Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Childhood

I visited my father yesterday for the first time in a long while. Due to traffic, the trip up took an hour longer than I'd planned, and that hour gave Dad the time he needed to knock back a shot or three of Evan Williams whiskey and few Milwaukee Best beers, which was more than enough to render him senseless by the time I arrived. He couldn't even stay sober until noon. Fucker.

He smelled terrible, the entire house- the family house- stank of beer, urine, cigarettes and unwashed death. Piles of garbage and junk were strewn everywhere...my grandmother was not a 'tidy' housekeeper, but she was clean. I'm glad she can't see the house now. It would kill her again.

Next week I'll be celebrating four years without a drink. Four years is not nearly long enough to give me the ability to cope with the state of my father, who is in the end-stage of alcoholism and is plunging into the murky depths of permanent dementia. Seeing him in that condition was enough to re-affirm my already-solid commitment to an alcohol-free lifestyle.

Now hand me my gun, my dice and my cards. And don't bogart that joint.

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THE NEW BREAKFAST SNOB, SAT. AUG 29,2009

(Artist-song/Album)


Firewater- When I Burn This Place Down/Get Off The Cross,We Need The Wood For The Fire
Features ex-Cop Shoot Cop singer...with an album title like that, need I say more?

Jethro Tull- No Lullabye/Heavy Horses
One of my DJ pals commented (jokingly!) that he admired me for being so unconcerned with being "cool"- because a "cool" DJ would never play Jethro Tull. Since when?

Chou Pahrot- The Wee Thing/Live
Fuck it. If you don't like Tull, maybe you'll enjoy this fanciful little ditty. I wish I knew how to pronounce their name.

The Kinks- National Health/Live
I quick-rigged a troublesome cable on the phonograph board during this song...I congratulated myself with my save- and then listened in stunned paralysis as the motor on the turntable slowly died. I found it somehow fitting, considering the subject and all.

Daevid Allen- Time of Your Life/Banana Moon
Wooo-oooo-oooo-oo-oo-yeah...I'm having a Gong mini-revival in my head, slightly spoiled by signs of demise from second turntable during mid-song.

Jennings- Doorway/Storybook
Jennings is a young NYC female singer-songwriter with a great voice...a caller asked me if this was Waylon Jennings, the male country singer. Um, no. It is not.
I'm sad to report that I did not have a snappier reply.

Cafebar 401- Blame The Villain
I think pot is legal where these guys come from. Or close enough to make the keyboard cool and cagey. Sneakily becoming one of my faves...speaking of faves...

Cary Grace- Helleborus/Perpetual Motion
Cary Grace moved from Nashville to England, which helps explain her uniquely updated blend of British and American psychedelic sensibilities, underscored with the chops to rock ferociously, sing angelically and act as her own producer/engineer...this cut is actually an excerpt from a longer piece and I felt bad about the edit- if you are a guitar player on the receiving end of a 'fade-out' during your solo, the DJ/Board-op always fades it out right before your best part. Always. My bad this time.

Shawn Farley- Lakewater
This is beautiful, bizarre and utterly compelling.

Norine Braun- Do It Right
I love Norine and I really do want to give her a cake someday.

R.Crumb- Confessions of R.Crumb/The Musical
Underground comix 'superstar' R .Crumb rants about how if "he didn't love this country, then by god, he'd leave it" (He lives in France), breaks into a banjo chorus of 'This Land is Your Land' and then extros with a faux fiddle band snippet. I love the First Amendment!

Kalliope- YooHoo
This sounds a bit familiar, but I like it anyway; it's good, cheerful pop without being vapid.

Omar Alexander- Stolen From Me/Soulare
Very well-produced and radio-friendly song- very catchy and powerful Latin/rock flavor.

Polite Society- William Whitelowe/Live at Twisters
This is one of my old bands. We broke up long before mySpace existed. I think. This is the only cover we ever did- it's a cover of a song written by the drummer of another old band of mine. Two chords.

Joan as Policewoman- I Defy
I love this band but this isn't my favorite song...still better than most radio.

Lou Reed-The Last Shot/Blue Mask
Sometimes my dad listens to my show.

Faust- It's a Bit of a Pain-IV
It's very thoughtful and airy...until the chorus which is highlighted with what I think is an amplified chainsaw being crushed under a bulldozer. It's the sort of thing that makes me feel weak-at-the-knees...major props to Cary Grace (above) for helping to grow my world, one song at a time. Well, more than one, maybe.

Cursive- The Recluse
With the turntables down, I fall back on an old fave.

Melissa Cox- Dive
Into chocolate? Really? Dig it.

Green Man- She Moved Through The Fair
Everyone that I play Green Man for likes them...our Metal Guru even likes them. Cool.

Aphrodesia- Think Suffer
The music will make you move and the song will make you think. Suffering's a given.

Clara Bellino- Potential Criminal/Embarcadero Love
Clara is so utterly charming that you'd think she's singing about rainbows and unicorns when she's really slicing, dicing and pureeing American foolishness (and greatness) with the lyrics.

Azzdine w/Bill Laswell-Sri Fal Houbb
It's got Laswell, Eastern percussion and lots of chanting. In other words, perfect.

Arvel Bird- Caballo
Scot/Native American...standard 'jam' arrangement but with an interesting mix of jazz/rock and Native instruments.

Dare Dukes- Sam's Cathedral/PTOA
Probably one of the best shopping ballads of all time. Level 3!

Crack The Sky- Nuclear Apathy
Baltimore loved these guys...so did I. Great two- guitar band.

Helios Creed- Malavia Millenium/Kiss To The Brain
Former Chrome guitarist continues to practice advanced interrogation techniques on his instrument.

Monacy-Orbit/ Intensely Casual
This song tugs at my heartstrings...stop that! It's like picking scabs.

*********************************************************

And life continues on.

7 comments:

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I'm surprised he hasn't sold the house...how sad..

Craig D said...

Today is R. Crumb's birthday, BTW.

Sixty-six years young.

And now, here's a look at the weather in your neck of the woods...

billy pilgrim said...

and yet the commercials keep coming out showing how alcohol enhances the life experience.

maybe someone should introduce alcohol into the health care debates.

angel said...

Dude! How can Tull not be cool? I like it!

Sorry bout your dad...
Ooh, and my sister has just celebrated her 4th anniversary of sobriety.

schlep said...

Loved hearing that shot of little-heard 80's Kinks while driving around Saturday...barely missed the Daevid Allen though! Radio in Richmond is much richer for your presence!

secret agent woman said...

I take it's that a photo of you as a kid? Is there a story behind the gun to the temple?

As for you Dad - what a bloody shame. I know from experience how hard it is to watch your father slowly killing himself.

Allan said...

INCOG- Russian roulette was a family pastime growing up. It's why I have almost no relatives.

(sorta half kidding)