Shut It Tight

Sometimes 30 years go by and a song you loved as a young man jumps the fuck up into your oldman mind again, and you wonder at how you are the same as you were, but not. And then because you’re an internet-grandpa, you post it on your ‘blog’. This is T-Bone Burnett singing ‘Shut It Tight’.

I find it hard sometimes to say the way that I feel
I do the very things I hate to do
I act like a child and I’m afraid of what is real
And so I try to cover up the truth

I stumble like a drunk along this crazy path I walk
I have a hundred thousand questions too
I’ll go to any length to prove that nothing is my fault
Then later on I will deny the proof

I don’t like to win but then again I hate to lose
And in between is something I can’t stand
I don’t care what you think and I hope that you approve
I am just an ordinary man

Sometimes I want to stop and crawl back into the womb
And sometimes I cannot tell wrong from right
But I ain’t gonna quit until I’m laid in my tomb
And even then they better shut it tight

This Is My Jam

Music is a thing that I like. Music is probably a thing you like, too. Sharing music that we like, well, that’s a fine and beautiful thing to do.

I know there are about a million ways to perform that noble activity on various hand-held devices promoted and sold by various corporations who are interested in drawing you inexorably and perhaps, given their understanding of the way our brains work, irrevocably into their cash-and-credit cloudy chance-of-rain walled garden. And hey, friends and other people who somehow wound up reading this because your favored search engine just doesn’t know what the fuck: that’s just fine. Hell, I own APPLE INCORPORATED DEVICES too, and I’m down with googly android plastic pals who can mediate my experiences as I attempt to make connections with other humans. I’m a PC diehard, I guess.

It’s all good, until it’s not.

Here’s a thing I’ve been thinking about lately: the Mahayana Buddhist doctrine of Emptiness — unlike the ‘traditional’ No-Self doctrine that gravity-dropped straight rectified wisdom-turd out of the Buddha’s ass and I reckon gets it just right, self as process not thing, self as flame not candle — well, that Mahayana Emptiness Doctrine is intellectually indulgent incoherence packaged up in the lame wrapping paper of ‘mystery’. There is no wisdom there, I reckon. Dude, I know the mahayana became the dominant vehicle of Buddhist experience 16 or 17 centuries ago. I know. I don’t give a shit.

Even more disappointing, and, if you sit down and actually think about for a minute or ten, offensive to the Heart Of The Buddha Matter was the introduction of worship-worthy deities — that ludicrous ‘celestial buddha’ bullshit — where suddenly WAAHEY! there are goddamn superheroes in these crazy ‘heaven’ places, like AMITABHA BUDDHA and MAITREYA BUDDHA and SPIDERMAN BUDDHA, to whom you are supposed to pray for boons and interventions. It’s all wrong, it’s all corrupt and compromised, and that over-elaborate nonsense arose and got traction around the same time and to the same degree if not in exactly the same way that the message of the historical Christ fella was and is corrupted and compromised longish and long after the Fact. It disappoints, as every modern (even if by ‘modern’ you’re going back a dozen centuries or more) religious repack does. Fuck that noise. I’m no fundamentalist, but I am annoyed by fuckery of all stripes.

Wait, what was I talking about? Right: music and the sharing of it.

I love the music, my friends. And I stumbled onto ThisIsMyJam a month or two back, and I’ve been weekly or more often pointing to songs, generally while in my cups in my ritualistic Friday night worship sessions, and I recommend them to you. No embeddies, more’s the pity, so I link.

At least until the site gets bought out, and compromised, and corrupted: please come and join me in my weekly worship.

We Had Some Good Machines

Traipsing tonight through old 80s songs I loved while beer hooray and this arrived and I love it so much. It’s Shriekback, from 1985, and it’s a beautiful little song, but the thing I love about it is that it’s a stealth song about life after the apocalypse and the only hint that that is so are two lines

We had some good machines
But they don’t work no more

I love this.

Fuck The USA

It’s amusing that the stupid punk rock protest songs I remember from 30 years ago are the songs that are circling back for me lately. I love lots of Americans, but you know: I’m leaning forward into the old old familiar fuck-the-USA stance tonight. Outgrown hobbyhorse saddle smells like sunscorched leather and my own ballsweat. A familiar smell of my youth.


It’s not like I’m any happier with my own left-behind home, friends. Part of getting old seems to be, at least for me, loving individual people but loathing them and their dimwit convictions in aggregate. So it goes.

