everything you ever wanted to know about nothing at all...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Different Ideas of Customer Service

I just got done with a day long "customer service training" meeting in Grand Rapids today. I dread all of these district meetings & company functions. It's not that I really have anything against anybody, but it always seems that the same things get preached to you over & over. You always hear the same old ideas as if the person that were telling them to you came up with them for the first time. Similar jokes always get told, & my boss shows the same old movie clips about the cat that gets stuck in the ceiling fan & the linebacker that tackles people who slack off at the office. Everybody laughs hysterically, but I can only find it funny so many times.

During this particular "trademark customer service" meeting, we talked about better ways to help customers, making them feel welcome. It seems to me, that if you need a meeting to teach you how to treat customers than you've got bigger problems. The title, "trademark customer service" is quite wrong in itself. If you have to advertise that you have excellent customer service (which is plastered on many company promotional items), chances are you don't have very good customer service. Otherwise, why would you have to mention it? It's like the old restaurant, The Clock, that used be on Alpine (it burned down last year) with it's pronouncement that it had "Fine Food". If you want a cheap, greasy meal, that was your place, but "Fine Food" was a bit of a stretch. Oh well.

So, since I was in Grand Rapids anyway, to regain my sanity I stopped at my favorite store in the world, Vertigo Music, located in the heartside district of Grand Rapids. Now there's a guy that has customer service. He doesn't bother you when you walk in the door, he doesn't care what "Market Segment" you're in, but he's happy to sit & chat about music with you for as long as you like. If he knows you well enough, he'll even tell you how much money he makes off a cd he sells you. I don't feel in the least bit ripped off, he's not making much. His prices are quite low, leaving you absolutely no reason to think he isn't telling you the truth. I would pay more, though, because it's the only place to buy music in town where the person selling it to you actually cares & takes an active interest in what he's selling you. If there's anybody I pattern myself after in running a store, it'd be him. All this "trademark customer service" is just a bunch of gum flapping. If you take an interest in what you are selling & an interest in the people you are selling to, the rest will fall into place. Did I just say that? That sounded good, maybe I should mention that at the next meeting.

On an unrelated note, I drove past the old house on Valley on my way back to Grand Haven. The roof still needs replacing & the yard needs to be raked. The old neighborhood apparently is surviving without me.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

When I Get Home-Elizabeth Cotten, Freight Train & Other North Carolina Folk Songs & Tunes

Elizabeth Cotten's voice sounds much like Oma's did, at least to my ears, very high pitched, almost straining, but very sweet & very distinct. She played guitar upside down. She lived a life of cleaning houses for people before she was discovered in her '40s. Maybe "Libba" & Oma are friends in heaven, I'd like to think so, I think they'd get along great. I can hear Oma singing "Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie".

Let me know if the link works, seems I'm not the smartest when it comes to these here computin' contraptions. I'll cheerfully refund your money if it doesn't work :).

Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie-Joanna Newsom, The Milk Eyed Mendor

Newsom has everything I look for in a musician, a distinct voice (maybe like Jolie Holland's misfit sister), excellent songwriting & her band is very competent, subtle & unique. This song, which I heard for the first time today, is incredible.

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning-Frank Sinatra, Wee Small Hours

Was there ever anybody cooler than Frank? I don't think so.

So Hard to Find My Way-Jackie Greene, American Myth

My friend Mike & I don't see eye to eye on music, but we agree on Jackie. What a talent.

The Greatest-Cat Power, the Greatest

Ah, Chan's voice is so sultry. Good stuff.

Happy Wednesday, friends. I hope you get "trademark customer service", wherever you go.


Monday, March 27, 2006

A Big Boat

I just got back from hanging out in Dan's (my assistant manager) garage where his new boat is being stored for the time being. He just bought it today. It's quite a large fishing boat with room for five. He's quite excited about it, & to be honest, so am I. I've never been interested in fishing, but there's been quite a bit of talk about driving the boat around just for the fun of it. There's even been talk of parking the boat in the Grand River during the Coast Guard Weekend fireworks. Good stuff. He's been thinking of names for the boat, one idea is "Spike", his nickname for his girlfriend, "Bonus Check" (which allowed him to buy the boat) or " 'shmere, which is short for Cashmere, the paint we sell most. Who knows if there will even be a name for it, but it's fun to speculate.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Big Boat-M. Ward, Transistor Radio

One of the best albums of 2005, in my not so humble opinion, & hopefully Dan's boat won't make for a short, short ride...

