Shot Of Rhythm

[ Saturday, September 13, 2003 ]


Matt and I came up with two more good possible business-card lines for me today:

-"Mildly entertained by everything."
-"What a pathetic loser."

On the box right now: Greg Brown, IF I HAD KNOWN


Dove With Claws [10:12 PM]


Here are the Democratic presidential candidates' favorite songs, according to their answers at the recent Albequerque debate...

(This info from here.)

Carol Moseley Braun: Des'ree's "You Gotta Be"
Al Sharpton: "Talking Loud, Saying Nothing"
("James Brown's song on the Republican Party," said the Reverend Al, getting a
big laugh; Edwards got a laugh of his own when he asked, "I've got to follow
John Edwards: John Cougar Mellencamp's "Small Town"
John Kerry: Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender"
Howard Dean: Wyclef Jean's "Jaspora"
Joe Lieberman: Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" and Sinatra's "My Way"
Dennis Kucinich: John Lennon's "Imagine"
Richard Gephardt: Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."
Bob Graham: Jimmy Buffett's "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes"

The Dean choice is interesting...I wonder if he legitimately likes Wyclef, or if he's trying to be cool. Probably a little of both, I imagine.

Now, since I'm a geek and - as Mike knows - I love my lists and rankings, I present the best Democratic candidates ONLY IN TERMS OF THIS SONG ISSUE. DO NOT TAKE THIS AS MY ENDORSEMENT...

1. John Kerry
2. Al Sharpton
3. Richard Gephardt
4. Dennis Kucinich
5. Howard Dean
6. John Edwards
7. Carol Moseley-Braun
8. Bob Graham
9. Joe Lieberman

Nice to see that, once again, Lieberman is on the BOTTOM, where I hope his conservative ass will stay. It's actually not a bad list of favorite songs; when Buffett, Fleetwood Mac and Sinatra are the bottom-feeders, that suggests a pretty solid group overall. Better than the fuckin' Republicans, at any rate.

On the box right now: Muddy Waters, MUDDY "MISSISSIPPI" WATERS LIVE


Dove With Claws [8:51 AM]

[ Friday, September 12, 2003 ]


Now Johnny Cash is gone...

There are few things I can bring myself to say about Johnny Cash, especially since there are so many more that could be in their place. One of the giants of American music, Cash sang the truth with clarity and precision, bringing the darkest underbelly of life (both societal and personal) up to the forefront, never forgetting to sing about love, God and humorous topics at the same time. He shephereded and supported any number of the greatest songwriters in the world (like Dylan, Springsteen, Rodney Crowell, Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe) both through covering their work and through sheer support. He married into the greatest legacy in country music, and proceeded to join the also recently-deceased June Carter Cash in presiding over a new clan, one arguably even RICHER (at its fattest times) in talent and brilliance. He never lost respect for the past nor touch with the present. In recent years, his American recordings with Rick Rubin have reestablished him as one of the most interesting and distinctive voices (both literally and in the larger sense) in music. He got robbed at the MTV awards last month, when his unbelievable video for "Hurt" (directed by Mark Romanek) only won 1 technical award.

He was a gangsta of the highest order, a preacher of the strongest resonance, a teacher of the sharpest lessons, a friend of the greatest support and a musician of the deepest skill. Like a father to millions who never met him. The voice of God. The voice of wisdom. He was the one figure within whom American culture seemed to be most encapsulated. He said he wanted to be a voice for the voiceless. He stuck up for the poor, the prisoner and the Native American. He defended the anti-war activist against attacks from many of his contemporaries. When asked to describe his particular feelings about the war, he said he was a "Dove...with claws." Despite his personal demons, or perhaps because of them, he radiated the best of what humanity should aspire to. Both as individuals and as a collective. He wore the black until things got better. That's why he never took it off.

God, so much more to say. Might say it later on, but can't right now. Too many thoughts running around...

On the box right now: Johnny Cash, ESSENTIAL, Disc 1.


Dove With Claws [7:40 AM]

[ Thursday, September 11, 2003 ]


Don't ever underestimate the ability of random comments from semi-acquaintances to amuse yours truly...

I was sitting in Weather and Climate today, and this guy next to me named Mark, whom I've sat next to a couple times, decided that it was of the utmost importance to lean over to me - right in the middle of class - and announce:

"I'm gonna watch Dumb And Dumber tonight."

