Saturday, January 19, 2019

Snapshot of floor time

The Scene: A child's bedroom, after dinner.

The child and his father are seated on the floor. Father is opening a container of Legos. Child is ignoring his father as the old man is putting together pieces, spinning wheels, and looking for the right piece for a tire rim. Child sits on his father's lap, a rather heavy experience for the old man. Child takes all the Lego pieces, puts them back in the container, moves the container away from his father, then gets up, turns out the light and leaves his father sitting on the bedroom floor.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Gonna smoke a cigarette that's nine miles long

If you follow this blog you've noticed how little activity there has been. You're not the only one. It's been a struggle to keep up with this simple place when a silly tweet or Facebook post is faster to release into the online world.

To be honest I'm barely writing anything, and reading slightly more so, although that's been making a small, positive, return.

I did not even watch as many movies. Sure I'm going through MST3K episodes, watching hockey and almost through with Taggart but to go out to a movie is rare. Even hanging on TCM occurs with less frequency. And ooh, St. Elsewhere is streaming on Hulu, and it's great!

The Westgate Cavern has been my solace in 2018. And it's not necessarily for the cocktails, but the north end where the action is. The Supro, the guitars, the records and the rug. I do spend a lot of time there, and I consider it work and joy - a feeling that has been hard to hand on to in the craziness of our current times.

I've also been listening to more music. In a dramatic shift of life I also stopped doing illegal downloading and made a vow to stop, which I have done. In its place I promised myself I would buy a new record every week of 2018, and I have done so.

And here is what I purchased, legally.

Counterfeit Madison - Opposable Thumbs
Pugwash - Silverlake
Shame - Songs of Praise
Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ - TajMo
Greta Van Fleet - From the Fires
Livingmore - Ok To Land
Belle & Sebastian - How To Solve Our Human Problems Pts. 1-3
Amy Rigby - The Old Guys (V)
Finn & His Rustkickers - Leave You Nothing To Squander
The Breeders - All Nerve
Tracey Thorn - Sister
David Byrne - American Utopia
Howlin’ Wolf - The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection: His Best
Stevie Wonder - Inner-visions
Broken Records - What We Might Know
Sakert! - Daggdjur
Mastersystem - Dance Music
Wreckless Eric - Construction Time and Demolition
John Prine - The Tree of Forgiveness
Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer
Leon Bridges - Good Thing
Reckless Eric and Amy Rigby - A Working Museum
Aidan Moffatt & R.M. Hubbert - Here Lies the Body
Chvrches - Love is Dead
Traceyanne & Danny (V)
Neko Case - Hell-On
You Better Run - The Essential Junior Kimbrough
Tony Hadley - Talking to the Moon
Sloan - A Sides Win
Buddy Guy - The Blues is Alive and Well
The Posies - The Best of the Posies: Dream All Day
Donnie Fritts - Oh My Goodness (V)
Erin Rae - Putting on Airs (V)
Dylan LeBlanc - Cautionary Tale (V)
Florence + the Machine - High as Hope.
Fantastic Negrito - Please Don’t Be Dead
RVG - A Quality of Mercy
She Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood, Rajasthan Express - Junun
Pram - Across the Meridian
Teenage Fanclub - Songs of Northern Britain
Amanda Shires - To The Sunset
Ruby Boots - Don’t Talk About It
Berlin - Animal
Idles - Joy as an Act of Resistance
Francois and the Atlas Mountains - Fleur du Mal
Prince - Piano & a Microphone, 1983
Lilly Hiatt - Royal Blue (V)
Sam Phillips - World on Sticks
KT Tunstall - WAX (V)
John Hiatt - The Eclipse Sessions
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Look Now
Rosanne Cash - She Remembers Everything
Vera Sola - Shades
Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix
You Tell Me
Jeff Tweedy - WARM
Kasey Musgraves - Golden Hour
Teenage Fanclub - Thirteen (V)
Stax compilation (V)
Scott Walker - Scott 2 (V)
Freddie King - Getting Ready
Aidan Moffat & R.M. Hubbert - Ghost Stories of Christmas (V)

Not all of the list was a new release, obviously, but it is new to me. Most of it was purchased from iTunes, some bandcamp and there were a few vinyl only purchases as you can see by the "V".

