Wednesday, May 31, 2006

song of the day: "star witness" by neko case

from her Fox Confessor Brings The Flood album.

“Star Witness” (music and lyrics by Neko Case)

My true love drowned
In a dirty old pan of oil
That did run from the block
Of a Falcon sedan 1969
The paper said '75
There were no survivors
None found alive

Trees break the sidewalk
And the sidewalk skins my knee
There's glass in my thermos
And blood on my jeans
Nickels and dimes
Of the 4th of July
Roll off in a crooked line
To the chain-link lots
Where the red-tails die
Oh how I'd forgot
What it's like

Hey when she sings
When she sings
When she sings like she runs
Moves like she runs
Hey when she moves
When she moves
When she moves like she runs
Moves like she runs
Hey there there's such dandy wolves
Round town tonight
Round the town tonight
Hey there there's such dandy wolves
Round town tonight
Round the town tonight

Hey pretty baby get high with me
We can go to my sister's
If you say we'll watch the baby
The look on your face
Yanks my neck on the chain
And I would do anything
(I would do anything)
To see you again
So I fall in behind

Hey when she sings
When she sings
When she sings like she runs
Moves like she runs
Hey when she moves
When she moves
When she moves like she runs
Moves like she runs
Hey there there's such dandy wolves
Round town tonight
Round the town tonight
Hey there there's such dandy wolves
Round town tonight
Round the town tonight

Go on, go on and scream and cry
You're miles from where anyone will find you
This is nothing new
No television crew
They don't even put on the siren
My nightgown sweeps the pavement
Don't let him die
Oh how I forgot

Sunday, May 28, 2006

the rumors are true

eMusicwill end their 50 Free Download promotion at the end of the month, so turn off the war movies and jump upon it (I believe the new promotion will offer 25 Free Downloads).

Last Book Read: Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson, a thoroughly researched account of Lincoln's assassination and the attempted escape by John Wilkes Booth.
Turns out that Booth's killer was one Boston Corbett, "a quirky English immigrant who adopted the name 'Boston' to honor the city in which he found Christ."
(so Jesus is a Red Sox fan, huh?)
"Quirky," however, is an understatement.
Corbett, "having perused the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of Matthew," took a pair of scissors and made an opening one inch long in the lower part" of his own scrotum. "He then drew the testes down and cut them off."
After performing the operation, Corbett "went to a prayer meeting" and "ate a hearty dinner."
Corbett achieved some short-term notoriety for his revenge of Lincoln's death, as well as $1,653.84 in reward money.
He "got a job as assistant doorkeeper of the Kansas House of Representatives" but soon after "drew a revolver and held the legislature hostage."
Corbett was committed to an asylum but escaped the following year, never to be heard from again.

Last DVD Watched: Friday Night Lights
After a good start the film self-castrates its own realism in favor of a stock Hollywood ending.
Call it Hoosiers Light (except it’s football in Texas instead of basketball in Indiana. And they split the drunk, crazy parent in two and don’t let him/her coach.
And, oh yeah, they lose).
But country singer Tim McGraw is surprisingly good as one half of the drunk/crazy tandem.

Off to do some transcribing in front of one of two relatively unappetizing baseball games: Mets at Marlins or Royals at Yankees.

50 FREE Downloads. eMusic for your iPod® or any MP3 player

Saturday, May 27, 2006

mlb on fox

Lou Pinella is the worst Fox color commentator since the network hired
Bret Boone a couple playoffs back (a disaster by all accounts).

the former Devil Rays manager's monotone voice is a perfect match for his extraordinarily inane comments: Tom Glavine "is pitching well" (duh - he's struck out four without a hit or a walk in the first three innings), "the Mets have a good lineup," most every member of the Marlins is "a good young player," and Dontrelle Willis, in particular, is not only a "good-looking pitcher" but "a good young hitter" as well. even Mets utility man Chris Woodward has been singled out as "a good little hitter."

