Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weeping Statues, Elvis Sightings

Every Day Someone Gets a Sign

So I'm dogsitting for some friends who are out of the country.

And the dogs and I are walking around the neighborhood... and we see this:

Yeah, that's Elvis. (Click on the photo for a larger version -- with hips carefully hidden because this is a family-friendly blog.)

Or at least a wooden statue of Elvis.

On a balcony on a house in a residential area of Los Angeles.

How I wish I could've been a fly on the wall for that conversation.

"Honey, I've got a really fun idea. I'm going to buy (or carve) a full-size wooden statue of Elvis. And we'll put it on the balcony so people will get freaked out when they walk past. And we'll laugh so hard. Except for the 99% of the time when we're not around. And then we'll just laugh more on the inside."

PS: No dogs or people were struck by lightning in the writing or posting of this blog.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Supreme Court Song

I wasn't going to post this, but at the last second (by a 5-4 vote), I decided I would.

Get Well Soon from on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Three Things

...And Made Arrangements...

There were three things he kept with him.

Three things he loved.

Three things he'd never be seen without.

And he loved them. All three.

Two sincerely. One ironically.

He kept a Time magazine from the week he was born. Said it was the world back then.

It wasn't the world. It wasn't even a great map of the world. But it revealed many things. Not so much in the articles. But the word choices. The stodgy page design. And the absurdly out-of-their-time advertisements.

He kept a pack of matches. From a bar that long since closed. Where he met the first girl who tore his heart still beating from his chest and stomped on it with four-inch heels. Wouldn't let anyone touch the matches. Would never strike one.

The bar was called "That Place Around the Corner." Only it wasn't. It was on the end of a cul-de-sac. And out in front of the bar (and on the book of matches) was a large statue of an English Bulldog. Although it was not an English Pub.

And he kept a photo. Of the house where he was born.

It was wrinkled. And black and white.

And looked exactly like a million other houses.

But he kept these things. All three.

And he had them with him. When he died.



When people said "you can't take it with you," he never quite believed it.

And he loved them. All three.

Two with sincerity.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Go Here, Read This, Listen to That

I'm under the weather this weekend and drowning in work...

But here are a few things that have sparked my musical interests:

Apparently, the Paul McCartney song "Jet" was written about a dog. Or a horse. Or it's just nonsense. Or it's about David Bowie.

Any Major Dude with Half a Heart covers Carole King's Tapestry -- meaning the cover and cover versions of the tracks. Check it out here.

Andrew Sandoval and the For the Love of Harry blog share some cool unreleased Nilsson tracks.

Catch you tomorrow...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

No One Knows Where they Came From

Duncan Was His Name...

I thought Summer Solstice was always on June 21.

Apparently that's not true. It varies from year to year from June 20 to June 22.

Another mystery lost in the fog of time and space.

Happy (belated) Summer Solstice.

It's all downhill and losing light from here...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hard to Be A Nice Guy All the Time

You Got a Lot of Nerve

She walked in from the cold.

Dripping snow. Ice covering her hat.

Flung it off, shook out her long hair.

Scanned the room, trying to see who was there.

Who was waiting for her.

Who would be her next victim.

No one looked up. No one wanted to see.

She quickly catalogued her activities from the past week.

Drunken encounters. Casual pain inflicted on anyone unfortunate enough to be in the blast zone.

Lying. Theft. Bigotry of various stripes.

Then she stamped her feet. Took a deep breath. Put back on her hat.

And walked out. Muttering to herself "but I'm a good person."

When the door swung shut behind her, the mood lightened. The crowd relaxed.

Delight rushed in to fill the space she'd just occupied.

And she went off to spread her chaos and carefree destruction somewhere else.

Monday, June 18, 2012

You Say It's Your Birthday

Sir Paul McCartney turns 70 today.

I'm just gonna let that idea sink in for a while...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Backwards Forewards Square And Round

One of Those Kind of Weekends

Lots of movement, raising up a cloud of dust.

Not really sure if it's going anywhere.

But some weekends are like that.

How was yours?

Friday, June 15, 2012

In Response to the New Tom Cruise Movie

"Rock of Ages"?

No thanks.

I'll stick with "Rock of All Ages":

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Storm is Breaking or So it Seems

Tell Her I'll Be Waiting in the Usual Place

I have a theory.

I can guarantee it's wrong.

Don't you want to hear it first?

No. I don't need to.

Here it is:

I really don't need to hear it.

All of the women. The women in these stories.

Uh oh.

I have a theory about them.

Here we go.

What if they're all the same woman?

They're not.

But what if they were?

Is this literal or metaphorical?

I'm going to say yes.

It's ridiculous.

Is it?


Maybe not all of them. But some of them.

I don't want to discuss it. It is what it is.

I'm taking that as a yes.

You always do. Even though it's not. Even though it's a "No."

It's just a theory. It's not my fault that it's true.

But it's not.

Or it is?

No. It's not. Definitely not.

It is what it is. That's all you need to know.

And yet...

I'm just going to play the song now.

The song that proves they're all the same woman...

I hate your theories.

I know.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rules for '80s Movies

After careful consideration, here are the Top 5 Rules for every movie ever made in the '80s.

