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

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I just gained 30 pounds, in one night!

Gloria had Dan, Dan, Junior & I over to her house for a barbeque this evening. Holy crap was it good. I don't think I could ever ask for a better meal. We had fresh summer squash, carrots, broccoli & radishes from the farmer's market with a killer dip, Boca Burgers (okay, I had boca burgers, everyone else had hamburgers & brats), watermelon, cheesy potatoes & strawberry pie for dessert. I don't think I can eat again for another week.

Gloria's backyard is something else, too, she's got a garden that won't quit, a little pond & the nicest grass you'll ever see. We played with her dogs, listened to the band playing in the park down the street & had a fabulous time. Three cheers for Gloria for giving us such a feast & for putting up with us idiots.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

It Could've Been A Brilliant Career-Belle & Sebastian

he had a stroke at the age of twenty four, it could've been a brilliant career!

Flatness-Uncle Tupelo, No Depression

Gethsemane-Richard Thompson, The Old Kit Bag

be something! be something fine!

License to Kill-Bob Dylan, the David Letterman Show, 1984

he worships at an altar of a stagnant pool...

This is one of Bob Dylan's greatest performances of the '80's. He should've stuck with this band throughout the entire decade, although not very technically proficient, they got to the heart of this music with no frills, & Bob's vocals match there playing all the way.

all he believes are his eyes, & his eyes they just tell him lies!

You Got Me-The Roots, Featuring Erykah Badu, Things Fall Apart

Happy Wednesday, friends, I hope your summer is filled with green lawns & smells of brats on the roast (it's in the spirit of the ones we miss the most!).


Sunday, June 25, 2006

for Christen...thanks for the pic, joyce.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Great Things Happen when Mom & Joyce Come to Town

I got a visit from the Thelma & Louise of grandmotherhood today, well maybe not Thelma & Louise, maybe Lucy & Ethel. I showed them some of the finer sites of Grand Haven. Sometimes you don't realize how good your surroundings are until you get to show them off to other people. Rarely will I take a walk down the channel unless visitors are over. I know I never would've gone to the art fair downtown. It was a pretty good day, we even got to go up in uncle Mark's secret hideout overlooking Lake Michigan. That must be the coolest place on earth.

I'm sure by now your wondering what all this has to do with the pictures of the strange looking gentlemen that are shown here. I'd like to think that this blog is the only place that will bring you such diverse characters as Will Oldham, Leonard Cohen, John Updike, Joyce Patterson & Pam Schroeder. Maybe after it publishes I'll google all those names & see what I come up with.

While waiting for the travelling show to arrive, I stumbled upon the documentary about Leonard Cohen called "I'm Your Man", being released this month. Despite the fact that it features Bono of U2, it looks to be very promising, with performances by Nick Cave, Rufus Wainright & Antony & the Johnsons.

While at "the Bookman", I discovered that John Updike's latest novel, "Terrorist" was in, I'll be starting that tomorrow.

After they left, I hopped on the internet & found out that Will Oldham would be doing a summer tour of record stores, of all places, & that he would be playing at the best record store in the universe, Vertigo. You couldn't ask for a better artist playing at such a venue. The only thing better would be Bob Dylan playing in my living room.

So all in all, a great day, brightened as always by the adventurous spirits of "The Grandmas Two". Off to have dinner with Mike & Dan, I'm not sure what I'll call them.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Freddie Freeloader-Miles Davis, Kind of Blue

I heard this song coming from the speakers outside of the DeeLite restaurant while walking around downtown Grand Haven's art fair today. It's always good to hear good music in public places. This is, without a doubt, the greatest jazz album of all time. I will accept no arguments.

In the Summertime-Bob Dylan

XM radio's deep tracks is the only radio station where you'll ever hear an obscure song like this on the radio.

Alexandra Leaving-Leonard Cohen, In My Secret Life

A great song about a husband missing his deceased wife. Everytime I hear that deep voice singing "As someone long prepared for this to happen..." I get the chills. What a great song. I hope they talk about this in the documentary.

Dr King-Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Exploration

Hokey folk music at it's finest.

Here Am I, Oh Lord, Send Me-Mississippi John Hurt, Revisited

"Well, sir, I just make it sound like I think it ought to." Mississippi John Hurt

That low thumping note of Hurt's guitar sounds like a battle drum, who will go & work today? you can say he died fo' usaa-ll...

