like to think they're the only ones who played old-time, like it was strictly mountain music -- I mean, mountains, yeah, but black folks lived in the mountains too, man. I have this old record from the Blue Ridge Institute that has the unfortunate academic title of Non-Blues Secular Black Music but it's something else. One of those records I snagged when the college I went to was getting rid of all their old records.

And here's their interview with Terry Zwigoff, director of Crumb, Ghost World and Louie Bluey.

And from The Old Time Herald, I love this, a fifteen-year argument over the virtues of square dancing vs. contra dancing (and a little north vs. south). Here's the original article that appeared in The Old Time Herald in 1989. And here was the letter this fella Mr. Reed wrote in response. And then, fifteen years later, the rebuttal to the response.

And this site'll let you listen to old 78 recordings, you can listen by themes such as "Goofy" or "Covered by Bob Dylan".

2004-04-19 - 4:40 p.m.

Live from the Triad

This Friday at Gate City Noise, Ghost to Falco, used to live in Asheville, now in Portland.

And River Run, hotdog.

2004-04-15 - 12:49 p.m.

Still Don't Care for That Courtney Love

Read this on Courtney Love this morning. Almost made me like her. I know it's dumb, but I'm on the Kurt Cobain team, not the Courtney Love team. Still. Saw Hole up in Blacksburg, VA one time back in '94 and got disturbed cause Frances Bean got dragged out in front of drunken frat boy crowd (because, say what you will, frat boys dig C. Love cause she's sexy rebel, not merely rebel) and I thought to myself, Courtney Love might as well be country-club-cocktail-party-mom or my-baby-ruined-my-body-mom and it made me mad. But this is a good article anyhow. Although the last sentence don't make no sense, the inverse thing.

I dig these polaroids of Modest Mouse. They ain't pretty boys atall. Hotdog. [click on POLAROIDS at bottom of screen]


This posted on the message boards from Serge of Marah, who postponed their show this Saturday at The Garage. Dadblamed Raleigh gets everything.

2004-04-08 - 3:18 p.m.

There Ain't No Eye

There Is No Eye. John Cohen extravaganza. Saw him speak a coupla years ago and saw the films I already had -- The High Lonesome Sound about Roscoe Holcomb from Daisy, Kentucky and The End of an Old Song about Dillard Chandler from Western North Carolina. That one's got him in a diner flirting with some Cherokee gals and J. Cohen said "Dillard and Lloyd Chandler were Cherokee themselves."

The Center for Documentary Studies has got a ton of their audio and photo docs here.

And cause I'm curious.

2004-04-07 - 5:19 p.m.

Cloudy Doubly

I love this fella. And then there's I After the Cloudy Doubly Beautiful.

Harvey Pekar & Gary Dumm's blues comics.

Photos from Hillborough's (formally Stokes County's) Music Maker Relief Foundation, including Willa Mae Buckner, The Snake Lady.

2004-04-01 - 6:21 p.m.

The Science of Eternal Sunshine

The science of Eternal Sunshine. Hotdog.

2004-04-01 - 6:19 p.m.

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