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Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Consolodation of source is never a good idea. All the eggs in one basket. It's certainly bad military strategy, bad genetics, and bad fiscal policy, so why are we, as a society, gathering everything we can and putting it all on the Ark of the Box? The orwellian future we all say we fear, is creeping upon us, and picking up it's pace. Is conveinience worth the cost? Oh yeah, and the sky is falling as well.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Dan from Aquiesce came by to do his bits yesterday, and I got a chance to live out a lifelong dream. We used the same amps as we did with Brett, but Dan has a Gibson SG (Angus) and a Gibson Flying V (Michael Schenker). In one day I got the AC/DC sound, and the Schenker sound. Angus simply plugs his SG into a Marshall 100W and follows the directions I detailed in my previous blog. So we did that. Michael Schenker add's a twist, he Plugs his V into a Cry Baby wah at half mast, and then into a Marshall 50 Watt plexi. So we did that too. Almost. Thanks to my Slash Series Marshall 100/50 watt combo head, I was basically able to emulate both classic sounds with one amp. Thanks Slash. By the way, I think you're great. Slash knows the tones I want, and Dan wants, and Brett wants, and Andy Rock wants, because they are the tones he wants, which in turn are the tones Angus and Michael want. Of course if you want the Angus sound, you need Angus, if you want the Schenker sound, be prepared to call Germany, and if you want the Bonham sound, buy a shovel.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I love my job. Making music is all I ever wanted to do, and I'm blessed to be able to do so, and doubly so by the people I do it with - Chris, George, Chan, Rob, You.... We all say; "it's all music", when we start a project, the gist being that music is music, and work is work, but sometimes you find yourself working on a project that reminds you of why you started doing this crazy shit to begin with, and for me, lately, that project is the Aquiesce record that Chris and I are currently involved with. You may ask; "Jackson, what's so special about Aquiesece?" For me, sorry Paul, it's simple - Guitars. Big Loud Gibson Guitars put through Big Loud Amplifiers. I have had the pleasure of working with Rob Machold, Chris, and George on killer drum sesssions, and it's very satisfying work, but Guitars is strictly pleasure (I'm not saying I don't want the money Brett). I spent the better part of the last two days with Brett from Aquiesce (http://www.acquiesce.com/) recording his tracks for their forthcoming release (the label is screaming for it...... in Finnish......Finnish the record?). We used an aincient Vox AC30, which sounded fantastic once we figured out how to use it, and mic it properly. Weird things them AC30's, fucking Brits, leave it to them to design something so great, and so tempermental, and well, just plain different. After workin' that amp all day, and some of the next, we switched over to my Marshall Slash series 100/50 watt head. Brett loved it, and well he should, it's great. By this point we were severley pissing off the neighbors, two days straight of blaring full volume heavy duty wattage, but man, that's the sound. That's it, and the only way to get it is to trurn it up all the way. That's where the 'eleven' bit from Spinal Tap comes from, and why it's so funny, because it's so true. The easiest job any audio engineer ever had was to walk over to the Marshall, and turn all the nobs all the way up. They are all in a row, so you just run your hand down the line, zip, one motion, and bam! The greatest sound ever. The sound that got me into this crazy world; for me it was 'Detroit Rock City', for another it might be the Black Crowes first record, or some Weezer song, but all the same, that's the sound.

