Monday, March 31, 2008

She's Chatty Cathy at 1 A.M.

Even the dumpster outside agrees. It must have a child whose eyelids are open just as my daughter's are.

It's nighttime but my night owl daughter is wide awake.

I've read to her and I've sung songs for her. I've rocked her gently in my arms and we've talked about her day.

Nothing doing. She won't go to sleep.

Poor daddy. Poor dumpster.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This Used To Be A Record Shop

This is the building where I would clock in for my shifts from 1989 to 1994, my own High Fidelity. It used to be a record shop, but now it's a shoe store.

There was a time when you would shop here if you wanted to hear The Proclaimers sing how they would "walk 500 miles." Now I suppose this is where you would buy the shoes for said walking.

As much as I miss the days of hanging around a record store all day long, I have to admit that the majority of my music purchases are now made through iTunes. Those were the days when I was at my most social. I remember and miss getting so many free passes for concerts and hanging out with friends John, Heath, Chris, and Matt. If I'd never worked with Kirk, I might have never known the music of The Waterboys, Luka Bloom, or Billy Bragg. Eddie made sure that I always got anything Prince related and Tina turned me on to Nirvana months before "Smells Like Teen Spirit" broke.

With so many good music sites around, I'm probably exposed to more of it now than I was then. It's just the social aspect of it all that I miss. I work in a hotel now and while I still talk music and bands with some friends, it's not at the level that it was at the record shop. Back then a customer would interrupt a conversation about music to ask a question about music. Now my customers interrupt to talk about boring things like checking in. In my record store days we'd clock out and go to the Boardwalk Cafe to listen to more music and discuss it some more. Now my friends are married, moved away, or both and I just come home to read about bands on various music blogs and other sites. While blogs can be fun, they don't quite match the experience of sharing a booth at a bar with friends while a cover band plays CCR and Mitch Ryder songs.

Here's to Turtles Music on Nolensville Road. And don't forget Record Store Day on April 19. It doesn't seem like too long ago when every day was Record Store Day.

"I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music."

George Eliot (1819 - 1880)

They say you can never go home again...

...but at least you can view it via Google Street View.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Careful there, Noggin. That's my daughter you're affecting.

Thanks. We were watching Little Bear the other day and there was a scene where one of Little Bear's friends briefly convinced him that sometimes Little Bear's father turned into a monster. My Ari, making the connection that if Little Bear's daddy could indeed become someone scary, then maybe it was possible that her daddy could also do the same. She turned to me and looked for reassurance that I "never turn into a monster, right?"

Of course, this was on my second consecutive day off from work and my scruffy face didn't help my case as I told her in my softest and most loving voice that I would "never, ever be anything other than her daddy who loves her so much." I hadn't shaved in a couple of days and I'm sure I was a bit haggard looking as well. She seemed cool with me, but I noticed that she kept her distance all the same. At the innocent age of three, she was now watching the rest of the episode with her hands over her eyes. I thought I was a bad enough dad for introducing her older brother to Star Wars at a young age. But heck, I'm not supposed to worry about Noggin, am I? Anyway, our day continued and we got back to goofing around and playing together. The moment was behind us.

However, last night she awoke crying in her bed. I came to her room to soothe her cries and get her back to sleep as I usually do when she wakes up in the middle of the night. She always falls right back to sleep with her head on my shoulder and is back in her bed within minutes. Nothing doing this time. I held her and while she didn't pull away, she just kept crying and crying, not answering me when I asked her what was wrong. I was baffled.

Then her mom came into the room. I handed our daughter to her in hopes that a softer and different shoulder would do the trick. It did the trick immediately. She nuzzled up to my wife and drifted back to sleep just like that. I'm not saying it was necessarily the monster stuff going on in her head, but I do wonder. I suggested that theory to my wife and we laughed at my feigned hurt by my daughter's sudden skepticism toward me. Although, as I walked back to the living room alone, I could feel a very real sting in my heart. This is what it's like when a daughter needs someone other than Daddy for comfort. In fact, any family member BUT Daddy.

A moment to prepare me for her teenage years, maybe? Ugh. I'm not ready.

Harsh Midday Light On My Sweet Princess

Don't mind me. It's just the help going through it.

I can't sleep. I'm bothered by the same boring stuff. I'll spare ya. This lottery ticket in my pocket could change everything though. What are my chances again? I'm cool with that. I'm pretty sure my chances of living comfortably aren't much better by not dropping a dollar every week or so. If nothing else, buying that ticket always gives me a day or two of hope upon completion of transaction.

What's it up to now? $20M? 26? I'd drop a buck for 10Gs at this point. May as well. How about a lottery that pays you the equivalent of three days wages and puts you up in a hotel for a bit of rest and relaxation? I'd buy that too.