Like a Rolling Stone-Bob Dylan, Detroit, March 16, 2004

During this concert, the old man didn't much look at the crowd, his piano faces the other side of the stage. However, once Like a Rolling Stone started up, he started squinting up towards the upper level of the State Theater. It wasn't 'til later when we found out why...

Get Out of Denver-Bob Dylan, Detroit, March 16, 2004

Apparently Bob Seeger, who'd recently been inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, was in the upper level of The State, & Bob Dylan sang Seeger's song as an additional encore. It was a great performance, by the way & is still recognized as one of the best performances of 2004.

Radio Campaign-M. Ward, Transistor Radio

"Come back, come back my little piece of mind!"

Pressing On-Chicago Mass Choir, Gotta Serve Somebody "Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan"

Have a good week, friends.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Road Trip!

I'm excited 'cause tomorrow I get to see the family, especially the kids (no offence to anyone else, I want to see you, too) & Jenni. I haven't seen any of the nieces & nephew since New Year's Day. I hope they haven't grown too much. I heard a rumor that Quinn had his first shave & that some fella came by to take Ella to the movies, but I don't believe 'em.

On an unrelated note, I saw a flyer for Circuit City that advertised that Northern Exposure (the greatest television show in the history of the world) season four is being released on DVD. I decided to make a night of it & drive up after work to pick it up so I could watch a few episodes tonight. To my disappointment, it's not being released until next week. Oh well. Mike's coming over to play video games, wild & crazy guys that we are.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)-The Grateful Dead, Garcia Plays Dylan

My favorite song about my nephew, well, not really, but I always think of him when I hear it. Dylan's version is better, of course, but this one's pretty good, too.

It Makes No Difference-the Band, the Last Waltz

Danko's voice was incredible, the highlight of an incredible last concert. Rarely does video footage of music do it justice, but watching the video of this concert shows the incredible musicianship of the band & the respect the other artists had for them.

Let it Blow-Richard Thompson, Front Parlour Ballads

I put this on at work today, & happened to find out that a regular customer is a fan of Thompson. A rare find around a paint store, methinks.

People Love to Watch You Die-John Wesley Harding, The Confessions of St Ace

"they call it grief, but it's just a relief"

Tough Mama-the Jerry Garcia Band, Garcia Plays Dylan

"Now, don't be modest, you know who you are & where you've been!"

Happy Saturday, friends...


Friday, March 24, 2006

Tennis anyone?

It's spring & still snowing, here in Grand Haven. That's okay, I got a taste of spring today with a game of tennis indoors at Norton Pines athletic club. It was nice to finally get into the place after spending a summer of dealing with the pain in the arse customer that painted it. Another customer of mine has a membership & invited me to play. I'm getting old, & quick, but I did pretty good, I think. I was quite amused by the fact that the ladies that were playing on the court next to us were hitting the ball harder & more accurately than we were. Oh well. It was nice to get a chance to play, finally. We lost, of course, but not by much & we had a pretty good time. I know I'll feel it tomorrow. Oh well, I've got to get in shape for the season, we usually play on Mondays in the summer.

Now, if only they had indoor golf courses.

I'm heading to the Stable Inn for dinner to negate all the excercise I did today.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Desolation Row-East Lansing, MI November 9, 2004

This wasn't the best concert I've seen of Dylan's, but this performance more than makes up for it. The arrangement is second only to the original album version.

Remember the Mountain Bed-Billy Bragg & Wilco, Mermaid Ave Vol. II

Mermaid Ave Vol I & II from Billy Bragg & Wilco are lyrics culled from the archives of Woody Guthrie which were never put to music. These performances are breathtaking, the music they came up with absolutely does the lyrics justice. They have a timeless sound that fits any era, not just the era they were written in. Hearing these, I can't help but think that the lyrics that never got to put to music are just as powerful as the songs that everybody knows from Woody.

Moving, Shaking-Great Lake Swimmers

Three cheers to Herm from Vertigo for suggesting this little gem of an album. This is a simple little song, which on paper looks rather trite & cliche, but the delivery is what makes it. "It's hard to see all the little things, when the big things get in the way."

