Shot Of Rhythm

[ Friday, September 17, 2004 ]


Pete fell out...Who was left?

Why, Repeat, of course. For some reason, I have three things today that re-tread a bit of old ground: a non-sequitor, a dream story, and something Kenny talked about on his blog.

First, the non-sequitor: "Yeah, that's it. I couldn't remember if that came from Shakespeare or DIRTY HARRY."

Second, the dream story: I had a dream last night that I was living in a building with a communal refrigerator. As I went to use the fridge one night, I noticed that it wasn't quite working right. I started punching buttons - like any red-blooded American idiot would do - until I realized that I'd accidentally set the fridge on "NUCLEAR." Now, I assume that this means that I switched the power source, but I also realized that I'd just primed the fridge to explode - with nuclear force - at 2 PM the next day. I frantically tried to fix it, and I think I got it right. (Especially since, later on in the dream, one of my housemates was complaining about how the milk had gone sour.) But, then again, in the dream I never got the point where the magic hour passed without incident. So, come 2 PM today, duck and cover, just in case the fridge goes crazy.

Third, I saw METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER last weekend. I really enjoyed it, and second just about everything Dr. Burns had to say about it.

I'll have something new and exciting later, I promise. Probably about the great film WATTSTAX.

On the box right now: Various Artists, SOUL TO SOUL. Wilson Pickett, Ike and Tina and others performing live in Ghana in 1971. Hotter than July...


Dove With Claws [8:35 AM]

[ Tuesday, September 14, 2004 ]


People say I'm a dreamer

I had a dream last night that had two moments of a certain poignancy:

1)I was at a Bush rally, with the Thief-In-Chief himself, and I was doing - if I may say so - a helluva job at restraining myself. Rather than yelling something out after every bit of bullshit he was slinging, I sat there quietly fuming. However, eventually I couldn't take it anymore. He started to tear apart Bill C. Malone's book DON'T GET ABOVE YOUR RAISIN', as to how non-factual and silly it was. At which point, I yelled out "Wow, did Dick read that to you or did you read it all by yourself?" That's when I got the big heave-ho. It was just like a cartoon, too: big guys in white coats with nets came running after me.

2)After being removed from Dubya's bacchanal, I made my way down to State Street, and started playing music on the street. For some reason, I had a piano with me. (A couple other musicians were probably with me too, but I don't remember who they are.) Anyway, a couple girls came up at one point, one of whom had a double bass. We started jamming, and I remember being incredibly impressed at how well this girl could play, and at how she knew every song I did. At one point, she actually requested that we play Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight Rock." I remember thinking as I woke up, "Why can't I find a girl who wants to play 'Twenty Flight Rock' in real life?" Ah, longing and melancholy. The stuff mediocre songwriters are made of...

On the box right now: Bobby Rush, FOLKFUNK


Dove With Claws [7:45 AM]

[ Monday, September 13, 2004 ]


At the feet of the master

I saw Nick Lowe at Shank Hall last night, only the second time I've ever seen him live. (The first was in 1998, at the great Chicago club Park West). He performed solo acoustic, with a bit of accompaniment from the "sublime and supremely soulful" (Nick's words, but they could've been mine) keys player Geraint Watkins, who also opened the show. For those who haven't heard Watkins, he's a gem. Great, laid-back rock and soul. (His set was unsurprisingly brilliant, by the way.)

Anyway, Lowe's performance was pretty well flawless, although it wasn't really long enough. (Even if you get beyond the fact that I'm a superfan who literally could've listened to 8 hours of Nick live, playing for only 85 minutes simply ain't cutting it.) He played some of the old stuff, pulling out selections from his raft of pure-pop masterpieces that all should've been #1 hits. He played a bunch of newer stuff, the stuff that's - for my money - the most perfect brand of country-soul currently being offered by anybody. He also played 3 new songs: an uptempo goof-off called "Bingo," a blue-Christmas anthem that I think was called "Hang My Tears From The Tree," and an absolutely brilliant song called "I Trained Her To Love Me" that had the crowd jumping up and down. He did some covers too: two soul songs ("Conference Table," The Chi-Lites beautiful anti-war anthem, and Arthur Alexander's "Lonely Just Like Me"), one country rave-up ("I'm Coming Home") and one by his old friend/colleague John Hiatt ("She Don't Love Nobody").

He did "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," of course, to close his main set. Somewhere along the line, probably influenced by Costello's definitive version and a bit of maturity, Nick decided to basically make this the gospel hymn that it always wanted to be. Lowe's voice is, despite years of cigarettes, in fantastic shape, and he wrapped every bit of subtle intensity he could around the syllables.

He did look kinda old, which took me aback for a moment, and I missed the presence of a cracking back-up band. At any rate, I started listening to Lowe in 1997, started writing songs soon after, and have never fallen out of love with the man who very well might be my favorite artist/songwriter of all time. It was nice to see him again, and I hope it won't be the last time.

On the box right now: Nick Lowe, UNTOUCHED TAKEAWAY. On top of everything else, going to see Nick offered me the chance to pick up this live record, available only at gigs and on the Yep Roc Records website ( Go get it...


Dove With Claws [8:12 AM]