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

Monday, December 31, 2007

A Wide River to Cross...

A wise man once said that an artist should never feel as though they've arrived somewhere, that they should be constantly searching for new ways to express themselves. I'm certainly no artist, but I think this idea holds true in life as well. It's good to be content, but not complacent.

Gramps was always learning something. In the end, I think he was learning what it was like to be completely dependent on others. I wonder what he learned about himself & others through that.

Me, I'm going to try & read War & Peace in 2008. I'm gonna pick the bike back up this year, & I'm going to try to hike some new trails. I also want to learn how to be a little more handy with fixing things. I'm also going to try & figure out how to be a husband. I'll let you know how I do.

I had a friend, once, who would always say the toast "May the best of your past be the worst of your futures." I don't think that's very realistic, but it's a good sentiment. Anyone got a good toast in it's place?

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Cliquot-Beirut, The Flying Club Cup

Ain't Talkin'-Bob Dylan, New York City, 2006

Wide River to Cross-Levon Helm, Dirt Farmer

The Ship's Song-Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Abattoir Blues Tour 2004

Reservations-Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Happy 2007, friends...


Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmastime in the city...

Merry Christmas, friends.

The winter storm last night makes it seem all the more useless to go to work today. We're open until 12:00 today for anyone wanting to do any last minute Christmas paint shopping. I'm hoping for no customers so I don't have to take that long drive downtown to drop off the night deposit. If I do, though, I'll get to see scenic downtown Holland. I'm hoping to do a little bit of deskwork, drink alot of coffee & perhaps watch some Muppet Movies.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

A Great & Mighty Wonder-hymn

On Jordan's Bank the Baptist Cries-hymn

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear-hymn

Oh Come All Ye Faithful-hymn

The First Noel-hymn

Be merry, friends...


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Repeat the hymn again!

Welcome, friends, to the Talkin' Gibberish Blues Christmas extravaganza...

Have you ever heard that song, We Both Go Down Together? Well, that's how it goes sometimes. Sometimes you think you just can't go wrong, you are on top of the world. I sold lots of paint today & got a ton of stuff done. Everybody at work did what they were supposed to. I left work in good spirits about what I had accomplished & was excited about the weekend to come. I got home & my mood quickly changed. Why, you ask?

Well, the tree had fallen over. I'd heard of it happening to other people, but I never thought it would happen to me. You just can't let a fallen tree get you down, back up she goes, a little spot chomp to clean the carpet & some potato soup & I'm back in business.

As most of you know, I'm a sucker for a Christmas movie or a song. My favorites are usually the Christian songs, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, On Jordan's Bank the Baptist Cries, & of course my all time favorite, Lo! How a Rose E'er Blooming. I haven't heard it in church in a few years, but here's hoping. Here's Sufjan Steven's version, I posted it last year, but here it is again.

new Sufjan Stevens - Songs For Christmas - mp3s at noise for toaster

There's just something about that song that reminds me of Oma singing in her sweet, high pitched voice on Christmas morning. The Schroeder family is known for being loud singers, each voice is quite distinct. Opa is particularly good at belting out Joy to the World & Oh Come All Ye Faithful. Of course, I can still remember when my dad would be at late service after we'd already gone to early service & being able to hear him outside of the church. Sing it loud & sing it strong & let the echo decide who was right or wrong.

When it comes to secular songs, I like to stick to the classics, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Mel Torme, & of course Judy Garland. Judy Garland's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is so filled with melancholy & sadness & a little bit of bittersweet joy you can't help but love it. I say this with my masculinity firmly intact that I can't help but think of Brother Dan in Iraq hearing a song like this. Here's to you, old friend. Next year we'll be celebrating Christmas with Carl in grand fashion.

I'm also a sucker for Christmas movies. The ones that feature Santa Claus I can do without. Again, you can't go wrong with the classics. I love the scene from White Christmas when they are singing about snow. I can't ever imagine being on a train & singing about anything, but if I did, it'd probably be about snow. I'm going to see if I can talk Christie into sitting through It's a Wonderful Life this weekend. "Merry Christmas to YOU, in JAIL!".

This scene is no match for Heidi's clip of Quinn's Christmas program performance, but it's not too bad.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Oh Holy Night-Nat King Cole

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas-Judy Garland

My Right Versus Yours-The New Pornographers, Challengers

Train in Vain-the Clash

Christmas in Prison-John Prine

Let your hearts be light, friends...


Monday, December 10, 2007

Wintertime is comin', the windows are filled with frost...

Settle in, friends, winter is here. If winter had a musical form, it'd be the blues. The only way out of the cold or out of the blues is to revel in it, to embrace it & live in it. Early winter is one of my favorite seasons. Personally, I'm hoping for one of those winters with no thaw, where the snow is here for the duration. What's that book where the guy takes the sled down a dangerous hill? The description of winter is spot on. It's going to bug me 'til I remember.

The beauty of winter is the warming up. How can you possibly experience warmth unless you've been out in the cold? Also, I don't remember winter being so cold when I was a kid. I don't think the weather is getting colder, I just think I was more excited to be playing outside in the snow. You know your having fun if it's below freezing, there's snow on the ground & your sweating inside your coat. Whenever I remember cutting wood with my old man & Opa, I don't remember being cold. One of these days I want to take up snowshoeing. Who's with me?

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

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

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

No Man's Land-Sufjan Stevens, the Avalanche

Up in the highest of heights
O'Hara blinks and fights
This land is yours; this land is mine.
I see the Captain in red,
And Cairo at his head.
This land is yours; this land is mine.

The lightning over the park,
The waters--brash and dark
We take a swim; we take a swim.
I never meant to escape
The carpet and the trade
This land is yours; this land is mine.

And when I make up my mind
I change it all the time
I take it back; I take it back.
The numbers over the dam,
Jo Davies and the band,
I count them out; I count them out.

There was a car in the bay
By the boat that swept and swayed
Whoever you are in the light
In the water that we made
I'm counting it out
I'm counting it out
I'm working it out inside
I'm counting it out
From the floor

The ferry hatches Moline
Panola Beauty Queen
She takes a bow; she takes a bow.
In Charles, we climb the hill
And Danville window sill
I take it back; I take it back.
My sister she counts the bars,
The Macon county cars,
She takes a bow; she takes a bow.

The Mississippi amends
The Carver and the bends
This land is yours; this land is mine.
My brother punches my ear.
The injured ivory deer
I call my dad; I call my dad.
We skip inside of the store
The Mason winter door
This land is yours; this land is mine.

There was a car in the bay
By the boat that swept and swayed
Whoever you are in the light
In the water that we made
I'm holding your hand by the shore
With our collars pulled up tight
I'm counting it out
I'm counting it out
I'm working it out inside
I'm counting it out

(This land is not your land
For the right hand takes what it can,
Ransacks with the mad man.
For this land is not yours or mine to have.
This land was made for the good of itself.)

