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

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Here' to All the Poetry & the Pickin' Down the Line

I just came across this poem today, & as it deals with one of my favorite pasttimes, walking through the city, I love it.

Broadway Stroll
Late October. But the night is fragrant
as in summertime. At each corner
an imperious king stands, pleading
with his harmonica, or shaking his bare hand.
My face must be shuttered tight. No one
asks me for anything. The neighborhoods tonight
are like excited children from the countryside.
Everyone's clumped in twos & threes,
while my feet pound each jittery block
through wind that's sweet from recent rain.
Perhaps I'll never reach the island-tip
of my decisions. Tomorrow should remain
skinny & silent, like the meager trees
in this sidewalk-town. If I stop my search
I'll never start again.

Kirsten Painter

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

To Live is to Fly-Townes Van Zandt, Rear View
No Place to Fall-Townes Van Zandt, Rear View
Colorado Girl-Townes Van Zandt, Rear View
Don't You Take it Too Bad-Townes Van Zandt, Rear View
Two Hands-Kevin Davis (song by Townes Van Zandt)

What a genius songwriter Townes (pictured above) was, he was simple, direct, heartfelt & bittersweet. Oh to be in one of those clubs when he played solo.

Happy Sunday evening, friends...


Saturday, July 29, 2006

(I lifted this picture from Heidi's blog. It's okay as long as it's all in the family, right?)

Strap Yourself to the Tree with Roots

You often hear people when they get to their forties & fifties talk about how wild & different they were when they were younger. I even hear people my own age talk this way. Somehow, though, I can't imagine my mom & dad being much different then they are now. I've heard some stories that attempt to suggest that they were wild & crazy (like mom with that one bottle of wine that she had in college), but other stories prove me right. Maybe someday we could prove this in court, or maybe in the cow palace.

Let's just look at that picture, shall we? I think you can look at any picture of my old man from the last thirty years when he is smiling for the camera, & I think you will find the exact same smile that you see in that picture. Quite comforting, isn't it? It's the same smile & wave he gives when your leaving his house, when no matter how cold it is, he'll keep standing there until you are gone. How about my mother? Everytime I hear that story about how she woke up the day of her wedding & her & her bridesmaids started singing "Going to the chapel & were gonna get married" part of me gets sick to the stomach, but the other part of me remembers how she'd be singing during any old day in the morning when I was a kid. It's the same way when she gets together with her sisters & they start singing those old songs.

I've got to admit that until I saw Heidi's blog, I forgot that it was their wedding anniversary. It's just like my parents not to remind me, & it's just like their son to forget. Anyway, I don't need a day to remind me of how much my parents mean to me. I'm reminded everytime my dad tells me a bad joke, or whenever my mom bugs me for information about a girl I'm dating. So maybe things never change that much, I wouldn't have it any other way. There's nobody in the world like them. Is it okay to say you are proud of your parents? I don't care, I'm saying it anyway. I'm proud of you two & love you very much.

I wish we had some sort of recording of my parents singing during their wedding. What was the song called? Maybe I'll get to hear it someday.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Shelter from the Storm-Bob Dylan, 1994
Shouldn't Be Ashamed-Wilco, Summerteeth
Born in Time-Bob Dylan, 1994
As I Rise-Decemberists, Her Majesty the Decemberists
South Central Rain (I'm Sorry)-REM


Thursday, July 27, 2006

(here's a picture of the coolest band ever assembled to distract you from the subject matter to follow)

Why I'm a Dork: Part 1.5

I bought the Anti-Burst Body Ball, for crunches mostly. While I'm using it, I have this recurring fear that any time Mike or Ryan or somebody is going to walk up the stairs while I'm working out with this thing & laugh hysterically. I know I would if I caught one of them using it.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Oh! Sweet Nuthin!-the Velvet Underground, Loaded
The Well-Smog, A River Ain't Too Much to Love
Dear Landlord-Bob Dylan, Shepherd's Bush, 2003
Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Savior-Bob Dylan, Live 2000
Let Me See the Colts-Smog, A River Ain't Too Much to Love

Happy Thursday, friends!