Happy Saturday, friends, I hope it's filled with friendly visitors!


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh Sister!

Yesterday was my sister's birthday, 29 to be exact. I hear it passed with little fanfare, which I'm sure was fine with Emily. Teaching VBS, hanging out with the kids, visiting mom & dad would be a good day for anyone. I can't help but hope, though, that maybe after she has the third child, & moves into her new house that she celebrates her last year in the twenties with a little bit of craziness, maybe she'll have a drink or two or travels to some strange place. Here's hoping.

Here's a few things I love about my sister:

She taught me how to match my socks with my shirt (although I don't always follow her wisdom on this one).

She taught me how to have fun with any stupid little game, i.e. hanging your head upside down off the couch & calling it "truck".

She's the normal child of the three, the other two of us have always been a bit left of center, a bit strange (sorry Heidi), she always brought us down from the clouds.

She wasn't ashamed to call me her brother in high school.

She always makes everyone feel welcome in her house.

You'll never find a more graceful, more elegant sister. That's just a few of many, love ya, bubs.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

He Woke Me Up Again-Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans

I've always had alot of respect for musicians that don't label themselves a "Christian rock band", but instead let their music do the talking. Sufjan certainly falls under this category, I love this song. Do yourself a favor & go get his "Greetings From Michigan"

All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands-Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans

Gulf Shores-Bonnie "Prince" Billy sings Greatest Palace Music

Notes on Air-Alejandro Escovedo, the Boxing Mirror

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

Happy Thursday, friends...


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Home By Eleven

All in all, it was a pretty good day with a nice morning drive across the state, a good message from the good reverend, dinner with the family, playing with some nieces & nephews, a nice rainy afternoon drive back across the state, a nice dinner at the Shawmut Inn courtesy of the best waitress ever & one of the finest concerts I've ever seen.

Unfortunately, Alejandro Escovedo didn't play my favorite song of his that this blog was named after (it just happened to be that I got home by eleven), but I wouldn't have traded it for any other song in his set.

The Wealthy Street Theatre is a small, quaint place to see a show, with great acoustics, especially considering we were in the front row. When Dan & I arrived, it looked to be a poor crowd, with the 400 seat theatre only about a third full. After your average, run of the mill acoustic opening act, I decided we should seize the rare opportunity to sit in the front row (although there are no bad seats in the house) for a show with the caliber of this.

Alejandro Escovedo is one of those rare musicians who has garnered great critical acclaim among other musicians, but has a relatively small following & small album sales. Attending a show like this lets you know you're among kindred spirits, nobody goes to a concert like this because it's "the place to be", & there are no "hits" that attract the casual fan.

Alejandro looked to be in good health, & there was only one minor allusion to his near fatal illness that he recovered from. He said, "we'll be back, we're getting up & around alot more these days."

applause is kind of bullsh*t. it'd be something if everyone just stood there silent.

Bob Dylan, Don't Look Back

I kind of agree with this statement. I clap my hands at a show because it's rather impolite not to, but it has nothing to do with my enjoyment of a show. If there's any musicians reading this blog, if you are ever playing a show & there's a dude in the front row with a goofy grin on his face, tapping his toe like he's killing a million ants, there's a pretty good chance that whatever your playing is coming across to your audience.

This was certainly the case for me tonight. I didn't think much of the new album, but those songs came alive in a live performance. The band is as tight as any I've seen, with a cello & a violin that come up with a symphony & a jam in the same song. The quick smiles the band shoots each other during a song shows that things are clicking, & they clicked all night. Alejandro can break your heart with one song & kick you in the ass on the next. There was a sign for the radio station, that says folk, blues, jazz, rock & worldbeat. This band had it all.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Dear Head on the Wall
Baby's Got New Plans
I Wish I Was Your Mother
Don't Know Why
Evita's Lullaby

Have a good week, friends, it was good to see everybody!


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Daddy Sang Bass

Tomorrow's father's day, so here's my favorite songs about fathers.

Old Man-Neil Young

Papa Was a Rollin' Stone-the Temptations

Birdland-Patti Smith (complete with red tractors!)

the Jackson Song-Patti Smith (this song is absolutely breathtaking)

By the Hand of the Father-Alejandro Escovedo

Seven Curses-Bob Dylan

Lord, Protect My Child-Bob Dylan

If You Never Got Sick-the Wallflowers

Hand Me Down-the Wallflowers

Honey Babe Your Papa Cares for You-Elizabeth Cotten

Father-the Why Store

You are a Runner & I Am My Father's Son-Wolf Parade

Lawyers Guns & Money-Warren Zevon

Sodom South Georgia-Iron & Wine

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road-Lucinda Williams

& last but not least, the one that hits closest to home...