Monday, May 23, 2005


I finally made my pilgramage. Austin, TX is REALLY where it's at. I've been wanting to visit Austin since 1985, when my friend Pat Wilson got back from his ill-fated first semester at UT. From his reports, I had a vision of a place where Tele-Craftsmen and their Strato-Master brothers walked the sun beaten streets, bouncing from gig to walk-on. How often in life do you find the Actrual living up to the Ideal? Not often enough, but it happened for me this past wekend. It would not have happened if I didn't know Chan Chandler, and now I fully realize how lucky I am to call him my friend, my brother.
It began as a side trip after a gig in Dallas - corporate gig. Chan told Peter to bring his mando (Austin for mandolin), and he told me to bring my ass, for it desired so to be in Austin, and we'd have ourselves a session. Chan has been employing Chris and I (Smokeandmirrors) to produce some of his songs out in Brooklyn, and we figured it'd be cool to bring our project down to Chan's good friend David Murray's studio (www.murraymusic.com) because they're (Chan and Dave) using Digital Performer, as do we. Not that we couldn't tranfer ProTools files, but it's easier when you have platform alignment. In the end our files were not useable, becuase I delegated the burning of the files, outsourced if you will, and had not checked the work. I was under serious time constraints, and thusly it seemed a good idea at the time. It was all hunky dory, however, because David was fairly swamped with another project (I could so seriously name drop here...) we only had time to work on the mando track, which wasn't one of the songs I had thought I had with me (notice how I'm leaving another name out...limey bastard!).
We arrived in Austin early Friday evening, after a pleasant drive down Rt.35 from Dallas, passing through Waco (don't stop, don't even look), near Crawford, stopping at the Czech Stop (a must!), and through Temple (again - no names). We cruised through downtown Austin (Texas Stadium - ZZ Top - 'nuff said) and minutes later we were in the promised land - South Austin. Our first stop was Eyebeam/Renaissance Bubba Productions HQ, a studio shared by Chan and his freind and associate, Sam Hurt (www.samhurt.com - okay, the name dropping will now commence in earnest). Sam is a brillaint artist/illustrator/cartoonist/father/breakfast taco enthusiast. Fun guy too.
After a qick chat and regroup (read 'getting high', I suppose I should somehow put it across that any references to anything quasi legal should not implicate Peter, at least this time around....) we walked across the road to Bill Barnett's place (www.wcbarnett.com - great virtual tour done by Sam). To say Bill sculpts is akin to saying Ford makes cars. He's got an awsome sculpture garden, that is at least as much garden as scuplture, which I found extremely pleasing to sit in, and decompress from the gig - corporate gig. After a nice sit, we checked out Sam's paint studio. Here comes the sun indeed. Liked it, a lot! Then it was time for the first of a number of visits to the Continental Club. The Continental Club is sort of the CBGB's of Austin, except people go to the Continental Club. It was around this time that I started to get the feeling that Austin was the best parts of New Orleans and Athens GA (in it's heyday) combined. I had only been there a couple of hours and was already having the best time possible - anywhere. I was already rockin' out to a live blues band and it was only 7 PM.
From there we went to eat dinner at Jovita's. I'm a mexican food freak. Jovita's is a great place to be such as me. I had chicken mole enchiladas, and a tamale mexicano (with suace and cheese). Big ups to Jovita's. While there, Sam's son Nicholas (Misspent Youth), and Todd Sanders the amazing Neon artist (www.roadhouserelics.com) joined us. We wre also lucky enough to catch James McMurtry, who happened to be appearing at Jovita's that evening.
Thusly armed we made our way to Murray Music, located across the river in downtown Austin. First off, Dave is a great guy. Certainly a man with his resume (I think of David Murray as the Paul Schaffer of Austin, and not because of any physical resemblance or demeanor) could come off aloof at the very least, but Dave ain't got time for that. Literaly. David's studio is a sweet set-up. He's got great gear, but what really hooked me was the live room, adjacent piano room (containing Chan's Steinway), and vocal booth. What makes Murray Music an exceptional studio is, of course, David, and I can't wait to get back there. That night we just listened to tracks, and shot the shit for an hour or so (y'know the type - bandana), and then we cut out so David could finish up what he was working on before we had invaded. I was fried as well, having started in with the Pacifico back in Dallas at 11:30 am, a trend that was only briefly interrupted by the drive down to Austin.
Chan dropped me off at studio Eyebeam to crash, while he and Peter went to catch Love County at Ego's.