Summer Days-Bob Dylan, Fairfax, VA 2002

Charlie Sexton's last stand resulted in the finest version of this song I've heard.

I'll Remember You-Bob Dylan, Fairfax, VA 2002

Happy Winter, friends...


Thursday, December 06, 2007

let me see the colts, that will run next year...

I took this picture & I'm quite proud of it.

I've been a political junkie lately, & I'm not really too proud of it. Maybe it's because there's not much on television between the hours of 8 & 9 when I typically watch. People watch this election garbage like it's sport, myself included. I switch between CNN, MSNBC & Fox News. They're all pretty transparent, one look & you can easily tell whose side each one is on.

They were talking about Mitt Romney's speech about faith today. This business about politics & faith annoys me to no end. Perhaps I'm a bit cynical, but I don't really want to know about a politician's faith. Maybe I'd like to know about it after they are elected or after their term is over. This is a time, I think, when actions are much, much louder than words, kind of like that song "they'll know we are Christians by our love". I wish I could take people at their word, but I can't help but think that people use their faith for political gain as a child would use a friend to get to their toys.

Enough of my soap box.

In honor of my beautiful bride to be, a song:

I wanted to post Cosmia by Joanna Newsom, but I figured that wouldn't be too nice.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Let Me See the Colts-Smog, A River Ain't Too Much To Love

Cosmia-Joanna Newsom, Y's

Splendid Isolation-Warren Zevon

I Just Don't Know What to do with Myself-The White Stripes, Elephant

Strange Fruit-Billie Holiday

Happy Thursday, friends. Don't follow leaders & watch the parking meters...


Monday, December 03, 2007

This be the Verse

I brought back an old tradition this morning. I like traditions, old & new. I used to print out a different poem & a different lyrics to a song every month & put them on the pegboard that hangs over my desk. For whatever reason, when I lived only a couple of minutes from work I quit the tradition. These days, I could stand to make my office a little bit more like home since I seem to be there quite a bit. It gives me something to read to keep me sane while I'm stuck on the phone for a lengthy period of time. I'm sure everybody that sees these thinks I'm a freak, but who cares what they think anyway?

For My Contemporaries

How time reverses
The proud in heart!
I now make verses
Who aimed at art.

But I sleep well.
Ambitious boys
Whose big lines swell
With spiritual noise,

Despise me not,
And be not queasy
To praise somewhat:
Verse is not easy.

But rage who will.
Time that procured me
Good sense & skill
Of madness cured me.

J.V. Cunningham, 1942

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Dark Eyes-Iron & Wine, I'm Not There Soundtrack

The Trapeze Swinger-Iron & Wine

The Man Who Sold the World-Nirvana, MTV Unplugged

No Excuses-Alice in Chains, MTV Unplugged

Alot of the music that came from the 90's sounds dated to me, especially what they used to call grunge, but two albums that never sound dated two me are Alice in Chains unplugged & Nirvana Unplugged from back when MTV actually played some music. Matt Schonschack & I wore this album out riding down to Kentucky.

Of the Father's Love Begotten-some unknown choir on Hope college radio...

Happy Monday, friends...


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I ain't the world's best writer, ain't the world's best speller but when I believe in something I'm the loudest yeller...

The above title is taken from a Woody Guthrie song, I wish I could attribute that to myself, but unfortunately I can't. I've been reading this book that Jr lent me called "Blue Like Jazz" that really got me thinking about my beliefs. Every now & then I read something that resonates so true that I wish I'd written it myself. That is most certainly true of the following paragraphs:

"My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don't really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don't believe in God & they can prove He doesn't exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago & now it's about who is smarter, & honestly I don't care. I don't believe I will ever walk away from God for intellectual reasons. Who knows anything anyway? If I walk away from Him, & please pray that I never do, I will walk away for social reasons, the same reasons that any of us do anything.

My friend Julie Canlis from Seattle has this beautiful mother named Rachel who is small & petite & always remembers my name when I come for a visit. One morning I was sitting at the counter in the kitchen talking to Rachel about love & marriage, & she was gleaming about her husband a little, & I told her in one of those rare moments of vulnerability that I was scared to get married because I thought my wife might fall out of love with me, suddenly, after seeing a movie or reading a book or seeing me naked. You never know what might trigger these things. Rachel looked at me through the steam that was coming off her coffee & said, very wisely & comfortingly, that when a relationship is right, it is no more possible to wake up and want out of the marriage than it is to wake up & stop believing in God. What is is what is, she said.

And that's when I realized that believing in God is as much like falling in love as it is like making a decision. Love is both something that happens to you & something you decide upon. And so I bring up that story about Julie's mom not because I want to talk about love, but because I want to talk some about belief. I have come to think that belief is something that happens to us too. Sure there is some data involved, but mostly it is this deep, deep conviction, like what Julie's mom feels about her husband, this idea that life is about this thing, & it really isn't an option for it to be about something else."

Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, Nonreligious thoughts on Christian Spirituality

I really like this book, it seems to mirror a lot of thoughts I have about being a Christian, most importantly, it gives many examples of how you can learn about your own faith by examples of non-believers. I've always thought that whenever you are trying to convince somebody of anything that subtlety is the best method, especially when it comes to trying to evangelize. I remember walking to class at Grand Valley & walking past a man everybody called Preacher Tom (I'm not making this up). Preacher Tom would hold up signs admonishing everyone to quit their sinful ways & repent. He was also known to let young ladies know that they were dressing like girls of ill-repute, or some such thing. I'd usually laugh, but deep down, I thought how damaging this might be to anybody who is a non-believer.

For these reasons, I've never been the most outgoing about my faith & I'm somewhat conflicted about this. Part of me thinks that I look for the right times to share my faith with others, but I'm afraid I'm content with staying in my little bubble where it's safe & I don't have to "embarrass" myself.

"But the trouble with deep belief is that it costs something. And there is something inside me, some selfish beast of a subtle thing that doesn't like the truth at all because it carries responsibility, and if I actually believe these things I have to do something about them."

Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

In sales, I've always found that you have the greatest successes when you target people who show signs that they might be interested in what you're selling. At the same time, you have to be open to the possibility that you can change people's minds. It's my prayer today that I can step outside myself in order to provide the opportunity to anyone I come in contact with to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Ring Them Bells-Sufjan Stevens, I'm Not There Soundtrack

The cover song is a tricky animal, especially when it comes to a Bob Dylan song. I have a hard time separating the singer from the song. There are very few Bob Dylan covers that hold my interest, & only two in my opinion that eclipse the original, those being Jimi Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower & Jerry Garcia's Senor. When I first heard the lineup for the I'm Not There soundtrack I was excited because many of my favorite artists cover Bob Dylan songs. The key to a good cover song is to make it your own. Johnny Cash was the best at making every song he sang his own. Sufjan does this with Ring Them Bells, giving it an elaborate, upbeat arrangement, that is grandiose in scope.