Daddy Sang Bass-Johnny Cash

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Don't You Take it Too Bad-Townes Van Zandt, Rear View

Windfall-Son Volt, Trace

Birdland-Patti Smith, Horses

the Jackson Song-Patti Smith, Dream of Life

Tangled Up in Blue-Bob Dylan, Cardiff 2000

Happy father's day, friends, I hope you have a great one like I do...


Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Broken Mirror of Innocence

Well, my honeymoon with maxxine is officially over. The other day, as I was backing out of the garage to go to work, I stayed a little too close to the the east wall & bumped maxxine's passenger side mirror into the side of the door opening. It cracked the shell of the mirror, but the mirror itself is still intact. If murphy's law holds true, I'll have to replace the whole mirror for one small piece of plastic. Maxxine's a bit angry with me.

In other news, after last week's 44, I came crashing down with a 53 at the golf league tonight. Maxxine must've been talking bad to my golf clubs, which've been in the trunk of the car all week. Yup, that's what caused it alright.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Blind Hope-Son Volt, Wide Swing Tremolo

here's one for you, leave one for me...

Song for Myla Goldberg-the Decemberists, Her Majesty, the Decemberists

Heart of Gold-Neil Young, Harvest

Car Wheel's on a Gravel Road-Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

Poets-the Tragically Hip, Phantom Power

don't tell us how the universe is altered, 'til you find out how he gets paid, alright!

Today's blog is brought to you by Boca Burgers, you either love 'em or you hate 'em! I love 'em, 'specially with some pepper jack cheese & some spicy mustard. Mmm, mmh!

Happy Thursday, friends, don't let the door hit you on your way out!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Why I'm a Dork: Part I

Okay, I've accepted the fact, after many a year, that I am, in fact, a complete & utter dork. Not only have I accepted it, I've embraced it. Had I only realized this much earlier, life would've been so much easier. I would've had no delusions of grandeur. High school would have been easier. College would have been easier. Post-college would've been...well, post-college would've been about the same.

Here's the reasons why I'm a dork, I'm sure I'll think of other reasons at a later date:

My cd's are in alphabetical order. I have over 400, I must be able to find a Mississippi John Hurt album quickly.

I've seen Bob Dylan in concert 11 times, twice I've seen him on two consecutive nights. The new album is being released on August 29 & I'll probably take the day off from work.

I played a game yesterday for the first time that a friend introduce me to called "geo-cache" & now am hooked. I'd tell you about it, but you are all "muggles" & I'd have to kill you if I told you. The fact that I referred to you all as "muggles" should be reason #1 that I'm a dork, but I'll leave that up to you.

I'm known at two "watering holes" by my first name, & these are places where people under the age of 40 are seldomly seen.

I'd rather watch "Cosby Show" re-runs than any of these newfangled reality shows, or any other tv show, for that matter.

I own just about every "Muppet" movie ever made.

I visit "The Bookman" weekly.

I've ranked the cashier's at the D&W grocery store where I visit almost daily (it's right across the parking lot from my store) from favorite to least favorite. Gina & Big Red are my favorites, by the way. A gal named Deb gets me a good discount on mashed potatoes.

I have a blog. Blogs are dorky by nature, no offense to you fellow bloggers, embrace your dorkiness!

I don't like hotels for the simple fact that I have to sleep in sheets that complete strangers have slept in.

I open doors in public places with my shirt sleeve or my elbow, although I think I have my old man to blame for this one.

I'm wondering whether or not the dog barking across the street right now will keep me awake tonight.

I have a favorite pen, it's called the uni-ball Vision fine. I must have one at work at all times.

I'm proud of the fact that I haven't bought anything from McDonald's in at least four years.

I have many paint color numbers memorized. Dover White? 6385. Nomadic Desert? 6107. Believable Buff? 6120. Barn? 8380. Need I go on?

Philip Larkin, the biggest depressed, angry, bitter, lonely dork of all time, is my favorite poet.

I think that old chair that the old man sits on in "Frasier" is very stylish.

