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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


It was a Halloween Multiple Birthday Bash.


Many great Costumes.

Many great friends.

Malota as Reagan (Exorcist) gets the blue ribbon.

Jackson is gonna take you.........downtown!

Cleopatra Jones will simply kick your ass......if you start messin' around.

It was a great night.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Unbeknownst to eachother, the Legal Diva and I both bought vinyl this past weekend. She bought hers from a street vendor; I got mine at Ear Wax in ATL.


War - Greatest Hits. Great find, I'm sure it will get rotation at our party this weekend. I believe Rod suggested I get some War on this blog recently.

Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway. I have the 'Killing Me Softly' record. The Donny Hathaway portion, I'm sure, is part of my education.

Donna Summer - Greatest Hits. I'm so glad she bought this, I'd be too embarrassed. I'm sure we'll hear some of this record on Saturday as well.


I already blogged the two Lone Star records. The self titled 1976 debut, produced by Roy Thomas Baker, and it's successor, and the bands swan song, 'Firing On All Six', produced by Gary Lyons in 1977. I gave 'em each a spin (side 1 for both). I'd lump them in with City Boy and Crack the Sky, melodic hard rock that flirts with prog. The first record opens with a way over the top cover of 'She Said, She Said'. It's kinda fun in a novelty way, plus, hell, it's a Lennon/McCartney tune, and one of my faves. The first record also came with a slip sheet insert with a promo blurb about the band. They are from Wales, not Texas. Who'd a thunk it. It goes on to say that they 'have a head start on their rivals' (rivals?), and that they 'will have little trouble grabbing the crown of highest success with their explosive, dynamic music.'. It's important to note that this band went absolutely nowhere; dropped after their second effort. I kinda dig 'em though. It's my cup of tea; an odd tea none the less.

The Isley Brothers - Harvest For The World. Classic. I'm definitely buying more Isleys records. Produced by the Isleys in 1976.

The Brothers Johnson - Look Out For #1. Tony Alva always praised this very funky and melodic record. You can't go wrong with a dude called Thunder Thumbs. Produced by Quincy Jones in 1976.

Isaac Hayes - Black Moses. A seminal record, and a double disc at that. A HUGE score, except, I noticed later that it's pressed on what is called 'Dynaflex' vinyl. Seriously thin discs that were supposed to last longer and be resistant to pops and skips as well as less likely to warp. Well it don't sound so hot, and I'm sure it was just a money saving ploy by the record company, Enterprise, a division of Stax. In the end, Isaac is the man, and I'll live with it. Produced by Isaac in 1971.

Tommy James and the Shondells - The Best Of. A necessary purchase. Hanky Panky may be the greatest song ever written, and then there's all the other hits.

Eddie Money - Eddie Money. The Legal Diva has a thing for Eddie. I encourage it, anything to get her dancing. She's happy when she dances. 'Baby Hold On To Me' is a great hook, and I'll always have a soft spot for 'Two Tickets To Paradise' because Talon played it.

Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes - Wake Up Everybody. If this one is anything like 'Now Is The Time' then I'm in very good shape here.

Black Oak Arkansas - X Rated. As I said to Tony; 'Every once in a while I buy a Black Oak Arkansas record'. I guess it was time. This one looks very bad. The other one I have isn't very good either. Neither has their hit 'Jim Dandy' on it. There's got to be something going on in the rhythm section with Tommy Aldridge back there, so, I got that going for me.

Glenn Campbell - By The Time I Get To Phoenix, and Galveston. Combined with 'Wichita Lineman', which I already had, I now have the Glenn Campbell/Jimmy Webb trilogy. Good stuff.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Rock won't die as long as I keep it on life support.

After the game on Saturday, Tony and Mrs. Alva took me to Ear Wax, a vinyl shop in ATL.

I can't blog the list of purchases as the Legal Diva bought some vinyl over the weekend as well, and we haven't had the chance to share our good fortune with each other yet, but I am compelled to reveal a certain find, or finds as it were.

Collecting is a compulsion guided by specific but arbitrary rules.

Part of my rule set is based on association. If I like Neil Young, I also need to buy, unfortunately, some albums with David Crosby and Graham Nash on them.

If I buy Peter Gabriel records, I'm in for some Genesis.

At Ear Wax I found, not one, but both Lone Star records.

The Lone Star association is UFO.

Micheal Schenker bolted on UFO twice. The first time was during the 'Light's Out' tour. The band called in Paul Chapman, of Lone Star, to finish the tour. When Schenker quit again, after the 'Obsession' tour, they brought back Paul who would be their guitar player for much of the eighties.

I haven't really heard any of it yet. Our home stereo amp lost it's left channel during the last party. I thought I had a replacement, a Chrispy street find, but it didn't work out.

I'm gonna get a new one in the morning.


I still love football.

I had a great football weekend. I was down in ATL hanging with Tony Alva, Mrs. Alva, Lil' Alva the future baker/aviator, and their critters, F.B. and Lucy.

The main reason for the trip was to help Tony wire his studio, as Grey Cat Sound moved along with the rest of the Alva's possessions to new digs. And nice digs they are.