Dark Eyes-Iron & Wine/Calexico, I'm Not There Soundtrack

You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You're Told)-the White Stripes, Icky Thump

Jacksonville-Sufjan Stevens, Come On, Feel the Illinoise!

Ring Them Bells-Bob Dylan, The Great Musical Experience, 1994

the mountains are filled with lost sheep...

Happy Wednesday, friends, see you in the funny papers...


Friday, November 23, 2007

Hallelujah! I'm ready to go!

Wednesday was a long day. I had to work from 6:45 'til about 7:30 at night. I had a customer who could be described as somewhat less than grateful call & tell me he'd be there about 10 minutes after close & asked if I could wait for him. I did, & not only did he show up late, he stayed alot longer than you would think for someone who was late. I then had to drive all the way downtown to the bank to drop off the deposit in the rain, & I had to drop something off on my way home. I was in an awful kind of mood, 'til I walked in the door & Christie was there with a big smile. I have her to come to for the rest of my life, & soon all the petty little things that were bugging me were washed away. We went out for a nice late meal at the Dee Lite & downtown Grand Haven was a great place to be on a cold & rainy night. I have a lot to be thankful for, not the least of which was spending time with my family yesterday & doing nothing at all today except drinking coffee, listening to music & watching the snow fall.

I'm trying to think of the name of a hymn that's been going through my head lately, I can hum it but I can't think of the name of it, I would venture it's probably the most popular thanksgiving hymn. Anybody have any ideas? I'm sure it was played in somebody's church Wednesday or Thursday?

For anybody who wants to listen, here's the annual Bailey White story played on NPR. Christie & I listened to it on the way home, it was good...


Five Favorite Songs of the Day

I Believe in You-Bob Dylan, Europe 2002

Unknown hymn

Cabaret-Louis Armstrong

Nettie Moore-Bob Dylan, Detroit 2006

Harsher Winters-Kevin Davis, Eulogies for November

Happy Friday, friends...


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Somewhere so high above this wall...

Happy Sunday, friends. I can't remember a year when I've looked more forward to Thanksgiving then this year. I am looking forward to spending time with the family, but what I'm most thankful for this week is having four days off. My plan at the beginning of the year was to take vacation time around this time of the year, but with the new job I haven't been able to. In fact, it seems like I'm working twice as hard & twice as much, but that's okay. I think I'm getting something done. This week will be long even though it's only three days as I will be working almost open to close every day & there will only be two of us there. That's okay, too, I like to earn my breaks.


It's the immemorial feelings
I like the best: hunger, thirst,
their satisfaction; work-weariness,
earned rest; the falling again
from loneliness to love;
the green growth the mind takes
from the pastures in March;
the gayety in the stride
of a good team of Belgian mares
that seems to shudder from me
through all my ancestry.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

When the Roses Bloom Again-Wilco

If you don't love this song, I'll give you a dollar.

A Satisfied Mind-Porter Wagoner

I Shall Be Released-Bob Dylan, Blackbushe 1978

Love Would Come-Kevin Davis, Eulogies for November

I Want You-Bob Dylan, MTV Unplugged Rehearsals

I love the line, "I wasn't born to lose you". It's quintessential Dylan as it has several meanings. I wasn't born to have you, I was born to be with you & never to leave you, I was born to be with you & you are tempting fate to leave me. I'd love to be one of the techs when rehearsals like this are going on.

Happy Sunday friends, I wasn't born to say goodbye to you, so I'll just say see you later...


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Sunday, friends. It looks to be a beautiful Fall Sunday here in Grand Haven. It's a bit cloudy, but I think that the colors of the grass & of the trees are more vivid when it's cloudy, call me crazy. Yesterday was my Mother's birthday, & I can't help but think that she made me appreciate days like these. She sees the beauty & excitement in little things & she likes to make little adventures for herself, especially with her grandkids & her best pal Joyce. She taught me not to take things too seriously, to always look for the good in others, it's only money, to find the harmony in a song & many, many other things. Happy Birthday, ma, I love you.

In other news, the great painting spree of '07 continues this weekend, this time the bathroom. It was Christie's choice, a bright green. I was a bit skeptical at first, but it looks really good against the maple cabinets. It really "pops", as Christie & decorator people are wont to say. Today, I'll put the second coat on.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Where do we go from here?-the Oscar Peterson Trio, the Great Connection

This is a wonderful little whimsical song, I wish I could give you a clip of it. Dan, when I asked Melvin which jazz piano players I should check out, the first one he told me was Oscar Peterson.

Billy 1-Bob Dylan, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid Soundtrack

Mr Tambourine Man-Bob Dylan Live at Newport, 1964

Sweetness Follows-REM, Automatic for the People

Is There Anybody Here?-Phil Ochs, There But for Fortune

Happy Sunday, friends...


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Alot of things can get in the way when you're trying to do what's right...

Hello, friends. A couple of years ago, Brother Dan bought me a Cutty Sark on the rocks at a little place across the street from his store called the Doo Drop Inn. It was a charming little place that looked like it hadn't been remodeled since the '70s. I went to his old store yesterday to pick some stuff up & I saw that the Doo Drop had been torn down. Dan is long gone, & I just found out that his replacement will be gone soon, too. That's what happens I guess, people & places move on down the line.

It's kind of depressing, really, the way things change. Change isn't bad on it's own, but sometimes the things that cause the change is bad. I think of the changes that have occurred since I've lived in West Michigan. When I first got here, 28th Street east of the highway was the prime retail space in Grand Rapids. Now, that area has gone downhill & the prime areas are heading farther east & farther west leaving the spaces in between to be unused strip malls. Here in Grand Haven, there are a million condo units that have been built, many of them vacant after a couple of years. There's a huge project right on US-31 right as you come into town that has more condos & retail space. I can imagine the planners of this project as they were trying to convince the city to approve the project by saying that it would bring in new businesses in town, helping the economy. Well, that hasn't really happened, instead, existing businesses have moved into the prime spots, leaving buildings in older, less desirous parts of the city vacant. It all seems terribly irresponsible. Oh well, what do I know?

Speaking of retail, I went to Lowe's today to buy a new toilet, vanity & sink for the store bathroom. After a half hour of figuring out which toilet would be best, I got to the checkout lane only to find out that they wouldn't take my store's checks. That is an hour of my life that I will never, ever get back. I don't mind wasting time, but I'd rather waste my time blathering on & on in a silly blog or watching Seinfeld reruns then wasting my time at Lowe's.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)-Bob Dylan, Amsterdam, 2007

This gets my vote for the performance of the year. It was a new, sped up arrangement with a great descending guitar riff that bookends the verses perfectly elevating Bob's singing. The violin plays a great role as well, creating a repetitive uneasy sound that suits the lyrics perfectly.