Breakfast tacos rule. It's not cool to loudly declare that you are a relative of the man that captured Zapata whilst enjoying them at Guero's, however. Potato, Chorizo and Egg if you must know.
Time for the day tour a la Chan, which included, but was not restricted to Stevie Ray's statue in the park down by the river - Colorado that is. We hit Jo's for coffe (and soy chai lattes) and again invaded Murray Music. This was our scheduled appearance for tracking mando, and the point at which I found out that the DVDs I brought with our projects were crap. David, Chan and Peter worked out the arrangement, David and I set up a project, built a click (that tambo is off, damn shit), David liad down an acoustic track (5 minutes, Next!), Chan did yet another scratch vocal (they keep getting better Chan - think about it) and Peter blessed us with some Mandolin. It's hard to track on the spot like we asked Peter to do, and from this guy's perspective, I think Peter did a hell of a job. After we were sure we had the takes, David turned to me and asked if I'd ever seen Redd Volkaert. I replied that indeed I had not not. Peter also intimated that he had not previously been Volkaerted. "You really should check out Redd", said David looking me straight in the eye. "Do ya think?" I asked? Same level gaze; "You really should go check out Redd."
So we went to check out Redd. Redd plays with Heybale, which weren't gigging while we were there, but Redd was doing a Saturday pick-up slot at the Continental Club with piano savant Floyd Domino. Many times you will hear people claim to have had their minds blown, you might hear of epiphanies, life changing experiences; I could only imagine that these people were refering to Redd. I have seen the greats, well a goodly amount of them, and this guy is one of them. I count Redd as one of at least four living guitar players who could wipe the floor with Clapton, and the other three have Grammys. I told David that I hadn't seen him play live yet, so not to worry, I'm reserving him a spot on the list. Dave responded by saying that he was pretty good, but it seemed to be a suicidal notion to share a stage with Redd. I shied away from bringing up Stevie Ray whilst I was comisserating amongst Austin's A-list. Many of the folks I was rubbin' elbows with knew him personally, and I felt thier loss in what wasn't being said. Much like the proverbial pink elephant, I think Austin is still in recovery from that particular tragedy, and the have had so many of that ilk.
It was now Barbeque time. I will let the experts argue over what is best in BBQ. I know what I like, and I like Ruby's. Combo featuring Chicken, Sausage and (oooooh) brisket, with sides. I'm still recovering.
Waterloo records is fantastic. They have records. Vinyl records. Now, I'm not conceeding here, just reporting the facts. Not only is Bruce's latest available on vinyl, but so is that Ryan Adams record (avc.blogs.com) and, amongst a few others, the new Weezer. It would have helped my blog cred if I had purchased a new release on vinyl, like, say, the Weezer (produced by Rick Rubin - should be massive), but instead, as per the usual, I bought thirteen used records, including the live Joe Ely (synchronistic methinks), live Rory Gallagher, live Leon Russell, live Humble Pie, Dr. Hook, Iseley Bros., XTC, Joni Mitchell, Mahogany Rush (an album from 74 that I didn't even know existed), and a few more that I can't remember off hand because i'm so very burnt just now.
After spending my spending money on vinyl, we hopped over to Guy Juke's (www.guyjuke.com) art opening at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture. Guy Jukes has done a lot of gig posters and album covers, including the Joe Ely I had just purchased (...at the bottom of some dark scottish laaaaaake.) It was here, while watching the artist do his rock n roll thang with some more of Austin's elite (Earl Poole Ball anyone!) that I met Eileen Schwartz, the Writer, who asked me for a light, and then demanded conversation.
I was fading fast, so after we dropped back by Murray Music to do a bounce and watch some footage of David with Pinetop at the Spoke (if you know, you'll undersatnd) it was off to futon once agin. In the morning it was more Jo's coffee, more tacos (this time at Las Manitas -excellent- with Sam, and more Rt.35 back to Dallas, DFW, and home. Phew....

Friday, May 20, 2005


In the eighties Fishbone were just about the greatest band in the world. They had it all, chops, groove, songs, and a stage show that tore off more roofs than any other. I saw them more times than I can count, most memorably at the old Ritz (now Webster Hall for you young 'uns) with the Chilli Peppers. Today, Flea and Anthony are millionaires, and Angelo? I don't know. Somebody tell me what happened. I blame the recording industry, and their racist policies. Balck bands have always had a hard time being promoted by the record labels. The musical difference between the Chillis and Fisbone is virtually non existant, and arguably, Fishbone was the better band, but Fishbone got bounced from label to label, pressured to sound more heavy (like Living Color) or R&B (like sensible black groups). In the end, lack of promotion, and thusly dwindling sales and interest led to the decline of a great band. This from a review of their recent spot at Jazzfest.

"They're just one of those bands that survives by riding in a bus all year with a legacy of smart, good music and loyal fans. "

They ripped Jazzfest this year, but did you hear about it?

If you're not in the know, check out their 1985 self-titled EP, 1988's 'Truth and Soul', or 1991's 'The Reality of My Surroundings' for the evidence. Personally I like the heavier, and less commercial sound of 1993'S 'Give a Monkey a Brain', but if you like funk, metal, and soul, coupled with humour and political relevance, then Fishbone is the band for you.

"How I wish.........Everyday Sunshine"

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Like it or not, that's what we got. One America is ruled by a King, who's cronies obey his every command. The problem is that the other half still view this country as a democracy, or at least a republic.

At a Republican Party event Tuesday night, Bush (the King) demanded that senators approve his picks (judicial nominees) without further delay.

He's demanding, that's very monarchial.

The division is getting worse. The gap is growing. We are at war, and the administration is busy closing down military instillations, and privatizing any aspect of the military they can. We are at war because the King wanted one, but he obviously doesn't want to win it. Why could that be? I think he's setting the stage for his buddies, the Saudis, to move in and annex Iraq - for oil, which we buy, from the King. He is not concerned about terrorism, if he was, we'd be concentrating on Al Queda - an international terror organization, and not Iraq, a divided country on the brink of civil war - a situation of instability brought on by our, sorry, His war.

In Stephen King's novel 'The Dead Zone', this question is asked of a Polish holocaust survivor:

If you could go back in time and kill Hitler beforer he came to power, would you?

He couldn't answer.

I can.......