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Don't Care How Rough the Road is, Show Me Where it Starts!

For your viewing pleasure this evening, I present for you one of my favorite Bob Dylan performances. I've heard this version of "What Can I Do for You?" a million times, from Toronto 1980, but I've never seen it before, until this evening. Recorded shortly after Bob Dylan's conversion to Christianity, it shows how passionately he performed his Gospel songs. They don't get much better than this, there's none of that rebel stance that most of his songs portray, there's nothing but pure unencumbered joy that can only be found from being saved by the one who gave his life for me, & you.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

What Can I Do For You?-Bob Dylan, Toronto, Massey Hall 1980

Notes on Air-Alejandro Escovedo, the Boxing Mirror

I Need All the Friends I Can Get-Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of this Country

Use It-the New Pornographers, Twin Cinema

Life Worth Livin'-Uncle Tupelo, No Depression

Happy Tuesday, friends, I hope you realize all He's done for you!


Monday, July 24, 2006

If Your Traveling to the North Country Fair...

I am officially in the planning stages of my first real vacation of my adult life. I think I'll go up north to the only American Wilderness left & ride the rails in Alaska. I'm sure I won't take this vacation this year, maybe not even next year, but it'll happen soon. You heard it hear first. It's like that Los Lobos song, everybody loves a train. I know I do.

In other news, everyone who works at my store seems to be on some sort of diet, including yours truly. It really isn't a conscious decision for all of us to watch what we eat, but it helps that we have three other people to watch our eating habits, at least at lunch time anyway. I've always been a relatively thin (or maybe scrawny more aptly describes it) but over the last couple of years, I seemed to have packed on the pounds in all the wrong places. It's time to rid myself of the "two inch pinch", as Dan calls it. Beer's out (except for JW's night of course). Potato chips out. Pizza for lunch out. Gatorade is out, who knew it had so many calories! Dinner tonight consists of a salad & a bowl of bear naked granola after a bike ride along the beach. 'Twas a gorgeous night for a ride along Lake Michigan. I didn't have the patience to stay for the sunset. I'm sure it'll be there tomorrow.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Four Fingered Fisherman-Sun Kil Moon, Tiny Cities

This would make a great song to listen to on the train overlooking the mountains.

If We Run-Kevin Davis & Jason Lamb, Symphony Valley Visitor's Bureau

This made a great song for a ride along the beach. if you find that your closet is a mess, dig through the bins, try to find a nice dress among the skeletons...

From a Buick Six-Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited

Sinners in the Mansion of the Lord-Kevin Davis & Jason Lamb, Symphony Valley Visitor's Bureau

Girl in the War-Josh Ritter, Animal Years

Happy Monday, friends, I hope you make it to all of your dream destinations!

Monday, July 17, 2006

(my copy has superman flying across the sky, it was taken out of distribution for copyright infringement)

What You Left Behind

They say scent is the sense most closely linked to memory, & I suppose its true. I can still catch a whiff of a gallon of paint that I've used & instantly remembered where & when I used that particular brand of paint. I've got to quit talking about paint. And as much as I hate McDonalds, it's food, & every corner of the earth it inhabits, I can smell the scent (or stench?) of greasy food & coffee & still catch a memory of those special trips to the McDonalds in Flat Rock with the whole family. Other examples include the smell of a school in late summer, early fall, cut grass in early spring & the smell of hot dogs at Tiger Stadium.

The next sense closest to memory, at least for me, is songs. Certain songs bring you back to certain places, sometimes you realize why a song reminds you of certain things, but most of the time it's just coincidence, or God's will, who knows? Maybe it has to do with hearing a new song at the same time of a new event. I don't know. Here's some songs that remind me of certain events:

Lonely Heart-Boyz II Men

There's just something about those cheesy harmonies that brings out the sap in anyone, especially an eighth grader who's just been told he's moving out of the only house he's ever known. These lyrics were so deep, they cut right to the bone.