Oh My Lord-Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, No More Shall We Part

Ain't Talkin'-Bob Dylan, Amserdam, 2007

Mind's Eye-Josh Ritter, the Historical Conquest of Josh Ritter

Naked as a Window-Josh Ritter

No Cars Go-Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

Happy Wednesday, friends...


Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's a restless hungry feeling that don't mean no one no good...

I never understood it when I was a kid how my mother complained every time she went to the grocery store. How could she complain about a place that stacks & stacks of little debbie snacks, candy & cereal? Then I remember how my sisters & me would beg for crap that we didn't need like fruit rollups. What are fruit rollups? I remember being envious of the kids whose parents bought them fruit rollups, spoiled brats that they were. How she didn't rap me across the forehead every time we went to the grocery store is beyond me. Then she always made a big deal about helping her put the groceries away & we were never willing to help. I can imagine her thinking that she spent an hour at that stupid place buying food for us grubby little moochers & we can't even help her unload it.

I don't have any kids, but I get why she hated it so much. The grocery store is an awful, awful place, especially Meijer's. I don't knock Meijer's as an organization, they provide local jobs, low prices & just about everything you could ever need at any hour of the day. I just hate going there. I am a grumpy, impatient S-O-B at the grocery store, especially on Saturdays. I think the grocery store is a microcosm of society as a whole, people are driving their carts around concerning themselves with which laundry detergent is on sale, filling them up with unhealthy crap they don't need paying absolutely no attention to anybody else around them. Don't you hate it when somebody parks their cart right in the middle of the aisle making it impossible for anyone to get through? Ugh, wish me luck.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

In My Way, Yes-Vic Chesnutt, Silver Lake

Bernadette & Her Crowd-Vic Chesnutt, The Salesman & Bernadette

Anarchy in the UK-the Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols

I'm Going to Say it Now-Phil Ochs, There But for Fortune

Keep the Car Running-Arcade Fire

Happy Saturday, friends...


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Down the highway, down the tracks...

Happy Thursday, friends. One of the hidden treasures I've rediscovered about the new job is the morning & evening commutes. The result of losing an hour everyday in a car everyday is a bit depressing, but the time is well spent. Sometimes I'm in the mood for Morning Edition or All Things Considered, but the rest of the time is spent with the volume turned all the way up on the ipod. The Ipod shuffle changes the way I listen to music in the car. Alot of the time is spent hitting the next button until I find a song I'm in the mood for, but it brings up alot of songs I wouldn't think to listen to. My favorite time is in the evening when the train runs parallel with US-31 with the trees in full color.

The job is going quite well, better than I expected, in fact. It's quite satisfying to turn improve something every day. I've filled up the dumpster about five times. My part timer called me obsessive compulsive today. I told him that I took it as a compliment. Every day is a struggle, but a struggle that I think I'm winning for the most part. I'm down to about one argument per day about things I want to change, down from about 5 or 6. Business is very good, as well. Every now & then, I get a visit from some of my old customers which is a good feeling.

Now, I need a little help. My office is an absolute pit. On slow days, I spend time going through extremely old paperwork, throwing %99 of it away but careful not to lose the %1 that might be important. The room is about 5' x 7' with old rickety faux-wood shelves & an old wooden desk with an open window that passes through to the Assistant Manager's equally shabby office. The door frame is missing, the drywall is in awful shape & one of walls is block with a terrible faux finish on it. The floor is tile that's been painted over about 50 times. What do I do to decorate? My first idea was to embrace the shabiness & put all kinds of old stuff on the walls, completely covering them with old pictures & framed album covers that have no place in my home anymore. I'm thinking of painting the walls black, highlighting the cave-like quality it already possesses.

Now, for the song of the day...

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Train in Vain (Stand By Me)-The Clash

Going Going Gone-Bob Dylan, Hold the Fort (for What it's Worth), 1976

Changing of the Guards-Bob Dylan, Street Legal

Conquest-The White Stripes, Icky Thump

Sunset Soon Forgotten-Iron & Wine

Happy Thursday, friends...


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Morning

Happy Sunday, friends. There are lots of songs about Sunday, but my favorite for today is called Sunday Morning by the Velvet Underground. The Velvet Underground were at their best when they created a chaos of noises that jarred the senses that create uneasy feelings from the listener. Once, I drove home from Kalamazoo in a snow storm with VU playing on the stereo, & the fear of slipping off the street was met perfectly with the sounds coming from White Light/White Heat. It is truly art in song like no other band could create. They could also create beautiful melodies free from all that chaos, & Lou Reed could be quite an expressive singer when he wanted to be.

watch out! the world's behind you,
there's always someone around you who will call
it's nothing at all

Sunday is a perfect day for imagining all the places you can go & all the things you can do but realizing that the best place is where you are doing nothing at all.

What am I doing today, you ask? Well, after church, friends are coming over for, are you ready for this? The game of world domination, Risk. Junior showed me how to play this game a couple of weeks ago & I was instantly hooked. So, this afternoon, 1079 Moreland is geek central.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day (or at least five that I've listened to so far)

Little Green-Joni Mitchell, Blue

If I had to come up with ten of my favorite albums of all time, Blue would undoubtedly be on it, a perfect little masterpiece. It's been a long time since I've listened to it, I think I'll remedy that today.

Take the A Train-Duke Ellington

When the Deal Goes Down-Bob Dylan, Modern Times

Sunday Morning-the Velvet Underground

Across 110th Street-Bobby Womack

Happy Sunday, friends...


Friday, October 19, 2007

My Old Man

Happy Friday, friends. What I always admired about my old man, among many other things, is that he never tries to be cool. He is what he is, there's no image he's trying to uphold. He's not too proud to wear a worn out teenage girl's jacket to plow snow. He's happy to tell you about an episode of Amos & Andy that he just listened to on cassette, or give you the farm report. He proudly wore his mustache long after it was fashionable to do so (if it ever was). While some folks his age were buying big trucks or sports cars, my old man bought several cars which could be the antithesis of the masculine car. Among them were not one, not two, not three, but four Chevy AstroVans & not one, not two, but three Dodge Omni's (actually, two Omnis & one Chrysler Horizon, same car). I saw an Omni the other day that looked exactly like the one he bought brand new in 1988. If I could've, I would've bought it for him right then & there. He never was a drinker or a smoker, no, his vices were much more controversial. Little Debbie Snacks & Winn Schuler's Bar Scheeze are his downfalls, although he could survive, if he had to, on canned tomatoes over macaroni. He's quirky in every sense of the word, which in my eyes will always be cool. We always had fun playing basketball in the driveway, watching the Three Stooges, playing Ping Pong, going to baseball games & baseball card shows, mowing the lawn, chopping wood, going to Bud's & doing all kinds of other things. Here's to you, pops, I hereby announce that we will postpone your birthday to Monday this year so you don't have to spend it at a wedding rehearsal dinner.

for you, a song...

