Shot Of Rhythm

[ Saturday, September 03, 2005 ]


Desperate times call for desperate measures

I never - NEVER - thought I'd say this, but there was some great and compelling reporting by Fox News' Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera last night, live from the hell-on-earth in and around the New Orleans Convention Center. Particularly when coupled with Sean Hannity's hamfisted apologia, Smith and Rivera proved that simple humanity can in fact conquer all.

Watch here:

I'd also like to thank Kanye West for speaking truth to power on the otherwise milquetoast NBC relief special, and I'd like to warn everybody to stay sharp now that the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist necessitates a 2nd Bush court appointee.

By the way, Bush's speech in Louisiana yesterday was notable, by my estimation, for 3 things, in no particular order:
1) The fact that he mentioned, with a laugh, how his favorite memories of New Orleans are when he used to come there to get drunk.
2) The fact that he had to be reminded, in a sad attempt at subterfuge by Louisiana Gov. Blanco, of the names of the parishes most affected
3) The fact that the only specific thing he promised to rebuild was...wait for it...Trent Lott's house.

I'm actually not much of a fan of aggressive "Fuck Bush" rhetoric, but I'm starting to see things differently...

On the box right now: Marty Stuart, SOUL'S CHAPEL. Help us, Lord, help us.


Dove With Claws [10:33 PM]

[ Friday, September 02, 2005 ]



"I assume the president's going to say he got bad intelligence... I think that wherever you see poverty, whether it's in the white rural community or the black urban community, you see that the resources have been sucked up into the war and tax cuts for the rich." -- Congressman Charles B. Rangel

On the box right now: Bob Dylan, NO DIRECTION HOME: BOOTLEG SERIES, VOL. 7, Disc 2.


Dove With Claws [3:41 PM]


Soul deep

Well, they found Fats Domino:

But, now...Alex Chilton is missing:

In other news, Republican Dennis Hastert doesn't want to rebuild: Methinks that if the situation in New Orleans (with it's poor, black citizens) was occuring somewhere (Pebble Beach, Myrtle Beach) with rich, white citizens, these comments (and this reaction in general) would be much different.

On the box right now: James McMurtry, CHILDISH THINGS. I really do want to talk about this fantastic album, but I guess I'll have to wait for the disaster to level off. Looks like it might be months...


Dove With Claws [7:43 AM]

[ Thursday, September 01, 2005 ]


Our commander-in-chief

Makes you feel safe and secure, doesn't it?

On the box right now: Bob Dylan, NO DIRECTION HOME: BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 7, Disc 1.


Dove With Claws [1:04 PM]


New Orleans news briefs

First of all, from (a blog by resident and friend-of-friend Chuck Taggart):

"At the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, an initial effort to hand outprovisions to stranded citizens quickly disintegrated into mass looting.Authorities at the scene said bedlam erupted after the giveaway wasannounced on the radio.

While many people carried out food and essential supplies, others clearedout jewelry racks adn carried out computers, TVs and appliances onhandtrucks.

Some officers joined in taking whatever they could, including one NewOrleans cop who loaded a shopping cart with a compact computer and a 27-inchflat screen television. [...] A crowd in the electronics section said oneofficer broke the glass DVD case so people wouldn't cut themselves. 'Thepolice got all the best stuff. They're crookeder than us,' one man said."

Secondly, there's this:,2933,168122,00.html.

Finally, just to prove that white supremacy takes no holiday in acts of God, from the SNCC e-mail list:

This is bad...I guess that according to the Associated Press (AP), white people "find" and black people "loot." Check out the captions for the photos below.
White folks:

Black folks:

On the box right now: James McMurtry, CHILDISH THINGS. More later on this...


Dove With Claws [7:37 AM]

[ Wednesday, August 31, 2005 ]


Surprise, surprise

Bush is now offering his fourth (fifth? sixth?) justification for the Iraq War. Guess what it is this time? Oil. That's right: OIL.

Feast your eyes:

Isn't this what we in the anti-war community have been saying for, oh, almost three years now? Unbelievable and shameless.

Meanwhile, in other news:

Good God almighty. After the initial "sparing" of N'awlins from a direct hit, everybody seemed to let out the big sigh of relief. Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly clear that such relief was sadly premature. Makes me want to play Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927" over and over and over again.

On the box right now: Pupy Costello and His Big City Honky Tonk, SING BEER DRINKIN' SONGS. Yee-haw!