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


"Bubble wrap the bubble wrap, and Fed Ex it to Fed Ex."
"The only changes we have to make are the changes to the changes."
"It feels so real; you can feel the feeling."


There's been a great debate going on over at Fred's blog (avc.blogs.com) about the digital revolution as it pertains to music. I've said all I have to say, specifically, about that, on that blog, but I want to clear up what might be a misconception. I am not anti-digital. I love digital. The digital revolution has made my life easier. Both as a Graphics Coordinator, and an Audio Engineer. Yes, I long for a two-inch tape machine for my 32 channel console, but on the other hand, digital audio has opened a whole world of editing possibilities. There's a danger to that -
endless tweaking; 'fix it in the mix' is now a satndard more than a cop-out, but overall, I do see it as an advancement in the industry. What it all comes down to, for me, is that I see the digital world as a buffet. I take what I like, and leave the rest. I don't have an iPod, I don't want one. In fact, I'd prefer that my clients leave theirs at home. Don't play me a track that you want to sound like, go in the room and make that sound and I'll capture it. I don't need a reference, I need a sound.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


A Jihad a day keeps the infidel away. How do they keep track of all the Jihads they have running at any given time. Do they have some sort of Excell document?

FAIZABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) -- A group of Afghan Muslim clerics have threatened to call for a holy war against the United States in three days unless it hands over military interrogators reported to have desecrated the Quran. Newsweek magazine said in its May 9 edition investigators probing abuses at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay found that interrogators "had placed Qurans on toilets, and in at least one case flushed a holy book down the toilet."

That's classy. Me thinks we need to do some sensitivity training.


"This war came to us, not the other way around." - C. Rice

What scares me is that people will believe her. This is a lie. This administration is lying to us, as they have been, and will continue to do. If they lie about the war, what else are they lying to us about?

"Someday they won't let you, so now you must agree
The times they are a-telling, and the changing isn't free
You've read it in the tea leaves, and the tracks are on TV
Beware the savage jaw
Of 1984" - D. Bowie


My apologies to the good people of Dallas. The last time I was here I was a bit hard on this town, basically accusing Dallas of being a sleepy, boring cow-town, with nothing going on except the ghost of JFK wandering around Dealy Plaza saying to himself; "Lone Gunman, hmmm, sounds like a TV show."
Well I was wrong. They got it going on in Oaklawn, the Chelsea of Big 'D'. Down here the ladies refuse to be outdone by the men, and the lesbian bars are as hoppin' as their male oriented counterparts. So much so that it's kinda hard to tell one from the other. In fact it's so happening that a large minority of the clientel are straight folk who want to party like it's 1999. You can start the night at J.R.'s, as we did, then cross the street to Sue Ellen's (yes that's right, these people do have a sense of humor about themselves) and so on, hitting all the bars during their hour of drink specilas. They call it a 'bar run'. All the clubs offer an hour of specials that rotate so you tend to drift through the whole strip over the course of the evening. It's great for business, and your wallet. You see many of the same faces throughout the night, and everyone is freindly. I can now reccomend Dallas, maybe not for a vacation, but it's as good a spot to do Sales Meetings as anywhere...except Hawaii, and Cancun, and Palm Springs, and.....okay so there's lot's of better places, but Big 'D' is okay with me.