Saturday found the Alva clan, including Tony's esteemed father and notorious comedian, Double Nickle Dave, and myself, along with the Alva's tailgate crew, at the Georgia Tech vs. Army game. The Alva's and I are, of course, Black Knight fans, and we brought spirit. Unfortunately that's mostly all that the Black Knights brought, and, alas, the damned Yellow Jackets won.

At any rate, it's nice to be in the stands, and the paratroopers were great.

Sunday was Wire Up the Patch Bay Day. If you have to ask, you'll never know. It's a heavy gig, but Tony and I work well together, and it went very smoothly.

Much more smoothly than the Jets.

I was able to monitor the Falcons/Saints game, but I didn't see any of it. I saw the end of the Jet game though. All I can say is; man that soup was good.

The Giants won.

I went 6/8.

Week 8 picks:

Detroit over Chicago

Oakland over Tennessee

Cleveland over St. Louis

Minnesota over Philly

Giants over Miami

Pittsburgh over Cincinnati

Carolina over Indy

Jets over Bills

Tampa over Jacksonville

Houston over San Diego

New Orleans over San Fran

Washington over New England

Green Bay over Denver

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


My week 6 record: 5/12


The Jets?


The Saints finally won, so uh......, the Giants won as well.......

Anyway, week 7:

Houston over Tennessee

Tampa Bay over Detroit

New Orleans over ATL

Buffalo over Baltimore

Giants over Niners

Arizona over Washington

Miami over New England

KC over Oakland

Jets over Bengals

Minnesota over Dallas

Chicago over Philly

Seattle over St. Louis

Pittsburgh over Denver

Jacksonville over Indy


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I have always thought in the back of my mind,

Cheese and onions.......


When I first converted my double cut-away Les Paul Jr. to a Keith 5-string G tuning, predictably a mess of Stones tunes started pouring out of it – ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Start Me Up’, all the 1-4 numbers.

That’s the beauty of the 5-string G, the 1-4 move is a matter of sublime simplicity.

Today I picked up the guitar and said to myself – this is me talking here – Have I tried it in F yet?

As I did the 1-4 move in the F position, I said – again me talking – hey, wait a second.

Minutes later I was playing ‘Getaway’ from the ‘Dressed To Kill’ record by Kiss.

I would never have bothered.

That’s another beauty of the 5-string G tuning – you find stuff.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


So far......

My Canucks: 2/1
Hue's Wild: 2/2
Tony's Thrashers: undefeated at 2/0

I gotta find someplace to watch my team.


This season is making me insane, but I kinda like it.

4/10 seems par for the course.

The Bills almost made me happy, and that's a phrase I rarely attach to that team, unless they are losing, being that they are in the Jets division, but, and I gotta fess up here, that was the best game I've seen in a long time. Utter suspense. I still hate the Cowboys, and I still think Romo is a dork, but any team that can win after giving up 5 interceptions, and a fumble (the formentioned dork), well, it's impressive.

I do hope we are witnessing a full breakdown by Romo. We'll see.

At any rate, I think it only proper to say that Papa Robbie is right, Dallas is great, and the Jets stink.

So far, that is; there's a lot of games to be played. The Jets have pulled out of slumps like this before.

I'm still hoping for some serious plague of injury to hit the evil cheating Pats.

I've decided to do away with the two post system in regards to this blog and the NFL. I'm going to do all my picks on Tuesday as well as cover the wrap-up of the prior week.

As well as returning to the simpler, and more satisfying scheme of basing my picks on what I'd like to happen, regardless. I'm also going to get back to my more descriptive style of prognostication.

I'm hoping all this will improve my record: 33/45

My Picks:

KC over Cincinnati - Herm's gonna pull it together

Houston over Jacksonville

Cleveland over Miami - I got a felling about Cleveland....

Green Bay over Washington - I'd like to see Bret do well this year, so he can go away...

St. Louis over Baltimore - shit vs shit - shit wins!

Chicago over Minnesota

Jets over Philly - Thomas Jones was discovered today tied up in a basement, apparently a victim of a kidnapping/impostor scheme, he will suit up and play for the Jets for the first time on Sunday, and run for 800 yards.

Tennessee over Tampa

Arizona over Carolina

Dallas over New England - the dorkier of two evils

Oakland over San Diego

New Orleans over Seattle - the levee has to break sometime.

Giants over ATL - this week Eli develops a personality.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I've come around to the fact that I'm doing horribly with my picks. I've gone back to the Jacksonian method of old, picking from my heart. Tough week to do so - Jets/Giants, Buffalo Dallas, but hey, fuck it, right?

Houston over Miami
KC over Jacksonville
Cleveland over New England
New Orleans over Carolina
Jets over Giants
Pittsburgh over Seattle
Arizona over St. Louis
Detroit over Washington
Tennessee over ATL
Tampa Bay over Indianapolis
Denver over San Diego
San Fran over Baltimore
Green Bay over Chicago
Buffalo over Dallas

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Willie Nelson

Tom Petty

Bo Diddley

Joe Walsh

George Clinton

Joan Jett

Dave Grohl

Chuck D

Izzy Stradlin

Dusty Hill

Yes, they are all musicians..........naturally.

