November 29, 2007


Ultimately, everyone lets you down. Your friends, your family, your employer, your co-workers. But no one will disappoint you more than you yourself will. Have you ever looked inside yourself and thought about all of the ways you have failed yourself and others?


November 26, 2007

Any Day Now, Any Day Now

They say everything can be replaced,
Yet every distance is not near.
So I remember every face
Of every man who put me here.

I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

They say every man needs protection,
They say every man must fall.
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Some place so high above this wall.

I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

Standing next to me in this lonely crowd,
Is a man who swears he's not to blame.
All day long I hear him shout so loud,
Crying out that he was framed.

I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

Government Mule - I Shall Be Released (live 7-20-97)
Wilco - I Shall Be Released (live New Years Eve 2004)
Nina Simone - I Shall Be Released
Jeff Tweedy - I Shall Be Released (live 3-5-05)
Jerry Garcia - I Shall Be Released

November 21, 2007

Pilgrim's Pride?

We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.

...Iroquois Thanksgiving Prayer, adapted

About 400 years ago, religious fanatics became such pains in the arses that they were thrown out of their country. They sailed across a mighty ocean. Starving and in an unknown land, they were befriended by the natives of their "new world". After a "Thanksgiving" celebration, the descendants of these immigrants systematically destroyed the natives and claimed the continent for their own.
Today we celebrate the original meal by gorging ourselves on tryptophan laced poultry and football.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Lemmy & Friends - The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover)
Iron Maiden - Run To The Hills (live)
Bob Dylan - This Land Is Your Land (live)
Sleater-Kinney - The American Ruse (live MC5 cover)
Hoodoo Gurus - Turkey Dinner
Gang Of Four - Anthrax (original 7 inch version)
Van Morrison - TB Sheets

November 19, 2007

The Heroin Diaries

I had not taken a bath in a year nor changed my clothes or removed them except to stick a needle every hour in the fibrous grey
wooden flesh of heroin addiction. . .
I did absolutely nothing.
...William Burroughs

The book du jour at the residence is Nikki Sixx's "The Heroin Diaries". First off, I never liked Motley Crue very much. As a punk, I hated hair metal. And while I was always in favor of sex, drugs and rock n roll, I absolutely despised the attempt at "singing" that Vince Neil screeched. The Crue had some righteous riffs, but why would you have a giant pussy like Vince Neil lead your band? According to The Heroin Diaries (and Tommy Lee's book as well), the rest of the band thought he was an asshole as well. Plus, Vince Neil murdered Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle and paralyzed another person in a 1984 car crash.

However, Nikki Sixx seems to have been a guy I coulda gotten along with. Well, aside from the Heroin of course. He professes to have been influenced by all the "right" bands... Iggy, Sex Pistols, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, etc.

It's nicely packaged, with Ralph Steadman style nightmarish art on virtually every page (lots of black and red)

The book itself reproduces his diaries from 1986 through 1988, at the height of The Crue's stardom and the depth's of Sixx's addiction. According to the book, he grew up pretty much unloved and abandoned. He's not exactly blaming his addictions on his childhood, but it certainly seems to be a factor. But Sixx takes all the credit for becoming a junkie and does not blame it on the r n r lifestyle. Escapades with former Prince anti-ingenue Vanity and various seedy denizens of the L.A. rock underground provide lotsa laughs (not!) and it's a miracle that Sixx was capable of keeping a diary, much less playing bass and writing the material for the band.

A cautionary tale to be sure and one that I would recommend to any teenagers. Hey kids, hard drugs are bad, mmmkay? There is absolutely no glamour or bragging in the book. It's simply a harrowing and sad tale of a guy who had it all, and almost blew it all.

Replacements - Hold My Life (live 7-27-87 NYC)
Velvet Underground - Heroin (demo)
Neil Young - The Needle And The Damage Done (live London 2-27-71)
Rancid - Junkie Man
Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Too Much Junkie Business (live)
Keith Richards - Before They Make Me Run (live 1993)
Rolling Stones - Sister Morphine (1969 outtake)

November 16, 2007

Minnie's A Widow

In the arts of life man invents nothing;
but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself,
and produces by chemistry and machinery
all the slaughter of plague, pestilence, and famine”
...George Bernard Shaw

Living in the burbs means that every now and then I gotta deal with pests. And I am not referring to the local republikkkan arseholes who are always looking to sign me up to their ranks.

Whether it’s ants in the spring or spiders in the fall, my area is a pestal wonderland. And than there’s these primordial monsters that showed up en masse and freaked us all out.

With the autumn comes the migration of field mice towards in-door sanctuary. A couple of years back, we had a rude introduction to this phenomenon and it took about a month to rid ourselves of em.

Last year, we only had a few, but apparently our cat must have dined on one and ended up with Toxoplasmosis, which has permanently farked up his nervous system and cost us some big time medical bills.

