Dec 29, 2006

Look who is on a fan site

That's me and my wife doing the international symbol for a handjob on a church bus at the Steve Poltz show in Chicago. Anyone with access to San Diego should not miss him with the Rugburns on New Years Eve. New post below, too.

B-BOY: Album 2006

I recently received an email from a loyal reader of this Blasphemes site, Killre. In part the email read,
"The artist's name is Will Kimbrough. I've never heard of him before, but then again, I don't really have my ear to the ground for new music. The title of the album is "Americanitis." It's on Daphne Records, which I have also never heard of before... probably with good reason.

If you've ever heard of John Prine... It's like John Prine, lyrically, except that it hits harder. It's harder musically, too.

I'd like to nominate the song "Less Polite" as the (un)Official Blasphemes Anthem.
The refrain...

"I'm tryin' to be less polite; I'm sayin' what I really think:
The President's a fool, I don't wanna get up early and I wish I had a good, stiff drink.""
Well, I had a few questions. Who is this clown-hat and what makes him so god damned special? These are the kinds of questions I ask myself constantly by the way. I always felt I should be a detective due to my style of in depth questions and fantastical usage of the Google search engine. So I was off to find out about Will Kimbrough

First step, who is this clown-hat? This is an important first step. One cannot make too many judgements for themselves lest they be tricked into liking a less than stellar performer. What do I mean? Well, let's say you are a tremendous fan of Living La Vida Loca, your whole existence for the last few days has been jamming to that song. Then you find out Ricky Martin was a member of Menudo!! Yipes! Now you either have to give Menudo a chance or come up with a 'why he is so talented' argument for your giggling friends. You may not live it down. I had a friend Wally that got into Olympic figure skating. Never lived it down. As a detective of Rock, you must be aware of these things.

Seems our friend Mr Kimbrough is an accomplished guitar player. So good, in fact, that he has had an issue starting his own career because he is constantly supporting the less talented but more famous musicians. (I am looking at you Jimmy Buffet). Facts here.

OK, good start. Nothing to be worried or horrified of. Next, what makes him so goddamned special? Well, many reviewers bring up his guitar prowess and song writing abilities. Sounds good to me, a fan of Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Steve Poltz, and the Clash.

So what have I learned so far? Not to be afraid of digging something bad or embarrassing. In another post someday I will tell you about my brief love affair with TLC. So far, so good. Next step for Detective F, get the album. I subscribe to emusic and they have it. Bingo! I burn it to disc and listen to it in my car for around a week straight. It is important when you are a Rock Detective to listen to the album more than a few times. You don't want to second guess yourself. I actually did not like Rain Dogs a whole bunch the first time I heard it. For the past two decades it has been a top four album of mine. Well, this album, like a fine hat, just got better.

Americanitis starts off with "I Lie" a lazy, country-like ditty that will have you swaying and rolling and enjoying a wee touch of the finger pick before you start singing along. "I lie / Why? / Because I can / It is the pleasure and the privilege / of the richest people in this land." The sarcasm runs thick giving this groove a slight hint of papaya and honey. Most bands would have tried to get more people to pay attention to the lyrics but Will is just enjoying the ride. This, in turn, allows me to enjoy it a little more and longer myself.

The next few songs take us through a variety of styles and topics. "Life" is a straight up rocker ("I want to be a better man / but I got a short attention span") and "Grown Up Now" is a plucky old time folk singer type of song that turns out to be straight pop by the end. Seems Will was drinking and watching Scooby-Doo until after 29. "Pride" gives us a talking piece. Reminiscent of Steve Earle's "Warrior" Kimbrough talks us through the aspects of Pride that some may have forgotten with such grace and artistry that many of our politicians should directly quote it in their quest to be the sellout-in-chief. Asking when pride got taken off the list of deadly sins, WK suggests some actual reading of Jesus (and Johnny Cash).

