Wednesday, January 31, 2007

8-word poem

The silence:
I could
Get used
To it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

8-word poem

So many Nigerian
Email fortunes,
So little

Monday, January 29, 2007


A name,
On a truck.
No magic.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

8-word poem

I remember you
And less

Saturday, January 27, 2007

8-word poem

Born rude,
Did you
Work at it?

Friday, January 26, 2007

8-word poem

I want so bad
To be good.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

8-word poem

Who let
This guy
Out of
The home?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

8-word poem

Just getting
Around to
A good life.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Monday, January 22, 2007


I'm sometimes a
Son of a bitch.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

iTuneage - recent baker's dozen

1. "The Future" - Leonard Cohen
2. "Litanie Des Saints" - Dr. John
3. "Cyclone" - Dub Pistols
4. "Down in the Boondocks" - Billy Joe Royal
5. "University Blvd" - Los Straitjackets
6. "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" - Looking Glass
7. "Death or Glory" - The Clash
8. "You Mean So Much to Me" - Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
9. "Blue Eyed William" - Slapp Happy
10. "Carnival" - Eric Clapton
11. "Real Good Looking Boy" - The Who
12. "Twist and Shout" - The Beatles
13. "Always On My Mind" - Willie Nelson

What would life be like if it never changed? Installment 5

More thoughts on my Top Ten Life-Changing Albums. Thanks to Eek for beginning the thread that led me to this list.

(Note: Italics indicate my initial response to Eek's challenge; the rest constitutes my further thoughts on the subject).

5. Cabretta, Mink DeVille. I still have never heard anything quite like this mixture of Spanish Harlem R&B and punk rock. Excellent production by the late Jack Nitzsche, and great guitar by the criminally unknown Louie X. Erlanger.

Mink DeVille, historically associated with the mid-70s New York punk scene, fused slashing Fender guitars, castanets, doo-wop harmonies and a black leather jacket ethos to fashion a sound that was punk mainly by dint of time and place. The band was hard to categorize, sort of Doc Pomus comes to the Lower East Side.

Willy DeVille (born William Borsey) was arguably the most talented vocalist to emerge from the scene, and the most genuinely soulful. He had an incredible band backing him up, with guitarist Louie X. Erlanger leading the charge. His stinging Telecaster leads cut like a rusty switchblade, adding counterpoint and a musical snarl to match DeVille's street-smart lyrics.

Cabretta was Mink DeVille's debut album, and remains their sadly forgotten masterpiece. It mixes straight ahead rockers ("One Way Street," "Gunslinger") with ballads ("Can't Do Without It," "Party Girls") and covers ("Little Girl," "Cadillac Walk"). The assemblage is surprisingly seamless, and producer Jack Nitzsche deserves a ton of credit not only for the gorgeous sound but the inspired sequencing.

At the heart of the disc are three quintessential DeVille compositions that represent the band's sound and attitude. "Venus of Avenue D" opens the album with a drone worthy of the Velvet Underground and develops into a medium tempo rocker with understated verses that build into raw-throated choruses. The heartbreaking "Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl" openly displays sadness and yearning without ever sounding sappy. "Spanish Stroll," a minor hit that garnered radio play, works so successfully as a swaggering update to "Walk on the Wild Side," most people mistake it for an actual Lou Reed song.

It is, I think, swagger that best defines Mink DeVille in general, and Cabretta in particular. DeVille's sizable charisma informs every lyric, be it in the guise of a hoodlum ("Pistol whip you just for fun") or forlorn romantic ("She's a mixed up, shook up girl / got me so strung out I don't know what to do"). Replacing punk's anarchy and rebellion with a detached cool and vulnerability, Mink DeVille was always about the feeling, rather than fury.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

8-word poem

Why is there
Such misery
In the world?

Friday, January 19, 2007


Pay for
Your fucking gum
And shut up.

Varnishing Print

Yutaka Fukufuji, goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings, is the first Japanese-born player in National Hockey League history.

A January 16 game against the Atlanta Thrashers marked his first start.

He hails from Tokyo.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I learned this
From Barney,
But it's true.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Films I saw in 2006

I loved:

Children of Men
The Queen
The Descent
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Casino Royale
Inside Man
The Science of Sleep
Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Lady Vengeance
The Fountain
Inland Empire
X-Men: The Last Stand
Jesus Camp
An Inconvenient Truth
Thank You For Smoking
Snakes on a Plane
Why We Fight

I liked:

Stranger Than Fiction
The Proposition
A Scanner Darkly
Superman Returns
Deja Vu
The Devil Wears Prada
The Illusionist
Miami Vice
The Departed
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
Silent Hill
The Omen

I hated:

Blood Diamond
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
The Da Vinci Code
Lady in the Water*
V for Vendetta


*So deliciously bad, it was actually great fun to be aghast at!