Friday, May 13, 2005


I was reading a review of the new Joe Perry solo record in Rolling Stone, and the reviewer called it a better Aerosmith related record than anything that came out between 'Rocks' and 'Pump'. What? There is just so much wrong in that statement. First off, 'Draw The Line' (78), which followed 'Rocks' (77) is easily better than anything anybody from Aerosmith has done since. Period. 'Draw The Line' gets a bad rap. I think it started when recently sober Steve and Joe appeared in 'The Decline Of Western Civilization: II - The Metal Years' (1988), and po-pooed the record, saying that was the point where things started to fall apart. Well yes, and no. 'DTL' is one of my favorite Aerosmith records, and I will defend it accordingly. I actually like it better than 'Rocks'. 'Rocks' has great songs, but most of them are better on the 'Live Bootleg' record (Back In The Saddle, Last Child, Sick As a Dog). 'DTL" has 'Kings and Queens', 'Critical Mass', the title track ("check mate, throw the ace ????????), 'Bright Light Fright' (Joe's first lead vocal), 'Milk Cow Blues', 'Sight For Sore Eyes (okay that's better on the live record too), and my fave - 'I Wanna Know Why'. The album rips. Done. It's a fact. Irrefutable, undeniable, and deliriously sleazy. In fact that is what's wrong with post sobriety, reunitited Aerosmith, it lacks the necessary sleeze. The Aerosmith recorded output is an easy graph to chart. Starting with the first record (Aerosmith), which is a truly impressive debut, the LP's get better with each release - 'Get Your Wings', followed by the apex - king god of Aerosmith records - 'Toys In The Attic' 'Toys' is by far the best thing they ever did, except maybe the live record. 'Uncle Salty', 'Adam's Apple', 'No More, No More', 'You See Me Crying' - it just never got better, and I haven't even mentioned the hits: 'Walk This Way' & 'Sweet Emotion'. Next came 'Rocks', which is just almost as good, then 'DTL', and now the downward spiral begins, but not without a last gasp of excellence. 'A Night In The Ruts' was a critical and financial disappoinment for the band, and Joe's exit line, but before he left, he gave us 'Cheesecake' and 'Reefer Head Woman', two classic examples of Aerosmith's awesome abilities. Next came the quasi-Aerosmith line-up (no Joe or Brad) record, 'Rock In a Hard Place'. Yes it's a poor effort, lacking in every way, except that it still has that old Aerosmith charm. That feeling that the chemicals have taken over, and 'this is the sound of Steve's brain on drugs' - it was a great sound, and they lost it. I'm not saying that sobriety is bad for music, just Aerosmith. I simply can't buy into the new Aerosmith, it's too slick, too pop, and clearly, most of the tunes are ghost-written. Their lust for drugs seems to have been replaced with a lust for cash, and I don't like the results. I'm glad they are well, I'm happy they made some money, but they can keep 'Pump', 'Permanent Vacation', 'Get a Grip', and 'Just Push Play', I still have 'Toys' and 'DTL'.

"Rats in the cellar, skin a turnin' yeller....."


Andy Rock's Vinyl Nite died it's untimely death when I took my records back, but Thursday night at Olive's still rocks. Andy has introduced an open mic night dedicated to METAL. When Andy, Chris 'Formerly The Guy' Peters, and I took the stage, I gave the house a Roots of METAL set, which opened with the prerequisite Andy/Jackson rocking out of Lou's 'Sweet Jane' a la 'Rock and Roll Animal', then Andy suggested some Zeppelin. Well I've never done a Zeppelin song in all my twenty years of performing, until last night. We did 'Immigrant Song' and 'Good Times, Bad Times'. Now, I do not have the pipes required to sing a reverential version, so I gave both tunes a Johnny Rotten feel, and y'know.....it worked. And what's more, it was fun. We then turned the night over to endless riffage of thrash, and I played pool.


Dave! Take it easy, it's gonna be okay. Here, smoke this......

The word is that he's in a loony bin in South Africa, now that sounds crazy.


Well Benedict has put a kabash on the standard five year waiting period before the beatification process can begin, putting the late JP II on the fast track to sainthood. They just need a miracle, that is to say they need to attribute a miracle to him. Well it's a miracle that he fooled the whole world into believing he was this benevolent dude, when in actuality he was travelling around the world putting a smiley face on the same old repression. Anway, I'm sure they'll drum up something.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Feild reporter Tony Alva get's the scoop of the week. At the Stones press conference yesterday, and during the three songs played at the Lincoln Center, no cigarette's were seen being consumed by notorious tobacco hounds, and champions of addictive behavior, Keith Richards and Ron Wood. Can it be true? The 'Ask Keith' section of keithrichards.com has new video clips of Keith responding to questions posed by fans, and the smoking is suspiciously absent there as well. Tony also says the evidence is in Keith's voice, which, says Tony, is more clear and a bit higher in tone than it has been in many years. Smoking was what kept Keith mortal. A non-smoking Keith could well last into the next millenium.

Monday, May 09, 2005


I took my Baby to the MET to see the Chanel exhibit. At first I saw it as a trade off, I wanted to see the Arbus (which was great, see Jason' post - http://chervokas.typepad.com/trickster/2005/04/diane_arbus_rev.html), and she wanted to see the Chanel. Well, much to my surprise I quite enjoyed Cocco's show. It's more than clothes and jewelry, it's more than fashion, it's art in a conscious sense. I am no fashion expert, but the class, style, and elegance of her creations go beyond trend. I found myself fascinated with the quotes that accompany the vitrenes; one from Cocco, one from Karl. In reading them I got a sense of the artists that looking at the suits could not give me. Not that the suits weren't impressive, but alas, I find women's clothing much more exciting when there's a woman in it.


