Archive for the ‘Music that doesn’t suck’ Category

Rowdy dow dow

March 17, 2014

This is one of my favorite bits for a St. Patrick’s Day playlist. But the first time I heard the song, it was on a Planxty album. A different sort of a tune altogether, don’t you know.

At the time Planxty included Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Dónal Lunny and Liam O’Flynn; Paul Brady didn’t join up until later. I saw Irvine and Brady play at a small venue in Corvallis in the early Eighties, and it was quite the show. Here’s their take on the same song.

I have all these on vinyl. One of these days I have to get off me arse and digitize ‘em so.

• Editor’s note: And yes, I did make it home without incident. Never even had to check a bag and risk my proud-ofs getting lost in the ozone. The final flight was the topper — Nazi torture seats the size of a child’s car seat and all the elbow room of your “final destination,” a passenger nearby who apparently decided to marinate in cheap cologne in lieu of showering,  another who clearly had given up washing his feet for Lent (1976), and a baby re-enacting episode one of “The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots.” Good times. The next show is in Louisville, Kentucky, and if I go, I am so driving.

Ride ‘em, jewboy

March 5, 2014

The inimitable Kinky Friedman, he of the Texas Jewboys, has made it into a runoff for the Donk nomination for Texas agriculture commissioner.

You may recall that Kinky, who favors legalization and cultivation of hemp and the whacky-terbacky, once ran for governor and got thumped  despite winning slogans like “Why the Hell Not?” and “How Hard Could It Be?”, references to predecessors Alfred E. “Worry” Bush and Goodhair “Bad Head” Perry. His chances in the ag-commish race appear equally poor, since if he manages to beat his runoff opponent there is a Republican candidate waiting in the wings.

Still … why the hell not? Ride ‘em, jewboy.

• Editor’s note: A tip of the Mad Dog Stetson to Ed Kilgore at Political Animal for noting that Kinky was in the hunt again, and for reminding me of the timely melody, “We Reserve the Right To Refuse Service To You.”

For everything there is a season

January 28, 2014

Herself almost made it home last night, if you will concede that Denver International Airport qualifies as “almost home.”

The weather was moderately evil, and Herself’s flight from Chicago to Bibleburg was rerouted to Denver, a change of schedule about which I was blissfully ignorant until hanging a left off Powers onto the airport road after a very slow drive on icy, snow-covered streets.

“Where are you?” asks Herself, and I figure I’m about to get an earful for being late picking her up.

“Coming up on the airport,” sez I. “Where are you?”

“In Denver,” sez she.

And that’s the way things stayed. I hung out in the cellphone lot for an hour or so, waiting to see if the situation would resolve itself. United was waffling on whether the 15-minute flight was go or no-go, saying the Bibleburg airport was closed (the airport’s website proved useless on the iPhone, The Gazette had nothing about it, and I was feeling cantankerous and forbade myself to investigate in person).

Anyway, long story short, I motored back to Chez Dog to await instructions, United finally canceled that DIA-COS flight altogether, and I arranged a hotel room for Herself, who — having been scheduled to touch down in Bibleburg at 8:03 p.m. Monday — finally hit the hay at two-ish Tuesday in Saudi Aurora. Now she’s due in at 3:15 this afternoon. So it goes.

While awaiting dispatches from the front I learned of Pete Seeger’s passing, and this morning, in his honor, I decided not to go a-tilting at the windmills of customer service. It was late, the weather sucked, and the harried minions who seem like knee-jerk shitheels at first glance are just working stiffs, like us. They probably don’t like being United employees any more than we like being United customers.

Pete, that unreconstructed old commie, would have sung them a song.


• “Pete Seeger: This Man Surrounded Hate and Forced it To Surrender,” John Nichols, The Nation

• “R.I.P., Pete Seeger,” Charles P. Pierce, The Politics Blog

• “Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94,” Jon Pareles, The New York Times

• “I simply wanted him to know that I loved him dearly,” Arlo Guthrie

Your Christmas platter

December 25, 2013

Roubaix Tuesday

December 10, 2013

Who could hang a name on you?

Frank Zappa at the Roubaix Theatre

December 8, 2013

“To rebel in our house, I always said, I’d have to become an accountant or a lawyer.” — Dweezil Zappa


December 4, 2013

It was 20 years ago today … and no, I’m not talking Sgt. Pepper here.

“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

— Frank Zappa, Dec. 21, 1940-Dec. 4, 1993

Hey, do you think he was channeling Larry’s wife?

Remembering Marv’

November 2, 2013
Marvin J. Berkman, performing in our living room back in the day.

Marvin J. Berkman, performing in our living room back in the day.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since Marvin J. Berkman packed up his guitar for the final time and took his music elsewhere.

Marv’ and his sweetheart Judy were the best neighbors anyone could ask for, so when he passed on, and Judy decided to move away to be closer to family, we decided to buy the house they lived in. Just couldn’t bear the thought of some stranger getting the place.

I’m no mystic, but I like to think that one of the reasons our guests enjoy their stays at the House Back East™ so much is that some small part of the old saloon musician hung around after closing time to play a quiet encore, help them feel at home.

Good night and joy be with you all.


Apropos of nothing in particular

October 10, 2013
And now, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Broke Dick O'Dawg and his Gnawin' Prophets!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Broke Dick O’Dawg and his Gnawin’ Prophets!

While listening to “The Blue Plate Special” on Radio Colorado College this afternoon on the way back from Whole Paycheck it struck me that what the world needs right this minute is another First World white-guy blues band.

I’ve even got the name and everything.

Broke Dick O’Dawg and the Gnawin’ Profits.

I don’t think the flute is gonna cut it, though. Never shoulda pawned m’gee-tar. I tell ya, sometimes I feel like I been tied to the whippin’ post.

Great Honky Blues Tunes Not Performed
By Broke Dick O’Dawg
and His Gnawin’ Prophets

• “I Ain’t Never Heard You Play No Blues,” by Steve Goodman
• “Can’t Seem To Get the Blues,” by the Rev. Billy C. Wirtz

Happy Labor Day, comrades

September 2, 2013

And while you’re tapping your toes to the Sam Cooke classic, remember, there’s still a State out there that needs smashing.


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