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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'll remember you, when the wind blows through the piney wood...

It's well known that scent is the closest sense related to memory, although I usually focus on hearing. When I hear a song I haven't heard in a long time, it can bring back memories, but those memories can often be tainted by what I think about the song. Chances are, if I liked the song, it will provide a good memory, which is usually all I'm looking for anyway.

The sense of smell doesn't lie, it brings back the most vivid of memories. The cottage in Interlochen smells exactly the way it did when I was a kid, which may sound like a bad thing, but it really isn't. I think it's a combination of campfires, woods & the lake. It's amazing how much things changed since the last time I stayed there, & how much things stayed the same. Obviously, the personnel is quite different than it used to be, there was a lot more people, & a few less people, at least when I was there. My mom & Joyce didn't do any puzzles, but they played scrabble. My dad & Mark were once again the perfect mixture of making sure people were having fun & not doing anything stupid. It was a wonderful couple of days filled with old & new memories.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Dreamin' of You-Bob Dylan, from the upcoming Tell Tale Signs release coming in October. Apparently, this song wasn't used for the album Time Out of Mind because the lyrics were later used in Standin' in the Doorway.

Girl of the North Country-Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

California One/The Youth & Beauty Brigade-The Decemberists, Castaways & Cutouts

Better Halves-My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges

Thank You Too!-My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges

Happy Wednesday, friends...


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I See People Who are Supposed to Know Better Standin' 'Round Like Furniture

Maybe there's just too much entertainment. I find myself sitting in the living room with both the laptop & television with Countdown with Keith Olbermann on television. I'm watching the dog to make sure he doesn't chew the wires from the x-box that I never play & I find a clip of A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall from the latest tour on Youtube. I've got an Itunes gift card that I got for my birthday that I'm using up.

I find an album of Jack Kerouac reading excerpts from one of my favorite books, On the Road. I read the book around the time of Heidi & Scott's wedding. I remember the day because all the girls were in the house drinking Mimosa's & I was out underneath the carport happy as a clam reading that book. I think I finished it that day.

On the Road is one of those books that interests me because there's a part of me who always wanted to be a part of that freewheelin' lifestyle where people find adventures & artistic expression in everyday life. Jazz is playing in every night club. You're in trouble every time you set your suitcase down so you better keep moving. Nothing is safe, nothing is easy.

I know that lifestyle never fit me, I could never sleep in a car. I feel guilty if I'm not at work for more than three days. I'd rather spend my evenings at home than do just about anything. That doesn't mean I can't let that crazed, scatter-brained coffee & cigarette filled bop prose wash over me as my wife irons clothes upstairs & my dog lies on the carpet & chews on his toy before I go to bed at 10:00 & get up at 5:30 tomorrow morning to go to work. Maybe tomorrow I should get rid of all this entertainment & milk some cows or something.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

It Ain't Me, Babe-Bob Dylan, Rolling Thunder 1975

Boom!-The Roots, the Tipping Point

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

Old Lady & the Devil-Anthology of American Folk Music

Salt Peanuts-Dizzy Gillespie, An Electrifying Evening with Dizzy Gillespie

Happy Wednesday, friends...


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tis the song the sigh of the weary?

Another day, another great artist to talk about. In 1995, I was working for Mill Creek Townhouses in Ann Arbor. Every Monday, the company they hired to mow the lawns would show up. There was one fella that worked for that company that looked just like Jerry Garcia. They showed up to mow the lawn the day Jerry Garcia died, I'm sure that fella got a lot of funny looks that day. It's hard to imagine that was 13 years ago. I didn't know much about Jerry Garcia back then, I knew he was the guy that sang for that group that sang that song that went "I will get by" that had skeleton versions of themselves in the video.

Now, I know what many of you are thinking, the Grateful Dead are those ugly dudes that did alot of drugs & played music all around the country for those dirty hippies that also did alot of drugs & you are probably right about all of it. But if that's all you see, you're missing out on a lot of great music. But I'm not talking about the Dead today, I happen to be one of those crazy people that prefers the Jerry Garcia Band to the Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead made some good studio albums in my opinion, but they are most known for their concerts. Their concerts to me sound as though they are going nowhere, the shell of their songs are there but are lost in endless guitar noodling & pointless jams. The Jerry Garcia Band, however, contains everything I like about great music. It has wonderful harmonies from the background singers, wonderful organ from Melvin Seals & a focus that the Dead never had. Garcia is not tied to the Grateful Dead catalog so he can play whatever he wants to, his favorite traditional & contemporary covers. His vocals & more especially his guitar solos have an intense focus. The music is rooted in the past & has a focused spontaneity to it. Check out the version of Run for the Roses found below, it gives a Grateful Dead classic "It Must've Been the Roses" a run for it's money. This is Sunday afternoon music.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Run for the Roses-Jerry Garcia Band

Waiting for a Miracle-Jerry Garcia Band

How come the future has to take such long time when you're waiting for a miracle?