Needless to say, this was unexpected, and completely without any sort of contextual situation. It was merely his thought, expressed seemingly unadulterated for my benefit. I tried not to laugh directly in his face, even though I could figure out neither the reason for the decision nor the choice to share it with me. This is not the first amusing comment that Mark, a sweet and rather dopey freshman, has made to me in class. He also has enriched my life with the following bon mots:

-"I've got so much homework to do tonight, I just don't know what to do. Maybe I'll save some of it for tomorrow. Or maybe the weekend. I don't know."
-"Alright! The laptop!"
-"My room is a complete mess."
-"It's kinda like sweating, but cold." (In reference to a lecture on water phase change.)

Who knows what he'll say next...I personally am looking forward to our next visit.

One more thing...will somebody please tell me why the city of Madison has decided to basically turn Johnson St. into a war zone? Honestly, the shit looks like it's been bombed out. Only maybe a little bit dustier. Ugh...

On the box right now: Various Artists, LIGHT OF DAY: A TRIBUTE TO BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN.


Dove With Claws [9:36 PM]

[ Wednesday, September 10, 2003 ]


My internet's back in my apartment!!! Praise the lord and pass the ammunition...

My Weather and Climate class still sucks, although I really shouldn't poo-poo it too badly. The professor seems knowledgable, and he's presenting the material in an interesting and straightforward manner (so far, at least). Not gonna be the most compelling course I ever take, but what the hell...

A couple days ago, I wrote the stupidest e-mail type comment I've ever written. In an e-mail to my friend Dave, who had written me saying that we should get together for beer and fun, I responded this way (it shames me even to re-type this):

"Fun? Beer? A Jedi knows not these things. Luckily, I do!"

Ugh. I didn't even realize how lame this line was until I'd already written it. Clearly, my standards are sinking.

On the box right now: Elvis Costello, GET HAPPY. The 2-disc reissue, part of Rhino Records' amazing Elvis Costello reissue series, is a must-buy. A rush of blue-eyed soul-pop, with typical EC fire and fury. Almost like a great radio station.


Dove With Claws [8:37 AM]

[ Monday, September 08, 2003 ]


Warren Zevon died today. He's one of my favorites, and he always will be.

"The past seems realer than the present to me now
I've got memories to last me."- "The Indifference Of Heaven"

"I was born to rock the boat, some may sink but we will float
Grab your coat and let's get outta here
You're my witness, I'm your mutineer."-"Mutineer"

"If I leave it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile."-"Keep Me In Your Heart"

"Don't let us get sick, don't let us get old
Don't let us get stupid, alright?
Just help us be brave and make us play nice
And let us be together tonight."-"Don't Let Us Get Sick"

Peace and godspeed, Warren. As Shakespeare said, "Goodnight sweet prince, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

Dove With Claws [10:33 AM]

[ Sunday, September 07, 2003 ]


Just added a link to a great site called True Majority.

Sorry for my feverish posting today, but between "The Weather Underground" and seeing the one and only Jim Hightower speak today, my left-wing muscles are getting some flexing. (Not that the Weathermen movie was a totally romantic look or anything. Anything BUT, as a matter of fact.)

This is it for today. Promise...

Dove With Claws [2:49 PM]


Update on "The Weather Underground"...unbelievable. Powerful, compelling, all that shit. See it if and when you can...

Dove With Claws [2:42 PM]


So supposedly my Internet's getting fixed tomorrow...let's hope so, huh kids?

NRBQ was typically great, even though they kinda ran out of steam for the last third or so. Strange to hear a band that never has an off night come close, even though a mediocre NRBQ show is still about five feet above most other live shows of any sort. There were definitely some high points, at any rate: versions of "This Old House," "The Last Time," and a drummer-sung rendition of "First There Is A Mountain" were among the chestnuts. (That's not to mention of course the also drummer-sung version of "Ring of Fire" that was wonderful/horrible in that way only NRBQ can pull off.)

I'm going to see the movie about the Weathermen this afternoon. Hope it's good.

I appreciate the offerings for my business card, although I may have to go with "Blowing Goats: An American Tradition." Those who don't get it should see Matt's blog.

On the box right now: Rodney Crowell, FATE'S RIGHT HAND was the last thing I listened to.


Dove With Claws [9:27 AM]