5. It's not the size of the gun, it's the cleverness of the quip.

4. The dorky guy will get the hot girl. Just once. But he'll get her.

3. Any computer problem can be solved by typing one or two lines.

2. Dancing solves all problems. As does wearing absurd clothes and having a mullet.

1. The most popular song of all time (at least in '80s movies) is:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hitchcock Tilbrook Bonus Tracks

She's So...

A friend just pointed this out to me:

Robyn Hitchcock from Mojo Presents Abbey Road Now!:

And from the same record, Glenn Tilbrook with Nine Below Zero:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Playing to the Gallery

57 Things She's Never Gonna Use

The story that goes with this song is long. And complicated.

But the song is short. And simple.

Given the choice... I'm going with the song.

Because the story never made sense back then.

And it certainly doesn't make any more sense now.

But the song's only gotten better.

And isn't that what everyone wants from a song?

Friday, June 8, 2012

By the Butcher's Shop with the Sawdust Strewn

Observe the Blood, the Rose Tattoo

There's an alley behind the apartment.

I waited there one evening.

And waited.

And the night grew colder. But I kept waiting.

She was supposed to come home. And talk to me.

But she didn't think of that. Or got busy. Or didn't care.

So I waited. And it started to snow.

I wasn't dressed for snow. Or to hang around all night.

I was dressed for the short walk. For her being home when she said she would.

And as the minutes turned to hours, I knew I should leave. I knew it was making things worse to hang around. I was getting angrier and had already long past the point where I wanted to talk to her anymore.

My friends told me to forget it. They wouldn't want me hanging around in the alley. By her apartment.

Watching the snow accumulate. Get higher. Not hearing the sound of her car.

And the hours kept accumulating like the snow.

Until I thought I heard something. It wasn't her. It was the trees moving.

As if whispering.

Asking me what I was doing in the dark. In the alley.

"Time to go," the trees said.

And I turned. And I left. And I didn't look back even when I heard a car driving up.

I should have left right away. I shouldn't have waited.

What would it matter to her? I thought. And the answer came from the trees: "Nothing."

And I knew the trees were right. It was time to go.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

No There's Nothing

By Request

Frequent reader (and infrequent commenter) DK wanted more Roxy Music. "I don't even need a story about the music," he wrote.

My sarcastic side wants to send him off to YouTube to listen to everything he wants.

But my helpful side wants to be... you know, helpful.

So here's one more Roxy Music song:

And another:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

With the Rhythm of Rhyming Guitars

I turn to the sounds in my car

More than 15 years ago, she said this to me: "If there's anyone who can capture the slow, steady ache of nostalgia and loss better than Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music, I don't know who it is."

And I remember the conversation.

I'm nostalgic for it.

And, once removed, for the nostalgia that prompted it.

A Moebius Strip of yearning.

With this as the perfect soundtrack:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And So Begins the Task

Cut My Hair and Shine My Shoes

She wanted the experience. The full artistic assault.

She got the experience. The full assault.

It was late. Later than it should have been.

The guys were drunk. Drunker than they knew.

And the road was steep. And winding.

The aesthetics brought her here.

Others came for the drugs and the surf. She wanted the aesthetics.

And the winding road was the price she paid for the view.

Which might ordinarily have been enough. But not that night. The night with the crash. And the cops.

And the ambulance. Which got there too late.

"What the hell are you on about?" she asked me.

I shrugged.

"Is this about a particular person?"

I nodded.

"But you're not going to tell me who it is?"

I shook my head. I wasn't going to talk.

Wasn't going to make it any more or less than it already was in the end.

Epistles. Just epistles.

From the hippie era.

(Thanks to Whiteray, for the nudge.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

How Does Your Light Shine

Wash Away My Troubles, Wash Away My Pain

I had a dream last night.

A strange dream.

I was on the top of an enormous vehicle, hundreds of feet tall. The base was just a few feet wide.

And the driver wasn't looking. Wasn't paying attention.

So we stopped short.

And the momentum at the bottom stopped the tires. But the momentum at the top kept me going. And I bounced off tall buildings trying to slow down, knowing the entire structure was about to tip over.

Then I was at a meeting. Or a performance. I'm not sure which.

Trying to get the attention of someone I needed to talk to. Someone I wasn't sure saw me.

And the feeling was just as intense as the momentum tipping over the vehicle hundreds of feet tall.

Certain risk. Uncertain reward.

Thus is the way of dreams.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Missive from the Edge of the Water

Here in Status Symbol Land...

There's something about self-important, self-absorbed people with an inflated sense of entitlement that makes you want to belch Shakespearean sonnets in their faces.

Or is it just me?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Clouds and the Light

Clouds Are Here

Mostly, in the dark
The light shines from above
Without us realizing it.

But sometimes there are clouds
Big puffy clouds
Small whispy clouds
And they reflect the light
Photons bursting around us.

Is it an illusion
When the light reflects back
Reflects bright and red
Looking holy
And otherworldly?

Friday, June 1, 2012


That's Enough, Pig

Welcome to June.

Please enjoy this alternate-universe smash hit single from the early 80s -- Joey Ramone with Holly Beth Vincent (from Holly & the Italians):

Happy Birthday

Funny, you don't look 45

Happy Birthday, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, released 45 years ago today after almost 5 months of recording.

And even if there are parts of it that haven't aged well (and there certainly are), the amazing accomplishment of this record is hard to calculate.

And it was recorded on four-track.

And mixed lovingly down to mono.