Shot Of Rhythm

[ Friday, April 29, 2005 ]


My main man

Two reasons why James Baldwin is the greatest American writer:

"The most dreadful people I have ever known are those who have been 'saved,' as they claim, by Christ - they could not possibly be more deluded - those for whom the heavenly telephone is endlessly ringing, always with disastrous messages for everybody else. Or those people who have been cured by their psychiatrists, a cure which has rendered them a little less exciting than oatmeal. I prefer sinners and madmen, who can learn, who can change, who can teach..."

"It is impossible for a black man, here, not to anticipate, endlessly, disaster at the hands of his countrymen. The result is that he is always looking around him at people who do not know, or dare not know, what he is thinking, people who have been rendered incapable of seeing him. I listen to what white people say and, still more, to what they don't say. I must: my life may depend on what I hear: I cannot afford to be surprised.
This means that, in the generality, everything a white man says to a black man is a confession, though the white man never knows it. Sometimes I sing because I'm happy, true, and sometimes I sing because I'm free: but sometimes I sing because it is so grinding down to spend one's life listening to confessions."

Both of these quotes are from his 1979 novel JUST ABOVE MY HEAD.

On the box right now: Sam Cooke, PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND. Not a bad soundtrack for trying to wade through the deepest waters of Baldwin's thought and writing.


Dove With Claws [3:08 PM]

[ Thursday, April 28, 2005 ]


Gonna be hard to beat this one...

Top contender for out-of-context quote of the year:

"So, think about it. My grandparents' first date might've been at the same Liberace show in Wausau where he hooked up with that guy from the Green Bay Packers."

On the box right now: Bruce Springsteen, DEVILS AND DUST. More to come, es mi promesa.


Dove With Claws [5:17 PM]

[ Wednesday, April 27, 2005 ]


Grad school good'uns

"I guess the central question I'm asking is: Who are you?"

"He basically just went and fucked it all up."

"Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not sure empire is always such a bad thing." (I don't know how I'm supposed to not take this the wrong way, quite frankly.)

On the box right now: Bruce Springsteen, DEVILS AND DUST. I'll have some thoughts about The Boss' latest soon...


Dove With Claws [3:48 PM]

[ Sunday, April 24, 2005 ]


Honky-tonk, all night long

Went to Cudahay last night with "Slow-Rollin" Joe Nosek of the Cash Box Kings ( to see Wayne "The Train" Hancock, quite possibly the best of the retro honky-tonk musicians. Apart from the fact that Wayne was in fine form, and that it was a hot crowd and a nice venue (Vnuk's), Hank Williams III showed up, dressed in a Misfits sweatshirt and with hair almost to his ass. He was surely a sight to see, and the songs he sang with Wayne - including a heartbreaking duet on Hank Sr.'s "I'm So Lonesome, I Could Cry" - were definitely highlights of the evening. (Also cool was that, unbeknownst to me before we showed up, Chris Scruggs from BR5-49 opened up for "The Train," and he was smokin'.)

Earlier that evening, at dinner, I saw a middle-aged married couple damn near get in a fistfight. It was one of those combative-affectionate, passive-aggressive deals, where they'd be literally ready to leap out of their chairs at each other, and then perfectly lovey-dovey when the waiter would come up. When they left, I was actually disappointed that they didn't throw down, if just for the story I could've told.

Out-of-context quotes from last night:
-"Dude, I can serve a tennis ball 120 miles an hour."
-"Aw man, did you see that guy? He just took a header down the stairs and rolled into the street!"
-"See that guy passed out in the car behind us? I came out here an hour-and-a-half ago, and he was exactly the same then as he is now."
-"Rutabaga rutabaga rutabaga" (my favorite)

On the box right now: Cash Box Kings, LIVE AT THE KING CLUB


Dove With Claws [4:01 PM]