Love Would Come-Kevin Davis & Valerie Marincic, Eulogies for November

This song is like that little get together that always happens after a funeral.

Act of the Apostle-Belle & Sebastian, the Life Pursuit

I can't get enough of this band, or this album.

Happy friday, friends.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's Been a Strange, Strange Day

Maybe there's something in the water, here today, maybe it's the weather, but something just ain't right. Maybe it's me.

We've been quite slow at work lately, at least with traffic, & it always seems to be that there's always one of those slow days when everything that comes easy before catches up with you later all in one day. Thank goodness it all stays in the same day. I won't bore you with all the little details of the strange things that happen, but I will say as a new resident to this fair city, it makes me wonder if everybody in this town is this strange. I'm sure they think the same way about me.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet)-the White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan

Jack White is an interesting character. Seeing Bob Dylan bring him up onstage at the State Theatre to perform Jack's "Ball & a Biscuit" in 2004 was one of the most exciting things I've ever seen, although the performance was a bit ragged. I'm Lonely goes against everything I've ever heard from the Stripes, & of course, that's a good thing. Maybe I can find a link to it. Don't worry ma, it doesn't have any whiny guitar.

Supposed to Make You Happy-Tift Merritt, Bramble Rose

I don't know if you'd call this folk or country or blues, but it really doesn't matter, it's beautiful.

Carry Me-Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, the Lyre of Orpheus

Who knew a gospel choir would work so well on a Cave album? Nick Cave is that rare artist who can repulse me with some of his music & blow me away with the rest of it. Obviously, this song fits in the latter category.

Cannon-the White Stripes, the White Stripes

Minimalist rock at it's finest. This song would make Blind Willie Johnson proud, or it would give him a headache.

Breathless-Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, the Lyre of Orpheus

Nick Cave couldn't write a sappy love song if he tried, but he does the best he can, here.

Take care, friends. Keep a good head & always carry a light bulb.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Did I Miss the Mark, or Overstep the Line, that Only You Could See?

Plans are underway for the third, almost annual dart tournament that used to take place in my game room at "the Valley Below" that now will go down at the Kirby Grill in scenic downtown Grand Haven during the last weekend in April. As much as I enjoyed having people over for the tournament, I don't really feel like having people throw darts at my new drywall in my quiet new condo. So, thanks to Dan V. & his connection with the Kirby Grill, our little tradition will continue, albeit 6 months late.

We are in the planning stages still, the best part, & we hashed over the beginning plans over a few rounds of Pabst Blue Ribbons at JW's. A couple more meetings will commence, followed by a practice round to get a lay of the land in a couple weeks at the site of the tourney.

If all goes according to plan, we will make up for 2005's lack of a tournament with two in 2006, the second at it's usual date, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Let the chucking commence!

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Don't Start Me Talkin'-Sonny Boy Williamson, His Best, the Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

Good Evening, Everybody! It's King Biscuit Time, friends, with one of the greatest harp (that's harmonica) players of all time, singing one of his best! "I'm goin' down to Rosie's, stoppin' at Fannie Mae's..."

New Madrid-Uncle Tupelo, Anodyne

Things Have Changed-Bob Dylan, Richmond Virginia, 8.15.2004

"I hurt easy, I just don't show it, you can hurt somebody & not even know it."

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry-Keb' Mo, Timeless (tribute to Hank Williams)

I'm not much a fan of tribute albums, if I really wanted to hear a song, I'd listen to the original, but Keb Mo seems to get to the heart of what ole' Hank was trying to say.

Better Git it in Your Soul-Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um

Mingus said it, without saying anything at all.


Monday, March 20, 2006

A Walking Antique

I must be getting old, or stupid, I'm not sure, but I went to an antique mall this weekend. A friend of mine suggested to decorate the empty space above my kitchen cupboards I should go to an antique store & place random things up there. It's a good thing Jenni was with me, otherwise, I'd have to seriously question my masculinity. It actually wasn't too bad, there's all sorts of crap, ahem, interesting stuff there to look at. I bought a John Prine record, an empty loose leaf tobacco can (it doesn't burn your tongue!), a license plate from the year I was born & a Pabst Blue Ribbon plaque. I'm not sure if these are the types of things that my friend had in my mind when she told me to go to an antique store, but I can't see myself putting any old pots or dolls up there, so I guess those are the best I can do. After a while, everything in the place starts to run together, you've seen one beer stein, you've seen 'em all. I can still smell the moth balls & the dust. There was even a cat sleeping in a box on the counter & a story from the man waiting in line behind me about how his elderly mother thought it was a stuffed animal when she went to pet it & how she almost had a heart attack.