Hard Times-Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson Tribute Concert (song by Stephen Foster)


Stephen Foster
(Arr. Ralph McTell)

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears
While we all sup sorrow with the poor
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears
Oh Hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door
Oh hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and
music bright and gay
There are frail forms fainting at the door
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door
Oh hard times come again no more.
Oh hard times come again no more.

Sing Me Back Home-Merle Haggard

Restless Farewell-Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra Tribute Concert

Happy Sunday, friends...


Saturday, July 19, 2008

That Thin Wild Mercury Sound

It's Saturday morning & Christie's plans of going to the beach aren't looking too good. It's quite cloudy outside & it's now raining.

I've spent the morning getting hardly anything accomplished except for loading music onto my computer. The last one I just popped in is On the Corner by Miles Davis. I can't imagine anyone I know listening to this album except for maybe Dan Vanderwall & not making a face like Miles is making here. My mother once said that it didn't much matter if a jazz musician missed a note, & although I don't think she meant that as a compliment, it's absolutely true. Sometimes the great moments come in the missed notes, & that was never as true as on On the Corner. It's an absolute mess laid over a repetitive little drum beat & a bass line that comes in every ten seconds & repeats itself. I can hear cats from all over the neighborhood hissing at Miles' trumpet. Problem is, I love it. Great music has the ability not only to soothe, excite & inspire but also the power to DISTURB, no matter how many people don't like it. This music is more sardonic than any Public Enemy record or anybody else that cares to stir people up with words. This challenges what jazz could & should be. Much like Dylan changed the nature of songwriters' subject matter Miles changed the sounds jazz musicians made.

If Miles had released this album after Kind of Blue, he would've been assassinated. Thankfully, he eased his way up to it with Bitches Brew.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

We Call Upon the Author to Explain-Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig Lazarus Dig

So What-Miles Davis, Miles in Berlin

On the Corner/New York Girl/Thinkin' of One thing & Doing Another/Vote for Miles-Miles Davis, On the Corner

Sister Lost Soul-Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal

I've already fell in love with this album after two days, this song in particular. The video is pretty bad but the sound is wonderful...

Always a Friend-Alejandro Escovedo & Bruce Springsteen!

I just found this out this morning, it's pretty incredible that someone who couldn't even sell out the Wealthy Street Theater in Grand Rapids is playing with Bruce Springsteen. Maybe Grand Rapids is just lame.

Happy Saturday, friends...


Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Aim is True

This was supposed to be the summer I took a break from playing golf. The past three years I played on a golf league, to minimal degrees of success & enjoyment. This year, the change in employment meant a clean break from the golf league, so I thought I might try to skip playing golf altogether. A fourth of July visit from my best golfing partners, Ryan & MIke, through that out the window.

I hate boring golf stories as much as the next guy, but you must bare with me on this one.

This afternoon, Christie suggested that we should play golf. I reluctantly said sure, we made a tee time at Fruitport Country Club & off we went. We played golf on our second date, & I remember being how surprised at how well she hit the ball for someone who never plays (alright, I'll admit I was surprised how well she hit the ball for a girl), but other than that, it was unremarkable. We went to the driving range once, too but I don't remember her hitting the ball too far. Today, however, was a different story. Every time she hit the ball she hit it a long way, I'd say she averaged about 230 yards a drive & most of them were perfectly straight. I would have been impressed if it were someone who played golf all the time, but for someone who never plays, & doesn't care how good she does I was enthralled. I am not exaggerating in the least bit, I'd say her farthest drive was about 280. She didn't mess up any shots when she gave a full swing, on the other hand, her chips & putts were atrocious, but that shouldn't take away from the show.

