Sunday, August 15, 2010


Well, it's the dog days of summer, but they're not too doggy to me. Today was one of those days riding home when Westmoreland Park and the softball fields looked like a model landscape for an H.O. train set. That would make me the little plastic cyclist glued to the path near the bleachers. A perfect day into a perfect night for making enchilada casserole and listening to The Keene Brothers record, one of the best of the Pollard collabs. Somewhere in there I watched the second half of The Golden Coach. I'm not really familiar with Renoir's films, and did not expect such gorgeous, opulent images...I sort of had a sophomore idea that all his movies are groundbreaking black and white art bummers. I guess The Grand Illusion would be next.

Saturday ritual has been to load in at Lulu's and pretend I work there for three hours, which gets me some phad thai, a choice spot for reading the paper after I mash a smoothie, and a trip to Full City for an americano for me and a skim latte for Tracy. Then I walk home, stopping at the library for ten cd's, which end up on my Ipod usually. I found the first two Richard Hawley records, which I've been loving. Classy, romantic, atmospheric pop music that isn't corny--maybe he's our current-day Roy Orbison. Except he sings in a baritone, like Leonard Cohen. Genesis "Fox Trot" is pretty cool. I had a head-on collision with "Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" years ago which left me thinking I'd never like early Genesis. I like it now. Other library swag: Einsturzende Neubauten (scared the crap out of me in high school, gave it to Steve Tulipana; now I'm checking it out from the library. WTF?); The Fall's "I Am Kurious Orange" (that's a weird one in their catalog, I like it.) BTW, that new Fall album is one of the best of 2010 (like I have an exhaustive survey). One inflection, one muttering aside from M.E.S. is...thrilling, weird, and funny. He makes Eminem sound like Dennis the Menace.

Trip to KC/Jefferson City was a grand time. Dinner with Steve and Cheryl at JJ's (wine list like the Eugene phonebook), lunch at Winstead's with my brilliant and wonderful nieces and nephews, then the Amtrak to central Mo for a few days on my brother's acreage in their log cabin. Drank champagne in the hot tub during a thunderstorm, made smoked jalapeno poppers in a bomber smoker on the patio. Tripped into Columbia to visit Mom and Dad, got a bunch of The Trouble With Normal fanzines at a vintage shop...took a picture of The Blue Note. Did not mind the heat, nor the humidity. It was a reasonable tradeoff for symphonies of bird songs and acres of grapes. Finished Pauline Kael's "I Lost It At The Movies" and tore through Henning Mankell's "Italian Shoes" on the train and plane. THAT was a good book. Lunch on the plaza before catching the plane back to NW--forget what it was called, a Tuscan place. Pretty good.

Back to a smokin' show at The Whiteaker Block Party--off the hook homeade mini-Mardi Gras. Got a little weird at midnight when people were passing out in the street--strange tableau. Kids, save some for tomorrow, and...don't pass out in the street. Our set was just one long fun flow, even with fuckups. One for the books--lots of love on the nice stage they'd set up at the G Spot venue. From garage band to driveway band--now THAT is industry traction. Night before last was Ed Cole's 40th at Sam Bond's--also a great night. The Golden Motors are in full effect, with a year's worth of 4-track/Garageband demos piled up behind the new album.

Songs that show up on my Ipod that I dig right now:

Black Francis: Dead Man's Curve
Exene Cervenka: Let Go and Be Sweet
Eddy Current Suppression Ring: Insufficient Funds
Horace Andy: Do You Love My Music
Michael Hurley and Betsy Nichols: Knockando
The Minus 5: Smoke On, Jerry
Slint: Washer
Smack Dab: Never Been to Spain
Stew: Love Like That
Unknown Instructors: This Is Where You Find It
The Vivian Girls: You're My Guy
Zombi: Night Rhythms
Minor Threat: Straight Edge
Richard Hawley: Don't You Cry
Lungfish: Samuel

And...I'm into the second Michael Connelly novel in the Bosch series--The Black Ice.
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