Anger? Anger is an energy.

Bernard Fanning – Tell Me How It Ends

Second solo album from an Aussie rock singing fellow I love who also does the singing and things for Powderfinger which I also enjoy quite a bit, single and album and stuff just released all fresh and digital this very day. His first solo album was one of my Top 10 of the last 5 years, by god, but it’s Friday night and I’m gloriously inebriated and I haven’t listened to this new one yet, so: I point you that way, and hope you get some joy.

Musical Years

I’m coming up on 50 years old. Well, it’s a couple of years off still, but the corner is definitely in sight. Music remains something that makes my life better, and somehow, even though I still love to revisit a lot of the stuff I listened to during my formative rock and roll years, I still take great pleasure in finding new things to love. Music is the fuel for some chamber of my heart, some mutant ventricle that only pumps when it gets that fuel.

Rock and/or roll has lost its cultural heft and sweaty eldritch power to fire up much of the deranged, half-human youth of today, sadly (a situation ably traced in this recent, many-part opus on Grantland called the Winner’s History of Rock and Roll, which I highly recommend [Part 1: Led Zeppelin, Part 2: Kiss, Part 3: Bon Jovi, Part 4: Aerosmith, Part 5: Metallica, Part 6: Linkin Park, Part 7: The Black Keys]), but it’s far from dead, and there is still a lot of rock music coming out — little to none of which gets heard by the Greater PopCulturaltariat these days — which just fills me to the brim with feels.

One of the bands I’ve discovered in relatively recent times is The Rural Alberta Advantage. I have no idea how well-known they are, but they are Canadian (hooray!), so my guess is: maybe not so much, outside of Canada at least.
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The Price Of Oil, Redux

I remember when the shit was clearly going to impact directly on the fan, at least to anyone with a couple of f–king braincells to rub together, as the last particles of dust from the World Trade Centre settled onto the homeless folks and the masters of the universe there in New York.
I remember that. And I remember how I thought ‘Oh, that Billy Bragg, much as I’ve loved him and his ethical stances and musico-politicking all these years, he’s gonna bounce off the marshmallow mindset with this’ when he released his song “The Price of Oil“.
It came up on my random-ass playlist tonight, and I misted up as I sang along. Remembering the fury I felt as the news outlets told us idiot fables about ‘shock and awe’, and realizing how I’ve tamped down my outrage into a little impotent packet of irony these days. I thought about the past couple of years, and all the people whose people died.
Here, you: download it. Or just listen right here.

Voices on the radio
tell us that we’re going to war
those brave men and women in uniform
they want to know what they’re fighting for.
The generals want to hear the end game
the allies won’t approve the plan
but the oil men in the white house
they just don’t give a damn.
‘Cause it’s all about the price of oil
it’s all about the price of oil
don’t give me no shit
about blood, sweat, tears and toil
it’s all about the price of oil.
Now I ain’t no fan of Saddam Hussein
oh, please don’t get me wrong
if it’s freeing the Iraqi people you’re after
then why have we waited so long.
Why didn’t we sort this out last time
was he less evil than he is now
the stock market holds the answer
to why him, why here, why now.
‘Cause it’s all about the price of oil
it’s all about the price of oil
don’t give me no shit
about blood, sweat, tears and toil
it’s all about the price of oil.
Saddam killed his own people
just like general Pinochet
and once upon a time both these evil men
were supported by the U.S.A.
And whisper it, even Bin Laden
once drank from America’s cup
just like that election down in Florida
this shit doesn’t all add up.
‘Cause it’s all about the price of oil
it’s all about the price of oil
don’t give me no shit
about blood, sweat, tears and toil
it’s all about the price of oil.

Download it, if you haven’t before.
I am no better than them because there are people I would be happier to see dead. There is no honor in this.

Living With War

Neil Young’s new album is now streaming. It kicks a fair quantity of ass. But you probably already know that, and if you’ve being paying attention, you also know that it waves the stiff central digit at George Bush and his administration. This makes me smile.
Here‘s a CNN cretin interviewing him about the album:

You can also download the entire album in mp3 format from here, and although that may not be strictly kosher, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. [Update: album’s been taken down, it seems.]
For some reason, they decided to bury the lyrics in idiotic scrolling marquees at the official site, so I’ve reproduced them in less annoying, non-scrolling style here.
Share and enjoy.
[Update: It’s a shame most of the songs are muddy, meandering fuzz-pedal wanks, musically, but I appreciate the intent and the sentiment, and I’ll try like hell to like ’em. Some music takes time. This shouldn’t, if Neil wants his heart-on-the-sleeve message heard, but what are you gonna do? I’d be inclined to give him a big kiss, then slap him on top of his nappy hippy head and ask him what the f–k he was thinking.]

