Tonight is first night I spend in the creepy old Freeman house. Andrew bet me I couldn’t stay there a whole night. If I live through the night I get to keep the house, but if I’m dead in the morning, he gets the mp3 player in my van.
In preparation for tonight I called GRU and had them shut off the wall blood; all cooking utensils, axes, chain saws, box cutters, pencils and assorted stabby instruments have been safely stored away; I packed up my old reel to reel with tapes of strangers reading the Necronomicon; along the walls all candle holders were twisted and all protruding stones nudged revealing no secret passageways; I confirmed that when they moved the cemetary the house was built on that the caskets had the bodies in them (cheap cemetary movers can be careless); and, as always, we applied the basic zombie-proofing treatments.
I’ll tell you how it went in the morning.
Someone go with me to see the Trash Can Sinatras in Atlanta on Sept 14th. They’ve been around for over a decade without coming anywhere near the Southeast and who knows if they will again. Yes, it’s a Tuesday and $15. Suck it up! I’m willing to leave early that evening and possibly drive back that night—whatever it takes, really. Let me know and I can buy tickets.
TCS tour page | you if you miss this
Also: photos of new the house.
Friday, July 9th. Sandi and I are in the surprisingly large Orange Peel in Asheville, NC and Rhett and Murry of the Old 97’s are in the middle of wooing us with Murry’s heartbreaking "Valentine". When they get to the break a lone voice says what we’re all thinking, “We love you, Murry!” He doesn’t get the attention he deserves, but of the bands’s later songs I like, they’re mostly his. You can feel the traditional country greats dripping from his songs. He covers Buck Owens and “Valentine” sounds a bit like something Willie Nelson might’ve written years ago.
Most of the night Rhett completely controls this crowd. A girl to our left shrieks and shakes with excitement like it’s John and Paul up there, and she isn’t alone; Sandi gives him a score somewhere in the fifties out of ten on the attractivimeter and only some strong, unseen force keeps her from attacking him on stage *. They really do put on an amazing show, pulling out songs from the early days, including the first one I heard, "Doreen". This song killed me in the days of 97X (Gainesville’s eclectic FM station in the mid-90s) and it still does. That poor drummer gets a workout every night.
I’ve spent countless hours digging around the All Music Guide for years now, but it was always frustrating to have to jump over to some music store like CDNOW (long gone) or Amazon to listen to clips, if you were lucky. Mp3.com for a long time was a revolutionary way to get your music out to people (and in typical dot-com bubble-bursting fashion they would pay you and send you cheap branded merch like duffle bags for free) and I’m glad to see the new owners (CNET) have done something good with it. Mp3.com is now the cream of the All Music Guide (bios, reviews, cross referencing and genres) with music clips of almost everything. They’ve struck referral deals with the pay-per-download services to get all these clips (30-sec WMA) and they start streaming pretty quickly on DSL.
Tonight I just dug around in their Freakbeat section and came across this gem of maximum R&B: Reflections by Les Fleur de Lys. They even started pulling off pure pop ala Todd Rundgren (listen to “Brick by Brick”).
Update! 7/13 Apparently the All Music Guide is undergoing a redesign and the new design is a disaster in every browser but IE/windows. The old design was ugly, but at least somewhat usable and, with so much great content, the web design community really gave them a free pass, but to build a clunky IE-only, Windows-only site in 2004 is unforgivable. Mp3.com’s UI is so much nicer that I can’t see going back to AMG for much anymore.
Mrclay.org will be officially really messed up for the time being while I move everything into the loving arms of WordPress. I half-heartedly tried this before, but never did anything with the old installation. It was a royal pain converting all my old Blogger posts, but while I was into I added my old mrclay.org posts from when I had the patience to design a fresh look for each one. 100% CSS layout goodness since 2001.
Sandi’s been down from Jacksonville a lot lately. A few weeks back she stayed with Dana & Miriam and we all saw The Terminal, took in the local Ansel Adams exhibit at the Harn, ate at Satchel’s and went to the Reitz Union for pool and bowling… and DDR (Dance Dance Revolution). I’d seen it before, but this was my first go at it and it’s immediately addicting, like a stomping-on-the-floor video game version of crack. At $.75 for a couple minutes, it’s slightly less expensive, but the next day we knew better and brought 5s.
She stopped by yesterday on her way down to Tampa and Josh, she and I went to the very packed Ichetucknee River for some lazy tubing. Our timing turned out perfect; for most of the way we were mostly by ourselves (we did sprint halfway down the trail to get ahead of the crowd) and we got back to the van the minute the downpour started. Tomorrow DDR may be on again.