Lou Reed is alone in his own category - so totally not cool that it's really, really cool.


My recent post on reading, in which I praised John Irving, prompted the Legal Diva to pick up 'The World According To Garp', 'The Hotel New Hampshire', and 'A Prayer for Owen Meany'. I suggested that she read them in that order. I started with 'Garp', read 'The Hotel New Hampshire' next, followed by 'The Cider House Rules', and then 'Owen Meany' when it was published in 1989.

John was slow to follow up 'Owen Meany', so at the insistence of Mike the bartender at Caliente I went back and read his first three novels: 'Setting Free the Bears', 'The Water-Method Man', and 'The 158 Pound Marriage'. The latter two didn't leave me with much of an impression, they are decent, but not great.

'Setting Free the Bears', his first novel, however, is a very interesting book, which has prompted a recent re-read, which in turn prompted the post which prompted the purchase that prompted this post.

What's remarkable about 'Setting Free the Bears' is how unusual it is. Irving's arena is the unusual, but his first novel is unusual in relation to his body of work that followed.

'Setting Free the Bears' isn't written in 'the voice'. It's almost as if somebody else wrote it - except for the bears.

As I wrap up that re-read, I look forward to another pass through 'Owen Meany' before I go out and get another copy of 'Son of the Circus' for the Legal Diva to read after she's done with her first course. I think I might just read that one again too...........


Chris and I jammed today. Sadly, it doesn't happen that often, and considering the proximity that we enjoy to the tools and environment necessary, I'd say that is is downright sinful.

Jamming is essential.

I know of, and have known, quite a few musicians who don't, can't, or won't just jam out.

A lot of it is insecurity. There's a certain safety in arrangements. Rehearsal makes you sharp at one particular thing, but it can become an excuse to not ride the edge, not to tread unfamiliar ground, not to risk.

Risk is essential, if you seek to gain anything.

The two years I spent in Albany was filled with jamming. I benefited from it greatly. Before Albany I was guy who had a guitar and wrote songs. After, I was guitar player.

I didn't get great, as some do, but I developed essential skills. Skills such as listening to the other players, playing in time with other players, a physical relationship with my guitar, an understanding of how to make the gear sound like you want it to, and more importantly, how to play drunk.

We had great jams, or so we were convinced. Often the tale of the tape would break us of our delusions, but the bottom line was that we enjoyed ourselves at the same time as expressing ourselves in a group setting.

We communicated.

There's freedom in the jam.

There is joy in the jam.

Joy is good shit.

Monday, October 01, 2007


I went 6-8.


I probably wasn't alone in being wrong about those games.

It's going to be a long season, but it seems to be shaping up to be an interesting one despite the Axis Powers.

A lot changed in the off season. You can't count on beating Houston or Detroit anymore. You can't count on San Diego or the Seahawks to win. There are signs of renaissance in Oakland, San Fran, Tampa, and after last night, I'd say Buffalo can be dangerous if they forget all about Loss-man.

Like everyone else who has bothered to look into it, I have figured out the problem with the Jets.

It's the same problem they have had since Curtis got hurt; they don't have a break-out Running Back.

Perhaps Thomas Jones will solve that problem, but he hasn't yet.

The Jets need the best RB on the planet, like when they had Curtis, to compete, because they have no long passing game. The Jets long ball does not exist, except when Cotchery turns 10 into 30 with yards after the catch.

They are trying. They know.

The Giants defense showed up finally, but they didn't put a whole lot of points on the board. Overall, though, Eli is doing very well, and they could very likely be a contender, which means they could be one of the teams Dallas beats in the post season.

The Axis Powers, the evil Pats, and the Cowboys. Only serious injury to key players, multiple key players - on both teams, could save the season.

So, there's something to hope for along with everything else.


The anniversary of my birth is a month away, to the day, and today the UPS man, resplendent in brown, brought me one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

Yes, that's right, the elusive Angel Witch record.

I have searched for this record for ten years, mostly in used vinyl stores. A few years back I looked around on the web for it without any luck.

It never dawned on me that this LP would be re-issued on vinyl, but it has, and my good friend Mr. L Smart heard my cries of desperation, and he acted.

He found, and had it sent to me.

What a pal!

This seminal NWOBHM album has joined the ranks of the 180 gram re-issues, with gatefold packaging (the original release was a single sleeve), and lots of liner-notes.

Fan Fucking Tastic

I did manage to find a CD of this record about a year ago. I got it because the record had been haunting me, it was a missing piece of my youth, and I had to have it.

I never intended to listen to it much. To be honest, I never thought much of the record back in the day. I have, however, listened to it quite a bit, because I realised that it was in fact a great record.

In retrospect it's one of the better records to come out of the NWOBHM scene. It's much better recorded than Iron Maiden's debut (same year), the songs are better than the ones on the debuts of the rest of their peers: Saxon, Tygers of Pan Tang, Samson, Diamond Head......

Angel Witch didn't have the staying power of Maiden, but in 1980, they were a front-runner.

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