Next is "Less Polite" quoted above by Killre as his anthem of Blasphemes is a leisurely stroll some thoughts that he is no longer going to bottle. i won't bore you a track by track review but I did want to point out that this is a politically charged album with many different types of music layered throughout. The production is superb. I think that trimming three or four songs off of it would have made it perfect. A few I had made listen to this agreed. the problem was we all wanted different songs trimmed.

My wife actually wanted "Warring Ways" trimmed. I think it is one of the best gospelish songs I have heard since Ween's "Up On The Hill"

I also very much enjoyed "Act Like Nothing's Wrong" a story song (complete with xylophone) about an executive (**cough**ENron**Cough) who gets caught and figures if he just acts like nothign is wrong all will be OK. "Act like nothing's wrong / Everything's just fine / Hold your head up high and act like / you don't really mind. / If you're terrified like me / Of terrorists and crime / Please take my advice / And act like nothing's wrong." Beautiful.

I give the album my Blasphemes - Best of the year. We will continue to argue about the theme song for this site.

Dec 22, 2006

Ken Griffey Jr breaks wrist what was apparently an off-field incident. No details were allowed by Griffey spokespeople, however unconfirmed eye witnesses claim it may have involved a grapefruit and a perhaps a weiner dog.

At least he did this in the off season this year, and didn't give the nice people of Cincinnati false hopes once again.

Ken Griffey is apparently more fragile than the leg lamp in A Christmas Story.

Rein It In, Dear

"Chrissmus!" he exclaimed, and he was off and running.

I felt my face scrunch itself into a perplexed frown. I raised my head from the bland salad that I'd been trying to commune with and slowly --oh, so slowly-- twisted my head up and to the left and to the side, corkscrewing the dull, pervasive ache in my neck into a sharper, more focused one. I did it again, this time to the right. It didn't help much. It never does.

The big guy six stools away from me was babbling on about Christmas, and how all it meant to him was money out of his pocket. Idly, I wondered who he was talking to. Maybe it was the cute little redhead I'd noticed when I'd walked in...

I had spent most of that morning and early afternoon picking up a load in Seattle, right down near the waterfront where the tugboat engines roar and roil the oiled rainbow of port water into a rippling foam, straining to nudge the giant container ships laden with goods from the Orient. I wasn't there, though, to pick up expensive electronics from Japan, nor some exotic, esoteric, intricately crafted, new age, ancient world, yin-yang doodad made by some East Asian artisan with centuries-worth of archaic wisdom and artistic discipline. Hell, I wasn't even there to pick up a truckload of something cheap and ordinary, shipped from some Walmart-supplying sweatshop. I was there to pick up recycled glass.

Actually, I was there to pick up a load of empty bottles made from recycled glass. Beverage makers --in this case, a group of wineries in California's Napa Valley-- don't make their own bottles, you see. They contract to have them (custom) made and labeled and then shipped to wherever they fill 'em and cap 'em-- or, in this case, cork 'em.

In retrospect, it probably wasn't as bad a day as I thought it was at the time. Between dragging my eighteen-wheeler from the freeway to the warehouse, and then dragging my very heavily-loaded eighteen wheeler from the warehouse to the corner and through six stoplights and up the sharp, steep on-ramp and onto the crowded, mad-dashing freeway... I figure I probably only [peed] off six or seven dozen people. It bothered me that I couldn't explain to any of them that I didn't like being there any more than they liked having me there, but that I had a job to do. What bothered me even more, though, was knowing that even if I had explained it to them, they still would have been [urinated].

By the time I'd reached the truckstop outside of Toledo, Washington, about a hundred miles to the south, I was tired and cranky and the muscles in my shoulders and neck were bunched tight and a dull throbbing had started in my temples. I wanted to take a nap in the worst way, but I knew I wouldn't be able to get to sleep when I was that keyed-up. I decided to try to relax a little over an early dinner, first.