The bottom line is I need a better job. I appreciate my current one. I like my coworkers and the benefits are great. But a 38-year-old with a wife and kids shouldn't be doing what I do. He shouldn't be making what I make. Forgive me for whining. I promise I'm holding back.

That said, I've got a long day of work at the hotel tomorrow (today?) and this shin splint of mine is gonna cuss me with every step I take.

Thanks for reading what I throw out there. Sometimes it ain't nothing but some healthy venting.

Feels Good Outside

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Moby (listen free) Last Night (listen free)

Your favorite minimalist* DJ and mine, Moby, is letting us listen to Last Night, his "love letter to dance music in NYC," for free. Go to MuchMusic and let 'er stream a week before its official release.

I'm currently three songs in and I like it a lot.

*After watching Moby on MTV Cribs and seeing that beautifully clean and spare apartment, I (along with so many others) started thinking of him as quite the hip and cool minimalist. USA Today's Pop Candy host, the lovely Whitney Matheson, took questions from fans and interviewed him a few days ago. Here's what he had to say about that minimalist tag:
Whitney: Yeah, I think about that Cribs episode every time I clean my apartment. Your place is so tidy!

Well, I did two. And the first one is in the apartment I've been in for about 15 years. And the second one I did, I bought this house upstate, and we did Cribs basically the day I moved in, and I hadn't bought any furniture yet. And so I have this reputation now for being a minimalist, when the truth is I just hadn't bought any furniture.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Get thee to Grimey's...and bring five bucks.

Caitlin Rose's Myspace page has six of her songs available for streaming. If you like them and you are like me, then that's not good enough. Her music must not be restricted to your laptop or your desktop.

Provided I can find five bucks in quarters hidden in my sofa and in the pockets of various dirty jeans, I'll be on my way to Grimey's to buy her Dead Flowers EP this week. It's just that kind of music that must always be close by. Owned... Always with... Driving to and from work, and wherever I may walk, her songs will be there for play.

I suppose that's the compliment. So much music for free out there on the Internet nowadays. Buy it or just stream it at home for free seems often to be the choice. Then why buy? Caitlin Rose's songs, and her voice -that pure and wonderful voice!- make the difference.

My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.
Edith Sitwell (1887 - 1964)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Accelerate: Musical Greatness Streams Now

Thanks to the oh so lovely Whitney at USA Today's Pop Candy, I know that R.E.M.'s new album (due out April 1) is streaming for free at until March 26. Accelerate sounds very, very awesome. The goosebumps on my arms are proof of that. It's world's beyond anything I've heard from them since New Adventures in Hi-Fi and immediately restores my trust in them as the creative force they always used to be. (I almost gave up on them after Monster.)

Accelerate streams here.

(Much to the chagrin of my lovely wife, I may go with the Michael Stipe haircut on the day of the record's release.)

Blue Zombie blood maybe?

Buk say...

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live so well that Death will tremble to take us."

Punching Clocks, Not Walls

Having met Mr. Gogos
and reminded of the spirit
of his home city, New York,
I know I'll get back there
again sometime.

Hotel Chelsea, where Pop and
I stayed for one week so many
years ago, remains strongly...
the place driving my geographic

Until I get back, it's lost music
for my heart
and reading Buk after punching the
clock each night.

While I may be quite the royal mess
on the outside, this comfortable
solace inside keeps me at peace.

WRVU's Spoonful does it again.

Last night while listening to Spoonful on 91.1, I was knocked out and mesmerized by the voice of the young woman covering the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers." Nashville's Caitlin Rose was the singer and her mix of tone and urgency reminded me of some of Iris DeMent's or Nanci Griffith's more rocking tunes of old.

In the way that some songs or artists are made to accompany certain road trips, I hear more of Caitlin Rose's music and know that if I ever make another drive from Nashville to Black Mountain, N.C., it'll be her songs of yearning and reflection that will play for me.

In addition to Nanci, Iris, and Caitlin, that perfect mix CD for such a peaceful journey would include Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Gram Parsons and John Prine.

Black Mountain and Montreat are calling me. I can't make that trip now, but I'll close my eyes, listen to Caitlin Rose, and smile to hear her beautiful music.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Another Romeo, who is also bleeding.

From one of my all-time favorite movies:

"Romeo Is Bleeding"

"It all doesn't seem very Easter-ly, does it?"

A bit timidly she turned to me in the hotel elevator and asked, "What group is this in your hotel this weekend?"

She looked to be in her early 50s, was dressed quite conservatively, and not quite sure about all of these tattooed individuals she saw in the lobby dressed in black and heavily pierced.