(Glavine just struck out Hanley Ramirez with "a good fastball" and then David Wright got "a really good jump" on a grounder by Dan Uggla, leading Pinella to conclusively determine that "Wright's a good third baseman.")

but don't think that Pinella doesn't do his research.
we just learned that he saw a couple of the Marlins games in Tampa Bay last weekend. and despite being swept in three by the Devil Rays, Pinella says they played "good baseball."

"good" God, we're only in the fifth inning.

Friday, May 26, 2006

more death and taxes

as much as I would love for commander van poots to remain my lead blog entry, it seems important to note that Desmond Dekker, most notable for the songs "Israelites" and "007 (Shanty Town)," passed away this week at his home in London.
Dekker was 63.

the rude boy icon is generally acknowledged as the first Jamaican artist to break into the US Top Ten pop charts with a Jamaican song ("Israelites").

god bless Desmond Dekker.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

commander van poots

At Ease: Navy Men of World War II
it's Fleet Week here in New York.

and for you non-residents, this means that boats (really big ones) have docked and Manhattan is now crawling with men in crisp, white sailor suits.

today the New York Sun posted an article on this unique springtime phenomenon entitled "After the High Seas, How Tough Can New York City Be?" (uh, really, really tough?)

the piece generously quotes a Lieutenant Commander Michael Van Poots (what could I possibly say here that would increase the enjoyment of knowing that someone has actually traveled through life attached to the moniker Commander Van Poots?).

here's an excerpt for those of you who are link-challenged:

"'New Yorkers make gracious hosts,' Lieutenant Commander Michael Van Poots, a nuclear engineer who spent five years on active duty, said. 'In every restaurant, someone would offer to pay for our lunch,' he said. 'When we visited the New York Stock Exchange, the president of the exchange took us onto the trading floor. New York is one of the most welcoming cities,' he said, recalling how taxi drivers and other motorists would honk at him and wave."

(yeah, I'm sure that's what they were doing.

a slightly different take on Fleet Week can be found at

sail away review

my review of Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman is up today at Cleveland Scene.

what follows is what we'll call the director's cut:

Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman
Various Artists
(Sugar Hill)

by Rob Trucks

For many, Randy Newman resides as the sardonic voice of Southern California, a Hollywood icon with multitudinous Oscar nominations for songs like “I Love to See You Smile” (Parenthood) and “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” (Toy Story). Those with longer memories might pair Newman with that vehicular celebration of the left coast, “I Love L.A.,” or the politically correct backwash which followed the tide of his “Short People” success.” That is, until a reprise of his thirty-year-old tune, “Louisiana 1927,” and its devastating chorus “they’re trying to wash us away,” became the unwitting soundtrack to Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.

And if “Louisiana” reminded the nation of Newman’s broader reach, then Sail Away drives the point home by expanding into Americana like Manifest Destiny. Multiple artists (Sonny Landreth, The Duhks, Bela Fleck and Steve Earle to name but a few) employ multiple styles (blues, folk, bluegrass and alt-country respectively), drawing the work away from the wry, piano-based observer and reconstructing it with banjos and mandolins and slide guitars, further staking (as if there was any question) Randy Newman’s claim as one of this country’s premier songwriters, without restriction of geography or genre.

(I really kinda liked the "expanding into Americana like Manifest Destiny" line)

commander van poots

so we went to 66, another Jean-Georges restaurant last night, because what you do if you finish work at 5:30 and go to a concert at 8 o'clock is you go and have dinner.
the space was nice, if overly white (not helped by the fact that it was pre-sundown), almost glaringly so, and our server was very conscientious, but the food was nothing to write home about. and, of course, pricey.
(I wasn't thrilled by Spice Market either. and though I know that it's old and tired by restaurant world standards, I'll stick with Vong amongst the NYC Jean-Georges establishments)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

happy bob dylan's 65th birthday

we went to the Mets-Phillies game with a rather large group tonight (or officially last night?).

they're still playing.

top of the 15th at 12:14 EST. tied at 8.

we left in the top of the eighth with the Phillies up 8-5.

it was cold, and windy, in New York tonight (or officially last night?).

