Shot Of Rhythm

[ Friday, May 16, 2003 ]


I turned in my last paper of the semester this afternoon at 2:25, rendering me a free man! (At least in the academic sense)...Tonight I plan on watching VH1's newest "greatest" countdown, rather amusingly titled "50 Greatest Women Of The Video Age." I love these countdowns; they're maddening, fascinating and funny all at the same time. Occassionally they actually turn me on to something or somebody I wasn't aware of, but more often the pleasure is more superficial - like hearing the ridiculous narration, screaming at the TV, or (as is the case tonight) watching Kelly Osbourne make a fool of herself trying to explain the greatness of certain artists.

Speaking of Kelly Osbourne, have you seen her new mohawk? Methinks somebody's trying a little too hard to be cool...You know, I actually halfway liked the two singles I heard off her album; kinda cool, spiky, Go-Gos/Joan Jett stuff, definitely better than I expected (and I didn't expect much). Of course, proving that my taste is almost never in line with the public, Ms. Kelly's album was the only recent publicity-stunt release that didn't sell like gangbusters. I also kinda like Lisa Marie Presley, by the way, and I'm amazed at how much substance - at least lyrically - her stuff exhibits. Her album's selling,'s about that.

Tomorrow night is the big Junkers release party. I can't wait; it's been too long since I've seen Madison's honky-tonk heroes, and I'm fully expecting it to be a good time.

On the box right now: Prince, SIGN O' THE TIMES


Dove With Claws [4:22 PM]

[ Thursday, May 15, 2003 ]


Rest in peace, June Carter Cash 1930-2003

"Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire."-
"Ring Of Fire," written by June Carter Cash

Dove With Claws [5:00 PM]

[ Wednesday, May 14, 2003 ]


I've been rekindling some musical love affairs lately...

The Pogues - I rented the unbelievable documentary IF I SHOULD FALL FROM GRACE: THE SHANE MCGOWAN STORY the other day, and it is an incredible portrait of the leader of this great Irish-folk-cum-punk-rock band of the 1980s. McGowan is a famous drunkard, but his lyrics are unbelievably poignant (In the film, Nick Cave - a great songwriter in his own right, makes the cool observation that McGowan is a great first-line writer; Cave mentions "It was Christmas Eve in the drunk tank," but I think you could add several to that, not the least of which being "If I should fall from grace with God where no doctor can relieve me"), and the band hit one a great concept, playing the songs of Ireland - which McGowan accurately describes as being concerned with "drinking, fucking and fighting" - with passion and sincerity. Besides, any band that names themselves after the Gaelic words for "Kiss my ass" - Pogue Mahone - is worth more than a damn.

They Might Be Giants - At the risk of being geeky, I can never shake the fact that these guys are GREAT songwriters. I'll put up the best of their stuff ("Lucky Ball and Chain," which is honest-to-god one of the best country songs of the past two decades, "Now That I Have Everything," "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Don't Let's Start" are my personal favorites) with any other contemporaneous pop music. Besides, there's nothing wrong with having a little fun, you know?

Notorious B.I.G. - Simply put, READY TO DIE is one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever, and the track "Respect" is one of the greatest hip-hop singles ever. 'Nuff said.

Emmylou Harris - Okay, I know the following statement may be a little blasphemous, but there are times when I really don't care to hear Emmylou's voice. There are other times, however, when I absolutely HAVE to hear the Queen of the Silver Dollar serenade me with some of the sweetest, strongest and saddest country music ever produced.

The Neville Brothers - After seeing them last week, I'm back into their records again. To paraphrase a lyric of theirs, they must've put the voodoo on me...

So it's been nice to revisit some old friends who I'd forgotten about. Finishing up my finals week work, so my head's starting to come out of the water. That's all for now...

On the box right now: They Might Be Giants, DIAL-A-SONG: 20 YEARS OF TMBG


Dove With Claws [7:00 PM]

[ Tuesday, May 13, 2003 ]


First thing's first...I've added links to three blogs (Joy's, Ereck's and Amy's) and the general homepage of Wendy Mukluk in the past few days. Pay them, as well as the other usual suspects, a visit.

Second thing's second...I read today on Billboard that 4 of Neil Young's "Missing 6" (the only 6 albums not yet officially released on CD) are coming out in June. As a longtime Neil fan, I can assure you that we've been waiting for these for a long time (even though, like me, many of us own bootlegged copies), and the "Missing 6" have sort of become a symbol for Neil's inability to expedite long-awaited projects. Maybe this means that the long-awaited "Archives" is on the way...or maybe not. (It's also interesting that the other two of the "Missing 6" aren't included. One of them - Neil's bizarre soundtrack to his bizarre film JOURNEY THROUGH THE PAST - does suck really bad, but the other - the Japanese-only ELDORADO e.p. that was the precursor to his great album FREEDOM - is a classic, a prime example of Neil in his "I'm pissed off and I'm going to crank the amps up loud enough to prove it" mood.)

Third thing's third...I was studying all afternoon, and I was listening to Prince's incredible HITS/B-SIDES collection as I did so. It's such an unbelievable collection; I've long been a fan of Prince's, and many of his studio albums are classics (SIGN O' THE TIMES is my particular favorite), but HITS/B-SIDES is out-of-this-world, always near the top of my shelf. My current favorite track is "Peach," a hard-rocking love letter slightly reminiscent of T. Rex (believe it or not), that proves that - apart from being a funkateer and soul man of the highest order - Prince can do fat riff-rock as well as anybody. Check out the collection; it's absolutely essential listening.

Fourth thing's friend Patrick Jones sent me an e-mail concerning the legal bullshit that HotHouse, a non-profit (and Left-leaning) arts collective in Chicago is currently going through. Click the link to read the press release; as Patrick said in the e-mail, "welcome to George W. Bush's America."

Fifth thing's fifth...and quick. Did y'all hear that Miramax has agreed to fund Michael Moore's next film? He says it'll come out in 2004. Can't wait for it...

On the box right now: Big Daddy, THE BEST OF BIG DADDY. For those of y'all who haven't heard of Big Daddy, they're a legitimately hilarious group from L.A. who performs pop songs (at least the pop songs of their mid-1980s "heyday") in various 1950s and early-1960s styles. ("Superfreak" as an Everly Brothers ballad, a doo-wop "Eye of the Tiger) Although such a concept could get annoying real quick, they're really entertaining. This Rhino Records collection also includes tracks from their genius song-by-song remake of SGT. PEPPER (my favorite of those is the seriously creepy Buddy Holly take on "A Day In The Life"), as well as a couple new tracks - like a rockabilly arrangement of "My Heart Will Go On." Fun stuff.

Peace and good vibrations...

Dove With Claws [3:09 PM]

[ Monday, May 12, 2003 ]


My friends Joe and Sally had their second child, Benjamin Samuel, today. I hereby join the ever-growing chorus of eastside bloggers celebrating the occasion.

"May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young."-Bob Dylan

On the box right now: Caitlyn Cary, I'M STAYING OUT


Dove With Claws [3:04 PM]

[ Sunday, May 11, 2003 ]


Did I ever mention how much I love Van Morrison? Today, specifically the song "Irish Heartbeat," the version with The Chieftains on the album of the same name. Damn, what a great song...

Back to work...

On the box right now: Van Morrison and the Chieftains, IRISH HEARTBEAT


Dove With Claws [12:10 PM]