"It's a tattoo and horror show convention, ma'am," I replied politely. "Most of these folks are tattoo artists who own their own studios."

She still looked a bit worried. Hoping to put her fears to rest, I added, "A lot of them are really quite nice."

She thought about this for a minute and said quietly, "It all doesn't seem very Easter-ly, does it?"

It occurred to me later that I could have replied thusly: "I don't know. I bet they can paint the hell out of an Easter egg."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Serious Thoughts on Barack Obama and his Speech, "A More Perfect Union"

She of luminous beauty and deep, caring thoughts, Ginger, posted tonight about Obama's failure to address his pastor regarding certain sermons that he disagreed with until they made headlines and forced the issue. She makes good points about why this gives her pause about a man who just might be the right choice for our country.

Typically, I stay away from writing about politics. It tends to bring out the yelling and name-calling in some folks, and my tendency is just to want people to be happy. Ginger's post inspired me to share my humble opinion in her comments and I thought I'd repeat that comment here. For what it's worth:

That’s a good point. I guess it’s not enough to shake my support for him, but I wonder if he regrets having not spoken to his pastor about those words he disagreed with.

On another level, hearing Obama’s speech today brought me closer still to him as a leader with both intellect and compassion. Who knows? Maybe we’re lucky that this whole thing happened just so we could hear a political figure speak so eloquently about racism and our continued problems with it. I can’t think of another politician who would have been so forthright about a topic such as this.

One can only imagine the temptation in his campaign to just “denounce, denounce, denounce” and then distance Obama from Pastor Wright as quickly as possible. Instead, he used the opportunity to speak at length his thoughts on the subject and pretty much stayed with the true Christian spirit of “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

Thanks for making me think about this. Your blog always make for a wonderful and important read for me.

"Is that Freedom Barack? Turn it up, man!"

As reported in USA Today, Jay Jay French, founding member and guitarist of Twisted Sister, is releasing a reworked version of the anthem," I Wanna Rock." A lifelong liberal Democrat, he is supporting Barack Obama's presidential bid and has now transformed the 1984 hit "I Wanna Rock" to "I Want Barack."

Before reading the entire article, I thought the reworked anthem would be "We're Not Gonna Take It," but I guess the "rock" and "Barack" interplay was just too much fun for him to resist. Maybe this opens up the possibilities for so many other liberal rockers.

Does Helix's "Rock Me" become "Barack Me"? Def Leppard's "Rock Rock ('Til You Drop)" and "Rock of Ages" are now sung as "Barack Barack ('Til You Drop)" and "Barack of Ages"? Will the Scorpions rework their big hit and sing "(Here I Am) Barack You Like A Hurricane"?

Anyway, don't you love that old commercial for Freedom Rock? We, the former students of Franklin High, spent way too much time in 1987 quoting that one in the hallways.

Always The Dainty One, My Sweet Princess

She's a rose, she's the pearl

She's the spin on my world

-Tom Waits, from "Coney Island Baby"

Ever Get That Dreaded Pink Slip?

The lovely and talented Lori at This Just In was fired, albeit 24 years ago. She tells the story at her site and asks her readers to share their stories if they were ever on the opposite end of a firing.

Luckily, I've never had to face that little "It's just not working out" conversation. So far, anyway.

Monday Night T-Ball Lights

He's four, he's focused, and he's ready to play ball.

T.E.A.M. - Together, Everyone Achieves More!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Message to Spoonful

You are a radio show called Spoonful on Nashville's WRVU. Three songs on your Sunday night playlist while I drove three tourists to the hotel were:
Albert Collins - "Cold, Cold Feeling"
Earl Hooker - "Is You Ever Seen A One-Eyed Woman Cry?"
Boozoo Chavis - "Jealous Man Two-Step"

Note: The tourists think you are awesome.

April 19, 2008 is "Record Store Day"

Celebrate your love for music and the humans who sell it to you by checking out more info on "Record Store Day."

I'll make sure to visit Nashville's own independent record store, Grimey's, on April 19 and buy something I've never heard before that a trusted clerk thinks I'll like.

Nick Hornby, author, High Fidelity, Slam, (among others):
"Yes, yes, I know. It's easier to download music, and probably cheaper. But what's playing on your favourite download store when you walk into it? Nothing, that's what. Who are you going to meet in there? Nobody. Where are the notice boards offering flatshares and vacant slots in bands destined for superstardom? Who's going to tell you to stop listening to that and start listening to this? Go ahead and save yourself a couple of quid. The saving will cost you a career, a set of cool
friends, musical taste and, eventually, your soul. Record stores can't save your life. But they can give you a better one."

This Fisherman's Blues?