Friday, May 19, 2006

most days

preoccupations are pointed towards the future (as opposed to past, present or pluperfect tense).
like, if I’ve got interviews scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, a show on Thursday and a feature due a week from Monday, then whatever household chores (dishes in the sink, laundry, ironing) are overdue, whatever relaxation (renting a DVD) is overdue, (call the former the “my life as a library book” analogy), all writing prep work (transcribing/Internet research/listening to whoever I’m going to be interviewing/whatever I’m going to be writing about (though the listening is never ever scheduled – more like that’s the music I’m playing while washing dishes, listening to on the iPod during subway commutes)) has to be taken care of on the weekend.
and I guess that’s a good thing. at least it works most of the time.

and then there are days like today.

it’s been a long week.
Monday morning we woke up in New Jersey which always makes the following few days feel more compressed. I had a feature for No Depression due today that I allowed to overshadow most of the past week plus (the overhanging due date cloud, not unlike the dustbowl that follows Pig Pen around). former bandmate Dan Hall and The Woggles played The Cake Shop on Ludlow Street last night (which made for a late evening return home) and multiple other considerations.

so what, (addie & moses) pray tell, is next?

no interviews scheduled (though two are in the planning stage), the nearest writing due date is over a week away (an eternity by comparison, and it’s a small piece) and I’m not so good at the relaxation thing so all in all that void, that emptiness following the push to multiple deadlines is in the house and taking up a lot of space.

songs of the week (each listened to multiple times for various reasonings, with no time to actually, you know, list them previously, like when they were being listened to. or something):

“Don’t Give It Up Now” – The Lyres – On Fyre
“Help Me Ann” – The Lyres – On Fyre
“She Pays The Rent” – The Lyres – On Fyre
"And The Healing Has Begun" - Van Morrison - Into The Music
“Amerika 6.0 (The Best We Can Do)” – Steve Earle – Jerusalem
"Smothered In Hugs" - Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand
"The Right Thing" - Robert Pollard - From A Compound Eye
"Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" - Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country
“Patience For The Ride” – Centro-Matic – Fort Recovery
“For New Starts” – Centro-Matic – Fort Recovery
"Cheer Up (You Miserable F*&k)" - David Ford - I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I've Caused
"Hospital Bed" - Ben Kweller - On My Way
"Button My Lip" - Elvis Costello - The Delivery Man
"Sharpest Thorn" - Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - The River In Reverse
"What Do You Want That Girl To Do?" - Lowell George - Thanks I'll Eat It Here
“Love Kills” – Joe Strummer - Sid & Nancy

somebody may be moving to Princeton

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

monday night

so yeah, I should've been working on any number of things (the No Depression feature due this Friday maybe?), but I got distracted. I signed up for eMusic's 50 free downloads and went kinda nutso (at 1:30 this morning I had 9 left so consider this a recommendation): Centro-Matic and their splinter group South San Gabriel, some Lyres I'd been wanting for a while, some Neko Case, etc. etc. etc.

definitively worth a try, and I imagine I'll stay with it once the membership begins (about 25 cents a download).

50 FREE Downloads. eMusic for your iPod® or any MP3 player

Sunday, May 14, 2006

song of the day: randy newman's "a wedding in cherokee county"

from his Good Old Boys album.

in between celebratory breaths of Mother's Day air I worked on a review of Sail Away, a compilation of Randy Newman songs by various and asundry Americana artists. unfortunately or not, "cherokee county" wasn't among them. but the oversight gave me a chance to play the tune over and over, my own vocal interpretation right on top, practicing up for my big comeback.

literal book on the figurative nightstand: Chuck Eddy's The Accidental Evolution of Rock 'n' Roll