Wonderchicken Drinking Songs, Volume 1

Here’s a new post-series that I’ve just decided I’m going to do, you know, until I lose interest: the greatest wonderchicken drinking songs. Ever. Because I’m on the beer again, and I’m all lovificated, and by god I want to share the joy. Yes, the joy.
So, without further ado, here’s number one in a series of several thousand. I hope it makes you wiggle your butt.
Mojo Nixon — Positively Bodies Parking Lot ([Update: mp3 taken down after a couple days. Thanks for playing!])

The Syndicate of Soul is playing
At the Free Frank Frenzy
Me and Mitch are
Drinking ourselves into gin oblivion
Hold onto this, hold onto that
Man I know just where we’re at
Cause it’s Positively Bodies Parking Lot
I’m going back there,
I can’t stop
Got a bottle of beer out of the back out my car
Underage girls going in the back door
Yeah we’re outside the world famous The All-Dive Bar
Crazed couples are pumping away behind the Dipsy Dumpster of Love
Lorna Doone queen of the ladies room got herself a new bridegroom
He’s buying a rubber there in the bathroom
With a thousand tiny pleasure spikes
His buddy’s puking in the sink for the third time that night
Gopher killing, bullethead, taking pictures with the infrared
The regulars are glued to their barstools
And Jose Sinatra, he’s starting to drool
But his feet are getting mighty small, and I’m standing there in the hall
Tomcats singing wild and true, blasting out the super blues
It’s a Friday night in the summertime, I’m going out my mind
Harvey’s teeth are scaring me, go down to the ditch to take a pee
Crickets are singing a Beat Farmers song
I can smell Alberto’s mighty strong
Jack and his wife just backed over the fire hydrant
The water’s shooting high in the sky
And the Silver Eagle motorcycles are drowning there, don’t you know
Country Dick and the Snugglebunnies got me in an airplane spin
I’m thinking about gin, sin, and these three ex-girlfriends
They done showed up to squoosh my head, but I was saved by this guy they call
Well they call him Mojo’s dad cause he’s a screaming lunatic
Librarian from El Cajone checking out my love bone
Redhead says that she wants me to dance
Rock Jet’s got everybody in a trance
Peak expectations causin’ intoxications
I can smell the mating dance of fornication
Be young, be foolish
Be happy,
Blasting out of the jukebox
Two a.m., lights are on, nobody can stop, nobody’s going home
Can’t leave, can’t go anywhere, cause you know you’re already there
It’s positively Bodies parking lot
Positively Bodies parking lot
Positively Bodies parking lot
It’s positively Bodies parking lot
Yes it’s positively Bodies parking lot

Collect them all!

The Three Ages of Wonderchicken

It’s been metric yonks since I posted to this category, ages since I’ve shared some music with my fine and deeply sexy readerfolk.
So here’s not one, no not even two, but count ’em three! songs for your delectation, to make up for my dereliction. Songs that I hope you might not know yet, and might after hearing them enjoy as greatly as I do. If you do like ’em, go buy the albums in question. As usual, the mp3s’ll be up for a couple of days at most before I take them down again.
I’ve chosen three songs that put me in mind this evening of Being Wonderchicken at age 18, 28, and 38, respectively.
With no further ado, then:
#1: Being 18
The Mountain Goats – This Year [Update: mp3 taken down, sorry]

I broke free on a saturday morning
I put the pedal to the floor
headed north on mills ave
and listened to the engine roar
my broken house behind me
and good things ahead
a girl named cathy
wants a little of my time
six cylinders underneath the hood
crashing and kicking
aha! listen to the engine whine
i am going to make it through this year
if it kills me
i am going to make it through this year
if it kills me
i played video games in a drunken haze
i was seventeen years young
hurt my knuckles punching the machines
the taste of scotch rich on my tongue
and then cathy showed up
and we hung out
trading swigs from a bottle
all bitter and clean
locking eyes
holding hands
twin high maintenance machines
i am going to make it through this year
if it kills me
i am going to make it though this year
if it kills me
i drove home in the california dusk
i could feel the alcohol inside of me hum
pictured the look on my stepfather’s face
ready for the bad things to come
i down shifted
as i pulled into the driveway
the motor screaming out
stuck in second gear
the scene ends badly
as you might imagine
in a cavalcade of anger and fear
there will be feasting and dancing
in jerusalem next year
i am going to make it through this year
if it kills me
i am going to make it though this year
if it kills me

