Shot Of Rhythm

[ Friday, July 22, 2005 ]


Lines of inquiry

Best first line of a book I've seen in quite a while: "I wasn't even born yet when my father first tried to kill me." From Honky Tonk Hero, the autobiography of Billy Joe Shaver, a cool little book that any fans of country music oughta read.

Best possible pick-up line I've heard in quite a while: "I really want to get married soon, and I really don't care about who the guy is, as long as he's not abusive and doesn't have severe mental illness. It's even okay if he cheats on me." I figure this woman won't have too many problems finding potential candidates.

Best line left on my answering machine in quite a while: "Mom, it's not Brenda. It's not Brenda!"

On the box right now: The Ovations, THE COMPLETE GOLDWAX RECORDINGS. Another disc of recently re-discovered Southern soul gems. This stuff sounds like lost Sam Cooke...


Dove With Claws [12:28 PM]

[ Wednesday, July 20, 2005 ]


Some things I found amusing

-A headline on, for their "Family Advice" column: "How to raise unimaginative children."

-An ad for an upcoming casino performance by a band called The Blues "Other" Brothers. Yeah, you can guess what they look/sound like, and - apart from being a rip-off of a rip-off - they have quite possibly the worst band name I've ever heard of. That awkward, clunky thing is the best they could do? Why not The Blues Others? Or The Twos Brothers? Or The Other Blues Brothers? Or even The Electric Banana?

-I saw two avowed members of the International Socialist Organization yesterday, scarfing down McDonald's and reading the (supposedly) right-wing WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL newspaper. So much for sectarian purity.

-A great Woody Allen line I remembered the other day: "Well, if I ask a psychopath, I should expect a psychopathic answer," from ANNIE HALL.

-A great Woody Allen scene I remembered just after that: the scene in BANANAS when he's put on trial for espionage. Classic stuff; see it if you haven't, if just for the cameo by J. Edgar Hoover.

On the box right now: Frank Black, HONEYCOMB. I was concerned about this collaboration by between the head Pixie and a bunch of great Southern soul musicians, since - even though Black's solo albums have gotten rootsier over the years - I thought his angular, ironic rock would be at odds with the grits-and-honey production/playing of Dan Penn, Steve Cropper and company, but it really does work well. Great covers of Elvis, Doug Sahm and - of course - "Dark End Of The Street," co-written by Penn. Nice record, perfect for a rainy day like this.


Dove With Claws [8:17 AM]

[ Tuesday, July 19, 2005 ]


Finally, The Triangulator Has Come Back to Madison

I was in Strictly Discs, Madison's finest independent music retailer, about a week ago, and I picked up records by The Ovations (a Memphis soul group), Buck Owens (the country great from Bakersfield), and Slim Thug (a Houston-based rapper getting major props for his work with The Neptunes). Putting these three choices on the counter, the guy working that day said "'re definitely triangulating there." I smiled, somewhat half-heartedly, at this commentary - affectionate though it may be - upon my musical taste, and went on my (semi-)merry way.

Returning there three days ago, I walked in to the following exclamation from the counter man, the same one from the previous week's encounter: "Hey! The Triangulator's back!"

Now, it's not as good as "The Eliminator," "The Round Mound of Rebound" or "The American Dream," but it's not that bad, either.

On the box right now: Ol' Dirty Bastard, THE DEFINITIVE OL' DIRTY BASTARD STORY. Shimmy shimmy ya, shimmy shimmy ya...


Dove With Claws [4:05 PM]

[ Sunday, July 17, 2005 ]


Don't get above your raisin'

Gotta go talk to a friend's class about country music on Tuesday, and I think that I'm gonna try to focus on the relationship between country and various kinds of black music (particularly blues and soul). I'll probably actually type up a capsule history of country, just so they have it, but I'm more interested in doing something slightly more obtuse in that regard.

In trying to figure out what I'm specifically gonna mention/play in class, I'm tempted to throw on this Supremes recording that I've been diggin' on for the past few days. "I'm Livin' In Shame" is a country song in every way but sonically, since the lyrics are totally in line with the strain of country that deals with leaving home, ashamed of your humble/unsophisticated roots, only to wind up regretting the self-inflicted alienation. (Sometimes, like in "I'm Livin' In Shame," the regret is sparked by the death of Mama, who worked hard and looked her best no matter what, only to be consciously forgotten by her daughter.) It's a painfully honest song, which is rare for the Supremes, and anybody who digs soul or country would do well to check it out.

Probably won't end up playing that song, but I wouldn't rule it out.

On the box right now: Arthur Alexander, RAINBOW ROAD: THE WARNER BROTHERS RECORDINGS. I will be mentioning this guy, however...


Dove With Claws [11:48 AM]