So, last week, when I spied a mouse scampering in the basement, I went to war. I spread glue traps all over the area and lo and behold, the little bastard was caught within a couple of days.

Of course, the disposal question than arises.

Well, Mickey was still alive (the glue board traps em, but doesn’t kill em). A small shoebox over the trap and a firmly placed boot took care of any potential slow death issues.

A word of warning to any of Mickey’s relatives: there are many more traps laid out for your visit.

To battle we go!

Mouse & The Traps – A Public Execution
The Kinks – Rats
Naked Raygun – Rat Patrol
Black Sabbath – Rat Salad
Circle Jerks – Trapped
The Cramps - Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill!

November 14, 2007

For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played
At wrestling in a ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then ’t is centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.


November 8, 2007

When I am king you will be first against the wall

Please could you stop the noise, I'm trying to get some rest

From all the unborn chicken voices in my head

What's that...? (I may be paranoid, but not an android)

What's that...? (I may be paranoid, but not an android)

When I am king, you will be first against the wall

With your opinion which is of no consequence

What's that...? (I may be paranoid, but no android)

What's that...? (I may be paranoid, but no android)

Ambition makes you look pretty ugly

Kicking and squealing gucci little piggy

You don't remember

You don't remember

Why don't you remember my name?

Off with his head, man

Off with his head, man

Why don't you remember my name?

I guess he does....

Rain down, rain down

Come on rain down on me

From a great height

From a great height... height...

Rain down, rain down

Come on rain down on me

From a great height

From a great height... height...

Rain down, rain down

Come on rain down on me

That's it, sir You're leaving

The crackle of pigskin The dust and the screaming

The yuppies networking

The panic, the vomit The panic, the vomit

God loves his children,

God loves his children, yeah!

Radiohead - Paranoid Android (A collection of live versions and demo's)

November 5, 2007

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

How strange is the lot of us mortals!
Each of us is here for a brief sojourn;
for what purpose he knows not,
though he senses it.
But without deeper reflection
one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.

Coming up on a milestone b-day and thinkin' and drinkin' in reflection. Lot of water has washed old bridges away and many friends and family that I went into battle with are gone. Some extremely close friends have died years too early and others have either drifted into the ether or are really only reachable by digital means due to distance (both mileage and emotional).

I suppose that's all natural, what with real life intruding and family/jobs/timing all throwing a spanner in the works. But I never expected to be so seperated by my droogs due to time and mortality at such an early age. People who you think are gonna be there forever. And they never are.


Ramones - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (live)

Paul Weller - Thick As Thieves (live 2007)

Led Zeppelin - Ten Years Gone (live)

Backyard Babies (w/ Joey Ramone) - Friends

Stiff Little Fingers - Wait And See

Betrayed - Self Oppression

November 3, 2007

Compare and Contrast

I spent the past week going to shows performed by two of the alumni of that august institution known as the Grateful Dead.

Bob Weir's Ratdog performed on Halloween and the following night I saw Phil Lesh & Friends. Having seen a ridiculous amount of Dead shows in my time as well as virtually all incarnations of the band since the death of Jerry, I was surprised by the performances this time around.

Lesh was always the avant garde, jazzy and spacey influence in the Dead, while Bobby was the four on the floor rockin' cowboy.

Well campers, things have changed. Ratdog, having the benefit of a tried and true veteran line-up who have been with him for many years was the jam band and Phil & Friends were the more conventional bar band.

Will wonders never cease. Ratdog played several extended pieces, including Weather Report Suite and the St Stephen/William Tell/Eleven troika and stretched out nicely on several other tunes. Additionally, the band played four (count em, four!) Bob Dylan songs. Weir is in bad need of some facial grooming (that long ass beard makes him look like August West) but the band is terrific.

The Lesh show was more concise, many of the songs were stripped down (especially during the first set). The second set brought a bit more development with some jam's intersperesed in China Cat Sunflower, Cumberland Blues and the Help On The Way>Slipknot>Franklin's Tower set-ender. The band's focal point seems to be guitar player/vocalist Jackie Greene, who looks to be about 15 years old. Lesh seems to be having a great time; but I miss the band when Warren Haynes was around.

And of course, both bands are sorely lacking a certain guitar player, who could cut through the haze with a plaintive guitar lick.

You can find (for purcha$e) a ton of Ratdog live shows here, and a boatload of Phil & Friends shows here.
Oh, and for those on a budget, you can find lots of shows for free here and here and here and here and here.

So, with all that being said,

Phil & Friends - The Weight (2-18-06 NYC)
Phil & Friends - Wharf Rat (7-16-05 Red Rocks (w/ Ryan Adams)
Ratdog - The Other One (3-8-07)
Ratdog - Jack Straw - 8-19-06 (New York)
Grateful Dead - St. Stephen (5-8-77 Cornell)
Grateful Dead - Terrapin Station (3-18-77 Winterland)