Monday, August 31, 2009

Feel Good Friday on Monday Night For You

I borrowed a CD from the library tonight entitled Cover The World: World Music Versions of Classic Pop Hits.

Track listing:

1. Albert Pla - "Walk On The Wild Side"
2. Mo' Horizons - "Hit The Road Jack"
3. Toure Kunda - "In The Air Tonight"
4. Tukuleur - "Africa"
5. Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Phoebe Snow - "People Get Ready"
6. Chris Ardoin and Double Clutchin' - "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher"
7. Les Go - "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)
8. Angelique Kidjo - "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
9. Fatal Mambo - "In The Summertime"
10. Yannick - "December 1963 (Oh What A Night)"
11. Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Des'ree - "Ain't No Sunshine"
12. Nenes - "No Woman, No Cry"

It's a very fun CD and my four-year-old daughter immediately broke out into a crazy dance when "Hit The Road Jack" came on. I recommend that you borrow it from the library as well. Put in your request and I'll have it back at my branch in a week or so for you. Better yet, buy it from the good people at Putumayo. They do a great job of getting great music to our ears.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

On Adam Gopnik

The older I get, the more I find myself rereading the same books just for the pleasure of their beauty. Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon is the one that I go back to the most. My "moment of zen" today was a peaceful bath with opera on the radio and that very fine book in my hands.

Below is a clip of Adam Gopnik from Charlie Rose's green room: At the end he makes a very strong reference to the year 1910 ("such a strange moment in history").. I feel like I should know something about that but it went entirely over my head.

Demolition Derby

I've seen two demolition derbies in my life. The first one, my friend George who worked at the Mapco near my old record store on Nolensville Road, bought a car for cheap and entered it at the Nashville Fairgrounds. My buddies and I went to cheer him on for something different from our usual routine of going to 328 Performance Hall or Ace of Clubs to hear music followed by an hour or so dining at our favorite Waffle House talking about music.

Anyway, George's car never did start and he was pretty much toast from the beginning. As I recall, his car was eventually pushed up vertically against a tower of dirt until his car flipped over.and George spent the rest of the derby watching the goings-on while sitting upside down from the safety (?) of his vehicle. My friends and I (including George) had a great time, but for whatever reason we never went back for more.

Here are a bunch of pictures from the Wilson County Fair's demolition derby.

Wilson County Fair with the kids

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recognize the club?

The band is Josh Garrett and The Bottom Line. I saw a trailer with their name on it by my car yesterday afternoon and looked them up on YouTube. Good stuff for sure. I used to frequent this club maybe four or five nights a week back when I was a single man. It helped that the door person never charged me a cover.

"The Laughing Heart"

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

One of my weaknesses as a psuedo wannabe writer...

I know the phrase, "when in doubt, leave it out," but I tend to have a hard time with commas. If there's just the slightest pause of hesitation somewhere in a sentence, I feel like that comma probably shouldn't be left out.

I feel good about my choices until I read published books with similar sentences and no commas in sight for miles. Well, it's a good thing no one's paying me for this. I don't know what I'm doing but I seem to get a kick out of doing it anyway.


A picture of the baby.

She's in daycare now. Since birth, she's not been much for bottles. In fact, she's pretty much refused them at every attempt. So we were concerned that daycare would be a bit problematic come feeding time. Paige works in the same building so she'd be able to breastfeed when needed, but the good news is that Sammie finally decided, a mere two days before daycare began, that bottles were cool.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Oh Eight, Oh Three, Oh, That Date Looks Familiar

I looked down at the date on my phone this morning and it took me a second to figure out why it was familiar: 08/03/09. It then occurred to me that it was 08/03/02 when Paige and I got married. She was already driving the kids to school when I realized that this was our anniversary so I quickly sent her a "Happy Anniversary" text. Romantic, huh? When she got to school, she texted back: "Oh yeah!! Happy Anniversary. I love you!!"

So, we both almost forgot our anniversary, but at least I remembered first, right? We should celebrate things like this a bit better. Maybe we'll plan something soon. Today is already a busy one. It's back to school for she and the kiddos. It's her first year teaching second grade and it's Joshua's first day as a first grader. It's also baby Sam's first day in the daycare. Ari's back in school, too, but it's just more preschool for the four-year-old. I enjoyed driving to school in time to walk Joshua to his new classroom and meet his teacher. Of course, there were no first-day jitters for him. He's been going to this building since he was about six weeks old. He confidently strolled into his new classroom, asked his teacher where to put his things, and settled in at his desk ready to start the day.

Life is good. Thanks to my beautiful wife for seven years of putting up with loving me in marriage. As a teacher, as a mom, as my wife and my friend, she's the best I could hope for. I'm a lucky guy.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Politics and radio and jazz at night, or...My stream of consciousness leads to the Savage Nation

Forgive what might become one of those stream of consciousness posts that my high school English teacher told me would be an acceptable way to write when writing didn't come easily. Those were the days before blogs though so I don't think the word "post" was mentioned in his advice. I'm out of beer and am easing into sleep with Mountain Dew instead. Here's to the sleep challenge ahead.

A bit bored with Facebook and Twitter and caught up on reading local blogs, I looked through my history of checked out library items that the library keeps for me and that I imagine someone in government keeps an eye on just because he can. I recently checked out Socialism Is Great! on a whim and am possibly flagged for life for that one. I returned it unread as I never got around to cracking that one open.

Another recent get was Hendrik Hertzberg's Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966-2004. I'm liking this one a lot more than the similarly titled Politics: A Novel by Adam Thirlwell that I checked out three weeks before. Thumbing through the essays of Hertzberg tonight, I saw a reference to Michael Savage, a talk radio host who was profiled in the current issue of The New Yorker magazine. The magazine piece does a fair job (maybe moreso than necessary) of holding back judgment of his political rants and focuses on what it is that makes his show tick. I've only ever voted Democrat and have no use for the likes of Rush, Hannity and the rest of those guys, but there's something about Savage that draws me in as many nights as my free time will allow.

Simply put, I think it's just that intangible intimacy of radio. Add in that it's a show that is broadcast locally after dark and my nocturnal mood relishes in hearing a good radio performer work his magic. Of course, when he amps it up and yells and screams about evil Muslims and socialist democrats, I find better things to do with my time. (It's more the yelling than anything else that turns me off.) I tune in mainly to hear his stories of growing up in New York, of how he related to his father, and to hear him change gears when he grows weary of talking politics. Savage seems to have a great love for jazz and poetry and will spend much time analyzing the artistry of certain people he admires. It's moments like that that take me back to when I first discovered Larry King's radio show.

I'd lie in bed late at night and listen to Larry take calls from across the country. "Where are you calling from and why are you up?" he'd ask. It makes me wish Savage would drop the politics altogether and just ruminate and ramble. In the book that I picked up from the library, Hertzberg is listing the big right wing radio guys and says this about Michael Savage:
The worst of them, probably, is a truly wicked and depraved creature who uses the nom de diffusion "Michael Savage" and is based in San Francisco, of all places.
At first read, I thought it was a bit harsh, but remembering his more hateful moments on the radio, I can't disagree too much. It's just that there's a lot more to him than that sentence might suggest. I recommend the current magazine piece for anyone who's a bit curious.

That's all I've got. It's an hour past midnight and the wonderful "Jazz with Bob Parlocha" radio show has me ready to call it a night.