On an unrelated note, I was playing some Herbie Hancock at work today, Head Hunters to be exact, when someone asked Gloria if it was her music. She proceeded to say boldly that it wasn't hers, then she pointed at me. The man went on to say that I was too young to listen to that kind of music. I'm not sure how old you are supposed to be to listen to music from 1972, but apparently I don't make the cut. Maybe I shouldn't read Shakespeare or look at the Mona Lisa, either.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Pressing On-Bob Dylan, Saved

"Many tried to stop me, shake me up in my mind. They say 'prove to me that He's Lord, show me a sign!'. What kind of sign do they need, when it all comes from within, when what's lost has been found, what's to come has already been?"

Drunkard's Special-Coley Jones, Anthology of American Folk Music

This is one of the many gems of this collection of epic material, & also the funniest. For those of you who haven't heard it, I'll sum it up for you. Guy gets drunk every night, goes home to the wife, only to find the most impractical things he's ever seen, a saddle on a milk cow's back where his mule oughta be, pockets on a bed quilt & hair on a cabbage head. The man manages to maintain some dignity by saying that he's traveled this world over, a million times or more & he's never seen these things before.

Bob Lee Junior-Memphis Jug Band, Anthology of American Folk Music

I can't sleep for dreaming...

I Wish I was a Mole in the Ground-Bascam Lunsford, Anthology of American Folk Music

That banjo pickin' that starts this song off always stops me in my tracks. "When I come over the hill with a forty dollar bill, she says 'baby where have you been so long?'. I've been in the bin so long...with the rough & rowdy men!"

Poor Girl's Blues-Jolie Holland, Escondida

Jolie's voice wouldn't sound out of place on the Anthology, although her stuff was recorded 60 years later. What a voice!

andrew, a walking antique...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Nothing new to report, today. It's cold. Bitter cold. Somewhere, people are playing baseball, though.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Across the Bar-Kevin Davis

"Sometimes only prayers of selfish interests are the only prayers I know."

Every Ghost Town Needs a Commission-Kevin Davis

"See, that's the problem with the tourist life, there's always someplace else."

Plastic Flowers on the Highway-The Drive By Truckers, Southern Rock Opera

I feel like an honorary hillbilly whenever I listen to the Truckers. I think I'll go smash a beer can on my forehead & listen to "Freebird".

Sunset Soon Forgotten-Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

If this isn't the best folk record of the 21st century, I'd like to know what is.

Keep it real, friends.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Born Yesterday

Seeing as how Joyce knew the poem I mentioned by Philip Larkin called "Churchgoing", I figured I'd post my favorite P Larkin poem, "Born Yesterday". It may even be my favorite poem by anyone, although it has stiff competition from Bob Dylan's "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie". I'll post that one another day, although it's quite long. I love "Born Yesterday" so much that I lifted the title for one of my own (there's an old T.S. Eliot quote that says "immature poets imitate, mature poets steal", i'll refer to that for my own selfish interests). "Born Yesterday" is one of those poems that is so great you'd wish you written it yourself, & Larkin's poem is what made me want to write a poem for my nieces & nephew.

I can't remember the professor's name that introduced it to me, but I remember his face & I remember the passion with which he explained it to us. I thought, like many young college students, that poetry was rather silly & inconsequential, until I met this professor. He was a rather slovenly character, who you thought would be better suited to changing oil, or serving drinks. Maybe that was part of what made is passion for poetry so astonishing, that such an ordinary character could be so interested in a well turned phrase. I don't think he much cared about what grade you got in the class, or if you went to grad school or not, I think his sole purpose for teaching that course was that you understood this poem, although he only spent half of a class period talking about it. It was enough for me. I can't remember much of the rest of the British Literature class, in fact, it was just now that I remembered that it was a British Literature class.

There's so much truth to that poem, I almost wish every parent would constantly read it to their children. The poem was written for Philip Larkin's best friend Kingsley Amis's daughter, Sally, after her birth. Enough blabbering from me, over to you, Phil:

Born Yesterday
for Sally Amis

By Philip Larkin

Tightly-folded bud,
I have wished for you something
None of the others would:
Not the usual stuff
About being beautiful,
Or running off a spring
Of innocence & love -
They all wish you that,
And should it prove possible,
Well, you're a lucky girl.

