Shot Of Rhythm

[ Saturday, August 27, 2005 ]


When the rain comes...

So, Mother Nature put the kibosh on the Sleepy LaBeef show on the Terrace Friday night. Which is really too bad, since Sleepy's the man, but - luckily - I had a back-up plan. I went to see The Bottle Rockets at the High Noon Saloon, and they once again put on a display of thunder-twang that only increased my belief that they are one of the great rock and roll outfits currently working. Great song selection ("Gotta Get Up" and "Wave That Flag" notable among their originals, plus great covers of "Call Me The Breeze," Sir Doug's "At The Crossroads" and "Hey Hey My My") , and consistently energetic performances. They are truly an American treasure, and anyone who hasn't experienced their records or shows should do themselves a favor.

Saw Robbie Fulks tonight at the Orton Park Festival, and he too solidified his well-earned reputation as a great live act. Even though I've seen Springsteen, Prince and Al Green, I don't know that there's any live show I enjoy as much as Robbie's shows, at least in terms of lifting my spirits and shaking some of my shit loose. Check him out when you get the chance.

Some great, weird fans at the shows, most notably a stoned fat dude at the Bottle Rockets who was practically doing aerobics around the bar. It's a fucking miracle that he didn't take a header.

The great music weekend continues tomorrow with Otis Taylor and C.J. Chenier at the Orton Park Fest, and then - assuming I haven't been rocked enough - Monday sees Dallas Wayne w/The Big City Honky Tonk at the Annex. Not a bad set of shows.

On the box right now: Loudon Wainwright III, LAST MAN ON EARTH. This guy has written a couple handfuls of unbelievably good songs.


Dove With Claws [9:45 PM]

[ Friday, August 26, 2005 ]


Y'all don't come

We've once again reached the point in the year when all the undergraduates return, and - I'm sorry to say - I'm not that happy about their return. Now, hating the beginning of the new year is a little like hating the weather: what's the fuckin' point of it? Also, I really love the actual events and routines of another academic year. Add on to all that the fact that I'll be teaching in the fall, thus employed by the very students whom I unreasonably disdain upon their return.

I guess it's just how wonderful Madison is in the summer, when there are no lines anywhere and the Terrace is (relatively) less crowded, when the weather is beautiful and the weekends don't resemble Roman-era bacchanals of decadence and chaos. This is what makes me bite the hand that feeds me, and - goddammit - bite it I shall. Chomp.

By the way, bunch of great music the next few days in the big town. Check out Sleepy LaBeef (with our good friend Kenneth Burns' White Mule Country Blues Band) on the Terrace tonight for free. Saturday finds Robbie Fulks at the Orton Park Festival (for free again), and Sunday at the Orton Park Fest brings us both Otis Taylor and C.J. Chenier (still free). Then, top it all off at the Annex Monday night with Dallas Wayne, with opening from The Big City Honky Tonk. (That one's not free, but it's cheap, and it'll be great, and stop your sobbin'.) Rare to have this much great music in this town in one weekend, and the price is right, so support your local guitar-slingers and show up.

On the box right now: Gary "U.S." Bonds, DEDICATION/ON THE LINE. These two early-1980s records, where Bonds is assisted by Bruce Springsteen, are currently my favorite records in the world. Something new will probably supplant them by next week, but - right now - I don't want to listen to anything else. Great rock and soul music from a true American original.


Dove With Claws [9:21 AM]

[ Tuesday, August 23, 2005 ]


Dis, dat and dat udder ting

-I heard a street musician yesterday playing a speed-metal song on acoustic guitar, the only lyrics of which (near as I could tell) was the repeated, and screamed, verse: "Black metal! Black metal!"

-Yesterday, I heard somebody say, quite loudly: "Man, you have got to shave your balls!"

-I saw THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN on Saturday night. Hilarious; highly recommended.

-I'm happy to report that a recent poll puts George W. Bush's approval rating at 36%, the lowest of his presidency.

On the box right now: Amadou et Mariam, DIMANCHO E BAMAKE. A Senegal-ese duo, something between soul music, Delta blues and Afro-pop. Pretty cool, and their new album is produced by the great Manu Chao, a wonderful eccentric in his own right.


Dove With Claws [7:07 AM]