This weekend I went to a junior high school production of Alice In Wonderland. I was biased of course, because my niece stole the show as the Caterpillar, but I enjoyed the production immensely. Lewis Carroll's enduring classic tale of paranoia transcends the ages much the way Shakespeare does. We are bound to Time and Space, and Lewis doesn't let you forget it. Post Sixties, it's hard to remove the 'psychedelic' from Alice, that decade has changed Carroll's work forever. One cannot resist the urging from our subconscious to FEED YOUR HEAD, as Grace Slick suggested, and one shouldn't bother, because the shoe fits. ALICE is about discomfort, being out of place, and the inability to do anything about it. Sounds like an acid trip to me, but it has more to do, on it's surface, with the dream state. We've all had those dreams, running but not getting anywhere, asking questions that don't get answered, or at least to our satisfaction, which relate to paranoia. Opium use was rampant in Victorian England, so the question of drug references in ALICE date back to it's original composition. Was Lewis an opium smoker - we do not know for sure, but it seems highly likely, the effect of opium being a heightened dream state, or lucid dreaming. Most likely ALICE is both a social commentary, and what it has endured as - a classic tale that delights children, and intrigues adults.


I've read all the books. I saw the early eighties BBC TV show. I waited years for the feature film, and finally the moment arrived. Well, I really liked Mos Def, he seemed to 'get it', Bill Nighy is fast becoming my favorite actor, and Sam Rockwell as Zaphod was a perfect choice. But, well, it was just okay. I think it was just too much to try and do in a movie, and Douglas Adams' dry wit doesn't seem to translate well on the big screen. There are some great moments, but over all, I was underwhelmed.


SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- A woman who sued a neighbor after his dog mauled her cat to death has been awarded more than $45,000. Retired teacher Paula Roemer's 12-year-old cat, Yofi, was attacked in her back yard in February 2004 by a chow belonging to her neighbor, Wallace Gray. The dog had repeatedly escaped in the past, according to the lawsuit.
Roemer, 71, said the death of the black and white cat left her with sleep disturbances, panic attacks and depression, causing her to begin smoking heavily. The amount awarded included $30,000 for the pet's special value and $15,000 for emotional distress. - CNN

Am I alone in seeing this as a sign that things are getting out of control? The damn cat was tewlve years old, it was gonna die soon anyway. She should be thankful the Chow put the cat down for her.


"The Republicans' hands aren't clean on this either. What we did with Bill Clinton's nominees -- about 62 of them -- we just didn't give them votes in committee or we didn't bring them up," Sen. Hagel said.

Give us a Judge we can get behind, and we'll give you a vote. Otherwise, order in some pizza's because it's gonna be a while...


"Overall in 2003, there were 3.7 billion hours of travel delay and 2.3 billion gallons of wasted fuel for a total cost of more than $63 billion." - CNN

I realize that outside of New York mass transit is a tough sell, but c'mon now people, let's get it together. Not owning a car has saved me an incalculable amount of money over the past twelve years. Now if I could only remeber what I did with the money.....

Friday, May 06, 2005


COLUMBUS, Georgia (AP) -- A high school student was suspended for 10 days for refusing to end a cell phone call with his mother, a soldier serving in Iraq, school officials said.

Apparently he was suspended for his reaction to the reqeust that he hang up. He used profanity. Shit, I'd fucking tear up the joint. In fact, if anybody wants to fly me down there I will. I have always been intolerant of those who abuse their power. Fuck your rules fucker! It's his fucking Mom, and she's a fucking soldier in fucking Iraq for fuck sake.

On the other hand, a ten day suspension while mom's away could be cool....


When I was a wee youngster in the 70's I collected 45's - singles. I remember having 'What A Night (December 63)' by Frankie Valley, which still holds up - great bass line, awesome bridge. I had 'Life in The Fast Lane' by the Eagles, I think the B-side was 'New Kid In Town' I had 'Rubber Band Man', 'The Streak' by Ray Stevens, but the one that sticks with me is Three Dog Night's 'Sham Ba La' with 'The Show Must Go On'. Sham Ba La is a great melody, and being that Three Dog Night was basically a vocal act, they really lay the harmony on, and it's very effective. I still spontaneously break out into the chorus: "Where does your light shine, in the halls of Sham Ba La...." The flip side though, is where it's at. The backing track is your standard caliope circus/fairground feel. There must be a name for that tune, anyway it's the lead vocal that get's me every time.

"Baby, although I chose this lonely life
It seems it's stranglin' me now
All the wild men, big cigars, gigantic car
They're all laughin' at the lie"

The vocal is so huge, and the expression so deadly, not to mention the lyric, which, thirty years later, seems to describe my life so perfectly....

"Baby, there's an enormous crowd of people
They're all after my blood
I wish they'd tear down the walls of this theatre
Let me out, let me out

Oh, I'm so blind Oh, I'm blind
I wasted time, Wasted, wasted, oh so much time
Walkin' on the wire, high wire
But I must let the show go on"

I know the High Wire, yes sir, indeed.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The last 58.5 million acres of untouched national forests, which President Clinton had set aside for protection, were opened to possible logging, mining and other commercial uses by the Bush administration Thursday.