That's all for today. Man, that was cathartic.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

New Madrid-Uncle Tupelo, Anodyne

I've probably listened to this song a few hundred times over the last year. All my daydreams are disasters, she's the one I think I love...

Property of Jesus-Bob Dylan, Shot of Love

what happened to the real you? you've been captured but by whom?

In the Summertime-Bob Dylan, Shot of Love

I need to listen to this song more often, what an underrated little gem of a song. I remember listening to this song on the way to my parent's church. Coincidentally, my dad spoke about a gift he recieved from his grandmother that he was emberassed about. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a keychain in the shape of a pair of praying hands that he got for his sixteenth birthday that he hid from his friends. Isn't this a common sin for many Christians, being ashamed of our faith, of our family who've instilled this faith in us? Isn't this what caused Peter to deny Jesus three times?

Anyway, this song celebrates our great gift, & ignores that which makes us want to deny it. I'll never forget that sermon, & I'll never forget this song.

I'm still carrying that gift you gave, it's a part of me now, it's been cherished & saved. It'll be with me until the grave, & on unto eternity...

This song contains one of my favorite lyrics, which isnt' really a Bob Dylan lyric at all, I'm sure it comes from the Bible, but I'm not sure of the verse.

all that suffering is not to be compared to the glory that is to be...

Sixteen, Maybe Less-Iron & Wine/Calexico, In the Reins

A History of Lovers-Iron & Wine/Calexico, In the Reins

Today's blog is brought to you by No Depression magazine, surveying the past, present & future of American Music! This is the only magazine that will proudly display a Lee Oskar harmonica!

Happy Wednesday, friends, I hope your happy with who you are, wherever you are!


Saturday, June 10, 2006

I Followed the River & I Got to the Sea...

The great thing about living in Grand Haven is that wherever you ride (bike, that is), you are bound to see water. Watching the sun fall gently over the river at dusk is truly a beautiful site.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

James Alley Blues-Richard "Rabbit" Brown, Anthology of American Folk Music

I've always thought of the Anthology as the Canterbury Tales of early 20th century folk music. If you can make it through the scratchy recordings, the unconventional singing voices, & the sheer grit of these forgotten musicians, you'll find just about every emotion & condition known to man. If you can't relate to at least a couple songs in this collection, you haven't lived very long. Every commandment is broken & every step towards salvation is taken & everything in between. There are songs of faith, unfaithfulness, hope, heaven, murder, drunkenness, bribery hard work, hard times, hard living, hard travelling, fantasy, reality, truth, mistaken identity, adultery, jubilation...it's all there. This song is the essence of the blues...sometimes I think that you're too sweet to die, other times I think you oughta be buried alive...

These Days-Nico, Chelsea Girl

Absolutely the strangest, most bittersweet beautiful voice you'll ever hear. You can't help but feel melancholy listening to these songs, these days.

Five Hearts Breaking-Alejandro Escovedo, Gravity

Playing this at work today made me really excited to see the man live.

In My Hour of Darkness-Gram Parsons, Grievous Angel

Not Dark Yet-Bob Dylan, Time Out of Mind

The perfect album for an evening bike ride...

Today's blog is brought to you by Flat River Painting, will trade paint jobs for Harleys!

Happy Saturday, friends, I hope the sun is shining & the wind is at your back!


Friday, June 09, 2006

I Was So Much Older Then, I'm Younger than that Now

There's just no way around it. I'm getting old. I took a bike ride today down to the beach & as I made my way past I noticed alot of cars that said Seniors '06 & stuff like that. I couldn't help but think that the people on the beach looked ages younger than I am, many of 'em looked to be about Quinn's age, driving around in SUV's that I'd never be able to afford if I saved up for the next twenty years. At my current age, I'm eight years older than most high school graduates, & four years older than many college graduates.

Now, I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining, I've always felt older than most people. I like older music, older movies, & most importantly, I've never much cared for staying up past twelve. Maybe my age suits me now better than it ever has. I hope so, anyway. Oddly enough, I've got more excercise this week than I have in ages, I went running once, took two long bike rides & played my best game of golf in ages (44!, okay it's good for me).

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Ring Them Bells-Bob Dylan, November 6, 2005

for the fighting is strong, & the lines are long, & they're breaking down the distance between right & wrong...

