Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I was just looking on the web for a photo to go with this post (by Emma R., from Yelp) and found some of the usual “mixed reviews”—I’ve chosen however to pay no attention to any voice but my own hungry, happy one on this subject. The Local Taco, on Murphy Road in Nashville has been one of my favorites ever since they first opened back in May of this year. It only seems to be getting better.
Happily ran into my friends Richard and Liz McLaurin and their sweet boys Andy and Sam Henry last time I was in town. It was Halloween and the Andy was Superman and Sam was Max, from Where the Wild Things Are.
Just got back from another foray. Two Korean, two Southern Fried. Lemon-Lime Jarrito. Oh, my goodness. And the smell of freshly squeezed lime on your fingers all the while. Exquisite.
They’ve done a nice job of closing in and heating the patio for the winter. I like sitting out there. Not as loud. Every time I come back to town, Local Taco is a destination. Wish them much success, that location has never worked too well for anybody before, but looks like they’re doing it right.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
(When the worst they ever had to deal with were the shenanigans of Ernest T. Bass and the mysteries of dating women, I doubt Ang and Barn could ever have imagined a distraught ex-convict Hispanic feller killing four folks right there in the heart of Mayberry. Bet they also never woulda thought the old NRA would make it so easy for said feller to get him a gun that should have only been used for heavy law-enforcement or all-out warfare...hell, Barney never even got to put his one bullet in the gun, unless things were pretty damned serious)
Excerpt from Yahoo news, full story here.
MOUNT AIRY, N.C. – A soured love affair may have led an ex-convict to gun down four men in the town that inspired the idyllic community of The Andy Griffith Show,” police said Monday. on the 1960s TV series “
Marcos Chavez Gonzalez, 29, was charged with four counts of murder in the slayings late Sunday outside a television store in , about 100 miles north of Charlotte.
The four were shot with a high-powered assault rifle outside Wood's TV, in the shadow of a water tower that says “Welcome to Mount Airy” and has a picture of Griffith and Opie, his son on the show.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
In case you thought New Zealand popular music began and ended with Split Enz and Crowded House, do yourself a favor and discover The Bats (and while you’re at it another enormously prolific NZ band, The Clean)
Been digging The Bats out again after recently getting a German release on eMusic called “At the National Grid.” They owe a great debt to Brian Eno’s pop records. Who doesn’t? Beautiful, jangly folk-ish pop. Also remember mid-80s enjoying the EP “Daddy’s Highway”—which contained “North by North” one of their “hits.”
Robert Scott is a sometimes member of both The Bats AND The Clean (and a few others—the sum of which has probably always made The Bats’ career suffer a bit).
Thursday, October 22, 2009
(A band I’ve always loved, despite much negative nattering from many a devoted Bowie fan. It was Bowie being a guy fronting a band, not “being Bowie”—I think he relished it...but I digress)
Sales was a funny man. A man who could take a pie in the face and still retain his dignity. Not a lot of pie-in-the-face men today. Not an awful lot of dignity either.
Goodnight Soupy, we’ll miss you more than we know.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Most of the earlier ones are on B&W film. Remember film, kids? Haven't been on many of these outings since life’s gone so overwhelmingly digital. Still get excited when I see one of the signs from a distance, hopeful that it’s a “good” one (they’re not all created equal, we always theorized that there was some central network, maybe even a website, that had stock ones. The best ones are clearly topical and the writing home-made).
Have recently started carrying my lovely new Canon G-10 almost always, but especially when I’m on trips, for just this sort of thing. Back to my favorite place to shoot...the street.
This one was in Newton, a small Illinois town, on the way back from Chicago last week. Not a particularly great one, but it’s a start back to a happy, familiar, lost place. Dan?
