Monday, December 17, 2007

christmas music/therapy

I am a creature of habit. That being said, the year was 1980. The sun had already bid adieu and there was a chill in the air. The date? December 24th. John Lennon had been gunned down a mere 16 days prior.
Christmas generally strikes me as a melancholy time of year and I wanted nothing more than to just be left alone, so I lied to my family and claimed to have a gig that night.
Not so much of a stretch as I had performed at DJs in Dallas the previous Christmas eve.
To this day, oddly, that stands as my favorite show ever. The club was packed and I realized that so many people must seem out of touch once the holiday season rolls around and they have nothing much to do.
That, however, is another story.
I lived in an apartment complex in Hurst that was situated on the westbound access road off the airport freeway. On the other side of the highway existed a gas station with a lot next to it that was selling off Christmas trees at a very reasonable discount. It was, after all, the last time they would be open for business. Or at least until another year would pass.
For whatever reason, there were some old decorations in the back of the closet, so I walked over to the place and purchased a small tree. I figured it could fill space for about a week and would come down on New Year’s Day.
The desire to go to the store for groceries did not sound at all appealing, so I merely whipped up a batch of Hamburger Helper stroganoff. I really can cook, but hey, the stuff was in the pantry. Plus, I had plenty of Carlo Rossi wine and a 12er of beer, so I was pretty much set. (For those too young to remember, 18 used to be the legal age to buy alcoholic beverages.)
Now all that was left to add to the ambiance was some mood music to share with the tiny tree as it was being decorated. Now, these three records I am about to mention really have nothing to do with Christmas per se. They did, however, bring a sense of the world being an accepting place on a lonely night.
I would imagine not everybody would choose the same three, but they worked for me. With the exception of living outside the country and not having access to them, I play these same albums every year sometime around the eve of the big day. Sort of a self-hibernation, if you will.
Curious? Here we go. I shall list the selection in the order I played them that night as I created a tree shrine as an ode to solitude:

1) ‘End Of The Century’– The Ramones
This is far from their best recording effort, but does have sort of a sadness about it that the others do not. Also a bit different is that it was produced by Phil Spector. This would probably explain why the best track on the thing is a remake of Baby I Love You. Joey Ramone outdoes himself on this one. It’s the first song on side two. I always start with that side.

2) ‘drums and wires’- XTC
Okay, think of early Beatles if they had been really excited about their new material, so excited in fact that they decided to take downers before recording it.
One of my favorite records of all time. It got me all the way to the hanging of the icicles on my tiny , yet now colorful tree.

3) ‘For Your Pleasure’- Roxy Music
Hanging icicles on a tree is a slow and delicate procedure. They need to be patiently placed, one at a time, like the rhythm of waves gently splashing on a welcoming shore.
For Your Pleasure is the second Roxy Music LP and will take you right there.

Okay. That’s it. Just wanted to share. Perhaps you can find your own collection of make-peace-with the holidays music. These just happen to be my choices left over from another time that refuses to be forgotten.

Friday, December 14, 2007

foul ball

Call me naïve. Call me out of the loop of logical thinking. Call me Moses, but I have what I think is a fairly understandable question.
Can somebody please tell me what in the grand scheme of the universe does the federal government possibly have to do with the steroid scandal in sports?
Do they not have more important matters with which to attend?
Now, I do not know all the exact details as to what steroids do exactly, but I can tell you that I am pretty confident I could consume a steady diet of the stuff and never even hit one home run, much less several hundred.
That being said, if major league baseball feels it has a problem, then why do they not deal with it internally? Hey, if some of those guys want to turn themselves into freakish hulks, that’s their business. If, however, it is against the rules set forth, then there can always be fines, bans, suspensions, etc.
Actually, without going into further detail, I can sum up the current baseball scandal in four words:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

no country for old men

Most frequent movie goers have probably already seen No Country For Old men. For those who have not, click on the following link for an interview/review via the publication FYI

the big break

Well, hello everybody. I am sure there are millions of Bodega Train fans out there in the blogosphere who have lost sleep as well as appetite from lack of reading posts from this site.
Sorry, been preoccupied with other projects.
The quotient of printed words on this page will probably grow at least a little bit these days if for no other reason than I have a broken foot.
Oh well, at least I now possess a brand new shiny set of crutches.
It’s amazing how many small tasks one performs every day and never even thinks about it. Even going to the refrigerator for a beer can be an adventure. I have that figured out now, but the first day on the crutches, I went to the kitchen and opened a cold beer, salivating. Then started to take it back to the living room, looked down upon both my hands, one on each crutch and just said, “Shit!”
What was I going to do to get from point A to point B. My adorable and brilliant wife laughed, reached under the counter and handed to me a plastic grocery bag. With said bag, I can drop the bottle in and hold the loop with my fingers as I glide back to the sofa. Actually it’s even easier now that the weather has finally acted in a wintry fashion.
I simply wear my robe and slip the beer into a pocket.
Not to sneak in a plug, but Icicle and the kid will be performing at Sarah’s place this Friday night. That would be the 14th of December.
I have not played sitting down since way back in the early 80s due to a faulty appendix. How embarrassing. Hmmm, drummers get to do that all the time. Might as well take my turn.
Wow. This is actually kind of fun. I’ve been dealing with editors the past few few weeks and in here, I can just go kahgng;erhg’nkgirng and nobody cares.
Anyway, I’m going to go and do my beer trick and think of crap to post in here. Just have to see how my mood flows.
Adios por ahora,