Top of the morning to you! I’m usually an early riser when I’m working and today’s no different. As Jeff mentioned previously, I recently had major surgery so I’m at home on summer vacation, which bureaucrats call short-term disability. As with every day, I begin it with news. News…

This morning’s headlines include news that the U.S. has captured a “key” person of interest in the September 11 hijackings. Omar al-Bayoumi, from Saudi Arabia (of course), apparently once threw a welcoming party for two eventual hijackers. Unfortunately for Omar, he’ll likely be receiving his own welcoming party soon at Guatanamo Bay in Cuba. In other news, a hotel bomb kills 10 at an Indonesia hotel, the U.S. spells out a Liberia “plan” and the movie “Gigli” tanks. News… What is news but bad news? With the exception of the Gigli bomb, most news is plain old bad news (I mean, who cares about Gigli?). Turn on the TV, open the newspaper or your weekly news mag and what you see and hear and read about are people blowing up people and buildings in terrorists plots, gang violence, political scandals, Wall Street scandals, NBA basketball “hero” scandals, tragedies of Mother Nature, unemployment rates rising, healthcare coverage nightmares continuing…it’s all bad news. Imagine a news station or paper that only presented good news? I can’t, but someday it’s going to happen. For now, we’re stuck with bad news reporting. And I won’t even touch on such crap as Jerry Springer and the other 39 similar daily “talk” shows that I run into while channel surfing as I recuperate. As such, I turn to music, which isn’t regularly reported in the mainstream daily news, unless it’s mainstream music (that I’ll get to in a moment).


Music is good. Music is meaningful. Music is essential to leading a productive life. Music is like water and food and a good night’s sleep all plopped down on a shiny little round piece of plastic. Music. Have you ever known anyone that didn’t like music? I haven’t, but I do know two people who hate the Beatles, which I believe is underground modern-day communism in action. Yeah, they come right out and say it…”I hate the Beatles. Never liked them.” What? Music. I mean, unless you’re Tupac or Biggie or into some East vs. West coast music gangbang and have a cap with your name on it, music’s good for you. Of course, mainstream music for the most part sucks (as does your favorite band…old joke; get it? Hah!). This morning’s music news headlines, for example, include the “new face” of R&B — Smooth Anthony Hamilton. Good for Smooth! Wait! Who’s Smooth? Wait! Who cares? I’m not into contemporary R&B but give me some old R&B/soul/funk like Otis Redding, James Brown, or Sly and Robby and I’ll take off like a rocket! Bad music is the very reason why I’ll only discuss good music in this forum. And of course, any music that I, or Jeff, listen to is good music.

Since Jeff was so kind in turning over his site to me for the week, I began making music for him this past weekend as an extension of my gratitude and am now on a craze and can’t be bothered with much else (actually, I’ve been making tapes and CDs for Jeff since we met) . Side note: I won’t say I “copy” music for Jeff, just in case the RIAA police are monitoring this site. In the past, Jeff has mentioned my compulsive desire to record for him everything that I get my hands on (even my local library is not exempt from this since they have a fantastic collection of country, folk, and rock music). In fact, I do make music for others, like my great friends Tom “Smokin’ Daddy” Braida and Leo “Leon The Lion” Daley, as well as other friends and acquaintances, most of whom are from the Yahoo discussion group/public forum called “No Depression/Alternative-Country.” There’s a great gang of folks who hang at that site who know good music…people like Matt Hickey, one of my favorite rock critics and overall nice guys who writes for Magnet and other outlets. I buy just about anything Matt raves about and it’s most always a sure bet. From that forum I’ve also met people at SXSW, attended shows with them in Chicago and other cities where we hook up after chatting online, trade good music, and “blah, blah, blah” (- Iggy Pop). I’ve been “with” the group since 1996 and there’s always something interesting to read at the forum, though not as wildly entertaining as this one! So, back to my silly-ass making music spree I started to write about. Since Saturday I’ve sent Jeff the following recordings…they’ve all been mailed but he’s probably yet to receive them:

Pop, Rock (As you’ll come to know, I’m a HUGE Brit-pop/rock freak):

THE TYDE: Twice (Rough Trade 2003)

FRANK SINATRA: His Great Performances 1955-1960 (2000 Capitol Records)

TRASH CAN SINATRAS: Zebra Of The Family (Bobame UK)

YOU AM I: Deliverance (SpinArt 2003)

The Missing Days Of SPEARMINT (HitBack! 2003)

COSMIC ROUGH RIDERS: Too Close To See Far (Measurer UK 2003)

CINERAMA: Cinerama Holiday (Manifesto UK 2003)

The CASEWORKER: These Weeks Should Be Remembered (Manifesto UK 2003)

THE PIXIES: Doolittle (1989 4-A-D/Elektra/Asylum)

JETS TO BRAZIL: Orange Rhyming Dictionary (Jade Tree 1998)

ROONEY (Geffen 2003)

COFFEE IN DULUTH: The Other Side Of Sleep (Chris Cacavas of Green On Red) (GEMA Germany 2003)

ST THOMAS: I’m Coming Home (City Slang Germany2001)

BALLBOY: A Guide For Daylight Hours (Manifesto UK 2003)

THE VULGAR BOATMEN: Wide Awake (No Nostalgia Records 2003)

LILYS: Precollection (Manifesto UK 2003)

THE VERVE: Urban Hymns (Hut UK 1997)

LI’L CAP’N TRAVIS (Sleepy Bunny 1999)

WILLARD GRANT CONSPIRACY: Everything’s Fine (Ryko 2000)

DWIGHT TWILLEY: XXI (Greatest Hits) (The Right Stuff/Capitol 1996) 1975-1995

DAMIEN RICE: O (Vector/DRM 2003)

BADLY DRAWN BOY: Have You Fed The Fish? (2002 XL UK)


CORY BRANAN: The Hell You Say (Madjack 2003)

THE DARK HORSES (Going Nowhere 2001)

The Essential BYRDS (2003 Sony Legacy)

CONTINENTAL DRIFTERS: Better Day (Razor & Tie 2003)

X-RATED COWBOYS (Dan Baird’s new band) “Saddest Day Of The Year” (OFFN 2003)

TWO COW GARAGE “Please Turn The Gas Back On” (Shelterhouse 2003)

SCOTT MILLER & THE COMMONWEALTH “Upside Downside” (2003 Sugar Hill)

JESSE DeNATALE: Shangri-La West (Jackpine Social Club 2003)


DOUG HOEKSTRA: Waiting (Paste 2003)

LEFTOVER SALMON / CRACKER “O Cracker, Where Art Thou?” (Pitch A Tent 2003)

DENISON WITMER: Recovered (Fugitive 2003)

CDs going out to Jeff later this week include…well, let’s wait until later this week or else I’ll have nothing else to write about. If anyone’s heard any of the above listed CDs and wish to comment please feel free. For this week I’m stuck on The Tyde, Cosmic Rough Ryders (great band…the above listed being their second stunning recording!), Denison Witmer, and Cory Branan, as well as Grandaddy and Superchunk who aren’t mentiond above.

Wow! The sun’s up! Birds are singing! Alas, the news says that showers are expected today with a high of 80F. But wait! That’s good news because it means I don’t have to water the flowers today…

Rave on!