Friday, May 12, 2006

album of the day: hole's live through this

which means, you know, that we're not off to a great start here.

short piece on Tara Jane O'Neil in this week's Cleveland Scene

Thursday, May 11, 2006

the unintentional maria bello film festival

thanks to our name coming up in the queue for A History of Violence at New York Public Library, near simultaneous with finding a Secret Window DVD on the shelves (because we’re going through a Johnny Depp phase too), we’ve celebrated a mini-Maria Bello Film Festival over the past two nights.

that will come to an end this evening. not because we have other plans necessarily, but I’m guessing it’s not worth sitting through Coyote Ugly just to keep a streak alive.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Saturday, May 6, 2006

mixed emotions

yes indeedy, emotions in a roil.

I'm quite torn about ever updating the blog again given that a couple days ago my Google search box populated itself with all sorts of interesting links to Dayton, Ohio. a Dayton job search, realtor, lodging options, access to the local classifieds - you name it. and that's just so fricking beautiful I don't want to ever change (for about a week the top entry link was to a Christian bookstore - which is fine and all, I just never saw the connection).

also, I had songs of the day for Tuesday (a Guided by Voices selection), Wednesday (Rodney Crowell) and Friday (an Allen Toussaint-penned number covered by Lowell George), but the backdating feature on Blogger disappeared months ago (at least to my eyes), though you can still see a blip of it go by when the new post is created.
I'll save the Songs of the Day for a later time since I don't want to duplicate (though I've been sorely tempted to designate Lambchop's "Up With People" more than once) and I imagine that these three will likely appear in my brain again.

two of the three are direct results of spending parts of three days at The Canal Room for the Tribeca Film Festival's ASCAP Music Lounge.
my buddy Will was in town Tuesday and Wednesday to play with Rodney Crowell and I went to both shows. the ASCAP staff - Loretta and Julie and Tami, et al - were just as nice as they could be, and thanks to Loretta I was able to attend Friday's much-anticipated set by Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint.

good cracker. gooooood cracker.

Tuesday afternoon I maneuver around James "Blood" Ulmer to retrieve a warmish Mtn Dew (the frig worked better on Wednesday) and the following day participated in a nice conversation with Josh Ritter about the difference between crudites and hors d'ouevres (we're still not certain).

Tuesday evening Will, my friend Rob, my spouse and I had a lovely dinner at my mother's favorite NYC restaurant, the Cowgirl. Wednesday night yielded a scrumptious repast with my spouse, Will and Rodney at a long-time favorite Piccolo Angolo, also in the West Village (order the lobster canneloni; trust me).
Thursday night Rob and I went to the Mets game to see Tom Glavine look quite masterful in shutting down my beloved (and woeful) Pirates (now shutout in two consecutive games), and all that activity should go some ways in explaining why Songs of the Day didn't get posted earlier in the week.

so of course by Friday evening (and there was of course writing and editing and the like going on as well) I was 'xhausted, but my spouse and I made a half-hearted attempt to view the Elvis/Toussaint documentary, Putting the River in Reverse. neither of us, however, possessed the energy nor the patience to stand in line to see if we would be allowed to buy tickets so we headed down to Great Jones for dinner, back up to The Strand for shopping (it's like a museum - a bit overwhelming, as in I can never remember just what books I'm looking for once I get inside) before heading home.
a long week.

today should be filled by transcribing interviews with Carl Palmer (famed drummer of Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and Mark Pickerel (former drummer for Screaming Trees) and a late afternoon interview with Adam Goldman (not a drummer) of Bedroom Walls.
which is more than enough for an off-day.

and the final emotional rollercoaster rides the track of image selection. I've never posted a picture in the blog that shows my face. and I pretty much like it that way. but I'm considering breaking the non-existent rule just this once since it's a nice shot of Rodney (editor's note: why mess with success? I cropped myself out. photo credit: my friend Ted).

happy birthdays this week (May 1-8) to Will, Charlie Froelich, Wayne and Gann.