Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Underlings went to Salem last night to play at a crusty college-aged party, complete with a backyard teepee, hobo kids and vegan sausages frying in a pan in the World's Dirtiest Kitchen. Yes, there was a PA and, thanks to Dan Jones' buddies Les Nunes, there was also a microphone. Dan played a great set of mostly new songs on his acoustic - Panther Girl, Pink Pansies, the Doggie Song and a really great song about painting 52 landscapes in a year. I recorded the set but oops! I recorded over when the other bands started playing. The Underlings had a real fun time during our 10 song set, which took about 35 minutes. The crusty kids danced to our pop songs a rocked to our rock songs. Really nice, and we loved looking at the wall-art as we played. The Salem group Phantom played next and they were absolutely savage. A really fantastic, raw rock and roll group. I would have liked to have heard the vocals better, but I could tell that the screaming sounded pretty good. THe Shy Season, a band purported to be from LEBANON(!)(one of them told me nervously that they were from...um...ah...Salem or Portland or something, as if it were shamful to be from LEBANON!) went last and they were good, kind of indie rock with great teenage hair. I recorded some songs from both bands on my cassette recorder and I noticed some other kid had an old-school tape deck also. There were all these 80's metal cassettes of artists like Dio, Black Sabbath, the Descendents, Yngvie Malmsteen. I got inspired and busted out my boombox and cranked a tape I had of side 3 of Husker Du's Zen Arcade in between sets because nobody else was playing anything. I think perhaps some ears perked at hearing some classic angst music that doesn't get heard much by today's generation, but really the room cleared out pretty fast ha ha! I felt like a fucking geezer, but I always think, it's good to be true to whatever music or culture or whatever you think is cool, not worry too much if what you like is out-of-sync with the times. The same savage emotion of Husker Du's rock was present in the music the bands we played with last night; maybe the times don't change as much as anyone ever thinks.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I watched Emperor of the North for the first time last night, the movie that my friend Slayer Carl refers to most often as his favorite movie, and he's seen a lot of movies, so he should know a good flick. I loved the trains and the sadistic hobo-beating character played by Ernest Borgnine. I loved the fight scene at the end - so f-ing brutal! And believeable, with no crappy special effects to muck it up. Thanks for the reccomendation, Carl.
I was reminded constantly throughout the movie of my dad, and how he probably watched this movie, too, being that he was an avid enthusiast about all things pertaining to old trains. The Lee Marvin character, A-number 1, even looks, talks and dresses like my dad, so you can imagine my piqued interest in the story. It's funny how the older I get, the more my interests in music, books and movies goes backward to the generations that preceded my own. I've been loving Steinbeck's East of Eden, which I find time to stick my nose in every day lately. The first half of the 20th century had so many characters in it's basic make-up. I know there are characters these days, too, but they're often looking for love with a fake tan on some tv show or practicing their original gangsta' speak for their dj gig.
It's funny that all things point back to dad - I relate everything I read and think back to the old man. Being that he lived through both world wars and the depression between them, he saw first-hand the events that were the foundation of American culture. In the beginning of the 20th century, America was still a free-for-all frontier. Lawlessness was common. Brutality of all kinds was the rule. But also simplicity, basic values and kindness were in there somewhere. In the lean years of war and depression, people got by any way they could, skimping on basic needs, growing their own food if they could and surviving alone and in clumps. All the generations leading up to the baby boomers strove so hard to make it, and since then, subsequent generations have had it easy. We don't have access to the kinds of experience and memories of hard times that our parents and grandparents lived through.
Has this new depression taught us anything yet? Are we truly poor enough to really be desperate for change? And, is the decay of our collective character any worse than it has been in past times?

Time for my coffee break!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Posting in between bouts of counting in the 36-degree f apple cooler - blueberries, peaches, pears, cherries. Summer is on, baby, and it feels cold to me! Exercising the fingers bringing the life back inta these old hands.
Reading Dan's latest blog post, I laughed myself silly. Perhaps because I've been watching too much Bert and Ernie during my morning routine with Louis AND complaining (like an old-timer) about the lack of soul and bass in modern college-oriented rock. Now, if I could just get my hands on a time machine and some pcp...
yes, the apple cooler is counted. No, I am not slacking off, no matter what PZ sez.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

No one really reads these blog posts anymore, save a few die-hards who are not yet enmeshed in facebook, myspace or twitter. I'm considering moving all my informational dispatches to either smoke signals or conch shell. Or perhaps Morse code. dot-dot-dash-dash-dash-dot-dot-dot-dash-dot-dash-dash; in other words,