Ever been to Engalnd? They used all their trees, and it rains a lot, the food is bad, and they talk funny. Do we want that for ourselves? Obviously G.W. has bought into the whole Endtimers deal. He figures we're all done for anyway, so why bother with ecological conservation. It explains his Social Security plan as well.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


I'm actually kind of eager to see how much worse of a movie George Lucas can make. The downward spiral that began with Return of the Jedi should come to it's unwatchable conclusion with the release of the next, and hopefully last movie in a series that began so well. I blame George. He's out of touch, can't write a decent script, won't pay for one, and is able to somehow elicit lukewarm to downright bad performances from some of todays most talented actors. When will it end?


AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) -- Texas lawmakers sent a message to the state's high school cheerleaders Wednesday: no more booty-shaking at the game.



Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not a creation of the Modelo brewing company designed to sell more Corona. On May 5th, 1862, the Mexican Army, under the command of General Zaragosa defeated the French Army at the battle of Peubla. The French had designs to install the Hapsburg prince Maximilian as King of Mexico. If the French were successful, they would have been in position to offer the United States Confederate Army with the kind of support that could have turned the tide of the American Civil War in favor of the Confederacy. We should thank them. I am celebrating Cinco de Mayo with lunch from Uncle Moe's, which is my favorite taco purveyor in the neighborhood. I love tacos. A taco has a corn tortilla shell. The corn tortilla is a wonderful invention that has improved the quality of my life, and for that I thank the Mexicans as well. I must stress the fact that flour tortillas are for burritos. The 'chicken soft taco' that you might find in a fake Mexican joint, say Taco Bell, are fake tacos. In fact Taco Bell has very little to do with Mexico, and should change their name to Fake Taco Bell. Since I am at work, I can't indulge in my favorite Mexican beer, Pacifico. Pacifico, which is not made by the Modelo Brewing Company, is far superior to Corona. I do enjoy Negra Modelo, which is heartier than Corona. I really don't care for Corona at all actually. It's proper name is Corona Extra, I guess the 'Extra' stands for extra bland. Anyway, spend a moment today pondering how Mexico has improved your life, because like it or not, it probably has.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

33 1/3

I love rock music, and I love to read. It follows that I love to read about rock music. I have read many bio's; Morrison, Joplin, Lennon, Marley, Lynott, Lydon.....ect. Invariably I am let down because the author wants to tell the story of the Person, often leaving out or glossing over years of activity. The last five years of Bob Marley's life, according to 'Catch A Fire' take up only twenty pages of a five-hundred page book, barely mentioning classic albums such as 'Exodus', 'Uprising' and 'Survival'.
I want to know about the music. How it was made, where it was made, who made it, what gear did they use, but nobody writes those books.......except these guys. The 33 1/3 book series (Continuum Books), which Fred has blogged about, is fantastic. I've read two, The Kinks: Village Green Preservation Society, and The Stones: Exile. They were both extremely informative, and I recomend them and the series. I plan on reading The Ramones one next, followed by The Replacements Let It Be. There's also Neil Young: Harvest, Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures, Dusty Springfeild: Dusty In Memphis...a crap load, and I plan on devouring them.


"GREENBELT, Maryland (AP) -- Two groups filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to block a health curriculum that would allow discussions of homosexuality with eighth graders, and a video to be shown to sophomores demonstrating how to use a condom. Parents must sign permission forms for their children to take part in the health curriculum and parents can sit in on the sessions. Families also can choose alternatives that include abstinence-only programs." - CNN

So what's wrong with that?

And this is absurd:

"However, those suing argue the county does not do enough to stress abstinence or allow people the groups describe as formerly gay to present their views." - CNN

Formerly gay? The only formerly gay people are curently dead people.


As a child of a major service academy, I find the recent religous intolerance at the Air Force Academy very disturbing, and I can't help but see it as part of a dangerous trend going on in our country.


"Among the allegations are that cadets are frequently pressured to attend chapel and take religious instruction, particularly in the evangelical Christian faith; that prayer is a part of mandatory events at the academy; and that in at least one case a teacher ordered students to pray before beginning their final examination. The report said it found that non-Christian cadets are subjected to "proselytization or religious harassment" by more senior cadets; and that cadets of other religions are subject to discrimination, such as being denied passes off-campus to attend religious services. The report said that in at least two cases "highly qualified individuals were dissuaded from attending the academy ... after learning of the official culture of religious intolerance and hostility toward those who do not subscribe to and practice evangelical Christianity." -CNN


I can't believe John Rocker has the balls to play for a Long Island ball team, I can beleive he had an altercation with a fan:

As Rocker left the field, Dave Macken of Atlantic City, a Surf fan sitting near the visitors dugout, yelled, "It's a long way from Atlanta." According to Macken, Rocker replied, "I'm still a millionaire and you're a piece of [expletive]." Macken told The Press of Atlantic City that the two then exchanged vulgarities. - CNN/SI

So why, if you are so wealthy, are you playing for the Long Isalnd Ducks John? Me thinks you're the peice of explicative.