But if it shouldn't, then
May you be ordinary;
Have, like other women,
An average of talents:
Not ugly, not good-looking,
Nothing uncustomary
To pull you off your balance,
That, unworkable itself,
Stops all the rest from working.
In fact, may you be dull -
If that is what a skilled,
Vigilant, flexible,
Unemphasised, enthralled,
Catching of happiness is called.

20 January 1954

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Just a Closer Walk With Thee-Dave Van Ronk, The Folkways Years

The most distinct voice from the Greenwich Village Folk Scene of the early sixties sings a great spiritual. I wish I could post an mp3 or something of this one, it would blow you away. The Mayor of McDougal Street, indeed.

The Sporting Life-The Decemberists, Picaresque

Looking back at childhood, I feel bad for those kids whose parents took their sports so seriously.

"But there's my father looking on, and there's my girlfriend arm & arm, with the captain of the other team and all of this is clear to me, they condescend to fix on me a frown, how they love the sporting life!"

Life Worth Livin'-Uncle Tupelo, No Depression

Time Has Told Me-Nick Drake, Five Leaves Left

Nick Drake has one of those tragic voices that you can't ignore, this song is a perfect example of this, where his songwriting perfectly meshes with his voice. The only voice that can compare is Nico's, I don't think you can listen to the both of them in the same day.

Up to Me-Bob Dylan, Biograph

The last verse of this song would make the perfect epitaph for any songwriter:

"If we never meet again, baby, remember me, how my lone guitar played sweet for you, that old time melody. And the harmonica around my neck, I blew it for ya free, no one else could play that tune, ya know it was up to me."

Happy Tuesday, friends...


Saturday, March 11, 2006

I Love Public Radio

Working on Saturday mornings is tolerable, maybe even enjoyable, partly because of the "Jazz Ala Carte" program that is on every Saturday morning at 8:00 on Blue Lake Public Radio hosted by a one Lazaro Vega. He plays all different types of jazz, anything from traditional ragtime to Bebop & even some fusion. The fusion typically draws a sarcastic remark from a customer, but it's all in good fun. I turn up the radio a bit louder on Saturday morning.

The music, of course, is great, but above & beyond that, the tone of voice that just about every public radio personality has is very relaxing (including one of the most famous Lutheran's ever, Garrison Kieller, but we won't talk about him). The voices are usually quite monotone, they're not flashy, & they just seem to say "slow down".

When I first started working at my store in Grand Haven about three years ago, I used to open up the back door & look out at the trees (which have since been replaced by an apartment complex) behind the store with the classical music playing & it would remind me of driving up north with my dad. Only two stations ever got frequency on his radio, WJR & whatever station played classical music. Since WJR didn't come in up there, classical music always provided the soundtrack for our vacations. I don't remember the call letters of the classical music station in Interlochen, but I do remember that it was a service of the Interlochen Music Camp. Not only did that station teach fine music to teenagers, it also broadcast it out to the masses. I wish every town had a place like that.

The call letters to Blue Lake Public Radio, if you're ever on the lower west side of Michigan is 90.3, by the way.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Till I Fell in Love With You-Bob Dylan, Brixton 2005

I always thought this song was a bit of a drag until I heard this new arrangement.
When You Wake Up Feeling Old-Wilco, Summerteeth

sing some strange verse from some strange song of vines, and you'll be where you wanna be"

I'm a Fool to Want You-Billie Holiday, Lady in Satin

I Gave You-Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Superwolf

This House-Kevin Davis

Come to think of it, those last two songs are pretty similar in theme. BPB sings "I gave you a house & you didn't haunt it, now where am I supposed to live?" while Kevin sings "This house, I built it just for you, but still I live here alone". BPB's song is quite bitter, whereas Kevin's is more sad. I just thought of that, so I thought I'd share.

The Pistons are on. What worries me about this year's team is that they are a bit too dependent on the starting five. Once they've secured home court advantage throughout the playoffs, let's hope Flip starts working in the subs more often.

Happy Saturday, friends.


