Archive for the ‘Arts & letters’ Category

Fashion Friday, Part 2

June 26, 2015

coming-soonThe fine folks at Voler are beavering away at our little Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter jersey project.

The original artwork for versions 1 and 2 has been unearthed, some minor alterations in design are being made, and before you can say, “No, really, honey, this is every bit as important as a donation to Habitat for Humanity, Greenpeace or Doctors Without Borders,” an online store will be up and running.

And shortly thereafter I will be doing my best Scrooge McDuck imitation, rolling around in my private vault piled high with greenbacks.

Well, you’ll have some jerseys, anyway. The vault project may take a little more time to get up and running.

 

 

Speaking of bozos

June 22, 2015
Phil Austin popped round the blog a few years back to say, "Thanks for the insurrection."

Phil Austin popped round the blog a few years back to say, “Thanks for the insurrection.”

It had completely slipped my mind, but Phil Austin actually dropped by the blog back in 2009 to squeeze the wheeze (honk honk) and tip us off to a quartet of shows The Firesign Theatre had scheduled in Hollywood.

He will be missed. And thanks to Mike Deme for sending me to Doctor Memory with this remembrance from Mike Tiano.

I have yet to hear word one from John Cleese.

One less bozo on the bus

June 21, 2015
A fragment of the Firesign collection here at Ed Siegelman's Ground Zero Equal Opportunity Apartments, purchased from the fine folks at Giant Toad Supermarkets.

A fragment of the Firesign collection here at Ed Siegelman’s Ground Zero Equal Opportunity Apartments, purchased from the fine folks at Giant Toad Supermarkets.

Nick Danger is no longer at The Old Same Place. Phil Austin, who voiced that character and so many others for The Firesign Theatre, went west on Thursday. He was 74.

I stumbled across Firesign in high school, years before I ever heard of Monty Python, and snapped up almost every bit of work that they did, either as a group — a collective self-dubbed “Four or Five Crazee Guys” for the invisible fifth person that arose from their collaboration — or as fragments thereof.

The collection includes the widely known (“Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers,” “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him,” “I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus”) and the less so (“Everything You Know Is Wrong,” “In the Next World You’re On Your Own,” and “The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra”). I got ’em all, on vinyl, CD and occasionally both.

Some friends and I had the good fortune to catch their act in Denver once, Back In the Day™. You can keep your Beatles, Stones, and Dead, thanks. I got my Firesign, and that’s better than a pile of groatcakes soaked in 30-weight with an entrenching tool within easy reach.

Fellow Firesign Peter Bergman beat Austin out the door in 2012. Or maybe he’s on the other side of the album! I’d better check. …

• Late update: Any Firesign fans out there packing iPhones? Tell Siri, “This is Worker speaking,” or ask her, “Why does the porridge-bird lay its eggs in the air?” I’d forgotten that Austin did some voiceover work for Apple commercials, and it seems that “Bozos” may have struck a chord with the Black Turtleneck Mob.

‘Higher’ education

June 3, 2015
Like, wow. Like, bow wow, man.

Like, wow. Like, bow wow, man.

In 1973 I was a 19-year-old college dropout with a part-time job and no car, riding a bicycle everywhere.

But I went back to school, got that diploma, and today I’m a 61-year-old man with three part-time jobs and no car, riding a bicycle everywhere.

Stay in school, kids.

 

Pen vs. swords

January 7, 2015

charlie-2
For the killers, on behalf of Stéphane Charbonnier, Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac.

Say it ain’t so, Joe

December 23, 2014
Out near El Malpais National Monument on a shoot for the Adventure Cycling Association.

Out near El Malpais National Monument, “working” as a model during a photo shoot for the Adventure Cycling Association.

I was somewhere near Grants, New Mexico, riding a touring bike for fun and profit, when the word came that Joe Cocker had passed on.

It’s a wonder Joe made it to 70, given the way he lived his early years. John Belushi, who mocked him so well, didn’t last half as long.

And man: “A Little Help From My Friends.” “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window.” Dude out-Beatled the Beatles, is what. “The Letter.” “Delta Lady.” Hoo-lawd, he left it all out there on the stage.

“You Are So Beautiful.” “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” And “Feelin’ Alright.”

“I’m not feeling too good myself,” Joe sang, and he wasn’t kidding. But he had too much to do before he died, and thank whatever gods there are that we got to watch, and listen.

As Pat noted in comments, give our best to Frank, Joe.

He is risen

December 21, 2014

phi-zappa-krappaWell, maybe not quite yet.

Happy birthday, Frank. Let’s play him out with “Happy Together,” from the Fillmore in 1971, and his Last Imaginary Guitar Solo. That’s all from here for Zappadan 2014.

The Posole Variations

December 20, 2014
The Posole Variations. This one uses chicken thighs, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatillos and other good things. No hot rats were harmed in the making of this stew.

The Posole Variations. This one uses chicken thighs, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatillos and other good things. No hot rats were harmed in the making of this stew.

I make a lot of posole, and over the years have settled on one simple version and one slightly more elaborate (from The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook).

But the other day I was searching the Innertubes for a chicken version I made once and stumbled across an entirely new recipe that looked good.

So I gave it a whirl and whaddaya know? I have a third favorite.

Thus today’s Zappadan 2014 musical selection, “The Gumbo Variations,” from “Hot Rats.”

I don’t need your sweet devotion

December 19, 2014

The prez gave the press his dirty love and Charles P. Pierce practically swooned:

“Yeah, I wish he’d had more days like this since he was inaugurated. I have my own disappointments in the guy, and always have had them, from the first time I ever heard him speak. (And I wish he hadn’t had that Hallmark moment at the end about how we’re all great people here, because we’re pretty plainly not, since 53 percent of us think torture was OK.) But that’s his gig. It’s what got him elected in the first place. But this was Shakespeare the way it was meant to be done, and the next year is going to be a lot of great fun, I’m thinking. Lame duck, my bollocks.”

We’re ticking along nicely toward Solstice and Zero Day, which marks the end of Zappadan 2014.

A nation mourns

December 18, 2014

Superpatriot Stephen Colbert set aside his Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny today, writing finis to “The Colbert Report,” and it seems fitting that we play him out with FZ’s version of “God Bless America.”

We haven’t watched the finale yet. No cable, so we’re always a day late (and a dollar short, which explains why we don’t have cable). So, Nation — no spoilers, please. I’m hoping for a steel-cage death match pitting Colbert and Jon Stewart against Kim Jong-un and Darth Cheney.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 295 other followers