"We know there are a bunch of homesick men and women over there, and to be able to do something. ... How do you put words to it? You have to do something. I can do salamis," Marc Brummer said.

Marc Brummer is an American Hero, pledging to send 23,000 salamis to our troops in Iraq. I wish we saw more of this. It makes me think about what I can do. I can send 23,000 mp3's of christian rock.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has issued a report to Congress that said the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan could hamstring the U.S. ability to fight other wars, a senior military official told CNN.

President Bush responded by putting his hands over his ears and repeating the phrase: "I'm not listening, la la la la."


I don't have television. No cable, no rabbitt ears, no O'Reilly, and most importantly - No Rosie. If I did have television, I might have accidently come across Rosie O'Donnel staring in "Riding The Bus With My Sister'. Now the movie is based on a book, which is based on actual events, and it is not my aim to belittle those afflicted with mental illness, autism, developmental challenges, or learning disabilities, but isn't casting Rosie as a mentally challenged individual like casting David Lee Roth as a rock star? Can't we just watch re-runs of her show and get the same effect? I am sure it was an easy shoot. Put Rosie in front of a camera - instant retard.


The President's Chief of Staff and Whining complained yesterday that Democrats weren't just rolling over and letting the Republicans get on with their subjugation of the American populace.
"It's just not fair," claimed Card, "We spent millions buying control of House and Senate, and those cowards (Democrats) are impeding progress. How are we supposed to force our agenda on the masses with all these silly filibusters going on, and how are we going to change the Constitution to suit our goals if we can't get our biased judges appointed?"

(I've translated his quotes, which were originally in Republican Double Speak)

Monday, May 02, 2005


PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (AP) -- Former President Bill Clinton lashed out at the Bush administration's energy policies Friday, criticizing them as "dumb economics" during a wide-ranging speech to a friendly crowd at Brown University.

I see it more as self serving than dumb.

Now serving Bush Toast, buttered on both sides....


"The Kansas Board of Education has scheduled six days of courtroom-style hearings (on teaching evelution) to begin Thursday in Topeka. More than two dozen witnesses will give testimony and be subject to cross-examination, with the majority expected to argue against teaching evolution." - CNN

Tow dozen witnesses? How is that possible? "Yes, your honor, I saw God create the world in seven days. I remember being greatly impressed. I figured it'd take a month at least, but that God, he's a workaholic." Or: "Yes, I knew Mr. Darwin. A total loon your honor, in fact he never left England, the Beagle was a tree-house in Surrey."

"I feel like I'm in a time warp here," said Topeka attorney Pedro Irigonegaray who has agreed to defend evolution as valid science. "To debate evolution is similar to debating whether the Earth is round. It is an absurd proposition."

"Talking about creationism in biology class is like talking about nudism in sewing class." -- Chris Pace


I moved this weekend. It took me the better part of two weeks, off and on, to aggregate my matter for relocation. All I own comes down to: Books, Records, and Clothes. I parted with many articles of clothing, but something inside me makes me horde books, and then there's the record collection. Twelve milk-crates of vinyl (plus a bankers box). I had been estimating it's girth at eleven hundred volumes, sadly I was short of that mark by one hundred and twenty-one. 979 is where I stand. I didn't count the books, I don't feel the same way about books. I don't really collect them, I just don't throw them away. I give them away alot, lending without expecting a return. I don't mind, I want people to read. Vinyl on the other hand, well that's an obsession really. During my inventory I noticed two LP's missing. Out of 979, I actually knew that I was missing my Bob Marley 'Burnin', and my Jeff Beck 'Wired'. Turns out 'Wired' was actually Andy's (mine wen't missing long ago) and he had lent 'Burnin', along with my Staples Singers record to a mutual freind who has since returned them to the fold. I found out recently that you can buy milk-crates now. That takes all the fun out of it. I am proud to say that every one of my twelve milk crates is stolen property. So now I must go and purchase twenty-one records, and steal two more crates. - come and get me milk cops!


"We stole this land fair and square!" Shouted Natan Sharansky at a press conference where he offered his resignation from the Isreali Cabinet in response to Sharon's proposed Gaza pull-out. "We fought long and hard for this strip of land we stole. This whole thing just sucks" An aid to Sharansky added.

(he did resign for that very reason, but my quotes may not be accurate)

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