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Simple Twist of Fate-Bob Dylan, Earl's Court, 1981

In the Summertime-Bob Dylan, Earl's Court, 1981

Resurrection Fern-Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog

Flightless Bird, American Mouth-Iron & Wine, the Shepherd's Dog

The Old Revolution-Leonard Cohen, Songs from a Room

Happy Friday, friends...


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

If my thought dreams could be seen...

Has anybody else experienced the phenomena that when you dream about somebody or something that the next morning you hear from or see that person or that thing? It's the strangest thing. Last night, I had a dream that I was at an extremely crowded beach (I'm guessing it was Christie's idea) & somebody was playing the song Upon this Tidal Wave of Young Blood on their radio. I love that song, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only person I know who likes it. I don't even remember what the dream was about, but sure enough, when I got up in the morning they played a clip of the song in between news reports on NPR.

Sometimes I think I'm a genius when I'm sleeping, I often come up with scenarios for television shows in my sleep that I find absolutely hilarious. I never remember them when I wake up, which is probably a good thing, they probably aren't funny.

In other news, Christie is sick with a cold & sinuses. Here's hoping she feels better. Christie, if you don't want your headache to get worse, you probably shouldn't play the above clip.

Grazing in the Grass-Friends of Distinction

Good Year for the Roses-George Jones

Positively 4th Street-Bob Dylan, Syracuse 2007

Do You Know What it Means (to miss New Orleans)?-Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong

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

Happy Wednesday, friends, here's hoping all your dreams come true...


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Try imagining a place where it's always safe & warm...

One of the highlights of just about every week are the nights when friends meet at JW's for food & a couple of drinks. All kinds of topics get discussed from politics to work to religion & all kinds of things in between. All kinds of folks pass through JW's, & the crowd usually changes from week to week, but it's always good.

In other notes, here's to 1976, a great performing year for Bob Dylan. He was fresh off two of his finest albums, Blood on the Tracks & my personal favorite, Desire. 1976 had a bit more focus then the wild tours of the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975, but weren't as stiff & rigid as the stadium tours with The Band in 1974. Here's a few examples.

Here's one of the songs that really got me hooked on Dylan, my favorite version of the song...

with Joan Baez singing the Woody Guthrie song, Deportees...

The best of them all, Idiot Wind...

Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You & I can turn & look
at the silent river & wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings & goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Idiot Wind-Bob Dylan, Hard Rain

Wagon Wheel-Old Crow Medicine Show

I Just Don't Know What to do with Myself-the White Stripes, Elephant

To Be Myself Completely-Belle & Sebastian, the Life Pursuit

Shelter From the Storm-Bob Dylan, Hard Rain

Happy Thursday, friends...


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If you got a field that don't yield, get on your feet, brother & hoe it...

Happy Wednesday, friends. It's one of those rainy & cold days that always makes me happy to come home from work. The new job is making me appreciate home alot more. I've been working 11-12 hour days & getting up at 5:15 am (every morning when I look at the alarm clock & I immediately start humming the song of the same name by Mark Knopfler).

The first day was a little rough, but a couple of days into it I'm starting to feel like I'm getting something accomplished. I'm farther than I thought I would be at getting stuff rearranged, so that's good. My coworkers are not nearly as resistant to change as I thought they would be, so that helped alot. It's been a ton of work & the last couple of days I was too busy for lunch, but it's a good feeling to go home at the end of the day & knowing that you made something better. I even found a perfect spot for my GVSU flag.

I've been enjoying the HOPE College radio station at work, they play a ton of stuff I like, including alot of the Holland Native Sufjan Stevens. They sure do love him, they play one of his songs just about every hour. Christie & I went to a concert on Monday at Hope, a fella named Mat Kearney played there. He played an impromptu cover of Sufjan's Chicago. They did okay with it, but it made me jones for the original. Here it is, friends, enjoy...

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Take It There-The Roots Featuring Wadud Ahmad, Game Theory

Boom Like That-Mark Knopfler, Shangri La

Like a Rolling Stone-Bob Dylan Live '66

Neverending Math Equation-Sun Kil Moon

Happy Wednesday, friends...


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It's a cold night, but we'll keep the music going...

Well, friends, the days are getting shorter, darkness is coming on. The days are unseasonably warm, but the nights are still chilly. I like to keep the windows open to remind myself that it's cold outside. Call me crazy. Nights like this remind me of my old man in his garage, working on whatever. Sometimes I wonder if he wasn't doing anything at all, & that makes it all the better. I liked to think he just goes out there to enjoy the silence save for the sound of the occasional saw & the sound of the a.m. radio in the background. I think I got my love of the radio from my old man, among many other things.

Happy Birthday, Grams, I hope your day was a special one. I love you & miss you. Talk to you soon.


Already one day has detached itself from all the rest up ahead.
It has my photograph in its soft pocket.
It wants to carry my breath into the past in its bag of wind.

I write poems to untie myself, to do penance & disappear
Through the upper right-hand corner of things, to say grace.

Charles Wright, 1977

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

There She Goes My Beautiful World-Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Lyre of Orpheus

Sentimental Reasons-Nat King Cole

Hey Joe-Jimi Hendrix

So Long, It's Been Good to Know You-Woody Guthrie

I'll Be Your Mirror-The Velvet Underground

Happy Wednesday, friends...


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My Parents They Warned Me Not to Waste My Years, I've Still Got Their Advice Oozing Out of My Ears...

Sometimes I envy those people that are constantly getting things accomplished. They can't sit still, even if they aren't working. I think I can be that way if I want to. Today, however, I really don't want to. I can think of about ten things I could get done, but all of those are taking a backseat to listening to & downloading tunes. Some kind soul has posted all of the Theme Time Radio Hour episodes on the internet & I've had a good little system of downloading about 5-7 a week so that I can listen to one or two every day at work. For those of you who haven't heard, Theme Time Radio Hour takes a theme each week & plays songs by different artists about the theme. It's brilliant & it is great background music for work.

The weekend & yesterday was productive, so I'll use that as my excuse to be lazy today. We got our pictures taken on Saturday in downtown Grand Rapids & despite my early resistance, I actually kind of liked it & I'll tell you why: The photographer actually used settings that I would like to see pictures of even if my ugly mug wasn't in them. For a better description of the pictures, go to Christie's blog. My face is still a bit sore from smiling so much.

I'm finally somewhat satisfied with the great stripes project of '07, after hours & hours of struggle. It took a while to figure out the best system to get it to look right. I've only got about an hour of touch ups to do before it's completed, & I must say, it looks like the cat's ass.

Yesterday, Christie & I both had the day off, so we went out to breakfast at the Morningstar before we met with the pastor. I did some more painting, went grocery shopping & saw one of the worst movies of all time, Good Luck, Chuck.