Girl: Mike,
Mike: Yeah, Baby
Girl: It's Over,
Mike: How can you say that?
Girl: the love is gone
Mike: No, please don't leave me
Girl: Don't feel bad
Mike: how can I not feel bad? I love you.
Girl: But it's better this way.
Mike: No, I don't believe this.
Girl: No, baby.

I'm tearing up now, just thinking about it. The preppy outfits they wore made it that much more believable. I think we have Boyz II Men to blame for the cardigan epidemic of the early '90's, of which I was the biggest victim.

Sweetness Follows-REM, Automatic for the People

Everytime I hear this song, or this album for that matter, I can still see the New York skyline in the dark from a bus. I think I borrowed the cassette from my friend Mike, & I listened to it on a yellow Sony Walkman that belonged to my old man that he never got to use because his children (mostly his son) were bogarting it.

E-Bow the Letter-REM, New Adventures in Hi-Fi

Playing pool at pinball pete's in downtown Ann Arbor the night before I moved away to college.

I'm Beginning to See the Light-the Velvet Underground

We used to play euchre out on the deck in the summers, with the door open letting the stereo blare out, drinking cheap wine & listening to all sorts of wierd music. Good times.

Abide With Me-hymn

This is probably my favorite song, bar none. It was always played at any night service during the warmer months when I was a kid. This song makes me wish that the walk across the parking lot after church would've lasted a little longer.

Box of Rain-the Grateful Dead, American Beauty

I think I put this song on after I got off the phone with my mother when she told me Oma died. I'm not quite sure why. It's a great song, but it has little to do with Oma, or what she meant to me, except maybe this line:

look into any eyes, you find by you, you can see clear through to another day, I know it's been seen before through other eyes on other days while going home...

If We Run-Kevin Davis, Symphony Valley Visitor's Bureau

I listened to this cd the day after Jenni & I broke up while I painted. I had the day off. The Tigers opened the season that day. They won, didn't they?

Miles Davis-Kind of Blue

The perfect album to listen to sitting in the driveway on a summer evening after mowing the lawn, while reading a book, sprinkler running.

Keeping Me Awake-Tarkio, Omnibus

I'm kind of glad that I don't listen to this song too often, it's so great I don't want to wear it out. I was listening to this song alot when I first moved into my current residence, it may have been the first song I listened to after I got the keys & walked in for the first time, although I have a hard time believing it wasn't a Dylan song. I think this album is responsible for the cd player in the bathroom upstairs. As if my showers weren't long enough already.

In other news, I put about ten miles on my Adidas SS2G's over the weekend. Two hikes, two days. Who knows which songs I'll remember from them. More Miles than Money? Five Hearts Breaking? She Belongs to Me? Subterranean Homesick Blues? Muzzle of Bees?

Maybe someday I'll blog about something other than music, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Keeping me Awake-Tarkio, Omnibus

Casimir Pulaski Day-Sufjan Stevens, Come on, Feel the Illinoise!

Two Bass Hit-Miles Davis, Milestones

Sandusky-Uncle Tupelo, March 16-20 1992

City of Gold-the Dixie Hummingbirds, Masked & Anonymous Soundtrack

Happy Monday, friends, I hope your memory is filled with many happy songs!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

I'm Afraid of Guns

I read a bumper sticker today that read "An Armed Society is a Polite Society". I thought it was just about the stupidest thing I've ever read.

Let's assume for a second that it's true. Is politeness a fair price to pay for being constantly in fear of being capped in the ass by your neighbor?

Look at me, I must be some sort of genius, winning a debate with a bumper sticker. Tomorrow, I'll discuss which motor company logo Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes fame) should be relieving himself on.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

The Spark-the Roots, Things Fall Apart
Dynamite!-the Roots, Things Fall Apart
Ain't Sayin' Nothin' New-the Roots, Things Fall Apart
Tangled Up in Blue-Bob Dylan, Barcelona 1984
Grace Cathedral Hill-Kevin Davis & Jason Lamb (Decemberists cover)

Happy Thursday, friends, keep your eyes on the road & off the bumper stickers...


