Soothing the savage breast

Saw New Orleans piano genius Henry Butler last night with Amy DeNaio at the tiny 21 Grand performance space in Oakland (the show was produced by Earthwise, and Butler's appearance is part of a Basin Street Records "invasion" of the bay area also featuring Kermit Ruffins and Jon Cleary at other venues).


Butler is so amazing. He draws on blues, jazz, country, classical, and just plain atonal weirdness. He has a muscular pounding style heavy on the syncopation, and an incredibly deep voice. One song was just a long serious of tuneful moans—a good fit for DeNaio who does a lot of vocalese in her work as well (she played an accordion borrowed from the next-door shop and later a sax with an effects pedal she played with her hand for her vocals).

Mixed in with his own material, Butler reinterpreted Georgia on My Mind and, most thrillingly, the Entertainer.

What a night. Turned my bad mood from the daytime entirely around, as tired as I was.

Tonight it's Bob Dylan at the Greek.

(Say, I've noticed that since I upgraded iTunes, iJournal is no longer able to detect the track currently playing....)
breakfast of champions

50 most loathsome

The Buffalo Beast names the 50 most loathsome people in America, 2002. Pretty over-the-top (fairly vulgar too), but funny and much of it is hard to argue with.

A sampling:

Misdeeds:   Without question one of the most smarmy, vile, hypocritical talking heads on television. Has the uncanny ability to vilify and generalize those who disagree with him, and then state that he's not a partisan person. Exploits his devout Catholicism and patriotism to the point that it makes you think he's selling something—like his book, whose cover features his giant head in front of one of the glossiest, waviest American flags ever. Much of his wrath can probably be traced to his displeasure that Reagan still can't remember his name although he's met him many times.

Aggravating Factor:   Since 9/11, pretends to be genuinely convinced that anyone who disagrees with the Bush administration does not want America to be safe.

Aesthetic:   Repressed kid from Long Island who got to college, was scared of sex, discovered other repressed white kids in conservative student group, joined them, devoted rest of life to blasting people who didn't.


Misdeeds:   Expecting people to care about his shitty childhood because he is white. Dissing his mama. Lifting weights after he got famous. Is the official voice of white teenage suburban boys. Has already worn out his shock value to the extent that his next album will have to include slurs against parapalegics and land-mine victims just to raise eyebrows.

Aggravating Factor:   For someone who sells millions of records partly due to making fun of other people, has no sense of humor about himself.

Aesthetic:   Trailer-trash cracker with just a hint of Down's Syndrome.

(I never said it was PC!)

Fog's in

After two three days of blazing heat peaking in the midafternoon, it started to cool off yesterday and this morning the sky is totally socked in cloudy from the window of my breakfast nook. It's a relief. The ultrahot weather has its charms, especially in the evening when its just balmy outside, but I can get a lot more work done in this cooling fog.

Groan from Uncle TJ

Please don't kill the messenger!
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.

This made him ....what? (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good.)

A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Art of the Mix: Take the 1990s lyrics quiz

from Art of the Mix (via MZ):
Do you remember a band called Blind Melon? Can you still rattle off the words to "Shoop" by Salt-n-Pepa? Visit this site to test your knowledge of pop and rock lyrics from the 1990s. Hint: look out for appearances from a few hip-hop and country crossover artists. From Ace of Base to Alice in Chains, they're all here, along with a few acts you'd probably rather forget. Step back in time. It's harder than you think!

I doubt it.

Tickets impossible

After spending sixteen frustrating minutes on the phone and on the web a few Sundays back, failing to get Elvis Costello tickets. I asked a friend to deal with getting us all tickets to Beck with Flaming Lips at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. No such luck. He got in after a few minutes and everything was already sold out. It smells rigged to me.

He got an offer from Craigslist, good tickets for $100/ea. (they were between $40 and $50 with added "convenience"). I just don't feel rich enough for that.

Dude, I'm getting a Dell?

I have a temporary need (two, three months) for a PC for a project I'm working on. (There are five Macs in my house and one PC but it's in the basement and runs Windows 98, ugh.) It's an old Pentium Pro, so I don't even know if I should install XP on it (probably not!). I had to buy XP and put it on a borrowed Dell to capture the PC-related screenshots in my Dreamweaver book.

Now once again I need a PC for testing stuff, so I'm stringing a very long ethernet cable down through the laundry chute to the basement, where I have a second hub (amidst the detritus from my old office in downtown Oakland) I can plug into it and put the PC and Mac down there online (I use a Linksys router to share the DSL connection and an Airport base station to put B and my laptops online).

If it all works and the old PC can handle the testing load, I'm cool. If not, I may be looking to borrow someone's spare laptop for a few months.