While I'm on the subject of nothing at all, allow me to conduct a poll of my reading audience. I can't think of anyone who regularly reads my blogs who has bad taste in decorating, so I think I'm safe. I have vinyl flooring in my kitchen, dining room & in both bathrooms which looks okay, but I'm not a fan of vinyl, I think it looks cheap. Eventually, I plan on tiling or putting down hardwood, but at the moment I can't really afford it. Underneath the vinyl is concrete. I pulled up the carpet in the closet & found out that the concrete is quite smooth. My idea is to clean the concrete & stain it & doing a treatment with a wash over top of the stain. Does anybody else think this is a good idea or am I an idiot? Well, don't answer that.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Diamond Shoes-Tift Merritt, Bramble Rose

Desolation Row-Bob Dylan, Wembley 2003

My favorite version of my favorite song, you can't go wrong with this one. I can't even explain it, it's like that old Louis Armstrong line, "if somebody has to explain it, it's no use", or something like that. Here's a video of the song from later in the tour, but it doesn't touch the version from Wembley, a concert that I listen to more than any other.

Wildwood Flower-The Carter Family

The New Pollution-Beck, Odelay

Ten years ago, I bought this album & played it over & over in my dorm room. I'm getting old.

The Trapeze Swinger-Iron & Wine

Happy Tuesday, friends, get something done...


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Someone showed me a picture, I just had to laugh, dignity's never been photographed...

Happy Saturday, friends. I'm on vacation, well at least until Wednesday. I figure it would be a good time to take a couple of days off just before I head on down to Holland. I'm not really sure what I'm gonna do, probably not much of anything at all, which is just tops by me. We're gonna meet with the preacher on Monday & maybe I'll tackle the great stripes project of '07. Other than that, I hope to do a whole lot of nothing at all.

This afternoon, however, Christie & I are getting engagement pictures taken. Christie's excited about it & I'm excited for her, but to be honest, I'm not a fan of getting my picture taken. We are going downtown Grand Rapids & were still not sure where the pictures will be taken, the walking bridge right by GVSU will probably be a spot, but other than that, we're gonna rely on the inspiration & the photographer. If nothing else, it'll be fun to walk around downtown Grand Rapids, I haven't been there in a while. Maybe I can drag Christie down to Vertigo to get the new Iron & Wine album.

For your reading pleasure, check out Brother Soldier Dan's blog where he discusses such topics as golf, baseball, the Iraq war, supply & demand, love & theft, music, fine dining, television & censorship, electrical currents, literature, fitness & tips on keeping your lawn green & healthy.

For your viewing & listening pleasure, here's the lovely Jolie Holland singing Mexican Blue...

You're like a saint's song to me
I'll try to sing it pure and easily

You're like a Mexican blue
So bright and clear and pale in the afternoon
I saw you riding on your bike
In a corduroy jacket in the night
Past the hydrangeas that were blooming in the alley
With a galloping dog by your side
When I was hungry you fed me
I don't mean to suggest that I'm like Jesus Christ
Your light overwhelmed me
When I lay beside you sleepless in the night
And when you dreamed my guardian spirits appeared
And the moon stretched out across your little bed
They said they'd started to get worried about me
They were happy we had finally met
We had finally met

A mysterious bird flies away
Seemed to be calling your name
And bounced off the top of a towering pine
And vanished in the drizzling rain
There's a mockingbird behind my house
Who is a magician of the highest degree
And I swear I heard him rip the world apart
And sew it back again with his fiery melody, melody

When you were mad at me I didn't care
And I just loved you all the same
And I waited for the wind to push the hurricane
Out to sea, and the sun could shine again
Oh I don't mean to give you advice
Its just like Delia said, "oh, Jesus Christ"
Just don't get so hight you leave the ground
Everything is so much better when you're around
Just don't float so hight you drift away
Stand tall, with your feet on the ground
I love your songs, I love your sound
Everything is so much better when you're around

When the moon is as clear as an opal
And the amethyst river sings a song
I'll remember all your dreams and the mysteries
You have borne in your crystalline soul
That you sing from your golden throat
That you shine from your sparkling eyes
That you feel from the goddess in your thighs

You're like a saint's song to me
I'll try to sing it pure and easily
You're like a Mexican blue
So bright and clear and pale in the afternoon
In the afternoon

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Adieu False Heart-Jolie Holland, Springtime Can Kill You

Mexican Blue-Jolie Holland, Springtime Can Kill You

It Ain't Me, Babe-Bob Dylan, Tramps 1999

Panties in Your Purse-the Drive By Truckers, Gangstabilly

Mood Indigo-Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours

Happy Saturday, friends, say cheese...


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Let's Invite Them Over

I'm fascinated by my neighbors. I've met those on both sides of me & they no longer fascinate me. But a few doors down from me, those are the ones that intrigue me. All of the condos in my complex have the exact same layout, some are just switched around. Two of the condos always have lights & a tv or computer on in the front bedroom, the room in my house where I never spend any time in. What are they doing in there? The intrigue will remain because if the trend of the last year & a half continues, I'll never speak to them.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

See That My Grave is Kept Clean-Blind Lemon Jefferson

there's one kind favor I ask of you...

Window-Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

Cosmia-Joanna Newsom

Dodge-Vic Chesnutt, Drunk

there's so many ghosts out there on these streets...

300 Miles Per Hour Torrential Outpoor Blues-the White Stripes

i'm bringing back ghosts that are no longer there...one things for sure: in that graveyard I'll have the shiniest pair of shoes

Happy Wednesday, neighbors!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The art of losing isn't hard to master...

You'll get nothing but random news & notes from me today, friends.

I started my first try at horizontal stripes on my bedroom on Sunday, & my biggest fear came true. The paint bled through the tape leaving small little bumps underneath the line instead of a straight line. I figured out a way to fix it, but it was incredibly disappointing. Luckily, I only did one wall, so I'll have to employ a different technique. There's no success like failure, I guess.

I read that Jack White joined Bob Dylan on stage for a couple of shows in Nashville last week. This is incredible news for a huge fan of both artists. The first night, Jack joined in with Bob for the debut of Meet Me in the Morning, an underrated little gem from 1974's Blood on the Tracks. The next night, they debuted Outlaw Blues from Bringing it All Back Home & they played the rarity, One More Cup of Coffee from my favorite Dylan album, Desire. I was there for the first time Jack White played with Bob Dylan when Bob brought him onstage in March 2004 to perform White's song, Ball & a Biscuit. It was the most exciting concert moment I've ever experienced.

Despite the fact that Jack White's band The White Stripes is a duo, there are many parallels to Dylan & White. They both have unconventional voices that many people consider to be nails on a chalkboard. More importantly, both push the envelope of what songwriting can do while using traditional folk & blues music as a base.