Not since a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show years ago have I experienced such a feeling of community among a movie film audience. Every single misguided turn that Lady in the Water took was met with a chorus of groans, each insipid moment inspired gales of collective guffaws. One of my all-time amazing movie going experiences.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Sacha Baron Cohen takes home best actor in a comedy or musical at Golden Globes for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

Will the Oscar be next?

8-word poem

Such a relief
To hear
The abundant

Monday, January 15, 2007

8-word poem

Odds are good:
Life will
Finish you off.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

8-word poem

Don't let
The sun set
On your

Saturday, January 13, 2007

8-word poem

The window
Of opportunity
Slams like
A guillotine.

Friday, January 12, 2007

8-word poem

What once
Was new
Is now
Almost gone.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

8-word poem

The ache
Of beauty;
It just hurts.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

8-word poem

Success is cumulative;
Ruination takes
But an instant.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

8-word poem

What kind of person
Would censor
A poem?

Monday, January 08, 2007

8-word poem

The years
Have humbled me.
How about you?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

8-word poem

Hasta la vista,
'Twas real.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What would life be like if it never changed? Installment 4

More thoughts on my Top Ten Life-Changing Albums. Thanks to Eek for beginning the thread that led me to this list.

(Note: Italics indicate my initial response to Eek's challenge; the rest constitutes my further thoughts on the subject).

4. Brutality and Bloodshed for All, GG Allin & The Murder Junkies. Actually sounds like it was produced, a first - and last - for Allin. The songs are volatile and focused, and the band is extremely tight.

I didn't discover GG Allin's music until after his demise, though I was long aware of his persona. I recall seeing an album jacket portrait that showed him in all his jailhouse tattoo/Fu Manchu facial hair splendor. What really caught my attention, however, was the dog collar padlocked around his neck. What if he couldn't find the key?! I hadn't at that juncture realized that GG didn't need no stinking key.

Brutality and Bloodshed for All was GG Allin's swan song, and what a way to end a career. Finally, an actual studio recording that sounds like microphone placement, a mixing board and multiple takes were involved. Produced by Don Fury, whose studio yours truly has graced, this disc is a monument to what rock 'n' roll was always meant to be: dangerous. A quick glance at the song titles - never mind the album art - supports this thesis: "I Kill Everything I Fuck," "Shove That Warrant Up Your Ass," "I'll Slice Yer Fucking Throat," "Legalize Murder." Vintage Allin, and yet somehow - gasp! - mature. It seems that the prison stint leading up to this final assault did Allin much good in terms of stoking his muse. His rage is focused, his determination strong, his bile aboil.

Murder Junkies guitarist William Gilmore Weber III contributes significantly by giving Allin's lyrics the monster punch that frequently eluded them. This disc is the apotheosis of hard rock, with the rebellion spewing out like toxic waste into rivers of distorted angst. Drummer Dino Sex (who plays in the nude during live performances) and bandleader Merle Allin (GG's older brother on bass) fill out the sound with deft precision and authority. I wasn't surprised by the subject matter, but the balls to the wall (literally!) delivery was a revelation.

Enlightening liner notes by rock journalist (and haiku aficionado) Mikel Board make a fair case for Allin's value as an artist - a point I wholeheartedly agree with. Obviously, Allin's death wish worldview is not for everyone, but for those willing to take the plunge, there is something to be had in this abyss.

Friday, January 05, 2007

8-word poem

Here comes my
UFO home.
Beam me up!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

8-word poem

It's a funny thing,
But who's laughing?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


It took until the final day of the year for me to see what I believe is the finest film of 2006: Children of Men.

Don't let the sci-fi element fool you. Though it takes place in 2027 in a deteriorating Orwellian world where women can no longer become pregnant, this is a terrific movie with a frighteningly apt message for the totally fucked up times in which we live.

I suppose the film's power might not be quite so staggering if we were not currently embroiled in a pointless war led by a neo-fascist regime of bloodsucking ghouls. (Was that out loud?) Regardless, I can't recall seeing another film that seemed so complete all year long.

And yes, even Michael Caine, with Grandmama Addams hair, delivers the goods. I admit I was skeptical when I first started seeing trailers ("Woy do you fink women can't have babies no more?"). But this movie is the real deal. Highly recommended.