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Our Endless Numbered Days

I don't know what got into me last night, but I put on an album after I got home from tennis. I was mesmerized by what I heard, not for the first time, of course.

God, give us love in the time that we have...

Iron & Wine's album, Our Endless Numbered Days has consistently been on my playlist for the last couple of years.

she says wake up, it's no use pretending
I'll keep stealing, breathing her
birds are winging, over autumn's ending
one of us will die inside these arms

eyes wide open
naked as we came
one will spread our
ashes 'round the yard

she says if I leave before you darling
don't you waste me in the ground
I lay smiling like our sleeping children
one of us will die inside these arms

eyes wide open
naked as we came
one will spread our ashes 'round the yard

This music sounds to me like it's come out of the soil, it's so organic. It's born out of the soil, starting out as a low murmur, yet growing louder, more expressive, yet not begging for it's audience to hear it. It's simply exists for anyone who cares to listen, & anyone who cares to listen will be instantly rewarded. What more can you ask of any musician? That maybe, just maybe, you'll stumble unto the music not knowing how or when or where you discovered it, but you're glad you did. I think Herm, the owner of Vertigo records, suggested this one to me, but it could've been any number of people, maybe some of whom I've never met. Whoever may have suggested it to me I owe a huge debt of gratitude. I can't think of any one single album that I'd like more for anyone I know to hear. I can't think of one person I know, who after listening closely, couldn't find something to like about this album, from my father, my grandparents or any friend who has the least bit of interest in any kind of music I listen to.

I could do a song by song analysis, telling you what I like about each song, but it wouldn't tell you the whole story, as each song runs into the next. In fact, many songs share similar chord structures, themes & melodies. That's part of it's charm. You'll learn a similar lesson, or get a similar feeling from each song, yet each one, will make you feel something different about yourself, about the world around you.

love is a dress that you made, long to hide your knees, love to say this to your face, "I'll love you only"

This is funeral music. It's not the funeral of anyone who wasn't sure of their place, though. This music is like the smile or the laugh that occurs after a funeral, not out of disrespect or callousness, but rather of necessity, of life maintaining some sort of balance. It celebrates all those bittersweet moments of life, of holidays come & gone, realizing that life exists outside of those moments that you're supposed to look forward to, that life throws you both unexpected happinesses & sadnesses.

light strikes a deal with each coming night...

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Sodom, South Georgia-Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

slept through Christmas, slept like a bucket of snow...

Love & Some Verses-Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

Each Coming Night-Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

Naked As We Came-Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

These Days-Nico, Chelsea Girl

Happy Tuesday, friends...


Monday, July 10, 2006

That Good Time Vacation Smell

As I was retrieving a tennis ball that I had just sailed into the woods this evening, I was instantly taken back to Interlochen, where we used to go on vacation in the summers. I don't know what it is, maybe it's because there's a lake not too far away, maybe it's because there isn't the pollution of the big city, but there's a certain kind of smell that you can only find in the woods in a vacation town. It reminded me of riding the trails in the state park on my bike on a summer evening. Good stuff. I don't think my tennis game has improved much since then, though.

As I was searching through a box for some tennis balls earlier in the day, I happened to find a couple of assignments from a creative writing class in college (don't ask me what the tennis balls & these papers were doing in the same box). Most of it was amateur goofy crap, the kind of stuff that makes professors slap their foreheads in disgust. I happen to like this little thing I wrote, even though it too, was amateur goofy crap. I think it was an assignment where you have to use a certain first word to start a line. Here it is, don't laugh (okay, laugh if you want to, I'll never know)...

i'm reading the new york times written in black,
hot, humid august bringing out the worst in me,
i'm longing to go home but i can't look back.
Buddy Holly's on the radio but I just can't see him,
I wish I could sing along & see his face,
I hope next year brings me somebody, someplace.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Tell Ol' Bill-Bob Dylan, North Country Soundtrack

Andy's Chest-Lou Reed, Transformer

Up to Me-Bob Dylan, Biograph

it frightens me, the awful truth, of how sweet life can be...