That was both melancholy and joy-inducing, was it not? OK! On the next song, friends, with alacrity and alcohol!
#2: Being 28
Ray Lamontagne – Jolene [Update: mp3 taken down, sorry]

Cocaine flame in my bloodstream
Sold my coat when I hit Spokane
Bought myself a hard pack of cigarettes
in the early morning rain
Lately my hands they don’t feel like mine
My eyes been stung with dust and blind
Held you in my arms one time
Lost you just the same
I ain’t about to go straight
It’s too late
I found myself face down in a ditch
Booze in my hair
Blood on my lips
A picture of you holding a picture of me
In the pocket of my blue jeans
Still don’t know what love means
Been so long since I seen your face
Or felt a part of this human race
I’ve been living out of this here suitcase for way too long
A man needs something he can hold onto
A nine pound hammer or a woman like you
Either one of them things will do
I ain’t about to go straight
It’s too late
I found myself face down in a ditch
Booze in my hair
Blood on my lips
A picture of you holding a picture of me
In the pocket of my blue jeans
Still don’t know what love means

Well, that’s a little melancholy too, perhaps, but there’s a ray of light knifing through the clouds, isn’t there? f–kin’ right, there is!
#3: Being 38
Smog – Dress Sexy At My Funeral [Update: mp3 taken down, sorry]

Dress sexy at my funeral my good wife
Dress sexy at my funeral my good wife
For the first time in your life
Wear your blouse undone to here
And your skirt split up to there
Dress sexy at my funeral my good wife
For the first time in your life
Dress sexy at my funeral my good wife
Wink at the minister
Blow kisses to my grieving brothers
Dress sexy at my funeral my good wife
And when it comes your turn to speak before the crowd
Tell them about the time we did it
On the beach with fireworks above us
On the railroad tracks with the gravel in your back
In the back room of a crowded bar
And in the graveyard where my body now rests
Dress sexy at my funeral my good wife
Dress sexy at my funeral my good wife
For the first time in your life
Also tell them about how I gave to charity
And tried to love my fellow man as best i could
But most of all don’t forget about the time on the beach
With fireworks above us.

Light’s not going out there, goddamnit, much as it may seem so. Right? Joy and antijoy can meet without the fabric of spacetime gettin’ all shredded like a hooker’s panties. You bastards need to get off the happy pills.
Anyway, so there you go. Songs good. If I’m still blogging when I’m 48, I’ll update this motherf–ker.
Share and enjoy.
Update: Songs taken down. Snooze/loose.
Update 2: Jeff Ward at This Public Address joins the fun! Anyone else care to play?
Update 3Shelley gives it a go (sort of), too! You know, this used to be easier when trackbacks were flying around all over the place…

Maxell XLII

This stopped me in my tracks this evening, while a flood of rock and roll memories washed over me.
This :


I wonder if the sight of that piece of molded plastic ramps up in you the same welter of blurry, beery, hormonal reminiscences that it does in me. If you’re pushing 40, and rocked out with your [insert gender-appropriate appendage here] out, and spent long nights at the stereo making offerings, making entertainment for your friends and lovers, thrilled by the fact that you could actually tear songs from those big black frisbees and rearrange them any way you wanted, if you spent weeks and months, years of your life swapping one Maxell after another into the cassette player of your patient buddy’s Datsun F10, wiping off the rye you’d spilled, dropping your Player’s Light on the carpet again, waiting for the hiss that marked the end of the leader and knowing to the 10th of a second when the first kerrang of that fuckin’ kickass tune dude was going to swoop down and tweak your heart, if you remember that one night with a thermos full of vodka and pink lemonade as the snow fell like magic out of a sky that was so close and black and solid that you felt like the air was getting squeezed out of you, wearing red and white Santa gloves in the back seat of that big black fast ’65 Barracuda with the first girl you’d ever really loved, the girl you still hadn’t gotten up the nerve to tell, being tossed laughing to and fro as the car whipped around corners slick and roaring, if you remember shit like that now, then you know how I feel tonight.

Thanks to project c-90, via Mefi.