On the last whole, par five she stepped up to the ladies tee & smacked the ball a good 260 right down the middle of the fareway. The next shot (five iron, she asked me just like she did all day long) landed right on the green. As we were riding towards the green I told her that she was putting for an eagle & how rare that was. After I chipped on to the green, I told her to take her time & line up the putt & just as I start to tell her where to aim (yeah, I'm turning into that guy) I see the ball shoot past me, not even close. She was able to save par on the last hole of what was the wildest round of golf of my life.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

When the Day Met the Night-Panic at the Disco

Onion Soup-Vic Chesnutt, Is the Actor Happy?

For Every Field There's a Mole-Bonnie "prince" Billy, Lie Down in the Light

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35-Bob Dylan, Stirling Castle 2001

Keep Eye on Other's Gain-Bonnie "prince" Billy, Lie Down in the Light

Happy Sunday, friends...


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings

Christie just bought the album called Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings by the Counting Crows the other day at her favorite place in the world, Vertigo. The album is split up in two parts; the Saturday night songs are rock & roll type numbers & the Sunday morning songs are more laid back ballad type songs. There's never much of a distinction between Saturday nights & Sunday mornings for me, I much prefer sitting on the couch & watching Flip that House. Tonight feels a bit more like a Sunday morning, save for the nice glass of Chianti I'm sipping on. I'm downloading music onto my computer & watching the dog, Christie's working on a paper. We went to church tonight & to the Wharf afterwards for dinner (we usually go to the Wharf for breakfast).

Now, I don't like to brag, but after such an incredible weekend with friends playing golf, grilling out, watching baseball, watching fireworks in my little town in my little house with my beautiful wife & my little dog, I can't help but feel blessed. It's a good little life I got.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Things Ain't Like They Used to Be-the Black Keys, Attack & Release

Gettin' By-Jackie Greene, Rusty Nail

The finest 4th of July song ever written, perhaps the only 4th of July song ever written.

The game must be loaded, cause I never win
these things never did treat me good.
but keep the fire warm, dear and I`ll see you again
Lord knows that someday I should

it`s a strange old feeling, these passing lane blues
but it`s nothing I ain`t never felt before.
you nailed down my conscience and you forced me to choose
and my soul I let slip through your door

and I`ll be doing just fine, oh fine
no matter how hard I don`t try
and if it`s raining on the fourth of July
I believe I`ll be gettin` by

the cheaper the ride, the cheaper the thrill
you can`t trust the shadow through the curtain.
but if I took you for granted, would you send me the bill?
there`s one thing that I know for certain..

all I`ve got is this time on my hands
and time, oh time it`s a breakin`
just one lost memory and the price you demand
yes I loved you but I could have been mistaken

and I`ll be doing just fine, oh fine
no matter how hard I don`t try
and if it`s raining on the fourth of July
I believe I`ll be gettin` by

time makes you older (or that`s what they say)
I come to find out it ain`t so.
time makes you colder and farther away
and farther and farther you go...

Ruby Tuesday-The Rolling Stones

Rising Up-The Roots, Rising Down

War is Kind-Jakob Dylan, Seeing Things

Such Great Heights-Iron & Wine

Happy Saturday evening, friends...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Up in the morning, out on the job, work like the devil for my pay...

It's all in the way you look at things, I suppose. I worked all day today from about 6:45 to 6:30. Some days are better than others, but every day usually has it's highs & lows. So when I had some extra work to do after we closed, I figured I'd make the best of things so I turned up the stereo as far as it would go. That little thing has surprisingly good sound & it's odd to hear music that loud at work, but I finished up some work for the morning with the sounds of the greatest live album ever Live '66 blaring over gallons & gallons of paint. Things only got better when I saw my wifey & the filthy little mutt at home.

Tomorrow, I hope to get off work early & then we're heading to Vertigo to pick up some cd's. After that, we're going to the Shawmut Inn & then the Whitecaps game with Ryan, Holly & Jr.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Young Americans-David Bowie

Baby Let Me Follow You Down-Bob Dylan, Live '66

Dark Eyes-Bob Dylan, Empire Burlesque

This song is living proof that the worst Bob Dylan albums are still worth listening to. In 1995, Bob Dylan coaxed Patti Smith into touring after a long hiatus due to the death of her husband. He told her that they could duet on any song & she chose this little gem.

That Lucky Ol' Sun-Louis Armstrong

The Mess Around-Ray Charles

Happy Wednesday, friends...


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