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, & names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you ( the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop, 1976

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Don't Take Everybody to be Your Friend-Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Dry Your Eyes-The Streets

Eyes on the Prize-M. Ward, Post War

To Go Home-M. Ward, Post War

The Picture-Son Volt, The Search

Happy Tuesday, friends, keep your eyes on the prize!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Strike Another Match, Go Start Anew...

I love that lyric, don't you? I like the idea of starting all over again. It's from the song, It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, one of my favorite songs. Apparently, Joyce Carol Oates loved the song as well, her fantastic short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is dedicated to & loosely based on the song.

I did my best to strike another match this week, I decided to take another job with my company. Often, I talk about my job like Uncle Leo on Seinfeld brags about Jerry's cousin Jeffrey's job at the Parks Department & for that, I apologize. I don't really deem my job that important in the scheme of things, but it's what I do. Soon, I'll be working in Holland, about a half an hour from me. It was a bittersweet decision to make, really.

First of all, I love the place where I work. The people I work with are like family to me. Anybody here that ol' joke? There's nothing they wouldn't do for me & there's nothing I wouldn't do for them & that's how we go through life, doing nothing for each other. That, of course, isn't the case. We all talk about our lives like they are open books, we're very close. There's no place I've worked for a longer period of time then Grand Haven, & there's no one I've worked with longer then Gloria.

I've been working in Grand Haven for exactly five years. I feel kind of sad that the place I've worked at will now be under some one else's control, & every thing I've worked for will probably change, for the positive & negative. I have a great base of customers, many of whom I'd consider friends & it will be sad not to see them every day. I've always liked the idea of living, working, shopping & going to the church in the same town, & that will no longer be the case. I'll be driving 20-30 minutes everyday to get to work.

On the other hand, I was starting to get bored at work, thinking there was no longer a challenge. I'm going to work at a place that's struggled for the past few years, & I'm excited at the prospect of seeing if I can turn it around. There will be new people, new customers & the old friends will still be right around the corner, it can't be all bad. Here's to old friends & new challenges.

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Crying like a fire in the sun.
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.
Take what you have gathered from coincidence.
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets.
This sky, too, is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home.
All your reindeer armies, are all going home.
The lover who just walked out your door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor.
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you.
Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you.
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore.
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

Copyright © 1965; renewed 1993 Special Rider Music

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Sing Me Back Home-Merle Haggard

A Change is Gonna Come-Otis Redding

Alimony-Tommy Tucker

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue-Bob Dylan, March 17, 2004

Do Re Mi-Woody Guthrie

Happy Tuesday, friends...


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Am I Making All the Right Moves?

The early reviews are in & the new Josh Ritter album is, as far as I can tell after one listen, fantastic. I stopped by Vertigo after a meeting in Grand Rapids today to pick it up. It's been a while since I've been to the ol' music store. According to Herm, it's been a slow summer for the music business, a shame really.

Anyway, the third song on the album is called Right Moves, "Am I making all the right moves, am I singing you the right blues?". It's a great little song. Ritter has a knack for turning what are seemingly clumsy rhymes into flawless vocal performances. Right Moves is an interesting companion piece to the song Here at the Right Time from his previous album, the Animal Years. It's another song where he's asking somebody if he's made the right decision, if only to reassure himself.

I was listening to this song in my car as I drove past my old house in the valley below. Looking back, that house probably wasn't the smartest investment I've ever made. I loved the old shack, but I think there could've been better houses to buy. Maybe not. I was lucky to sell it for what I did. The new owners have apparently not done a thing with the place & the foliage looks to be quite overgrown. It's nice to see the ornamental grasses I planted still there, though. I wonder if my paint job is still prominent inside.

After that, I went to see Christie at work to remind myself of the best decision I've ever made. Decisions, decisions. Reminds me of that song, "I've got reservations about so many things, but not about you..." Maybe someday I'll pick up an analogy from something other than a silly song, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.

Here at the Right Time by Josh Ritter

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

The Trapeze Swinger-Iron & Wine

Mind's Eye-Josh Ritter, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

Kingdom of the Animals-Iron & Wine, Boy with a Coin

Right Moves-Josh Ritter, the Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

September of My Years-Frank Sinatra

Happy Thursday, friends...


Reservations by Wilco...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tourist towns are a drag sometimes...

"Romulus" from Sufjan Stevens

I went for a walk along the pier this evening, as I like to do. It was a beautiful evening to put on a sweatshirt & the. Things looked quite a bit different from the last time I was there, much less crowded. I know Grand Haven's economy depends on tourism, but I can't help but be selfish & enjoy it much more when the tourists are gone. It's beautiful on a night like this, with fewer people it seems more like home, mostly fishermen, runners & folks walking their dogs, & me. The best part of a walk on the pier is not the walk towards the end, but the walk back with the sunlight going down on the land.

Maybe I just hate crowds. So the next time you come to Grand Haven, make sure it's on a cool night during the week.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Holland-Sufjan Stevens, Michigan

things will end before they start...

Honest With Me-Bob Dylan, Stockholm, 2007

It's a bit strange for someone in his sixties to write the lyrics;

when I left my home the sky split open wide
I never wanted to go back there, I'd rather have died...

I always loved this lyric, & the way he sings it when he's on, his voice mimics the sky splitting open wide...

One By One-Wilco, Mermaid Ave

The Sprout & the Bean-Joanna Newsom, The Milk Eyed Mendor

Dress Up in You-Belle & Sebastian, the Life Pursuit

Happy fall evenings, friends...


Monday, September 10, 2007

Summer Days & Summer Nights are Gone...

Summer Days

First Release
"Love And Theft"
"Love And Theft"
The Best of Bob Dylan
The Best of Bob Dylan
{ RealAudio }
WindowsMedia { 56 }

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days and the summer nights are gone
I know a place where there's still somethin' going on

I got a house on a hill, I got hogs all out on in the mud
I got a house on a hill, I got hogs out lying in the mud
Got a long haired woman, she got royal Indian blood

Everybody get ready - lift up your glasses and sing
Everybody get ready to lift up your glasses and sing
Well, I'm standin' on the table, I'm proposing a toast to the King

Well I'm drivin' in the flats in a Cadillac car
The girls all say, "You're a worn out star"
My pockets are loaded and I'm spending every dime
How can you say you love someone else when you know it's me all the time?

Well, the fog's so thick you can't spy the land
The fog is so thick that you can't even spy the land
What good are you anyway, if you can't stand up to some old businessman?

Wedding bells ringin', the choir is beginning to sing
Yes, the wedding bells are ringing and the choir is beginning to sing
What looks good in the day, at night is another thing

She's looking into my eyes, she's holding my hand
She's looking into my eyes, she's holding my hand
She says, "You can't repeat the past." I say, "You can't? What do you mean, you can't? Of course you can."