Friday, March 10, 2006

It's appraisal time at work. This was the first time I've ever been in a position to do these for my employees, & I never thought that I would enjoy telling people what they do right & what they do wrong, but I was pleasantly surprised at the whole experience. Maybe it's because I have an excellent staff, & would consider all of them friends. This doesn't mean, however, that everything they do is perfect, & I'd be quite irresponsible to praise them without explaining what they could do better. Obviously, nobody likes to hear about things they don't do so well & I dreaded those parts of the appraisals more than anything. However, this turned out to be the most rewarding part of the experience, & I think I got my points across without hurting anybody's feelings. It's fun to get people on board to improve themselves, & it seemed like a positive experience for everybody, at least I hope so. Each time, each employee walked out of the offices with smiles on their faces.

My turn was this afternoon. I walked out of my boss'es office with a smile on my face, too.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Seeing Other People-Belle & Sebastian, If You're Feeling Sinister

I am now officially a Belle & Sebastian fan. Thanks Dan. The latest album is next.

Modern World-Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary

"I'm not in love with the modern world, it just brings me down." Amen.

I Threw it All Away-Bob Dylan, Mohegan Sun Arena, November 20, 2001

An excellent concert.

Oh Well-Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

One of the three finest albums of 2005, in my not so humble opinion.

When I Ran Off & Left Her-Vic Chesnutt, Drunk

What a strange little man Vic Chesnutt is. Strange little men usually make the best songwriters, though.

Happy Friday, friends...


Friday, March 03, 2006

There's an old Phil Ochs song that goes "I've got something to say, sir, I'm gonna say it now". The ironic thing about that song is that he never really says what he wants to say. I guess that's how I'm starting out my first blog, with nothing much to say. Since I moved to Grand Haven, I don't have to spend an hour & a half a day in the car, & I don't have to shovel snow anymore (that's what my $75 dollars a month goes towards) so I have to pass the time somehow.

I always thought this blogging thing was rather silly, & it probably is, but I saw my sister's where she describes & posts pictures of her & the kids & all the insanity (insanity being a good thing, in this case) that goes on everyday for them, & I thought it looked like fun. I can picture Quinn running across the living room with a tractor in his hand & ramming it right into the tv while Heidi types away at the computer. All a brother can do is smile.

I probably won't post anything really useful, & my spelling & writing skills have probably diminished greatly since I graduated college, but I'll do my best. I probably won't have much of a coherent theme to my posts, there will probably be just random thoughts. Don't expect any cute pictures or anything, either, I have nothing cute to take a pictures of. Maybe if I had a digital camera's I could post a "painter of the day" picture or something, but unfortunately technology has left me behind. I wouldn't know a scanner if somebody smashed my fingers with one.

I'll try not to sneak in too many Dylan references into my writing, but somedays it's just inevitable. "What's the matter with me, I don't have much to say?".

Five Favorite Songs of the Day:

Is it Wicked Not to Care?-Belle & Sebastian, The Boy With the Arab Strap

Dan lent me a copy of B&S's first album, Tigermilk, & I was pleasantly surprised. I'd never liked what I heard of them before, but for some reason this struck me. I picked up Arab Strap at the record store yesterday (it's been a couple months since I've been there, one of the few downfalls of the move is that it's so far away from Vertigo) & I've been listening to this almost non-stop since.

Screen Door-Uncle Tupelo, No Depression

This song & this album exemplifies everything that's great about Uncle Tupelo, it's simple, raw, gritty, heartfelt & it's knee deep in the roots. Their Sunday School singalong version of No Depression is pretty good, too. I think I'll listen to it, now.

Song to Woody-Bob Dylan, Wembley Arena October 6, 2000

Listening to Dylan at 60 years old singing his first important composition 40 years after it was written in his old man voice is every bit as moving as when it was first written. It would make Woody proud.

If I Should Fall from Grace with God-the Pogues

Celtic folk punk at it's finest...

You are a Runner & I am My Father's Son-Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary

I have nothing to say about this song, but I sure do like it. This album is really growing on me.


Thoughts to ponder for tomorrow:

Which statement best describes Amway?

A. Scamming friends & family into buying toilet paper in bulk.

B. An enterprising business strategy that will lead you & your friends into financial security.

C. I can't afford to buy that much toilet paper at once.

Are donuts really worth the guilt you feel afterwards?

Was Doogie Howser the original blogger?

Goodbye, friends. Happy Friday.


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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...