The restaurant was a big, clean, airy room with booths, tables, and a diner-style counter at one end. For all I knew, the place would be packed in another couple of hours. Just then, though, as I walked in and paused and looked around, it was nearly empty. That suited me fine: I wasn't in any mood to deal with anybody. I didn't even want to deal with the cute redheaded waitress, who was almost certainly too young for me anyway. I took a stool at the end of the counter, facing the kitchen, my back toward the empty bulk of the room. It was about as far away from the few other patrons as I could get.

I asked for a drink and a menu from a brown-haired woman who acted like she was having a worse day than I was. She was trying real hard to be nice, though: When she brought the drink, she didn't throw it at me. I ordered something that came with a salad. I ordered it like I knew what I was doing, dammit, and she scribbled it down like she knew what she was doing, dammit, and if it had taken three seconds longer we probably would have bared our teeth and sprung at each other's windpipe.

When she brought my salad, she didn't throw that at me, either. Not exactly, anyway. It wasn't a bad salad, but it wasn't a good one, either. I picked up a fork and kind of stirred it around a little, then hunkered down and tried to enjoy it as best I could. The throbbing in my temples had spread to the rest of my head, and intensified. That's when the big guy six stools away suddenly started talking...

"Chrissmus! Huh! Don't talk to me about Chrissmus! All Chrissmus mean to me is money outta my pocket," and he was off and running.

I frowned, and raised my head. Carefully, I twisted my neck around a couple of times, but it didn't help much. It never does. Then I swiveled my stool and looked at the guy. He had a big, half-eaten plate of food in front of him, which he was ignoring. He sat half-slouched on his stool, talking steady and loud, looking at no-one in particular-- because there wasn't anybody there.

I swiveled some more and looked around the room. There were three waitresses on duty, I knew, but I could only see one of them. She was at the other end of the room, emptying one ketchup bottle into another. There were a couple of truckers, each of them in a booth by himself. Each wore a flannel shirt and a worn-out look. Each had a tall, well-used thermos standing on the table next to his plate of food. Neither was paying any attention to the guy who was talking about Christmas. The only other customers were a young, twenty-something couple at one of the tables by the window. They weren't paying attention, either.

For a moment, I thought maybe this guy was one of those people who converses out loud with people that they only imagine. I looked at him again, and found that he was now looking at me, still chattering away like it was the most natural thing in the world. He didn't look crazy. His expression was docile and honest, lucid and friendly. Oh, my God, I thought, it's a nightmare come true: He actually expects me to interact.

I felt my upper lip start to curl back to reveal a canine. With a conscious will, I stopped it. I didn't manage to stop the low growl that was threatening to choke me if I didn't let it out, but I don't think he noticed that. After that, for what seemed like a long time, I just stared at him, frowning in a way that was supposed to mean, Who the [rudeness] are you and why the [rudeness] are you bothering me? I don't think he noticed that, either. If he did, he didn't let it slow him down. Maybe he just thought I was concentrating.

I wasn't. I hardly heard a word of what he was saying. Something about his daughter wanting a new computer but she already had a computer but she wanted a new one and if he was going to get her a new one then he was going to get one for himself, too, because he was tired of spending money on everybody else...

I looked at my salad. I was still holding the fork, poised a few inches over the bowl. I took a deep breath, sighed, put it down. I picked up one of the cheap, paper napkins and wiped my mouth. Then I looked back at him.

Now the subject was his wife. I don't know what-all she'd said or done, this year or in the past, but I don't think he liked it. I know this not because I was listening, really, but by his overall tone. And by the way he suddenly ended his tirade: "...Maybe I buy me a new wife, too."

I didn't miss a beat. Briefly setting my jaw in that way that puts a little quirk in the corner of my mouth, I gave my head a couple of short, decisive shakes and said, "Rent one first-- see how ya like it."

Sudden explosion of laughter, four feet behind my ear. I snapped my head around, which didn't do my neck any good (it never does). The redhead had inadvertently sneaked up behind me. She'd been squatting down, quietly rummaging around in those shelves that every dining counter has, everywhere in the world, where they keep the extra condiments and napkins and a stray bussing basin or two. Now, though, she straightened up, still chuckling, twinkle in her eye. She leveled an index finger at me for emphasis and said, "That's kinda how my grandfather met his new wife!"