Where do you come from? Where do you go?
Sorry that's nothin' you would need to know
Well, my back has been to the wall for so long, it seems like it's stuck
Why don't you break my heart one more time just for good luck

I got eight carburetors, boys I'm using 'em all
Well, I got eight carburetors and boys, I'm using 'em all
I'm short on gas, my motor's starting to stall

My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
I got my hammer ringin', pretty baby, but the nails ain't goin' down

You got something to say, speak or hold your peace
Well, you got something to say, speak now or hold your peace
If it's information you want you can go get it from the police

Politician got on his jogging shoes
He must be running for office, got no time to lose
He been suckin' the blood out of the genius of generosity
You been rolling your eyes - you been teasing me

Standing by God's river, my soul is beginnin' to shake
Standing by God's river, my soul is beginnin' to shake
I'm countin' on you love, to give me a break

Well, I'm leaving in the morning as soon as the dark clouds lift
Yes, I'm leaving in the morning just as soon as the dark clouds lift
Gonna break the roof in - set fire to the place as a parting gift

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days, summer nights are gone
I know a place where there's still somethin' going on

Copyright © 2001 Special Rider Music

Well, not really, but we are getting close. Today was the first day with temps in the fifties, & I for one love it. I have to close the windows, it's getting a bit too cold in here. I'm a wimp when it comes to the heat, I have the air conditioner on when it's consistently over 75 in the house, but I can handle the cold, in fact I embrace the cold. It's gotta be under 64 in the house before I consider turning the heat on. There's something about piling up in a sweatshirt out of necessity, or the few minutes it takes to get warm when getting into bed. There's a clarity in a fall that you can't find in any other season, even on a cloudy day, everything is much clearer, much more colorful.

I like these things, why? 'Cause I'm a Schroeder, that's why. Schroeders are autumn people. We know nothing about boats, water-skiing or fishing in the summer, no we are land faring creatures. But we know all about autumn. It all starts with my mother canning tomatoes, soon after the mum cart will be put out on the ridge & the mums will be taken to the farmers market on Saturday morning. Others will go to the Michigan football game, maybe there will be some leave raking or jumping in leaves or maybe I'll go for a hike in the woods. My parents were both born in the fall, my sister was married, my Oma died, it's the way of things.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Shooting Star-Bob Dylan Zurich, 2003

Summer Days-Bob Dylan Zurich, 2003

Muzzle of Bees-Wilco, A Ghost is Born

Wave-Calexico, Por Vida, A Tribute to Alejandro Escovedo

The Late Greats-Wilco, A Ghost is Born

Happy Monday, friends...


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Whatever colors you have in your mind...

One of many things that excites me about my upcoming nuptials ("don't you talk about anything else?" no. no, I don't) is repainting & redecorating. Perhaps my sisters rubbed off on me all those years, or maybe I'm just a nancy boy, I'm not sure, but I'm excited to change things around. Golf was canceled & it rained too much for Junior & me to play basketball, so I decided to paint, instead. I just got done for the evening, I started on repainting the spare bedroom, where my bedroom furniture will go. It'll be nice to have guests over & have a nicer bed for them to sleep in then the fart sack, as it's affectionately known. I'm painting it a medium gold (color name-Andrew's fabulous spare bedroom, in case you were wondering), hopefully to blend with the furniture & the bedspread. It looks good, so far, if I do say so myself. Christie will let me know what she thinks tomorrow. For the record Cashmere is still the best looking & easiest paint to use, I highly recommend it.

The next room we work on will be my, soon to be our bedroom, which will be a darker, slightly different shade (than what I have now) of chocolate brown. Christie had the idea of painting horizontal stripes of two different colors to go along the top of the wall. The colors of the stripes will be a teal & an off white, it sounds strange, but I think it will look great, provided I can do it right.

I think I'll wind down the evening with "God Warriors" on CNN. This is how I end another day in my kingdom.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

For the Price of a Cup of Tea-Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit

You're Gonna Miss Me-The Thirteenth Floor Elevators

A King at Night-Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Ease Down the Road

Seven Times Hotter than Fire-T-Bone Burnett, The True False Identity

Palestine Texas-T-Bone Burnett, The True False Identity

Happy Thursday, friends, I hope your day was colorful...


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bob Dylan Reads My Blogs

Reason #643 of why I'm a dork is that I read the setlists of Bob Dylan concerts the day after they happen. I've been doing it for years, it's a fun little hobby that takes about 45 seconds of every day that the old man is on tour. Feel free to throw tomatoes at me, I don't mind. Christie, if you don't want to marry me now, I'd understand.

The main reason I read the setlists is so I know which shows to download based on the songs that are played. The exciting ones are the ones where rarities are played.

Well, yesterday, my blog was entitled "We'll climb that hill no matter how steep", & it comes from the Bob Dylan song You Ain't Goin' Nowhere which I've been listening to alot lately. Here's the lyrics:

You Ain't Goin' Nowhere

Clouds so swift
Rain won't lift
Gate won't close
Railings froze
Get your mind off wintertime
You ain't goin' nowhere
Whoo-ee! Ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair!

I don't care
How many letters they sent
Morning came and morning went
Pick up your money
And pack up your tent
You ain't goin' nowhere
Whoo-ee! Ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair!

Buy me a flute
And a gun that shoots
Tailgates and substitutes
Strap yourself
To the tree with roots
You ain't goin' nowhere
Whoo-ee! Ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair!

Genghis Khan
He could not keep
All his kings
Supplied with sleep
We'll climb that hill no matter how steep
When we get up to it
Whoo-ee! Ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair!

Copyright © 1967; renewed 1995 Dwarf Music
Well, I checked read the setlist from Adelaide, Australia from last night this evening & the song was played for the first time in 2007. Coincidence? Absolutely. From the setlist, it looked like a great show, with the first ever live version of Beyond the Horizon from Modern Times.

For more dorky coincidences, the song Quinn the Eskimo was played for the first time in thirty years the summer my nephew Quinn was born. On an unrelated note, when Quinn was over my house a few weeks ago, we were playing cars & one of the cars he was playing with got in an accident & he yelled, "This Wheel's on Fire!". I asked him if it was rolling down the road & he said yes.

Looking for more coincidence? Probably not, but here's the same song from Christie's favorite band The Counting Crows, anyway. The sound is a bit rough, but you get the idea. Not a bad version, at that.

Christie, I promise that this will be the last time I draw a parallel between our upcoming wedding & a Bob Dylan show.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Straight, No Chaser-Thelonious Monk

Seems so Long Ago, Nancy-Leonard Cohen, Songs from a Room

Tonight Will Be Fine-Leonard Cohen, Songs from a Room

A Night in Tunisia-Art Blakely

Remember the Mountain Bed-Wilco, Mermaid Ave Vol II

Strap yourself to the tree with roots, friends...


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