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Who could resist such an event? More here. Much as I’ve loved sock monkeys for ages, I did not know many specifics about their origins. (Photo by Thomas H. Durand, who as far as I know, has no affiliation with the SMM Festival...just liked his picture)
“The Nelson Knitting Company of Rockford manufactured and sold Rockford Red Heel work socks from 1932 to 1992 which were used starting in the Great Depression to create a folk art sock monkey stuffed toy. Aware of the sock monkey craze, Nelson Knitting included the sock monkey doll pattern with each pair of Rockford Red Heel Socks sold starting in the early 1950's. In recent years, the sock monkey has gained a come back and is sold in department and specialty stores world wide. However, the interest in creating a uniquely American handmade doll from Rockford Red Heel Socks is still around to this day.The Nelson Knitting Company of Rockford manufactured and sold Rockford Red Heel work socks from 1932 to 1992 which were used starting in the Great Depression to create a folk art sock monkey stuffed toy. Aware of the sock monkey craze, Nelson Knitting included the sock monkey doll pattern with each pair of Rockford Red Heel Socks sold starting in the early 1950's. In recent years, the sock monkey has gained a come back and is sold in department and specialty stores world wide. However, the interest in creating a uniquely American handmade doll from Rockford Red Heel Socks is still around to this day.”
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Just when you thought typing “Obama naked with unicorns” into Google was the most ridiculous thing you’d ever heard...
Thanks to my buddy J.D., who posted this on FB this morning, from somewhere on his tour of the outer fringes of the art blog-o-sphere.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Uncle Walter Cronkite dead today at 92. I remember watching That Vietnam Show on TV as a kid, and how people respected and trusted this somber, serious man and the few like him (Edward R. Murrow comes to mind). I raise an Irish toast, “Here’s to us...who’s like us?...damn few...and they’re all dead.” R.I.P.
Odd little bit of trivia, Cronkite was once in a play with Eli Wallach and Ann Sheridan, who were his college classmates at UT Austin.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I’m not sure if I would really want to be part of the hypocritical mess that is our nation’s governance, but I hope Al does us all proud. At least the ones of us with a sense of humor still intact. (Any takers in the G.O.P.?) Even the non-Minnesotans among us.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Have I said this before? Well, can’t say it enough. Maira’s a rare and beautiful creature, we’re all better for her being here. Her eyes are always and fearlessly open.
I shamefully admit to only keeping up with her fabulous NYT blog sporadically, but a friend posted an entry on Facebook today, and I will endeavor to do better.
Her husband Tibor’s puckish spirit is still an inspiration nearly ten years after his passing.
If I’ve never personally recommended her book The Principles of Uncertainty to you, let me do that now. Find and BUY it here. I do NOT get a commission. If it goes out of print, and you don’t have a copy, you will be sad...and I will be sad for you.
Also, look for her illustrated Elements of Style (yes the drab, if useful, Strunk and White writing reference book), her lovely children’s books, esp. the ones about Max and Pete.
Viva Maira Kalman! Thank you.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Today is the 110th birthday of Mr. Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington. One of our greatest. Heard a nice piece on NPR about there being a special run today in New York of an antique “A” train, with the present day Ellington Orchestra on board playing. That must have been exciting.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Seriously, Mr. ex-VP, we’re ALL in this...even you. Play nice or go home.
From CNN’s Jack Cafferty. The rest Here.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
My buddy Brandt sent me this Joseph Tartakovsky article today from the NY Times. Very funny stuff...or should I say very punny?
THE inglorious pun! Dryden called it the “lowest and most groveling kind of wit.” To Ambrose Bierce it was a “form of wit to which wise men stoop and fools aspire.” Universal experience confirms the adage that puns don’t make us laugh, but groan. It is said that Caligula ordered an actor to be roasted alive for a bad pun. (Some believe he was inclined to extremes.)
Read the whole article here. Illustration by Craig Damrauer.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Hadn’t really thought about Rube Goldberg in a while, but my friend Heather posted something on Facebook today that made me think “good golly, what if Rube Goldberg had a good flash animator at his disposal!” See that item here.
See more of the original Rube here. What an amazingly inventive guy. His name has actually acquired noun status in Webster’s New World Dictionary: “A comically involved, complicated invention, laboriously contrived to perform a simple operation.” I remember looking at his machines for hours as a kid.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I don’t know if he knew lung cancer was taking him then, if he did, it didn’t show. What a lovely man, a writer who lived to write and wrote for readers. Seemed to often have the certain kind of smile on his face of a man laughing at his own joke. New Yorker cartoonist extraordinaire George Booth struck me much the same way, when I met him as a grad student in the mid-80s—showing panel after panel and breathlessly chuckling to himself, much the way you would expect one of his classic cartoon dogs to laugh.