Dove With Claws [6:46 AM]

[ Tuesday, August 30, 2005 ]


King of Pop

Kanye West's new album, LATE REGISTRATION, dropped today. Thoughts after two listens:

-Not the masterpiece COLLEGE DROPOUT was, at least in terms of its freshness, but consistently excellent throughout.
-West's greatest strength is also his greatest curse: the brilliant beats and backing tracks that he constructs (with help from alterna-pop producer Jon Brion) are probably the best in hip-hop today. On this album, he builds tracks both around great R&B samples (Ray and Otis among them) and crude drum machines (among other things), and the tracks are so hot that they only emphasize the fact that 'Ye is not a terribly great MC. (Common's masterful BE album from earlier this year, produced by West, proved this even more so.) His rhymes are better than on DROPOUT, but it's still clearly the weak link of an otherwise unstoppable talent.
-"Gold Digger," featuring Jamie Foxx doing Ray Charles (and Ray Charles himself), is my favorite track as of now. Not only is it funky as shit, but it's also absolutely hilarious.
-His politics are brilliantly populist in their orientation. He calls out issues of race and poverty in ways that never sound heavy-handed (hello, Talib) or confused (yo, Mos!).
-Even though he's in danger of becoming the latest hip-hop artist who every white person feels safe liking, there's no indication that West is about to give up on any of the genius or personality that made him a star when he was producing for Jay-Z.
-Speaking of Hov, his cameo on "Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)" reminds me of how much I miss him.
-If you don't get a little teary during "Roses" or "Hey Mama," then something is the fuck wrong with you.
-I don't know that this is better than Common's album (my current favorite album of the year), but it's not far behind, meaning that Kanye currently holds the top two spots on my best-of-2005 list. Not bad. Chi-town represent.

On the box right now: Kanye West, LATE REGISTRATION.


Dove With Claws [1:14 PM]


A few random thoughts from the dog days of summer

-I saw BROTHERS GRIMM last night. Terry Gilliam has never made an uninteresting film (good or bad), and this is no exception. It's kind of all over the place in terms of story and character, but it looks amazing (typical for Gilliam) and it's certainly more entertaining than the last "summer blockbuster" film I saw (FOUR BROTHERS). Recommended, though not highly.

-I realized I really want to learn to play Erykah Badu's "Tyrone."

-I ran into somebody the other day who remembered me from my performances in the Wausau West High School Pop Concert, a popular variety-type show at my alma mater. The story of the Pop Concert and its accompanying weirdness could literally fill a book, but I'll spare you. Suffice to say that, even though this person seemed sincerely to be a fan of my performances (and I'm always glad to hear from fans), I can't say that I'm happy that my biggest claim to fame is something I did when I was 17 years old.

-I saw Dan Savage on Bill Maher's show the other night. He was fantastic, eloquent and passionate, and I was very impressed. He completely smoked Republican Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, and it made me realize that Dan's not on TV enough.

-THE ARISTOCRATS opens in Madison on Friday, and I'm probably out-of-proportion excited to see it.

-My unreasonable resentment towards the returning student body has not diminished since last I spoke of it. In fact, it has only grown. The monster lurks...

On the box right now: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, ULTIMATE GREATEST HITS.


Dove With Claws [6:02 AM]

[ Sunday, August 28, 2005 ]


In all seriousness...

Keep the people of New Orleans, as well as the rest of Southern Louisiana and Mississippi in your thoughts/prayers tonight. Hurricane Katrina is due to hit at about sunrise tomorrow, and forecasters say that this is as bad a hurricane as has ever hit the American mainland. New Orleans, which is below sea level and a city that is both poor and architecturally unstable, is going to be devastated; maybe a million people will be left homeless. Definitely won't end well, but maybe it won't end as badly as some are (very reasonably) fearing.

Dove With Claws [9:16 PM]


Erin go bragh

A conversation I had at the Orton Park Festival earlier today...

Old drunk guy with bad teeth: Hey...are you Irish?

Me: Yeah.

Old drunk guy with bad teeth: Yeah, you look like every other Irish guy that's ever been in the world. (At which point he makes a motion concerning my admittedly bushy sideburns.)

Me: Uh...thanks.

While I appreciate that some inebriated stranger observed my similarity in appearance to my ancestral brethren, I'm thinking I need a slightly more distinctive look. Tattoos, maybe? Perhaps a pink feather boa? Thoughts right now.

On the box right now: Ozomatli, LIVE AT THE FILLMORE.


Dove With Claws [8:52 PM]