Waiting for the Miracle-Leonard Cohen, Wonderboys Soundtrack

At My Window Sad & Lonely-Billy Bragg & Wilco, Mermaid Ave (lyrics by Woody Guthrie)

What a treasure these old Woody Guthrie lyrics are, & I don't think anyone could've done a better job putting music to them.

Happy Monday, friends, I hope your week brings you all sorts of memories you never knew you had!


Saturday, July 08, 2006

All Tomorrow's Parties

I've never been a fan of parties, or any large gathering of people for that matter. I am, however, very disappointed that I wasn't able to make Ella & Avery's birthday party because I had to work. I hope it's a good time for everybody, especially Ella & Avery. What will I miss the most? Probably Savvy sticking her face in some cake with that smile of hers that could stop any grumpy man dead in his tracks.

Now, I'm heading to a birthday party for someone who got hit in the eye with a baseball earlier in the day. Should be a knockout party. I'm sure she'll be in stitches all night.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Gospel-Charlie Sexton, Cruel & Gentle Things

This is Charlie's first solo cd since leaving Bob Dylan's band. I do believe he is one of the finest, if not the finest lead guitar players Bob's ever had. It's nice to see him have success on his own, producing & playing on Lucinda Williams two most succesful albums & now this fine solo album.

if you're asking Jesus you better ask him please...

The Blues are Still Blue-Belle & Sebastian

Gettin' By-Jackie Greene

if'n its raining, on the fourth of July, I believe I'll be doin' jus' fine...

My Favorite Things-John Coltrane

All Tomorrow's Parties-the Velvet Underground & Nico

Happy Saturday, friends, I hope your doin' just fine!


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

We Carried You in Our Arms, on Independence Day...

I was headed out the door of my apartment, heading to the Shawmut Inn when my old man called to tell me the great news that Ella was born on July 3, 2002. It was a happy day. I toasted her at our table, Jill was our waitress, God bless her, I think she even bought us a round. I'm pretty sure I met her the next day, but I'm not positive about that. Happy Birthday, Ella. What a bright, funny, passionate little ball of sunshine you are.

Back to work today, four days is about as long as I go without being at the ol' paint shop. We missed budget by a lousy %1 for the second quarter, but that's alright.

What a great weekend it was. Saturday-the record store & cleaning up the house, Sunday-church, brunch (I love it when my mother cooks breakfast food, nobody scrambles an egg like my mother) & helping my sister move into her new house. The rug my family bought me looks great, the colors in it are perfect. Monday-9 holes of golf with Mike, Eric & Ryan & a nice little get together with friends at my house. Tuesday-sleeping in, playing tennis with Ryan, lunch at the morningstar, 9 holes of golf with Ryan @ Pigeon Creek, dinner at Fricano's Pizza (another story for another day), bonfire @ Dan's, fireworks, more bonfire...

Countdown to Bob Dylan @ Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids...40 Days.
Countdown to new Bob Dylan album, "Modern Times"...54 Days

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Oh Mary Don't You Weep-Kevin Davis (trad.)
When You Wake Up Feeling Old-Wilco, Summerteeth
Jesus Christ Was an Only Child-Sun Kil Moon, Tiny Cities
Guilty-Alejandro Escovedo, Bourbonitis Blues
Anarchy in the UK-the Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols

Happy back to work day, friends, I hope your calendar is filled with all kinds of wastes of time!


Monday, July 03, 2006

Lay Down Your Weary Tunes

Many people hate Bob Dylan's music. I can understand this, it's not for everybody. Many people like Bob Dylan's songs but hate his voice. I have the remedy. Kevin Davis & Jason Lamb with four gorgeous covers that I heard for the first time yesterday. If you don't listen to any others, make sure you check out Lay Down Your Weary Tune. To download, click on the link at the bottom of the page & save it to a disk or your hard drive. Enjoy.

Kevin Davis on Vocals & Guitar
Jason Lamb on backup vocals & harmonica

Paths of Victory

Boots of Spanish Leather

Lay Down Your Weary Tune

Fourth Time Around



Blog Archive

About Me

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