Read his NY Times obit here. Don’t miss the “Conversation With John Updike” video segment.
Updike wrote more than 50 books, won two Pulitzers, and two National Book Awards. But after all these years—publishing his first story with them in 1955—he was still writing book reviews and short stories for the New Yorker, one of the things in which I think he took the most pride.
“I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles, if I had to,” he told The Paris Review in 1967. “The miracle of turning inklings into thoughts and thoughts into words and words into metal and print and ink never palls for me.”
Monday, January 26, 2009
Catch ’em if you can! (Although they’re headed to Australia for over a month soon, but tell all your kangaroo friends) Tour info etc on the boys (and Mike Henderson, Tammy Rogers and others) at deadreckoners.com
The records are all MIGHTY fine and available through most of the usual outlets for music purchase. The new one is even on eMusic, which has been my choice for music for the last few years.
Fats (and Kristi!) have their own fine swag available on their site pulpcountry.com. I got a copy of Fats’ Hatch Showprint-printed solo record “The Fatman Cometh” at the show. Apparently not many left!
OK, so I find the term “supergroup” in general a bit—what is it I’m looking for, supercilious?—but here’s a nice blurp from the Irish press:
“In those three surnames there lies a serious bundle of talent. Kieran Kane is among the greatest living minimalists in Americana music, Kevin Welch is a master of the story song, and Fats Kaplin is the kind of sensitive multi-instrumentalist of whom songwriters dream. Ah yes, a supergroup.”
— The Irish Times
PS—Fats has an excellent new album I got at the show called FATS KAPLIN’S WORLD OF WONDER. I think he just made a limited quantity to take to Australia, but track it down through his website. I hadn’t listened to it yesterday when I wrote the rest of this. Damn, it’s tasty!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I’m not making this up...the “When doody calls poop costume” is offered here, for a mere $59.99! In case you are one of the multitudes who has wondered how you could successfully dress as a human-sized turd this next halloween.
Can’t say I’ve ever come close to even THINKING about dressing as a turd for Halloween, but you know, it takes a lot of people to make a village...
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
A few of my favorite things from the inauguration (other than the simple fact of inaugurating a President I can be proud of):
Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and company, performing a John Williams piece that found Williams being his best Aaron Copland.
The Queen of Soul and her Magical Giant Bowed Hat.
Dr. Joseph Lowery’s benediction (in its entirety here). After the man helped co-lead the Montgomery bus boycott, after he led the Selma March at King’s request, after working close to the dreams of Dr. King then watching him be gunned down. The man still has crystal perspective and an astonishing sense of humor about him. May the red man get ahead, man...
The attendance of 105 year old Clevelander, Ella Mae Johnson, whose sentiment about Obama I share: “My hope for him is my hope for the country. If he fails, the country fails.” She was at Fisk in the 1920s when W.E.B DuBois spoke there. She got her masters in social work in 1929 from what is now Case Western, but couldn’t live on the campus because of her race. Good NPR story on her here.
After much past—and continuing—darkness (no pun intended) about race in this country, I believe that it says a great thing about us all that a man whose family’s racial mix would have resulted in a hard time being seated in restaurants or housed in hotels in this country around the time when he was born, has grown up to be elected—in a landslide—the 44th President of these United States.
God bless him in the enormous task ahead. And may we all be encouraged to pitch in and shout out, rather than standing back and watching feeling dumbstruck and powerless as we have much of the last eight years. Could we ever believe in a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” again? Let’s hope the fact that Obama accepted his party’s nomination in Springfield, Illinois and was sworn in using the very bible that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in with 147 year ago will be far more than empty symbolism.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Patrick McGoohan, co-creator and star of the great 60s cult TV classic THE PRISONER, dead in Los Angeles at 80.
Film critic David Thomson (from a NPR Morning Edition piece here):
“It was an extraordinary show, which I think led the way...in showing just how powerful, how profound a TV series could be. I think it’s still breathtaking,” Thomson says. “It’s as if James Bond material had been given to Harold Pinter to write, to some extraordinary, surreal designer to design and Hitchcock to direct.”
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Says something funny about the median age of the NPR listener that they played a snippet of “Search and Destroy” as the piece faded smoothly into some kind of Prudential retirement ad. American punk rawk moves into the elder hostel.