As the "Luck of the Irish" would have it, I am off Monday (St. Patrick's Day) and I am off Tuesday (Hangover Recovery Day?), but I am too broke to properly celebrate with green beer and friends in any of the wonderful bars of Nashville.

I will, however, spend the evening at home happily listening to as much music from The Waterboys, Luka Bloom, and Maura O'Connell as my beautiful wife and kids can manage.

Big thanks to my old friend and former fellow record store clerk, Kirk Anderson, for turning me onto "Fisherman's Blues" by The Waterboys o' so many years ago. It's great stuff.

People I've been told I look like...

I don't necessarily see the resemblances, but I'm available for stand-in work.
  • Bob Saget
  • Sylvester Stallone (Less about muscles and more about slicked back hair and dark complexion, I'm sure.)
  • Noah Wyle of E.R.
  • Christopher Meloni of Law & Order
  • ...and most recently, Keith Olbermann (I must be getting greyer than I think.)

Now that's what I call a "blog roll."

My wife wants one of these exercise balls to sit on while she's reading blogs on the computer. She says it's supposed to be good for her abs, but I say she should call me when she rolls off of it so that I can laugh at her.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Inventory In Progress: Please Don't Reshelve"

In the event that something bad happens to my hard drive before I can get iTunes to back-up properly (I've researched the problem and it looks like I'll have to download an older version), here is a list of CDs I'll have to replace. It's a sloppy list with little to no regard for capitalization or spelling. Also, I haven't taken the time to type out all of the compilation CDs I have. That'll be for another night when I'm too hopped up on sugar to sleep. ;)

abra moore - on the way
acdc back in black
amy winehouse back to black
area code 615
beatles abbey road
beatles revolver
beatles love
bebel gilberto
ben folds
bill conti - rocky theme
bobby thompson
bon jovi
britney spears blackout
springsteen born in the usa
springsteen greatest hits
springsteen rising
springsteen we shall overcome
christina aguilera back to basics
david and david
david baerwald
dio stand up and shout
elvis 2nd to none
frank black fast man
sinatra christmas
frankie goes to hollywood bang
genesis platinum
geoff baker know the rain
geoff baker patriot acts
guns n roses appetite
hold steady boys and girls
iron maiden best
iron maiden essential
iron maiden matter of life
jeffrey lewis last time i did acid
john gorka the company you keep
john mellencamp uh huh
john prine in spite of ourselves
john prine missing years
john williams greatest
jonathan richman i, jonathan
joss stone introducing
judas priest best of
kanye west college dropout
killers sam's town
kirsty maccoll titanic days
kirsty maccoll tropical brainstorm
lyle lovett joshua judges ruth
lyle lovett pontiac
mojo nixon otis
mojo nixon root hog or die
motley crue greatest
motely crue red white crue
murs end of the beginning
newton dominey good morning sunshine
newton dominey heater
nick drake pink moon
nina simone four women
nine inch nails year zero
ozzy blizzard of ozz
peter himmelman my green kite
peter himmelman pigeons couldn't sleep
peter himmelman skin
phil collins hits
pink floyd wish you were here
prince dirty mind
prince hits
prince lovesexy
prince sign o' the times
prince very best
prince 3121
queen flash gordon
queen greatest
r kelly double up
tom waits alice
tom waits blood money
tom waits bone machine
tom waits franks wild years
tom waits heart of saturday night
tom waits heartattack and vine
tom waits mule variations
tom waits nighthawks at the diner
tom waits orphans
tom waits rain dogs
tom waits real gone
tom waits small change
tom waits swordfishtrombones
traveling wilburys
twisted sister big hits
u2 rattle and hum
van halen best of both
van halen for unlawful carnal
van halen 1984
van morrison hymns to the silence
van morrison at the movies
weezer make believe
wu-tang clan enter the wu-tang
wynonie harris bloodshot eyes

Thursday, March 06, 2008

He Said, She Said

Recent typical sweet-somethings that I like to say to my daughter:

I love you more than a million stars in the sky.

I love you more than a million boats on the lake.

I love you more than a million hugs in a day.

Tonight she said sweetly to me:

Daddy, I love you more than a million bushes in the dirt.

That's my favorite compliment yet.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Ink, blood, gore, and a joke by the big guy.

Mr. Webbspun interviews the man behind the Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Festival which will be at Nashville Marriott from March 21-23.

Speaking of Marriott, Bill Marriott makes a point about thinking outside the box at his blog, and he tells a joke that wouldn't seem out of place at the aforementioned horror festival.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The best thing I read today about Brett Favre

You know what would have been funny? If Brett Favre had signed a one-day contract with Atlanta so he could retire as a Falcon.

Saturday, March 01, 2008