Saturday, August 31, 2013

Made of Layers, Cells, Constellations

One Last Blast of Summer

The heat flies in from over the mountains.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. Wet, with flash floods.

It was supposed to be cooler. That's what they promised on the news.

Which, perhaps is why we never listen to the news.

Don't go to Rochester, they said.

I have to go, I responded. I've had the tickets for weeks.

Don't go. The vibe is weird. The vibe is bizarre.

It can't be bad, though, I said. I'd know.

You know it's weird.

That's just the heat. Just the blast from the summer. It's the humidity, not the weirdness.


You know.

You know it wasn't the heat.

And you went. And it was horrible. Worse than you'd imagined.

The lesson isn't Rochester. Although you stayed away for decades.

The lesson was something else. Something you didn'd want to see.

And every year, at the end of summer, or when it just heats up, you remember.

Fuck Rochester. Sure, there's that.

But when you let yourself breathe, you know there was more. Flying in from over the mountains. With the flash floods and the heartache.

Friday, August 30, 2013

New Paul McCartney

Who gnu?

And a bonus radio call-in interview on yesterday's New Music show at XRT. Click here for details.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Africa Is Choking on Their Coca-Cola

There is a rose that I want to live for...

Please enjoy these two songs from the end of the year that seem better fitted to the end of the summer.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Should Have Been Huge

I've been on a Utopia kick the past few days.

Here, from the peak of their powers, is the band (Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, Roger Powell, and Willie Wilcox) live in Detroit in 1981.

They shoulda been huge...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Crying Now For Much Too Long

You Can Keep Your Krishna Burgers

Rat Scabies and the boys.

Because sometimes you just want to wreck things.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Real-Life Imaginary Conversation with John Lennon

They Look at Me Kind of Strange

I was sitting in a coffee shop.

Out the window were beautiful mountains that still had spots of snow on them in late July.

And this song came on over the sound system:

I found myself choking up. Wishing John Lennon were still around. Not that I'd met him. Not that I knew him.

"It's okay," he said in my mind. "Whenever you need it, you've still got the old records."

"That's not enough. I want to know what you'd have to say. I want to hear the music you would have made."

"Sorry," he said. "Can't help you there. But you can say things. You can make music."

"I can't make music," I said. And I sat there for a while listening to him sing and being sad. "Don't you miss it?" I finally asked.

"They say we're all energy. And energy can't be created or destroyed. It just changes form." Then he laughed. "Christ, I sound like George now."

I looked out the window. "The beauty reminds me of what was lost," I say.

"I get that. But it wasn't lost. It's just been transformed. Now you can be angry and feed on the energy of anger for years. God knows I did. Or you can see the beauty and go towards it. I know you gotta make your own decisions, but that's what I'd would do if I were you."

So I close the laptop and leave the coffee shop. Go out towards the mountains.

Imaginary John Lennon is right. Energy can't be created or destroyed.

So we may as well harness it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Snow Was Falling, Drifts Were High


Late at night.

The roads closed ahead.

People pulled over. Sleeping in cars. Engines still running because it was cold.

And one diner. Open all night.

Long since out of pie. Long since out of burgers.

They had coffee (which I don't drink). And some other stuff with caffeine.

And I sat in a booth for hours. Crammed with three others, people I didn't know.

They talked. I listened. A little.

They talked more. I stared out the window.

Watched the snow.

And wondered. Waited. Watched.

Around 4am a State Trooper came in. Said the rode was open. Or would be.

The men stumbled from booth to cash register.

I stayed behind. Still happy to be warm.

Not wanting to go out to the cold car yet.

Not wanting to clear the windshield. Or wait for the heater to kick in. Or wait behind the trucks and the cops for the road to open.

The waitress came over. Brought me some toast. It was the only thing the kitchen still had.

Tried to give me coffee. But I don't drink coffee.

She eyed me funny. Looked me up and down.

"Maybe you should wait until first light then."

So I did.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rock & Roll Songs Stuck in my Brain

Yeah, I'm still listening to that great Frank Turner song...

Which got me to thinking about Rock & Roll songs about Rock & Roll.

So off of the top of my head, here's a few:

Lou Reed shows how the right radio station can save your life with Rock & Roll:

The Kinks realize there's still rock left even after everyone says it's dead:

And of course, all of Chuck's children are out there playing his licks (if you need a fix):