London Calling/Like a Rolling Stone-Bob Dylan, Brixton November 24, 2005

Bob Dylan's choices of covers have always fascinated me, his choice of the Clash's London Calling has to be one of the oddest he's ever done. It shows that the old man is not afraid to recognize punk music that came around long after he had already made his mark, music from a band that broke ground that Dylan never came close to, in the city where it was born. He follows it up with the best rock & roll song ever written, showing that both songs were born out of the same spirit, the same rebellion. How does it feel?

Guns Are Drawn-the Roots, the Tipping Point

Mothers cryin' too often from their lost child leavin', from tryin' to get over, get under, get even, get inside getting, getting dumped, getting greedy, we got to get it right, it ain't about to get easy...

Stop Breaking Down-the White Stripes

Mood Indigo-Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours

Today's blog is brought to you by Theme Time Radio Hour, featuring your host Bob Dylan, an hour of dreams, schemes & themes!

Happy weekend, friends, I hope your feeling forever young!


Sunday, June 04, 2006

I Like this Poem

Extinction of Silence

That it was shy when alive goes without saying
We know it vanished at the sound of voices

Or footsteps. It took wing at the slightest noises
Though it could be approached by someone praying.

We have no recordings of it, though of course
In the basement of the Museum, we have some stuffed

Moth-eaten specimens-the Lesser Ruffed
And Yellow Spotted-filed in narrow drawers.

But its song is lost. If it was related to
A species of Quiet, or of another feather,

No researcher can know. Not even whether
A breeding pair still nests deep in the bayou,

Where legend has it some once common bird
Decades ago was first not seen, not heard.

A.E. Stallings

Now would everybody please shut up?

Roll Down the Window & Let the Wind Blow Back Your Hair

I'm pleased to say that I'm the proud owner of a 2005 Chevy Malibu Maxx LT. I've never been much of a car person, & I'm pretty sure that car people don't buy Malibu's, but this car is is the cat's pajamas. It's black with a sunroof, the seats fold down (no more excuses for not riding my bike, it'll fit easily), it has XM Satellite Radio & all sorts of other little gadgets I'll never figure out. She rides like a dream, too, & has a little bit more muscle than my old Malibu. I liked the 2002 Malibu I leased, & I was able to get out of the lease with a great car with payment I could live with, so I'm quite pleased.

So today, I decided to go for a drive down Leonard Street from Spring Lake all the way to Grand Rapids & went to the record store to buy tickets for the Alejandro Escovedo concert in a couple weeks. It was a beautiful day to roll down the windows & open the sunroof. I would've never guessed I'd have a car with a sunroof, but here we are.

In other news, I painted a couple accent walls in the dining room, yesterday, it looks boss. Some sort of plum color, my own concoction of course. Duration Home is the bee's knees. It doesn't apply quite as easy as Cashmere, but it's surprisingly easy to use for a washable paint. Holy crap I'm a dork. Disregard the last paragraph.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Let's Get Out of This Country-Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of this Country

I've really been into female singer-songwriters lately. Herm probably knew I'd buy this one if he put it on in the store. His little scheme worked.

Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus)-the Drive By Truckers, Pizza Deliverance

Milan-Ahmad Jamal, After Fajr

I wonder if Ahmad's ever been to the other Milan, & if so, how would that song turn out? This is perfect jazz for a perfect Sunday afternoon.

Blow Wind Blow-Muddy Waters, Fathers & Sons

Muddy's music attracted all the great harmonica players, this time he recruits the great Paul Butterfield of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

The Sky is Crying-Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Sky is Crying

It's one of the great tragedies of rock & roll that shortly after becoming clean & sober, Stevie was killed in a plane crash. The sky is crying, indeed.

One of these Days-the Drive By Truckers, Pizza Deliverance

old white men wearing ties can do anything they want...

Cravo E Canela-Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Tortoise, the Brave & the Bold

You've got to turn this one way up.

Tears for Affairs-Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of this Country

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue-Bob Dylan, Wembley 2003

Johnny Strikes Up the Band-Warren Zevon, Excitable Boy

Okay, that's ten. Sue me.

Today's blog is brought to you by the Alejandro Escovedo concert at the Wealthy Street Theatre on June 18 (don't worry ma, I'll still make it home)! It's sponsored by WYCE! It's Alejandro's comeback tour! Don't you dare miss it! You can bring your own beer (so I'm told)!

Have a good week, friends. I hope the sun is shining & the tunes are blaring in your car today!


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About Me

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