I also bought a bit of used vinyl, which I did not keep track of this year but will in 2019.

So what was good? After all the buzz and hype the Janelle Monae did not quite hit me at first but it is growing on me. I love the craft of the Rosanne Cash record, there is some stellar songwriting on her latest. The RVG was recommended by the staff at Monorail and it's a jangly project of joy and hope. Tracey Thorn created an in joke between my wife and I. John Prine may have put out my favorite song of the year with When I Get To Heaven. Amy Rigby showed us her beauty and humanity with The Old Guys. Hearing Traceyanne Campbell's voice again was inspiring. And John Hiatt returned to exceptional form.

Junior Kimbrough in the car is a great thing and Tony Hadley is still in good voice.

I did not hear what others did with Idles, unimpressed. The Belle and Sebastian EP experiment did not go over well and that Prince record, interesting as it is, never would have seen the light while he was alive. Chvrches lyrics need to dig deeper than high school journaling.

Nothing really knocked me on my ass, except the effects on my Supro Comet with my Ibanex. That was the best joy in the basement in 2018. More of the same in 2019.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

More from the Westgate Cavern

Today is Scott Hutchinson's birthday. I'm doing my part, with clumsy fingers, to keep Frightened Rabbit's music alive.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Beggars Night, Redux

Beggars Night, Redux

(Email subject headings in order, from Ohio Democrats, on Election Day eve 2018)

This race is about Ohio, not Trump
We don’t fear the future, we shape it
Trump, Hannity, Pence, and DeWine
Mobilizing the state of Ohio to get to the polls
Trump is about to take the stage in Ohio
Tomorrow, we hold Trump accountable.
More empty name-calling from Mike DeWine and Donald Trump - Let's show them what we're made of
The strongest ticket in my lifetime

Final poll alert - last snapshot before Election Day
Join us on election night in Columbus
Last chance before Election Day

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The View From West George Street

We're staying on the first floor of an apartment/hotel. The ceilings are super high and the bedrooms are set back far enough that we do not hear much of the street noise. It's a busy one way street that goes straight into Nelson Mandela Place to one of the large shopping areas of the city. It's central, and we have not stayed anywhere this close to anything in over ten years. We were in one of my favorite bars the other night, at night, which was a first. I do not know if the city takes on a different pace at night, but it's cool to walk an abandoned Buchanan Street at 11PM, knowing that the way to bed is about six minutes away, instead of having the rush for the late train to Lenzie.

Spent some money today, and not necessarily on whiskey. Bought a shirt at a shop I would have have considered even entering five years ago, but here we are now in our new financial reality.

We've been to a few events: Ian Rankin and guests talking about murder cases, Vic Galloway reading about the wonderful Rip It Up exhibit on Scottish Pop in Edinburgh, followed by club night of music by said musicians on vinyl with Galloway, Divine and Stephen Pastel DJing. Tomorrow night its the Posies at a legendary club I've only read about. It's my first concert in Glasgow and I wonder if I'm worthy.

This was my best visit to Edinburgh, the people were actually pleasant this time about. All the while I lamented to my sister-in-law about a city being loved to death by tourists (yes, I know) we went to the blissfully quiet Oxford Bar where I used a toilet that Ian Rankin has surely used a couple of times, at least. Edinburgh was crowded, busy, now with a tram, and took away a lot of the unpleasantness of previous visits. Cheers!

The buses and taxis move behind me, there are occasional drunken shouts late at night. We're in the middle of this city, the energy, activity and screw the front of house at Mossa who were not capable of seating us let alone look at us after they finally got us a table, this has been a good stay.