It's a good thing I'd held on to the napkin, because I needed it: My chin had dressing on it from where I'd dropped it in the salad.

These are the bare bones of the story she related...

It seems that the old boy had a friend who had sent away for one of those proverbial Russian mail-order brides. As the day of her arrival approached, the husband-to-be planned a big welcoming party. To heighten the suspense and the sense of pomp and circumstance, he chose to have one of his oldest and dearest friends --the redhead's grandfather-- pick the woman up at the train station and chauffeur her to the party where he --the husband-to-be, that is-- would make some sort of grand, well-groomed, expensively-dressed entrance, complete with shiny gift.

Needless to say, it didn't quite go the way he'd planned. Having someone else meet her at the train station turned out to be a bad idea.

P.S.... Bud "Happy Holly Daze" Selig must go.

Dec 13, 2006

No more Spam!

We are now no longer a "Spam Blog." Hows about that?

Also, the President is now taking advice on how to proceed in Iraq. So send your suggestions to

Dec 6, 2006


A few months ago, Killre and I noticed that we had to type in some funky letters-like thing like they make you do at Ticketmaster or something. oday, I finally figured out what it was: Blogger thinks we are a spam blog. What that is I am not sure but I bet it involves the link to on the right so that we can all understand what Killre's up to. Which is ironic because Killre got confused by it and didn't post for a while.

Anyway, I fighting the powers that be. I am doing this by politely asking Blogger to take us off the Spam Blog List Thing™.

FREE THE BLOGGERS!!! (I call myself that now.*)

*Not really.

TV, sweet, sweet TV

Recently, I have been watching very little television. There are exceptions, Bulls, Bears, and Survivor. But by and large, no TV. Then Sunday came. I was working on the computer when my wife turned the TV on to A and E. There is a show called "Intervention." Whoa! Good shit.

The show is broken down into segments. For 30-45 minutes we follow the poor sap around as they live their lives. Their lives usually involve them sleeping on park benches, hiding alcohol, drinking alcohol, finding alcohol, driving to alcohol, falling down / asleep, yelling, crying, and being generally miserable and making everyone around them miserable. Some of these folks are unbelievable and their families are saints.

The one I saw was a coke-head that had lost his house, furniture, belongings, car, etc. He was left with a bike and a few changes in clothes. He slept on a condo roof. He showered and changed there (and occasionally swam). He ate breakfast in a hotel where he had kept his room key from years ago and could still trick everyone into thinking he was still staying there. He would meet with friends and old business associates (he had lost his job) and pretend that nothing was wrong. And you know what? He pulled it off! est actor ever.

Anyway the next few minutes are the family/friends/(ex)spouses being bummed and talking to some interventionist guy. Then they trick the main character of the show into a hotel room and intervene. They cry, yell, and eventually get help.

Finally, you get to find out what is up since the intervention. Good times. For the record, Coke-head has been clean and sober for a few years and looks really good except for some funky bowl hair cut that he got. Cute dog, too.

As I claimed at the beginning of this post, I have been working and reading a lot (a full review of the full Dark Tower series in a few months) so maybe TV seems a little too good to me right now but damn! I loved that show.

P.S. Any interventions with me best not involve a camera or we will see how the interventionist deals with violence.

Dec 1, 2006

Selig plans to retire...

... in three years... boohahahaaaa!!!

(yes, he really is that evil)

link to the story on MSNBC

Selig said he would prefer cutting back the schedule from 162 games to the old calendar of 154 games so that the playoff season does not threaten to spill over into November, but conceded that none of the owners agreed with him.

“I’m a fan of 154 games. I grew up with it,” Selig said. “I don’t want to play any games in November.”


So now the question - who will replace him? I've heard murmors of George Wil here and there. That's quaint. I say Donald Rumsfeld! He's available! He doesn't like to sit down. He's a go-getter. A real whipper-snapper. He has a great resume too! He even knows the President!