Sunday, April 12, 2015


I've been getting into graphic novels lately. These two I found up at Half Price Books in Westport: Unterzakhn by Leela Corman, and The Push Man and Other Stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi.


UPCOMING squidsKC shows:

Middle of The Map Fest (KCMO)
@The Riot Room Patio
Friday, April 24
SquidsKC@ 6:45

miniBAR (KCMO)
Friday, May 8
Cher UK


Sunday, April 5, 2015


Royals Baseball Predictions, Spring 2015

As in years past, there will be no "The Next George Brett."  There have been a few The Next George Bretts, though not as many as there have been The Next Bob Dylans.  Some of them, like Mr. Damon and Mr. Gordon, turned into themselves.  Steve Forbert turned into himself after being The Next Bob Dylan.  That was good too. George Brett and Bob Dylan are still great at being themselves.  A first baseman whose last name begins with "H" and who wears a mohawk like a 9-year old playing paintball, could turn into himself this year. 

I will sit out at the K and feel blessed that I am in Kansas City, watching my team the way I used to as a kid, win or lose.

I will wager the purchase of a nacho helmet in order to conjure a clutch hit the way I did successfully last year.  Escobar hit the double, and I bought the nacho helmet for the group.

The Royals will average .35 to .60 more runs per game.  The metric of a quality start will continue to change: somewhere between five and six innings will do.  This will prevent injuries, and the dreaded "dead arm" that also afflicts tavern poets all over the globe.  The bullpen strategy that was successful last year will change to include a 6th Inning Cyborg, and lead the way in changing how pitching staffs are managed. Successful starting pitchers will be successful for more than three or four years, and suffer fewer injuries and syndromes like "dead arm," which can turn them into embittered tavern poets.  "Dead arm" is surely code for "we wore this guy out after signing him for 8 million dollars a year."

I will tailgate for the first time, consuming grilled meats and relaxing beverages in the parking lot of the K.  Friends do not believe that I have not seen The Godfather II, or A Clockwork Orange, or tailgated.  I have done none of those three things. 

What can't be accounted for is the experience of 2014 and how that will hold together the current core and change the long term culture of the team.  This team could win five to seven more games but not achieve what they did last year.  The schizoid paranoia hundreds of thousands of Royals fans have been trained to suffer has somewhat been healed.  There are some signs that the entire country is in love with the team.  I have melted down off and online about the team in recent years but now trust the instincts of the general manager and manager far more.  I feel they have been vindicated.  The franchise player we may not want to lose at the end of his current contract may be the current general manager.  Someone may want to hire him to work with and manage a King Tut type budget.

With free Google Fiber at our house, I will not pay for Google TV just to watch the Royals.  I will listen to them on the radio a bunch, go to Mike's Tavern and to Scot's house, and plan on spending the $130/month I would spend on Google TV on actual games at the K. 

The beard factor will get worse, especially for inconsistent pitchers with ERAs over 5. 

Players will essentially wrap or enfold their spikes in the drag-ass cuffs of their pants, until finally an equipment manager hires a children's pajama company to design footsy pants with tough vinyl soles, machine-routed to accepts the spike pattern of a players particular shoe and otherwise cover the shoe.  The pants may even come with the shoes sewn into them.  By the time this trend consolidates, plumber's butt and handlebar moustaches will be the new thing.  The first intentional plumber's butt flasher will be fined, but the second will be a really good player and they'll let it pass. 

Bob Dylan has been good at still being himself for almost two decades:

Friday, March 27, 2015


Davey's Uptown Rambler (KCMO)
Friday, April 3 
9pm $10 
The Gawd Project 

Middle of The Map Fest (KCMO)
@The Riot Room Patio
Friday, April 24
SquidsKC@ 6:45

miniBAR (KCMO)
Friday, May 8
Cher UK

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Yesterday was a lazy day.  I took a trip to Half Price Books, took a walk, took a nap, ate a bowl of soup.  I was just flat out tired from last weekend's Rock and Roll Lottery gig and preparation; Friday night's gig; work--and everything else.  I just had no gas in the tank and it was pleasant to do nothing all day to prepare for a night out at The Ship and Voltaire with good friends for a late birthday dinner.  I found a Dan Simmons book and a novel called Kraken that I have seen a few times before, and a couple of graphic novels, at Half Price.  I got a birthday reading pile for $30, not bad.  However, I jumped into The Twelve, from the Plaza Library, the followup to The Passage.  High tech vampire apocalypse Saturday.

The Ship was a magical little place, wow.  And dinner at Voltaire was one of the best meals I have had in a long time, with good pals.  Excellent birthday.

I am blogging this morning but may in fact still be tired.  I may in fact pursue indolence today, as well.  I may need even less activity today.  Situps--no.  Jogging--no.  Home repair--no.  Almost anything but indolence and dawdling will not do.  Syntax will not be edited for sense.  I send this report from a large pile of pillows, in the dark, with a Roku controller and a mug of coffee in my hand. 

My birthday was fun, though my fantasy of leaving work after 8 hours was interrupted by work--what else?  We had penne with roasted peppers and sausage from Broadway Butcher--so good.  And coconut cream pie prepared by one of Tracy's co-workers.  It was great.  At 46, I am launching into the second third of my life, and think all birthdays from here on out will feature pie, not cake.  Coconut cream, banana cream, apple, blueberry, strawberry rhubard--any of these.  Another birthday commitment I made was to keep wearing loud shoes.

Friday night's show was really fun.  It is a special thing to be rolling out the Squids in KC with old friends.  We debuted a new song, again, and even better.  It was the second time I've seen Knife Crime--rock solid rhythm section, cool contrapuntal guitars ("angular" but not arty UK postpunk angular), fun songs, and a nifty Redd Kross cover to end it.  The Heavy Figs were a blast of fresh air from 1971, sort of loose proto garage metal and rock and roll.  It reminded me of Dead Moon and a few other things.

Whatever the state of the war on drugs, I have been naive about grass.  I went to The Grass Pad and bought a 25 pound bag of seed, fertilizer, peat moss, and straw from True Value.  Watching it not grow is agonizing.  Watching birds use the islands of straw as a feeder is agonizing.  Yet, I am seeing a few shoots come up.  If you re-focus, and don't look to closely, you see a slight haze of green shoots that MAY be grass growing.  Or this is your hopeful imagination.  Whatever the case, unless I choose to sod the yard, I believe I have embarked on a 5-year project to get even a little bit of grass growing where the stone mason thrashed the back yard with a bobcat, moving and leveling.  All very necessary.

Here is a cool photo of me and Britt, from the Rock and Roll Lottery, by Rachel Sky.  I met so many cool people doing that show, after getting so stressed out!  There is stress that indicates something excellent is happening, and other kinds of stress that, if chronic, need to be zapped.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Squids gig this week, come on down.  


     My pal Ed Cole released a dark, folky get-stuck-in-your-head record this month, something he worked on at home and bouncing around to friends' homes and studios over the course of a couple years. It is a departure from the post-punk garage rock of The Underlings and I really love it. I listen to it while I am cooking, like last night: white bean and turkey chili with grilled cheese sandwiches, bopping in and out of the house to move the sprinkler on the grass seed I planted. I played some trombone on this song: