Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Jeff Bridges' Bad Blake was a conglomerate of a bunch of off the beaten path country singers. Most have said that Blaze Foley was the biggest influence thanks to his friendship with T-Bone Burnett. I had heard of Blaze on the periphery of stories about Guy Clark, Townes and the rest of that Texas crew. Never released an album. Glad that movie came out.

Blaze was also the inspiration for Lucinda's best fucking song

Blaze Foley- Clay Pigeons

Debbie Harry & Kermit the Frog - The Rainbow Connection

I am a sucker. But this is the perfect song.

How many drugs do you think those two did in the green room?

Willie Nelson - Rainbow Connection
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Stream the New Dr. Dog- NPR

NPR is streaming the new Dr. Dog. I held out on these guys for a while because I am an idiot.
Check it here

Dr Dog Upcoming Tour Dates:

April 14 Lee’s Place Toronto, ON
April 15 Blind Pig Ann Arbor, MI
April 16 Metro Chicago, IL
April 17 Fine Line Minneapolis, MN
April 19 Belly Up Aspen, CO
April 20 Gothic Theatre Denver, CO
April 22 Neurolux Boise, ID
April 23 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
April 24 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA
April 25 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA **
April 27 Henry Fonda Los Angeles, CA **
April 29 Santa Fe Brewing Company Santa Fe, NM **
April 30 The Loft Dallas, TX **
May 1 Emo’s Outside Austin, TX **
May 2 Warehouse Live Studio Houston, TX **
May 3 Majestic Fayetteville, AR **
May 5 Workplay Birmingham, AL **
May 6 Cannery Ballroom Nashville, TN **
May 7 Headliners Louisville, KY **
May 10 Port City Music Hall Portland, ME
May 11 Paradise Boston, MA **
May 12 Paradise Boston, MA **
May 13 Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA **
May 14 9:30 Club Washington, DC **
May 15 Terminal 5 New York, NY **
May 23 Magnet Berlin, Germany
May 24 Blue Shell Koln, Germany
May 25 Paradiso Amsterdam, Netherlands
May 26 Cargo London, UK
May 27 Nouveau Casino Paris, FR
May 29 Primavera Sound Barcelona, Spain
May 31 Sasquatch Festival George, WA
June 4 Mountain Jam Woodstock, NY
June 11 Bonnaroo Manchester, TN
July 2 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy, CA
July 3 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy, CA
July 10 All Good Festival Masontown, WV

** With Deer Tick

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Duke

I get that John Wayne is not politically correct. He was pro-war, pro-establishment, and anti-hippie. Definitely a chauvinist and maybe a racist and probably a drunk. Yet late in life Harvard's National Lampoon sent him a fake award, not knowing it was a set up, he agreed to show up and accept it. They made fun of him and he handled it with graciousness and humor. (Is it really a surprise that the working-class hates the liberal intelligentsia?)

The cowboy vs indian, WW II, anti commie image Wayne worked so hard through out his career to create came to represent everything that the 60's was against. In fact, John Wayne was the fucking icon of everything they were against. But during WW II he was the fucking icon of everything people were for. And in a way, that still holds true. He represents the best and worst of America all at the same confusing time. Those contradictions is what makes us who we are. And like John Wayne, it really isn't ever who we are (He really was Marion Morrison the son of a pharmacist named Clyde, of course) but who we become. He is the American Dream.

As for me, I fucking love John Wayne. Growing up not knowing my biological father probably had something to do with it. I needed that male ego to come from somewhere. I wanted to be John Wayne- how pissed am I am that I ended up short, cannot ride a horse, and look stupid in big cowboy hats.

John Wayne taught me how to fight other boys, that you should be proud to serve in the military, and that Maureen O'Hara is fucking hot. By the time I was 16 I rejected two of those ideas thanks to reading Jack Kerouac and Jim Morrison's biography. But something of John Wayne stuck. Like a thin residue over my character. I love America because we produced John Wayne and other famous frauds, liars and bullshitters- Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, The Country Fucker...


Headed out of the city- Goin to Yosemite for some climbing and camping. My soul is happy about it. This is where my head is most of the time...

How is it when a man of my age starts contemplating the settled life he immediately starts worrying about his freedom? Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, I suppose. I've been working on being an old man for most of my youth and now the time has come. Ah, the settled life... can it really exist in the city? Maybe it is the thought of kids and that raising them in the urban environment would be so foreign to me.

How does one go from a urban life of more than ten years now get back to the country? Every time I take a look at the lay of the land and get the itch for goin there seem to be these obstacles. A job, for instance. I am not going back to work on a farm. I don't want to work that hard. All my Professional skills are of a specific nature and I've yet to find a way to translate them to a small town job. Years of the city life also makes certain lifestyles unrealistic. This is my stand.

I will not:
have a commute over an hour- to work, the grocery store, culture of some sort
live in a development, suburb, or an apartment building built after 1949, any thing that includes the word track
live so remotely that I can't walk to drink with friends
be too far away from live music
be surrounded by nothing but anti-feminists, racists and homophobes- I can bear them if they are the minority
anyplace that only deals in absolutes

The obvious answer is a modern commune. An old farm where a bunch of cool people and friends live that aren't total self-righteous hippies. We share trucks, whiskey, and babysitting duties but not wives. Where people hang out a lot of the time but not all the time. Maybe someone there teaches me to pick a banjo so we can have weekend jams.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"You can find in music just about any ideal emotional landscape you crave, whether it's angst or rebellion or celebration or union or dissolution. It's all there, and none of it's going to call you back or text you at four o'clock in the morning or blame you for anything you did or didn't do or slap you with a paternity suit."
-Will Oldham
Poncho, don't you like me no more
Poncho, to me our friendship means more
Poncho, please forget what I said
Cause Poncho we're headin' towards our end
I remember the first time when you came to town
Speaking in Spanish making the rounds
When you first saw me your face was a grin
Then you called me The Frisco Kid

I say someday you'll be happy with me, Poncho
I remember the good times when you loved me so
I gave you my hat and wore your sombrero
All of the times that you saved me from death
Oh Poncho you were the best
I had a black horse and you had a gray
My horse was faster but yours did okay
When it came to chasin' rustlers we'd always win
Cause we're Poncho and The Frisco Kid
We're Poncho and The Frisco Kid
Oh poncho we're headin' towards our end

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tis a Bonnie Day

Sun is out and the Irish are drunk. All is right in the world once again. In honor of the potato eating, ditch digging, blue-eyed mick catholic bastards a new old BPB song.

Death To Everyone

And of course Danny Boy. Go cry about your mother.

The Muppets do the most spot on depiction of the Irish I've ever seen.


Love This Man.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Alex Carleton Makes L.L. Bean Better

Alex Carleton's new line for L.L. Bean Signature is about the best idea I've seen in a long time.

Instead of "fashion companies" making expensive reproductions of classic labels. L.L. Bean hired a designer with a great eye for classic Americana to reinvent their line within L.L. Bean's ethos of functional and affordable clothing.

Woolrich has recently reinvented different aspects of their traditional clothing but Damn! No, honest working man can afford some of that shit.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mans Need For Epic

A friend of mine just completed an epic trek in the Adirondack mountains.
Check this, I started at Elk Lake at 12 pm Friday night and didn’t crawl into my sleeping bag until 7 am Sunday morning. What!?! Yeah, that’s right. It wasn’t planned this way, but breaking trail really chewed up the time. Basically, I hiked all night Friday, rolled into camp Saturday morning, repacked my bag and started hiking again, making it half way up the 2,100 ft South Fork of the West Slide by sunset, bivied for 2 hours, hiked the rest of the exposed 1,000 ft of open slide in the dark, tagged the summit in a howling wind, got off the upper mountain by midnight, bivied again on the trail for 2 hours, then rolled into camp at daybreak Sunday morning. Sorry, but I was too tired to take any pictures worth a dam. Yahoo!

This is a reasonably sane family man pushing himself to the limit on a weekend. Why? It seems that the more time society gives us to relax there is a certain percentage who will use that time systematically trying to kill themselves. Is it that as the world becomes safer and more within our reach we feel the need to find things that are out of reach or, at least, barely within our reach?

I climbed Rainer with this fellow. He isn't a risk taker looking to stare death in the face. He lives up to his responsibilities and has a pretty normal job. There is just something inside of him that makes him do things that are hard sometimes. Maybe that is it. The fact that we know many people wouldn't do these things that are hard. A way to separate yourself, if only in your head, from the mass of humanity.

Books have always been a reasonable substitute for actually jumping into the jaws of death yet still creating that feeling of being alive. I just finished Annapurna by Maurice Herzog. A classic of mountaineering literature that chronicles the summit of the first 8000 meter peak. That book showed what hard is. Hard is a two week descent in which Herzog got severe frostbite and lost a bunch of fingers and toes. Gangrene set in requiring emergency amputations at camp without anesthetic.

Sure he was treated as national hero upon his survival and return home but never lived out his true dream of being a speed-typist.

Maurice Herzog

Lionel Terray

There is something in that drive to the edge that we love. So many great American novels capture it in some way: Moby Dick, Call of the Wild, The Sun Also Rises, All The Pretty Horses, Lonesome Dove...

Maybe London hit upon it in the that perfect title "Call of the Wild". Some feeling to see what we have inside. Then again Jack London ended up being an alcoholic womanizer who died of uremia aggravated by an accidental morphine overdose. Guess that can be the other side of the coin.

Cash and Dylan

Feeling one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind... sing it boys.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Luckily the internet survived my absence and is in fact alive and well.

Here are some of the better things it has to offer the world at the moment:

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Back in the USA

So happy to travel abroad and hang with people from all different kinds of places. One thing is clear to me. Everyone loves America and hates America for about the same reasons as most sane Americans.

I came back with three complaints:
1. Drunk ex-British Marines who want to kick my ass for the Iraq War prove that the world is full of assholes.
2. The Beijing airport is literally hell on earth.
3. European house music may be the worse thing they have done since the holocaust.

... Ok, that might be a bit much but first thing I did when I got online was this