Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gotta Run

Hee haw.

More travel. India. Anxious, not excited. No idea why. Oh I know why. I spent the entire evening in a guitar shop instead of doing my laundry and packing.

Chinese man walks into guitar store with a little girl of six or seven. He asks the muumuu-wearing woman behind the counter if she is feeling better. "Bitter?" asks the Muumuu. "No, bEtt-ah", says the man. "I am never bitter", she insists. "No, no, I said bett-ah, not bitt-ah". Sensing her dad's frustration, the little girl jumps in. With just a hint of Chinese accent in her voice, she clarified: "my daddy's accent....he is not from America".

OK, just for the record, I DO NOT care if you scored a plasma TV at 30% or even 90% off this past Friday. A little perspective, people. It's just a TV. You still have thirteen channels of shit to choose from, except that your new shit is...a lot more vivid and lifelike.

Just caught Jeff Beck playing the Crossroads Guitar Festival (on PBS). Had to google for his ridiculously talented (and young) bassist, Tal Wilkenfeld. A girl playing bass? What's this world coming to? Next they will tell me women can vote.

Here's a video of Jeff Beck playing "A Day in the Life" at this same festival. If you don't want to watch the full clip, at least listen in at 1:38 and 4:12, when Beck recreates the most memorable part of the song on his guitar.

All right. After a while, crocodiles.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yes There Are Two Paths You Can Go By

I've decided. From here on, decisions must not arrive in pairs. Like high-ranking officers of corporations, they must not fly together. Continuity and succession, for God's sake. What if your dreams and fears died on the same day? The only thing more frustrating than having to choose is not getting to choose at all.

Decision A, the one that promises the pot of gold AND mind-numbing work must not be seen in the company of Decision B, the all-too familiar picture of penury and hardship and "happiness". All I am asking for is that these two be split up for good.

(I also suspect this: while A and B appear to be enemies in public, I think they get it on - and in the dirtiest possible way one can imagine - the moment we turn our backs to them. Bastards.)

I need a new model for decision-making; one that gives me more than two choices and because I love nothing better than a good laugh, make all decision-points totally incongruous with one another. "Here are your choices, Mr. Paganini. If you sell me your soul, you will play the violin like no one else OR if you eat your broccoli every day, I will give you 20% off on the new reclining sofa."

And why are our decisions based on simple, linear extrapolations of our worst fears (or favorite fantasies - *looking wistfully at my stock portfolio and my vast non-collection of '58 Gibsons and '67 Fenders*)?

Friday, November 23, 2007

"When Black Friday Comes...

....I am gonna dig myself a hole, gonna lay down in it till I satisfy my soul"

Oh, I've been bad. Not even a "no updates for a week or two because of my travel schedules". To make things more interesting, I seem to have developed some allergy which makes my eyes water so profusely you would mistake them for the freaking Niagara Falls. You are all welcome to set up a souvenir shop right by my face. I've tried being on and off alcohol for the past 2 weeks - the trusted elimination method - and I know for sure that this allergy is not triggered by beer, sake, tequila shots, rum, vodka and Scotch. I even tried the good ol' herbal treatment one night and nope, there was no stopping the downpour.

But the real downside to this optical micturition is that I could be watching the crappiest generic action flick on TBS with tears in my eyes. "So sensitive, he cried when Steven Seagal shot the bad guys".

"The last time I saw you, you were only this big" is a line we have all heard before. This monster of a Great Dane next door was only this big when I saw him about 6 months ago. He is now a sombre, majestic hulk and likes nothing better than walking around the neighborhood making enormous poo-poo. God clearly has a great sense of humor.

A squirrel in the backyard is busy practicing tightrope-walking on an electric cable. He (or she*?) runs halfway across the cable, stops, looks down and then scurries to the other end. This is repeated at least six times a day. It would be a television-worthy performance if I could somehow sync up this stunt with the intro to Jethro Tull's "The Mouse Police Never Sleeps".

Can some biologist please explain this puzzling "wallendization" of the American Squirrel?

*A female squirrels with suicidal tendencies? Naaah. This one has to be a male.

Courtesy space bar (via the world's greatest radio station, WFMU), Meet the Compressed Beatles. CAUTION: It's an 84.4 MB file.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Present, Sir!

Phew. I survived not one, not two, but three consecutive 70-hour weeks and intense travel. And when I emerged from Project Hell, what do I see?

....Robert Plant and Allison Krauss have a new album out. Forget the over-priced, broken-fingered Led Zeppelin reunion. (Though I really can't.) "Raising Sand" is a truly great album. What I don't get is why many critics are calling the pairing of Krauss and Plant "improbable". What's so improbable about mashing rock and bluegrass and country? It's called "rock and roll". Look it up sometime. You can (and should) listen to the album on Napster. T-Bone Burnett is God.

....The new Coen Bros' movie opens soon. I am just happy. bar wrote her JK post just like she said she would. That made my day. Thank you.

...The Urf people were patient with my excuses at first, then not so much. Psst...Falstaff: what's your going rate for ghost-blogging these days?